life after life changing experiences

Sep 20, 2008 | Life in Progress

remember2 72dpi.jpg

“remember” – on canvas

whenever i go to an event like squam, i find myself wrapped in an experience that seems so far from my life, but also so important, so rooted in community and and encouragement. the whole world seems to disappear, if only for a few days of bliss and creativity. it’s not always an easy time, but these experiences are important and life enriching in ways that challenge me to grow in every way imaginable – in spirit, in courage, in art life, in social life, and on an on.

but arriving home is always a tender time for me. i haven’t quite figured out a graceful pattern of re-entry into everyday life – especially when all the people you’ve shared the experience with have also wandered back into their own homes, lives and demands. it happens every time i come home from time spent with people who get me in every way. as the days move farther from the experience, i inevitably over think the outside of the experience – the doubts of was i good enough, did everyone like me, have i been found out? the gremlins seem to creep their way in for a couple of days until i remember to absorb the inside of the experience, the center of all the goodness that was felt – to keep it close and to remember. i’ve come to accept this part of the circle, the turning and processing of all the gems along the way until they sparkle from a well loved, well worn experience.

and then i’ll have a day like today that helps to settle all that going back and forth – a day that sets me back on course into the bliss of my everyday life. a day with a friend, in the car, in the city, in an urban cafe, walking the sidewalks, meeting new people, listening to music, feeling inspired, and wanting more. i am reminded that the week before at art camp was indeed real, that it was indeed magic, but i’m also reminded that my life feels really good when it’s at home, too – that it’s entirely possible to keep the magic alive. that all the connecting, the fragile moments, the leaping into new parts of myself still lead me back home to john, to my dreams, to all that is here (and beyond) waiting for me.

and so it seems i’ve made the re-entry. just as in the the days preceding flight, the landing after flight is a bit tricky, too. but it all matters.

speaking of flight, my dear friend is hosting a Taking Flight giveaway over on her blog … check it.

and for all of you who are still re-entering life after squam, know this: it’s all normal. it’s all expected. you are not alone. it was real. hold onto the magic. and keep leaping and skipping and dancing your way through.


Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (29 comments)
  1. Fipas

    beautiful!… just beautiful!

  2. Ann Christine Dennison

    Very beautiful piece of art. I especially like the background 🙂

  3. Jilly in Idaho

    so wise, so true for any wonderful cathartic experience. any creative release with friends just unleashes so many good pheromones. getting back to ‘normal’ routines are the price we pay for the sweet escapes.

  4. eb

    oh some sweet Kelly Rae girls singing sweetly on a journal page of mine – remembering our
    squam time together – so wish we’d shared classes/paths – thank you for your fire…

    xox – eb.

  5. Steph

    Hi, KR – I can also relate about re-entering life with a partner. My energy is often so “high” after something like this, I can crash into my “Dear Hubby” if I’m not careful. I”m learning…tho sometimes it’s slow.

    Hey – can you email me at I would like your mailing address, to send you a thank-you note. Cheers!

  6. Katrina

    i LOVE that photo of you on andrea’s blog. i hope we’ll get to see more of boho’s kelly rae photos. so good! and i’m reading your book and loving it. and i’ll see you for a drink very very soon! welcome home before you’re off again.

    xoxo, k.

  7. mati rose

    yes, it’s like reverse culture shock.
    girly, your photo is unavail on the top of this post.

  8. The Whole Self

    you said it sister.

    i keep saying that i would give myself a week to reemerge. today will be a week. we’ll see where the day takes me…

  9. jetfuellines

    Your thoughts on re-entry were much needed right now. My head is still reeling from jumping back into a long week of teaching. I think I have a plan for tomorrow that I made on Friday, but I forget school on the weekends and then Mondays are even harder. But I’m glad you have found a way to keep the magic alive…and it gives me hope that I can too. I know your book is helping as I slowly read and contemplate it before bed each night. Thank you for writing it!
    Love, Jess

  10. jenica

    it was real.

    i so needed to hear that. thanks for this post. i’ve been suffering with squamorse! but i am hoping to see you when you come to artnest!


