Entries Tagged as: guest post

Winter Guest Post by Liv Lane

December 17th, 2011, Comments (2)

As soon as he started dragging
the tricycle out of the garage,
all the shouldn'ts and couldn'ts
flew out of my mouth:
People don't ride bikes in winter.
It's just too slippery.
You might get hurt.
It's too cold.
It's not going to work.
Put it away.

But he asked if he could
please, please just try.
So I watched as he slid
down the steep and icy driveway
on wobbly wheels,
peering back at me
every few seconds,
nearly but never tipping over.
He was so proud to make it down
and wheel his way around the
snowy street.
And it was so sweet
to see him on a tricycle
in the middle
of a winter wonderland.
Note to Self:
I want him to believe
he can do anything
he puts his mind to,
but maybe more importantly
I need to believe he can do it, too.

Liv Lane originally posted this reflection on January 1, 2007 at her Choosing Beauty blog {and her oldest son still excels at doing things his way!}. As a blogger, artist and speaker, Liv uses her creative superpowers to illuminate the good in every day while helping people ignite their passions and purpose. Her popular ecourse, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love, returns January 9th.

Winter Guest Post by Tracey Fletcher King

December 16th, 2011, Comments (10)

I was so thrilled to be asked to do a guest post for Creative Every Day... because I have just finished Art Every Day Month and it was a fabulous, amazing, exciting experience, and so coming off being just a touch high from all that I was feeling pretty special and cool... until the reality of the topic set in... wintering????

The elephant in the room is that it is the middle of summer here in Australia and to make it that bit more bizarre, I live in sub tropical Southern Queensland, which means we don’t really have a winter, and summer is not just hot, it is a stinking ball of humidity and violent afternoon storms that give you a few minutes reprieve, before the evening chorus of cicadas start. I don’t even associate winter with Christmas because we have a Christmas day that consists of bowls of iced shrimp and mangoes and smells of suntan lotion and watermelon, and ends with an evening swim and gin and tonics served in tall ice filled glasses spiked with lemon, while we swat mosquitoes that are the size of small planes... having said all that, here goes... wintering...

For me wintering is about being full of energy because there is none of the mind numbing heat, and it is about being productive and is simply the most creative time of the year... the light is just perfect and rich, and it takes on this amazing golden tone that makes everything look crisp, not bleached out by the heat. The other big plus is that there is no humidity which means my paper stays the shape the manufacturer made it, and both paints and paper actually dry without the use of a fan or hair dryer and it means that my studio is cool and quiet and I can work quite quickly, and I spend all day drawing, painting and take the opportunity to indulge in my love of baking.... 

Winter is a time of no huge demands so I have time to be creative in the studio and the kitchen and the house is filled with smells like cinnamon and lemons and all the magic of fresh cookies and brownies, and just smelling things like that sets my mind to productive time in the studio.... and of course I get to play with my favourite piece of machinery in the whole world... my blue kitchen aide mixer... just getting it out of the cupboard and setting it on the bench at the end of summer signals that all the deliciousness of winter is just around the corner...

Tracey Fletcher King 


I am a painter and teacher who is obsessed with mixed media, contemporary botanicals and all things tea related. I draw inspiration from things around me and like to produce work that can be made into beautiful prints, cards and wearable art. I am wife to Sinus Man, and mother to a 15 year old daughter, who at the moment likes to be called Phantom, and an adorable, thick as a plank, fur baby called Mushu. My work can be purchased by contacting me through my blog while I prepare to enter the online world of Etsy and madeit.com.au early in 2012.

My blog can be found at


Winter Guest Post by Mandy Steward

December 14th, 2011, Comments (7)

Yesterday a friend of mine shared a picture of his piled books for Winter. I felt a surge of inspiration tickle my fingertips upon viewing his picture. What is it about books and Winter? What is it about gathering some of the great authors to "sit with" through the cold months? I feel as though I am a squirrel, collecting acorns and tucking them into the hole of my oak, because when my artistic soul is ready to hibernate, I want to give it something to chew on. Winter does this to me.

