The Thoughts Behind My Silence…

Usually I spill my heart out in my emails, and leave only the well thought out actionable posts for my blog. Today, in my felt need to break my silence, I’d like to share publicly my recent email:


Title: I Don’t Like This…

This letter could go a number of different directions – there are many things I could say I don’t like right now. Especially considering all the things that have been running throughout the news.

About that… There’s definitely a fire brewing in my belly and a build up of emotions that I wish I could just rid myself of. I have a long history of being good at shutting down. I hide. I get quiet. I distract myself. But I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve worked too hard to learn how to open up, to be more brave, to share myself. So I’m starting to feel this huge build up, feeling the need to say or act or DO something.

On the other hand, I don’t want my business to be a place for political discussions. What I’m here to do reaches far wider than any one group of people with one certain belief. The specific details behind our beliefs or passions are not what unifies us here in this space, it’s the fact that we’re all human. That’s what I want to focus on when sharing through these emails or on my blog or on social media.

So yeah… no, I’m not here to complain about what’s happening out there. And I hope my lack of commentary or leadership in the online world regarding political or worldly news doesn’t come off as not caring, because I do – deeply.

I don’t consider myself a leader, or an activist, or even someone who’s good with words. I consider myself a gatherer and a lover. I love you, no matter what you believe, or do, or say (or don’t). And I do want my work to make an impact on the world, but perhaps not in such an outwardly way as others do. I want to guide people to love themselves, in turn loving more of each other. I want to inspire stronger communities. I want to gather people together. And THAT is what I want to be talking about.

But right now I feel lost, and silenced. I feel backed up. It’s like the way I get stuck in my art journal (especially my more diary-like ones) where I hold myself back from jumping in with what I’m passionate or inspired about now, because I want to go back and record what it was that happened before that. But of course the passion there has already moved on, which throws me into a cycle of never fully being in the moment, in the passion.

What I’m trying to say, is that I feel pressure on myself to talk about creativity, and about my upcoming class Creative Soul Roots because I committed to teaching it again this spring. (And I am still excited to do so – we start Feb 27th!) At the same time, I’m inspired and feel moved to finally put into motion my bigger picture project that I’ve been brewing on for over two years now – a private community. And at the same, same time… I also feel immobilized by my overwhelming emotions regarding all that is happening around me.

I’m a whirlwind of conflicting thoughts and emotions. As I’m sure many of us, especially in the United States, are right now.

I began this letter as a way to communicate through my silence. I began it as a way to fight back the urge to shut down. I began it as a way to let you know my expectations for my communication with you in these next few months. But in my struggle to clearly articulate what is going on in my head, I can see now that nothing is certain. And that’s okay.

I do still plan on teaching Roots next month, that won’t change. But this will probably be the last time I offer it in the beginning of the year. I realize now that this time calls for more flow and spontaneity from me, as I’m not liking the forced start for action so early on.

But as far as my blog or emails or other communication goes… I don’t know. I’m struggling between wanting to shout out so many things and being quiet. I have so much to say, but too little words. I’m struggling between wanting to DO so much, but not knowing what to do or how to do it.

…I suppose that means it’s a good time for art making.

For now, I will remain in my quietness. For now, I will spill my emotions into my journal. For now, I will practice staying open in the safeness of my home and trusted circles. For now, I will start small with the intention to keep growing.

After all, BIG change is possible with small steps – (as I was so timely reminded of by my dear friend Mindy Tsonas, see below.)

With all my love,




P.S. In the midst of writing and re-writing this email, Mindy reached out with her offering of a week long adventure in art & love as activism – Tiny Revolutions. Timing could not have been better. Starting Feb 12th, she says we’ll write, paint, tell stories and get messy, all for the purpose of positive change. We will play in the questions of who we are to get clear on our most powerful mission for change, in our own life and out in the world. Sounds exactly what I’m needing right now. What’s even more amazing, is that in the interest of opening up this experience to all who wish to join, there’s three equally valuable ways to participate: {$5} You Belong Scholarship, {$19} Fire Starter, and {$39} Love Maker. So if you’re feeling like me, a little lost in what to do, I hope you join us for this week of play and exploration for clarity to take action, no matter how large or small. Find out more HERE.




