Entries Tagged as: guest post

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.

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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.

Metamorphosis: Guest Post by Aimee of Artsyville

June 22nd, 2011, Comments (20)

Metamorphosis. When I saw Leah’s topic for June, which she chose in advance of her little one’s arrival, I thought, “wise woman.” She knew the profound change that she was about to undergo.

But when I was about to have my first child, I didn’t truly understand that. I was so focused on meeting my daughter, wondering what she’d be like, what kind of person she’d be, that I didn’t realize I was about to make another acquaintance: me. I was a compartmentalizer back then; I thought of my little girl’s birth as a beautiful addition to our lives, and assumed that we’d all settle into our lives as a family together, trucking along as we always did, being who we always were.

She arrived; she was beautiful; I was in love; I was in awe.

But the plan ended there. I found out immediately that neat little boxes and parenting did not coexist. My dividers came down; my entire way of being was disassembled and the parts tossed in the air. I found myself on the wildest journey of my life, piecing together a new identity while learning how to become a mother. Daily (and nightly) I sorted through emotional torrents of love, responsibility, fear, joy, anger, wonder, priority, self esteem, pride, duty, selfishness and selflessness -- with no line of demarcation from one feeling to the next. No guidebook to help me navigate. I was making decisions I had never made before, tapping into strengths I didn’t know I had, confronting insecurities I had no choice but to overcome. I also became an early bird -- previously unthinkable.

As we went through our days together and my daughter grew into her new self, I grew into mine. Some pieces fell into place gently, some forcefully, some predictably, others surprisingly. When my second daughter came along, my transformation did not come as much of a surprise as it did the first time, but it was equally revolutionary. Because they are different people, each have brought out pieces of me that I didn’t know existed.

And this is why I say that my children gave birth to me.

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Aimee is an artist, doodler, mom, and creator of Artsyville. She's a joy to know! You can find her at her blog, Artsyville, on Facebook, her etsy shop, and on Twitter as @artsyville.

Everything I Know About Transformation I Learned By Making Art: Guest Post by Chris Zydel

June 16th, 2011, Comments (8)

"If I keep painting in this way I'm not going to have to change my life. Right?" Anonymous student in one of my Wild Heart Painting classes

When I volunteered to write a guest blog post for Creative Every Day and Leah told me that the theme was Metamorphosis the first thing that came to mind was a period in my early 40's when everything in my life changed. In a huge amazing way. And I think that the change was largely facilitated by the fact that I was deeply engaged in an intensive art practice that involved intuitive painting.

I did not grow up thinking of myself as an artist. And in fact I didn't even start painting until I was close to 40 years old. My first introduction to painting was through intuitive painting classes that were being offered in the city of San Francisco.  At the time when I was first taking these classes I was also in graduate school, getting a masters degree in clinical psychology, so the painting was a much needed respite from papers and deadlines, evaluations and the stress of having to accomplish something.

And the painting also took me outside of my head. I wasn't thinking while I was painting. I was just lost in a world of color and imagery and the sensuality of brush on paper.

At first, painting was simply recreation, a practice to keep myself somewhat sane while I made my way through graduate school. But as time went on I started having some pretty wild experiences with the creative process. I would paint and paint, sometimes for hours and days on end and when I would finally leave the studio I would find myself in a distinctly altered state.

Colors would be more vibrant and intense, things were infused with a sparkling, pulsating energy. The world and myself in it just seemed more vital and on fire. At times I felt like I was on some very cool and trippy mind expanding drugs.

Painting using this method, which meant learning not to listen to the inner critic and expressing myself with total abandon, was transforming my experience of myself on the inside. I was feeling different. Seeing things in a whole new way. I was in a profound process of inner metamorphosis but at first I didn't realize how far reaching this transformation was. And how radically it was going to impact my external life.

Before too long my life outside of the studio also started to change. As I listened to and trusted my intuition through the process of painting I started listening to and trusting myself in other ways. I seemed to know more clearly how to proceed with my life. As I took more risks in my painting I was willing to take more risks in my "real" life.

For example, I was involved with a man who was unable to make a commitment to me and all of a sudden I had the guts to leave the relationship. I had completed my graduate school program and was expected to embark on a grueling internship path that would lead to professional licensure, but I no longer had the heart for it, so I walked away.

