{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!!






Our Important Reminder…

For the last few weeks I was feeling overwhelmed, overworked, uninspired… all my focus was on meeting deadlines, checking things off my to-do list, getting things done. I was nearing burn out. Struggling to find joy in my day. And in the midst of it all, I didn’t know what was wrong. I just new I was feeling like crap. Until, this came in the mail…

Soul Journal

My first print copy of my upcoming journal series. (Yay!!) It reminded me of all that I had forgotten… to breathe. to pause. to check in. to come back home to myself in the present moment and see the beauty of now.

Even though my whole livelihood is centered around reconnecting with your self, I still often forget when busyness settles in. Between being a mother to three young kids, nurturing the relationship with my husband, running a business, laundry and keeping the home clean, cooking, preparing for the holidays, and whatever else I’m forgetting that’s on my to-do list, how can one not loose their way sometimes and forget to make time for themselves? This modern world doesn’t leave much room for that.

But it’s something I’ve been working hard towards for the last couple years. I’ve learned that making time for myself, if even just 5 minutes a day, is not only rejuvenating, but it’s literally ESSENTIAL. Else I face burn out and eventually depression.

But I forget.

Often.

That’s why I continue to write about it. That’s why I create e-courses that I fully participate in alongside my students. That’s why I create interactive books that I enjoy myself. That’s why I create cozy nooks in my home that invite me to pause. That’s why I often go back and re-read my own blog (especially this post in particular). That’s why I’ve been dreaming up a women’s circle for support in remembering ourselves. And that’s why I felt the need to bring this new Soul Journal series to life for the new year – I need tangible reminders. And I’m betting you do too sometimes.

Life is busy. Life is full. Let’s remember to enjoy it. To slow down and take it all in. Will you take a deep breath with me now? (Yes, right now. Do it!) Feel the air moving into your body, nourishing you. Notice yourself. You are a magnificent, beautiful creature (whether you believe that now or not!).

And if you’re like me, and feeling the need for an inspiring daily practice to check in and remember what you already know about yourself, you may just fall in love with this Soul Journal as much as I have. It should be available next week on Amazon!

But for now, why not try setting a reminder on your phone to take three deep breaths every afternoon. Or set up a cozy corner of your home that will invite you to sit and pause every so often. Or start a practice to free-write every morning. Or, use your shower time to really get present and be with yourself.

How can you fit in a few moments of reconnection in your day? Choose it. Do it. And set reminders for when you forget.



Much love to you!!




Finding Balance – Inside and Out

Finding Balance - Inside and Out

Lately, I find myself getting frustrated more. Feeling overwhelmed by the quickness of life and the constant moving. As I put my phone down, I feel disgusted by how much time it has just sucked from my life and the emptiness I feel. I promptly pick it up again. But this time, not to check another app, but to delete them. Goodbye Facebook. You’ve never done much for me anyway.

Ahh that feels good. What else can I simplify in my life?

This question rolls around in my mind for days as I navigate my daily life… almost to the point of complicating it more. Should I wake up earlier in the morning? How can I change my work projects to simplify them? What else can I change in my life?

As the weekend arrives, we gather up our towels and supplies to head to the beach. But it ends up not being so simple. The kids aren’t listening. Each task becomes a chore. We have three kids plus one friend. The house becomes a whirlwind of confusion. Get your bathing suit on! No, not outside! Where did your sister go again? Wait, your shoes! Where are your shoes!? Stop playing, I thought we were leaving!?

By the time we make it to the beach, my head is pounding. Why does everything seem to be so difficult? Is it just my expectations? The way I think about things? How can I simplify this? Am I thinking too much? Get over here, I’m trying to put sunscreen on you!

Ugh, I need some actual quiet time. I stand up, tell hubby I’m leaving, and off I go. The beach is busy today, but I know if I keep walking, it becomes quieter. I start my trek in search of silence, still pondering ways I can simplify my life.

