Rest in Your Natural Self

The meme used as the feature photo was created by my daughters, boyfriends, father. That’s a mouthful. My friend Jeanne on WordPress recently discovered that I’d let go of Letitgocoach for this blogsite and she called this blog, my ‘secret’ blog. I hadn’t thought about it, but it kinda is. I’m not here to be seen, but I’m grateful to be read. My hope is who reads what’s written here will gather a sense of peace and stillness to surround them in their circumstances.

I spent Saturday repotting plants. Just moving them into a pot one size larger than what they were in. The next morning they looked happier, a little more free with space for their roots to roam. I repotted one that I’d been procrastinating repotting because it’s large, yet fragile. I didn’t have the right type pot for it, so went in search for one at a couple of garden centers, but this guy is 5′ tall, so I wanted a lightweight pot to be able to move it with ease. Lightweight equates to plastic, which I’m not a fan of. As I stood gazing at the large, plastic pots on the shelf of the garden center I wondered, ‘I know you’re plastic, but why must you scream plastic?’

While shopping, I knew there’s a pot sitting in my yard that would work, but it’s made of clay. It’s heavy when empty, so I couldn’t imagine how heavy it would be filled with dirt and a tree. This plant was so root bound, I had to cut the container off of it, but once I placed it in the pot, it stood tall. I watered it thoroughly while outside knowing once I brought it inside, I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage watering it again. (Still pondering that) By God’s grace I was able to carry it inside, back to it’s designated place by the double windows. It has new growth and in this pot it can breath a little easier, and spread out a little more during the winter months which is similar to what my heart whispers about this blogsite.

It’s a new pot just one size larger than the last…a place for your roots to roam, but will reveal signs of growth, yet all the while finding rest in your natural self.

A Sacred Space Isn’t Only For Humans

I questioned my sanity for a moment, but what my heart prompted me to do, worked out beautifully. Our dogs don’t do well with thunderstorms, but one of them is even scared of rain. I found her curled up in my room and it was simply raining, but to her, it probably sounded like much more.

My room is the only room in the house that doesn’t smell like a Voluspa candle. It’s my sacred space and Winnie (doggo) knows it’s sacred. When she gets spooked, she hides in the bathroom, but when she needs comfort, I’ll find her in my room. She knows I’ll disassemble my meditation area just for her to lay on the rug, but today she was laying on the hardwood floor near the window. I picked up the box of incense cones and chose the one that carries a ‘mindfulness’ scent.

Jembrana Incense

Once I lit the incense and placed it in it’s holder, it dawned on me I’d just lit incense for a dog. 😂

My room is the only room that smells like incense since my daughter moved out. We had this little bedtime ritual where my daughter would light a stick of incense before going to bed. I would already be in my bed, but the smell of the incense would drift down to my room and I’d fall asleep peacefully. That feeling of sacredness works for dogs too. Walking by my room, Winnie was stretched out and looked relaxed even though large drops of rain pelleted the tin roof.

It seems being cradled in a sacred space isn’t only for humans.

When You Don’t Have To

When the flooring in your house is wood and tile, but you have one rug in the breezeway. That one rug is where the dog will choose to barf.

Sunday afternoons were once spent cleaning house, but I don’t have to anymore. Living solo, the house stays pretty clean and now when I walk through the house each piece receives a questioning glance of, “Will you be a part of the next chapter?” If the item doesn’t speak to my heart, it’s posted for sale.

There’s one table I absolutely adore and what sits on it changes quite frequently. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter noticed the change and said, “Should I be concerned you already have a silver tree on display?” We originally purchased it as Christmas décor, but I believe it’s pretty anytime of year. The metals are fascinating décor, so I went one step further and moved more silver onto the table.

A new fragrance by Voluspa in the middle.

This morning I was outside watering the plants and thought, ‘you don’t have to’, because they’re calling for rain tomorrow, which is unreliable, but taking it one step further the plants really didn’t need it. It was routine from doing it all summer and now the temps are cooler so the plants need less from me. Let me tell you my darlings…that is a mighty good feeling when your life needs less of you.

