She scattered ~ Jennifer

She scattered ~ Jennifer

“She connected to the earth and scattered her worries there.” ~Jennifer

I’ve been told many times that I think too much. It’s true, though looking back, I realize I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to. Having small children leaves me very little time to think at all, it seems. But when I’m tired, really tired, I still fall back into old habits of worry and fear. My mind swirls with what-ifs and should-haves. When I feel myself sliding in that direction, I know it’s time to get out of my head; out of the past and out of the future. It’s time to get back to now.

Going outside is one of the best ways I know to reconnect to reality. There is nothing like Mother Nature to soothe the soul. She never, ever fails to make me feel calmer, better, happier. Outdoors, the leaves crunching beneath my feet and the crows cawing in the treetops replace the voices of doubt in my mind. I lean my head back on a tree and let it hold me. I feel the tightness in my forehead and my neck start to loosen. I press my fingertips to the ground and grasp the grass, noticing how it feels moist and alive. The sun plays hide-and-seek, warming my skin and making a patchwork of light in the woods around me. I can taste the fresh air, the freedom, the relief. I connect to the earth and scatter my worries there, grateful for the grounding and healing gifts of nature.

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She scattered ~ Bella

She Scattered

“She scattered her totems, the reminders of her abundant life.” ~Bella

I have collections of special things all throughout my house. There is a bowl of sea glass and shells from almost every beach I’ve visited. I have rocks from a European monastery buried in my garden. I keep bottles of Atlantic and Pacific Ocean water in my bedroom. Crystals, I love them, and have many of them scattered around my spaces.

I like to arrange mini altars in each of the rooms I spend time in (this includes my car). The items rotate as my thinking and state of mind transforms. Sometimes it’s just nice knowing that my totems are there when I need to hold on to something.

Some days, when I have extra time, I scatter my items before me and meditate with them, clean them, and rearrange them. Each piece holds energy that feels good and infuses my spaces and my hands with positivity. To give them a boost, I’ll put them outside during the full moon or soak them in salt water. I feel like it increases their magic.

I scatter my dreams, my fears, my laughter, and many tears with these totems. They hold as much of my energy as I do of theirs. These things are my visual and spiritual comfort pieces, always within gaze and offering an immediate sense of calm.

What are some of the items you hold near when you need comfort? Where do you scatter emotions both lighthearted and weighty?

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She scattered

She scattered ~ October 2014 triptych
Pictured from left to right:

“She scattered her totems, the reminders of her abundant life.” ~Bella
“She connected to the earth and scattered her worries there.” ~Jennifer
“She scattered herself in so many directions, she almost forgot where she belonged.” ~Deb

How will you interpret our prompt, “She scattered,” this month? Join us on Instagram @sheisthree and tag your #shescattered self-portraits for #sheisthreedotcom all month long. We look forward to seeing you there, plus we’ll be sharing our own stories right here!

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She concealed ~ Deb

she concealed

“She concealed her longing to travel again, seeking for new adventures.” ~Deb

“I want the impossible, I want to fly all the time, I destroy ordinary life, I run towards all the dangers of love…” ~ Anaïs Nin ~

It has happened.
My Gypsy Soul is restless and she is longing to fly.

It’s been two years of feathering my new nest in Florida, seeking out my “tribe” and struggling with the current challenges that come along with relocating.
Now my wings are fluttering. My belly is aching. My feet are twitching. My fingers are itching.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my home, my friends and the glorious beach seven minutes down the road.
I actually live in a place like Paradise, and so many folks vacation here or have winter homes.

But wanderlust grabbed hold of me and I feel like one foot is out my front door.

I have returned to Texas for three weeks. I work here. I reconnect with my tribe. I dance. I laugh. I cry. I love.
My cup gets filled. My Gypsy Soul calms down, just a bit. She digs into her familiar lifestyle. She feels wild and free.

Yet now the time has come to explore some uncharted waters. Walk the path less chosen. Fly a new pattern. Swim a new Sea.

I am unsure where this longing will lead me.
But for now, I am counting the days until November when we travel to New York…my first visit ever. ~ eek ! ~
We will be visiting friends outside the city, so exploring new sights will be perfectly hosted.
And in the meantime, I feel better about revealing my concealed desires and longings.

Backstory about my photo: I drove down the road near my house, by the river with suitcase in hand. Wearing little of nothing, like you do when you go on tropical vacations.
I felt like I was running away from home that day, in such a hurry because thunderstorms were fiercely rolling in.
I was twirling by the waters edge, imagining myself in a new country. Eyes wide open, feeling free. My hand seems to be waving a strong good-bye.

But honestly, I am home. This is where I live and love.
This is enough. For now.
Yet when I listen to the song by Zac Brown, this line gets me every time:
“I got a Gypsy Soul to blame and I was born for leavin’.”