I think back on last winter. I rose early. 5 AM. Sometimes 4:30 AM. The increasing amount of darkness that accompanies the winter was my protective blanket to push into vulnerable areas as an artist. "It's safe here," I felt the moonlight saying to me. You can read the novel Wicked and Madeline L'Engle's Walking on Water and there is time to simply ponder what secret messages they are whispering to you. You are cocooned by the warm walls of the Muse, and there is time. A white expanse of time, like the snow that makes everything look equal and tranquil. A heavy sheet of cushioning to freeze time, allowing you the luxury to sit with ideas.

The teal-colored pot on the stove is simmering and soon it will boil, and I will steep my tea. "Winter is for steeping," I think. Letting the creative waters sit still, not stagnant, but still, so the chai spices can swim around a bit and then settle to the bottom, releasing a sort of golden fog stream into the stillness. There is the hustle going on somewhere outside. The rush to buy presents. The urgency to make new year's goals. The necessity of getting family all together in one place to make merry.

"Can one force merry?" I wonder, sidetracked. I am introspective all the time, but all the more so in the winter. I am hibernating deep within my own skin. On the outside I carry on the traditions, but deep inside the winter tells me I am steeping for something great.

I know I have another book to write. I wish it would just come out. I wish it was just a matter of showing up, because I am here in my creative space at 5 AM, sometimes 4:30 AM, every morning. I know I am on the edge of new discoveries, of new ideas, of new ponderings, but the fireplace and my candles are lit in the Winter to remind me I am but warming up to the idea of what is next.

I am watching the shifting reds of burning embers, and I think I'm doing somewhat of a red tribal dance of my own. My body is motionless on the brown leather couch with the child scribbles in ink pen on the side, but beneath the surface of stillness, I know the energy is heating up and when it's time to ignite into flames I will. The artist must trust the winter. The sitting. The dark. The frozen blanket of white. The wait.

Wait and you will know when it is time, right? "Right?!" I ask with increasing anticipation. That's how it worked last winter anyway. I hibernated for a couple months, and then I ended up writing a book by February. Or was it March? Oh anyway, why would this winter be any different? But the doubts. Oh the doubts. And maybe even the pressure. Why do we put such pressure on ourselves? Isn't a joy to create?

There is mysterious expectancy in this place of Winter-trust. What are you up to? One has to wonder of the Muse. And meanwhile our soul pries off acorn tops and nibbles on the nutty flesh of inspirational book piles, tucking it away in our ever-expanding cheeks, knowing (or hoping rather) one day we'll get to wash it all down with a hot mug of chai.

And when that day comes, we will secretively double over in relief that the cosmos have proved we are in fact actually still an artist. One who danced in the embers at moonlight and didn't get devoured.


Mandy Steward is an artist. She thinks you are one too. We are all painting on our own Messy Canvas. She invites you to be purposeful and passionate about what you are painting on yours.

Mandy likes to paint with words. Word pictures that reveal the spiritual that lurks even in the mundanest of moments. But she also doesn't like to limit herself to a medium, so she explodes wherever the Muse leads. Lately that has been in the pages of her art journal.

Mandy blogs at Messy Canvas. She has written four e-Books, including a free one for artists and a brand new one called Tomorrow's Dreams Today. She is also in the process of getting her first book published.

Winter Guest Post by Tara Leaver

December 13th, 2011, Comments (24)

 What to do when your creativity succumbs to winter


As winter starts to make its presence felt round here, I’ve been thinking a lot about cycles. About listening to my body and honouring its needs and what that really means. This is something relatively new to my Western monkey mind, for whom achievement is paramount, and only a certain amount of rest is permitted!


I’m a summer girl with a history of depression. Traditionally winter {which can be a long, chilly, dark and wet affair here in England} would take its toll on my well-being before it had even begun. I rejected the darkness and of course winter became something to dread and struggle through. I gotta tell you, I’m really tired of the concept of resigning myself to the belief that some things are ‘just like that’. 


My teacher has been showing me another way to approach winter. We all know about cycles – the seasons, women’s monthly cycles, Saturn Returns, to name just a few - but I’m not sure how often we really notice or accept them, let alone embrace them. We often seem to ignore or resist our personal cycles, because of commitments and jobs and things that Must Be Done. There is no time sculpted into our lives for honouring the quiet, ‘winter’ parts of our cycles. Winter is about resting, seeds waiting underground, animals hibernating. Nature knows and allows this; we can too, if we choose.


