Friday, November 26, 2010

Your Feel Good Gift

Have you ever found something that makes you feel REALLY good but you just don’t do it enough? It’s kind of a weird thing because if it makes you feel so darn good why don’t you do it all the time?

Well for me one of those things is meditation. When I meditate I feel connected, inspired, filled with peace and gratitude. My writing is effortless, my thoughts are clear, and things just sort of feel easy.

So when is the last time I meditated before this week you ask? Hmmm, I’d have to say months. To be honest, I can’t even remember.

It seems crazy I know but I’ve decided to break that cycle and I have committed to meditating everyday for at least 30 days. I’ve now meditated several times in the last week and wow, my energy is flowing. Ideas are coming to me; there have been shifts in my thinking that are so peaceful.

With the start of the holiday season, ask yourself the following questions and give yourself this feel-good gift this year.

What is one thing you know you could be doing to make yourself feel amazing that you’re not?

How specifically can you fit it into your life?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving and I feel like it's gotten lost in the over consumerism of Christmas. It seems like we jump right from Halloween, straight into Christmas. We even have a radio station that starts playing Christmas music on November 1. What the heck?

Well not at my house. For the last three days I've been preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. I've been shopping, cleaning, baking, and chopping. Getting ready for the big day. Tomorrow I will wake up early and head off to the indoor soccer field to watch my husband and 17 year old play in the Thanksgiving tournament. It's so much fun!

This is the time of year when we all focus on the things we are so grateful for. Our families, our friends, our homes, our health, our lives. It is a great way to connect with gratitude and I always encourage my children to talk about what they are grateful for even when the answer is something like candy or video games. "cringe :o)"

But I want to take a moment to talk about a simpler form of gratitude that can begin right now, in any moment, on any day of the year. You see, while I was cooking and cleaning I filled the sink with soapy water. Iused a new bottle of soap that I never used before and it ended up making the soapiest sink I've seen in ages.

I reached my hand into the water to begin scrubbing my pie plate and I felt the warmth of the water and the delicious silky feel of the soap on my hands. I even got a whiff of the fresh lemon scent of the water as it rose up to meet my nose.

All I could think of in that moment was gratitude. How lucky was I that I got to experience this moment in time. I know it sounds crazy but it was like one of those "rays of sunshine beaming on me" moments.

It couldn't have happened if I wasn't completely present to the moment. If I had been rushing or thinking about my to do list that beautiful sink of suds would have gone unnoticed.

So take this opportunity to start out your holiday season being present to each and every moment and see if it makes a difference. Start a gratitude journal that goes beyond Thanksgiving. Try to find your own sink of suds to bring you a glimpse of gratitude in the most mundane of activities.
Happy Thanksgiving today and everyday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

I am Beginning...

We've all heard about positive affirmations and the power they can have. Some people believe it, others do not. I believe that everything we do, think, and say is energy that goes out into the universe so why not send out the best?

The thing is, sometimes it's just not that easy. I have this idea about truth and honesty. I know it most situations in life it serves me well. It is not, however, so great when it holds me back from making the changes I desire.

You may be confused about what I am talking about here so let me explain. Let' say I want to become more organized in my home. The suggestion for a positive affirmation my be something like, "I am organized."

Well, that's all fine and dandy, but...I am not organized so it feels like a lie when I speak it or think it. I know people will say, "Yes, you need to keep saying it until it becomes a reality." I get it, I do. Still, it just doesn't seem right to me.

But with the addition of just three little words it completely shifts the energy for me and makes it feel right. "I am beginning to be more organized." Ah yes. That is true. I can work with that. It gives me that positive energy without feeling like a lie.

So if you are struggling with those positive affirmations like I have, try adding those three words and see if makes a difference for you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Healing With Paint

As the name of this blog suggests, my interest in art tends to have a healing quality to it and today's project is a shining example of this.

I've been sick for about a week now. I have a sinking suspicion it was brought on by my lack of self care that has been going on for me lately, a little message from my body telling me to take care of myself.

The illness actually culminated in a complete loss of my voice. I was having a bad day when my dear friend sent me an email with some notes from Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life. Now I have this book but I don't always think to open it up and explore it so I was completely grateful that Carrie had the smarts to see what I couldn't.

She sent me the issues surrounding the throat and some positive affirmations related to it. She encouraged me to see what resonated and to repeat them to boost my healing. Of course I knew that was a great idea and I felt like I wanted to step it up a notch especially since the issues related to the throat can be about stifling creativity. What better way to get my creativity flowing than to pick up my paint brush?

I knew I would have to use the techniques I read about in the book Painting From the Source if it was going to be meaningful. I took pictures along the way and I am going to share them with you here.

I started by writing the affirmations on my canvas. I wanted to set my intention to connect to my throat and what was going on.

