Friday, January 24, 2020

Why Keep a Journal? #artiststoolbox


"Get Lost in Your Art"
For Sale: 30X40 on canvas. Mixed Media.  Contact me for shipping and pricing.

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Journaling is a great way to unlock your passions, dreams, authenticity, and soul.  I began journaling as a kid. I remember sharing stories of frustrating experiences and highlights of my life. My journal was a way for me to express my experiences.

What I am learning is that journaling is more than just a place to park our experiences. It is a place to learn to grow, to listen to your heart, to make lists, to challenge yourself, to become better, to address challenges, to feel safe, to define your future, to think big.

Ultimately, a journal is a place for you to be whole. A journal should be a safe place for you to unlock what drives you, holds your attention, and defines your passion. A key to your future greatness.

I find time each day to write in my journal. I write when I can. Ideally, the morning is best, but let's be real, I have kids and a morning filled with rushing and running. I don't let this keep me from my goal of daily journal writing. I keep my journal with me. I pull it out waiting to pick kids up after school, in the grocery store, getting coffee, parked at the beach, or waiting. I spend a lot of time waiting for my family.

Writing is addictive. Journaling is binding to our souls because writing in our journals allows our voices to be heard, shared, and expressed in ways that are creative, raw, authentic, and fluid. No one can argue with your words. No one can change your mind. No one can interrupt you. It's YOU time.

Journaling is YOUR TIME.  A time to be real. It's YOU time.

Writing is an opportunity to release what is inside your heart, soul, and mind. It is fundamental to well-being. When we release our desires we release tension. We release burdens. We release energy. We invite change, results, passions, and dreams to come to fruition.


Writing in our journals allows us to be heard, for us to focus on goals, to challenge our own words, to put into writing things we don't have the heart to speak out loud. A journal allows us to honor our truth.

Journaling gives you a chance to be real with yourself. To be honest with the strains of life.

I encourage you to pick up a pencil/pen and start writing. I try to write for 20 minutes a day. I use small journals because I feel accomplished when I fill one up. I no longer write in those thick fancy journals. I buy journals that are in packages of 4-6, have maybe 70 pages, are light enough to carry in my purse, and which feel like a small part of my soul. I usually write 3-4 pages a day. Sometimes it is just a paragraph. Life happens and I get busy, but my goal is to write every day, and I do.

Challenge yourself to write for a week. See if you feel better, feel inspired, feel less burdened, feel more insightful, and feel authentic.  Do you feel better? Is your head more clear? Are you hearing any new inspirations trickle out through your writing?

If you're not sure where to start or how,  HERE is a link to guide you through the process.

Let's get started.

1.    Find a journal.  I like something simple and with a limited number of pages.
2.    Set aside time each day. 
3.    Set a timer. (Only if your time is limited, otherwise, write until you stop.)
4.    Let your mind roam, wander, explore, and then write it ALL down. 
5.    Writer's block? Keep going!
6.    Write sentences or just words, write fast or write slow...just write!  Let it out.
7.    Don't worry. Don't feel guilty. Don't erase your words.
8.    Be authentic. 
9.    Be truthful.
10.  Return each day.

Have fun with journaling. Let your mind explore the inner thoughts of your soul. I promise this one thing will expand your artistic world if you use it every day. Every night I ask the universe to unfold a new key to my success. To channel my soul into the words for my journal. You will be amazed at what you will uncover, discover, and learn.

GOOD LUCK!



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My Book List for 2020

The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

A Weekend to Change Your Life by Joan Anderson
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
All About Love by Bell Hooks
Walking in this World by Julia Cameron 
The Millionth Circle by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD 
Living, Loving, and Learning by Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D (New Book added this week)

*This is not an ad. I do not make any money off of the links above.
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Friday, January 17, 2020

How do we Change the Rules of our Lives?


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Have you ever just thrown a wish or a thought out to the Universe to see what happens?

