AWAKENING by Fran Bouwman (Please watch her video at www.franbouwman.com)
All right – I just arrived home from sharing breakfast with an amazingly creative, beautiful, naturally funny, and wise woman of 68 years. Threw on my long gauzy skirt and a deep red silky camisole – my writing clothes for the day I have decided – and plunked a piece of rich dark chocolate in my mouth. What could be better!
I am dedicating this post to you Sue, for you have inspired me to make an offer to my 50+ age women readers out there (or under if you find your way to this blog site!). I dare you (and you first Sue!) to take me up on this! Listening to Julia Cameron’s Walking in This World, the Practical Art of Creativity, read by a most wonderful reader, on my way home in the car…and reflecting on the conversations that Sue and I had this morning, I realized that WildlyFreeWoman has always been about supporting, encouraging, guiding, and at times giving a gentle kick in the butt, to women to bring their creative wild soul out into the physical world – NOW!
It is not always clear how a woman can do that with all of the other pulls on her time and attention – but from 50 on we have a new perspective, tons of life experience, more “our time” than we have ever had, and the opportunity to say YES! to our unique and individual expression – whatever that is. For me right in this moment it is sitting down at my Mac computer, or putting my favorite fountain pen in my hand, and waiting for the creator’s juice to move through me into my hands and on this page.
As Sue wove her story at the breakfast table of her recent visit to the Trappist monastery, I had very upturned mouth and tears of laughter rolling down my face. I was able to see and feel her sitting there in the chapel attempting to connect with “the Divine” as an ancient monk shuffled his way (she knew which one it was by his walk) down the aisle and sat near to her, stamping his walking stick and making snuffling noises as he moved his dentures around in his mouth. What a disturbance she thought to herself…and on the story goes to reveal some wise and profound observations – and great humor directed at our humanness.
I invite Sue to finish this story and have me put it here on the blog. The worst that could happen is that no one will read it …the best that can happen is that no one will read it – but Sue would have put something out there for public viewing and said YES to her creative expression. You can’t lose Sue!
That goes for everyone else out there that is sitting on a creative expression – or is just tentatively beginning to get nearer to “putting it out there”. Allow this to be the sacred container which births IT and YOU out into the world. Julia Cameron says, “Doubt is a signal of the creative process. It is a signal that you are doing something right…. Creativity is a spiritual issue. Although we seldom look at this squarely the creative life features the same spiritual obstacles as any other spiritual path.” Doubt can then lead to the courage to go ahead and put it out there anyway, no matter what…and yes it is a leap…and yes it is way worth it. (Besides I have the power to monitor any comments that are made public on this blog….so again, you can’t lose…)
There are women (and men!) out there that need our stories, our art, our creative expression and example to take them one more step further along in their inside journey to letting loose and breaking free of the restrictions that may keep us bound up like a tightly closed bud that is doomed never to flower, or open at all. The way I see it WE need US to do it!
So…here is the deal! Write to me about your art, creative activity, or projects; give me a website; or send me some samples if that is appropriate. Allow WildlyFreeWoman to be your creative muse and the readers of this blog to be your adoring supporters. We each have a unique expression to bring…and we each are a incredibly important part of the whole web of creative interconnection globally. The creation is not complete without our unique and individual expression.
As Marilyn Patterson in South Africa wrote to me when sending her brand new book, “Wrapped in Sunrise” in the mail – let yourself be “the kind of person that inspires others towards a greater more heart felt life expression”. Bring it on and let’s play!
SUE RESPONDS WITHIN HOURS!! Here is her courageous launching and she promises me that a picture will be forth coming. WFW will be sending an official “Courageously Creative” certificate to each woman that brings her expression to this blog site!
To a Very Special Wildly Free Woman and Dear Friend,
I feel as if I am being Published..me head is swelling. Several times, I have had the exquisite experience of spending even a small amount of time observing these men in robes, who we define as Monks. Are they freaks of nature, recluse on the run from life, or do they actually contribute to the world in which we live? The answer for me is a resounding, Yes they do, in ways we will never know. I learned this from My Very Dearest Friend, Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk, who left this unruly world, far too young. So now, I have told you the name of My Mentor. Now you must know my Funny Personality, so to speak, is derived from an Irish Family Background and as far back as I can remember the Exquisite need to laugh and give laughter to others.
Going to the Monastery/Abby is a place where you will actually see smiles on peoples faces. Silence evokes quiet thought, which in turn, gives us all periods of thought you had forgotten and which later appear very funny, when measured against the Seriousness of Life.
A few weeks ago, I had again decided to drive up to Lafayette, just a little north of McMinnville, Oregon for a quiet time in their garden and some meditation regarding making a decision on a special matter. While there, I left the chapel and proceeded outside to the gardens and passed the private graveyard in their enclose. Mother of God I thought, imagine sleeping next to all those dead people. Anyway, a quiet little monk came up next to me and asked, “would you like to share lunch with the brothers? “ I of course said yes. Good chance some of them would be cute..know what I mean. Anyway, we proceeded to the QUIET hall where they were all seated in SILENCE. I proceeded to go over to the table and serve myself, then proceeded to sit down and eat. I kept looking out over the tops of my glasses to see, as a lay person, what they looked like and were all about. After about 35 minutes I stood up and proceeded to leave, but not without saying,
” Thank you for the delicious lunch”. With that one of them turned to me with his finger over his lips as if to say, faux pas..then out of the corner of my eye, I observed a little old monk quietly giggling at the end of the table. Sue I said…Sweet Victory!!!!!!!!
Hopefully, as he lay on his straw mattress that night, he had wonderful dreams. Sue you Devil.
I have many such stories to give forth to those who would find them enjoyable as well as funny. At the time they happened in my life, they did not really have that much significance. In my looking back now, they were really funny and I will from time to time give forth some of these wonderful times of my life. However, as I proceeded to say to my friend Gaye, ” I cannot imagine anyone finding my stories and the Paths my life has taken as interesting. The Glory of having Intelligent/Passionate about life friends, is how they are able to observe qualities you never saw in yourself, and they, if they are true friends, are quick to remind you, ” your talents MUST be shared by the many, in hopes they too can rise above it all.