From there I took my watercolor crayons and started coloring over the page. I wet a paintbrush with water and started blending the shades of blue and red. I added some paint and I even got my fingers in there and imprinted my fingerprints into the paint.

Then I started adding white paint and allowing it to drip from center. I didn't know why but I knew it felt right.

I continued the dripping technique with a vibrant blue.

And then some Payne's gray and red.

To be honest, around this point I started to get a little bored with all the dripping paint which I knew was a signal to move on. I sat and looked at the painting, asking it what it needed but I was coming up blank. I suspected that I needed a break and decided I would meditate for a while.

After about 30 minutes of the most amazing and powerful meditation I've had in a long time, I went back to my painting and painted a white orb in the center.

At this point I got into such a zone that I forgot to take a picture. I actually painted the orb iridescent gold and got out my gold gel pen and put in small dots radiating out from the center. I have to tell you, it took my breath away. I was so pleased with the way it turned out. I propped it up to get a good look at it and I knew it wasn't completed.

I started painting more circles emanating from the center orb and immediately I got this sinking feeling. I had ruined my beautiful painting and that's when I realized I hadn't even taken a picture of it. I was so disappointed. Well, I remember something I read in the Painting From Source book that said, if it looks ugly make it uglier. So that is the attitude I took.

I kept painting and painting in a sort of zone and when I finished I knew that the painting was complete. I felt it. It was perfect. Not because it is a masterpiece but because it is deep and personal and came from my soul.

It is filled with sparkling gold and glitter and shines in the light. It makes me feel good inside when I look at it.

Was I miraculously physically healed?


Am I getting better?


Am I healed in some deep way that I don't even quite understand?


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I am a Living Dichotomy

Sometimes I wonder who I am. What makes me tick.

Some days I am fueled with the need to create in any way, shape, or form.
Other days I can't fathom the idea of putting art supply to paper.

Some days I am the best mom in the world, helping the kids with their homework, carting them to their next event, playing games with them and laughing.
Other days I wish they would just play quietly by themselves and leave me be.

Some days I am the most amazing and loving wife, showering my husband with loving caresses, kind words and passionate kisses.
Other days, I wish he would just leave me alone for God's sake.

Some days I am so motivated to clean and organize my house no matter how tired I am.
Other days, I walk right past the shoes, clothes, and toys that are strewn about.

Some days I think I can do anything and I am amazing.
Other days I look at the mirror and see the reflection staring back at me and I think, "why can't you get it right?"

I am a living dichotomy.

I wonder when I will ever merge these different aspects of who I am to create one whole being that knows how to just be.
Or is this just who I am, who I will always be, two different aspects pushing and pulling like a the great forces of the universe?

Can I learn to embrace the yin and the yang of who I am?
Can I harness the powers that each aspect brings to me?
Can I just allow who whatever aspect of me to emerge?
Can I trust that who I am in any given moment is enough?

I choose to be gentle with myself.
To strive to be better.
To allow myself to be less than perfect.
I am getting better at it every day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Art on Hold

This week I have been busy mentoring 28 students who are going through the program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I graduated 2 years ago and it was a life changing experience for me and now I get to help a whole new group of amazing women through the program.

I have women from Australia, Israel, Japan, and all parts of the US. They are such an interesting group of women with the most amazing stories. I feel completely honored to work with them and see their lives change over the next year.

This is not the first time I have mentored IIN students. This is actually my third round. I will be finishing up with my second group next week and I am amazed at the changes they have made. The power these women have to juggle their families and their responsibilities to create a new life for themselves.

The greatest part about it is that they are now going out into the world to help other people make changes and improve their health and their lives. It's a humbling feeling to be apart of something so big.

To be honest, when I sat down to write this post I was planning on lamenting about how I didn't have a chance to create any art this week with the exception of the eye doodle I created on notebook paper as I had a meeting with a colleague.

In the process of writing about my experiences with these women I suddenly have a shift in my energy. I feel a sense of gratitude and blessing and I don't feel as I've missed out on anything. In fact, I know for a fact that I have gained so much. And guess what? My paints will be there next week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sharing Beauty!

I was blessed to receive a Beautiful Blogger from Patti Foy of Lightspirited Being. I just love the Internet because it allows me the opportunity to get to know the most amazing people anywhere in the world. Patti lives in New Mexico and has an amazing combination of talents and experiences. She is a Vedic Astrologer, a channeler, and an energy worker. Check out her blog to learn more about this awesome woman.

Part of my responsibilities for receiving this award are to:
  • Share 7 things about me that you probably don't know
  • Pass the award on to 5 other beautiful bloggers
So let's get started!

