Friday, July 29, 2016

The Joy of a "Do-Over"...

Hello to one and all, my fellow Creative Beasts,

Today I want to share the joys of the 'do-over'...but first, I want to share some big life crises in my world that began last year and are still affecting me today:

My dear boyfriend, who has been the primary breadwinner of our household, was laid off from his job of over 21 years in October...

Six weeks later, his father died unexpectedly...

...and somewhere in between that, I turned 50...'happy birthday to me'... =\

Yes, our little household was hit pretty hard, and during the holiday season to boot.

I had high hopes for the new year ahead, for us both, until the first few days of 2016 brought yet more trauma that came under the guise of 'helpful friendship', by an individual who is really just a toxic negativity vampire disguised as a 'helpful friend'.

Needless to say, 2016 did NOT start on a good or positive note...

...and I struggled with the fallout of all the life crises and toxic negativity, which really impacted my energy and outlook until I realized I could have a 'New Year Do-Over' during the Chinese New Year...

New Year Rituals, Word of the Year and 'Coincidences':
For every New Year since 2009, since I learned about the ritual of choosing a "Word of The Year", I've been choosing a word or two to guide me. Unfortunately, 2015 was ending on such a bad note (and 2016 was starting out on an even worse note!), that I was having a hard time choosing a word for the year, so I decided to work with a whole mantra instead:

I invite Clarity, Trust and Magic into my life.

As luck, destiny or kismet would have it, a word came to me, and it arrived right around the time of the Chinese New Year. I was given a gift of an inspirational word stone that contained the word TRUST...

A gift from a mail art buddy I connected with last year, and outgrowth of choosing COMMUNITY as my Word of the Year in 2015...AND Community is one of my core values =)

TRUST is not something that comes easily to me in my life...with the exception of the inspirational stone!! ;)

But once I saw this stone, I knew I could move forward. I knew I could begin to learn how to lean in to trust the Universe, to TRUST that everything I need will cross my path when the time is right.

And since I began my 'New Year Do-Over' many people have come into my life to provide what I need for healing, for support, for encouragement, for reflection, for income...

A gathering of 'soul gifts' - crystals and stones for healing, a shell to remind me of the healing power of the sea, hand crafted ceramic dish and bird by different artists, my hand written set of affirmations that are part of Mondo Beyondo, an online course lead by Andrea Scher...these and other gifts have gone a long way toward my healing

The biggest gifts have been the healing gifts...and much of this healing work has needed a protected and safe space, as well as time.

Due to the time I've needed for healing, I've had little time for blogging.

Though I have been actively sharing my creative adventures on my Facebook page and at Instagram, I have missed my dear old blog...

But I now know there is power in a 'do-over', power in 'beginning again' and in starting over.

The Joy of the "Do-Over"
Today is a good day to 'Begin again' as today is my blogiversary. This blog has been around for 7 years and there has been so much goodness to come from having this blog, that I am SO GRATEFUL FOR...

I'm not yet sure how I will move forward with this dear old blog, but I have a few ideas and I hope you bear with me as I 'begin again' and move forward with Clarity, Trust and a little bit of MAGIC...

Thank you all so much for being here with me

Monday, December 14, 2015

Catching Up With Reverb15...

Hello my fellow Creative Beasts,

Today I'm catching up with the previous FOUR prompts for Reverb15, hosted by Kat McNally of "I Saw You Dancing". There is still time to sign up HERE and play along if you are inspired to do so.

And now for the Reverb prompts, as I am quite behind in my blogging!

Prompt 11: Of Atoms and Stories

For this prompt, Kat gives us this to muse upon:

Muriel Rukeyser once wrote: The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms. And I could not agree more. Our stories are our own but, in sharing them, they become universal. And timeless. 

What stories touched you this year? Which stories of your own are you glad you shared?

An uplifting story that touched me this year was that of ballerina Misty Copeland being promoted to Prima Ballerina at American Ballet Theater. As a woman of color and dancer who began dance studies with a love of ballet, this story was an exciting one to watch unfold...of course, there has always been the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, both of which are African American dance companies, but to have an African American woman achieve the exalted position of Prima Ballerina in a primarily white dance company is truly breaking racial barriers and smashing concepts of what makes a 'perfect ballet body'.