We creative types have our own cycles. Sometimes the inspiration is flowing fast and furious, and it’s all you can do to ‘get it all down’ quick enough; other times we feel stagnant or dry – nothing inspires us and efforts to force it result in frustration.


I learned the hard way that I must honour my creative cycle. Since I made the decision to just let it be what it is, to stop labelling it, judging myself, feeling disappointed or guilty or antsy or impatient about it, I’ve come to see my own personal cycle as something, well, beautiful actually.


We are often so unaccustomed to being gentle with ourselves. While I learn to apply this self- kindness to all the other areas of my life and leave the internal dark days far behind, at least when it comes to my creativity I have learned to give myself the ease of knowing that when it’s quiet and I haven’t been into my studio for days {weeks, sometimes}, the cycle will come round again. And in the meantime, if I let it, my creativity will reveal itself in other ways.  Even if it doesn’t, the focus here is honouring all parts of the cycle, not just the bits I may find easier or more comfortable.


Here are a few things I do when my creative cycle is in ‘winter’. They have evolved from trial and error, and are about giving myself over to it rather than trying to override or kick start it; perhaps they will help you too.


*Stop trying! Let the whole thing go like you just don’t care. Quite a challenge when your creativity is such a huge part of who you are, I know, but just trust me on this. What we resist persists, right? The more we poke at it and try to change it and don’t allow ourselves to accept it as it is, the more we are blocking the cycle from turning in its own time.


*Do something else. If you’re not yet ready to just not do, then redirect. If your thing is painting, try cooking {works for me!}. If it’s sewing, try drawing. If it’s photography, try writing. You get the idea. Sometimes our creativity needs new avenues to run down.


*Go outside. For me it’s the beach, every time. I started by just going there to sit; that has now evolved into me taking my sketchbook with absolutely no plan or pressure to use it. Sometimes I actually do use it. Sometimes I don’t. It’s all good. I have a friend who needs green; when she’s feeling uninspired or drained or stuck she goes out into the countryside, or even just the park, to get some chlorophyll and hug some trees.


*Distract your brain. If you’re giving yourself a hard time about how you haven’t done anything creative for ages, do something that gives you some respite from the chat in your head. Box sets often do the trick for me. You can’t get much less creative than lying under blankets passively watching images on a screen and sipping hot chocolate!  I’ve worked my way through the entire seven series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer doing this. {I know.}  I lay on the sofa and watched Buffy kick vampire ass until that familiar tickle inside drew me back into the studio without any decision making on my part. All I needed was to let myself have a time out, and for the cycle to bring itself round again.


What do you to do honour and embrace your personal creative winters? I’ve only touched on four of an infinite number of possibilities. Let’s put our heads together and lay out everything we’ve got. Let’s give ourselves and each other permission to honour all the parts of the cycle, even and especially the arctic wasteland parts. Share your wisdom



I am an energy healer and artist living in Brighton in the UK. I paint with acrylics and mixed media, and my work is mostly bold and vibrant. I’m fascinated by symbolism and meaning, and love to bring my energy work together with my art to produce paintings that have infinite possible interpretations. And sometimes I just like to paint in pretty colours. :-)



Website: www.taraleaver.com

Blog: www.taraleaver.com/blog

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/AquamarineArt

Facebook:  Aquamarine Art: Mixed Media Paintings by Tara Leaver

Winter Guest Post by Joanna Paterson

December 9th, 2011, Comments (10)

Winter Light

Creating with Darkness and Light

Creativity - like life itself - begins in darkness ~ Julia Cameron

The natural world reveals so many beautiful creativity lessons at this time of year.

Yes: the days are short, the earth is cold, the fields are a colourless dull-mud brown.

And yet, and yet:

Through the darkness we see a sudden splash of a rainbow cutting through a rain laden sky; a burst of sunlight illuminating that dull brown lifeless field; the pale wintry sun creating wild silhouettes with the bare bone trees, dancing like creatures of our deepest darkest imagination against the barren lines of the horizon.

It is all light revealed through darkness, pattern against the emptiness, life irrepressible through the shortest, darkest days.

