Friday, April 30, 2010

I have a wonderful husband.

I was very symptomatic this week and could not do all the things I needed and wanted to do, I got very frustrated. He was so kind.
It's a hard reality, but often our difficulties allow another's love to shine on us.
I am truly blessed.

"Love does not just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." --Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the inner world.

The unconscious.
How do you get there?
How do you listen to the wisdom of our inner connection that helps us find our authentic truest way of being?
Dreams can certainly talk to us and send us messages.
but also our journals, if we let go of the plan to make perfection, and allow messy left brain play to be how we work and create our pages.
Our culture does not encourage exploration, experimentation, mystery.
Just look at schools, and how kids are taught - it's all grades and testing, regurgitation of lists of facts to compete for the highest spot.
Competition, not cooperation.
Let's turn away from that whole way of thinking - let's make fun and play and messes in our journals and in working this way, find our own inner voice.
Let's enjoy the ride, and not just look always toward the destination.
Playing around this way, you might just find some truth.
One of my own challenges is that when I post a "pretty" page I get tons more comments, and when I post a messy inner-workings sort of page, not so many nice words.
oh well.
Praise is not the point, ya know?

"I did not realize that America with it's pragmatic culture had no access to this inner world; it was blocked both by Puritanism and Materialism." --Anais Nin

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What are you passionate about?

It seems like a simple question, but sometimes it is hard to know.
I am passionate about a lot of things - Shamanism, journaling, travel, reading . . .
having lots of interests can mean I don't get good at any one thing, but I prefer to think my apprenticeship is just whole lot longer, and at some point in time I will emerge from my learning cocoon and be a wise old butterfly of ability and knowledge.
Or Not.
I might just enjoy the ride, and be a model along the way for doing what you feel called to do, whatever the world's response.
For me, since I live with chronic illness, my Shamanism and journaling practice are daily essentials to keep me going, like breathing or eating.
Yoga helps, too.
Those of us with difficulties find we need to focus more clearly on what is important to us, but perhaps, that is everyone. We all have stress in life.
The question is, how do you respond to the stress?
Do you find a way to have joy despite the struggle?
Do you overcome and create something wonderful with the one life you have, flawed as it is?
Sandra Ingerman writes so beautifully of transmuting damage into wonder.
Of using our spiritual energy to take something that is not healthy or clean or loving and creating something whole out of that.
My journal helps me do that.
As do my other spiritual practices - shamanic journeying, meditation, walking outside, even writing these words here help me remember my truest path.
What is your truest path?
How do you make sure you stay on it daily?

"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." --Johnny Cash

Monday, April 26, 2010

today, Beauty.

"More unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life." --Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, April 24, 2010

feather stone wood bone

Earth elements feed us, clothe us, give us air.
We have flooding, snow, and a lotta wind here in Colorado right now - just Mother Earth's reminder that she is the boss.
We are simplifying our lives, downsizing our expectations, having gratitude for what we have. We have been guilty of taking more than our share and expecting more than the Earth could provide for all the people in her care. My husband had a fancy job, we lived in a big house, our kids had closets full of clothes and we drove here and there, buying what we wanted. . . we had lost sight of our connection to the Earth and our promise to be respectful caretakers.
No More.
We are planning a much more sustainable life style, simpler work, eating local food and growing some of our own, riding our bikes, walking outside as our entertainment. We are trusting Spirit to guide us toward making these dreams realities, and I am hopeful and trusting it will come to pass.
Lately I have been honored to get my hands back into clay, and I sit around a table at Mud Club at Marie Gibbon's Studio (a very gifted ceramic artist here in Denver). I get to work with other women, sharing our stories and dreams, molding and shaping round wet chunks of earth - it feels so wonderful.
Today I remember my promise to honor the elements, air earth fire water.
For the breath and food that keep me,
for the flowers that inspire me,
for the energy of the sun that warms me and fills my eyes with light,
for the chunks of wet clay that transform into beauty,
I Give Thanks.

