Reflecting on Summer’s Creative Fire

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Each summer I spend time creating.  I so enjoy the free time in Michigan summers.  The weather is usually delightful and encourages creative behavior in big, brash bold ways!

I set the intention to fill the summer with some form of artistic expression.  It might be painting or drawing.  It might be cooking organic meals from the weekly trips to the farmers market.  One summer it was drawing images that come to me from my morning tarot readings or dreams.

Many summers have been filled with photography! This summer…lots of selfie work and digging deeper into the “self” through imagery…

But I digress…

I work from my own “creative fire” that energy that sparks in the spring and ignites in the long and drawn out days of summer.   Sometimes I work from my own inspiration. Sometimes I take an on-line class that sparks my interest.  And many times I combine the two!

Why am I writing about this now…in the fall?  Well, this is a time for “harvesting”.  Harvesting the crops and harvesting the beautiful “nuggets” of time spent in the sun and creating.  Now is my time to reflect on all of the abundant creating and set down the joy it has reaped in writing.  Into the fall months, I can have these thoughts and reflections to support me when the schedule kicks in and I feel overwhelmed.

What wonders occurred? What insights were gained from months of creative fire?  How will I use this created energy?

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Here are the steps I take to set the intention for summer creating:

  1.  Ask myself…what creative desires are cropping up into my conscious mind?  What do I wish to explore?
  2. What supplies will I need?  Will I take an on-line class to support the journey?  Or will I create on my own?
  3.  Purchase supplies…set the tone for excitement!!!
  4. Organize supplies so that they fit smoothly into morning or creative ritual
  5. Ritual  set the intention Physically (time space) and mentally (intuitive linear spiral) into my day to create

These are the steps I set out for the summer…but I wonder if they can be used into the fall?Yes indeed!  I am opening the next Elemental Observations E-Course on October 1!  Will you come and walk with me and share what you see where you are?   (Elemental Observations E-course starts October 1!  Carrying the creative fire into the fall!)

For now…what did you discover this summer?  Reflect back on your own “creative fire” and shoot me an email to let me know what lit you up!

Elemental Observations~Fall

linesel·e·men·tal

eləˈmen(t)l/
adjective
adjective: elemental
 
1.  Primary or basic.  “elemental features from which all other structures are compounded” synonyms:  basic, primary, fundamental, essential, root, underlying
  • What if you took 5 minutes each day to look for the simple art elements that are all around you?
  • Where do you walk each day?  Is it with intention?  Or do you just meander?
  • How do you “create every day” when you are so busy?

These are the constant questions that I ask myself on a daily basis.  In answer to these questions, I find tiny moments in each day to notice, really notice what is around me through the lens of my camera.  My phone camera…I love that I can do this!  I am so grateful that I this tool at my finger tips!  Do you have a camera with you each day?

I so enjoy looking for the art elements that show up all around me.  I spent last summer and fall finding these elements and posting them in  tiny “collages”.  The response to those simple images was amazing.  Something so simple that touched others so deeply.  I love this and created and e-course around it last fall.

Now that it is almost fall here in the northern hemisphere, I want to get out and look for those art elements again!  I want to take time each day to observe and delight in the newness that surrounds me!  Want to join me?

I am opening Elemental Observations:  #EO2016 on October 1, 2016 to invite you to “walk with me” and look for the art elements that are all around you.  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 notice the elements that are in the mundane things we pass by each day.

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What you will receive:
1.  Daily emails for 21 days inviting you to notice certain elements for that day (starting October 1, 2016)
2.  An invitation to a private Facebook group to share what you “see”
3.  Intentional focus using any camera that you have available to you daily

Simple.  Clear.  Elemental observations.
21 Days for $21.00. 
Click the button below to register:



21 Days of Gratitude

21 Days of Gratitude


Getting back to a gratitude journal practice has supported my re-entry into the fall schedule.  Taking the time to notice and appreciate all that is around me is a beautiful practice that lightens up my days.

It sounds simple…write a list of things I am grateful for each morning and each evening.  However, I find that it can be a challenge.  I sometimes do not want to write, even though I know how much better I feel when I do.

So, that got me thinking about you.  Do you have a gratitude journal practice?  Are you looking for some encouragement to write what you appreciate each morning and evening?  Would you like to receive email reminders each day for 21 days to be supported in this practice…see where it leads?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, sign up below*.  Starting September 1, I will send you a reminder each day to encourage you to write a list of your gratitudes each day for 21 days.

Click here to join the list!

You will need a journal (I like sparkly ones!) and a pen or pencil.  That is all.  We will use the hashtag #21daysofgratitude to connect on Instagram (if you wish).

