Ok..I am busted. In my last post, I promised to be a good blogger and that was in...well...January. I know that is lamer than lame, but in all honesty, I have spent the past few months doing some really important work in finding out just what it is I want to say and share with you all. I have taken some time to do some really intensive personal reflection and have come across some really phenomenal women who have helped me in that journey. I share with you, one of those women...Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios and she is a mentor in sharing how to live a creative and authentic life..It is her question that is the subject of this post. How do I wish to bloom? It would be easy to say that I wish to bloom with vibrant color and strength. I would love to attract many bees and leave them feeling nourished for having met me...and those statements would be true. But, I can feel that I want more than that and it has taken me until recently to discover why. For most of my life, I have felt that I just did not fit in...I was a wildflower in a garden of roses. I have often felt that I was just really trying to grow in the wrong garden or conditions...I needed more water and sunshine than most. I wanted to take more time to grow than the rest..I wanted to drink in the sunshine and let it warm my face for longer than was allowed. I was not really a good flower in the garden..I felt rebellious or inadaquate most of the time. It felt like I was always stretching to reach that elusive sunbeam, just out of my reach. A perfectionist, my blooms were just not as good or good enough or plentiful enough and I spent way too much time comparing my color and strengths to those around me. I have had people in my life, well meaning people, who have told me that I am too much of a dreamer. I have been told that to think that I can be an artist for a living is not realistic. I have heard, "Sure, everyone wishes they could stay home and be creative all day, but that is not reality." How many times have I been told to just go get a job??? Granted, reality means bills and responsibilities and I can't just piddle along day to day having a party, not getting serious about getting my art out there...after all..a flower's bloom can't be appreciated if it is seen by no one! I get that. But, miraculously, after some 50 odd years, I can say that I have had an epiphany...and I say to those who say that living the creative life and following my dreams is not a reality..."Bull Hockey"! It may not be THEIR reality, but it is MINE. In fact, I doubt that their "reality" is even theirs, at all. It is probably the reality that has been thrust on them by those who say so in their lives. This little bloom has realised something and it feels darn good. I AM A CREATIVE BEING. I WAS CREATED TO EXPRESS MYSELF CREATIVELY. Boy, that feels good. Whenever I have not been my true self and have tried to be a rose, instead of a wildflower, I have been miserable and have felt like I did not belong. But, here is the revelation...I am the one planting MYSELF in those gardens..and another revelation...being different does not mean I do not belong! I can bloom among roses, wildflowers or weeds...It is my choice and no one elses. How others see me does not change who I am. My dreams are important and are ordained by the One who made me. That does not mean that I will not have my struggles and days of significant wilting, where I wonder when the next drink of water is coming from. But, what it does mean, is that I can release myself from trying to fit that square peg into a round hole. How freeing...and I have come to know that I am not a bloom that is meant to stand alone, either. I have joyfully discovered that there are many wildflowers out there and bees, too, who are like me and I have been fed creative and inspirational nourishment from their example. I thank Andrea of ABCcreativity.com for her phenomenal inspiration and daily affirmation that I am worthy of all good things and that God supports me in living out my creative dreams. I thank Kelly Rae Roberts for her vision of sharing her positive energy and support of others on their quest through her "Taking Flight" ecourse... and Jamie Ridler, who is so committed to helping others find their authentic life and live it. I have been a bee, drinking in their life giving nectar and have been so recharged. I encourage all of you out there, yearning for more in your lives..more peace, joy, laughter, moments that are real and intimate, to explore the possibilities and check out what these women have to offer. As for me, how do I want to bloom? I want to bloom with all the intensity and energy that I have to give...with a gratitude for all that my Creator has blessed me to be..uniquelly me. I may not ever be the prize winning speciman of my species...I may just stay in that garden and bloom and die to bloom again...each time, stronger and smarter and hopefully, attractive to bees who can take some inspiration and use it in their lives. It doesn't mean I don't still have to stretch myself to reach that sunbeam..there is work ahead, for sure. But, I am not alone...I am surrounded by those who are here to support me..I am watched over by angels and a God who is in my corner and most importantly, holding the water can, knowing just the right moment I need a drink. I am in a garden of the most wonderful flowers and we are all different and valuable. It is the array of multi colors that fuse together to create a beautiful, one of a kind, work of art. The bees we attract not only take pollen from us, but spread the pollen from others to us...so, in all things, we are blessed. So, the journey ahead is one full of hope and I plan to share each moment I can with you, in hopes that you may leave refreshed and inspired to ask yourself this question... I ask you...little flower...How do you want to bloom?