Today I am feeling the synchronicity of life in full force. It is a glorious sunshine-y, nearly seventy degree day at the end of March. Reveling in light and beauty my list of gratitudes stretches. When we are living in alignment with our purpose it feels as if blessings just seem to come our way. The reality is that the experience of synchronicity is the universe’s way of showing us we are on the right path.

Sitting in the midst of abundance we can feel the universe both pulling and pushing us forward. New ideas crop up, we’re inspired to call an old friend, connections that were previously unseen reveal themselves. So often when we are walking a path that is not intended for us we are confronted with obstacles. We feel frustrated, lonely, and tired. It’s easy to start thinking life is supposed to be difficult. We start to believe that if our journey is easy it’s not as valuable. But what if that’s not true?

Today I would encourage you to reflect on the synchronicity of your own life. Maybe even consider taking the easy path – whatever that looks like for you. What if all of the images we hold of the universe or our path do not need to be tied to practicality? Have you considered if the universe favors whimsy, joy, light, and limitless potential?

The forces that created animals, sand, and star dust very clearly love variety. If the universe wanted us to be creatively stilted and bored – wouldn’t there be just one kind of  snowflake? Instead of millions of varied combinations that we can observe and many we will never see at all. Creation then is not for our enjoyment but simply for the joy of it. The purpose is not for our work to be seen or shared (or difficult) but for the simple delight of creating. Isn’t it worth considering if that is our purpose too? To have fun, create things, and enjoy them. Perhaps it’s possible to take the easy way and have that be enough.

As I feel momentum pushing me towards the right path I am filled with delight, curiosity, and anticipation. I am eager for what comes next and happy to be a part of the cosmic magic that makes life so richly expansive. I hope you’ll join me in taking the easier path and creating something amazing this week. 

If you’d like to see a little bit of what I’ve been creating lately please pop over to the fine art section or buy my latest book.

Painting + Flow

There is the patter of rain on the windows and roof, I am settled into my seat, lemon water at my side and my tummy rumbling for a sweet treat – I keep cookies in my desk drawer for these occasions. I am feeling good – processed. I recently missed an opportunity that I thought might be for me. It was disappointing and I allowed myself to wallow yesterday. I needed a day to be angry and frustrated. Today, I needed to get into flow, so I painted.

An easel sits across from me in my office. It typically holds a painting that I am working on or a blank canvas waiting to be filled. Today the paint and my ideas flowed. I am feeling quite satisfied to have created something I know to be beautiful and believe to be good. I also have had the idea to ask the local frame shop if on Friday afternoons I might paint in their front window – possibly to draw customers in and hopefully sell a few of my pieces. It might be fun and it is something that occurred to me as I painted.

That’s the beauty of creative work, it frees the mind to wander. And gives space to let the imagination roam. There’s actually a pile of research on the benefits of somewhat mindless activities like painting. These tasks help us get into slower brain waves that bring us into flow and help us to make connections in our brains more efficiently. When our brains are in the state of flow we’re able to bring together a variety of ideas to create a new and unique solution. To learn more about the research I would encourage you to read The Art of Impossible by Steve Kotler. 

When I create I get to consider imaginary situations, topics that I have thoughts on but haven’t had the time to process. For me painting is meditative. When I am in the midst of my work it is easy to loose track of time. I feel completely absorbed in the best way possible, choosing colors, creating patterns or destroying them. It is powerful and empowering to simply focus on my work and what I want to do next. Painting frees me to finally think clearly. It gives me a fun medium in which I can make mistakes or change my mind and the consequences are minimal. It is freeing and makes my soul sing.

Whatever you do today I hope you give yourself some space to create. I notice that when I don’t make room in my life to act on my inspirations I feel cranky and stifled. Why make ourselves miserable for no reason? With that in mind I am grateful and excited to see what beauty we create in the world next. For now I’m focusing on this canvas and what colors and images come next. It’s a very good day, I hope yours is too!

