Nature As Medicine

Nature Heals!

elizabet eiler

(image, with thanks, from Elizabet Eiler)

Nature heals me better than anything else out there.

Give me some time to play in the dirt, dip in the creek, climb the hill, or ride an ocean wave and I’ll be okay.

Nature has always been my haven and my healing balm. I go to her when I’m weary and frayed by the woes of the world. I go to her to re-enchant my sense of wonder and refresh my sanity. I go to her to deepen my faith and rekindle my spirit.

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These days I find myself  following this good advice:bigcitybelle.blogspot.com

(image from: http://www.bigcitybelle.blogspot.com)

Not chasing the news or endlessly checking my emails, not allowing myself to be swept up into anyone else’s drama or being drawn into chronic despair, is freeing so much positive energy in my life! I find myself creating more, caring more, sleeping better, loving more deeply, and being profoundly grateful for all the tiny joys in my life.

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I start my days in the garden, marveling at the bees and birds and budding flowers. I find every opportunity to be outside playing. I love our camping adventures and time spent by the campfire under the dazzling stars. I love quiet. And stillness. And breathing deep.

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I’m an old hippie girl…barefoot and sun-dappled…a wreath of wildflowers in my hair…who has become an earth elder…an aged and seasoned gray haired crone devoted to taking care of Mother Earth.

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I join the ranks of my heroines…

rachel carson

Rachel Carson

tasha tudor

Tasha Tudor

georgia o'keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe

dian fossey

Dian Fossey

temple grandin

Temple Grandin

jane goodall

Jane Goodall

alice walker

Alice Walker

joy harjo

Joy Harjo

buffy saint-marie

Buffy Saint-Marie

and, most especially,

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Wangari Maathai

in caring about the planet and putting my energy out there to uplift and celebrate others who join me in this work.

There are so many important causes to throw our energy into…and I am so pleased that our Creative Cottage tribe is actively participating in a huge variety of good works and consciousness raising activities about health care, children’s rights, immigration, and gun control. 

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I care deeply about all of these issues as well but, as an elder tribeswoman, one of my most important passions is being a nature steward, an earth tender, a voice for Mother Earth. I take this pledge every day…

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My work is to help protect and preserve our precious planet, to be an informed citizen, to share my concerns about global warming and the poisoning of our water, food, & air.

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My work is to keep my heart healthy so I can continue to  be an earth warrior.

My work is finding common ground, discovering ways we can agree, energizing people to feel they can make a difference, and reminding people they have the right (and responsibility) to raise their voices and insist on common decencies.  

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(image from http://www.forumactif.com)

Please find ways you can help…join me (and our Cottage sisters) in the struggle to make a positive, constructive, honest, hard-working, focused difference in our world…cuz…

give a shit

In solidarity,

In the spirit of peace,

In the hope that you will join me,

each of us in our own small way,

turning the prayer wheel

for a better world.

With Love and Commitment,

Kaitlin

woman power

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

WISE WIMMIN RISE UP!

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It was remarkable! It was amazing! It rocked my hippie soul!

The Tucson Women’s March

(in solidarity with demonstrations all over the world!)

drew 15,000 men, women, and children

of every race and creed, every age and orientation,

AND there wasn’t a single arrest or act of violence!

I am convinced…

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Some of us have been “hibernating” since the election…

talking, drumming, sitting in circle, conjuring,

and preparing ourselves…

but on January 21, 2017 we came out of hibernation

ROARING with new energy and passion!

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 Saturday people came together…

thousands and thousands and thousands of them in Tucson!

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because we must…

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I am pleased that young wimmin and male allies, who have different life experiences than I do, different needs, different worries, came to join us in this struggle.

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Like many women my age…

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but I have grandchildren and the Girlz With HeART and

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willing to do what I have to make sure we

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I am no fool,

I know this is going to be a fevered battle

but I feel energized and enthused about continuing to be a part

of a movement I first joined in 1966.

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We’re baaaaaaaack!

