She set the intention ~ Jennifer

She set the intention to live joyfully

“She set the intention to live joyfully.” ~Jennifer

I miss Joy. She’s an old friend who is always there for me, no matter what. Even when I ignore her or feel undeserving, she doesn’t give up on me.

I miss how she makes me smile, how she fills my spirit. I’m never quite sure how or when, but I gradually drift away from Joy. I forget how essential she is; how she makes life sweet and bright. I get so caught up listening to Should and Must that I push Joy aside.

Eventually, the day comes when I realize with a furrowed brow that I’ve been tuning her out. I have to convince myself that I am worthy of Joy and her many gifts. She makes everything feel lighter, happier, better. She is effortless. She is glee. She is my son’s squeals of delight when he hears Dada come in at dinnertime. She is the look on my daughter’s face when we play silly games, complete with props and pretend voices. She is the loving email from a friend who speaks my heart language. She is the feeling of absolute bliss when I wander in a meadow of wildflowers. She shows up every time I hear the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding. She is the one who always guides me toward goodness, reminding me that I am free to choose happiness over guilt, fear, stress, and so-called obligation.

Joy is pure, kind, and radiant. I don’t want to be estranged from her again. I set the intention to invite her back into my everyday life, and I’m watching for all the beautiful ways she manifests. Joy never fails me. She doesn’t judge or hold grudges. She is one of the best friends in the world. Joy is a gracious and gentle teacher, always lifting me up and showing me how to be my best self.

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She set the intention ~ Bella

She Set the Intention
“She set the intention to start chasing the light.” ~Bella

At the close of every year, I choose a feeling or an intention or a word I want to carry into the new year ahead. It’s become a ritual of sorts. I light a candle and sit down to write all of the feelings I want to let go of, ones that no longer serve me or that I simply have no more room for. I then decide what I get to carry into the fresh new year with me.

This year more than ever, I wanted light. After a sad ending to last year, I wanted shiny, glowing light to surround me, my family, and my home. I asked out loud for light in my color choices, lightness throughout my days and my wardrobe, lighthearted conversations filled with laughter, and to feel lighter in my skin.

I want to make over my home, room by room, in a palette of glistening beach colors with white accents. Gone is my love for the macabre, the dark woods and chocolate brown walls I once loved, and the black tops that define me.

I want to chase the sun both with my camera and on a picnic blanket with my loves by my side. Rather than staying indoors I want to be out. And so, I must begin the chase now because my heart is telling me I need the light, copious amounts of it at that!

Each morning I wake up and say a prayer for light to envelope my heart. My intention is always on evolving to a better and brighter place. What better way to start than with asking for and then chasing the light?

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She set the intention

She set the intention ~ January 2015 triptych

A new month, a new year, a new triptych! The three of us sat with our thoughts and set our intentions, but we’re not revealing our quotes just yet.

Right now, we’d like to focus on you. What intention(s) did you set for 2015? If you haven’t done so yet, there’s still time. We three invite you to join us for some intention setting this month. Think it over. Jot your ideas down. Capture the concept in a self-portrait and then release it to the world. Do it as many times as you like, all month long. Remember to tag your images #sheisthreedotcom #shesettheintention on Instagram so we can find one another.

Here’s to a lovely new year, ladies…

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She walked away ~ Deb

she walked away

“She walked away from 2014 into the unknown.” ~Deb

Dear 2014,

I am walking away from you.

Unrealized dreams.
Apologies never received.
Broken relationship unmended.
Unfinished projects.

I release the responsibility of my unrealistic expectations.

I march forward without my word of the year ( gasp )
I raise the bar of my own creative productivity.
I lower my expectations to achieve more than I can handle.
I forgive the one who never shows up to bridge the gap.

I am comfortable with the unknown.
I stand firm with what I do know.
I look forward to learning, growing and opening myself to new adventures.

I am ready to walk into the new year with high hopes.
I will be gentle with myself.
I will not look back.
I walk on.
I let go.