And it is not just a light show.

It is a call to create: to make our own wildly dancing silhouettes, to illuminate with shafts of poetry, to paint a rainbow in shades of enchantment, to carve our words in pens dipped in the blackest of ink, dripping with colour and light.

To sing our songs of life, irrepressible, through the shortest, darkest days.

Heeding the call, and creating with darkness and light.


Joanna is a writer, poet and photographer who explores themes of creativity and connectedness with the natural world. She has recently published Earthflow: a book of photo-poetry inspired by places that call us home. You can find her blogging on landscapes, writing, poetry and practice at The Art of Everyday Wonder.

Winter Guest Post by Jamie Ridler

December 7th, 2011, Comments (3)

MP3 File

Step into this magical meditation from creative living coach Jamie Ridler and connect to the spirit of the season. Discover the gifts Winter has in store for you.

Jamie Ridler is a creative living coach and the founder of Jamie Ridler Studios. From coaching to workshops, from podcasting to blogging, Jamieís work helps women find the confidence and courage to discover and express their creative selves so they can be the star they are. Website & Blog: Jamie Ridler Studios Facebook: Jamie Ridler Studios Twitter: @starshyne Podcast: Creative Living with Jamie and on iTunes.

p.s. From Leah: A special shout out to Jamie, who's celebrating a birthday today. Happy birthday, Jamie! You're a shining star in the world!

Winter Guest Post by Goddess Leonie

December 6th, 2011, Comments (5)

How to stay connected to nature even when it's cold!

Hola gorgeous goddesses!

For me, a huge part of my creativity is feeling connected with gorgeous nature. Before I create I get my hands in the earth, my face in the breeze, I let my skin tingle with the love of the earth.

I call it sacred grounding.

What's so important about grounding?

Grounding helps us get out of our heads & into our spirit.

It helps our souls feel centered & at home.

It helps to invigorate & inspire our creative spirit.

And most of all - it gives us the energy to birth our creative dreams!

Grounding in Winter

What happens though when it gets ding dang cold?

How can we stay connected to Mama Earth when it's freezing, and possibly even covered with the glorious white stuff?

A moment to acknowledge the purdy photo at the top of this post. I took this photo of my hunky-Wise Man-love a few years ago when it snowed here in Australia. It doesn’t snow here, so when it did have a freak burst last winter, we jumped in our jeep and headed for the mountains to play. We were standing in the snow just listening to the sound of quiet, to the sound of snowflakes rustling through the air. This photo was taken when I headed back for the car. I turned back to see my beautiful man, soaking in the moment, connecting with the earth. To me, this symbolises how to ground even when it’s white and cold – with arms wide open, embracing this whole gorgeous world.

How to Ground: Get outside

When I talk about grounding, I usually advise goddesses to get their band hands & feet on the ground.

To ground – you don’t NEED to have bare feet. If it’s warm enough, it’s delicious and gives you the extra joy of grass tickling your soles. But if it’s not – still take the time to go outside, and take some deep breaths outside.

The earth is a source of completely healing and rejuvenation for us. Try it out.

Go outside, look outside, look at the earth, look at the sky and take ten deep breaths.

Visualise yourself grounded.

When you *visualise* something, you enact the same neurological responses as you would if you were *experiencing* it. Visualisation can work so powerfully in grounding. In larger women’s circles, we often use a grounding visualisation inside instead of having the whole circle troop outside to do it.

So, either sit down or stand with your legs apart. Take deep breaths down into your core, right down into your belly. Visualise yourself as a tree – your branches reaching into the sky, legs growing like roots into the Earth. Feel yourself deeply connected into the soil and earth. See yourself as a strong oak tree – the perfect balance between sky and earth. With this image in mind, take three deep breaths in and out through your core – visualising that you are inhaling and exhaling through your solar plexus. On your last exhale, exhale with a noise… like an “aaaaaaaaaaaaah.”

Use a Tree.

You can also use actual trees to connect and ground because their roots go through the snow right into the earth. They are the perfect symbol of groundedness!

Is there a park you can go to that would give you a little bit of quiet space to connect with a tree? Even if you could pop down a plastic picnic mat and sit with your back against the tree for a few minutes, you can pick up on the energy, groundedness and strength behind you.

