Expanding Through Painting

I have recently been working through the e-course Painting by Heart Online with Jennifer Doh.  It took me a bit of time…working through some of my own inner issues…to open the first video and to begin.  

I have been in need of getting back to creating and sometimes it takes learning from another to support a new perspective.  The feeling of painting with acrylic and watching another creative soul start with a blank canvas has been just what I have needed to lose myself in creative expression, yet stay open to a higher expansion of my limited painting skills.

What does that even mean?!?

Well, for the past few years I have been exploring intuitive painting (a free flow of expression that allows me to put paint onto the page and exlpore what shows up).  This is a needed bit of daily work for me just as Morning Pages is to my written practice.  Meditation through some medium onto a blank journal page. I see the “metaphors” of life and what shows up as in a dream.  I can choose to analyze the creations or not.  Just like in meditation…allowing the thoughts to be noticed and pass through.  Letting go of the attachment.

I have been working through many life changes (age, kids off on their own, job shifts) and much of my creative work has been left in the dust.  I dabble a bit here and there, but nothing is grabbing my attention or has been much a part of my daily work.  This has been troubling to me.  A “block” while I attempt to work through a new phase of life.  It is OK, but I miss the creative flow.

I decided to sign-up for Jenny’s class to allow myself to paint with the instructions of another.  A way to expand my intuitive painting and explore from another point of view.  I recently left a job (of my own positive release of what was not working) and signed-up for this class from the place of my “highest-self”. (…because, you know, I wanted to sign-up for a MILLION online classes when in the darkness of mild depression, but my higher-self helped me to wait it out…looking for a creative support from a place of calm).

When I began the process, there was much “mark making”.  This was fun and light.  Then, the “calming of the canvas” brought out images, shapes and textures that created a “scene”.  I have placed the photos in order on this post.  And I notice many things. 

But for now…I am wondering what you notice?  I am wondering where you are on your creative journey.  I am wondering how you work through your process.. 

Breakthrough

Months and months of stopped creative growth.  Starting and stopping.  Wondering if the direction I have been heading was working.

I like to take different on-line classes to grow in new directions.  Especially when I feel so stuck.  As I was moving through this malaise, I took the time to take a photography class called Still with Henry Lohmeyer.  As I was working thorough the different prompts, I took this image. Here is what I wrote to accompany this image:

5 part-time jobs in 3 years


Stalled artistic/creative self


Piles of unfinished work from previous jobs and creative life


Open…? •

Afraid to continue with this onslaught

It has been that way for months…years, really.  Moving through the layers of change.  

This was a breakthrough for me.  I began to see that it was time to clear out this physical space and allow for the opening to appear.  So that is just what I did.  I cleared up that physical space and shifted the artwork to reflect what occurred over the summer months.  Here is an image of the wall in my little creative corner after clearing and cleaning.  

I see the simplicity of the work I have been doing. The space feels SO much more ready for what is next!

How about you?  Have you begun to reflect back over this past year?  I am opening my 21 Days of Reflection e-course on December 1.  Join in to reflect back over your year to see where there might have been some breakthroughs, some openings to allow in what is next.

21 Days of Reflection Begins December1

 

An e-course to invite you to get quiet, listen and reflect upon your past year.  A daily practice to give you a few moments to enjoy the wonder of time.  A way to allow yourself the beauty of looking within and discovering what you wish to celebrate from this past year.  Time for you to let go.

I hear so often, women especially, sharing that they just do not have time to care for themselves.  With busy schedules, hectic family lives, frazzled work lives and all of those dishes!  who has time?

This 21 day e-course has been designed to bring you 5-10 minutes of peace each day.  A reflective practice to support you in bringing a routine or ritual into your life for quiet introspection.  An invitation to find a few moments to set into your schedule time for you to reflect…and relax.

21 Days of Reflection will begin on December 1, 2017. This e-course invites you to reflect on your past year through 21 “reflection” questions.  To ponder those things that you wish to celebrate.  These 21 recorded questions will allow the emotions and wonder of this past year to be brought back into your mind. Whether your year was filled with joy or sorrow, taking time to reflect on how you have grown allows you to celebrate. To appreciate all that you have accomplished this year of 2017.

