Tag Archives: The Artist’s Way

Love Is There, where ever you are.

My “Inspiration Deck”
Hand-painted cards with words to prompt creative expression.

Sometimes, to ‘loosen the ligaments’ of my creativity, as Virginia Woolf once wrote about keeping a written diary, I pull a card from a creativity deck such as Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way art cards. Or, as I did yesterday, I pull one from the cards I recently created for the art journaling classes I am offering both here in my Wild at Heart Studio and Kensington Art Supply.

The cards I created are mostly single words meant to spark creativity through association and stimulus of non-linear thinking.

The first word I pulled yesterday was ‘Earth’. When I let myself become present in the word, I saw (in my mind’s eye) the big ball of the earth spinning through space. I also saw the sky, greenery, water.

Wanting to deepen my journal process, I pulled two additional cards: Explore. Heart.

And then… the fun began.

No matter where you go in the world, Love is there, where ever you are.

As this art journal is an example of ‘the possibilities’ for my art journaling course on Nov 19, and each two-page spread uses a different medium(s), this page was to demonstrate the possibilities of using only one medium – ink.

I dropped some yellow and blue inks on the page, squirted some water at the inks, brought the two sides of the book together and squished the pages against one another, á la Rorschach. Next, I took a damp paper towel and moved the ink out towards the edges of the pages, as well as pulled off some of the ink onto secondary sheets of paper I always keep on hand, just in case. In this case, because I had too much ink on the pages, I needed to remove some of it. (The extra sheets will become part of some other art expression.)

Left page spread

All of that was done intuitively. I had no ‘plan’ when I began. I didn’t even know the colours I’d be using, just the medium.

And that’s the point of art journaling. It’s not about ‘making art’. It’s about expression.

In this case, two things happened as I kept creating. 1. I collaged in some papers I liked.

Right page spread

2. I used a stencil of the world to connect to ‘earth’ I wanted to use orange ink but didn’t have any spray orange ink so, I sprayed it with purple ink instead.

Using a black pencil, I wrote along the outside of the map and highlighted the countries and grid with white ink.

And voilá!

My journal page is completed in under an hour.

And here’s the thing. In creating it, I didn’t ‘know’ the theme, nor what the quote would be before I began working. I let the process guide me as opposed to me directing the process.

And yes, there’s a country or two missing from my globe because the purple bled into their space when I sprayed.

It’s okay. It’s not about ‘perfection’. It’s all about expression.

And for me, the reminder that no matter where I am in the world, Love is there too, inspires me to stay with the flow of life. In that space I do not have to consciously trust that Love is underpinning everything. It is a felt relationship I experience as true.

This means, sitting at my desk, I am in relationship with the two squirrels who are making me smile as I watch them chase one another up a tree trunk outside my window while I type. They are also part of Love’s everywhere present, as is the river flowing past and the traffic driving across the bridge and the trees standing tall along the river bank and that person walking across the pedestrian bridge towards Bowness and… you get the picture.

And… I need to say “Thank you Grade 10 typing class”. Because of that experience many years ago, I can touch type today, which frees me to lift my head from my computer screen to watch the river flow past and the squirrels play without having to watch my fingers on the keyboard!)

You know. It’s kind of a magnificent day to be alive today! I’m so grateful.

Namaste.

 

Fear is the Opportunity to Awaken

Front Cover

I am practising the art of “begin again“.

For years, I dutiflly wrote my ‘morning pages’, the art of writing it out every morning as proscribed by Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way”.

For years more, I let it go.

I loved writing my morning pages, but… but… but…. Blogging. Busyness. Basically telling myself I didn’t need to, kept me off the habit of my morning pages.

Unscripted time welcomed me back. Particularly as I don’t have a deadline in the mornings in which to get it all completed. I only have… time in its endless flow.

I have begun again.

This morning, as I sat and wrote, I invited my mind to stop ‘forming thoughts’ and to simply let whatever thoughts were swimming about in my head become visible on the page. The words formed and I smiled as I saw the theme emerge: Believe.

Yesterday, as I sat in my studio and created simply for the sake of creating, a booklet created itself. Its theme:  Believe.