Different trees have different energies and medicines. There are a couple of great books that give the meanings and energies of trees – but as always, the knowledge, wisdom and intuition is right inside you. Give it a go. Listen. Feel. Experience. Trust. This is second nature to you.

Let the beauty of the world intoxicate you

There is so much gorgeous beauty in this world. Nature can be our biggest healer & muse when we let her in!

Get grounded! Make art!

Do let us know how you go! I’d love to hear your experiences and soul stories!

How do you stay grounded to mama earth even when she's covered in cold?

wild joyful love,

Goddess Leonie is the creator of the Goddess Circle an online creativity & spirituality world for goddesses. She blogs from a tree (or her turquoise gypsy caravan) & makes miracles happen. She lives in tropical paradise in Australia with her hunky love & their owl baby daughter Ostara. You can find her at www.goddessguidebook.com. She's just released her uber popular 2012: Creating your Goddess Year workbook & planner too!

Blue: Guest Post by Susan Reep

July 19th, 2011, Comments (6)

What an apt theme for the month! The great painter and art teacher Josef Albers said “Color is like cooking. The cook puts in more or less salt, that’s the difference!” I think the cook put more salt in this Moorish tile because it can sure jiggle your eyeballs. Some of that salt was the color blue.

While I admire those who trend on the “less” side, thinking less is more, I tend to think if some is good, more is better. I got to see lots of this amazing tile work in March on a trip to Morocco and Spain, and as a photographer, I took hundreds of photos of course – but my aim was BLUE. More BLUE! The reason was simple – my daughter wanted blue photos for her walls. Since blue has always been my favorite color, I was up for searching out BLUE.

You know how giving yourself constraints in your work can amp up the creativity? Like grabbing a handful of magazines and doing collages in your art journal, constrained by using only what you find in the magazines? Searching out BLUE sure gave me a focus for photography and it made an already thrilling trip even more exciting.

I found lots of BLUE – but what did it all mean? What is it about BLUE? It’s the color of optimism – sunny skies are blue skies. Irving Berlin wrote the classic “Blue skies, smiling at me; nothing but blue skies, do I see.” Water is blue and calm; stormy waters are grey and green and black. Blue bloods are of the upper class. First place takes the blue ribbon. Brides wear something borrowed, something blue – blue for faithfulness and loyalty. And men wear dark blue suits for power. Things that happen infrequently happen once in a blue moon. But it’s not all good, because hard times and sadness intrude in the form of the Blues. Patsy Cline is “…crazy, feeling so blue.”

Raoul Dufy, the French fauvist painter, said “Blue is the only color that maintains its own character in all its tones…it will always stay blue.” Whatever that really means, it seemed to match a mosaic detail from Gaudi’s Parc Guell in Barcelona.

The Ukrainian Cubist painter Kasimir Malevich said, “I have broken the boundary of color limits, come out into the white; beside me comrade-pilots swim in this infinity.” Taking swimming literally as in blue water, and then emerging into the white of the clouds in the blue sky gives a surrealistic meaning to this photograph of the swimming pool at the Hotel Xaluca Dades in Boumalne Dades, Morocco. To me, it makes it much more than a swimming pool. It makes it infinite with endless possibilities.

Moroccans use vibrant colors, and these blue doors on the orange building seem to have been painted simply to justify Vincent Van Gogh’s quote: “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.” I don’t know what Van Gogh meant exactly, but both colors pop out with such vibrancy when used together.

This magnificent chimney from a Gaudi building in Barcelona just screamed out for the blue centerlight in this Jack Kerouac quote from On the Road: The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everyone goes, “Awww!”

Awww. You can feel the passion as Kerouac’s words speed up faster, faster, reaching, reaching ever farther, like art, color, life.

I used to be like that, speeding faster and faster, until I got a little older and started going slower, slower. Now, all I know is whether that blue centerlight pops or not, I like blue and it makes me feel good.

I made a little book matching my BLUE photographs with quotes from artists (mostly) talking about color (mostly), but I maintained artistic license to add as I wished. For example, for this blue door, I chose Temple Grandin’s statement, “A door opened and I went through it.” That’s what art is about and it’s what life is about. I just happened to go through a lot of blue doors on this trip.