"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed." --Mohandas K. Gandhi

Friday, April 23, 2010

who inspires you?

I have a confession - I don't read the news.
and I certainly don't watch tv news, or much tv at all, really.
I like to focus on inspiring information, and for me the daily grind of sensationalism and fear mongering that I see on the news or in the paper is just bad bad bad.
I look at headlines so I know what's going on, but that's it.
I love reading biographies, and travel adventures.
I love reading about fascinating people who don't look at what is, who rather create what should be.
Escapism? maybe, but I will take my wonderful escape over the reality that the world presents me any day.
I mentioned her before, but I will say it again - google Kira Salak and read about her crossing Papua New Guinea on foot, or kayaking up the Niger River.
Read about Isabella Bird, who explored the Rocky Mountains on food in the 1870's with an outlaw, and wandered around Japan and Tibet.
Read Mark Twain's Roughing It, and be amazed at what our American West looked like a mere 150 years ago.
I know the world is hurting, and needs our love and attention, but I find spending my energy on making it a more beautiful place better than agonizing over the pain.
Don't ask WHY? Ask WHY NOT?

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." --Lewis Carroll

"My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it." --Ursula K. Le Guin

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

and Happy 21st Birthday, Linds.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." --Maya Angelou

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

where there is light, there is shadow.

We recently moved from the East coast to sunny Colorado. I am so amazed at what this increased light means to me and my body. The bright sun is really wonderful, and my mood is better, I am outside more, I drink more water, move more, feel healthier, and am feeling other unforeseen benefits to more sunshine.
Also, our move involved redoing our lives, redoing our budget, our work and jobs, all this has shed light on what is truly important to us.
I have also been learning that when light is cast strongly, shadows are also more powerful. In a recent weekend of shamanic work, we talked about the natural balance of shadow to light, and that when we see things more clearly by becoming "enlightened" that the shadows in our lives will be stronger as well, and sometimes the shadows need processing, and we need help understanding the darkness that is also part of us.
This last weekend we went camping in Moab, Utah, a very beautiful place of high desert, gnarly trees, red sandstone eroded by winds, lizards running across the sand, rocks of amazing and fantastic shape.
We hiked in Arches National Park, and saw natural sandstone arches and towers of fantastic shape and color.
I hiked to a cave, saw a million stars, looked into the fire for long hours, wished I had a shower.
Camping is lovely in that being out in the wild makes you really really appreciate running hot water, a bathroom, a fridge. Again, casting light on something makes the shadow stronger, and this only helps us see more.
I am learning to embrace shadow as well as light - both work together to make the whole more perfect.

"If instead of a figure you put the shadow only of a person, you have found an original starting point, that strangeness of which you have calculated." --Paul Gauguin

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Following the mystery . . . .

"Suddenly, as rare things will, it vanished." --Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Monday, April 19, 2010

a little humour goes a long long way.

This morning I put on a shirt with very large pink flowers, knowing I might need it today.
Money issues, a daughter who refuses to go to high school, unpacking from a glorious but exhausting camping trip over the weekend, and other various stresses work for my attention . . . .
I am reading a wonderful little book called "Paris Out of Hand" by Karen Elizabeth Gordon. It is a fictional guidebook to Paris, with odds and ends, amusing quotes, and collages by Nick Bantock. One of my favorite passages involves a lost and found entry wherein the guide loses her tour group of 16 people somewhere in the creme brule shop on Rue Mouffetard.
Somewhere between desire and satisfaction lies all our creative energy. Wanting is sometimes enough to spur us into action. Exploring these wants is something my journal helps me with.
I am learning that if the thought of dying the hair blue intrigues me, taking a photo and coloring the hair blue in the photo might just enough to get by -- because poking fun at life is one good way to make the ride interesting.
and laughing out loud is key - when was the last time you laughed out loud?