I will start by reminding you that I am grateful for you 🙂
Hope to see you!
Susan

*I will add you to my main newsletter list at the end of the 21 days.  You can unsubscribe at any time 🙂

Simplify~Bringing Time at the Cottage Home with Me

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Up to the cottage for a week…preparation and planning was needed to create a simple stay.

This year, I decided to focus on two things while we were on our vacation up north at the cottage:  make food and read.

Really.  That was it.

…and you know what?  I did it.  I kept to those two things being the only things I KNEW I would do each day.  Everything else would be as it came…in the moment.

It took the first day to get through the rush, rush, rush of cleaning out the cobwebs and getting the perishables at the grocery store that is 45 minutes away.  I had packed all of the dry goods the days before we left.  It took some time to calm that frantic pace of preparation.

By day 2…I watched myself fall into a dark, quiet place in my mind.  We had the family up with us…8 people in all.  I listened, cooked and read.  I did not speak much…and my mental self-talk got quieter, too.  A sort of day-to-day meditation of being present in the moment.

When I thought about checking my phone…I remembered that the reception is almost nil up there.  When I tried to check my phone anyway…knowing full-well that I would not be able to read much of anything, I told myself to put my phone away.  This was a focused event for me. I discovered (once again) how very much I check my phone and social media.  Way too much…with no real intentional purpose.  I know this, but it was humbling to see it in action.

I went for walks, wrote in my journal and swam.  I did all of the things that can fill up time with mindful exploration of the physical, the spiritual and the mental.  At the cottage, I stopped myself and really noticed where I was in space and what I could see/hear/smell/touch in so many more moments.  Time shifted.  The days ran together until I actually thought one day was another.

I read a whole book…and started another.

I did take some photos…but not my usual amount.  I focused on a few family images…and the moon was full, so I caught that!  This became my creative focus.  My family up north doing what they do.  And I was a silent observer.

What also began to emerge was my intuition on the next steps in my personal journey.  I had the time and space to “listen inwardly”.  When the focus of daily activities was simplified, the expansion of my inner voice showed up!

I am home now.  I am writing in my gratitude journal in the AM and PM.  I am appreciating my place in the world.

Simplifying is more difficult than I think.  Holding on to a simplified existence is tricky for me.  I am a busy person following the world’s fast pace.  I want to be less busy, at least spend less time wasting time.  I know I can do this…but can I hold on to it in my current schedule back at home?

Intentionally slowing down and noticing creates its own space.  Its own peace.  Its own meditation. My monkey-mind tells me I am wasting time when I slow down to this pace…or that I can only achieve it on vacation.  I am working on changing this thought to: “I am at peace in my day-to-day.” or  “I notice what is going on around me” or “I take the time to savor each moment.”

I will continue to be mindful of how I fill my time.  I will simplify my day-to-day activities. I will remind myself of my time up at the cottage and what I noticed.

What do you notice when you simplify things in your life?

 

Gratitude Practice

flowers 2016

So many things to be thankful for in this time on earth; how do you reflect on your gratitude?

Taking the time to say “thank you” fills the soul.  Even just saying the words aloud “thank you” can bring a smile.

Part of my daily routine is given to gratitude.  Sometimes it is said aloud, sometimes it’s written, sometimes given alone and sometimes shared in the presence of others.  The morning, during the day and the evening…three times to stop, notice and say “thank you”.

The ritual I have put in place in the evening is the one that I make sure I do each day.  Just before bed, I get out my gratitude journal and write.  I list out all of the things for which I am grateful.  I am usually amazed at the length of the list!  But sometimes, I am just not motivated, I may be feeling stingy.  However,  I make myself write at least one thing.  Then, the flood gates open, and I find that I have much more to say.

Intentionally stating my gratitude before sleep calms my dreams, gets me out of my “negative” thought patterns from the day and helps me to wake up smiling.  I have tested this theory.  When I miss a night in my gratitude journal, I am crabbier and have dreams that are more disruptive.  Try it yourself!  See if writing down your gratefulness brings about a calmer and more positive attitude.

Gratefulness as a meditation.

  1. Upon waking up in the morning, say “thank you” 3 times with a big cleansing breath in between.
  2. Mid-day choose a time, say just before lunch, and say “thank you” 3 times with a big cleansing breath in between.
  3. Just before bed, stop, say “thank you” 3 times with a big cleansing breath in between.
  4. After each time of giving thanks, notice.  How does saying “thank you” make you feel?  What happens to your body?  Take time to be grateful and reflect.

5 ways to share gratitude:

  1. Write a note to a friend and mail it!
  2. If you have a blog, devote a post to another individual you wish to thank.  Share your post.
  3. Hugging more often.  Connect and appreciate others.
  4. Smile.
  5. Acknowledge others from your highest self to their highest self.

