The Soulful Artist

Life. Art. Transcendence.

It’s been a minute … a very LOOOOONNNNG minute … since I’ve had the capacity to get in my studio and create.

I couldn’t do it, you know? With working a little overtime, and being the main caregiver/caretaker of a sick family member, even though I had the time, I didn’t have the capacity to get in there and create. It was as if I physically could not do it after taking care of everyone all day. Even though creating is a part of my daily spiritual practice and a form of self care for me, I found myself wanting to just physically sleep. So I’ve been sleeping. Literally sleeping.

In a recent journal entry, which is a huge part of my daily spiritual practice and self care, I posed a question asking what was causing me to feel disconnected, what was I missing? And the answer that I received was … Creativity.

Creativity has always allowed me that connection with my Highest Best Self, My Soul, My Spirit, God, The Universe. I made time to get into my studio today to do just that … to find that dormant part it myself that I let sleep a little too long, and I created.

I allowed my little 8 year old self to come to the surface and to play. Playing with paint, creating to my heart’s content … I heard and felt her huge sigh of relief. I felt her shoulders drop. I felt her giddy excitement. I felt her deep gratitude.

It’s what I needed to find the capacity to keep doing what I do. It’s what I needed to allow the divine back in, to work through me and bring forth what it desires to bring forth.

It’s been one hell of a weekend, week, month, year … Every day for me it’s something. Every. Single. Day. I’m tired. I frustrated. I’m angry. I won’t even lie about it, I’m seething. You can probably see the smoke coming out of my ears.

My anger consumes me. CONSUMES ME.

I’ve been trying really hard to hold it all together, but I’m coming apart at the seams. I’m really, REALLY angry. My head is swirling. Loud thoughts. I can’t do or be everything to everyone. I’m losing myself in the process and I can fall deep into the rabbit hole of depression that’s hard to dig myself out of. I’ve journaled about it. I’d talk about it, but it’s my mouth that always gets me in trouble.

It needed to come out. I needed it to be expressed. And this is the result of my what has consumed me.

When I am lost it is my journal and my canvas that will be my salvation. This is my form of anger management. I’ll keep my mouth shut because, like I said, it only gets me in trouble.

I’m doing my best to hold myself together. I’mhanging on by a thread, and praying it doesn’t unravel anymore than it already has.

My life is littered with evidence that I am able do hard things. I am living proof that I have survived adversity, that I am resilient, I am capable, I am strong. But I’m also a mere human and there’s a limit to what I am able to withstand. When that time comes, I will know, and I’ll simply let go …

December 4th … New Moon Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius.

It’s been quite a year for me, so it seems only fitting that 2021 is ending with such dramatic flair. It’s been a year of alignment, and of manifestations coming to fruition rather quickly. A year of broadened perspectives; of learning to come from a place of love over fear. A year of healing my body, my mind, my soul. A year of learning to breathe unrestricted, and of letting tears flow freely …

So as the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius asks me to free myself from anything and everything that is not connected to the core of my most authentic and spiritual self … game on! Armed with my pen, I wrote my intentions in my journal. Pages and pages. Then again, I wrote them on the canvas I was to paint.

What manifested on that canvas is the essence of my Soul … its joy, its innate goodness, its rawness. My Soul is happy. My Spirit is playful and light. I’m ME be-ing Row. because it’s all I know who to BE, and it’s all who I’ve ever desired to BE.

I ask you … What good energy do you want to materialize?

I am thankful. I am grateful. I am blessed.

From My Art Journal

Home is where my (he)ART is …

Over the last few months, life threw me a little curve ball. That happens sometimes and you kinda just have to roll with the punches as best as you can. That curve ball though, took me out and away from my house leaving me all discombobulated and feeling out of sorts!

I won’t even try to make an excuse about it. I’m a homebody. I am happiest at home. Parties, get together, etc., they’re not my thing. I mean, maybe sometimes and only for a little bit, okay, but most times, nah, forget it. I used to say that I was “antisocial,” but the truth is I am “energy selective.” There’s just too much energy out there that I don’t vibe with. I just can’t. I know who I am. I know what I like. I love my solitude.

Home is where not only where my heart is, but where my art is. It’s my place to recharge and reconnect with myself. Not everyone deserves access to my energy, therefore, I won’t compromise myself, my soul … I won’t do it.

My Very First Painting – November 2016.

