I tried to be good to myself yesterday.  I really did.  My wee girl and I were going to go to the zoo.  We did not make it.  The car had an agenda of it’s own.  It did not want to start without grinding and puking, and I did not want to get stuck at the zoo…another day. We will go another day.  The giraffes will be waiting…

It’s Friday, and tomorrow is Saturday – my favorite day of the week, by the way.  Good things always happen on Saturdays…

A Saturday might be a good day for a mini retreat.  A day of self care and refueling….eh?  Forgot about that whole self care thing did you?  Me too.  A day to go gentle with yourself, be mindful of what you need, and do something that refuels your tank and makes your spirit feel full and alive.

I don’t think we need to go away from home to do this (unless you want to), or even spend a bunch of money.  It could be a simple as an afternoon with a delicious book, or better yet a nap in a warm sunny place-you can pretend you are a dog or a cat and just bake.  I don’t think dogs or cats get wrapped up in the same nonsense humans do…

A chair in the garden, or doing nothing in front of a good movie on the tv……that’s a tough one for me-the doing nothing part.

A walk in a pretty park, a trip for your favorite ice cream.  Adele or something equally stellar on your favorite listening device (with your headphones on, so it’s about no one but you).

Yoga or QiQong outside in the sun…sit on a rock at the edge of the lake and watch the water….it will hypnotize you and take you away…you probably need to live near a lake to make this happen..

Make something, create something just for yourself. Do it in such a way that the authentic you just glows…

The list is long.  The point is, make some special time for special you. Carve out time to feed your soul, and nourish your being in a way you normally would not do.  There is so much in life that depletes us – how can we remain healthy and vibrant, able to give, and live like faery queens,  if we are always giving away our goodness, and not leaving room for goodness to return us?

I have been working, working, working….it’s easier to work than play….I used to play before I worked…funny how things change. 

If you could have the day of your dreams, what would it look like?  If not a whole day, then a special afternoon to play and fill your inner bucket..  Write it down.  See what you can do to make it happen.

Tomorrow really is Saturday, good things happen on Saturdays, and it is a good day for retreat...there are a pile of books on my tablet that want desperately to be read...I am going to curl up in a cozy place and read myself into oblivion......

I loved my wee girl yesterday-we had a lovely time together.  We painted.  It was good.  The white paper is not covered in color yet, but it will be-soon.

Resistance is such a nag.  This is what went through my head yesterday; “You have too much to do today….paint later.  Who cares if you paint, you have work to do….you have to do your work….that coat order isn’t going to sew itself…what about dinner…you need to cook.   @#$%#!”  I kept pushing my girl aside. Very bad habit.

Why is it so hard to simply be good to ourselves?   I painted yesterday, I spent a couple  hours  with my Jany girl and we had a good, good time.  I could feel the bliss pass over me as soon as the first bit of bright pink paint hit the wet paper….most of the stuff on my “you have to get this done” list got checked off as well.  Getting there was tough.  It’s called resistance.

It’s a mental thing. A game we play.  A tease.  A back and forth between guilt and desire. Guilt and true need.

Resistance is lots of things.  I am learning to think of it as friend.  When it slaps me in the face, I know I am on the right track.  Whatever is on the other side is good, and exactly what I need to be doing.  There is always angst involved when dealing with resistance.

Push.  Push through the damned angst and capture those deep desires.  Satisfy that aching need.  Honor that amazing child inside yourself.  The girl who is the very best of you.

Fact.  Loving yourself, honoring your little girl, requires intention and effort.  It is easier to work, to be disconnected.  Resistance will for certain slap you in the face.  Try to intimidate you and push you back and keep you stuck.  Slap it back.

The paint coming alive on the wet paper was so deeply satisfying. It always is. I love it because it is about sensing and feeling.  It’s about letting my wee girl speak and truly show me how to paint-she knows how it is done.

There might always be resistance.  Fine.  Today my girl and I are going to the zoo, we will watch the seals swim and visit the giraffes.  The swimming seals are soul soothing and the giraffes, well they are our favorites…we will probably take the camera and do some photography….

Yes, I have lots to do at home and in the studio.  My wee girl beckons.  The rest can wait.

A life to love…what would that feel like?  Has it found you yet, or do you find life elusive, slipping always out of your grasp?

