How Pinkie Pie Became My Word of the Year…

As I sat with my intentions for 2016 and worked through the process of finding my word of the year (using a brilliant workbook my dear friend Becky Cavender so lovingly created HERE), I began to see words such as love, connection, simplicity, free, silly, playful, open… but there wasn’t one word which stood out from the rest.

They all felt true. But I knew, trying to embody a handful of words is no easy task, especially when you’re looking for simplicity!

So I put it aside for the day to let it incubate. But every time I would return to it… I would just see images of Pinkie Pie.

1FANMADE_Pinkie_Pie_celebrating_with_arms_up

What!? You’re not focusing enough. I’ll try again later.

And again, images of Pinkie Pie.

1Pinkie_Pie_Gala_Fantasy_S1E3

Seriously?

A few days later, my friend Bridgette asks, “Have you discovered your word yet?”

“I’m still pondering,” I replied. “Every time I try to work on it, an image of Pinkie Pie comes up!” I laugh.

I was laughing, at the silliness of it all – that I couldn’t focus, that I kept getting bombarded with silly, childish things, that I was having trouble pinning down my word. I expected her to laugh along with me, to shrug it off as I had been and say Oh, it’ll come to you.

But being the wise woman she is, instead she replied, “You know, horse is a symbol for intuition and freedom.”

“Time for musing!” she says.

It shocked me. It got me thinking…

I’ve been yearning for “freedom” for years now.

I’ve been learning year after year, month after month, that I should listen to my intuition more.

I recalled a scene from My Little Pony where Pinkie Pie expressed her intuitive, perhaps even psychic abilities…

YouTube Preview Image

Whoa.. There’s more to her than just parties and balloons. On the surface she looks shallow… not valued.

WAIT… did I just say that? Does that mean I truly don’t believe in my own words, that there’s value in play and joy?

I had to sit with it. I’ve been so disconnected from joy this past year. I feel the heaviness weighing on my heart.

YES.

It’s time to lighten up.

It’s time to giggle and play – to remember the silly little “CooCooNut” my parents so lovingly called me as a child.

Kristal Norton

There IS value in simplicity, in the child-like nature of wonder and joy.

And as I softened into this idea of actually using “Pinkie Pie” as my word of the year, I realized…

Yes, this does encompass all that I yearn for this year –


Love, Connection, Silly, Playful, Free, Simplicity, Open, JOY.


1fullgroup

And now

I’m only left wondering… What other truths has my heart tried to show me that I’ve dismissed?






(My Little Pony images copyrighted by their respective
owners, found HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

Squam ~ through the Eyes of an Introvert

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I snuck away to an art retreat this past weekend.

Squam

Ever since I’ve returned home, I’ve been trying to find words to describe my experience. But, there are none that will fully capture the mixed emotions and magic that flowed through me. All I can do is try to share my story as it unfolded…

Squam Dreamcatcher

Squam Dreams

As an introvert and someone who’s recovering from childhood shyness, stepping into this experience was SCARY. Sure, I’ve had practice showing up through You-Tube videos and over the phone doing life coaching – but this was IN PERSON and with people I’ve never met. This was the very first time I was leaping with faith to meet new people and show up as the “real me”.

Welcome to Squam

The sheer amount of people at Squam was overwhelming at first. Stepping into the dining hall almost had me spiraling back to my high school days of overwhelm and isolation. But luckily, our first meal had assigned seats. And every person I encountered greeted me with a smile and was genuinely interested in getting to know me.

I was trying to keep an open mind. To stay open to whatever experience wanted to unfold for me. But for the first day or so, I started to think this wasn’t for me. I was telling myself that I would do better with a smaller retreat. One where you’re with the same people for the whole duration. One where I am forced to be with the same group so I wouldn’t have to be thrown into the unknown so often. But of course, that was only fear talking. I was stretching my comfort zone.

Squam Magic

I was grateful that it was easy to honor my introverted nature throughout the trip. We were surrounded by fresh air, trees, water, animals, and pockets of quiet. Any time I felt overwhelmed, I was able to slip away to the woods or my cabin to find peace.

Squam Shadow

I continued to stay open, and allow myself to have the best experience possible; even though I was feeling that I would probably never do this again. As time went on, my ego mind began to realize that this environment was different than any I had ever experienced before. There was an overall vibe of inclusion and love and understanding that was refreshing and comforting. The community held each other up like we were all long lost sisters. There was no exclusion, or judgement, or drama – there was just love and excitement and openness.

Squam Dock Parties

And slowly I began to form bonds with the women that I saw most often – those that shared a cabin with me and the others nearby. The world of Squam began to shrink – in a good way. I was no longer lost in a sea of strangers. The closeness and connection I was seeking began to unfold naturally within the expansiveness. But it wouldn’t have happened if I had closed down, if I had run away in fear, if I had given in to the thoughts that I did not belong there.

Squam Friends

The magic and transformation I felt within has no words, for I still don’t even understand it fully myself. “It was amazing!” is all I can muster when someone asks me how it went.

