The magic and hard work of our unfolding.

Apr 25, 2016 | Life in Progress

kelly rae roberts

Do you ever wonder about what you were like at six years old? Or two? Or get curious about what your parents were like at that age, and how the things that happened to them back then informed the way they parented you?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we become who we are, about what events and people steered our destiny in one direction versus another. As I look back at the stories and moments that brought me here today, I’m noticing that many of my memories fall into one of two categories.

One category I’m calling Unplanned Magic. These are the experiences that I didn’t plan or schedule, but they happened anyway (thankfully!), and I know they’re part of the fabric of who I am today.

In this Unplanned Magic category, I think about meeting my BFF Gina at the age of 12. She was a wise soul with a natural gift for counseling. Her friendship sheltered me through my teenage years and beyond. Then there was Maria Stroup, the older woman whose spiritual guidance grounded me in community, friendship and service during those delicate adolescent years. The book I read in college that will always have meaning and dozens of underlined passages. The road trip out west when I was 22 years old that I still think about all of the time.

Aside from the road trip, very little of these Unplanned Magic moments were intentionally created. Life guided me to the right people, or brought those people to me. Books fell off shelves. Emails of encouragement and love from strangers I met on the internet arrived at the perfect moment. All that magic rolled in and helped to shape me, without me needing to give much effort at all.

kelly rae roberts you have what it takes

And then there’s the other category. I call this one Courageous Creation. This category is about the moments of becoming that I consciously stepped into. It’s the kind of magic that didn’t fall so neatly into my lap. I worked hard for it. I dug deep into that sacred well.

It was facing things from my past that made my heart and head ache. It was exploring old relationships and ways of being and asking myself if those were really the most nourishing and honest choices for me. It was hard conversations with the ones I love. It was stepping into seasons of loss and confusion with a determined heart.

So much of our unfolding winds its way to us with ease and grace. I am grateful for those unscheduled arrivals of beauty and joy. But it’s also true that a big portion of our growth arrives in the form of an invitation. An invitation to courageously explore ourselves – our light and our dark. It’s an invitation to no longer delay our potential, or to overlook the opportunities for gratitude and vulnerability.

In this time of reflection, I’m celebrating the Unplanned Magic, and I’m also honoring myself for the times of Courageous Creation. It has all woven together to create the tapestry of who I am today, and who I’m becoming.

I hope that your life would be filled with magic and courage, with ease and strength. And I hope for your becoming. Every day.


Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (45 comments)
  1. Margo Bucher

    The way you look at the world, is something I’m starting to learn, and much older than you!

  2. Marisol F Gaffney

    I love your voice! Thank you for being there for us to be reminded of what matters.

  3. Patty Oliva

    your words are so inspiring, I don’t know why I click on it , I guess it was that pretty pic. I’m 53 much much older than you but I needed to tell you that I felt those words very deeply, I don’t know if you’ll ever read this, thank you.

    • Michelle

      Amen to that sentiment. 57 and experiencing both in my life. Thank you for your great writing.

  4. Sue

    Kelly, thank you for your joyful spirit, sharing your beautiful art and giving hope to many. You truly are an inspiration!

  5. Alexis

    I love this concept of two types of Magic. Wonder what Liz Gilbert would say, trying to think about her Big Magic book. …and speaking of books, what is the book from college?!

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      I need to read her new book! The book from college is called Conscious Living by Gay Hendricks!

  6. wanda hodgdon

    You are such a inspiration to me. I will be 60 yrs old soon. I have always love to draw & paint. But it was put on the back burner for many years. I finally picked up my pencils & paints again. I may never be good enough to sell my art, but it gives me great joy. Your attitude & love for art is contagious! ? all you do!

  7. Robin

    Thank you so much for sharing your art and your heart! Blessings from somebody who has been following your journey of bravery and cheering you on!