I had faced the void so very many times in my painting, not knowing where the next stroke would lead me, but always trusting that something would happen if I just listened for the next instruction. And here I was, living in the same way that I had been painting.

It was scary and intense, but also so very alive. And it did work. Instead of getting a license to practice psychotherapy I started my Creative Juices Arts business where i began helping people to open up and live from their own creative source. i was alone for a while, but then I met the man who is now my husband ( and of course, an artist), and it is 16 years later and we are still  incredibly happy together.

As I trusted more and more in my own creative energy, the energy to actually create my own life, things just fell into place. My journey during this period was not without fear or sadness or stress, but underneath whatever sense of difficulty I might be experiencing was always a layer of trust. There was something that I was tapped into that was guiding me and it was the same energy that guided me while I was painting.

I had learned so much from standing in front of that easel about being present and not judging. About following my own individual energy and about following my heart. I learned that going into what seemed like dark places always led to some sort of transformation and I learned about the value of surrender to an energy greater than myself.

It was a very powerful yet humbling period in my life and it really DID change everything.

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Chris Zydel, MA founder of Creative Juices Arts  has over 32 years of experience as a compassionate and soulful creativity guide. Through her Painting From The Wild Heart classes, workshops and training programs she has devoted herself to providing the support, guidance and inspiration that allows her many students to connect with the sacred force of creativity that lives inside of us all. For more information please visit her website at http://www.creativejuicesarts.com

A doula’s guide to the next step in your metamorphosis: Guest Post by Jess Larsen

June 14th, 2011, Comments (9)

In giving birth to something or someone completely new, we have a chance to lovingly see our stripped-down selves, to meet the unknown with courage and agility, and to take a step along the path of our personal and spiritual evolution.

When we’re in the throes of metamorphosis – when change has taken over our body and whole selves -- there’s a very real temptation to disconnect from the inevitable mess and chaos.

After all, birth is messy. It’s a very human experience: humbling, disorienting, sometimes sensory overload. (We’re not speaking exclusively of childbirth here; all creative births lie at the center of a similar labyrinth.)

But as tempting as it is to try to escape the intensity of metamorphosis, it’s much better to dive deep into it. When you meet the change and agree to walk with it for a while, you also open yourself to the wisdom waiting for you and deeper self-knowledge.

So how can you be your own best birth partner? How can you be present and fully conscious for the birth of your next “baby”?

Embrace curiosity and not-knowing.

*  Who are you being in this moment? (This is far more important than outcomes or decisions.)

*  What does this moment ask of you?

*  If you were courageous and you did know what to do, what would your posture look like? What’s the next think you would do?

*  How are you bringing your love to this moment?

*  What do you know for sure, in your bones?

*  What’s one small thing you can do right now?

Find your body. Come back to your breath. It’s a practice: you’ll come back to it over and over. Be easy, steady, and have compassion for yourself all the way through.

Worry effectively. Identify the worries that follow you. Name them, dialog with them. Are there ways to avoid the things you’re worried about? If not, how would you like to handle your most undesirable scenario? Who can you reach out to for help?

Find a rhythm and ritual that work for you, and stick with it until it doesn’t work anymore. Your rhythm is yours alone. Find the routines and rituals that nourish and sustain you through times of change, and promise yourself to do all you can to stick with it. Then, when your rhythm no longer serves, let it go.

You might have to do things you didn’t want to have to do. The wider the variety of possible scenarios in which you can envision yourself giving birth, the easier you’ll find agility and flexibility needed to change in the moment.

The intensity that it takes to get your creation out may be more than you anticipated. Plan for more, not less. When you’re giving birth to anything new and powerful, you’ll necessarily emerge a changed person. Understand ahead of time that your own rebirth can feel like a small death – of an identity, a perspective, old stories and no-longer relevant dreams or wants. If you anticipate the possibility of mourning along with the joy of a birth, you’ll be more prepared for the grace of newness.

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Jess Larsen is a birth doula, Birthing From Within mentor, and virtual assistant. She lives and works in northern New Jersey, adores small succulent plants and has one small tattoo in an undisclosed location.

