After calling out some obstacles along my way, the path has been cleared for a greater purpose.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”-Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi
Perhaps there is a reason I have so many of my inspirational thoughts in the kitchen. I don’t always enjoy cooking. The question, “What’s for dinner?” still continues to give me a small amount of anxiety. However, I began to appreciate the art of cooking and all the special ingredients discovered in family gatherings around the kitchen table. Precious moments were also found in this simple service to my hungry family as a perfect time to process the evocative happenings of the day.
When I moved my writing from the kitchen to a desk, I believe I brought the spirit of the kitchen with me. My intention for beginning this blog was to share with my children and their children small, yet significant, lessons that I’ve learned throughout my life. Overcoming apprehension as I shared my writing publically awakened a greater purpose.
Helping others, while following a path I felt guided to pursue, became my deeper hope. And this hope continues to shape my writing style and voice.
I believe writing is similar to photography as writers share their unique perspective, presenting a view from a subjective angle. My passion for writing appears to match my photography style as I love focusing in on a world that exists right in front of us, yet can still appear hidden. The intensity of some of the images I’ve seen while following WordPress and Instagram photographers have been mind-expanding.
So many artists serve others with their inspiring work, fulfilling a passion, being driven to create. I am one of those “others”. It is with great admiration and recognition of their work that I summarize…when we follow our dreams and passions, we lose ourselves in the work of serving. And, what we find sometimes is the best gift of all.
-Erika K Rothwell
“And one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear, but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.” — Paulo Coelho
Slowly, I trudge on. Fear tries to stop me in my tracks. When I speak of fear, it’s not panic or fright dreading something horrible. Rather, an uneasiness that lightly gnaws at my confidence causing me to believe that perhaps I may be a little too bold to tread in a world of unknown outcomes with only hope in my backpack.
My writing has grown from the seeds of momentary epiphanies to an appreciation so great, I desire to encourage and inspire with insight. This monumental endeavor creates small episodic heart flutters and vague insecurity. From a past of seeking accomplishment for recognition, my concern is remaining authentic on all levels.
Yes, we all write what we know, but some days I feel I just don’t know.
This unknowing creates a stumbling block that could potentially grow into a mountain. It is here where I seek to encourage myself with words of resilience and put fear where it belongs, buried by hope. And so, I have reset courage and continue my journey.
– Erika K Rothwell
“Life has its own rhythms, we just have to learn how to dance.” – Cristian Andrei Nica
Self-expression is discovered in each individual’s dance style. We all feel the rhythm differently, uniquely perceiving the tempo as each of our steps moves according to the way we feel it.
It’s difficult to think your way through dancing. You must embrace and engage the music with your heart.
When you feel what you write, your words dance with the rhythm of your life.
There can be no naysayers as they look upon your heart. When we don’t feel well with our soul, we may look upon someone else’s joy as self-serving. Yet it is the example of a joyous heart that feeds us hope.
Lately, I question whether I’ve become a little too optimistic. And I realize I may have just learned to dance without worrying about what onlookers may think. Others who have ventured before me have given me that courage. I share openly with an audience I do not know personally, yet feel connected to on another level.
Am I offended that you may not like the way I dance?
No, I appreciate your perspective. For it is in the differences that we connect.
I believe it is not for us to examine another’s motivation. Optimism drives my hope that we can all learn to appreciate someone near or far who has taken the struggles that life has handed them and learned how to dance!
I look forward to continuing my journey while reading and being inspired by yours. You make “dancing” all that much more special for me.
-Erika K Rothwell
I have a confession to share with you. My hope journey comes only after a great battle in the wilderness I spoke of yesterday.
As I have been reading many of my readers’ and other writers’ stories I am amazed at the individual struggles and triumphs faced by each and every one of us as we travel through the seasons of life. And I am humbly reminded of the time when I wandered not only through the wilderness but also in the dark.
For me, there was a beacon in the darkness, first a glimmer that soon moved to a guiding light. My writing lit up the shadows, and many of my early poems share the exposure of my sunless days.
I would now like to share one of my poems with you all and embrace the pain and process that was necessary to navigate to arrive at 2019 – The Hope Journey.
My hope is to publish a book of the poems I wrote in the sea of suffering. Lost in the waves, my soul was revealed as I struggled to make peace with what I could not understand. The gift of healing through words is available as a beacon for all. And this greatest gift of all is called Hope.
Glimmer of hope
Sliver of light opens
The passageway to another place
Streaming rays point the way
Striving desperately to capture
Unwittingly suffocating the momentary essence
Crying out for its return
Elusive mystery refuses to obey