The above photo was sent to me a couple of hours ago by Claudio, the owner of a family -run vineyard near Villa Pucci, the home of my Tuscan Writing Retreat 2024.
It is in the ebbs and flows, the comings and going, the in-between places where life is truly lived.
Our writing can ebb and flow, too, and that's okay. It's about finding our natural rhythms and working with them rather than against them.
It has always has been this way, at least for me. When I look at nature, I remember that I am a part of these patterns, not separate from them. It is useless to fight against forces that have existed since the beginning of time. Just look at the history of the Earth: from completely barren to teeming with life; from mass extinctions to thriving ecosystems, over and over again.
Look no further than the next sunset or sunrise. Literally. Go out and watch one - they are astounding. Every. Single. Day.
But even with this knowledge, I have done just that - fought against my nature. My personal and human nature. I have also gone with my nature, and that is when I've had my greatest adventures!
In art, I find the same. Some say living is art and that our life is our greatest masterpiece. Or not. But when I think like that, I find a freedom inside me to do the things that are calling to me. I listen to my inspirations, follow my wild dreams, take that risk, do the thing.
We are all super important and also not. In the grand scheme of the Universe, we are smaller than minuscule and our worries and problems, even smaller than that.
I had a friend named Ann who would remind me to stop looking at my life through a magnifying glass every time things seemed TOO BIG! But maybe I was just looking at it through the wrong lens. All I had to do was flip it around and everything would shrink to an even smaller than it actually was. I learned that is called humility. When things are and I am "right-sized."
What is our right-size?
Some of us - often women, I hate to say - shrink ourselves to fit into lives or dreams that are too small for us. That constrict our life force.
The pressure the "outside world" exerts on us can also do this and we humans often find ourselves doing, alone, way more things than humanly possible. Yet it is expected of us. We, in turn, expect it of ourselves, then feel like "failures" when we can't meet those unnatural expectations.
What feels natural for you to do? In your life, in your writing practice? Take a moment and write it down, journal about it.
It is through the shedding of those "unnatural expectations" even for one hour, one afternoon, one day and if you're lucky or come to my Tuscan Writing Retreat, one whole week, that we begin to feel into our very own "right-sizeness."
When we create art, when we write our stories, we are setting the world and ourselves "right" one word at a time.
It is essential. Non-negotiable. For when we create, we are connecting to Spirit, to Inspiration, to our Life Force, to our inner- and outermost selves, to others, to the world. And we need connection for our very survival.
And we all deserve so much more than just survival. We all deserve to thrive. Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
We would do well to remember our connection. To Earth, to each other, to ourselves and our loved ones. To our writing. Grab someone and go watch a sunrise or sunset. Bring your journal! Take the extra time, make the extra effort. It's worth it. You're worth it.
I could say a lot more but have to run out to catch the sunset!