Making the Commitment to Show Up

Last week when I shared some thoughts on developing a dedicated creative practice, a lot of interesting comments, and ideas, and reminders came up that helped me (re)start the journey.

Before, sitting down to create when I didn't feel like it sounded like icky forcing - but these last few days of showing up for the practice felt far from icky. Each day starts off a bit awkward, but after just a few marks, I often find myself lost in doodling or finding clarity. (And not always, but that's okay!)

Art Journaling on the couch

I've discovered that not having expectations around what I do, leaves room for me to simply focus on showing up and staying present. I have yet to feel like I want to write or draw or paint... but I know I want to have a creative practice.

So each day, at the same time, I simply show up and make a mark.

No pressure. No desired outcome. Just openness and a mark.

Having grandiose ideas around the practice would just make it feel like a big heavy thing on my 'to-do' list that would likely lead to fits of the 'I-don't-wanna's'! I also know that if I continued on as I was, only creating when the mood strikes, I would show up less and less until perhaps one day I'd find myself not being able to call myself 'creative' at all.

Allowing myself to make crap day after day ensures that I'm present and ready for the moments when the muse (or the universe or creative flow) decides to flow through me.

It just takes some trust and consistency in showing up. And yes, it's hard.

Commitment may not fit into our glamorous idea of being creative, but it's what works, and it's what nourishes us.

Like my mentor, Kate Swoboda, so timely said in a recent blog post: "We need to water our personal selves much like we water plants." It's not about whether you have the time, or whether or not you know what to do - "It's about a choice to step into consistently practicing the things that make your life feel better."

So if creative expression makes your Soul feel alive, as it does mine... what are you waiting for?

All it takes is a devotion to make a mark each day. You never know where it might lead!



Always in curiosity and love,



>> I'D LOVE TO KNOW - WHAT ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO?



Thoughts on Developing a Creative Practice

Over the last decade of diving into how we humans can return to creativity later in life, one thing has always eluded me (or is it perhaps one thing I've been resisting?).

It is the question of whether we need to have a dedicated daily or weekly practice in order to truly deepen into our creativity.

I've always leaned toward 'no', seeing as though I consider myself a lifelong creative and I have never had a consistent practice. I would always ride the ebb and flow of my inspiration and curiosity while releasing any tensions, or built up energy, through writing and scribbling. But this past year has got me thinking that I may be wrong.

Being my naturally curious self, my mind begins to wonder about the differences between my new martial arts dedicated practice, and my lifelong 'do-when-I-feel-like-it' creative practice.

At the beginning of every karate class the students say a creed that ends with: "We are dedicated! We are motivated! We're on a quest to be our best!" For almost two years I've been hearing my kids and the others shout this at the top of their lungs three times a week. It makes it easy for me to tell my girls that we're dedicated and going anyway when they whine about not being in the mood to go to the dojo. Hence, when I decided to step into the practice myself this past March, it felt only natural to promise that I'd show up to every class unless I had a really good reason to miss it.

There were many times at the beginning of my martial arts journey that I wanted to skip class. I was too tired, or too sore, or just not in the mood... but I forced myself to go anyway - because of the promise I made myself, but also because I didn't want my kids seeing it was okay to skip it whenever they felt like it.

So I continued to show up week after week, and eventually the showing up got easier. It became more habitual, more 'normal'. (Well, maybe not normal based on how obsessive I've become!) Now, it's just something we DO. It's part of our life that's inseparable from us.

And yet...

When we took off for a two week vacation to my Aunt's beautiful home, with karate gear in tow and full intentions of practicing often... we ended up only doing it once. Even though we had plenty of time and space to do what we will.

It just goes to show: inspiration and willingness aren't always enough to get you into action.

I used to think I just wasn't inspired enough to create when I wasn't feelin it, so I'd wait it out. Many times creative bursts would return, but this last dry spell has been stretching far and wide. I actually did find inspiration here and there over the last few months. And I do have the desire to explore the path of drawing... but it has yet to happen. Perhaps all that's missing is my will to make it happen with a dedicated practice.



