Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Quarter of Miracles

As we cross into the next quarter of the year, moving towards the sun and full blossoming. I want to take a moment to reflect just how far this last quarter has brought me...

It is almost unbelievable.

Do you remember, dear reader, this desperado mama who had to escape, who needed a creative retreat, who one dear commenter suggested might need anti depressants. Yes, that was me!

But the very next day I had a realisation - that I needed to let myself out of my box and do my thang! I declared this the year of abundant rainbows. And boy has it been. And it feels like it's only just beginning!

In the past three months I have:
  • Launched my first book - to greater success than I dared to hope! Over 120 paperbacks are out in the world in just one month, in over 10 countries! And set up international online stockists!
  • Learned to enjoy selling my work!
  • Done some serious spring cleaning in most of my closest relationships - and come closer, clearer and more honest with those who are dearest to me 
  • Started painting again ... and set the wheels turning for my first exhibition (to be held at Stephen Pearce Pottery in June
  • Made some headway in my mama-ing which I was beginning to despair of with some great new practices
  • Put my woman-craft teaching out there and have my first course booked
  • Been asked to teach what I love at a prestigious place, right next door to my house - blogging at the Ballymaloe Cookery School!
  • Really enjoyed my two working days a week - REALLY enjoyed
  • Interviewed my biggest heroine - Ina May Gaskin - who I will be meeting in person at the end of the month
  • Had a really great rejection letter for one book, and an acceptance for my submission to another (the Rhythm of the Home BOOK)
  • Had work published in : Modern Mum, Juno, The Irish Examiner, 
  • Had a photograph accepted for the 2013 Earth Pathways Diary (the third year in a row)
  • Found more balance in my life - despite all these busy sounding achievements, I have enjoyed more calm, balance and headspace and down time than I have in years, thanks to my two satisfying work days and shaking my creative tail-feather with joy. My life is full of picnics, good friends, days on the beach, cake and cocktails, a loving husband!
Perhaps to you, dear reader, it all looks a little inevitable. This rosy looking life, the first book, the Pink House, the tea house work space. Lucky her, she's got it sorted.

Oh mama, how wrong, you'd be. I really feel like I've earned every little bit this last few years.

Let me take you by the hand, three years back. When life was not so rosy. When I felt very wobbly in myself, in my marriage and threatened to disappear. We were living unhappily at my husband's parents house. Just getting my first article published, what an enormous achievement that was, and then another surprise baby. I wanted space, community, beauty, depth, spirit, creativity, my own life in my own image. Instead I felt clipped, held, restrained, unsure, angry...

Something,no,  everything had to change. And so I commited myself to it. Act by act. Doing what I could, with what I had, where I was.

Since then we have bought our own house and created our own garden. I have been on anti-depressants - and off again quickly. I have claimed my need to creative work - space and time, I have started to paint and teach again after years of crippling anxiety over them both. I have turned around very challenging relationships with my daughter and my own mother, and continue to work on other deeply challenging relationships. Grown a strong, loving and secure partnership with my husband and  with a number of deeply special friends. Become a published author in a topic that is deeply meaningful to many women. I have asked for permission to use the tea house. Founded a women's group of precious women which has held and supported me every step of the way and taught me about true community. Every dream that I articulated there has come to be.

There are many more challenges ahead. But for now, let me stand at the top of this mountain and say I feel truly blessed.


  1. This post was so inspiring. I am where you were three years ago, and am slowly moving into a better place. It is good to be reminded that life moves and moves; it doesn't stay in one place for long. It gets better, and we become stronger. Thank you for this post.

    (And hooray for setting such a positive intention for your year and for watching it come to fruition!)

  2. Oh Rachel, thank you for your kind words, and blessings to you where you are in your own life. Learning to claim our lives, our power, our selves is arduous work. May the seeds of your dreams grow strong and true in the ashes of what no longer serves you. Be strong, have faith, be gentle and patient with yourself and those who love you. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are, and breathe, knowing that though you often cannot feel it, that you are loved ad have beautiful depths beyond measure, which one day soon will come to light and transform your own life and those around you.

