JE REVIENS (I Return) ~ 11-23-17

AUTUMN – pastel on paper by Franne Demetrician, 2017

Hello again. It’s been a long time. My last post was back on September first when I shared that I needed to take a sabbatical from my website and blogging. It turns out that was a wise decision since our life has been a whirlwind and the space was needed. But I missed this connection and felt the tug to return.  I’m not sure yet if this will be a weekly post or if I will simply act on impulse to write, but “I’m back, baby”.

September was indeed a jam-packed month. I attended two reunions, one of which was my fiftieth (really?) high school reunion. It was surreal to say the least. I approached it with some trepidation, as I think many of us would for some obvious and some deeply personal reasons. High school wasn’t my favorite time of life.  I felt awkward, unworthy, and very much “less-than” in those years. I certainly didn’t want to re-live those feelings, but I wanted to see some old friends again – so I went. It was wonderful, and I had the joy of reconnecting with three very dear people who have remained deeply embedded in my heart all these years. That was a gift!

The reunion with our seminary family was also joyful and Bob and I had the great honor of being keynote speakers for the very first of these events. It was a first for us in many ways. For me, I finally hit my stride as a speaker and felt at ease speaking from the podium. Of course, the fact that most of the audience had been one of our students at some time or other helped greatly, but I feel that once and for all I have cracked the code on my relationship with public speaking. Was I nervous? Yes? Was I freaking out nervous? No! I feel liberated from the mind-numbing fear that almost kept me from attending seminary 15 years ago. That’s big.

So much more, and I won’t bore you with details, but life has made all of its usual twists and turns.  A most significant turn for me is that my artwork has now become a major focus of my time an energy. As with most things I have been known to doubt myself (Duh? Really? Never heard of such a thing!) and my artistic ability was high on that list.  But a few years ago, I decided to jump back in and see what I had going, if anything. I was surprised to find that not only did I still have something going, but it was – is good. I’ve had the blessing of being taught by a master, mentored by another master/mirror-sister, and supported by the most generous family and friends anyone could want or need. My work is evolving and growing and the artist in me is emerging as the full-on being that has always been there and kept under wraps.

What I’ve learned and will soon be helping others learn, is that I’ve reached an age that allows me to explore myself more deeply and more fully than ever before.  Things I’ve kept hidden or untapped in are being given their due.  Reaching this time of life is like coming from a slightly overcast day into a bright sunny one. Things that were shaded and cloudy are now brightly illuminated and visible. Many of my fears and apprehensions have fallen by the wayside because – well – they were in my way. And frankly, I just don’t have time to look at them anymore because I have stuff to do! That’s not to say I don’t have fears or apprehensions. I just don’t have time to hang with them for too long. I have decided to move through them so that I can keep doing what I love.

Recently my family lost a giant of a man. He was one of our revered elders, the father of my sister-in-law and someone we all hold very dear in our lives. He was a wisdom keeper, a scholar, a “do-er”, a change-maker, a highly respected man in the community and in the state. He was a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather and a friend. He kept going and doing until his 93 years came to an end. He inspired and will continue to inspire me to do what is mine to do until the fates decide it’s time for me to stop. I thank you, Ernie Reock, for being the gift you’ve always been in my life. I miss you already, but I know you are soaring on the other side with all those you love, watching over us and continuing to inspire. I love you.

More will be revealed in coming posts about what is next for me and what I and my collaborators will be offering others. Take a look at our new website www.intimatepossibilities.com, see what we’re up to and like us on Facebook at InTimate Possibilities – Discovering The Golden Triangle.

So happy to be back again and invite you to share if you are so moved.

STRETCH:  Think about the obstacles holding you back from realizing your deepest desires. Imagine taking steps around one of those obstacles, moving closer to your desire, or even reaching it. Baby steps work.

Hope Springs ~ Weekly Stretch 1-13-16


Springing at Michaels – Franne Demetrician

I was in Michael’s craft store the other day shopping for art supplies. I was running late for my first day of a mixed media painting class and just ran in to pick up my paints, not really noticing what was around me. I just wanted to get in and out and not be late for my first day. The last time I was in Michael’s was one of the many trips I made leading up to the holidays. Some of my gifts were special things I made for family and friends so Michael’s and I were good buddies for quite a while.

As I stood in line to check out I looked around the store – you know, the way you do when you wait and want to distract yourself. What I noticed was a major change in the energy of the store. Gone were the red and green, the garland and tinsel, the Santas and snowmen. Instead, all around me was the hope of Spring. I saw cute little outdoorsy things; green and pink decorations, tulips and daffodils, little painted wooden fences and pretty watering cans, all sorts of sweet Spring décor. If I hadn’t been in such a hurry I would have browsed and probably spent a lot more money. At the front window was a display of floral centerpieces. They were so pretty and it was all I could do not to jump out of line and grab one. One of these was in a little box that said “Flower & Garden”. It was my favorite.

