April 14, 2014
My latest feature article for Muses & Visionaries Magazine‘s entitled “Turning Over the Tapestry” provided me with unexpected lessons in tenacity, courage and passion. Though I was very pleased with the outcome (pages 116-121), my own journey through the writing of it was filled with many unexpected challenges.
I was thrilled to have this environmentally conscious assignment for my favorite women’s magazine and couldn’t wait to begin. Yet despite a fabulous start, things began to plummet the more I poured myself into how the article might be received instead of simply letting the work flow through me. By getting too wrapped up in the final result, I nearly missed the joyful artistry of the creative process.
What transpired was my first case of writer’s block. It was horrible, but thanks to threads of wisdom left by other incredibly talented women writers, I finally found a pathway through it.
After many sleepless nights, I turned back to the well-worn pages of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron the very day before my deadline. I used my Morning Pages Journal in a final attempt to write out the issues key to my block.
Through these simple disciplines of journaling and prayer, I was led back to a quote I’d read days earlier in another of my favorite books called Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach:
“It was as if I had worked for years on the wrong side of a tapestry, learning accurately all its lines and figures, yet always missing its color and sheen.” – Journalist Anna Louise Strong (1935)
The quote was presented within the context of that profound moment when we finally come to the awareness that “creating a beautiful life is our deepest calling.” By reading those specific words at that precise moment of divine synchronicity, I was propelled into a familiar, sacred space of understanding once again: Writing is my beautiful life.
Within minutes, I’d written a brand-new intro with an accompanying title I loved that paid homage to a strong female journalist while capturing the true heart of my own article’s theme. I typed, “Just as the underside of a tapestry with its many knots and ties is vital to the finished piece, we can begin to appreciate the interconnectivity of every thread of our own textiles when we realize they each have a unique story to reveal.”
Although that sentence didn’t make the final (beautiful!) version of the article (Read it here: Issue 3- Eco Friendly Textiles), I knew my charge was to simply write and release those specific words.
And at some appropriate time, perhaps they might even be spun, pieced and quilted into a little story all their own.
January 18, 2014
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”- Proverbs 13:12
I’m beginning to learn that the timeframe of my life is mostly (totally) out of my hands. I pretty much have zero control of when my dreams will finally be realized. Zip. Nadda.
Take a couple of weeks ago for instance. I walked into the gorgeous women’s co-working space of Muses & Visionaries ready to embrace a productive New Year. Two minutes later, I’m trembling uncontrollably, stomach in knots, watching boxes of Issue Two of M&V Magazine being delivered through the front door and into the hands of the brilliant women who created it.
Because inside those boxes, a personal dream of my own was waiting to be unwrapped.
Flash back (many) years, to a quiet teenager sitting cross-legged on yellow shag carpet flipping through stacks of the latest fashion magazines. She appreciates all the gorgeous photos and celebrity updates, but she is instead drawn inexplicably to each one of articles. She reads every word. She fantasizes – not about being one of the beautiful models on a shoot in NYC – but about becoming a contributing writer with a little bio and a byline. And so, she writes. Diaries, essays, poetry, short stories – all she wants to do is sit in her room and write.
But eventually that dreamer-girl grows up and gets a sensible degree in a solid healthcare profession. She marries, works, moves around the country, works, moves back to her hometown, tries (forever) to have a baby, works, has a miracle baby, tries (forever again) to have a second baby, works, finally gives up her second baby dream and moves to Florida with her little family to begin a brave, new life and more sensible work.
But her kind and sensitive husband encourages her to take some time off her work. He sees she is grieving and dying a little bit more inside each and every day. He encourages her to explore her options. He challenges her to return to her childhood dream. He sends her to a writer’s workshop for her birthday. He empowers her to take a chance.
So, she writes. She walks. She works with sea turtles. She writes some more. She drives on school field trips. She cries, and she waits (and waits and waits) for whatever comes next.
Sad stuff happens. Joyful stuff happens. Many years pass. Her son grows.
Friends come and go. And still she walks and she writes…
…and she braces herself as she waits some more.
And then, on a beautiful, cold, spectacularly bright Tuesday morning a stack of fresh M&V Magazines are placed into her arms by a smiling blond-haired angel named Sasha. They are surprisingly heavy. They smell delicious. They feel like Hope.
She looks down into the radiant face of Lesley Stahl on the cover (sorry, Ms. Stahl, but the metaphor works) and as she cradles the bundle close to her heart she realizes on an intuitive level the gift of Grace that she has just received.
For although she was always a writer at heart, now she is a writer at work.
October 21, 2013
On our Monday morning walk, Lily and I encountered these images all within about twenty feet of each other. Here’s what we think they were trying to teach us:
When those around you are dropping like flies…
Hold tightly to Love…
Because holding the space can be lonely at times…
But even in the face of great adversity –
Make it a great day, friends.
October 5, 2013
It was quite a busy summer up here in the Treehouse. Our baby bird flew off to high school. To be honest, this chick hasn’t quite come to terms with it all, yet here it is October.
I’ve struggled to make sense of these joyful years of motherhood breezing past far too quickly. Working on the fly like I did nearly all of summer between coffee houses and car lines – scrambling to meet deadlines while trying to live in the moment with my kid – obviously stopped being effective long ago. A snippy, shrill and not too fun “me” continues to inhabit this normally serene, creative little space.
It’s way past time for her to fly away, too. Something has to give…
Last night, I caught sight of my own words advocating self-care, fitness and focus in my latest article for Muses & Visionaries magazine “Safe Stretching: What’s the Most Effective Way to Improve Flexibility?” and felt like a complete hypocrite.
But at the same time, my own healthful words inspired me with hope. Because if the same old bird who wrote that article earlier this summer, can write this desperate autumn confessional now, then something must be shifting, right?
Check back soon. I’ll keep you posted…
August 27, 2013
I spent a lovely, rainy morning with some delightfully creative folks at The Historical Society of Palm Beach County. On the way out of the museum, I spotted this gorgeous little beauty:
If you’ve spent much time around me, you likely know that in addition to tree houses, I am an absolutely freak for old antique typewriters. This gorgeous old girl was SO INCREDIBLY SMALL (seriously, like the size of a basketball).
In my excitement, I did manage to ask the kind docent if I could snap a flash-free photo with my cell phone. Thank goodness the answer was “sure.” Thanks!
August 2, 2013
We’re thrilled to have a new wellness and fitness article in this fabulous publication: Muses & Visionaries Magazine. Subscribe to this exciting magazine today to be sure you receive their very first print issue debuting Fall 2013. Gorgeous photography and timely, relevant articles for women.
Click here to read Robin’s article “Women and Sleeplessness: Causes and the Exercise Solution.”
July 25, 2013
Just in case you missed our June article, here it is, too:
Stay tuned for more news on additional health and wellness articles coming soon from Green Treehouse Media.
(We’re kind of proud to be putting over two decades of Physical Therapy professional practice to work in this newest way for our clients- sharing our healthcare knowledge while still following our creative passion for writing).
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot