nicknames at nautilus teachings

nicknames at nautilus teachings

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your phone dings!
you have mail,
you have text ,
maybe it rings…
each time
you glance over
at it,
see who it is
and
THEN
you get to
CHOOSE-
do you open the mail
reply to the text
or answer the call…
in my kids case,
more times
than not
they go unanswered…
i have one daughter
i call
“my drive by texter…”
she has earned this
due to the fact
that only once
in a blue moon
does she answer my text
and when she does
you never know if it
will be a full conversation
or if she will answer once
not knowing when i will
hear from her again,
therefore
i don’t text her often
instead i dial her up
on the weekend
usually around 2pm
on a saturday
as she groggily whispers
‘hellooooo…’
“oh, did i wake you?”
‘well, yes but no…i am just catching up
on some sleep and laying in bed…”

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inside i giggle
because her need for
10 hours a night
is just like mine
only mine starts at 9pm
ending at 7…
i know she works crazy
NYC hours
she’s making a name for herself
and am oh, so very proud
but she will always be
‘the drive by texter…’
d and i laugh about this.
she has inherited from him
the ability to kindly
and gracefully get in a full
conversation in under 3 minutes!
when you hang up
you smile
you feel good
and then you remember
why you called
and text-
into the big black hole…
my other daughter
i have nicknamed
“the silent one…..”
she is light as a feather
floats around this planet
making friends
changing jobs
chasing…
well, life!
she is a free spirit
a giver
and full of spit and vinegar
mixed with tons of
sugar
she is loyal to the core
but she is
SILENT…
i rarely text her
i wait
and wait
and wait
for her to call me…
when she does call
i drop everything
because i literally
never know when i will
hear from her
or when i will see her…
at the moment she is
sedentary
which means she accepted
a position until june of 2017
so i know where she is
i know things are fine
because otherwise
i would hear from her
but for the most part-
silence…

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‘the silent one’
and
‘the drive by texter’
have a brother,
my son
who as you know is
married
and expecting their first
child next march…
his nickname
is
‘my nester’
he answers his phone
always answers texts
we see he and his
beautiful wife
as much as we all can
and they own a house…
‘the nester’
is the oldest
a good brother
an even better man
and amazing husband
he will make
one terrific dad…
now,
i love all three of my
goofy kids
i love their lives they are making
and support them 100%
they are all at that stage
of
adulthood
paying all their own bills
completely self sufficient
happy most of the time
and in all cases
thriving in their field
of choice…
well,
maybe not
‘the silent one…’
she loves to mix it up
travel
move around
i love her free spirit
because she reminds me of my mom.
my mom
yearned to be this way…
so as much as i
wish she would
get her degree
settle down…
i have grown to embrace
the quiet, creative
ever seeking child i raised…
why do i have nicknames
for my kids?
i am so glad you asked.
because their birth names
just don’t suit them
and
it makes doc and i giggle
when we say,
“hey i heard from the drive by texter today…”
or
“the silent one called, she seems to be very happy…”
and let’s not forget
“hey the nesters will be here for dinner on sunday…”
we shake our heads
laugh at ourselves
and then we smile
our eyes
always well up
and then d always says,
“you raised good kids blondie!”
and that my friends
fills my big old heart
with happiness
and gratitude…

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me vacations at nautilus teachings

me vacations at nautilus teachings

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i need a
ME
vacation…
i want someone
to say to me,
“i will take your
crazy, spoiled dogs home
and treat them like my own…”
because d- God love him-
works way too many hours
and even though i love him dearly
he says,
‘they are dogs…’
dog lovers will totally
understand that…
i want a boat to sail away in
upon mother ocean
until i am ready to return
i don’t want to leave
or change my life
i am just
bone weary tired.
it’s been a long year
and a whole week to myself
would be-WOWZA…
what a blessing that would be.
since i cannot get away
i dream about
being the wandering
guitar player
strolling down the street
barefoot
long flowy dress
sun tanned
flowers in my hair
smiling….
or maybe i am that
person you see dancing
with a sign above their head
begging you to come into their store
singing like a mad woman
in my horrible off key voice
then again
i just might be that grown woman
drawing pictures
with her chalk upon the sidewalk
empty can out
waiting for donations
to buy my next starbucks!
i would love to be the
long winged bird
soaring above the ocean
so gently, softly
gliding
keeping an eye out
for the next fish
for my dinner…

