Sunday, July 27, 2014

the way home

How to sum up Jason's and my epic #roadtrip, now that we're home and (mostly) unpacked?
How to tamp down our lively, unruly collection of stories, sights, new in-jokes, and gasps of awe into one tidy telling?
Countless hours curled in our new-to-us Subaru, windows rolled down, highway 212 unfurling endlessly into Montana earth and sky. Singing at the top of our lungs (badly, sometimes on purpose, sometimes not so much) to mix CDs I made when I was fifteen. Sipping as many cans of Peace Tea as we could find, or sweetened-just-right coffee, or water bottles fished from the bottom of our sloshing cooler. Playing zitchdog with our ubiquitous Subaru buddies on the road.
Traveling by prairie and mountain, river and hay bale. Counting crows. Discovering Bozeman, Montana, a surprising and friendly city filled with accepting and quirky people (beards aplenty, bicycles even more). Poking through thrift and who-knows-what stores (including one with full-face unicorn masks). Stumbling across a street fair on historic Main Street, where the Young Dubliners played for a cheering crowd, and I received my first henna tattoo. Walking "home" to our hotel afterward, winding through well-leafed streets in setting summer sun.
And Yellowstone. Oh. Yellowstone. Ohhh. The "grand canyon," with stunning 308-foot waterfall, viewed from a perch above an osprey nest. More cultures and languages than we could recognize. Elk wandering lazily by buildings and roadways. The earth, shockingly real before us, bubbling mud and spewing boiling water. Feeling smaller than ever and yet boundless.
And through it all, my best friend and me: my beloved of twelve years. Laughing. Adventuring. Together.
And all I can say is this: oh, thank you, Life. Thank you.
How was your week, friend? What surprised or delighted you?
I hope your travels (whether near or far) took you right to the heart of joy.
With love,
"may this be my mission: to live in freedom, to float on sacred air, to be Love in motion . . ."
What a wonderful welcome home! My dear friend erica simpson (a kindhearted and deeply soulful woman) posted our creative kindred conversation, where I spill about my mission, my motivation, and my meaning. I am honored and blessed to be featured in this "sanctuary for creative freedom + delight." Join us, friend? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

worry & wonder: the road trip edition

Sometimes having an active imagination really sucks.

Like when you can imagine any possible problem, fault, failure. When you sink into anxiety, settled deep and deeper when worries press your shoulders down down down.

But this, too, is part of my journey--as someone who has battled anxiety her whole life. Learning to embrace the mess, the muck, the far-less-than-perfect. And find beauty, somehow, right here. To cling to blessing.

Because, this, too, is true: good is here. Now. Yes, even while anxiety swirls (some merited, some not). Yes, even when stress pimples break out on my face, when extra pounds from comfort eating weigh heavy, even when I snap and grump and am less than loving. Less than I want to be.

Because here is all I have. Here is healing, when I lean gently into trust, like the sunflowers somehow blooming in my yard, even though they sag every day from heat and who knows what . . . but they lean, lean, lean, and bloom, bloom, bloom anyway.

And the worry and wonder,
as always, mingle: the grace and grit,
the yes in the mess.

Tomorrow morning my beloved and I take off on a road trip--the longest we'll have been away from home in seven years. (Thanks, Ma, for house-and-kitty-sitting!)

Oh, how we need this time away. Together.

Even as I worry--needlessly--that we will forget something, that we'll break down on the way, that Something Terrible Will Happen--oh my goodness, I know the truth: all that matters is that we will be together. My best friend. And me. Windows down, music on, endless road unspooling before us. And all, all will be well.

And part of the anxiety? It's simply this--I need time to press pause, to step away, to breathe fresh air, to thirsty-sponge this gorgeous world we live in. Time to be.

And so, tomorrow, we roll out.
And I breathe a sigh of relief, of gratitude, of yes.

I am thinking of you, too, dear one,
on your own travels--whether across the world
or in your backyard. And I think of our vulnerabilities,
our tender spots, our hurts and healings. And I remember:
love, love, love is enough. All will be well. All will be well.

Sending you so much love
and endless skies,


Oh, friend, imagination can be such a gift--a reconnection with childlike joy. When we cultivate healthy avenues of expression and exploration, stretching our imagination in positive ways . . . anything, anything is possible. One reader says: "Beautiful and attractive layout. One can't help but feel upbeat after reading these pages."

Have you grabbed your copy of Sprout: Imagine yet? Let it be your ticket to anywhere, your leap into limitless thinking, your invitation to wild possibility.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sprout online magazine: IMAGINE

Your childheart misses you.

Remember when no dream was too big, too wild, too unreasonable? Remember when you climbed trees, skipped rocks, played make-believe? Remember when anything seemed possible?

Sprout: Imagine is your ticket back to childlike joy. Your leap into limitless thinking. Your invitation to wild possibility.