Susan's Background:

I grew up in Los Angeles in a family of artists.  (My father, Edward Reep, is a nationally-renowned watercolorist with paintings hanging in museums across the country, as well as a World War II combat artist, with works in the Pentagon and the Smithsonian.  My mother, Pat Reep, is a well-known quilter.)  After living in Northern California, North Carolina, Virginia and Morocco, my husband and I settled in Bakersfield, CA.  I’ve been married for 41 years and have three children and ten grandchildren.  After retiring from teaching seventh-grade, I’ve been able to focus solely on my art.

I realized early-on that photography would be my medium. My training was not formal: I learned to “see” from growing up with art all around me and from listening to artists.   I asked for my first camera when I was seven, and I’ve been taking pictures every since.

My focus in photography has been to find both beauty in nature and beauty in the mundane.  My primary subject matter has gravitated over the years to travel and nature in all its aspects because I am a documentarian at heart.

My web site  http://susanreep.com/ 

Blog: http://susanreep.com/blog/

Flickr:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/susanreep/

BLUE: Photos from Spain and Morocco:  http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2263540

Represented:  Metro Galleries http://themetrogalleries.com/?page_id=4

Metamorphosis Guest Post by Makie

June 28th, 2011, Comments (4)

The caterpillar becomes a butterfly - beautiful yet imperfect.

I am experiencing a metamorphosis in my life as I accept, explore and even welcome my imperfections.  By doing so I am becoming more beautiful, more brave and more creative!

A friend who I hadn't seen in ages remarked, "You are becoming more and more beautiful.  What's your secret [girlfriend]?!"  I simply replied, "I'm accepting all my imperfections and celebrating my uniqueness!"  In other words, I'm being more loving, forgiving and kind with myself.

I've always been a pretty low maintenance gal and I've become even more so over the years.  So my friend certainly wasn't commenting on a sexy new hairdo or beautifully tanned skinned.  Although I wouldn't mind donning either of those.  She just happened to notice something different about me.  (Either that or she's really good at dishing out flattery!)

When I think about people who are charismatic (a word that is synonymous with gorgeous in my mind), I think about those who affect me with their spirit.  They are always smiling and boisterous or they are serene and confident.  Either way, they've got the goods and I want to be like them!

Accepting my physical qualities & all my personal short comings, and making a conscious decision to let my inner self affect my outer self was the most ground-breaking 'beauty boost' of my life.  Whenever I start feeling self-conscious or insecure I know it's time to do some inner work to cultivate those true qualities that make me a beautiful and confident person.  Often times this means sitting quietly with my sketch book which is quite the opposite from jetting to the gym or the hair salon don't you think?!

Of course, I love running, stretching, playing and getting my hair 'did', but what works best for me is to first lead with my spirit, know who I am and give all I have even though I am imperfect.  Charisma, baby, is far more enticing than fancy duds and shiny lipstick!

Gosh, when I think of bravery, I think of valiant and courageous people fighting for a cause.  Those who are willing to charge ahead even though they might be afraid.

I while back I discovered I will never have all the answers.  (Imagine that!) In fact, I realized I will always be growing throughout my life.  There never will be a point at which I have arrived only to become stagnant yet all-knowing.  (Sounds like an oxymoron.)  It doesn't work like that!  Wisdom comes through growth and by acknowledging you don't have all the answers.

What do you think about the word, audacity?  Defined, it's a "willingness to take bold risks."  That sounds pretty courageous and pretty brave to me.

By realizing I will never have all the answers, I've allowed myself to be humble enough to ask questions and brave enough to share – share what I create, share my ideas, my beliefs and my thoughts - it's amazing!  It's also audacious. ;)

I often say it's not always the most talented artists who get their creative work recognized – it's sometimes those with the audacity to put it on a wall, on a stage, shine a light on it and say, "Hey, check this out!"

Be audacious.  Don't wait for your work to be perfect - share it!

"Be ye not afraid to make mistakes!"  That's my own proverb.  (Is it appropriate or is it slightly strange to quote oneself?) Well, to continue... I say, "get messy, get all full of paint and let the creative project lead you."  In other words, get out of your own way.