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some days
i wish i was the long, slow
whispering wind
tickling the long
low lying branches
of my palm trees
or better yet
a weeping willow…
yes!
that’s it.
i want to be tangled up
cradled
protected
by the soft
branches of
the weeping willow
of my childhood
i want to smell the lilac bushes
that lined our driveway
listen to the
lily of the valley bells
ting, ting, tinging
while listening to the crickets
watching all the lightening bugs
and wishing upon stars
for dreams
i believed
would never come true…
my
ME
vacations
are always of the mind
whether i write it
paint it
imagine it
does not matter…
i have been taking
them my entire life.
how else would i have
lived through
my life?
but now
at 54
i want to
travel somewhere new
i want to eat what
and when i want
i don’t want to put
on makeup
shower
or do my hair
i want to wash
in mother ocean
sit under the stars
sail with the wind
taking time to sit
upon her bow
writing poetry
so corny
it will make you giggle…

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is this selfish?
NO
i even have a destination
the place
the island
i want to go…
then the phone buzzes
three people are texting me
the boys need to pee
stewie will be home for lunch
the plumber needs me
the handyman is going to be late
mom wants to see me
i need to paint and post a class
my blog is messing up
the bills are pouring in
i am no longer allowed to light candles
or have my boys on the sofa…
and,
you wonder why i sleep 8-10 hours a night?
escape.
my clean body
crawls beneath the soft sheets
the air is down to 71
i turn on my heating pad
for my back
cocoon in my soft blanket
turn on the tv
and within 10 minutes
i am asleep…
i love sleep
i dream all night long
they are my daily
ME vacations
and for right now
it’s ok
that i cannot get away
that i am needed here
this is the year of,
“hey sheri, can you…
baby, i need you too…
can you ….”
but next year
when i turn 55
that will begin the
ME
year…
it won’t be an
eat, pray, love year
but it will be
amazing
awesome
incredible
and
100%
all mine…
you just wait and see…

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from she to me at nautilus teachings

from she to me at nautilus teachings

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for a long time
darkness
was not her friend
she was afraid
of the basement
always left
her closet light on
carried a small flashlight
lit candles
before the sun set
and went to bed
only once she stacked
3 records upon themselves
to play,
letting the stereo illuminate
her room
and music fill her soul…
when she was small
she slept with a light on
the hallway door ajar
and a rock under her pillow.
once the moon rose
her bedroom was lit
with millions of
twinkling star lights
and for a short moment
she could breathe freely
close her eyes
and attempt to dream
on summer nights
windows open
she would crawl upon
the wide sill
gaze up towards heaven
and pray
for God to please
make her a fish
so she can
swim far far away…
the water was her friend
she could hold her breath
for a long time
in the local pool
while pretending
to be fancy finns the mermaid…
she would twirl her body
faster and faster
creating a spinning current
which released
bubbles racing toward
the surface…
under the water
light shone through
under the silky wetness
she felt safe…
even at night
pool lights on
the turquoise water
held magic
she would sit upon
the ledge
dangle her feet
flipping them
rapidly
until she was giggling
and her cheeks
speckled with drops
each one
holding her wishes,
dreams,
each one
eventually being filled
up with salt
from the tears
which ran down
from her big brown eyes…

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as she grew up
darkness
started becoming
her friend.
in the black depths
she could conceal
her sadness
lick her wounds
dry her tears
paint her pain away
write new endings
to her life story
and live in her
imaginary world…
life swiftly flew
like a swirling hurricane
flooding her
soul with shame, guilt,
sadness
and the knowing
she
would never
be enough,
never shine bright
enough to be seen…
all of this welled up
eventually leaking
from every pour
and one day
she could not stop
her eyes
from flowing.
so,
wine glass in hand
she walked to the edge
of what was her life
as the moon shown
over the water
the stars twinkled
the blackness sang out
‘small beauty,
let it all go,
it’s time to come home…’
throwing the glass
into the water
the luminescence lit up
a myriad of colors
filled her soul
as she spread her arms
and fell
into the warm
black waters of yesterday
shattering into a tiny
million pieces
only to re-emerge
a beautiful mosaic
ready to unfurl…
she
became
ME,