Enjoy the bounty of this life.  Share your gratitude daily.

What is your gratitude practice?

Releasing into the Unknown

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The Hanged Man tarot card showed up.  There has been a lot happening in my world with jobs, my own creative work and family shifts and changes. Nothing earth-shattering, or really all that new…but constantly on my mind.

For this month of August, I am trying to “release and let go”. This is no easy task for me!  I find that control, routine and focus is my mainstay.  How about you?  I struggle with what it even means to “let go”!

Letting go of old patterns keeps coming up for me.  My old patterns…what are those?  They seem to also be my patterns that I am living in now (old patterns are also my present patterns).  I will take some time to list these out.  Some of this may have to do with having children and preparing for the last year of my youngest being at home.  Some have to do with my relationship with my own parents.  Some have to do with my relationship to work and home life and routines.  Some might come from my childhood…my need to be “liked” and “appreciated” for my work ethic…whoo boy.  Some might even come from past lives…things I have brought in with me, but no longer need…or even want.

I worked as a teacher/consultant all through my kids being in school.  I needed to have that feeling of accomplishment for myself; the career.  The pattern of “work and job” continues to change.  I still have an interest in working a job and for others, but perhaps this is not as strong as it once was?  The idea of “career” is waning… I of course have all of these “old patterns” of work and job…skills and abilities that lend themselves to be being a great “worker”, but I continue to wonder if placing those skills/abilities into the full-time work world is right for me at this point.  Is this letting go of an old pattern…?

I also knew that children would be a part of my life (whether teaching or my own).  I have enjoyed being a mother/parent to our 2 beautiful boys.  Letting go of the patterns of the “home” life as it has been shifting; meals, schedules, school routines, summers off…this will be changing.  I actually had to work fairly hard to be a good “mom” in the scheduling sense. This part of motherhood did not flow easily.  I like to schedule my own life…but struggled with working with the schedules of my young children.  Is this letting go of an old pattern…or coming back to a new pattern of myself?

I DID let go of the teaching world…my life as a classroom teacher was rich and wonderful, but over for me years ago.  I have memories and friendships from those years, but that is something I have “let go”. I took on another “career” and that became the new pattern. Maybe I can do this…

I think there is a need for new adventures with totally different people.  The letting go of my “mid-west” roots happened in the late 80s living and working in NYC, but then I came back to the mid-west and have fallen into the patterns that are set up here. I am a creature of habit and fall into patterns of those around me.   I can see another shift away from this on the horizon.  Loved raising kids here the beauty and nature by the big lake is stunning…but the ideals here in general can be stifling.  Letting go of the ideas of others that overshadow me…yes, this is an old pattern I am ready to let go…

Travel…going to retreats and places where others think differently.  I am needing that. I have started to do this.  I have always had this urge to get out and learn about other cultures and thought patterns.  I have done this in bits and pieces, fits and starts, but will be giving this more attention…open to new possibilities.  Letting go of the fear of “staying put” and “being there for the family”…oh I am seeing something emerging here!

What I am beginning to see as I write this post is the back and forth of habits, patterns and routines.  There are some old patterns to let go…but there are patterns that were started and perhaps let go of too soon.  Revisiting the old (almost) patterns that I might want to revive. Dismantling the patterns and seeing what parts can be re-invented and begin to create the new patterns.  This is where I struggle with “letting go” completely…there are times for that total release…however, what about the truths that are the patterns that work to support you as a being on the planet?

Which brings me back around to this tarot card…The Hanged Man…I see these things:

I am going in to go out.
I am trying to hold on, but will let go.
I release the old patterns and am open to the new patterns that are being created.

Trust.  Release.  Let go…

What are you discovering about yourself today?

Whispering Fields

grassesThere is a shift in the air.  The fields are a bit dryer as the sun continues to beat down on the Earth.

August is that in-between time of warmth and change.  Still enjoying the bits of summer…yet the fields are beginning to “whisper”…change.

Feeling the need to get back to blogging.  Just to touch the words and share them.  Bring the thoughts to life and see where the path leads.

Trusting the journey…creating as I go.

What are you creating right now?

Tarot Readings~What are you looking for on your life’s journey?

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  • Do you ever feel like you get stuck in your “to-do” list?
  • How about when your mind is spinning and it is difficult to get out of that rut, what do you do?
  • What are some things you can do to get you out of your head and into your heart?

When I ask those questions of myself, I find that I turn to my tarot cards. I ask a question to “gain insights” on a certain topic. I choose three cards. I ponder the cards that appear and allow the metaphors from the card images to take me out of my “mind” and into my “heart”.

Does this sound like an opportunity that resonates with you?

