Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

As I see a flock of birds fly across the cloud-knit sky, my thoughts follow them.  Once they disappear from sight, one lone bird flies in the opposite direction awakening a story I tell myself and now share with you.

There must be pleasure in following, not having to forge your own way, deciding what you should do or even where to go next, for someone is always in the lead and many others have trusted enough to follow.  It appears to be a safe route.  Hasn’t it been said. “there is safety in numbers.”?

So why does the solitary bird attract my attention?  Perhaps it seeks a unique path. And, as in the similarity of my venture, I sit at my desk alone exacting words as I venture forth, trying to connect through individuation.

Individuation, a call for awareness of our unique nature and an intimate connection with all life.

Hope secures the quest.  I am looking to discover the idea that appears after the first five obvious ones.  The wind of change moves me in unusual directions and variables often upset the consistencies of my work.  Inspiration exists everywhere I turn, sending me to travel indirect routes.  

All the while, my shadow seeks me out with the fear of commercialism.

The message glares at me, “It can’t be necessary to follow the masses to find success.  My work is art.  And my art, a calling.”

At this moment, contentment resembles only a meditation.  Artistic creation, ongoing pursuit of perfection.  As every artist or writer knows, the search for a perfect element, color, or word is a quest into another dimension.  And some days you must keep seeking.

Suddenly the moment arrives when you bring your creation to life.  Yet, you hesitate unready to share.   

So many of us struggle with diametrically opposed feelings.  Do we covet the peace as we set our work on a shelf never to be discovered, or do we risk the comfort of obscurity to become known to others?

Our fear is well-founded.  In a world of mass-production, artistry can be devoured by hungry giants.  What once was birthed as an original work of art, intricately crafted as the first of its kind, can be copied or modified in a fury with only a blurry likeness.

At this point as I encourage myself, I implore you, believe you are an inspiration.  Your solo flight has attracted a following.  Find others that choose to fly alone. Share your gifts with them. 

Most importantly, never give up.  Hope can always be discovered within you.  You cannot be mass-produced and your originals always live in you.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

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

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Listen to the Silence

Listen to the Silence

“Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.” Native American Proverb

Doing nothing, sitting still, yet still listening.

The deafening sound of silence could drive some mad, and yet to others it is the foundation of reconstruction.  In the quiet, you may actually hear the humming of your brain.

There are times, I just sit mesmerized while allowing my eyes to scour the room stopping at each window to gaze upon a color fusion filtering through the panes. The subtle background noises blend into a cohesive white noise below volume one qualifying a nearly silent state.

And here is where the peaceful calm washes over my overexertion of the day.  As I sit in the space of uninterrupted quiet, I find the time to hear what matters.  Lessons of the heart actively yearning to find me receptive, untethered by the bustling activities of motion bound by the restrictions of time.

What I need to learn is not always what I want to hear.  Yet, I acquiesce to the silent message as it finds a path directly to my heart.

At that moment when a search for explanations begins, the untainted silence is shattered.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Shattered Silence – Credit to Pixabay Images
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Hope Believes – Day 13

Hope Believes – Day 13

Hope believes the time will come.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  For some reason, my body clock believed it was time to be awake from 1:30 a.m to 4:00 a.m.  And as my mind conversed with itself, it was agreed that sleep would come when it’s time.

Carrying a heavy head today, slowly and mechanically going through the necessary motions of the day eventually brought me to my desk.  It was time to write.  Yet my mind and heart couldn’t connect as easily as yesterday.  And so the conversation with myself continued, “you will write something of value when it’s time.”

As many of you may have read in previous posts, time is one of my fascinations.  So it is fitting that my relationship with hope has brought me to the intersection of time and space.

Over many years, I used up time hurrying and struggling to keep up with self-imposed expectations.  It is only recently I learned to slow down enough to appreciate the space between time and the power of the pauses while I patiently wait for the right time.

However, I still need to learn.  My hopeful anticipation when I’m assured of a certain outcome differs significantly from enduring a proverbial walk through a desert searching for a stream.  Why do we find it so much easier to retain a hopeful spirit as we move toward an expected outcome than to believe that our needs will be met when wandering in the wilderness without a clear destination in sight? 

It takes faith to bring us hope.  Hope is the stream in the desert.  It will sustain us.  So many times we forget to believe and we may lose our way.  But believing that everything will come in its own due time…may just be the hope that brings us what we need.

-Erika K Rothwell

Hope Believes – Read by Erika K Rothwell
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Hope is a Constant – Day 11

Hope is a Constant – Day 11

I discovered an old journal today filled with random thoughts and insights, speckled with a few plans.  What was most apparent, was an ongoing theme of discovery, searching for something that I felt needed to be found.

On one of the pages, the words were written, “All progress requires change, but not all change is progress.”  Because I’m not sure where the thought originated, I cannot assume it was mine,  thus giving credit where credit is due.  However this powerful quote stands beside a random thought that did enter my mind this afternoon, “Hope is a constant through change.”

We all have goals that drive our actions, but unanticipated change can upset our direction, breaking up an established routine, sometimes even sending us into a tailspin.

Thus, we must focus on a constant.  Power beyond the moment, a strength provided from a belief that moves mountains.  This support system cannot be broken.  It is always there for us, even amidst the upheaval of uninvited change.

And as I reread my own words in that 10-year old journal, I believe I may have just found the “magical” something I was looking for back then.  

Change doesn’t always move us forward, but it doesn’t have to move us backward either.  Holding on to hope keeps us steady through the waves of the unexpected.  From this balance point, we can surely progress.

– Erika K Rothwell

Hope is a Constant – Read by Erika K Rothwell
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