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Filtering by Tag: creating space

building a bridge in the space between (2)

liz lamoreux

I so deeply appreciate the way Tracee Ellis Ross just puts it out there with these words because even though I sometimes say that the space between where I am and where I want to go can feel overwhelming, the truth is that if I stand back too far to look at it, sometimes it can actually feel like it kisses the edge of terrifying.

But this is when I have to remind myself that I'm building the bridge one move at a time within the real daily life I live over here.

I'm not putting everything else on hold to suddenly start building that bridge 24 hours a day with a crew of 150 people.


I'm also not putting everything else on hold to try to build it alone.

That plan doesn't work either. I've tried it with many a "decluttering" attempt over the years. I know me. I know what happens when I stop everything and dive into something by myself (or even with a little bit of help). I am excited and have so much motivation in the beginning so I make the project about five times bigger than it should be. Then at the halfway mark, I get exhausted and lonely and overwhelmed and new piles of emotional and physical stuff start to puddle around me.

So here's what I am doing: Taking one step, then another, and then another and making it happen at a pace that works for this crazy, full, beautiful life.

And on the days when I step back and think, "Shit. There is a lot more to go before I get to the other side," I ask myself, "Okay so what small move could you make? Just one little move."

This is why I take photos to gather evidence of these moves. This is why I want to talk about this idea over and over again right now. This is why I make lists of the moves I need to make BUT ALSO lists that celebrate the moves I've already made.

This is why I push myself to see that the goal isn't actually to get to the other side and stay there forever and ever and leave everything behind. Really, what I'm trying to do is build a few bridges where I can go back and forth between everyday life and the longings inside me.

Between the place where I'm making lunches and taking Ellie to school and doing the mom thing and living where we need to live and the desire to spend more time on the coast where I'm playing with paint and paper and walking for hours alone.

Between the longing of wanting to travel and do more retreats and see you gorgeous souls reading these words face to face and the reality of being in a season of life where I need to be here more than there.

Between the tiny desire to just go back to bed and ask someone else to run this business for the day and knowing that listening to your stories and telling mine feeds my soul.

It's knowing that the really good days are going to be filled with more pockets of time spent sitting down on a quilt in the space between and coloring and reading and resting and gathering with loved ones and feeling all the feelings and maybe even eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and letting myself really sink into the knowledge that this life is a pretty darn good one.

I've come to understand that it's really about creating a space where I can deeply know that this is the life I want to live as I find ways to build those bridges and walk back and forth and rest and play and live.


To really see the beauty and feel the possibility in your bones, you have to let what you're building inspire you to keep building. You do this by paying attention and noticing how you feel, really feel, in your life.

If it doesn't inspire you, then honey, you might be building someone else's bridge.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, having conversations about how you build this bridge one move at a time are the conversations I'm really interested in having these days. If you're interested in more stories around this idea, sign up for my (almost) weekly newsletter

unpacking the stories (as i unpack the studio)

liz lamoreux

One side effect of unpacking into my new studio space has been uncovering a few stories along the way. I expected some of this - pieces of past ArtFests, sewing projects I'd begun but not finished, reciepts I had tucked in odd places, and so on. But there have been a few unexpcted stories that have found there way in, and today, I want to share about one of them in this video.

I hope it is a reminder to you (to me) that we must continue to create space for big and small griefs and that forgiving ourselves in one of our most important practices because it helps to make even more space for joy, beauty, and being present to all that is this moment and the next.

May your day be full of lightness...

creating space within

liz lamoreux



Sometimes you need to simply pause right here, find your breath, and remember the truth that rests inside you.

To pause and breathe and remember to trust what you know.

Today, through this video/guided mediation, I am inviting you to do just that.


If you feel called to continue the conversation about ways to create space within you and around you, come along to the next session of Create Space that begins next week. This will be the last time I am offering this class until next year (perhaps the last time in this form), so if you have been feeling called to join in, I hope you will. Learn more about Create Space and register here.

creating space for joy

liz lamoreux



i opened my eyes (my heart) and took this photo . lake superior, april 2012

My daughter is discovering ways to move sand with rocks and sticks as she plays with her grandparents along the shore of Lake Superior. I stand at the water a few feet away, eyes closed, stomach and heart holding a few heavy pieces of this life. I listen to their laughter, the lapping water, and then for just a moment I hear only my breathing. 

I take a few deep breaths right here, feeling my feet beneath me, the sun warming my body, and the wind gently holding me. I focus on the space I create with each breath. Space inside me. Space around my heart. And with an exhale, I let pieces of what I do not need to carry slip out of me and sink into the earth.

Seeking a tactile reminder of this moment, I open my eyes and take a photo of a woman standing in the quiet joy that is creating space to move out of her head and back into her heart.


