lady loves

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


lady love blog series

in the work i have been doing over the last couple of years, i see women marginalizing themselves in a myriad of ways. i see women feeling intimidated and unworthy and never, ever enough. and i see that so many of us have lost touch with the very important fact that we are each unique and powerful; that those things that come so innately, so naturally to each of us are truly our gifts, blessings, and offerings.

and so my great, big, from the bottom of my heart, hope with this project is that it will create an open and honest conversation about who we are as women; not just a glossy look at the five minutes of our day that went according to plan, not just us presenting who we think the world expects to see, but a real and authentic glimpse into how hard we all work and how we don't always get it right but how unique and beautiful and perfectly imperfect we all are regardless.

most of you know that my life has been profoundly shaped by my "failures" and i want to continue to push that envelope; for all of you to be able to share and witness the honesty and authenticity of other women and know that you are not alone and that we all stumble.

and, most importantly, to all of my lady loves, your depths and your beauty shake me to my very bones. i bow in reverence to the beauty that you are and to the audacious heart that you embody.




my very first lady love is sharon covert.

i "met" sharon through an online course last January and have continued to witness her beauty through her stunning photos on instagram.

still, when i opened her reply to my questionnaire it was like being punched in the heart. i'm not even kidding. i could just feel her in her words and images; her beauty, her rawness, her her-ness. 

when it comes to sharon i just keep coming back to the word beauty. 

she creates beauty. she captures beauty. she is here to leave beauty in her wake.

i am so delighted to share a glimpse of her here today.


tell me a bit about who you are? what do you do?

i am a 39 year old mother of 2, and an artist.

no, but really, beyond the title, what do you do?

beyond the title of being a mother and photographer and doing everything that they entail, i dedicate time to myself each day to discovering who i am as a person and accepting that it’s okay to do that. i have multitasking in my own chaotic way down to a science and have come to accept that taking the time to reflect upon and answer these questions is perfectly okay. the world won’t end if i don’t answer that phone call right now or fold the clothes that have piled up on the end of my daughter’s bed.

when you look around at your life, is this what you expected? are you surprised by it? if so, by what and why?

there are many things i did not expect in life, but really when you think about it… that’s life. i’ve only recently learned to let go of the things i have no control over and to embrace the things i can do. it’s a learning process!




what would most people be surprised to find out about you? 

up until a few years ago i was a piano teacher. i was classically trained and sadly it seems more and more these days classical music is a dying art. most children prefer to learn pop and rock music now. i thoroughly enjoyed working with children and watching them grow through music. i have a love/hate relationship with my piano and music. i can leave it for months at a time and then just like that i’ll be at it every free moment i can. about a little over a year ago i had a treble clef tattooed on my right wrist, a bass clef on my left and  piano keys on my left forearm. music will always be a part of me, but it was never something i wanted to share with others. i played for myself. it has always been personal.

one more personal thing that only the smallest handful of people know about me is i've come to love classical and flamenco guitar. many early mornings you can hear paco de lucia, christopher parkening, or andrew york softly playing while i sip my morning tea. there is something so alluring and enticing about flamenco music. i'm very thankful for being introduced to it.

what has been the peak experience{s} in your life thus far? why? how did it change you?

being a mother has definitely changed me to the core. realizing the differences between my son (almost 17yrs) and daughter (8yrs) and that they each require a different set of parenting skills and techniques is challenging. what works for one does not for the other. they are completely unique and individual.

traveling to vietnam and adopting my daughter in 2007 was most definitely life altering. i’m not sure there’s anything in the world that could prepare you enough for an experience like that.

as a mother i have suffered loss in various ways over the last 11 years of my life, and it wasn’t until 2012 that i realized i had essentially lost myself in the process. 2012 was an eye opening year and i have continued on the path to my true self ever since coming to the realization that i can be both a mother and myself at the same time without having to choose one over the other.


what are you passionate about? curious about?

i am passionate about creating art to express myself and my inner most feelings. photography has become so much more than documenting life. it’s a way for me to tell you, the viewer, how i feel. it’s a way for me to show you what i see in others as well. i’ve been awakened to so much beauty in the simplest forms all around me. i see it even in the darkest of places. the shadows hold the most beautiful stories.