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We had a poster making potluck at The Cottage…

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a sisterhood of untamed wimmin who know…

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who have been through many trails and setbacks in their own lives 

but continue to say…

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because we have become the wise elders

who thoughtfully carry the history of many social justice causes

and the experience of much hard work in the trenches,

over many decades,

into the future…

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Each in our own way…pulling together…

speaking up for children, the earth, the homeless,

the rejected, and, especially,

those who have experienced violence and hate.

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We gathered at The Cottage,

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car-pooled to Armory Park,

and joined  thousands  already assembling on a rainy, windy day!

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It was exhilarating to share the positive energy

and to see so many of us willing to take to the streets

to protect basic social, economic, and spiritual values.

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There were lots of messages,

lots of causes & concerns…

but, most importantly,

I think women proclaimed loud and clear…

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For some of us, this struggle is very personal…

we have been working for decades

to insure that women have every opportunity

to honor themselves and their bodies

and to make informed, supported choices.

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Many of us remember the brave, relentless suffragettes

who risked imprisonment and death

to assure women have the right to vote.

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Saturday we proved we are ready for and willing to

stand up, speak up, and act up

to continue to focus attention on those who are most vulnerable…

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Never under-estimate a group pf empowered women!

We refuse or to comply,

to be silent,

to think we are powerless,

to allow hatred to win…

and we’re NOT going away,

we’re in it for the long haul…

we’re in it to win!

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Are you in? Will you join us? Can we count on you to help out?

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Stay tuned…

we have lots of wonderful plans and much hard work to do…

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We’re a powerful, passionate, creative tribe and we’re up to the challenge!
We’re ready to RISE UP!

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Meanwhile…

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With peace and love and solidarity,

Kaitlin

P. S. Check out new classes and let me know QUICK which you’d like to attend!

©Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Wild Women Rise!

now-4

Tis the season to join hands in circle,

to come together in peace,

to drum and dance and sing and pray.

To laugh and love and celebrate

all we have to be grateful for

instead of lamenting all we’ve lost.

It’s time for us to pull together

in our creative tribal communities

and invent new ways to survive and thrive.

No sense tryin’ to autopsy the corpse of what used to be,

or what we’d like it to be,

or what it could have been.

No sense tryin’ to figure it all out…

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It’s time for us wild wimmin to get at the serious work of re-dreaming the world!

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I’m excited about the new swell of energy and focus I am feeling in our tribe…

the re-inspired determination to stand up for justice and kindness and truth…

our mutual agreement NOT to bring anymore talk of politics

or the hateful ones

into our sacred Cottage space.

I know it’s scary but…

georgia

We recognize that we are sensitive, fragile beings

and that this election cycle has wounded many of us deeply.

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But we are not alone.

When we come together at The Creative Cottage

we help each other over the rough patches

and begin the work of healing together.

We make art while we gather  because

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and many before us have used their art to save their lives!

frida-survive

At The Creative Cottage

we have vowed to shift our work to deeper places,

to make art that matters,

to find new ways to stand up,

to speak out,

and to make a positive difference.

We aren’t opting out.

We’re not going away.

We’re not giving up…

we know that

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We took a few weeks to let it all sink in,

to grieve,

to be afraid of what our future might be but…

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and we have decided to use our creative spirits to

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to reclaim our power,

refocus our resolve,

and rebuild hope

in whatever ways we can,

with renewed determination,

hands & hearts joined.

I am proud of you for stepping up,

for not losing hope,

for being the brave wild fierce gentle creative wimmin you are!

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So here’s to moving forward,

arm in arm,

hand in hand,

heart to heart.

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Come join the Creative Cottage tribe of warrior renegades in re-dreaming the world!

We have work to do and joy to share!

My Love Is With You,

Kaitlin

© Copyright Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credits With Thanks:

(1)  http://www.huffingtonpost.ca

(2) http://www.orangejerimiah-2911.com

(3) #manifestjustice@instagram.com

(4) http://www.psycho2go.com

(5) http://www.artsyforager.com

(6) http://www.thefreshhuesblog.com

(7) caazolin.tumblr.com

(8) http://www.kolettehall.wordpress.com

 

Lollygagging!

