Yesterday I took a few hours out of everything I have been focused on recently, including parenting. A few friends and I took part in a Mama's Art Retreat run by the fabulous Helen Jackson of www.imperfectlynaturalmama.blogspot.co.uk
It was a small, intimate retreat run by Helen. I've participated in a few of her retreats now and this time we focused mostly on watercolour techniques and mixed media. The paintings became a message for each of us when towards the end we added our chosen symbols and a word.
I'm a big fan of guiding words as you probably know by now! I have a word every year that guides me (instead of New Years Resolutions) and I also have three touchstone words that are my constant companions. When I do things like this it is usually those words that show up for me. Not this time.
At the end of each year I think about a few different words and how they might fit for me in the coming year. This year my word is 'nourish'. At the start of this year I was broken inside. One of the words I wanted to choose included thrive but I felt like I was too far away from thriving and that it would be more like a stick than a carrot! I sat quietly and asked myself what I needed to thrive and the answer came up that I needed to nourish myself. It is incredible the journey I have had with nourish so far and it certainly was exactly what I needed to guide me this year.
However, nourish was not the word that came up for me yesterday.
The symbol I set my heart on was a dragonfly. I love dragonflies, they are so beautiful, light and agile and they are a symbol of luck too so it seemed like a good symbol to draw on my beautiful watercolour background. It was a challenge to draw something so detailed and then to paint it using the 'negative space' concept that Helen taught us was even trickier! Yet with time, patience and some helpful guidance from Helen I feel I managed a pretty good dragonfly-ish shape!
Now for the word
(My internal monologue:
"No, you can't fly yet. You haven't learnt enough and you don't do enough. You still have a long way to go before you are making a difference so you can't count that as flying. Choose something smaller.")
I'm learning to ignore that kind of dialogue, day by day. It's there constantly but there is another, quieter, gentler voice that I can hear too now.
And when she sees the word fly she says