Always in curiosity and love,



>> I'D LOVE TO KNOW - DO YOU HAVE A DEDICATED PRACTICE IN YOUR LIFE? TELL ME ABOUT IT BELOW!



The Truth in Embodiment

It never ceases to amaze me the connections I make between my art journaling journey and my life; and how it can be used as a tool to express all of the lessons I learn along the way and to practice new ways of being.

Most recently, my path has led me to karate of all things. After almost two years of watching my kids train, I decided to jump in myself... and it has been so fascinating to sink into the unexpected self-growth lessons and to notice how it connects to art journaling!

The Truth in Embodiment

One of the biggest benefits and most awakening Aha's (so far!) I've received from training in martial arts is total embodiment and the true meaning behind it.

For many years I've used the practice of movement to get present before diving into my art journal (in fact, moving your body and activating your senses is one of the suggested rituals in my Roots Class). I've also talked about how getting back in touch with my senses was the beginning of my journey back home to myself.

But I'm starting to see that those short practices were only just the tip of the iceberg. As I explore and stretch the boundaries of what my body is capable of, feel the soreness in new muscles I never even knew existed, and marvel at the magic of muscle memory... I find myself on a journey towards true embodiment and of learning how to be in relation with my body.

Before, my body felt more like a tool - something that just helps me do things. Now, I feel it becoming more a part of me as my mind and body begin to merge on the mat, on the page, and in life.

Embodiment is not just about being aware of the body as a thing, but of being aware AS a body.

...just as we were all born to be. As infants, we have no ability to make sense of the world through thought. Rather, we are aware of everything around us through our senses, and are highly in tune to what our bodies need. But as we grow, we move away from our sensory knowledge and begin to rely solely on our minds.

I'm beginning to think we have it all backwards.

As we all know, the mind can get easily cloudy or confused. It makes up stories that are far from the truth. It can misperceive events and even how we look and feel. It's not always a reliable source of input. The body on the other hand, never lies. It offers the unfiltered truth of what you need and of what you're experiencing.

What if instead, we switched their roles - living from the body and using the mind as the incredible tool it was intended to be only when we needed it?

How much simpler would your life be then? And how much easier would your creative process flow?



Always in curiosity and love,




Better Than Self-Love?

It’s that time of year again – where hearts and cupids are everywhere we look, and the self development world is plastering quotes on self-love. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for love. But why does it have to be centered around buying more stuff, and what the heck does self-love mean anyway?

Love can mean very different things from one person to the next. And the road toward self-love can be long and hard, and is very personal. Yet, self-love is often spoken of as if it were a switch that could be simply turned on. And even more so, we often paint the picture that self-love is an idealized state where we only feel positive feelings towards ourselves.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Loving ourselves does not mean our inner critical voice is suddenly shut off, or that we never suffer, or that we don’t become disappointed in ourselves.

And from my experience, you can’t just decide to love something or someone and immediately have it be so. It takes intention, nurturing, and most of all time. Trying to force an end result without first focusing on the steps to get there can be disheartening.

What happens when you fail at something, or don’t meet your own expectations? What happens if you kind of hate a part of yourself? What happens when you decide to love yourself, you struggle with it, and then perhaps you start to think thoughts like: “Why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?” What happens when you think overly critical or hateful thoughts, then turn it around and say something loving – but it only makes you feel worse because you don’t truly believe it?

It’s exactly in moments like these where telling ourselves to be more loving might actually backfire.

So what then?

What if instead, we focused more on being compassionate toward ourselves?

Doesn’t that already feel oh so much lighter? Self compassion doesn’t ask us to judge ourselves, it’s simply a way of relating to ourselves kindly. It allows us to embrace ourselves as we are right now, flaws and all. It gives us permission to feel the way we feel without shame. It gives us a more solid sense of self worth because it’s there for us when we fail. It deeper connects us to others because it reminds us that to be human is to be imperfect.