We've already established I'm imperfect and don't have all the answers.  Here's another secret: I have not yet mastered my craft!  (But I'm working on it.)  Perhaps you're in the same boat?

If we are always growing, then a craft or skill can never truly be mastered, right?  So we are definitely all in the same boat!  There's always room to make new discoveries.  It's the process/the journey that is most exciting, wondrous and eye-opening.

By accepting my imperfections, I am becoming more beautiful and confident.  Having that new-found confidence and admitting I don't have all the answers, has given me the bravery or, better put, the audacity to share my creative ideas.

But there's a catch.  Some of these creative ideas (just waiting to burst forth) are things I can't do by myself.  I lack certain skills or development in 'the craft' needed to make these ideas come to pass.  The thing is, I need to collaborate with others who have the needed skills!

Don't be afraid to ask for advice or jump into a project with another person!  Is it scary?  Yes!  Will is sometimes not work out?  Yes.  Can it be amazing and might you reach new heights of success and completion by working with someone else?  Yes.  A thousand times yes. :)

I'm an actor, but I need words to speak, cast mates and a stage.  Without the writer, director and producer, I cannot create on the level I desire.  I'm also a singer and a newbie songwriter but my songs will remain stuck between the three walls of my shower and that shiny, plastic curtain until I partner up with a musician and an arranger!

Perhaps you've got an amazing idea but you're feeling stuck because you don't have all the resources or skills to bring your creation to life all by yourself.  Open up to the notion of letting others in.  In time you will find your collaborators (a.k.a. your partners in crime)!

Accept yourself as you are and allow a metamorphosis to take place.  You will feel a change in your physical being.  Your beauty & confidence will progress and play out in your life, allowing you to take bold risks.  You might feel brave.  Others may call you audacious!  Perhaps you'll create something BIG that once felt out of reach by collaborating with other creative cohorts!

I want to hear all about it!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My name is Makenzie.  My family and friends call me Makie for short (and I like it).  I am an actor, singer, artist, cowgirl and thrift-store fashionista.  I love BIG & believe!

Join me for the ride @ MakieDoll.com!

Metamorphosis: A Guest Post by Sheree Wagener

June 24th, 2011, Comments (16)

For the past year I have been on a huge transformation journey, one that started to gather pressure six years ago then snowballing till I had no idea how lost I was, and then I cracked.

I have had a life that is not that traumatic at all, so for some it was hard to see why I was having a breakdown, what did I have to complain about. But inside, unknowingly, I was stockpiling pain, friendship breakups, social rejection, multiple miscarriages, failed businesses, just pain after pain, I became a frantic person, I did everything at lightening speed because I could, slow people who got in my way just irritated me, the birth of my daughter should have been the relaxing fulfilling dream I had wanted, but it just made me more anxious and upset, I had what we thought was PND but I wasn't depressed, I just couldn't feel anything for my daughter, nothing at all, nothing negative or positive, I felt I was suffocating so threw myself into work and more responsibility and anything I could volunteer for, people would tell me to slow down but I thought I was fine, why was everyone so upset that I could do so much. Then the cracks began to show, little bits of panic here and there, memory loss, the commitments I had craved began to weigh on me instead and those 'to do' lists filled me with terror. Then my undoing, our close friends had their 3 month old daughter die and I was so upset I felt I was going to lose it, but I managed to keep it together, that night after her funeral I felt terrible, I slept but in the morning I cracked and my breakdown began. No longer was I able to push anything down, it was all on its way out. This is where the terror phase began, which many people refer to as the 'Dark Night'. I thought I had clicked over to crazy, every emotion I had ever pushed down was coming thru me as the original emotion I had trapped, this was a week of non stop crying, painful painful stuff, no sleep, terror raged thru me with the feeling that my insides were being devoured or burned, I was having seizures every time I ate, my body was emptying of everything. Now this is where the doctors tell me I'm depressed and being just a little dramatic! We were so angry with them that we rebelled against main stream medicine and went all natural, Reiki to relax, Acupuncture to drain meridians so blocked up, TAT therapy for removing years of trauma. This was the most gruelling time, but it needed to be done, I couldn't go back, I had to go forward, all my healers kept saying that it was wonderful and that I was going to be so different, I still did not get it, I had no idea I was so bad, I didn't want to be different. I had to cut every tie I had, cancel all my responsibilities and check out of my social life, It was time to hibernate and work on myself. My family were amazing and looked after my daughter, my partners support is beyond words, he would let me talk and talk for hours never once complaining about his wreck of a future wife. I also found thru homoeopathy that I was full of chemicals, copper, aluminium, mercury, pesticides, we had to completely change our houses food stocks to organic only other wise my body would have seizures. I was told the whole process of this metamorphose lasts about 2 years, I don't have two years I would think, but now I understand that it takes this time to knock you permanently out of your old life patterns, if it wasn't for this, I don't think I would have ever changed, I just couldn't see things any different.