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and i guess in a way
we always were one person
but today
i do not recognize
she
i left her behind
and when i see people
from my past
they always say,
‘omg! you haven’t changed a bit…’
i nod
smile
and think
‘you have no idea who i really am

…’
this is my darkness
the one i carry
the forgiven part of me
that only resurfaces
in rare moments…
today
i love slow mornings
when i wake in darkness
thanks to my blackout blinds
feed the boys
make my coffee
grab my computer
light a candle
and crawl back into darkness
AC cranked down
soft sweatshirt upon me
i unfurl myself
one hot, yummy
sip at a time
with slow
tap, tap, taps
upon my keyboard
i enter my chosen life
knowing,
today,
darkness is my friend
for i no longer
walk in fear
but through faith,
bending when needed
filled with the knowledge
i am
and will always
be
enough…
and my past,
which i no longer
answer to,
can just
keep knocking…

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the GUY at nautilus teachings

the GUY at nautilus teachings

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who out there
has that
GUY…
the one you
were best friends with
dated
fell in love with…
that one 
GUY
years ago
the one
you made the
promise to…
“if we’re not married by ___ age
we will get married…”
or,
“when our spouses die
we will get married…”
you know the
GUY
he listened to all your stories
dried all your tears
made you giggle
taught you to laugh
at yourself
maybe was your first
or for sure, memorable…
i have asked several of
my girlfriends this question
over the last year.
the answer-
a resounding
YES!
so,
if we have that
GUY,
do men
have that
GIRL????????????
i am thinking not
with the main reason being
when women loose their husband
they may be heartbroken
but most
don’t remarry
they find solace
in silence
not needing to
care for any one
accept themselves
it’s almost as if
any heaviness
is just
gone-
where as men
may wait a few months
but soon they are
right back on the prowl.
men are born with this
instinct
to hunt
gather
reproduce
to stand up
beat their chests
and scream
‘here i am
come and get me
look at me…’

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which brings me back
to that
GUY….
would you try to
find him
on FB
instagram
linkedin
tweet his name
go to your old school
reunion
in hopes of spotting him?
or would you just
wait
be
exist
find yourself
travel
sleeping for days
adopt a house of dogs
aimlessly wander?
in all fairness
to my friends
i never asked this question
because i was so caught
up in hearing their stories
of their
GUY!
i loved that i was normal
for once in my life
i felt like
i fit in
which sent my thoughts
back to 36 years ago
and my
GUY…
specifics
don’t matter
but i remember
the words
the days of youth
the promise
and then
LIFE
just ebbed and flowed
and
here i am today
thinking
would i
could i
contact
him
if something
ever happened
to my d?

th
honestly
no.
i am not 18
nor am i the person
i was at 18
as he probably is not
either…
i have had my one
great love
the person
who loves me
no matter what
is the glue to
our blended family
makes me giggle
every day
holds my hand
supports everything i do
calls our house
‘sheri’s house’
and just
embraces
artsy
crazy
OCD
control freak
dog loving
me
PLUS
shhhhh
i absolutely
love love love
being alone…
for 42 years
i only found
myself
in silence
art
writing
corners
closets
safe spaces.
i ignored d
for a whole year
before i even
thought of letting him in
and for both of us
going through the whole
marriage thing
AGAIN
was a huge deal…
do i think he has
that
GIRL?
nope
do i care?
of course….
what woman
wants the love of her life
to kiss, touch, make love to
hold any other woman?
i remember a friend of ours words…
she died 5 years ago
from cancer
she was soft,
beautiful
fiercely loved her husband
and once she accepted
she was going to die
her main concern
was not death itself
but…
“those hussies are going to stand
in line waiting to grab my man…”
this still makes me giggle
because he has remarried
he is happy
he has someone to take care
of him
and after all
isn’t that really what men want
someone to be kind
cook, clean, raise the kids….
the list goes on.
men
need
women.
so,
now the question is
will my
GUY
find me
if and when his spouse dies?
only
time
will
tell…

