Embrace Grace

Embrace Grace

Imagine Grace resides at the mountaintop.  Your life consists of climbing through the unknown, toward that high peak, suffering the maladies from unplanned events along an arduous journey, dreaming and reaching for Grace.

Now, instead, imagine Grace alongside you every step of the way.  Perhaps, like me, place a flower in your hair as a tangible reminder of her presence.  You climb without any equipment or even the necessary strength as the vertical path opens up ahead of you potentially fraught with unexpected hardship and loss.  All the while, your companion, Grace, supports you.  You survive the best you know how, while she reminds you she is always there for you no matter what choices you make.

Grace in a yellow mountain flower
Photo by Erika K Rothwell – Mountin Flower

Grace exists, but first you must acknowledge her existence.  You must call her into your life, as if she were your greatest advocate and most empathetic friend.  She is your hope and a companion in your life all the way through to the end.

Grace gently caresses your dreams, your feelings, your being.  Without her, you suffer from judgment, insecurity and fear.  With her you are accepted, understood, and open to be loved.

Once opened, you are filled with her and you  become a conduit to spread her powerful and healing ways.

Join her. Accept her into your life. The support you find will infuse energy into your journey to the mountaintop.  When you reach the top, thank her for her loyal patronage.  Praise her source.

Bring her back down the mountain, inside of your heart, and share her exponentially as you strive to spread love and kindness, non-judgmental support, encouraging others to embrace her like you once did.

With Grace,

Erika K Rothwell

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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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Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

Hope – An Embrace – The Full Story

An embrace, a symbol of love and support. A sign of acceptance and adoption. Learning to embrace the many facets of my being encourages me to embrace others and each day with enthusiasm and hope.

As clothes hang listlessly in a closet waiting to be worn as self-expression, words sit on a page craving a connection by the hearts that read them.

Look in the mirror. What do you see? A reflection of your heart and a journey well-lived? Or do you see only an outward appearance, a physical being disappointed in what is and what could be? Finding ourselves in a one size fits all universe sends a message that something is wrong with us because we don’t fit a perceived mold. Squeezing ourselves into a template that was created for everyone else only bruises our enthusiasm and desire to be who we truly are.

Walking a path of disillusion for many years of my life, as the ingredients of dissatisfaction poured into an insatiate lifestyle, I finally found hope in self-acceptance as I focused on sharing a unique contribution to this life and world. And along the way, I learned something of value that I ask you to consider with me now.

Why do we spend so much time beating ourselves up and working against ourselves by focusing on our weaknesses? If only we knew early on that those weaknesses were strengths when viewed from another angle.

Why hold on to an image of what could have been, what isn’t, or what should be? We are given time to grow and flourish. Regret only devours that time and skews the view of our potential.

Self-acceptance doesn’t come easy. Do you, like me, often overlook compliments, rather than graciously accept the embrace? Recognition of our worth comes from other’s caresses of support combined with accepting ourselves.

Embrace the opportunity to share your unique contribution. Look at your reflection, share your colors, embrace who you are.

Invite the harsh critic that lives inside you to leave, and imagine a room filled with loving, supportive and involved hearts. Writing brings these people into your room. They nod appreciatively, and say, “Yes. I like that”. And if not, let them pass by unnoticed.

Value self-expression.

Accept that creations brought forth from deep inside are not always consistent. Days bring melancholy, elation, sadness, joy, and vulnerability. Writing follows whims and moods. There are days when my heart speaks effortlessly. Other days the seriousness of writing loses its connections. Today I free write about the simple act of embracing. Embracing life, love, others and myself.

How encouraging if we continue to embrace ourselves and others through it all? Love is not conditional and our embraces should not be either.

©Erika K Rothwell

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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 – The Fuel of Courage

Hope – The Fuel of Courage

“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

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