This week is bittersweet for me...SouLodge is just winding down and I feel like I have felt more peace and serenity in my daily life this past five weeks than I've felt before. And I've had the privilege of meeting many amazing women. A couple of projects left to tackle, just waiting for the blossooms to bloom here (it may take awhile as we had snow two days ago) and waiting for the right materials to show up. Through this time, through the quiet and the thought-filled questions, I've come to understand myself more deeply, to accept those things I cannot change, and to walk a little more lightly. To let go even when I feel the need to tighten my grasp, especially then. To be kind. I was raised in a home that taught the necessity of self-control, which was a struggle for a person brimming with feeling. So I would hold it all in until I cracked, and it wasn't pretty. But I am learning that self-control is about times of quiet to hear what is in your soul and times of sharing your voice...about trusting that little voice inside you to guide you. And though it is something that is spoken of so much, almost to the point of being unheard, I am learning to begin and end my days in gratitude. I awake and thank God for the rain or the snow or the sunshine outside my window, for my cozy bed, for another new day. Each night before I sleep, I thank Him for surprises, for my family, for the day, and for rest.
When I was growing up I was the little shy blonde with glasses. The nerdy little girl who doodled and read and sat quietly, not wanting to draw attention. I grew up fighting against that perception, becoming vocal and a little (well, maybe a little more than a little) bossy at times. Now I'm finding that in-between. Learning to speak up when I need to and to be quiet when I really don't. To allow others to speak for themselves. To honour the feminine and masculine parts of myself. I struggled with the need to be 'strong' and through physical challenges this past year I have had to let that go, to understand that strength isn't only physical but comes in the allowing of everything to just 'be'. I now know that I don't need to fix everything, to make sure everyone else is happy, that my own happiness must come first. And that this is not selfish. Out of my peace comes better mothering and better community. This past week has been extremely busy for me and, yet, this is the first time that I didn't crack after a week like this...no tears, no frustration. Just allowing. And all is well. As it always is.
And I have these physical reminders to be grounded within myself. To remind me when I feel like I HAVE to do something, that I really don't. That these are the times I probably need to be still the most. These gifts in the objects that have been created through SouLodge. I am absolutely grateful. Thank you Pixie for being such a wonderful guide through such an amazing process. And thank you SouLodge sisters for this opportunity to be fully myself.
AIRdirondack Art Project