Monday, September 1, 2014

100 Days of Flying Free

“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired. 
Smile, even when you're trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. 
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy. 
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to. 
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see. 
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you're afraid of what the dreams might bring. 
Run, even when it feels like you can't run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience---you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.” 
― Alysha Speer



Last week I shared my heart with you. I told you how I was READY for a new outlook on life...a new way of living with intention and love and heart. Yes, I have been through so much and yes life will never ever be all sunshine and lollipops. I will continue to go through trials and sadness...but life was meant to be lived in spite of those trials...in spite of how hard it may be. Like the quote above says...

"Don't live life in fear. “Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired. 
Smile, even when you're trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. You are stronger now than you ever were back before it started."

 I AM stronger now and my eyes are open. I want to LIVE not merely go through.

It was destiny then when my Soul School Class came in the mail on Saturday. Soul School was created by one of the most amazing people I know Melody Ross...and the fact that this months lesson is all about finding out what's trapping our heart so we can fly free...well, it was meant to be. I was trying to figure out what to call my 100 Day journey and Saturday, when I opened my Soul School box I knew...




"100 Days of Flying Free"

As soon as I opened the box and sifted through all the gorgeous papers, artwork and beautiful, soulful sayings I came across the Journaling Prompts...my heart knew this is what I needed to begin my journey!! So I curled up on my couch Sunday morning and began writing...sorting out my thoughts and feelings, really listening to what my heart was saying, not just writing down what I thought was the "right" answer. There are 20 questions in all and I am not even close to being done...I am taking my time...pondering each question. 

One of the first questions I answered was "What has clipped my wings throughout life? How about recently?" WOW. As soon as I read that I KNEW what to write and so I began...slowly at first, searching for the words...but then, my heart just took over and I wrote faster and faster...page after page...I didn't even know what I was writing...my heart had taken over. When I stopped I looked at my page...I just kept nodding my head up and down..."yes, yes those things...those things stopped me from flying. Those things are what hurt my soul so deeply and made me feel like I couldn't be who I really am...those are the things I need to break free from in order to fly free."

So here I am...going on this 100 day journey. I know I have lots of soul work to do. In order to really focus on me there are other things in my life I will work on...stuff my soul needs to feel my best...

*long walks
*clean, healthy foods
*lots of water
*time with my family
*time with my scriptures 
*less social media and phone games
*less drama
*less worrying about those things I can't control
*daily studio time 

Today my journey begins. 
Today I am striving to just let go. Not fuss over the house so much (this is a biggie for me and one of my main stresses). 

It's afternoon and I have my jammies on. There is laundry to be done, beds to make, my daughter's room to finish (we are in makeover mode) and so many other things. But today I chose to write my blog, to spend some quiet, thoughtful time in my studio FIRST. That is pretty huge for me and something I hope to do more and more.

If you want to join me on your OWN Flying Free journey I would LOVE it. Heck, you don't even have to call it Flying Free...you pick what's best for YOU. Just listen to your heart...it knows:)

I leave you today with something to think about...

“Because fear kills everything," Mo had once told her. "Your mind, your heart, your imagination.” 
― Cornelia FunkeInkheart

Don't let fear kill you. Squash your dreams. Create a place for yourself where you can be comfortable...where you can be you. 

Girls, we get one life. One precious life.
It's time to live it.

PS...I will checking in at least on a weekly basis (maybe more some weeks). I want to keep a record for myself on how much I grow/learn/do. I encourage you to share here, on your blogs and our facebook group your journey.

Blessings.
xoxo

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pouring Out My Heart

"I believe there's an inner power that makes winners and losers. And the winners are the ones who really listen to the truth of their hearts."  -Sylvester.


The Truth is...my heart hurts.
And I didn't really realize just how much it hurt until I read one of my favorite artist's blog last night...Melody Ross from Brave Girls Club. As I read her story, her struggles all I kept thinking was how in the world she had gone on for as long as she had without help. But then I realized...heck, I have had FOUR YEARS of non-stop stress and sadness and anger and loss in my life, yet I am always trying to "be happy" and act like all is well.