It’s amazing what a little “near death” experience does for your perspective!

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It sure makes you pause.

Reflect.

Breathe.

Let the love in.

It sure makes some things seem really important

and other things, just plain silly.

It sure does slow you down.

And speed you up.

It sure makes a soul absolutely grateful for each day

and utterly determined to live with more joy every second.

autumn welcome (2)

And, is it my imagination, or does the changing season seem more colorful this year?

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Does the last sweet drench of monsoon seem more precious?

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Is there more time for lollygagging: lounging, lingering, loafing?

Do the days seem richer, deeper, and more soul-full?

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Is there more time to bask, to read, to nap…?

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YES!

I’m learning to lollygag,

to dawdle,

to take it all in,

slowly and with more grateful

attentiveness.

Autumn is my season–both in life and in heart.

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This year I am celebrating it with absolute gusto

and an enormously enriched appreciation.

I am glad to be here…

despite the Shakespearian circus of politics,

and the dire state of man & beast,

I am happy to be here.

Thank you for joining me on the journey.

Life is beautiful

and challenging

and full of adventures

and setbacks

and miracles.

oct-2 (8)

May you,

like me,

fill your heart,

your soul,

your mind,

your hands,

and your life

with love and gratitude.

Happy Lollygagging!

Love Kait

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Photo Credits:

(1) http://www.zen-mama.com

(2) Kaitlin Meadows

(3) siedepreis@ Getty images.com

(4) http://www.azworkerscompattorney.net

(5) http://www.hollysierra.com

(6) http://www.fabricebackes.com

(7) http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk

(8) alfredo11 on Flickr

 

 

 

 

HEALING MOJO

Life is messy, crazy, WONDERFUL and I am so very, very, VERY grateful to still be in it!!

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Image from: kathisgardenart.blogspot.com

Two weeks ago I was in the hospital with my heart in the steel grip of something that quite nearly killed me.

There were tubes & machines, monitors & tests, whispered consultations & worried glances.

Only after several days in the ICU did I realize…

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Image from: http://www.wildwomansisterhood.com

Only when I was flat on my back, tethered down by machines, dependent on others to keep me afloat, did I realize I had done this to myself.

NOT by being a bad person or failing to exercise enough or by not eating all my vegetables.

NOT because I smoked or drank or had a wild lifestyle.

But precisely because I filled my heart way too full with all the cares of the world, the Girlz that I mentored, my friends who were going through their own setbacks and heartaches, and my own inclination to CARE too much!

My weary, old, prickly heart just couldn’t take it anymore and it had to get my attention. And it certainly did!

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Image from: http://www.bloglovin.com

Thus began this difficult, challenging, AMAZING process of personal healing.

Apparently…

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and this whole experience has served to open my heart in wonderful new ways.

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Image from: http://www.healing-journey-energy.com

I learned that I am surrounded by people who truly love and care for me,

who are willing & eager to help carry my burdens,

and who have sage advice about how to live a full, compassionate, empathetic life without killing yourself in the process.

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I learned that healing is a spiritual practice I must be committed to for the remainder of my life and that nutritious self-care is not selfish.

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I learned that…

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Image from: http://www.HealthyPlace.com

and

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Image from: @axiom.attic

Most importantly, by sharing my saga with you and receiving the loving flood of your cards & well wishes, I learned

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Image from: http://www.wildwomansisterhood.com

So, though you won’t see me for a wee bit here while I regroup, please know that I am doing the work of recovery, grateful to have the opportunity to focus on it with few distractions, making progress each day with all of your love & support.

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Image from: http://www.sun-gazing.com

THANK YOU to all of you for your amazing out-pouring of love!

THANK YOU to my Darling Albert.

Thank you for LIFE!

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Image from. http://www.theglitchmovie.com

Come celebrate life with me on September 17th, 10 am to Noon at The Creative Cottage!

