Day 30, Courage, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Courage-soul-thirsty-latestToday I drew Lance Secretan's COURAGE SPIRIT@WORK® Card.

I wrote within today's first art journaling piece, “Thrashing about with untamed soul thirstiness until your whisper brings release.” It takes courage to listen and acknowledge when our soul is thirsty and the easily ignored whisper of Spirit tells us there is more.

It’s easy to remain seeing the world through our natural eyes and fall for the illusion that all the outer bling our ego craves is the ticket to what truly matters. When we are duped in this capacity our restless soul thrashes about until we respond to the message the spirit is whispering. That takes courage.

It takes courage to step away from the pack to still oneself and listen. It takes courage to discover our true worth based on Love’s acknowledgment that can only be seen through spiritual eyes. Sometimes it's life circumstance that enlists us on this journey and sometimes it's a combination of choice and appointment.

It’s not a popular journey to pull aside from the hustle to nurture the spirit within when we're riding full and hard to make our way, but for those willing to take the courageous path, its rewards are vivid and magnificent. I find as I share this journey I hear this familiar comment, “I feel like I just had a cool drink of much needed water.”  

The root of the word Courage is cor-the Latin word for heart. Courage takes heart.

Speak to me kindly

Is your soul parched and thirsty feeding on unquenchables? Are you craving a deeper sense of connection to spirit? Are you tired of the noise and clamor and you know your thirsty soul needs a refreshing drink of water?

When I started to respond to what I heard deep within I knew I had taken a big gulp of refreshment, as illustrated in today's second drawing. I knew the truth in the whisper that became like a kiss,

The one with the most toys, power, recognition, and ego-thrusts doesn’t win. In fact they end up empty and wed to an unstoppable, insatiable appetite. You were made for more, so don’t settle for the lesser superfluous things to forfeit the greater.”

I've heard this message strong and loud for sometime now and it is why I pulled aside several years ago to hear my heart and feed my spirit. I discovered that "illusion traps" had clouded my sight and I've been on a journey of restoring my spiritual senses ever sense. Some of the vivid water-drinking-clarity I’ve received has come in messages, images and regular sacred conversation.

I'll be continuing on in this exploration of listening and marrying art and writing. As my 30 Days of Creative Expression comes to a close, I will move out of the Higher Ground Leadership Practicum I've participated in this month and in a few days head to Brene′ Brown's, Daring Greatly Training for credentialed coaches and counselors. I am thrilled to be learning, growing, and adding this training around shame, vulnerability and wholehearted living to my tool belt. I know this will be a great fit and benefit to my clients, since much of the coaching work I do with women is around authenticity, identity and sacred living from the inside out. 

I hope you will continue to follow along for the ride and share in the journey as new things come to life. Who knows maybe you'll find a refreshing drink of water too. If you enjoyed this series you might move onto my book packed with more full color illustrations You can purchase Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius here![product id="2047" sku=""]

Is it time you mustered courage to listen and respond?

 

 

 

Day 28, Creativity, 30 Days of Creative Expression

 Day 28 CreativityI grew up with an artist mom who truly valued creativity, unlike other cultural mindsets that believe creative pursuits are a frivolous waste of time.

Art helped me process life’s difficulties using my creative ability to examine and explore. I often spent hours stringing beads, singing and writing songs, cutting metal to fabricate funky earrings, or painting and writing my free time away. I'm the only girl I know who took an electric drill to boarding school.

Gratefully my mom never told me to do something more useful, but instead nurtured my creative bent. In encouraging my creative play she was nurturing a problem solving ability too.

Art is a powerful vehicle that can help us bypass our linear mind and tap into the reservoirs of our intuitive, most creative selves. Art is not merely a product derived from a process, but a way of seeing things unique to the individual creator.Each of us has a unique way of seeing the world and a unique bent that if explored and expressed becomes a creative language. This is true whether in the art studio, or in the corporate office. Our innovation depends on being given to the process and the willingness to explore unknown territory.

Pablo Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Lance Secretan wrote to accompany the Creativity SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“More than anything creativity depends on love. Creativity flourishes in a loving environment because love enables the ego to renounce autonomy and, therefore, to inspire the soul.”

As I am getting close to the end of 30 Days of Creative Expression, I leave you today with apiece created through a layering process. As in life's own creative process there are many layers and dimensions. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 30 Days of Creative Expression as much as I have. It's interesting the things that can awaken in us when were not striving, but allowing space for creative play. We hear things we didn’t know our heart wanted to tell us. We perceive things that our natural sight couldn't see. Our willingness to discover new things opens up new sight.

How do you allow space in your life for creativity?