The plain Truth is this....

It's not.

In Melody's case all of her stress's were manifesting themselves in big, ugly hives all over her body and face. Not only were they painful physically but emotionally. Can you imagine having your eyes swell on any given day and you already feel yucky and out of sorts but now you look that way, too? How awful!

But as I was reading her story I began to think of MY story and how MY story is affecting me...and I KNEW it was TIME to tell MY story...to get it all out there...so I can start fresh... so MY heart is full of joy again. Full of Truth and Love.

So I can start at Day One.



My story starts three years ago. That's when we made the decision to close our Domino's Pizza Franchise down. I could never have imagined how that one thing would change my life (both good and bad). I also never could have NEVER, EVER imagined how complicated and sorrowful my life would become...or how STRONG and BRAVE I could be.

My dear, sweet family right in the middle of our mayhem. 


In order for me to heal I decided to write every, little thing I could think of...anything that's been weighing on my heart these past three years. I want it on paper, tucked away in my drawer and OUT of my heart!! No matter how big or how little, I just wanted all the stresses out where I could SEE them and not FEEL them.

 I am going to share some of them with you...not so you can feel sorry for me or judge me or whatever, but I am hoping if any of you are going through these things...that maybe you will read this and say to yourself "I am NOT alone...someone else has felt this way, had this happen to them and they are healing...they are making it through."

So many, many hard, painful things my dear sweet family has been through...the hardest has been watching one of the dearest, sweetest souls I have ever known go through so much pain. This loved one has been broken...her heart, she thought beyond repair. Consumed with sadness and darkness our hearts have been ripped to shreds. Worry and grief overtake me at times but then I turn to my Father in Heaven and KNOW she WILL be whole again.

These kids of mine...I don't know what I would do without them. They bring me joy and my heart is full of love for each one of them...their unique talents, the way they make me laugh...they way they make our family complete.

My cuties 14 years ago

There have been times when a gallon of milk was too expensive and a shake from Sonic was a real treat. I have watched my husband put in long, hard hours making sure we could pay our bills and put food on the table. I have also watched all the stress take a toll on his body. I worry about him and pray everyday for his stress to be taken away.

We have been through cancer with his Dad...stage 4 pancreatic...and my Mom with stage 2 breast cancer.

My heart is so many places...with my children, my husband, my Mom, his Dad, friends going through struggles...it is being stretched so thin...so very thin. At times it hurts. At times I am numb to all of it.

I sit in front of the TV and eat. I eat to console myself...to forget about the stress of the day.

Throughout the past 3 years my migraines have become unbearable at times. I keep a pain journal and my headaches and body pain always is present during a stressful day/week/time.

Sometimes I am so unhappy that I withdraw from the world. I tend to wrap myself up in a cocoon not wanting to see anyone...afraid I will I have to put my happy face on and pretend.

So this amazing woman Melody Ross from Brave Girl's Club...she has taught me so much about myself...about how BRAVE I really am.

And
I
AM.

I am brave.



I AM BRAVE!

But I am tired.

And I am tired of not being me.
Of not choosing things authentically.

I need to rest from the stress.

I need to surround myself with what TRULY makes MY HEART sing. What fills me up. Oh yes, I am quote aware that there will still be stress in our lives...no getting out of that...but I need to RESTORE my soul.

To pray more.
Read my Scriptures daily.
Create.
Walk.
Rest.

And be OK when I am not perfect. Gosh, I am so hard on myself at times (most times)



I am a Beautiful Soul.
And so are You.
We all are.
We all have unique gifts and talents.
We all have stress and grief.
But we need REST. We need to KNOW that we are OK exactly where we are at on our journey.

I have learned SO much from my sweet soul going through so much. She has taught me to enjoy the little moments. That it's ok to drop what I am doing and just HAVE FUN. To take time to be with loved ones...and to take time to just BE with myself...to chill, to REST. She has also taught me to TRUST and RELY on the Lord...for He is ALWAYS there to REST in.