Finding balance on the beachCan I really get up earlier than the kids? I’m always so tired. I’d have to go to bed way earlier. But then I lose out on my nightly quiet time. Which doesn’t seem to be much these summer days. That article says you should do the most important thing first thing in the morning. Maybe I should try. I should meditate. Yoga, I’d like to do yoga. I need more exercise. Man, I should really eat healthier too. Morning smoothies sound good. How hard can it be? I haven’t done much art lately. I can never find alone time to actually do anything. Creating with my kids is hard. I always end up helping them instead of being able to focus on my own art. Just one more year. One more year and they’ll all be in school. I can wait. How can I simplify my creating? I guess just continue in my sketchbook. That’s quick and easy. But not so satisfying as paint. Oh how I miss paint. Ouch! That rock was sharp.

I pause to look around. Not a person in sight. The sandy beach gives way to thousands of rocks. I breathe in the warm air. Listen to the waves hitting the earth. Yes. This. This is what I needed. I start to move slower, balancing on the larger rocks so I don’t hurt my bare feet. With arms stretched wide, and a smile across my face, my mind calms with each careful step I take.

Finding Balance

I stop when I could go no further. My feet are sore. But it feels so good. I rest myself on a nearby boulder and look out over the sea of rocks, enjoying the absence of the everyday bustling noise. My eye catches an odd shaped rock. I meander over to pick it up. It looks almost like a moon. Or perhaps a croissant. No, not a croissant. It feels sacred.

It feels warm in my hand, like it’s radiating love, or some mystical energy I yet to understand. It feels wrong to toss it back into the sea of rocks. To be lost again. Suddenly I know what I must do. Visions of balancing rocks dance through my memory as I rummage around looking for just the right rocks to hold this sacred piece of earth.

Finding BalanceMy mind and body become completely engrossed in turning the rocks this way and that, finding just the right weight and balance to make them stand upon each other. When three are in position, I gently pick up the sacred piece and carefully place it on top. It stays without fiddling. It rests upon those rocks like it it knew it was meant to be there. I breathe out a long exhale, realizing I’ve been holding it.

Breathing deeply in again, my body automatically turns to climb down the boulder to gather more rocks. I know just what I’m looking for… Round ones. With somewhat flat sides. Interesting color. Check. I grab as many as I can carry and head back up.

The edge of urgency is gone as I slip into a quiet, playful trance turning the rocks until they fit perfectly. And somehow, each rock I’ve chosen finds its place.

As I climb back down for yet another arm load, I realize… this is simplicity. Me. The earth. The quiet.

This is all I need to bring balance into my life.

Simple as that.

Later, as I slowly made my way back to my family, I felt like I had a treasure in my pocket. A secret to hide, or maybe to share. A few photographs and my memories of this day. Of the realization that I don’t need traditional meditation, or yoga, or smoothies, or hours of alone time to find peace and balance in my life.

All I need is me,

and the earth,

and a few deep breaths.






Psst! Our exploration in Earth is coming soon! Be sure you’re signed up for my mailing list to get the free Earth E-book which will be released on Sept 6th 2016. You can find AIR Here and WATER Here!



(More) Lessons in Stillness

I believe everything happens for a reason. And if not… well, at the very least I know that we can learn something from the experience, whether or not it was put on our path “purposefully” for that lesson or not.

I feel like I’ve been sick for all of 2016. (Yes, I’m sick again after my short spurt of energy last time I checked in!) And ya know what? I’ve never journaled more or learned more about myself than in these last two months.

I have grown so much.

Learned so much.

And I’ve filled more than half of a journal I just bought weeks ago. (A rarity, honest!)

lotus journaling

But it wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t forced to slow down. I am grateful for this sickness, to God/Universe for making me slow down.

That’s not to say I don’t complain either. Ask my husband and my friends – I am tired of feeling like crap. My mind and mouth rambles off and complains whenever I’m around others.

But when I get still… OH, when I get still… My heart speaks.

My heart tells me this is good for me. Sure, I had to throw my business plan out the window. Sure, I had to cancel plans that I was looking forward to. Sure, I’m in pain and tired of blowing my nose every few minutes…

But my Soul has never felt so nourished.