Putting your intentions into motion to see what manifests in our lives might sound scary. Some days it is, but on other days, your intentions are heard, seen, and you get answers. This is how I find peace in my world. I accept that there is an energy that exists to help and guide us when we ask for it. I am always surprised at what I find, at what I didn't know I needed, and how the words written by others have shaped the person I am today. Ask for what you need. Ask your spiritual "guides or God" for the things you need. Put what you want out into the Universe and see what happens. This is the first step in changing the rules of your life.

I was scrolling through a few Instagram accounts and stumbled upon Jackie Cantwells. She had a long post about the decision she has made to live an authentic life and to be herself. She describes how freeing it feels. She describes how she changed the rules of her life to fit her authentic self.

One area of focus she discusses is challenging the rules. This really made me stop and think for a day or two. We are surrounded by rules. The key is knowing which ones to follow and which ones to pass. There are rules for safety, crowd control, political movements, financial situations, parenting, our places of employment, partnerships of marriage and relationships, etc... In her message, she is discussing the rules we make for our life or life plan. 

We are over-loaded with rules and shoulds and musts which were mostly instilled upon us at an early age by parents, teachers, church clergy, and employers. Rules can consume us if we are not careful.

Rules are necessary, but some rules can be changed or revised. Getting to a certain age (like myself) I became over-burden with my earlier life plan rules. I made a change. I consciously had to rewrite how I was going to live my life. I wanted it to include happiness, adventure, travel, my family, employment on my terms, and a sense of purpose. I personally was tired of going through the motions of my life, but not on my own terms.

I am not one to often say that rules need to be broken. I don't make a habit of breaking rules. But the rules for my life plan? That is different. My life today looks much different than it did when I lived with my parents, from when I was newly married, from when I had my first child and my first job. I will challenge life path rules because they are usually rules I didn't always get to choose. Some things I chose but changed my mind or left behind. Religion and politics come to mind. My views today are different from my 20-year-old self. I rebooted and started new. I rewrote the rules for my life.



Life rules are some of the heaviest and hardest to break and rewrite. Often, the way we live our lives is because someone we loved influenced us at an earlier age.  Changing a view, thought, or action may feel like a betrayal. It may cause others to cringe. It is hard. Change is hard.

Below are a few suggestions I have chosen to do in my own life. Of course, we are all unique and come from a variety of backgrounds and environments. What would you add to this conversation? What changes are helping you to live a more authentic life? Have you been met with resistance from others? Are you happier? 

Please leave comments and let's start a discussion about living our most authentic life.

Become comfortable with being misunderstood.  Change is hardest when it involves other people, especially those we love the most. To be your authentic self requires a person to be willing to put themselves first.  I read this in Walking in this World by Julia Cameron.  It is so true. To be authentic and the rule-maker of your life, you have to be willing to be misunderstood. Why? Because people will challenge you and your goals, values, and self. You have to be okay with being okay with having thoughts, ideas, values, and goals that don't meet the needs of those around you.

Reset boundaries. We have walls and boundaries from early in our youth. It is how we protected ourselves from getting hurt and becoming vulnerable. Being vulnerable with our authenticity as we get older doesn't get easier, but it does become necessary. The older I get the more I believe this to be true. In my 50's I have attracted the right people into my life because I chose to put myself and my needs first. What has this approach done for me? It allowed me to feel fulfilled, to feel heard, to balance my life better, and to be a better mom, friend, and wife. It forced me to stop projecting my wants onto other people. When I decided to listen to my desires and wants, I became less codependent on others. I stopped projecting my happiness onto others. I became more independent.

Set goals. Keep a journal. I write three pages every morning. Write out your goals. Make a vision board. Tell a friend. Practice positive affirmations to allow yourself to be open to new goals and visions of your life. Start small. Work towards those goals to create the life you want with the rules you made.

Listen.  Turn off the radio and TV. Put your phone down. Find a quiet place and listen. Listen to the young child that wants to be heard, to the person who wants to be active, the inner being who wants to try something new, the individual who wants to change the rules but doesn't know where to begin.

Find your inner voice. Not the voice in your head that holds onto the negative biases, but the voice of you longing to do certain things, the promptings to be a certain way, the authenticity of YOU.