Everything is connected to everything.

For much of my life I feared ‘dreaming’. Feared planning my own life built on my own dreams because… well there are a whole lot of deep psychological roadblocks that formed as little speedbumps when I was a child and kept getting built bigger and bigger as I encountered life’s challenges and disappointments.

Needless to say, countless hours of therapy, breath work, group work, writing it out, talking it out and self-actualizing it out have diminished the roadblocks. Now they’re simply speedbumps that are easy to navigate as long as I consciously drive with my intention to live fearlessly in this moment gripped firmly in my hands, heart, mind, body and spirit.

The 9-to-5 was perfect for someone afraid of dreaming. It gave me a destination. A plan. A purpose. It gave me structure.

Set free, I met my fear opening up in my morning pages. At its root, my fear of dreaming.

And I smile.

Fear is the opportunity to awaken.

My fear lives in my mind. I am in control of what I feed my mind. Healthy, empowering thoughts, or garbage.

My choice.

I’m choosing morning pages, bright sunlight and a steady diet of clarifying my dreams so that I can create the structure that will support their fruition.

It’s an exciting journey. I can feel it in my bones, my blood, my body.

And I smile again. I’m obviously into the 3 B’s this morning.  (Yup! I do amuse myself!)

I’ve put the book I made on the desk beside my computer. It is my reminder to believe. In me. Life. Possibility. And in that belief, to follow my dreams, my heart, my desire to create. My desire to make a difference in this world by inspiring others to connect with their creative core and express themselves freely.

I don’t know what the outcome will look like, and that’s okay. For now, I am allowing what is percolating to bubble up and become expressed, however it chooses to be expressed.

In that expression, I am creating clarity. With clarity, purpose follows. And in that inspiring space, my dreams will follow and I will follow my dreams.

Namaste.

 

 

 

The river moves slowly in the cold of winter

The river moves slowly in the cold of winter. It slides, its surface an undulating steel grey mass of water gliding as one graceful body moving ever onward towards a distant ocean.

The ocean feels further away in the winter. Like a forgotten spring damned up behind blocks of ice freezing all memory of silken sands and seagulls diving into the waves. There is no memory of warmer days in winter’s icy grip. Only the slow silent moving of the days as the river glides slowly past.

The river is flowing slowly. Trapped between its ice lined shores growing wider and thicker with each passing day, silently it moves up into the confines of a narrow channel of ice that has gathered beneath the bridge, between the shore and the bridge abutment. It pushes feebly against the ice, thoughts of far-away freedom growing further and further away. It lays there now in the cold of winter. It lays in a silent ice-encased body, waiting for spring’s arrival.

The river moves slowly in the cold of winter like pain coursing through our bodies in moments of despair, grief, fear, anger.

In their midst, we feel like time has stopped moving. Like everything has slowed down as we sit in a darkened tunnel of pain pushing back tumultuous emotions we cannot name, nor speak, nor label for fear, they will become our forever reality and spring will not return one day.

And then, time passes. And spring returns. And with its return the ice slowly melts and the river flows freely to the sea once again.

I have known moments of excruciating pain in my life. Moments where I believed now was forever and feared it was true. Moments where all I could hear was the roaring in my head, the roaring that sounded like I was buried deep in a bed of ice, too frozen, too frightened, too fearful to move.

And then spring came and with it, the ice melted and I remembered to breathe into its promise of sunshine and brighter days ahead.

The river moves slowly in the cold of winter. It is beautiful as it glides past my window, glistening beneath in its molten sheet of grey edged in white.

There is beauty in the cold of winter. Untold stories of skaters whizzing across frozen ponds and skiers swooping down snow-laden mountainsides, their cheeks rosy and their spirits light.

There is beauty in the cold of winter. It begins within my heart melting in gratitude for this day, no matter how cold or frosty the air I breathe.

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I am working with The Artist’s Way creativity cards.

Each day, I pull a card and must free-fall write whatever appears from the inspiration of the card.

Today’s card was:  The Air We Breathe — Creativity is oxygen for our souls.