Friday, August 27, 2010

Expressive Souls - A New Adventure!

Hello my friends.
I am feeling my way around a new adventure. It's very exciting. It's a bit scary.

This blog, IndigoMooneMusings was my first blog. My first attempt to share, to connect, to create out loud, in cyberspace ... and now, another form of expression is unfolding.

Ever since I entered into that deliciously complicated part of life called adolescence, I have wanted to paint. To be an artist. But I didn't allow it. Because I don't think I even knew it. And for most of my adult life I have convinced myself that ART is what other people do. People that went to art school. People that doodled on every available surface since they first picked up a crayon. People that dyed their hair bright bold colors. (Fascinating assumptions here...)

See, I didn't do those things. Because somewhere, for some insane reason, I didn't think I could. I thought for a very long time that I was only meant for practical things. Like bookkeeping. Because, you know, well, I was good at math and could balance my checkbook.

Over the past 10 years I have taken very tentative steps towards reclaiming creativity in my life. It started with belly dance. Of all places. And through that dance my steps have become very strong, even strides I'd say. And through dance, I gave myself permission to be creative. To create. To find beauty. To be bold. To risk. To lead.

As I allowed creativity to find expression in my life, I also let ART seep in, in tiny bits and pieces. Taking that first ever Art 101 class at the community college. Exploring water color. Making collages. Discovering the wonderful world of mixed media. And now, this year, trying ART journaling.

And now it's official, I have decided that ART will no longer just seep into my life. It is time to let it FLOOD in! To pour into and out of every ounce of my being. All I want to do is eat, sleep, and drink ART. No more waiting. Certainly no more thinking that ART is for other people.

I am an ARTist!

I have so much to express. My soul has a story to tell, a song to sing, beauty to create, and so much to share.

This blog, even the name, Indigo Moone, has been a huge part of this unfolding. A wild and creative name that took me out of Tracy, and into a whole new place in my life. But now I'm ready to be Tracy again. To integrate this wild and creative self into my life in every way, not keeping it separate from who I have been. And from who I am meant to be.

So won't you join me? In this new place, this place that has always been there, waiting until I was ready. And I am ready.

We are all Expressive Souls.
How does your soul express itself?

Share this new adventure with me!

Much gratitude and love for the journey!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Dream Come True

I did it!!!!

More than three years of dreaming of this, and I did it!

I participated in (and passed!) Paulette Rees-Denis' Collective Soul One belly dance intensive. Whew!

It was all I had hoped it would be, and more ~ learning from Paulette, connecting with other dancers, a chance to improve upon what I've been doing for the past 10 years, being inspired by a wonderful teacher, having fun, laughing, being challenged, visiting a new place (NW Oregon), and dancing, dancing, dancing!!!!

Paulette also has a new store in town with her husband Jeff, the Cultivator General Store, so I ate some fabulous food too!!!

I'm definitely overwhelmed by all of it, the traveling, the intense learning, being away from home ~ re-entry has been hard. But, am I glad I did it? Oh my gosh, YES!!!!

It feels like from here, new horizons are opening, new opportunities will appear, life is going to hold some big changes. I am so ready!

But for now, here are some photos of my awesome adventure!!!!

The Bike Inn/River Hideaway, where I stayed, Clatskanie, OR.

Self-portrait at the Cultivator General Store

The most adorable couple, Jeff and Paulette!

In front of the studio in Portland ~ Cayte, Sarah, Brandy & Kat ~ where we also had evening classes after dancing all day in Clatskanie!

We made it to the ocean, ahhh, beautiful!

The fabulous Paulette and her humble and elated Graduates!!!

An image found in Portland that says it all!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

30 Journals 30 Days ~ An Interview

Playing along today with the AMAZING Connie Hozvicka and her 30 Journals 30 Days Love. Everyday this month she has interviewed an Art Journaler, and now on the 31st day of July, she is featuring all the Lovelies that participate in her workshops, e-course, etc. Here's my interview, of ME! Thank you Connie!!!

•How long have you been Art Journaling?
I just started a couple months ago. I can't believe I didn't discover it sooner! I have loved collage projects for a very long time, and I've kept a written journal for years. But to find this place where all of that can be combined, adding in painting and drawing, where permission is granted to do ART everyday... it's just simply amazing.

•How has Art Journaling impacted, changed, or enhanced your life?
It has changed my life in every way imaginable. For just about all of my adult life I have believed that ART was for other people. For people who followed a certain path. Who were encouraged from a very young age. Who actually earn a living from it. And so I always hesitated to create. And now, here, through ART journaling, I have learned that ART is for everyone! Expressing ourselves though ART is exactly what it is about. It is not about product. It is not about pleasing someone else. It is all about process. About permission to make a mess, to try new things, to experiment, to find joy in the middle of all of it. To release pain. To tap into the very depths of our Soul. I now, finally, have found freedom, freedom to express my soul's desire. This is HUGE. It's MONUMENTAL!

•What are a few of your favorite Art Journaling materials?
I have fallen deeply in love with gel medium for texture. I also love acrylic paint, magazine pics for collaging, sparkly gel pens (LOVE sparkly gel pens), paint pens in general, textured paper, and I think I'm just discovering a love of stitching my pages!

•Who are some of your favorite Art Journalers?
I first came across and have been so inspired by the art journaling of Teesha Moore.
Sarah Whitmire has some lovely prompts she generously shares that I thoroughly enjoyed.
And now, the most wonderful Connie Hozvicka and her Art Journal Love Letters!

•What kind words of encouragement would you say to an Art Journal newbie?
I don't think it can be said enough ~ there is no wrong way to do ART journaling!! You can use whatever materials you want, whatever techniques you want, whatever paper you want. The idea is to express yourself, the good, the bad, the ugly. The beautiful, the inspired, the messy!! Give yourself permission to put color to paper. To glue. To scribble. Expresss yourself. It's all GOOD!!

