Marja-Leena Rathje
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a stimulating weekend


On Friday, November 16th, our youngest grand-daugther had her second birthday. November 16th is a significant date for me and as this blog is kind of a diary as well, I enjoyed looking up past posts on this date. Two years ago I wrote about Niamh's birth in the very early hours, then later hanging my exhibition and then having my opening that evening. As a friend commented: 'What an Opening Act for your Show!' Last year I revisited that time and also wrote about a big storm here that resulted in what turned out to be a very long boil water advisory.

This year there were no new births, art openings or storms. As we do on special days, we enjoyed a lovely family celebration. My husband's sister from Vancouver Island joined in the fun and afterwards came to spend the weekend with us. It was a full weekend of endless stimulating conversation. I'm usually fairly quiet, and so is my husband to a lesser degree, but when she's around we do talk a lot. Saturday, a very gloomy rainy day, saw us around the kitchen table ALL day with and without meals and tea. Sunday was dry and cool and we talked and walked for a couple of hours, then talked even more around that table!

A teacher and school counselor for many years, currently teaching ESL, Brigitte Rathje is a life-long student and traveller, attends numerous conferences and workshops even internationally and has an enviable network of friends and colleagues. Articulate, passionate and compassionate about connecting with and helping other people, she has recently trained in clinical hypnotherapy and facilitation with the goal of a new career in retirement. She told us she wants to facilitate a state of emotional well-being and create clarity in people's lives so they can expand into the fullness of their being, teaching skills and strategies to overcome self-limiting beliefs, thinking and negative self-talk. She sees a huge demand for this amongst the wave of boomers looking for ways to have full and happy retirement years. What an inspiration my husband's 'kid' sister is!

Well, I got pretty excited and did a lot of talking too, as I shared my passion for blogging, for the wonderful community or 'coterie' that it creates as Joe Hyam wrote. Brigitte, already part of many communities, was the perfect candidate for using a blog to more easily keep in touch with these connections, and she had so many resources all ready to share. And it could become part of her eventual practice. I strongly encouraged her, and knowing that she was not yet comfortable with computers, described my own slow learning curve at first. I think she's convinced and will talk to someone she knows who may be able to help her start. I'm looking forward to seeing her blog one day and to showing her off to my readers!

By Sunday night after our goodbyes, I was pretty exhausted by all this stimulating conversation. Today was a quiet day.

Marja-Leena | 19/11/2007 | 8 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Blogging, Home


I share your passion for blogging, Marja-Leena. Although I have had my blog for only three months now, I have met some great people around the world and am happy with the community or 'coterie' of faithful readers leaving comments.

I love exchanging ideas with interesting people and am very glad I found your artistic, wonderful blog.

You are carrying the blogging bacterium, you know, highly infectious. Your sister-in-law sounds like great company. Perhaps when she's ready she could have a go at my self-limiting beliefs via the blog?

I am in danger of getting a bit evangelical about blogging, and am then a bit disappointed when people don't take me up on it so keenly, or sometimes do and then run out of steam or just find it's not really for them. But I've 'met' so many wonderful people,yourself eg!, and also acquired quite a few frineds and family as enthusiastic readers, it's opened up so much!

Olivia, I'm glad to hear the blogging bug has made you happy. Thanks for the kind words and our new friendship! I'm so pleased to have a blog-friend in Germany.

Anna, you always make me smile. Brigitte already practised on us, insisted on it in fact, and I'm sure she would love to help you. When are you coming?

Lucy, yes, as you see I can get evangelical too and have to watch out if the audience is not interested! In this case, the subject seemed a perfect candidate, if she is willing to overcome her fear of the computer. And meeting so many wonderful people, like you, thanks Lucy, is the biggest reward - quite unexpected in the beginning, I must add. There are days I'm too tired or busy to write and there are days I have too much to say, but I do keep coming back.

Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, Marja-Leena. It's chitchat I think that gets tiring for most introverts, but when something really excites us then it's very energizing. Hope your sister gives blogging a try. Sounds like she'd have much to say that people would want to hear.

Leslee, you are right! It was pretty intense and eventually exhausted me, but worth it! It's great to get into really deep conversations with interesting people.

I'm so glad you have that lovely granddaughter, and that you are so enthusiastic about blogging - you add so much to so many of our blogs, as well, through being such a faithful commenter! It's nice to see this photo of you and yours too!

Beth, thank you very much! You were one of my first inspirations in my early days and I'm very grateful that through blogging I've met you and so many other wonderful people. My world has expanded so much.