Overwhelmed and Underwater

Boy, the days and weeks have been rolling by so quickly!  I’ve been meaning to get back here much sooner, but there’s been a lot of things going on in my personal life.  Mostly, it’s been about supporting family members (outside of my household) going through tough transitioning challenges.  These bumps in life can be scary and nobody should have to do it alone.  Although I’m happy to help, giving constant support requires a lot of energy and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.  However, I know it’s much worse for my loved ones who are going through the suffering directly…so I must keep up with the encouragement.

Okay, the above covers the being “overwhelmed” part.  And now I’ll move on to the “underwater” part, which has a much lighter feel to it.

In the new issue of Sew Somerset (Summer – 2014) you’ll see my article on sewing starfish.



Here’s a closer look at the details.


Maybe if I continue to “look within”, I can find the strength and wisdom to better help others.  I think looking within, among other things, really helps cultivate compassion…so that kindness can follow.


This other starfish is about trying to find the way.


Originally when I created this piece, the words “Flow towards light and love” seemed right.   But now, taking into consideration some of the personal things I’ve been experiencing, I think the words, “Flow forward with light and love” are a better reflection of what I’ve been contemplating lately.  It’s interesting to me how this small adjustment to the phrase can make a big difference to the meaning.


Originally, I created these pieces as a celebration of a starfish’s amazing self-healing abilities.  If an arm is injured, the broken part can fully grow back.  And if a starfish becomes severed or split in two, it’s possible that an entirely new starfish can form from the two separate pieces.  Also, they don’t have traditional eyes (they mainly see through feel and by using their other senses, such as going by their gut).  If you have to go by your gut, it might make sense to  “flow forward with light and love”.  Going by light and love will always guide you in the right direction.

Before I end this post I’d like to mention that if you’re interested in making these starfish, the instructions are included within the article.  And of course, you can always contact me if you have further questions.

I know I’ve stepped away longer than usual, and I imagine that you’ve been busy doing your own things as well…I hope these things have been good (and possibly creative) ones.  And I’d love to hear the details, so please do feel free to share them with me here.  I want this space to be for everyone, not just for me and my thoughts.  This is a case where “more” is better, so please keep sharing and contributing.  Hearing from you enhances the entire experience of blogging…thank you!





19 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. These are lovely, Becky, as are your thoughts. Sending positive vibes for things to improve very soon for your family members.

    May 24th, 2014

  2. Jeanette in Illinois

    Will keep you and your family members lifted up to the light, held gently in my heart and in prayers. So sorry you all have been going through challenges. It seems like that has been more the norm most lately for so many, i’ve been wondering what is out of alignment, as it is so prevalent!?! Let’s keep our focus on better days ahead all the way around!
    I haven’t had much creative time, working to turn that around the next couple of days! Fingers crossed!
    Sending you big, squishy hugs and lots of comforting love!

    May 25th, 2014

  3. Becky Shander

    Thank you ladies…for your kind support. I guess it’s been a tough time for many. Hopefully, offering loving support will help make things better. And I definitely agree with your thoughts Jeanette, on keeping the focus on more positive things ahead.

    May 25th, 2014

  4. Patti Burchwell

    I will certainly keep you and loved ones in prayer. My family has also been somewhat derailed with sudden onset health issues with my mother. She’s the sweetest thing in the world and I so hate to see her struggling.
    My creative endeavors lean toward metalsmithing. I love the designing process. Recently finished some silver bangles and earrings. Have also been getting more into felting (just finished some adorable felt bangles and now want to see some seed beads on them).
    I’ve been focusing on what good therapy art is. It keeps my mind from straying to the negative and helps me to press on. Hope you have a wonderful summer. I always enjoy, and am motivated, when I see what you are up to with your art 🙂

    May 25th, 2014

  5. Becky Shander

    Patti, I also very often use art as an outlet to cope through difficulties. It’s always been my happy place…I’m so glad to know that it is for you too!

