I Will Always Catch You

When she was just a little girl, her father taught her to climb stairs and boulders and playground monkey bars and ladders.

She would stand at the top, hold out her arms and cry out with delight, “Catch me Daddy! Catch me!”

And her father would stand below, arms stretched out towards her and say, “I will always catch you.”

As time passed and she grew older, the climbs became more difficult, but she was never afraid of falling. She always knew her father would be standing below, arms outstretched towards her saying, as he always did, “I will always catch you.”

Time passed, life flowed onwards and with its constant movement, she too moved away to start her own life far from her father. They still talked on the phone and always on her birthday, she would come to visit to walk to the park where she had learned to climb and fly, safe in the knowledge her father would always catch her.

Seasons changed, years passed and as she grew older so too did her father. Slowly, with the passing of time, he was no longer able to always be there to catch her when she fell, but she always knew that if she did, he would help her get back up. It was his promise.

“I can’t always catch you when you fall,” he told her when first she moved away from home. “But I promise, I will always be there to help you get back up.”

One day, after his daughter called to say she could not make it home to celebrate her birthday with him as she had to travel to a city far away, he walked to the park where every birthday when she was a little girl, she’d climbed the slide and stood at the top and stretched out her arms towards him and called out, “Catch me daddy! Catch me!”,

On this day many years later, he sat on a bench in the shade of a mighty oak tree and watched a little girl with flaxen hair and sparkling blue eyes climb up the stairs to the top of the slide. A short distance away, too far to catch her if she fell, her father stood unaware, his head turned down, reading something on the phone he held in his hands.

The old man, who had once reached out his arms towards his daughter and said, “I will always catch you,” watched in dismay as the little girl stood at the top of the slide and called out to her father, “Catch me daddy! Catch me!”. Her father didn’t hear her.

The old man stood up from the bench and slowly began to shuffle, as fast as his arthritic legs would let him, towards the child who still stood at the top of the slide, arms outstretched calling to her father, “Catch me daddy! Catch me!”

“Hey!” the old man called out to the father standing with his head bent towards his phone. “Hey! Watch out! She’s going to fall!”

The father, hearing the old man’s voice, looked up and saw the old man, his arms waving wildly around his face pointing towards his daughter where she stood at the top of the slide, calling to him, “Catch me Daddy! Catch me!”

In one seamless move, he tucked his phone into his jacket pocket, took three strides towards the slide and reached his arms out towards his daughter. “I will always catch you,” he said as the tiny bundle of her body catapulted itself down the slide into his waiting arms.

The old man stopped and watched the two pair of arms unite. The child laughed in delight as her father picked her up, held her above his head and spun her about just as he had once spun his daughter so long ago.

The father carefully put his daughter on the ground the thee two moved off towards the swings, the little girl holding his hand and she said in her sing-song voice, “I want to swing as high as the sky!” And the father placed her on the stretch of rubber seating and began to push her. The child laughed and called out. “Higher! Higher! I want to touch the sky” And the father pushed her higher and higher until she let go of the swings chains and called out, “Catch me Daddy! Catch me!”

And he did.

Slowly, the old man turned away and began walking back towards his home. His heart felt heavy with the longing for a child’s arms outstretched towards him and his reaching back.

Lost in memory he didn’t notice he’d reached the main road and stepped off the sidewalk without stopping to check for traffic.

Suddenly, a pair of hands reached out and grabbed his shoulders, pulling him back to safety just as a city bus went whizzing by.

Startled, he lost his footing and almost fell to the ground, but the same hands gently caught him and broke his fall. He took a shaky breath, turned his face up to thank his would be savior where they knelt beside him as he sat on the ground.

“Are you okay?” a voice he recognized asked. He turned his face and his eyes opened wide as he peered into the deep blue eyes of his daughter kneeling beside him.

“How is this possible?” he asked breathlessly. “You said you were going to a city far away.”

And his daughter smiled and said, “I wanted to surprise you.”

The old man reached out with a shaky hand to take hers and said, “I’m so glad you were here to catch me.”