•Where can we contact you...give us some link LOVE!!
My blog is here: Indigomoone Musings
I'm on Facebook: Tracy Carlton
I tweet here.
I have another life as a belly dancer here: Kundalini Belly Dance

And, big secret, a new slowly emerging not really ready, but sharing it here anyway adventure: Expressive Souls

•Short Bio
I am a dreamer, a dancer, an ARTist, a risk-taker. I am a recovering perfectionist and an emerging shaman. I am building up the courage and also a plan to take flight from a good but not-my-Soul's-Expression job into a life where dreams are real, creativity is queen, inspiration is generously given, connection is woven, and LOVE is shared.

So looking forward to sharing this journey with you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I have been bitten by the ART Journal addiction, or I have fallen madly in love with ART Journaling. Or, I have become OBSESSED with expressing myself through my ART Journal. Luckily, I am still taking time out to eat and sleep. I'd quit my job in an instant to ART Journal all day. Oh sure, I suppose there's a chance I'd get tired of it eventually. But it's a chance I'm willing to take.

So I haven't much been in the mood for writing. Which means this blog. My time has instead, been devoted to painting, collaging, drawing, getting messy, exploring, dreaming, processing, creating, and in general, spent in absolute BLISS!

And I joined another e-course, Art Journal Love Letters, with 4 weeks of ART Journal prompts, and a wonderfully loving community of fellow artists, and it ROCKS! Connie Hozvicka is truly amazing! Please go visit her at Dirty Footprints Studio.

In finding ART Journaling, I have found permission to be an Artist.


This is HUGE!

For the past, oh, 25 years or more, I put off creating any visual art because, well, I wasn't an ARTIST. You know, someone who doodled their way through grade school, went to art school, studied art history, wore black, and suffered. Because in my mind being an artist was about an identity. And of course, more importantly, it was about creating something OTHER people would like. Or admire. Or BUY. No bad art allowed. So I feared even starting.

Luckily I finally, in my late 30's, did start painting. And it was grand! But still, I would hear some friends, either artists themselves or related to artists, talk about REAL artists and REAL art. And well, no way was I one of those. I dabbled. I crafted.
It was a hobby.

All by OTHER people's definition.

And then came ART Journaling. And you know what I learned? It's not about what you create. It's about the PROCESS of creating. It is personal. It is playful. There is no WRONG way to do it.

How frickin' FREEING is that?

Finally, I have permission to create.

Sing hallelujah to that!!!

And you know what?

I AM an artist.

And here are a few of my creations:

Thank you for being here along on the journey with me.

Won't you create with me?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Rituals

It's summer. And it's HOT!

Our summer ritual, put on hold for a couple years while we tried to sell out house, is to sleep outside on our deck. We have some friends that would join us, mosquitos, so we use a screen tent to preserve our sanity and our skin.

We've also embraced eating outside. Creating outside. And of course playing outside!

I absolutely love this about summer!

What summer rituals do you have?

Friday, July 9, 2010

An Aha! Moment

I am relatively new to ART journaling. I can't believe I haven't stumbled upon it before this year! I have kept a journal since the day I left college, have done expressive art collage projects for over 10 years, and have tentatively dabbled in ART, well, since I started coloring as a small wee child, but mostly in the past 5 years.

And now, finally, all of these parts of me have come together in the most delightful, soulful, meaningful sort of expression!

ART Journaling!!

Oh my!

Much of what I have read and learned about ART journaling, both online and in books, is that it is most definitely not about the end product. This is not about creating a piece of ART. No, ART journaling is all about process. It doesn't matter what materials you use, what medium, or what images. It can be crayons out of a box or a more elaborate set up of prepping the page, painting, collaging, gel medium transfers, etc. And all of this made complete sense to me. On an intellectual level, I completely bought into this concept.

Then, last night, I truly EXPERIENCED what those words mean. My son was asleep, my husband busy on the computer, and it was late, not really enough time to get into a project of any kind, so I thought I'd write in my journal. But truth be told, I wasn't really in the mood for that. So I grabbed my supply of markers (fat ones, skinny ones, sparkly ones, white ones) and started doodling. And I noticed that while I was doodling, putting pen to page, coloring really, that thoughts of the day were passing through my head. Things I had done, people I had met, and ultimately, judgments I had held against someone, and then against myself. I kept drawing and coloring and doodling. Then, when it seemed "done" I felt that some words were necessary.
And out they came, exactly what my soul needed to hear, from some deep down place, words I couldn't have written, wouldn't have written, if I was only writing in my journal.

So here is that picture. But really, here is that process. Here is the result of healing happening. Of sorting through my day, of witnessing, and then releasing what needed to be released. Followed with some kindness, and a reminder.

I get it now! I understand!
ART journaling!
I am in love with this new thing in my life.
So glad to have met you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Believe in Miracles

I went up to my quiet sit spot this morning, where my altar is, with the intent of focusing on *Believing Anything Can Happen*. I tromped up the stairs with a hot cup of tea in one hand and my journal, The Artist's Way, and a pen in the other. As I settled myself in, I happened to notice one of the most amazing things I think I've ever seen. And right then and there. I just knew. ANYTHING is possible. I can DO ANYTHING I set my heart and mind to. Here's what I saw:

Do you see what this little Spider has done? That STONE, that is dangling from its web, used to be IN that bowl! How did that little critter MOVE that stone out of the bowl?

Here's a little bit closer look:

Now, truly, if that tiny but mighty Spider can move *mountains* well dammit so can I!
And the STRENGTH of that web! I too am stronger than I know.

ANYTHING really is possible.

Watch out world. Here I come!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


*8 Things: Simply Summer

Join *8Things

Sometimes I play along, it depends on what my day looks like!

Happy to play today, because usually my summer doesn't usually look much different from the other seasons. I work all year. With occasional days off. Maybe now that Ian is starting school the concept of *summer vacation* will start entering our lives.

But I don't want to wait until NEXT summer to begin. So here are my *8 Things: Simply Summer.

Oh, one more thing, the first thing to go on my list, we've already done! I happen to have 8 more things though.

Done: Sleep on Deck (we'll be doing this all summer!)