I’ve been waking up slowly, taking time to pull an oracle card for me and each of my daughters. I’ve been drinking my tea in front of the fire instead of in front of the computer. I’ve been yelling less because my throat hurts. I’ve been noticing my surroundings more. I’ve been taking time to sit in silence, take naps, or journal as my heart desires… (because frankly, I have no energy to do anything else!)

journaling by the fire

And it’s in this silence that I become aware… aware of the patterns and habits that hold me back from being my best self. Aware of the gifts that surround me. Aware of all of the love that fills my heart.

I have learned that DOing more and fighting hard isn’t what is going to bring me the happy fulfilling life I want. I’ve tried that route. It doesn’t feel good at all.

It’s only in the slowing down, and the listening, that I can clearly see the beauty of this moment, of this life right now.

But let me be the first to tell you – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows taking this path of stillness and awareness. You’ll begin to see your ways of being that aren’t so ideal. You’ll begin to remember the moments in your life you didn’t fully experience. You’ll begin to fully feel the emotions you were trying so hard to avoid.

There cannot be light without the darkness. There cannot be expansive joy without the deep sadness. There is no lotus without the mud.

And in the awareness of ALL of it, you’ll need compassion for yourself most of all. For it’s in the compassion that you’ll notice the gifts. You’ll notice the ways in which you can grow. You’ll notice the possibilities of RIGHT NOW.

Your heart, your Soul, speaks to you in the silence. Are you ready to listen? Are you ready to truly LIVE?

<<>>

Sitting in silence, taking a walk, or doing the dishes mindfully are a few of the many ways you can honor the moment and listen. But if you’re here, I’m guessing journaling is a favorite tool of yours as it is mine. If you’re in need of some inspiration, here’s a few prompts to get you moving:

  • I know as truth, right here, in this moment to be…
  • It lights me up when…
  • I need to give myself permission to…

These are excerpts from my upcoming new journaling prompts book: The Soul Journal. I hope they open a doorway to help you listen deeply within and express yourself with words or color and shape. I know they’ve been helpful for me in these times of silence!



All my love,




Lessons in Stillness

These past couple of weeks have been really tough.

My energy was severely low, I was sick, and I felt like I was struggling through muck.

The full moon and a coaching session cleared the “muck” but only amplified the emptiness. I felt like an empty shell, not knowing what to do or what to say.

Eventually I gave in to the stillness. Accepting that, yes, this too is a place where I’m meant to be. And hey, it’s another great learning experience for my upcoming workshop “Dancing in the Unknown”. I was in the unknown alright. I had no idea where I was or where I was going.

I suppose I had forgotten what it was like to spend time with myself alone with no agenda. It felt weird, awkward. And I was bored out of my mind to tell you the truth. Being sick left me with no energy or motivation.

So there I sat, day after day, not doing much of anything, sleeping to my heart’s content, and wondering if life will ever be the same again.

Snuggling

Luckily my energy suddenly (finally!) returned and I snapped back into reality – coincidentally (or not) right on the day of the new moon.

With my mind back in working order, I reflected on what had happened and what I learned. This odd couple weeks of nothingness left me feeling rested, clear, stress-free, and cared for.

It made me see just how little I knew about being truly still.

You see… I had spent years in overwhelm and spent all of 2014, during my coaching training, working through the stories, beliefs, and fears that held me there. Last year was my first year free from overwhelm; but my hands and mind were still always busy.

Being thrusted into this long span of stillness made me see that there’s still a piece missing from my journey out of overwhelm.

Overwhelm had been conquered, yes, but now there was something to claim. Space. Freedom. Truly connecting.

Heart by Kristal Norton

It’s time that I connect even deeper with myself. To gift myself pockets of that alone time every day without an agenda. It is, after all, the only way to build a relationship.

And with Valentine’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect gift I could give or receive: quality time with the one person I am destined to spend eternity with – myself.







Dancing in the Unknown ClassPS Registration for my upcoming workshop “Dancing in the Unknown” is now open!

Join me, as we step into the unknown, use creativity as a tool to expand our comfort zone with uncertainty, listen deeply within, learn to navigate our fear, and start to build trust in our inner knowing… Trust in ourselves.

Click HERE to learn more.