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She concealed ~ Jennifer

Sometimes she concealed herself for comfort

“Sometimes she concealed herself for comfort.” ~Jennifer

In many ways, I adore the Internet. Of course it makes ordering anything from books to baby food in the middle of the night a heck of a lot easier, but my gratitude goes much deeper than that. On a very personal level, the Internet opened up a whole new world to me; a place of art, beauty, and bravery. Thanks to online courses and lovely blogs, I’ve found kindred spirits and connected with buried parts of myself. These last few years have been rife with major changes. Some felt like breakdowns, others like breakthroughs. Being able to peel back my layers and document the stages I have gone through in the company of wonderful women has helped me see better on my path, even when my vision was clouded with hormones and headaches.

Sometimes it’s hard to show up and share, but it makes my day each time one of you leaves a comment. Maybe you have felt similar pain or similar joy. Maybe you were having a bad day and my post somehow comforted you or encouraged you. I love the fact that we can live anywhere on this planet and still be connected. At the same time, I feel myself struggling to keep up with the non-stop pace of the Internet. I don’t want to miss out on a new class, or fail to show up for a friend. I want to participate, witness, and support people. I want to keep growing and learning and unfolding. There are tons of beautiful blogs out there with amazing photos and soulful content. There are many fabulous opportunities and programs to sign up for, too. It’s inspiring and uplifting…except when it’s overwhelming. And I do get overwhelmed. As much as I want to be connected, I also need to be offline, in my everyday life of diapers and dishes.

Sometimes I’m so embroiled in what’s happening at home that I can’t muster the energy to get near a computer. Nor should I, for that matter. I want to do more than I realistically have time for. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Sometimes I need silence. Sometimes I don’t want to look in the mirror and see myself, my mistakes, my regrets, my shame. Sometimes it’s just plain easier to conceal what hurts. It may not be right, but it’s reality. Sometimes I need to stand behind the curtain. Sometimes I need privacy to slowly lift a layer of darkness.

I’m still trying to find a balance between being online and being offline. I can’t be both at the same time. No one can. So wherever you are today, in whatever city or country, I hope you can be gentle with yourself. You don’t have to share everything or be everywhere. It’s okay to be human. Sometimes soulwork is solitary work. Other times, it helps immensely to be in the company of creative kindreds. Whether today is a day you choose to conceal or reveal, know that you’re not alone. The invitation is open to show up at She is Three anyday, just as you are.

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She concealed ~ Bella

She Concealed

“She concealed her desires and pains right here.” ~Bella

This space inside of my chest holds more than most people could imagine. My skin envelopes my rib cage, which houses my heart center. Some may call it my soul, but I am of the the belief that the soul is all encompassing and cannot be contained.

So here, where I bring my hands together to cover and protect, is where my secrets lie. The joys, the heartbreaks, the confusion, the growing pains, the love, the sorrow, the longing, the abundance, and the grief.

It is also a place bursting with desires and ideas. A place where seeds are planted for growing into big dreams. It beats to a rhythm beyond my control, yet I can bring myself to a place of peace by meditating to that beat.

Everything in here, stays here – save for a few of my nearest and dearest, who have heard it all.

I conceal so much in my heart space. It’s neither a curse nor a blessing, it just is. This space inside of my chest houses who I was, who I am, and who I will be. It’s sacred, so I guard it vigilantly.

Today I invite you to share a photo that encompasses the theme “She Concealed” on Facebook or Instagram using hashtags #sheconcealed and #sheisthreedotcom. Let your photo tell the story. Let the healing begin.

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She concealed

She concealed ~ September 2014 triptych

Pictured from left to right:

“She concealed her desires and pains right here.” ~Bella
“Sometimes she concealed herself for comfort.” ~Jennifer
“She concealed her longing to travel again, seeking for new adventures.” ~Deb

This prompt turned out to be very challenging and very telling for the three of us. We’ll be sharing the stories behind our photos here on the blog and we also invite you to join us on Instagram (@sheisthree). Tag your #sheconcealed self-portraits #sheisthreedotcom on Instagram all month long. Together let’s see how what we’re concealing can lead us to healing.

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She lifted ~ Deb

she lifted

“She lifted the expectations of herself and was instantly set free.” ~Deb

You know that moment when you say to yourself… “You are doing all you can do. And that’s good enough”?

This. Is. Freedom.

Recently I released some deadline pressures because I wanted to be early. On time. Or close to it.
But my content was not complete. Everyone else was ready for my story, but I was not.

I was brave enough to say so, and apologize for my tardiness.

This. Is. Freedom.

I admitted it, owned it and the moment I said it….my story began to flow.
The words came to me, and within minutes I was able to submit and bring forth my contribution…just in time.

This allowed me to freely walk away from the computer and enjoy my morning walk along the beach.

Because until I feed my Soul and release the pressures and expectations…my creativity is blocked.
There is no flow.

So let go.
Be gentle with yourself.
Let’s lift the hard expectations we place on ourselves.

And meet me at the water’s edge for some deep breaths.

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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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