Day 27, Vision, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 27 VisionLance Secretan wrote concerning the Vision SPIRIT@WORK® Card that I drew today,

“Great leaders develop a vision so compelling that it becomes a magnet for passion-a cause. They do not develop cookie-cutter or connect-the-dots approaches to leadership. They combine visceral energy with a clear and focused vision, founded on strong spiritual beliefs and values. This combination radiates a light so bright that followers find it irresistible-it becomes a cause.”

I am a visionary. I’m a big picture thinker. It's not hard to recognize this when you see my lack of strength in the area of detail. I’m so wired in this capacity that sometimes I find it hard to direct all the vision I have. One key I've discovered to help in this matter is to understand that all vision is not created equal.Some vision trumps another. Wherever we set our sight we tend to be drawn in that direction. Wherever our heart is it’s said that’s where our treasure is also, but we need to examine if our vision is the worthiest of visions at any given time.

It’s easy to run here and there after many a vision, but there are seasons when a vision needs to develop, mature, grow in clarity and even prove its worthiness. Not many of us like the down times when we are forced to winter over so our roots grow strong and sure, but this process is necessary for our development as individuals and for the development of a vision.

I would rather allow this process to do its work in the vision and me than run off half-cocked into a venture that eventually shows the cracks of unpreparedness, instability and immaturity. During the time of preparation it could be said that it is important to hold the course, and “steady on” until new development, clarity and growth are established. After all if you're like me, you don’t want just any old vision.

I want a vision that is transformational not only through the process of development, but also through the season of unveiling and executing. Therefore, it is necessary to watch over a vision and nurture it in whatever stage it is in.

Walter Lanyon wrote in The Temple Not Made With Hands, "And , since you cannot perform this process yourself, are you're willing and ready to come under the deep secret laws of "letting" the gestation take place in the silence of your heart? Behind the eggshell which appears to be limitation, within the cramped cocoon which swings through the winter gale on the branch of a tree, a new birth is taking place."

How well do you allow the necessary process for a vision to develop?

Day 26, Justice, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 26 JusticeToday I drew the Justice SPIRIT@WORK® Card by Lance Secretan.

It’s hard to talk about justice without talking about injustice. The world has beautiful redemptive stories of justice laced throughout its fiber. There are hidden and not so hidden atrocities of injustice lining our history books.

Socrates said, “Nothing is to be preferred before justice.”

Many people do not realize the horrible injustice of human trafficking that is bigger today than any other time in history. My soul aches for justice for all of the lives scared and ruined by this horrific reality. My soul aches for justice where there has been injustice. My heart aches for justice where evil prevails; however, instead of consistently pointing the finger toward others is it not best to face the evil within our own hearts?

Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorders in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed-but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”

How do you allow justice to begin within yourself?

Day 25, Love, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 25 LoveToday I drew the Love SPIRIT@WORK® Card! It’s hard to beat this topic.

Lance Secretan wrote, “Here’s the truth: inspiration to greatness comes from love, not from fear, competition or war.”

In my opinion, love is the reason we are here and the driving force in and through the universe. Human love is a small inkling and shadow of the Divine love that delights to uphold the fabric of time.

Love is a mystical entity that no words can do justice. However, in simple terms, love is the letter in the mailbox from a friend that arrives just when you need it. Love is the preference shown to the lady in the grocery line with one item, while you have 50.

Love is the sacrifice of the last piece of chocolate cake when you could have eaten the whole thing. Love is the food given to a hungry stranger that you may never see again.  Love is the hand holding offered a friend when she receives a diagnosis and everyday of her fight. Love is what propels individuals in the work to eradicate slavery when it never reaches their own front door.

Love is the kindness shown to those who show no kindness to you. Love is a gift that the moment you experience it, you stop in your tracks to let it sink deeply within. Love is selflessness and although humanly imperfect, is Divinely magnificent. Love never fails and never ends, so the list never stops.

How does love uphold you and your world?

Day 24, Humility, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 23 Humility 1Lance Secretan wrote concerning the Humility SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“Humility is a sense of proportion and reverence for all of life-not just one’s own. Humility is an expression of our awareness of others and of our respect and love for them.”

When I think of humility I quickly think of my grandfather. There has not been a visit home when someone in town hasn’t stopped me to comment on the revered qualities, such as humility, that my late granddad possessed.

Over the years I never heard him talk about himself, because he was always focused on the betterment of his family, community, state and country at large. I've met few people in my lifetime with that kind of demeanor.

Humility is not only an awareness and respect for others, as to hold others in high regard, but while holding others in high regard, should we not also hold the One who made each of us in high regard?We all know when we are in the presence of someone with true humility for they seek nothing to elevate themselves, but are only concerned with the welfare of others. Yet, true humility is not the same as co-dependent servitude intended to gain attention. Humility is self-less.

Although humility can’t be legislated, it can be nurtured through a grateful heart. We can choose daily to recognize all that we have to be grateful for and in so doing foster a humble and contrite spirit.

How have you been blessed by another's humility?

