Find Your Meaning

Find Your Meaning

You cannot speed read the book of life.  You can live life at a very high speed, but you will not fully understand what is important in “real life”.

If you resort to using cliff notes or spark notes, you will only find a shallow rendition of contextual meaning.  There will be no time to discover and respond to the question, “What does that mean to me?”

The unhealthy pursuit of snippets, just to get by, only shortchanges us. We eventually find ourselves backed in a corner, curled in the fetal position crying out for someone to help us with our unanswered quandaries. 

Condensed versions of life hide the brilliance of truth.  Rather than rely on them, take the time to thoroughly read through the passages.  

Each word, each letter digs deeper than you first see on the surface.

The resulting thoughts or feelings can move a mountain within your being, if you read them right. Unfortunately, abbreviations cannot help illuminate the discovery.  Rather years of observation, research, and reading culminate in that empirical moment when a revelation takes place deep within your soul.  Your moment is a culmination of intensive life work, a manifestation of invested time and experience.   

True soul work happens behind the scenes while noticing the details and focusing on individual words and phrases as they strike the chord of your meaning. They sink deeper within you until you eventually grasp their significance.

Instant gratification, instant fame, and internet sensations are a hoax.

Your life is not a hoax any more than it is a snippet.

Go deeper, don’t live on fast forward.  Each frame, each day, each hour has a meaning.  Your life is a full story.  Don’t shortcut yourself, by accepting a shallow rendition.

©Erika K Rothwell

Use Your Right to Create

Use Your Right to Create

“Do not let your left brain outthink your right to create!”

Excited by my new brush pens I attempted to “paint” a flower subject for the first time.  At first it appeared my left brain, leaning on its own experience, overthought the process by starting with an outline before filling in with color.  

Quickly, frustrated with my lack of ability, the desire to complete the task took over.  An elementary-level rendition of the flower was born. It was certainly not the detailed and logical result you might expect from a left-brain activity,   So normally I would have given up at this point. As it clearly appeared, I had little ability in this arena.

My right brain appeared to be enticed by a second look. So I made another attempt moments later.  I found myself immersed in a feeling of timelessness, seamlessly connected to creative inspiration. And I was now able to move effortlessly, almost thoughtlessly, in the direction of creation.  Finally, the second endeavor resulted in a piece resembling artwork. It was certainly not perfect either, yet clearly designed from a presentness in my heart.

Do you see the difference?

Awakening Your Right

From further research, I read that through the right brain we are able to be present and therefore become imbedded in the process rather than being overly concerned with the destination. The right side of the brain is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination, and creativity.  It is no wonder that dreams are born from our right brain.

“Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”  Albert Einstein

Words are the same.  We cannot overthink as we write and expect to create a connection, a meaningful rendition of thoughts from our heart.

This exercise was undertaken simply as a step to awakening.  My life’s purpose is still somewhat unclear, yet I am drawn to create from the heart ignoring self-interruptive negative messaging and help others find a connection to their own creative centers.

If you are one who struggles with organizing your thought process, you may appreciate that logic does not always hold the answer. Our creative journey cannot be dictated by thought.  Rather, our authentic work must be guided by the heart.

AND, I have just personally discovered a whole lot more heart and art in the right brain.  

Happy Creating!

©Erika K Rothwell

Color Outside The Lines

Color Outside The Lines

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt 

Challenge your boundaries, allow them to stretch your status quo, courageously step out of bounds at times even if not within your comfort zone and expand your creative horizons.  Protecting what we have always been, doing what we have always done will bring us the results we have already received.

Perhaps our past experiences, fears and expectations of others and ourselves have darkened the outlines of our potential, holding us back.  Sadly, we may hide behind walls containing our gifts neglecting the work that defines our unique contribution to this world.

Follow the lead of a child where lines don’t seem to exist, only possibilities.  Flawless work is not the ultimate goal and individual expression comes naturally as they move freely and fluidly through their creative process.