i’m definitely curious as to where this photography journey is taking me. i never thought it would involve art journals and painting, poems and love letters, nature and self portraits. if you asked me 7 years ago when i set out to become a photographer where i thought i would be today the answer would be taking portraits and lifestyle sessions for others. now i dream of art shows and exhibits, my images hung on walls and being published, and thoughts of acceptance that it’s okay if it ends up just being for me.

what are the qualities that truly matter to you? which ones do you fully embody? which ones are missing or needing to be more fully expressed?

being true to yourself and compassionate are qualities i value deeply. these are things i struggle with from time to time, but never want to lose sight of. i try every day to show or express these qualities to my children. my son recently joked with me that he has the curse of feeling bad for everything like i do. he doesn’t have the heart to smoosh a small bug in the house! i reminded him that although it can feel like a curse at times, it is in fact a gift and shows he is human and has a heart.

if you could sit down with a woman you greatly admire, what one question would you ask?
{bonus points if you share who the woman is}

if i had the chance to sit down with one woman and ask one question it would be my grandmother who passed away when i was pregnant with my son in 1997. my question would be very simple, but I know the answer would be very detailed. who are you as a person? as a child and young adult i didn’t have the ability to think beyond the fact that she was my grandmother and a mother. i didn’t get to know her as a person and i’d love to hear her story.

do you have a dream, a wish or a “to-do” that you are currently resisting? If yes, and you feel ready to share, what is it? why do you think the resistance is there?

i suppose i partly answered this in another question above. at this point in time i have desires of submitting my art and portfolio to various places in hopes of publication of some sort. i have multiple tabs open on my computer each day with various calls for entries. the fear of being rejected is always there. the fear of not being good enough or not being understood. i have definitely put myself out there as an artist more in 2014 than I have in all of my years doing this. my wish is to continue doing this on a much larger scale.



you are at your best when you are ___________?

i am at my best when i am alone with myself. i definitely need time each day to myself to reconnect and recharge. sometimes a lonely, quiet day can help me free my mind and become inspired to create something. i’m definitely an introvert, so alone time gives me what i need to be my best when i am with others.

when you are in that space of being your best, the exact thing you are doing, most often, is ___________? 

most often i am either reading something inspiring, writing or creating. there’s that moment, that spark that ignites and fills me with power and strength…and courage.


And, last but not least, you know i love a beautiful string of words so, please, share a quote that moves and shakes you.

oh how i love powerful quotes! the ones that make you scream “yes! that’s exactly it!”. i have pages of quotes saved to post with images of mine that help get my message across. some quotes move me so much that i paint them and journal them. i suppose to keep in line with this theme and interview i’ll leave you with this.

“the only way that we can live, is if we grow. the only way that we can grow is if we change. the only way that we can change is if we learn. the only way we can learn is if we are exposed. and the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. do it. throw yourself.”
― c. joybell c.


this interview and these self portraits are me doing exactly that. throwing myself!

be brave.



wow, right?

if you need more of sharon's beauty in your life, and i feel like we all do, you can find her at:

www.sharoncovert.com

https://www.facebook.com/sharoncovertphotography

instagram @thecovertlens

***the gorgeous photos above are all courtesy of sharon***

{monthly forecast} love

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

sweethearts!

i am back! and big changes are afoot!

but, for now, i'm starting small and sharing someone else's amazing body of work.

i was actually laughing out loud and saying "oh my goodness, yes" and shaking my head in disbelief as i read through this month's forecast. and, apparently i'm a keener, because i have already been working through/with so much of it in the last two weeks already.

anyway, this month's forecast is "the three-legged stool" and, even though it sounds as though there could be some intense craziness showing up, i am super excited for it.

here's the full forecast from lena at the power path:

"The main theme for October is “THE THREE-LEGGED STOOL”.
October is a balancing act. The image is of watching a circus act from a place of terror and excitement and then feeling both relieved and exhilarated when the act is successfully completed. This month pushes the edge of everything, forcing expansion, new strategies for balance and a necessary letting go of what really does not work. It is an exciting, terrifying, exhilarating month with the challenge of extreme panic and fear as well as the opportunity to experience the ecstatic state of higher frequencies like never before. It is truly a circus that we are both witness to and performers in.