So who have I morphed into?

I prefer to have no lists, I say no a lot, and feel no guilt, just a peacefulness a few hours later when I realize I really didn't want to do that, and people treat me no differently for saying no, I always thought, the more I say yes to people the more they would love me. But I have learnt to love myself, I know my relationship with my daughter is now as it should be, all signs of PND are gone. I am light as a feather, healthy, no longer have any stomach problems, I am still extremely sensitive to anything processed or un organic, but figure that this is the healthiest Ive ever been and why would I return to toxic food even if I could. I can laugh and joke more and just cruise thru life and live, the desperation of achieving has gone, I do things because I want to now. I have morphed into the butterfly of my dreams, it has been such hard work and I am only 1 year thru my change but I am 90% there for sure and in love with my life again.

My advice to others is watch yourself living, if I read thru a lot of my work before this happened, I was writing the word overwhelmed nearly daily, you leave a lot of clues, stockpiling dramas and trauma doesn't work, it will wait for you, learn to process and release things. I would find myself gardening thinking of conversations from years before, and I would get angry and vent while I worked, replaying imaginative conversations over and over.

Learn compassion for others, and accept them as you would want others to accept yourself, there is no good outcome from judgement and assumptions are not facts.

Read good books, like Stephanie Dowrick and Eckhart Tolle, they concentrate on 'you' becoming the solution because we are the only things we can change. And do change, change is a wonderful thing that we all need, we are evolving beings so doing a yearly change or even better monthly with the moon could prevent something like a huge breakdown from happening.

Learn about what fear is, an excellent book is 'The tibetan art of serenity', I have learnt that if the suggestion of something instantly scares me, then I have to do it, the more you give in to fear, the more it feels like a real issue. On the other side of fear is serenity and you can only reach this by moving thru fear, you cannot go around it, believe me, I have tried everything! I was the panic attack queen.

Learn to meditate or at least be still and listen, at least once a day. Listen to what? Just listen to yourself being, being human, being alive, being you. If I find my day is too busy and by night I'm too tired I use those moments when I wake in the night to go outside, listen to the silence and just have gratitude for everything good in my life. What if there is nothing good?? There is always something good.

Learning to grow thru art has been huge, I kept 3 diaries thru my transformation, a medical diary to record how I was progressing mentally, a doodle diary where I drew how I felt, most of the time in cartoon form, other times as mandalas of healing, and a spiritual diary of all the amazing lessons I had learnt along the way. I can read any of these now to see how far I have come. The proof of my progress is so inspiring to me on bad days. Some days words just aren't enough, and this is where our art comes in, so much more can be said with our emotional creativity, feeling our way thru instead of having to condense back into words.

Metamorphosis is a blessing we call to ourselves, the harder the change the more meaningful it will be when we emerge from our dark night of reclaiming our true selves. That is why we are here, to experience life and all the wonderful gifts this world has to offer and to come home to ourselves. We all have inner knowledge about who our true selves are, this is why we have to look inside for the answers, and use our everyday creativity to get there.

Life is not a struggle, life is not a challenge, life is just an experience, that is all that is asked of you, so relax and go enjoy the experience of creating something..create your life.


Sheree Wagener is a 33 year old mother/artist who lives the country life in New Zealand. After coming through a breakdown drug free she uses her time inspiring others to push through and not push away this opportunity for change her journey and life work can be followed on her blog, http://www.ravenmoonmagic.blogspot.com.