(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?

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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.

How Our Coloring Book Came to Be

I often need reminders to slow down. To take it all in. To really sit back and listen to what my intuition or soul is trying to tell me.

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of things and just take things as they come. But that’s not how an intentional life is built… That’s how you loose your way.

Juliette Meditating

I always hear success stories from people who’ve built daily meditation practices. But I’m not one that can easily sit in silence and meditate. I’ve tried. I find it painful. (My daughter above totally didn’t learn that pose from me!) The idea of it is oh so intriguing, but it just doesn’t feel right.

What works better for me is to do something that keeps my body busy yet allows my mind to wander.

Things like showering, washing dishes, and doodling are great for this. Have you ever done something similar and found yourself in a relaxed state? Or perhaps getting hit with clarity or inspiration? If so, then you’ve experienced the benefits of active meditation.

I don’t always find myself in a state of meditation when doing these things though. Sometimes I do it so quickly, I don’t get a chance to enjoy it. Or sometimes my mind just starts rambling off negative commentary or things on my to-do list, and I don’t get around to the relaxed wandering.

That’s where intention and daily practice comes in. And if I had a choice, I’d rather do something more creative than washing dishes or showering (duh!). Doodling is fun, but sometimes I just want something completely mindless – like coloring.

coloring

Coloring brings me back to a playful, child-like state.

It makes me smile. It’s something I can do alongside the kids without worrying about a big mess (bonus!). And it lends itself really well to active meditation. So well, in fact, that I often zone out when coloring.

It almost becomes like an escape from reality.

Which brings me back to my initial “problem”: I need reminding to listen to my intuition, to listen to what my soul is telling me so I can live a purpose-full life.

So I started to think: How can I use coloring for my daily meditative practice, yet not zone out completely? How can I remind myself to be present, to listen within, to use this time to gain clarity around my life?

…And that’s when I got this idea:

What if the coloring pages themselves reminded me? What if each page had a prompt to get me thinking?

Oh, so brilliant!

But where would I find said coloring book? Even though adult coloring books were on the rise, I had trouble finding exactly what I was looking for. And it would be no fun coloring in my own designs day after day.

So I set out on a mission to gather other talented artists to collaborate with me to make this dream coloring book come true.

Color for Clarity Sneak Peek

I am so thrilled and blessed to have found five amazing artists who are excited about the idea! We’ve been drawing our hearts out and listening within for the words that inspire us to create the most thought-provoking, beautiful coloring book we can muster. I cannot wait to see this baby in print and dig in with my crayons! And I just know you’re going to love it too!!

With Love,


Our book: Color for Clarity arrives at Amazon this November!! Be sure to sign up to receive sneak peeks and updates over on our webpage HERE.

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,

5 Ways to Reconnect with Your True Self

Who am I? 5 Ways to Reconnect with Your True Self

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! :)

Much love to you!!

Soul Circle CommunityP.S. If you’re yearning for more connection in your life, then I invite you to join us in the Soul Circle Community. Our circle is a monthly sisterhood to support each other in exploring the beautiful depths of who we truly are through creativity, playfulness, and connection. To be clear, this isn’t about learning more or doing more… It’s a loving container to inspire and remind you to be the curious explorer of your inner world, and to nurture your relationship to yourself. Because in this fast-paced world of today, it’s too easy to get caught up in the to-do lists and constant forward movement; we need reminders to slow down and reconnect. CLICK HERE to learn more and to join us!!