Circle Round (June 25-June 30, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

As I share what has happened inside my own circle this week, I ponder what experiences filled yours... life is a rich, diverse tapestry of which we all are a part.  Wishing you freedom, love, and joy in the week to come...

("I sat for a long time this morning, staring at this circle and pondering its meaning, and nothing came. I realized that this is okay, and that the most important part of the circle, yet again, was the doing of it... the process of sinking into the unknown, and bringing some part of my unconscious outward. When I can let go of expectations, there is more ease and excitement in the making (and living). Every morning as I put paintbrush in hand and see another blank circle, I realize there is opportunity for self-acceptance that is not dependent on the quality of painting or the words that accompany it. Let us all experience the joy that comes from making and celebrate the openness our hearts feel when we can do so gently.")


("When unfelt emotions from the past burst through to the present, I hear the beckoning from deep within to bring light into the darkness and allow for the release of that which no longer serves me, or my children, or those I love. May we all find courage to be with the rawness in ourselves...")


("Both in these circles and in this life, what shows up isn’t always pretty and sometimes it goes outside the lines. But there is power in the telling, and healing in the release. Onward!")

("The bright orange dots of butterfly weed magically appearing on the hillsides are something I look forward to every summer. This year, I was delighted to discover three shades, ranging from deep red, to vibrant orange, to a shade of even lighter creamy orange. I pondered about what factors account for these beautiful variations, and on how like the butterfly weed we are, influenced both by forces over accumulating years and by the people in our lives every day, known an unknown. When we can offer kindness and love wherever possible, perhaps we will encourage the best in each other being brought forth...")


("When I stepped out the door this morning, I felt like I had walked into a tunnel made out of a wet blanket... I could hardly see past the 50 yards that lay in front of me, and the air was so full of moisture that there were tiny droplets of water falling on my body and everything around me. The landscape had an ethereal quality that I found both eerie and intriguing. The monochromatic shades of gray, white and darkness were lit only by the tiny bits of color from chicory, lemon balm, clover, butterfly weed, and lemon balm, who beckoned me to slow down and absorb all the minute detail surrounding, calling for attention which is often directed upwards to the ever-changing cloud-filled sky at sunrise...

Much to my delight, I was also greeted by hundreds of spider web formations that announced themselves not only in the immediate yard, but throughout the fields and hillsides, reminded of the immense number of natural weavers that live in our midst without making their presence known most of the time. I was fascinated by their delicate textile webs spun so close in proximity to one another, very similar (although no two the same), yet seemingly not at all concerned about the competition of the other. It made me smile as I thought of how much our human world could benefit from this example— certainly, we could all stand to live in more harmony together, free to beautify the world with what we each have to offer.")


("On this last day of June, my 14 year old son is joyfully preparing to attend his first PRIDE festival with his friends. As I walked and painted today’s circle, my thoughts and feelings radiated out from a place of deep gratitude, respect, compassion, and celebration for all those who are somewhere on the path as LGBTQ+, especially my brother and his husband of 25 years, Pete McNamara and Bart Peterson, and the many dear friends I love who walk this road with courage, tenacity and hard work for change, and yes, PRIDE. I continue to learn beautiful life lessons about diversity and love from each of them, and feel incredibly fortunate for their influence in my life and in my childrens’ lives. As my son recently scrawled in chalk on a sidewalk in front of a school we were passing, “Love Is Love”, he expressed hope that it might help a kid who is struggling with their identity and feeling alone. My added hope was that other kids and adults might read it and give it space in their minds and hearts. The power to open to and honor this message lies within us all...")