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Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Friday, January 7, 2011


i am aware that the word tolerate is mixed with acceptance…sometimes, but not always.  That is honest. That is the reality of living with a chronic illness, well, living in general. Embracing is always infused with acceptance, but that doesn’t mean everything embraced is enjoyable. 
Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.
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Reading one of my friend Cathy’s posts last week got me thinking about the word tolerate. If you haven't read Cathy's writing or viewed her art in the past, I highly recommend visiting her blog: Healing Through Multiple Sclerosis Cathy inspires me continuously. She was also a guest blogger during Gratitude Month. (sharing the day as a double shot of gratitude with my friend Rose who writes another must read blog!) You can watch a video of her here.

What do i tolerate? What do i embrace? i tolerate the way my house is far messier than i want it to be, because i just don't have the energy to clean up after the kids and maintain the space the way i want it to be. Some days i tolerate this better than others, but over all this has become a big letting go and toleration for me. (…Gordon does an amazing job…taking on my old tasks, but he’s got enough stuff to deal with of his own…i am not complaining….really i’m NOT) i tolerate the burning hot and tingly sensation in my right foot...i don't want to go on another medication to make it go away and shield myself from the reality of what is (for now, i am still willing to tolerate this discomfort). i tolerate not being able to drive and get out and about and work outside my home the way i used to. i tolerate fatigue that is so powerful i just fall down sometimes and the grace is not in the way i get back up, but that i am patient with my exhausted body and malfunctioning central nervous system. i tolerate the way my mind wanders when i sit in meditation...and i am becoming more adept at not judging...just bringing my thoughts back to a metta phrase or touching my breath when i realize i've drifted into a story.

i embrace opening more compassionately to all the things i am only tolerating. i embrace trusting that tolerating is good enough, that it is often the best i can do. i embrace each morning as a gift...albeit a complicated one some days...mostly seeing the gift and accepting it is pretty simple though (until my thoughts get tangled into a knot with my emotions...then i remember that i'm creating the tangled web and i can just as easily allow it to dissolve as be caught up in it, if that is what i choose to do) i embrace gratitude for friends for family for this beautiful earth for connection to spirit and all that is was will be. i embrace strength in fragility and wholeness within my brokenness. i embrace creativity not just a lifestyle but the essence of life itself. (and in the unboundedness of creativity i include the choice to ignore punctuation rules if it’s more fun to just skip them sometimes or to post abstract photos of the world as I see it from the car window when we are in motion…really why not be playful? These are risks worth taking!) i embrace joy whenever possible and sadness too…because feeling whatever i am feeling is another way to accept the reality of the moment at hand. i embrace the smallness of i, (of me) and the enormousness of being ONE with you. 

May we all learn to discern what is tolerable and what we are able to embrace well as what is simply NOT acceptable, like hatred and brutality....even  toward our own precious selves. There are far too many ways we judge ourselves more harshly than we might other people at times. This is the lifelong practice of compassion, for we all deserve love and respect.

ps. Yesterday's photo give-away winner is Judy at Peace Be With You . Congratulations Judy! Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments on yesterdays post!


  1. Wow, I had already intended to leave the comment that follows when I got to the last paragraph and discovered that I had won the photo giveaway! Thank you for starting my day in such a special way.

    As for my already intended comment, I had wanted to say about the following:

    "i embrace strength in fragility and wholeness within my brokenness."

    that this is beautiful, just beautiful. That you embrace this in your being is so evident in what and how you write here and in the comments you make.

    Many blessings to you,

  2. Philosophies to grasp with a task at hand, to rid suffering from our land, but in a band of caring, and sharing, and hugging and loving!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  3. ~words once more you have offeref up to resonate and carry with us this day...your insight aand views even though you are suffering and struggling in your days is uplifting and are a strong soul with such a beautiful spirit...desire to continue when you could so easily just give up...i have seen it around me...those who take a doctors diagnosis and use it as their excuse to stop living...but you are a reminder to each of us here...embrace our life...tolerate and accept what can or can not be done and continue to strive forward...much love light and blessings be with you always~

  4. I'm sitting here, wondering how is it that your words are the right words I need, at the right moment?! It's really...amazing, and intriguing at the same time. Thank you for yet again encourage me (with the right topic nonetheless!)to keep on going.

    wishing you great day!

  5. Your words are so you know I am embracing the word embrace this year so this post is especially endearing to me...I agree with you about the word tolerate...often times when I use it I use it with the meaning of acceptance...yet the word can mean so much more...I have a high tolerance level and while that can be a positive thing, it can also be a negative for me.

    I tolerate things I shouldn' looking back, it has enabled me to withstand things in order for survival...and to accept treatment that was not suitable for anyone and could have led to my death...I tolerate to the point of it not being good for me and a detrament to my health...I am learning though...learning to not tolerate is like venturing into foreign territory yet I am embracing this new venture.

    I, like you, have learned to tolerate the less clean home, not getting to do certain things, my pain levels, my lacking memory, my exhaustion, the frustrations of those around me and a whole lot of other things, ever since I got injured 8 years ago. Yet I am trying to embrace these things because each one of them are a lesson for me.

