Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What do you wish to experience?

Today Jamie Ridler asks, "What do you wish to experience?"  I gave this some real thought, but to be honest, my response could have been very different.  Not necessarily superficial, but not something that I truly need to experience in my life.  Let me tell you what happened.  Last September I came home from work to find that my home had been burglarized.  I live in the suburbs where it’s safe. Hey, I’ve lived in this area all my life.  It’s quiet, probably dull, and I have never felt fearful.  Until now.  Now every car that slows or stops in front of my home is suspect, as are the joggers, bicycle riders, and random noises—squeaks and creaks that any 50 year old house might make.  I am afraid and have been since the police left my house 11 months ago.   My fear isn’t as intense as it was, but it is with me every day.  My wish is to once again experience the feeling of being safe in one’s own space. 

Ok, I’d like to experience a live workshop with Flora Bowley too!  There’s one in Wisconsin, which isn’t too far from me coming up this fall, but it’s sold out and I’m on the wait list.  I’d love to get in!  By the way, Jamie just interviewed Flora on her podcast!  Thanks Jamie!

Friday, July 27, 2012


I'm always late for Wishcast Wednesday...maybe because it's my day off and I spend it cleaning and running about--who knows, I'm just late!  At any rate, this week we were asked what it is that we would like to share.  I've given it a lot of thought, and my wish is to have the opportunity to share my painting/art and consequently a bit of my heart and soul with the world.  That leaves one a bit vulnerable and perhaps a bit uncomfortable, but after taking Flora Bowley's Bloom True e-course (and 13 years of yoga practice), I've learned that being uncomfortable isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It really is an opportunity for growth if you let it be--if you can remember and then embrace the experience!  Ha! It's not always easy!   I'm starting on this painting this afternoon.  We'll see where it takes me--I know I'll be uncomfortable and frustrated and flustered, but ultimately transformed. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wishcast Wednesday!

Who do you wish to become?  I wish to become a quiet, centered, soaked in creativity, brave, and “joy-full” woman who forms bonds and friendships with like-minded people while continuing to remain close to family.  Jamie’s question this week is once again timely for me.  My morning pages were filled with becoming and birthing.  There are many of us out there looking for very similar things.  I wish us luck, I wish us patience and perseverance and I wish joy along the way. 

I keep thinking that the whole process of painting intuitively (via Flora Bowley) is a metaphor for life. It’s about BECOMING that person you long for.   Look closely—what’s working?  What isn’t?  What can you change, eliminate?  What do you want to preserve, expand upon, and highlight?  I was working on this painting yesterday and about 30 minutes in threw my hands up in horror, walked out of the room, and closed the door until this morning.  It still has the same “issues” but now I can see that it too is “becoming.”  Not sure what it’s becoming, but that’s what’s exciting—most of the time! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Morning Pages

Today I rededicated myself to the practice of Morning Pages.  Jamie Ridler is hosting a check in to help keep us honest, and for that I’m grateful!  I also went back and listened to the podcast where Jamie interviewed Julia Cameron as a dose of inspiration!  Thank you Jamie!   Actually, the practice of morning pages couldn’t come at a better time for me, and it felt WONDERFUL to just let all the monkey mind talk flow out through my pen.  Ihave been reminded that creativity is indeed a spriritual process. 

I’m taking on a number of creative endeavors this month.  First, I’m firmly embedded in Flora Bowley’s online class and have several paintings in different stages of development.  It is fun, it’s frustrating, and it’s magical to paint with ease and abandon.  Getting out of my own way is challenging but knowing that you can cover what doesn’t work and preserve what does has taught me a pretty big lesson.  The canvas is kind of like your life.  You can choose to keep what’s working and eliminate what isn’t.  Yes, that’s probably a simplification, but true non-the-less! 

In progess via Flora Bowley process

My second major something is the “Big Fearless" painting class via Dirty FootprintsStudio.  Again, this is very fun, very freeing, and all about getting out of your own way.  Class just started yesterday and I can already feel the joy brimming from Connie!  Today I am going to paint big! 

Finally, Kimberly Wison's book club selection for July is "The Joy of Less: a Mimimalist Living Guide" 
by Francine Jay.  It's another serendipitious offering from the universe it seems!  I have been groaning under the weight of too much and this is just the push I needed to start me on my way!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What is your heart's wish?

It’s Wishcast Wednesday (on Thursday for me) and this week Jamie Ridler asks us to ponder the question, “What is your heart’s wish?”

This wish comes from that quiet spot, that place that is uniquely your own, private and, I believe, eternal. What does your heart wish for? What will feed your soul?