Collecting Inspiration

Throughout the year, I collect inspiration from cutouts and images in magazines. They keep me focused on what I am working toward. The pieces I really love get mounted on my vision board.

I often find when I sit down to organize these bits of inspiration at the end of the year many of them no longer speak to me. Their influence was brief and fleeting. I recycle the images and articles that no longer appeal to me. 

The pieces I like but don’t need to see every day are glued or taped into journals. This way the quotes and images I have collected continue to inspire me. But the big and important, still rock me to my core, pieces are posted on my vision board.

My vision board keeps me on task. The board stays out until I have my path memorized by heart. I carry it with me in my memory and then only pull out the board sporadically when I need a reminder.

I collect inspiration almost constantly but the vision board is revisited only twice annually. Once at the end of the year and early January when it is being created. The second time I open it is for Christmas in July or the year’s midpoint to consider and check my progress. It is incredible how these ideas that were once thoughts in my head become reality. To see those concepts I once imagined integrated into my lifestyle feels complete. 

How do you manifest your best life? What tools do you use to stay on task?

Sacred Spaces – Making a Creative Oasis

My studio feels cozy and safe today. It feels like a warm and welcome reprieve from the outside world. It feels like exactly the space it was designed to be. It is warm, it is soft, and it is all mine. This is not a community space. It is my sweet little apartment. My home away from the world. I am so grateful for this space and the creativity and joy that I find and make in this room. I can already feel it working its magic, giving me the balm I need to think inventively and creatively.

This space feels holy and sacred, like a luxurious and welcoming den. A lair where I may heal and tend to myself as a sacred and special person. A place where my intrinsic value is nurtured and nourished. The space is warm. The walls are a buttery yellow and the windows bathe the space in delicious natural light, even on an overcast and rainy day like today my small lamp alights my workspace gently, as if respecting the boundaries of every other object in the room. There is much to unpack and arrange in this room but right now it feels blissfully disorganized. There are boxes of treasures just waiting for me to open and unpack them. There are mysteries and hidden gems in every package, under each lid. I delight in finding old friends in familiar places and giving them new life in this space. 

I am thrilled to welcome my precious belongings into my new home. I am excited to explore and imagine where each piece belongs. I am eager to see how I make this space my own.

Tonight I will make bolognese and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Tonight will be a night of comfort foods and cozy family time. It will be a welcome reprieve from the challenges of the day. It will be an opportunity to give the gift of good food and comfort to myself and to my family. These gifts will be small but they will also be monumental in that they will be felt deeply by those I love. That is the point and purpose of generosity anyway.

Some ideas for making your own creative oasis:

  1. Boundaries – Make sure the space is your own. Or if you invite others in to join you, let them know what level of engagement and sharing your are comfortable with first.
  2. Art Supplies – I am always inspired in the art store and try to come home with some projects or tools I’ve never used before to get my creativity flowing. I don’t have to be good at everything and trying something new is always fun.
  3. Water – Keep yourself hydrated and energized so you have all you need to keep going!
  4. Writing utensils – It doesn’t matter if you type, write, or sketch, it’s always good to have a pen and paper to jot a good idea down.
  5. Quiet – Or a playlist of your choosing – the sounds that comfort you are always a quick way to breathe new energy into your space and create the mood you are after!
  6. Bonus – Anything that engages your senses, beautiful artwork to look at, images that inspire you. Some incense burning or an essential oil diffuser. A cozy blanket or fan that keeps air moving. Anything that brings you into the present moment will help invigorate your energy and get you in the mood to create.

Do you have a space in your home where you can recharge and rest? How do you create hygge in your home? What do you do to spread warmth on winter days?

Genius, Inspiration, and What We Already Know

The energy of life is so simple. When I am doing the things I dislike I feel drawn into anxiety, pain, discomfort. When I am living in the present moment and engaged in the joyful work I was put on this earth to do life is dreamlike, simple, and fresh. I do not notice the grey day that hours ago oppressed me. I only see the light shining through the clouds and tangling with the mist to make bright reflective pools on the children’s play structure. 