I laughed, I cried, I connected, I withdrew, I created, I shopped, I danced, I painted, I ate, I hugged, I hiked, I swam, I stretched, I grew… I experienced what it was like to live in a world run by creativity and love.

Squam Class

And now that it’s over, do I feel like I would do it again?

OH, HELL YES!!

Squam Selfie



With Love,




PS I’ve been growing a lot these past few weeks… it’s been quite an adventure! I need to sit with it and let it all sink in. But in the meantime, my secret artist collaboration is coming up quick and I can no longer keep it a secret! I’ll be spilling the beans on Monday. I started this project months ago, and of course, had no idea the shifts I’d be going through now – but it’s a welcome distraction and something that will begin to ground me. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!



(special thanks to @ondakay, @pagesargissonjewelry, @gofetchgretch, and @fifieldhouse for the amazing photos!)

Where It All Began

Oooh I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a few weeks now!!

As I mentioned before, I’ve been reflecting a lot these past few months. And within that, I discovered a new facet to my story: My journey of quitting my creative biz and starting anew was not just a story about a simple career change… It was about a huge life transformation.

This my friend, is where it all started (IT being: this big shift happening in me now. The deepening of my creative practice. The deepening of my soul)…

My story began well before my coaching. Well before I discovered art journaling.

It began when it all fell apart.

It began out of necessity to save my soul.

And this is the story I share in the latest release of Phoenix Soul Magazine.

I hope you check out this incredibly inspiring magazine and witness my beginning. You can grab your copy of September’s release, Catharsis here: http://bit.ly/phoenixsoul



With Love,




Full Moon Soul Date

The full moon was last weekend. And no, I’m not usually the type that pays much attention to these sorts of things… although perhaps now I will, because what I experienced over these past few days was nothing short of magical.

They say the full moon is a time for releasing that which no longer serves you… and oooh boy, was something telling me to let go! Out of nowhere, I began to get bombarded with messages all telling me the same thing:

It’s time to let go of your old ways of doing things.

It’s time to shed the cocoon and grow.

It all started with some simple nudges from Connie Solera, to take some time to reflect and to speak to the soul of my business because I was really feeling flustered and out of sorts. When I agreed to slow down and really listen… that’s when the messages started to appear.

First, through my daily written journal. Then through a conversation in our Ignite class. A book appeared at my doorstep: Meet Your Soul. An unexpected message from my psychic friend Bridgette who had a feeling that a shift was happening in my biz. An out-of-the-blue free business coaching call. A link to Mystic Mamma where they share that the energetic themes for September is FAITH and TRUST: “The container of our lives needs to be bigger to accommodate this evolution and we cannot hold ourselves back with our fears, limited thinking and need for control.”

(And that’s the short list!)

But what hit me hardest of all, was what I experienced the morning of the full moon. I was feeling tangled. Unsure of what was going on. I needed to run away. So in the early morning light, I grabbed some art supplies and notebooks then snuck away to the beach for some quiet alone time. Little did I know what awaited me…


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


And through all of these messages, I’ve been getting really clear on some things. A shift IS happening. In my life, as well as in my business. Not a major shift. But more like a re-alignment. You can read more about it HERE where I posted a bit of my thought process through this experience.

But WOW. No words can fully describe what I’ve been experiencing these last few weeks. Big things are coming. I can feel it.



With Love,




…Why I Haven’t Slept in Weeks

2015-08-30-cantsleep

Since I was young, I could never sleep before a big day. The night before school. The night before leaving for a trip. The night before an art show… no sleep. A few snoozes between tossing and turning at best.

My mind loves to run. I get so excited and pumped up I can’t possibly turn it off. I haven’t felt this way since getting ready to leave for my trip to California (alll the way across country alll on my own!) in January of 2014 to begin my coaching training.

So when I woke up this morning finding myself going straight to my journal to write down some notes, then realizing I hadn’t slept well in what feels like weeks now, I was like… Whooooaaa, so that’s what’s going on!

My body is telling me I’m on the right track. Something new is brewing. I’m waiting for something. I’m excited for something. And that something is BIG.

At first, I thought it was because of my latest adventure…

Was I just excited about my new Creative Soul Circles? If you haven’t heard, I just had a deep feeling one day that I needed to gather women in circle. I wanted to commune with women and to create with women in an intimate space. I followed that calling and we had our first circle last week… it was amazing! Sure, there’s still a few bumps to smooth out as there are with any new project, but oh my, the energy that was running through that circle as we chatted live on video together was so fulfilling and inspiring! I’m still brainstorming ways to host these circles consistently, so stay tuned for more information!

But my restlessness is bigger than this excitement to gather women.

Or maybe it was because of the secret I’ve been keeping…

After we had our circle, reflected, then began to focus my attention on other projects… I still wasn’t sleeping. Was it due to this secret I’ve been keeping? Was it because of this big project I’ve been piecing together for the last couple weeks? From secretly stalking artists, choosing just the perfect ones, and inviting them to collaborate with me on a dream I’ve had for years? A dream to have an actual, real life, touch-able book?