7 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me
1. When I was in 2nd grade my house burned down. I was home with my mom and dad at the time. I actually saw the smoke and told my parents and they got us out of there pronto. I remember watching from the car as the house went up in flames and I cried and cried and I remember my dad saying, "Why are you crying? That's just stuff. We are all safe and that's all that matters." It was really a great lesson.

But here's the really unusual part of the story and the reason I'm sharing it with you. Shortly after the fire, we were left with nothing. No clothes, no furniture, no toys. And guess what we did. We flew to the Canary Islands for a vacation. Of course that's what most people would do right?

It was the coolest trip for me and probably the thing that started my fascination with travel. I remember climbing the sand dunes, splashing in the ocean, driving up the mountains, drinking the warm goat milk (yuk), and exploring the markets with all the African masks, spears, and animal hides.

Of course my parents bought suitcases and stuffed them full of those artifacts and brought them home to open a new restaurant called Dr. Livingston's Incredible Edibles I Presume. But that's a whole other story.

2. I've done a lot of training in my life. It started when I was young. I was tall and thin so I went to modeling school. I took classes to be a makeup artist. I played the viola. Years later I was trained as an airbrush artist. I travelled all over the US to study from some of the best mosaic artists including a trip to Venice to study with a mosaic master. I went through a year long training called The Journey, I've been attuned for Reiki 2, I am a trained hypnotherapist, I am a trained juice feasting consultant, raw food chef, Nutritional Counselor, and Holistic Health Coach. The funny thing is there is probably more but I just can't think of it right now.

3. In my lifetime I've had 15 dogs, 1 cat, 5 birds, 1 hamster, and 1 gecko. I would have to say that from a young age I became a dog person. The full extent of that didn't occur to me until one day I was telling a friend about the one cat I owned and the reason I got rid of it. You see I had 2 dogs at the time and no matter where I put the cat's liter box those dogs always managed to get to it and eat the kitty crunchies. I thought it was so gross so I got rid of the cat. Of course my friend said, "Wait, let me get this straight. The cat was doing its business where it was supposed to and the dogs were the ones eating it, and you got rid of the cat?!" Hmmmm, I realized it made no sense but it proved that some people are just dog people and I'm one of them.

4. I am an only child. I always wanted a brother or sister and I used to beg my parents to no avail. I was lucky enough to have my cousin Jenny who was 3 years younger than me and when we were young I considered her my sister. I believe my childhood without siblings had a lot to do with my decision to have 5 children of my own. I guess I created the situation I most wanted when I was little. I hope they don't decide to have only children now. ;o)

5. I used to be a Creative Memories Consultant. I actually loved it. It was so fun to teach people how to scrapbook. I used to have these workshops with different themes at my house. There was a pajama party, a wine and cheese party, and some big scrap-a-thons. I have several scrapbooks for my first 2 boys, a gazillion of my 3rd son, 1 for my 4th, and none for my fifth. Ugh! I have such guilt that I asked the older boys not to bring out the scrapbooks because I don't want the little ones to know. gulp!

6. I've always had this fascination with astrology. I am a Leo. I married a Leo (my first marriage was to a Taurus. Not a good combo!). When I was pregnant with my children I bought this book called Child Signs and read about all the different signs. I learned about the sun sign, the moon sign, mercury and Venus. I couldn't believe my first 2 children were cancer children. How was I going to deal with those sensitive souls? I am a Leo for goodness sakes! My 3rd is a Virgo and I'm still waiting for his sun sign to kick in and the neatness bug to hit him. My 4th is a Libra and when I was pregnant with my 5th I couldn't believe it was possible I could have another cancer baby. He managed to come out early and he is a Gemini so I got to mix it up a little.

7. I have this thing about seeing multiple numbers on the clock. It's weird I know but it started with 11:11. I swear I would see it just about every day, sometimes twice a day. Now just about everyday I manage to glance over at the clock and see a time like, 2:22, or 5:55. It blows my mind how frequently it happens and now I just smile every time.

So now onto the good stuff!

5 Beautiful Bloggers
1. First and foremost is the amazing Connie at Dirty Footprints Studio. She rocks my world! She is creative, deep, open, talented, funny, quirky, and absolutely beautiful from her soul. You simply have to check out her blog and share in the beauty she emanates.

2. Tam over at Willowing is a wonderful artists. Her work has this deep, healing quality to it and she has a glowing light about her. I love watching her dance around with her adorable little son. She also has a ning site where she offers courses and she is currently offering a free course called The Art of Heart. You have to check it out.

3. Alisa Burke has the most beautiful blog! I just love going over there. It's like a feast for my eyes. Her photography is gorgeous and I love her creative and playful spirit. She is always coming up with new projects and she even shares recipes and beautiful pictures of her food. Love it!

