Wednesday, August 26, 2015


"We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness."  ~Brene Brown, Rising Strong

I'm in the midst of something big...standing up....  I guess that doesn't sound so big, however it is the bravest thing I have ever done and  it feels huge.  I've spent a great deal of my life trying to build a place that keeps everyone happy and safe. I've taken care of people and I've nurtured dreams. Tolerated let downs with a smile and a story to protect those who do the letting down and kept the lights on in a broken place.  When my kids stumble and they do, I wrap my arms around them and fall with them, protecting them from the hard ground and cushioning the blows, harsh words and opinions of those who aren't looking out for their interest. I've lived in horrible run down unsafe houses but painted the walls and made white curtains to make them feel like home so everyone feels safe and loved. I've spent my life being and doing what is expected. Worked jobs and pursued a career that looked successful but I felt like a phony, going through the motions.  And in the process. I got lost.  I excused away the voice inside of me until I became a porcelain doll face with a frozen smile instead of the real girl, the messy, funny,  tangled, emotional, intuitive, longing, creative girl, the one that doesn't really fit in most places.  I declared myself to be one thing but knew deep I was selling out and being the very thing I was afraid of, broken and invisible.  Asking for nothing in return and pretending it was okay but truly getting a bit pissy about never being offered anything..just because I am here.  I built this little brick house but now I don't want to live in it. 

Don't get me wrong.  My kids, they are the world to me...just right the way they are.  I love them just like I want to, with my WHOLE HEART....And maybe it's the fact that they are grown or on their way to grown and they have left some big spaces empty in my world. Maybe I'm adjusting to what it feels like to be alone with myself and my truth.  Maybe it's my age and I'm not as inclined to be what everyone else is expecting or needs.  And I'm okay if they aren't okay with it.  Maybe I just want to fly a little bit and find out what fresh air in my face feels like.  Maybe I don't want anything less that what is absolutely real and authentic.  Maybe.....I just want to stand up, be seen and heard.  Maybe I just want to be me unapologetically.  Maybe I have learned to be compassionate and loving to me.  Maybe that makes me whole for the first time....

I can feel the ground swell underneath me.  I can feel the energy crackling off my fingertips, I can feel the fierceness of my heart as the rumble grows almost like the beat of a drum from down deep.  Every day a step or two taken in the direction I choose.  Looking at what is broken and crumbling and using it to build a future on or letting it go, whichever is the truest thing...It's personal and it's visible, this rumble of mine.  I spent a great deal of time crying and lamenting and wondering when I would understand the suffering and brokenness but never did I run from it, I stayed knowing it was important and it was.  At long last I do understand it.  I'm not forgetting or wishing away the harsh truths that I fought so hard to look at without blinders.  I'm gathering what the truths taught me as that is where the rumble came from......I am not afraid of the rumble as it is my story,  rather,  I think I will dance to it .. 

Be wildly you....


Friday, August 14, 2015

Ta Da !......

 When I was a young girl, my dad liked to be silly in the middle of ordinary things. One my favorite silly things was when he would get eggs out of the refrigerator while my mom made breakfast and against her protests he would toss them one at a time. Like a circus performer and he even said "HUP" with each toss. She would protest and tell him to stop and he would just keep saying "HUP" and tossing the eggs.   I would giggle at her frustration and his circus tosses and when all the eggs were thrown and caught both he and I would throw our hands in the air and shout "TA DAAAAA!".....  A small circus act in our kitchen on a Sunday morning and it was worth celebrating.  

I find myself still throwing my arms in the air and shouting "TA DAAA!" for so many things, a well made dinner, a big project finished, a great idea or even a well mopped floor. After all those things worth celebrating I would think.  But lately as I tackle harder stuff, the inside stuff that is hard to even look at let alone out to play, I am ready to celebrate even those kind of little victories. Boundaries set (boundaries are totally a badass move for a girl like me),  saying no when I would have said yes but wanted to say no, being a parent when it's not a popular parental moment in the eyes of your child.  Cutting off my hair fearlessly, saving $5 instead of getting an iced coffee,  learning a new craft or technique....facing a fear (not like swimming with sharks, that will never happen).  I love my Ta DA moments .

In my handmade business world there are people I follow, people I have come to know and love and people who are in the same type of business as mine.  Each of us are forging our way because our vision and passions are too great not to do so. We are navigating uncharted waters and pioneering our way through the wilderness on our own.  There are days that are not great, some that are totally sucky and some that are amazingly wonderful. Small victories ...I also see them in people who aren't trying to create a business but creating a life that works for them, navigating their own kinds of passions and truths. More sweet small victories. And thanks to social media we get to see all of these moments. Don't forget that we should be celebrating with everyone in their moments of success and sitting down next to them in the moments of figuring out what to do with failure or setbacks.  I just think it would be so wonderful if we all became the Ta Da girls and guys for each other. When we can't see our own bits of victory and growth, hopefully someone we love will see it for us and become our celebrators and encouragers.    We just should all have our arms in the air and give a little Ta DA for all the victories and successes. We all need a little circus act in our lives and for sure we need some celebrating. Amaze yourself, amazing the world, throw your arms wide open and cheer...TA DA!

artist Unknown: found on  Pinterest

 Happy Day 
<3 Barbara

Friday, August 7, 2015

Riding Dragons.

 "We're all afraid. We just have to get to the point where we understand it doesn't mean that we can't also be brave."
~Brene Brown~

I've been waking up at night a lot...actually for the past 4-5 years...And when I'm doing my best to put the drunken squirrel party in my brain back to sleep, the dragons show up.  You know the fears and worries of life, my dragons. At 2 am they are pretty big and scary. I wanted to run and hide and keep the dragons out of my house, out of my life. I didn't want to have them there because they are HUGE and frightening.  And they don't leave even if you cry and beg them to leave you alone. I've tried all that. Whining doesn't help with things that scare you. Trust me on that.....

As it turns out....the stuff the dragons brought are probably the very things I needed to face and stop running from ..... And I needed to find a way to make peace because sleep deprivation was not the way to get through life. I needed to turn around and face the dragons right in the eye.  It isn't easy for me to do all of that but seriously...I was too tired to live like that. Chronic exhaustion sucks. Chronic fear sucks more.

I decided to entertain the dragons..Welcome to my bedroom, have a seat and let's talk a bit.  Stop being scary and just let me get used to you so I can stop running..... And they did. With my heart beating and my brain screaming RUN!  I let the fears settle in and put them in an order I could deal with one at a time. As I loosened my grip they got a little less scary.  And my time spent wrestling with them in the middle of the night shortened. The less I fought, the easier the struggle became until it was just truths wanting to be heard and accepted.  

I started to eat better, exercise and that helped but mostly I just listened to the fears and told them we would be okay.  I stopped running from, fighting with and being afraid of the dragons.  I decided that all these things that scared me the most were the very things I needed to embrace.  I decided to stand strong, to be brave and to ride my dragons. To let them become part of my strength. To fly. 

And ride them I have. I'm not saying fear doesn't come creeping in at night anymore. It does, there are some big scary but amazingly honest things ahead, that is how life works. Big scary amazing things and I'm okay with that. I don't have all the answers and I never will, it takes a bit of faith, bravery and trusting your dragon to face what is coming your way.  Don't be afraid of what frightens you, don't fight dragons in the night, don't run from anything. Get some sleep, be brave and for goodness sake ride your dragon through the night sky.