As I explained to my dear hubby this morning, a week away from a blog is like a month away from work. An unexplained (of sorts) absence. For this, I apologize. Allow me to share what I can as to what has been going on behind the scenes.
This is how I see my social studio:
BLOG: The main area of the studio - the lobby and many adjoining rooms. A very open, airy space that smells of dried lavendar and chamomile. Art painted by friends who have visited adorns the walls (sometimes painted directly on the walls). White poofy chairs and couches, reclaimed wood tables, shelves full of books, and some display racks waiting to be filled with my art-for-sale surround the room.
I sit behind the "About Me" desk (yeah, I gotta get that written) and mull around adding more and more to the studios. I throw yoga mats here and there, leave small wisdom notes tucked in plants for you to find, use the powder blue chalk to leave a joke on the tiny chalkboard plaque hanging by the window. You explore, learn, and grow in awareness. (And hopefully, you chat with me via comments as you have time. Otherwise it gets kinda lonely sitting there.)
It is here that I greet you, that you get an impression of what "LifeUnity" is all about. You can explore the classrooms of my ideas, stay awhile and take a class (meaning - for now - just pick up some information based off what I share - actual classes will probably be down the road).
FACEBOOK: The cafe off to the left side of the lobby. It is here that everyone sits down on unbelievably-comfortable-but-posture-supporting chairs & couches & floor pillows, shares a chai (I suppose you can still come if you don't like chai, but be prepared to be converted), and discusses. It is where we share our stories back and forth. We settle into comfy chairs or just stop in for a quick "hi!", toss out some random ideas, and laugh. (Many times these conversations carry over into the blog as we move back and forth, but the smell of the fresh-baked croissants in the cafe certainly adds something to the ambiance.)
(Join us in the cafe here)
TWITTER: The display window. There isn't much room but these windows can be chock full of colorful goodies. (You'll find me hanging out at the front door sometimes too, so when you're at the window we may share a little chat!)
(See what's currently on display here)
NEWSLETTER: This is the beautiful studio up the well-worn wood stairs that you can access once you sign up (in my studio, I envision a little clipboard with a pink glitter pen. Virtually, you can just sign up here.) It is the area that contains information not accessible to others just browsing around. I'm still working around with what I'm carrying up those stairs, so we both get to enjoy the discoveries.
I'm on Flickr and SmugMug and Vimeo and YouTube and LinkedIn and all those...but I don't venture in those rooms often. Someday I may move the boxes of stuff stored there into a main-floor studio room. Or I may hire movers. Who knows.
So what does this have to do with my absence?
Before this, I was more interested in getting the rooms set up. Creating an environment for you and for me, making sure to display items appropriately, pushing couches here and there, trying to get the "right" items in the display window. I received a lot of positive feedback (thank you!) and encouragement to keep going.
But each day, I would leave my social studio. I would go home to a house where I didn't practice yoga, I wasn't the same balanced me that wondered in the cafe, and where I all too often let paints sit unused instead of splashing it on the walls. And I was getting tired.
I would return to the studio with less and less inspiration to paint, fewer ideas for conversation, total blocks as to what to include in my studios. And absolutely no jokes. I was running myself dry.
The past few weeks I have been here and there at the social studio, but have spent more time just meditating in my small corner altar. What has it led to?
A quiet decision.
I am moving in. I am moving into my social studio. I am moving into myself. I am moving into right here, right now.
There is nowhere else to go, no one else I want to be. To help me re-member this, I'm going to stop trying to go somewhere else and be someone else.
Words sound trite which is a huge reason I haven't blogged recently. Trying to find -or perhaps worse, create - words to communicate where I am right now is like giving you a bouquet of roses that are made of rolled up papers describing the roses. You may be able to picture it but there isn't really a way to experience the essence of it without giving you the actual rose. And unfortunately, I can't do that. The rose can only be found in Practice.
But keeping the rose to myself is fairly selfish. So I will do the best I can to continue to share...even if it is just origami.
For now, this means moving in. Expanding myself enough that I incorporate both the social studio and my home into one being. Opening enough that I never leave. Making my practice such that my conversations with my hubby, my mother, the barista, my son's teacher, and each of you radiate from my true self...that I don't yell and stomp out of my house only to float into the lobby of LifeUnity with a blissful smile on my face.
Words words words.
I have noticed many changes occurring in many of you with whom I am connected. Job changes or departures, new titles, losses and gains, love and deep anger. It is an uneasiness that I think all of us are feeling.
I have no advice. I can only share where I am and open my studio to you, to allow you to explore, stay as long as you wish, but eventually walk out the door and into your own practice.
I do hope that each of us stops trying to move so much. Moving out of uncomfortable situations, rearranging things to get more visitors, being store owners in our social studios and humans at home.
Until then, I will continue settling in. Please, share some chai with me. Find some inspiration (a breath) around the studio. Leave a comment for me or for another visitor to discover - keep the conversation flowing.
I will be here - more than I have been before.
I extend to you right now an open invitation to do the same.