1. Canoe Trips
2. Blackberries: picking, eating, & jam making
3. Braids & pigtails
4. Beach get-away weekend
5. Dining on the deck
6. Fudgsicles
7. Play in an outdoor fountain
8. Bake a fruit pie

So excited to make these happen this summer!

How will you celebrate Summer?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Here's me, getting all stressed by all the goodness I try to cram into my life.

There are just SO many things I want to experience, to try, to explore... and only so many hours in a day. I have to say to myself constantly, "Breathe, you are exactly where you are meant to be." And well, to be honest, I don't usually listen to myself either.

We had new friends, someone I had met through the Mondo Beyondo* e-course, visit us yesterday and today. They are on an awesome adventure, traveling from Ontario, Cananda, all through the US and across Canada. I have loved following their blog, Dandelion Express,* and I was so thrilled they made a stop in little ol' Pioneer, CA. And yet their stay was RUSHED. Because, well, I try to fit EVERYTHING in.

Some day I will learn.

I have a new picture on the wall behind my computer, it says "Turn Off the Computer: Make Art." * Notice I'm sitting here typing about it rather than doing what it says.

So, it seems I have several areas for improvement. But you know what? I'm letting go of that. I'm not going to hurry. I'm not going to worry. I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

Not that a Clearing* wouldn't be a bad idea. If I want to invite more in, I need to clear something out.

I'm observing myself. That's what this post is about. And I'm giving myself permission to be who I am. To love that crazy self who tries to do oh so much, I would rather love this part of me than berate myself for not being something, or someone else. I am who I am.

I am enough.*

Thanks to Tracey Clark* for that phrase.

And so it goes!

*there are no links to any of these references, well, because i AM going to get off the computer in a moment, feel free to goolge the *asteriks,* awesome folks!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dreaming the Dream

I am happiest when I am creating ART.

When I am creating ART time as a concept disappears. I am lost in the process. This little dab of paint here, this line there. I become present and in the now. It becomes a meditative state. It is so much more effective for me than trying to sit on a pillow and focus on my breathing. When I am drawing, painting, and collaging I enter into bliss. Not "la-la the world is perfect there are no problems kind of bliss," but rather a place of centeredness and a feeling that everything is all right, no matter what is happening. It's hard to put into words, this feeling, this experience.

But today was one of those blissful days. Nearly a half a day of losing myself in ART!

Tracy making ART = one happy girl!

These days I am learning new techniques in collage and mixed-media. I am also "practicing" the act of getting anything down on paper so I don't spend all day staring at a white canvas. I found the most wonderful Art Journal prompts here. Sarah Whitmire is so generous in sharing her inspiration and ideas with others through her blog. I have a very busy summer, otherwise I'd be signing up for her online classes in Soul Journaling.

This is the "journal prompt" I've been working on. All about Home and Family. And so here is what I created:

So much FUN!!

I am so grateful for the chance to create!

What do you do to find your place of Bliss?

Happy Creating!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Letting Go

Sometimes life gets overwhelming. It throws us more than we can or want to handle. The answers seem far away. And all the EFFORT in the world doesn't seem to solve a problem.

At times like these, I feel it's best to let go. Hand it over to *God*.

What I do is write down whatever it is that's bothering me ~ feeling hopeless about a life dream, frustrated with someone, having a bad day, or just wanting some help to get it all done.

And I put it here.

This is my *God Jar*.
(You may insert your word of choice here ~ Universe, Mother Earth, Great Mystery, Spirit. God Jar just had a nice ring to it. It flowed better than Universal Spirit Jar.)

By the way, no, *God* is not in the jar (as in take a peek and finally see what S/he looks like). But, rather, this is where Hope resides. Here is where I can release my problem. Here is where HELP awaits!

So I put my little piece of paper into this jar and say thanks and know that I'm not alone. That someone's got my back. That I can let go.

It's a tangible tool. A practicle form of prayer in a way. I need the physical ritual, the visual prop, to really feel like I'm letting go. I have discovered that this is the perfect way for me.

It's also amazing how it works. Solutions appear. Help is offered. Doors open.

You should try it.

Besides, creating the jar was the best part! So much fun.

What tools do you use? What rituals make up your life? Please share them, I'd love to know!

A special thanks to my friend Kristi for introducing this idea to me!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I have a hard time being sick. There are so many things that fill my life. I don't want to miss out on anything!

Yet that is exactly how I get sick. Trying to do everything.

My word for this year is Surrender. A word I chose with the intent that I will not plan, schedule and fill up my year with so many activities and goals. Instead I want this year to be one of going with the flow, following my intuition and seeing what comes along. A year of letting go in a way.

Half way into the year I'm busier than ever. And even though I didn't plan out the year in January, I've managed to fill it up quite easily as each month speeds by.

Apparently slowing down does not come naturally to me. And so my body takes over and helps me along.

I get sick.

And I am forced to slow down. To cancel plans. To stay home.

So I am reminded that my word for this year is Surrender: I hereby surrender to this awful cold. I hereby surrender to forces greater than me. I hereby surrender to a slower pace.

Willingly? Ha ha.

Okay, I'm learning.

I Surrender.

Friday, June 11, 2010


"Painting is to dream. When the dream is over, I don't remember anything I dreamed about. The painting, however, remains. It is the harvest of my dream."
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Before and After

This is what I've been creating recently.
Transforming the cover of my new journal.
I started with a beautiful piece from Kelly Lish out of the March/April edition of Somerset Studio (thank you Kelly for such an inspirational start). Then I cut and tore, pasted and inked.
Getting lost in the process.
So much fun!
Now for the back!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dare to Say It Out Loud

An Interview with, Well, Me!

I follow a number of very inspiring blogs. They provide a network of amazing people doing amazing things! They also give me great food for thought on what I’d like to put onto my own blog.

Yesterday, over at Wish Studio, Mindy encouraged her readers to do an interview (THAT CARMEN TORBUS wrote!!! it took me a while to get back here and fix that!!!) of themselves. She has been asked to be interviewed herself and says, “The questions are hard to answer, but once out there for all to see, it’s amazingly liberating.”