And his daughter smiled again and said, “You need to pay more attention dad to where you’re going. That bus almost hit you. I can’t always be here to catch you.”

And her father nodded his head, his white hair moving around his face like feathers floating in the air.

Slowly he began to stand and asked, “Will you help me get back up?”

And she reached one hand under his elbow and said, “Of course.” And as she helped him get to his feet she said, “I can’t always be here to catch you when you fall, but I will always help you get back up.”

______________________________________

Yesterday, a dear friend, Max, called. We haven’t spoken in a long time, but it was as if time had not passed.

In our conversation, he shared many stories of the people who have helped him on his journey. “I have an idea,” he said. “What do you think about writing a poem called, “I Will Always Catch You.”

Several years ago, Max wrote music to a poem I’d written and recorded called, “Dare“. (You can read about it and listen to the recording, HERE)

I loved the idea of writing a poem to his title — it fits so well to something I used to tell my daughters when, as young adults, they set off to make their way in the world. “I can’t always be there to stop your fall,” I told them. “Sometimes, it’s best I don’t. But know, that no matter where or how hard you fall, I will always be there to help you get back up.”

This morning, as Beau and I walked in the cool September air of an autumnal day, Max’s idea kept percolating through my mind. When I came home, I sat down at my desk and the story above appeared.

Thank you Max. It’s not ‘a poem’… YET – like the river, life takes its own course weaving its stories in mysterious and mystical ways.

When Adventure Calls, Say YES!

Brunch at Mt. Engadine Lodge – Photo source – https://mountengadine.com/gallery/

Yesterday, I spent several hours taking and editing photos of my artwork and loading them onto my ETSY store – DARE BOLDLY ART

I know… shamelessly commercial, but… it’s also real, ’cause here’s the thing –

I don’t create to sell, I create to express my inner desires, hopes, dreams, feelings, thoughts, ideas, concerns, confusion, contemplations.

And then, my walls become too crowded. My cupboards become cluttered with pieces of art gathering dust, growing weary of the darkness.

And so… I enter art shows and fairs in the hope that in selling a few pieces not only do I create space, I also create inspiration for the next creative expression (along with coin to buy the prerequisite supplies – though given that my studio is full of supplies, that buying more supplies probably comes with a douse of over-consumption!)

But, regardless of why I want to sell my art — (I really do need the space) I have finally started to load some of my paintings onto Dare Boldly Art!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be adding more — but today…

Well, today I’m off for three days to be “The Chef” at Mt. Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis Country. They are between chefs – the new second chef starts Sep 6 and the current chef needs a break! I’m happy to oblige! (The photo above is taken from the deck)

Not quite ‘backcountry’ (you can access it via a gravel/dirt road) it is however off the beaten path as well as ‘the grid’.

This is the same lodge I cooked in at just before Christmas 2019 – just before Covid locked the world down and lodges such as Mt. Engadine struggled to make their way through the chaos and closures.

Through good management, committed staff and strong Covid protocols, the Lodge has pulled through.

Colour me excited!

Last time I was there, it was a winter wonderland. This time, I’ll be entering a late summer/ early fall (the temp this morning is 0C – 32F) playground of burbling streams, mountain flowers carpeting meadows in all the colours of the rainbow and birds singing and soaring in the air.

And… bonus! My friend JD is joining me again to keep me company and play the role of ‘sous chef’. I’ve packed along a bucket of paints and ephemera for us to play with, my hiking boots and a stack of cookbooks to devour as I plan out the meals for the next three days.

Before cooking at Mt Engadine the first time, cooking in a backcountry lodge was on my bucket list — now it’s on my ‘repeat often’. It is exhausting but fun. It’s (kind of) scary and challenging. It connects me to my creative core – cooking for 30 people does that – and it reminds me that life is a constant adventure when you say YES! to its many beguiling invitations.

See you all next week!

And PS — please do come check out my store — if only to say Hi!

Happy cooking. Happy living! Happy. Happy.

I Wrote A Letter To My Lover

Two things happened this morning. Both took me in unexpected directions.

Gratitude and curiosity fueled each experience and brought them together on a river of creative expression flowing free.

