Discovering Clarity to Embrace the Present

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    My heart is thumping with excitement. I hear the wind whispering in my ear, urging me to take another step. I feel the dusty ground beneath my toes as they inch closer to the cliff’s edge. I look over the vast seas of possibility and light and joy.

    A smile creeps across my face. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long while. I’ve been dreaming to fly. I’ve been yearning to feel the spaciousness I see ahead of me. I’ve been craving the freedom from this dusty wasteland of overwhelm.

    All I need to do is leap.

    The Cliff

    But for now, I accept where I am. I surrender to this cliff, feeling bound to it by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the spaciousness I so desire.

    I dig my toes deeper into the dust, relishing every moment of this in-between state… in between desperation and freedom, overwhelm and spaciousness, this dusty cliff and the beautiful sea below.

    I have traveled a long, difficult journey to get here, but it isn’t over yet. In fact, the journey never ends.

    For months I’ve struggled with overwhelm, wandering through the desolate desert of frustration, confusion and lack of clarity. I was desperate to find a solution; so I researched the internet, read countless articles, and tested out every time management technique I could get my hands on.

    Still, I remained overwhelmed.

    I told myself to keep trying, that I just hadn’t found the right system, the right trick to keep me organized.

    So when one of our requirements for life coach training was to hire a coach for ourselves to experience what it’s like to be a client, I was excited to get started. I had never hired a coach before, and being in a place of overwhelm, I had forgotten that this was even an option. I thought, “YES! This is my chance to get support, to get accountability, to get clarity on what I need to do to get out of this desolate place. This will be easy peasy. We’ll talk it out, you’ll give me some tips, and I’ll be cured. WooHoo!”

    Through my own coach training, I knew digging deeper was part of the process. I knew there might be underlying untrue beliefs holding me back. I knew I was in for an insightful, interesting ride.

    But I didn’t really know.

    What happened during my three months of coaching felt like a roller coaster ride of enlightenment, fear, crying, laughing, grumbling, and internal hissy fits.

    We spent our time carving out a path to my freedom and unpacking all the stories, beliefs, and fears that were stopping me from making the changes in my life that I so desperately craved. What I was left with was a bout of resistance and dreariness… feeling more stuck than I had even started with.

    But as soon as I relaxed and let the dust settle, the vision of me standing at the cliff emerged… bringing in a new-found clarity for how to get through the overwhelm as well as an appreciation for the complexities of our lives.

    I realized then that all of the researching in the world could have never saved me from my overwhelm.

    I realized then that there was sooo much more than just a simple lack of organization creating my overwhelm, and that I had been living in a state of blindness.

    I realized then… just how valuable having a coach actually was, and I vowed to never travel alone again.

    I’m not yet completely free from overwhelm, but my coach took me gently by the hand and led me to clarity, showing me the way for when I am ready. I went to her seeking freedom, but received so much more.

    She gave me love. She gave me confidence and support. She gave me the ability to accept where I am in life; to give myself kindness and compassion; to hear my intuition more clearly; to feel my emotions more fully… understanding that our hearts and bodies always know the truth. She gave me the awareness that everything will always turn out alright in the end.

    Here I am, standing within sight of what I’ve been searching for… still so far away, yet so close. My toes digging into the earth, inching ever so slightly closer to the edge. And I’m okay.

    Better than okay.







    (Edited image by Lucas via Flickr)

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      I’ve Been Keeping a Secret…

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        Shh

        Eeeeek! I’m so excited to spill the beans today! I’ve been keeping this secret for quite some time now…

        I’ve been working hard behind the scenes on something that will help you to connect to your true creative self.

        Something that will allow you to freely express yourself in an art journal.

        Something that distills everything I stand for in one intensely inspiring workshop.

        I believe that art journaling is a gateway to our creative soul and that everything we need to create meaningful journal pages is right within us. Transformative art journaling happens when you get out of your head, listen to your intuition, and find your rhythm – without judgment, without comparison.

        So in my new mini workshop Spilling Open, I’ll guide you through an exercise helping you to connect with your true creative self by fully letting go and allowing rich, expressive, and spontaneous moments form. It’s not the paint, techniques, or words we use that make this art journaling practice powerful: It’s our intention of playful self-discovery so that we may spill our hearts openly onto paper with wild abandon and honor ourselves in the process.


        But there’s more to this exciting news…


        I’m teaching it alongside 20 other amazing artists in the new 21 Secrets art journaling workshop!!!


        21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop


        If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a collaboration between 21 artists curated by Connie Hozvicka in which each artist shares a mini art journaling workshop that reflects who they are and what they stand for.

        So, when you grab a copy of 21 Secrets (which arrives to you in PDF format filled with tons of videos and images) you not only get my Spilling Open workshop, but 20 other amazing workshops as well!

        This is an incredible opportunity to see different views and learn different approaches to art journaling from a variety of unique, talented artists.

        The actual PDF won’t be shipped until Oct 1st, but pre-sale is happening TODAY! And the quicker you grab your spot in class, the less you’ll pay.

        Find out all the details and grab your copy here: 21 Secrets Art Journaling Workshop.