    Reading this today is such a gift because there are moments and days that it is hard to embrace these things...and you are right sometimes just tolerating these things we have no control over is good enough.

    I am deep in this process of discerning what is acceptable to tolerate and what is not. I am learning and yet I humbly admit that I am still lost in this area. I do judge myself too harshly and so this endevor to start embracing myself is one that is much needed. Creating a practice of compassion, love and respect for myself seems foreign for me, even though it is something that comes so naturally toward others, even those others I should NOT be tolerating their mistreatment of me.

    Thank you dear Laura for once again encourging me with your words, love and insights. They are a sweet gift to me this morning.

    Again, I am so thankful to have you as my friend....thank you for your words on my recent post...I really do consider you and others I have met through blogging as my real friends.

    Sending you much love, many hugs and happy thoughts your way dear Laura. ((((Laura))))

  6. You always seem to deliver the words needed at the right moment my strong friend. Thank you for this post......

  7. Oh my dears, I am tearing up with each comment you have shared from the depths of your hearts! I feel the hugs and ask that each of you who reads this post, this comment open your arms as wide as you can and then wrap them around-right hand on left shoulder, left hand on right and hug yourself back from me. And if that is too painful for your body, place your hands over your heart and accept that as a gentler version of the hug of friendship...AND then...everyone place your hands on your heart, close your eyes and in your mind say: I Love my Self. I recognize my preciousness...I embrace the fullness of my being exactly as I am right now.

  8. you are an amazing person. how you handle everything... that takes a lot of faith

  9. I deeply honor the awareness of choice that you bring out with such clarity ... first a knowing, discerning that which is tolerance or acceptance ... and then a choice of moving into or away ... truly eloquent ... and heart opening to feel what you are feeling ... many are broken inside, we may not see their brokenness, but we can still witness in them and our Self. _/\_

  10. So much wisdom shared here...

    Thank you, Laura, and Cathy.

  11. How very beautiful, your words are words for everyone, in their own brokenness. And if they don't know today, they will. Less than perfect is life, at it's very best!

  12. Beautiful, and inspiring as always. Your strength and grace are a beacon to others in need.

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  13. Lovely thoughts as always Laura. I appreciate reading about tolerance and acceptance. I stuggle with them daily, as I monotonously deal with taking care of mother and mother-in-law. I strive to be grateful for the moment, but there are times I just have to sit with my feelings and accept them as they are - not pretty.

    Thank you for sharing and for bringing up truths, which some of us forget so easily.

  14. Laura,

    Your words if not filled with comfort are filled with wisdom and insight. It's always a pleasure and a treat to come here to read them because you know that whatever it is that you will read, you will always leave a little better from it. Patience, gratitude, love, acceptance, tolerance.....these are all words that I associate with you dear friend. You are a shining light in this blogworld of ours....


  15. Laura, Toleration must be the word of the moment; at least it is for me. Your post helps me clarify my thoughts because it encourages me to stay with the word "tolerate" and see where it leads. I often think of tolerate/toleration as sort of lesser words, lesser states, not thinking that if I practice them, the world opens wide and I with it. One proviso though--as you said, tolerating cruelty and abuse is not tolerable.
    Many thanks--may your day be filled with sweet acceptance, joy and tolerance aplenty:)

  16. I just finished creating a journal page where I released my frustrations and hurts so as not to contaminate the rest of my family, my life. Then I came over here for a visit. As always, I have found a cool drink of sweet water in your prose. Thank you for helping bring me 'round right once again.

  17. So beautiful. I really love this, on my first reading. Will have to go back and read it over a few more times. This is one to savour.


  18. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Laura. We all gain much understanding through your honesty.

  19. Acceptance and tolerance are two very important things in my line of work where we have had, in recent years, had to learn to accept many changes in how Catholicism is approached in school. We now focus on the acceptance and tolerance that Christ spoke of when we give our tours so that it reflects the welcoming face of our shrine even though people sometimes see our faith as not being accepting and tolerant of others at all. If only people could see past headlines in the news more often they would see so much more...not just about my faith but about all faiths and cultures. Generalizations are too often in our over-mediatised age and it does far more harm than good.

  20. Laura, these are wonderful and wise words. Yes I agree, we have to learn tolerate many things in our life. And I found out some time is it normal to struggle but then when we are able to tolerate and accept the given challenges - there is joy and comfort. Wishing you strength, Inge

  21. It's interesting to consider tolerance and embracing in the same breath. You've done it brilliantly here. To me it seems like the difference between acceptance and surrender. I love that you embrace those things you are only able to tolerate, that you are so kind with your body and yourself. You are such an inspiration is so many ways.

  22. Laura,

    I loved the phrasing and imagery in ~ "thoughts get tangled into a knot with my emotions...then i remember that i'm creating the tangled web"

    How very true and what a poignant statement ~

    Blessings ~

  23. As I read your posts of the last week I am sensing a settledness, a calm knowing about where you are in your life. I feel strength and ease in your words and the wisdom you share. I returned to this post to comment because, like Carolynn, I return to savor what your open heart has to say.

  24. i love how you explored this idea of self-tolerance.

    you are an amazing woman.


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