Metamorphoses, a Guest Post by Tammy Vitale

June 9th, 2011, Comments (16)

Metamorphoses:  Change of physical form; change of appearance or character; …supernatural transformation.

When you practice your art, when you follow your bliss as an artist, you are no less than the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.  Embrace the mush that happens in between!  Celebrate that you can bring this gift to the world.  Honor yourself for being brave and true to your calling.  Soar!!!

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Artist and Business Coach Tammy Vitale has been a full time artist for 10 years.  She developed and ran ArtsAlive!, a non-profit venue to bring diverse artists and art to her area.  She was also co-owner and curator for The Wylde Women’s Gallery whose goal was to make a place for artists who “didn’t fit.”  Her art is represented by a growing number of shops and small galleries in the continental United States and is collected by national and international clients.

Using her BA in Business Administration, her MA in Story and her on-the-ground experiences as a practicing artist, she creates a delicious how-to mix to help Artists and creative Entrepreneurs piece together the puzzle of perfect peeps, products, pricing and places to sell at Sell Your Art, Keep You Soul.

You can find Tammy on Facebook at TammyTVitale, and read her blogs at: Http://www.TammyVitale.com/Weblog.  She also offers free daily inspiration delivered to your inbox through Wylde Womens Wisdom.

Metamorphosis, Guest Post by Miranda Hersey

June 7th, 2011, Comments (18)

My daughter sleeps. Like her brothers before her, she enters a cocoon of slumber each afternoon. Hours pass as her body makes its unfathomable changes, propelling her into adulthood. She is overpowered during this alchemy of adolescence.

Upstairs in Emma’s room, I find her curled onto the floor under a fleece blanket, brown hair spilling across one arm, laptop dark. At 15, her limbs are still visibly lengthening, extending her to my own height and perhaps beyond.

She sleeps so soundly that I cannot bear to wake her for dinner. Thirty more minutes.

As my daughter sleeps her way into who she is, I too have spun a cocoon. I surround myself with books and words and images; through information and intuition and the connection to others I am changing from the inside out. These changes thrill me with presence and possibilities. At 41, I too am becoming who I am. I stare in wonder at the skins I leave behind.

Transformation saturates the clapboards and corners of our home. In turn, each member of our family walks his or her lifelong passage of everyday miracles. Forces of nature and nurture take over and mold us like clay on a pottery wheel: The somatic journey of pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding. Infancy, becoming bipedal. Parenthood. Childhood. Finding one’s voice, literally and metaphorically. The discovery of passion and purpose. The learning that makes physical changes in the pathways of our minds. The love for others that makes indelible marks in our hearts.

It is my gift to be witness, and my gift to take part.

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Miranda Hersey is a writer, artist, creativity coach, and host of the group blog Studio Mothers. As a business owner and the mother of five, Miranda is passionate about helping other mothers live deeply satisfying, creative lives. She lives in rural Massachusetts, happily overrun with people, books, and animals.

Bloom True, Guest Post by KathyB

June 3rd, 2011, Comments (7)

Break out the streamers, cue the band.  This is my first guest post ever.  As the song goes, I am movin’ on up to the East Side. Thank you, Leah!

Wait a minute . . .  guest post = write/create something, doesn’t it?  I hadn’t considered that part.  Guess I will need to resort to my time-trusted method of jumpstarting my writing process: I will look it up in the dictionary.

Turns out that “metamorphosis” is another word that I employed countless times in a million different ways – perhaps it was part of a joke, other times it might have been the means by which I tried to describe a profound personal experience – but I haven’t always hit the target when I used it.  Having read through the definition and etymology of this term, I won’t go so far as to say I have been using it incorrectly all these years, let’s just say I have tossed this phrase out a little carelessly.

I have been known to announce I was in the midst of a metamorphosis, but apparently that is not entirely true.  Based on my interpretation, one does not undergo a metamorphosis; one experiences a series of small changes over time, which on their own puts you on the road to progress, but after they have accumulated to the correct degree – now that is the metamorphosis.  The intended result.   Any interference or rushing of the process will only slow or damage the outcome.  (translation: stop trying to control everything!)

Speaking of metamorphosis, a few weeks ago I turned fifty – how’s that for waking up on a runaway train?  Talk about not noticing the small changes until it’s too late.  I am trying my best to let fifty saturate my being and welcome the changes as they approach.   I am going to work with what I have and hope it will deliver me to something even more wonderful than what is now.  

