Expansion

Our June word (see 12 Words) is Expansion.

I have a core belief that as humans we naturally expand through our life experiences.

But what is different as we engage consciously with our own expansion process?

How do we do that?

What is required of us, to do that?

How do we invite expansion and open ourselves to new or greater possibilities?

How much do we choose to engage in experiences that will stretch us?

These are the questions that are currently active in me about expansion, and I don’t have many answers yet.

This month, I’m participating in an art challenge called 30 X 30 Direct Watercolor. I’ve committed to create and post a new watercolor painting every day for 30 days, without using any pencil or ink lines.

I’ve participated in a number of art challenges, most of which involve a commitment to do a specific kind of art every day, and then to share it on social media with the other participants in the challenge. I always learn and grow from these challenges. My art, and I, always seem to expand from the experience, often in ways that I cannot anticipate.

This challenge is kicking my butt because it is a much bigger challenge, for me, than its predecessors. It is also giving me seemingly endless opportunities to expand my focus and my skill as an artist, and it seems to be doing the same for the other participating artists. I am having a lot of fun with it, along with some frustrating growing pains.

It has made me think about the nature of expansion, and about our role in it.

Sometimes expansion just happens to us, as a result of our life circumstances, and we react to it.

Sometimes we make something happen, by our sheer will and determination, and we expand.

And then there are those times in life when expansion feels like pure magic: Life unfolds naturally and we respond with joy, and it all feels like a seamless and fluid dance. To me, that’s the best kind of expansion.

Sunset

Every day we have a sunset.

I think of sunsets as a kind of completion.

Sunsets are an opportunity and an invitation to pause and reflect about what is completing in our lives.

What is completing for you today?

Sunrise

As I took my morning walk, the Eastern sky lit up in a tapestry of yellow, orange, and blue.

Every day, we are blessed with a sunrise, a new awakening, that is calling us to new potential.

It occurred to me one day that sunrise is a thing worth celebrating and worth pausing and taking a breath.

It is an invitation, every day, to welcome what is awakening in our lives.

How can you celebrate what is awakening within you?

Waiting Again

Nature has been showing me a lot of examples of Waiting lately.

This wren house is waiting for the wrens to return from their warmer winter grounds.

The cycles of nature comfort me, and they invite me to relax into patience, and into waiting with equanimity.

These rhythms of nature reassure me that they is a time for every thing and that my life has momentum, and that I will benefit from moving with that momentum, rather than pushing on it.

How would you like to be with the Waiting, in your life?

 

The Rhythm of Gray

I sketched this view out our front window on a dense, gray day.

I find it hard to love gray. I prefer sunlight, no way around it.

But gray is an invitation. For me, it is an invitation to retreat, rest, reflect, and rejuvenate.

Gray days are “cave days”.

What is the invitation of a gray day, for you?

The Wild Places Beyond

This is the view outside of my office window. It is an east view, so I often see the rising sun from here.

This morning my eye was drawn to the hills beyond that fence.

I was asking myself: What are the Wild Places, towards that horizon, that are waiting to be explored?

I can feel the beginnings of a need to explore some new territories.

What are the wild places that are calling to you?

Awakening

The woodpeckers have started to drum on the trees. This is what they do in the Spring, to establish their territories.

To me, the drumming of the woodpeckers symbolizes awakening.

It is one of the early signs that Nature is awakening from the deep slumber of Winter.

What is awakening in you?

Inbetween Time

This morning, the woods are alive with large flocks of migrating Robins and Red-Winged Blackbirds. Their song fills the air, and it lifts my spirits, after months of quiet mornings.

We are in the Inbetween Time again, as the seasons begin to transition from Winter into Spring. One day there is snow, and the next, the sun is warming the earth and the bulbs are beginning to break through frozen soil.

There is a going back and forth, in these Inbetween Times.

Sometimes there is a going back and forth for us in our lives, when we are going through transitions, and this is OK, as we begin to grow in the fullness of who we are becoming.

Where, in your life, are you in the Inbetween Time?

Prayer for the New Moon

new moon too

I wrote a prayer for the New Moon, and I offer it to you, in case it resonates for you.

New Moon….

Let me immerse myself in your darkness.

Let me rest in the dark and the cool.

Let me gather my wisdom and my strength for the journey ahead.

And, finally, New Moon, let me be open and receptive to what is emerging from your fertile void.

What’s Blooming in You?

bulbs three

The garden is bursting forth with blooming bulbs. Spring, it seems, has finally arrived!

I love bulbs, for lots of reasons. They give us color when there is very little color in anything else in the garden. They’re a source of early nectar for the honey bees. They look cheerful. But, more than anything else, I love them for their ability to push up through the hard-caked, frozen ground of late winter.

These blossoms herald a changing of seasons and give us all hope for a new, robust, verdant tomorrow.

It will be a while before anything else blooms, and it will even be a few weeks before most of the trees will leaf out. In the meantime, we can be uplifted by the joy that the blooming bulbs bring.

Part of me can relate to the bulbs. Sometimes there will be a few months where things in my life feel kind of slow. There isn’t much happening creatively. It’s almost as if things needed to rest, or perhaps the next creative activity is incubating, and I just can’t see it yet.

During those times, I take heart from the bulbs. It helps me to see their cycles, and to appreciate the inevitability of their growth. All I need to do is to remember the joy I feel when I see those first green shoots starting to push out of the ground after a long, grey winter, and I remember. That we are all inherently, and naturally, creative beings.

What is blooming in you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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