“What you seek is seeking you.” ~Rumi

I keep stumbling across this Rumi quote and believe the Universe is sending me a message. I’m slow to the game of figuring out what I’m actually seeking. I arrived at age 51 and in so many ways I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I remember in my late teens and twenties thinking I would have it all figured out by the time I was 51. I would be [Insert Profession Here] and I would be a wife and a mother and be happily in that mode for the rest of my days. Well, I’m here now and I am a wife and mom which I love being. I do have a profession (lawyer) but I’m not doing the work I want to be doing. This is where the angst is. I am doing the work I trained to do, which enabled me to survive, but it does not bring joy. I have this feeling in my gut that it is not my life’s work. It is not what I was sent here to do or be and I do not want to leave this life without at least having tried to figure it out.

For the past several years, I have felt like a hamster on a wheel, running and running, with no time to truly devote to my children and husband. I’m just holding the line, paying the bills and helping to keep us going. I’m in service to everybody and no one at the same time. I see my children growing up right before my eyes and my time to truly mother them (and enjoy their childhood) is slipping through my fingers as I toil away in corporate America trying to secure their future by saving for college and also sock away some retirement savings. I know I’m not alone here. I keep telling myself I can probably do this work for a few more years but do I want to? Do I really have to? At the same time, there is this urgency inside of me to find my true calling; my life’s work. I know I missed the mark. I’ve ignored the tug for several years now but it keeps showing back up and almost haunting me. I have to figure it out.

I do like to daydream about some day moving to Ireland. My parents are from Ireland (but became U.S. citizens decades ago) and I spent several wonderful and happy times visiting Ireland in my childhood and young adult years. I feel very comfortable and at home there. I would love to own an Irish country home in West Cork with a view out to the beautiful ocean. I can see myself strolling along the rolling country roads with the patchwork quilt of green fields sloping down towards the sea. I can see my children running ahead of me laughing and horsing around. In my fantasy life in West Cork, I’m a writer and it must pay the bills (yes!!!) because my Irish country home is small but very cozy and comfortable. We live a slower paced life and share unrushed, home cooked meals together. I have time to bake wonderful loaves of bread and the house smells like heaven. We all drink tea together. How can I get myself there with my husband and kids? They say the Universe is limitless and the possibilities are endless. The only limits are the ones we place on ourselves. So, today I am asking the Universe to conspire with me. This is what I am seeking and I hope it is seeking me. What are you seeking? What is your dream? Your heart’s desire? May the Universe conspire with you today to summon it into your life!

xo, SFTL

Photo Credit: SFTL

My Vision Quest

There is no time like the present.

IMG_5365.JPGSo, here I am. I never in a million years thought I would start a blog or become a “blogger”. It seemed so out there; so public. And I’m a very private person. On top of it, I just never considered my story to be valuable or worthy of sharing with anybody. (Read: Low self-esteem). But my perspective is changing.  I’m starting to feel like I do matter.

I give credit to Elizabeth Gilbert and Sheri Salata for inspiring my newfound courage to tell my story.  We all are unique beings with a unique story to tell. Nobody on earth has ever been me or you before. So, yes, it’s a very unique story! It’s well worth telling!

I want to use this blog to explore my art. I want to speak my truth. I want to tell my story. Learn to be fearless.  When I was younger, I thought by the time I reached age 35 I would have confidence and feel comfortable in my own skin, know who I am and what I want, where I want to be, where I want to go, and what I want to do.  That day never came as I hit 35, 40, and then 45.  I am here staring down 50 and I am still scared.  I know I have a voice but it has been devalued, criticized, and stifled.  I am not placing blame.  I have a part in that as much as my world does.

I’m ready to confront my tremendous fears and tackle my inner beatdown committe that tells me: this is a dumb idea; not to embarrass myself; that my stories will be dumb, or worse, boring; that I don’t know what I’m doing; and that I have nothing important or of value to say. Maybe so? But I’m doing it anyway.

So, here goes. I’m looking forward to this adventure. I hope to find my tribe here. My community. Myself. 🦋

Sunday Gratitude

“The ideal purpose of your life is that you are grateful – great and full – that you are alive, and you enjoy it.”  ~Yogi Bhajan

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I just wanted to pause today and express my gratitude.  Here are five things I’m grateful for today.

  1. I am grateful that the creative tug in my soul is back. 
  2. I am grateful that my desire to write and create and put myself out there is greater than my fear.
  3. I am grateful for the chance to be messy and create without worrying about making my creations “perfect” before I share them.
  4.  I am grateful that I have all of the resources I need right now to be as creative as I want.
  5.  I am grateful for all of the beauty around me that serves as infinite inspiration.

Life is an endless well for writers to draw from.  There is no shortage of material and we can all do it if we want.  It’s pretty much free!  I can think of a million ways to put the brakes on something or limit myself and there is literally no other human out there telling me “no”; only me.  That’s shocking when I think about it.  I’m not saying “no” to myself anymore.  I hope you’re not saying no to yourself either.  Go out and create!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

xo SFTL

Photo Credit:  SFTL

The Mission: Coming Home to Myself

What is my life’s purpose? What did I come here to do?

