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 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!!

Feeling So Inspired… Want Some?

I’ve been feeling so inspired these last few days, so I thought I’d share the love!

This week was the start of my class Roots, in which I’m the teacher AND the student! (Registration for this journey is now closed, but keep an eye out for early registration for our next journey in Sept!) I love playing along with this class, because it’s like a total reset on my practice as we remember how to play and reconnect with our creative spirit.

The first week is always dedicated to building sacred containers – finding the time, creating our space, and getting our journals ready… so I’ve been cleaning up my art studio and decided to purchase a cozy chair and a rug to warm up the space. (Keep a watch out on Facebook or Instagram, I’ll be sure to post a photo when I finish the space!)

pinkarrowIt’s amazing how much our environment affects our creativity! What can you do to create an inviting, dedicated space to create in?

 

I’ve also been experimenting with color alongside my friend Mixy Gregory and her community in her year-long program TWELVTY. Each month we’re exploring a different color, and challenging ourselves to only use that color in our art. The thing that got me the most excited and inspired was the thought of having a full rainbow journal at the end of the journey! But as I dove into my first experiment with only using the color yellow, I discovered that it’s quite a challenge, and it really stretches your creative muscles!

pinkarrowLimiting yourself in some way often stretches your creativity! How can you challenge yourself? Perhaps try using only one or two colors. Or join us in Twelvty to explore the rainbow!

If you’d like to join me in Twelvty to learn more about color and explore them with us for a full year, you can SIGN UP HERE! Class has already begun, but Mixy has set up a special page for you to jump in with us! We start playing with green this month!

 

I’m also excited about Connie Solera’s free painting challenge to explore our bodies with art. Each day starting March 6th we explore a certain body part in whatever medium you choose. I think this is going to be so insightful and powerful, not to mention FUN!

pinkarrowJoin in on the challenge by following the prompts on the image here, then share and get inspired with the hashtag #21embody!

If exploring your body with creativity sounds intriguing, I urge to you to also check out the next installment of 21Secrets: emBODY! (If you’ve never heard of 21Secrets, it’s a yearly collaborative workshop hosted by Connie, presented by 21 artists. It’s always been an amazing experience every time I join in!)

I hope something here sparks some inspiration for you!!

Much love to you!!

5 Ways to Get out of Your Head & Express Yourself Creatively

5 Ways to Get out of Your Head & Express Yourself Creatively

I’m sure you’ve felt by now that learning art techniques simply isn’t all there is to authentically express yourself creatively. There’s something else… something even more important than knowing what colors work well together or how to balance a composition.

If you want to discover your own style, if you want to freely express yourself, if you want to live your best life – then it needs to come from your true self, from your soul. Not from your mind, or your fears, or your habitual thoughts.

So the key to authentic expression, is not to learn new techniques or find the perfect supply… it’s to practice shifting out of this left-brain head space, and into your heart space.

The space where your true, infinitely creative, self can take the lead. This is where your soul speaks to you through intuition. This is where you’ll hear the truth behind those passing critical thoughts. This is where you’ll find your ultimate inspiration. This is where TRUE, authentic expression springs forth.

In my guided e-course, Creative Soul Roots, we spend 7 weeks exploring this space where our soul resides, and practicing the art of being present, noticing and moving past our critical thoughts, and listening to our intuition. We dive deep into this process with creative exercises and emerge with a greater understanding of our internal landscape, a stronger relationship with ourselves, and a journaling practice that will ultimately change the way we live our lives.

If you’re ready to get past the struggles and critical thoughts, and into the space of free expression, then I invite you to join us. Our journey begins in just a few short days! CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up.

If now is simply not the right time to dive deep into this process, then that’s okay too. I have five simple tips to help you get started right now:

#1.
Develop a Ritual
– Rituals are a beautiful (and fun!) way to awaken your creative, intuitive side before diving into your journal. By practicing a simple activity with intention like lighting candles, putting on an apron, doing some simple stretches, or simply setting up your space, you’re signaling to your brain that it’s time to shift gears.

#2.
Start with Free-Writing
– Sitting down to write freely without censoring yourself is a great way to not only let out all the mind-chatter and junk you have cooped up in that mind, but it’s also a great way to awaken your intuition. Once you get out all that heaviness, a clear channel is then opened up for your intuition to come through and start spilling out onto the page.

#3.
Move Your Body
– Your intuition can only speak to you in the here and now. Body movement can be your ticket to the present moment, as opposed to being stuck in those thoughts of what might happen, or what should happen. Start with a few simple stretches, and/or stand up with your journal on an easel to get your whole body involved in the creating!

#4.
Entice Your Senses
– Using your senses is another fun way to get yourself in the present moment, where you’ll be able to more clearly hear your intuition. Bring in some flowers, drink a glass of wine or a cup of tea, taste some chocolate, focus on the feeling of your brush in your hand, use your fingers to move the paint around, turn up the music, marvel at the colors before you! What else can you use to engage your sense of touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste?

#5.
Invoke Play & Curiosity
– If you’re stuck in trying to perfect a technique, or create a certain outcome, there’s no room for your soul to shine through. Let all of that go, open up to being vulnerable with not knowing, and play with curiosity! Let yourself be a kid again, simply play with the paints. Get curious: “..what happens if I try this?” Surrender your need to predict or control the outcome and explore with what is right here in the present moment.

Practice these, and you’ll be sure to open up new doorways of expression!

Much love to you!!