You already have the roadmap and the skills to be compassionate. I can bet that you at least try to be compassionate with your good friends and loved ones. So there’s nothing more you need to learn; it’s simply a softening in to include yourself in the encouragement, understanding, empathy, patience, and gentleness you offer others.

I believe that once we stop treating ourselves so differently and show ourselves the same compassion as we do others, we will come to truly acknowledge our shared nature of our imperfect humanity – thus opening our hearts even wider to others and ourselves, in turn creating a more loving world all around.

Much love to you!!

{Creative} Soul Truths #5

You already have everything you need. Your authentic Soul voice is bright, beautiful, and patently waiting to freely express itself.

Its quiet voice is always speaking to you, through what we call intuition, even if you can’t quite hear it now. We all have intuition… it’s our inner knowing, or what I like to call the language of our Soul. It’s the part of you that speaks the truth about who you are and what you want. So basically, it’s your life road map to living your purpose, and your most fulfilled, joyful life!

If we get present and follow its urges when we sit down to create, we will develop an art journaling practice that can ultimately bring us more confidence, happiness, self-awareness, healing, and a newfound sense of wholeness.

If doing that feels impossible for you right now, then for one reason or another, your mind is trying to protect you from letting your creative spirit free, from letting your intuitive Soul lead the way. (You’re not alone! It’s a totally natural part of being human.) The key then, is to go gently, with compassion, and start to build trust between your mind and your intuitive Soul.

Your mind is so used to being in control and predicting outcomes. For us to truly get present and follow our Soul’s whims one step at a time, means to step into the scary unknown. That place of unknowing, of uncertainty, can feel dark and filled with monsters. We will hold on for dear life and fight tooth and nail not to be thrown off the edge into that scary space!

So the only way in, is to start slow, start gently, hold that compassion for the part of you that’s scared sh**less, celebrate yourself every step of the way, and build trust that when you listen to your intuition, everything will indeed be okay.

TIP: Practice being present and becoming an observer of your thoughts. When fears or judgements come up, acknowledge it without running away, then choose courage – what one step are you willing to take next?

I so hope that you have found this Soul Truths series to be helpful and inspiring!

If you would love to get more support around connecting to and building trust with your creative, intuitive Soul so that you may express yourself more fully in your journal (and in life!), then I invite you to join me and a community of other Soul Seekers in my 6-week program Creative Soul Roots. (We start October 2nd!)

In it, I’ll guide you through a series of fun, creative exercises that will help you to put these Soul Truths into action, nurture your creative Soul, and develop the skills needed to get out of your head and into your heart.
Click Here for more info & to reserve your spot!

Whether you decide to join us or not, I know for certain that if you’re here, then creative expression is the path you were meant to take to help liberate your Soul. I know you can do this, don’t give up!

Much love to you!!

{Creative} Soul Truths #4

Unfortunately our society tends to dismiss play for adults, and perceives it as unproductive, petty, or as a “guilty pleasure”. We’ve formed the belief that in order for something to be meaningful or legitimate, we have to work hard at it. Yet recent studies are showing us that play and rest are essential; it’s just as important as getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercise.

Play helps us to relieve stress, manage emotions, connect deeper with ourselves, and create stronger and more meaningful bonds with others.

The truth is, we can simultaneously be productive, be helpful, be of service, finish our tasks, AND be light, playful beings. Because play has more to do with your willingness to be uninhibited, to be imaginative, to be joyful. Play is about allowing yourself to express your spirit without restraint. Play is about allowing yourself to be YOU.

Play is more than just being child-like, it’s a transformative, vulnerable state to be in. It’s surrender of the ego. It’s choosing curiosity and aliveness. It’s letting go of outcomes or expectations, and being fully present to the here and now. It’s responding to what’s happening with curiosity, instead of reacting – and there’s where real transformation can happen.

And when you pair play with expressing yourself in an art journal, it becomes a vehicle for powerful healing! Art journaling is a beautiful (and fun!) way to free your Soul, and to facilitate your self growth; allowing you to explore and express your inner self. It shouldn’t be put on your “guilty pleasures” list – with it directly linked to our mental health, it should be top priority!