Standing With Love & Deep Gratitude In Your Healing MoJo,

Kaitlin

© KaitlinMeadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!

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Sometimes gifts arrive in unlikely packages.

Occasionally they are the answer to our prayers.

Sometimes they come disguised as setbacks.

Often they arrive late, with no return address.

Other times, they arrive just in the nick of time.

On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 24, 2016, alone at The Cottage, I collapsed.

I was transported via ambulance to UMC-Banner Hospital in critical condition.

The paramedics told my wonderful husband Albert that I was five minutes from death.

That I am here to tell you about it all is a miracle.

The rapid, courteous, professional EMS response team from Tucson Fire Department and the fantastic cardiology team at Banner/UMC brought me back.

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I will be forever grateful.

And astounded.

I see it as an enormous, shiny, one-of-a-kind gift that was sent to change my life in the best of all possible ways.

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(image from: http://www.psychologytoday.com)

My heart attack was what is called “broken heart syndrome” in lay terms (because this kind of heart attack is most often triggered by emotional stress or constant anxiety)

or Takotsubo stress cardiomyopathy in medical terms. The name “takotsubo syndrome” comes from the Japanese word for a kind of octopus trap  because it resembles an octopus sitting on top of the heart with tentacles squeezing the heart into severe cardiac spasms. It felt like my heart was being squeezed in a steel cage and I could not unlock it.

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(image from http://www.etsy.com)

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is rare, comprising less than 2% to 3% of people in western countries who suffer from a heart attack.

Stress is the main factor in takotsubo cardiomyopathy, 90% of cases are women of “a certain age” with over 85% of cases set in motion by either a physically or emotionally stressful event that immediately prefaces the start of symptoms.

The cardiologists explained to me that some people process their lives through their heads, others through their guts, and a handful through their hearts. I’m one of those folks who processes positively EVERYTHING through my heart. It has always been so. It’s in my hard wiring. I care, I feel, I hurt, I cry. It’s what makes me Kaitlin…but…

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Having miraculously survived, it is my singular responsibility to regroup and refashion my life so it doesn’t try to kill me again!

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At the moment, I am a determined archaeologist on an intensely emotional excavation, trying to unearth the triggers that caused this crash and working on disabling them so that I can embrace the joy-filled, creative, loving life I believe I am still destined to live. I will need a little time to heal, to regain my strength, and to create new rituals of self care.

Here’s how you can help me:

Please hold my place in your lives until I can recover

and know that as I map new resting places for my heart

you are all part of what keeps me going toward the happy life ahead of me.

Remind me often and in your sternest, most loving voice NOT to take on ALL the woes of the world

and to…

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(image:©2014 Cherilyn Clough http://www.LittleRedSurvivor.com)

My plan is to take a couple of weeks off at home under the incredibly loving care of my Beloved Albert who single-handedly pulled me back from the brink into his loving arms and our beautiful life together. I am going to heal and come back better than ever to celebrate and to honor this amazing gift of life renewed.

Please know that I am completely invested in keeping The Cottage as our tribal sanctuary, spirit lodge, and inspiring playhouse of shared creativity.

Be assured, my romance with my own “wild & precious life” has been rekindled.

My determination to continue to be a light in this world, to be a loving, creative, joy-filled playmate and an endlessly grateful (and much humbled) steward of my own life-force has become my singular focus.

sep blog 2(image: http://www.dreamer-in-colors.tumblr.com)

And, please, remember that I love you and am filled with absolute awe at your loving me back.

Come have a cupcake & a hug on my 70th birthday party on the 17th of September at The Cottage so I can personally thank you all for the overwhelming love and encouragement you are lavishing on me.

Please be grateful for every moment of your life!

Keep ya posted… 

LOVE LOVE LOVE & so much gratitude!

Kaitlin

Who’s heart is prickly

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(image: pricklypearheart from http://www.annemckinnell.com)

but it is strong!

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(image:www.inerties.tumblr.com)

Delighted and proud to be a…

sep blog 7(image from http://www.sciencedaily.com)

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Letting Go!

