Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Although it’s been challenging juggling everything this month, I am really enjoying my January writing sabbatical. And, it’s headed in a completely different direction than I had thought—but I’ll save that for another time.

Creating mental space—where I can actually allow my thoughts to slowly meander where they like, as opposed to the daily rush of reacting to endless requests-- has really allowed me to remember what invigorates, inspires and makes me come alive.

I started a weekly Intuitive Arts painting class with Fire Tree Studio—a gift from my siblings for my 43rd birthday; last weekend, my family attended an amazing photography exhibit called Workers-- about the world’s laborers and this past Saturday night my husband –a Brazilian drummer—and I stepped out of our comfort zone and went two-stepping at the world-famous Broken Spoke, one of the oldest dance halls in Texas, where legend Dale Watson was playing. This Friday, as I celebrate my birthday with my five brothers and sisters, we will all be hitting a local roller skating rink—something I haven’t done in probably 17 or more years!

And, after months of begging from my six-year old, we finally got it together to volunteer and go out on a Mobile Loaves and Fishes truck (am amazing Austin-based nonprofit that feeds and clothes the homeless and poor), and traveled to halfway homes and government housing on a cold, dark week night, offering meals, support and a little conversation to our neighbors on the east side of town.

Later that night, my son couldn’t stop talking about the experience (he actually served people directly from the back of the truck offering them their choice of fruit, chips, etc.) saying, “this was the best day of my life!” He later shared with my husband as he was tucking him in that night, that he used to think the homeless were different from him, but he now realizes they’re his brothers and sisters.

All of these experiences made me feel alive. They are the kinds of things I have always done since I was a young kid. They are who I am.

I love to express my creativity and soak up the various ways others express their creative spirit, too (more on this in my next Life Balance Newsletter). My mother, a classically trained musician, used to love to open all our windows when the weather was nice and put on Bach's Brandenberg Concertos to inspire us when we were little. Creative expression was a constant in our household.

I feel, in times of uncertainty, it’s always wise to return to that which feeds us from the “inside out.” And, reminds us of who we really are and what really matters.

What makes YOU come alive? I’d love to hear your stories!

P.S. We’ll be exploring our creativity as an essential part of developing a self-care practice at the Spring Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings. I’d love to see you and your mothers/sisters/girlfriends there!

P.S.S. I also wanted to recommend a beautiful, much-needed book for working moms written by my friend Phaedra Cucina, who expressed her creativity through the creation of her new heart-felt book “My Mommy’s on a Business Trip.” The book tells of the “adventures” of business travel from a young child’s point of view, with the endearing message that mom misses her and is coming home soon. Available exclusively at http://www.mommytrip.com/,


Average Jane Crafter said...

I love this! Alive is such a great word, with such a great feeling and meaning. Love it!

And I love reading about these fun things you have been doing - the art class looks amazing! And roller skating! Such fun!

Like these things, the way I feel most alive is to just play and have fun and connect with other people while I'm doing it. I love the idea of going back to that thing (or things) that really feed you and remind you of who you truly are. As challenging as things are these days, I find myself joyfully going back to that place and things feel much, much better.

Love this entry! :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Rachel, you are an amazing teacher to us all in this arena--I love the story about how you took your Personal Renewal Group on a Blazer Tag adventure--rock on!! You're an inspiration to us all.

renee trudeau said...

Thanks Rachel, you are an amazing teacher to us all in this arena--I love the story about how you took your Personal Renewal Group on a Blazer Tag adventure--rock on!! You're an inspiration to us all.

Angela Estes said...

I love it too! For me coming alive has meant not only incorporating more fun things into my life and my families life like the latin fusion dance class I took this morning....quite a humbling experience or the pizza/play we had with friends this past weekend. But it's also about releasing the chatter in my head or the gremlin on my back. When I mentally feel weighted down by either, I know my energy and my aliveness comes down too.

My intention for 2009 is to love my life and while it's only been a couple weeks, I've found that by focusing on what I'm grateful for and loving my life as it is today that I feel more and more alive inside!

Thanks Renee and Rachel - you are both always inspiration to me!!

Love, Angie