It doesn’t have to be as hard and stressful as we sometimes make it out to be either. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do it “right”, and to search for meaning. But change, transformation, and self expression can happen with ease and play! As long as you allow yourself to play and follow your intuition, the transformation you seek will naturally happen. So stop stressing yourself out about art journaling. You can’t do it wrong!

You are here to dance a splendid dance in this lifetime and to feel the fullness of who you are! Allow play to be the easeful, fun way in which you align yourself and your life with who you truly are!

TIP: Start by practicing showing up to your art journal and committing to just one minute of play with paints or crayons. And if possible, create with young children – kids are masters at play and creativity, let them lead the way!

Much love to you!!

{Creative} Soul Truths #3

A creative block can show up in many different ways. Perhaps you’ve just been stuck in avoidance or procrastination. Perhaps you’ve been caught in the research trap, constantly watching YouTube videos or tutorials. Perhaps you keep buying new supplies, gathering so much that you now feel overwhelmed by the choices or you actually forget what you have. Perhaps you have a loud inner critic that’s telling you that you aren’t good enough, so why bother. Perhaps you approach your journal tentatively, so afraid of messing things up or doing it “wrong”.

However you experience your stuck, if you try to force through it or yell at your inner critic to ‘shut up’ (or ignore it!), you’re only digging yourself deeper into the rut.

Look, we live in a world where the logical mind is King. Our culture, especially here in the US, relies so heavily on the mind and the “left-brain” way of thinking. We honor logic, structure, speed, control; so much so that we often let our minds run on auto-pilot. Your mind is used to being in control. To let go, so that you can create freely, is really scary and threatening.

If you’re feeling like there’s a force field between you and your art materials, you’re probably right. Your mind (aka ego, aka inner critic) will do anything to protect you. It will do anything to stay in control, the way you were taught to. It will do anything to protect your inner child or inner artist from getting hurt again. So yelling at it, or trying to force it to stand down so your intuitive, creative Soul can lead the way, will only make it stand firmer in place.

Your mind is only doing it’s job. And it’s scared to let go. The only way to loosen its grip, is to face it bravely with compassion. (The climax scene in Disney’s movie Moana comes to mind!)

TIP: Start practicing compassion with yourself. Then, start exploring: What would help your mind to feel safe enough to play in an art journal?

Much love to you!!

{Creative} Soul Truths #2: The One Thing That Often Keeps Us Creatively Stuck


There's one thing that people tend to get stuck on when they crave a nourishing art journaling practice ---> trying to "figure it out".

Look, I get it. There are SOOOO many drool-worthy artists out there sharing addicting how-to videos, so many different fun supplies to try out, and yeah, I totally geek out on research.

But the truth is, practicing in an art journal isn't about figuring out how to do it, it's about learning to navigate your inner world and the unknown.

You don't have to know what you're doing, to know what you're doing. You may never discover a formula. And when expressing yourself, you will never know where it will lead. But what you will discover, is what works for you in terms of feeling into your intuition, getting past the hard parts, finding the joy, and navigating the fear monsters.

We often crave rules and step-by-step instruction because we want to do it "right". We want to know what to expect. We want to know what we're heading into. Predictability feels safe. Control feels safe. But with true, authentic creative expression, there is no right or wrong. There is no step-by-step guide. We need to embrace the unexpected. We need to be open to mystery and surprise!

In fact, the less you know, the better.

I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of art journaling - delving into the infinite possibilities of techniques, and exploring how other people approach their journal. We tend to over complicate things (at least, I know I do!), especially when we want to learn something new. We dive deep into learning everything there is to know about it, searching for the one "right" way to do it. We start comparing our work to others'. We get hung up with how-to's and perfecting… unintentionally squashing the fun-loving, curious part of ourselves that just wants to create and play with child-like freedom.

But for your Soul to shine through onto the page (and into your life!), you must get out of your head, and into your heart.

You must step into that space of the unknown… That place where you have no idea what to expect next. That place where anything can happen. That's where the magic lies!



