Sometimes “Goodbye” is a second chance

I know this is going to come off as super conceited but… I love me.

There, I said it and I won’t take it back!

And it has nothing to do with the fact that today is Valentine’s Day, but it’s true.

Source: Flickr user wolfsoul

I haven’t always loved myself. I went through the typical female teenage angst of hating my body and not feeling pretty or popular or worthwhile. I thought I was fat because my size went up, when really it’s a natural part of growing up – that’s why it’s called growing. I wanted to be taller. I wanted my hair to be smoother, and either straight or curly but not in between. I wanted to be better at the flute without spending all my free time practicing. I wanted to be published before I turned 20 but I didn’t know the first thing about writing a novel.

In the past few years, I have transformed many times. I have become stronger because of personal trials that I’ve been forced to face. I’ve had to depend on myself more than ever before. And I’ve grown thanks to certain mentors that have come into my life, mainly through Leonie Dawson‘s Goddess Circle. It was here that I worked through many of my creative fears and blocks. It was here that I learned not to deny that I am an artist and a writer. And it was from someone I met in the Circle that I learned so much that I can’t thank her enough. Eliza truly helped me embrace who I am and who I want to be. And it was in the Goddess Circle that I met my newest creativity mentor, Jani Franck. Jani’s free UnEarth Your Creative Nature ecourse has me embracing doodling and taking creative adventures, and now I am even chasing butterflies.

At first, the Goddess Circle was a safe haven for me where I could talk to like-minded women who wanted to work on themselves. I could take a creativity ecourse, get support for personal matters, and join in book discussions. Now, things have changed. The Circle has almost 3,000 members, which is fantastic for Leonie and I’m happy for her success. But I’ve outgrown it. I am no longer benefiting from my membership. It is no longer making me grow and expand my creativity. It’s a wonderful place, but lately it’s felt like more of an obligation than a haven. It’s something that makes me say “I have to go there more often” rather than “I can’t wait to sign in!” I haven’t even read Leonie’s blog in over a year. That’s why I’ve decided to say goodbye. I have resigned as a Circle Guide and I am quitting the Circle.

It’s important to recognize when something or someone has nothing left to teach us and to move on. Walking away is bittersweet, but it feels right. As right as it felt to join in the first place. It’s time to find new mentors who can take me further in my journey of self-discovery. Because even though I love myself now… I can’t wait to see how much more I can love myself in the future.

Hello again…

I feel like I used to blog a lot, and then now I’ve been out of the loop for so long that I’m not used to it anymore. Even though the name of my blog is A Desire to Get Creative, it’s not all about creative pursuits like writing and making mixed media collages. It’s kind of an all-purpose blog that is an amalgamation (look it up, I’m not your dictionary; and yes, I have a degree in English and that word is definitely in my everyday vocab) of several blogs I had over at Blogger and then combined when I transferred to WordPress.

Last summer I posted that I had gotten a bunch of mermaid-y ocean-y things from the craft store and wanted to make a bunch of fun art with it. I still have all of those things and I still want to make art with them, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.

Lots of reasons I guess. We had bedbugs last summer and had to pack up all of our stuff for treatment. I started working with a life coach last July and started growing and changing in ways I could only dream about before, and I’m still growing with her help. I got a promotion in September and took on more responsibilities at work, which means time at home has been a lot of doing nothing.

And then came December and the start of a new cycle of the Creative Goddess e-course (hereafter “CG course”), which I had volunteered to help run since I am now a Circle Guide in the Goddess Circle. In the beginning of 2011 I did the first two weeks of the course and I began the third, but never finished it. So this time, I joined in where I had left off. Week Three is all about healing. I didn’t know what I could possibly need to heal, so I was stalled all year. But in starting the week’s materials in December, I realized that my healing was a year-long journey that had begun with my work on Week Three (coincidence?) of The Artist’s Way, also in the beginning of 2011.

I was able to complete Week Three of the CG course, and a few days later had a dream that confirmed that I was done with the work I needed to do to heal. The work was done in the activities of The Artist’s Way, and in lessons I learned while working with my life coach, and in completing the CG course week that took me all year. It was perfect timing that I had that dream in the last three days of 2011. It was a bookend for a very transformative year.

This year, I am already creating a lot more. I have finished CG Weeks 4 and 5. I have started Week 6, which is a big project that I’m excited to work on but will very likely take me a long time (finish the first draft of my novel Cursed so I can then edit, and eventually try submitting it for publication. I did art for my Word of the Year. Yesterday morning before going to work I had an urge to paint something and didn’t know what, so I grabbed the bottom of a box and painted it pink. I want to paint the top a different color, and maybe glue rhinestones and stuff on top. I don’t know what I will use the box for, but it will sure be pretty.

