She lifted ~ Jennifer

Aug2014Jen

“She lifted her eyes to the sky and asked for help.” ~Jennifer

It was one of those days. The odd thing is that I don’t remember why now. I only remember the good that came of it. My husband and I had gotten into an argument. We were both tired and frustrated. To clear the air, he asked me to head out for a bit with the baby while he stayed home to make dinner with our little girl. At first I dug my heels in, saying I wasn’t going anywhere. Then I realized he was right. We both needed some space and we both want a happy home for ourselves and our children, above all. I saw that it was a gift to go for a drive, clear my head, and lull the baby to sleep. And so I did.

I drove down one particular road twice, turning around because the light on the sunflowers caught my eye. Flowers have a way of calling me and calming me. I parked and set up my camera and tripod next to my car, where the baby was safe and asleep. There were a few looks and inquiries from people going in and out of the building (especially when they realized I was taking self-portraits, too), but I didn’t let them stop me. Surrounded by flowers, I looked up and asked for help.

A few minutes later, a woman approached me and asked if I was a professional photographer. I always balk at that question. “Um, no, not really,” I said. Smiling, she held out a card and invited me to her newly opened flower farm just a couple miles away. She said she wanted artists to feel welcome to come paint and take photos there. My heart sang. I began telling her about She is Three, the self-portrait I had just taken, and Bella Grace magazine. It turns out she is a counselor and art therapist with an office on the top floor of the building outside which I was parked. I immediately felt called to give her the extra copy of Bella Grace that I had purchased and still happened to have in the car. Her kind eyes lit up. She told me she would put it in her waiting room for her clients to enjoy. Indeed she has. I’ve been there a couple times myself already. Now when I look at this self-portrait, I remember how I asked for help and received it.

***

In other news, I want to say how lovely it was to read all of your comments on our special post for the Bella Grace Blog Hop. There were so many that we’re still replying to all of them! Thank you to each of you for visiting with us. Each person who shared was entered once. My daughter picked a name out of the bowl last night, and the winner is: Kim Mailhot! Congratulations, Kim! Please watch for an email from sheisthree{at}gmail{dot}com later today. I’ll be contacting you for your mailing address! I’ll be sending out the magazine as well as special gifts from the three of us: two sacred stones from Bella, my flower photograph postcards plus some dried lavender, and seashells collected by Deb!

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She lifted ~ Bella

She Lifted
“She lifted all of her uncertainties and allowed them to fly away into the vast unknown.” ~Bella

It has been one full year since I joined Jennifer and Deb here at She is Three. What a journey this has been for me, for us three ladies who I affectionately refer to as “my sisters.” Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and for supporting me through my first year of soul work through self portraiture.

When I submitted this quote to accompany my photo, my father-in-law was alive and well. Today he is an angel in the heavens smiling down on us, probably dancing with my mother. I can imagine them laughing together and that comforts me.

What I have learned over the last year in my own personal work and from the last week through our loss is that life is happening right now. Every breath I take is a gift and I get to choose joy, love, compassion, kindness, and empathy for myself as well as for others.

I do worry. I do have everyday life problems and issues. I am uncertain at times. Today I look at this photo and see all of these things encapsulated within a pink balloon ready for send-off to my angels above. I lift and let go. My heart is much lighter knowing I have people on the other side waiting to catch my stories and comfort me from afar. This practice will now become my go-to ritual. Life is ups and downs. Once a month, I can go to this secret place in the forest, put all of my downs into a balloon, and let them drift away.

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She held stones, flowers, and shells

She_held

 

What a delight it is for She is Three to be featured in the first issue of Stampington’s amazing new magazine, Bella Grace!  It’s the most beautiful book-like publication.  We couldn’t be more proud to be part of it, and part of the Bella Grace Blog Hop!  In honor of this adventure, we’d like to share some of our secrets with you.  Times have been incredibly hectic lately, like the world is being shaken up.  We understand how hard it is to stay centered and grounded when eveything is shifting.  So today we’re revealing what we reach for to bring us each back in tune with ourselves and our magic.  By the way, we’re giving away a copy of Bella Grace to one lucky soul!  Details are at the bottom of this post! 

 

Bella_Stones

~Bella~

Stones, rocks, sea glass, sand, and crystals. It’s their energy that I am attracted to. Of the earth they are born, just as man was. The blessed earth we live, eat, and breathe upon. The magic and energy infused within them feed my soul and my cells. I bathe them in sunlight, moonlight, and holy water so that when I need a lift, all I need to do is reach for one. They comfort me in sadness and aid me while I pray or meditate. My stones are a sacred part of me now. I hold them tenderly in my hands and surrender.