Noticing Fire

As we continue our journey of exploring the elements and shift into FIRE, let’s take a moment to call it into our lives, bring awareness to our passions, and reconnect with the fiery Soul within.

Feel the warm sun shining upon you.

Feel the passion bubbling up inside you as you think of something or someone you love.

From now until April, keep your imagination active as you filter your life through the lens of FIRE. How does fire show up in your life physically? How do the qualities of fire show up in your life metaphorically? How can you use fire to help you in your day-to-day? (For example, fire can be the perfect energy to help you take inspired action, or to transform something in your life.)

FIRE

As we begin to notice fire in our lives, we’ll not only gain a deeper understanding of the world around us, but we’ll also start to gain a deeper understanding of who we are.

Using FIRE as our lens through which we see our lives, we’ll begin to see things in a way we may not have otherwise, gaining clarity on all aspects of our BEing.

To help us hold this lens in place, it’s helpful to place reminders around our spaces and infuse our activities with fire. Here are some ideas you can use:


#1. Journal or Ponder About Fire – Taking some time to reflect on what you already know about the element of fire is a powerful way to begin our journey together with intention and trust in your own inner knowing. Journal, write, paint, doodle, or think about fire and how it plays a role in your life. Here are some prompts to get you started:

  • What are some words you would use to describe fire?
  • What symbols, lines, forms, or imagery do you associate with fire?
  • How are you a natural expression of fire?
  • What is your personal relationship with fire?
  • What gets you excited or passionate? How you can you connect with that feeling more this month?

#2. Create a Pinterest Board – Pinterest is full of inspiring fire images, and a perfect place to create dream boards, energy boards, and more. Create a board full of fiery images that inspire you to take action, get cozy, or to reconnect with yourself. To get started, take a peek at my Fire Inspiration board HERE.

Fire Pinterest Board


#3. Update Your Desktop and Mobile Backgrounds – Changing up my desktop and mobile background images is one of my favorite ways to remind me of a feeling, mood, or energy I aim to embody that day/week/month. What side of fire do you want to embody this week or this month? Do you want to call in passion? Or perhaps a sense of warmth and solitude? Keep this thought in mind as you search for an image that reminds you of this feeling. Images are powerful in evoking certain feelings and responses in us!

Here are a few of my favorites (click on the image to be taken to the original source for download):

beach fire wallpaper fire girl wallpaper
fire wallpaper fire wallpaper


#4. Infuse Your Creative Practice – Whether you art journal, create mandalas, draw, paint, dance, or whatever… infuse it with the energy of fire. Perhaps even use some charcoal!

fire art


#5. Create an Altar – Creating a space to celebrate fire is a beautiful way to honor the element and to remind you of its presence throughout your day. Simply gather a few things that remind you of fire and display them together in a space that you’ll see during your day. Perhaps your nightstand? Or a shelf next to your desk? Some items you might consider adding to your altar are: candles, incense, crystals, yellow or orange items, photographs, etc.

fire altar


Some other ideas might be: sit quietly and watch a flame dance, write down something you want to release in your life then burn it, let yourself wildly dance, go on a Soul Date, find ways to reconnect with yourself, clear space in your home, create, take action on something you’ve been meaning to do, close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on your face, follow me on Instagram, read my FIRE E-Book, explore a new passion or hobby…

What other ideas do you have? Which of these will you try? Share in the comments below!



Much love to you!!




Our Important Reminder…

For the last few weeks I was feeling overwhelmed, overworked, uninspired… all my focus was on meeting deadlines, checking things off my to-do list, getting things done. I was nearing burn out. Struggling to find joy in my day. And in the midst of it all, I didn’t know what was wrong. I just new I was feeling like crap. Until, this came in the mail…

Soul Journal

My first print copy of my upcoming journal series. (Yay!!) It reminded me of all that I had forgotten… to breathe. to pause. to check in. to come back home to myself in the present moment and see the beauty of now.

