Baby Welcomings

Life as Craft

I have recently been spending about eighty percent of my life caring for a seven month old. He is wonderful, squirmy and full of laughter. However, it does not leave me much time for myself and I have been longing for craft, art, and ritual in my day. 

Recently, I have dedicated to focusing on my creative spirit one day a week (Thursdays) during nap time. It gives me about a two hour window, but there is no telling when the baby will wake up and I will have to stop my process. As a result, I have about a dozen half finished craft projects all around the house. The knitting is out on the rocking chair, the painting is "drying" in the TV room, and the laptop is open to my blog. 

These projects for my soul call to me as I change diapers, wipe down countertops and sing nursery songs. I am lustful for them. They remind me of my old life, the one where I could engage in a creative process on a whim. It was such a privileged existence and it feels so distant now that I have the new joys and privileges of parenthood. 

Basically, this isn't working. I can not engage in my creative projects with abandon the way I used to. I don't think I am alone in this experience, either. So many of us just don't have time to sit down and do art. Our lives are too full to dedicate the time and energy to the creative process. 

So, I wonder how I can bring the creative process to me rather than going to it. I must make mindfulness and creativity a part of every moment. When I make my coffee in the morning, I must make it with the same focus and passion I would give to a painting. The mundane must become extraordinary and I must live my life as a craft project; by experimentation, playfulness, love, and curiosity. 

I must see the beauty in everyday life and work to amplify it!

Not only will I benefit from this shift, my little boy will witness a mom who truly strives to live life fully. Because life is not mundane, diapers and all. It is a magical and mysterious craft, an art project of the grandest proportion. 

A Life Transition in Three Parts

One of the biggest and most influential of all the life transitions is upon me. I have recently become a parent. My son was born earlier this month and being a new mother has filled my days and my nights. I am being radically transformed and learning first hand about the way transitions play out in our lives. 

I'd like to break down the process of life transitions in to three parts. I call them parts for the purpose of clarity, but it might be more appropriate to describe them as waves. That is how they feel. They wash over the circumstances of day to day life and move out the old while moving in the essential. We transform slowly as each subtle change shapes our life. Let me use my own experience as a way of explaining what I mean. 

The first part; Preparation. 

This is the wave of pregnancy in my case. For those getting married this first wave is the engagement and wedding planning. For those moving homes it is the search for a new place or the packing up. For those making a career change it is the daydream of something new. No matter what we might be going through, this first wave is the part of the life transition where we prepare.

During this time (be it short or long) our focus is on the future, on what will or might be. For me it was filled with personal reflection about what it means to "be a mom", buying baby supplies, and nesting. It reached it's peak in the last few weeks of pregnancy where it felt like my body and mind were about to burst with all the "what ifs" and excited energy.  

In this initial planning phase our lives start to subtly shift towards the new role we are about to play. The main words this wave fills us with are "be ready, it is coming" and of course..."wait". This is the perfect part of the life transition in which to seek guidance or coaching. The more conscious preparation we do now the better and easier our transition will be. 

The second part; Culminating Event

This is the moment we have been waiting for. It is the wedding day, the moving day, the resignation letter, the labor. It is the part of the transition where there is some sort of public or personal acknowledgment of the transition. We mark this moment as the moment things changed (when of course they have been changing all along). This is the time for ritual and ceremony.  

In this second part, time might seem funny. It may slow way down or speed up, but that is because our bodies and minds are working very hard to remember the events of the culminating event. Our focus is on the present moment. It is the point at which this whole thing feels like a "really big deal". As this culminating event washes rapidly through our lives it sweeps up all our energy. We are allowed to say "wow, this is really happening" and ..."here it is, my life is changing".

The Third Part; Acclimation

In this final phase of life transition things begin to settle. I am currently in this, as a postpartum mom and I wonder if it will take a full nine months on the other side of labor for my life to once again make sense. It really feels as though I am living a completely new life. I have fallen down the rabbit hole and here I am on the other side trying to acclimate to my new role as a mother. My focus is on the past and the integration of my expectations with the current reality. I am telling myself "you are doing this" and "this is what you wanted". 

Our emotions and thoughts may vary in these three waves of transition, but each of them has lessons to teach and gifts to offer. As we move through the passgeways of life, from one stage to another, gratitude is always waiting to be found on the other side. I could write so much more about each of these three parts and the way they play out in our various life transitions. But for now, I have a baby to feed and a new world to learn. 



This Moment

We spend so much time planning or reminiscing. Perhaps it is time to take a breath and just be here now?
In Spring I am full of hope, longing, and excitement. I often have to remind myself that hope is not just a propelling force, but it can be a place of rest. I try to rest in my hope, to lay about in it and enjoy what it feels like to want.

As I do so, I start to wonder about the nature of hope. I believe that my potential is unlimited and that I already have all the tools I need to thrive. So, what is there to hope for?

Hope for me, is a personal thing. It is an energy that leads me towards truth, revelation, and wholeness. It is a desire for the next thing for. While I have all I need, hope tells me that I can still long for more and seek better for myself. Hope reminds me I am strong enough to face my desire and propels me forward towards the nearest unstable ground in search of riches. It is a medicine that we can use

I had an experience of hope this month as I joined with some very dear friends to bless their child and welcome him to world. Holding that baby, I was overcome with hope and I realized how great it felt to imagine all his potential in this world.

That is what Springtime is all about; new life and this very moment...brimming with hope.