Maybe I’m past the ‘needs’ of life and my heart is calling me to listen to the ‘wants’.

When we first moved to Texas, we had to follow my then husbands job here. From that point on, every house we moved into we did so because we had to. Sitting here today some 20 years later, my daughter and I wanted to move here, but now that she’s living own her own, I don’t have to stay. With my type work, I can live anywhere, or travel around living in various places, but when I think about staying put, my heart whispers…you don’t have to.

Finding Water

There’s a rooster learning to crow and it sounds nearby. My neighbor across the street showed me her baby chickens months ago, but that’s the thing about baby chicks. You don’t know what you have until they grow.

Another neighbor drove by at 8:15 on a Saturday morning. I remember those days when the kids were young and life revolved around their schedule. Sitting here at this well loved farmhouse table, with the window open listening to the windchimes, I’m happy with the season I’m in and seeing the season’s I’ve passed through makes me grateful they’re a part of my past.

I’m reading Julia Cameron, Finding Water and in this book she’s trying her best to write, but struggling with her inner critic. Julia is so aware of her inner critic, she gave it a name, Nigel, to make arguing more realistic. They have showdown fights, but considering Julia has published over 40 books, not including screenplays, I see her as the champion. I discovered I’m reading the third book in a trilogy, so I located the second one for purchase. Now to decide whether to stop where I am and wait for the second book, or continue reading.

In Finding Water, Julia is in fear of having another nervous breakdown. She’s an alcoholic who stopped drinking at 29 years of age, but she’s writing this book, trying not to drink, so she won’t have a breakdown. I find this encouraging, mainly because I’m holding this book in my hands, so I assume neither happened. Finding Water was originally published in 2006 and Julia is still alive and writing. Even while going through hell it seems that writing helped her find the way out.

I’m purchasing an old typewriter. It’ll give me a way to write without filling in another handwritten journal, or looking at a screen. Julia and I are very similar in we write by looking out a window, it’s all about the view, or by taking a walk for inspiration. A new view is on my list next year, and it’ll be somewhere near water.

I can finish writing a book looking at water and you never know when you’ll need to refill a bucket or two. It’s the perfect book title because reading it feels like finding water, until the time is right to go in search of your very own. Here’s to finding water.

Resources: https://juliacameronlive.com/

The Trilogy of books include: The Artists Way, Walking in this World, and Finding Water.

Life is Designed to be Fun

There are pieces of me that are trying to find their way home. Over time little pieces fall away, or become buried by circumstances, but if they truly want to live in your heart, they’ll find their way back. For this to happen, we need to slow the pace, so stillness is on the schedule for the remainder of Barb’s year. This may sound insurmountable considering the holiday season is speeding toward us, but I want to step into the new year on solid ground with clarity.

One of my recent FB memories was a cheetah print pillow from 10 years ago that I was giving away. It was my daughter’s and from the photos shown that day, I was trying to find homes for things she’d outgrown.

Earlier this year I was visiting a local shop and a cheetah print pillow sham caught my attention. The front was a soft, t-shirt-like material, but the back was a solid color that felt like linen. I carried it with me through the store while chatting with the shop owner because it was the only one for sale. She offered a down insert for it, but out of all the pillows I’ve collected over the years, surely I had one to use. This pillow is a cherished addition to my home.

I had forgotten cheetah print makes my heart happy. It’s a simple pleasure that fell away like I was supposed to outgrow it, but obviously didn’t. While writing this I recalled some of my favorite Christmas ornaments are cheetah print and if glitter, or sequins are added…even better! If you feel pieces of you have slipped away that you used to enjoy, then set an intention to start saying yes to what sparks your heart and say no to things that don’t. Your heart song doesn’t age.

My daughter visited and as we sat chatting she laughed at every daily occurrence conveyed. The things that naturally occur seem normal to me, but I could easily write fiction because most are unbelievable.

It’s a well kept secret…life is designed to be fun.

