I'm up ridonkulously early. Despite my newly minted single status, I still share a bed with the so-called ex (small house, best friends, lots of love between us, why not?) and oh my goddess, does he snore, and I lost my last pair of comfy silicone ear plugs (they are probably stuck in my hair, which happens with alarming regularity).
Up before the sun. Doesn't happen often, but I secretly cherish it when it does because it makes me feel like Ben Franklin.
Speaking of which, have you see this?
Spring is coming. I know this with my nose more than my eyes because right outside my window there is waist high snow on the lawn. My eyes say 'black & white photograph'. My nose says "Spring Melt".
I trust my nose.
What's happening in your world? Is spring springing? Is fall painting your landscape?
I started this thing. It's an on line community - a flirtation with NING that I'm actually trusting might be a long term relationship. The NING I knew is no more. This NING is fresh and clean and easy to navigation and manage. I hope you'll join me because it's a beautiful thing. It's totally free and all my future collaborations and free classes & challenges will be hosted there.
With spring come new projects. I know everyone else does their new big thing in January, but I'm a weird girl. I plan in spring and release in autumn - especially if it's a really big deal. And this new thing I'm planning? It's a really, really big deal. There will be more news soon, but in the meantime, you might want to sign up for my newsletter so that when I'm ready to announce it, you won't miss it.
I'm doing well. If you're my friend on Facebook, you know that I'm newly (sort of) single. This sounds a lot worse than it is. I believe it's temporary. I believe it's just us working out shit out. I believe in us. Maybe time will make a fool out of me, but that's okay. I don't mind being a fool for love. I'm not talking about it much because it feels like it isn't entirely my story to tell, so there's no train wreck to watch and no need to unsub to avoid the drama. There's no drama. There's just a couple who've been together for almost ten years who are still best friends figuring shit out. Not soap opera worthy. Not even really interesting.
While things are weird and shifty (and a little purgatorial), I am busy. Really busy. I'm focused on creating the best possible content I can for my classes. I'm picking my blog back up with a renewed passion. I'm journaling every day. I'm going back to the gym. I'm living for fest season. I'm painting my face off. I'm taking classes. I'm keeping my own counsel. I'm going to therapy. I'm loving myself fiercely as best I can. I'm doing what I want when I want where I want how I want. Napping. Soaking. Percolating. Praying.
I'm not panicking. I'm not blowing up my life because things are weird and hard. I'm not getting wrapped up in stuff that isn't mine. As much as my adult kids seem to wish I would live and die over them, I don't and I won't because their lives are their own now, as are their problems. I'm drawing lines in the sand. I'm minding my own business. I'm saying no a lot more. I'm saying 'go away' when 'come here' feels like self-flagellating.
I'm really good, actually.
And I'm glad you're here with me.
Meanwhile, the whole thing (and everything else I'm doing except for my paid e-courses) has moved to my new community, which you can find here:
Wildly Inspired has a dedicated group under the heading "free classes" and it is awesome because we can all share the art we made, ask questions, and commune around the videos as they are released. They will no longer be released on my blog or on YouTube because omg, too many places to keep track of, so if you want to participate in WI, come on over and join me here.
I hope you will!
In Other Network News
AND! Life Book 2014 is still open for registration and the WORK is GORGEOUS! My lessons is coming up in June, so get in while you still can!
In this episode of Wildly Inspired, I will be playing with Pan Pastels. One of my favourite ways to use Pan Pastels is with embossing stamp pads and pens, and stamps. I picked this tip up from the delicious Dina Wakely!
Pan Pastels are, essentially, pigment in a binder. They are not very much different from chalk pastels except that the binder (the stuff that holds them together + allows them to stick to the page) is quite a bit stronger, and they come in a pan as opposed to a stick, allowing one to use all sorts of fun tools with them. They blend together beautifully, allowing for creative colour mixing, but can also be fixed to prevent smudging and smearing as one moves from layer to layer.
They are a 'dry' medium, so you can use them on thin papers with a lot of success.
NOTE: I work for comments. :) Please let me know you were here! <3 read more...
When life stuff happens I'm always tempted to just blow everything up - to push things in one direction or another, to make decisions before I have all the information, to run away from home and never look back. Instead of doing that, I'm sitting it in. Sitting in my corner of the living room with my journal and some supportive books, a cup of lemon ginger tea, and a lot of Kleenex.
Helllloooooooo! This episode of Wildly Inspired is a total FLING, as in I fling everything but the kitchen sink and much like throwing spaghetti at the wall, I just hope it sticks. I really focused on using stuff from my 'bought it, never used it' drawer like a set of stamps from Scarlet Lime, some word stickers from Tim Holtz that I bought at The Art House Store, and bits and bobs that sit unused unless I make myself use them.
I started with *no clue* what I was making except that I wanted to play with drippage, sprays, and white or negative space, and ended up with a kind of visual autobiography. I hope you enjoy it!
I was raised with this phrase ringing in my ears and I gotta tell you - I was disinclined to obey. Telling the truth in my house usually resulted in some kind of trauma. As I grew up and got therapy, honesty became one of my most important values, and more than honesty, authenticity.
Telling the truth is risky. There are all kinds of spoken and unspoken consequences. Telling the truth in my journals, in my art journals, has been something I've absolutely insisted upon since I started journaling/art journaling. If not there, where, right? If not in my own conversations with myself, where else?