        I’m so honored to be a part of this group and I am beyond excited to share this experience with you!







        (Edited image by Daniela Vladimirova via Flickr)

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          Letting Go

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            I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed lately. Which, as you probably know yourself, creates those feelings of “I don’t wanna”. Giving in to those feelings time and time again doesn’t make for any progress, but sometimes you just gotta get away from it all.

            So on Monday, I dropped my to-do list and whipped out the paints instead.

            I had no plan in mind, just a feeling of BLAH, so I used that to guide my hands on the page. And boy… did it feel good!

            “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~Thomas Merton

            But that’s not to say I felt less of that overwhelm the following day, but at least I got a break from it. Some enjoyable time away.

            And ya know what? I discovered something else in the process too… creating with a toddler makes for a great opportunity to practice letting go of your thought process.

            If you’ve seen any of my other art evolution videos, you’d probably notice how I voice my thought process along the way. (It makes for some very difficult editing decisions! lol)

            But this time?

            Nada.

            Ziltch.

            There was no thought process at all.

            Just me, my little girl, and some paint. And it was heavenly.





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              What I’ve Learned From My Creative Rut

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                I’ve spent the past four months in a creative rut. How did I get out of it? Well, it began with getting out of my own way.

                You see, whether you realize it or not there’s a natural ebb and flow to our creative cycle. Sometimes we’re completely inspired, and sometimes we’re just not. There are these natural ups and downs, kind of like a roller coaster ride.

                And I’ve been finding myself in that really low point for the past few months. So I just wanted to speak into that because I know from experience that being in this state can be really scary at times.

                Thoughts can cross your mind such as “Will I ever get my creativity back?” and it leads you to start fighting against it and trying to force yourself to create. But the more you fight for it and try to force it, the harder it is to get back into the flow again.

                It’s like you’re hitting a wall, and no matter how hard you push, you just can’t create. (click to tweet)

                But going through these ups and downs is a natural part of our creativity. As long as you’re aware of that, you’re going to be okay. So, if you’re a blogger and haven’t blogged for a while… there’s no need to apologize. If you’re a creator, and you’re in the space of not being able to create, there’s no need to beat yourself up for that.

                It was when I finally let go of the fighting and was able to accept the space that I was in, that it finally started to turn around.

                So it’s that fighting against it that really prevents you from getting back into the flow. And as soon as you can release that tension and give in to the flow, you start to move along again, which will eventually bring you back into a creative high.

                But just because you realize you’re in this flow, it doesn’t mean you should sit back and do nothing when you’re in the low.

                You want to let go of struggle, but you should also be gathering inspiration, surrounding yourself with what you really want to be doing, and taking the steps to get back into your flow. But none of this works if you don’t first remember to give in to the flow.

                When I was finally able to let go and accept where I was at, I started to become more aware and open to all of the inspiration surrounding me.

                With my recent experience, two things helped to propel me out of it, after letting go:


                #1. Accountability – As you may know, I’ve been going through an intensive training to become a life coach, and my mentor Kate said next month we’ll be taking a break to focus on marketing and she’ll be taking a look at our websites to give us feedback.

                This put me in a bit of a panic, as I haven’t updated my site in so long, and there’s so much I’ve learned about marketing in the last few years that I haven’t implemented yet. So I got really inspired and motivated to start working on it again to bring it up to my own standards… so that when she does come to offer me feedback, it’s going to be something valuable for me to hear and grow from. (So expect a website update hopefully by the end of the month!)


                #2 Inspiration – During one of my random wanderings on the internet one day, I came across a creative exercise that was connected to what I had been thinking about. And it just hit me the right way and really inspired me. If I hadn’t given into my creative flow and surrounded myself with what I wanted to be doing, I may not have come across this inspiration.


                This magical combination of accountability and inspiration really helped to propel me into a high creative state. Now ideas are coming from every which way and my only problem is deciding which idea to pursue first!

                So if you find yourself in that creative low, my suggestion to you is to first become aware of your own creative cycle and stop pushing. Let yourself go with the flow. Then, seek out some inspiration and accountability. Perhaps get together with a friend, join a community, take an e-course, or something similar that’s going to give you the accountability and inspiration.


                Now, I’d love to hear from you: Is there anything that you have found that helped bring you out of a creative slump in the past? Leave a comment below and let’s chat about it!







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                  This is NOT What Art Journaling is All About…

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                    It’s so easy to get lost in the glamour of the art journaling world, browsing through blogs, watching YouTube videos, flipping through gorgeous magazines, and buying the latest products… that we forget what art journaling is really all about.

                    This is Not What Art Journaling is About

                    Art journaling has a deeper purpose. It’s not about the supplies you use or the techniques you learn…

                    It’s about the connection you make with yourself through the process of journaling.

                    It’s about growth, trust, and self-compassion.

                    It’s about exploring and finding your own path.

                    It’s about opening up for self-exploration.

                    It’s about believing in yourself.

                    Are you ready to make that shift in focus and give up comparing your journal pages to others’ so that you may discover your own style?

                    Press pause on those YouTube videos, hit cancel on that shopping cart, and open up your journal right now!


                    Wishing you continued inspiration,




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