There are two eclipses this month as well as some interesting astrological aspects that support the month to be one of the most eccentric, creative, surprising and unpredictable we have had in a long time.

I could have explored many themes this month: Balancing act, radical shift, intensity, surprise, expansion, risk, edge, terror, chaos, power, balance, unpredictable, unstable, revolution/evolution, eccentric, new alignment.. But decided on the three legged stool” because it is an image that to me best describes the situation we find ourselves in this month.

A three-legged stool is unstable but stable at the same time. Its stability depends on the user. If you use a three-legged stool, which can be a great support when you need something to sit on, you need to be sitting straight and balanced. If you lean too far in either direction you will fall off. It requires attention to how you are sitting, with your back straight, as well as the awareness of where you have placed the stool, hopefully on stable ground. And your feet have to be firmly planted on the ground. There will be times this month where your stool may actually feel like a one legged-stool requiring even more presence, attention and inner stability and balance.

So the three-legged stool (sometimes a one-legged stool) is a metaphor for the times. We have everything we need to support our lives and to midwife our transformation. We just need to trust our seemingly unstable environment, and pay attention to how we are navigating our lives every day. We need to be in our personal power, connected to the integrity of our hearts and striving for a new balance. We need to release our old stories and become more comfortable with the mystery of the unknown. We need to shift our platforms of security from exterior systems to interior ones. In other words, trust more in our talents, inner wisdom, personal beliefs and the higher self of spirit rather than the money in the bank, corporate jobs, or the roof over our heads. We need to allow inspiration and a new higher frequency to guide us as we keep a “don’t know mind”.

How does one stay neutral and balanced in the midst of such unpredictability and chaos? How does one stay firmly planted on that three-legged or one-legged stool in the middle of a windstorm or hurricane? (Mp3 is a definite help here)

1. Know who you are and don’t get swayed by another’s fear, beliefs, judgments or expectations.
2. Don’t take things personally.
3. Always move yourself to the place of enthusiasm and excitement when you feel the terror coming on. There is a fine line between terror and excitement. Terror will always throw you into a lower frequency whereas excitement will keep you moving in the right direction with the right attitude.
4. Keep a “don’t know mind” and listen to your heart.
5. Tell the truth no matter what.
6. Trust in spirit and your own higher self and inner voice.
7. Allow yourself to feel joy.
8. Never blame others. Take that chip off your shoulder once and for all.
9. Forgive, forgive, and forgive.
10. Slow down and finish what you started before jumping into the next inspired task.
11. Be eccentric rather than “normal”.
12. Think creatively whenever possible.

How the month shows up

YOU PERSONALLY

This is a highly creative and eccentric month. Push the envelope of your expression in the world. Try new things. Take a risk. Say YES to something you have been contemplating but have been too afraid to commit to. Instead of becoming small and retreating back into limitation, prioritize when you feel the chaos of having too much on your plate.

There is an opportunity here to express more authentically and to find a new alignment and a new balance in your life. This is also a month where you can tap into a reservoir of personal power that you did not realize you had. The mantra should be “anything is possible”. You just need to allow it by keeping yourself as free as possible from the “old story” of limitation and victimization. The roof literally comes off the building allowing you to move into a new space, a higher floor, and an expanded view of your world that includes more light, joy and possibility.

What will get in the way of that?

The need to know, the need to be right, arrogance, impatience, martyrdom, attachment to your “position”, fear, and mistrust of life working out just right. Watch the need to tell others how to navigate their three or one-legged stool and instead learn to manage your own balance and alignment. It is a great month for personal growth. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you find that the usual methods of support you have relied on are not providing what you need, try something new and radical.

RELATIONSHIPS

Relationships are ready for some fun, eccentricity and spontaneity. The task this month is to use the influences to dissolve the mistrust and conditional expectations that keep intimacy at bay and create barriers to love and joy and true support. Finding your balance in relationships requires telling the truth no matter what and not taking the projections of others personally.

Relationships will be affected by the eccentric personality of the month and can be fed by the creative aspect. Remember that as you expect others to accept your new way of being, you must also be in acceptance of others. If your partner chooses to die their hair green, accept it and rejoice in their creative expression instead of being horrified.