Learning to go with the floooooow…

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Image from http://www.artprojectsforkids.org

(Well, I’m trying!)

But sometimes life just throws you for a loop

and unravels all your well-woven plans.

Case in point?

My dear, caring, thoughtful friends wanted to throw me an amazing little 70th birthday party.

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Image from the wonderful collection of Inge prints: http://www.ingelook.com

A date was picked, a place was selected, food & games were discussed.

It was going to be mermaid themed pool party at Lucy’s beautiful home.

marnie mermaid

Image from http://www.marnieismymuse.com

Mermaid Marnie was going to be in charge of festive activities.

Anne was gonna send out e-vites and keep the fuss to a minimum for me.

Sounded like a perfect plan.

I must admit,

at first I was scared.

I’m just not a birthday party type girl.

I hate all the fuss and (believe it or not!) I’m excruciatingly shy.

But these wonderful friends persisted

and plans were rolling along…

frankly, I started to get a little tiny bit excited…

when BAM!!!

Life stepped in.

Unbeknownst to me, my beloved Albert had been hatching a plan

to SURPRISE me

with a week-long reunion with family & friends.

Talk about abundance,

count your blessings,

life is good!

But whoops, what about the party???

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Oh my gosh, my friends had worked so hard…what was I to do?

When it became clear that life had other plans for me,

I was forced to cancel the party

and proceeded to make travel arrangements.

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Image: let go and enjoy the ride from Etsy.com

“Some people believe holding on and “hanging in there” are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
Ann Landers

But there were bumps and tangles–

getting a whole raggle-taggle family together 

via planes, trains, buses, yaks, and clown cars

is harder than it looks!

Like my sister Kim in North Fork,

too much of a good thing

can be just toooo much!

Kim volunteered to grow all the sunflowers

for her daughter Michelle’s September wedding.

She plotted and planned and consulted the garden fairies

and planted hundreds of sunflowers for the wedding.

But, because of screwy weather

(and, I can’t help but think, the wicked sense of humor of garden fairies),

the sunflowers are all blooming like crazy NOW

(waaaaay too early!)

sunflowers Kim

Sunflowers on Kim’s hearth

My take-away from all this?

We can make our big, luscious plans

but life sometimes has another script for us.

Our job is to make the best of it–whatever it is.

“Letting go helps us to to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress.”  Melody Beattie

But, in a wonderful, ironic, and oh so comical twist,

when the dust settled and all the tickets were all in hand,

it turns out I’m leaving a couple of days AFTER my birthday.

So here’s the new plan…

I’m just gonna go with the flow…

relax, have fun, and celebrate my birthday with you all–

no big party, no big hoopla, just cupcakes and laughter.

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Please come join me at The Creative Cottage on my 70th birthday, Saturday, September 17th, from 10 to 2 for a little cupcake celebration.

Pop in for  some tasty morsels, some delightful co-mingling with friends, and some hearty giggles at my expense.

Hope you can come!

aug 2 blog

Image from: http://www.facebook.com/ShutUpImStillTalking

Here is my new mantra–thanks to Lucy:

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word… She just let go.

She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions Swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely.. Without hesitation or worry.. She just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety …that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations …about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement ..and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report ..or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree… She just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was.. and it is just that.

In the space of letting go.. she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

from: Rev. Saphire Rose Ernest Holmes

let go

Image from Facebook/Zen To Zany

LOVE LOVE LOVE FROM KAITIE BUG

Learning (ever so slowly!) to LET GO!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Be Careful What You Wish For!

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Summer in Tucson is not for wimps!

Months & months of three-digit temperatures.

Unrelenting drought.

A sun so searing you’d best be indoors most of the day.

Need I say I HATE it!!!

And that I shall never, ever, EVER get used to it?

But

(dragging my heels every dang-gum-step-of-the-way),

ever so slowly,

I am FINALLY embracing strategies to cope with Tucson summers.

