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

Share Your Gifts – Feed Your Joy

Share Your Gifts – Feed Your Joy

As December has arrived and gift buying is in full swing, I am reminded that gifts are not only made of material. Walking through the mall, listening to the Christmas music, and watching the young ballet dancer gracefully float across center stage, I recognize a deep longing within myself to reconnect to meaning as I push aside the hustling yet robotic tasks of the holiday season.

Gifts of the heart given from the center of our beings shine through us like twinkling Christmas lights. Yet it is possible that some of these lights can burn out leaving us with a half-lit strand of joy. When we allow the resentments of events that we cannot control to seethe beneath the surface, our power is drained eventually resulting in burn out.

Join me in changing the empty bulbs to once again receive positive, supportive, and loving energy. Let us recharge and reignite our passion, the direct passage of energy from the heart of our meaning. There is redemptive power in recognizing our individual gift to the world. So let it shine radiantly, joyfully sharing it with others.

Rather than allow the distractions of the season to zap our energy, let it infuse us with hope as we look for opportunities to encourage those around us even those who may judge us, outrun us, or are simply more talented than us. In truly appreciating other’s gifts to this world, we act as a conduit supporting the transfer of loving intentions and positive energy.

When we focus on sharing our unique and creative gifts, all else seems to fall into place. We reconnect to the power source, as our bulbs are refreshed.

We are once again ready to shine.

🎶”May your season be merry and bright.”🎶

©Erika K Rothwell

Grace to All – Happy Fall!

Grace to All – Happy Fall!

Autumn has arrived in my kitchen. Can you see the shadows and the reflections?

The birth phase of care-free Spring and the youthful energy of young-adult Summer have led me to the nostalgic and “time doesn’t stand still”, Autumn.

The death of winter has not yet come. Dreams are alive, just fading into colorful prismatic displays on the trees in the hills, mesmerizing me into a fantastical trance where I once again accomplish nothing, or so I think.

Negativity surrounds me, yet hope lightens my load as I write from the kitchen.

Evening’s sun rays light up my decor.  Chosen colors of blue, white, and orange encourage me to share inspiration from a simple photo taken as I attempted to fend off sadness.

Who writes from their kitchen?  I do.  Somehow, the spirit of life  brightens the space where my heart lives.  My memoir speaks from the kitchen.  The memoir that I have not yet written, and may never write.

There are pieces of me, in segments of 300 words or less, scattered, fragmented, and disjointed in my documents folder.  All of which could be completed and shared with the world.

I keep writing, searching for that perfect view.  I don’t stop.  I keep living and writing more.  It doesn’t feel right.  So I just keep writing.  However, I just may have captured my thoughts, raw and unfiltered, once again.  The perfect piece to describe how I feel, today.

Happy Fall and Grace to all!

Love y’all


©Erika K Rothwell

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 – Mountain 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

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