Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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
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?
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
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.
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!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
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.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Transforming the cover of my new journal.
Getting lost in the process.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
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!
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.
Monday, June 7, 2010
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
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: