Entries Tagged as: energy


November 4th, 2009, Comments (35)


I've been focusing on self-care a lot today, noticing when and how I can do those little things that make my day sweeter... like eating a warm lunch (instead of something cold and quick), getting some exercise, taking a break to drink hot chocolate and watch So You Think You Can Dance. It's all laying a good foundation to help carry me through Art Every Day Month

Last night I took some time to doodle in my sketchbook before going to sleep. This is one of my favorite idea-generating tools. In my sketchbook, I just let loose, playing and drawing whatever popped into my head, doodling, and having fun. One of the things I drew last night was this sleepwalker, I think she expresses some of the blah energy I was feeling yesterday. I really enjoyed bringing her to life in collage, paint, and ink. And thankfully, I'm feeling much more energetic today.

I used to sleepwalk as a kid occasionally. Once I woke up in the hallway with all my sheets and blankets in my arms. I'd stripped the bed in my sleep and carried them out to the hall before I woke up. But this sleepwalking woman is less about actually sleepwalking and more about feeling that sleepwalking feeling when you're awake, like you're there, but not. Not a fun feeling. When I was able to check-in, I realized I needed some rest, some time to doodle and play, and some good self-care. Being able to check-in with yourself, find out what you need, and get those things (or ask for help) is so important to maintaining a creative lifestyle.

I'm glad to be fully awake again today, enjoying the creating and the creativity that's surrounding me. It's a beautiful thing!


November 3rd, 2009, Comments (27)


Well, it seems I took today's make bad art advice today because I made a lot of bad art today. Heh. Nothing was flowing. I just had to laugh at one point when things were looking a bit like poo...literally.

But I kept on going, playing, working, cropping, playing some more, stepping away for awhile, going in a completely different direction. And oh boy, did it end up in a different place than where I started. And that's ok. Some days are just like that.

One thing led to the next with collage, paint, and ink, and this woman appeared looking like a constellation, which made me think of a 5th grade report I'd done on Cassiopeia, a constellation named after a woman in Greek mythology. Turns out Cassiopeia was punished (for thinking she and her daughter were gorgeous) by being turned into a constellation where a majority of the year she'd hang upside-down or sideways. So, my Cassiopeia got turned on her head. I think she likes the way it makes her hair flow. And I could relate to her feeling of being turned upside-down. The beginning of AEDM is always a little tiring for me as I get everyone signed up and situated while producing my own art. Things always calm down after the first week, but right now I'm a combination of super inspired and totally pooped! (again with the poo?) :-)

cassiopeia twins
cassiopeia twins

Later while cropping my art in photshop, I thought it might be fun to make a twin of her, right-side up and upside down. More fun play. And now, it's time to get some rest. I'm planning to watch V with the hubster. Happy creating everyone!

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

The Inspiration Train

September 29th, 2009, Comments (7)

wip guesthouse

I've loved reading all the fabulous guest posts about inspiration this month. Thank you a million times over to all the fabulous folks who shared their inspiration with us while I moved. And thank you to everyone participating in the Creative Every Day Challenge for continuing to inspire me and so many others!

As I've pondered the theme of inspiration this month, I've generally felt like you can't wait for inspiration to create. That's something that I learned through doing Art Every Day Month (a challenge I run every November.) Through keeping a daily practice, I learned that when I sat down and created every day, there were some days when I was feeling juiced up and full of inspiration, but there were just as many days that I just wasn't in the mood. But when I created anyways, I learned that being in the mood or feeling inspired were not requirements of creating. What a revelation that was for me!

I think too often we wait around for that bolt of lightening to strike and tell us what to do (and that does happen, but for most of us, it's just not often enough.) But the beautiful thing is, that when we sit down and begin, despite our mood, things begin to flow. We only need to put pen to paper or brush to canvas and start. I'm continuously surprised by what comes when I simply allow myself to begin. And as a nice bonus, my mood is often a million times better once I spend some time creating or writing.

Yes, there are those fabulous days when inspiration is beating down your door, when it will not let you rest until you get moving on the idea that has come knocking. I had one of those days yesterday. It was a busy day too and I didn't have time to play with my idea until the evening. I was tired and was considering just leaving it for later, but I felt so restless and jazzed up about it, that I had to at least start even if I couldn't finish the piece.