Oh, beloved, I know your childheart may feel far away. You've been hurt. You have grieved. Imagination and creative expression may feel unnecessary and even frivolous in the face of Reality. But what if deep joy and awe are still possible in daily living--and, in fact, are our divine birthright?

Say yes to your childheart with us (only $6 for sixty full-color pages):

Issue 33 (Imagine) $6:

Imagine + subscribe to upcoming issues:

What if we could reconnect to a lightness of being? What if we could once again be thirsty sponges, soaking up the world's succulence? What if we rolled up our jeans, splashed across creeks, felt the sun on our faces? What if we flopped on our backs in wildflower meadows and spotted mystical creatures in cumulus?

Oh, friend, let Sprout: Imagine be your wildflower meadow, your sunshine, your creekbed. In these sixty color-drenched, heart-full pages, we sing songs of celebration, compassion, and redemption. We speak in vibrant artwork, scribbled love notes from me to you, heart-galloping poetry, intimate interviews, brave prose, passionate prompts, and more (all in PDF instant download).

". . . transport us back into our own childhoods to when we, too, believed in fairies and fantastical things . . ." --Donni Webber (The Magic Onions), Thrive feature interview, page 27

Imagine with Donni Webber in her enchanting Thrive interview, exploring fairy gardens and heart-centered living, through the eyes of her beloved children. Wander with a nature-loving sprite in Tony Wayne Brown's lilting short story. Leap from daydream to reality with Hilary Keck. Explore the transformative power of daily creativity with suzanne l. vinson, peeking into the pages of her new book. Savor the brave color-splash and ink-scratch of our Sprout kindred in interactive features, sharing peeks into their creative practices, and offering what everyday activities help them tap into childlike joy. And much more.

"Let's paint
with sand
and sun
-kissed land
and wave
all we are to the breeze . . ." 
--De Jackson, Re: Solved, page 7

Imagine (Sprout online magazine's 33rd issue) playfully challenges you to dream beyond (im)possible:

+ 60 full-color pages (PDF instant download)
+ original mixed media painted backgrounds
+ handwritten love notes from me to you
+ art, photography, poetry, essays, prompts, interviews
+ interactive features honoring our #sproutmag gathering (celebrating messy joy, simple goodness in our everyday life, & artistic exploration)
+ creative prompts to cultivate gentle growth in everyday life
+ Amanda Fall: creator, editor, publisher (otherwise known as: gatherer and curator of delight, co-conspirator of joy, dream-believer & heart-on-her-sleever)

Guests in this issue:

Donni Webber (The Magic Onions), Hilary Keck, Tony Wayne Brown, Bill Vernon, Brittany Renee Williams, Beth Morey, De Jackson, Natasha Reilly, michelle gd, Julia Fehrenbacher, suzanne l. vinson, and Maureen Helms Blake

Thrive interview series: Donni Webber
Community Garden: Maureen Helms Blake, Brittany Renee Williams, Hilary Keck

"I pause, cool water midstream over blooming iris. Prairie Wildfire, she is called, this miracle of a flower, opening even after I unceremoniously tamped her bulb into waiting dirt a month ago, her protective greens barely green at all . . ." --Amanda Fall, the holy here, page 37

   Sprout is designed to uplift & inspire,
celebrating hope & healing even among life's bumps & bruises.

May these love-filled pages bless you. 

"My hands are covered with glue, my apron is stained with paint, and my heart is so full . . ."
--Hilary Keck, "A Daily Reminder," page 19

Purchase your copy here:
Issue 33 (Imagine) $6:

Imagine + subscribe to upcoming issues:

NOTE: If you subscribe (thank you!), future issues will be sent on the 15th of each month to your PayPal email address unless you specify otherwise under Special Instructions: Note to Seller.

Sprout makes a great gift. Buying for a friend or family member? Purchase as usual, then wait for your email with download link (should arrive within a moment or two after completing payment), and forward that email to your recipient.

If you prefer the gift email to come from me, simply add Note to Seller on PayPal with your recipient's name, email address, and when you would like their issue delivered (immediately or on a certain date). If you purchase a gift subscription, I can also email your recipient and let them know details (again, leave Note to Seller). Thanks!

   Problems? Questions? Email me at SproutOnlineMagazine (at) gmail (dot) com and I'd be delighted to respond.

Join the conversation at our Facebook page, or connect with our life-affirming #sproutmag gathering on Instagram.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

tiptoe or dance

Some days it's all in the allowing.
Surrendering. Letting go.
L o o s e n i n g my white-knuckle grip
& choosing trust instead.
In fact,
I'm pretty sure that's true
most days.
"Take a risk and things
might turn out bad
but that's life . . .
do not tiptoe,
but rather dance
through this life,
this life, this life . . .
we must find a way
to truly live
each day . . ."
--Dan Garnett, "Find a Way"

Oh, friend,
what if we dared
not to tiptoe
but to dance?

Will you join me?

with love & light,
Sprout's creator,
editor, & chief gatherer of good