Connect with nature. We hear this a lot and it is true. Fresh air is a clearing process. Walking on a trail, along the shores, up a mountain, or riding your bike, scootering, or swimming are suggestions.

You will need to rise to your best self to live your best life, which means:

You make your own life plan rules. 

I am far from being completely transitioned to my authentic self. I can tell you, though, I am almost there. I feel alive and vivid. I feel full of life and adventure. I see myself as valid, important, and satisfied. I don't feel vacant, left behind, empty, or unsatisfied. My family gets the best of me. I encourage them to be their authentic selves too. Together we are creating a platform in our home of loving each other as unique, diversified, and whole people.

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My Book List for 2020

The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

A Weekend to Change Your Life by Joan Anderson
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
All About Love by Bell Hooks
Walking in this World by Julia Cameron 
The Millionth Circle by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD (New to list)

*This is not an ad. I do not make any money off of the links above.
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Thursday, January 9, 2020

It's Okay to be a High-Achiever



After I wrote,  Breathe in 2020  last week, I received some beautiful feedback from friends. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I believe we are here to encourage, motivate, love, and unite each other when we can and to the best of our abilities.

One comment I received was from a friend who mentioned I was a hummingbird, like what Elizabeth Gilbert mentioned in her youtube talk, Don't Chase Your Passion and Maybe You'll Find It. Like a hummingbird, I tend to bounce around from project to project or idea to idea. Watch below:


This got me thinking about something else I read recently, the phrase "high-achieving person". In my mind, a hummingbird, among the bird species, is a very high achieving pollinator.

What does high-achieving mean? I read this term for the first time, last week while perusing one of my favorite Instagram people in the world. Her name is Danielle, and she is an OB/GYN and a mom and so many other things. You can find her HERE at Mamadoctorjones. She gives everyone permission to do hard things, to accomplish your goals, and to multi-task. She encourages non-judgment, stimulates excellent conversations about having babies, and supports the mindset of accomplishing all types of things, while simultaneously, being a mom, working, and existing with hobbies and volunteer work. Did you notice I used the word AND? She considers herself a high-achieving person and wants to share with others, if we feel connected to this phrase, that it's okay to identify this way.

This is not to say that if you can't do all of these things...you are less.
This is not saying....you are broken, subpar, or less because you can't do all of these things.

Read those two statements again, if you need to.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

I know many people who are doing the best they can while working and/or staying home, but there are a few you might wonder to yourself if they sleep, eat, or even slow down? "They" being the people on social media, or playgroup, or at the school PTA meeting. Those who seem to do it all, all the time. "They" appear to do everything. But do they? Maybe. Just maybe they do a lot of things because they identify as a high-achieving personality.

People who are high achieving come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds and ethnicity. Some do it as a single person, some as a family person, and some are divorced, married, or in between. What I am trying to say is there isn't a formula or a box you can put a person in who feels they are a high-achiever. It is who they are. They exist in a state of high energy, high expectations, and an ability to multi-task at a high level. (I know all about the studies on multitasking and how we as humans don't do this well.)

Again, this doesn't mean these individuals are doing something better, it simply means, and quite possibly, this is who they are as an individual. I know for me personally, I have tried to slow down and do less. You know what? It makes me unhappy. I feel better while busy. I feel better being a hummingbird than a jackhammer.

On the flip side of the activity, we do slow down, we get tired, and we feel exhausted at times. We struggle, like everyone else, to balance and juggle the many hands that we have in the cookie jar (and eat cookies once in a while). We argue with our selves about fitness, eating, education, political strife, and volunteering more. We wrestle with the same issues that other people experience, this does not make us different. We might be unique. We might appear to have all of our shit together. We might be on the verge of exploding. Just like all moms, women, and people. We are not different in our thoughts and motivations when it comes to our family's success, our own success, and our efforts placed at worthy causes.