Have you ever thought about what an incredible life might feel like, actually be like?  A life that I would love?  Come on Jan, grow up and get real.  Life is life. It’s hard and you do the best you can.  I’ve made mistakes that can’t be undone…celebrate the small things and don’t expect too much. Expecting is painful.  I am tired of being let down.

Status quo…it’s a disease.  There are some people I know who I think might actually die from it. It can be terminal.  When I am around these sorts of people, I want to go some place and wash afterwards.  Not because they are bad, or I don’t care about them. I just don’t want to get what they have.  I had it once. We are not going there ever again.  Recovery is painful (but worth it).

We see what is, and we call it real.  We see what is possible and we call it an illusion.  Weird.  What if what we see is the illusion, and what is possible is what is real? Think about that for a minute….Anything is possible.

I had lived most of my life stuck, and would dream from time to time about what I would love, and then sorrowfully put it away, because I looked at what was around me, and could not see a path to my possibility.  Depression.

My husband and I are in a season of getting unstuck. This is the year for it you know. He has been stuck too.  His incredible life got dumped underneath a pile of someone else’s garbage.  Sound familiar?

We are two pilgrims on a journey.  Our eyes are set ahead of us, and above us-there is no looking at the crap all around us….neither one of us has possessed the skills necessary, we are learning as we go. It is scary and exciting all at the same time.

Scott and I are asking ourselves what a life we would love might look like….the sky is the limit.  Dreams are boundless.  They are put into our hearts by Someone high above us and within us, so they matter.  If we believe they matter, then we can believe that not only are they possible, but they truly are our reality.  The fullness of our potential.  It’s our job to reach for them.  To watch for the road signs, the clues, that will lead us to that life we will truly love.

Today’s task is to stop for a little while, and think about the kind of life you would love.  You might want to journal about it, or take a walk and have a chat with Someone.  I process verbally-chatting is very helpful.

Feel overwhelmed?  That's OK. It's part of the trip.  Let go. Trust in miracles.  They are waiting for you.

Enjoy dreaming. Be filled.  What you can’t see is real.  It can be yours.

Warm blessings.

We love ourselves when we are gentle with ourselves.

Gentle, with ourselves?  Novel thought….didn’t think people today knew how.  We crash and bash and ram ourselves into exhaustion, physical, mental, and spiritual. Then we call it good.  We are doing what we need to do after all, and life is busy, it’s complicated.  No one’s going to call me weak, or lazy…or less than capable.  I have to crash and bash and ram myself to stay ahead. The world is a crazy place, if I don’t push, I can’t survive…

I will admit, that I have been a crasher, basher and rammer extraordinaire. I am a driver, a pusher and have not always realized what I was doing to myself, until it was too late.  Burnout.  Exhaustion.  Shut Down Time. Ugly. I did not know how to be gentle with myself. But then gentleness is a loving thing, and I was not especially good at loving myself.  Hey, I was clueless.

What does it look like?  Gentleness with one’s self?  It certainly means to take care, to go easy, to nurture, to be kind to…to understand what we need to do to be ok. To stay in balance, to not burn out and to live joyful, satisfied lives.

I think we have to figure out what serves our lives now, and what no longer serves us. We need to dump the no longer serves stuff.  This may take some time, but no is a really good word, and it works.  If we mean it when we say it….

Practice being tuned in. Extend to yourself the same kindness you might extend to a good friend or someone you really love.  Nurture the wee girl inside you, let her out to shine from time to time.  Don’t ever be too busy to spend time with her.

Go easy in the rough spots.  Life is challenging. Give yourself grace through the challenges. Spend lots of time telling yourself that “ you can do it” – “it’s going to be ok” – “I love you”.  I talk to myself lots, but then artists work alone most of the time, so I can get away with it….if you need to take a nap, take a nap.  If you need to get away, figure out a way to go away.  More about this in tomorrow’s post.

Sitting by the water is a very gentle, nurturing thing to do. If I lived by the ocean, I would be there all the time. My studio would sit on the shore and I would make things and watch the water go in and out.  I would smell the salt air and listen to the gulls.  I would be supremely happy….

I really can’t tell you how to be gentle with yourself, you know what you need.I can tell you that this kind of gentleness is an utterly important part of loving yourself.