5 years ago on a whim, I purchased tickets to Erin Elizabeth’s Art Alchemy. I remember happening to stumble onto her art studio in Lincoln Center as I waited for my ring to be cleaned at the jeweler’s next door. Her studio was closed that day, but I remember looking through the window and marveling at all of her paintings. I loved them all so much and wanted to buy one. When I Googled her to learn more about her, I learned that she frequently taught classes and I told myself that I would take a class.

That class was 5 years ago today. I cannot tell you how much that class changed me in ALL aspects of my life. My first painting was nothing but a “blue blob” that I named “Despacio,” which means to slow down.

For me, it is in the slowing down that I am able to hear/feel/know my Soul. It is in the slowing down that I am able to find the answers that I am looking for, the peace that I long for, the solitude and stillness that I crave.

Today is my Creativity Birthday! My coming back to self day, my rebirth, my exhale. So much has changed since that fateful Art Alchemy class with Erin. I have grown and evolved and expanded in ways I never believed I could or would! I am living proof that it is never too late, and you can never be too old to become what you might have been! I am so full of gratitude for where this part of my journey has taken me and who it has brought to my life!

Happy 5 Year Creative Birthday to Me!!!

The butterfly effect is a concept or an idea that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world. In layman’s terms, it’s trying to show how the slightest change – even one as minute as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings – can have large consequences.

It’s hard to fathom that a tiny butterfly flapping it’s wings could really cause a typhoon, but it’s trying to convey the message that little things can be the catalyst to bigger things. In life, it’s telling you that small changes, those seemingly little decisions, can be the catalyst to life altering change.

For me, when I reflect back on my life … I can see where some of the seemingly little, crazy, inconsequential decisions I’ve made have had HUGE impacts on my life! I didn’t realize it happening at the time, as it’s only in hindsight that I am able to truly see the magnitude.

The “Blue Blob” from my very first painting class ever!

5 years ago, when I decided to take a painting class from Erin Elizabeth … I remember being so intimidated by the canvas and the paint that I almost backed out of going. While I was there, painting, you can see that my painting was nothing except a blue blob. But that one painting class with Erin changed my life! It’s been almost 5 years and I haven’t looked back!

When you reflect back on your life, at the little decisions you’ve made, where can you see that it changed the trajectory of your life? Where can you spot the synchronicities? I’ll bet you would be able to name more than a few.

We all have them … little paper bags with handles. You know, the ones you get from the coffee shop, or cute little boutique stores. They’re cute and I like them, but the amount I have is a little ridiculous. It’s wasteful to just throw them out so I do reuse them, and I see many of you doing the same – reusing them as lunch bags, gift bags, etc.

Sometimes I think too much. Sometimes I look at something and see something more. More potential. More possibilities. So I took my little bags and repurposed them. A little paint here, a catchy phrase there and “Viola!” Something different to give my gifts of love in. Nothing exciting, just a piece of my Soul’s expression made visible on a free bag.

Sometimes we as humans think we’re done. Our kids grow and start living their own lives. Our jobs change and we’re asked to relocate or step down. We have an illness or an injury and we’re not quite what we were before. Something happens and we’re forced to look at life, how we’re living, who we are with a fresh set of eyes. For some, it’s difficult. Some don’t do well with change and choose to remain the same. Others, after a short period of contemplation, are able to see the new possibilities in the adversity and begin to move forward.

The beauty about being human is that we aren’t meant to be just ONE or a few things. The beauty about being human is that we are souls and we are endless possibilities in our bodies. The only limits that we have are those that we put upon ourselves.

Henry Ford said it best when he said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” Who you believe yourself to be can only be determined by you. Do yourself a favor an believe MORE for yourself. Believe that you’re a limitless soul that is worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. And just like my little paper handled bags … with a little trust, some bravery, and a lot of love, your transformation and being repurposed can be a beautiful thing!

Trust in the magic of new beginnings. Trust that you are being asked to grow. Believe that bigger, better, more is out there for you to discover and experience!

Intoxicated!

It’s Sunday and it’s a new month. I’m sitting here in my happy place, painting to my heart’s content! I wrote a piece of happy snail mail that I’m mailing out tomorrow! I hit the local farmer’s market this morning, drank some damn good coffee, ate a delicious pastry, I have no where else to be, no pressing deadlines, and I’m in some comfy, slouchy clothing! Yeah! No, actually, Fuck Yeah!

Call me intoxicated, whatever. Intoxicated from smelling paint and actually being high on life! So, yeah … I’m over here sitting in my little space like the little weirdo that I am, and I’m happy as a clam! (Are clams even happy?)