"The chintz curtains look like a nightmare my great aunt Foxy Belle Bloom might have had when her sloe gin ran out . . . ."
--fictional entry from the guest registry at the Hotel Crillon, (where I have had tea and the waiter was as snooty as a human could possibly be.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Using words to make things happen . . . .

"Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and their use establish the life you experience." --Sonia Croquette

Monday, April 12, 2010

breathing in wishes, breathing out trust

Living outrageously in the moment, being exactly who I know I need to be, knowing my own unique gifts are actually worth sharing with the world; these are things my journal constantly helps me to know deeply and authentically.
For example, I love dreaming of travel. I can't always afford the dollars or the physical energy to go far away to where I want, but I sure can read about it, and journal about it.
I have been reading all of Kira Salak's books, about crossing Papua New Guinea on foot, kayaking up the Niger river, experiencing Peruvian Shamanism. Talk about heroic inspiration! Google her, get one of her books from the library, and prepared to be amazed.
I also have been longing again for a studio away from the house, so I put the word out and we'll see what happens -- I have learned to just visualize exactly what I think I need, and see what the Universe does with the vision - it is often surprising and miraculous!

What is it that you long for in your creative life?

See it clearly, put out some words and affirmations, and see how Spirit grants your needs/wishes . . . it's like a fun experiment in trust and adventure.

“Look, I really don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive, you got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy and colorful and lively.” --Mel Brooks

Friday, April 9, 2010


Suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder?
Get Outside!

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." --Anne Frank

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

t o d a y

See if you can find beauty in the mud:

"If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come." --Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

just keep at it . . . . .

"One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passersby see only a whisp of smoke rising from the chimney and continue on their way." --Vincent van Gogh

Monday, April 5, 2010

Get thee to the studio!

You are looking at my blog, and I am honored.
but I have noticed that I can spend way too much time looking at this little screen and not enough time at my studio desk making messes in my journal, making creative playthings that move my own gifts back into the world.
I love doing this blog, and it is the way I send my journaling work into the world, the way I give back, the way I know I am serving something other than myself.
But today - think about how much time you spend on line, vs. how much time you spend creating.
That can be sobering, huh?
I view my journaling work as my sacred practice, and it is important to know that we vote with our attention - when we spend hours and hours looking at stuff and not doing stuff, we limit our own contribution.
Go make some pages today.
and so will I!

"Most people don't recognize opportunity knocking because it's dressed in overalls, and looks like work." --Thomas Edison

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Many moons ago. . . . .

I used to sing (with a Christian group) this song:
"I've got this joy joy joy joy down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!"
It is quite joy producing to sing that over and over in a loud voice.

and now we are finally celebrating Ostara - the cycle of the season of planting crops and rejoicing for the coming food supplies. Small children used to be sent into the brush to find new eggs, the first food of the year, and we still brightly color them to celebrate new life.
Holidays are for joy and celebration, and this one, especially, calls for indulgence and gratitude for all our abundance.

--Jim Gaffigan:
on the unnatural size of cinna-buns:
"I can't tell if it's a pastry or a bean bag chair. Should I sit in it, or eat it?
... I could sit in it and eat it. Wow this is sticky with no pants on."

Friday, April 2, 2010

my first pair of art shoes

at you can send in your images and have a pair of shoes made! So here are my pair - my first art journal shoes, pretty awesome, huh?
UPDATE - Keds would not make these shoes due to "unacceptable content."
What is this world all about, anyway?
Breasts? how are breasts unacceptable. so sad.
and UPDATE number two - turns out if you have the word "breasts" in your post, some comments turn up you would rather not have. . . so comments need to be blocked for this one.

"Fun is the new cool." --Little Boots

Thursday, April 1, 2010

choose JOY

Let your journal be your voice.
Let your journal help you say what you need to say.
Let your journal teach you how to sing.
You can discover your truest inner dreams and wishes, and you can make this vision happen. Let your journal help you find this.
Just play.
See what happens.

"I would rather learn from one bird how to sing, than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance."
--e.e. cummings