Category Archives: Art and creativity

Playing in the tender sweet bliss of divine surrender

I played with shape, colour and Washi Tape yesterday.

It was pure fun.

Sometimes, my “I am an adult and adults don’t do that…” belief (combined with my fear of making mistakes) makes me want to do things to fit in with the way I think others want me to be.

Sometimes, it gets in the way of my letting go of the limiting belief I must have all the answers for whatever is going on in the world around me. I do not have all the answers for anyone but myself. And, while at times I might think it would be easier if someone out there had all the answers for me, the beautiful truth is, my answers all live within my heart. To know my truth, to live my life for all I’m worth, I must be willing to dive deep into my heart and stand true and firm in my own light.

In Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown writes,

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”

I may or may not have been indulging in a little bit of self-evaluation recently and coming up short on my assessments of myself.

In playing through the angst yesterday, I let go of evaluating myself as falling short of others expectations and released my unloving habit of repeating what others tell me they think of me as my truth. I surrendered my search for confirmation I do not fit in and dove deep into my right to be myself in all that I am.

Yesterday I played and in my play I was reminded of my wild heart’s yearning to dance and laugh and sing and throw itself into the air with joyful abandon and fly on moonbeams of rainbow colours cascading into the open arms of Love.

In Love, all that is on my path is Love. The rest is just…. stuff. No judgment. No labelling. No making a list of defects. No calling myself out. It’s all just stuff.

And in falling into the open arms of Love, I felt my heart stir in wild anticipation of having room to breathe and grow its roots deeper into the creative essence at the core of my being me.

I played yesterday. It was pure delight imbued with the tender sweet bliss of divine surrender.

 

Namaste.

 

 

Love Fills In The Cracks


Dark gives way to light
Morning breaks, the heart opens
Love fills in the cracks.

It can be so easy, when standing in the dark of night, to believe the light will never come.

And then it does.

And with the light comes awareness and with awareness the peace of knowing that just as the night moves into day, this moment too shall pass.

And in its passing flow into this moment right now.

Being in this moment right now, the joy and laughter, the sorrow and grief, of the moments past flow freely into memory leaving only the possibility of unfathomable joy and wonder, awe and beauty right now.

This retirement gig has been challenging for me. I am now into my fourth month and my rhythm is still off, my daily gait ungainly.

And then I laugh at myself because, never having been retired before I don’t really know what my rhythm is which is kind of like saying, I don’t know what I’m looking for!

How can I find anything if I don’t know what it is? Perhaps the secret is to stop searching and simply become one with the journey.

Working was easy. Get up. Get going. Rinse and repeat.

This rejuvenation post-retirement is…. a learning process.

Patience is required.

So is kindness.

So is self-care.

Giving into self-care this morning I wrote a Haiku. Writing poetry of any kind has always been my go-to space for clarity, healing, self-care.

I had forgotten.

So… maybe I am getting this rejuvenation post-retirement thingie.

Remembering the things I’ve forgotten in the busyness of life and then… doing them in this moment right now with a loving, gentle heart filled with gratitude for the lessons of my path, the light of each morning and the Love in my heart.

And now, I think I’ll go for a walk with my dog.

 

Your Heart is Your Home (Day 16 – 30 Day Art Project)

Day 16 – 30 Day Art Project

“No matter what life may bring to your door, your heart is the home where your dreams find the courage to take flight on the wings of love, again and again.”   Day 16 – 30 Day Art Project

I am back in my studio today. Back in my creative space where I feel free, at home, safe.

I love visiting with my daughter and her family, playing with my grandson, spending time together, but always, I want to come home to this place where I know I fit.

In this space, I can experiment, take risks, know that no matter what I am doing, there is no right nor wrong way, there is simply the way I choose to create.

I am back in my studio today. I’ve begun a watercolor course online, and as I am the process of learning this new media, have immersed myself back in the medium I love to create in — mixed media.

The comfort of what I know is soothing. Relaxing. It smooths out the rough edges of travel, the tiredness of being away (and yes, an 18  month old is very, very busy) and the balancing act of being away from my familiar surroundings.

I am back in my studio today. It feels good to come home.

Illuminating the dark (Day 15 — 30 Day Art Project)

Day 15 of my 30 Day Art Project was a lesson in humility.