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She walked away ~ Jennifer

She walked away from the darkness

“She walked away from the darkness.” ~Jennifer

This year has been challenging, eye-opening, rewarding, and exciting. It has also been dark. I’ve had to face my shadow, and it wasn’t pretty. Functioning on too little sleep while riding the rollercoaster of postpartum hormones was often hellish. Many days, I felt as though I were straddling two worlds, with one foot being pulled deeper into the Underworld and the other barely touching Earth. I often wonder why my journeys through pregnancy, nursing, and weaning seemed more like Greek myths than rosy experiences. I try not to dwell on those questions, though, because I’ve learned a lot on this path. Marriage and motherhood have brought me to my knees at times, forcing me to look at myself in the mirror when I least wanted to. I’ve seen insecurities, defense mechanisms, and fears that I never had to acknowledge when I was single and independent. Passing through such darkness has made me appreciate and trust the light more than ever. The sun hasn’t shone here in almost two weeks, but I know it will again. As I celebrate the Winter Solstice today, I’m choosing to move beyond the darkness. I no longer fear the longest night of the year, because I now recognize that even darkness has its time and place. It has taught me a great deal about my strengths and weaknesses, and it has inspired me to move closer and closer to the light.

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She walked away ~ Bella

She Walked Away

“She walked away from one dream to chase another.” ~Bella

For as long as I could remember, I’ve been a dreamer. To dream is wonderful. Dreaming allows you to expand beyond what you believe you are capable of believing, or in some cases, living. You can move so far away from your comfortable edges when you dream. It’s an exquisite practice.

I believe in naming and claiming my dreams and doing the work to see them come to life. Seeing so many of my dreams come alive has led to my belief in ceremony, ritual, and the energy our words hold.

This year, I also had many dreams that didn’t bloom to life. Sometimes time played a factor or circumstances beyond my control nudged themselves between the dream and myself. Sometimes, I simply lost the enthusiasm to see the dream through.

In cases like this, rather than abandon ship, I put the dreams on hold and walk away. Yes. Just like that.

Our time is precious and I don’t have enough of it to chase a dream that feels stagnant. I move on, dream bigger, and imagine wilder because possibility is a vast open field that has no end.

I’m walking away from 2014 with much accomplished both personally and work-related. My family endured a loss which left us leaning on each other like never before. Then there are the dreams that didn’t get my full attention. I”m leaving those ones behind for new ones. I see 2015 as a gateway to all things fresh. That’s where I’m walking now … forward.

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She walked away

She walked away ~ December 2014 triptych

Pictured from left to right:

“She walked away from one dream to chase another.” ~Bella
“She walked away from the darkness.” ~Jennifer
“She walked away from 2014 into the unknown.” ~Deb

As this year draws to a close, what are you walking away from? Would you like to share? As always, you’re invited to walk alongside us. Join us on Instagram as well by tagging your self-portraits #shewalkedaway and #sheisthreedotcom. Many blessings to you on your journey, and happy holidays from the three of us to all of you.

 

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She gathered ~ Deb

she gathered
“She gathered all the positive energy she could possibly hold.” ~Deb

I have a phobia of cold weather.

Born and raised in Texas, now living in sunny Florida, if the temps drop below 75 degrees I am running for covers and searching for sleeves.  When it gets down into those 30s and 40s I literally feel like my life is threatened and I want to curl up and die. I kinda freak out. I am not fun to be around.

Two weeks ago we went to New York to visit good friends. I was in a panic about the cold weather.
Afraid to be so miserable. How can I enjoy myself when all I want to do is go home and be barefoot on my beach?

The night before our flight, I was trying to pack. I checked online for the weather forecast. I borrowed sweaters, gloves and boots.
I was freaking out.

My sweet husband said to me ” I refuse to buy in to it. Let’s just take our sunshine with us ”

Ah ha !
Stop and drop.
He was right. 