As for stories of my own that I am glad I shared this year, I would have to say that sharing my frustration and exhaustion and burn out with an old friend was instrumental in my taking time away from all of my hard work, and it also helped me take the leap to join Mondo Beyondo, which has been EXTREMELY HELPFUL in regaining my TRUST in MAGIC and helping me gain better CLARITY that has helped me MANIFEST some dreams I've been holding close and dear and I plan to carry this intention well into the new year!

Prompt 12: The Alchemy of Fear

This Reverb15 prompt is a guest post from Alana Lawson, aka Wolf and Word:

Can you think of an instance in the past year where you have been successful at making fear useful? 

What fears do you hold about the year ahead? And how could you use the energy of those fears in a different way?

Where in the past year have I made fear USEFUL to me? I guess it would be in all the work and reaching out I've been doing to locate venues to teach from, only I've now come to the realization that teaching from my own studio might be the best-fit plan of all...

But this taps into my fears for the year ahead - that I will not be able to get my studio into a suitable and tidy state for teaching in, which leads to other fears that I will never be able to earn enough money to pay my bills with ease...

But I think I can use this fear to my advantage and maybe even transmute my fears into a motivated energy aimed at discarding all goods, supplies and items that no longer serve me or bring me joy in the thought of using said items for future creative projects. I am close to completely filling TWO 18 gallon tubs of fabrics, trims, paper, and various supplies to be given away through art groups and I am finally starting to see some pockets of spaciousness and areas of carpeting that had been previously covered with too much stuff...and seeing this clearing begin to really take form is getting me excited to reach the finish line!

Prompt 13: Shake It Off (yes, really!)

What are you going to shake off with fierceness before you enter the new year?

There is something about this prompt that feels so powerful, to be able to shake off that which no longer serves me or, as Ann Miller once sang, to 'shake it away'...

And if there was something to be shaken off, it would be the perpetual resentment I harbor toward people I wrote about here last year, resentment which hasn't quite lost its grip, much to my chagrin...

Interestingly, I received a message in my inbox yesterday, from Mindy Tsonas, who is providing some daily alchemy card wisdom for December (you can sign up here!) to help keep balance during the hectic holiday season and yesterday's card seems to connect to this prompt of 'shaking it off' is the alchemy card Mindy shared with us:

Oh, the work of Envy.
We all feel it and experience it. The feeling of Envy is a compelling one. It's a double edged blade that tells the story of something we deeply desire and also something we fear.... our own not enough-ness. This is a powerful card that can push us into uncomfortable places, but it also can be a great teacher and provide lots of insight should we allow it. The trick is to listen to what your envy is telling you, what work it's bringing up for us as unfinished and present, and to not get consumed by the immediate, visceral response. 
The Envy card allows us to be in our jealous feelings without the fight or flight response. It give s us an extra beat to let the emotion of it move through. Otherwise unchecked, envy can lead to outward hostility and projecting our negative emotions onto other people. It is an emotion we must own and endeavor to understand. It is a root feeling that is much more about what we fear we lack, than it is about what someone else might possess.
Today, delve into working with this feeling with a bit of gentleness and a wide open heart. Take kindness and compassion along as companions, and know we all have imperfections and places that need shoring up. Find the flow in Envy so that it does not shut you down. Don't let it block you from knowing your truest self.

The idea of feeling ENVY or JEALOUSY is one that pops into my head often as I continue to rid myself of my resentment and anger toward the 'narcissistic energy suckers' that take up space on the fringe of my world. So if there is an underlying current of envy being felt here let me now share just what I do feel envy and jealous of:

The utter disregard for 'politeness' in getting what they want, and they do get what they want...I have witnessed some stunning displays of entitlement and arrogance, and the lengths of selfishness taken to get what they want has been appalling to witness, to say the least, and there is NEVER ANY APOLOGY for this behavior...EVER.