High achieving people don't come in one size either. I have friends that are running multiple companies, who are serving on several boards, and who are taking care of grandkids/kids while going to school, working full-time, and rocking the "significant other" hat. The idea of a high-achieving person, to me, is someone who has a little extra energy each day, we can't stand to not be busy most of the time (we still like vacations), and we sense there is a purpose.

I guess what I am saying is if you identify as such-- it's okay. If you don't--it's okay. We need all types of personalities to help this world run and function, for our families to operate, and for creative souls to continue to "pollinate" the world with their gifts and talents.

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:

Are you a jackhammer or a hummingbird? Do you identify as a high-achieving person? What are some of your talents and gifts? How do you share your knowledge? Are you an artist? 

What would you add to this discussion? What do you agree or disagree with? Let's explore this topic together. Leave your comments below.

My Book List for 2020

The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer
A Weekend to Change Your Life by Joan Anderson
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
All About Love by Bell Hooks
Walking in this World by Julia Cameron (NEW TO LIST)

*This is not an ad. I do not make any money off of the links above.



Friday, January 3, 2020

Breathe in 2020

This painting is for sale. It is an original on 30X40 canvas painted with acrylic. I painted this after having an especially challenging week and realizing I needed to breathe more and slow down. Air is an element I like to capture. Please email if interested in purchasing or leave a comment.  

Breathe
is a word I want to hold onto for 2020. I have spent a lot of time this past year learning to breathe for my soul. What does that mean? Well, to me, it means understanding my internal rhythms and listening to my inner voice, following my desires and passions, and saying yes more.

One of my passions is art. I have dabbled in art for many years and found myself wavering between having a hobby and hustling for a profession. This past year I allowed myself to say yes to hard things, specifically putting myself in front of the public eye. I have always struggled with perfectionism and outside perceptions. This paralyzed my mental state on many occasions.

How did I change this? By saying yes to hard things that made me feel uncomfortable.  Saying YES forced me to step outside my comfort zone. I learned to accept my failings, I accepted a lower standard, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Last January I was given the opportunity to be in a play with my daughter. This is something I thought would be fun (for about 5 minutes) and then I panicked. There was no way I could do this, who did I think I was. I had never acted before. I immediately tried to wiggle myself out of this situation, but the director said no. He needed me, he had faith in me, and it was a small part (non-verbal--which turned into 3 speaking parts).  I went to every rehearsal "faking it". I faked it until I made it. I acted my heart out and I loved every second of the performance. It was fun!

Fast forward to the summer and I get a phone call from the same director. He had a show. (oh, great) but I listened, and to my surprise, I was offered the lead role. WHAT? OH MY GOD! I said yes.

Again, I panicked and called him back. He again said, "no, you can do this." How does this happen? By saying yes and breathing (a lot)!

We have to get outside of our comfort zone to live a life we want. We have to accept our abilities and listen to those around us who SEE our potential. Get outside our heads and into our souls.

Here's the thing, I always wanted to act. I always felt like I could do a good job. I secretly wanted this. It wasn't until I jumped without a safety net and things turned out way better than I could have ever expected. This led me to say yes to my art too. Being a performer is fantastic, but being an artist and expressing myself on canvas was the lucky charm in this whole story. This year I will pattern my life after my desire to be an artist.

So, this year. I am breathing in more YES, more opportunity, and more soulful passion about what I desire and want. I am an actor, I am an artist, and I am enough to be both.

2020 is going to be a great year.

SAY YES to 2020

Books I read in 2019 that helped me to say YES to my desires, passions, and soul:

The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer
A Weekend to Change Your Life by Joan Anderson
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
All About Love by Bell Hooks


*This is not an ad. I do not make any money off of the links above.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Art, Technology, and Disability