Welcome to the Next Chapter

The first time I saw it was on a walk to the postal store to purchase stamps. Peering through the storefront window at the concrete floor smeared with dust, I assumed the space was being renovated. There was a massive, wood work table encompassing the middle of the room and then, over to the side, there it sat…a Potter’s wheel, so part of the dust was from clay…

A female Potter who was slinging clay in her garage during Covid, took a leap of faith and rented this space. My heart is full to have this studio within walking distance of my home. She began offering private classes, but with her being new in town, they filled up quickly. Once the dust settled in my own life, an email arrived revealing classes with openings, and I signed up instantly.

This week will be class 4 of 6 and it’s been a challenge. By the world’s standards I wouldn’t look very successful considering it took 3 classes to complete 2 tiny pieces, but I see all the small successes it took to get two pieces complete. The things I’ve learned about myself and the process each piece is called to endure has been worth it. The Potter’s wheel is a truthteller. The type of energy brought to the wheel reveals itself through the clay and the outcome is literally in your hands.

Last week at the end of class I stood gazing at all the beauty on display wondering if I could ever make something similar. It was my third class, but I wanted my two little pieces to look like these pieces in front of me which took the Potter years to achieve. For now, my success is showing up each week to learn.

Standing on a shelf in front of me was a notebook that captured my gaze. The cover reminded me of something M, my neighbor who moved would draw. It felt like the book was whispering, “I want to hold your next chapter.” As I stood there trying to discern the best way to reach it through the maze of breakables, my feet started moving like they knew the best route. I reached the notebook, took it to the counter to pay and left the studio to begin my walk home.

This notebook standing among the pottery was God assuring me, “You know beauty and you can write.” Welcome to the next chapter. In gratitude, Barb.

The Sound of Comfort

I’m breaking one of my own rules. The rule was to not drink coffee after 2:00 pm, but here we are at 3:15 pm, savoring a fine cup of cold brew. It was intentional and feels rebellious, but some rules are made to be broken dependent of the day.

I woke up early because I’ve been going to bed earlier, but Saturday morning I stayed in bed to relish in some extra sleep. It was delightful, but there’s something off in the comfort of my sleep. I go to bed with the ceiling fan on, which is directly above the bed, but as morning arrives I’m cold. The house can be stuffy at night so the fan is welcomed, but with the change is season the house cools off at night and the cooler temperature wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Years ago I researched and purchased a pure down comforter. It was a substantial investment for a single Mom, but it was something I wanted and knew it would last. Today, I unzipped the suitcase style, protective covering the comforter is stored in and the sound of it being unzipped caught my attention. It just sounded soothing like something good was about to reveal itself. Placing it in the dryer to air fluff the cool air would release the compacted feathers restoring their fluff.

Once the fluffing was complete I dropped the comforter onto the bed and began unfolding it layer by layer. The sound was a soft, crinkling noise and right then I realized I was listening to the sound of comfort.

Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash

A Full Tank

Being a single Mom and financially stable, may not coexist at first, but it was the most rewarding season of my life. It’s been a long road, but rest assured the road will lead to greener pastures.

The journey of the single Mom offers a continual concern over money. We lived in the country and drove 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store. I’d become dependent on my truck’s gas gauge to be accurate and indicate when gas was needed, until that one time we ran out of gas. It’s unnerving to break down on a country road with your daughter, but we called for help and it came. That was the last time I depended on a gauge in my truck and from that day forward I kept at least half a tank of gas in him.

Time rolls by and you figure out how much you can spend each week. You ask for a raise at work and take side jobs for extra spending like Christmas and birthdays. You’ll pile pillows on the floor and lay down side by side only to stare at the ceiling fan. A conversation begins as light-hearted giggling, but becomes deeper until you realize your voices are now a whisper and tissues are needed. You’ll take turns cooking so they can be creative in the kitchen, knowing full well you’re going to clean up afterwards. Those are the most memorable meals.

Over time you make more money, or want fewer things, but somehow time and money line up. My truck has gone from having half a tank to a full tank, but he’s not the only one. My daughter grew into a young adult and moved into her own home this year, but thinking about everything we went through to get to this point has me writing this with a full tank.

Feature Photo by Reed Geiger on Unsplash