Through years of setting up borders and boundaries for ourselves, we unknowingly create an outline of our envisioned lives hardened with continuous and tedious strokes keeping us functioning safely within the lines.  Over time, after producing generic pictures colored within the lines of our own making with repetitive skill, it’s no wonder that creative inspiration often fades away.

Don’t let your self-imposed limitations close you in.  Allow your creative imagination the expanse of an entire coloring page of life, rendering your authentic self in your artistic expression, as you relearn to color outside the lines.

© Erika K Rothwell

P.S. I love you all.

Hope in Harmony

Hope in Harmony

After a cleansing rain, the sun sparkles in water drops on blades of grass capturing a reflective thought.  The well-balanced cycle in nature reminds me of a consistent and harmonious dance of life.  

Often we aspire to lead with our steps; however, think of the possibilities if we chose to follow the lead of nature more often.  Discovering the tempo and the necessary footing of the day’s activities with a “go with the flow” attitude rather than a white knuckle grip of control as we force events deepens our opportunities for inspiration.

Take a moment to recognize how you are feeling right now.  Are your shoulders tense?  Are you taking short breaths?  Does the heaviness of the to-do list staring at you or incessant thoughts spinning in your brain suffocate your joy?

Look out your window.  What do you see?  Notice the harmony in the flow of life.  The breeze gently moves the trees.  The squirrel scampers along the fence line with perfect balance.  The sun warms the ground as the daffodils poke out cheerfully.  Let it lead you to a place of appreciation where you can slow your breath to match the gentle breeze and allow your thoughts to float lightly like the clouds above.  

Awakened to a new relaxed state of mind, you can make sense of the tasks ahead. 

Following the pattern and harmony of nature, we discover our true natures.  Speaking our truths like the flowers of the field, showing our colors, helps us dance in the wind. There is no judgment in harmony.  The existence is borderless and overlapping.  We find our balance and deepest roots in nature.  

When we fight against the waves, rather than allow them to carry us forward riding the power of the force and flow, we fight a helpless fight that may eventually knock us down to our knees, possibly even forcing us to swallow the salt water from our own tears.

Harnessing the power of the wind creates energy.  Working against such power slows and wears us down.  How much better to invite this energy to infuse our dreams rather than work against it and slowly drain our strength.  

Support is available physically, emotionally and spiritually for us. If we acquiesce and release our need for control, we accept what is and thus choose to follow the path of harmony.  Hope exists in harmony.

Working as an instrument of nature, we find strength knowing we are part of the flow of inspiration. Our creative work provides the connection as we complete the cycle.

© Erika K Rothwell

Hope – In Nature’s Kiss

Hope – In Nature’s Kiss

After a powerful pause, I answered him, “I’m not sure, let me give it some thought.”.  “Novel idea.”, he responded.  And I believe it was.

So many times in life, we are called to give a quick response and we fail to think and feel deeply through the process.  Our swift knee-jerk reactions often lack discernment and an authentic pathway from our intuition.

To engage our hearts in our writing, a deep reflective pause may also be needed. So today, I “gave it some thought”. 

I gazed out at the rain as nature’s portrait beckoned my melancholic spirit.  Imagination cycled at an all-time high, yet connection to the simple became increasingly difficult until in the stillness of a moment I paused to examine the raindrop.

In a single raindrop, a world exists. A reflection of an artist of magnificent proportion, a creation of movement and energy in a perfectly designed, yet simple, jewel falling from the heavens feeding my soul with a lifetime of hope. 

Suddenly with the recognition of nature’s kiss, I awoke from my meditative slumber to discover a shift in focus.  My world came alive knit with stories and words of immense proportion that I knew needed to be shared with tenderness and the art of simplicity.  My purpose was reignited and, with that, my next project was born.

With joyful appreciation, my dream was propelled outside of the hazy gloom of indecision and the supporting self-criticism fed by my inability to give an instant response.

In the inspiration of nature and a reflective pause, a “novel” idea and answer were unveiled.

©Erika K Rothwell