The other aspect of this session will be a private Facebook page where you will be invited to share an image of “light” after you have listened to the recording.  Keeping this simple and allowing you to keep your reflections close to your heart, yet sharing with others the gift of light…putting out light out into the world.

What you will receive:
1. Daily emails for 21 days inviting you visit the private Facebook page where the audio will be posted
2. An invitation to a private Facebook group to share your image of “light” (a candle flame, a sparkly light, the sun)
3. Intentional focus on questions that will allow you time to reflect back on this past year

Reflection.  Introspection. Shining a light.
21 Days for $21.00.
Click the button below to register:




Flashes of Insight

I have been dancing for my morning movement/meditation and find this to be a beautiful way to start my day!

I was taking Nia Dance classes locally, but could not continue to fit them into my weekly schedule due to a shift in work (read:  new job). This was difficult, as I was really enjoying the interaction with others who are creating a community around dance/music/spirituality led by the lovely Jessica Fashun.  I miss this group and hope to one day connect when the timing works once again in the future.

Looking around again…I tried a bit of yoga locally (which will be a connection to another beautiful tribe), and then to my delight I found NiaTV!  Yes!  Nia Dance can now be streamed!  

So, my new morning routine is to get up at 6:00 AM and dance for 30 minutes to an hour before getting ready for work.  I have needed this type of movement.  While I delight in being in a “live” dance class, this NiaTV work has brought forward some interesting contemplation.

As I dance…

  1.  I notice “flashes” of light and “flashes” of insights
  2. Being lower to the ground, I think/feel differently
  3. Watching my hands with my eyes as I move shifts my perspective
  4. Free dance is exhilarating
     

I will continue with dancing and noticing this month.  What else might I discover?  I am writing in my journal AFTER I dance, which adds to the words that show up on the journal page.  I will also be taking a few photos AS I dance to “capture the light” of the movement.  

These “flashes” of light and insight will be a part of my next series of Instagram posts.  I will also be participating in Art Every Day Month posting these images as my “art every day” #AEDM2017 

What are you creating these days?

 

 

Learning from Others

For the past few weeks, I have been running my Elemental Observation e-course.  I run this class in the fall and spring (in the Western Hemisphere) and delight in it each time it comes around.  

I always learn something new and love to see the images that show up from the participants!  

To start…comments from Kris:

“On Angles and other prompts: I’ve been through this EO course multiple times now. I take A LOT of cell phone photos and miss many opportunities – but feel this particular course really motivates me internally to look for or take a particular photo (vs. What I am drawn to). BECAUSE of this, I take photos at times I wouldn’t and of subjects I wouldn’t think of of consider.

Another observation is that being a part of a group doing the same thing feels purposeful and challenging. I look forward to seeing how others’ interpret the topic for the day.” -Kris

Here are some of the comments when we were looking for “reflections” …and reflecting:

” I have looked forward to the chance to take some time out to consider a different way of seeing. It has been a mini retreat from routine and very welcome. ” -Fiona

“I have been a little more mindful of what is around me and have enjoyed making these simple images – which is not always simple. I echo Fiona; it has been a bit of a mini retreat. Also, a “treat” just for me! You are bringing a little creativity to all of us…just perfect!” -Becky

“It has been an interesting opportunity to experience familiar paths in different ways, looking more intently at what has been there to see all along.” -Shelly

” It has been summed up as a mini retreat, a respite. It provided a mindful experience, gave me fresh eyes to view my yard. It was joy without pressure to produce a perfect picture. Thanks for doing this.” -Michelle FV

“This has been fun. I take photos every day, looking for random spots of beauty, so this was something new to focus on.” -Karen

” I have greatly enjoyed the invitation to look deeper with the themes of the day…even the struggle with resistance was enlightening. Also, I have been so amazed and impressed with the diversity of photos & collages from the participants…what a group! I even enjoyed the challenge to get a new app for photos on my phone so I could “get creative.” I very seldom carry my phone on my person, especially when walking in nature but got creative around that, too!” -Toni

These are just some of the comments as we have reflected back over the experience of noticing different “art elements” each day.  A simple, daily practice that leads to a mindful, intention-setting time during the busy day.