So in the spirit of sharing what inspires me, and in taking the risk, putting myself out there, and in the spirit of Liberation… here goes!

1. You’ve got some amazing things happening and I can’t wait to hear more about it! Can you tell us a little about yourself and the inspiration behind what you do?

I always seem to have many things happening in my life at any given moment! Here are the big ones right now:

I teach tribal style belly dance classes and am part of a performing troupe. I have a little studio on Main Street in a small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills in northern California. My hope is that this studio offers a place for women to take risks, to become bold, to have fun, and meet other women in search of adventure in their lives. As part of my on-going love of learning, I will be fulfilling a long held dream this summer, participating in a 3-day improvisational tribal style belly dance intensive. It is a style of dance that has always spoken to me. One based on cues and body language and nonverbal communication. Learning to dance within a set vocabulary of dance moves that let women come together, no matter what country they come from nor what language they speak, and dance together in perfect harmony. I am so excited to begin this journey, to eventually share this style of dance with others.

I am also planning my first ever as of yet unnamed soul retreat for my as of yet undiscovered soul tribe of sisters. It will take place early next year, on the coast in winter. It promises to be a chance for connection, art, spiritual exploration, lots of tea, and cozy fires.

I am also finally, after more than 40 years on this planet, embracing my inner ARTist and giving her a voice, a chance for expression, at last! Each day, no matter how small the amount of time, I create something. The medium is not important, it can be with my son’s chalk and a picture on the sidewalk. But giving myself this permission to create has been the best gift ever. It makes me happier, I feel better about myself, I see *ART* wherever I go, everything inspires me now! And my family sees the change as well. They like this new me too.

2. We’re dying to know, what inspires you more than anything else in the whole world?

So to choose one big something… Well, it seems odd, but right now it’s anything with stripes! Drawing them, coloring them, wearing striped socks and tights, seeking out striped shirts…there is something so fun and whimsical about stripes. I adore Dr. Seuss at the moment!

3. What is your big dream? Yes, the BIG one! The really, super big, pee your pants when make it happen dream. The one you feel a wee bit nervous saying out loud. Yep, that one!

The scary one to admit out loud? My BIG DREAM is to lead other women on journeys to sacred places on Earth, to create ART and magic at those places, to connect in a very deep, shamanic, celestial and fun way. It’s so hard not to downplay that dream, to dismiss it in some way as *new-agey* or *airy-fairy* and to worry about what others will think as I share it openly. But that’s truly it!

4. Tell us how you’re going to feel when you make it happen!

Connected. Connected to other women, to Earth herself, to the *hard to name thing* that is Spirit, God, the Universe, One with All. I will feel inspirited! And alive!

5. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail and fear didn’t exist?

I would quit my day job and start planning those dream retreats that I just wrote about above. Actually, what’s absolutely thrilling, is that JUST NOW, as I typed, I decided they should be called *D*R*E*A*M* Retreats.

6. What’s next for you?

Well, apparently, given the gist of this interview, it’s getting started on those retreats. Here goes!!!

7. What are you working on right now that you could use some support and encouragement on?

I have found that one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced in my life is being a mother. I second-guess myself over and over, that I’m doing enough for my son, that I must certainly lack a nurturing gene, that I’m not short-changing him in some way by having so many other interests that are not related directly to his needs. It is a constant area for growth, and also for daily practice of finding, and applying, compassion for myself.

8. What advice, tips, resources, and overall good-to-know information would you offer someone just starting out with regards to finding passion & inspiration and digging in?

One of the best places I would recommend going to is Mondo Beyondo. This e-course rocked me like no other! You won’t be disappointed. It encourages you to dream big, and all within a supportive network of other dreamers!

I am also part of a group of lovely women, who I met through Mondo Beyondo, and we are all reading/doing/being inspired by The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Another way I am embracing my inner artist.

9. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I feel so fortunate, and excited, to be on this path, even though at times I feel like I’m in a holding pattern. I know fabulous life-changing events are brewing. I have taken the first few tentative steps, I have taken some risks, I believe that my life is about to be turned upside down!

10. Where can we find you online and what is the best way to connect with you?

I am online in two places, in the belly dance world at Kundalini Dance, and at my blog, ...a *D*R*E*A*M* in progess! You can also email me at or

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Real Deal

There is something about wanting to live an authentic life that screams out for richness. I don’t mean *lots-of-money* richness, but rather a certain quality of life that I want to invite in. A *living out loud, now-not-later, fun and beautiful* kind of life. I feel very fortunate because one of these moments came into my life this past week.

My mother is in the process of cleaning out her garage and she has many, many boxes of her mother’s belongings. My brother and I went through some of them, discussing the variety of items we came across. In this day and age, how does one find a use for individual salt trays? Who are the people that still take the time to eat dessert out of parfait glasses? And why did Grandma have so many tea cups?

There were so many exquisite items in those boxes! But the only thing I came home with (so far) was her silverware. Actual silver! It’s a mismatched, hodge-podge set of teaspoons, knives, salad forks and the like, with more butter knives than I think I’ve ever seen in one place before! Heavy, solid, sparkly utensils, a word that doesn’t even really fit to describe what I found. I wish I could ask her about the stories behind each piece. Grandma, how did you end up with this one here, or what happened to the rest of this set there? What stories she could have shared.

When I got home, I realized it would be so easy to put these away all snug in their pouches for those *special* occasions. But then what’s the fun in that? Why put off life in that way? Why not celebrate every day? Why not honor our food, the ritual of breaking bread together, with such well-made craftsmanship at each and every meal?

So out went all our very simple, cheap, perfectly good stainless steel flatware (to a good cause mind you). And into our drawer went silver forks, spoons and knives that will remind me both of my Grandma, and also remind me to appreciate and honor each and every meal with my family.

And eating is just so much more elegant now!

This is one small step towards living my life to the fullest, celebrating each moment. I invite you to seek out and welcome these opportunities into your life too ~ doing it now, not someday.

What can you invite into your life that is authentic and full of richness? Share your story with me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tapping Into Something Greater

I believe in ART.