It’s been three years since I wrote on this blog.  The truth is I got scared.  I just froze and didn’t know what to write or what to say even though I feel like a volcano that needs to erupt and I have so much to say!  I want to use this blog to find my path and purpose.  I want to use it to brainstorm and brain dump; to get my thoughts out on paper and see what is there; and most importantly, to share the journey with you.  Right now, I’m at ground zero and ready for a rebirth.  I know you are feeling it too.

I am 51 years young.  I have worked as a lawyer for 20 years with the last 8 years working as in house corporate counsel for a nuclear power plant. I believe in the power of prayer and dream realization because at the 11th hour (biologically speaking) I married and managed to have two beautiful children in my forties.  I have a 10 year old daughter and 7 year old son that I absolutely love and adore.   I also have two beautiful step kids; my 17 year old stepson and 22 year old stepdaughter.  These five beings made me believe in miracles.

These gorgeous miracles, and a very busy career, have managed to keep me extremely busy.  We have bills to pay, college and retirement to save for, and family life to sustain.  That’s a big job!  And that big job managed to push my dream life and my creative life into the corner.  I also blame fear.  Who isn’t afraid of being rejected?  But I’m letting these things hold me back and life is going right on by.  I haven’t allowed myself permission to spend any time daydreaming, playing, conjouring, and creating to help me to re-zero and find my true calling and purpose.  Am I really working at what I love?  Am I spending forty hours a week doing what I LOVE?  Not really.  It has elements of what I am good at but it is not my passion.  I’m in survival mode for the most part.  I’m sure you feel it too.  BUT, I’m not done letting my mind roam free to dream some new dreams to add to this rich tapestry of my life.  I believe there is another way.  I believe there is something else I was put on earth to do and I need to find it.  It isn’t necessarily going to find me.

Part of the joy of life is exploring the limitless possibilities for how we can live and work.  And it is different for every one of us.  I hope you will join me on this adventure.  Let’s explore and open up our minds to the infinite possibilities.  If the sky was the limit what would you do?  Where would you go?  Who would you be?  What are you seeking?  Please share it with me.  If you are not comfortable sharing, please just join me.  Let’s see where this adventure takes us. 💫

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

xo SFTL

“We must risk delight”

IMG_2980The title of my blog page, “Stubbornly Facing the Light” was inspired by none other than the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert.  I have read (actually more like devoured) her books, “Eat Pray Love” and “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” and also recently saw her speak at the First Annual International Women’s Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.  I also follow her on facebook and Instagram, and of course, have watched numerous youtube videos of her.  Okay, yes, I’m a fan!  In her work, she has made reference several times to a poet hero of hers, Jack Gilbert, and a poem that he wrote, “A Brief for the Defense”.   I never heard of Jack Gilbert before and I am not somebody that spends time reading or researching poets or poetry but this particular poem I find very resonate personally and also with respect to what is happening all over the globe right now.  I read it and it gives me some perspective; healthy perspective.  Here is “A Brief for the Defense”:

Sorrow everywhere.  Slaughter everywhere.  If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else.  With flies in their nostrils.  But we enjoy our lives because that is what God wants.  Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not be made so fine.  The Bengal tiger would not be fashioned so miraculously well.  The poor women at the fountain are laughing together between the suffering they have known and the awfulness in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody in the village is sick.  There is laughter everyday in the terrible streets of Calcutta, and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.  If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction, we lessen the importance of their deprivation.  We must risk delight.  We can do without pleasure, but not delight.  Not enjoyment.  We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.  To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.  If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.  We must admit there will be music despite everything.  We stand at the prow again of a small ship anchored late at night in the tiny port looking over to the sleeping island:  the waterfront is three shuttered cafes and one naked light burning.  To hear the faint sound of oars in silence as a rowboat comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth all the years of sorrow that are to come.

In a world that is giving us so many reasons to spiral into fear, into hatred, to focus on all the things that are wrong (globally: terror attacks, war, famine, hunger, disease, politics) (personally:  worry, stress, kids, ailing parents, marriage, work/career, and more worry, and more stress!) this poem provides a manual for living.  We are here, not to be overcome by the darkness and the suffering, the devastation and the grief, but we have an obligation to grasp on to its companions: joy, delight, tiny beautiful wonders that we all have been blessed with on our life journey.  An appreciation and gratitude for the magnitude of getting the chance to live (and die) is how I want to live my life.  I want to take in the terrible beauty of it all and celebrate it.

I thank Elizabeth Gilbert for bringing Jack Gilbert and this lovely poem to light for me.  I am striving to live in “stubborn gladness” even though there is darkness, strife, fear, and worry in our world, and even in my own little world.  I consider myself blessed to be a part of it.