Entries Tagged as: connect

Leonie’s Goddess Circle

January 6th, 2011, Comments (7)

This year, I'm participating in Leonie's Goddess Circle, an online forum that is way more than a forum. For a set price ($99/year), you get access to a forum full of beautiful, interesting women from all over the world, plus (and this is a huge plus!) access to Leonie's fabulous 2011 Workbook and all of her e-courses and other goodies, such as the Creative Goddess e-course, Creating Your Goddess Haven e-course, Divine Dreaming Meditation Kit, among others. It's an amazing deal for all the fabulous things you get.

One thing I love about belonging to a forum like this, is that it can provide wonderful support for various aspects of life, from business to the personal. And one one thing I've learned about myself is that I thrive when I have wonderful support systems in place with like-minded souls.

The forum has sections for accountability, support for your growing business, a book group (they're doing The Artist's Way now), and others. I'm particularly excited about the section for mothers, as I love gathering wisdom from other women who are going through or have been through the process I'm in the middle of now.

For those of you who don't know Leonie, she is an amazing woman, new mom, and business owner. I admired her work before I met her online and am glad to now call her a friend. She's sweet as can be and full of such beautiful fire and sparkling, creative energy. Seriously, the girl is a total inspiration!

In the interest of full disclosure, the links I've provided are affiliate links, but I would 100% support Leonie's work without any added bonuses because I truly believe in her work. So if you feel called to do so, check out her Goddess Circle. Or if you're looking to bring some focus to your year, check out her 2011 Creating My Goddess Year Workbook.

If you're already part of the Goddess Circle, say hi to me there!

Standing at Water’s Edge: An Interview with Anne Paris

November 3rd, 2009, Comments (3)


I'm so pleased to be sharing this interview I recorded last week with Anne Paris, author of Standing at Water's Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion.

I read the book a few months ago, and as I told Anne, it's just filled with underlines, notes in the margin, and dog-eared pages - signs of a well-loved book. There's great discussion on how even the introverted among us, reach out for connection in our own ways. I could relate to that considering how much work I do to reach out and connect others here on this blog!

I hope this interview will provide some extra inspiration for those going through the Art Every Day Month process. (I love to listen to podcasts while I work!)

The conversation is about 20 minutes long. You can listen to it here, by clicking on the link below or you can save it to your computer to listen to later by right-clicking (or ctrl-click on a Mac) on the link.

Click here to listen.


Trick or Treats

October 31st, 2009, Comments (12)


This week in The Joy Diet, which I'm reading with Jamie Ridler's book group, the focus is on treats or how you reward yourself. When I thought about it at first, I felt like I've been fairly good at treating myself. But when I looked more closely this week, I realized I'm good at treating myself in some ways more than others.

For example, I'm good at treating myself through distasteful tasks and finding small ways to make my day more enjoyable. For example, I love saving the Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me Podcast for when I clean the kitchen. I've been using enjoyable listening to make chores more fun since I was a teenager when I listened to musicals on my headphones (back when we used tape cassettes.) I still do this sort of thing with music, podcasts, or audiobooks while doing un-fun things like cleaning the litter and also with very fun things like making art. I love hearing a good story.

Earlier this week I upped the treat factor by asking some folks on Twitter for podcast recommendations. It was suggested I check out The Moth, Radiolab, Speaking of Faith, and some others, which I downloaded episodes of and scattered them throughout my day to make various tasks more fun.

Yesterday, I treated myself to some beautiful hydrangeas (see above), a bribe for going to the grocery store. Ok, so I seem to bribe myself a lot. A trick and a treat? But what I'm not always great at doing is treating myself as a celebration or just because. Thinking about little ways to treat myself well throughout the week was a great reminder though and I was grateful for that. I've got to keep that up as I dive into the busy month of Art Every Day which starts up tomorrow. Wee! Super excited!

