Sunday, November 24, 2013

Inspirations to Affirmations

My inspired action art session from earlier this month turned into a fun (and so perfect in my life right now) idea. I'm a little behind on sharing, as I've just gotten around to part two of this project, but I am very excited at the prospect that this could be a series!

During my mark making play time I recalled a friend telling me about how she wipes excess paint off her brushes into her art journal as she paints, allowing the layers to build up on a page over time. She then uses the spontaneously colored pages in her later work, as whole backgrounds or in pieces.

This was one of those ideas I filed away in the ol' mind tank and totally forgot to put to use in my own creative practice, but my mark making session was the perfect opportunity! I had purposely avoided working on a blank canvas that night and went for some random pieces of left-over card stock. Way less intimidating and it turned out to be just the right choice for what my scissors needed to do next...

view the full original piece (and it's step by step birth) here

I was not terribly attached to this mixed media piece as a whole, despite the fun I had making it. Inspiration struck when I realized I could cut the finished piece into a "deck" of cards for all those affirming phrases I've been gathering in my journal. I've been working with affirmations lately as a way of keeping myself in a positive state of mind and empowering myself through a difficult transition. I'll share more about the process of using affirmations soon. For now, here are my first in the series. Each one written on the back of one of the cards:

~ I am willing to change and grow. 
~ I am free to make a daily effort in support of my creative life.
~ Everything I need to know is revealed to me.
~ Everything I need comes to me in the perfect time and space.
~ There is nothing I cannot be, do or have.
~ All is well in my world.

Do any of those affirming phrases resonate with you? I'm really loving my new Affirmations Deck! It's been very inspiring the past couple days to shuffle through the index card-size mini paintings, each one its own little work of art. And it's been very affirming to turn them each over and read the words that I've written.

On to the second set in the series! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Edge and the Eve

On the edge of a sea cliff,
At the edge of the shore,
On the eve of thirty-four...

I was called here today
by my need to be closer
to that feeling
of standing at the edge of comfort zones
and great unknowns,
working up the nerve
to take that first step
with deep deep faith.

I was called here today
by my need to be closer
to that feeling
of surrender
and willingness to change
the way the shore does
at the tide,
with deep deep trust.

It was just a dress rehearsal
on the edge and the eve.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Barefoot to the Sea

Where do inspired actions (and poems) come from?
The words spilled out with every step...
Run, girl, run 
Barefoot to the sea.
Ankle deep in Autumn waves,

Stand and let it be.

Feel the tug at your feet.
Feel it on your soul.
Stand and witness nature.

Know that you are whole.

Run, girl, run
Onward towards the caves.
Stand grounded on the solid rocks
Washed smooth by salted waves.

Continue walking north, girl.
Don't question why you came.
With each step you are guided
To the next right rock, the next.

See that stone? The speckled one,
Put it in your palm.
Carry it beyond the Point.
Find solitude and calm.

Choose a rock that fits your frame,
Knees bare beneath the sun,
And sit with all the feelings
'Round the changes soon to come.

Then make your way down to the place 

Where sea and earth collide.
Gather up all fears and doubts
Brewing up inside.

Now cast the stone into the sea.

My how your soul can throw!
Drop from your heart what does not serve.
Release, make space, let go!

This is why you were led here
By instinct pure and true,
Believing that when you arrived 

You'd know just what to do.

This full moon ceremony,

A sacred act of healing,
This is the turning point, dear child,
The path ahead revealing.

The prayers you breathed into the night
I heard them loud and clear.
Your call for help is answered
Surrender all your fears.

Now sitting there with tear-stained cheeks

Drying in the sun,
Give up the fight, release it all-
You have already won

Your right to stand on solid feet
To dance on lifted toes
To rejoice the coming days
For in your heart you know

You will be carried safely back,
Just like that stone, to shore.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mark Making: Layers of Surrender

clockwise from top left: acrylic on heavy weight paper;
gesso & blue; etching; adding green with brayer roller

The other day, inspired action led me to clean my art space. A clean space called me in...

Spontaneous, playful mark making!

I had no plan. I just grabbed new colors, tools and materials as I went. One split decision led to another. I detached from the end result and surrendered to the process.

I guess I like how it turned out, but honestly, I don't even care. It just felt so good to get my hands in the paint, to spill my soul in colors and shapes on the page. It felt so good to just act without over-thinking, to be completely in the moment! It felt so easy, so free. The stress of many days melted away.

creating repetition with cork stamp; finger painting;
more etching; adding color with a palette knife

I'm not sure why I felt the need to do so at first, but ignoring the painted fingerprints all over my phone, I snapped a photo of each new mark as it was made. I documented each layer as my art began to unfold in front of me, realizing as I went that it would be the perfect thing to share here...

layers of surrender... 

collaging with scrapbook paper; adding found paper;
painting with a detail brush; rubber stamp pattern

I still have so much to learn about this whole surrendering to the processes thing, both in art and in life. Allowing myself to experience that surrender, on a small scale, somehow affirmed that I can do it on a grander scale.