I was on a roll, happily pulling materials from still packed boxes, finding things easily, putting the beginnings of a piece together, and then I was totally surprised when I looked up and saw how time had just flown by. I tweeted about how I'd felt such a strong urge to create and was enjoying riding the art train. It felt great to have started to bring this idea to life and with gluey hands, my muse was satisfied and let me rest. (The work in progress is above, just the beginning layers here. I'll write more about it as it develops.)

So, there are two things I want to say about this. One is, when the inspiration train comes for you, ride it out. Enjoy it. Stick your head out the window and feel the breeze. Follow it where it leads you. The second is, on all the other days, when the train hasn't picked you up, don't wait around for it, twiddling your thumbs and biding your time. Make your own ticket. Create anyway.

Say “Yes, and!” to Inspiration: Guest Post by Jennifer Lee

September 24th, 2009, Comments (9)

jenn inspiration2

A few months ago while I was on the phone with Leah planning my Boston visit, I asked on a whim, "Hey, wanna do a workshop together while I'm out there?"

"Absolutely, that sounds like fun!" she quickly replied.

And just like that our Creative Play workshop was born. It was simple, easy and fun because we both came from an inspired and open place.

Nothing kills inspiration like a big, fat "but." No, I'm not talking about derrieres. I'm referring instead to all the "yes, buts..." we tell ourselves. "Yes, that's a great idea, BUT it won't work." "I would love to do that, BUT it doesn't make sense." "I've always wanted to, BUT I don't know how (or I'm scared!)."

Instead of saying "yes, but..." Leah and I said, "yes, AND." Yes to collaboration, to having fun and to trying something new together. From that inspired place we were able to co-create a joyful afternoon together. We built on each other's ideas and we got to share in a playful experience with 10 other fabulously, creative and inspiring women.

Inspiration is often contagious like that for me. It can start with the slightest whisper from my Inner Muse. The idea will germinate in my head until I speak it out loud and finally move into action. And that's when the inspiration factor snowballs. Sometimes it's like being on creativity crack! Ideas flood at me left and right and it's hard to keep up.

Other times, the inspiration well seems dry. The "yes, buts" seem to have more clout then. It's times like that when I just need to give myself time and space to nudge my Inner Muse. For example, this morning instead of saying to myself, "Yes, I'd love to play with the new ink and quill I bought in Boston, BUT I have too much stuff to catch up on so I better not," I chose to say, "Yes, I'll play with my new art supplies AND I'll do it first thing in the the morning to start my day creatively." By simply sitting down, opening up my journal and picking up my pen, I summoned my Inner Muse and became inspired to create.

What can you say "Yes, and" to today?

jenn inspiration1

Jennifer Lee is a certified coach, artist, writer and yogini who find inspiration everywhere. She is the creator of the Unfolding Your Life Vision Kit and the Right-Brain Business Plan. You can find her at Artizen Coaching, her Life Unfolds Blog and on Twitter.

What Inspires Me: A Guest Post by Goddess Leonie

September 4th, 2009, Comments (16)

I am slowly learning
not to look to others
for inspiration
but to find it instead
in the way the wind blows against my face


and how the earth feels beneath me when I walk it


and how my guides reveal themselves to me, wrapping me in their horse-scented


Inspiration is how life looks and feels when Iʼm not worrying about
how I should change, or it should change...
and instead just trusting that who and where I am is just perfect.


Inspiration is my path,
with its luscious valleys and heart-opening mountains,
with the gentle weave of a river
bringing new blessings and lessons in my life.


And the truest inspiration of mine:
is discovering the Goddess inside me:
her story, her wisdom, her joy, her creativity,
that needs and wants to be shared.


Goddess Leonie is a Goddess Guide who helps women discover the wise, creative, joyful
Goddess inside them through art, e-courses & coaching. She lives in the alpine mountains
of Canberra, Australia in a rose-hewn cottage with her love Chris & their two hilarious puppies.
Visit her blog + website is www.goddessguidebook.com for more goddess joys + inspiration.

Check out her Goddess School to discover the spirited and creative e-courses she runs for women.

Links to Move You

August 26th, 2009, Comments (8)

ap birdcutout

So many fun links to share. Hopefully some of them will move you!