  11. justagirl

    I know that feeling you are talking about, where it takes you a while to get back into the groove of your life. But my while is only a few minutes as my kids get me back into what was life before real fast.

    It would be nice to ease back into it sometimes though and not be thrown.

  12. gem

    kelly rae*
    oh this is good…so good. one of my favorite posts of all time. and, relevant as i am just returning from a life*changing, shift*full time in nyc. i put a link to this post in my “word” list on my blog (on the left side of my blog)…this is where links to fav posts are listed on my blog.
    great big love,

  13. karen

    I really hope you don’t mind but I wanted to let you know that I am going to use one of your images in a guest blog post. I will of course credit the work to you. The post can be found on the link below at approx 1pm UK time monday.
    If you have any objections to this please let me know and I will of course remove your image, thanks Karen

  14. Colorsonmymind

    hmmmm such wisdom.

    Thank you beautiful one.


  15. Kirsten Michelle

    i can’t tell you how many times i’ve read this today…
    struggling in so many ways to figure out which way is up in a world where nothing and everything has changed.
    thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    with love and gratitude,

  16. Beth

    kelly….what a beautiful, honestly written post.

    I had a hard time re-entering also and thankfully my hubby was very supportive and my kids old enough to understand my feelings of not being able to be an immediate wife and mom….

    I loved meeting you, if only oh so briefly…..

  17. Dee

    I felt that way after attending my first conference of children’s writers and illustrators. I rode a high for three full days, and when I got home and tried to communicate the experience….no one could quite “get it.” Even worse, that synchronized thinking that was so effortless at the conference did not transfer to my everyday life with my loved ones. What a reality check that was!

    I’ve loved reading about y’all’s squam experiences…it’s helped me relive those three days of discovering my “tribe”!

  18. Lisa

    This is a beautiful piece of art. I especially love her hair.

    Your work is lovely and always such a pleasure to see.

    Continued success!

  19. Trish

    I always love visiting your blog-and what a wonderful time you all must have had! I entered the giveaway for your book and I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed:) but either way, I will own your book as soon as i can!! take care and have a wonderful weekend

  20. Citygirl-Em

    Kelly, I’m reading your book and was very intrigued by your idea of ‘imposter syndrome.’ I, too, have that same feeling, like I’m really not good enough, there’s someone so much more talented and qualified than myself. I found a quote that helps me trump those feelings, and it’s by Eleanor Roosevelt. It goes like this:
    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
    Don’t let those feelings creep in. Your new painting is beautiful.

  21. christine

    Yes! It was real.
    I wrote about the same sort of thing on my site. Let’s keep the conversation going and the inspiration flowing. We can. We will! xo

  22. Rowena

    What I want to settle into is the “bliss of everyday life.” I don’t want to always be wishing I could be writing or painting or had more freedom or money.

    I want to see bliss all around me in my regular life.

    So I didn’t get to go to Squam, that doesn’t mean the good is not there. The bliss is still blissful.

  23. Steph

    Thank you for that post Kelly Rae. Your beautiful words comfort me as I try to build that bridge between the beauty of Squam and the beauty of home. 🙂

  24. Jill Nalette

    Kelly Rae, yet another beautiful read that makes me think and inspire. Truly beautiful photo of you on Superhero blog. Did you know the word her is in hero. Wow, just caught that. We’re all heros.
    Smiles and Hugs,

  25. kristen

    thank you. xo

  26. Graciel @ Evenstar Art

    As usual, your sweet words are brilliant and true. And, my goodness, that photo of you by Boho Photography….perfection.

  27. Joy

    Beautiful… I can imagine what it was like for all of you.

    I love the photo… it got me.. because I just lost my mom.


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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 creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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