As I looked at these pretty Spring decorations I could feel my mood changing, my spirits lifting, and something stirring in my heart. The word that came to mind was “Hope”. It’s no accident that during our President’s farewell speech he reminded us of the idea of hope and the importance of keeping it alive. In a world that consistently presents us with one challenge after another it’s vital, at least for me, to keep hope alive by seeking out the people and events that affirm that wondrous things are also happening. People are being kind and compassionate. Doctors and nurses are healing people. Scientists are looking for answers and researchers are searching for cures to disease and ways to make our lives better. Lovers are finding each other; babies are being made and the miracle of birth is happening in every moment. Children are learning to embrace each other and dedicated teachers are opening their minds. These and so many other things are happening in the world and hope is indeed a living thing.

The dreary days of winter can and often do bring our energy down. But I feel so blessed that for those few moments I was reminded of the promise and hope of spring. I could almost smell those delightful fragrances, and feel the warm rays of springtime sunshine on my face. And it gave me pause to stop and affirm that all is well. I will stop and look around more often. Don’t want to miss an opportunity to find hope.

STRETCH: See where hopefulness resides inside you. Stop and look at your surroundings with the intention of finding something that affirms hope is alive in your life. Dig if you must. It’s there.

A PRAYER INSTEAD OF A STRETCH 10-6-16

sun-in-clouds

You know the day that starts with brilliant sunshine filling your bedroom? The day that the light is so bright in your room that you can’t quite open your eyes all the way? The day when the sky is so blue and cloudless as to be almost surreal? The day when you step outside your door and feel the perfect temperature, and smell the perfume of fall, and feel a breeze that gives you just a tiny little chill? You know the day that you feel the fullness of what it means to be alive and grateful for every little tiny thing around you? You know the day when you ask the question, “How can anything be wrong in the world?”.

That was my day today. It reminded me of a day just after the September 11th attacks when the whole world was upside down, but it was the most beautiful of early fall days filled with bright sunshine and crystal clear skies. Clear except for the smoke and the heartbreak. I remember being out on the land with my husband. We went there to try to do something “normal”. We thought we’d be comforted by being as close to Mother Earth as we could get. We sat down in a field and looked at the blue sky, then at each other, then at the sky again. It was so peaceful and sweet where we were and we simply couldn’t wrap our minds around the fact that such peace could exist at the exact same moment as the fear and horror of the attacks was fresh and new and totally awful.

Today in my reverie, appreciating the beauty of this day, I was painfully aware that many people were suffering the loss of their homes and loved ones; many people were preparing for a powerful storm that has the potential to continue to take lives and homes and turn the world upside down again for millions of souls; many people are frightened and wondering how they will make it through the harrowing hours ahead.

Today’s message is not a stretch. It is a prayer. I invite you to join me in praying for the safety and protection of all of the people in the path of hurricane Matthew. May all be well; may all be safe; may all be aware of the love that surrounds them. May we all know the peace of a bright, sunny, crisp fall day.

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-18-16

baby in heels grow up

We are all growing up. At least that’s what I’m told. We arrive little and vulnerable and we have mommy and daddy (if we’re lucky) and eating and diapers; then we are walking and falling, more eating and sleeping and mommy and daddy; then we go to school and learn things, play, make friends and encounter a little drama; then we enter teen-hood with more school, sports or dance or whatever we start to love, friends, “no one likes me”-hood and much more drama; and then off to college or work or whatever pulls us into the responsibilities of adult-hood and guess what…more drama.

I had a birthday this week. I am old enough at this point to have had more than my share of all of the above, especially the drama. I sort of wish that upon arrival, we are given a “Welcome to Earth Life” manual that said, “expect lots of drama along with all other great stuff you get” so I would have been better prepared. Or maybe that’s the whole point. We don’t grow up without it and we need the element of surprise in order to learn from it all.

I find that at this point in my life I spend considerable amounts of time pondering these things. Is all this pondering a waste of time? I wonder that too. I wonder at many things and I find many things in my sphere of living quite magical and worth pondering about. One big ponder is that I realize that there are more years behind me than ahead of me, and that truth is poignant. I ponder on whether I’ve done right by the gift of this lifetime and could I have done better. I ponder on how I can do better with what I have ahead of me. I ponder on how my relationships have changed over the years and that the ones in my life now are changing as I write this. That reality is also poignant and somewhat painful. I ponder on what to do next and how much more fun, love, and pleasure can I bring into my life to help balance all the drama that seems to be necessary for the growing up part of this deal. I ponder on how blessed I am to have arrived at this point, with this many years behind me, alive and intact.