ART ~ the process of creating, of diving into our creativity ~ the colors, the messiness, the beauty ~ it takes you outside of yourself, into a place where time is forgotten, schedules are meaningless, and nothing exists but the pure expression of self. I believe that when we let go of our critical voices, the noisy thoughts, the incessant *shoulds,* we tap into a magical place. A place where we know exactly who we are, and what we're doing here on this big beautiful and crazy planet, and that everything matters, and nothing does. Some call it intuition, others call it our sixth sense, or Divinity, God, Spirit...

It is powerful to experience, whatever it's name.

Two months ago, I created a cover for a new journal. A mixed media collage of images, words, paint, and ink. I chose for one corner of the cover this picture (can you see it?):

I wasn't sure why. I have two cats, this one doesn't resemble either of them. But I trusted that intuition, that space that I was in that told me, yes, this picture. So onto the page it went with no further thought, until...

Saturday I finished writing in that journal (it was a busy and inspiring two months of writing!). And as I gazed at that kitty, I was quite surprised.

Over a month ago my mother's neighbor passed away, leaving her cat behind, and he needed a good home. Being the cat-lover I am, I of course volunteered to take him in. It's been two weeks of figuring out the logistics, calming him down to make the journey to his new home, and bringing him here.

And of all mornings for him to arrive, and of all mornings for me to reach the end of that journal ~ because this is the kitty I brought home:

Rather close resemblance, no?



And meant to be.

This is why ART matters. The process of tapping into Something Greater. Where it all makes sense. Where we already know. It is the place of our deepest self. Trust that place!

How do you invite ART into your life?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

8 Small Things ~ Gratitude

I am inspired by so many fabulous blogs out there in the world.
For my blog post today, i got my inspiration from here, Magpie Girl ~

"When the sun comes out ... my heart gets grateful.
Little things become more easily seen and treasured."

In the spirit of being grateful, and honoring those things, both big and little, here are 8 from me:

1. Rain in the month of May in California
2. Food in my tummy
3. Happenings like Tribal Fest
4. Fresh local, organic strawberries
5. The robin on our deck as I type
6. Sisterhood
7. Ian's crazy imagination
8. Courage

For these things, Thank You!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Transformation & Rebirth

and the
Cauldron of Transformation

Cerridwen comes from Welsh legend.
She embodies all three lunar aspects of the Goddess, Maiden, Mother & Crone,
however she is primarily known in her Crone aspect.

Cerridwen's cauldron is an ancient feminine symbol of renewal, rebirth, transformation and inexhaustible plenty. It is the primary female symbol of the pre-Christian world, and represents the womb of the Great Goddess from which all things are born and reborn again. Like the Greek Goddess, Demeter, and the Egyptian Goddess, Isis, Cerridwen was the great Celtic Goddess of inspiration, intelligence and knowledge, and was invoked as a law-giver and sage dispenser of righteous wisdom, counsel and justice.

This painting was inspired by this idea of transformation and rebirth.

It was also COMPLETELY inspired by the projects in the book Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts.

I thank her immensely for encouraging me to play with paint!

Honoring the endings and the beginnings that are the spiral of our lives...'s to TRANSFORMATION!

Stretch out those wings, and fly!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I am thrilled and honored to be reading/doing/committing to the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron with a wonderful group of women!

And I'm off with a running start...

It's my second time ~ very excited about it!

Wish me luck!

Here's to a community of ARTists ... a WORLD of ARTists!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Little of Tracy Today

Idea for this blog copied from The Great Askini. Thank you Holli!

Outside my window… all is quiet at dusk, the sky still holds a trace amount of blue, a beautiful Spring day.

I am thinking… that I need to create ART everyday, somehow.

I am thankful for… oh so much… this day, my love, my son, this home, belly dance, ART, this path...

From the kitchen… a wonderful meal prepared by my love, and now a stack of dishes awaiting my visit.

I am wearing… orange and black.

I am creating… my Life, exactly the way it should be.

I am going… to Tribal Fest in a few weeks!! Dancing, shopping, ogling dancers and their lovely, wild, inspired, and creative costumes and their delicious, infectious, inspirited Dance!

I am (re)reading… Tribal Vision, by Paulette Rees-Denis. Sigh, she is awesome.

I am hoping… that Big Changes do indeed happen this month, or at least their beginnings.

I am hearing… my son and my husband playing together, the fridge humming, a few birds still calling to each other as the day ends.

Around the house… spring cleaning actually happened today: some windows got washed, some vacuuming occurred, candles and candle holders cleaned up, a shower curtain scrubbed (WAY overdue).

One of my favorite things… is collaging. I have just *discovered* Art-Journaling, what took me so long?

A few plans for this week… dreaming big, having faith, slowing down, finding courage, surrendering, dancing, creating.

Blessings for the week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

From Dream to Reality...

Here are some words that touched me today, from Gypsy Girl's Guide:

"...when things are brewing and cooking inside, it feels like nothing is happening... It feels like we'll never be able to go from dream to reality. When those dreams are big like becoming a mother, finding our life's work, meeting the right partner, buying a house, creating a family and launching a new business, etc, it seems even harder and more distant. But the beauty of the process is that if we are pregnant with a dream or idea, just like a baby, sooner or later, it has to be born! I find so much peace in that thought. And that is what I am holding onto right now. Everything that needs to be born, will be born in its own time. We can give our love to the process, but we can't rush it."

Dreaming BIG and Sharing It

I have mentioned Mondo Beyondo in earlier posts, if this is this first time to hear about it, check them out, you won’t be sorry!

This is my Mondo Beyondo Dream List. All the things I want out of life, but have been too afraid to ask for, or have hesitated asking for, or have been too afraid to share with others. This is me dreaming BIG! This is me creating the space for Magic to happen. This is me putting it out there for others to read. Scary! But all very good! Here I go!