I took a call and now my energy is different. I was in a state of peaceful meditation, and dare I say, wisdom. Oh that seems so pompous and reeking of self-importance. Still, I believe it. I believe it because I don’t believe it is me. I believe it is the energy of my genius. A divine spark, magical inspiration, a muse that longs to express itself and share the knowledge of the ages that it holds. 

Therefore, I do not say wisdom as if it is a quality that I myself possess. Instead the wisdom I share stems from my connection to the universal that lives within us all. As I stare out the window watching the rain and wondering why I was placed exactly where I am in this mosaic, I feel both lost and intimately found. The quilt of life is so generously constructed. It hold us all together when just as easily we could have been born a spark of a star being sucked into a black hole or the glimmer of light a star ejects as it burns. That colossal spark that makes me me and you you. What are we if not energy, if not our very purpose? Could we be more than that? Are we not all engaged in a dance to which our minds and bodies already know the steps without our coaxing. 

We battle daily to distract and numb our energy failing to break through but as days dwindle we still find ourselves lying awake at night wondering, why am I here? Why me? What purpose am I to fulfill? We wonder and yet we already know. Steve Jobs spoke to this at a commencement address in 2005 at Stanford, “…have the courage to follow you heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” What is there inside of you that you already know? What light is waiting to be allowed to shine through you and into the world?

Reconnecting in the New Normal

When you believe in something or someone you do something about it. 

Today I wrote an email to a friend I haven’t spoken to since high school. I was inspired by another friend who reached out for ideas on how to cope with the various plagues of 2020 and entertaining herself in long winter months. First, for this woman I have nothing but praise, she is planning for her future and investing in those things that will sustain her through the long months – new ideas and old friendships. If that is all I took away from her reaching out, it would be a gift. But that is not all, I also was reminded of a dear friend from many years ago. A vulnerable, beautiful, and talented author who may not be writing – so I wrote to her to find out. 

Why was this important? Well, to me when I believe in someone I tell them, I tell them deep beautiful truths out loud. I do this intentionally, because I do have a gift with words and I write often but my work comes of labor, effort, and refinement. That is not the way with talent. With talent, your words will silence a high school classroom of overachievers and lead the teacher to ask your friends if they know how you did it. Talent, is twenty years later someone remembering the lines and the power of your writing. Talent, is touching people’s souls.

While I’m sure I gave support when we were younger and close, I haven’t given support to this woman in a long time. I don’t know what her life looks like, the shape of her days, or where life’s journey has taken her. All I do know is that she has, “It,” whatever it is. While many aspire to that gift, to have it and not use it would be a loss for humanity. Not for her, I imagine she lives a happy life that is fulfilling and rich – but the rest of us who need to listen and learn, we would only know the absence or the feeling of an unfulfilled longing. I cannot put pen to paper on someone else’s behalf, but I can show up, I can remind her of her gift and that I am eager to read her words. I don’t know how the message will land but I do know that my gift to humanity today was to inspire her to write, to share her words, and to trust herself and her talent.

As a creative, I suddenly am completely clear on the need for patrons of the arts. Because artists like Cathleen Collins and T. S. Eliot go to work each day, and make dinner, and pay their bills, and might never have the opportunity to craft the stories that move our civilization, our species forward.

As I write it also occurs to me that I write these words for myself, to align my priorities and to say these words out loud. It reminds me that I have these gifts too. I am not on her level, I may never be, but I have witnessed greatness and I am capable of greatness and I am willing to try. I am willing to show up and give it my best. I hope you are too. 

Has anyone sent you a message of support or encouragement that landed just as you needed it? Would you find such a note presumptuous or invasive? My hope is that it lands as it should or upsets you enough to do something about it. Do you like love notes from long lost friends? Do you send love notes to long lost friends? Will you now?