"I'm very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it."
— Nora Ephron

I love the above quote from Nora Ephron, but the catch comes in knowing just what it is you love to do! Why is that so difficult for us? I think the sage advice to clear away whatever it is that you don’t need—the physical, mental, and emotional baggage and listen to that little voice inside you is often intellectualized and not realized. I stand before you guilty as charged! That voice used to come to me as a whisper and now I hear the vibrations of a gong! I’m getting older; the time is now.

My heart’s wish is to build a quiet life for myself. I want to paint large pictures and bind handmade journals. My heart’s wish is what I offer with love will be received in kind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wishcast Wednesday...

Over at Jamie Ridler Studios it's Wishcast Wednesday and she asks, "What do you wish for this summer?"  I wish for a few cool breezes, some quiet time at home, and to fill some moments of each day exploring, mixing, and playing in paint.  While the breezes aren't so cool today, I did have the opportunity to relish the quiet here at home while diving into the Flora Bowley online painting class I'm a part of.  Such fun!  If only every day was like this one!

I started this one just before Flora's class began, again working from her book, and I'm just about finished with it. 
These two are the first and second layers of cool and warm colors.  It's an interesting process--many layers and thus opportunities I guess! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

What Delights You?

A couple of days ago, Jamie Ridler at  suggested that one way we might reconnect with the things that give us pleasure would be to examine delight from the vantage point of our senses. So here goes, 5 for each sense…

I love the taste of…

My brother’s pasta, avocados, freshly blended green smoothies, Chicago Diner BBQ vegan “cheeze” burgers, and cafĂ© con leche.

I love the sight of…

The Black Hills of South Dakota, the sun rising, my husband sleeping, spring flowers blooming, my sister's smile

I love the feel of…

My husband’s hand holding mine, the softness of Haley’s fur, my yoga mat, the warmth of the sun, paint on my fingertips

I love the smell of…

Bookstores, the air following a rain, baking bread, beeswax melting,  incense in a yoga studio

I love the sound of…

Silence broken only by the chirps of birds, the belly laughs of children, the squeak Chloe makes after she yawns, leaves moving in the wind, the crunch of leaves underfoot

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Here comes Flora!

I am very excited to report that my online workshop with Flora Bowley begins on Monday!  Yippee!  Can you hear the crowd roar?  Our first e-mail arrived today describing the ins and outs of the course and the supplies we will need.  Oh my, I’m in heaven!  I have been practicing what I know of Flora’s technique—well, I’ve been pretending that I have an idea of what’s going on, but my information is limited and only consists of what I could gather from her book, “Brave Intuitive Painting.”

An early phase

I'm still working on this painting   In fact, I'm just waiting for the class at this point!  The process is a lot of fun though and very freeing.  I loved pulling out images from my splashes of color.  I have two other paintings in the works as well, and I keep finding figures on the canvas.  It's very interesting and I can't wait to be a part of the real deal come Monday! 

Work continues
I'm calling this painting, "A Hole In My Heart Missing You."  My sister-in-law passed away last year and I miss her terribly.  It still feels as though my heart has a hole in it and this painting just presented itself with all the splotches of color in just the right places as a representation of that pain.  I'll post it again as I move forward with it and finish it up and I'll also try to find a picture of where the painting actually started. 

Looking back

I apparently wrote this 3 years ago—nearly to the day and I just ran across it, written on loose-leaf paper and stuck in the back of a random blank journal. Nothing has changed—I wonder if that’s good or bad?

What do you want? What are you going to do TODAY to make THIS day special, meaningful, a step toward enlightenment/Yoga? What will you experience/go after or seek out that will inspire a sense of awe? Deliciousness? And what of gaiety, levity, laughter? What will you do that will help someone else?

Who are you? Who are you when you are alone/ when you are at work, at home, making dinner, teaching yoga? Are all of those “people” you or are they just projections, protections so that you can’t see the real you hiding under all the layers, the covers, and the misperceptions?

I want a moment to breathe. I want a moment of peace where I can create…I want to make art. How is that possible? I am 48 years old and have never been an artist…not even close…but I have a longing inside me—an ache really. There is the voice that says it will never be good enough, but maybe no one ever has to see it anyway. Maybe it’s just for me? I want it to be more…an offering of sorts, which is difficult to explain, but I wish from my depths that it could be my gift to the world. I wish it would have meaning, be worthwhile, support me financially, emotionally and spiritually. There! I’ve put it out there! The energy has been set in motion. Now I have to act on it.

When you consciously strive to make each day in itself meaningful, then you will have lived a life of meaningful days. You wouldn’t be wanting …you would have santosha or contentment!