I have learned through these sessions that I really enjoy seeing where other people spend their time, what elements “speak” to them as they look for certain elements, and that sometimes, resistance can be found in the simplest of tasks. 

I will most likely find myself over the next few days “looking” for certain things…yet the course will be at an end, so the looking will begin to melt away and change into something new.

The biggest learning for me through working with others in any of my 21 day sessions is the beauty of connection.  Connection with a purpose.  Connection with intention.  

To keep connected with the wonderful members of my on-line tribe, the next e-course I have in my 21 day series is the 21 Day Mini-Mastermind.  Click here for more information and to join in!

Round and round we go!  I love connecting with all of you beautiful souls!

 

21 Day Mini-Mastermind

 

IMG_0119

  • What if you had a group of like-minded people to collaborate with for 21 days?
  • What if you had time to ponder and focus on your own creative work/job/business?
  • What if you took the time to begin to set your intention to share your work?
  • What if you could ask questions of others in order to grow in your work/job/life?
 

These are the constant questions that I ask myself on a daily basis.  I have discovered that I enjoy working in collaboration with others to help me to answer questions that come up as I grow my business and work a day-job.  I take time each day to write and answer the questions that arise.  However, sharing these questions and my possible answers with others allows me to get a bigger perspective and clarification.  How about you?

I have had such fun facilitating accountability groups for the past few years.  As these groups have progressed, I have noticed a pattern of questions that arise as individuals begin to look at their own work.   I have compiled these questions into this new venture.  Spending time working through those questions with others allows for expansion.  We discover answers to questions that we may not have otherwise figured out on our own.  Connecting with others and their genius work allows us to deepen our own.

Whether you work full-time, stay at home with your kids, work part-time or are retired, I’ll bet there is something inside of you yearning to share your creative work with others.  Perhaps a side-line business, a blog, a website, a class, a creative endeavor…you are a “maker”; a creative that wants to share with others and bring your creative-self into the forefront!

That is why I am opening this e-course, Mini-Mastermind: 21 Days of Questions and Collaboration on November 1, 2017.  This e-course invites you to ponder questions about your creative work and will allow you to collaborate with others to support your journey.  This course will last 21 days and will have a private Facebook group, so that we can connect with one another to see what we discover as we ponder questions and connect with one another around a common topic.


What you will receive:

 
1.  Daily emails for 21 days inviting you ponder questions to dig deeper into your creative work/life/business
2.  An invitation to a private Facebook group to share what you discover and to share your ideas with others
3.  Intentional focus on common questions, answers and ideas to grow in our business/work/life (facilitated by Susan Loughrin)
 

Simple.  Clear.  Mini-Mastermind.
 
21 Days for $21.00. 
 
Click the button below to register:



Zen Moments

It was all too much. Too many distractions. Too much change all at once.  I needed a way to create that was simple and calming.  I looked around for an app for Japanese brush work and found it. I could use this app to make quick, simple marks in black, grey, and red.  The backgrounds could be shifted and changed for my mood.

At first, I just created swooshes of black with the big brush. Created a circle. Then moved to what showed up as I looked around at different points in a busy day.  Bringing in the calm…like breathing.

Then, I began finding lines in the tarot cards during my daily readings.  Simple shapes that were found within the cards.  Simple lines.  Lovely. We then went up north to our cottage.  No internet there. The app still worked which allowed me to continue this practice of “Zen moments”.   I was really calm by this point.  The simplicity of this work was just what I needed each day.  To create and move on.

I created the simple lines of things I discovered each day.  Sights, ideas, and objects.  I then combined them in their simplest form…lines and shapes.

I was very much at peace during this series.  I pulled away from the busy-ness and found those quiet moments in time. The lovely feeling of just creating mark sand seeing what showed up.

