I spent Tuesday on an impromptu trip to Boone, North Carolina. Having just discovered that I’d been awarded a fellowship to attend the Expressive Arts Therapy program at Appalachian State in the fall, I was looking at apartments, meeting professors in my division, and just generally reveling in the blossoming of this new direction.
It has been a slow unfolding for me, this desire to counsel other mothers, this nudge to bring everything I’ve learned in the realm of herbal medicine, yoga, meditation, songwriting, dance, and art to benefit the spiritual sustenance of women. This program will deepen and sustain and nourish that desire, allowing me to obtain a degree and licensure as a therapist, bringing me much closer to my vision of opening a therapeutic center for women.
This center that I will open, it will be set in an herb garden. This garden will be filled with aromatic plants and flowers, so that therapy begins as you walk to the door and inhale the fragrance of sunlight on blossoms. It will be community supported in the sense that you pay monthly for a membership, on a sliding scale, and this monthly subscription entitles you to full use of all of the services we offer, as much as you like. You can wander in the garden, take our herbal medicine and gardening classes, participate in yoga and meditation in our yoga studio, paint in our art studio, drink tea and read in our library, participate in our ongoing group therapy sessions. Best of all, you can drop your children off at our free onsite childcare so that they can paint and stretch and explore while you get much-needed time in your own space, your own creativity, your own psyche. We will have seasonal celebrations in the garden to acknowledge the transformations in the earth and how they are reflected in our own bodies and minds, and will regularly meet to give back to the community, sponsoring the subscriptions of women who might not otherwise be able to take part, beautifying the streams and streets of our village.
The moment I fully defined this vision, everything around me seemed to align to make it possible. This degree, this program, is such a beautiful next step. On my day in Boone I wandered, taking in the blooming trees and the fog-shrouded mountains and the roaring, creamy streams filled with rainwater and polished rock. I stumbled upon a sunlit yoga studio at the very moment they were beginning their daily donation-based community class, and stretched and sang with strangers who felt like family. Afterward I struck up a conversation with the owner of the studio, and she told me she would be renting out her house to a yoga teacher and her fiance who were just beginning the expressive arts therapy program. They were looking for a third housemate, would I be interested? Ah. Providence.
I have discovered that when I allow the possibility of miracles to exist, miracles happen. I think how nice it would be to receive a flower and a stranger, smiling, hands me a dandelion. I pray for the transformation of my son’s suffering and the very next day his sulking misery is over and he skips all the way to school. I show up in Boone to search for a house and am handed the ideal situation on a platter.
The next day, naturally, I had a gratitude hangover. I had been so full of light and appreciation and magic the day before that I woke grumpy with the whole irksome circumstance of it being today instead of yesterday. And I did that exercise I wrote about in setting boundaries: I stopped that thought, and showered my attention on all the incredible things that are unfolding, and told the new story. It is amazing to be at an age where finally, daily, I integrate the things I know into my own life. I actually USE what I have been given. How refreshing! How overdue!
Usually when I begin to write one of these posts, I know what it is that I want to communicate. Today, it is just gratitude. It’s all gratitude, for what has been given to me and for what is coming next.