I instantly changed my way of thinking.
I was determined it was going to be the trip of a lifetime.
I will take my sunshine with me.

All it takes is the positive state of mind.
I surrendered to what will be.
I let it go.
I gathered my soft long sleeves and favorite hats and showed up to a week of glorious, unusual warm weather for New York this time of year. 

We hiked and explored.
I witnessed the gorgeous fall foliage…and I never wore that wool sweater I packed.

You see, really, this was a huge lesson.
I had worked myself into such a frenzy, yet once I decided to change my focus, everything fell into place.

And the best part of it all…I finally met Bella, my sister friend here at She is Three.

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She gathered ~ Jennifer

She gathered bits of inspiration around her

“She gathered bits of inspiration around her.” ~Jennifer

I’ve always been a gatherer. I remember wandering out of our yard and into the neighbor’s woods as a five-year-old in search of blooming daffodils. Back then, it felt like I was venturing into a wonderland of flowers, quickly plucking as many as I could before being spotted by the mysterious people who lived in the white house two doors down. I’d sneak back onto our property, running with my head down and my daffodil bunch pressed to my chest. Heart pounding, I’d go to the back door, eager to deliver my present to my mom. She’d smile that way her one cheek crinkled, eyes happy but heart knowing I’d technically been trespassing. Her reactions were similar when numerous wild fern plants appeared in our woods, pulled from the bases of tree trunks elsewhere and transplanted to holes dug by my little fingers. I had no concept of property or ownership back then; I simply wanted to create magical spaces with flowers and unfurling fiddleheads like the ones I’d seen in our copy of A Child’s Book of Poems, illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.

Now I’m the mommy, with a little girl who loves flowers as much as me. She’s always asking to go out on the back deck while I’m cleaning the kitchen. I usually oblige, provided she stays where I can see her. Within minutes, she pops up at the sliding glass door with something she’s picked for me. On occasion, she has brought me entire zinnia plants, roots and all, and has stripped more than one pot of lavender. I know she means well, though, so I smile like my mom did and graciously accept her gift.

It was one of her floral offerings that inspired me to begin gathering again. One sunny September day, I arranged the zinnia and handful of asters she had collected for me, spontaneously making a nature mandala. That day something shifted in me. Or maybe it was a buried part of my that got unearthed by her innocent love of nature. Since then, I’ve been enjoying the practice of making nature mandalas with leaves, flowers, and seeds from our woods and gardens. I feel grounded, relaxed, and refreshed when I get the opportunity to gather bits of inspiration and then arrange them. It’s a practice in meditation as well as a lesson in letting go, allowing either the wind or my daughter to dismantle my creation. I’m reminded that no one owns the beauty of nature. It’s here for all of us to enjoy, from the three-lobed clover leaves to the heart-shaped redbud leaf, to the cosmos petals and silvery sage.

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She gathered ~ Bella

She Gathered

“She gathered her most holy prayers and prepared for Winter.” ~Bella

It starts with my wardrobe. Thick tights, knit cowls and neck warmers, sweaters pulled from the back of drawers. Nothing says it better than the first frost though. Winter is coming and it is time to settle in.

I sat in the darkness yesterday. It was not quite 6pm and the world was painted black. Soup bubbled on the stove, and my daughter sat at the table quietly doing her homework.  The entire scene was like a soft song.

The changes are subtle. Peak colored foliage dying off, lush trees now naked and bare, and almost every day the sky looks like a glazed silver.

It is now my time to retreat inward. Like bear, my ally this Autumn, I am prepping my home for the cold months.

I am stocking up on tea, foods that fit in a pot or a baking dish, books, magazines, yarn, paints, and plenty of journals. My prayers are held within stones and the greens of Yule: mistletoe, thistle, holly, and pine. There are also my oils and secret messages from the universe. I seek them out with my camera.

There is coziness to gathering, and I feel very alive in this mothering role. We will be here with candles lit, slowing down while the world continues to spin.

This is how I gather at this time of the year.

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