It has been forever, it feels to me since I have written on my blog. I took a break to focus on family and school. Here I am, three years into my college degree experience, and I am now ready to adventure into something new. 
I turned 51 a few weeks ago. It all happened so fast. This life has rushed past me and here I am, past the halfway mark to 100. I am headed in a new direction from when I first started this blog, it has morphed from food to writing, to poetry, and now to art. 
I have been dabbling with art for many years as a hobbyist. When I turned 51 I decided to pursue a passion and devote more time and effort into my art study and art performance. The header to my blog now includes ART because I will be writing more and more about art, maybe some about food, and some essay writing about life, studies, and adventures.
I hope to share more of my art, the process of my art evolving, and the healing process that art has in our lives. Today I had to write a short piece of how art, technology, and people with disabilities are evolving in this changing climate of awareness. I learned a lot from reading the hyperlinks and watching the video of Sue Austin scuba diving in her wheelchair.  
I have posted the short discussion below. This was an education for me to discover how much technology has advanced in the field of art, especially helping those with disabilities to learn how to become artist, encouraging their passion, and then providing resources for them to exhibit and display their pieces of art. 
Enjoy!
Sherron 
Is there a "value of difference" through art and disability?
Art is a powerful tool with a wide range of mediums, all used to tell a story, emote a feeling, allow our minds to explore unknown territories. I am an artist. Two of my four kids are artists too. I guess painting with acrylics and oil are ways we have been drawn into our art form. At least that is my story. My two daughters are both engaged in technology when it comes to their art approaches. They use their laptops, art pads, high-tech pens, and the internet to share and sell their artwork. Art is simply a part of our daily lives, but our daily lives are free from disabilities that would hold us back or hinder our performance with our art form, regardless of the type of art we choose to create. When I watched the video from chapter 5, Sue Austin: Deep Sea Diving...in a wheelchair 2012, I was mesmerized because it made me think about art, disabilities, and how I see artists with disabilities. It made me want to learn more about artists with disabilities. I started searching for things like, "who are they", "what are they using to create their works with", and what is their disability"? Listening to Sue speak in the video, I felt her excitement. I saw her joy. She expressed her joy of "freedom" in the water and being able to move "360 degrees", and she noted that her wheelchair, the video, and her story have created a "value of difference" in how people with disabilities are viewed when the story is changed, when our perspective is skewed, and when art is used to portray something new and bold.
The "value of difference" was displayed recently when a group of disabled dancers were paired with a group of high school and middle school students. They worked together to create extensions of their disabilities for performances. The students were "creating wearable designs that shine a light on each dancer's strength and resilience". The audience was tied to a beautiful representation of something our society might deem "different", "uncomfortable", or even "impossible" when we think in terms of a person with a disability. Student artists create gorgeous wearable sculptures for dancers with disabilities, (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. written by Katie Dupree said, "It's time to recognize the beauty in disability". Looking at these costumes, beauty is what you see. The five participants disabilities ranged from cerebral palsy to sight issues. The art enhancements were designed to give the audience a feel for what it might feel like to "be on display" because a person is different. I love how Katie summed up the visual and artists creations, she writes, "the result is a visually captivating sculpture that challenges misguided ideas of disability as undesirable or unappealing".  I am amazed at how powerful art resonates a message, and I feel this particular project exemplified the idea of art displaying the "value of difference" in a beautiful and personal representation of the artists and the observer.
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IMAGE: AMRO ARIDA / 'ON DISPLAY'
The above article mentions how artists and those with disabilities are working together to create a new dialogue and representation of how disabilities are seen and understood, but what about those with disabilities that wish to learn about art, explore art, and exhibit art? The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Links to an external site.)Links to an external sitein New York City, as well as other art galleries around the world, are taking interest in providing experiences through visual learning, hearing discoveries, and hands-on creation for those with disabilities. Welcoming Art Lovers With Disabilities (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.shares with readers how they are working together with the disabled community, artists, and museums to create a viable partnership for those who wish to engage in art. The article describes a variety of ways in which museums are working effortlessly to provide a full spectrum of experiences for all visitors. 3D printers are being used to duplicate certain works of art so that those with limited vision, can feel the art. Listening devices are also being used around the world to allow those with visibility disabilities to listen to vlogs or audio. These are just two ways in which the art community is trying to create more opportunities for those with disabilities. Why is this important? Because it allows them to explore something new, art in all its form. This may empower them to try something they thought impossible to do themselves. Art is an expression of self and when a person is limited due to a disability they may need to discover new ways to express themselves as Sue Austin did with her wheelchair. It is giving them a "value" in their "differences".
To answer my own question, yes, I believe there is a "value of difference" through art and disability. It makes a difference in our lives and those lives who create art with disabilities. It is one more way they can see themselves represented in our communities and a way for them to feel connected. I learned a lot about art, disability, and how technology is changing how we view those with disabilities. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sifting Through Life: Breitenbush Hot Springs