Even though my whole livelihood is centered around reconnecting with your self, I still often forget when busyness settles in. Between being a mother to three young kids, nurturing the relationship with my husband, running a business, laundry and keeping the home clean, cooking, preparing for the holidays, and whatever else I’m forgetting that’s on my to-do list, how can one not loose their way sometimes and forget to make time for themselves? This modern world doesn’t leave much room for that.

But it’s something I’ve been working hard towards for the last couple years. I’ve learned that making time for myself, if even just 5 minutes a day, is not only rejuvenating, but it’s literally ESSENTIAL. Else I face burn out and eventually depression.

But I forget.

Often.

That’s why I continue to write about it. That’s why I create e-courses that I fully participate in alongside my students. That’s why I create interactive books that I enjoy myself. That’s why I create cozy nooks in my home that invite me to pause. That’s why I often go back and re-read my own blog (especially this post in particular). That’s why I’ve been dreaming up a women’s circle for support in remembering ourselves. And that’s why I felt the need to bring this new Soul Journal series to life for the new year – I need tangible reminders. And I’m betting you do too sometimes.

Life is busy. Life is full. Let’s remember to enjoy it. To slow down and take it all in. Will you take a deep breath with me now? (Yes, right now. Do it!) Feel the air moving into your body, nourishing you. Notice yourself. You are a magnificent, beautiful creature (whether you believe that now or not!).

And if you’re like me, and feeling the need for an inspiring daily practice to check in and remember what you already know about yourself, you may just fall in love with this Soul Journal as much as I have. It should be available next week on Amazon!

But for now, why not try setting a reminder on your phone to take three deep breaths every afternoon. Or set up a cozy corner of your home that will invite you to sit and pause every so often. Or start a practice to free-write every morning. Or, use your shower time to really get present and be with yourself.

How can you fit in a few moments of reconnection in your day? Choose it. Do it. And set reminders for when you forget.



Much love to you!!




A Collaborative Art Journal Page

Ever feel like you’re creatively stuck, you can’t let loose, or you’re too worried about what your creations look like? Kids are the perfect medicine!

(click here if you can’t view the video)



Wishing you continued inspiration,

P.S. In the beginning of the video, my daughters mention another video we did; you can find that one HERE. :)




5 Ways to Get out of Your Head & Express Yourself Creatively

5 Ways to Get out of Your Head & Express Yourself Creatively

I’m sure you’ve felt by now that learning art techniques simply isn’t all there is to authentically express yourself creatively. There’s something else… something even more important than knowing what colors work well together or how to balance a composition.

If you want to discover your own style, if you want to freely express yourself, if you want to live your best life – then it needs to come from your true self, from your soul. Not from your mind, or your fears, or your habitual thoughts.

So the key to authentic expression, is not to learn new techniques or find the perfect supply… it’s to practice shifting out of this left-brain head space, and into your heart space.

The space where your true, infinitely creative, self can take the lead. This is where your soul speaks to you through intuition. This is where you’ll hear the truth behind those passing critical thoughts. This is where you’ll find your ultimate inspiration. This is where TRUE, authentic expression springs forth.

In my guided e-course, Creative Soul Roots, we spend 7 weeks exploring this space where our soul resides, and practicing the art of being present, noticing and moving past our critical thoughts, and listening to our intuition. We dive deep into this process with creative exercises and emerge with a greater understanding of our internal landscape, a stronger relationship with ourselves, and a journaling practice that will ultimately change the way we live our lives.

If you’re ready to get past the struggles and critical thoughts, and into the space of free expression, then I invite you to join us. Our journey begins in just a few short days! CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up.

If now is simply not the right time to dive deep into this process, then that’s okay too. I have five simple tips to help you get started right now:


#1. Develop a Ritual – Rituals are a beautiful (and fun!) way to awaken your creative, intuitive side before diving into your journal. By practicing a simple activity with intention like lighting candles, putting on an apron, doing some simple stretches, or simply setting up your space, you’re signaling to your brain that it’s time to shift gears.