That being said, insult was added to injury when I accompanied my soon-to-be 15 year-old son to his annual physical this morning.  When the examination was complete, his doctor escorted him to the reception desk, declared him to be a unique specimen of youth and strength, and informed me that in the past year he has catapulted from the 70th percentile up to the 90th, and he shows no signs of stopping.  It goes without saying that I am thrilled that my boy is strong and healthy – I take the same pride in his lean muscles as I did in his chubby baby thighs, but I just had to laugh at our two prerogatives as we left the appointment.  There was me, clutching the steering wheel, hyper focused on every little twinge and ache, wondering if it’s possible for me to recover what I had – or is it really lost?  Can I at least hang on to what I have left?  In the next seat there’s my teen wanting the world to “bring it on.” He wants everything and is grabbing it with both hands, eager to see what’s next, ready for the unknown.  His body changes are thrilling to him, every adjustment is pure nirvana.  Me?  I feel hunkered down, peaking around corners, wishing I could pick and choose what is coming next for me.   At times like this, all you can do is laugh and keep driving.

I cannot control change; I can try to understand that its timing will never be predictable, its presence not always noticeable.  It is inevitable and every once in awhile (like today) its stealth will blow me away.    I will hope and dream and try to point myself in the right direction, keeping in mind that it is not possible to engineer my life, but perhaps I can excavate it. 

Your grandmother told you.  Your best friend said it.  I’ll bet even Oprah would remind you.

We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom.  It happens in its own time.

-Dennis Waitley

All I am asking for right now it to hold on to my petals for a little longer.

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KathyB lives and writes in the woody suburbs of Boston, and blogs about whatever she feels like at http://onelittlepromise.blogspot.com. One of the first things she will tell you is she is one of seven sisters, which should explain a lot. She is also a sedentary bookworm who has somehow found herself married to the most athletic, high-energy man on the planet, and together they have one very tall son who is about to finish his first year of high school. When it comes to blogging she still feels like a sapling surrounded by redwoods, but is beginning to feel a little bit taller every day.

Big Enough, A Guest Post by Liz Kalloch

May 31st, 2011, Comments (15)



When Leah asked me to write a piece for Creative Everyday and told me that the topic for May was Big, I immediately thought of 6th grade. I know, not the usual synapse leap one makes when thinking about Creative Everyday but stay with me here.

When I started 6th grade I was pretty near to my full height. I don’t remember exactly how tall I was that year, I just know that I was taller than almost all the boys, and taller than my math teacher, who was a man.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed that I was taller than a lot of the other kids unless it had been pointed out to me. A lot. Yes, I was taller. But the message I heard was that I was taller than people that I really shouldn’t be taller than, i.e. boys and teachers. I internalised it as something not good about me.

So I started slouching.



I reached my full height some time in my late teen years, almost 5’ 10” (5’ 9-and-seven-eighths to be exact), and I slouched off and on into my 20s; and if I am being totally and utterly truthful, probably even into my 30s. After all, I had learned in elementary school that tall was not what girls were supposed to be, and tall didn’t help me fit in, and taller than boys didn’t get me dates to the dance.

Giving our power away to others often starts at an early age, and though we don’t call it that when we are 8 or 10 or 15, that is what it is. When we are 8 or 10 or 15, or hell even 43, it’s about wanting to fit in, it’s about wanting to be part of the pack and blend, and for each person it’s probably about so many other things that are personal to them.



So, what does being tall at a young age have to do with creating? We can’t control how tall we end up, that’s a matter for genetics and time to dictate, but we can decide how big our creative stature is going to be, and still, sometimes we slouch.
 
Maybe some people slouch with their creativity to fit in, maybe others slouch because they don’t want to be seen as bigger than their teachers or even their peers. A whole bunch of other people slouch when it comes to their creative expression because perhaps they were told by a teacher or mentor that they weren’t good enough, they didn’t get picked for shows over and over again, or they internalised an off comment and never let it go. Some other folks slouch creatively because they might be afraid they will be seen, really and truly seen for who they are and what they bring to the world.