Day 23, Joy, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 24 JoyToday I drew Lance Secretan’s Joy SPIRIT@WORK® CARD, again.

Mary Poppins told us that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” and in the same way joy is the spice that seasons life.  

My art journaling piece says, "Everyone dreams of flying, but only those joyfully given to the flight ever do."

Joy isn’t merely arrived at by joyful circumstances, but rather by the way  we view the world. Some people view the world as a party and turn ever circumstance into an opportunity overflowing with joy. I am drawn to those types like a moth to a fire, because their joyful wind always fuels my flame.

It’s not always easy to feel joyful when life’s got you down, but we can never forget that joy comes from the inside out and not the other way around. A grateful heart is a joyful heart. There is always something to be grateful for; therefore, we need not look far for joy to erupt within our being.

How do you nurture joy in your heart and life?

Day 22, Grace, 30 Days of Creative Expression

GraceLance Secretan wrote about the Grace SPIRIT@WORK® Card,

“Grace is contagious. We love people with grace and are drawn to their company. A little white-haired, elderly lady once approached Mark Twain after an evening lecture to tell him how much she had enjoyed his talk. “I want to thank you personally,” she explained, “because you said you loved old ladies.” Mark Twain smiled at her and then replied, 'I do love old ladies and I also like them your age." The grace of Mark Twain endeared him to millions."

When I think of Grace I think of the many times I’ve offended someone and was met with a sincere serving of Grace that over looked my shortsightedness and transgression. Not because I deserved it, but because of the true benevolence of the giver. The hands stretched wide-open in the image above depict the sense of grace-spaciousness to me.

Grace is like a cool glass of ice tea on a hot summer day. It soothes away the strain of trying to measure up when we really never will. Grace is the cup of sweetness we can offer one another by putting our ‘front and center’ concerns away for the moment to extend a bit of generosity. The thing about grace is: the more you’ve received it the more you want to give it.

How are you at exercising grace?

If you're not sure what's going on in my 30 Days of Creative Expression Challenge you can visit Day one of the series. If you like what you see and want more colorful fun, inspiration and encouragement order my book, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius here![product id="2047" sku=""]

 

Day 21, Faith, 30 Days of Creative Expression

StairsLance Secretan wrote about the Faith SPIRIT@WORK® Card that I drew today,

“Faith is the capacity to achieve and enjoy a sense of inner peace based on a connection with the Divine that transcends the universe. Faith is one way to reconnect business with the soul, because it helps us to become more conscious to become one with the universe.”

I’ve noticed that most of us try to do life on our own. We embrace the illusion that we are fully capable of controlling life in our own strength that is until we hit upon a life gift that helps us realize this myth.

My own personal gift came through an out of control eating disorder that I couldn’t manage no matter how many O.A meetings I attended or shrink appointments I made. When it all came crashing down I was attending three O.A meetings a day, and three shrink appointments a week. 

It wasn’t hard for me to recognize that I was out of control and that I needed supernatural help! Faith is what led me to a mysterious healing in my twenties from eating loaves of bread, boxes of cereal, and sticks of butter until I passed out.

Faith is the swinging trapeze that connects me to supernatural and divine power that lifts me up to make the big leaps and flips life serves up. Faith connects me to the bigger scheme of things when like a dog on a bone; I refuse to let go of a momentary and fleeting enticement. The sad truth is, sometimes I still think, “I’ve got this” until I realize I don’t! Faith is a two-way relationship and when I truly realize whose running the show I do myself a huge favor and get in step by offering up my trust in exchange for supernatural endowment.

Faith: I don’t leave home without it!  How do you practice the principle of Faith in your own life?

 

 

Day 20, Communication, 30 Days of Creative Expression

communicationToday’s SPIRIT@WORK® Card is: Communication.

Lance Secretan wrote about the Communication card,

“Those who inspire communicate with each other authentically, truthfully, and deeply, and in a way that serves a higher purpose because if we limit our dialogue to the secular and the material, our relationships will be brittle and barren.”

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can’t handle a lot of discussion around the weather, or other drone, meaningless chatter that fills up space. I am comfortable going deep rather quickly. I enjoy the ins and outs of heart related topics that help me connect and understand others. This is probably because Communication is one of my top five strengths through Strength Finders.

Communication is a natural desire. I believe we all want to be known and heard at the deepest level. Communication is the sort of gift that when we show up, are present and give of ourselves all parties benefit. I’ve spent enough of my life dumbing down and remaining quiet not to offend others who would prefer not to communicate. Communication is important to me and that is why it comes out in so many expressions, whether through art, writing, coaching or teaching, I simply must communicate.

If we truly want to connect we have to be willing to communicate, authentically share ourselves and ask questions, because questions are a vital part of dialogue and communication. Communication is more than a one sided monologue. We need each other for real communication.

So join in the dialog with me: How important is communication to you?