As we wind up, this month of connection, I'm noticing how much I love to connect with folks online through places like Twitter, this blog, and the many challenges that pop up throughout the blogopshere. It's a beautiful thing. I'll be talking more about connections in an interview with Anne Paris, author of Standing at Water's Edge: Moving Past Fear, Blocks, and Pitfalls to Discover the Power of Creative Immersion, which will be posted later this week.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Connecting with My Inner Domestic Goddess

October 29th, 2009, Comments (13)

connect souppot

All the hustle and bustle of setting up in our new home has brought out my inner domestic goddess. Sometimes I'm not sure she exists. I've never been one for baking cookies or sewing curtains. I mean, I love cookies (mmm, cookies) and sewing appeals to me, but it's not been in my repertoire. The hubster enjoys cooking more than I do.

But I do have these sparks of domestic bliss. Like last week, when I pulled out this pretty blue dutch oven, found a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, and spent an afternoon laboring over a pot of soup (it's a Mexican chicken soup.) I mean, really, look at this masterpiece! Hehe.

connect soup

Shnazzy, right? I know Martha Stewart won't be calling anytime soon (even though I was cooking in one of her pots), but I was rather proud of myself.

We've been spending a lot of time setting up the house as well. You'd think with my art skills, I'd be a great decorator, but the two things do not necessarily overlap. I'm a bit spatially challenged and find all this arranging and selecting of furnishings to be mind-boggling. But we're slowly getting things together. It's beginning to feel more homey.

And ok, I'll admit it, it's been kinda fun embracing my inner Domestic Goddess. She's not so bad. I do love freshly cleaned sheets, the look of white bowls stacked in the cupboards, and my little collection of teapots. And I'm enjoying cooking in the new kitchen (sometimes.)

My studio space is starting to come together thankfully. Books are on the shelf, art supplies are unpacked. Closet shelves are installed. I'm ready to go for Art Every Day Month!

What have you been connecting with during this month of connection?

Connecting with Your Creativity

October 18th, 2009, Comments (17)

butterfly tree

This week's chapter of The Joy Diet, which I'm reading with Jamie Ridler's book group, was about creativity. Creativity! Yes, you think I'd be all over this like fudge on a sundae, right? Well, yes, I do love me some creativity talk, but his was a fairly quiet week for me.

It's interesting, but a lot of people reading the book are having strong reactions to it. While this has not been my favorite Martha Beck book, I'm still getting things out of it. I think for a lot of people, the book is going too fast, there's too much information, it's asking too much. And I do hear that. It is a lot to process and a lot to consider doing each and every day. I think part of the reason, I'm not having an adverse reaction to the book is because I'm holding it very lightly.

Perhaps I'll get less out of the process by doing this, but I've got a lot going on at the moment, and the only way I can do this book right now is to take on what's helpful and leave the rest. I play with the suggestions, incorporating them into my days as I see fit. If I don't do it perfectly, I'm not going to worry about it. Stress-free-book-clubbing.

There are books I've read where I've done every exercise and followed along with nearly every suggestion, as I've done in past readings of The Artist's Way, for example. And there are others that I've read without doing any of the exercises. This book is somewhere in the middle for me. I'm doing some exercises, leaving others behind without a second thought. It feels just right for me right now.

This week I've used the creativity prompts in small and subtle ways. Whenever I'd remember, I'd check in with myself about what I was desiring in that moment and then I'd think up a few creative ways to move in the direction of what I wanted. What I liked about doing this, was that it helped me to get playful with how I can get what I want and it helped me move from desire into action.

Ok, this is a super small example, but small is good too. I checked in with myself at one point this week about what I was desiring in that moment. What instantly came to mind was that I was super cold and I really wanted to be warmer. The funny thing is, that if I hadn't checked in, I might not have done much about the fact that I was cold. I might have just blown it off and kept going. Just checking in was a good thing for me. So then I thought, "Ok, I want to be warm. What are some creative ways I could get warm?" And I started to list off ideas in my head: I could put on fuzzy socks, I could put on an extra layer, I could do jumping jacks, I could drink hot chocolate, I could do some work around the house to get myself moving and feel warmer, I could take a hot shower, I could make soup or tea or hot cider, I could cuddle up with kitties under the blankets, I could turn up the heat, I could fly back to Florida, I could put on leg warmers and dance to 80's music, etc...