If you have children, they will be acting out. There is a lot of fire and solar energy this month that will quicken anger and aggressive reactions. Allow lots of room for expression while holding strong boundaries. Always give a choice and accept expressions that are eccentric as long as they are not dangerous or damaging. This goes for adults too!

ENVIRONMENT

Quirky weather and other phenomena, unexpected and unpredictable, are just a few of the environmental expressions we may be faced with. The three-legged (or one-legged) stool here is about being extremely flexible and spontaneous in your plans. Eccentricity hits the environment as it does everything else this month. Look for radical changes in temperatures, sudden storms and unpredictable changes in weather predictions. In fact nothing is predictable any more. When something happens that is unprecedented, the mind always tries to rationalize it or deny its occurrence. “This NEVER happens here”…..”It must be because”….. Remember that nature is highly creative and reflective of our own process of pushing the edge of the envelope of our comfort level. So be prepared for anything and everything this month.

On a fun note, may be delighted by reports of eccentric activity on the planet involving animals, humans and nature.

In terms of your personal environment, continue to weed and clear out what is no longer “you” (even if it is a family heirloom). Bring some creativity into your space: color, art, beauty, sound. Be a little risky and eccentric. Have some fun.

HEALTH/PHYSICAL BODY

Balance, balance, balance. Find a rhythm that works for you in your own personal self-care. Be ruthless and disciplined about taking time for yourself especially when you feel overwhelmed. Listen to your own inner wisdom regarding what you need. Humor is an all-important emotion this month as it will lubricate the path to truth telling and raise you up out of shame, despair and depression. Always find something to laugh about regarding any adverse situation concerning your health and well-being.

There will be lots and lots of energy available this month and you can easy burn out unless you have balance. The adrenals will need support. Watch liver heat as the solar energy this month stimulates and triggers impatience and aggression. Make sure to get PLENTY of exercise of the kind that makes you sweat. You will need this outlet for the possible build up of energy that otherwise will keep you sleepless at night.

Balancing your three-legged stool demands that you create a good structure around your self-care that you can commit to.

BUSINESS/PARTNERSHIPS/PROJECTS

Think big and think out of the box. Dream beyond what you think is possible as it may actually be possible. One of the lessons this month is to learn to stretch so you become comfortable in the reality that is just a dream and not manifest as well as keeping your anchor in the reality that you are used to. Learn to keep a foot in both worlds, the seen and the unseen. This is the place of power and will keep you from getting too attached to what you see manifest as you build your trust in the belief that it can always change. The unseen world is where ideas and dreams and creativity come from. The more you are able to navigate and trust that world, the more you will see your dreams manifest.

The challenge will be to get rebalanced as quickly as possible if something happens in your business or project that throws you off center. You may feel at times like your three-legged stool is a one-legged stool and that you are about to fall off the edge. Instead of going into terror, take a swan dive into the unknown and trust spirit that it will all end up OK. This is a great month to change it up and bring some newness into any project, business or partnership. So have fun, play a little and definitely bring humor into the mix.

 DATES AND TIME FRAMES

October 1-7: The “heat” is on! You feel energized, inspired, a little like you want to jump out of your skin, and maybe having a hard time trying to figure out where to put and focus all this energy. Make a list of the things you HAVE to do as well as the things you WANT to do. Of the things you HAVE to do, identify what you can delegate. Prioritize the rest. Of the things you WANT to do, what is the most important and exciting and attainable thing you can start doing now?

Your three-legged stool this week is about learning to organize chaos and how to structure your time so you balance the HAVE TO’s with the WANT TO’s in a way that does not keep you enslaved to the HAVE TO’s. Even if you do not get all of your responsibilities done in one day, cut them off at a reasonable time so you have some space to do a little of what you really want to do.

It will be super important in this time to have a creative and physical outlet for energy. Sometimes when you are over-amped and without an outlet, that energy turns inward causing you to feel the opposite of energized. So if you are feeling depleted, you may actually need to go out and exercise.

 October 8: Full Moon with a total Lunar Eclipse is Wednesday, October 8th at 4:51 AM MDT (mountain daylight time). This is truly an intense and possibly highly emotional time that will trigger and push everything to the edge and beyond. Instead of retreating or freezing up in fear and terror, go out and become part of the storm. Harness the tremendous energy that has the potential to feed your creativity and dreams in ways you could never have imagined.