NOTE:  There are not any naked pictures in this post. This is a family friendly site. Just in case you were wondering....LOL

It has been a long week. Finals are next week and I am sick. The kids are sick too. The hardest part is, here we are in December, and our weather is gorgeous. Like bright blue sky, mid 50's, little to no wind, gorgeous. Here we sit, sniffling and coughing watching this weather pass by, and we can't enjoy it, other than to watch it from behind our windows in the house, on the couch. Bummer.

Today was the worst of it for me. My body decided to put a halt to all studying and parenting for the day and I found myself in bed. I did have class at 2 but promptly came home and went back to bed. Two naps in one day has done wonders, I am feeling better. Although, it is 11 o'clock at night and I am wide awake. I have studied metamorphic rocks and volcanoes until my eyes are bursting from over studying.

I've been wanting to write this piece for a while, ever since we came home in October from our trip to Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon. I guess today, with it's bright blue sky and beautiful weather reminded me of our trip. I booked this October trip back in May. I knew that it may be wet from rain, cold, and dreary. I didn't care because I thought the hot springs would be great with the cooler temperatures outside. We were pleasantly surprised with a burst of bright weather over the last weekend in October. The picture below was taken on our drive up to Detroit Lake, OR. You can see the blue sky and Mt. Hood in the distance.


We arrived, our first time here, to a little bit of paradise. Checking in at the parking lot was a piece of cake. The attendant in the registration office was informative and welcoming. The parking lot is above the retreat. They provide pull dollies to carry your stuff from your cars to the cabins. We needed two. Our stay was for 3 days but you need to bring your own bedding, pillows, bathroom stuff, etc... Of course, we needed snacks. We way over packed! Keep in mind this resort is an optional clothing hot springs. So clothes while in the hot tubs is not necessary, you will need clothes to walk around the retreat center and to dine in the cafateria. We didn't know what to pack because the weather in Oregon this time of year is all over the place. I am glad I packed warm clothes, the nights were very cold. I saw some people there in their pajamas and robes the whole weekend. I chose to change more frequently for meals and classes than most. Next time, I will still bring my warm coat, gloves, and hat but leave some of the other stuff behind.


Our little cottage was so cute. One full bed and a twin, a toilet, and a sink. Small and the perfect size for just the two of us. We weren't quite sure what to do when we first got there. Neither of us had ever been to anything like this before. It is something I have wanted to do for a while. I can't tell you why I wanted to get naked with strangers in an outside environment, other than to say I felt compelled to do it. I felt it was something I needed to do for me as a woman, as a human, as a person. I needed to let go and just be. I wanted to be naked and unafraid. I was hoping for a change in my perspective and I got just that. 

I had no idea what to do or how to do it other than to go to a hot spring, take off my clothes, and get in. It all happened that fast. My stomach was flipping, my heart was racing, my hands were sweaty. I looked like a pro on the outside but on the inside I was all wiggles, giggles, and anxious. Cory and I stopped at the first hot spring and did what everyone else did. We followed the leader and it worked.
Honestly, I was afraid if I thought about it, I would chicken out. 

I am so glad I did not chicken out. It turned out to be the best visit for both of us. We met some of the most amazing, like minded people, that resonated with our value system and ideas. We felt like we had arrived home. Inside the hot springs we chatted, laughed, and talked for hours with people from all over the world. Married, single, same-sex, parents with kids, older couples, younger couples, you name it we saw it. All body types. This was comforting for me. I was nervous about my body. I am almost 50 and my body has been through child birth several times and natural aging and sagging. It happens. Nobody cared what our body looked like. Or at least, that is the impression I got from the whole experience. Nobody pointed fingers, laughed, or made wise cracks. 