So after all this pondering I’m formulating a decision. The decision is still in the formative process, but it goes something like this – I am deciding to make drama less of an enemy. Notice I haven’t decided to embrace it and ask it to tea. Right now I’m just deciding to regard it as a “non-enemy”. I’m giving myself credit for that with the hope…intention…of befriending it in the future. I’m not there yet – haven’t quite evolved this relationship to the friendship stage. However, for this next year of my unfolding lifetime I will begin a new relationship with drama and look at it with less disdain and more value. That’s the best I can do for right now, and right now is what I have to work with.

So in an effort to continue the grow up process, I publicly offer a very tentative and shaky hand of “maybe we can be nicer to each other”-ness to drama, knowing that it has an important place in moving me to whatever the next level of wisdom, compassion, grace, and worldliness will be for me. The other stuff is easy and I enthusiastically invite more and more of that into my experience…Love, passion, abundance, play, laughter, sharing…you know, the juicy stuff. Come on in! The water’s fine! And place must be made, with grace, for the other stuff; the not so easy stuff; the painful stuff that seems to be jumping around in the water making it turbulent and less easy to stand in. I’ve noticed that when the water is turbulent and rocky, I find ways to stay upright and maintain my balance because I must, and much as I hate to admit it, drama gives me the opportunity to develop the muscles to do just that. Not quite as much fun as the juicy stuff, but in the end equally valuable.

STRETCH: Pay attention to your growing edge. Notice when your life presents you with opportunities to grow and see if you can give these opportunities a wide berth so that you can learn more and more about yourself and how to be the best You that you can be, right now. And most of all – be gentle with yourself.

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-11-16 ~ SUMMER SO FAR

healthy boundaries beach
Photo by Franne Demetrician

It’s been a great summer so far, not without ups and downs of course, but in general I love these wonderful days of sunshine and warmth. I even enjoy the occasional thunder storm, watching the sky do its thing with voluminous clouds that gather and scare me…along with the wonder of lightning and thunder and the awesome power of Nature when She decides it’s time to get out of the house and do something a little different. It’s thrilling and scary and all about summer.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting our summer vacation. We will be traveling to Sedona, AZ with our family in a little less than two weeks. This trip has been a dream of ours for quite a few years. Sedona is a second home to us and we’ve dreamt about sharing this very special and sacred place with the people we love most in the world. It’s not easy orchestrating a trip for nine people, but we are just about to see the realization of our vision and it’s quite exciting.

There have been some wonderful experiences this summer and as I reflect back on the last few weeks I am grateful for the insight, the fun, the music, the connection and the gifts received. I truly love the beach and I’m happy to have been there a few times so far to surround myself with the healing energy of ocean, sun and sand.

All of this said, this week I had an experience of great disappointment. It was staggering and left me with many questions. I found myself in a quandary that seemed impossible to resolve given the circumstances. So what I have before me is an opportunity to grow. OH BOY…yet another opportunity to grow (or as it’s been said, AFGO!…Another F*&%ing Growth Opportunity). Life is filled with them, of course, but this one is about as challenging as it gets. I asked a confidante, “What do I do now?” and the answer was, “You have to let it go.”. Deep breath…how do I do that? I think right now the only answer is to love myself enough to keep a safe distance until the pain and disappointment reach a tolerable level, then move forward with the information and wisdom I’ve gained. Mostly I need to “drop the knife”. This idea comes from a poem by Hafiz which I share below:

Once a young woman said to me,
“Hafiz, what is the sign?
of someone who knows God?”
I became very quiet,
and looked deep into her eyes,
then replied,
“My dear, they have dropped the knife.
Someone who knows God has dropped
the cruel knife that most so often use upon their tender self
and others.”

So today I make the commitment…albeit a shaky one…to drop the knife. To be kind and gentle with myself and my tender heart. To be OK with conflict and to dig as deeply as I can to find forgiveness, remembering that forgiveness is NOT condoning, but simply letting go of attachment to what I think “should” be rather than what is. I am speaking with the Universe and asking for support on this task because it’s about as important as it gets that I get it right.

And so this summer thus far has been rich in so many ways, including the challenging ones. I learned today of the death of someone who is about my age. I feel blessed to be here and thankful that I am given every day to live fully, with as much grace as I can muster. In spite of challenges…or really because of challenges…it’s certainly never boring. And because of the lifetime I am living and the people in it, it is filled with love.

STRETCH:
I offer this stretch for you and for me.
Ask yourself, “Where am I able to drop the knife I use on myself and others? Can I love myself enough to let it go?”