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

©Erika K Rothwell

Hope – Chasing Stars

Hope – Chasing Stars

When I was younger, my Dad would take my hand to show me the Orion star, the most prominent and brightest of the winter constellation.  He wanted me to share in his awe of the universe, yet I was a preteen. It didn’t seem pertinent at the time.  

And yet, today the stars hold hope in my mind.  I look up at the sky and feel the strength that anything is possible with hope.

Hope destroys the weakened spirit, elevates the burdened soul, and promises a future.

So, I smile at the memory.  Have I memorized the constellations at my Dad’s wishes?  No. But I have adopted appreciation for the spectacular light show and the power of the universe to drown out the darkness.

AND, I still feel his hand holding mine coaxing me to look above for astronomical support.

This is a short post, to let you know I am still chasing stars.

© Erika K Rothwell

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Many of us lost a dear young person today in a tragic accident. Dedicated to her…she was beautiful inside and out.

Hope shriveled and distraught

Staring  

 Gaping hole devouring a sunny day  

Helpless surrender to a cruel joke

 Heart of beauty stolen to fuel the sun above

Infectious grief seeks to be expelled

Cascading waters from sadness flow 

Wash away confusion of tragedy

In death’s revolt

Left only with a memory of her sunshine

Her smile lights the darkness of hollow despair

No fight to win  

Understanding with faith  

Love gathers beneath the clouds

Praise the entrance through heavenly gates

With tears of years 

Her hand no longer to hold

Forced to accept a plan not our own

Make peace my friends

With a thief

Unfairness cannot be explained

©Erika K Rothwell

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Stolen Beauty – Pain Exposed

Many of us lost a dear young person today. Dedicated to her…beautiful inside and out.

Hope shriveled and distraught

Staring  

Gaping hole devouring a sunny day

Helpless surrender to a cruel joke

 Heart of beauty stolen to fuel the sun above

Infectious grief seeks to be expelled

Cascading waters from sadness flow 

Wash away confusion of tragedy

In death’s revolt

Left only with a memory of her sunshine

Her smile lights the darkness of hollow despair

No fight to win  

Understanding with faith  

Love gathers beneath the clouds

Praise the entrance through heavenly gates

With tears of years 

Her hand no longer to hold

Forced to accept a plan not our own

Make peace my friends

With a thief

Unfairness cannot be explained

©Erika K Rothwell

Sea of Hope

Sea of Hope

As the waves crashed against the shore, the sea reminded me to focus on recovery as I listened to a melodious tune of “just be”.  I breathed in the rhythm of the tide as I was lulled into a slumberous state, embracing the unusual space between me and an incessant drive to accomplish a myriad of things within the time constraint of one indeterminate life span.

A week of revival in an exotic location and absence from the work of writing restored my soul.  Focusing on the movement of my thoughts, rather than the thoughts themselves, reignited my desire to bring life to a blank page.

I learned we cannot always dictate the unexpected twists and turns along the path of life but we can learn to appreciate the tempo of life’s waves.  As the rhythm of the tides nourishes life below the surface in its repetitive cycle of cleansing, hope energizes us with a promise of restoration, urging us to never give up no matter how hopeless the situation seems.  

My tale of love restored in the pain of loss follows.

A gift was once given to a young girl who dreamed of a knight to fight her battles. He came to save her from a plight brought upon her by a self-righteous love-sucking empire. With his worldly weapons, he disintegrated the threat against her. She loved him with all her heart. And then…

The day came when she no longer remembered what he had done for her. She complained incessantly and took each day with him for granted. When he left that morning to explore the underworld of the sea, she never imagined that he would not return.

In the search for him, futility took over as powerful waves of wrenching pain squeezed her heart. Her tears turned to torrents as she cried out for him. Her life would never be the same without his love. And she knew in that moment that her gift could be mercilessly taken away.

As the search team reminded her to retain hope, she panicked thinking only the worst. Every man remotely resembling her knight from a distance materialized into someone else as she came closer, launching her further into a sea of devastation.

She beseeched God, feeling responsible for his disappearance as she had neglected her love for him.

Eventually, she was led to the place on the shore where he had last been seen before he entered the water. She looked upon the site wanting to believe the mirage that appeared before her with the little hope she had left.

Magically, in that instant, her gift was returned as he turned to her with a smile and outstretched arms and said, “There you are, I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

Dedicated to My Knight – I will always love you.

-Erika K Rothwell