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

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Monday Motivation – Start with Harmony (Repost)

Monday Motivation – Start with Harmony (Repost)

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

“Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the ocean.” Thich Nhat Hanh

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Hope – In Ashes of Love

Hope – In Ashes of Love

Hope arises from the ashes, a time to reframe and rebuild.  

Love begins as a flame that burns so bright.  Eventually, there are only embers, flickers of warmth lighting up what remains.  

When we are left with the cold ashes of a fully disintegrated relationship, only hope can move us forward.  Hope for second-chances, hope for change, and hope for a new life motivates our steps in the right direction.

To risk love is to risk being hurt.  The paradox that exists within relationships can send ripples of sorrow our way.  But love is not supposed to hurt us, so why all the pain?

We were not born to live another person’s life.  Yet once we fall in love, the connection makes it difficult to recognize where our boundaries end and the other’s begin.  At times we may even feel lost to ourselves, fully engrossed in our loved one’s drama, leaving little time for our own development.  

Yet why do we fight against freeing ourselves from a destructive cycle, even when possessive and dependent actions suck the life out of us?  

It is only by letting go of the illusion of what could be, allowing what is, and accepting we are powerless over another’s choices in life that heals what is left of a suffering relationship.  We can make a choice.  When we stop responding to the narratives of the past, we find strength within the power of adversity.  As the poet, Rumi said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

If and when we have embraced our inability to fix the other person and the embers burn out, we will know it is time to move on.  The suffering is done.  The closure is painful yet peaceful, and we must believe hope will light another fire when it’s time.  For Rumi also said, “where there is ruin, there is hope for treasure.” 

– Erika K Rothwell

Disclaimer: This was written for the loved ones in my life facing breakups and heartbreak. Empathy from my past ignited the rawness of this post.

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Musical Masterpiece

Musical Masterpiece

Musical Masterpiece

Somedays, I sit and wonder what to write.  Other days, the idea insists that it be written.  It is unscheduled, unplanned and interrupts the day’s agenda.

I hear the words from yesterday and can’t help believing, they are a powerful representation of life.  They were innocently said, with unintended consequences, yet a dance in my mind began when recalled…

My husband was complaining that he didn’t have his earbuds, so I retorted, “I can be your music if you let me sing.”  It sounded humorous, and without another thought, the moment passed.  But the words called for a repeat performance, in my mind and heart.  The depth of meaning in those passing words pined for acknowledgment. 

In the second act, later that night, I was excited to share with my son that I had come up with a new quote.  His exact response was, “That’s great, but that’s already a quote.”  In disbelief, I immediately questioned, “I don’t think so, who said it?”.  He shot back, “Dr. Seuss…I know it because I love all his quotes!”  Now, here is when I defended my originality with my fullest armor on, “No way, he did not!” and I was victorious. He backed down and laughed.  He admitted he was just making it up.  Now, the paradox emerges.

My disillusion was in believing my artistic creation was entirely new.  Words have existed so much longer than any of us.  Words create a timeless imprint in this world.  They may not create a new world, but perhaps a new window. 

The view from each window is dramatically altered by the perspective of each viewer.  My heart should have been singing because my son immediately found warmth and love in my words, reminding him of words by Dr. Seuss, one of the greatest word masters ever.  Yet, my inflated ego chose to focus on protecting my personal, yet insignificant discovery of a word puzzle.  For all I knew, it was written somewhere already. 

But right now, for me, these simple words are alive, capturing moments like an episodic drama series, one leading to another, and keeping me guessing the entire time.   The next episode begins on queue.

As I visit with my social group, I realize we often bring the story back to ourselves in an attempt to connect to one another.  For example, how many times do we say, “Yeh, that happened to me when…”  Perhaps, unlike it appears, self-centered words are not entirely centered on self, but rather are an attempt to bring us together on the same page.  It could be said, our similar experiences bind our humanness; but our unique perspectives create the ultimate connection.

Alternatively, have you ever found yourself trying to persuade someone to see an issue from your perspective when they are not interested?  Have you ever felt that someone wants to change who you are, to become more like them?  Have you ever stopped someone from singing, because they didn’t do it well, or you didn’t know the song? 

No matter who we are or what insecurities plague us, we all desire to be someone’s music and be heard. This can only happen when we truly connect through our differences. 

Thanks for letting me sing!

-Erika K Rothwell

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