“She is wild about nature.” ~Jennifer
The meaning of wildness has come full circle for me. I feel a return happening; a return to the innocence and imagination of youth. I’m reconnecting with the little girl in me who saw life through a lens of magic. That little girl didn’t know darkness. She reveled in stories of fairies and unicorns. She felt the allure of the fiddleheads unfolding in the woods. She found enchantment amongst the daffodils. She was captivated by verdant patches of moss and silvery swaths of moonlight.
I’ve never thought of myself as wild before, but now I realize that I am. We all are in one way or another. I’m not reckless or riotous, but I am daring. I have a great sense of adventure, though my feats are much tamer since marriage and motherhood. And yet, it is in this phase of my life that I am recovering my true wildness. It is a wildness that was buried beneath years of dust and disillusionment. Mine is the wild heart of a girl who is deeply connected to nature. I’m fascinated with how the light plays off of everything around me. I’m in love with flowers. I’m wild about autumn, with its gleaming days and crisp nights. I’m downright amazed at all of the healing potential in this world. There is so much beauty out there, and I’m happiest when I take the time to soak it in.
“She is Wild and Reborn.” ~Bella
There are stories I carry. These stories were passed down to me from my mother and father who took on these same stories from their mother and father. By default, I should live out these stories and see them trickle down into my daughter’s hands.
These stories live in tradition and convention. These stories are what people expect of me. They are safe. They are vanilla. They are not in alignment with the part of me that is free, feral, and wild. And I can no longer carry them.
And so I sit in the forest. I burn my palo santo wood, and I ask my guides to help me break free of the old, molded ideas that no longer serve me. I seek ideas and vision what it would look like to face my days from a place of no boundaries or restrictions.
It is new, this wild me that is emerging and being born. And I really like who she is.
In what way(s) are you wild? You might be wild about/for/like something or someone. Or maybe it’s not a question of how, but of when you are wild. Perhaps you don’t feel wild at all, but you’d like to. Now is the perfect time. The three of us invite you to play with the concept of being wild this month. Let the shifting weather patterns of October inspire you. Make the most of the Halloween season by donning a wild costume. There are so many ways to interpret this month’s prompt. Your wildness might look subdued or it might look stormy. Be natural. Be passionate. Be silly. Be free. Be who you are. Be who you want to be. There are no wrong answers here. Just show us your takes on being wild.
Please join us by posting your self-portraits on Instagram using the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #sheiswild this month. We’re looking forward to seeing you there. As always, we’ll back here on the 14th, 21st, and 28th to share our quotes and the stories behind our photos. In the meantime, here is a little video we made just for you!
“She acknowledged the need to simplify her life.” ~Deb
I stripped it down again this month.
Baring, bearing and acknowledging my truth.
And my truth is that I am trying to simplify.
My art studio.
My fabric collection.
My wine consumption.
My social media.
My travel expenses.
My desire for change.
It’s one thing to take on more than you can handle.
But it’s another to admit it out loud…and then say “No, I cannot do that, or this.”
And take the break you need to save yourself.
Somedays I feel like Super Woman with all the extraordinary powers and I get all the stuff done!
And then like a wave that rolls over me, I get knocked down. I feel like I just can’t keep up.
I shut off the phone, unplug from social media and neglect emails and phonecalls.
I break it down. I come undone. Shed a few layers (as in my photo above)
I slow down. I rest. I rejuvenate. I look inward. I re-evaluate.
Then like a Phoenix, I arise.
I rise above the raging current and begin to float.
I begin to manage my emotions, actions and connections with a clean, fresh slate.
I feel kinder and more patient. I soften. I feel the peace.
My friends and family deserve that.
I will continue to simplify as I acknowledge my truth.
“She acknowledged the need to have fun.” ~Jennifer
It took a trip to kindergarten for me to remember how important it is to have fun. On my daughter’s first day of school, my husband and I (and the other kindergarten families) rode the bus with her. We met the teacher and we watched as the children hung their backpacks in their cubbies and found their names at the tables. As I stood in the back of the room observing, I learned a great deal.
Gone are the days of chalk and blackboard. The teacher used a Promethean board connected to her computer to project the lessons. With a stylus, she colored in various shapes on the interactive white board. She showed how scribbling with no effort was not acceptable. Then as she was carefully filling in another shape, she “accidentally” colored outside the lines. It’s okay if that happens sometimes, she explained, as long as you try your best.
In the back of my head, I knew I had to take a self-portrait for She is Three when we got home that day. Neither timing nor weather nor inspiration had lined up for me to do it during the days prior. But after we got off the bus that afternoon, I just wanted to relax. I wanted to do my best for the photo, but I didn’t want to stress out about staying inside the lines. It was a gorgeous sunny day, so I took my daughter and my son outside to play. As we were blowing bubbles near the zinnias, I thought about the kindergarten lesson again. Then I told myself to forget about composition, clothing, and location. Instead of going inside to get my DSLR, I snapped some photos with my iPhone while my children were playing right in front of me. Then I put the phone down and went back to enjoying the beauty of the zinnias, the simple joy of blowing bubbles, and the giggles of my little ones. Both my daughter and I colored outside the lines a bit that day, but we did our best and we had lots of fun.
“She acknowledged all aspects of her strength.” ~Bella
There are days that I feel like I am a strong woman. On those days, when my head hits the pillow and thoughts drift in and out of my head, I think about what kind of strength it took to get through that day. Sometimes I give myself a little pat on the back thinking how tough I was to plough through the muck to arrive at this moment of rest.
In all honesty, it may be healthy to recognize our strengths and give ourselves some lovin’ when we make it through something difficult. But there is a strength we don’t often see or recognize until much time and thought process have happened. Do you know those instances when we wonder to ourselves how in the world we got through a difficult situation like a health crisis or a loss? We walk through traumatic events in two possible states: autopilot with our feelings below the surface or dazed in shock, unable to feel. Coming out of it on the other side, we recognize a strength we had no idea we knew we possessed.
I’m there right now. In the thick of it as I travel through a miniature health situation with my husband. And sometimes, the situation weighs so heavily I have no choice but to get down on the floor and move, stretch, and shake all the feelings away. I still put one foot in front of the other and I know that somewhere in my thoughts many months from now, I’ll wonder how I got through this. And I will see what it looked like from there. Until then, it is only onward.
There is so much to acknowledge on any given day. We have emotions, experiences, needs, and responsibilities that call for our attention constantly. It can be hard to acknowledge everything going on around us and within us. There are times when it’s easier to turn a blind eye or bury our heads in the sand, but that’s not what we aim to do here at She is Three. So we’re stepping out and acknowledging what is coming up in our days, our hours, even our minutes.
We invite you to come forward and acknowledge what is going on in your world this month. It doesn’t have to be neat and tidy. It does have to be you, however, just as you are right now. The truth is beautiful, and that’s what we want to see. We want you to see it in yourselves, too.
Please join us on Instagram by tagging your self-portraits #sheisthreedotcom #sheacknowledged (and feel free to post as often as you like)!
Do stop by here on the 14th, 21st, and 28th to read the quotes and stories behind our photos. For now, here’s a little peek into our process this month!
“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.
“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.
“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.