Seeing the Light

January is coming to and end. 

 I don’t know where the time went,  I mostly spent this month in a daze. 


 The fog is lifting and I am seeing the light of a new year shining through.

I am eager.  

I dream of new projects and new ways of sending my creative energy into anything besides mid air.

This past week I was taken by the thought of “stitching”.

Dream #2
“To Thy Own Self be True.”

Growing up is a strange thing.

The years keep adding up, but somewhere inside me still sits all the “me’s” I’ve ever known.
I have a very distinct 9 year old, 15 year old, 22 year old, 30 year old and now me today at 41.

Saying the number “41” is strange. 

Me? 41! How? Before I know it I will be 50!

I have never been one to care much about aging. 
(Except in Hollywood)
 I see it as a privilege.

 I’d like to know what it’s like to be 88 yrs old rather than dead. 
 Dead is too final.


Aging is good.

Aging if anything has given me strength to love and be myself.
I have ALWAYS sought out truth and questions.  If I lived another life I bet you it was a philosopher back in the day. 

I like to think.
I like to question.
I like to go deep.

  I like to contemplate and look at the big picture of life and living.

As I have “aged” I have noticed on true thing.  
I have learned, somewhere along the way, to be true to my self.

I think most  everyone gets there at some point, but some may be aware of the journey more that others.

I started walking my journey when I was 22years.  
I became obsessed with idea and promised myself that I would be that person one day.


I can’t think of a better goal for a 22 year old.  
I am still working on it, but it isn’t so much “work” now as much as it is “doing”.

So, when I feel like trying something new, I don’t question myself, I listen to myself and go with the flow.

This time I flowed myself right into the stitching isle.  

My 15 year old self laughed (more like scoff) at my 41 yr old self (my 41 yr old self promptly told her to go to hell. Ah, the beauty of aging )  

I put my chin up walked into the isle not knowing a damn thing about what to buy. 
I have money and a desire.
That was a good place to start.

I knew I needed needles and a threat.
I’d have to go home and figure all this out.
Books are good.
Google is better.
I bought just the basics and went to Starbucks.
My eyes were wide open by the time I hit the computer screen to figure out the way of stitching.

{LOL.  I feel like my grandmother.
I am making this too big a deal.  It’s not like I am wearing a girdle or anything.  I just felt very aware of my choice.  Needles and thread were in my mind, OLD-  Homely and Motherly-  Little House on the Prairie kind of old-
I felt simple.}

Simple is good.

Sewing something by hand helps me breathe.  

It quiets down my chatters. 

I love quiet, stillness so soft you feel light as a feather.

I have been stitching all week.  Little scraps of fabric.  My studio is a mess.  I haven’t cleaned it in days.

My studio was created by my philosopher self.

I kept telling myself, “Open up Steph…..”

Stop trying to control what life hands you and go with the flow.

 I need a place to feel quiet.

 I always have.

  I need a space in the world that is all my own.

This place is my studio…my art studio (aka my dining room as of late) where what ever I want to happen– does.

Open Life Studio is my commitment to myself to stay OPEN to what life hands me and to the life I love.

 It is a place where I can be and feel



Open up and 

Be true to myself has taken me to my center.  Life throws curve balls,
 I caught one.

In an earlier post I talked about my first son being on the autistic spectrum. 

He is going on 8 years old and is a very beautiful, very smart, loving little boy who has challenges with communication and socialization.

He has come a long way.

He is going to go the distance.

He is the wind beneath my wings.

 He has given me an internal strength I didn’t know I had. 

 He is my truest first unconditional love.

   I remember when Matt and I brought Jack home from the hospital. He woke up in the middle of the night crying and crying.  I picked him up, really not knowing what I was doing,(I don’t miss being a first time mom!), but knew I had and wanted to do something to ease him tears.
  I rocked him and rocked him.
Matt stood by my side in our apartment in the middle of Hollywood Ca, talking with me (trying to stop me from crying)  trying to help in any way he could.
We were new parents.  We were a team.  I will never forget that.

He cried.
 Nothing worked.  
He kept crying.

I kept rocking him and telling him it was all going to be OK that we’d “figure this out.” 

I keep telling my new mom self to just “go with the flow that all would be OK”.

Of course it took everything and then the obvious, 



HE was Hungry!

I thought of everything but that!  

What a DORK! 

We felt like idiots, but were pleased when it turned out to be such a simple fix.

He was an awesome baby.  No real issues.  He liked turning wheels so much that Matt made him his own “turning wheel toy”, other than that he was cool, just NOT usual.

 It took  A LOT of “staying OPEN” to get through the initial shock of his diagnosis.  
Never had any of my “selves” planned to incorporated a “special needs” child in my life journey.

Just never saw it coming. 

 Some of my friends with kids with the same diagnosis say they had a feeling they would have a SN kid. 
 I didn’t. 
 Really never thought anything of it.

But there I was with my jaw on the floor not knowing where to start while sitting Los Angeles California two blocks from where the Oscars were aired each March.
I sat alone on the blue carpet with no one but my husband by my side. 

 It was the three of us against the world–
against Autism–

I realized the other day working with the thread and the needle, pushing it through the thin but sturdy fabric that I have been sewing myself back together  ever since.

The day I heard  Jack “could be autistic” something inside me unraveled.  It wasn’t painful as much as it was slow and unrelenting.  Imagine as if you are watching yourself suffocate.

 You know you have air , but you don’t know for how long.

I kept my head up above water as long as I could.  I fought and I fought and then realized I had to succumb to the truth he was not “our average kid”–Jack was different.

Somewhere I imagined I was on the Titanic, sinking, wondering if I was going to make out, dead or alive.

I had a 50/50 chance. 
The odds were up to the gods.

I am with the Gods.

Autism is an experience. 

It is part of our life experience. 

We are ONE.

Our “party of five.”

Life is full of curve balls.

We are well on our way of learning how to 


The Point?

Being true to thyself is the only way to true happiness as a human being.

You, I ,He , She
Can only be what they are in their hearts.  
Jack is a true example of this.
He is authientic
One of the most authentic persons I know on this Earth.
He is himself ALL the time.

I look at  him and what to be as comfortable with myself as he is with himself.

“To Thy Own Self Be True”

I would give my left arm to see the world for one day through his eyes.

All children are special.

There are A LOT of kids that have “special needs”.

I have special needs.

Maybe as our culture grows and our awareness sharpen we the people will
no longer look at kids (adults) as being label “abnormal” if they are not labeled “normal”

one day 

out there

will be a

that we 
are all 

True to our self

That will be a good day


Author: openlifestudio

I am a self taught photographer and mixed media artist with a degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts in classical theatre performance. Stage was my first love and brought me into the world art while photography is what made me want to stay. I am married to superman, and am the mother of three little super-ducks. I studied creative writing at the Univeristy of Tn and classical drama at the NC School of the Arts, and a Masters in Education with concentration of inclusion and curriculum. I've liived in NYC and LA for the past decade and moved back to TN for some home cooking and back yard fun . I spend most of my days getting little ones through life and playing in my studio. I sell my work through different venues and am really happy where I find myself these days. I love to drink a bottle of wine (with my hubby) coupled with extra cheddar blast goldfish! Having kids has changed my life, the arts has shaped my life, and my soulmate continues everyday to walk through my life beside me. What else could a country city girl like me need.

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