#2. Start with Free-Writing – Sitting down to write freely without censoring yourself is a great way to not only let out all the mind-chatter and junk you have cooped up in that mind, but it’s also a great way to awaken your intuition. Once you get out all that heaviness, a clear channel is then opened up for your intuition to come through and start spilling out onto the page.


#3. Move Your Body – Your intuition can only speak to you in the here and now. Body movement can be your ticket to the present moment, as opposed to being stuck in those thoughts of what might happen, or what should happen. Start with a few simple stretches, and/or stand up with your journal on an easel to get your whole body involved in the creating!


#4. Entice Your Senses – Using your senses is another fun way to get yourself in the present moment, where you’ll be able to more clearly hear your intuition. Bring in some flowers, drink a glass of wine or a cup of tea, taste some chocolate, focus on the feeling of your brush in your hand, use your fingers to move the paint around, turn up the music, marvel at the colors before you! What else can you use to engage your sense of touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste?


#5. Invoke Play & Curiosity – If you’re stuck in trying to perfect a technique, or create a certain outcome, there’s no room for your soul to shine through. Let all of that go, open up to being vulnerable with not knowing, and play with curiosity! Let yourself be a kid again, simply play with the paints. Get curious: “..what happens if I try this?” Surrender your need to predict or control the outcome and explore with what is right here in the present moment.


Practice these, and you’ll be sure to open up new doorways of expression!


Much love to you!!




Noticing Earth

As we continue our journey of exploring the elements and shift into EARTH, let’s take a moment to call it into our lives, notice it around us, and come back home to the awareness of our bodies and the support beneath our feet.

Walking on rocks

Feel the solid ground beneath you.

Allow yourself to deeply notice the senses within your body and all that is around you.

From now until December, keep your senses focused on the earth around you. Taste it, feel it, listen to it move. Keep your imagination active as you filter your life through the lens of EARTH. How does earth show up in your life physically? How do the qualities of earth show up in your life metaphorically? How can you use earth to help you in your day-to-day? (For example, when you feel overwhelmed or flighty, you can use earth to help ground you in the present moment.)

leaves

As we begin to notice earth in our lives, we’ll not only gain a deeper understanding of the world around us, but we’ll also start to gain a deeper understanding of who we are.

Using EARTH as our lens through which we see our lives, we’ll begin to see things in a way we may not have otherwise, gaining clarity on all aspects of our BEing.

To help us hold this lens in place, it’s helpful to place reminders around our spaces and infuse our activities with earth. Here are some ideas you can use:


#1. Journal or Ponder About Earth – Taking some time to reflect on what you already know about the element of earth is a powerful way to begin our journey together with intention and trust in your own inner knowing. Journal, write, paint, doodle, or think about earth and how it plays a role in your life. Here are some prompts to get you started:

  • What are some words you would use to describe earth?
  • What symbols, lines, forms, or imagery do you associate with earth?
  • How are you a natural expression of earth?
  • What is your personal relationship with the earth? What do you know about the environment where you live?
  • Where do you need more support in your life? How can you create it during our exploration of earth?

#2. Create a Pinterest Board – Pinterest is full of inspiring earth and nature images, and a perfect place to create dream boards, energy boards, and more. Create a board full of earthy images that inspire you to connect with the earth around you. To get started, take a peek at my Earth Inspiration board HERE.

Earth Pinterest Board


#3. Update Your Desktop and Mobile Backgrounds – Changing up my desktop and mobile background images is one of my favorite ways to remind me of a feeling, mood, or energy I aim to embody that day/week/month. What side of earth do you want to embody this week or this month? Do you want to call in the mystery of deep, darks forests? Or perhaps a sense of solid foundations and support with rocks or roots? Or the delicate beauty and wonderment of flowers? Keep this thought in mind as you search for an image that reminds you of this feeling. Images are powerful in evoking certain feelings and responses in us!

