Posted by: Cathy | August 21, 2019

Make a date with your muse

Before the end of summer, schedule a fling with your muse.

Take a hike, a picnic, a quiet swim, a drive in the country, etc. Relax and daydream, then do some journaling to have a “conversation” your muse. Take turns asking and answering questions in your journal with some automatic writing.

Here are some sample topics:

  • What was your favorite part of our activity today?
  • Where would you like to go next?
  • What is inspiring you lately? (Music, tv, books, movies, colors, textures, etc.)
  • What kind of creative expression would feel really good right now?
  • What kind of self-care practice are you craving?
  • What would be a fun creative risk to try?
  • With whom could we share something creative soon?
  • What can we do with the last few weeks of summer energy?
  • Where will the autumn take us? What would we love to experience in autumn?

The more you engage with your muse any time of day, the more she will show up for you when it’s time to be creative. Just like a friendship or romantic relationship, you need to spend time together not just when you need or want something. Get to know each other and open a communication channel by making a date with your muse.

Where would your muse like to go?
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Posted by: Cathy | August 19, 2019

Honesty leads to Originality

When you’re looking to live a more authentic life or find your artistic style/voice, the secret is honesty.

When you’re being honest with yourself, you’re in touch with your real emotions and values, and better able to express them in constructive ways. Honesty helps you set healthy boundaries and filter what you want and don’t want in your life. It gives you a container to build an authentic and original life.

Within this container, you can slowly become more fearless. When you are comfortable expressing your real emotions and values, you become less worried about what other people think. Then, you can make art honestly and your authentic/original voice and style will emerge.

A tool to strengthen your honesty is journaling. Give yourself a safe space to explore your real emotions and values. Dig into what you think and feel, and practice expressing yourself. The more you practice being honest with yourself, the easier it will be for you to be original and authentic with others.
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Posted by: Cathy | August 14, 2019

Revisit Your Routines

With summer, your routines may have gone out the window. Mine sure have.

I invite you to take some time to rethink your routines as we approach autumn so you can reconnect to your healthy habits and pick up where you left off with your goals.

Think about any of your routines: morning, evening, meal-planning, chore schedules, work, health, etc. Look at each in turn and consider what you want more or less of to make your days feel more balanced and satisfying.

  • Have you stopped doing something you know is beneficial?
  • Is there something you want to tweak to make it more effective?
  • Do you want to try a new habit to strengthen a facet of your life?

What systems do you find especially effective for you? Let me know in the comments.

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Posted by: Cathy | August 12, 2019

Transform tension with intention

When you feel stress, you probably feel tension in your body; tight shoulders, a knot in your stomach, etc. You can transform tension with intention. You can release tension with your practices of intention.

Tension is potential energy; your shoulders get tight because you are physically bracing against something. The trick is to take mindful action to diffuse the potential energy.

Both “intention” and “tension” come from the Latin word for stretching (tensio). Intention is to stretch towards something, to apply your will or thoughts in a certain direction. By setting an intention, you give yourself direction for releasing the potential energy. You can do this with any constructive activity, like mindful breath, yoga, taking a walk, journaling, meditation, prayer, art-making, etc.

By combining an intention with action, you can transform your tension. What could you do right now to diffuse some tension?

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Posted by: Cathy | August 7, 2019

Know Your Boundaries

I recently experienced a test of my boundaries.
I’m not a thrill-seeker. My idea of fun is to explore a new city with nice museums and great food. But I went to two water-parks this summer and had very different experiences.

The first one I went to, I let my friend talk me into going on a water slide even though I had my doubts about it; it looked like there was an enclosed loop and I didn’t think I would enjoy it. Sure enough, the ride took us into pitch dark for a long moment and I got water up my nose because I couldn’t anticipate where it was coming from. I got off the ride coughing and displeased.

A few weeks later, I went to a different water-park. This time, I felt more confident setting my boundaries about which rides I would or would not go on. I tried something new at the first park and didn’t like it, and chose not to repeat the experience. At the second park, I found some rides without enclosed segments and had fun riding them.