David Kanigan’s Monday Morning WakeUp Call today lead me to the website, The Vale of Soul-Making. Exquisite. Provocative. I got lost in its words.

The morning post I receive every day from Daily Om connected me to thoughts I’d had yesterday about personality. How it’s so easy to get trapped in believing ‘we are the way we are and there’s nothing that can be done about that.’

At the time of that thought drifting into my mind, I was walking along the rocky beach between the river and the forest, my mind skipping from thought to thought, like a stone skimming and dipping, skimming and dipping along the water’s surface.

At one point a thought skipped into view that surprised me. “You know, Louise,” the thought whispered. “One of the gifts of that relationship with the man of ill-intent was that because your personality was so completely submerged in his abusive ways, when he was arrested and you got your life back, you had to rebuild yourself up from the soles of your feet to the soul of your being who you’re truly meant to be.”

It was a fascinating thought. But, because I was wandering along the river, savouring the sunshine on my face, throwing the ball and watching Beau race after it interspersed with his stopping every so often to follow a scent that caught his olfactory glands in unexpected ways, I let the thought drift away.

This morning, I read one of the many quotes offered by Nick Flynn at The Vale of Soul-Making and that thought skipped back into view.

And then, I read “Finding Another Perspective” at Daily Om and my heart did one of those skippity-dippity hops it likes to do when it finds the subterranean flow of its beat rising to the surface in joyful exhalation and my lungs gave a giddy sigh of satisfaction and my lips smiled wide and my eyes popped open and I exclaimed to no one and to the world, “Oh Yes!”

And then…. as so often happens when I follow the winding way of my thoughts flowing through, a poem appeared as if floating on a lifeboat of possibility.

And here it is. I do so love the unexpectedness and joyfulness of the muse’s way of drawing me into creative expression.

A Letter To My Lover
by Louise Gallagher

I wrote a letter to my lover
long gone from this sphere
of my life orbiting 
around the one I have become
rising up 
from the ashes of a love
that was never truer
than the lies
he told to enslave me
in the poisonous venom
of his unrequited self-hatred.

I wrote a letter to my lover
Thank you, I said,
you saved me from my belief
who I was, was all I could ever be
locked up in a painful construct
of believing I was never good enough
to be free.

I wrote a letter to my lover.
I am free.

Why I Art Journal

Art Journal page – created in 2015

I am a visual thinker. I imagine/see/experience things in my mind’s eye – what’s in front of me, what’s behind me, what’s inside me, what’s beyond me – before I get to the touching, feeling, knowing stages.

It is my pathway into understanding, learning, growing, evolving. It is as much a part of me as my heart, limbs, skin, bones.

Which is why I art journal.

Art Journalling is my pathway to embracing all of life… its sometimes inexplicable, ineffable and incomprehensible moments as well as its exquisitely moving, breathtaking ones.

It brings me home to my heart. It reminds me to let go of judging and move with grace into acceptance, gratitude and trust.

Art Journalling soothes me, excites me, awakens me to the wonder and awe that is everywhere, in all things, in all ways of being present with, in and of life.

And… it reminds me to stop looking for ‘the path’ and let the path appear as I create.

Another gift of art journalling is its awakening of the muse within me because, while I often speak of her as being ‘out there’ she is actually ‘in here’. Within me, all around me, everywhere. Through art journalling, I connect with her flow and find myself unravelling the knots that get tied up in my thinking I know the way, I have the answers, I get it.

Art journalling reminds me, there is no need to ‘get it’. The gifts are in letting go of ‘getting’ to fall effortlessly into BEING. Of it. With it. Within it. All.

That’s why I art journal. It keeps me grounded in my heart and whole body and out of my thinking mind. It fills me with hope — that there is a way through everything even when I think all hope is lost. It brings me great peace full of the possibility in all things, all people, all life. And, it brings me into deep, abiding connection within the exquisite, ethereal and mystical nature of the world around and within me.

