(the magic of manzanita, oregon. captured by the eyes of karen walrond)

the truth is is that i wasn’t sure if i should blog about the love bomber retreat. i worried about hurt feelings, bee stings of the heart, friends feeling left out. lord knows these are all feelings i know well and i certainly didn’t want to create these feeling for anyone who may read this blog. the truth is is that i know how it feels to witness the gatherings of kindred spirits and wonder why i wasn’t included. i also know how it feels to already be surrounded by true blue, real life friends, and still struggle with feelings of being excluded or not belonging. i’ve written about my tender spots around all of this here and here and here.

but then i learned something crucial during the retreat. one morning andrea led us through a truly transformative exercise that helped each of us define our core values – the heart and soul of our lives, the essence of who we are and what we want to invite more of into our lives. at the end of the exercise, what came through loud and clear for me were these words: i wanted to live my life brave in sadness, brave in love.

(that’s me taking it all in. photo by jen lee.)

to me, brave in sadness means sitting with my tender spots and my vulnerabilities. it means facing the direction of my fear and inching my way through it to the other side. it means expressing my broken pieces with absolute courage, whether in writing, conversation, or my art. it means seeing the light of possibility in my disappointments. it means giving my sadness a rightful voice, listening to it, and allowing it to birth experiences i need in my life.

this all brings me to a few months ago when i was longing for a very specific gathering of women. women i felt called to. women i admired from afar. women who seemed to hold and embrace their own power in creativity, in love, and in their offerings. no longer wanting to be a bystander and witness to other people’s creative gatherings, i secretly wished for the reality in my own life. that’s when my heart insisted that perhaps i create the very thing it needed – a gathering of these very women. and so it unfolded.

i suppose what i’m trying to say is that this retreat was born from a vulnerable place inside of my core. from feeling a little left out. from wanting more. from being brave in my sadness and creating the experience that i knew would tend to my broken pieces. the same is possible for you. we all have layers of tenderness, dreams waiting to be born. and we all have courage waiting inside the pockets of our brokenness. when we acknowledge and embrace all of these vulnerabilities, we pave the way for an expansion of spirit. for an opportunity of growth. for rebirth. for really seeing ourselves. and most importantly, for creating the experiences we most need.

and then…. just as we’re brave in the sadness, let’s be brave in love. let’s courageously, and without apology, express our discoveries. our joys. our being seen. our seeing others. let’s celebrate the community, the self discoveries, the highs, and all that we’ve been shown. let’s not be afraid to express these pieces. afterall, this is where the beauty and goodness live.

so that is where i’m at tonite. i want to honor where i’ve been this past week (and who i’ve been with).
i want to honor all that i’ve brought home with me.
i want to share it here in this space without fear that i’m inviting hurt.

i want to be brave in sadness, brave in love. especially in love.

Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed. Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore their creativity, nourish their souls and build a thriving creative business.

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