Here are a few of my favorites (click on the image to be taken to the original source for download):

rocks wallpaper Flower
forest cave


#4. Infuse Your Creative Practice – Whether you art journal, create mandalas, draw, paint, dance, or whatever… infuse it with the energy of earth. Perhaps even use the earth around you to create! Or maybe you take some time to learn a new technique or gain a more solid foundation in a new medium. (PS If you’re interested in my process of Creative Soul Expression, my free earth e-book offers the foundational ideas to get you started!)

earth art


#5. Create an Altar – Creating a space to celebrate earth is a beautiful way to honor the element and to remind you of its presence throughout your day. Simply gather a few things that remind you of earth and display them together in a space that you’ll see during your day. Perhaps your nightstand? Or a shelf next to your desk? Some items you might consider adding to your altar are: rocks, roots, crystals, leaves, green or brown items, plants, photographs, etc.

earth altar


#6. Eat More Raw Food – What kind of raw earthy foods can you bring more of into your diet? Think nuts, berries, leaves, vegetables, fruits… Connect with the earth through its bounty, savor the flavors with all your senses!

salad


Some other ideas might be: go for a walk, take a moment to sit and notice your surroundings with all of your senses, try new foods, find support or ask for help, create a mandala with sticks and stones, follow me on Instagram, read my EARTH E-Book, dig your toes in the sand, hug a tree…

What other ideas do you have? Which of these will you try? Share in the comments below!



Much love to you!!




Finding Balance – Inside and Out

Finding Balance - Inside and Out

Lately, I find myself getting frustrated more. Feeling overwhelmed by the quickness of life and the constant moving. As I put my phone down, I feel disgusted by how much time it has just sucked from my life and the emptiness I feel. I promptly pick it up again. But this time, not to check another app, but to delete them. Goodbye Facebook. You’ve never done much for me anyway.

Ahh that feels good. What else can I simplify in my life?

This question rolls around in my mind for days as I navigate my daily life… almost to the point of complicating it more. Should I wake up earlier in the morning? How can I change my work projects to simplify them? What else can I change in my life?

As the weekend arrives, we gather up our towels and supplies to head to the beach. But it ends up not being so simple. The kids aren’t listening. Each task becomes a chore. We have three kids plus one friend. The house becomes a whirlwind of confusion. Get your bathing suit on! No, not outside! Where did your sister go again? Wait, your shoes! Where are your shoes!? Stop playing, I thought we were leaving!?

By the time we make it to the beach, my head is pounding. Why does everything seem to be so difficult? Is it just my expectations? The way I think about things? How can I simplify this? Am I thinking too much? Get over here, I’m trying to put sunscreen on you!

Ugh, I need some actual quiet time. I stand up, tell hubby I’m leaving, and off I go. The beach is busy today, but I know if I keep walking, it becomes quieter. I start my trek in search of silence, still pondering ways I can simplify my life.

Finding balance on the beachCan I really get up earlier than the kids? I’m always so tired. I’d have to go to bed way earlier. But then I lose out on my nightly quiet time. Which doesn’t seem to be much these summer days. That article says you should do the most important thing first thing in the morning. Maybe I should try. I should meditate. Yoga, I’d like to do yoga. I need more exercise. Man, I should really eat healthier too. Morning smoothies sound good. How hard can it be? I haven’t done much art lately. I can never find alone time to actually do anything. Creating with my kids is hard. I always end up helping them instead of being able to focus on my own art. Just one more year. One more year and they’ll all be in school. I can wait. How can I simplify my creating? I guess just continue in my sketchbook. That’s quick and easy. But not so satisfying as paint. Oh how I miss paint. Ouch! That rock was sharp.

I pause to look around. Not a person in sight. The sandy beach gives way to thousands of rocks. I breathe in the warm air. Listen to the waves hitting the earth. Yes. This. This is what I needed. I start to move slower, balancing on the larger rocks so I don’t hurt my bare feet. With arms stretched wide, and a smile across my face, my mind calms with each careful step I take.