If you’re interested/curious about art journalling, I have a few short posts on my website on How to Begin. I’m working on updating them with videos but for now… they are a good place to get acquainted with, not just the ideas and concepts — and lack of rules — of art journalling, but also your own creative core. Because… the lack of rules is what intrigues me and excites me most about art journalling. It’s always, always an expression of YOU! And what could be better than that?

I hope you pop over and check them out — and let me know what you think. Please. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings and ideas.

Much gratitude.

Click HERE to access The Art of Journalling

A Love Story

I have learned to not question the muse. To heed her urgings and let her whims take me where they will.

Following the multi-hued wisps of magical mystery she casts within me and all around is always a journey into, through and with trust.

This morning, her whispered incantations took me into the land of poetic free-form verse.

I had no idea where it was going. Where I would end up or even what story would appear.

All I had was one phrase… Serendipity, she said.

And I followed it.

What appeared warms my heart.

If I had to name a flower that described my father, it would be a rose. Deep. Mysterious. His words flowed like rivers of poetry peeling away life’s edges to reveal the delicate nature of life in all its seasons, all its manifestations. Yet, he was prickly. Cantankerous. Prone to flashes of angry outbursts. A hard man to get close to.

My mother. The Iris. Not only was it her name, but she was like an iris. Strong yet fragile. Elegant yet girlish. Beautiful yet unconfident in her beauty and her body. Uncomfortable with life and all its demands. Yearning always for a more peaceful, calm, still world. Like the iris.

As this poem unfolded, I followed the mystery of its threads and there they were. My mother and father. Laughing. Dancing. Spinning through fields of wildflowers. My father no longer clumsy and awkward in his movement. But flowing. Lithe. Strong. Supple. And as he spun my mother about, my mother who seldom laughed in life, through back her arms, leaned against his arms holding her and let joy fill her up like she’d never done in life.

I love it when the muse comes to visit and I throw away caution and fall into trusting her ways with all my heart wide open to the adventure.

A Love Story

by Louise Gallagher

Serendipity, she said
I was just thinking about you
wondering where you were.

Right here, he replied
flicking a speck of dust 
out of her hair.
It clung
like moss to a tree
until he blew on it softly
and it lifted off
and floated away. 

But where have you been, she asked, confused.  
She hadn’t seen him in years.
She was sure. 
Was her memory failing?

I have always been right here,
he said, next to you.
His voice was as smooth as
water flowing over a rock
in the river beside which she sat
bare toes stretched out to touch
the surface of the water.
It was cold. Icy cold.
I’m cold, she said.
Shivering.

Let me warm you, he said,
wrapping his strong arms around
her shaking body.

Thank you, she replied,
taking in his warmth,
the sweet tantalizing smells of
his breath, his body
pressed against hers.

Funny I don’t remember you,
She said, burrowing down into his embrace.

I’ve always been here,
he replied, picking her up in his arms.

She felt light, like a feather
 fluttering
effortlessly
through the air
falling
falling towards the ground.

I’m afraid of falling, she whispered.

It’s only a short journey to the other side, 
he said as he stepped into the water
holding her tenderly in his arms.
 
He began to cross.
You have nothing to fear, he said softly.

She closed her eyes
and listened to the steady
thump
thump
of his heart 
beat
against her ear
where she pressed her head
into his body.

I’m not, she whispered.

And he carried her to the other side.

It was there, 
on the other side,
where rainbows danced on sunbeams
and wildflowers grew with abandon
in fields of summer blossoms 
strewn across a wide valley
that spread out in all directions as if it had 
nowhere else to go but everywhere that she ran
as if her bones did not ache
and her memory did not fade
.
It was there
spinning beneath a kaleidoscope
field 
of scarlet and lemon and lavender clouds
streaming across the sky
that she remembered.
Him.
His touch.
His breath.
His smell.
His body.

What took you so long to come and get me, she asked, trailing her fingers through the fronds of wildflowers
blowing in the wind.

You can only cross the river
in your own time, he said.

She watched his hands
the hands she remembered
toiling
touching
tending
to the fire
the fields
the cattle
her body.

He lifted those hands
she remembered so well
up
up
up above her head
and from his palms
petals of sunlight
fell all around her
showering her in beams
of golden joy
sparkling like raindrops
falling
on a spring fresh morning.

