She is ready ~ Deb

she is ready

 

“She is ready for change.” ~Deb

 

My restless spirit is rumbling again.
I seem to be trying to get back in balance.
My self portrait this month illustrates myself out on the end of the bench, trying to make my way back to the middle. Or better yet, see the light in the left corner? I am teetering in the shadows. I am dressed up in my fancy little black dress, really wanting to be barefoot on the beach, skinny-dipping in the cool waters.

I planned my shot to include contrast. The funky painted bench. The solid black dress. The light and shadows. The balance I seek.

You see, I am an odd mixture of girly-girl and tomboy-hippie.
I love my social life, yet require solitude.
I am a sun worshipper, yet love a cozy rainy day.

The change I seek is inside. I have the choice to slow down, re-evaluate my obligations that seem to weigh me down. I am working my way back to center. A place that will become a calm balance for me. A familiar peace.

How do you get back to your own center? What practices do you use to maintain balance in your own restless spirit? Tell me. And if you chose to illustrate something YOU are ready for, please use hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #sheisready so we can find you and support you.

Here is my one minute video talking about my self portrait process.

 

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She is ready ~ Jennifer

SheIsReadyJen – Version 4

 

“She is ready to lighten up.” ~Jennifer

 

I tend to take life too seriously, allowing myself to get wrapped up in duties and swept away by tasks.  Since becoming a mother, my days revolve around my children’s needs.  I think about practical matters like food, clothing, safety.  I take care of transportation, activities, and payments due.  But in the process of caring for my little ones, somehow I end up distilling life to absolutes.  I catch myself thinking in black and white.  We’re on time or we’re late.  I’ve succeeded or I’ve failed.  The answer is yes or no.  Clean or dirty.  Off or on.  Right or wrong.

 

Gone are the in-betweens, the grace periods, the grey areas. Where did they go, I wonder?  As best I can tell, they keep getting bumped aside by responsibilities.  Life is still sweet, silly, rewarding, and exciting, but the colors fade from time to time.  That’s when I know I need to lighten up.  And so, when my husband invited me out to the garden, I set the dirty dishes aside.  It was perhaps the hottest day of the summer, above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  It took me a moment to forget about the messes, the baby monitor, the sweat running down my back.  Then I was drawn in by the vivid pinks and purples of the cosmos that my husband plants for me each year.  They’ve been there all summer.  I just hadn’t been paying attention because I was weighed down by everything I thought I should be doing.  Enough of that.  I’m ready to lighten up and enjoy the bright spots of this path I’m on.

 

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She is ready ~ Bella

BellaSI3Aug2017
 
“She is ready for new things.” ~Bella
 
 
I feel like August is my “shake it up” month. Having just come out of leading a month long e-course in self care means I am ready to move, groove, and welcome all new things into my world. The truth is, this has been a summer filled with so many new things because it is the first summer in a very long time that I haven’t worked at a nine to five job.

I have been craving space in the form of blank slates and purged closets. I have been organizing shelves and getting rid of all the old things like spices, dried up paints, and kitchen items I hardly ever use. I work, throw, move in a frenzy. The quicker the space is made the more calmer I feel. It’s like I know something big is waiting to come in and I am in preparation mode.

I don’t know what it is.
I’m not worried either.
I’m ready for anything.
 

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She is ready

Si3Aug2016TriptychWebsite

 

Are you ready?!  August is already underway and we’re moving into a new phase of the year.  The summer is starting to wind down and students will be heading back to school in a matter of weeks.  We all seem to be getting ready for something this month, whether it is school-related or not.  What kind of change are you ready for?  What are you ready to do?  What action are you ready to take?  We invite you to use our August prompt as a launching pad as you think about where you are heading this month.  Try using self-portraiture to answer these questions visually.  Don’t forget to use the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #sheisready so we can find you on Instagram! We love seeing you and featuring you there, too!

 

We will share the quotes and the written stories behind our photos here on the blog on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of this month.  Do come back then to get the full scoop!  In the meantime, here is a little video of each of us sharing some information from the locations where we shot our self-portraits.

 

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She embodied freedom ~ Deb

she embodied her freedom final

 

“She embodied her freedom when she got outside her body.” ~Deb

 

OKAY. Let’s talk about something uncomfortable.
As we age, we like and love our body less and less…RIGHT?

Are you listening to me now? We grumble and frown at the softening belly, the wrinkles and crinkles.
We notice our diminishing libido, stamina and effervescence.

So why not celebrate and embrace it? Let’s get out of our head and body.

Let’s do a cartwheel. Let’s wiggle our hips. Let’s sing real loud with the radio.
Let’s learn archery. Let’s try kickboxing. Let’s skip rope.

Let’s JUMP IN A POOL LIKE A CANNON BALL.

Let’s go back to when we were child-like and carefree.

Come on…I dare you. Let go. Rip it up. BE FREE.

Join me on Instagram and Facebook by tagging your self-portraits #sheembodiedfreedom

I.DARE.YOU.

…and just in case you missed my one minute video from the pool…click here

 

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She embodied freedom ~ Jennifer

Version 3

 

“She embodied freedom amidst the flowers.” ~Jennifer

 

By now, it’s no secret that I love flowers. They are a part of my being. They are my attachment to the past, my link to everyday life, and the garland of dreams that connects me to the future. I feel a spark of inspiration when I see, touch, and smell flowers. I experience an amazing sense of liberation when I stand in a meadow blooming with Queen Anne’s lace, echinacea, aster, and cosmos.