Hello, sweet taters! I've got a new Wildly Inspired for you. In this episode, I'm taking a piece I'm not thrilled with and reworking it so that it pleases me.
This painting was made for my class, Moonshine, which is still open for registration. It's a year long journey in which we play with art journaling on the New Moon and painting portraits on the Full Moon. There are extras, like moon lore, seasonal topics, and other bits and bobs, but the main point of the class is to commune with other spiritual creatives while we make art in time with the phases of the moon. Magic is happening in this class, and I welcome you to join us. Use coupon code moonstruck and get it for $49.
This is a painting of the goddess Brighid, who has a feast day in February (Imbolc, February 2). I wanted to invoke her spirit as foster mother during a time when I really needed to stop talking down to myself and embrace a more loving tone of voice. The original painting was a combination of many mediums including Copic markers, acrylic paint, specialty paint, and my own handwriting. I *liked* the final painting, but I didn't LOVE it, and I'm really not happy until I LOVE something I've done.
I don't know if you've ever heard this before, but I have:
What you said/did really triggered me..."
I don't know if you've ever said this before, but I have:
"I'm feeling really triggered..."
Yesterday, I heard and read about people being triggered by Philip Seymour Hoffman's death. Less recently, it was Cory Monteith, and even less recently, Heath Ledger. There are people out there who are quick to ridicule those who feel these deaths strongly. They ridicule because they don't get it. These deaths are triggers to those who have lost loved ones to addiction or substance abuse. They remind us of our own losses. They are back hoes, digging up the things we thought we'd long since buried. And it's okay that they don't get it. It isn't theirs to get. It's ours to get, to unpack, to process, to make space for.
Those that don't get it aren't good witnesses for you in your vulnerability, anyway.
I learned the word "triggered" in group therapy for the abuse I endured in childhood. I was in a group session (with a beautiful group of women) and something one of the women said caused the floodgates of another to open wide and gush forth. The therapist asked "Did what she just said trigger you?"
My ears perked up, because I recognized the dance but I didn't know it had a name.
In that session, our therapist taught us that triggers are gifts. Triggers are the Pavlovian bells that cause our wounded selves to salivate or cower, shrink or puff up. They alert us to the stuff happening within us, but outside of our conscious awareness - the stuff that's there whether we know it or not - the stuff that comes barreling out all fanged and furious or full of tears, seemingly out of no where.
Our emotions *never* come out of no where. Ever. And they are never an 'over-reaction'. We might not be reacting to what's happening in the here and now. We might be reacting to something that got dug up, got activated by the present moment, but whatever the intensity of the reaction, it's a cause and effect thing.
That it got dug up, got activated, is a gift, because you can't heal what you don't acknowledge and you can't acknowledge what you aren't even aware exists.
I used to be easily triggered. The world felt like a mine field and everything that happened it in got on my last nerve. I was triggered by tones of voice, certain physical postures, smells, sensations, songs, times of day, times of year...
Everything held a memory of something else. It was nearly impossible for me to be in the present moment without something from my history hitching a ride on some aspect of the moment. Beautiful day, sun is out, we're having salad for dinner. Boom. The iceberg lettuce triggers a memory of my sister trying to shave her face when she was four - blood everywhere - frantic parents...we were having iceberg lettuce with dinner; someone nearby is cooking Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup and boom! I am standing in the hallway watching my father convulse on the bathroom floor while my mother stirs a pot of the same soup (whose smell has never changed in all these years) on the stove in our apartment.
Triggers used to make me feel angry at the one doing the triggering *even though it had absolutely nothing to do with them*. The person using that tone used it in a playful manner and had no intention of hurting my feelings. The soup on the stove, the chosen perfume, the particular phrase, none of any of that had *anything to do with me*, either. It was an accidental collision between the present and my past. Not planned. No ones fault. And yet, it is so easy to dislike/hate/reject/lash out at the person doing the triggering (however inadvertently) because our triggered self isn't thinking rationally or experiencing the trigger as a gift. The triggered self is in flight or fight mode and wants. the pain. to stop.
I'm no longer easily triggered. I've got written journaling and art journaling (and an awesome therapist) in my tool box and I use those tools all the time to help me unpack and disarm my triggers. I still get triggered, but I recognize the opportunity to undo some nasty conditioning, to eliminate the power in that particular ringing bell so that it no longer sends me into a tailspin.
I'm also better at recognizing when what I'm feeling is about right now, this moment and when what I'm feeling has something hanging off of it - something from the past that has nothing to do with the present moment.
I couldn't do that without years of hard work, self-inquiry, therapy...I couldn't do that if I didn't first learn that triggers aren't there to be ignored, stuffed, minimized, denied, sucked up, gotten over...I couldn't do that if I didn't own my own shit, if I didn't see myself as ultimately responsible for the way I experience the world.
If I'm triggered, that means there's something yet to be felt about something I once experienced. The opportunity to feel it through is a gift.
The recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman triggered unresolved grief over my sister's death. His death has absolutely nothing to do with me. I loved him as an actor, but I didn't actually know him at all. His death doesn't change my life one iota. However, his death brought up my own stuff. And this is what happens when you're human and live in the world. Your stuff comes up. You can deny it or lash out about it or numb it or ignore it. I'm making space for it, since this grief that *was in me anyway* was acting upon me in ways I couldn't understand.