Stay away from drama that is not yours, as there will be some out there that react to this level of energy by projecting it into negativity and fear. Keep your frequency high (This month’s Mp3 is helpful) and always turn your focus towards the truth of what works for you. This full moon and eclipse triggers a two week time frame of revolutionary intensity that can either propel you into radical transformation or have you falling off the three-legged stool. Your ability to pay attention, and to stay focused and present while also allowing yourself to grab the power of the storm, will be key to staying firmly on the stool.

October 8-15: In the aftermath of the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse, this time frame is about finding a new balance. Be disciplined about continuing to move yourself away from old patterns of security and comfort, and towards a new alignment. Look for the excitement of the risk and explore the threads of your creative ideas and inspirations while managing your daily life through the discipline of your routines and practices.

You will know you are on the right track when a creative idea or inspiration won’t leave you alone, and you notice that the universe begins to align all kinds of support around it. Keep aligning with new and different energies by doing some new things, connecting with new people, changing something in your environment and always pushing for just a bit more creativity and eccentricity.

October 16-23: This time frame is a bit of a yo-yo with its ups and downs and possible surprises and unpredictable events. Be prepared for anything and everything. This does not mean sitting back, hiding and waiting for the other shoe to drop. It means being proactive and passionate about everything in your life but with the flexibility, lack of judgment and neutrality that allows for spontaneity and a possible radical change of plans.

This is also the time to put into action some of what is beginning to manifest around what you WANT to do rather than what you HAVE to do. It is a highly creative and spontaneous time frame that supports eccentric expression and risk taking. Sometimes it is easier to see what you don’t want than what you do want. Weed out what you don’t want and the new desires will become clearer.

October 23: New Moon with a partial Solar Eclipse is Thursday, October 23 at 3:56 PM MDT (mountain daylight time). This is the second eclipse of the month and serves as a bookend to the most highly eccentric aspect of the month. Take some time today to just breathe. It’s as if you have just witnessed the most radical circus act and your adrenalin is settling back to normal. If there is any way to take a bit of a retreat here just to honor yourself and your authentic self with gratitude and awareness of your many talents, do it.

It could just be that you give yourself an hour to be in contemplation or you leave work early to take a walk.

This new moon is a reset point where you get to decide who you are and what you are up to, what you WANT to do and how you are going to express and support it. The energy of the eclipse period as well as this new moon will feed these inner realizations with much power and help carry this new alignment forward.

October 24-31: Busy, busy, busy. Now that you have learned to somewhat stabilize your three-legged stool, and the universe has opened some opportunities around what you said you wanted, it’s time to get to work to sort and organize and focus and actually do what you said you wanted to do. Watch for procrastination as a defense around “what you think you don’t know how to do so you put it off”. There is a steep learning curve that comes with the new territories in your life and it requires patience, discipline and keeping a “don’t know mind”. Baby steps are good.

Some of you may feel like you did on your first day of school; excited, somewhat terrified and not sure whether to run forward into the playground or back into the security of your known environment. It’s too late to turn back and you would not want to anyway.

So get to work, make it fun, be eccentric, stay present, keep expressing and creating and remember to keep your balance. If it feels like too much go back to the list of HAVE to and WANT to. Prioritize, delegate, eliminate. Make sure you end up with way more WANT to than HAVE to."


see you all again...very soon!




{monday morning} love

Monday, June 23, 2014


rise and shine and enjoy some of what i loved and was inspired by on the internet over the course of the last week.

forget advertisements and sporting events and news reels. can you imagine if this was played on repeat on all public screens?

native americans are not indians.

i speak and teach about letting go of judgement a lot, but i can totally get down with these. {thank you sarah and morgan for the share}

i love this cover.

these. all of them.

i am so deeply grateful for other people's wisdom and words:

when we stop distracting ourselves, and courageously dive into the heart of any feeling, positive or negative, right or wrong, comfortable or uncomfortable, we rediscover the vast ocean of who we are. 

every feeling is made of unspeakable intelligence, and every feeling contains a hidden message.


enjoy the rest of this beautiful monday...the last one before school's out for summer!



 

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