She worshipped the sun ~ Jennifer

She worshipped the sun in humble gratitude

“She worshipped the sun with humble gratitude.” ~Jennifer

I’m not a sun worshipper. Not by any means. My skin has always been the fairest in my family, and I have to be very careful in the sun. As a child, I got far too many sunburns on my body and freckles on my face. My mom always told me my freckles were cute, referring to them as pixie dust or angel kisses, but I was not convinced. No matter how hard I wished, I never got golden skin (or the blonde hair and blue eyes I prayed for).

As an adult, I can see how silly that all was, wasting time wishing I had been born with different traits. We all come into this world as individuals with unique gifts to share and our own lessons to learn. No matter how dissimilar we look or how disparate our paths may be, we are united by the fact that the same sun shines on all of us. There is no shortage of its light. No one can hide it or steal it or hoard it all for themselves. The sun’s light is always there, even when it is obscured by clouds during the day or darkness at night. That same sun warms us, brightens our days, and provides renewable energy. It fosters growth and brings forth natural beauty in the world. While I may not be a sun worshipper per se, I have come to love that bright light in the sky. When I see how it illuminates the wings of a dragonfly, shimmers on the water, or highlights a flower’s petals, I see holiness. It brings me to my knees with humble gratitude.

 

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She worshipped the sun ~ Bella

she worshiped the sun
She worshipped the sun she found inside of her.” ~Bella

Seek. This word had guided me for so long. I always thought that I would find comfort, pleasure, relief, confidence, peace, love, and all the other good feelings we humans love to feel somewhere outside of myself. I read books. I gathered with people in beautiful places. I have loved and have been loved. Yet still, there was something missing and it felt like a gaping void in my soul.

I shared with a friend that I began to feel like a fraud. My talk was a good one, but I was not walking my walk. And when I say fraud, I don’t mean it in a malicious way. I had a couple of moments of clarity this year where I was able to look at myself deeply and note where I could make changes with big amounts of love and compassion.

The biggest revelation and practice that has come about is that I began to find my inner compass, the place inside of me where all of the feelings I want to swim inside of reside. I learned how to tap into my intuition and weed out a lot of the muck that was blocking this connection. This work is ongoing because the soul runs so deep.

Inside of me is a light. I found it flickering at first but it has been growing and growing and growing. The light has rays that radiate beyond me. It touches the ones I love, the random people I get to talk to during the day, the way I live in and treat my home, and the projects I create. It walks into a room before I do. This light is what I was looking for. It’s been inside of me all along. There is also an equal amount of darkness to compliment it, because I couldn’t have one without the other.

This summer has ignited my love for the heat. I spent time in the high desert under a cloudless sky, sweating out old, toxic ways of thinking. Jumping into a cold river felt like a baptism, a renewal, the right place to begin worshipping the sun inside of me.

On this new moon, I am calling in my angels to guide me as I explore this glowing part of who I am becoming, right now. My light continues to grow as I continue to feed it. Yours does too.

 

O Love, O pure deep love, be here, be now.

Be all; worlds dissolve into Your stainless endless radiance,

Frail living leaves burn with You brighter than cold stars;

Make me Your servant, Your breath, Your core.  ~Rumi

 

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She worshipped the sun

Can you believe it’s August already?  Yes, the last full month of summer is here and we want to make the very best of it.  The days are warm but not scorching.  The nights are refreshing but not chilly.  The sun radiates an irresistible light.  And so, this month, we have chosen the prompt “She worshipped the sun.”  Take it literally or figuratively.  Go lightly or dive deeply.  We invite you to make use of the concept however you need.  There is no right or wrong way to journey with us.  Simply use this self-portraiture prompt as a springboard. On Instagram, follow us @sheisthree and tag your self-portraits #sheisthreedotcom #sheworshippedthesun to be included in the pool.   We love dipping into the healing waters there each month and we hope you will, too. 

As always, the three of us will be back here on the 14th, 21st, and 28th to share our quotes and the stories behind our photos.  In the meantime, we send you light as warm and lovely as the August sun.

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She found freedom ~ Deb

she found freedom

“She found freedom inside her stolen moments of solitude.” ~Deb

Remember that feeling as a kid when you were building tents in the living room with bed sheets and card tables,
Sitting inside that soft womb of safety,
Nestled in your own tiny world of make-believe,
Dark and quiet and cozy?

That is what my self-portrait is all about:
Taking a moment to be alone;
To create space for comfort and solitude.

I captured this shot early in the morning, just before the noisy first day of Kids Art Day Camp I am teaching this summer.
Here I sat, with myself, inside a refrigerator box which would later be transformed into a children’s “prehistoric cave.”

Just me. Silent. Peaceful. Calm.

I was reminded that as much as I adore creative gatherings, I also require moments of seclusion.
I thrive on the peace of privacy;
The moment to enjoy my own company,
And the freedom to be at one with myself.

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She found freedom ~ Jennifer

She found freedom from the noise
“She found freedom from the noise.” ~Jennifer

Life is noisy. The alarm clock buzzes. The security alarm beeps. Horns and sirens go off in the distance. Cell phones ring and vibrate constantly. The floor creaks. The water runs. Children whine and cry. Animals near and far bark, meow, huff, screech, and howl. Appliances hum. The radio blares. Adults raise their voices to communicate over the din.