People were at the springs for a variety of reasons, but after our conversations with a few, it felt like they were there to relax, let go, take some yoga classes, enjoy the outdoor scenery, be inspired, and breathe. By the end of the three day weekend, I missed the kids, but I didn't want to come home. It felt too good to be true to have found a place that was so peaceful and accepting. A place that we could be with strangers without our clothes one minute and then eating dinner with them, fully dressed, the next minute. 

I left that weekend with new friends, a new perspective of myself, a new lease on life, a new me. I knew I needed to do this but I wasn't sure why. I know why now. For me it was the final removing of a belief system about nudity that been preached to me from the time I was young, nudity was wrong, nudity was evil. There is shame and regret attached to this too. It was my perception, from an early childhood, that it was all for the purpose of recreating. Nudity was looked down upon and was something that should be hidden especially when it came to women. Women should be covered up always to save face, to prevent a bad reputation, and to hide our flaws. 

As a woman, I wanted to let it all go and be free, my flaws and all. I wanted to lay out on the rocks at midnight, naked, and watch the stars. I wanted to sit in the sauna and then go sit cross legged outside and meditate in the cool crisp air, naked. I wanted the freedom to just be a human in human form without clothes, makeup, or society telling me to change. I needed this to happen and I am so glad I followed through with this bucket list item.

I can't wait to go back and neither can Cory. We both felt so alive when we left and refreshed. Our spirits were high and our outlook had been changed forever about nudity, freedom, and self care. It was easier than we thought, and less scary on the inside once you take the leap of faith to do it. I don't know what we expected but what we got was nothing like it. People were open and accepting. We are planning a trip for Mother's Day. They host all types of weekend retreats. In May, they offer a special Mother's Day Family weekend. 

Here is a direct link to the January workshops (click link for more information) and weekends in case you are interested in attending.

Lodging Information (click link)

I know that this experience is not for everyone. I understand that we all come different upbringings and religious back grounds and for some, this might be bordering on an over the top experience.  If I could go back and tell my younger self one thing, it would be to do this long before now. I came home and told all my kids of my experience and how I wanted them to do it now, and not wait, like I did for the right time, the right body, the right what-ever our ego tries to protect us from. Do your research and find the best place for you to shed your clothes. I don't think I could go just anywhere and have the same experience. I know that Breitenbush Hot Springs was the right place for me and my family. As an added note, you don't have to be naked. I saw people with swim suits, some bottoms only. 

Remember, be you. Be authentic. Be carefree. 

This is not an ad. 





Sunday, December 3, 2017

My Reflection #poetry



This semester I took a creative poetry class. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not. I was nervous the first workshop. I felt vulnerable reading my poems to the class and then sitting there, silent. Waiting for the chance to defend a word, a punctuation, a space, the emotion, the meaning, etc...

We have 15 students. We round our tables and chairs to create a big circle and for two and half hours we listen and talk about poetry.  We offer suggestions and interpretations to those who have written the poems for the week.

The poem below is a revision of a poem I did titled, Two Versions.  I didn't get a lot of feedback to change much, other than, to expand the story and I did. I am amazed at how it turned out. Mostly because this class was not an instructional poetry type class but more of a workshop. Almost, as if, we were expected to know how to write poetry before we arrived. Most of us had written before, but did we know the rules about writing poetry? No.  Critiquing other works and having our own work picked apart has been a great learning experience for me. 

The poem below is read from left to right, the white space is on purpose. Almost as if, there were two poems: one read left to right and one read with the extended words on the right. Try it both ways and see what you think.

I hope you enjoy the poetry pieces each week. Personally, this has been a wonderful experience for me to explore and create a new type of writing.