 

Jennifer_Flowers

~Jennifer~

Flowers are my heart medicine. They bring me back to Earth, grounding me in the gifts of here and now.  They soothe me when I’m anxious. They comfort me when I’m sad. They always inspire me with their wondrous colors.  Flowers help me see light.  They hold it and reflect it in ways that catch my eye and cradle my spirit.  I can’t help but be drawn in by the sparkle of morning dew on petals or the way late afternoon light dances on stems and illuminates blooms.

The shapes and sizes of flowers are as diverse as us all, and each is beautiful in it’s own right.  Then there’s the scent.  Heaven s(c)ent.  The sweetness of violets for my daughter.  The heady fragrance of lavender for me.  And the wild, earthy glory of Queen Anne’s lace for my mom.  I hold these three flowers close to my heart to connect me to all that is divine, feminine, and true.

 

Deb_Shells

~Deb~ 

As long as my memory serves, I have collected seashells.
I know you are smiling right now, because you do too, right?
No matter what beach I walk, no matter where in the world of sandy shores, that perfect treasure always finds its way to the inside of my pocket.
The Sea speaks to me, with every rolling wave, washing ashore her bits for me to capture.
I pile them up in bowls, jars and platters.
I create dream catchers and art objects of whimsy.
I place them on my personal altars.

I enclose them in gifts.

I have millions. Yet I bet I can still tell you where I found that swirly, curvy beautiful gift from the Sea.
The Atlantic Ocean is seven minutes from my front door.
My sandy morning walk on the beach during low tide has become my daily simple pleasure.
It’s good to be me.

Shells find me.
I live by the Sea.

 

For a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace, leave us a comment telling us what you hold when you need to get back in tune.  Is it a smoothe, cool river stone?  A lavender pillow?  A shell held to your ear?  We look forward to hearing your secrets.  Comments will remain open until Wednesday, August 20th at 6pm Eastern Time (3pm Pacific Time).  We’ll announce the winner of a random drawing in a new post on the 21st.   Remember to keep checking back at the Stampington blog to find more chances to win!

P.S. We invite you to join us on Instagram (@sheisthree) where we’re using the hashtags #shelifted for #sheisthreedotcom all this month.  We’d love for you to join us on the healing  journey.   We’ll be right here on the blog on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of this month to share the stories behind our own “She lifted” self-portraits…   

UPDATE: The giveaway winner is here!

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She lifted

Pictured from left to right:

“She lifted all of her uncertainties and allowed them to fly away into the vast unknown.” ~Bella
“She lifted her eyes to the sky and asked for help.” ~Jennifer
“She lifted the expectations of herself and was instantly set free.” ~Deb

Be sure to join us on Instagram (@sheisthree) by tagging your #shelifted self-portraits for #sheisthreedotcom throughout the month of August.  We look forward to seeing you there!  By the way, there’s a giveaway happening here on the blog this month!  Scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe to receive new blogposts and you’ll be among the first to find out about it!

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She trusted ~ Deb

“She trusted the silence to keep her calm.” Deb

“She trusted the silence to keep her calm.” ~Deb

Sometimes when the noises in my head are deafening, I go to the calm water.
When my breath is short, I stand a bit taller and inhale as deep as my belly will allow.

When I am confronted with conflict, I hop on my bike and spin around the block a few times.
When my heart beats too fast, I lay down on the yoga mat.

When I am still enough to calm down the monkey mind, I discover peace.

I rest in the moment.
And I always arise with a fresh perspective of the situation at hand.

Speaking of hands…try this right now. (Thank you Bella for this reminder)
Place your right hand over your heart.
Now place your left hand on your belly.
Breathe in deeply, three long slow breaths.

Now, doesn’t that feel better?

So tell me…what do you trust that grounds you, calms you and leads you to peace?
I would like to know so maybe I can add it to my own list of self-care practices.

Namaste

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She trusted ~ Jennifer

She trusted her path and kept walking toward the light

“She trusted her path and kept walking toward the light.” ~Jennifer

Some days it feels like I’m moving so slowly; almost like wading through molasses. I’m not where I thought I would be ten years ago, but I know I’m on the right path. I’ve taken risks and gone on amazing adventures. I’ve also been stubborn and therefore had to learn a few lessons the hard way. I’m not in the career that I spent most of my life preparing for. I actually changed course rather drastically and followed my heart, even when it made no logical sense.