Loving yourself is an epic miracle.

Don’t ever forget it…..

Has it been nice to get to know your wee girl again?  I sure hope so.  Been thinking about what you love about her?  How did the journaling thing go?  I hope you were well and truly blessed….

So, you have been remembering...finding out all over again about the little girl inside you. Today, let’s see if we can remember what she likes to do….

My wee Jany, of course liked to make things, play in the dirt, and read books.  She liked to play made up games with the other kids – here are the most memorable….these things, they came totally out of the imaginations of my brother, sister and myself, and filled up the hours of our days…”Tommy and Tom”, “Big Sally and Little Sally”, “Julie and Brian”  (in honor of our cousins that lived on the other side of the country).  My younger brother and sister were usually the principle players...and I often played the role of fill in or extra...I was too busy making things.

My girl liked to walk in the woods and look for wild flowers-Jack in the Pulpits and Dutchman’s Breeches are still my favorites and I have huge clumps of both growing in the gardens here on Briarhill.  My dad loved to tromp in the woods himself – he was my teacher.  I loved tromping with him.

Anyway,  think about what your little girl loved to do.  You might want to use your journal and write a few things down-I feel like I remember better if I make an effort to write the important stuff down….

Then ask yourself the next question…what would your little girl like to do now?  If you and she could go and do something right now, what would it be?  Mine would be painting.  Just for the sake of putting beautiful paint colors on the watercolor paper and letting whatever happen…my Jany just loves this.

What about you?  How about a tea party, a good book, coloring, a bit of make believe….playing school?  Discover what it is, and then schedule a time and go do it!  Write about it…and savor the time and create a lovely memory.  You are well on your way to learning to love yourself, because you are remembering the special person you once were, (before all that life stuff set in), and most certainly still are.

Jany and I will be painting this week on Wed. afternoon.  I will post a photograph of our water color explorations…..

Be blessed today, enjoy the ride…..love yourself.

Self love begins sometimes with remembering. 

Have you been thinking about your wee girl?  Connecting with her, remembering who she was and why you loved/love her?  I hope so.

Today, I simply want to talk about what you love about your special girl.  Take a few minutes, grab your journal and a pen, and sit in a favorite spot and breathe. In and out- good belly breaths from your diaphragm….inhale and your belly goes out, and exhale and your belly goes in. Sit up nice and straight.  That’s right.  Good job.  Be sure to breathe through your nose and keep your mouth closed. 

Do this for a couple minutes. Feeling more relaxed?  Good.  Now let yourself connect with the little girl inside you….simply ask, “What do I love about you…”  be patient and gentle with yourself, even if this is a long forgotten part of you, the wisdom will come up and you’ll remember.

There are lots of things I love about my Jany girl.  I’ll share the best one with you today.  I love that she was a maker, that she loved to work with her hands, and that she knew most anything could be made into something else.

The photograph at the top of the post is of Jany (me) sitting at my little white table and chairs.  My table was in the kitchen with the big table.  I used to spend hours there every day making things and having tea with my dolls.  My mom has said I was happy all day at my table, and that the mess at the end of the day was glorious.  I was perhaps all of 3 or 4 in the pic.  You can see the coloring books and the pail of crayons, glue and scissors.  My doll has her own chair, of course, and I am pouring out the tea…..

Funny thing is, I can still sit all day at my worktable and turn nothing much into something beautiful.  I still love a good tea party too….

What about you?  What do you love about your little girl?  Write it down, take some time to savor the memory.  Do you still love to do the same things, or have you lost this part of yourself?  Let today be the day you find what your special little girl loves, and then give her a chance to shine.  If she loved to write stories, then perhaps some story writing time is in order.  If she loved to run like the wind, then perhaps you need to let her do just that.  Blow the dust off your running shoes and hit the road….I think you get my drift here.

So do it.  Let your girl shine.  The world will be a brighter, better place because you do.

I created Hill Faerie to be a place of community for women.  A place to connect, and be encouraged and supported. That can happen by adding to the discussion in the comments, or sending me an email:  briarhillstudio@gmail.com.  I would LOVE to hear from you!

Loving yourself is an epic miracle.