  3. Congratulations on all of your delicious abundance in the first quarter. It's lovely to hear your courageous voice come through the heavens from the top of the world! Blessings to you.

  4. Rachel, this is beautifully written and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing yourself so generously in this way. You have achieved so much! You've inspired me to write out my own list of miracles - it's easy to focus on what we haven't done but much more fulfilling to recognise and be grateful for what HAS happened and the growth we've experienced as a result. Keep on creating!

  5. Rachel, this is so well written and can tell it is from the heart. You inspire me to keep going after my dreams, even though there are days when it seems like nothing is happening and it is never going to happen. You make me realize the need to just keep going. Thank you!

  6. The sun is shining on you Lucy. And you deserve all of it. Enjoy the abundance. May the sun shine for so very long. xx

  7. Tis true that the darkest hour is just before dawn - and what a glorious morning you are having :-) Hurray for all these wonderful things X

  8. I enjoy all your posts I've read. Every single one adds to a picture of a vivacious and colourful person whom I admire. This post is especially moving, it throws such a loving and generous light on so much. Cheering you on from a distance and loving your honest example.

  9. This truly is inspirational! How great to see all the fabulous things that have happened in your life the past three months!

  10. Thank you all, especially Lucy - it feels like it might be myself, in another body, another place, cheering me on x

  11. see dreams can come true xx wonderful to read and inspirational to us all, whether we're in the dark hole, or climbing out of it. It's a tremendous achievement, and deserves celebration! sometimes we can put limitations on ourselves because we are Mamas, and you have prooved that we can be boundless xxx

  12. Thanks for this inspiring post Lucy and to those who have commented above- these beautiful, wise, encouraging words brought a tear to my hormonal eye. However, I really needed to hear them as a fairly newbie mama feeling like she's not taken to it all very naturally, and who has various dreams it feels like will never be achieved....

    I've been following your blog and Juno column for a while but didn't realise how much you've achieved and how much change you've had in quite a short space of time. Wow! And well done! Thank you for sharing your dark times and vulnerabilities as well as the fruits of your talents. Best wishes for your projects and challenges ahead ♥

  13. Thank you Suzanne and Heart Shaped Hands. Thank you both for your heart felt words. They mean the world.

    You see the thing about writing a blog is that there is, there must be, an editing process - not to hide, or pretend but for the emotional safety and privacy of all - so know, dearest readers that the depth of any life, my own included is far more complex than I can share here. Hence why this moment feels so bright.

  14. Great job Lucy! Yes, take a moment to breathe and feel the love. I have found in my "readings" with women who are not happy in their lives/relationships that it is the woman who has to take the initiative for change. The men are usually very willing to step up to the change, but the woman has to initiate it. I hope your story encourages other women to speak up.

  15. So inspiring to read. I am that mama who needs to escape! I have a five year old, a two year old andam carrying no 3, and we home educate. No family close by. I love our choices and they are so right for us but hard work. I need to carve out little periods of time for creativity. Thank you for showing me what is possible and what my future might look like one day! :)

  16. Lucy,

    Did a writing course given by you years ago. Sorry to hear you have had tough times but your are showing your strength and rode the storm which is exactly what women and Mums over many years have done. I think you are a soft person who would put others before yourself.....I recognoise that trait cos I am likewise....we use up our energy resources on others till there is nothing left for us. You have to stop then and figure a path that is true for you no matter how painful and re-energise. In the long run that benefits family, relationships and our own souls I think. I have huge admiration for you...sounds like your life is on your path now the one you are meant to be on that is loving, nurturing, and particularly creative and inspiring. I think most women need our own nest to live with with our family. You have gotten that....well done. Enjoy life and best of luck with your exhibition. Remember....not lot of art selling in the current climate so consider keeping your prices low allowing people to buy so your colours are in others living rooms and kitchens.
    Keep moving on....your doing amazingly...



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