Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who do you listen to?

Where do you get your wisdom?
From ancestors, grandmothers, teachers?
From a pulpit at a church?
From books - novels, the Bible, or Self-Help books?
From teachings from your childhood?
One thing I love about journaling, is it gives us the chance to access our own inner wisdom.
If you believe, like I do, that all life is connected, and you believe that you can access that connection that is your soul-force, you will believe what you find there.
I love that we each have a different path, all leading to the same truth.
You might find it at church, in working out, in serving your family.
You might find it in music, in dance, in yoga or laughter.
You might not know where to find it, but if you look inward, if you explore your own path, find your own teachers, ask yourself the question, "what does Spirit ask of me?" you just might feel that you are on to something bigger than yourself.
Art has lead me to this sort of truth and self-knowing.
Your path might have taken a different turn, but as we all come to this simple truth that love and connection is the point, we can all hold hands and say:
"I believe it is worth my life to create love in this world, now, in my own unique voice."
So go to it!

"I believe the lasting revolution comes from deep changes in ourselves which influence our collective lives." --Anais Nin

["Creo que la revolución duradera proviene de profundos cambios en nosotros mismos que influyen en nuestra vida colectiva."]

Friday, February 26, 2010

Take your journaling on the road. . . .

My latest handmade journal is a travel journal in anticipation of some travel I hope to do this summer. and I also am knitting it a bag, sort of a sweater for the journal!
A Bag? you say.
I find that if I honor the journal with a special home, a home that can also include my box of wonderful juicy pens, some collage papers and glue sticks, a deckle to tear paper, some inks, then I can take my journal on a date.
I love to sit in coffee shops, drinking something hot and caffeinated, and enjoy time making words, images, messes in my journal.
Something about doing this in public adds a sense of commitment to the work.
I also want to share with you some of my bags - I have five for sale, along with journals at my ARTFIRE shop.
And here are some images of my favorite bag for sale - it is handknit, lined in luxurious olive linen with a magnetic clasp and it comes with a 50 page heavy duty watercolor empty journal ready for your blessings of creativity - you just might want to splurge on this one!

"Have the courage to step into the fullness of your love." --Christina Pratt

["Vai drosme solis pilnības savu mīlestību."]

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finding your purpose . . . .

I was listening to a Michael Stone interview with Duane Elgin, (you can listen to it here) yesterday, and Mr. Elgin said something that really struck me.
That most of us have something we can do well, that world might even pay us well for, but underneath there is often our truer soul work.
The work that when we do it, we just know we are following our truest path. This work usually takes courage and a bit of blind faith, often it is not a path that is well designed by the economics of the world. Often it is a path that would require great sacrifice from us.
Always the results are monumental, although they might not be monetary.
He said that in this changing time, more and more of us are hearing this call, and as we do, the authenticity of our voice will help others decide to also follow this path.
He is most known for his book "Voluntary Simplicity" which shows us that more is not always best, and that unchecked growth is not sustainable.
It is easy to know all this, but actually doing it is not so easy, walking the talk, as they say.
I find even with my strong convictions for consuming less and recycling more, I sometimes throw way too much in the trash, buy things I don't need, and want more than I can afford.
I drive places I could walk or bike, I get fooled by media that I need to go see that movie or go eat out to feel good.
It is so easy to get off track in a world designed to make us spend and consume.
I also had the privilege yesterday of doing a shamanic journey for a friend who wanted to explore the nature of addiction.
The information I received was so powerful - the simple message that balance in all things is what we need.
If you are hungry, eat.
If you are thirsty, drink.
If you are tired, sleep.
and if we do all this with intention and awareness, we can't go wrong.
If your true soul work calls you, move toward that.
See where it takes you.
You might not have to quit a job or sell a house.
You might just feel in the perfect flow of your own inner journey, and this inner journey might start helping you make choices for the outer journey.
You might not have to radically change your life . . . . yet.

Vocation is not so much an occupation or profession, but the place where your great gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet." --Frederick Buechner

["Poklicanost - kraj, kjer vaš velikim veseljem in svetu globoko lakoto izpolnjujejo."]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today . . . .

Try something new.
Life's too short to stay in that rut . . .
Happy Journaling!

