Moving Forward

Now that the book is completed and submitted, I've been on the task of finding work. My intent has been to find a job within the art/writing industry to gain experience in the field, make valuable contacts and to continue the career transition I've started with the children's book I wrote and illustrated. At the very least, I thought it would be great to work somewhere that gives me a discount on art supplies. :)

Before I jumped into the search though, I attended a meditation residential retreat.  It was a silent retreat -- my first one -- and it was an experience that I hope to have again one day.  Below are pictures from the retreat location: Angela Center in Santa Rosa. It was the ideal place: gorgeous, quiet, but not so removed from the world that getting there was a pilgrimage.



You'd think that such an experience would drive you a little nuts: sitting on a cushion for 30 minutes to an hour about 8+ times a day, not being able to talk or even make eye contact with your fellow retreat attendees, eating in silence, walking in silence, all the while trying not to get sucked into whatever thoughts swirl through your head (and trust me, there were thousands).  But it was peaceful, and beautiful, and I learned a lot about myself and what will help me continue this career transition; namely, getting to know and accepting the fear that I have about it.  So while I still have doubts and insecurities, I am more resolved to at least try and see where my efforts lead me; taking advantage of whatever opportunities that come my way and seeing challenges and disappointments as temporary setbacks rather than personal failures. So I am extremely grateful for being able and available to have this experience.  It was the perfect segue into the next chapter of my journey.

"Let the flower of your life force bloom." -- Dainin Katagiri Roshi