Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn Walk in the Woods

I've been feeling a pull to the woods. The trees have been whispering my name and calling me for a visit. The truth is, I've been missing them. Ever since my trip to the Upper Peninsula I felt so connected with those trees and back at home I only have a few, small little baby trees. It's just not the same.

So I grabbed my camera and took a short drive to this great little nature center and went for a solitary walk in the woods. For me the best kind of walk in the woods is one I do all by myself. When I am there, alone, I am able to connect with the power of nature, to connect with myself in a way that I can't experience when I am surrounded by people.

It was amazing because everywhere I walked I was awed by the beauty. I stopped to take a million pictures. The thing is that fall is such a beautiful season. The colors are deep and warm, all of my favorites. The air is crisp and the sun has a certain glow about it. Listening to the birds chatter and hearing the crunch of the leaves underfoot adds to the wonder of it all.

Unfortunately most of the time I let fall go by without much appreciation. I have this thing about winter...I hate it. So often what happens for me is that as soon as the weather turns and the fall season begins I start dreading the arrival of winter. I miss out on a whole season of beauty waiting for something bad to happen.

And then I started wondering how often I do this in my life. Am I missing those wonderful, beautiful, soul opening moments waiting...waiting for something to happen. Ah, that's the good ole dilemma. How to stay in the present moment!

There was a moment where all of this came to me in a moment of clarity. I had found a spot beneath the trees where the sun was peeking through. I stopped and just stood there and allowed the sun's rays to warm my face. The wind blew and all around me leaves started fluttering to the ground. My senses were alive and there was such gratitude for that brief moment in time where everything was perfect, I was perfect.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Money is...?

Good question isn't it?

Money can be a loaded subject. People who have a lot of it either like to flaunt it or keep it to themselves. People who don't have either like to pretend they have enough or complain they need more.

Money can buy all sorts of things. It can give you power or make you a victim. It can give you freedom or keep you trapped. It can be a source of generosity or stinginess. It can be used to help people or to control them.

We all have different ideas about money, different beliefs about it. I've been exploring my beliefs and trying to uncover the reasons behind my inability to make money. I've learned so much about myself, my fears, my goals and my dreams.

Today I did a belief change which is a process that brings you back to the time in your life when you a adopt a belief. Once you uncover the limiting belief that is holding you back you can release it and replace it with a new, healthy belief. It was quite powerful. When I finished I wanted to seal it with a painting. A creative expression of my relationship with money.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who Am I?

Years ago when I began my spiritual journey I was introduced to a powerful question that changed my life. It's a simple question, one that seems easy enough to answer until you begin to dig a little deeper. As you may be guessing, the question is, "Who am I?"

The power lies not only in the question but how you go about answering it. Asked just once, the answer is simple, "I am Michelle." When asked again, the answer might be something like, "I am a mom, daughter, brunette, woman, friend, or cousin." Continue asking and the answers become deeper, "I am nice, a bitch, happy, angry, sad." Dig deeper and watch as the answers shift from the labels that are me to the essence that is me..."I am water that flows in the ocean, the air that lifts a birds wings, the stars that twinkle, the energy that flows throughout the universe."

It is an amazing experience to uncover and strip away the "idea" of who we are. This is the exercise I embarked on before painting this BIG painting. It is actually 4 pieces of poster board taped together so it is not just big, it is huge. It was the perfect size to answer such a big question.

It was the last painting I did for the painting class that I took called BIG. I loved, loved, loved this class. Everything that Connie did really worked so perfectly. She set us up to really form a community and I've met some amazing people through this class. We bonded in a way that I just didn't expect.

She encouraged us to explore who we are through paint, to allow our creativity to soar and to be expressed without fear and judgement. She guided us every step of the way and supported us when things got tough. She shared herself with us in a deep and vulnerable way which let us know that she understood where we were and that we were going to be, better than OK, awesome!

I am so grateful for the experience I got taking this class. It has unleashed things in me that I didn't know were there to be unleashed. It has changed me in ways I could have never expected. It is more than just painting, it is empowering and freeing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Go there, check it out. Dig in, sign up. Give yourself this gift.