These 'energy suckers' want what they want and, by god, they will have it...and they will have it WITH NO CONSEQUENCES...

Some days I wonder what it must be like to feel so entitled to be able to act so selfishly for one's own ends, with complete disregard for putting out anyone else. Being able to get what you want when you want it is something I envy, no doubt about it...but I also see how empty these lives truly are and I can begin to see that these lengths of selfishness are but one way to cover the shallowness these people are harboring, the lack of inner self possession, lack of healthy self centered-ness, lack of peace, calm or serenity...

...the kind of peace, calm and serenity that I strive toward with my daily meditation rituals...self care rituals I know the narcissists can not be bothered with doing for themselves, after all, who needs to take of yourself when you can throw tantrums to get others to take care of you?

Maybe with a little more contemplation on my feelings of envy and jealousy, I can get closer to finally shaking off the anger and resentment so I can one day look upon these people and feel absolutely NOTHING in their presence...I hope so.

Prompt 14: Transformation
This is a guest prompt from Lisa Sadikman who gives us the following prompt to ponder:

You wake up and the light through the window seems different, the air carries a chill or maybe a hint of warmer days. 

What has changed? You? The world? 

It can be a change that happened this past year or one you're looking toward in the time ahead. It can be a broad sweep obvious to all or a more subtle shift that only you know about. 

Tell us about transformation.

What changed is that I made a CHOICE to take a leap...

I took a leap to reach out despite my burned out, blocked and broke state of being and I reached out to strangers who would not remain strangers for long...

I took a leap to reclaim the inner magic I lost track of and I set an intention to invite CLARITY, TRUST and MAGIC into life...

And with this change to invite these values into my life, not only did I change myself, but the world shifted to meet my inner change...

And I can feel my 'dreaming big' and 'magic making' muscles begin to grow back. And I am glad I took a leap to make a CHOICE to reach out for HELP =)

Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading today!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Reverb15 - Radical Acts of Love

Hello my fellow Creative Beasts,

Today is Day 10 of Reverb15, hosted by Kat McNally of "I Saw You Dancing". There is still time to sign up HERE and play along if you are inspired to do so.

And now for today's writing prompt...

Prompt Ten: Radical Acts of Love

We have a guest contributor for today's prompt and her name is Julia Inglis of 'Sacred Familiar', who creates some of the most amazing needle felted medicine dolls I've ever seen!

Here is the prompt given to us from Julia:

When we heal our spirits the ripples are felt from the highest branches to the deepest roots of our family trees. 

What radical act of love or non-conformity did you embrace this year? 

How did performing this alchemy affect your ancestors and what is the gold waiting to be shared with future relations?

Hmmmm, once again I'm feeling a bit stymied with this prompt, as it harks back to ancestors and to family trees...

But I do love the primary question of 'radical acts of love or non-conformity' that I may have embraced this year...

For anyone who has been reading at my blog for sometime now, you will understand that I have been 'committing an act of non-conformity' for over THREE years now, and that is to blaze my own trail, to utilize my skills and forge a creative career as a maker and instructor.

This has not been easy.

And this year in particular has been a difficult one, with some real challenges thrown into the mix in the past two months...

But each day I choose this 'radical act of self love', knowing it is the best choice FOR ME, as I finally begin to truly 'honor doing things in the way that works best for ME'...and 'doing things in the way that work best for ME' might now mean scrapping some things and starting from scratch, and blazing more trails, instead of walking well worn paths that are not bringing the results I wish to see.

This will not be easy.

But it will be easier knowing that working within 'established systems' is not going to work for me because I really don't like 'established systems'!

And not working within 'established systems' is also an act of 'non-conformity', something that was not really looked upon favorably as I was growing up...but then, who was raised to think as a non-conformist?!?

I really don't know how my radical acts of self love and non-conformity will affect my ancestors or future relations with anyone I may cross paths with in the future, but I'm beginning to see that the 'gold waiting to be shared with future relations' will be a strong sense of resilience, determination and confidence and I can only hope that these qualities I am cultivating by walking my own path will be an inspiration to anyone I may meet in the future.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading today!