Beyond the fact that making this list was kinda fun and a bit silly at times, it did get me to to come up with some solid ideas to get warm and I acted on a few and felt much better. Was this desire a deep one? No. But it was great practice and I used the process later in the week to figure out how to take action on a deeper desire to work on a writing project that I was procrastinating on. By coming up with creative ways to get started, I found a fun way to get moving on it again.

How do you connect with your creativity? What creative ways can you move towards your desires, both small and large?

Connecting with Your Inner Child

October 15th, 2009, Comments (11)

connect child

Oh my goodness, there's nothing like Disney World to bring out your inner child! I've always loved roller coasters and other rides, but I got particularly giddy in all the parks we visited last weekend. Disney does such a great job with their parks.

The hubster got such a kick out of my reaction the rides. I'd laugh and scream louder than anybody, which is kinda funny considering how small and fairly quiet I am. I don't know what it is, but put me on a roller coaster and I go totally bonkers. It's awesome. Hehe.

The whole weekend made me realize that I want more of that kind of silly fun in my life. I've always been a big supporter of play when it comes to creativity. I think it's an important part of learning to let go, experiment, and have fun while you create. But sometimes, you can just go out and enjoy a playful good time.

Some of the ways I get connected with my inner child:

  • *Breaking out the crayons to color outside the lines.
  • *Dance around in my silly print pajamas.
  • *Wear kooky socks.
  • *Play with kids.
  • *Read children's books or see children's movies
  • *Go to amusement parks!
  • *Draw with chalk on the sidewalk
  • *Dress up for Halloween or for no reason at all.
  • *Make up silly songs with the hubster.
  • *Paint with my fingers
  • *Have breakfast for dinner
  • *Have an attack of the giggles
  • *Collect shiny rocks
  • *Wish on stars
  • *Make up bed time stories
  • *Roll around on the floor with the cats
  • *Cut peanut butter sandwiches in to triangle shapes

How bout you? What are some of the ways you connect with your inner child? How can you bring more of that childlike delight into your life? Where do you go to have a fun-goofy-totally-silly-good-time?

Connect with Those You Love

October 13th, 2009, Comments (16)

dress bustlecolor

This weekend, the hubster and I got away to Disney World for a long weekend. There was a business meeting involved, so it wasn't all playtime, but a majority of the time was spent together, exploring 4 amusement parks, laughing and screaming on the rides, and enjoying each other's company. And it just so happens that today is our 2nd wedding anniversary! We've been together for 8 years now and we still adore each other. The weekend felt a bit like an annivesary celebration and it delights me how much we still enjoy spending time together. It also reminded me how important this kind of quality time is to connect with those you love.

wedding photos

I thought you guys might enjoy seeing a couple wedding pics from our big day two years ago (which was perfect in every way.) I can hardly believe 2 years has gone by already!

wedding cake

The whole wedding experience was filled with creative moments from both the hubster and I and seeing it come to life was so amazing. Walking down the aisle to a string quartet playing a composition that the hubster wrote for me, was one of the most romantic experiences of my life. Ack, I'm getting teary writing that! I added my touches in the invitations, programs, table cards, cake design, and other decorative touches. And then we both wrote our vows, which had everyone laughing. It just goes to show, that there are lots of ways to show your love, from words to art to kisses.

What are some creative ways you can connect with those you love?

p.s. The photos above were taken by the utterly amazing Tirados, a super sweet husband and wife team. We loved working with them!

Connecting to Your Longing

October 8th, 2009, Comments (39)

connect pondsky

I have these pictures from a nature walk I took the other day and when I was thinking about posting them, I thought, "Oh, but you already did a post about connecting with nature for the connect theme! Write about something different!" But sometimes you've just gotta go with where your heart is tugging you.

It's kind of funny because of all the Joy Diet chapters (the book I'm reading with Jamie Ridler's book group), the one on Desire has been the most difficult for me. I'm not sure if it's because it gets harder as one chapter builds upon the next, if the exercises themselves are getting more difficult, if I'm losing steam, or if I have some kind of resistance to looking at what it is that I desire. I have a feeling it's the latter.