No, this restlessness is from something BIGGER still. (But more on that secret project later!)

What about my excitement to see where my artistic journey will lead next?

What was this feeling I was having? Why can’t I just sleep already!? I journaled and I journaled. Searching deeper for the answers. I’ve been growing. I can feel it. My body, mind, and soul stretching further each day. The training I’m currently working through with Connie Solera is not only teaching me how to hold space for woman and facilitate transformation; it’s been teaching me about myself. About my journey as an artist.

Through this class, I’ve realized that my journey is much bigger than I had ever known. I’ve been going through huge transformations in my life and in my creative process simultaneously. It wasn’t coincidence that I’ve been growing spiritually ever since I quit my biz of selling art products and started creating for myself. Our art and our lives are so much more deeply intertwined than I had ever imagined. With this new realization and the help of my amazing friend Becky Cavender, I rewrote my story. (And you’ll soon get to read it in an upcoming issue of Phoenix Soul magazine!) It feels so good to have this deeper awareness of the journey I’ve been on, and clarity on the journey ahead.

I’ve been getting really excited about where my artistic journey will lead next. I’ve broken free from the constraints of traditional creating, and have stepped into the world of what I now call “Creative Soul Expression”. I’ve learned and experienced so much, but still I’m an infant in this new stage of speaking to my soul through art. And when you’re new at something, you look up to others for support. I’ve had so many amazing mentors along my journey. In 2014 I dedicated my time to coaching training with Kate Swoboda. In 2015 I’ve been deeply immersed in learning about the creative process and how to create transformative experiences through teaching with Connie Solera and her IGNITE program. But I haven’t had much time to grow in this world of creative expression. So now in 2016, I’ve decided that I’ll be focusing my growth on deepening my creative practice.

But with who? Who can mentor me through this next phase in my journey? As you know, I deeply believe that we all have everything we need for this type of expression right within ourselves. There’s no need to search out new techniques or test out all the latest supplies. So I’ll be spending a lot of time getting quiet, learning from myself, and letting my own Soul be my mentor. But what I’d also like to explore is how different artists approach their soul work with art. What can I learn from others that will help deepen my relationship with my own Soul?

When I saw the lineup for 21 Secrets Fall and the amazing gift Connie is offering with the pre-sale, I knew this would be it. I’m especially excited to see the process of Chris Zydel (one of Connie’s mentors and a leader in intuitive painting!) and Orly Avineri (an amazing artist that I admire so much!). And oh my gosh the “Tree of Life” workshop by Jassy Watson feels like it will speak to me on so many levels. Andrea Schroeder is another amazing woman who I’m in love with. Her work always guides me to dig deeper; so I’m excited to see how she offers her gifts through this type of course. (Note, Andrea’s contribution to this Fall’s 21 Secrets is only available through the pre-sale gift that expires on Sept 3rd!)

Can this excitement to dig deeper into my creative practice be what’s keeping me awake all these nights?

No… it’s something even BIGGER!

Sure, it is part of it… as all this is. But the deep churning within me is part of a bigger picture: the totality of me claiming all of these experiences in one. Of me fully embracing this journey I’ve been on.

I’ve been growing and expanding in so many ways on the inside. It’s time to bring all of this out. It’s time to reflect the ways I’ve grown. It’s time to fully step into who I am today. To claim it. To reflect it. To share it. To TRUST in it.

It’s time to fully spread my wings and soar.

And what does this mean exactly? My business, my life, and my creativity all have to be taken to the next level. What this means for you, and for my business is this:

  • It’s time for me to release all ties to my old way of doing business. Which means, my Etsy shop will be closing. When what I have left is sold out, I will no longer offer my art or handmade journals for sale.
  • It’s time for me to fully claim and honor the worth of my work. Which means, my Art Journaling 101 $7 e-course will soon be taken off my site. (To be clear, those that have access to it will still have forever access to it, it just won’t be for sale any longer.) From now on, if and when I do offer something for free or reduced price, it will be done so with utmost intention.
  • It’s time for me to fully intertwine all of my new experiences, skills, and gifts in what I offer. My mission behind my business has gotten oh so much more clear over this past year (and especially over these last couple months!). It’s time for that to get reflected in what I share. As you know, I’ve never been one to teach art techniques, as one of my goals is to help you find the wisdom within. So, none of my future offerings will come as quite the shock, but you’ll notice a slightly more defined flavor in the way I teach as I learn to intertwine everything I’ve learned.

These are just a few of the changes you’ll find in my business in the coming months. Fully stepping into who I am on the inside isn’t just a one step process. It has already been seeping out over the last two years, and it will continue to expand in its own time. And I’m sure I’ll go through this again and again as I grow even more.

But for now, just know… I have big plans. Big visions which are finally formulating into something tangible. And many, involve YOU.


With Love,