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the drive at nautilus teachings

the drive at nautilus teachings

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let me take you back:
you are small
in the back seat
of a car
or maybe hanging out
the very back
of a station wagon
the summer wind
is blowing
the sun is warm
you close your eyes
and dream…
summer sunday afternoons
were drive days.
after church
and a big dinner
we piled in the car
and dad drove…
around the park
down the long winding road
between towns
as we all sat.
not a word said,
as the crooners
like Dean Martin
Tony Bennett
Frank Sinatra,
to name few
serenaded my folks…
they always held hands
smiled at each other
and pretty much
ignored us in the back seat
unless we acted up…
once in a while we would
stop at dairy queen
but mostly
it was about
the
DRIVE…

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sometimes we
would end up at
my aunts house.
once in a while
we got to take the dog.
we waved at everyone we saw
exchanged nods and smiles
but it was the cool humid breeze
the feeling of floating
and the knowing
we were a family…
my dad worked long hours
went to college at night
and worked at the church
on saturdays,
so sunday
was our day.
the drives were never
very long
maybe an hour-
longer if we stopped
somewhere
but it embedded
in me a feeling
of absolute bliss…
these drives taught
me to love
classical music too.
on these days
dad would be somber
mom flat
they would not hold hands
and the drive was
a bit faster
but the wind
and sun still
cradled me…
as i grew up
my music interests
expanded to include
soft rock
and occasional kiss or led zeppelin song
but for the most part
it was barry manilow, barbara streisand, styx,
kansas, bj thomas, chicago, bee gees…
all mixed in with classical and the crooners…
i was never a hard rock chick
although i did venture to a few
outdoor concerts with my friends
just to experience it!
as an introvert
i found them terrifying
suffocating
and way tooooo loud!
are you giggling yet?
i knew from very young
that my calling
was inward
it was art
it was words
it was soft music
it was
the drive
of my youth
being played over
and over
like a skipping 45…

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when i was young
i loved driving
i would drive anywhere
getting lost
meant an adventure.
fast forward nearly 40 years
my life exists all within
a 10 mile range of everything-
right now
mid life
kids grown
starting families of their own
i have dogs…
i love my simple life
but get me off the beach
outside the view
of mother ocean
and i panic…
my husband says
we do not travel
because i am afraid
to leave DA BOYS!
to some extent
he is correct
but mostly
it’s because
somewhere
some how
some way
i lost the bug
to seek out…
oh, sure
put a sailboat at my dock
and i am outta here!
as per
cars, planes, trains-
my response will be
“i am good, thank you
for asking…”
i used to want to visit
a different island
every year
making sure
i walked the beaches
starting with
every letter
of the alphabet
collecting shells
leaving my footprint…
but being married to a surfer
changed all that…
i have no desire at all
to travel with him
so he can surf…
i want him to do that with
his boys!
do i want to go to ireland
so he can trace his
family tree-
NOPE…

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i want to see the great
paintings of the world
visit spain and soak up
Gaudi’s mosaic
be kissed in the church
he designed
visit Monet’s garden
take a fat tire tour
drift down the seine
wander through shops
buy some street art
i want to sail
around islands i’d love
go back to
Anegada
laze around at Cow Wreck beach
sip a cocktail
and breathe in
the beauty
of simplicity…
all the while singing
‘Anegada divida baby’
i just want the calm peace
the ocean
wind
and sun feed me…
i want to end my life
the way it began
floating around
listening to the crooners
holding my sweethearts hand
knowing
i am safe and loved
and that one day
mom and i
will be cruising through the clouds
in her convertible
top down
wind in our hair
sun on our face
holding hands
and giggling
while taylor swift sings
“and i had
the best day,
with you,
today…”

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hide and seek at nautilus teachings

hide and seek at nautilus teachings

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shel silverstein writes:
“there’s a light on in the attic
though the house is dark and shuttered,
i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.
there’s a light on in the attic.
i can see if from the outside,
and i know you’re on the inside…lookin’ out.”