Self love, eh?  Yes.  I said yesterday that coming into self love was an epic miracle.  It is.  Why?  Because there are so many faces to loving ourselves and so many, many reasons we don’t.  When how we feel about ourselves genuinely shifts inside us, it is huge. Epic.

Gosh, I don’t have all the answers – I am just a woman who has been on a journey to learn to know and love herself.  Yes, a journey.  And yes, you need to know yourself.

I had to start by getting to know a little someone who had been always living inside me, but very much ignored and who I quite purposefully rejected and neglected.  Her name is wee Jany.  She is my little girl and she is me.  Weird – I know.

Some people call this connecting with your inner child. Some call that child our authentic selves.  We all have one, an inner child – an authentic self.  We were all once young, carefree, innocent little girls.  Some of us are better than others at the connecting part.  Up until recently, I was really and truly bad at it.  My wee Jany was best forgotten, because she was the one who lived through all the really bad stuff-why in the world would I want to connect with that??

Life has a way of getting in the way of our authentic little selves.  Mere living is often an innocence killer and most of us are rarely carefree these days….so what is precious, and really the very best part of us, gets hidden deeply away and best forgotten about.

Call it what you will, if we are going to come into the miracle of loving ourselves, than ya gotta get to know your own wee girl.  She needs to come out of hiding and ya need to let her brightness and goodness shine.  The world needs your girl.  She was created for and was sent to this earth for a purpose….she is the very best of you.

The picture here is of my wee Jany girl.  I was about 3 in this photograph…all decked out in my Sunday best. I love the little purse and the saddle shoes…and I have come to so love and enjoy the rest of the package.  The beautiful little girl, who delighted in the works of her hands-she LOVED to make things, and play outside in the dirt, and have tea parties.  I still love to do those things....a little person who was sensitive, knowing,  and cared about others.

Do you have a photograph or picture in your mind of your own wee girl?  Pull it out and connect with her for a few minutes.  Say hello-maybe you need to ask her to forgive you for forgetting about her.  I did.  I had to ask for forgiveness...

Your special girl is essential to living a full and abundant life.  Hold her in your heart and mind today – start thinking about who she is, and what you love about her.  More on that tomorrow…..yes, self love is truly an epic miracle.


Here we are – at a place of new beginnings.  A new blog, and a new place to be able to give the goodness of words, thoughts and ideas to someone else.  A way to say thank you for the abundance of my life, and let that abundance become goodness that becomes rich blessing.

I have become a believer.  In miracles.  Both small and large.  This has come to me by trial and mostly error.  By finding myself always smacked down by big brick walls. By being what felt like eternally stuck.  I am stubborn, so yes, I picked myself up, dusted myself down, determined - and of course, got smacked down again.  Tired.  I’ve heard it said that you cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.  Completely true. It took me such a long time to grasp this.  Things are different now.  It’s not up to me.  There is Someone who loves me, looks out for me, and will knock the walls down for me – if I let Him.  He is God, the Divine, the Universe, whatever you need to call Him-if He needs to be She for you, that’s ok too.  I am not here to judge your perception of God.  God is the Great I Am, and He (He works for me) is so much bigger than our human need to put what is Divine in a labeled cardboard box.  I Am is beyond words and labels….

Miracles can be as simple as a shift in the way we think.  One of the most profound shifts in my own thinking has come in the way I consider myself.  I have learned simply to love myself.  No, I am not going to write an epic version of my life story here – although there may be some sharing of personal tales here, once in a blue moon, in what I post.

Suffice it to say, life has not always been an easy thing to navigate.  I was very, very young when I learned to not love myself.  I was such a tiny, little girl, when someone else decided it was ok to hurt me-badly.  I am certain that if we shared stories, too many of us would find that we had the same kind of pain. Enough said.

Self love is an epic miracle.  If we cannot first love ourselves, how will we ever have the capacity to truly love someone else?  It’s difficult to give away what we don’t already possess.

In the posts ahead, I am going to write about what loving yourself looks like, and put some ideas out there that will help cultivate the art of self loving. This is as much for me as it is you….I am most certainly a work in progress.  A rose opening, and a caterpillar becoming.  So are you.

Women are not always good at loving themselves.  Life takes and it demands.  We give care and nurture to others, and not much is left for us.  This needs to change. We are after all Beloved….(a teaser-more on this later).  But you and I, we can learn to love ourselves-deeply.