  8. Kim C

    Dearest Kelly you are a Magical Writer, Artist and Poet of the Soul , i am so glad that you continue to inspire the possibilitarian in all of us ….. never change you are amazing!!!
    Love Kim xoxoxo
    Melbourne Australia

  9. Mia Moyad

    I had the opportunity to be prayed for recently and i FELT it. Shortly thereafter amazing things happened that I needed or yearned for. Thank you God!
    And Thank you Kelly for your ripples of positivity!!

  10. Christine

    Loved the wear your joy 30 day course? Wearing joy more often,
    Thank you!!

  11. Tricia R

    Kelly Rae, I love how you express yourself! BTW, I heard about a study demonstrating that people who considered themselves “lucky” have an enhanced ability to notice the unexpected. So thank you for encouraging us to notice the unexpected and to have the courage to step into new possibilities!

  12. Julie

    Kelly, you are such a gifted writer…your words find their way into my heart and help me soften and open and learn more about myself and who I want to be. Your post also made me grin in thinking about the beautiful unplanned magic of meeting my BFF at age 3 (this is when our parents said we met) and how we are still growing, learning, loving and supporting each other 31 years later. 😉 Thanks for this post!

  13. Maura Allard

    Gifts & work…the balance of life:)


  14. Jen Cox

    Lovely, Kelly Rae. Thank you! <3

  15. Catherine

    This post reminds me of the idea of the Wounded Healer. Some tribal peoples believed that life chooses certain people to have deep wounding experiences …that indeed that is how the tribe recognizes the calling of a healer.

    A wounded healer learns to be healed and shares that gift with others. The wound is an opening where healing (and creativity!) can pour through. Perhaps that is what Courageous Creation is? Creating and embracing life amidst the loss and disaster?

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      I love this idea, Catherine. I think we’re all wounded, and we all have so much potential to be healers for ourselves but also for others in their healing journeys. Love.

  16. Anab


  17. Cristin Saiz

    Interesting. I often find myself in career angst, and then I look at the children who might not read quite well were it not for me and see their lives colliding with mine and constantly inviting me to further service.

  18. Laura Dooley

    I believe that unplanned magic is what shapes our path and the courageous creation is what keeps us moving forward on the path. It is with a whole lot of courage and plenty of magic that I am where I am today! Thanks Kelly Rae for your beautiful perspective.

  19. Leanne

    Beautiful Kelly, your blog post came at a perfect time for me, as I am at a time in my life where I need to make some big decisions, and I know in my heart the right decision, but my practical head is giving me a lot of resistance. I think I need some quiet time to clear my head and let the magic happen. Here goes….?

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Good luck, Leanne! Follow your heart and trust, trust, trust.

  20. Donna Malfroid

    It’s just me and my younger sister now. There was one more of us, our older sister Jerri. A year ago when we had to say Goodbye to her. There were only 13 months between us and I had never been on this earth without her. I have had to reexamine my life and figure out what is important to me. Who am I? As I face each new day I become stronger and give myself the love I need at this time. I’m trying to get back to what I know, caring for myself and trying to smile again. Depression is a scary thing, you came into my life through an invitation from my Facebook Friend Shirley, whom I’ve never met. You don’t know it but you brought just the magic I needed, right when I needed it. I’m so excited to be your friend, I enjoy all your beautiful creations. I’ve already ordered two of your beautiful Hope Bracelets for my younger sister Becky. I’m looking forward to seeing who I become on this journey. Thank you for your Friendship and giving me the right magic to remember my roots and to remind me that our Mother taught us Three Girls the most important lesson and that’s to honor ourselves, to never forget who we are and where we came from and that there is Magic in everyday, if we only hold our head up and look around. Love and Hugs, Your friend Donna

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Donna, thank you for sharing. What a beautiful tribute and honoring of your sister, Jerri. Sending much love and the wish for continued Magic on your journey 🙂

  21. Christina Marlett

    Thank you Kelly Rae for these insightful observations. I’ve been fascinated by courage lately and also by serendipity. It feels like beautiful harmony when these two ways of being come together.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      100% agree, Christina.