"It's when you've found out how to do certain things, that it's time to stop doing them, because what's missing is that you're not including the risk." --Robert Rauschenberg

["E quando hai trovato il modo di fare certe cose, che è il momento di smettere di fare, perché ciò che manca è che non si è compreso il rischio."]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Awakening to the Spirit World

These are very interesting times. Everyone seems to know there are big shifts happening - huge fears about the economy, many lives being changed, disrupted, challenged, altered for both good and bad outcomes.
The dominant culture in most of the world focuses so much on money and the economy, but there is a deep, deep river of spiritual evolution which is running underneath all the brouhaha, and to some of us, moving us along in our own transformation in these changing times.
My own life has been radically altered - job loss, house loss, which then resulted in us moving to a place we always wanted to live.
The stability we thought was our right is not a part of our paths now, and we are okay with that - great things are happening for us, and both my husband and I are feeling blessed and in the flow of a greater good in our lives.
My own work, as you surely know reading this, is spreading the word that creative art journaling helps connect you to the inner self.
and that this connection adds healing to you, and thus to the world.
But here is something I just have to say, clearly and often -- when you connect to the inner self, it is not always YOU that you find!
Jung called these Spirits that we find in our subconscious Archetypes. Some people think of mythological figures, ancient Gods and Goddesses, spirit teachers, power animal helpers . . . in fact, if you saw the movie Avatar, you saw a beautiful illustration of using this Spirit connection.
The label doesn't really matter.
If you are interested in exploring your inner connection to Truth, your art journaling can help get you there. Drumming, dreaming, vision questing, even just walking in Nature, can all also get you there.
The point is - go there.
It's worth it.
The environmental problems in our world are more and more strongly suggesting unless many of us immediately are totally committed to following our true inner voice, the struggle that is hurting our Earth is not going to go well for all of us.
and if you want to know more, there is a wonderful podcast on with a conversation with Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman, talking about their new book, Awakening to the Spirit World, coming out March 1.
Go here to listen.
This talk is a wonderful overview of Shamanism, and how we can use these ancient techniques to help heal the world.
So how does this all relate to Journaling?
Listen to that podcast, and see - I think journaling and journeying are very similar acts of consciousness.
Whatever you path is, be true to it, and you give a gift to yourself and all.

"We must love all that we see with humility.
We must live all that we feel.
We must know with reverence all that we possess."
-Hank Wesselman

["We moeten liefde alles wat we zien met nederigheid.\nWe moeten leven alles wat we voelen.\nWe moeten weten met eerbied alles wat we bezitten."]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Anais Nin

Today is the birthday of Anais Nin. She was a diarist, a Jungian, a writer, and a good friend and lover of Henry Miller. She lived a long time in New York, and after her diaries were published in the 70's, she added a voice to the feminist movement.
To read her diaries is to understand validating the effort of going inward to know the self. I have always admired her commitment to her own voice. She didn't wonder if it was worth her time, and this is a powerful lesson for anyone working in art journaling.
To spend our lives exploring our own mystery might not make sense to a world focused on making money, but to the Spirit, we are doing magnificent work that helps everyone.
Let's remember this today on Anais' birthday.

"Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous." -Anais Nin

"I will always be the virgin-prositute, the perverse angel, the two-faced sinister and saintly woman." --Anais Nin


Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Brand New Day

"Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced." --Tolstoy
"Everyone thinks of changing the World, but nobody thinks of changing himself." --Tolstoy

["Каждый человек думает об изменении мира, но никто не думает об изменении себя".]

Friday, February 19, 2010

Travels . . . .

I am reading the original Jules Verne book, Around the World in 80 Days. It really is a magnificent book, with an image of a now non-existent world, totally different from today's, even though it was written a mere 130 years ago. For example, he talks about India being a small country packed to the gills with the astounding population of 130 million souls.
How times change.
I made a "junk" journal out of discarded papers, calenders, wrapping paper, music paper, etc. and it is going to be a travel journal for the year. If my travels include a tour of my own studio, that will even be included. Travel for me is a state of mind, not always a physical destination. I also work on any page I feel like working on, chronology is not the point in this book. I am sewing old postcards into it, adding the random piece of mail art that shows up, including any thing from anywhere that encourages my love of travel, even armchair travel.
It is a hodgepodge of cool papers, layers, memories, a real likeness to the act of travel, which opens up our minds and reorients us toward knowing tolerance of all our differences and unique understandings.
I am looking forward to filling this book as the year goes on. Here is the first page:

"My art is about paying attention – about the extremely dangerous possibility that you might be art." --Robert Rauschenberg