Finding Balance

I stop when I could go no further. My feet are sore. But it feels so good. I rest myself on a nearby boulder and look out over the sea of rocks, enjoying the absence of the everyday bustling noise. My eye catches an odd shaped rock. I meander over to pick it up. It looks almost like a moon. Or perhaps a croissant. No, not a croissant. It feels sacred.

It feels warm in my hand, like it’s radiating love, or some mystical energy I yet to understand. It feels wrong to toss it back into the sea of rocks. To be lost again. Suddenly I know what I must do. Visions of balancing rocks dance through my memory as I rummage around looking for just the right rocks to hold this sacred piece of earth.

Finding BalanceMy mind and body become completely engrossed in turning the rocks this way and that, finding just the right weight and balance to make them stand upon each other. When three are in position, I gently pick up the sacred piece and carefully place it on top. It stays without fiddling. It rests upon those rocks like it it knew it was meant to be there. I breathe out a long exhale, realizing I’ve been holding it.

Breathing deeply in again, my body automatically turns to climb down the boulder to gather more rocks. I know just what I’m looking for… Round ones. With somewhat flat sides. Interesting color. Check. I grab as many as I can carry and head back up.

The edge of urgency is gone as I slip into a quiet, playful trance turning the rocks until they fit perfectly. And somehow, each rock I’ve chosen finds its place.

As I climb back down for yet another arm load, I realize… this is simplicity. Me. The earth. The quiet.

This is all I need to bring balance into my life.

Simple as that.

Later, as I slowly made my way back to my family, I felt like I had a treasure in my pocket. A secret to hide, or maybe to share. A few photographs and my memories of this day. Of the realization that I don’t need traditional meditation, or yoga, or smoothies, or hours of alone time to find peace and balance in my life.

All I need is me,

and the earth,

and a few deep breaths.






Psst! Our exploration in Earth is coming soon! Be sure you’re signed up for my mailing list to get the free Earth E-book which will be released on Sept 6th 2016. You can find AIR Here and WATER Here!



The Fight to Return to Creativity

I had always liked to think that society didn’t play a big role in how I lived my life.

My parents were pretty open minded about what I chose to do, and my mom was always marveling at the way I never seemed to care about what other people thought of me.

But now, as I become more and more awakened to all the different parts of me within, I can see, I wasn’t that much different than all the other flocks of sheep.

Somehow it was ingrained in me that logic should always be valued more than intuition. That being in control was the smartest way to live. That if you want it done right, you gotta do it yourself. That sexuality is to be hidden. That play is only for children. That if you’re hurt, you should suck it up.

If you asked my parents about these beliefs, they probably would have dubbed them untrue (except maybe the do it yourself one!).

And yet, these beliefs formed deep within me as I grew. There was no escaping society’s carefully structured system. And this masculine, “left brain” way of thinking began to wear me down.

It was like a seed that began to grow within, taking hold, then quietly strangling my creative, intuitive, emotional side.

I found myself grasping for control in every part of my life… I was only able to fill my car’s gas tank if my usual pump at my favorite station was open. I would rearrange the dishwasher if someone else loaded it. I would shut down all of my emotions to keep my actions in check. My art became automatic and formulaic. And I even came close to ruining my best friend’s wedding because I wanted it done “my way”.

My internal dualities were shifted way to the left, and I was struggling to keep hold. I felt like I was fighting upstream just to keep afloat.

Then depression hit.

And I got mad.

What right did I have to be depressed? I had a wonderful, loving husband. Two (at the time) healthy, amazing kids. And I even had my “dream job” of selling my art. And yet, there I was… feeling empty, lost, and depressed.

At the time, I had no idea what was wrong. All I knew was that there was something more. Something I was missing.

Looking back, I can now clearly see that I was suffering from imbalance. I had completely shut down my “right-brain” way of thinking – the part of me that is intuitive, emotional, feminine, and oh so creative.

I was only living from half of who I truly was.

And this is how the majority of us learned how to live in this world. It was necessary to survive. For many years, society has only honored the masculine, logical side of us. It’s the only side that’s allowed to shine through.

But we are lucky enough to see the day where all of this is finally starting to shift.