We should all be high on life and happy as clams. But how? Easy … by following your highest excitements, by doing the things that make you feel like you, that make you happy, that bring you joy. Regardless of what anyone else says, just be YOU! If it’s sitting around on a lazy Sunday in your craziest, comfiest clothing, do that. If it’s sipping coffee reading a good book, do that! If it’s dancing to EDM with your child, do that! Painting, writing, taking a well deserved nap, gardening … whatever it is that brings you JOY, do that!

Let me let you in on a little secret. Okay, well maybe it’s not a secret, but maybe you didn’t know … every moment that you act on your highest excitements, when you’re playing and having FUN (think back to when you were a child), you are embodying the energy of your Soul. It’s so important to be playful. When you’re in this state, you’re more open, you’re more yourself. When you follow what lights you up, you feel more alive, you’re more expansive. It doesn’t matter what it is that you do, just do you. Oh, and if it’s not a “Fuck Yeah!” it’s a “Hell No.”

The last month has been a mix of frustration and elation. More happiness and elation versus the frustration because I walked away (temporarily maybe) from that that was causing me so much sadness and angst. In the meantime, I’ve been walking towards all of the things that light me up I had to put on hold because life happens.

The biggest thing that I stepped away from and put on hold was my love of painting. Now, even though I’ve been carting around my little tub full of watercolors, gel pens, colored pencils, with my paper and all the whatnots … it isn’t the same as painting with my acrylics on canvas! Also, my little creation room at home kind of went to, um, as my daughter says, “It looks like a tornado came through here and vomited all over the place!” Hahahaha! WTH?!

Anyhow, I have collected a lot of paint in the few years I’ve been painting, but I’m always trying to figure out what this hue of blue or purple or red or whatever looks lijke so I decided to get smart and make color samples of all of them. I’m taking my time to ease myself back into the groove of painting. The paint samples was a small enough project for me to remember what my paint tubes look like, how to hold the brush, what supplies I need to paint, and to remember what it feels like to get into a rhythm. It wasn’t hard. My Soul knows what to do and my body just naturally fell into a rhythm. I’ve built up some strong muscle memory.

Sometimes we can’t help what life throws at us and some things get put on the back burner until we can get it sorted out. We think and believe that it’s just temporary, that it’s just for a little while … then one day turns to one week, then one month, and before you know it you’ve lost yourself.

The moral of this blog post is: keep doing the things that light you up. When you’re doing the things that bring you joy, that make you happy, that light you up you’re more open to relaxing and receiving inspiration, and connecting with your Soul, your Highest and Best Self! So do the things that make you happy! I’m looking forward to getting back in my little space and painting to my hearts contents. For now, I’m happy with the little things!

Up until now, I was happily going about my life … doing my thing. Then my daughter asked for a dog. Not just any dog, a very specific dog with specific markings and traits. Seriously, she was VERY specific about what she desired in her dog. She even put her on a vision board, and constantly spoke of this dog. I played along because if you know Grace, you know that she talks A LOT and I’m not the kind of mom that will kill a dream. So I let her speak of her dog. Then … she named this dog! Oh yeah, she named it and then started saying, “Calliope IS coming, Mom! Calliope IS coming!”

If you know my Mini Cooper story, then you know what happens next … I’m thinking, uh huh, okay. But you know me, and Grace knows this … The Universe listens and she was FIRM in her conviction that Calliope was coming. I can tell you that what happened in the following weeks after she named her dog was short of miraculous. Chris looked high and low, even going as far as looking out of state. I’m thinking, “This is ridiculous, but if it’s meant to be, it WILL be.” And it happened and it happened quickly! No joke … she kind of just landed in our lives with very little effort.

Calliope The Frenchie is by all accounts Grace’s dog, and I’m just the GPupMa. But this little dog attached itself to me. She’s my buddy. She waits for me as I ride the Peloton and we stretch together afterwards. She greets me at the door when I get home from work in the morning. She happily lounges with me on lazy days (everyday). I did nothing to deserve her loving kindness towards me. I can’t even begin to tell you what happened to me except that I fell in love with a dog.

Oh the irony … up until now, I wasn’t a dog person. I’ve tried as we’ve had dogs in the past, but it never felt right no matter how hard I tried. I kind of gave up and didn’t think about it much. I believe that My Soul knew though. My Soul knew to keep the faith because it knew. And My Soul has never failed me.

I am full of gratitude for the love she has shown me. She has been nothing short of a bundle of joy covered in fur. I am forever changed because of this little dog. Who would’ve ever thought?