Slowing down and noticing my breathing is one of my access points to joy. When I quiet the chatter in my head by sinking into the moment, I am gently pushed to see the beauty of simply being here. I notice the world around me, and my senses so often guide me to joy. And when I open up to joy, I feel myself mending and shedding the pieces inside me that no longer serve.

But it is a practice, this seeking joy stuff. It is something I have to cultivate and create space for. Coming to the page and writing about the moments where I find it (and documenting those moments through photos) help to remind me to listen to what I know and to keep on practicing.


This week, Jennifer Louden, Marianne Elliott, and Susannah Conway have invited a few people to share some thoughts on creative joy. (Thank you ladies for asking me to play along as I love this topic!) The three of them are hosting a retreat on this juicy theme in June with workshops in writing, yoga, and photography. (Retreats about joy are a very very good thing!) Find out more about it here. And if you tweet, check out the #creativejoy hashtag this week.

creating space for overwhelm

liz lamoreux

Yesterday was a day full of overwhelm, and as I found myself practicing self-care in many ways today, I wanted to share a few of the thoughts that led me from there to here. (You will see the video is in two parts because of an interruption in the middle and then Ellie makes an appearance at the end, which still has me laughing just a bit.)

In the video, I mention Jen Lee's new Iconic Self Home Retreat Kit and I am wearing the "you don't have to be so good" t-shirt that is part of the Iconic Self. I am just diving into the conversation between Jen and Phyllis Mathis that takes place over four CDs, and I will share more about my experience with this kit soon. (so so good)

(And I can't help but tell you that the wall behind me used to have three huge bookcases on it that we moved last week while my mom was here. and now it is a blank canvas for some photos I have been wanting to put up for a long time. Can't wait to show you more as I keep making this house into the home we most want live in.)


This week, I am readying the Create Space classroom for the session that begins this Sunday. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have these conversations about how we can create space for all that we feel and experience and how we can honor who we are, where we have been, and where we want to go.

I want to share what Stephani, a participant from the last session, said in response to one of the lessons in the course:

I've never really asked myself, "What do you need today, kid?" I know what I want, but have never given myself real permission to give it voice and to allow it to be real and not a dream of "one day, maybe some time in the future." Such emotion has filled me today because I believe I CAN, instead of wondering IF I can. This practice for me personally has lifted a layer of self-doubt, negative talk and given me the motivation to throw out my beautiful box of excuses with tomorrow's trash…I truly am where I need to be right now.

You can read a few more testimonials over on the Create Space page. Registration is ongoing until class begins next week.

Blessings and light,



liz lamoreux

On Monday morning, I took a few minutes alone in the front yard to just breathe in the fresh air and watch the snow fall. We are in this stage where Ellie so wants to communicate with us but isn't using a lot of words we understand, so there can be moments of frustration and confusion on both sides. As I stood in the front yard with the snow crunching beneath my feet, I began to notice that I felt lighter and grounded and even peaceful as I listened to the birds and felt snowflakes land on my nose.

I took a short video because I want to remind myself how much a minute or two or three outside paired with a few deep breaths recenters me every time.


As I gather a few new tools and stories for this next session of Create Space, I keep coming back to this idea that accessible practices become like handholds as we find our way. Each time I remind myself to get outside for just a minute or two and create space for my own feelings within my family, I practice self-care and am able to come back to the many roles I play from a more centered space. If you feel moved to have more conversations about how we can integrate making space for ourselves and all we experience into our day-to-day lives, consider coming along. Registration for Create Space is ongoing until class begins.

making room for the grumps

liz lamoreux

jan 11

When I downloaded the photos I took from this morning's "backyard adventure," I was delighted to find this one among the ten or so photos I took of Ellie Jane holding this little dandelion. When we first stepped outside, she went right up to it, plucked it off the stem, and turned and handed it to me. This is the first time she has ever really given me a flower like this.

Of course, my heart melted as she smiled at me and then ran off to play with Millie.

Later, I handed the little flower to her to try to capture her holding it and took several photos before she tried to reattach it to the stem and then threw it onto the ground and stomped her feet on it several times before running off again.

Being one is awesome.

But here is what this photo doesn't show:

This morning, when I saw blue sky through the window, I decided we would bundle up and walk down to the coffee shop and take in the slightly warmer weather and the bits of sun. Blue sky is something to be cherished here, and after almost 8 years, I am learning to get out when I see it because I know I need to breathe it in.

And oh my goodness I need to get out of the house.

As I was getting ready, Ellie started to get a bit fussy as she wanted me to hold her instead of brushing my teeth or going to the bathroom or putting on my clothes. Then, when it came time to change her out of her pajamas, she came very close to all out refusing to put on her pants. I finally said, "But we can't go outside if you don't have on pants." Millie was right there and heard "outside" and started jumping and barking with excitement. When I put Ellie down, she ran to join Millie at the back door, ready to go out. These kids clearly understand the word "outside." But I noticed Ellie was also rubbing her eyes, which is the "I am gonna want to take a nap really really soon" signal.