Well you are in luck! I am opening up my tarot reading to support you in discovering what metaphors reside in your heart. Take some time to ponder the questions that flit around in your mind and bring them down to you through a tarot reading.

Remember, tarot card readings are a way to help you to refocus. There is no magic answer to your question. The tarot allows you to relax, focus on a questions that is important to your life right now and brings your attention to your higher self. This shifts your mind from spinning in circles and opens your heart to receive the messages that are all around you. A form of centering and focusing on the creative aspects of your self.

Images and metaphors are all around us. Take some time to focus on your big questions. Let go of the “to-do” list for a time and focus on you.

Interested?

Read the details below!

EMAIL READINGS

  • One question = $10.00
  • Two questions = $20.00
  • Three questions = $30.00

What to do:

Click here to email your question (s). Put “Tarot Reading” in the subject box.  Please be as clear, concise and specific as possible. Include your full name, birth date, time & place of birth (if possible).

*You’ll receive an answer to your question(s) in about 48 hours after I have received your payment.

Be gentle, absorb the metaphors you receive and enjoy the journey!

How to pay:

Click the PayPal drop-down menu below, and choose the number of questions you’d like to ask. You’ll receive a payment confirmation note right away.  I will send you images of the cards that appear and my interpretation in written form.

(choose quantity with the drop down menu):


Email Readings



*Tarot readings are a way to connect with your own knowing.  All readings are intuited by Susan of Inner Creative Voice.  Tarot readings are for entertainment purposes only.  No guarantee can be given as to the accuracy of a reading. The user is responsible for his/her own life choices and decisions. We are not qualified to give legal, financial, medical or any other advice, and we do not give advice. If you require advice of any kind you should seek a suitable licensed professional.

Riffing on the Selfie~Creating Self-Portraits

4 selfies

I am taking selfies and then painting them as a study of SELF.  This is a study I am undertaking as I continue to journey through Mandala Magic with Julie Gibbons.  I am taking photos of myself, creating interesting “filters” that share a mood I might be going through (using the Enlight app) and then I am painting that “selfie” image as a self-portrait in acrylic.

I am noticing many interesting things as I move through this process.  One of the BIG ones is this “Should I continue to post images of myself on the internet?  What is the purpose of sharing this personal work?”  Lots of issues around the SELF out there in the greater world.  I will speak to this more in a bit.

Right now, I will share the first four paintings I have created and will add in the journal writings that have accompanied them.  This is giving me an interesting perspective into my SELF, my painting and the mixing of the two.

  1.  Alien-Bug-  Anger at having to be held back.  Exposing my views is vulnerable.  When I do speak out my angry side shows.  Others do not wish to see this.  They find it upsetting and they tell me so.  She can be ugly…and God-forbid we ever show our ugly, dark sides!  But she is hugely empowering.  To hold on to this mode of emotion/energy (which is not all anger alone) and to keep this strength…to move through situations is tricky for me.  I want to back down…to prove I am “nice” again…pretty and complacent.  Oh boy.  Hold on to Alien-Bug woman and use her strength to speak my truth.painted selfies

2.  Underwater-Blue selfie-where I do my best thinking surrounded by water.  Being enveloped by water and held by “emotion” the feelings and issues are allowed to move out as I move through the water.  Slow out air, blow out the emotions.  Becoming a different weight…part of water and the earth. Transforming into a different realm, one with my tribe my deeper earth mother. When people fail me or I fail myself this is my refuge.  My God.

3.  Third Eye-sending out positive energy working to help others. Needing to sit in the calm place and radiate out my good energy  However, this one feels a bit false (as a selfie) pat and over-used; no real deeper meaning other than this looks cool,  However, I remember that the face is over laying an image I took of the full moon.  The reflected light is the moon energy. Will others see this as a false guide? Perhaps this image is most telling because I feel like a spiritual body yet this is presumptuous the “who do you think you are?” image.

4.  Fragmented self portrait-  sort of made me sick to my stomach looking at the final painting of this one.  The eyes look like mine.  The fractured features and stern line of the mouth make me feel constricted.  Sort of like everything that is happening “to” me and I am working to hold it all together.  Sternness will not hold things together, I have found.  Big eyes are also a sign of attempting to keep things held in.  This image is strong in my psyche.  Needing to let go into the fractured parts and see what I will see.

The back and forth between playing with digital photos and filters AND painting what I see has shown me many layers.  Some of my SELF (my psyche) and some of the skills of painting (in which I have no formal training).  Lots of layers here to explore.

This is also exhausting emotional work.  I am going to keep creating these selfies/paintings until I have 12.  I will take a break for a few days to rest up from the energy that is exuded.  Very interesting…

What are you creating today?