Melody took the beginning of summer and went on a 100 Day journey of REST. I want to do the same...adding my own ideas to the challenge. Beginning this Monday, September 1st I am going on MY OWN 100 Day Journey. Fall is my very favorite part of the year...the weather, the cooking, the craft shows and fall festivals. Thanksgiving, Christmas...they all make my heart happy. On my 100 day journey I intend to spend more time laughing, contemplating, writing, spending time with my art, my girl, my husband. Connecting with my Mom and helping her on her journey as she faces cancer with grace and dignity. I am going to rest in Him. I am going to read my scriptures and take long walks. I am going to organize and let go of all the STUFF weighing on my heart.

I would love for you to join me on your OWN journey. Girls, we really are in this all together.

Thanks so much for letting me share my story...my heart. xoxo


Friday, August 1, 2014

August Challenge: With all my Heart

"But if you have nothing else to create, then perhaps you create yourself."  -Carl Jung


Here it is a BRAND NEW month...August 1st. This is my very favorite time of year...when summer is winding down and cooler days and nights are on their way. We have 31 days...to live and breath and create before the busy season begins...school starting, kids activities and the holidays.

I was so inspired by Tammy Garcia's Index Card a Day Challenge this summer that I am just not ready for it to end!!







 I am in the groove and determined to keep on painting, stenciling, doodling and creating.






Soooo I was thinking about doing my OWN end of summer Challenge and wanted to share it with YOU!! And since I LOVE using Hearts in most of my artwork......




I am calling our end of summer Challenge..."With all my Heart".

Here's how it works....

Starting Monday, August 4th I challenge you to create ONE Heart a day...you can draw it, paint it, stamp it, use canvas, your art journals, index cards, playing cards....whatever you have.

I plan on using one 4x6 index card a day along with various mixed media supplies. I will be posting a "Heart Prompt" in our Face Book group Mind.Body. Soul. every morning as well as sharing my work with you. 

"With all my Heart" ends August 31st.

I encourage you to play along with me and post your work in our Facebook group!!

So take this weekend to gather your supplies in one area to make it easier to create your hearts. Remember you don't need to make this hard...a simple index card and doodling pens would work fine.

I can't wait to see the Hearts you create!!!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Lots of Creating!! {photos}

Live a Joyful Life


This month I have been so busy CREATING! 
I thought it would be fun to share some of my creations with you.

Have you heard about the Documented Life Project?? It has become my VERY FAVORITE thing to work on!!


My pages from a few weeks ago


It's part planner, part art journal.

My pages from last week...not quite finished

5 amazing and very different artists have combined their talents to bring us this very addicting project!!

Click here to meet each one and join in the fun.

This project has inspired me so much that last week I created a notebook just for my spiritual thoughts, favorite scriptures and prayers.



And speaking of inspiration...Stephanie Ackerman has been motivating me to not only create, but to study my scriptures and document my faith. So between the two...this book was meant to be:)


Another project I've had a blast with this summer is Daisy Yellow's Index Card a Day.




Since June 1st I have been painting, collaging and doodling on 4x6 index cards.



Tammy provides prompts for each day...however I have put my own spin on the challenge and LOVE it!!



Each week I pick my own theme...one week I used vintage girls, words and acrylic only. (see above cards)


The week of the 4th I only used red and blue spray ink, a few stencils, vintage images and a set of K&Co. die-cuts.




I really love how these turned out!





I make sure and date each card. I have been using lined notebook paper and a Sharpie.


The week of July 7th I used various images, acrylic paint, rub-ons and doodles.



This is one of my favorites from the entire challenge!




I LOVE this card!! There is is just something about that little girl's expression.



Last week Dina Wakely's Scribbly Bird stamp set came in the mail...so you know what I did:)




Some of the birds I stamped directly on the cards...while others I stamped on book paper and cut out.



Each cards background is one color...I used my gelato's and water for that.
  

I am so into stars!!