One of my biggest slouches? Talking about my painting. Many people know that I am a graphic designer, that I have worked as a freelance designer for many gift industry publishers, and that aspect of my work I have no trouble talking about. Design industry. Trends. Paper. Licensing. Where my work fits in overall. Love to talk about all of that, and I do, while standing at my full height.
 
But talking about my painting, there’s where some of my slouch lives. People will say things to me like “oh, I didn’t know you painted too.” To which I most often reply with some variation of “mm-hmm.” And then I smile, do something awkward with my feet, and that’s pretty much the end of the conversation. {Slouch.}



We could analyse that scenario any number of ways and come up with a long list of psychological whys and wherefores, but the bottom line is my painting is important to me, and to talk about it makes it vulnerable. To step up and be the tall girl standing beside her painting could invite criticism. Or worse, someone might tell me I suck.
 
So how do you slouch?

In what ways do you duck your creative expression and step back in to blend with the crowd?
 
What are you avoiding stepping up to create?

In what ways do you feel too tall? too big? too exuberant? too noisy? too extravagant? too much?

When I am feeling the need to slouch and it’s time to paint, I have a few things that I do to get myself out of slouch mode. I step into my studio, and I imagine stepping away from all the tribes and packs that have gathered at the watering hole. The lions and the gazelles, the water buffalo and a hippopotamus or 3, an alligator hiding in the water, the small birds and the tall trees. I step out of the background and I consciously push my shoulders up and back (just like mum always told me to when I was a kid). Head high. Shoulders back. And I breathe. Sometimes for 5 or 10 minutes.

And then I start.



Be big and be who you are creatively: step up and address all the ways you might slouch when it comes to your expression and your creative self. Slouching is about blending. Blending is great, you are part of the herd, it doesn’t matter how tall you are, whether your hair is straight or curly, whether you wear glasses or not, you are travelling with a pack, and you are safe. The only thing is, in a tightly packed herd you are also part of the background.

Stepping out, stepping up to be who you are, stepping into your voice, into who you are is no small thing. It is Big. Your creative expression is big. You are big {shoulders back} and you are powerful {head up} when you stand up straight {breathe} and use your creative voice. Step out. Be big.

(All images in this post are by Liz Kalloch. The paintings are: Believe in Something, Bloom, Evolve, Finding Grace, Invitation to Travel and Enchanted Escapade.)

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Liz Kalloch is an artist, designer, traveller, and writer who has worn many different creative and entrepreneurial hats–some of these hats she has even designed and knitted herself. Her artwork and life are focused on staying connected to her life path, clarifying and re-clarifying a life purpose and always trying to listen more carefully to that inner voice that speaks the truth. These days you can find her in the San Francisco Bay area where she runs her own freelance design and art creating business and blogs about it here. And you can see more of her work here.

Being Big Together, a Guest Post by Chris Zydel

May 25th, 2011, Comments (5)

BIG ... That is one of those words that has a lot of baggage associated with it... especially if you are a sensitive, creative type.

Big is related to being VISIBLE.  To taking up space. To coming out of hiding. To asking for what you want and need.

On the surface these all sound like really great things. We can look at that list and say "OF course that's what I want! Who wouldn't?"

But when we actually start moving in the direction of BIG we can find ourselves surprised by fear. And nagging feelings of guilt or apprehensiveness.

Thinking about taking up space can lead to a whole cascading chain of worry. "Maybe there's only so much space to go around? And if that's the case, does my getting bigger make me a greedy space hog?  Does it mean that I will be pushing someone else out? Or that I am taking something away from another person?"

These fears are based on the notion that there is only so much BIGNESS to go around. That not everyone gets to be big. Which stems from the belief that we live in a world of lack and limitation.

When you come from the reality of "not enough",  being big starts to get all mixed up with things like competition. One-up-manship. Hierarchies and being better than someone else. Looking through the scarcity-every-woman-for-herself-lens, being big means that someone else has to be small. That there have to be winners and losers.

And if winning means that someone else has to lose, and you are a heart centered, sensitive type person, that means that winning is no longer very much fun.

Under those circumstances, being big starts to lose its appeal. We certainly don't want to hurt anyone else. Or to be seen as too much, too self important, too grandiose. So we think that our only other option is to keep ourselves stunted. Hidden. Invisible.