small spaces
are great hiding places
behind a tree
in a closet
under the bed…
children love
playing
hide and seek,
they giggle when
they find you
especially if you
act surprised,
‘how did you find me?
you are so smart…’
their face lights up
lips grin ear to ear
as they place their
tiny fingers over their mouth
and giggle…
“i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.”
kids don’t hide much
they say what they feel
do what they want
and live every moment
like it was their last…
SCREEEEEEECH!
wait,
hang on a second…
hmmmm
does all this still go on today?
this summer was a huge
awakening for me…
during one week
of summer camp
in particular
the loud,
never-ending conversations
between the kids
was pokemon and video games
how,
‘i can’t wait to get home
and get to the next level of…
hey, what’s your user name?
do you know how i can get around
the…’
after two days of this
i spoke with the parents
who spoke with the kids
and the rest of the week
was filled with some silence
but mostly painting
and giggling…
when i asked the kids
‘don’t you like to go swimming
ride your bikes, surf…’
this group looked at me
like i had four heads
‘nope….only video…
i love video games…’
which brings me back to
hide and seek…

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what if the parents hid
these games
challenging the child
to seek out fun
without electronics of any kind?
what if when they came home
the floor was scattered
with board games?
would not the parents say,
“i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.”
i then click on FB
and see the parents of
children
chasing pokemon
posting about vacations
centered on pokemon
UGH…
so it is the parents
who are just as
if not more excited
about this…
seeing this app addicted world
reminds me of
how grateful i am
to have been brought up
with no tv
roasting marshmallows
and hotdogs
gazing at the stars
swimming
riding my bike
reading
drawing
laughing
running through sprinklers
sledding…
i,
in turn
raised my kids
the same way…
now,
my three children
and i are all techies
all artists
we appreciate
the advances
but we also know
when to turn it off
put it down
talk and laugh…
with my aging
has come acceptance
i cannot change
the past
nor any one person
but i can certainly
be a role model
to these beautiful young souls…
i cannot change
their upbringing
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to all the parents
who believe in art
and in me
who have trusted me
with their beautiful children
thank you…
please, don’t forget
their time with me
allows them
to unplug
it gives them
immunity
from normalcy
standardization
and analysis
i don’t give awards
for anything…
what they do get is
absolute
consent
to use their
imagination and
express themselves
through movement and color…
there are
‘no art rules,
no boxes’
what they learn
is,
everyone
can create…
remember the tiny giggler
from hide and seek
with their hand placed
upon their lips
face all lit up?
this
THIS
is the expression
i see
when your kids
spend time
with me
in my studio…
and for this
i am truly thankful…
oh,
and by the way,
LADIES!
you also get this
expression
when you paint
at my byob’s
“i can see a flickerin’ flutter,
and i know what it’s about.”
i see the light go on
in your attic
“i can see if from the outside,
and i know you’re on the inside…lookin’ out.”
wondering
why don’t i paint more?
good question,
why not?

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changing form at nautilus teachings

changing form at nautilus teachings

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the image is clear
repeat
repeat
repeat
her limbs
are outstretched
the weight of her
leaving an
impression
upon the soft sand…
the light is dim
barely there
with clouds
hovering
upon the horizon
she
is
still
baby waves
gently trickle
upon the shore
some grazing
her wrist
and
every now and then
one kisses her lips
making her smile
she will not move
motionless
she waits
eyes closed
drifting back
to another place
a time
when innocence
was lost
she began believing
she was of no value
and her voice was
taken away…
she was young
she was innocent
a blank journal
who’s pages were being
marred
with words
hurled at her
so she became
exactly what
she was called
stupid
fat
ugly
and later on
slut
whore
bitch
cunt…
she knew no different
always choosing
that which exemplified
her birth given
foundation
wanting always
to emulate
that which
she was taught
finding
repetitive molds
to fall into
was easy

