A Thing Or Two About Resilience by Christina Rosalie

Thank you to everyone on my mailing list who completed my survey this week! I learned so many things--about you, and about myself, and about the things you'd like me to write about and share here. (I'm hoping to do another little post about the results this weekend.)
Thank you also to everyone who bought work in my studio sale! I am so grateful. I love knowing my work will find special places in the corners of your homes and studios and office spaces.
Above are a selection of the pieces that went to new homes in the sale. I had no idea that nearly everything would go in a matter of hours in the pre-sale. That really ROCKED, and it made the fact that my house is being torn apart a little more bearable....
The pipes bursting caused so, so much damage.

The beautiful floors T and I put in ourselves seven years ago have to be ripped out across most of the first level of our home and replaced. Each board buckled up like the hull of a shallow canoe. My studio needs a new wall and new insulation; the garage ceiling needs to be replaced.
Everything will be topsy-turvy for the next couple of weeks as things get pulled apart, and then put back together anew.
But what all this has had me thinking about lately is how even this crazy situation is completely a universal experience. Life happens like this to everyone. Maybe not these circumstances in particular; this timing; these muddy roads and wet walls. But it happens, the topsy-turvy, the tilting of things. Things get pulled apart and then put back together for all of us.
And the truth is, I've been through worse, harder, sadder, more disruptive things and gradually I've acquired a soul-memory for what the beautiful word resilience means. Things will shift, tilt, and warm to become something bright and new. This will happen. Inevitably.
We spring back like the saplings that spend the winter bent beneath deep snow. We spring back with the the inevitable sap of the future swelling up. A thaw will come, and the air will fill with the singular scarlet call of cardinals, and little rivulets of snowmelt will rush down banks and gullies, and then the each twig will whip upright, shaking off snow showers and spring back.
What I'm excited about is possibility this year (even though I'm dreading the forced renovations!) I can feel things are shifting. New possibilities are murmuring.

What possibility do you most hope to manifest this year?

Inspiration, starting in, achievement, and resistance {Creative Cycles Part 1} by Christina Rosalie

It will begin like this: with the sudden irreverent bark of a dog on a cold snowy night; or with the lilting flight of a hundred starlings among the naked poplar branches, or in line somewhere, waiting for a cappuccino, when you pause to take note of what you’re actually thinking, and there it will be. An inkling. An image maybe, a string of notes, or perhaps a phrase.

I have a phrase in my head now, for example, that I’ve for a couple of months, rattling around like a magnet in a bucket, attracting fragments of things: filaments, filings, scraps.

That inkling will persist if you listen; until it becomes unavoidable and you have to stop wherever you are and take and admit: I have an idea! Then you will begin to wonder and ponder, record, and reflect as bits of the idea drift about in your subconscious like gorgeous saffron and vermillion coy fish moving slowly under the ice on a winter pond; moving just enough so that you know they still have a pulse, a vibration of life all of their own volition down there.

The days will gather upon themselves, until you feel the idea stirring with certainty, with urgency : a private equinox right there in the midst of your soul. And if you’re brave and passionate you’ll listen, and you’ll begin in earnest whatever work you must do.

You’ll ask for help. You’ll ask for answers. You’ll ask for time, and more time, and extra cups of coffee. You’ll clear your calendar as much as possible without the normal reluctance that you feel when pushing aside the “shoulds” and “musts” you are accustomed to always putting first.

And then there will be days, or months even, when all you want to do is dive into your work with passion and zeal and focus. This is the apex of the creative cycle.

This is when you are inclined to burn the candle at both ends; working one day of work, and another on your project; when you have perpetual paint on your fingers maybe, or a pencil behind your ear, or you feel naked without your laptop keyboard under your palms, and you don’t remember the last time you washed your sheets, and all you eat is whatever leftovers are in the fridge.

This is when the work that you’re doing becomes a force of it’s own. When even though the specter of failure rears its ugly head, and procrastination stalks you, you can shake it off with a certain courage and urgency, and get to the heart of what you intend. This is the time when all you want to do is the work you are in the midst of.

And then, as you near completion and the deadline looms, it’s possible that you’ll feel like the whole thing was a mistake. A terrible misjudgment of your abilities; a laughable mess of smithereens. It’s possible that you’ll wonder Who the hell do I think I am, anyway? And you’ll consider escape routes and worst case scenarios, and it will feel utterly impossible to finish. But you can, and you will...


This is part 1 in a series of posts I’ve been wanting to write for a while about creative cycles and how they affect me. My feeling is that these are very universal experiences, hence the second person voice which I fall back on naturally when I feel like it applies to you too!

I’d really love to hear your experiences about starting in on a cycle of creativity, and what happens throughout that process.

Next up in the cycle: Reaching the completion, celebration, loss and regeneration.

Everything is invented by Christina Rosalie

{Maria Kalman}
I love this. Oh yes. How true it is. The opportunities we make for ourselves; the parameters we define, achieve, exceed.

How many times do you find yourself circling in the small circumference of your day: your world defined by the limitations of work, by small children with sticky hands; by whatever it is that you see as the perimeter for what is possible?

“There are so many things that you’re told you can’t do. So many things that can stop you. You can either be like the elephant that is hobbled it’s whole life—so it doesn’t know that it is free once the hobble is removed, or you can do things your own way. You cannot live a life of fear.”

The woman telling me this is the flight attendant on the last of my three flights. She is beautiful, in her late forties, with milky chocolate skin and sparkling eyes. She wears a flower diamond ring on her finger, and her eyes light up when I ask her if she’s ever been sky diving.

“No,” she says, “but it’s something I’m thinking of doing. I’m afraid of heights.”

Then she tells me, “I went parasailing in Mexico and it was incredible. The air was fresh, and the world was so quiet up there above the water. It was like I was an angel.”

I can’t help grinning. I love that every single assumption I’ve had about this woman has just been shattered into a million pieces.

“Hang gliding has always been on my bucket list,” I tell her.

And she looks at me then, head tilted to the side, and in that moment we both get it. We’re two of a kind. The kind of women with bucket lists; with wanderlust; with adventure bursting from the drawers of our hearts.

“What is the number one thing on your bucket list?” she asks.

“To publish the book I’m working on,” I tell her and her eyes light up.

“I’ve always wanted to write,” she says.

So I say, “Tell me. Tell me about your life.”

And so she tells me how until two months ago she worked as a successful registered nurse. How she climbed the rungs of success in her field; spent her career traveling: starting a hospital in Nicaragua, bringing medical supplies to villages in Africa; exploring the streets of Rome.

“Resilience is about being able to change,” she tells me, when I ask her how she got from that to this; to being a flight attendant.

“Change is what makes people thrive. It’s when they get stuck in the same patterns for too long, when they’re afraid to change that they become unhealthy.” And because she wanted more wanted more balance in her life, she quite nursing and became a flight attendant.

I want to ask more, but the plane is already in its descent. We exchange email addresses, and she smiles as she presses hers into my hand.

When the plane hits the runway with a thud, I'm still smiling.

Yes for resilience. Yes for adventure. Yes for living your life without fear.


What do you believe is possible? What would you do if limitations didn't exist?