Creativity is becoming more appreciated. It’s becoming more acceptable to talk about our emotions. Spiritual healers are coming out of hiding. Play is finally getting encouraged! (Have you seen all of those adult coloring books and summer camps and activity centers!?)

And as the world fights to shift out of our old patriarchal system, we too must stand for a balance within ourselves.

We must reawaken our innate creativity, our intuition, our feminine essence. And embrace the mysterious dualities within our selves.

Because yes we are strong, but we are also vulnerable and emotional.

Yes, we are logical, but we’re also intuitive.

Yes, we know how to take control, but we can also let go with grace.

We are rational AND we are creative.

It’s time we reclaim all parts of our selves. And creativity? Is the perfect way in.


paint


I know you know all of this. Whether consciously or not. You found your way here, didn’t you? Creativity is calling you. But perhaps you’re feeling stuck. Perhaps just learning art techniques isn’t enough.

Perhaps you’re having trouble shifting gears and fully awakening that “right-brain”, creative side of you. That’s where I can help.

I walked this path so I can know it deeply. I know what it’s like to be stuck in perfectionism and control. So, as I continue to awaken my own creative side, and find my own inner balance, it’s become a passion of mine to help others reclaim their creative selves as well. Because I know just how painful it is to be shut down. I know our society is far from healing this imbalance as a whole.

And I know, with all my heart, that you ARE creative, and you were meant to live your life in full expression of ALL parts of you.

We must step forth and reclaim our own balance. Reclaim the side of us that has been shut down by society. And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing together this September in my 7-week guided journey: Creative Soul Roots. If all of this has sounded a little too familiar, then I hope you join us in the online classroom for support in awakening your creative side.

But for today, what small step can you take to honor that neglected, creative, intuitive, emotional side of you?

Leave a comment below to share your story or claim your next step!



Much love to you!!




Enough of the Nonsense… Let’s PLAY!

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~George Bernard Shaw

We look to others who seem free and full of life, playfulness and creativity, with a longing, hopeful heart. And yet we stand here, arms upon our hips, rigid and firm, struggling in pain to hold tight onto an identity that doesn’t quite fit.

Why?

If we so deeply feel the urge to let it all go, to dance in the rain, to feel the wind upon our face, to dip our fingers into the paint… why do we still stand here, pretending to value our nicely kept homes and hard work over our joy?

I know you can feel deep down how much you NEED creativity in your life. How much you NEED to just let loose and express yourself. Many of you have told me.

And yet, here we still sit. Letting our minds hold onto this rigidness and fear. And I say WE, because yes, I too feel this struggle day after day… even after years of honoring my creativity.

Our minds are funny that way… we can see the value in play and creativity, we feel the need to create; and yet our minds tell us we can’t. There’s too much risk, we’re not good enough, we have too much work to do.

We’re stuck between two worlds.

Society has shaped exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth; yet recent studies are showing us that play and rest are essential. Dr. Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and clinical researcher, argues that play is not an option.

He writes, “The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression.”

There’s a part of us that knows this is true. Yet there’s another part of us who still wants to fit in to the norm, to prove our self-worth through societal standards. We are stuck in between, and don’t know which way to turn.

But should we stay here, refusing to choose? NO. Our refusal to choose joy for ourselves right now in this moment, is our refusal to help shift our society into a new way of living that matches our beliefs.

It’s time to act on our belief that we need rest, that we need play, that we need creativity, that we need JOY.

Not only for ourselves, but for our children, for our community, for our world. We have seen enough pain and suffering. We’ve been feeling the confusion and doubt and uncertainty all around us. And yeah, there’s a part of me who just wants to crumble beneath it all. And still, there’s another part of me who wants to rise up and embrace the beauty and wonder and joy in this world… because I know creativity and play are powerful healers.

It’s time to shake loose my friend! Wiggle those fingers. Wiggle those arms. Roll your shoulders. Start to sway from side to side. Let the wiggles roll through your entire being! It’s time to consciously choose joy, one moment at a time.