Art gives me courage and faith. 

Universe, I hear you loud and clear! This is exactly why my creative practice is important!

doodling with a maker; adding lines with a plastic card;
painting highlights with an accent color; more collage

All this spontaneous play time, by way of inspired action, not only reminded me of an important lesson but also birthed a project idea which I will be sharing soon.

Thanks to the Universe for seeing the big picture and sending this inspiration my way, because I so so needed it.

Thanks to my creative spirit for answering the call.

The finished piece...

mixed media on paper 9"x10"
"Inspired Action"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Inspired Action

sneak peek of my inspired action play time
A dear creative friend of mine turned me on to the idea of inspired action recently. I haven't been making much progress on my have-to or my want-to do list lately as I've been in my usual Fall funk (with a dash of overwhelm and some self-imposed stress brought on by some big changes coming my way.) So sitting on the couch yesterday morning like the lumpiest lump, I decided to put inspired action into practice.

The super awesome part is, the first step requires self-soothing. So I went to my beloved oceanfront yoga. I rode my bike the long way home on the bay. I came home to my journal, a cup of tea and a pep-talk from my husband. (OK, I went all out, but really a nice bubble bath, a quiet walk in nature, or even just ten minutes of sitting and breathing counts as soothing. Do what works for you! I spent a lot of time stressing this week, so I knew I needed a heaping dose of self-care.)

Step 2 (equally as awesome): Let your heart guide you. What action calls to you? What desire needs fulfilling right this minute? This could be a baby step towards a goal or project, something on your to-do list, or maybe a little more self-care. It can also very likely be something random like getting the feeling that you should call a certain person or the nudge to jump in your car and drive somewhere you hadn't planned. What feels meaningful, sounds fun, intriguing or inspiring? What random thought just popped into your head? You'll know you've got your inspired action in mind when your whole body screams, "Yes, go do that right now!" It won't feel forced. It won't feel like an inappropriate use of your time. You will just know in your gut that it's the thing you need to act on to keep yourself in your happy place or to unearth something fascinating. It will be the obvious next step.

After my morning of self-care, my whole body screamed, "Go clean your art space right now!" Not totally random, but I'd been putting it off for weeks, and no art was getting done as a result. It wasn't on my list of priorities for the day, but all of a sudden the task didn't seem so tedious and I knew I had to act while I had the urge. Within ten minutes, I found myself with a clear art desk and was just itching to put it to good use. My next inspired action- to play with my paints and collage papers! And I was beside myself delighted to get an idea for my next creative project out of it! (Will share more about that soon.)

So how does inspired action work? The soothing acts of self-care will rejuvinate your spirit so your ego mind is no longer in control and attempting to take planned actions. When we make space to rejuvenate our spirits, we also clear space in our hearts for guidance. We are able to see through the overwhelm (or uninspired laziness  in some cases) and know exactly the next step to take. Doing the inspired action will energize us and will lead to the next inspired action!

"Inspired action works because your ego can only see limited terrain while the universe can see it all. It comes from the bigger picture, which you can't always see until you've taken the actions you're being inspired to take." ~Dr. Joe Vitale

This is exactly what I experienced when my new idea was born! I'm so glad I trusted my intuition.

I'd love to hear your stories of inspired action. What do you do to soothe yourself and what inspired actions has your heart guided you to? What surprising insights came from those inspired actions?

Friday, November 8, 2013

To Be Like the Shore

I sat on the beach today contemplating the impermanence of all things.
Yes, I realize there are more fun things to do at the beach, but the honest thoughts creep in when the waves drown out other sounds.

This I know:

The sun will slip behind the wet horizon.
The couple will move out of frame.
The warmth will leave the air.
What once brought us joy will shift and turn and change.

And things that are beyond our knowing will soon be illuminated.

It is a bittersweet release, this understanding.
A quickening of the heart, a resistance of the mind.
I wish I could practice graceful acceptance and unwavering faith.
Instead I morn a million losses, having grown so attached to the way things are.
The way we are. The peace and ease.

Oh, to be like the shore.
To welcome the waves and let them shape me.
Surrendering to the natural ebb and flow.
Change washing over.
Existing in a state of flux.
Oh, to be like the shore...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

With Love

photo by Rodney Bowman

You hold in your mind 
the power to envision great things.

You hold in your hands 
the energy to accomplish great things.

You hold in your heart 
the greatest thing of all. 

And with it, anything is possible.

Go with love.