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.

ColorPlaydate

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!!


Reclaim Your Calm {and Wisdom!} with Creativity

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. We work fast. Talk fast. We make quick, reactional decisions. We overwork to the point of exhaustion.

We yearn for moments in our lives where we can quiet our minds, take a deep breath, and let go of the stress from our day.

But it doesn’t have to be a far reach. Reclaiming some quiet and calm in our lives can be easier than we tend to think.

Repetitive motion, the kind that comes naturally to us – like washing dishes, walking in the woods, or doodling – helps us relax much like traditional meditation does. I don’t know about you, but this active style meditation helps me access that place of inner calm much more effectively than sitting in a quiet room with my eyes closed.

And it turns out, coloring especially lends itself well to this.

It has been shown that adult coloring books help reduce stress and anxiety in a simple, fun way. In fact, psychologists have been prescribing coloring for almost a hundred years! The sound of a crayon’s repetitive strokes on paper brings us to a place of ease. We breathe deeply. Our minds release some tension.

But that’s not all. Active meditation through coloring can help us in an even more profound way.

Have you ever experienced a breakthrough to a problem while showering, or doing some other repetitive task? Repetition clears the mind and allows us to work out complex problems subconsciously; which means we can use coloring as a tool to help us problem solve or become more creative by accessing our inner wisdom.

We have the answers we seek, right within us.

When I color, I’m able relax and reach that place of deep inner knowing. I am able to look within to find the answers. Which is why I’ve been inspired to create my own adult coloring book, to share this experience with you. One that I can design specifically in a way that will help remind you to stay present and listen to your intuition.

And today, I’m so excited to announce the realization of this dream come true: Color for Clarity – an adult coloring book and meditation prompts.

In this book, you’ll find 50 beautiful coloring pages mindfully illustrated by six different artists from across the globe; each page featuring a word or question to prompt further inner exploration and help you gain clarity.

My hope is that it becomes a tool for you to transform your life by offering a colorful way to gain access to your inner wisdom.

Grab your copy (and perhaps one for a friend!) over at Amazon.com and get started on the journey of reclaiming your calm and inner wisdom.

You have all the answers you seek, right within you. All you need to do is listen.



With Love,



It’s Coming Soon!!

Ahhh! Words cannot express how excited I am to be announcing this long held “secret” today!! Over the last few months, I’ve been gathering artists to collaborate with me to create something special.

Something that I hope will bring creativity to more lives.

Something that will allow you to take a break in your busy day.

Something that will help you to tap into your inner wisdom and hear what you really need to hear.

What can possibly be so powerful to achieve all this?

Nothing more than the simple act of coloring.

ColorPlaydate

Millions have been experiencing the meditative and healing properties of coloring with crayons or pencils in a coloring book… but I wanted to take it one step further.

What if, instead of just zoning out to relax when you color, you let your mind explore and expand on one small topic?

What kind of clarity or wisdom would you receive if you allowed yourself the time for creative mindful exploration?

These are the questions (along with my love of working with others) that led to this project: an adult coloring book full of unique artwork and inspiring prompts.

Introducing Color for Clarity

Color for Clarity

Six amazingly talented artists are coming together to bring you a book full of unique, fun designs that each feature a word or question to prompt further mindful exploration. Our hope is that it not only brings you some time for simple creative play, but also a doorway to hear your inner wisdom.

This printed(!!) book will be available THIS November!!

Want to learn more and stay updated? Visit the webpage and sign up for updates at: ColorForClarity.com



With Love,




5 Quick Creative Art Activities

In Monday’s video I talked about setting aside a certain time everyday for your creativity. But I realize that the thought of creating everyday seems just about impossible to many of you. But in order to live a creative life, you must learn to work creativity into the everyday. So today I’m sharing five of my favorite quick creative activities that you can do on those days where you feel like you just can’t fit in a whole creative session. 


#1.  Doodle or Tangle

Even if your creative time is next to nothing on a particular day, you can always squeeze in some doodling! The simple act of doodling (even on a napkin) can keep your creative mind humming. If you’re in need of some relaxing art time, try tangling! Creating Zentangle art, or “tangling”, is a meditative exercise to drawing structured patterns. To learn more about Zentangles, visit their official site HERE




#2.  Collect Color Inspiration

If your home is anything like mine, then you have a ton of old magazines laying around. Spend a few minutes looking through some of them with the only intention of finding inspiring color combinations. Rip the images out and glue them into a journal, then add some notes about what attracted you to the image. An “inspiration journal” like this is great to refer back to when you’re ready to create something.   




#3.  Get Messy!

When time is tight, you can’t focus on making things perfect. So try being messy! Scribble with crayons or splash some paint, just have fun with it!




#4.  Snap Some Photos

Looking through the lens of a camera is a great way to see your surroundings with fresh new eyes. Go on an inspiration hunt (even if its within your home) with camera in hand. You never know what you’ll find when you’re looking!




#5.  Art Journal

At first glance, art journaling may seem like an intensive activity, but its really not. Your pages don’t have to be a “masterpiece”, and you don’t have to finish a page in one sitting. When you feel like playing with color or imagery, you can slap some paint down, or collage some images in. When you feel like  writing, you can journal over your pre-painted pages. 



 

I hope these have given you some inspiration on how to live a creative life and work it into your everyday. What do you like to do when you don’t have a lot of creative time?




Trick Your Fear Away

Left Hand Drawing

Sometimes the fear of failure, or fear of creating something less than perfect holds us back from creating anything at all.

That’s why I find it super important to just let loose every once in a while (or better yet, daily).

Having an art journal is one great way to remind yourself to just let loose and play, since its a book only for you. But even still, sometimes that little monster in you starts to wish your pages looked a little more professional or “show worthy”, which puts you right back into that fear mode again.

One of my favorite exercises to beat this fear and let loose again is to do a few drawings with my wrong hand (in my case, my left). You know for a fact that its not going to be perfect. Your mind uses that as an excuse, and so its able to set free the worry of perfectionism so that you can focus on the fun you’re having just creating!

Give it a try today (or right now!), even if you’re just doodling on a napkin or scrap piece of paper. Anything to get your mind and hand moving, creating, + feeling free again.