As I write this letter, the rain outside is streaming down, steady. It’s got a rhythmic hum, and I have music by Bon Iver playing. My space feels a little melancholy and dreamy.

The day is gray and cool, moist.

It’s a day that marks a change in the weather, from dry and cold (one of my favourite kinds of weather) to the typical Pacific Northwest winter rain.

I find these pauses and transitions, whether it’s the weather or a more internal experience, are welcome moments to grasp and use with playful contemplation.

The Contemplative Spaces

Truth be told, I am sitting here, fiddling around, trying to come up with a story to tell you. I’ve had a few ideas come and go, and none of them have stuck well enough to flow out from my fingertips onto the screen.

I’m in a lull. A bit of a block. I have found myself spinning my wheels lately in a variety of slightly stuck, slightly contemplative and sometimes entirely delicious spaces.

So I’ll just share with you some little lists and stories about this space I’m sitting in. I imagine it’ll resonate – we all get into these little stuck patches don’t we…

After an hour or so of trying to write a story down for you, my friend showed up to build a bookshelf for my art studio, so I got the chance to share my sense of stuckness, and do a little brainstorming around it.

Sitting on the kitchen counter, swinging my legs and feeling like a little kid, inquiring into my childhood memories (before the age of 10) and wondering why it feels so hard to retrieve them.

Doing tasks and preparing for a booth at my daughter’s school’s winter fair. My booth had my art, but also information about the bodywork that I do (Hellerwork Structural Integration). Spinning and twirling and dancing as I gathered and searched and roamed around. Feeling light, disorganized, but chaotic in a productive fashion, letting my body move to the music as I moved it into specific tasks.

Thinking about how I’ve been hitting the snooze button for the last week. For a full hour each morning. Sacrificing my morning pages and meditations, too tired to get up. But too tired to let myself fall back asleep either, for fear I’ll sleep the whole morning away.

Sitting back down at the computer, slowly sipping coffee and letting my senses engage with the rain. With the music. With the quiet beauty outside my window. Losing myself in a revery of in-the-moment sensory pleasure.

Hearing, at my back, the productive noises and unique construction pacing of my friend, creating that bookshelf for me out on the back deck.

Letting my thoughts thread towards an acupuncture session coming up. Little practical thoughts popping up like “don’t be late Janelle, don’t forget, don’t lose track of time…”

Thinking about articles I’m planning to write. For myself, for you, for readers on other websites, but always about things that stir my spirit. Which leads my roaming mind to the pleasures of thinking about awesome people I want to interview for my Lusciously and Soulfully: the creatives interview series.

Looking to my left at the pile of jeans I cut apart last night. Frayed, torn, grown-out-of and otherwise unwearable, they are now neatly draped over the back of the couch. Project paused, waiting for more cutting and sewing into a cosy denim blanket as a Christmas gift. I wonder when I’ll get around to finishing that project? I’ve left it out in an obvious spot to keep reminding me to carry on.

Which brings me to glance over at my Devotional Paintings – remembering how much I loved making them at a brisk pace, still love making them, and how eager I am to get a steadier flow of clients again so I can keep going with a steady rhythm. Because I like rhythm. And there are things in life that feel like callings. Embodied Creativity – this artistic, healing, physical intuitive work is it, and at the top of that list sits my Devotional Paintings.

My gaze slides away, and thoughts roam, as I let a soft focus land outside on the rain, and hear the patter patter of water pouring down, to synchronicities. And soulfulness. And pacing. And timing. And the saying ‘people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime’.

Which brings me back around to this letter. I’m happy to be sharing these stories and thoughts, for whatever amount of time I’m in your life. And in doing so, I bring myself back to my own self, my own life. Funny how that works. Reaching out leads to an inevitable reaching in too.

A day of sweet and soft contemplative moments.

As always – I’m so curious.

What happens when you let yourself pause and notice what your internal and external states are like? What happens when you pay attention to synchronicities, to wandering minds, to the pauses (without getting caught up in the stories about them?)

Until next time,


ps – I’m so delighted to be offering a twice yearly ecourse/circle. It’s 3 months long, we dive into healing, storytelling, creative writing, relationship to body and by the end of it you’ve got a rough draft of your own memoir/lifestory. It’s called Personal Mythmaking. I’d love to have you come along on the journey.

pps – I just love sharing. Stories, ideas, art. I’m also working hard to make a living as a creative person. If you enjoy what I do, please share it – with friends, family, anyone who might appreciate my approach.