August 17, 2017

you will have created something...



Creativity matters. Making art matters.

It doesn't matter if you think it's any good or not. It doesn't matter if you make money at it or not. It doesn't matter if it's something big or something small.
It's part of soul-nourishment and self-care.

It's part of living a fulfilling life and connecting to your inner self.

"The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."   ~Kurt Vonnegut

Create something. Anything.

Do it for your soul.




May 5, 2017

where you put your attention...



"Here's the simple but painful truth: what you give your attention to is what you deem sacred." ~Janet Conner

I find such truth in this quote.

Painful, because sometimes being honest with ourselves might mean we realize when we say/think we're 'too busy' for something, it's really an excuse. Painful, because looking at what we're actually giving energy, time, and attention to, might not line up with what we hold dear and sacred.

And simple, because sometimes (maybe even often) we have more choice, more power, more sovereignty, than we believe... Choice in what or where we give our attention. Choice to *do* the thing.

For me, living my creativity is one of the things I deem sacred. Painting. Writing. Art journaling. House-tending. Living my creativity in all areas of my life, as much as possible. It is sacred to me - and it connects me to the Sacred.

What gets your attention, your time, your energy, your focus? What do you deem sacred?

And - are your answers to the questions in alignment with each other?


April 8, 2017

instagram joy connections...


The Joy Connections color series 10-day challenge I was facilitating through my Subtle Harmony site ended about a week and a half ago. It was helpful to notice, even more than usual, what brings me joy.

I posted my joy-connections photos on instagram every day.








The above are some of my photos I posted to my instagram on the days for green, pink, black, white, and blue.

Paying attention to, noticing, being aware of connection to JOY ... as it relates to the beauty of color.




March 27, 2017

writing: a behind the scenes glimpse...


Several months ago, I wrote a post on my indie author blog about some of what went on behind the scenes in writing my novel, In New Harmony.

It's about how the spark of the idea came from hearing something my mother shared from her childhood... and the spark turned into a short story... which then turned into a (quite a bit different) novel.


It's been ages since I've blogged, but I'm feeling the urge... and since I want to include my writing life (and my life in general) in this space, I'm going to be including my writing-related life stuff in my posts here.

But instead of re-saying everything I wrote in my other post about the beginning-seeds and some behind-the-scenes of In New Harmony, I'm going to direct you to that post here.

And if you'd like to check out In New Harmony for yourself, it's available here.




March 13, 2017

joy connections...


Joy has been on my mind a lot lately. And not only lately, to be honest - a few years ago, I realized in a deeper-than-before way that I needed to consciously and intentionally try to connect with joy as much as possible and in whatever ways work for me... I need this for my own well-being and quality of life. (Which then spills over and impacts everything in my life.)

And sometimes I need this just to simply make it through the day. (Because sometimes simply making it through the day is hard - and doing only that is enough.)

There's a difference between happiness and joy.

You've probably heard that before, but do you really (really and truly) believe it and feel it?

Joy can definitely be there in a happy time.

But joy can come unexpectedly, seemingly out of the blue.

And joy can be there even in the dark and the difficult.

I remember the morning my grandmother died, a sunny August day in 1997, and my husband and I walking in our neighborhood after getting the phone call, and talking about our plans for making the trip to my hometown for the funeral, and how it felt so surreal and so sad - that this woman who was a second mother to me, caring for me and my brother as both my parents worked fulltime as I was growing up, was no longer on this earth... and at the same time, along with deep grief and sadness, there was joy too.

Unexpected. Inexplicable. But... yes, joy.

I remember the evening my father was transported by ambulance to the residential hospice facility for his last night on earth - again in August, but this time in 2013 - and after spending time with my parents in my father's large and beautiful-but-awful room, we finally left to have a late supper, me and my husband and my brother and my nephew, sitting around the table at a fast-food restaurant while we ate chicken wings, exhausted and feeling unreal while laughing at the lovely absurdity hardness of life, but sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying (and crying can be a good and needed thing, but sometimes the laughter is what carries us)...

And even as my heart was splitting open and breaking apart - as it had been doing for the many months leading up to that night, that weekend of my father's passing - and even in the moments of stunned surreal silences and the moments of laughing with loved ones...

Joy was there too.

I could feel it, beneath the sad and the raw and the numbness and the unreality-of-it-all: joy, holding a spot in my heart, a beautiful aching and a wonder of how joy can co-exist with pain.

I've known times of such intense anxiety I couldn't breathe and couldn't go on, times of such depression I couldn't get up and couldn't see a future, times of such uncertainty I didn't know how a path through could appear...

And then a pocket of joy would come, give me grace, help me hold on.

As I said, joy can catch us by surprise.

But along the way, I also started to realize that when we cultivate joy, when we intentionally and consciously try to connect with joy... it can be easier to notice joy and catch the joy when it shows up.

Sometimes this can be in a sort of dramatic way. But often this can be in small, even quiet, ways.

And this is why I so often talk about connection with joy, when I talk about soul nourishment and self care... Because making the decision and the choice to consciously and intentionally try to connect with joy whenever possible and in whatever ways possible - it truly can make a difference.

Will it make life perfect? No.

Will it mean there won't be some incredibly hard stuff and difficult times? No.

But it can help.

We become more aware of those pockets of joy. We notice when there's an undercurrent of joy beneath the pain and the hard. We open to embrace the grace that joy brings. We catch the joy, we live in that joy moment - and it can help us hold on and help us get through and help us live more fully alive.

Life can be so hard at times.

But it also has such beautiful, grace-giving joy.

Being aware of the joy that's there truly can make a difference in life. ♥