Begin – Wherever You Are

Begin – Wherever You Are

I saw the street sign at a time in my life when I was lost and spending my days soul searching.  Photography allowed me to look at each moment on a deeper level, observing more than doing.  I don’t know exactly why I took a picture of the begin sign.  But what is clear, there was significance in that moment.

I was clearly beginning again.  I had been forced to give up on an idealistic vision of my life and accept a new way of living.  And I was not sure how or if it was even possible.

As last year came to a close, I once again had a sense of being forced into a state of acceptance.  Accepting that time in the last decade was running out, and with it my dreams and hopes for great accomplishment within that timeframe were soon to dissolve.

With resignation in my heart, I posed the question, “What now?”  And I proceeded to ruminate over that question for weeks.

It has now become clear.  It’s time to begin again.  Begin afresh and anew.

And that means here, where I am.

Where I thought I would or should be is of no consequence to this opportunity to begin.  A foundation has been built from past efforts.  The groundwork has been developed.  I began this labor of love two years ago with no more than a simple desire to share my writing in a public forum.  It has moved my heart in directions I never imagined possible.  Yet I am still on the ground floor and there is so much work yet to be done.

From this point, I know there’s a climb.  But the sooner I begin, the farther I can go.

I will not let the fear of what lies ahead of me dampen my enthusiasm or my resolve to take that first step from here…where I am today.

With that I invite you all to join me in the following resolve.  “It’s up to me.  And it’s up to you.  To begin wherever you are.”  

Believe In New Beginnings.

As this new year begins, please join me in believing.  We can change old habits that don’t serve us well, practice moderation and learn balance, as well as embrace the simplicity of life with deep appreciation.  It is possible.

Hope brings me to a place I have not been before.  A place that seems brighter, more forgiving, and filled with love’s light.

A lack of acceptance and control over outside circumstances interrupted last year’s journey and sidelined my aspirations.  I was grateful to have wandered down a hope building path prior to unexpectedly facing the possibility of losing my mother to stage 4 cancer. The pressure of walking beside her through chemotherapy treatments brought me to my knees, weeping with emotional exhaustion. 

Furthermore, I lost the ability to focus on the things I could control and make sound choices from the best of me.  The worst of me took over slowly and insidiously beneath the surface of my resolve undermining my efforts and plans for the year.

However, I still learned and grew. We may not be able to choose the events that come our way, yet we do have the power to choose how we move forward.  Getting knocked down is only part of the equation.  It’s the “getting back up” that matters.  Which brings me to you.

Believe You Matter.

When I began writing my ebook with this title, I didn’t realize that our society was already wrapping itself around these two words.  You can read them everywhere, on clothing, on school website tags, on billboards.  Two simple words repeated more than ever, today. Yet, how many of us actually believe this to our core.

What this means is…You actually matter.  Your story matters.  Your life on this planet matters.  And when we feel that we don’t matter, our behaviors are nothing short of damaging.

In the various posts of the past two years, I have alluded to “my story. I am working on publishing an ebook in a few months with a revised title to share even more.

In the meantime, I will be posting snippets from the raw writing process weekly on my blog.  I am taking my writing from the kitchen to the proverbial mountain.  That is my commitment to the new year and all of you who have taken the time to read this post.  I truly appreciate you all.

Also if you would like to be part of my Art and Heart – Inspiring Creativity insiders tribe, please look for the sign up shown below for a gift and e-book first looks delivered into your inbox.

Here’s to the climb!

Onward and upward,


©Erika K Rothwell

Hiatus and Back to the Path

Hiatus and Back to the Path

I wrote this a week ago and did not publish because I was so empty I was afraid to share.  However, as this sits in the past and I celebrate placing it there, I want to encourage all out there who have hit the wall.  Empathetic relating to your situation has brought me to openly share my personal detour off the path. 

“ A hiatus is a pause in which nothing happens or a gap where something is missing.”   Definition provided by Collins English Dictionary.  Yet life does not exactly have a pause button.

It may be incorrect to state that I’ve been on hiatus, as so much has actually happened.  However, there has been a gap, a “ginormous” gap where something is missing.  And that something is me.  I have suddenly found myself missing.  Missing feelings, missing thoughts, missing a connection to my center.  Life’s happenings appear to have executed full domination creating a major gap in my ability to function on a functioning level.

