Circles (May 13-19, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

This past week has been another full one, and I am happy to say that despite a long rough week, Erin, my sister-in-law, is now recovering at home... I am so grateful for all the thoughts, love, and prayers coming to them, and appreciate the ongoing flow, as they will need them for the next legs of the journey.   Much goodness to all of you in the week to come, and thank you for following me along here... you all enliven and support my personal circle in so many ongoing and deep ways...

("This morning, I am holding the energy of my mama, surrounded by her presence which continues powerfully in my life. As I mother my own two boys, I come to know better what she sacrificed in raising us, and most importantly, how she gave deeply of herself in ways too numerous to count. I am aware of how she lives on in me and in my boys, thankful for her love, grit, and gentleness. And I extend this gratitude of being mothered to my sisters (and in-laws) and my female friends, both for their strong examples of mothering, as well as for the nurturing and loving they have shared with me. Let us all remember those who have inspired, comforted, and buoyed us up with their feminine energy, and pass it on to those who need it.")


("This morning circle is for Erin, my younger brother’s wife... this past week she was very suddenly and unexpectedly diagnosed with colon cancer, underwent surgery, and is now working to recover so that she can begin chemotherapy in 4-6 weeks for her involved liver. Erin is young, 43, and strong, as is her family... they have 4 daughters, and a beautiful family. I am painting on her behalf, asking for all the prayers, love, support, and positive energy that we can muster to lift her and my brother John and their girls up during this beyond-words-or-images time. I know they will appreciate the collective love surrounding them, infusing their beings with healing, strength, courage, and deep hope.")


("I was contemplating with a loved one the other day about how it is even possible to cope with what emerges in each life when it can be so overwhelming. I continue to be in awe of the human capacity to find courage within to walk into what most scares us, and to face it in the midst of the unknown. I am grateful that we are able to hold space for each other and share love along the way, all the while knowing we can not do some of the most difficult work for each other. Wishing you all the strength and empowerment to face what is most challenging in your life, and hoping we can all feel the light that remains present in the struggle.")


("We continue to hold space with Erin, John, and their girls as they endure the long wait for test results... We are grateful and deeply moved by the outpouring of compassion, love, and prayers— let us continue to hold them and one another in our waiting.")


("This morning I awakened under a canopy of trees, surrounded by my beloveds as well as ten other families @redoaks_explorers. As the birds sing their early morning chorus, the chirps of children are beginning to fill the air. Songs around the campfire last night elicited much gratitude for the unexpected absence of rain... I am aware of the privilege of togetherness— in partnership, family, and friends, both near and far. I am thankful for the ways we complement and balance one another, growing throughout each experience of interchange. We all share this journey together.")


("This morning’s painting was an exercise in brevity, as I attempted to avoid the raindrops that began to fall within moments of beginning. I found it fitting that the randomly placed swish of the black brush left marks reminiscent of a bird in flight. I could not help but smile as I thought of us all packing up in this light rain, which we were so fortunate to largely avoid, heading home to our own secure nests.")


("Having spent hours watching the flickers of the bonfire, I came away remembering the vast nature of the flames... how they changed in intensity from the initial low and calm, to full, bright, and wild. We watched, mesmerized, as “magic dust” was sprinkled into its center, creating striking flames infused with color in the flares that followed... Reflecting on the brushstrokes that filled the circle on my paper, my mind connected with how much raising children (and ourselves in the process) is much like tending a fire and keeping it stoked to continue burning. Although we are in different stages of parenting our children, we each seek to find what nurtures them, unique as they are in the ages, needs, and interests that draw them out to their full potential. We learn from each other’s experience throughout this delicate task, as well as share how we keep our own flames alight, perhaps renewing exploration of what colors may yet emerge out of our own unexpressed sparks and inner fire. Let us all nurture this enkindling wherever warmth and light are needed.")