*Goes to fling paint*
So, Philip Seymour Hoffman died alone in an apartment with a needle in his arm.
I say it that way because I want to underscore the awfulness of it.
Alone. With a needle in his arm.
My father is currently killing himself with alcohol. My sister succumbed to addiction twenty years ago.
I'm just sitting with that today.
Everyone has a story about how addiction took someone from them. Whether they were taken physically, as in they died, or they were taken in other (and sometimes even more devastating) ways, that loss isn't one you just get over. And every time I hear about someone I admired or respected or liked or enjoyed on the big screen (or the small one), I feel the same sucker punch to the gut.
I tend towards anger when these things happen, and anger is a natural part of grief, but my anger is directed at the addiction and not the addict. The addict is powerless over something cunning, baffling, near demonically powerful. There are ways out but the disease of addiction itself throws up a huge towering road block of self-absorption and denial that makes it a difficult climb over, and even once you're over, you are never really out.
I try to remember that when I feel like someone has seemingly *wrenched themselves out of this life and away from us* with a needle or a noose or a bottle or a pipe.
Last night, I put on one of my favourite movies - Magnolia - which features Philip Seymour Hoffman as a tender-hearted and effective nurse who plays a major role in midwifing a main character into the next world. I love him in this role, and I loved him especially hard last night as I watched. I whispered to him as the tears rolled down his cheeks on film, my cheeks in that moment - "I hope you weren't alone. I hope you were attended by the spirits of your ancestors. I want to believe that with all my heart. I want to believe that you are shaking it off, right now, this second. Declaring it to be one helluva ride. Free from the addiction that took you. Ready to jump back into the world, this earth school, in some other equally powerful incarnation..."
I'm a half-hearted mystic at best, though, so I pretty much believe I'm whispering to nothing and no one hears me and he died alone.
I'm making space for this sadness. I'm sitting with it, because it is what is right now. I'm counting my blessings, too, because what else can you do in the face of loss but be thankful for what life has to offer you?
I made a mandala and it is so full of peace and love and kindness - it just emanates from the image like magic - that it feels channeled somehow. It brought me a great deal of tranquility in the making of it, and looking at it gives me that tender, 'falling in love' pain that I love so much. This is how I feel about the fragility of life, how I feel about our humanity. This is a painting of my heart, for you, for us.
Right click it to 'save as' if you want to print it or 'have it' or use it in your art.
I'll see you again soon. xo
I made an executive decision this morning to move BOD Basic (the weekly art journaling challenge based on BOD Premium) to The Glitterhood Facebook Group (which is free to join and has the loveliest group of mixed media artists EVER). The decision came when I realized that posting BOD Basic here on Monday meant I wasn't posting anything else until Wednesday's Wildly Inspired, which meant that for most the week, I felt like my blog was reserved for work stuff.
That's so not what I want this blog to be for. One 'worky' post a week on this blog is plenty, so I'll keep Wildly Inspired here, but the rest of the week, the blog is for meandering and musing.
If you want to continue to play along with BOD Basic, please join me in The Glitterhood, which is a free Facebook Group. I can't express the degree to which this simplifies my life, so I thank you for understanding and I invite you, if you really hate Facebook, to continue playing with me in Wildly Inspired instead.
I really want to start checking in with myself at the end of each month (or as close to it as possible) in a blog post that reviews the month - how I did with living my word of the year, how I'm feeling, what art got made, what's happening in my classes, what classes I'm thrilling to, etc.
There are aspects of my life that are really important to me - aspects that are difficult to talk about because they aren't tangible or easily measured. My sense of connection with what I'm teaching - that, I care about. How well I'm serving my tribe - that's the stuff. Also: How I'm feeling, how's therapy going, whether or not I'm progressing in my art in a way that feels good, how are my relationships, how does my spirit feel...those are the things that really matter.
I'm thinking I'll break it down elementally, which really works for me as a metaphor:
In the realm of Earth: My body, health, energy levels; my business, work, service to my tribe; how well am I receiving? How are things flowing? Am I feeling abundant? Growthful?
In the realm of Air: My mind. What am I feeding it? How are my anxiety levels (while for some, anxiety is a body thing, for me it is a mind thing)? What's interesting to me? Exciting to me? What am I learning? Researching? What ideas or insights are coming up for me?
In the realm of Water: My heart. How am I feeling? How are my relationships going? What's happening in my underbelly, my subconscious? What's bubbling up? What dreams are coming into my conscious awareness? Are my waters calm or troubled? If they're calm, is there troubled stuff going on underneath? If they're troubled, is it necessary, or am I borrowing trouble from the past or future (regret/worry).
In the realm of Fire: My empowerment, which includes all spiritual work/study, and my sexuality. What am I passionate about right now? What has me shaking with fury? With desire?
This feels pretty good. I can also see it as providing amazeballs fodder for art journaling.
In The Realm Of Earth
I started January off with a cliche in this realm: I bought a gym membership and started to be more mindful about what I put into my body. While there was a lot of self-talk about setting myself up for failure, something felt *absolutely right* about my choice, so I trusted that. I've been going to the gym a few times a week, sometimes with my daughter and sometimes with my daughter and my manfingy. I *love* it. I mean I hate it while I'm *doing it*, but the feeling I have afterwards is amazing. Giving myself the time to go to the gym, do some cardio, do some strength training, and then sit in the sauna before hitting the showers is pure self love. It isn't always easy to make myself go, but I've been pretty successful in reminding myself that I feel awesome when I go. Having my daughter to go with me, to motivate me, is amazing. Watching her work out is inspiring (she's very fit, and very disciplined!).
