Welcome to the BIG BRAVE BLOG HULLABALOO, a celebration of gutsy women from all over the world, connecting and claiming our power! It’s not too late to join our circle… if you’d like to share your story on my blog over the course of the summer, please read what this is all about HERE, and connect with me!
We have so much to learn from one another!
Today’s guest is a wild woman from my Wild Woman’s Inner Circle… her stories and courage to reclaim her power always amaze and inspire me. Her willingness to take the leap and share here, despite feeling a bit vulnerable and imperfect in doing so, is a testament to a tenacity that consistently lands her directly in the heart of the matter.
Please welcome the DARING Jennifer Szescula Flanagan, and leave a love note down in the comments below!
One of my focuses this year was to just create whatever it is that came to mind. I wasn’t going to worry that I didn’t know how to do anything (paint, sew, draw, bake, etc.) or that it probably wasn’t going to be anything like I saw it in my mind to be when it was complete. I was just going to do it. This has proven to be harder than I thought. But I have pushed through a few times.
This is one of those examples.
I’ve reclaimed, mined and brought to my daily life what I love of the religion of my past: Catholicism. It sustains, supports, excites and exhilarates me. I am convinced it was the art, mystery and the beauty within churches, the services and the music that brought me back.
But despite now being a “card-carrying” member of Catholicism (if there is such a thing) I’ve wanted to blend my old-new faith with the beauty and mystery of the other faiths, ideas, and traditions I met and fell in love with along the way. I cannot and will not deny the truth and beauty of other ways of living. (My religious and political view is: Love yourself. Love others and the world around you. Get out of everyone else’s business and leave them alone to live their own truth.)
At one time, the center of the cross was going to have pictures of holy people from all walks of life. I wanted to have that visual representation of love around the world – seeing all those people, who all see life from different perspectives – yet always come down to love.
My drawing skills being what they are (non-existent) I gave up on it. It still celebrates and blesses my newfound strength in God/Goddess/Universe and my “new” office/creative space (which I reclaimed just last month from being a constant hotel room for our various relatives).
It is not remotely what I had pictured. It is not anything I had seen in my mind before. I know where the “mistakes” (what I know to be wrong and you probably won’t notice) are and I am trying to accept them. I have very mixed feelings when I see this now behind me at my computer screen.
It reminds me of love – love for others and especially love for myself that I pushed through and created what I needed anyway. At the same time, I cringe, knowing it was not what I had pictured and seeing how it could be so much “better”.
I would not have imagined a that simple cross (in my mind: a kindergarten project) would make me look deep into myself to see within those two sides: my capacity for love and my capacity for cruelty. And show me that I don’t have to “deal” with any of it, but learn how to live with them both, a balancing act that I decide, that defines how I live my life.
Just some poster board, paint, and a few hours…pushing through to what? I had no idea.
The universe is funny that way. Take cheap materials, play like a kindergartener and have a life-altering revelation.
Gosh, could I have handled it if I had used my old crayons?
Jennifer spends her days working her “pay the bills” job as an Operations Manager from her home office in Mocksville, NC. Her previous incarnations include world traveler, runner, triathlete and “that friend who just makes those crazy decisions but of course, she will make it work.” In her free times she dreams about and attempts being: a nun, a healer, a priestess, an author, a professional cook/baker, chocolatier, singer/song writer, Broadway conductor, dancer, yoga instructor and retreat space creator/leader. And she imagines doing all of this based out of her secluded home in the mountains of Western North Carloina with her husband and forever young golden retriever. http://szescula.wordpress.com/