["अपनी कला के बारे में ध्यान दे रही है - के बारे में बेहद खतरनाक संभावना है कि आप कला हो सकता है."]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Leaf

As we submit to the Universe, miracles do happen!
Being new to Colorado, and having given up some strong art friendships, including my art journaling group, I was worried I would not be able to find any like-minded group here at our new home.
At the UU Church we are now attending, I met an artist who said these magical words to me:
"Would you like to work in an art journal we pass around?"
So, with no research on my part, and within a month of being here, someone asked me to work in a collaborative journal. What are the odds of that?
The odds are totally in my favor, because I am learning that the Universe does not operate on odds, the truth is that the most perfect path is available to us if we trust our intuition and follow our inner urgings. Sometimes this path is not the easiest, in fact, it often is harder than we could have imagined it to be.
But in the end, as we submit to the truest journey for ourselves, we can't help but look back and say "AHA - this is the path of best good for all."
This is the page I did for the church art book, A New Leaf - I included a self portrait photo as a way of introduction:

"I go before you and prepare the way, making the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth. Relax, let go, hand it all over to Me and watch it dissolve into nothingness, for nothing can withstand the light of truth. With Me all things are possible. Live constantly in this state of expectancy, of expecting wonder upon wonder to take place. Live beyond the ordinary so-called normal way of life. Live beyond yourselves."
-Eileen Caddy

["Live buiten de gewone zogenaamde normale manier van leven. Live buiten jezelf."]

Friday, February 12, 2010

Raido - Rune of Harmony

For the very last page of my Rune journal, I pulled Raido - the Rune which speaks to Harmony; standing for life's journey as well as the journey of the soul after death.
It is fitting to have the last page be about complete surrender to both Heaven above, and Earth below.
"Surrender is the highest form of conscious contact with the Divine," is what my Rune book tells me Raido is about. I am experiencing this is a new and complete way here in our new home in Colorado - it is taking lots of trust to know all will be well again, financially, and physically. My body is detoxing a bit, and the drier climate and high elevation is helping me feel better. Lots of sunshine, too, is wonderful to encourage being outside, walking, breathing deep, working hard, and being happy where ever I am.
Today we are going to Glenwood Springs to submerge ourselves in one of the largest outdoor hot spring fed pools - I am grateful for this chance, for my art, stronger health, and the expression of healing that working in my journal gives me.
Go in Peace.

"I put my trust in the materials that confront me, because they put me in touch with the unknown. It's then that I begin to work ...when I don't have the comfort of sureness and certainty." --Robert Rauschenberg

["Ho messo la mia fiducia nei materiali che si pongono a me, perché mi ha messo in contatto con l'ignoto."]

Monday, February 8, 2010

make some art.

Today I just relaxed with no pressure, and fiddled around in the studio making fun cards and envelopes. As the saying goes, "If I don't get to make some art, someone is gonna get hurt."
No one will get hurt today.

"There’s a level of commitment to the process that makes you go very deep and explore every aspect – it becomes apparent to you that you are created for that very thing. And when you realize that you pour yourself into every part of the process of exploration. It is only something that those who have been there can understand. We are created to create. When we realize what we are good at and pursue it with all we have it becomes very rewarding intellectually as well as spiritually." --Danny Yount, creator of Sherlock Holmes movie ending credits, which are artistically stunning.

Whole interview and clip HERE.

["Wir werden erstellt, um zu schaffen."]

Saturday, February 6, 2010

like Nike says . . .

Just Do It.

"Work the way you breath and dream.
No hesitation.
No doubt.
Throw off the strict harness of every day sweetness.
Throw off the disguise.
In losing yourself, you are found."
--Dominique Aury

["Travaillez comme vous le souffle et le rêve. n'aucune hésitation."]

Monday, February 1, 2010

Welcome February!

This month is typically my hibernation month, a month to cleanse my body from some of the indulgent holiday eating, a month to start getting outside in the cold and moving more, a month for contemplation and renewed yoga practice.
February is a time to take stock, finish up projects, make lists to be ready for the new life coming in Spring.
I also have a backlog of other work, as well as a whole house to unpack and set up, so if I don't get back here too often, know I will be back soon with many new journal pages to share.
and do share your pages with me! I would love to see your work in the comments. or just your words. I would love to know you visited!

"An artist is an explorer. He has to begin by self-discovery and by observation of his own procedure. After that he must not feel under any constraint." --Henri Matisse

["هنرمند کاشف است."]