My business is coasting beautifully along. I have two live classes at the moment - Book Of Days and Moonshine. Both are just *beautiful*. BOD is weekly and the amount of art coming in through the Facebook group has me gobsmacked, as does the beautiful feedback people offer one another. Moonshine releases new classes every New and Full Moon, and while it is quieter, it is imbued with a sense of the sacred - of women's work, women circling together - and I can't get over how much I love it.
I'm in that 'in between launches' time that always comes with a little bit of anxiety because things slow to a trickle, but I know from experience that this is a feast or famine business. Either there's something just opening up, which brings a feast, or things are in full swing and my focus is on teaching, not marketing, which brings a famine. Then again - famine is the wrong word. It's more like 'light fare' instead of 'full on seven course dinner'. One day, I'm going to full surrender to the ebb and flow without anxiety about it.
In The Realm Of Air
I'm reading Kushiel's Dart for the third time and really enjoying it. I'm journaling every day, which is a huge anxiety-reducer. Having that time every morning before I launch myself into work to check in with myself, to let everything come up, to make space for my innards to come up and out onto paper has been better than any other method I've tried for anxiety reduction. I've been writing a little "What is beautiful today" blurb on Facebook almost every evening, and that has served to still my mind, to reign it in and away from the past or the future and into the present moment. I'm study-reading The Gifts of Imperfection, and I'm doing Roots with Lisa Sonora Sunbeam (plodding along at my own pace). I have some generalized anxiety about the number of classes I'm signed up for vs. the amount of time I actually have to give to them, but I am also being gentle with myself about that - downloading what I can, saving it for later, watching here and there and letting myself do things my way.
In The Realm Of Water
There's a lot going on in this realm that I've been taking to Couch Day. My relationship with my step-daughter has so much opportunity for healing for us both but it is full of land mines and personal triggers that I have to be very much on top of. My relationship with Manfingy is in that tenuous "everything's peaceful" place that always sets my teeth on edge because I find myself waiting for the next shoe to drop. I'm not interested in or seeing anyone else at this time (we're in an open relationship) and I while I'm intellectually open to it, I am emotionally closed off and not wanting to even entertain the notion. I'm anti-social lately and very hermity and I'm okay with that.
I find relationships difficult (introvert + history of abuse) and full of equal parts good and hard. The hard, though is always good in the end, so I keep plodding along with my trusty books on co-dependence & vulnerability and my excellent therapist, hoping for the best. My heart is tranquil for the most part until something troubles the waters. My history can barreling up at me from the depths, all fanged and full of fury for seemingly no reason (there's always a reason - it just takes time sometimes to figure it out). Thankfully, there is no lashing out as a result, but sometimes there is a lashing *in*, so this new moon I took a vow to speak to myself as though I am my own loving mother instead of letting my internal task master crap all over me all the time.
In The Realm Of Fire
All of my sensual energy seems to be channeled into creativity. My libido is dormant. I'm not feeling at all passionate about anything. I think winter has cloaked and dulled my senses (as it always does) and the closest I get to feeling really fired up is when I'm at the gym or painting, and even painting feels low key right now. My fire is banked, embers under ashes, waiting for Spring. I feel nourished by cooking slow meals and feeding my family. I feel my spirituality coming through in my art and journaling - but softly, quietly, with no fireworks. I light candles and smudge my space with sage on a regular basis and I let that be enough. I am not doing any other spiritual work aside from remaining open and letting myself feel the season. There's a lot of spiritual THINKING going on, though, and with SouLodge starting in February + The Inner Temple course coming up in April + my trip to Glastonbury coming up in time for Beltaine, I know that I will be absolutely on fire in no time.
I do feel empowered, despite the winter cloak. I feel like I am in charge of my own life. I feel like all the choices are mine to make, and unlike years past, I have no trouble whatsoever saying Yes, I want that, or No, I do not want that. I feel unfazed by other people's stuff unless we're talking about my immediate family, which I think is totally appropriate. I have completely gotten over my desire to shrink to make other people comfortable, and my people pleasing tendencies are wholly in check.
Earth: Keep up with the gym. Keep looking for ways to imbue my business with ease.
Air: Finish The Gifts of Imperfection (with notes). Keep plodding along with Roots. Keep journaling.
Water: Stay open. Stay present.
Fire: Light candles as often as you remember to illuminate the winter blues.
Art Wise: More time for play and experimentation. At least once a week, opt for art over t.v.
Ahhhhhh. That felt good. And you? How was January for you?
I've been following Pixie Campbell's "Outlaw Spirituality". Have you? It is juicy goodness wrapped up in a vlog and it never fails to make me think. The second episode, which you can find here, prompted me to think deeply about embodiment vs. transcendence & religiosity vs. spirituality. The third episode, which you can find here, prompted to me to think about how my inner life is reflected in my outer life.
