Exhale . . . and Three Things

In Community, Inspiration

My boys returned to school this week after a very full summer.  They adore school and have been yearning for it for several weeks despite a myriad of wonderful summer trips and house guests we have enjoyed.  It’s a gift to send them back to the loving hands of their teachers, not only because their minds are nourished there, but because I am now able to return my full attention to my own work.  The mental list I have been making since June of “Things-I-will-do-when-the-boys-are-back-in-school” is almost too daunting to face head-on in these first few days.  In fact, I think I will allow a few items to slide from that list altogether and the rest I will ease into slowly in the coming weeks.  

But first I need an exhale.


I thought I would share with you a different kind of list than the daunting one that I will tackle all fall.  It is a list of three things that are inspiring me lately.  These are the things that feed my creative soul and find their way back into my art, so it seems fitting to share them here.

Sally Mann’s hauntingly beautiful memoir “Hold Still”.  I started reading this the other night and I am already captivated.


This beautiful interview Krista Tippett did with Paulo Coelho on her podcast On Being called “The Alchemy of Pilgrimage”.  I’ve listened to it three times and each time I “a-ha” audibly and then scramble for a notebook to jot down his words of wisdom.  


I discovered a new meditation practice this year that has been nourishing to me in so many ways.  I am the classic “monkey brain” meditator.  My thoughts jump from limb to limb when I try to quiet my mind.  But this practice of Kundalini meditation is perfect for me.   The mix of chanting and movement really calms my mind and spirit.


I’d love it if you would share three things (or one or two or ten) that are inspiring you right now.  And (by all means) take a moment to exhale with me while you are at it.






  1. LOVED Sally Mann’s gorgeous book — I favored every last word and image and then went on a quest to read/view/learn more about her. It was like a mini-class which I immersed myself in with pleasure. Inspiring indeed.

  2. that Sally Mann book is fantastic!
    and I’m totally going to look up that interview/podcast.

    here’s to the exhale…

  3. ooh, I know what book I am looking for next time I hit the library!
    and that podcast… yes yes yes

    For me-
    Walks with just me and the dog. no headphones, no kids, no husband. Just the tinkle of her collar and our feet on the pavement – usually the morning stars or the night sky to keep my mind whirling at the right pace.
    Slowing down to LISTEN, and not talk over my kids- hearing their stories and their adventures – the little humans they are become has been so beautiful.
    Podcasts/interviews- I am fangirling over Summer Murdock’s (www.summermurdock.com) work right now. I cant find the link, but she has an interview where she talks about her process and it had me nodding my head and asking new questions about my own work (why do I feel stuck, what is holding me back from creating…). – oh, and I am taking a class or two from here at next month’s Click Away in Seattle. I am thrilled!

    • you will love the book vanessa!

      thank you for sharing your list. oh the healing power of a walk, especially alone with your pup during the ambrosial hour. listening to your beautiful children —- nodding my head to this. and i heard summer’s podcast too. it’s so helpful to listen to other artists speak about their work. i always learn so much.

      and a very big hooray for Click Away because it will bring you to seattle. xoxoxo

  4. i loved that sally mann book and loved digging into her work for a bit. i just ran across this article yesterday, not knowing her son had died. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/07/arts/design/sally-mann-cy-twombly-remembered-light.html?_r=2

    what’s inspiring me lately is less humidity, getting up early and exercising first, completely loosing myself in a good book (before the fall), and of course glennon melton’s memoir and interviews with her. she’s got me thinking about making sure i say what i feel instead of stuffing it down.

    love these images and am so glad you are writing here. xo

    • yes, i saw that article about her son when i was looking for a link for this blog post. it’s so, so heartbreaking. all 3 of her children grew up before our eyes. we all came to know him as a sweet-faced boy.

      one of the things i am loving most about the book is her poetic descriptions of Lexington. i wonder if you have been?

      bravo to you for getting up early to exercise. i really wish i had that discipline. it is such a healthy way to start the day. and i am right there with you on glennon’s work. amen to that. thank you beth for sharing your list with me, and for the million other ways you support and inspire me. xoxoxo

  5. Oh yes! I have had that Sally Mann book on my bedside table for the longest time. Thank you for reminding me to actually read it! Also, love this post. x

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