We are in the final stretch. The last few steps of the unfolding of an idea into reality.
It began last fall when the couple who organized the art show I was in last year told us (the Basement Bombshells Art Collective) that they would no longer be putting the show on. “Do you want to take it over?” they asked.
“Yes!” We quickly exclaimed.
Several months of prep and organization, getting easels built (Thank you Industrial Arts students at Centennial High School!) postcards created and printed, mail lists merged and a host of small and not so small tasks that had to be taken care of before the show could go on, we are finally into the last few days of prep work leading up to the big show and sale this weekend!
Colour me excited. Colour me over the moon. But don’t colour me exhausted! I’m not.
It’s been a busy few weeks. While getting everything ready for the Artists Gone Wild Art Show & Sale, I was always preparing my presentation for the Empower Your Butterfly Spirit women’s conference I spoke at on Saturday in Claresholm (it was a wonderful experience!). And, working with This is My City Art Society on the This is Where I Belong project for the kick-off of the Calgary Homeless Foundation‘s newest affordable housing project in the Beltline Area. Along with the community engagement on two additional projects that the Foundation is getting underway, it’s been a busy few weeks!
But here’s the thing. I’m not tired because all of these things engage me in living on purpose, in the rapture of now.
And what can be better than that?
On Saturday, as I drove south towards Claresholm where the Empower conference was being held, I thought about turning back. Overnight, a late spring snowfall (read – dump) had turned the roads from clear pavement to a mushy mess of slushy slickness.
It wasn’t pretty driving.
I gripped the wheel hard. Kept reminding myself to BREATHE… RELAX… BREATHE… RELAX.
I slowed down, which was okay because I’d given myself lots of extra. The weather report had predicted this snowfall and sure enough, this time, they were right.
Driving along the highway, my eyes peeled to the snow/slush covered road ahead, I thought about turning back. But there were no exits within sight. Like Winston Churchill who once advised, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I kept going.
And as I drove further south, the roads and the weather improved. There was snow, but not two feet of it! And, because it is spring, the warmth of the day had kept the lighter snow to the south from collecting on the pavement. It was wet, but not slick.
I made it to the conference centre where the conference was being held and had a wonderful day engaging with women who were all there to get inspired and uplifted. I had fun sharing my story and insights, and I loved the opportunity to connect with some very powerful and interesting women and to learn new things too!
I didn’t stay right to the end as the forecast was for more snow and I knew I wanted to hit the highway before the coolness of evening set it. I’m glad I did. It was a safe and easy drive home without any clenched hand wheel gripping anxiety!
How we do one thing is how we do all things.
Sometimes, the going gets tough. Do I turn back? Stop? Quit?
Or, do I keep on going? Do I trust that where I’m at is not forever and know that to keep myself in the game means to believe that I am safe where ever I am in the universe.
I didn’t feel all that safe on the highway on Saturday. For awhile, I felt like turning back, but the road kept unfolding before me with no opportunity to quit. I kept breathing. I got conscious. I relaxed, my shoulders, my grip on the steering wheel. I turned my thinking away from thoughts of, “this is scary. Horrible. I can’t do this,” and focused instead on my capacity to drive safely and to take care of myself, even in tricky situations. I reminded myself that I have driven across the Rockies in worse conditions — and it’s true, I have. I reminded myself that I am safe in the universe and that includes even in those moments when I feel scared.
In carrying on, the journey became easier, the dangers less intense.
It was a good lesson.
To trust. To turn off the voice of doom and gloom in my head (Yup, the ole’ critter was looking to act out! I told him to take a long winter’s nap) and to stay present in the now.
I don’t recommend driving on mushy slick highways — not a good idea. But, when in the thick of it, the best response is to BREATHE… RELAX…. and keep on going until safe harbour can be found.
PS — I had a painting to share that I just finished but for some reason, my iPhone has decided I have no photos on it and won’t upload or email to my computer. Very strange!