-Jamie Ridler has this great video and post about dancing in response to Gretchen Wegner's Muse Cubes. So fun and fabulous!

-If you want to see some more wonderful movement in action, head on over to Creative Every Day Challenge participant, Shamsi's blog, where she talks about her own movement practice, her work, and she's also got some wonderful videos of her belly dancing!

-Another beautiful belly dancer, Tatty Franey has some gorgeous pictures of her dancing on her site as well. The costumes and colors are so gorgeous, especially as they move! Oh my, super inspiring to me!

-Tammy Vitale has a wonderful discussion on her blog with Molly Gordon about how artist/entrepreneurs can set goals vs. expectations as you move towards your big dreams. If you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win a gold membership to the Self-Employment Summit.

-Vicki of Faint Heart Art is celebrating her 200th post with giveaway of a lovely travel art set. Great for art while you're on the move!

-Pema Chodron has a new book available for pre-order called, Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears. This looks like it would be a great book to continue playing the move theme of this month!

-For a completely different kind of movement inspiration, check out this time-lapse video of NYC that was tweeted by the lovely Kirstin Butler (she's @kirstinbutler on Twitter.)

-There's less than a week left to take advantage of early bird pricing for the Creative Play Workshop, happening in the Boston area on September 19th. Jenn and I would love to see you there. Spots are filling up, so grab yours soon!

-The art above was something I played with during the Art Picnic Workshop on Saturday. We had such a great group participating in this class! One of the participants was actually having her picnic in the backseat of her car while her husband drove. So cool! You can also check out Beckie's experience of the workshop here. The next Picnic will be in October and I'll announce the date soon.

-As I mentioned earlier, this month's theme was especially poignant to me as the hubster and I just purchased our first home. Well, the closing happened today and we are officially homeowners!! I'm super excited to share next month's theme with you, so look out for that announcement tomorrow. In the meantime, keep on movin'!

Deep Rest

August 23rd, 2009, Comments (17)


It's funny, but all the themes get me thinking about their opposites. I'm just contrary like that. :-)

So with this being the month of movement for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I've been doing a lot of thinking about rest. And I'm not talking about any old rest here...I mean deep rest. The soul-nourishing, replenishing, much needed kind. 

Do you give yourself time for this kind of rest? For more than 5 minutes? What does deep rest mean to you?

Giving yourself the time and space to rest is so important for creativity. When you're better rested, you'll have more energy to create, to make connections, to do the things you love, and to be there for the people you love. And yet, it can be hard to give ourselves permission to slow down.

When I slow down, I often feel this sense of, "Oh, there's something I should be doing!" It's even harder to do when I really do have a lot to do. But when I give myself permission to stop and relax, it's amazing how much better I feel. And all that stuff gets done much more easily.

Deep rest for me, might include a nap, or turning off the computer and reading a book purely for pleasure, or spending the day in my pajamas, or taking a bubble bath, or getting a massage, or rubbing lotion on my feet. Maybe you can just squeeze in five minutes of lying still or maybe you can schedule in an hour, a day, or a weekend. Try playing with adding some deep rest to your life and see how it impacts your creativity.

Looking for some more ideas? Check out Jennifer Louden's The Woman's Retreat Book or check out her blog, Comfort Queen.

Move with InterPlay: An Interview with Cynthia Winton-Henry

August 19th, 2009, Comments (9)


This week I had the honor of speaking with Cynthia Winton-Henry, co-founder of InterPlay. I was introduced to Cynthia and InterPlay by the lovely Gretchen Wegner, and I was immediately fascinated by the process.

InterPlay fits so well with the Creative Every Day Challenge theme of move this month because it's all about unlocking the wisdom of your body through movement, stories, and interacting with community. Plus, it involves some of my favorite things: play and permission.

I spoke with Cynthia about how movement impacts creativity, what an InterPlay class is like, and she shared a simple InterPlay exercise we can all try during this month of movement! You can listen into the conversation below or right-click and save it to listen to later.

Listen here.

You can find out more about Cynthia, InterPlay, and find an InterPlay class near you right here.

Did you try out the exercise Cynthia suggested? What did you think of it? To learn more and see someone else do it, check out this post and video over at Gretchen's blog.

How does consciously moving your body impact your creativity?