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(Image from http://www.seanparkerphotography.com)

I get up a 5 a.m. to water the gardens & feed the critters–

(including our desert tortoises who are ravenous this time of year for big red, strawberry-like, cactus apple fruit!)

Breakfast Treats

All in all, it takes us several hours a day to keep our little ark afloat.

The demanding (but ho so rewarding) daily stewardship of WildHeart Ranch is our yoga, our zen, our passion.

When I’m not convening magic at The Creative Cottage or “rousting about with me friends,” on the few days a week I get to “just stay home & BE,”

I read books and make art and watch a good number of old black & white Turner Classic Movies.

One of my favorite treats is just taking a little moment to curl up with my Sweetheart and siesta for an hour in the hottest part of the day.

So I manage.

I tolerate.

I compromise.

But still…

my heart craves cool, green, wet, water.

heron pond

Recently, after too many one-hundred-and-ten-degree days,

I did a voodoo, heathen, pagan set of humble little prayers for rain.

I repeated the mantra, “rain, rain, come and play” several days running.

I chanted my poem

As If To Capture Rain

 the potter builds

            vessels of mud

like the swallow,

            like the wasp,

each a compartment of birthing,

            of deep sleep

remembering clay

            and moving water,

the mica

            skimmed from gilt.

rivers that carry the memory

            of rain

in their sluice

            through the country

of our waning seasons.

            there is more

to the story

            than that

but it is not told

            in words.

part of it is silence.

            part of it is music.

there are some tears.

            and a light that splits

the horizon

            into flames.

the birds speak

            of it

in trees

            and frogs sing

 of it

            in marshes.

the story is always told

            in the ancient manner,

with the palms

            thrust up,

as if to capture rain.

(Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2008. All Rights Reserved)

monsoon

(Image from Mike Olbinski Photography on flickr)

I called in the rain.

It’s all my fault.

Today, we got 2-and-a-half-inches

of lightning-laced,

absolutely torrential rain 

in a couple of hours!

Roads washed away.

Power went out.

It stranded people in rushing water.

It caused major havoc.

It was a real “gully washer”–

it was everything that defines “monsoon Tucson!”

But,

I swear,

I only wanted a gentle, slow,

three day-long,

deep soaking,

female rain.

I guess I learned my lesson.

Be careful (and specific!) about what you wish for!

Too much of a good thing, in this case, was waaaaaay too much of a good thing!

But, here’s the good news,

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(Image from: her-heart-on-fire.tublr)

So after a few days of mud and “skeetoes,”

after some clean up and regrouping,

there will be another glorious sunset,

desert sunset

(Image from: http://www.saguaropictures.com)

another day to be grateful,

and, probably, lots more reminders

to be careful

what you wish for!

Love & Lovely Rain from

Monsoon Kait

red bubber boots

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

LEARNING TO TRUST

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Have you noticed:

life has been impossibly challenging

in light of recent murders, on-going wars, continuing bigotry, and intensifying world violence?

Some of you, responding to my last blog post about choosing to be happy,

have asked how that’s possible given the state of the world and the depth of its problems?

This is what I think:

life is a beautiful, glorious, magical thing and (whatever happens)

it’s our responsibility to live it fully, to live it with purpose and passion,

and to work tirelessly to make it better.

Yes, life is full of challenges, setbacks, and senseless acts of utter incomprehension,

but our job is to weather what brings us grief

and to celebrate what makes us happy.

I struggle every day with news of more bloodshed and cruelty.

As an empath, as an intensely sensitive human being,

the plight of the Earth and her people

touches me deeply.

Frequently, I feel discouraged and powerless.

Sometimes, I even lose my way a little and get really scared.

What saves me is this observation by the Dali Lama:

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So it’s my job to choose happy, to choose joy, to work for peace, to vigil for justice,

racism kills

to raise my voice and open my heart

with all those of you who are,

in your own small, steady ways,

lifting up the light and holding the love too.