Embodiment is important to me, and by embodiment, I mean being *in* the body, *in* the world, rooted in the earth. Transcendence, which I think of as floating somewhere above 'real life' on a pink fluffy cloud of 'everything's beautiful except physical reality' is just not for me. I find too much about real life sacred and beautiful. I find god in the sensual. I find a sense of being connected to Source through the balls of my feet.
I think that's why art means so much to me. After years of living in my head, writing as a spiritual practice, staying pretty much still and waiting for thunderbolts of inspiration, art came in and blew my spiritual life all to blithereens. Spirituality is not, art said, about waiting for anything. It is about being in the moment with your whole self. It is not an exercise in THINKING. It is an exercise in BEING. When I'm arting, I'm being. I get out of my head. I experience the sensuality of beautiful colour and texture. I express in a symbolic language that bypasses the intellect.
Living it isn't easy, though. Pixie's latest blog made me really sit up and take notice of the disconnect between my spiritual intentions and my spiritual reality. I honour the earth as Mother but do I really honour her? Or am I paying lip service. I honour sexuality as sacred, but do I really honour it? Do I really honour my own body as an expression of the divine or do I serve it the same negative self-talk I'd tell anyone I love to immediately replace with messages of love and acceptance?
I am a spiritual magpie, and some people might mistake that for plucking what's easy out of the shiny pile of options and leaving what's hard, but the truth is, I'm more inclined to do the opposite. I'll pick the ritual of discipline over the revel fire, saving revelry for a special occasion. I'll run myself ragged in service while waiting until I'm a complete mess of snot bubble blowing depletion before I ask to be served.
That tendency is in direct opposition to my spiritual values, which include pleasure as sacred, honouring the body as an act of worship, the orgasm as a hymn to the Goddess, love in all its forms as the ultimate expression of divinity (and that includes self-love). Rituals of discipline are necessary (and a ritual of discipline is just a fancy way of saying 'choosing to do what's hard and good and necessary for my development for a set period of time) but what happens when your *whole life* becomes a ritual of discipline? Where's the mirth? Where's the EFF EWE EN FUN?
Pixie's last vlog touched on the topic of spiritual misappropriation - not in so many terms, but I could feel that beneath the words. She talked about respecting the origins of the practices she has integrated into her own spiritual life, respecting that Indigenous practices (like smudging and the medicine wheel and smoke lodge) are living traditions - not to be used like something you plug yourself into or take like a vitamin supplement. As a spiritual magpie, I have always been hyper aware of the danger of misappropriation. One can fall into the trap of relentlessly serving the self by dipping into many wells without giving anything back. One can take the shiny medicine that isn't right for them because it's oh so shiny and then suffer because beneath that shiny were teachings one didn't get because one cherry picked.
I think there's a thread of privileged-guilt running through my outlaw spirituality, and I overcompensate by choosing the harder things. Reverence without mirth. Hard work without hard play. Plumbing the depths without coming up for air.
That's not embodiment, either. That's time spend in the swampland of the soul - in the underworld - in the realms of shadow. Important, yes, but balance is needed, too. What's the point of spending time in the shadowlands if you don't come into the light with what you've learned?
And more importantly, what makes me think I am not worthy of the lighter side of my spiritual life? Questions to ponder.
I want to make room for mirth. I want balance in my spirituality. Hard work and hard play. Reverence and mirth. Discipline and spontaneous laughter. More dancing. Less self-flagellation.
Thanks, Pixie, for making me think (and feel).
HELLO dahlinks!!! I made a new episode of Wildly Inspired for you, and this week was SUPER FUN, so I hope you'll play along.
I started off this week's episode thinking I was going to do an ode to my beloved morning coffee, but that morphed into a spread about my entire morning routine.
My morning routine is essential to my well-being, so honouring it in a journal spread just makes sense. My wildness is only possible because I create a sense of safety - a container for my wild self to play within boundaries that keep me doing the things I know are good for me. That might sound a little contradictory. Wildness is WILD, not structured and disciplined, but here's the thing: an unstructured, undisciplined life makes for a lot of anxiety. There is nothing 'wild' about that. Anxiety keeps me in bondage. Structure gives me freedom from anxiety, which gives me lots of room to express my inner wild child.
My morning routine is simple. I make that first glorious cup of coffee, sit down and process my e-mails (getting that out of the way really helps me enjoy the rest of my routine), check in with my tribe (creates a sense of connection, and reminds me why it's so important to take good care of myself), and then JOURNAL. Every day. Without fail. Journaling = serenity. Once my journal is done and I've banged out what my plan is for the day, I add those tasks to my 'reminders' list on my Mac. Another crucial part of my routine is to eat something. This might seem obvious to you, but I have a really difficult time eating in the morning, so I've set a reminder to eat *before noon*. I know, noon is lunch time, but listen: if I tell myself I have to eat before noon, and eating before noon is on my mind, I generally manage to eat something before eleven. Still morning. Therefore breakfast.
The eating thing is a long standing issue for me. I am often 'too busy' to eat (for crying out loud!) until supper time which means my entire day's activities are fueled by caffeine and sugar. This keeps me in a state of numbed out & anxious, which I never understood before, but I get it now - numbed out and anxious *used* to represent safety. If I couldn't feel, and I was hypervigilant and ever-watchful for the next awful thing to happen, that felt *comfortable*.
I'm no longer in a situation where that kind of numbed out anxiety is required, so I'm having to form new habits that reflect my new circumstances. I want to be serene, not anxious. I want to befriend my emotional state, not numb it out.
