Creating a Consistent Practice

2018 is here…and with it comes the overwhelm I always feel. Excited to begin so many new things, but the tendency to pile them all onto my plate at once…well…

Here is the list right now in my mind…

  • paint
  • clean the house
  • walk daily
  • write daily
  • create amazing meals
  • ski
  • take photos
  • knit hats
  • daily art journal
  • sign up for on-line art classes
  • run e-courses…and market for them
  • set schedule for lunch dates with friends
  • …and on and on…

I want to do all of this NOW and do it all extremely well.  I want a practice set into place NOW!  I want a routine and schedule in place NOW and have it thriving and amazing.  I want to have classes running to  support many, many people in my tribe contributing to the learning and teaching I so love!  I want to create and have a filled creative practice happening.  I want it all and I want it now 😉

So what do I do when this overwhelm hits?  Sit down with tea and read for hours and hours.

HA!  Avoid and enjoy the quiet time of escaping into a great book (or 5).

I know I am not alone 🙂  Dear Reader, you are most likely smiling and nodding along with me here as we know like attracts like…what are you reading BTW?  😉

Now that I have shared a bit of my thinking with you, I will share what I need to do to actually create a practice that works, to take the time to create a consistent plan.

  1.  Get out the calendar (perfect thing to do as the wheel of life turns toward the new year)
  2. Clarify what it is I truly wish to accomplish in the coming days, weeks and months
  3. Focus on clarity of purpose (Each AM, Each PM and overall creative projects)
  4. Stick to my morning routine (stay grounded in what I do each day; write, drink tea, exercise, gratitude practice…)
  5. Share with others (What e-courses fit best each month?  How will I best connect with my tribe and support this creative process?  When will I run classes?  How will I market?  Who would benefit and why?)
  6. Get support!

Also, to support this New Year’s  journey, I will open the 21 Day Mini-Mastermind session.  Let’s connect together to  bring about a consistent practice that is just right for each of us.  I would love to connect with you!  We can hold ourselves accountable to our own creative work. 

Plus, this supports my plan to create a consistent practice!  How about you?!  For more details, click here.

Enjoy these days!  Hope you will join in!

 

21 Day Mini-Mastermind Starts February 1, 2018

 

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  • 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 February 1, 2018.  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:



Clean Slate

Starting the New Year with a clean slate.  My omen for #12daysofchristmasomens for this December (the twelfth day of last year) was a fresh fall of new snow; a clean slate.  Starting again.  Fresh and unlined.

2018 is almost here.  I have been thinking about what I might want to work on through January…the start of the new year.  I have thought about running a class to connect through creativity, writing every day and getting re-connected to my blog and weekly newsletter, doing nothing…

What is showing up for me is the need for rest through this month of December. With this rest, not much is getting accomplished to put anything into order for January.  I am OK with that.  I think writing continues to be at the top of my list.  I enjoy these weekly articles (that are loosely based on my Morning Pages).  So I will continue to write and post here and in my Inner Creative Voice Newsletter each week for all of 2018.

I have also decided to dedicate my time to walking in the local parks (several different Ottawa County parks each week).  I have begun this practice in a small way, but feel the need to create a more structured approach.  Walking, taking photos, documenting in my journal…drawing.  This is what is unfolding for me.  Not a huge new shift from my past walks, but the focus on the county park visits will be a motivator!

I am also reading This is a Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett. In this book the author has complied many articles and essays from her work as a freelance writer.  What is SO very apparent in each of these essays (to me) is her writing practice and routines; her creative practice.  She holds to writing for an hour a day…no matter what…in order to get to her creative work while living a VERY busy life.  This is an ideology I, too, strive to live by. 

Get to your creative work. 

Create a routine (watch for good and bad routines that you structure into your life).  This message is also a reminder that I hold to my own creative routine…and I love to help others do the same.  So…in February…I will open up my 21 Day Mini-Mastermind session.  Getting to that work is supported by others who wish for the same nudging towards creating.  Sure, we can do it alone, but connecting with others reminds us that we are part of a greater whole.

See you in 2018 🙂
Susan

Reflecting on the Solstice

Solstice…December 21, 2017.

Round and round the wheel we go.  While reflecting these past 21 days, I see the patterns in my life.  I gently thank them as I reflect on this past year.

Here are the “quotes” that showed up as I reflected:

  • The more things change, the more they stay the same.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Change and death, the only constants.
  • Round and round we go, where we stop, nobody knows.

Funny how quotes show up during these reflection times.  These are the quotes that reveal themselves to me most often.  Are they quotes…or humans ways of seeing?  Putting words and ideas into simple sentences with such impact…like songs.  I do not even know where I originally heard them, but they remain in my mind.

This year, I have focused on “centering” into my own awareness.  Sort of like the hub of a wheel.  I am at the center of the wheel and all the world goes on around me.  I can choose to engage or sit back and watch.  This will be my image moving forward…the “Wheel of Fortune” .  Remaining present in the moment and engaging in the excitement of life going on around me.

 

What have you noticed as you have reflected back over this past year?

(I took a moment to look up these “quotes”…see below):

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose[1]—”the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing -Jean-Baptiste Alphonse

(Persianاین نیز بگذرد‎, translit. īn nīz bogzarad)

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. -Benjamin Franklin

Round and round she goes… -Ted Mack, Amateur Hour

 

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!