…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,




5 Ways to Reconnect with Your True Self

Who am I?


Who am I?

I found myself asking that question a lot over the last year. While going through intensive life coach training, we were expected to answer a lot of questions about our own beliefs, patterns, and personality traits; but I found myself struggling to respond.

I felt flustered.

Unsure.

Who the hell am I when you strip away my titles of mother, wife, sister, daughter…

I wasn’t quite sure. The busyness of life had yet again swept me away. And when life sweeps me away, my art and personal practices are always the first to be pushed to the side, leaving me with a sense of disconnect and longing; but then I get a wake-up call like this one, reminding me to come back. Reminding me that these practices are actually the things that keep me grounded in who I am. That these are things I need to do MORE of when overwhelm strikes, not less.

Because when you know who you are, all of life’s choices become easy.

And you know what the best part is? Our truest self is always with us, in the here and now. We just get disconnected, or it gets pushed beneath the surface by pain and fear. But no matter how far we stray from our deeper self, we can always return home.

Are you ready to make that return trip? Here are 5 ways to reconnect with your true self:

5 Ways to Reconnect with Your True Self


#1. Get out – Take a night off and spend time with a good friend. If you’re a mom with young kids, spend time with a loved one without the kiddos (and keep the topic of kids off the table!). Taking time away from your many jobs and titles helps the real you shine through.


#2. Get still – Sometimes the busyness of life makes us feel like we’re going crazy. Stop all the rushing and get still for a few minutes. If you like to meditate, do yoga, pray, or have another spiritual practice… get to it! If none of these practices call to you, simply stop, put your hand on your heart, and take a deeeep breath. Taking a moment or two to pause helps us to feel grounded and to hear our heart calling to us.


#3. Get creative – Creative expression is a powerful (and fun!) way to connect with who you are and let it radiate outwards. A creative practice will allow you to grow, explore your heart’s path, follow your intuition, build confidence in yourself, and so much more. Art journaling especially is a great tool, as it combines creative expression and reflective journaling.


#4. Get present – With our lives being played out so much on the internet and in our heads, it’s a good practice to notice surroundings. Look around. Really pay attention. Perhaps get yourself out in nature. Dig your toes into the earth. Evoke your five senses.


#5. Get clear – Your values, desires, and passions are part of what makes you unique. When you’re feeling disconnected with yourself, take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you. That will remind you of what it is you really want in life.


What’s your favorite way of connecting with yourself? Let me know in the comments below! :)






Your Perfect Day – Everyday {Living Intentionally}

Your Perfect Day... Everyday

There’s been a lot of talk about morning routines lately and I can’t help but to feel a little jealous… I mean come-on, who has time for a cozy cup of tea, yoga, journaling, and self reflection every morning?

Heck, I can hardly fit in a shower most mornings!

My reality? Being startled awake by my five year old demanding cereal, rushing to get breakfast and the kids’ packed lunches made while the baby is screaming to get out of her crib… and then rushing to at least get dressed and brush my teeth before the baby finishes her breakfast, and then it’s off to school or summer camp.

Whew!

I’m sure that if I lived alone, I would probably have a dream morning routine in place; but seeing as though I have three young kids and waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t an option I’m willing to take (not yet anyway), then I needed to figure out another way to fill my day with intention.

Many other “experts” suggest you imagine what your perfect day would be like, and then make it your intention to direct your life daily toward that perfect day.

So I tried…

and tried…

and tried.

But, to no avail could I come up with ONE perfect day that I would be happy to keep as a benchmark for happiness.

I’m a multi-passionate after all.

How could I know that I’ll be happy in the future with what I choose now?

As I was pondering about this, I stopped in my tracks and looked around me. I was alone, in my quiet backyard, with the warm sunshine on my face. THIS. This right here would be part of my most perfect day, a day that would make me happy. Being alone with my thoughts, if even for a moment, in a quiet peaceful place, connecting with nature. Yeeesss.

I had found the answer to envisioning my “perfect day”… I didn’t have to strive for a certain lifestyle, or commit to do a certain activity every day; living intentionally simply meant breaking away from the mindless daily grind and doing something that connected me to ME.

Me,

and my values,

and what would make me truly happy.

Once I realized this, I was able to add more to my intention list.