My entire morning routine facilitates that beautifully.
So I honoured it in this spread.
Here's Your Video
Please note: there is a weird flashing at the beginning of the video and strange audio weirdness when music is introduced. I have no idea where that came from, but I'm just learning to use Adobe Premiere, so we're going to assume USER ERROR. *lol* I should have it sorted in time for next week's episode. xo
Wildly Inspired Journal (Dylusions)
Masking tape, matte medium, and gesso to prepare the page
Water in a spray bottle
Circle template (or a roll of masking tape!)
Stabilo All pencil
White wash (gesso + water)
Faber Castell Pitt Pen
Metallic Gelly Rolls
Create a spread that honours your morning routine.
Don't have one yet? Journal about your ideal morning routine and see if that doesn't help you implement it!
Feel free to share in The Glitterhoood Facebook Group, or blog about your spread and share the link in the comments below!
See you next week!
P.S. If you're looking for more inspiration, try Book Of Days - 12 weeks of art journaling (videos galore) plus a mixed media art journaling boot camp (four weeks worth) plus a mini-workshop in the art of making cute spreads with paper dolls! Use coupon code bodalum and get it for $40!
This is a full lesson from Book Of Days Premium, posted for your viewing pleasure! This is an exact replica of what BOD looks like for those who are in the Premium program. I hope you enjoy it, and hey! If you love it, coupon code bodalum gets you in for $40.00!
Book Of Days - Week Four - Be In It
Hello my loves! I'm here with your week four stuffages and I'm so happy to report that while I am still pretty tender from my dental surgery, I'm feeling well enough to be all rarin' to go! YEE HAW!!
This week's spread was all about checking in with my own boundaries. Where am I in relationship to those I love? How well am I sticking to my own business and letting other people's stuff be their stuff? I know a lot of people who struggle with what I like to call OPS (OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF) While it is definitely an issue for abuse survivours and adult children of alcoholics and other addicts, it's also an issue for women in general. We are conditioned to focus *outward*. We are raised up to be OPS-centric.
Therapy helps, and so does art journaling.
Here Are Your Videos
Ephemera (I'm using ModPodgeable Papers)
Gel medium (matte)
Ink sprays (Art Anthology + Dylusions)
Sakura Glaze pen
Unibal Angelic Color pen (White)
(click to view larger version)
The rest of my week in art was fairly low-key, thanks to the dental pain from h-e-double hockey sticks, but I did get a lovely digital spread done for Art Journal Caravan and another spread in my Wildly Inspired journal (video for that is coming out this coming Wednesday).
This spread is all done digitally using elements by Tangie Baxter. I use Photoshop to create my digital spreads, and I love it because it is quick & easy to express myself this way. There is something about digital journaling that appeals to my inner-nerd. I get to use technology to create art, which makes me super squee! I'm also loving that this feels personal and non-worky in the sense that when I create these spreads, they are *just for me*. I print these out in a 6 x 6 inch format and slip them into the pockets of my Project Life binder.
The video for this doesn't come out until Wednesday, but you can be inspired by the theme before then anyway! I explored my morning routine and how it create this calm still center of sunny happy Effy in the midst of a lot of "stuff". The stuff is represented by all the mark making and the calm happy me is represented by the sunny yellow circle + spiraling writing. This related to this week's BOD in a sense because it was another exploration of boundaries. When I do my morning routine, I put myself in the center of my life. Boundary making becomes much easier when I'm keeping up with my own journaling and spiritual practices.
Put yourself in your journal somehow.
Optional Journal Prompts
1) What is your relationship with boundaries?
2) Are you OPS-centric or are you self-focused (in the good, juicy, self-loving way)?
3) What routines can you put into play that will help you stay in the center of your life?
HAVE FUN & SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!
Want in? Click for deets! And don't forget to use your coupon code! (bodalum)
Hello there! This is way late this week because DENTAL SURGERY and other things, but better late than never!
The dental surgery is also why there was no Wildly Inspired this week, but it will resume next week! YAY!
This week's spread was informed by my written journaling. I was exploring roots and rootedness and what's feeding my roots in my journal and realized that I had written myself into the art journaling mood. I love it when that happens!
I love the metaphor of the tree as self. The roots being all that stuff that's in the dark soil of our subconscious, the branches and leaves being what grows out of that, what manifests.
Here's My Spread
This started with light molding paste through the stencil and then morphed from there. I had an OMG DOOM moment when the sprays and stains I was using dried dull and boring, but I went at it with paint and Copic markers and got to my happy place.
Here are the supplies I used
Light molding paste
Dylusions ink spray
Art Anthology ink spray
Quick dry adhesive
Unibal Angelic color
Posca Paint Pen
In order to stir up your creative soul, try something completely outside of your comfort zone. In my case, a landscape! In your case….???? Be brave!
Optional Journal Prompts
1) What lies beneath the surface of your life?
2) What are you drawing energy from right now?
3) What old messages do you wish you could dig up and work on?
See You Next Week!!
Want the full meal deal?
Click the image to find out more about BOD Premium, which includes full length tutorial videos, a Facebook group, and personal interaction with me.
I wrote this down in my notebook as I listened:
"Connected vs. Committed"
Because, wow. Never have I heard what I want so eloquently described.
