a bit of grace and a bit of peace

Hello My Beauties,

I hope you’ve been well.  So many beautiful and challenging things have been flowing in my life over these last couple of months.  Huge life shifts for my family and friends, and thus for me.  I do my best to find the beauty in the muck, but sometimes this can be very, very challenging.  Nonetheless, it is the intent that makes all the difference.  Instead of wallowing in it, I sit with the sadness intentionally, give it my attention, love it, cry and rage at it, at the circumstances that currently, and perhaps never will, make sense.  And then I let it all go.  This too is intentional.

Like forgiveness, letting go of my sadness doesn’t mean I am totally okay with what has happened/is still in process, but I am also not allowing sadness to rule my day, my choices, or my life.  How have I done this?  I turned to some old friends….

Journaling ~ I have always journaled ~ always being since I was a young girl ~ it is my meditation, my place of healing, of spewing all the sickness onto the page so I don’t carry it around like a ton of bricks on my back.  Through this process, I have found more grace and peace than ever.  Journaling has allowed me to find clarity in the chaos, to let go of the outcome, and to focus instead on what I can do ~ prayer, conversation, hugs, letters of encouragement, and most important, creating a sacred space where their wellness is the one sacred truth I hold for them, until they can hold it themselves.

Movement ~ As a teenager, I was an athlete.  I swam every season, ran cross country, dabbled in track.  We snow skied and water skied and hiked.  I let that athleticism go for a long time.  But, now in my 50’s, I’ve happily rediscovered my love of moving my body.  My girlfriend and I go for a walk/jog (walk 2 – 3 minutes, and then jog 2 – 3 minutes) for an hour or so at least twice a week.  And lately, I’ve been taking myself outside and doing the same on my own.

I have rekindled my relationship with being outdoors ~ in nice weather.  I did run in the rain once, but we got caught in the storm….  I haven’t gotten to the point where I’ll go out and face the cold, no matter what.  Ha, maybe it’s because for over twenty years of my life I had to shovel snow to go do anything.  I like being warm and toasty, hence living in Santa Ynez where it was 90* this Christmas!

Walking outside has once again become something I cherish and now look forward to.  Here’s a trick that’s helped motivate me to move even more…

~Podcasts…  I listen to some brilliant people sharing what they love and it makes my walks/jogs even more special.  Check out Jonathan Fields at Good Life Project, or Linda Sivertsen at The Beautiful Writers Podcast, Rob Bell at The RobCast, Hay House Live! and something new I’ve just started listening to, Launch by screenwriter/author, John August.

~Paying attention… I pay attention to the sunlight and how it illuminates the leaves just budding on the trees, how the lavender bush had no flowers two days before but is now blooming and buzzing with bees.  I listen to the birds calling and speaking to each other in their own language that is so beautiful and heart lifting to me.  I see others in the neighborhood I walk in, out doing the same thing, being with themselves and with each other.  We smile and wave and keep going with a kind of knowing smile on our faces, as if sharing a secret others have yet to discover ~ this, this moving, this being outside, is heaven.

Drawing ~ My mother is an artist.  When we were kids, we had arts and crafts days where our friends and their mom’s would come over and we’d do all kinds of art together, from melting crayons and making crazy designs, to pressing flowers we’d collect, to using colorful blobs of paint on a piece of paper, then folding it in half, and pushing the paint around, creating magical butterflies, or flowers….  One of my favorite houses we lived in, Mom painted a mural on our stairway wall so that every time we climbed the stairs to our rooms, we’d be reminded that imagination was a wonderful thing to set free.  That beauty was everywhere, and that we, too, were part of that beauty.

In September, I finished my most recent novel, and set it aside to percolate before I started edits.  That setting aside, has been waaay longer than I anticipated, in part, because my energy has been needed elsewhere.  But that didn’t mean my creative energy disappeared, or even that I wanted to shove it aside.  I need it, as surely as it needs me.  So instead, I revisited an old friend ~ drawing.

I haven’t drawn anything in years.  I started out slowly, doodling a little bit here, a little bit there.  Pinterest is full of beautiful images and all kinds of drawing tips.  And suddenly, I can’t get enough of doodling.  Granted, my doodling took on purpose, but it is a purpose that came from my need to create and my willingness for it not necessarily to be with words.  I’m now in the process of creating a coloring book/journal to share with all of you, and I’m so excited!  More fascinating, is that the output has been prolific, and I’m not ready or willing to stop.

The point being, My Beauties, LIFE happens.

And when She hands you something, or several somethings at once, that you truly were not expecting, things can get bitchy and twisty and scary, and hard.  Knowing you have old friends ~ sacred time-outs to replenish your well so that you, in turn, have more energy to give ~ can make all the difference.  And all that journaling and moving and drawing?  It keeps the goodness flowing, allows Hope to keep the candle burning.  And it just feels good.

My Beauties, don’t wait, take the time, NO, make the timeRIGHT NOW to discover, or rediscover what those sacred things are for you.  In the meantime, feel free to try out mine.

You might just surprise yourself and find that within the ick, there actually is a silver lining… or at least a place you can find a bit of grace and a bit of peace to help you get through.

Love, love, love always and in all ways.

In Joy,

Shannon

PS For more helpful hints on getting through the ick, check out my blog post, Buckets.

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One Response to a bit of grace and a bit of peace

  1. KHorn says:

    Thank you Shan for your beau]tiful words and reminders. I love you.

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