I've continued to get in my nothing time (mainly in the form of walks), I've done the truth exercises, but by the time I get to the desire piece, I've "run out of time" or "forgotten" or brushed it off. Hmm. And this is something I've been working on too, speaking up and saying what I want instead of being so easy-going to a fault all the time. Perhaps there's a fear underneath it all that something I want is too big, too grand, and the disappointment would be too great. Or perhaps I feel like I have enough and who am I to want more?

connect pondtrees

For now, I'm going to continue to practice Martha Beck's method of "picking a pebble" of any small desire and follow it where it leads. On my walks, I've been so thrilled with colors and shapes and have been so glad to have my iphone with me to capture snapshots of it all. I've been especially excited by reflections of sky in water and the shapes of leaves. Color and texture and beauty, oh my!

connect bushsky

I feel like I've been successful in following my desires in terms of inspiration. It's something I'm more familiar with, allowing myself to be pulled by the inner nudges that lead me to mediums, subjects, and experiments in art. And perhaps this is enough for now and maybe if I continue to practice this, my desire skills will expand into other areas of my life.

I guess I did end up writing about a different sort of connection here. And in reality I could write about connecting with nature and all the things that come up from doing that all month long! (Although I doubt I will.) But isn't it interesting to see where following desire can lead?

Where are your inner nudges leading you in your art? Are you following them despite what you may "think" about it? What are you longing to do creatively? And if you don't know yet, how could you connect with that part of yourself?

Connecting with Nature & with Myself

October 1st, 2009, Comments (30)

connect pondfeet2

It is the month of connect for the Creative Every Day Challenge, which has me thinking of all the ways I connect in my world. One of the things I've been loving about the home I've moved to, is that it's close to nature trails. Since I'm reading The Joy Diet with Jamie Ridler's book group, I've been using my walks in the woods as a time to do nothing. It's a great practice in staying in the present moment, letting my thoughts march by as if they were in a parade, returning and returning and returning again to my breath, forward movement, step, step, step.

There's a lovely resting point at the end of a wooden pathway that trails right into a pond, filled with frogs. I'm already enjoying the ways the trees are changing all around it and the way they reflect in the water. So peaceful.

This week in The Joy Diet, the focus was on truth. At the end of your nothing practice, you ask yourself what you're feeling, what story you're telling yourself about it, and whether another story might work better. I've used this sort of practice before (it's similar to Byron Katie's The Work), but having the reminder to do it every day has been helpful. And I love the practice of asking these questions after the meditative time.

Although winter will make it hard to take these long walks, I plan to continue them as long as I can. When I'm out connecting with nature, I feel like I'm connecting with myself and my spirituality. And that fills me in a wonderful way.

What are some ways that you connect with yourself?

connect pond

Creative Every Day Challenge Theme for October: Connect

September 26th, 2009, Comments (22)

ced connect

The *totally optional* theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge in October will be Connect! I'm thinking of it in terms of exploring what finding connections in your art, making connections with community, connecting to yourself, to nature, etc..

I'll be posting about the theme throughout the month. You can use the posts here for jumping off points or interpret the theme in your own creative way. If you need some suggestions, here are a few ideas to get you started. You could:

  • *Join in and connect with others in online challenges like Illustration Friday.
  • *Explore connections in your art.
  • *Find ways to connect creatively with Nature, with your body, or with your home.
  • *Connect with others through a swap (aceo's, journals, books, etc...)
  • *Write about the way you connect with yourself and others.
  • *Try connecting with new people through media like Twitter or visit some of the CED participants (see the sidebar.)
  • *Leave art or fun messages in your neighborhood as a way to connect with your community .
  • *Create your own in-person, creative group meet-up or have an art picnic with friends.
  • *Take an online class to connect with like-minded souls.

How to use the CED themes:

If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving. 

Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't. I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate it into your life. I'd love to hear how you use the theme in your creative world.

Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.

And have fun with it!

Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us. To create means to relate. The root meaning of the word art is "to fit together" and we all do this every day. ~Corita Kent

p.s. The art in this post is a cropped portion of my mixed-media painting, Ladders. The original of it sold, but you can purchase prints of it here.