My favorite one



If you have been thinking about purchasing these bird stamps...DO IT!! I had thought about it for months then just did it!! There are so many uses for these darling stamps!! I bought mine here and was impressed with their fast service:) 

This week my sweet family and I are headed to Las Vegas!! Dave and I have been 12 times and always said once our kids were old enough we would take them, too. So THIS Wednesday, bright and early we are OFF!! Looking forward to getting away and having FUN!!

What have you been creating this summer?? Are you going anywhere on vacation?? I would love to hear!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy Me

"A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days....a schedule is a mock-up of reason and order...willed, faked, and so brought into being."  -Annie Dillard


Since I put it out there that I was going to take steps each day to follow my dream....I have. I have been creating and dreaming and living my life with intention.



What dreams are you working on??

Monday, July 7, 2014

Making Time for My Dreams

"Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts....it's what you do with what you have left."  -Hubert H. Humphrey after his cancer surgery



Last week I posted this....


Ok so TODAY is the day I stop looking at everyone else living their art dreams and TODAY I am SHOWING UP to MY dreams. MY art!!


I was just so tired of reading about everyone else, seeing there art, watching what they are doing and not doing anything myself. I realized I spend most my days LOOKING rather than DOING.

I
decided
to 
stop
that.


page from my art journal

Last week I made a schedule that I can follow. One that will allow me to get what I need to get done around here and leave plenty of room to CREATE. To write and let the ideas flow.

I haven't been this excited in a very long time!!

a piece of my Brave Art

I am still enjoying the Index Card a Day Challenge with Tammy from Daisy Yellow and am in love with the Documented Life Project from the Art to the 5th gals. I even signed up for their fun mini class and LOVE IT!!!

I was soooo inspired by all my creative energy that I am working on my next completely FREE art journaling class..."Happiness Is..." This class will be filled with lots of technique ideas/photos, prompts, and even a few prizes thrown in!! Look for "Happiness Is..." THIS FALL. 

Just  a few more photos before I head out the door for my walk...


This is my beautiful daughter...Emma. She painted this self-portrait last year. I LOVE IT!! So much that it sits on my mantle:)


How CUTE is that??!


Girls, I hope you are taking time for you. Time to create and fill yourselves up. Please let me know what projects you are working on!! I would love to know!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Time to Be True

"Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success."  -Swami Sivandanda


I am struggling in so many areas of my life right now. Since last November I have been trying to lose weight and just be healthy. Here it is almost 8 months later and I have only lost 10 pounds. I keep playing with the same 5 pounds. One week I am up one week down. It is driving me crazy. And what's worse than the lack of my weight loss is the fact I haven't reached ONE goal in MONTHS. Not even the simplest thing like getting my steps or water in daily.

I am a mess.
And it shows.

In my daily life, my artwork, my spirit.

My headaches are coming back with a vengeance. I am not sleeping well and my moods are up and down. Somethings got to change. It's time for me to be TRUE to me again.

A Brave Art piece I created a few years ago.

This morning I met with my Curves Coach and I admitted something to her and to myself...I don't think I am worth all the effort it takes to be healthy. I have been at my current weight and situation for so long that I just don't think I can ever break through to the next level.

How sad is that?

I am constantly thinking of others and taking time for them but when it comes to me...I just put myself on the back burner. And guess what?? It is taking it's toll.

So today, with the help of my Curves Coach Renee...we came up with goals to help me get back on track...all I gotta do is show up and BE BRAVE.

A page from my art journal

So here I am today, all my papers and planner spread out in front of me planning my week. I KNOW that when I plan...magic happens.

A page from my art journal

I am inspired to create a Quote journal...full of my favorite quotes that motivate me to STAY TRUE. I love it when I can combine art with my goals!!

A page from my art journal

So this week I re-commit to ME. I re-commit to loving myself enough to stay focused and REACH my goals. I know I can do this. I know that when I put my HEART into something...things get done!

"I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart."  -Vincent Van Gogh

What are ways that YOU get back on track when you feel like you have lost your way? I would love to know!!
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