Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Check Out My New YouTube Channel!


 Hi Everyone! Welcome to my next layer of practicing vulnerability in life. I have started a new YouTube channel where you will be able to find content like:

*Guided meditations

*Art directives designed to help you explore your inner world

*Book and podcast reviews and recommendations

*Inspiring and insight-oriented tidbits 

*Bits and pieces of therapeutic practice from my work to help you in your personal growth process.

Click here to see my YouTube Channel

I hope you will subscribe to my channel and share it with anyone who you think might benefit from these resources. As always, I appreciate your support of me. 

With love,

Kate

Monday, November 23, 2020

From Bud to Bloom: A Metaphor


This is my Amaryllis flower. I have been studying her for weeks now, watching her move both gracefully and awkwardly through her growth cycle. I have seen myself in her in many ways.

 My Dad, an avid gardener and soft-hearted teddy bear of a man, sent me this bulb several weeks ago. He and my Mom often send packages to my house with goodies for my kids, and sometimes there's a special something for me as well. This time I was excited to see the bulb that was included for me, and I immediately started thinking about all that was potentially slumbering inside, waiting to be born. 

Hang with me as I walk you through the stages of growth and transformation of my bulb, and notice whether you recognize these stages and their application in your own life. For me, each step in the growth process of this Amaryllis reflected stages of development and transformation I have known intimately throughout my own life, and had the honor of witnessing in my clients and loved ones as well. See if you can stay with the metaphor as you read through the progression that follows. 

First, I planted my bulb in rich soil, carefully reading the instructions, trying to be a good plant mama. (Admittedly, I am not a great gardener. Though I do try.) It surprised me how quickly I started to see the sprouts of leaves and a stem. Growth was right there beneath the surface, eager and ready to get started! The green shoots I quickly noticed were at first indecipherable, as much is in the early stages of creation, but the stem quickly became distinguished from the leaves as it reached upward. Every day it seemed an inch or more would grow. This was fast, meaningful, and important ground work the bulb initiated. Similarly to us humans, some of the most crucial growth is that which lifts us from our dark cocoon of slumber into an awakening that the time has come for work to be done. 

One day the stem stopped its skyward growth and the beginnings of a tight bud started to form. I thought frequently of the magic that must have been happening inside as chemistries unseen brewed within the closed walls of the new bud, brewing future petals. I believe I know how this feels: cocooning inward, quietly integrating and nurturing plans for my future Self. It is indeed work that must be done in the quiet and solace of a safe, private space within. 

After observing the bud I noticed that a slight cracking-open had happened. She started to part her walls like this, slowly and intentionally, getting ready to show her very early willingness to bring the inward out. It's takes immense courage to start to open; to release the tension of imagination and creation, and to bring the fruits of hard work toward expression. In the beginning it looked like this:

I observed further as she forged courageously forward in her expression of Self. The tightness unfurled to reveal many inner layers, each with their own secrets to share. I had a sense of the colors and forms that were yet to come, but did not yet understand how they would fully come alive. 
She looked like this as she opened further:

Days later this happened: A furthering of movement toward expression, slowly and with deliberate care. She seemed to became more comfortable, more trusting in her process, and the layers within were allowed more space for the expansion ahead. 

In the days to follow, the beginnings of softness started to show. 
The Amaryllis began to reveal her more tender, vulnerable aspects of Self. Her guards and walls, so necessary for earlier protection, lowered to allow expansion. Her colors started to reveal themselves, and the layers released their tight grip to create space for breath and flow. She started transitioning from what she once was to what she would soon become.

The work seemed less arduous now; more a process of allowing, stretching, and becoming than chemistry or creation. She became a living manifestation. Layers found their rightful place in the system, individuating from one another while also remaining part of the unified whole. She came into her full expression of color, shape, and form, revealing the work she had so diligently nurtured and cultivated in prior stages. She was soft and open, strong and stable. 
Finally, she bloomed:

She is now vulnerable, exposed, and open. She shows the world her beauty; letting herself be seen, opening toward the light, and inviting pollinators to include her in their process of creating new life. Will she bloom forever? Surely not; that was never the point. She knows now that even with this fruition of blooming, there are still many stages ahead. If she listens to the stirrings inside, the natural encoding within her passed down from generations before, she will continue to navigate the stages ahead the same way she followed the path behind: with trust and intention. She knows it's not about anything lasting forever, but being fully present throughout her process of life.  She now knows how it feels to sprout and bud and bloom. She will bask in the sun, receive nourishment from her water and soil, and live in a bloomed state until it is time to cross over into the next stage.  

We are alive. We are constantly breathing, moving, learning, and transitioning from one stage of life toward the next. Being alive is a process. It is a continually unfolding journey of experience and discovery. There is no "there" to get to. Everything along the way is important and meaningful.
From where I sit today, it seems that the grand package of life can be exhibited in the quiet study of a Amaryllis. 


Friday, October 23, 2020

The Freeze and the Thaw

It was a chilly one, this October morning. Cold and cozy days are my most favorite kind, and I loved walking amidst the still-frozen beauties of Nature, noticing the grace and poise with which they crystallized themselves in the morning frost. As I walked and snapped photos with my phone I was listening to a podcast called "Unlocking Us" by Brene Brown. In this particular episode Brene interviewed twins, Emily and Amelia Nagoski, about their important psychological studies of emotions and burnout. (Their book, Burnout, is amazing by the way, and I highly recommend it). 

So I was walking and listening, observing and considering their words, and I was just so struck by the frozen natural world around me. I noticed the most delicate branches, stems, leaves, and flowers glistening in their frozen coverings of ice. They were quiet, seemingly peaceful in their frozen forms, and yet I realized that this patience I was witnessing in nature arose from a sense of non-attachment to this particular state of being. 

Underneath the hard glittering shell of ice these plants were still very much alive. They were pliable and soft; even warm beneath the freezing ice blanket. They just allowed the ice to be there on top of them, weighing them down in some cases, holding them rigid in others. They just allowed. They seemed to realize that there was nothing to be done here but to simply be in this experience. This too, like all else, is transient. Freezes freeze; that's what they are supposed to do. The attachment to whether the freeze is good or bad, seasonal or untimely...this is what causes suffering. All things hold the inevitability of change. Our human bodies, our cities, the Earth--change is happening, and it is supposed to happen. 

I felt comforted and awed by these delicate forms of nature today, for they reflected such an important truth to me. We are all, of course, made of the same magical goodies--just represented in different forms.

May you freeze and thaw, bend and break, be challenged and supported, and remember the nature that you are.






 

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Magic of Imperfection, A Poem

 We are imperfect.

That is the magic of us. 

We line our cracks

with soot and stardust. Ink. 

We plug our holes

with dreams and sweat. Cumulus. 

Drown the sound of breaking

with laughter and loud talk. Moans. 

There are wands in our tongues. 

We speak cha cha from chaos

and two step to the crescendo 

of our own alchemy. 

We are imperfect. 

That is the magic of us. 

--Journey Johnson

(Image by Kate King)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Kate's Interview with the Art Therapy Association of Colorado

I was honored to be featured with the Colorado Art Therapy Association as their art therapist spotlight for the Summer 2020.

Please click here to read the interview.