Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas: The Day After.

It was a fun and different Christmas holiday this year.  

On Christmas Eve, we've had a tradition of seeing the downtown holiday lights that started out of necessity.  Small children needed to be out of the house while Santa's helper hustled to get everything wrapped up.  But over the years, as I was able to get more wrapped up before midnight Christmas Eve need became a desire to celebrate the city lights and music and magic of the season together. 
This year, all the 'children' were in town and off work and old enough now to go out to an adult lunch at a downtown brew pub. We sampled the new brews, ate our choice of pub grub and talked about news and sports and, yes, even politics.

Christmas Day, our tradition is a warm and cozy pajama day.  Everyone gets new pj's, opens presents from Santa while drinking coffee and eggnog.  This year, my daughter added a delicious strata whipped up on Christmas Eve with the help of her husband and brother. It was baking while we celebrated and then, enjoyed with juice and mimosas.  And, more coffee, of course.  Then, we spent the day playing with our new 'toys', watching movies, reading or playing video games.  

Dinner is traditionally a beef roast.  This year, it was done on the Traeger while the fixings;  caramelized new potatoes, garlic sauted broccoli in tomato cups and rolls were done inside by my dear husband.  Clean up is a group affair, so no one gets left with dish duty.  Dessert was later over a game of Cards Against Humanity.    

It was relaxing, hilarious and yummy.

Today, the day after, for me is usually very quiet.  Children are off to work or their homes or other obligations.  Today, was also a little different.  My daughter, son in law and I did a quick errand or two.  I went home and they did more out and about.  I worked on a few pieces in the studio, wrote and did a little tidying up.  Then we all enjoyed my daughter's made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese.

Ok, I still have to tidy up but that's fine by me.

Because a home for the holidays that looks, sounds, smells and feels like home to everyone is the best gift to get for Christmas and even the day after.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Flowing all along.

Flow is my word of the year for 2014.  I've done many blogs on it throughout the year but as the end of the year approaches, it feels right to bring it up again.   Especially at this time of year when the flow of my life can get more rapid with perhaps some rough patches like rocks, whirlpools and white water.

I see that I react to the holiday flow in two ways.  Rushing and Resisting.

Some days, I get caught up in the fast and furious flow of holiday busyness.  Making lists.  Running errands.  Dusting and decorating.  Baking and wrapping.  Now, all of this can be wonderful and joyful unless you're like me, rushing too fast to notice it all.  I'm so busy trying to get it all done first, which begs the questions-who waved the start flag and is it supposed to be a race?  The answers- I don't have a clue and no.

Enter resistance. 

I get tired and grumpy and sick of all the rushing.  So, I stop.  I drink tea, put my feet up and veg out on junk tv.  I ignore my studio work while I tell myself that it's the holidays and time for relaxation and rest.  But what I'm really doing is resisting doing what I love which is relaxing and fun to stop myself from rushing around in a grumpy holiday haze.

Flow along with it all, whispers a small voice.

Ah. Ha. The light clicks on.  Flow is, just that, flow.

Flow is all of it.  Picture a stream during a year's worth of weather and seasonal changes.  There are rainstorms and high rushing water.  There's sun and heat and slow, muddy meandering.  There are rocks and resistance.  And sometimes, beaver dams, logs or debris  completely stop the flow and for a while, the stream stops.

So, maybe, it isn't grumpy me or harried holidays or terrible traffic or junk's just life in its own winding way...flowing all along.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Light, Stars and Magic.

There are times in our lives when the stars are aligned and magic happens.  

When it happens, though, we often don't see it.  We're so focused on climbing our mountain of goals that we miss our  own milestones.   We keep on trucking along, seeing our trips and slips and near misses more than we see our endurance and progress.

Do we miss our own movement forward because we don't look back?  

No.  I think we miss it because we do look back, too much.  

All those experiences that left bruises and scars along the way, we carry with us.  We remember those.  But we forget that there's something else that we carry with us in every moment that can bring us further along if we let it: our light.

We are each alight with energy, love and possibility at birth.  Everyone's differences are their own unique light wave that's meant to travel and grow and shine.  But, sometimes, life brings physical, mental, emotional and spiritual storms our way and to protect ourselves we cover our light.  Sometimes, we keep it covered for a very long time.  I've watched this happen to my children, my friends and, yes, myself.  

It's harder to let our light shine than it is to stay low.  But doing so serves no one, really.  We say we don't miss it, but we do and our body and those around us do too.  The world is missing a gorgeous soprano, kick ass designer, creative storyteller, inspiring dancer, artist and chef, amazing gymnast and  pitcher, gifted teacher and healer.  

Be heroic today.  Let your light shine...because when it shines in truth, everyone wins.

The light inside each of us, our own inner star is where the magic truly lies.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

As The Wheel Turns: Throwing Away the Bah Humbugs.

It's that time of year when the world gets a little crazier.  Some of it's crazy good like twinkling snowflake lights, my Santa collection and my husband's Christmas trains.    And some not so good like all those coulda, woulda, shoulda lists.

The other day, I had a bad case of the Bah Humbugs.

My monkey mind was busy jumping from the past tree to the future tree and back again completely skipping the present, of course.  I didn't hear it or see it at first.  All I saw was the work I had to do and how my knee hurt from climbing up and down the step stool putting up and taking down decorations.  Finally, doing a steady stream of complaining to my husband, I suddenly heard my thoughts out loud and stopped. I usually take the month of December off of studio work.  But I was shocked at how cranky I was, so I knew it was time for a change. 

I decided to throw away my list for the day and throw clay instead.
Two hours later, my mind was quiet.  I felt a soft, bubbling kind of energy.  The biggest surprise of all... my knee had quit hurting entirely.  My bad case of the Bah Humbugs was completely gone.

I will still decorate, make my lists and check them twice but I'm adding one new thing. The wheel.  Because I need to throw clay to keep the Bah Humbugs away!