Day 15, Silence, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Day 15My SPIRIT@WORK® Card today is: Silence. Silence like water is something our souls crave and need to stay refreshed. It’s easy to overlook this needed balm, as it is to overlook regular intake of water, but in a short time we will quickly feel the effects of their absence.

When I forget my regular water intake, I not only feel parched and tired, but suddenly I find dry patches of skin on my body, tale-tale signs of dehydration. The same is true when I invite busyness inside my doors, chasing after madness, I soon feel whiney, overwhelmed, confused and in need of a nap the size of a winter’s hibernation.  

Don’t get me wrong, I am social and love interaction with people, but I also need, the soothing breeze of silence in the midst of hot-summertime noise to revive my senses and rejuvenate my soul.

If we really listened deep within ourselves I imagine we would hear our thirsty soul’s voracious howling for silence and stillness.

How well do you accommodate your thirst for silence?

Day 14, Soulspace, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Goat 1Today I drew the Soulspace SPIRIT@WORK® Card by Lance Secretan. Immediately it made me think of the theme song from Green Acres, an American sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor broadcast on CBS in the early 70’s. The show told the story of a unique couple who move from New York City to a rural country farm, contrasting the husbands down home nature with his wife’s taste for finer things.

Here are the words to the theme song by Vic Mizzy,

"Green acres is the place for me.

Farm living is the life for me.

Land spreading out so far and wide.

Keep Manhattan, just give the countryside.

New York is where I'd rather stay.

I get allergic smelling hay.

I just adore a penthouse view.

Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue."

We each have a soul-space that feeds our inner well.  For some people it’s the outdoors that lavishes nurturing and inspiration like a bubbling brook. For others it’s a beautiful room with sentimental reminders of love's colors, faces and fragrances.

Being rather eclectic, I have a plethora of environments that inspire me, whether dipping my toes in the blue ocean and breathing in the sea air, curling up on a comfy corner of the sofa to read by the fire, sitting under a vine covered arbor at my favorite Greek Restaurant, laughing with friends or family over a dinner party, or exposing myself to live entertainment or exhibits. It is necessary that I honor my unique soul-spaces to stay refreshed and inspired. The greatest soul-space of all is not the luxuries of the outer world, but the sacred space within that restores and refreshes from the inside out. This soul-space is best nurtured through quiet God focus and contemplation.

What is your most treasured soul-space?

DAY 11-Hope, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Hopeful

Today's SPIRIT@WORK ® Card is: HOPE. Langston Hughes wrote, 

“Hold fast to dreams
 for if dreams die
 life is a broken-winged bird
 that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams 
for when dreams go 
life is a barren field
 frozen with snow.”

Without HOPE we fail to dream and without dreams we fail to have inspiration. Where HOPE is lost darkness ensues.

I have known plenty of dark seasons in my life, as I am sure you have too. Without HOPE I would never have seen the daylight after the death of my first husband. Without HOPE I would not have moved forward to mother my four children and experience the sunshine of HOPE rise in my heart.

I believe HOPE is accompanied by faith and faith is accompanied by trust. Because I am convinced that there is a Supreme Being that loves me, I have faith in that love. That faith allows me to trust and HOPE that the sun will rise on whatever my circumstances may be presently. When I am struggling to maintain HOPE, I recall the many love wonders that have transpired in my life and I can't help but feel a shift in my countenance.

HOPE is a value we must nurture.

Lance Secretan wrote concerning the HOPE SPIRIT@WORK ® Card,

“We all have two kinds of energy: our light and shadow. Though the shadow often appears as darkness, it is always within our power to shine the brilliance of our light there. Indeed we must always do so, because even the deepest darkness will give way to light. By shining our light, we can find our way and thereby inspire others. In this way, we provide hope.”

How do you nurture your HOPE?

For further support for a hope upgrade, order my book, Untamed Heart Releasing Your Creative Genius![product id="2047" sku=""]

Day 9-Beauty, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Beauty

Lance Secretan wrote about the BEAUTY SPIRIT@WORK ® Card, “ If we fail to see the beauty in each other, we fail to honor each other, and where there is no honor, there can be no inspiration.”

Today my thirty-day challenge: 30 Days of Creative Expression is about BEAUTY.

We’ve all heard the saying, “BEAUTY is in the eye of the beholder.” However, BEAUTY is not merely an outer reality dependent upon our various tastes and perceptions, but BEAUTY is also a state-of-being.

Have you ever noticed that one day you feel quite beautiful and the next despicable, because you’re having a bad hair day? Has anything really change from one day to the next?

What if BEAUTY was truly a state-of-being? What if you’re BEAUTY wasn’t dependent on what you felt depicted in your mirror on a certain day, but on an unchanging validation that you received by the mere fact that you exist?

If you were to truly own that love-validation how might that change your beauty-perception of yourself and others?