Many of you commented on this series as I posted on Instagram.  I have made prints of the work (pictured in this article).  If you are interested in purchasing a matted print of one (or more!) of these images, click here to go to the shopping page.  

 

What’s Next?

I am a mom.
I am a daughter.
I am a wife.
I am creative.
I am healthy.
I am working

 
But what happens when these things are gone? Or no longer fully necessary? Or nobody really cares? Or they change…as they do, to be almost completely unrecognizable?

Being a different age, with a lot of life behind me, I wonder on this a lot. I wonder on death daily…to keep the world of living alive, I think. I have discovered that all of it is important…and none of it is important.

Each day and breath is new.  Sit in it and allow… (but tell that to my ambitious mind and I am off and running!)

I recently read this line from a David Whyte book entitled Consolations:

“Ambition may be essential for the young, but becomes the essential obstacle of any mature life.”

I have been continuously thinking of my role as a “worker”.  My job has defined me for so many years.  And for the past few, my creativity has defined me.  I like this better.  But the need to bring in a cash-flow to pay the bills gnaws and gnaws at the edges of all that I do.

I have a resume.  I have worked in many different capacities.  Some fulfilling, others not.  The continuous cry to “Be a maker!”  “Make lots of money!” “Work your ass off and relax later!”  “Work smarter, not harder!”

I am tired. I want things to be more simple.  I still need to eat.

My resume reflects the old parts of me.  The parts I am ready to let go.  But how can that be? How does one hold all of that past knowledge, integration of skills and projects, and yet find the strength to let it all go?  What happens to that definition of me?

I find that when I try to nestle into the world of my creativity, the battle cry sounds…”Get a job!”  and the money worries sneak in and hold court in my head.  And my emotions get involved and I watch the depression cover it all like a blanket of doom.  (These times, then, are not the best ones to think on death.)

Or are they?

The letting go, death, re-cycling of life is a deeply rooted “work” that I find myself in (even if I look back at times when I was “happy” in my work).  This malaise has been with me always.  It just seems more apparent during times of “money worries” and not really being seen as “viable” in the workplace any more. 

Ambition.  It is still within me.  I am wondering how it helps or hurts as I continue on this path and new phase of life.  

What are your thoughts on the phases and changes of life?  How do you move through them?

 

 

Down to Earth

I am back to writing Morning Pages consistently these past few weeks.  I am discovering that I am still living in the dreamy-ness of summer, but grounding into the beginnings of fall. Change.  The only constant. 

Throughout the summer, I planned on being more creative.  To allow for the creative “flow” to enter in and take over.  What actually happened was that I took on a new job and that changed everything.

I have lots and lots to say about this, but I want to boil it down to its essence.  Taking on a job shows me where I spend my time.  It allows me to receive a steady cash-flow and look for ways to bring my creativity into each day.  This, dear reader, is my way.  I have learned that this lesson comes up for me over and over and over.  I like to have a steady “job” of some sort that creates a safety zone for me.  (I resist this, but it is how I flow best…and I am reminded of it again and again).

I am also seeing how I live is how I like to teach.  Sessions on creativity and sessions on how to build a “mini-business”.  Basically, work everyday, share everyday and create everyday.  I do this and I want to pass it on.

Nothing new here…the same ol’ same ol’…but there is beauty here.  Beauty in the flow. Beauty in the routine that I create.  Beauty in the daily noticings.  And…I am back to a weekly newsletter.  I need to connect with you all and hope to hear from you as the fall gets underway!  

How do you spend your days?  What do you notice about the lessons that return over and over again like the seasons?  I would love to hear from you…

Simplifying

Coming back to center.

Noticing what is right here in this moment.

Breathing in…breathing out.

When I sit…I sit.

When I eat…I eat.

When I walk…I walk.

One simple thing each day.  Creating my life.

This is what is happening as I take some time off to just “be”.

Remembering this as I go through my days.  

Bringing the mindfulness into my being.

Zen mind.  Beginners mind.