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she would know
from first glance
if he was the person
she
should
seek…
and then she
waited patiently
for the explosion
of words
fists
noise
only then,
would she know
she
was
home…
a place
where she
need not change
her form
she could stay
silent
caged
drowning
this
was
her
life…
a long time passed
she journeyed to
the beach
alone
walking slowly
noticing
her footprints
she left behind
each one
slowly
changing shape
the further
she strolled…
when she reached
the white steeple
she paused
sat
gazing once more
at her footpath
it had changed
most of it had
disappeared
with the incoming tide
leaving only pieces
of her
visible…
she took a deep breath
exhaled
paused
once more
this time
smiling…
WOWZA!
today
this
was
her
day…

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today
she learned
impressions fade
they get washed away
she was not molded
not a steel sculpture
she could be
melted
bent
she
was
pliable
it was
her
that
was
stuck
in thinking
she must remain
forever
in the hands
of those
who
wrecked her…
she was not
an isolated
abandoned shell
waiting for the next
crusty
hermit crab
to enter
and take
command…
NO!
she was washable
stains could be
removed
a new shape
could be cut
from the fabric
she mended
she could even
change color
all by
accepting her past
forgiving herself
and rooting
herself
within her
faith…
HOLY HOTCAKES!
she slapped her hand
upon her forehead
and fell backwards
into the soft, dry, sand
giggling…
then she rose up
noticing
no impression was left
the grains
were scattered,
yes,
but still
a beautiful mess…
her walk home was different
she slowly flipped
the sand upward
with each step
sometimes she would
jog towards the water
stilling herself
just long enough
to see her footprints
washed quickly away…
‘i like this
ebb and flow,’
she thought
‘i love how
every footprint
changes,
allowing
the healing
waters
to fill it up
leaving it ready
to change form…’
the lightbulb
finally
went on
inside her head!
soon she was
chasing the waves
challenging them
to transform
her
allowing her
to metamorphose
color
size
thought path…

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‘JIMMINY CHRISTMAS’
she thought…
life is amazing
for all these years
i never challenged
never asked questions
never even thought
i was not who
i was told i was
but today,
today
i know
beyond a shadow
of a doubt
i can be
anyone i wish…
i can eat healthy
exercise
pray
love
speak
paint
write,
just
BE
who i know i am inside…
a dizzying thought
for sure
one that nearly
took her breath away
so she paused
gazed at mother ocean
watched the tide
roll in and out
noticing
it placed upon the shore
many treasures
she bent
picked up a small
nautilus
placed it in her pocket
and began
her journey
of discovery
knowing
this day forward
she was no longer
a mat
upon
which
people
wiped
their
feet…
today
she
was
flexible
and never again
would she be
a speck
trapped
within
an hourglass
of someone
else’s
life…

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stop beating yourself up at nautilus teachings

stop beating yourself up at nautilus teachings

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how many times
have you
beat yourself up
over your
lifetime thus far
by looking
in the mirror
and thinking,
“i’m fat.
i’m ugly.
i’m a failure.
i’m stupid…?”
i still hear those words
echoing from
the depths of my past
so many different voices
but in the end,
the strongest
was my own…
or what about
those random
thoughts like,
“this isn’t the life i dreamed…
i wish i would have…
why didn’t i…
if only i…”
i spend way to
many hours
blaming myself
for all my bad choices
knowing the truth
really is
i had no idea
who i was
and i really
did the best i could…
who hasn’t
thought
“i hate my thighs,
belly,
boobs,
my hair is lifeless
and when did
i get those wrinkles…”
um, this is a daily
conversation i have
with myself.
i have always
hated my ‘english thighs’
three babies
and 30 years later
i will always have
my beloved pouch
no matter how
many crunches i do
i purchased bigger boobs
11 years ago
because that was easy
i lost half the thickness
of my hair
when i went through
menopause
and i live by Jimmy Buffett’s words
‘wrinkles only go
where the smiles have been…’