In that moment, I looked at Ellie and saw her holding "the grumpy tireds" in one hand and "excitement to get outside and play" in the other. In that moment, I knew there would be no walk to the coffee shop where I would find myself in that pushing the stroller while breathing in all the goodness that is getting outside of my house, of my head rythym and then the joy of interacting with another actual adult while ordering coffee experience.

In that moment, I realized I was holding the grumpy tireds and excitement to get outside too. I was feeling disappointment bubble up a bit but I was also really aware of how the grumps were on the outer edges of the moment threatening to take over for both of us.

So we went to the backyard and we gave the grumps some space to run. I took my camera just like I planned to do on our walk. We listened to the birds and ran and danced and found evidence of spring and looked for the sun and watched Millie and picked up leaves and rocks. 

It was still beautiful and real and full of deeply living. It was just different from how I hoped this morning might unfold. And then we came inside and Ellie promptly took a nap.

As I think about this, I keep coming back to this simple thought: Noticing the grumps and then making space for them is part of our daily life.

Sometimes it is as straightforward as a mama and toddler who were up in the middle of the night and didn't get enough sleep so rest is more important than a big adventure because tired grumps are in the air.

Other times it is much more subtle and the grumps arrive wearing t-shirts that say things like "emotionally drained" when we don't set boundaries with people in our lives or "full of envy NOT inspiration" when we spend too much time online instead of living or "drowning" when we don't practice self-care and just keep going and doing instead of being.

Bringing awareness to these simple, but important, "real living" moments is one way I try to stay in the present. When I do this, when I take a breath and really look and listen and let myself feel, I can notice what is in the air around me, around us. And on a day like today, I am able to notice when the grumps arrive.

This evening, I am reminded of what I know: Life is lighter and often full of more joy when I give myself the gift of paying attention


I am so excited to share that registration for the next session of Create Space has begun. This course is a conversation in making room for all that we experience: from joy and beauty to grief and all that is real in our day-to-day lives. It is about giving yourself the gift of creating space within and around you using accessible self-care and being-present practices.

I have tweaked the course a bit since the Fall session, and it is now five weeks long. During the third week, we will take a break from the lessons to create some breathing space to catch up and let what we explore in the first two weeks sink in a bit. There will be inspiration and check in posts throughout this "breathing space" week. There will also be a PDF given at the end of the course so students can continue to explore all that they have learned at their own pace. Read more about Create Space and register here.

noticing: wonder

liz lamoreux

yesterday's morning drive

point defiance pause . october 22, 2011

Yesterday, Ellie Jane fell asleep in the car when we were on our way home after picking up a few things at the store. She had been so fussy, but suddenly, while I was singing to her, I noticed that she had settled and her eyes were closing.

I was so happy to simply have a few moments of quiet to breathe and not feel like I was maxed out on multitasking.

As we got closer to home, I decided to just keep driving and headed toward Point Defiance Park. As John Denver sang about one man finding himself in his twenty-seventh year and a mist of rain fell, I began to notice that autumn really has arrived and the leaves are shedding their green. The pine trees are shedding as well, and the green moss seems to be moving out of the shadows and onto center stage.

The park was beautiful. I lowered the windows a bit to invite in the sound of the rain and slowed down to take a few photos with my iphone. Ellie continued sleeping, John Denver kept me company, and I could feel my body begin to relax. My mind was able to slow down enough to just notice one or two thoughts in my usually swirling brain.

In the middle of the drive, as I came around a curve in the road, I saw one yellow maple leaf twirl toward the ground.

When I say twirl, I mean literally it swirled in a tilt-a-whirl inspired dance right toward the earth. The wonder that came up in me in that moment honestly took my breath away. As a child, maple seeds were often a source of delight as I would pick them up and then watch them helicopter in the air, but I had never seen a maple leaf do this same dance.

I was struck by this idea of the connection between the seed, the beginnings of this tree, twirling toward the ground long ago and how the leaf remembered and followed its ancestor. In this moment, I think about Paul Simon's words in the song "Under African Skies:

This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
And the roots of rhythm remain

So it is for the maple tree. So it is for us.

And so this is my practice: Creating space in my life to notice the world around and within me. Even in the midst of the multitasking and all that must get done. Even in the midst of the roles I play and the realization that letting go of some need for balance is necessary.

My practice: Slowing down, noticing, opening my heart to what I find...to life. And I am reminded over and over again that the first step is to show up as me. And then take a breath. And then another. And trust.

If you are seeking ways to be more present to your life...if you are seeking ways to simply begin to recognize that this space for noticing your world and what you need exists in your life...come along with a few other kindred spirits and experience Create Space. We are gathering this weekend and will begin on Monday. Find out more here and please email me with any questions.

May your day be full of beauty, wonder, and moments to take it all in,