As an over-thinker, an over-feeler,

easily swept away by emotions that almost make me shut down completely,

I have to remind myself to :

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I have to remember that

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When the world gets particularly crazy, bloody, scary, and sad,

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I have to remember

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and that

back

So, this is what I do…

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I just keep on truckin’…

keep on loving, keep on teaching, keep on sharing, keep on believing…

How dare I look for happy in a world of chaos and bloodshed?

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I trust.

I trust the good. I trust the love.

I trust the great capacity of humankind to correct our course.

And when that doesn’t work, I pray.

In my own way. In no temple, at no alter, to no god. I pray.

“Divine Universe, please add my love to the cauldron,

my sweat to the struggle,

and my commitment to the cause

of peace.”

I know…

change

so I prevail–even when it’s soooo hard,

even when it seems hopeless,

even when I doubt we can do it.

I prevail.

In my home,

in my Creative Cottage,

in my LIFE,

this is what I stand for:

july 2 blog 2

I am learning to trust

that if we all do what we can,

with what we have,

where we are,

things will get better.

Trust

and do the hard work.

Trust

and spread the love.

Trust

and say your prayers.

Love From Kaitlin

The She-Bear

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Images With Thanks From Pinterest

 

 

HAPPY!

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It’s the choice I make minute by minute every day!

Despite troubles and woes and setbacks and challenges.

Despite all the bad jujus in the world.

Despite chronic pain and annoying infirmities.

Despite the loss of old friends…

cherished delusions…

and a few little dreams.

Despite mean people

and unspeakable acts of terror.

Despite floods and fires.

Despite EVERYTHING.

I, FINALLY,

(is it too late to be a late bloomer?)

came to realize (daaaaaa)

that I’m in charge of my own happiness.

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Despite some pretty intense nudgings toward more pious activities,

some very serious careers and responsibilities,

a long “nose to the grindstone” sort of a life…

pardon me, but these days,

I’m going for happy!

happy too 3

Okay, let’s talk…

go get a cup of tea and hunker down.

Some of you have written me–

all concerned and sad that, after our glorious Summer Creativity Camps,

I decided to pass the torch forward for my Girlz With HeArt Project.

Not to worry.

We did a SPECTACULAR job for over five years!

It was a glorious experience! It was a miracle!

It changed my life and their lives and your lives through sharing their stories and shenanigans with you.

They inspired me and humbled me and broke my heart and filled it back up with pure love.

Their grit and grace.

Their resilience.

Their lively spunkiness and sass.

Their hopefulness in the face of so many heartaches…

happy too 2

It was a totally intense, completely demanding, and incredibly rewarding experience!

But, as the old She Bear Kaitlin was emerging in my archetypal life,

I began to receive firm instructions from the universe:

learning to let go and let be,

learning to get still and pray,

learning to trust and give thanks.

AND to know when it was time

to pass the medicine wand on to eager, capable hands reaching up to carry it for the next exciting leg of the journey.

Powerful lessons.

Still processing.

Many of you were actively, hands-on, every-day, deep-in this program with me. THANK YOU.

Many of you cheered us on, gathered supplies, shared gifts, bought clothes, transported carloads of girlz. THANK YOU.

Many of you slipped an extra gift into the collection box on your way out and whispered “For the Girlz.” THANK YOU.

It was such an honor to share our beautiful, heart-breaking, magical, impossible vision with you.

We did it–together–against all odds, we touched the lives of so many young women and they touched our lives too.

THANK YOU. Each and every. All and then some.

happy 1

Some of you are worried because I’ve actively cut back my summer schedule to avoid the heat-stress illness that laid me low last summer

and you think that portends the end of The Cottage. No.

Actually, I’ve posted some new classes for July (check them out by clicking the Cottage Classes tab) and

I’m really excited about a new project I’m incubating that deepens and intensifies the way members of our little tribe can contribute our wisdom to others.

It’s called SAGE SISTERS: A Council of Conscious Eldership–more about it very soooooon!

Some of you have lamented that I’m not so available, accessible, or “out & about “as I once was.

True.  Fast nearing 70, I’m getting a little crotchety.