And of course, coming full circle… I want to blog more. I need to blog more. I love to write, I love to post photos of my art, and I love later re-reading old posts and seeing my progress. I even put blogging more on my list of 100 Things To Do In 2012 (part of the 2012 Creating Your Goddess Year workbook by Goddess Leonie). Please join me on my creative journey here.

What am I thankful for in 2010?

Inspired by Cerise at rainbowspiritgoddess

1. I am thankful for my husband making it through the year in one piece. We’ve had some big ups and downs as far as his physical health goes, including three surgeries on his back, a concussion, and a fall down a flight of stairs. So if we can finish out the next two weeks without any major incident, I will be thrilled. (Today he posted on Facebook that he’s feeling the best he has felt all year, so that’s a good sign.)

2. I am thankful that we were able to be at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, and that we were able to go out to dinner with my family for my birthday and my mother’s, and that we’re going to dinner for my dad’s birthday Tuesday. We may not have been able to enjoy every special day this year, like our first wedding anniversary in August, but we’ve had a lot of bright spots too.

3. I am thankful for my wonderful family, friends, and coworkers who have lifted my spirits, and have let me vent. We have shared the ups and the downs… and Lord knows we have had both! I call this my Rollercoaster Year, and I hope 2011 is a bit more calm. And, yes, I would go so far as to say boring.

4. I am thankful for Goddess Leonie and her beautiful soul. Her meditations and e-courses and her blog have been such a wonderful refuge from the trials of the past year. I am eager to print and start filling out her 2011 Goddess Year workbook.

5. I am utterfly thankful for Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle! It was the support of my goddess sisters here that encouraged me to not only begin my mermaid painting, but to see it through to completion. The Circle is a haven where I can be vulnerable and get the healing I need, where I can extend my own healing wishes to others. I can practice creativity, and learn more and get feedback. I can see the images and read the words of other women, a global circle of women of many different ages and generations. In my favorite book, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, Zachariah tells Charlotte, “We are not so different, you and I.” I am learning that every day in this circle. Women around the world… we are not so different.

6. I am thankful for my job. I have used up all my time off for the year, personal days and sick days. But it took until December to do that. With all the time Mark has been in the hospital this year, I’m amazed that I lasted this long before I had a day off with no pay, and even then I still had a half sick day so I’m only taking no pay for half the day. That’s pretty sweet! And the benefits package is really good. Our health insurance has covered well over $100,000 in medical costs this year. If I didn’t have this job with these benefits, our finances could have been even more destroyed than they already are. (That’s an exaggeration, they are not destroyed. We just have a lot of debt and very very little savings left.)

7. I am thankful for the “Ninja” blender we got at Sam’s Club a couple months ago. The past two weeks I’ve been loading up the fridge with berries and making smoothies almost every day. Yum! I didn’t realize how bad my body felt eating junk until I made the conscious choice to try to eat better. I am not 100% healthy, but I’m trying to make more things “from scratch” instead of from a package. My husband likes to cook, but mostly frozen pre-made stuff and often using lots of olive oil. Last night I made pork chops with green beans (canned, but better than not having any vegetable), and bacon cheddar baked potatoes… but instead of a box of frozen baked potatoes, I made them myself. So they didn’t have a lot of toxic preservative junk. They actually turned out pretty good.

8. Oh! I am thankful for the post I saw online when I was looking at the website for the then-new U by Kotex feminine hygeine products, which mentioned the DivaCup. If you told me as a teen that one day I would swear off pads and tampons, switching instead to a menstrual cup and cloth pantiliners (I love my Lunapads!) I would never have believed you in a million years. But I will never go back. After that…

9. I am thankful for the book Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, which opened my eyes to the horrors of the personal care product industry. This led me to dumping almost all of my products in a cold-turkey switch to nontoxic, namely those made by companies who have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. This was not as hard as I thought it would be, and actually forced me to throw away a ton of expired products that I should have gotten rid of long ago anyway.

10. I am thankful for my Kindle, because it makes it so easy to read. I am stuck in that middle school/teenager mindset of, “I don’t want to read that book, it’s too long!” But with the Kindle I am reading longer books and loving them. I would have missed out on my new favorite author, Lauren Oliver, if I had looked at Before I Fall in the store – it clocks in at a whopping 480 pages! Delirium is 448. Even The Mermaid’s Mirror by L. K. Madigan is 320, and that was another great book. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or page length), but subconsciously I do it anyway. With the Kindle, it takes the book’s weight out of the equation, which means I read faster, and more.

I am doing 10 things for 2010 because I am a dork. So there. 😛 Done.