Exploring Dualities by Tipping the Scale

Something interesting happened yesterday… so many things came into alignment and clarity as I was searching for answers – and it all came through after a big frustration in my art journal.

For the past two weeks I’ve been working on paintings of body parts for Connie Solera’s #21embody challenge. At first, I used photos as a reference, making sure each piece accurately represented the body part I was focusing on in terms of line, shape, perspective, and shadow. (Perhaps this was my way of proving to myself that I still knew everything I learned back in art school.) As my series progressed, and I felt more confident in knowing I could do realistic work, I began to loosen up.

I stopped relying so heavily on reference photos, letting it be more playful than rigid. I started to move quicker and quicker with each piece… until yesterday, when I moved so quickly that I lost all control to create a recognizable image. I was so frustrated, not knowing why it wasn’t working and being angry that it wasn’t "good enough" – that I painted over it with white.

Later, as I was reflecting about the classes I teach and the community I’ve been dreaming up (more on that soon!!), I realized that much of my work in this world is all about tipping scales into the opposite extreme, so that it may bounce back and find balance. And it came as such an "Ah Ha!" moment when I saw that this is what had happened in my art journal – it was just me tipping another scale. I had to see where too much was too much. Where the balance between creating something recognizable and letting it be a free expression becomes unstable.

Creativity always has a way of awakening me to deeper truths. It’s always a mirror for what I need to see or learn. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that what I was working on in "real life" would show up in my journal. And so, instead of starting over or trying again, I decided to write "Play with the Balance" over the top to help me remember this lesson.

This idea of tipping the scale to find a balance can be seen and used in so many areas of our lives. (Perhaps unintentional tipping could be called “going overboard” or “hitting rock bottom”?)

When something doesn’t feel in alignment, perhaps you’re tipped too far in one direction and it’s time to explore that duality.

For example, I have come to the realization that my class Creative Soul Roots is all about tipping the scale of perfectionism all the way over to messy play. We shift our focus from the inner critical thoughts, toward our wise intuitive voice. We let loose and make big messes to break through the barriers that hold us back in our journals, in creativity, and in life. And it’s not that playing and making a mess is necessarily the end goal overall – it’s just a catalyst to move out of perfectionism and stuckness, in order to find our balance. We use the mess as a way to experience what it’s like on the other side.

There are two sides to everything. Life is full of dualities: day/night, waking/sleeping, black/white, sorrow/joy, male/female, past/future, ocean/shore, work/play, movement/stillness, all/nothing, life/death… and one cannot exist without the other. We cannot know easy without first knowing hard. We cannot honor beauty without the ugly. We cannot appreciate our joy without knowing the depths of our pain.

The dualities of life can be shifted heavily to one side, or we can find a rhythm to allow both to exist in harmony. We are both light and dark. We are both tender and fierce. We are both fearful and courageous.

If you’re working to shift something in your life, what would the opposite extreme be?

(Of course, it’s not always safe to actually act out these extremes, but it gets your mind thinking if you explore that idea in your journal!)



Much love to you!!




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!!




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!!




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!!




Finding Joy and Healing in Synchronicity

Lately I’ve been thinking about synchronicity, or more specifically, noticing symbols or repeating images in our lives. Although I’ve always been spiritual, I also have a strong analytical side of me who likes to solve puzzles, who likes to study the way our minds work. I like to ask why, to get curious about things.

So yet again, when a symbol starting showing itself to me over and over again I began to think – Am I just looking for this? Is God or angels or my guides really showing me this as a message? Is my subconscious just finding a way to emerge? Or am I over thinking a perfectly natural occurrence of synchronicity?

These are the thoughts that I pondered as time and time again the Dugong (a relative of the manatee or “sea cow”) kept showing up in my life and I began to find meaning in it.

Each morning I pull an animal card for inspiration and guidance. And for the three days that I was working feverishly to launch the pre-sale of my e-course Roots, I pulled her card – the Dugong.

Dugong

As I read her message each morning, I couldn’t help but smile and give thanks for the perfect timing. She was reminding me to stay heart-centered, to remember to breathe. If it was a coincidence, it was a suprising one – seeing as there are 46 cards in the deck, and each time I put one back, I do so in a random spot in the deck and shuffle thoroughly.

Then, a few days later I felt called to do a journey meditation, a visualization of sorts where I usually go and fly with my owl guide. But this time, as I was visualizing my owl friend, I kept getting pushed toward the beach, then pushed even further towards the water. I resisted at first, as you’ll very rarely see me go swimming. But it was like a force was pushing me deeper and deeper into the water, until I saw her – my sea cow.

The next day I decided to do some research and learn more about this beautiful creature and draw her in my journal. As I journaled about her and my experiences, I realized another coincidence… this symbol, or spirit, showed up right as I was inviting the element of Water into my life.

Journaling Dugong

Another day later, as I continued to ponder how these types of synchronicities play out in our lives and why, I prayed… I called out – If this really is a message from the Divine and not just my mind making things up, show her to me again. Give me another sign.

I had no idea how else the Dugong could be shown to me beyond my imagination and my animal cards… it’s not like I’ll be seeing one swim by my window any time soon! lol But I asked for her to show herself to me again, knowing that it would be highly unlikely with such a rare animal.

But later, that very same day, my daughter was playing computer games on pbs.org, and what do you know… just as I looked up, a sea cow was swimming by on the screen!

I just had to laugh.

It’s hard to trust in anything that can’t be physically proven. Our human minds need order, need rational calculations. But the spiritual world knows no such boundaries. It doesn’t follow the laws of the Earth. And our only way to access it is through our right-side, creative brains, through our heart, through our Soul.

But really, which ever way you look at it – through your analytical mind, or through your heart – synchronicity in our life deserves to be looked at, to be explored. Our lives have no meaning unless we look for it, unless we make meaning.

Whether my experience was pure coincidence, or my unconscious sending me a message, or the Divine giving me guidance… it doesn’t really matter in the end. What matters is that I took notice. I found meaning within the mundane of my life. I celebrated the mysteries in life. I found comfort, and healing, and direction. I found love. I found joy. And I am thankful. <3





P.S. I’d be curious to know… have you noticed synchronicity in your life? Share your stories in the comments!