Boundaries are simply a way to articulate what you do and don’t want to experience. By knowing your boundaries, you can plan ahead and tailor your experience to meet your expectations. By recognizing and honoring my water-slide boundaries, I had more fun at the second water park.

Take some time to think about your boundaries. What things are a hard “No” for you?
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Posted by: Cathy | August 5, 2019

Ask for Help

I recently had a funny lesson in asking for help.

I was at my boyfriend’s house and wanted to take some things upstairs in one go, including a glass of water. I was trying to pile my things in one arm so I could take the glass in my other hand and he was watching me, then laughed.

“I’m tired of you strong women who refuse to ask for help!” He said. (He’s close with his mother and sister.)

I blinked at him. He was standing right next to me with nothing in his hands, and he was also going upstairs with me. It didn’t even occur to me to ask him to help me carry my pile of stuff! So I laughed and asked him to help me.

As you’re planning how to do something, even something simple, don’t forget to look around and see if there is anyone who can help you. Someone could be standing right next to you with empty hands who would love to help. Who could you ask for help?
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Posted by: Cathy | July 31, 2019

Are you okay with your limitations?

Are you okay with your limitations or do you want to grow something into a strength?

“If there is a fear of falling, the only safety consists in deliberately jumping.”
Carl Jung

Our limitations are opportunities for growth. We don’t need to be strong in everything, but we can choose to stretch ourselves if we aren’t satisfied with one of our limitations.

For example, I never took calculus. I got to pre-calculus in high school and then I didn’t need to take a math class in college. However, I don’t feel like that is a limitation I need to overcome. I’m 41 years old and haven’t needed to use calculus so far, so I can probably keep going without it. I’m okay with that limitation.

However, I would like to become stronger at drawing faces. I struggle to draw recognizable faces, and this is a limitation that bothers me. Because of this, I spent the month of July practicing drawing faces to overcome this limitation. I still have room to grow, but I am taking steps to keep improving and stretch myself in this area.

What are some of your limitations? Which ones are you okay with, or which ones bother you? Which would you like to transform into a strength?
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Posted by: Cathy | July 29, 2019

Take a step beyond your comfort zone

“Bravery is the solution to regret.” Robin Sharma

This summer, try metaphorically swimming in the deep end of the pool. Take a step beyond your comfort zone, where your toes can’t reach the bottom. Try something new and challenging to stretch yourself.

We learn and grow by doing things we haven’t done before, going places we haven’t gone. Think of a goal or hobby where you feel comfortable and think of a challenge to try before the end of the summer to learn something new and grow your skills.

Summer is a great excuse to expand your horizons and step out of your comfort zone.
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Posted by: Cathy | July 24, 2019

Play/Rest Cycle

This summer you may be tempted to go out and play, but don’t forget to rest.

Play gets our blood pumping and our minds working, but rest allows us to recuperate and unwind.

Play flexes the imagination and rest allows your ideas to incubate and evolve.

Play can get us out into the world, socializing with others, and rest allows us to retreat inward with ourselves.

Play is active and rest is passive; yin and yang. Both are important and offer opposing benefits to give you greater satisfaction when they’re combined. Balance your playtime with rest and pay attention to your play/rest cycle this summer.
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Posted by: Cathy | July 22, 2019

Creativity Camp Challenge

It’s summer (in the northern hemisphere) and that means it’s time again for my Creativity Camp Challenge!

Summer is a time for fun, adventure, and exploring. Apply these qualities to your creative life for some extra spark and inspiration! Get wildly creative!

To help you do this, take my Creativity Camp Challenge with four different activities combining creativity and nature: Wriking (writing-hiking), Alfresco Color, Image Hunt, and Nature Collage. Get out in nature and do some art!

Download this free workbook here!

Tell me about your Creativity Camp Challenge adventure on my Facebook page!
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