  22. Siobhan Wolf

    I have always found it easy to recognize and appreciate the Unplanned Magic. It’s giving myself credit for the hard work of Courageous Creation and Brave Introspection that has not come as easily. Thank you for the reminder that it is all part of what makes us whole. About time to give a little credit where credit is due. Big love to you! <3

  23. Pam payne

    You have just inspired me to do the very exercise you did …just what had to happen to get me to where I am today…very thought provoking…we each have our own unuque story. Also, I am curious as to the TITLE of the book that you read while in college…..thanks again Miss Kelly…always enjoy spending time with you.

  24. Katy K

    I love that you live an examined life, Kelly Rae. I have noticed that invitations that might seem small at first often lead to bigger things…saying “yes” during courageous creation, the next step seems to be revealed and a bigger picture emerges and unfolds what might not have otherwise. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful insights!

  25. Tanya Horn

    I really love how you celebrate YOU!! We all need to do more of that. Enjoy & love our differences & what makes each of us unique. That is what makes this world so fun & interesting!! Love you!!

  26. Linda Habros

    I am truly a believer in the Magic of the Universe, and how what you put out there comes back to you often times in the most magical of ways…receiving an email or phone call from a long lost friend after months or years of not hearing from each other; a book coming along that is exactly what I need at that time; and coming across the right people at the right time to enrich our lives and to help us grow and thrive into the people we are put here to become. Thank you for the post…it was so poignantly written!

  27. Pam

    I love that you said “but it’s also true that a big portion of our growth arrives in the form of an invitation.” SO true and it really is up to us whether or not we accept the invitation. A lovely post.

  28. Patty

    We are a sum of all the experiences of life – the good and the bad, the chosen and those thrust upon us. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen some of the hard times, but they have surely served to help shape me into the person I am today. interact with those we encounter. Blessings to you for inviting us to reflect.

  29. Angela

    Beautiful post. Love the reminder to honor both the serendipitous moments when life unfolds just as we need it to, and the achingly vulnerable moments we have to plunge ourselves into with courage in order to grow.

  30. shelley

    hi Kelly, wondering what the book was that you read in college that had such a profound effect on you.

    • Sheila Parcell

      Yes, I was going to ask the same question. I know you have mentioned the book before but I’ll be darned if I can locate that information. I am 51, just went through a divorce and I am feeling quite lost and unsure of myself. Whew, I just typed that out. Lol…anyway looking for books or info on just to to reevaluate my life and discover myself that is if I ever knew who I was to begin with. I do not believe I did, always trying to live up to other people and so on. Enough…thank you for sharing your life and trials with us. You are an inspiration.

      • Siobhan Wolf

        This was a question that came immediately to mind for me as well. Always curious what books touch other people deeply.

        • Anab

          same here ladies❤️

  31. Kim A

    Wonderful. I have been accepting some pretty big invitations from myself. Very scary and exciting!

    Courageous Creation..I love it!

    Showing up is brave. Showing up in our perfectly, imperfect way is absolute courage.


  32. Tamara

    Thank you Kelly for your open heart. Open mind. Encouragement and embracing those around you. I’m wading through to find my dream and finding myself along the way. All the while trying to trust the timing and the process.

    With a grateful heart,
    Tamara <3

  33. Dawn

    As always, lovely words.
    I’m a great believer in fate. Things you want don’t always come easy -or even at all. Then things happen and you realise…. wow, if I’d done that thing I’d not be doing this/meeting you/going here right now….
    But we are at the helm. I have no doubt about that. We must steer the ship!

  34. Su

    Everything about you is beautiful 🙂 God bless you and your family …. Ameen 🙂

  35. Jamie

    I too have those moments of serendipity when I get exactly what I need (whether I recognize it or not!), and am creating a moment for myself with a solo trip next month, to invite in what I think I need to go forward – And become. Courageous Creation is the perfect description. Blessings on you, Kelly Rae!

  36. Molly

    Beautiful. I recently accepted an invitation from myself. It’s a beautiful thing when we show up in our own lives!!!


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Hello + welcome!

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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