    May 26th, 2014

  6. laura H

    oooh, love these star fish and your ideas about them.
    Good thoughts your way to you and your family members. it is difficult to go through, but to have help makes the load lighter. hugs and positive thoughts your way.
    lighter note, I have been exercising and I feel awesome. need to lose a fair amount of weight, but have begun the process and oh so positive about the results. boot camp and cycling (got a new bike for my birthday). now I’m focusing on better eating choices. big smile on my face though because I’ve lost some weight and I’m feeling great. yeah me, and high fives all around.
    have a good weekend, and know that your help means a lot to your family. Been there, both sides, giving and receiving.

    May 25th, 2014

  7. Becky Shander

    Laura, It’s so wonderful to hear your good news! Keep up with the healthy living and keep enjoying!

    May 26th, 2014

  8. Jani Howe

    I will be praying for strength and endurance for you, Becky. Sometimes that is what it takes when you feel a bit overwhelmed. As you give encouragement to other in your life, so am I encouraging you! One step at a time….
    Thank you for the beautiful starfish information. I’ve always loved starfish, for their many varieties, but also for their ‘staying’ power! I, too, have needed a bit of ‘staying power’ at times lately — I’m all behind, and my shoulders tend to wind up around my ears. However, deep breathing and relaxing exercises do help!
    I hope things will be looking up for you and the loved ones soon.

    May 25th, 2014

  9. Becky Shander

    Jani, I guess we’re in the same boat…so let’s keep taking deep breaths. And some yoga is good too.

    May 26th, 2014

  10. Ann Marie

    I LOVE this blog … love it, love it! Sending you extra support for yourself and your family (because you ALWAYS support me) — and yay for the info on the starfish — who knew?!

    May 25th, 2014

  11. Sheila

    Greart post with great thoughts! Congratulations on your article & am
    -loving- your starfish!

    May 26th, 2014

  12. Emily

    Hi Becky,
    So nice to see your latest projects. I am in the same boat, paddling upstream with out a paddle trying to see my way to the finish line. This school year was difficult for me as a teacher and for my own children with their struggles in school. I’ve been painting and drawing here and there. Having my garage space helps me take the little bits of time that I find. Hugs to you my friend!

    May 26th, 2014

  13. Patti Burchwell

    To Laura H- what an encouragement you are! I’m struggling right now with losing weight. Your words were uplifting! Thank you!

    May 26th, 2014

  14. These are awesome and I love the meaning behind them.

    May 27th, 2014

  15. Linda K

    Sending love and light your way Becky. Please remember it is just as important for you to “keep your own gas tank full”. I was just out today but did not find this issue available yet and am looking forward to it. Your starfish are just beautiful and what a sweet little something to leave for someone (I’m already thinking of making them to give to my friends during our Aug. beach week 🙂 I can’t seem to go a day without creating something but as the perfect weather (to me) is approaching I already find myself spending less time doing it and more time enjoying the outdoors. Always trying to find balance…

    May 28th, 2014

  16. Becky Shander

    Linda, you’re so right…about the importance of “keeping your own gas tank full”. Thank you for the reminder, and thank you for the encouragement!

    May 29th, 2014

  17. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be witing ffor your further post thank you once again.

    May 30th, 2014

  18. Oh Dear I was hoping you were away for other reasons that are not so difficult. Life is never easy and thankfully you are able to support your family members during their time of need. I promise you will grow in very positive ways from this experience. Congratulations on your newest publication. Precious little Starfish. And yes, words can be quite powerful. Blessings My Friend…

    May 31st, 2014

  19. I am sorry to hear this~ Positive thoughts and energy do help. Maybe you need time to rebuild your energy and focus! I love your Starfish-they are a miracle~ A gift to remind us no matter what life tosses us to find a way to mend, cope and carry on~

    I pray things change for the better! Take time out for you~ ATB

    May 31st, 2014

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