4. Michelle over at Michelle My Belle has a beautiful blog. She is a mom and an artist and I just love her style. It's so whimsical and colorful. Right now she is in China with her daughter and sharing some beautiful photos and you have to check out this post. It's beautiful!

5. I've only just recently discovered Scarlett at Blue, Purple, and Scarlett. I was floored with this adorable baby photograph and then hooked with these Candy Corn Cards. I've had so much fun browsing through her blog and seeing all of her beautiful creations.

I want to thank all of you ladies for bringing some beauty into my life. Keep doing what you are doing and being who you are because you are so beautiful!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kiddie Art

Since I've been spending so much of my time with my kids this week and haven't gotten much time for my own art I thought I would share a few pieces that my children created in art class.

Their school puts all of their art on this website called Artsonia so they can be shared with friends and family. You can even buy things like mugs, mousepads, and magnets with the artwork on them. It's really great.

The first picture was created by my 8 year old, Aidan. It is a sea monster.

This one is also a sea monster scene and was created by my 10 year old, Liam.

And finally here is a haunted house by Aidan. Perfect for the recent Holiday.

I just love children's art. It is so colorful, simple, and free. There is an essence that we tend to lose as we become adults. They aren't as controlled by the negative voices in their head. They just play and have fun and put it on the paper and you can sense it. And it works! I love it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Two of My Green Goddess

I am still plugging away with this painting. Only had about 1 hour to work on it today but it is moving along. I am wondering if I will have enough room to paint this as big as it looks like it is going to end up. I may run out of wall space.

Yesterday when my husband saw just the face he asked me what was going on with me and was I OK? My 13 year old said it was scary. I can't imagine what they are going to think about it now that it has a naked body attached to it.

The problem is that it is hanging in my bedroom. I can't exactly hide it but I have a feeling I might need to. Hmmm, I have a folding screen out in my 3 season room. Maybe I will move that in there and set it up in front of it. That way no one will be able to look at it unless they really want to. Ha, they will probably be more drawn to it with the screen in front of it. Oh well what's a mom to do?

Monday, November 1, 2010

In a Funk!

Oh how I love a funk! No matter how much work I do, how much I grow, or how great I can be at helping others overcome their struggles, I still manage to get myself in these funks. It can be so frustrating because I know I am in it and I want so desperately to get out of it quickly but nothing I do seems to speed the process along.

One of the ways I thought I would work through this is to take part in this free online art class that Tam is offering called The Heart of Art. It's a great program she has there and I've learned so much from her. I created the whimsy character above after watching the week 2 videos.

I have to admit however, that it actually made me feel worse. I finished it up and looked at it and thought, "Oh great, another copy. I'm such a fraud. I can copy everything but I'm not original enough to create my own style." Hmmm, not so great for getting me out of my slump.

Then I went on the Internet and started surfing around for how to overcome fear of success which I was lucky enough to uncover about myself by reading Oprah's magazine. OK, that's what started this whole funk if you must know. I was brought face to face with the fact that I continue to sabotage my efforts at success over and over and over again and let me tell you I am sick to death of it!

Anyway, I found this great article about it and I worked through the exercises and learned some good things about myself and was reminded about things I already knew. I took my negative beliefs and flipped them around and turned them into empowering beliefs. I took those and created the above page in my journal.

It was nice but I still felt like crap!

So I've had this book, Painting from the Source: Awakening the Artist's Soul in Everyone, for a while now and I finally started reading it. It's a different take on painting. There is no music, there is no outside input. You start painting with no subject matter in mind and you let the painting emerge. You embrace everything that comes up even the dark stuff that I usually avoid like the plague.

I decided that now was a perfect time to give it a try. I was feeling really down and out at this point and my colors of choice were a good indication of that. I had several shades of what I consider to be ugly green, brown, mustard and black.

I started smearing the paint on the paper, making circles, blobbing it all over. I felt myself getting angry as I painted, and I let it come. The paper was turning ugly and I remembered one of the things I read in this book which was to paint as if you were going to burn it when you finished. Well, I took that to heart and I painted and painted and it got uglier and uglier. I kept saying, "I'm going to burn this piece of sh*t so I might as well make it as ugly as hell!"

At one point I stepped back and I saw an outline of a face and I started creating it. As I worked on it I had a moment where the idea to make the nose a tree just popped into my head and I went with it. The eyes needed to have flames shooting out and the lips were water and fish. I just kept painting what naturally arose.

I know it's not finished. I can sense that there needs to be more. I will not stop painting this image until it is complete. I don't know how long it will take me or how big it will end up being but I know it will continue and I can feel that it is stirring up something in me. I feel different today. I woke up this morning, unable to sleep. I was thinking about my painting. It was calling to me like the trees called to me last week. I can feel a breakthrough happening, I just don't know what it is or how it will unfold. It's a little scary but I know it's right. I have to trust.