Pixie's new series is aptly titled Outlaw Spirituality because those of us who want a non-dogmatic spirituality tend to be RELIGIOUS law breakers. Not spiritual law breakers. Not by a long shot. But RELIGIOUS ones.
I know this is true for me.
I love the teachings of Jesus Christ, but I am not a Christian. I know I have a relationship with the holy spirit, but I don't go to 'church' as church is commonly understood. I am in a committed relationship, but I am not married, and I am non-monogamous. <----Huge law breaking going on there, since even the non-religious in Western Culture consider hetero-normative, monogamous relationships the only "right" relationships.
I have studied indigenous spirituality, Judaism, Catholicism, Mormonism, neo-paganism, Druidry, Witchcraft, Wicca (they're not the same thing - one is collection of practices and the other is a fully formed religion), Voodoo, Candomble, Santeria, Hellenism, Asatru, and whatever else floats my boat in any given moment. I've cobbled together a spiritual practice that works for me and I'm proudly magpie-ish in my spiritual interests. My spirituality looks nothing today like it did ten years ago, and it will look nothing in ten years like it looks today because I go where the shiny, juicy, effective, powerful, empowering, resonant STUFF is and that changes as I change.
I'm adept with tarot and numerology as spiritual systems. I can pray the rosary and find it to be an incredibly calming practice. I've undertaken shamanic journeys. I've danced naked around a fire with other heathens. I acknowledge the seasonal cycles and the phases of the moon.
I believe in free love. I believe in ethical non-monogamy even when I find it difficult to practice. I believe in gender fluidity. I believe that love is love no matter what gender you prefer. I believe in consensual sex as a sacred, spiritual act. I am in an open relationship and always will be, even when we appear, from the outside looking in, to be monogamous.
I think commitment is important. I'm committed to the well-being of my children. I'm committed to the satisfaction of my students. I'm committed to my own empowerment. I'm committed to living authentically. I'm committed to loving and supporting my partner(s) to the best of my ability even when that means losing them.
But when it comes to SPIRITUALITY, I choose connection, and that connection is purely desire led. As soon as something I'm doing feels grueling or the joy has gone out of it, or it is no longer serving my spirit, I disconnect. I file for divorce. I am *not committed* to practices.
I'm an outlaw.
And I'm really happy about that.
I know I'm not really outing myself in this post. Most of my students and anyone who reads my Facebook wall knows that I'm not your average girl. I have dropped hints about my hodge podge spirituality all over the place for anyone to find, and I am listed for all the world to see as being 'in an open relationship'. But I don't talk about those aspects of my life because I find myself frightened by the potential for drama. How will other people react, for example, when I tell them I'm seeing someone other than my domestic partner? How will people feel about the pagan festivals I go to, or my weird, mystic, agnostic-but-open way of seeing the world (and the world between the worlds)?
Other People's Stuff.
So not my business, right?
So, I'm coming out. I'm an outlaw. My spirituality (which very much encompasses my sexuality) is non-dogmatic, non-denominational, full of shiny bits and bobs, totally unlike anyone's I know, full of juice and mysticism and fun and mirth and reverence, and off the beaten path.
As Pixie quoted at the end of her vlog today: "When freedom is outlawed only outlaws will be free."
I'll always be free.
I decided to play with one of those graphics-with-quotes that I'd seen in my Facebook stream all week because it perfectly suited our 'wild' theme. Just looking at it inspired me to create a spread that was full of colour! The supplies list and snapshots are beneath the tip jar.
Speaking of which! I wanted to mention that I don't own an art supply shop, and I make exactly zero dollars if you purchase a product that I use or recommend. I'm definitely not here to shill products, and I will always be quick to suggest alternatives! Tipping me keeps this sustainable for me, since energy exchange prevents burn out. Thank you!
Here's This Week's Video
Printed photo (trimmed)
Golden High Flow acrylics OR diluted acrylic paint
Water in a spray bottle
Alcohol in a spray bottle
Heavy body acrylic
Sakura Glaze pen
Spray gloss fixativ
And that's it for this week!
Want more? Check out Book Of Days Basic for more inspiration and journaling prompts!
If you are playing along, feel free to pop a link to your images in the comments below or BETTER YET! Share in my on line community on Facebook!
Can we talk about all the reasons we may think memory keeping (especially Project Life) isn't 'for us'?
I have struggled with this since I first discovered Project Life. I love the ease with which a binder can be filled. I love the cute journaling cards. I love the *idea* of sitting down once a week with photos and a cutting mat and fun cards to fill up a spread with memories.
But, I am also much more comfortable in the realm of my own inner landscape than I am in the world 'out there'.
I decided Project Life wasn't for me. I bought the binder. I got a core kit. I drooled over it. I *wanted* to do it.
But I had stories about why I shouldn't/couldn't/didn't really want to - stories like:
My life isn't pretty enough.
I'm boring. My life is boring.
My kids aren't little anymore, and besides, they hate having their photo taken.
It's selfish to memory keep my own life. If I were memory keeping for a FAMILY that would be one thing, but my life isn't worth memory keeping unless it is all about other people.
Introverts don't memory keep.
I'm not interested in memory keeping. (Totally bald faced lie!)
Maybe you've had all the same or similar reasons for drooling over Project Life (or scrapbooking or memory keeping in general) but *not actually doing it*, so I'm here to tell you this:
Your life is worth recording whether it is populated with little kids, grandkids, adult kids or NO kids.