-Africa. Get thee-self back there somehow, someday, someway for connection, celebration, dance, spirit!
-THRIVING (as opposed to Comfortable) in my own skin ~ able to feel comfortable in front of 5 or 500 or 5,000 people!
-Find and be part of a circle of Sisters ~ an artistic, shamanic, intergalactic Sisterhood!
-Go to Thailand and Japan again, this time with my family
-Be a Leader and Inspire others through my Art
-Have a Cob/Strawbale or otherwise Natural-Materials-Built Art Studio in a beautiful place
-Be part of and rooted in an Intentional Community quite like Damanhur,
-Travel to Sacred Sites all over the world, being part of, wait, LEADING Sacred Art experiences at these sites
-Fabulous, juicy, soulful sex life!
-A COMPLETE release of EVER having to Worry about how ANY of this will be paid for ever again
-Connect in some way, because I feel like I am meant to, with a groovy group of women I know only through Blogs at this moment
-To get everything I need/desire from fellow artists on ETSY {or any other groovy place like that}
-Freedom to create my own schedule at all times
-Take my son all over this beautiful planet sharing other cultures and ways of being with him first-hand
-Participate in Art Retreats
-Visit, participate in and collaborate with the folks at Damanhur
-A Home by the Ocean ~ {even bigger} ~ in Africa
-Someone to clean my house
-To be so Centered that all of my insecurities and jealousies are released!
-Paint REALLY BIG in public places in sacred ways for sacred ceremonies
-A Clawfoot Bathtub in a gorgeous natural setting under the stars

It seems so short in hind-sight. So…

The rest of this list was “borrowed” (and slightly reworked and personalized) from other stupendous dreamers in the Mondo Beyondo community, but I feel each one so strongly, that I decided to add them to my list too. There’s lots of repeats, but that’s just because they must be important! It makes the list INCREDIBLY long, but here it is, in cyberspace and out into the Universe! Go!

-Be the wild, silly and playful woman I have never allowed myself to be
-Get Ian FANTASTIC amazing learning opportunities that lights him up
-More adventure
-Be unpredictable and unafraid
-Wander intuitively
-Open a business that doesn’t require a lot of effort to manage
-Open consciousness in Amador
-Have lots of time for myself to do things that feed my soul and serve the community/planet
-Live near to all the people I care most about and we support each other in realizing our dreams
-Someone gives us a house someplace beautiful
-Have a LOT OF FUN! I describe my life as FUN!
-Ride in a hot air balloon
-Continue to foster my tribe and find more of my tribe
-Create a life without a morning scramble
-Make a million dollars by making people smile
-Sell many paintings
-Get paid to paint what I want
-Live healthy
-Make a difference in people's lives
-Do something adventurous every day
-Find a community of people who inspire me
-Have a loving, brave marriage with my husband
-Live in a house on the beach
-Make yoga a more integral part of my life
-Live honestly and authentically
-Never work at a job again where I am not working for myself
-Take yearly trips with girl friends
-Speak another language totally fluently
-Be featured in a magazine
-Collaborate with people that I admire and become friends
-Teach & inspire others (including my own son) to grow up healthy & happy and to know what really matters in life
-Design a house from scratch and have someone build it
-Raise a super happy kid
-A blessed life
-Care for myself
-Be sexy dammit!
-Love the whole me
-Have a creative circle of friends
-Participate in a flash mob
-Say "Why not?" more often
-Go to New York City to visit
-Organize flash mobs, get onlookers to participate in flash mobs
-Be comfortable in social gatherings/meeting new people
-Work from home
-Be confident
-Be self-aware
-Deepen my relationship with my husband
-Road schooling Ian
-Eat only organically, and locally, or fair trade food
-Get to and stay at a healthy weight
-Wear a bikini and love myself in it
-Speak my mind
-Be an artist for a living
-Zip line somewhere awe-inspiring
-Be more spontaneous & adventurous with everyday plans
-Make art
-Pay it forward
-Have more fun and play more
-A house with space for guests, coffee weekends, girlfriend retreats, and entertaining
-Spend more time in nature
-Ride horses
-Be more daring
-Do yoga/meditate daily
-Be more creative
-Produce amazing art
-Have a huge studio where I can make art freely without having to move things or not spill on the carpet
-Receive lots of money to make art and travel
-Be at ease
-Have heart to heart talk more often with anyone
-Massages! Yes, one every week, and amazing ones too!
-Love with my whole heart
-Trust more
-Trust in myself completely
-Help people make small changes to live a more meaningful life
-Come towards everything from a place of curiosity and YES
-Eat at Chez Panisse
-Order a case of good wine on a regular basis
-See the Northern Lights
-Do art
-Feel fabulous in anything, and nothing
-Play hooky frequently
-Have chickens
-My home is my sanctuary
-Be an excellent leader
-Be recognized for something amazing that I do
-Enjoy a loving, passionate, sexy relationship with my partner and we will grow old together
-Be an artist
-Draw, paint, create and sell my work
-Play with paint on canvas
-Connect with my African journey
-Be known for my creativity
-Do beautiful things
-Have a window overlooking a gorgeous view, where I will work and play
-Eat healthy foods and take care of myself
-Still my inner critic
-Loosen up and dress as myself
-Go to an African concert in Africa
-Learn to laugh uproariously
-Learn to let go and zaghareet
-Have a light filled studio rich in color, ethnic fabrics, velvets, flowers, beautiful music and a comfy couch and a nice big workspace
-Take my art to market
-Keep discovering my soft inner heart and learn to revel in it ever more deeply
-Learn to dress in a way that feels lighthearted, colorful and more expressive
-Cut my inner critic off at the knees
-Refuse to do ANYTHING that doesn't ADD to my life
-Find my tribe and keep them close
-Have closer female friends
-Know what to say
-Have a wardrobe that makes me feel confident
-Go on an annual woman's retreat with my 'tribe'
-Be happy for others
-Make a difference
-Be part of an art exhibition and have my work on display
-Be spontaneous
-Be wise
-Be present
-Find my divinity within me & ALWAYS keep her ALIVE
-Be an artist
-Publish my own book
-Be an active, involved, fun, caring, and nurturing mother that my son wants to be with and talk with
-Have my art displayed in an art gallery
-Sell my art online and in an art gallery
-Swim with the dolphins
-Be silly more often and lighthearted
-Be in a passionate marriage now and when I’m 50, 60, 70, and beyond
-Be a part of a supportive, nurturing community of creative friends
-Be able to find and wear comfortable and beautiful clothing in luscious colors and patterns that allow me to feel like the creative person I am on the inside
-Paint wonderful paintings and sell them
-Raise a caring, strong and self-confident son
-Raise a loving son who respects women
-Attend a summer art retreat, annually
-Do art installations
-A tree house for my son
-Have my ART make the cover of a magazine
-Visit my book in the bookstore and see it as a bestseller
-Write and publish a book about creativity
-Inspire others through my ART, my paintings
-Offer retreats/a space for women who desperately need permission to be creative, create a place that will nurture and inspire them
-Have my ART published and licensed through an amazing ecological company
-Make art in all the places I live
-Have a wild artistic garden and house
-Host a wkly/monthly soup night, invite all my friends, neighbors, have my home be a comfortable gathering spot
-Have a playful and plentiful sex life
-Have a flourishing garden w/ veggies, fruit, sculptures and surprises
-Learn how to appreciate wine
-Drink GOOD wine
-Write an entire Wikipedia page about myself
-Be in fantastic shape physically
-Be able to express who I am with my clothes and accessories
-See indigenous people dance a traditional dance in Africa that is not done just for tourists
-Own, with my tribe, amazing land in amador county with big veggie & flower gardens, lots of beautiful structures (outdoor bath, sauna, yurts for living in, women's hut, meditation space, outdoor kitchen, etc), and either a river or natural springs flowing through the property, on this property, lead creativity & healing workshops and movement, with a huge space for movement/play/art with silks, and cushioned floors...lots of bright colors and people from the world-over come to take & teach classes and there's lots of exchange and mutual teaching/learning; people come to be part of this community space, and we have incredible chefs, all organic, super healthy, high vibrational food, gardens, structures and animals, everyone has their roles and their freedoms with lots of encouragement to go out and gain new knowledge/skills to bring back in and share; everything is run off solar, water from catchment systems/springs, completely sustainable and in tune with environment, structures are made from local, natural materials
-Be blissful & ever evolving and have become a powerful shaman with my, insights and magic
-My closest circle of friends/family are very close and have solid trust and presence with one another, we are powerful healers and teachers and have abundance in all areas of our lives
-Be a skilled dancer & artist as well as a masterful lover
-Have a well-established channel of communication with Spirit and able to positively touch thousands of lives through this bond
-Flow freely & safely through time in any direction, transport myself through time and space with my thoughts
-Travel the world and make positive impact each place I visit, starting or assisting with a healing project that is for the highest and best of the people/land/creatures
-Link with family, sisters and friends in the dream world and create positive change, and play
-Govern my time as i please, spending all the time i choose with myself, family & friends, with ease, pleasure and comfort
-Have an elegant, colorful wardrobe with lots of unique, magical accessories
-Have a super fun loving romantic relationship with husband
-Swim/dive with whales in the sea
-Drive a VW van and paint it groovy colors!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Granting Myself Permission