Have I died and gone to Heaven,
she asked,
her smile girlish
her laughter tinkling
soft
like the wind chime that hung outside the window
of the only home she'd ever known where she was safe
in the arms of the man she’d loved so long ago.

Death is just the beginning 
of what comes next, he replied.
And he bent down towards
the ground and picked a blood red rose from the field of purple irises 
through which they walked and 
gently tucked it behind her ear.

We’ve only just begun, my love.
We’ve only just begun. 

Coming Home.

Let the fun begin!

Coming home, I enter my studio.

The muse is calling.

I play. I layer paint. I scratch and inscribe and make marks on the paper until, satisfied, I begin to draw and colour in floral shapes.

When I’m done, I have a small, (5 1/2 x 4″) 8 page booklet. On each page, I print in gold, one letter of the word Thank You.

It feels good to be creating. Easing into the creative field. Full of inspiration, ingenuity, inventiveness, I feel myself swimming effortlessly in its vast open waters of imagination.

It is here I find myself coming home.

_____________________________

If you are interested in an online (or in person) workshop on how to create one of these little booklets… drop me a note — either in the comment box below or via email/messenger or on my FB page.

Here’s a 10 second video of the final result of one of the booklets I made.

Page 40. Line 8.

Sometimes, when she thought no one was looking, she would sprinkle fairy dust on the flowers in her garden and watch the colours flow, wild and free, cascading like a stream pouring over a waterfall, onto the ground, turning the world into all the colours of the rainbow. 

Delighted by her creation, she'd splash with joyful abandon amidst the running colours until exhausted, she fell into a pool of cherry red and periwinkle blue and sunshine yellow and viridian green swirling all around her. Content to be amongst the living colours dancing in harmony, she'd fall asleep and drift into dreamland.  

It was there, floating upon a cloud of shimmering violet, she dreamt of flying high in the sky, sprinkling fairy dust all over the world. And as the colours ran free, pouring their beauty into the hearts and minds of everyone, notes of harmony and joy rang out amongst the hills and valleys, from mountain tops and deep from beneath the ocean beds. And all around the world, the animals danced and the people leapt for joy, and the trees swayed in the beauty, harmony and peace of the world around them.

Satisfied with her creation, she fell deeper and deeper into sleep, wishing and hoping she never had to wake up to a world without colours running free and mountains singing for joy and harmony ringing out in all the voices of humankind.

And so it was. And so it is. And so she sleeps on and on and on.

I have started a new morning practice. I read it on a thread in an art website to which I belong and felt so inspired by the idea, I immediately jumped in.

The process is simple — Close your eyes. Pick a book from your collection. Open your eyes. Open the book to Page 40. Go to Line 8 — read it — now let whatever is on Line 8 be your writing prompt. Set your timer for 6 minutes and begin to write.

The book that picked me this morning (my first morning of entering into this morning practice) was, CREATRIX: She Who Makes by Lucy H. Pearce.

Line 8 on Page 40 reads: “Because, while my own creativity scared me, I knew subconsciously that I still had to be around the magic somehow.”

I set my timer for 6 minutes and began to write.

There was a time when my creativity scared me, when I let what others think (or at least what I thought others were thinking) dictate how I expressed my creativity. Not that I expressed it much. Mostly I tried to hide it, shield it from outside eyes, keep it buried within me. For some reason, being ‘creative’, or acknowledging that I was creative felt foolish, uncomfortable. I was embarrassed by my own nature. It was as if the very word, ‘creative’ was a dirty word, never to be spoken out loud...

Released by my 6 minute writing flow, the ‘story’ above appeared and flowed out of my fingertips as I began to write this post.

I wasn’t thinking them.

I wasn’t wishing them into being.

They simply flowed.

I hope you try it — pick a book, any book and turn to a page (I like the symmetry of page 40 but you can use any number – your age, house number, day of the week…) go to a specific line number – and use that as a prompt.

Important caveat — have your number scheme organized before you begin. It helps stave off confusion, worry and the possibility of changing your mind to find ‘something better’ to use as your prompt. Part of the magic and beauty of the prompt is its randomness and its consistency.