Your life is worth recording whether you are married or shacked up or dating or in an open relationship or single.
Your life is worth recording whether you're gay or straight or somewhere in between.
Your life is worth recording whether you take a million photographs a week or one a month.
Your life is worth recording whether you live in a shack or a tumble down house or an apartment or your mother's basement or a mansion.
Your life is worth recording even if all you want to record is your inner life.
Your life is worth recording even if no one will ever look at it but you.
Your life is worth recording no matter what's going on. Peace is worth recording. Trauma is worth recording. Triumph is worth recording. Failure is worth recording.
Your life is worth recording.
You get what I'm saying here?
Your life (and mine) is worth spending a few moments a week (or day, as the case may be - I'm kinda daily with this thing) printing out photos, trimming them, writing captions, and putting it in a pretty binder. YOU are worth the time and effort.
In case you're wondering, I've fallen in love with Project Life after totally resisting it for a couple of years. I bought a binder a couple of years ago. I put three things in it and I was so embarrassed by how hard I had to try to make my binder look like *everyone else's binder *that I put it away*. I put it so far away, in fact, that I *can't find it*. It's somewhere in the bowels of this house, but after a fruitless two hour search, I gave up looking...
...and I almost gave up altogether...
...but my soul wants this. My soul wants the time spent memory keeping. My soul wants the fun cards and the binder and the opportunity to reflect. It wants the practice and the pleasure of looking over my completed pages.
When I was a child, living in a dysfunctional and abusive household, I used to drag out the family photos. They were in boxes in the cubby spaces in the coffee table. I'd spend hours looking through those photos. Hours. And for reasons I didn't understand then, I loved doing this. Even though what was evident in the photos (happiness, excitement, fun) wasn't the truth of my experience, the photos meant a lot to me - maybe because they reflected what I *wished* were true.
At some point after I left home, during a fight with my mother and step-father, my sister dragged these boxes into the garage and lit them on fire. She nailed it. She called them fake. She called them a pack of lies. They went up in smoke. Poof. Gone.
Considering how traumatic my childhood was, you'd think I'd be grateful, but no. I'm not. Even though those photos represent a childhood full of yelling, screaming, spankings with wooden spoons and belts, months long groundings, name-calling, shaming, fear, sexual abuse, witnessing violence, drunken rages, spittle laced lectures, they also represent where I came from, and having that record of 'there to here' could have been healing for me.
I dunno. I don't have them, and I can't say for sure what impact having them would have. All I know is that since that time, and especially since I discovered digital photography, I have been a total camera whore. I love to photograph every damned thing. My breakfast. Candles lit on an altar. The tree outside the front window. My feet. My face. My lover. My kids. My dogs. My art.
I love it so much that when I'm buying a phone, the number one concern I have is 'how's the camera'.
Makes sense, right?
Except that aside from posting these images on Instagram and Facebook, I don't do anything else with them. I don't even go through them. I don't look at them once they're taken. I don't 'collect' them. I just take them and move on.
Or, at least, I *did*. I'm not doing that anymore. I'm printing them. I'm trimming them. I'm using a cute corner rounder on them. I'm slipping them into pockets into my binder.
And I'm LOVING it.
It's my own personal refrigerator magnet. It's self-care. It makes the mundane sacred. It turns the ordinary into something akin to art.
Another thing it does is that it gives me something that's *just for me*. I don't have to share it or demonstrate it. I don't have to worry about whether or not it lives up to anyone elses idea of what it should look like. It's all mine. There's no sense of 'must' or 'should' or obligation in it. There's no requirement to have it done by a particular time...
...and it makes me happy. <-----all the reason I ever (you ever) really need anyway.
My Totally Unimpressive But Completely Happy-Making Project Life
This week's BOD included an exploration of the weather and I'm I'm handling it. I know that sounds awfully pedestrian, but we had awful weather - like, -40 with the wind chill some days - and weather like that can really impact my mood. Thankfully, there was paint to fling!
This spread started with ephemera and paint, which led me to wanting to explore colour as a cure for winter blues. The face was initially drawn on a sheet of music and then cut out, glued down, and painted. The hair was added after I painted the face.
Here's a supplies list:
Masking tape and gel or matte medium to seal the seam
Ephemera + appropriate medium (gel for thicker pages, fluid for thinner ones)
Stencil (circle template)
Dimensional or metallic paint for oomph
Black fine pen (Faber Castell)
Medium to glue her down
Acrylic glazing medium
Flesh tone paints
Prismacolor pencil (I'm using Black Raspberry for its water soluble qualities)
Clear gesso to create a new ground
Charcoal and a blending stump
Paint marker (Molotow & Posca)
Sakura glaze pen (black)
Unibal Angelic Color (White)
Draw a face on a sheet of text paper or music score, cut out, glue down, and paint.
Optional Journal Prompts
1) What is the weather doing where you are?
2) Describe something as being like something else. If the weather is cold, describe it poetically – the cold is like…the weather is like…the air outside is like…etc.
3) How is your year so far?
See You Next Week!!
Want the full meal deal?
Click here the image to find out more about BOD Premium, which includes videos, a Facebook group, and personal interaction with me.
P.S. If you're reading this, it's more than half off with coupon code bodalum