Certain flowers remind me of life stages through which I have passed. To this day, lavender means freedom to me. Those spiky purple stalks take me back to my first summer study abroad and the lavender fields whizzing by the windows of the TGV as I traveled to the south of France. When it came time to go home, I filled my suitcase with dried lavender flowers in sachets of provencal fabric to give as souvenirs and to keep as fragrant reminders of my experiences.

In subsequent years, I would return to France for employment. Each trip was an adventure, sometimes frightening but always freeing. One summer I took a day trip to an island covered in lavender fields. Another summer, I stood in awe when thousands of lavender pots were placed in the Place des Vosges for a festival. Each time I returned to the US, my bags were bursting with lavender sachets and bottles of lavender oil.

Now that I am the mother of two small children, I don’t have much free time at all. And so, when I need a bit of solitude, I step outside. During the summer months, I am lured to our lavender bushes. They hum with the buzzing of bees and they sway ever so gently in the hot breeze. The majestic purple color and the pungent scent transport me to a time and place of freedom. They ground my physical self in the present, they conjure up fond memories of the past, and they ignite my imagination with thoughts of what is yet to come.

 

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She embodied freedom ~ Bella

Bella Si3 July 16

 

“She embodied freedom – even in the simple moments.” ~Bella

 

It used to be that I would rush through my mornings in an effort not to be late for work. I simply breezed through my morning routine without pause with one goal in mind: get to work on time. Oh, how things have changed.

 

At the beginning of June, I quit my job. I had been thinking about leaving for a while but had yet to gather enough courage to leave for good. There is also a healthy amount of fear I have built up around being in the market for a new job. With my husband’s support, I would spend the summer at home while searching for a new and perfect to me job.

 

Not having to hurry out the door meant I could hit the snooze button and sleep a little longer. I could indulge in a nice long stretch before getting up to pour myself a cup of coffee. Oh, and the coffee! I could savor each sip and have a second cup if I chose to. There is freedom to breathe inside of these choices.

 

I wonder if when I get a new job I should wake up an hour earlier to enjoy these rituals that provide me a sense of peace and calmness. The sacrifice is little and the gain is huge. These mornings truly make me feel like I’m embodying freedom, and it would be a disservice to move through the day any other way.

 

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She embodied freedom

JulyTriptych2016Website

 

Welcome to July here at She is Three! This month we are focusing on the concept of freedom. Where do you feel it in your body? When do you experience it? What does embodying freedom look like for you? Whether your definition is temporal, spatial, or physical, we hope you’ll join us in exploring this month’s prompt. Take it literally or put a figurative spin on it. Above all, we invite you to visually voice how you embody freedom. Remember to post your self-portraits on Instagram using the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #sheembodiedfreedom so we can find you!

 

Come by the blog again on the 14th, 21st, and 28th when we share our quotes and the written stories behind our photos. Until then, here’s a little peek at each of us behind the scenes!

 

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When she noticed ~ Deb

when she noticed

 

“When she noticed her unbalance, she went to the beach.” ~Deb

I can get caught up in daily mundane business. Family matters, deadlines and personal demands.
The unnecessary expectations and double parking of my attentions.
I feel out of touch. My feet don’t even feel grounded to Mother Earth.
I can become cranky and not so fun to be around.

So the perfect medicine for me is to get in my car, drive seven short miles to the beach and stand by the water’s edge. The crashing waves. The negative ions of the salty air. The warm sand under my bare feet. The sun on my shoulders.

All these elements line up perfectly when I need to “get right.”
My balance has returned. I feel grounded and strong again. Refreshed. Renewed. Reborn.

I am so fortunate to live near the ocean to receive her gifts like this on a daily basis.
If only I would pay attention and notice it before I get cranky !!

“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea” ~ Isak Dinesen ~

 

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When she noticed ~ Jennifer

JDCatalanoNoticed

 

“When she noticed the difference, she knew the sacrifice was worth it.” ~Jennifer

 

For months, I was feeling sluggish. There were times when I truly needed to go at a snail’s pace. I accepted it, giving myself permission to do what my body needed. Rest was one of those physical needs. I started going to bed earlier, even when the kitchen was a mess, the mail (both paper and electronic) was piled up, and there wasn’t a clean pair of matching socks in the house. Once my children were tucked in (for the umpteenth time), I let my body sink into the mattress. I melted into a delicious sleep most nights, but still wasn’t ready to get up in the morning. There never seemed to be enough time in the day, so I’d forego my morning walk to catch up on laundry, pay bills, unload and reload the dishwasher, or address the messes that had accumulated.

Then one morning, I crumbled. The kids were bickering, the cats were fighting, and my husband and I were both tired, grumpy, and hungry. Somehow I ended up half screaming, half crying that I needed two hours every morning to go walk by myself. He and I both knew that wasn’t realistic. He understood the feeling, though, because he is much the same way. He suggested that I wake up even earlier (like he does) to guarantee enough time to get my exercise, my nature fix, and my solitude. Ugh. The mere thought of less sleep made me more tired.

The next morning, I tried it anyway. While my husband held down the fort, I walked and I wandered for ninety minutes. My feet hurt and I was parched, but it was fantastic otherwise. I listened to the songbirds as I moved. I worked up a sweat. I enjoyed the morning light and the soft breeze. I noticed some sparks within me reigniting, some synapses firing, some voids beginning to fill. Then I spent some time with my old friends, the lupines and the buttercups. Oh how I had missed the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by flowers. By the time I got home, I was relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead.

There were still plenty of challenges to face, but I was more patient, more present, and more optimistic that day. Even though I had given up some of my precious sleep time, I felt energized. I’ve been getting up early every single day since then, because when I noticed the difference, I knew the sacrifice was worth it.

 

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