Today, that list looks something like this:

  • Experience something new
  • Get in touch with self (being alone with my thoughts for a few minutes)
  • Get in touch with nature (go outside!)
  • Create something (ie a cake, a painting, an entry in my journal…)
  • Get my heart pumping
  • Connect with my family (spend individual time with each)
  • Help someone, or make a contribution


Purposefully doing things throughout each day that reflects your values and makes your life richer… that my friend is living intentionally.

What’s on your intention list?





How Art Journaling Saved My Life {and what it can do for you}

Okay, so maybe claiming that art journaling “saved my life” is a bit of an over statement. Unless you’re like me and consider being a slave to the daily grind day in and day out isn’t really living at all. Then you may just understand where this might be going and perhaps are in need of a little saving yourself.

You see, not too long ago I found myself feeling utterly lost.

I felt depressed and empty, almost like a walking ghost.

Feeling Down

But I had everything I could want… a loving family, a supporting husband, and even a successful business selling my primitive art.

As a business owner, I spent my days crafting and creating. People loved my creations; I was featured online, in magazines, and even on TV.

You could say I was living the dream.

Yet, as my business success grew, a part of my spirit began to feel deflated.

After much self-reflection, I realized that while I was creating, I was not creating freely. Art had begun to become a part of my daily grind.

Before my eyes, that which I once cherished had turned into another 9-5 job.

By creating the same items over and over again I was filling the customer demand, but depleting my spiritual supply in the process. I was on auto pilot; not only with my work, but in my personal life as well. I knew I needed to alleviate that suffocation before things fell apart.

So I quit.

I quit my business and embarked on a self discovery journey determined to reclaim myself and find the freedom I so desperately needed.

After a time of aimless wandering, I decided to jump-start the journey with a 30 day challenge which I dubbed “Busy Mom VS Daily Grind”. It was then that I finally delved deeper into art journaling and in time discovered its true gifts.

And that’s when everything turned around.

I started to eagerly anticipate each new day.

I felt alive and more in tune to my surroundings.

I was rediscovering parts of me that I didn’t even realize I had lost.

Through art journaling, I was able to unearth my most authentic self. She who had hidden behind the mask of the expected for far too long.

Clarity

I’m now living a happier more fulfilling life with more clarity and self awareness.

My outlook on life has changed.

I have less stress and can discover my true inner feelings easier.

I’m not caught up with the daily “9-5 rut” anymore; I’m living life with open eyes and creating art I never imagined was within my power.

I’ve come to see how infusing creativity into our daily lives is therapeutic in so many ways. Once I recognized it in my own life, I became deeply cognizant of it in other people’s lives as well.

I couldn’t deny the call.

It’s what has ultimately inspired me to make it my life’s mission to help other women wake up from the slumber of the daily grind. To unearth their creative spirit, discover their authentic voice and embrace their heart’s path; allowing them to live happier, more fulfilling lives through expression of creativity.

And I believe it all begins with art journaling. A place where no rules exist; where you can let loose and free your most inner desires, callings, and truth.

Are you ready for this amazing journey?




 
Learn more about art journaling
with my introductory e-course
Art Journaling 101”.





Secrets to a Fulfilling Life

As a busy mom of three little ones, I know how easy it is to let life just take over, giving in to the daily grind as day after day passes by. You push your dreams and desires to the back burner. You give so much, you have nothing left to give yourself.

Until one day… you wake up, and realize your life has lost its purpose. You don’t even know who you are anymore. You spend your days on auto pilot, waiting for the weekend, or worse yet that one special day or one special week out of the entire 365 day year.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Every day can hold miracles. Every day can become a step in your journey toward happiness and a fulfilling life. You just have to make the conscious decision to become aware and take back control.

It’s not easy, I’ll admit. I’m still on this journey to reclaiming myself after years spent on auto pilot. But with determination and the right support, you can change your habits and begin to lead the happy, fulfilling life you were born to live.

Women who finally leave the daily grind behind and reclaim themselves have a bigger feeling of self worth and purpose, increased creativity, better relationships with their husbands and kids, and are finally finding themselves waking up eagerly anticipating each new day.

So join us on this self-reclaiming journey as we ditch the daily grind, unearth our creative spirits and learn to live our most fulfilling lives.

Click HERE to download and print my “Fulfilling Life Manifesto”, so you can hang it as a reminder to live each day to the fullest.


A happier, more fulfilling, creative life is waiting for you. It’s time to ditch the daily grind and reclaim yourself. Because beautiful girl, you are so worth it.