These attitudes and beliefs around getting bigger also make an assumption that it is either or. Either we are part of a tribe, a group, a loving family where everyone is treated fairly but it means we give up our desire to shine. Or we get to be big and visible and even get a chance to shine but it means we end up lonely, isolated and excluded from the circle of love and acceptance.

n my studio I offer high quality paper that is of ample size, but students can tape the sheets together to make even larger paintings. It's a heady time when a student can let themselves spread out and take up some real space. When they can make a HUGE painting, one that can sometimes cover an entire wall.

Creating a giant painting is a dizzying and terrifying prospect, and most people need lots of encouragement and support to take this step. Which of course is present for them in great abundance at my workshops.

In the past year or so this desire to go big has moved through my studio like a glorious wildfire.  More and more folks have caught the big bug and I have watched as paintings have grown to gorgeously stunning and wildly gargantuan proportions. And yes, this HAS meant that I have had to build a few more large easels to accommodate the growth.

But it has been so worth it. Because each time one of my students took the risk to get bigger in this hothouse environment of love and respect and sheer abundance , their longing to spread out has been met with joy and excitement. By everyone. No one has felt at all diminished by someone else's expansion.

When someone gets BIG in an atmosphere where lack and competition don't exist it gives permission and creates a sense of possibility for EVERYONE. No one is left out. We all get to shine and shimmer together.

Which is really the way it should be. So I invite you today to take a risk to be BIG .... and SHINE ... to TAKE UP SPACE... and ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT.. in the spirit of creating that magnificent space of BIGNESS for us all!

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Chris Zydel, founder of Creative Juices Arts  has over 32 years of experience as a compassionate and soulful creativity guide. Through her classes, workshops and training programs she has devoted herself to providing the support, guidance and inspiration that allows her many students to connect with the sacred force of creativity that lives inside of us all. Visit her website at http://www.creativejuicesarts.com

On Dreaming Big, Guest Post by Carmen Torbus

May 24th, 2011, Comments (6)

For quite some time now, I’ve referred to myself as a Bliss Follower, Big Dreamer, Mess Maker and lover of the words, “I’m so inspired right now!” So naturally, a blog like Creative Every Day and an artist like Leah would certainly draw me in. 

When my big dream of writing a book began to take shape, I knew I had to ask Leah to be a part of it.  I was absolutely elated when she said she would contribute!

Putting a little check-mark next to “write a book” on my Mondo Beyondo Big Dream List is a pretty surreal feeling.  I love Leah’s theme of “Big” this month and when she asked me to do a guest post, I knew I wanted to write about dreams.  It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to share my Big Dreams, so I took a bit of a stroll through old blog posts and pulled out my journals to see where I’ve come on my list. 

It as almost a year ago that I shared my Big 3 and so much has changed since then, but what’s really cool is that although my circumstances have changed, the heart of my goals has not... talk about reassuring! 

My Big 3 last summer:

1. Develop and launch an empowering & inspiring, self-discovery, powerhouse course/seminar/extravaganza for creative dreamers.
2. Create a coaching/consulting/conspiring program for creative women and begin taking clients that are ready to get fired up & take action to rock their creative lives.
3. Start speaking to audiences of creative women.  The cheerleader in me gets all giddy at the thought of getting a crowd of creative women fired up!

Oh my gosh,  I still get all kinds of excited just thinking about these dreams.  Now that I'm working full time outside the home, instead of reaching for these goals individually, I want to combine the three and make them into one mega-big dream... an extra-messy, super-inspiring, blissed-out, art making, personal discovery workshop.  That one is a whopper.... scares the pants of me just thinking about it. 

My Big 3 now:

1.The workshop above.
2. Again.
3. And again. (to infinity!)

What are your big dreams?  What are you passionate about?  What gets you out of bed in the morning and tucks you in at night?  What makes your heart sing?  Dream Big - over and over and over again!

xo & belief in all things you,

Carmen
http://www.carmentorbus.com
Mixed Media Artist and Author of The Artist Unique, Inspiration and Techniques to Discover Your Creative Signature

p.s. from Leah: Congratulations, Carmen on the launch of your book, The Artist Unique! I'm thrilled to be a part of it!!