Where did I get the idea that you can only have one BIG dream per lifetime? Who or what put that limiting thought in my head and heart? I think I'd like to dismantle it and send it on its way. No, I KNOW I'd like to do that.

For the past two and a half years I have been letting a dream unfold in my life. A dream that I didn't even know I had. I started belly dancing more than 10 years ago. In fits and starts. I thought I'd NEVER get anywhere with it. I'd always be a novice beginner. But Spirit had different plans. Thank you!

The path in a really quick recap: someone moved to my area offering classes, she started a troupe and invited me to join, she moved, troupe fell apart, no direction, got frustrated, someone planted the seed that I teach, HA! Big pause.

NO way. "I'm not worthy." So my inner critic deemed.

Somehow, somewhere, I pushed through. The recap continues: I offered a class. Women came. I started a troupe. More classes. A studio space. Organized events. Opened a store. And it's not done, I know there's more.

But. I still have a day job. It's not big enough to support me. Will it ever? Can I let go and trust. Okay. I will. I am. But.

But, what if that's not enough? What if I still have other dreams?

"What? Awfully greedy aren't we? You want MORE? Come on. Isn't this more than you could have ever dreamed of in the first place?"

And my intuition, my heart, my soul, says most definitely, "YES, I deserve more!"

Really? No way! This I have a hard time believing.

So for today, I am granting myself permission. Here's what I grant:

I, Tracy Carlton, have permission to have more than one dream. And those dreams can be EVEN bigger!

Right on!

If you haven't signed up for Mondo Beyondo yet, what's stopping you? OMG! This course is knocking my socks off! Thank you Andrea and Jen!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


In our culture death has got a bad rap. We are quite afraid of it. But death is also transformation. Perhaps a more difficult transformation for those that are still here, but a transformation nonetheless.

Death has visited our little hollow this week. Something ~ we still haven't found out what it is ~ died. There has been a nonstop gathering of Ravens and Turkey Vultures in the trees. Squawking. Swooping. Cawing. Staring. Snacking. We've seen bits of bright red blobs here and there, but whatever it is they are feasting on, remains unknown for now.

The latin name for Turkey Vulture is Cathartes aura. Cathartes is Latinized from Greek and means "purifier," aura is Latinized from the Native Mexican word for the bird, auroura. It is often translated as Golden Transformer.

If we choose to look at death not as an ending, but as transformation, which many cultures around the globe have done in the past, and others still do today, we can see the gift that awaits.

My life is in the middle of transforming right now. Maybe not on a tangible level, but on a deeper, more soulful level (which leads to the tangible I believe). That I have had the presence of death outside my home this past week is reminding me that from death comes birth. The great cycle of life. Doors may be closing, yet others are opening.

