Wonder Round (Sept. 2-8, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

Seems that these weeks have not lacked fullness as of late, and this one proved no different.  I have been challenged to stay grounded during these past many days, grateful, as always, for the replenishment of nature, the love of friends and family, and for chances to begin anew.  Wishing goodness to all of you during the week ahead...

("Seems that this process of metamorphosis is ripe with lessons for me. It was an intense experience yesterday to watch the caterpillar shed its skin to reveal this pupa, which writhed around in circles before coming to a complete stop. And it has remained still, since, and will do so for 9-16 days before the monarch butterfly that is forming inside, emerges. How little time we give ourselves for stillness, at least speaking for myself... This chrysalis, hanging like a jewel from a precarious thin edge, is doing its inner work, oblivious to the sounds (as far as I know) of our busy household. I wonder about the process inside, marvel at the energy it must take, and am grateful for the reminder to not only claim time to slow down and go inward but to let the magic of growth and change happen.")


("As we begin our homeschooling lessons today, I am aware that we are entering a state of change as our boys progress with their growth and learning, entering into more independent studies. As we anticipate this bringing more self-sufficiency and a sense of empowerment for them, I am hoping to find more balance in my time, opening up freedom and space to work on cultivating my art career. Thank goodness we can continue learning all of our lives, long past the days of schooling. It is nice to sink into the excitement of change, and breathe into the inevitable anxiety that comes with new territory...")


("This morning I began with the best of intentions, earlier than normal to rise, hoping to get much done before we left for lessons (foreshadowing— expectations can get us disappointed fast!). As things do not always go as planned, I painted and painted and painted, trying to get to a circle that I felt happy enough with, and which felt complete. As that did not happen as I continued to add layer upon layer, my irritation grew, thinking of all the things I was needing to get done that were not related to this 6-inch circle, which no one was forcing me to do. And then I remembered that breathing was important, haha, as was relaxing into what was there in front of me. It was only when I quit fighting what was not coming together that I reached for the bright green, figuring it could not hurt. And much to my relief, it brought some life to the arena, and balance, as well. I took a quick break to walk the dog, who was feeling forgotten as I sat on my piano stool for much too long, and I smiled as the green of the hills and the scent of freshly mown grass surrounded us. The dog was delighted, leaping over the stands of tall Queen Anne’s Lace, happy to be in the moment and to be free. I thanked her for getting me outside and grounded again. Thank goodness for green...")


("Last evening I was talking at length with a trusted soul about self-care, and how easy it is to let it fade during times that pull away from center. When I used to work alongside people as a social worker, always there was effort put into defining the things that gave respite, comfort, nurturance, energy. As basic as these things may sound— a cup of tea in a favorite mug, clothes made from fabrics that soothe the skin, music that brings calm or energy or outlet, movement that allows tight body release, food that fuels as well as comforts, blankets that offer metaphorical shelter, five minutes or an hour to breathe in nature— all these things made a difference in feeling some sense of control over the person’s life and ability to navigate whatever it was they were facing on their path. It makes me happy that these bits of efficacy are free and available to us all, bringing sustenance and bits of healing in unique ways with minimal effort. I think we are all more prone to offer these things to others rather than to ourselves, and am reminded that both feed us in important ways... (Today’s circle was started with my left hand, cobalt blue gesture, hoping to avoid yesterday’s struggle :))


("This morning I awoke with a heavy heart, having received word last night that a priest from my past and close to my heart was suspended after an allegation of sexual misconduct from decades ago. For each survivor that finds the courage to step forward and speak, I know there are countless others who have not. And I know that the inner devastation that comes from the betrayal and violation of sexual abuse lasts a lifetime, even though the scars may not show on the surface. Today’s circle is not one of light, as these are dark and pervasive elements. As I grieve for the vast and overwhelming number of survivors, I am heartened that people are continuing to break the silence, giving hope for healing and change, no matter how many years have passed. All involved need healing, as wounded souls wound others. May we all find ways to bring light and hope for the survivors, and change for our broken systems and fractured world.")


("As the paint took form on paper, I connected to the soothing that comes from creating what I want to see and feel, rather than what is in front of me. Today will be spent mostly indoors, yet I know that it is the grounding into the earth and sky that I am craving. When the title came, I appreciated its double meaning... that we can all stand still and ground, and that we can stand, still...")


("Watching the chrysalis day by day, monitoring for change and hoping they emerge as healthy butterflies, I am mindful of how like them we are... growing, protecting, resting, doing the hard work of transforming every day. May we all find our wings as we become more evolved beings...")