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i remember
4.5 years ago
a friend of ours
took a photo
of doc and i…
the photo
was beautiful
but my first thought
was,
‘OMG….when did my
upper arms get so fat?”
i was not overweight
but i knew something
was wrong with my body…
i had known this
most of my life
because i lived on
claritin during the day
and benadryl at night
i had hives on my
scalp, elbows, knees
and lower back…
and these were just
a few of the things
i lived with.
i was born very sick
so i just figured
this is who i was…
until i decided to
cleanse my body…
i literally
treated myself
like a newborn baby…
i did only water for 3 days
then i spent 6 month
reintroducing food
one thing at a time…
needless to say,
i lost
25 lbs in the process,
but
i gained knowledge…
i stopped beating myself up
stopped making excuses
and i stood firm
and unembarrassed
when i would carry my meals
to dinner parties,
friends houses
and my own dressing and toppings
for a plain salad to restaurants
i began embracing
ME!
i did not care what
anyone thought
or whispered
behind my back
because
i
felt
amazing…
no more hives
or benadryl-
i am very careful
with everything i put
in my body…

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i will always have allergies

always have to take
claritin daily
and watch what i eat
but i just don’t care…
i decided 12 years ago
i was taking my life back…
so i ask you today
what do you need to change?
who do you need to omit?
are you happy?
can you honestly say to yourself
‘i love myself
and my life,
i am in control?’
for me it has been a long journey
of acceptance
forgiveness
courage
strength
and i did all of this
through
and with faith.
i have faith.
and as you know
faith for me
is God.
it is not religion.
i found my path
through prayer
and meditation
through believing
in what i was born into
and taught
by my mother,
through many
years of church,
beloved pastors
who became
my mentors
and friends
i knew
beyond a shadow of a doubt
i had a story to tell
i had people to teach
i had colors to share
and i would not stop
until i took my
last breath…
i no longer beat myself up.
i do still see my
big thighs
and old baby pooch
i take vitamins
to strengthen my hair
i gave away all my
small sized clothes
and began embracing
me…
aging
wrinkling
thickening
ME.
if i am to be
truly loved
for who i am
i had to first
love myself.

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round peg/square hole at nautilus teachings

round peg/square hole at nautilus teachings

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“and why do you
have these things?,”
he asked her…
‘well, the long
cardboard pole is
to make a mast
and the soft fabric
for my sails…
because one day,
one day
i
will
sail
away…”
he studied her
began reading
her body
like a short story
then laughed
“do you really think
you can make
something
out
of nothing?
these bits
of mashed paper
and woven threads?
really?
you
are bat shit crazy,
i just knew you were…”
he laughed
stared at her
big, glistening
brown eyes
watched her lips tremble…
she was slight in nature
tall
lean
bendable
like
a weeping willow
her hair hung loosely
a bit of a mess, actually…

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‘and then,’ she added
‘i will add lots of colorful threads
to hold it all together…
i will paint it all in
hues of blue…
and then…’
she grabbed
the long
cardboard pole
pulled it toward her
as her eyes scanned
the length…
‘then,
i will hoist my sail
and take off
with the wind,
sun at my back,
i will be sailing
upon a
wing and a prayer…’
then she did the most
outrageous thing
she stilled
dropped her dress
to the floor
and stood before
him
bare…
he straightened his glasses
took a deep breath
and scanned her
head to toe…
she was a beauty
even in middle age
a bit scarred
from life
but oh,
how she made his
heart sing…
he loved her.
quirkiness and all.
loved her unbound
creativity
her willingness
to believe
in the impossible…
she truly believed
she could sail away
with a paper mast and
tiny sail
she believed that much
in herself
that he was frozen
locked up
inside her
imagined world
willing to let himself go
be caught up
in the ebb and flow
of
just
her…

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he never really
stilled long enough
to watch her paint
he would blast
in and out
like a quick
summer shower
dropping a word
or two,
“nice…
hmmm…
what is it?”
she would ignore
his comments
lost in a world
where she needed
no one
wanted only
to be left alone
with her
paints
canvas
and
dreams…
“well,”
he whispered
“i suppose
i should leave
you to it, then?”
she smiled
walked toward him
pressed her
soft lips
upon his
and said,
‘yes,
i believe so…
unless you wish
to throw paint with me…
you didn’t think i
dropped my dress
for you, did you?’
and then
she
smiled…
big
happy
her entire self
lit up
followed
by a reverberating giggle
that shook her
entire being
making her
jiggle in certain places
he was mesmerized …
she then turned
so he could
see her back side…
“no,
no, no, no,”
he muttered
almost
stuttering
“i think i shall
retreat
to the outside,
play ball
with the boys
and have
a nice long soak
in the hot tub…..
join me?”
‘hmmm,
sounds
inviting…’