These days, I’m inclined to curl up in my home; reading, making art, working in clay, tending my garden, learning to relax instead of racing about on various exciting errands of intellect or passion. But it’s all good. It is time for that. It is the season for that. It is my new “normal.”

I’m sorry you can’t see it through my eyes.

All the changes and adjustments have been made after much introspection and prayer.

And a very grateful heart.

Each choice has been totally life-enhancing for me. Trust me.

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Sure, it’s been hard. I’m not gonna pretend otherwise.

I’ve been talking about it for months and months and months…

roll down through the past blog posts to see the many times I’ve spoken of my urgent need to slow down.

To breathe. To rest.

To dismantle my enormous life of over-commitment.

To ease back from too many responsibilities.

To learn to stop stoking a life-long tendency to over achieve.

I ain’t Super Woman (and I have no desire to be)

but you may not have noticed cuz (in the past!) my actions said otherwise.

Nope. It ain’t been easy.

I default to my old ways more that you can imagine.

Sometimes I still bite off more than I can chew…

but I’m learning to nibble, to savor, to take great pleasure in small bites.

I’m still not very good at it.

BUT I’m getting better. Little by little. One day at a time.

happy 12

Lemmie tell ya this: watching people die for a living (hospice nursing),

watching people create in order to re-enchant their souls (The Cottage),

mentoring young souls to soar and dream and leap into their lives (The Girlz With HeART)

taught me that life is too precious and fleeting and magical to get stolen by the petty b.s. of daily life.

Drama (and her ugly twin sister melo-drama) are wickedly bad habits I’m determined to leave behind.

I wanna be HAPPY

but it’s a full time job pushing off the joy-killers and the hate-spewers.

I wanna be HAPPY

NOT when everything is in perfect balance and I live in the pages of Bella Grace.

NOT after I put the needs of everyone else in the whole world in front of my own.

NOT when the dishes are done, the laundry is folded, and the dust bunnies are vanquished.

NOW!

happy

So this blog post is all about choosing happiness. Consciously. Daily. Against all odds.

Not to say my heart doesn’t break over the Orlando massacre, the Flint water poisonings, the endless wars waged in the name of peace.

Not to say that I have opted out of caring or being compassionate or contibuting a thousand tiny acts of good in my life. No.

But, as an elder now, I see how predictably people as hyper-sensitive, as super empathetic, as easily outraged by injustice as I am

are swept under, are devoured and spit out by the world if we don’t embrace self-nurturing behaviors.

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So this is what I choose. Happy.

NOT blind, sugar-coated, candy-land obliviousness to the sorrows of the world.

NOT unfeeling, unthinking, self-serving, mean, self-centered arrogance or worse. No.

Just happy, grateful, honored to be alive, thrilled to have you as my friends and allies on the journey. Happy.

Happy. With the tiny moments–

the hummingbird bathing merrily under the spray from my pre-dawn garden watering,

the good book that inspires a shiver of awe that we have writers who so perfectly capture life,

the beautiful butterscotch and burgundy sunset through monsoon clouds.

Happy and blessed that I have the wonderful pleasure of spending these last years of my life with my beloved life companion Albert

who makes me smile everyday…daring me on to new challenges

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and greater joy!

happy too

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” George Bernard Shaw

I want to be HAPPY

like these wonderful mentors who have struggled with much, been defeated by much, and endured much

but who chose to be happy.

happy 3

Ready to party... former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Happy like children who find joy in the moment.

happy 5

Happy that I have such amazing, goofy, dear friends to share the adventure with.

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happy 9

Just plain old, every day, heart splitting Happy!

happy 6

We can’t cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. –Joseph Campbell

So if you want me, listen for the laughter…

happy too 4

and watch for the delight!

joy 3

And I double dog DARE YOU to click on this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRMOMjCoR58

and dance and laugh and cry and BE HAPPY!

Much Love and Big Dollops of Happiness (with sprinkles on top!)

Kaitlin

(They don’t call me the Mistress of Merriment for nuthin’!)

© Kaitlin Meadows, 2016 All Rights Reserved

Images thanks to Pinterest