Needless to say, this gets in the way of productive energy and creativity.  The standstill is rock solid and difficult to penetrate.  I stand motionless and empty.”

Because I was searching for words of encouragement and did not have the strength to ask for them, I present words for you without you having to ask.

This soon shall pass.  Momentary burnout and “this” seemingly helpless state will produce strength in you beyond what you imagined.  You may question how this emptiness ricochets into a strong force that moves you along your destined and individually created path.

Every moment has its place.  Every place has its time.  And the path waits for you.

Your path.  The path of your life.  A unique path that is sometimes self-dictated, sometimes courageously followed, and sometimes simply faithfully followed, moving you in a forward direction.

This is the path you must stay on.  This is the path you were born to follow.  And in my most recent experience, I have learned it is a path you cannot always control the direction of, but one you can accept and embrace with positivity assured that forward is the only way to go. Gracefully acknowledge that detours and an unexpected hiatus only delays the inevitable direction.  The direction of your dreams.

I encourage you today.  You will recover.  Stay on your path.  Let your heart guide you.

©Erika K Rothwell

Let Hope Guide Your Steps

Let Hope Guide Your Steps

Words are born in my life regularly and molded genuinely, lit up from a spirit of desiring deep connection.  Projects take on a life of their own, coaxing me to follow their lead as I continue putting one foot in front of the other.   With this hope, I believe my baby steps will eventually cover a mile and climb a mountain.  

Without any promise of success at the peak, peace surrounds my every move as I relax into the rhythm of daily work accepting that the vision at the summit may only be seen by me and a few companions who travel along with me.

The end-point is not always the goal. And in the case of creative development, it is even more clear that the journey only refines the goal.  Yet hope reaches out for all of us with it’s supportive caress, even if we have not yet arrived.

Joys of life are often discovered in today’s moments without eyes on tomorrow or our hearts being lost in the struggles of yesterday.  Take notice of what gives you hope as it surrounds you.  Let it guide your steps forward.  And when you think you’ve arrived, contentedly accept there is always a next leg in the journey.  

©Erika K Rothwell

Hope for Balance

Hope for Balance

Upon examining balance in daily living, the law of physics teaches me anytime you swing too far one way you need to swing back the other at an equal distance.  The side to side dance of the pendulum caused by the trajectory of its weight finally ends and balance is restored.

While it swings, some questions form in my mind.

Must we feel the frigid cold to appreciate the soothing warmth?  Do we have to walk in the death of winter to appreciate the new birth of sweetness?  If we give in to the obsessive force of negativity, must we then look for the excessive force of positivity to pull us back to the middle?

The pendulum swings on, forced by the heaviness.

Failures and disappointments cannot be avoided, and success cannot last forever.  Negativity will arise, and elation will plummet.  When this happens, perhaps the answer is simply allowing  the time for rejuvenation as we re-focus our lives on regaining balance.

When the frost comes and our steps are forced backward throwing off our equilibrium, remember baby steps forward are better than no steps at all.  

And if we happen to fall down on our faces in the frozen tundra, know that hope will bring restoration as the pendulum swings us into the warmth of Spring.  

© Erika K Rothwell

Hope – Appreciating Simplicity

Hope – Appreciating Simplicity

Simplicity does not signify weakness nor unimportance. 

Small forces that appear insignificant can cause powerful effects.  A tiny drop of water over time can drill its way into rock.  Words of hope written from one’s heart and understated actions can dig deep into the crevices of our beings.

There is a world to be found in simplicity.  Treasures, discovered in the appreciation of just one word or even a small gesture.

The simple letters in H-O-P-E continue to spell out a life-changing motivation for me. However, at times my search for hope becomes disguised as a quest for happiness.

And I discover, seeking happiness is not equal to simply being happy.   

Yet if you are a believer that happiness can be found, it must reside in the simplest, yet a most profound, symbol of joy on this planet that is neglected when we forget to smile.

How many times have we caught ourselves in a tense situation because we forgot to smile?  Or rather, how many times have we gotten out of a sticky situation because we chose to smile?

Our simple and genuine smile shares positivity with others and conveys our hope of happiness for them.  

Connection with words can be much like a smile. I send you my smile and a final thought.


Smiling will make your heart happy, no matter what you may be facing.  It’s really that simple.  

© Erika K Rothwell