On any given day, these are the sounds I hear. They can feel like blows, hitting me from all angles. Of course there are also lovely sounds to behold in my midst: the children giggling, the cats purring, the rain falling, the wind chimes singing, my husband whispering to me. Sometimes it’s hard to tune out all the background clatter in order to appreciate those soft, sweet sounds, though. I need a break to step outside and clear my head. I stand in the field, letting the summer breeze blow around me. My skirt flutters and my hair flies about. I hear the tall grasses rustling, the goldfinches warbling, the red-tailed hawk calling, the locusts chirping. As the calming sounds of nature wash over me, I find freedom from the noise of everyday life.

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She found freedom ~ Bella

Bella July Si3

“She found freedom when she stopped looking backwards.” ~Bella

There is something I’ve learned through the years, along my travels, and from my many experiences.
Never look back.
Would. Should. Could. None of that matters.
It is what it is? Nope.
It was what it was.
The present is my “what is” and in this moment, I choose only to look forward.
You know why?
You can’t go back.
You can’t change what happened.
You can’t take back the actions or the words.
You can’t relive a moment.
I choose to stay here, in the present, with my eyes fixed on the horizon.
Barefoot. Forward. Free.

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She found freedom

There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom: the lightness, the expansiveness, the opportunities, the bliss.  This month, we invite you to express how you experience freedom.  Be it physical, emotional, spiritual, verbal, or otherwise, let July be a month of creative liberation to proclaim your freedom(s) alongside us.

We’ll be back on the 14th, 21st, and 28th to share our quotes and the stories behind our photos.  In the meantime, join us here, on Instagram (@sheisthree), and Facebook with your self-portraits depicting the ways you have found freedom.  Remember to use the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom and #shefoundfreedom.  Even if you haven’t found it yet, may you allow yourself this month to explore the possibility of freedom.

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She went to the water ~ Deb

she went to the water
“She went to the water to revive her Soul.” ~Deb

I live on a barrier island in between the Banana River and the Indian River.
Seven minutes from my front door is the Atlantic Ocean.

I am surrounded by water.

Salty, brackish, calm, choppy, wavy.

I see water every single day when I leave my house.

I wish I had a water view from my bedroom, yet I can walk to the river in five minutes where the sunrises are amazing!

When I see that pinky-orange sky I leap out of bed and go to the water for a soothing start to my day.

Sometimes when I am feeling a bit frazzled and crusty, I drive straight to the beach and lay it all down; literally on the sandy beach at the water’s edge and allow the waves to wash over me..soothing my Soul. I don’t even bother to change clothes. I am instantly transformed and softened.

I go to the water for a refreshing swim where I frolic in the waves like a Mermaid. Leaping and laughing. Floating and drifting.

There are so many fancy toys for water play such surfboards, kayaks and kite sailing.

But for me, I don’t have a need for speed.

I go to the water to slow down.

To “get right.”

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She went to the water ~ Jennifer

She went to the water that called  her home

“She went to the water that called her home.” ~Jennifer

There was a time not all that long ago when going to the water meant walking a few blocks to the Aegean Sea. I could see it from the balcony of my apartment, that swath of deep blue to the east. It floated on the horizon beyond rooftops covered in solar panels and balconies shrouded in laundry hung out to dry. I never took the sea for granted, especially because I never knew just how long I would be living by it. Months turns into years. I had walked away from my career in the US and didn’t ever plan on returning, so I did my best to deal with the local problems. Being surrounded by corruption, crumbling buildings, jealousy, infidelity, fickleness, animal cruelty, and gossip were all part of the trade-off for living there, or so I thought.

I experienced some of my darkest moments in the blinding midday sun. I wore sunglasses constantly, but they couldn’t shield my eyes from the truth. It was art that saved me. My clearest, happiest moments on that island were spent behind a camera. Looking through the viewfinder enabled me to isolate bits of beauty on which to focus. I underwent my very own version of phototherapy. It wasn’t the exposure to sunlight or the vitamin D that made me feel better, it was the act of taking photographs. I began to develop a relationship with light. Part of that process was seeing the shadows in my midst. I finally chose to face them and move on rather than turn a blind eye any longer.

Photography brought me back to myself and back to the water I call home. It is neither turquoise nor cerulean nor cobalt. The water that called me home is the fresh water of ponds and lakes. As a child, I often rode my bike to a small pond down the street in search of ducks to feed and tadpoles to catch. Now things have come full circle. Surprising as it may be to some, I gave up the azure blue of faraway seas for the brown and green hues of domestic pond water. When I am feeling upset, confused, or disconnected, one of the places I go to is the dock. Sometimes I stare at the way the water sparkles in the sun. Sometimes I listen to the hum of dragonflies and the croaking of frogs. And then there are the occasions when I go to the water for a cathartic cry. I gladly trade the salty water of tears and seas and high tides for the sweet and soothing stillness of the pond.

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She went to the water ~ Bella

"she went to the water"

“She went to the water to satiate her thirst.” ~Bella

 

Water.

It is the element that sustains life. A wilting plant, born from the earth, stands tall again when nourished with love and water.

A soul, dried from lack of care, bounces back with vigor when hydrated with the purest liquid known to man.

Water.

Before we existed, there was land and there was water.

I am thirsty. I have written articles listing reasons why I go to the water. I have written blog posts expressing how connected to the water I feel. But still, I am thirsty.

In these dry seasons, I forget things. My creativity vanishes. My plants suffer.

Water.

I have to remind myself daily to drink up. My energy channels feel clearer and my body becomes one with the flow of my day. I pick up a watering can and nurture my plant’s thirst. My head becomes less foggy. I am hydrated and in my lush green, forest-surrounded home. The roses are blooming because I sing to them and give them the shower they crave.

Water.

And like the roses, I come back to life when I allow my thirst to be satiated.

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