Posts filed under Soul Care

What's Saving Me Right Now

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Little Lion's curiosity:  

Within the past month, Jubal's mental capacity to understand questions and accept curiosity has been staggering. He's always processing. Always pulling and pushing and uncovering and pinching and tasting and shaking. It's amazing to watch and it may sound silly, but it's helping my own processing: how am I staying curious? What currently has my attention? 

It's so easy to just roll with the punches and live life in one fell swoop, but I want to accomplish more than work and sleep (which feel like the only things I can accomplish on some days). 

So his curiosity is pushing me to be more thoughtful. Intentional. How am I spending my days? 


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Date nights with my love. 

I work from 1-10 every night, and so being OUT and with my love makes everything worth it. Capturing the sunset doesn't hurt, either.  

For my birthday we went to a local bar we love and on the way there I watched as the sky turned different shades of violent and remembered this right here will always be my aesthetic. Lavenders and rose and teal and indigo and magentas merging together to put on one last show before letting the moon take over? 

Always a favorite.

The only thing that could have made it better is if it were by the ocean.


My Book of the Month subscription:

No but really. I will unequivocally state that this is the reason why I'm able to get back into reading after an uncomfortable hiatus. If you know me you know that if I'm not reading, I'm not creating. Plus, there's not much that can make me happier than new books. It's a win-win. 

Books I've gotten through the subscription —

  • Girls in the Moon, Janet McNally
  • You Will Know Me, Megan Abbott
  • Lucky You, Erika Carter
  • Perfect Little World, Kevin Wilson
  • Lies She Told Me, Cate Holahan
  • Emma in the Night, Wendy Walker

and so much more. 


Other moments saving me:

  Excerpt from AND IT WILL FEEL LIKE TRUTH  

Excerpt from AND IT WILL FEEL LIKE TRUTH 

  • getting the notice that Jubal Vox's adoption is finalized. For good. Forever. 
  • Coffee, always.  
  • Investing in an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to take my writing and creativity to a whole new level.
  • Jubal's smile when he wakes up from a nap
  • training new hires at work and using my teacher muscles I love so much
  • pictures and videos of the total eclipse
  • belly laughter with friends  
  • inching along in the memoir word-by-word
  • seeing Spencer Hastings on an episode of NCIS
  • Introducing Air Mattress movie nights to Jubal

For the longest time, I felt trapped. I was so exhausted I couldn't think about doing anything else other than sleep, cuddle little lion, and work. And I was happy and content during these times, but I knew I wasn't doing what brings me the most joy. Even still, I found it hard to care because all I wanted was to curl into my sheets and get some rest.

Because of this, I struggled with why. Why pick up a pen or a book if it's not going to matter anyway? I'm so rusty with words, why try putting them into sentences? 

The Elora who published books and wrote consistently and taught classes on creativity felt so foreign. There were days on end where I had to fight to keep from giving up completely on anything creative. I couldn't write, couldn't read, couldn't do much of anything. But seasons are real for a reason, and I knew it would end eventually. I'd gone through this before, and I would go through it again. I kept breathing in beauty wherever I could, hoping that eventually, the clouds would break and I would be able to create again. 

So beauty, in all of its forms, is what is saving me too. 

Tell me: what's saving you? 

 

Posted on September 6, 2017 and filed under Soul Care, The Memoirs.

Finding Your Muse: The Secrets of Trees

My mother has always been a bit of a mystic.

I remember summers spent in the Idaho mountains, reading a book by kerosene lamp in a one-room cabin in the foothills of the Sawtooth Mountains. During the day, while my great grandfather would be herding cattle on more treacherous cliffs and rivers, my mother would stay behind with my sisters and me. I was content with the mountainous view and book in my hand, but I also knew she wouldn't abate until I followed her outside so I would often agree, albeit with a curled lip and frustrated whispers.

She wanted us to learn how to climb mountains and listen to trees. Every time, she'd remind us why.

"Sometimes in life you'll feel like you're climbing and hiking a huge mountain and there's no ending in sight," she would say.

I'd roll my eyes and whine about the dry valley heat and how if I'd seen one sagebrush, I'd seen them all.