My Reflection 
by Sherron Watson

Today I see me and                                                          you see her
two versions of the                                         same person
One that I let you see,                with smiles
and perfect rhythm,                                              solo and strong
The other,the real me,               with two left feet
imperfect frame, weak,                                               bruised and sore


It is a dance of passions,                       a tango of desire
Twirling in rhythm to a                                           song that loops
Over and over, I listen to the           movement
trying to be one with the music,                                         with this life
keep moving, waltz,                     sway back and forth
three steps, two steps,                                                                   one step, back


It works until it doesn’t                               and people
discover the rehearsal was                                                 better than 
the performance, hijacking the             dual personality
and creating a new sound,                                                     a new dance
a routine of imperfections,                                      lost in space
dancing without a partner,                                                                  alone and solo


I stop.                                                        I stare.


I catch my reflection, the flicker of                            my hand
curved, arched, ready to move,                                                                tired 
there, there between the brow,               you can’t hide
I see the sorrow in                                                            my smile
A hint of darkness with                                                                         a beam of light
my spotlight, my image,                        the real me


The music slows and fades                           from my ears
Our eyes meet, you and me, it’s                                                                    all I see
tears falling, hurting inside,                                             wanting 
it all to end, we will                                                                        some how collide
forcing this partnership to unite,              motion forward
it’s too late, the music begins,                                        our hands drop


We are expected to blend,                              to be
partners, choreograph this life,                                                                oneness
playing the part,                                      swans in the night
My reflection laughs,                                                                    jumps to her toes
I slowly follow,                              moving to point
swirling in motion,                                                in sync we bow


This is me,                                                        the one you see
the one looking back,                we are the same
Act after act,                                                                                 changing our costumes
night after night,                                          watching the crowd
Perfecting our lines,                 creating our stage
Two versions, my reflection,                                                you and me


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Serendipity #poetry


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for my family and friends that are here, in our home, eating good food and partaking of great company. I am blessed. This year I have seen myself grow.  Growth in ways I only dreamed about in my past. Part of this growth has been setting boundaries, prioritizing my mental health, saying YES way more than NO, and having a grateful heart. Showing kindness to those around me, loving more, and worrying less. I am so happy! 

I have a little bucket list that I have kept for a few years. It all began a few years ago when I could feel time rushing by and me feeling like I was watching it slowly slip away, one day at a time. I am proud to say that I have done almost all of the things on my list. It wasn't a list to be completed by the time I die, but a list of things to be done before I turned 50. I turn 50 in April of 2018.

My final item was being nude in a public place. This scared me to death! I wasn't sure I could do it, to be honest. When the experience actually happened it was nothing like what I had expected it to be. I will write more about this experience in one of my Sifting Through Life pieces on an upcoming Saturday issue. 

I wrote this poem as I sat on the last day, outside, watching the river roar by. It was the clearest and bluest sky possible. The yellow leaves were like flames along the riverfront. So bright and peaceful, swaying in the slight breeze. I was relaxed and soooooo very happy. I was at peace, hence the title.

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is on it? Have you had any experiences that stirred up fear and then when it was done, the fear was gone or seemed silly? 


Serendipity
By Sherron Watson

Peel away the shame,                   our clothes
Open the mind,                 journey
to a place and time,                     free
from society,           social angst
Step into the pools warmth,           liquid sunshine
Let the earthy aroma rise up,                      inhale the scent
Breathe deep into hungry lungs,       mellow
Relax, sit,                      deep in mindless thought
meditate, escape, fluid in water,                 our bodies
float,           our skin
like a sponge,                 absorbing the minerals
Our minds,                                     clearing the landscape
of life as we drift to the center,                        reconnect to
 the universe, finding strength,               renewal
Hearing nothing,                   yet aware of everything
Our souls delight to find,  to see,                         to feel
transcendent knowledge,                  peaceful minds
Joyful hearts ripple ripe with rejuvenating awakening,              balance
Take me here, again, please,                  sooner than later
to this place in the mountains with an alpine view,           yellow bursts of life, Autumn
Basking in nudity, mind, and soul,                    body grounded
The springs light a flame, spark a dream,                       burn deep
upon the skin and divine truth,              sheer serendipity

Can we return soon?                

Why Keep a Journal? #artiststoolbox

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