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she barely whispered
then she turned
pulling her arm back
and before
he could move
SPLAT!
she got him
straight on
the nose
with paint…
“this is war…”
he said
‘oh really?
challenge accepted…’
this was
their life
as husband and wife
she colored his
very intellectual
bleak world
and he
grounded her…
together
they played like children
loved like newlyweds
lived like ordinary folk
fixed whatever was broken
built everything they could
always working
together
side by side
knowing
she was the
round peg
filling up his
very square hole…

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be yourself at nautilus teachings

be yourself at nautilus teachings

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it is not a struggle
to be myself
to show the world
my mistakes
flaws
heartbreaks
to open up
my entirety
and let you in…
sure,
there will
always be
certain lines
i will never cross
topics never spoken of
the ugliest truth
not fully revealed
names never given
and i will drop
the f bomb…
i don’t believe
in gossip
i don’t have the right
to judge anyone
i believe we are
all free
all have the ability
to love
to heal
work
grow…
faith, gratitude, kindness
and truth
are my center
family
always comes first
i am the most
complex simplistic
person you will meet
i have so many layers
to unravel
to you
colors not yet revealed
my stories will not cease
until i take my last breath
whether i am read
by one person
or one million
i just don’t care
because words
for me are air
to breathe
it cleanses my soul
to release
upon canvas
images given to me
to share with you…

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i love to teach art!
my kids camp
feeds my soul
and makes me believe
in dreams,
imagination
possibilities
while at the same time
i learn
to listen harder
slow down
and be in every tiny
moment
given to me
through
their smiles
hugs
and creativity…
my ladies nights
are the healing balm
for my weary soul
i not only get
to be part of their lives
they let me
tell my silly stories too
so we all giggle and laugh
sharing moments
of our busy lives
across a table
with wine
paint
and friendship…
it feels wonderful
to finally
know who i am
to be
just me
i have fought hard
to get here.
one of my favorite things
is when a woman
comes up to me to
and says,
‘you’re sheri stewart…
i read everything you write…’

IMG_7962
this always
leaves me
speechless.
we have such
a short time here,
i intend to spend
the second half
growing
expressing
teaching
loving
blessing
giving
in every way
i never imagined possible
in the first 42 years
of my life…
have you ever had
that one moment
when you just
broke open
and cried,
“God, you found me…”
only to hear back
“i was never lost,
my child,
you were too stubborn
to let me all the way in…”
well, i did
and i will never stop
listening again-
i am buoyant
because of my faith-
not my religion-
my faith…
let yourself go
open yourself up
to what your center
your faith is
let it take over
your whole soul
let it be
exactly who you are…
and if by some chance
it doesn’t feel right
either you
are holding onto fear
or what you believe in
is not your true
guide…
as Ram Dass says,
“we’re all just walking
each other home…”
i believe we are all connected
no matter our race,
sex, religion, political party…
i believe we all want
peace
we all deserve love
but i also believe
acceptance is key
we can exist on the same planet
with different beliefs
speaking different languages
worshiping different Gods
but in order to be
truly happy
we must lay down
our judgement
our need for control
and live in our own truths…

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what do you believe?
i believe
in praying to my God
to protect
not just those i love
but my country…
as i began with,
it is not a struggle
to be myself
to show the world
my mistakes
flaws
heartbreaks
to open up
my entirety
and let you in…
the struggle comes
when i turn on the tv
and hear of more killings
when i look to social media
and everyone is ranting
about who to vote for
my struggle
really is simple
i will be a positive
colorful voice
in this world
no matter
what anyone else thinks
and i will
say the pledge of allegiance
i will sing God bless america
i will pray to God
speak my truths
and always
be buoyed
by my faith…
“i am not afraid;
i was born to do this…”-Joan of Arc

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