I hope you do give it a go and let me know how it worked/works for you!

Oh… and do remember to stay out of self-judgement and criticism. Magic only works when we let go of telling ourselves it’s just not possible, or no good or… all that jazz.

Have a colourful, joyful and peace-filled day.

Namaste.

When Life Hit Hard – a poem

No. 2 #ShePersisted Series — They said, be quiet. She spoke up.

This poem came to me this morning as I sat at my desk watching the river flow past.

Earlier, my daughter and I and our pups had walked at a park near their house and while walking along a trail through the woods came upon a large encampment.

It wasn’t there just a few days ago when we walked the same path, but now, it is well ensconced and easily visible. A bright blue tarp is draped across trees providing both shelter and privacy to the occupants. The smell of food cooking on an open fire permeates the air.

I understand the desire to build such an encampment, particularly if someone has no place to call home.

But there are challenges and dangers.

Community residents might not look favourably upon such an encampment and might decide to take matters into their own hands. Or, might call upon the City and insist something be done. In the past, this has sometimes resulted in City Parks staff dismantling and removing the encampment without showing much concern for the belongings or needs of the campers.

And, an open fire in the dense woods where this encampment is situated is problematic.

We are fortunate in Calgary to have the Downtown Outreach Addictions Partnership (DOAP) and the Encampment Team through Alpha House Society, an agency serving vulnerable, at risk Calgarians. Their focus is to interact with individuals where they’re at, and to support them in addressing their needs. The Encampment Team, in partnership with City-ByLaw, supports ‘rough sleepers’ to help them address their safety, well-being and housing needs.

For Calgarians, the benefit of these teams is that it gives everyone an opportunity to reach out and support someone in distress or in need of housing supports, knowing the response will be compassionate and humane.

I have phoned the Encampment team to alert them of the situation. I know that their response will honour the individuals involved and provide them support in a way that reflects their humanity and their needs and their rights.

If you have concern for someone on the street in Calgary who is intoxicated or in distress, please call the DOAP Team first. The number is: 403.998.7388

If you have a concern about an Encampment – call the Encampment Team. Their number is: 403.805.7388

It can be hard sometimes to know what the most humane response is. The DOAP and Encampment Teams are the right response.

And… if like me you need to give voice to what you experience, witness, hear and see, write a poem, speak up, volunteer…

And support the agencies doing the work on the front lines. They need our help to do the important work they do supporting vulnerable people in our communities.

When Life Hit Hard
by Louise Gallagher

When life hit
     hard
she stumbled 
and fell
     hard

She got back 
     up
and when life tripped her
     up
again
she fell
     not so hard
this time
but getting up
     was harder.

Life kept happening
and she kept falling
until the falling
     down
     was easier
than the getting up
until the staying 
     down
     was safer
than trying to find
     a way 
     to stop
falling
.

She no longer
     cries
     out
for help
when she falls

She no longer 
     reaches
     out
for help
to get back up

Trapped
between the fall
and getting up
she lies
     silent
dreaming
of a hand reaching
     out 
to help her
     get back up.

The Stories They Wrote

No. 8 #ShePersisted Series
The Stories They Wrote
by Louise Gallagher

He wasn’t born
a criminal
though his mother said
on the day he was born
that he would grow up to be
a bad one
it was written in his stars.

She wasn’t born
drug addicted
though her father said
on the day she took her first step
that she would go nowhere
but bad
it was written in her blood.

And when he grew up
he lived true to his mother’s predictions
until he found himself in that place
where time was all you got
and he had no choice but to dig
for a way out
from beneath the layers
of a story
his mother wrote for him
on the day he was born.

And when she entered treatment
for the first time
she had to go back
again and again
to erase the scars
she’d etched into her skin
searching for the beginning
of the story her father had written
when she’d taken her first step.

And they both kept digging
and they both kept searching
and re-writing and re-wiring
the stories
they told themselves they had no choice
but to live
until to live the story of their own creation
they had no choice
but to walk away
from the stories they’d always known
but never wanted
the stories no one should have written
on the day they were born.

