go slow and notice

boys fishing at sunrise on Playa de San Agustinillo

I searched this blog for ‘slow’ and the results came back with 10 posts, of which Slowing Down was the top of the list. A cancer diagnosis, an unexpected health crisis, the death of a loved one…those awaken a need to slow down. I remember, though, in my work in the corporate world that I was hungry for an intentionality, a consciousness, a being that was often challenging to find, given people running around on autopilot and an organizational emphasis on speed.

I picked the morning sunrise photo because starting the day with the sun rising invites a slowness, a stillness. When I remember that morning walk on playa de San Agustinillo, in my body I feel the sense of peace and possibility for the day.

More encouraging words about going slow are here:

rich lens of attention
blushed with beginning
the gift of now
What’s waiting

When the seedlings are encouraged

Hostas sprouting in spring by Vicki Flaherty, 2019, Iowa

When the seedlings are encouraged

They can be so stingy with the essential ingredient,
the vitamin that strengthens the artist spirit:
They tear apart and break down, their intellect like a knife,
rather than lend their souls, like a salve.
Their perspective is fogged in and funneled;
what they see shaped by their rule books
and their own fear of being free:
should-haves, limitations, and imperfection,
instead of pure creative impulse filled with possibility.

We all start somewhere, seeds pulled by energy,
encouragement feeding the inner artist within,
our potential and willingness to try appreciated.

Imagine if all of us artist seedlings
were appreciated for who we are
and encouraged through our creative process,
what a beautiful world would flourish.

The seedling
with nature’s gentle hand
and the mature trees’ encouragement
flourishes in the forest.

This post was Inspired by Chapter 8 of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I’m going through this self-guided book and am excited to be 2/3 through. I’ve tried twice before – but never got beyond Chapter 1 or 2; this time I’m ready. I’ve been supported in opening my creative energy and acknowledging the artist within me. With a beginner’s mind, I am invited to try so many things. I recently had the courage to buy a few bottles of acrylic paint to dabble with painting. I also checked out books at the public library on collage and making hand-made books. I started playing with the former and excited to experiment with the latter. I’ve also been called back to old hobbies like photography cards, sewing, and crochet. I find I’m in love with different colors and textures of crafting paper and making things decorated with heart and flower punches – to delight the eye, open the heart and open possibility. I’ve included some photos of recent inspirations

A holiday crocheted hat, fabric bookmarks, yoga bag, shawl with beading detail, collage card, embellished photo cards, crafting heart punch and card stock goodies, acrylic paint on patterned paper posted to card, crocheted potholder,

where the journey leads


where the journey leads

a fine yellow powder
moves silently as dust
reaching from plants
overflowing with life
fearless and free
dancing with the wind
to blades of grass
flowers in the garden
water resting in the birdbath
where the bees and birds wear it
to places of new possibility
the filmy elixir knows not
where the journey leads
yet opens itself to what might be

For the past several weekends – it’s spring in Iowa! – I’ve been sweeping a coating of yellow dust from our back deck and front porch. The purpose of this magic powder inspired my poem. As I sat staring into the line of spruces in my back yard, the idea for the poem began to take shape, and then the words flowed to my journal. After a little massaging, the work felt complete.

When you look around, what inspires and amazes you?


* I took this photo of buds on the spruce tree in my front yard. Much of the pollen in our yard comes from the dozen spruce trees that line our property. I was amazed at the beautiful red color – in 18 years, I’d never noticed the cones move through an early phase of being this this lovely color.