Let us not wait until the day that permission is handed to us on a silver platter. Let us choose it NOW and help spread the word.

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Your mind will fight against it. But what I’ve learned, is that the more I choose play and joy and creativity, the more I remember that letting go will not undo me. The more I remember that this is what fills me up. This is what allows me to be even more productive. Allows me to love more. LIVE MORE.

Our letting go will not undo us. Let us prove our minds wrong, one baby step at a time.

Are you ready to say YES!?


Here’s eight easy ways to start saying yes to play and creativity (and start proving to your mind that there’s nothing to fear!)

#1. Make it a habit to doodle on the foggy mirror with your finger after every shower.

#2. Spend some time with young children – kids are masters at play and creativity, let them lead the way!

#3. Challenge yourself to do a little doodle each day – I’m in love with the book Year of the Doodle by Dawn Sokol! I can’t always remember to do it everyday, but when I do I don’t beat myself up for forgetting and I play quickly without worrying about what it looks like.

#4. Head out for a walk or day trip without a plan. Keep an open, curious mind and see what you can discover!

#5. Start super small. For example, if you’re called towards art journaling or another creative act that feels huge and overwhelming, start by practicing showing up and committing to just one minute of play with paints or crayons.

#6. Keep a brain-dump journal, or start what Julie Cameron calls “morning pages” – simply free write anything that crosses your mind without judgement. Don’t over think it, just write and spill everything out onto the page.

#7. Play with movement throughout your day – skip, swing your arms, twirl around… Have you ever noticed how children move about so freely in their world!?

#8. Join a supportive class or community to create with, such as Creative Soul Roots where we’ll be learning how to deal with our doubting/judging mind and stretching our play muscles!


Just remember: Take baby steps. Be gentle with yourself. Practice showing up for play at least once a day, if even just for a minute. Why not THIS minute? I know you can do it!



Much love to you!!



P.S. Don’t forget to share this with your friends! Let’s unite. Let’s stand together. Let’s Play!!


Creativity is Not a Stone

I haven’t painted anything in over two weeks. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get it together? I wonder how she can create so much and still blog and take care of her kids.

These are thoughts that used to pass through my mind when I wasn’t creating something. I used to beat myself up for not creating as often as I see others online do. I was caught in the comparison trap and didn’t even know it.

Our fast paced society places its value on product – the final result. It’s all about: create, create, produce! It has shaped a vision of what things are “supposed” to look like and it couldn’t be further from the truth.

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In fact, we have it all wrong. We’re missing the big picture. We’re missing out on the entire process, on the wondrous journey. We are missing out on our lives.

There is much more to creativity than just banging out products.

It’s full of mysticism, ready to be explored and acknowledged. The creative process flows and shifts, like water. It’s not this hard, clean-cut thing.

Creativity is not a stone.

It takes on many forms. It heals, it transforms, it opens up your heart, it creates a pathway to your intuition… into your soul.

This creative source flows through you in more ways than just producing. Ideas incubate, inspiration is gathered, supplies are organized. But even after the creative thinking takes flight and you move into creating, the creative process continues to move through you. The work gets documented, shared, and reflected upon.

Each of these phases of the creative process are worthy of recognition. And once I realized this, everything changed for me; I reduced the internal comparison chatter and eased up on the harsh self-judgment.

After all: We all have our own way of creating.

Turns out, there’s nothing wrong with me, the way I create, or how I produce my work. I enjoy some of the other phases more so than the actual creating because…I’m a gatherer. I love to gather inspiration and research. I can spend months – even years – nurturing an idea.

When I honor this, I honor my natural creative process and embrace the creative spirit in all of its fluid ways, releasing the guilt of not creating constantly. Instead, I can confidently move forward, aware that I’m still doing important creative work even when I’m not the producing phase.

We are all beautifully unique. Even in how creativity flows through us.

When we get intimate with it, we can freely embark on our individual creative journey.






P.S. This article is an excerpt from my FREE e-book: Water – The Fluid Ways of Creativity. Download your copy HERE. :)