I have always avoided working with watercolors. The ‘story’ around them is, they’re hard.

Why do hard when I can do fun?

Being away from my studio and still wanting to stay on track with my 30 Day Art Project, I decided to invest in a small set of watercolor paints as they are easy to transport, only require water and paper to create.

But here’s the catch. I don’t know the basics of working with watercolors and have to learn them.

Learning a new technique depends on my capacity and willingness to learn through the process without trying to force the process to my way of doing. Because watercolor is such a different medium than acrylics, it requires thoughtful application — I can’t just throw some paint on the canvas and keep working it (as I tend to do with acrylics). With watercolor, understanding how water impacts the paint’s flow and how the light illuminates the dark, is critical to the creative process.

Patience is required.

Did I mention I’m not always that patient with myself when learning something new?

Yeah. Well. I’m not. Which is a bit of a self-defeating game.

It’s something my grandson is teaching me. Getting angry with myself because something isn’t going the way I expect it to, or because I don’t know how to do it, is not all that productive.

Watching my grandson learn to climb onto his tricycle, or climb the stairs is inspiring.

He’s taught me, it’s okay to fall down as you learn to do new things. The secret is to get back up and try again. To keep doing it until you’ve mastered the small parts and all the big parts of a task or skillset.

Like putting a lid on the bottle. The first try, it’s crooked. Second. Third. Same thing. and then, it goes on straight. Next, you have to figure out how to turn it so that it tightens.

It takes concentration, time and a willingness to keep doing it again and again. And while it’s okay to ask for or accept help, eventually, you still have to do it yourself to truly learn the lesson.

There’s a lot to learn in painting with watercolors. I’ve avoided them in the past because I’ve always heard they’re hard to work with.

Hard to work with doesn’t mean I don’t have the capacity to work with them. It just means I’ve never spent the time learning.

Learning something new is good for my brain and keeping my brain active and elastic is good for my health.

There is a saying, (I’m not sure who said it) that goes, “When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing.”

Finding the joy in giving up control is a challenging lesson for me to learn.

I’m learning it.

Slowly.

The secret to enjoying it is to never give up on letting go.

 

Ride the Waves (Day 14 — 30 Art Project)

Day 14 – 30 Day Art Project — A Gift of Love

I am sitting out on the patio. My two daughters are at the table. My grandson is sleeping quietly in his crib.

Dusk is darkening into an indigo sky. The night air has a September chill. I wrap myself in my shawl and listen to my daughters chatting. I watch their faces in the softness of the glow from the patio lights strung along the fence behind them.

Love invades me. Pushing me into joy. I fling the arms of my heart wide and ride the waves.

I search my mind for a moment where I dreamt this moment into being but cannot find it. I smile within me. I actually don’t think I had the capacity in my mind to imagine it into being. And yet, here it is. This moment of my wildest dreams undreamt, brought into reality on a late summer night where my daughters are chattering about their lives, their dreams, their work, their plans and I am sitting with them, listening, chiming in, sharing in the laughter and Love.

Tears form at the edges of my eyelids as my heart swells up with Love it cannot contain.

And then I remember. Something my grandson has been teaching me. Love, like joy, should never be contained. You just gotta let it flow and let yourself flow with it!

I take a deep breath of gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness and let my joy flow.

This is the life I dreamed of. I just didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle of what it would look like until I arrived at this moment and received the gift of experiencing it unfolding.

Because that is life. We walk through each moment, sometime conscious of what is present, sometimes not. And then, a momnt arrives where we stop and take in the view, breathe in the full experience and realize, this is ‘the dream’. This is what we’ve always wanted.

We stop. Say thank you. And then, the moment carries on to the next.

And in each moment’s passing, the deeper we trust in ‘the dream’ of what is unfolding, the dream has room and space to expand into our heart, lighting up our world.

I sat out in the late summer’s evening and felt embraced by life.

I am so blessed.

 

 

 

Creativity Activist – my new gig!

Last weekend, when my youngest daughter and I were at Twin Falls Chalet together, one of the guests was a gentleman who had retired ten years ago from a high level executive position with a multi-national corporation.

Since retiring, he and his wife have built an exciting path that has taken them on travels they’d always dreamed of, and doing things they’d always wanted, alone and together.

One evening, as we sat around the fire and chatted, I asked him about how he had found the transition.

