I guess you could say I have been searching for a home that I have felt comfortable and safe my whole life, whether this was in my childhood home, apartments in other states when I was older, and even in the status home when I was married. Ironically, I even left Colorado, where I’d spent much of my adult life, searching for this feeling in Michigan, where I had grown up and experienced much trauma. It wasn’t long before I realized that the people and the community weren’t quite like I had remembered. Even there, I felt like a stranger just visiting. I was on repeat, it seemed, as relationships with others were non-committal and impersonal.
Somehow in life I learned to put myself behind the needs of others. Women tend to do this a lot. There was always someone I was worried about; a situation I was waiting for was just around the corner to happen so I could check that box off before I could do what I wanted, or a person that I cared about needed to be just so, then I could start my life, be happy and free. The problem with this mindset, was there was always something else coming around the corner. Two years ago, I was exhausted emotionally because this outdated template brought me to a state where I had a hard time functioning. Giving my energy to other people, forgetting my own self-care, depleted my tank.
One day, I took an invitation to go to Florida to deeply rest and nurture myself. In this place of medical necessity, I could hear my heart guide me back to myself again. Long walks on the beach alone, cooking small nutritious meals, living sloooowwly, may have helped clear my mind, but I could not escape the fact that years of couch surfing and not grounding myself in one place for long had cost me financially.
I was in a do or die situation and I needed to find a way to bring money into my life, instead of watching it flow out. An assault, and a divorce within one year, four years prior caused PTSD, which was part of the reason for many decisions that may not have been as carefully thought out. Whatever this work endeavor would be would have to be something that gave me joy and helped others.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
One night, alone, I watched a movie called, “Bright Star.” This was about the relationship between Fanny Brawn, an aspiring costume designer and the poet, John Keats. This movie caused me to recall that I too, once loved to sew, and create embellishments to clothes to set myself to look different from others. There was a scene in particular that caught my heart. This was when Fanny delivered a silk pillowcase with a hand embroidered family tree to the poet, for his brother who had recently died.
A Eureka moment suddenly lit a memory in my mind. (Sometimes this type of thing happens when you are just about ready to give up.)
Healing is Messy, So Surround Yourself in Something Beautiful
When I was a girl, my mother used to sleep in a black silk eye mask and on a silk pillowcase. Looking back, this was my mother’s way of taking care of herself, as she, too, had had many traumatic experiences in life. In those days, healing the mind, the body, and the spirit was not in the collective consciousness, but, “Mother’s little helper” was. Prescription drugs and cocktail parties placated the burned out, and trapped mothers in suburbia, much like today. This short term answer had far reaching consequences: deeper depression, lethargy, new addictions, which wedged division between children from having a meaningful relationship, or being cared for properly at all.
When I married and had children myself, my trauma-seared experiences drove me to be the opposite mother to the one I had experienced. I stayed home with my children and cooked healthy whole foods for them, staying far from my mother’s path of addictions. Finding natural ways to soothe and heal one of my children with special needs opened me up to natural healing modalities.
Not a lot of nurturing was spent on me. When I was not taking care of others….It was always, go, go, go.
Living the so-called perfect life with a husband, great house, and two beautiful kids should have been the epitome of “it,” but it wasn’t long before it felt like a role and I was on autopilot; My true self buried. Writing about my past, the roles of my ancestors were pivotal to my awakening during this time. Understanding them helped me understand me. I realized I had taken on unlearned experiences of my parents and even their parents and so on, which helped me see my mother, father, and their parents in a new light.
Writing helped me become conscious of family patterns and unlearned lessons; I was living a 1950’s relationship, which was clearly outdated, but seeing my sister struggle with family and working full time didn’t seem that great, either. As with most human beings there are light and dark aspects of them all. Creating, taking the time to express, helped give me energy in life and feel less trapped. Repetition and practice is everything. Waking up at the crack of dawn each morning, sipping my coffee in the dark, hearing the hum of my computer and my fingers tap away helped to build skill and confidence and allowed for creative freedom. Writing helped me heal and eventually lead me to other creative endeavors.
Nearly 20 years later, back in Florida, in the silence that early morning brings, I visualized a silk pillowcase with buttoned pockets to hold herbs and crystals to help soothe people who have undergone traumatic experiences in life so they can feel safe enough to relax and initiate the healing process. Quite frankly, this pillowcase was something I needed during my healing. Cuddling with something soft, silky, warm felt so loving to me. I liked that the silkworm went through a metamorphosis process and that the silk fabric was good for your skin and especially hair, since mine was thinning from stress.
Creating a pillowcase with natural herbs and dried flowers is a natural remedy my mother was possibly searching for years ago, but the system offered her something far more lethal. Who doesn’t want to go into solitude, even if it is only your bedroom, after experiencing trauma, so one can recover and fully come back into the world rested and filled with promise?
This new medium is creating products that are very much influenced by my mother and my grandmothers. It is how I want to support others when they are healing from loss, standing in their power against all odds, and overcoming hardships.
Looking back, I realized Eureka moments also happen in a state of peace and relaxation. A Restful Sleep is Priceless
I returned from Florida to Colorado once again. My tank was full and I had the energy to deal with whatever issues surfaced. Working with my own creative energy again helped soften any difficult circumstance that I knew lay before me.
Manifesting this pillowcase idea was easier than many of the experiences I had in previous years which made it fun. Information that I needed to design, mentors, suppliers all came to my aid when needed. That’s not to say there weren’t any hiccups, disappointments, people not quite working out, but my faith, determination and desire to see this idea move to completion was a promise I made to myself.
Finally, I have found a house to call my own. It has a large loft. There is a wall with white shelves to hold my glass bottles of herbs, cubbies for crystals, and other supplies. My painting easel has a place near the window where I can look out and see the mountains. And, there is a table where I can assemble whatever I need to fulfill orders one day. I feel like I am rooting down once again. It feels good to create, knowing that I am part of our Creator and participating fully in creation.
THROWN FOR A LOOP
On April 14, 2019, by beautiful brother, Blair ended his life, like a few other of my relatives had, too. Sadly, art imitated my real life. He was an amazing light worker who loved the earth, animals, and all beings. His heart touched every person he met.
OWN YOUR STORY
It is my hope that my offerings will support you as you remember, reintegrate, embrace all parts of your family history, honor your path to wholeness, as you raise your vibe to positivity, love consciousness, celebrate your milestones, learn new ways of being, let go of others, as you bring ritual, create a safe sanctuary to hear your heart and connect back to God, other special relationships in life and to propel you to live a life you love.
Remember, Dharma means living from your heart, and living your life purpose. Otherwise, you are not living a truly passionate life. From my house to your home, I hope you will stop by and visit my shop at the House of Kelleher.