Angels Calling

A few days ago my phone rang.
When I answered it there was the most beautiful harp music.
And that's all.
And after a few moments, they hung up.
I have decided it was an Angel calling me.
Letting me know that everything is all right.
That she is watching over me.
All is good.
And this, is such a nice feeling.
I'm going with it.
Any miracles in your world recently?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Open and Ready

At the beginning of this year I was introduced to a blog of a very creative and beautiful soul. Her blog led me to a couple other highly creative individuals. And then to another person that is creative and says YES to life. And it turns out that all of these fabulous women knew each other. Then I realized, oh my gosh, I went to high school with one of them! I love this. I am a firm believer in synchronicity. I felt drawn in. Connected somehow on some level. And I'm okay with not knowing what it all means. Just sitting with it. But I knew I was tapping into something deep within.

I have been moved and inspired and opened up by each and every one of them. Through their words and images they have offered me examples~permission~the go-ahead to move toward my dreams. I am taking an online course right now, offered by two of these remarkable women, that has split me in two. And rather than feeling torn apart, some magnificent treasures have emerged from the very center of my being. It's awesome. Giving myself the space to dream VERY big has already gifted me with results, who would have thunk it? And we're only just starting week two!

When first discovering their projects, blogs and websites I was especially drawn to Jen Lemen's Picture Hope. I poured over the photos, the words, the history. I found myself in tears. Why? Why such a strong reaction? Was it the lives, the challenges, the beauty of her friends' stories? Or was it her journey, her experiences, the images she's shared? Yes, it was all of those things. But I knew, deep down, on a different level, it wasn't about the people I was learning about, or the story that was unfolding in her life. No, when I sat with it, I knew. Africa was calling me. Somehow. In some way.

I have been to Africa twice in my life, during my 20's, both times through a friend that was living there, in different places, in different jobs. The first time she was a peace corps volunteer in Kenya, and I spent six glorious weeks in Kenya and Tanzania. I am sure I learned more about myself during that time than anything else on that journey. The second time was when she and her husband were in the diplomatic corps in Senegal and I spent four weeks discovering many parts of the country and even helping in an official evacuation of Liberia. I had my world turned upside down both times. Filled up. Fabulous. And Grateful.

But that was quite a few years ago. And yet, when I look over the past 15 years or so, I see there were other times where, if I had been paying attention, Africa has been knocking on my heart.

So here I am. With my Mondo-Beyondo-Dream-Big List, and Africa was the first thing that went on it. Without a doubt. Without knowing why. I don't know what it means. And I don't know what part of Africa, which country. And I don't know how. But it's there. For some reason, it has to be there.

I have been learning, s-l-o-w-l-y, that when you are on your *path*, when you are in your groove, when you are doing exactly what you were put on this Earth to do, the Universe~Spirit~God delivers exactly what you need to continue. If only we pay attention!

And so I'm paying attention! Last week at work, right next to my box of tea, was a Dixie cup with Diego (of Diego and Dora fame, if you have children this makes sense to you), and the cup had Diego and his African Adventure. Hah! That cup now sits on my desk. Permission to remember that something is calling to me and to be open to it.

Then, yesterday, too wild! From the mail, THIS was sitting on the kitchen table, a thank you postcard from a dear friend, who lives just over the hill from me:

Okay. Yes. I'm awake. I'm paying attention. I am Open. And ready!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Running is something that comes and goes in my life. I haven't run in over 5 years, since before my son was born. This past year I've taken up walking. It feels okay. I am not totally inspired. But I am moving.

A couple weeks ago on my walk I actually jogged for about 5oo feet. Wow. I didn't think I could do it. Sure, I was panting and wheezing, but I did it! Then, I did it 2 more times that week. Accomplishment!

That very same week my dearest friend in the whole world sent me an email titled *Walging* a word she coined that combines walking and jogging. An activity she described as jogging a very short distance until the gasping for air and pain in ones legs forces you walk. When breathing returns to normal then one tries jogging again, if even for only a very short distance.

And here we were doing the very same thing, at the exact same time. I love being in sync like that!

Today, what is just so exciting, is that I actually jogged almost the whole way!!! Yay for me! And not only that, I RAN! Ever since I wheezed my way through my first cross country race at age 14, I've always loved the last 100 yards or so, when I know I'm almost there, that the journey has been hard, that it's all down hill from here, I can pick up my feet, let them go and run, FAST!

It's like flying. It's a high. I love it.

And so this is perfect for how I feel at this point in my life. I have been going slow and steady with lots of starts and stops towards my dreams. And today, here and now, I feel, I am not only moving at a steady pace toward them, I am RUNNING, I am FLYING to them.

It's awesome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Small Acts

I am on only day 3 of my Mondo Beyondo course, LOVING it!
Small acts during your day make all the difference.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dreaming BIG!

This year is my word is Surrender.

I chose it {it chose me?} because I'm usually an uber-planner. This year seemed like a good year to let go of the usual goals and preconceived ideas about who I should be or what I should be doing. This year I am open to the magic of the Universe. I am paying attention and trying out new things. I am still discerning, but experimenting with new directions too.

And in the few short months that is this year, I kept coming across this Mondo Beyondo online course. Again and again, in different blogs, on Facebook... there it was again. Okay. I'm paying attention! I signed up!!

Mondo Beyondo is all about dreaming BIG, going beyond the small dreams, allowing for the huge dreams to come through, and then pursuing them.

Sounds like planning and goals a little bit. And yes, it is. But! These are not the everyday life practical goals {though they can be}. This is the chance to embrace and move towards what I never thought possible before.

I'm so excited! I start tomorrow. They still have space, sign up here.

I plan on sharing what I'm doing here, as a way of daring myself to follow-through.

Here we go...!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taking Risks

This is my year for being brave. I'm taking risks.
I'm moving towards what scares me.
For me, that's ART.

What is it for you? What scares you?

Join me on the ride, won't you?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I am learning about mixed media and collages from the fabulous
Here is my first attempt.

A Puddle Jumper. One half of a pair of Galoshes.

I experimented with materials, didn't have some on hand that would have made it easier, but had just so much fun in the creative process. {My inner critic was bound and gagged and made to sit outside, she's still out there now as a matter of fact.}

It's part of My Path of Bravery this year, sharing this here...affirming out loud that I can do this!

Thanks for sharing this with me!