|Kindred Connection Workshop, 8/15|
Photo courtesy of the lovely Heather Heffley of Heather Heffley Photography
Look at those smiling faces.
Sometimes, when I'm having an off day (for example) photos like these make me sad. I feel left out (even when it is completely irrational to feel that way). Sometimes, I am jealous of the women I see looking out at me. I wonder if I can have what they're having? I wonder if there is a place for me?
At this point in my life, I have come to accept my jealousy as a welcome messenger coming in for a landing. She says, it is perfectly okay to want what you think you see in that picture - sisterhood, community, a tribe of kindred spirits. My jealousy reminds me that there is a place for me and it is up to me and only me to own my place in the world, to stand in it, to occupy it.
Arriving at this point wasn't necessarily easy and I still struggle with being here sometimes. I hear the same is true for a lot of women. A lot of people. We all want to feel like we belong somewhere - in community with likeminded people. And when we see others who appear to belong, we can feel left out.
It is a gift to be seen by others. To feel understood. To be accepted despite my quirks and flaws and insecurities. It takes some courage to put myself out there - to show up, to be vulnerable, to risk being misunderstood, to risk being rejected.
|Group Hug! Heart Connected Retreat 9/14|
What I have found though, is that showing up is always worth the risk. Once I began to put myself out there, I learned there are other people whose hearts skip a beat when they walk into an art supply store. There are other people who go bananas for a cool new pen. There are other people hoarding journals and notebooks for art and writing. There are other people reading through self-help books as if the books were flashcards. There are other people like me. Seeking, growing, learning new tricks. I never would have found them had I not allowed myself to be seen.
|Heart Connected Retreat, 9/14|
Before I found the courage to go searching for my local people, I took online art classes. I started with the Brave Girls Club and the amazing women I met online in those classes led me to other teachers and other classes to explore. I attended retreats where I met some of the teachers in person and where I was inspired to start teaching myself. I discovered we are all teachers and students learning and growing together. We share our stories and see ourselves in each other's stories.
I am constantly blown away by the generous teachers out there sharing their work and the processes they use to create. It is beautiful.
Not too long ago I received a beautiful package from Brave Girls Club inviting me to join them as a teacher at their newest online offering - Brave Girl University. This, for a learning junkie like myself, is an epic opportunity to continue learning and, now, share some of what I've learned along the way via the courses I teach. I am THRILLED about all of it.
So, if you are curious, or craving a space to learn among kindred spirits, you must check out Brave Girl University! Not to be all bossy pants or anything, it is simply that exciting - command worthy.
This is an excellent opportunity to explore many interests - art, craft, spirit, personal development, meditation, and so much more. It's a place to do deep soul work and have fun while you're at it. For me, maybe most importantly, it is a place where I can continue to learn new things and to build and nurture community. It is a place where all of us can have what she's having. It is a place where we all belong.
School starts September 1st! I look forward to seeing you on campus! xo