"But look," she'd respond, pointing ahead. I'd follow her gaze and widen my eyes at the way the mountain peeks jutted up right there next to us — so close it seemed as if we could touch them. The air, once dusty and dry and heated, would begin to slowly carry the sweetness of melted snow dripping from nearby creek beds. We'd walk, I'd complain, she'd point out beauty.

And sometimes, she'd stop and close her eyes and a smile would play on her lips. "What are the trees saying to you, Elora?"

I'd bite a fingernail and raise an eyebrow. "What are the trees....saying?"

She'd nod.

I'd shrug, embarrassed. I'd kick at the dirt underneath my boots. 

"Trees don't talk, mom." 

"The trees will tell you secrets of God." She'd open her eyes and wink at me before walking away, my trailing behind her. "But you have to listen."

.::.

I listen to trees now. It's been over ten years since I've walked the red dirt of the Sawtooth Mountains or stood in the midst of a wooded meadow in the crisp air of sunrise, but trees and mountains and wind — they're all secret messages in their own right, carrying with them the Muse I so desperately need in order to get the words up and out of this soul.

"How do I share this story?" I'll ask the cloudless sky as I feel the summer heat radiating off my limbs and hear my dog rummaging through the dead leaves falling from the oaks surrounding me.

"Just tell the truth." The whisper is faint, but evident.

Just tell the truth.

And with that truth, a secret is unlocked and in its place rests my Muse, contented smile on her face while she listens to the songs of the branches swaying in the wind and the crash of the ocean wave. 

.::.

I was holding Jubal one day, the sun bright in the crystal blue sky. We walked around our back yard, his eyes always landing on the tree across the alleyway, leaves blowing in the wind. He'd blink fast, transfixed, his breath slowing.

I kissed his cheek.

"Here's a secret you should probably know, little lion. The trees will tell you things if you listen closely." I study the way he watches the leaves dance across the sky and I smile. 

Things to Consider:

Think back to moments in your life where your Muse began to introduce herself to you. For me, it is the summers spent between desert and mountain — crisp sunlit air and dusty-mid day heat. What about you? 

Grab My Book! 

This book is for the creative who knows you have a story to tell but you have no idea where to start.
Let me help you: you don't have to wait for the gatekeepers anymore. 

The time for your book is now. There is no excuse. You know this — you feel it in your bones. That's what this book is for — that's why I wrote it. 

Ready to begin?

Find it here on Amazon.

Posted on May 9, 2017 and filed under Building Your Craft, Soul Care, The Memoirs.

Writing for Me

I sit here at the kitchen table with no more than 15 minutes available before I have to gather my things and run out the door for work. 

15 minutes. 

I used to be able to write a lot in 15 minutes. Now I've spent three minutes deleting the last few sentences I've written. It's part of why I haven't been around here for a while. I just...I can't find it within me to care. And yet, I love blogging. I found my voice through blogging. I believe there are incredible benefits to blogging. 

I just think I've forgotten how to do it for me.

It's been 10 minutes since I started typing. I stopped and started more times than I care to admit. But I'm here — and it's messy and part of me wants to scrap the whole thing and begin again. But I won't. Because even these words hold weight. I know they do because I feel the way I loosen as they find themselves on the screen. I can breathe easier — freer. I can feel the spaces they took up within my bones begin to stretch with relief. 

There is a story here. It's the story of a woman who is fighting for her creativity and words to stay. That maybe the exhaustion she feels is the way it feels when you've spent the last drop of what's allotted to you creatively. It's the knowledge that she knows that's wrong — that creativity is a birthright she inherited when she took her first breath.

 It's the realization that maybe she doesn't have to fight at all. Maybe this space really can be anything she wants it to be and sometimes that means changing the focus every day and twice on Sundays. Maybe all she needs to do is show up at the screen and wait. This is what I want to write about for the next 31 days. I don't have a banner or a clever hashtag. I just have whatever words happen to fall on the page. 

For the first time in a long time, I'm excited about blogging again. 

15 minutes. I begin to gather my things. I know there will be moments throughout this evening where I think of this post and I think of ways I could have wrapped it up nicer, created a more poetic vibe, told a more vibrant story. But for now, for day one, this is enough. 

 

Posted on October 1, 2016 and filed under The Memoirs, Soul Care.