Always in curiosity and love,





P.S. Here's a TIP: Approach your journal without a plan and without a vision. You don't (and shouldn't!) know how you're going to start or where it's going to lead. Instead, follow your intuitive urges one step at a time, allowing something to emerge naturally.




{Creative} Soul Truths #1

Welcome to my mini series – Soul Truths! My hope is that if you’ve been feeling creatively stuck, what I share will help you get clear on why that is, and inspire you to start trusting in your Creative Soul once more!

Without further adieu, here’s your first Soul Truth:

Just in case you’ve ever doubted it… YES, your Soul is inherently creative!

But, that doesn’t mean you should be creating gorgeous art right out the gate. If you’re just returning to your creativity, or just starting to learn to create from your Soul (versus copying others or an image), then you’re going to suck at it. But that’s okay!

Here’s the deal – We ALL were born as curious, creative beings. If you’re human, you have the ability to be creative. You can think of it as a quality within you that’s perhaps been stifled, or you can imagine that there’s a stream of creativity that’s available for everyone to tap into – you just gotta learn to do the tapping in. We all started out trusting our creativity (have you ever watched children create!?), but for one reason or another, that part of us got left behind. So to begin our journey of learning to authentically express ourselves with art, we must start from where we left off… as beginners.

You can’t expect to be able to do something as well as someone else who’s been practicing for years. Don’t let other artists’ work intimidate you or make you feel not good enough… They’ve likely been practicing for much longer, and if you stick with it, you’ll get better at it too.

Your inner artist, is most likely a young child who’s so eager to play, to create, to explore, to have FUN! It doesn’t need criticizing or judgment from you, only encouragement. We must allow our inner artists to be that child, that beginner; paying less attention to what our expressions look like, and more attention to how it FEELS.

The more you allow yourself to play, experiment, and make mistakes, you’ll start to build a foundation and understanding of how things come together so you can start finding your own authentic style!

TIP: Don’t isolate yourself. Find community support with other beginners and have fun! (And perhaps step away from Pinterest and Instagram for a while!)

Much love to you!!

The Joy, Freedom, & True Expression You Desire from Creativity Is Closer Than You Think

I have heard from way too many people that even though they know how much art journaling can benefit and impact their lives, they still struggle with the fear of messing things up, letting loose, not feeling good enough, finding joy in the process, or just not being able to start at all. Sound familiar?

And if you’re anything like me when I first started exploring the world of art journaling, you’ve probably put in hundreds of hours watching YouTube videos, bought all the “right” supplies, poured over your beautiful magazines and “how-to” books, and perhaps even taken a few art classes… and yet, you’re still feeling stuck. Now what?

What if… you were able to find everything you ever needed, right inside of you?

You already have everything you need. Your authentic Soul voice is bright, beautiful, and patently waiting to freely express itself.

So why does it feel so damn hard?

Look, I know all too well how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of art journaling – buying all the new products, delving into the infinite possibilities of techniques, and exploring how other people approach their journal. I mean, ‘come on, it’s total eye candy, I love it too!!

But when we get caught up in all of that, we’re caught in our head. And we can’t access our heart or intuition, where authentic expression truly lies. Pile on our social conditioning to rely more on our logical “left brain”, and now we’re really stuck.

Let’s face it, the last thing you need is another tutorial or more art supplies. Save those for when you can really use them. For now? I’ve got a free mini series coming up that just might help.

To support you in getting moving on this path toward authentic expression, and in celebration of my yearly class Creative Soul Roots that’s starting soon, I’ll be sharing a series of Soul-Truths that will help you get clear on why you’ve been feeling stuck, and inspiration to start trusting in your Creative Soul once more.

So if you’ve been yearning to express yourself freely in an art journal, but still feeling stuck, not good enough, not knowing where to start, or just not able to find joy in the process, sign up below for this free mini series which starts Monday, Sept 18th.

Sorry, the Soul Truths series has now ended. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to get notified when I run the series again!

Much love to you!!