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Creative Life

Take Comfort in What I’m Telling You

Dear Younger Rose,

By the time I write this to you, things that seem impossible to you have already been done a dozen times.

Publishing books is easy.

Connecting with readers is easy.

And making a good living writing, channeling, sharing creativity and being SEEN is easy. It’s LIFE now.

I believe you that it feels hard and impossible. It happens anyway. You can’t stop it, it’s just how our life goes. Isn’t that a comfort? So try not to kick and fight so much along the way. Certainly don’t berate yourself. It all turns out. I know because I live it now.

My life is good now because of all the things you’ve been doing, even the things that at the moment seem like nothing. Starting to write a few short blog posts has led to books on creativity and support, and professional speaking tours that open people up to themselves and their Muse.

Lizzie’s story as a trilogy is complete and wonderful! It’s widely read and well-loved. It has changed people’s lives. It’s beautiful writing and it has been pivotal in the story of women, identity and worth.

And yeah, I’ve met Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman. (And once you get a letter from Older-Older Rose you’re going to find out and have to accept that we’ve been given an Astrid Lindgren award. Pretty cool, huh?)

But the most amazing and wonderful thing is that you’ve kept writing. I’ve kept writing. We write every day. I live a life I love because of you, because of all the shit and tangled stuff you’re stumbling through. It really has made a huge difference. Thank you for doing that, especially when it just feels like wasted energy, like spinning your wheels. It’s not, I promise.

I have a 401k and a retirement account. I have full health care. Yes, I finally got braces. It was easier and quicker than you think it will be.

And Ennis turns out amazing, like you always knew he would. He’s still my best teacher and the most beautiful person I’ve ever met.

And things are good with Jay, too. I know that’s been a sore subject for a while and you don’t really want to open up and hear it, but all that messy, painful stuff wasn’t such a big deal. It works out, really, and it’s not just tolerable. We really do understand each other better. Again, all that messy shit you’ve been going through that feels so pointless and painful is what has made all this possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The house got painted.

The laundry got folded.

The addition got finished.

The savings account filled up.

The credit cards went to zero.

The cat lived along and happy life.

You got a dog who was wonderful.

Your mom moved to Grand Marais.

You forgave yourself for not being able to save your parents’ marriage.

You started writing letters again and now I get to open the p.o. box to a rainbow of lovely words from around the world.

You biked around Britain with your family.

You learned how to do acupuncture and energy healing.

You got back into exercising (and you dropped off and got back on again, but you accepted the cycle).

You acted in so many plays! So many great plays!

And you opened up to people you love.

You gathered your tribe around you, and now I am wise and grounded and I get to be free with them– I get to share and love freely and fearlessly, and I’m so happy.

That weight on your chest is gone.

You DO get enough sleep.

You DO have a healthy life. It really just was the young-child-years that felt to busy and exhausting. Don’t worry, you don’t go back to them.

I know you’re aching for all of this now. I feel the waves of your deep longing across time. Take comfort in what I’m telling you: that it all comes to good. This life comes to good! Every moment of imperfection is not to be seen as evidence of failure– they become so unremarkable with time! In the golden light of where I am now. The edges soften and things make so much sense.

I know you don’t want to waste anything.

I know you want to be enough.

I know you want to rest.

Be enough.

Rest.

Let go of everything and nothing is wasted.

Every good thing? You deserve it.

I give it to you as a gift because I adore you, no other reason.

Take it easily and do whatever you want with it– there are no strings attached.

If you would like to send me a present, my favorite thing in the world is your joy. Your light. What I want most is for you to live easily, to feel the space around you, to know that you are exactly enough, exactly right, exactly the only way I could ever possibly want you to be. I don’t mean be kind to yourself in a lie. I mean be alive and joyful and free in the truth that there is nothing wrong with you; there is nothing wrong here. Nothing wrong at all.

You are exactly right.

I love you completely.

Goodnight.

-R.

I Took a Solo Retreat

I took a 5 day solo retreat in early August.

I was scared– so much time, what would I do?

Just me and myself– what would we talk about?

I sensed I shouldn’t make it a “production” retreat.

I needed to recharge.

I would do my standard amount of fiction writing for Friday and Monday to stay on track– that was it.

I journaled.

I read two YA novels.

I sat by the lake and did nothing– was blank, like the stones I sat on.

I swam often because it was hot.

I paddled my kayak to the Palisades, one of my favorite Boundary Waters spots.

I listened to loons.

I listened to my own strange circuitous, critical, whimsical loop of thoughts.

I slept about 12 hours a day.

I loved it.

I ate blueberries, half-crouched and grazing like a bear (in a pink bikini).

I talked (aloud) to myself.

I lived without pressure, hurry or expectation.

It reset me.

It brought me back to myself:

Home.

The Northern Lights Came to my Birthday Party

The Northern Lights came to my birthday party.

It was not yet 10:30, in town, with a nearly-full moon– but when we looked up from our backyard campfire, the sky was dancing in green and purple and white.

We cried out.

We climbed the swing set for a better look.

We ran into the (dark and quiet) street and marveled at this good luck.

Everyone said it was for me– a sign for my 33rd year and how fortuitous it would be.

This is a magical year– I felt it before the sky sent its message.

Art.

Extravagance.

Natural alignment.

Being present.

Living locally (rather than virtually).

We took no pictures, posted no status updates.

Instead we laid down on the still-warm asphalt and watched the sky above us shift, change and glow.

We savored good food, stared at flames, shared five conversations at once.

Here’s to being alive.

When You Have Too Many Ideas

What do you do when you have too many ideas?

You set them free. You turn them loose.

When they rush up and crowd around you, you say, “Back up, back up.”

They are frisky, like horses and not-quite-grown puppies.

They are like children and will get as close as they can.

The thing you must know and believe and trust when you send them away, is you are not killing them. You are not banishing them forever (or at all!).

You are living in alignment, honoring the present moment.

And if you can trust that you, will not panic when they come up to sniff your trousers, nuzzle in your hair, or search for an apple in your pocket.

When you relax and sense the timing of things, the natural progression and lifespan and maturation, you will be able to enjoy your brief encounters, let them nudge your subconscious, and then go back to play.

This world is timeless.

There is space for you.

Nothing is lost.