I married relatively late and had my children at thirty-eight and forty, so my husband and I are now in the midst of life with little ones. It’s messy and hectic and frustrating and adorable. It’s also very hard to get things done! But that’s the thing: my life is no longer about just getting things done. It’s about appreciating each day rather than always projecting into the future. It’s about soothing today’s tears and enjoying the giggles. It’s seeing the light shining through my daughter’s hair, and witnessing the sparkle in my baby boy’s eyes. It’s about loving myself right where I am, even though I’m still carrying ten of the forty-five pregnancy pounds I gained this time. I don’t think I could breastfeed my son without them, so I’m okay with the fact that my clothes are a bit tight for now. At least my shoes fit! I pulled these red boots out of the closet for this photo. My daughter loves to clomp around in them and play dress-up. Me too! I secretly refer to them as my superpower boots. I bought them many years ago from an old woman who used to wear them to Red Hat Society meetings. I like knowing where these boots have been, and I know that they have many places to go yet.

It’s a good thing I love to learn, because I’ll always be learning in this life. I must admit that part of me does miss teaching. At some point, I’ll be ready to launch e-courses. When? I don’t know quite yet. But I do trust that as long as I keep walking toward the light, I’ll always be at the right place at the right time.

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She trusted ~ Bella

Untitled
“She trusted a deep cleansing would make space for her truth to surface.” ~Bella

I am cleansing.
I’m clearing out corners of my home. I’m rummaging through my closet and keeping only what I love. I’m letting go of furnishings and draperies that feel too heavy. I’m scaling back to see what my home style really looks like. I trust that in time this new landscape will slowly show itself.

I am cleansing.
The refrigerator and shelves of my home are stocked with more colorful fresh foods. Gone are the processed and boxed staples I thought we couldn’t live without. We are doing just fine, thriving in fact. I trust that by treating my body with love and care it will become healthier and stronger.

I am cleansing.
I burn the corners of my home with a sage bundle. I open the windows and allow the fresh air to swirl around. It feels like the doorway to my soul is opening up. In the sweltering heat of summer, I can feel my old self melting away. I let go, I surrender, and I trust all of the answers are right here.

My truth resides within me. I trust this more than anything.

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She trusted

She trusted ~ July 2014 triptych

Pictured from left to right:

“She trusted a deep cleansing would make space for her truth to surface.” ~Bella
“She trusted her path and kept walking toward the light.” ~Jennifer
“She trusted the silence to keep her calm.” ~Deb

P.S. What are you trusting this month?  Share your thoughts with us here and join us on Instagram (@sheisthree) by tagging your self-portraits #shetrusted for #sheisthreedotcom. We’ll hold space for you.

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She danced ~ Deb

she danced
“She danced to her own life.” ~Deb

I love to dance.
With or without music.
Move and groove. Shake, rattle and roll.
All genres of music. All times of day. Everywhere I go.

It all began in the early 80′s with Disco Fire and Line Dance Fever. John Travolta.
I taught Dancercise at the local YMCA, making up routines that actually made exercise FUN!
And then Urban Cowboy swept me off my feet ( Hello John again ).
I learned how to Two Step by standing on the boots of my brother as he whirled and twirled me around the dance floor.

The 90′s were weird with Madonna, Cher and Culture Club…but they always somehow made me move!

I morphed into some slow grooves with new lovers and life changes. Falling in love { again } and slow dancing in the kitchen.

Meditation in motion during yoga practice. Salsa Dancing on the side to spice it up.

OK. So here I am, 56 years old, and still love to dance.
And yes it is true, I am that girl who “dances to the beat of her own drum.”

Because life is a dance. And I choose exactly how I want to live.
Some days are fast, some days are slow.

And I can always count on making every single day my own choice.

Johnny Holmes of the Black Cat Choir Band recently told me, “Deb, you dance like happy feels.”

If you care to dance with me, some of my nostalgic tunes are over here: “Dance” … I bet you can’t sit still.
Come get your happy on!!

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She danced ~ Jennifer

She danced to the new song emerging from within her

She danced to the new song emerging from within her. ~Jennifer

It feels so good to be in the season of summer; to have the warmth of the sun and the lushness of green surrounding me again. I’m finding a new rhythm. The early months of my son’s infancy have passed. There is a sadness knowing that I won’t pass that way again, but there is also the joy of now. The nighttime feedings and snuggles to comfort him through the teething process continue, coupled with infinite giggles and chuckles during the day. He and I typically wake with the sunrise. The light he brings has unlocked something within me. I’m more willing and able to tap into my maternal source. I’m not so afraid of mothering this time. And I’m not so reticent about embracing who I am.

On a deep level somewhere that I can’t quite pinpoint, I’m subtly and gradually loosening up. I’m becoming more connected to myself and to this land where we live. My daughter’s love of feeling her feet in the grass reminds me to take my shoes off and do the same. Motherhood is giving me a new sense of childhood. There’s a return to innocence. There’s a lack of inhibition. There’s structure and yet there’s freedom. There are wildflower bouquets to pick and empty snail shells to collect. There are stories to tell. There’s dancing in the morning light to the music of the birds. There’s a sense of setting out to find my place in this big world.

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