It was easy, he said. Once he’d walked out of his corporate headquarters for the last time, he’d never looked back.

One of the things he did was to create a new descriptor for himself in the new space of his retirement. it’s a ‘title’ that says who you are and what you’re all about, he advised.

In his case, he became an “Adventure Athelete”.

I’ve been thinking about his words for the past week, seeking support from the muses and the universe to help me in discerning, what is my ‘thing’ in this new space in my life and the answer has appeared.

Creativity Activist.

That’s my role, my vocation, my ‘title’ in my life.

I am a Creativity Activist.

For me, this means I use my imagination, creative expressions and talents to make a positive difference in the lives of people and the world by inspiring others to ignite their unique expressions to create better in the world. Each of us has different passions — using our creativity to inspire greatness and better in our passion field is key to personal happiness and to building a better world on every level.

I believe we are all creative by nature. Each of us has our own unique way of using our imaginations to “create and inspire better”.

I believe the world needs all of us to become engaged with creating peace, harmony, equality, and joy in the world. Our imagination and creativity is vital to making change happen — change that will balance socio/economic paradigms, untether political doctrines and shift demographic inequities.

My creative activism is focused on inspiring people to ‘know and love themselves better’. I believe that self-love is the gateway to acceptance of one another, as we are, in all our differences so that we can celebrate what makes us unique on the common ground of our shared humanity.

For me, this is the foundation of creating positive change in the world. When we love ourselves, as we are, without shaming ourselves or others for our differences, we create space for all points of view to be heard and valued. And in that space of equality and harmony, anything is possible.

I am excited.

The thoughts above on what it means for me to be a ‘creative activist’ are not completely defined. But knowing my key motivator and focus in this post-retirement from the formal workplace space, feels…. inspiring… uplifting… freeing… right. 

I want to fill each day with activities that give me a sense of purpose, meaning and joy. What I put my attention on grows stronger in my life. Putting my attention on thoughts and activities that ignite creativity and imagination to create better in the world affirms me. Strengthens me. Comforts me. Inspires me.

How I spend my time is a statement of who I am. Spending my time in the here and now creating opportunities for others to get inspired to express themselves in unique ways that bring harmony and joy into their world, creates better in the world all around me.

Colour me excited!

Paint me a rainbow!

Fly me to the moon!

I got this!

 

Dandelion Dreams (Day 8 – 30 day art project)

Day 8 dandelion love

Years ago, a very dear friend shared a poem she’d written for her sister. “It reminds me of you,” she said, commenting on my tendency to be tenacious, to seldom give up and to keep growing, even in the midst of trauma and turmoil.

Her poem lead to the title of my book, “The Dandelion Spirit.” — It’s the true life fairytale of falling into love with a man I thought was Prince Charming only to awaken on the road to hell, dancing with the Prince of Darkness. By the end of that journey, I had given up on me, given up on my life and even given up on my life with my daughters. It took a big miracle (it included a blue and white police car) and then many, many every day miracles for me to grow out of that darkness to live the life of my dreams today. This beautiful life where I am totally in love with me, myself and I and everyone in my world. And btw, being in love with me, myself and I means loving that woman who got so lost on the road to hell, she deserted her daughters and wanted to end her own life every day.

But, back to dandelions…

I love dandelions. I think they get a bad rap.

Accused of being weeds. Torn out of the gound by their roots. Poisoned. Mowed over. Cemented over. And still, they grow. Up through the cracks. In wild places. In backyards. No matter what we do to them, dandelions persevere. Because, for the dandelion, there is only one thing to do. To fly free with the wind and plant themselves wherever they land.

Like Love.

No matter how hard we try to deny its presence, or ignore its call for us to let down our guard, step out from behind our walls, Love perseveres. In the darkness. In the light. At the edges of our sorrow, and in the depths of our grief, Love is always there, as radiant as sunshine hiding behind grey clouds.

And though we may yell and scream at it for stealing away the ones we love or for piercing our hearts in what feels like all the wrong places, Love never screams back. It simply keeps on flowing and calling us to fly free of the hurts and pains of life’s journey so that we can dance in the sunlight of our own radiance and be our own unique expression of Love.

May we all be like the dandelion and fly free on the wind’s of Love to dance on moonbeams and sunstreaks streaming in through the open windows of our heart.

Namaste.