We all have stories. Stories we tell on ourselves, stories our family tell about us, stories we’d rather forget but can’t seem to keep ourselves from living again and again.

We all have stories.

And here’s the thing about our stories. They are personal to us. They are our experience. Two people can have a similar experience; one is traumatized and the other doesn’t give it any more thought.

Our responses are personal. They are a combination of our emotional make-up, history, experiences, environment, childhood…

In my family, there was a story of my birth that left me feeling unwanted and a disappointment. As I got older, my family quit telling that story. I didn’t. Until one day I decided, enough is enough. And I changed the story to something that celebrates my life and my being here on this earth.

The fact remains though, that until I made that choice, everything about me was shadowed by my internalized belief that I was unwanted and a disappointment.

Unravelling the feelings that story evoked and its limiting beliefs was critical to my freeing myself to live my life, my way, in joy, gratitude and Love.

Working at a homeless shelter, everyday I encountered people whose lives were a daily repetition of stories they didn’t want to live but didn’t have the knowledge nor resources to change.

This morning, as I was reading the news, the story of a young man I’d encountered at the shelter popped into my mind. When he was born, his mother had said he would be good for nothing.

At 26, he had been in and out of jail numerous times. This time, he was determined to stay out.

To do that, he had to learn tools that would help him in walking away from the story he’d been living out of his mother’s predictions.

He wasn’t born criminal. He was made that way by his environment, lack of nurturing, lack of good role models and a limiting belief that he would be good for nothing.

We all have stories. We all have limiting beliefs.

To live our own stories, we must set ourselves free of our limiting beliefs so we can write a story that celebrates the magnificent nature of our human condition.

Do you have a limiting belief that is holding you back from living life as the star you are meant to be? Are you willing to set yourself free to shine?

Re-Imagining

I am off this morning to pack up my art from the art show, where because of COVID capacity numbers, no artists were in attendance, just their art. It was strange to receive texts and messages throughout the weekend asking, “Are you here? We are? Where are you?”

Back at home, I worked in my studio. Not creating art. Creating the space, or rather ‘re-imagining’ it.

Two years ago, when my daughter and her partner bought a bungalow and began to renovate it, I became the owner of two solid wood closet doors.

Last year, when we gave a leather couch to a friend for his lodge, one of the doors was used as a solid surface for transport. The lodge is closed in the winter so the door stayed tucked away in storage until our friend went to open up the lodge this past week.

Last week, when I got the door back, I decided it was time to do what I had always intended to do with the doors, transform them into tables for my studio. I’d been using two of those long plastic tables with the fold out metal legs — they worked well, but added no esthetic value to my studio.

It was time for beauty to supersede function.

Over the weekend, I attached the legs I’d bought and re-organized. I also hung the beauty art quilt tapestry that my friend Jane gave me. Bonus.

I LOVE it all. The process of re-imagining. The attaching the legs to the closet doors. The cleaning and organizing. The hanging my tapestry. The feeling of calm that my studio embodies.

This morning, as Beau and I went for our early morning walk, I was thinking about the process of getting ready for the art show and how the ‘knowing’ I had to create for it had sat at the back of my mind every single day for months. No matter what I was doing, there was always the thought “I need to be doing’ simmering away on a back burner.

This morning, that though was gone. Poof! Vanished.

I won’t know until later how I did at the show, though I know a couple of pieces sold, which is lovely.

What I do know is that not being there was strange. Kind of otherworldly almost.

And I know it’s just a case of it being ‘different’ than how I’ve done shows before. Not bad. Not good. Different.

In that ‘different’ is the opportunity to assess what I want.

Like the door that became a table when it returned, when my unsold art comes home, I can decide what next.

Do I re-imagine my online store? Do I hold an art show of my own? Do I….

Lots of options. Lots of opportunity.

All mine to explore.

And, like the sparrows who are transforming the robin’s now empty nest outside my studio doors into a nest of their own, I get to re-imagine what was into something new and wonderful and inspiring just for me… What a lovely opportunity. What a wonderful day!

The Table Door