Taking ” The Artist’s Way ” Out


“Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can.” 
                                                   ~  Julia Cameron 

A few weeks ago I pulled out the book The Artist’s Way – A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.  I know many of you are familiar with this book, and may have even completed the 12 week program.  10 years ago, I received the book as a gift from my friend Mireille. I remember she asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and at the time I read such good reviews about this book that I mentioned it.  Looking at the notes I jotted down in pencil on the sides of the pages,  I am sure I got through most of the program.  Yet, as I often did in those days (quit)  there is no proof that I ever finished it.

Just recently, in a Facebook group I am in, my friend Leslee stated that she too had pulled The Artist’s Way out and felt the urge to do the weekly work, as she tried many times, but to no avail!  So as we both embark on this creative journey together, I have decided to dedicate Tuesdays to write about my experiences and sometimes share some creative writing etc..

Part of this creative process is to help “stop the fear” which blocks creativity by doing weekly tasks, writing morning pages: or as  I call it, “emptying my head of junk”, and weekly artist dates.  The artist dates can consist of seeing a play, spending time at the beach with markers and sketchpad, writing in a park, visiting a museum, but with  no kids, no friends, just me and me alone.

What immediately struck me this week is the amount of synchronicity I am experiencing as soon as I decided to start this adventure with Leslee and Julia C, for example, this week,  Jennifer Shelton, over at FemCentral is talking about muses.  In the  introduction Julia describes her muse:

“I learned to turn my creativity over to the only God I believe in, the God of creativity, the life force Dylan Thomas called “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower”.  I learned to get out of the way and let that creative force work through me.  I learned to just show up at the page and write down what I heard.  Writing became more like eavesdropping and less like inventing a nuclear bomb.  I wasn’t so tricky, and it didn’t blow up on me anymore…”

My creative photography/art

This past year, I’ve been called to create more than ever. I am writing more, drawing more and have taken up amateur photography, specializing in close up work. All this, I’ve discovered, has allowed me to spread my wings, and feel more “me” for a lack of a better word.  I feel extremely free when I create, it expands my world, and I no longer feel trapped in this place where I felt I needed to conform, despite my long-term relationship with non conformity.

So, I hope you will join me every Tuesday, as I “log into” the creative child in me, and prove to myself once and for all:

  • Creativity is the natural order of life.  Life is energy:  pure creative energy.
  • There is an underlying, indwelling creative force infusing all of life – including ourselves.
  • We are ourselves, creations.  And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.
  • As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
  • Our creative dreams and yearning come from a divine source.  As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Basic Principles, The Artist Way p. 3

One of the tasks this week is:

“If you had five other imaginary lives to lead, what would you do in each of them?”   I chose:

  • Nature photographer for National Geographic

  • Children’s book writer and illustrator

  • Belly Dancer

  • Spiritual counselor

  • “Penelope” from Criminal Minds, I would be like a super computer geek finding criminals!

Now I have to pick one and do something this week in relation to it.  I haven’t picked one yet, but I’ll let you know next week what I did!

So my friends, 10 years later, I am about to embark on a journey (which I think I have already began) which I feel, will allow me to express more who I am through writing, drawing and photography.

Are you with me?

I am.. if anyone else wants to join in our trip through The Artist Way land, feel free to let me know, and we can exchange our progress every Sunday.

I have a big announcement to make next week, and there are giveaways involved!  So stay tuned.

Love and Light

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Being Taught by The Students: A Lesson in Democracy


I think Mr Bishop explains this movement better than I would if I had to put it in my own words.

thebishopsviews

Last night in front of the National Assembly hundreds of citizens arrived to protest the raising of tuition fees and the application of the draconian law known as Bill 78. I found the experience paradoxical. Behind us was the beautiful and impressive building that houses the Assembly. It stands on a hill overlooking the Old City. It should be the place from which laws promoting peace and good government emanate. In front of me hundreds of students, teachers, seniors, families, and visitors were gathered. They came in great numbers to register their disapointment and anger at an obdurate government which took far to long to open communication, and when that led to militant action, proclaimed a law that under-cuts the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It must be noted that over the weeks of marching during which there was no Bill 78 the students and their supporters marched peaceably. As…

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Finding Creativity in Nature’s Details


I learned that the real creator was my inner Self, the Shakti. …. That desire to do something is God inside talking through us”  ~Michele Shea

This morning as I sat looking at the blank screen, I asked my Goddesses above to inspire me to write something, ANYTHING.   The word which keeps popping in my head is creativity, and I thought out loud:

“Creativity! You want me to write about creativity?”

So, now, I must get creative… let the magical brain waves flow..

…and then I got to thinking of the walks I’ve been having with my mom this week, this led me to think about Spring!

It is true, those who know me, know I LOVE winter. Winter allows me to cocoon, to seek comfort, to find joy in the little things, however, it is the season of spring which inspires me most. Nature’s awakening never ceases to amaze me.  There is something quite creative about spring which makes me feel alive and empowered. Plus, this year, I am paying extra attention to this magical season by documenting the buds and birthing of the leaves, flowers and blossoms, by capturing the awakening on digital film.

(You can get access to my FB photos here, here and here. I hope the links work, let me know if they don’t)

Yet, spring, is not in all you see… it is about what you hear (the bird’s laughter), what you sense (like a cool breeze) and what you smell (those lilacs rock the aroma world!).  It is really paying attention to what is going on around you because it is moving at a very quick rate.  God (or whatever spirit you believe in) has put together this dance during spring, where birds, bees, buds, flowers and trees gently Waltz together to create this marvelous scene which captures my senses and brings out the need to create in myself.

For the past few days, every morning and every evening, I inhale the sweet smell of blossoms and lilacs, this event (and yes it is an event) lasts merely two weeks, but how wonderful to walk each dusky evening and breathe in the aroma God has created  which admittedly,  I wish I could put in a bottle for future use.  To me, this is creativity ..natural unfolding creativity…

Imagine if earth had its own form of “writer’s block”?  or decided it wasn’t producing sunsets for 6 months because it was depressed?  The world would be in shambles!!!

I just pulled out The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, looking for her take on creativity.. She writes:

“Creativity is God energy flowing through us, shaped by us, like light flowing through a crystal prism. When we are clear about who we are and what we are doing, the energy flows freely and we experience no strain.  When we resist what that energy might show us or where it might take us, we often experience a shaky, out-of-control feeling.  We want to shut down the flow and regain our sense of control.  We slam on the psychic brakes”

So imagine all the years spent stifling my creativity.. I was numb, restless and so hard to live with.  It was the death of me, inside, thus my depression roared even louder.

As I allow my creativity to flow, to be unleashed by the spring of life, I find myself feeling so alive, really, like a flower blossoming under May’s purple sky.  What surprised me during this process is how easy everything I need to create is already available. Camera, markers, magazines to cut, journals, blog, pens, paper and string.. ribbons, paint and buttons.. It is all THERE!  This is why spring amuses me so, it does not  need money or coaching to become or to grow..  Spring happens, it just is.  Spring.. is my muse.

How magical is that?

Julia writes:

“One reason we are miserly with our selves is scarcity thinking.  We don’t want our luck to run out.  We don’t want to overspend by anthropomorphizing God into a capricious parent figure.  Remembering that God is our source, and energy flow that likes to extend itself, we become more able to tap our creative power effectively.”

So the next time creativity urges you.  Next time you feel restless and insecure, or do not know which outlet to use.. Take a walk, in Spring, Summer, Fall or even Winter, and look at the details the Universe has created for you to take inspiration from.

“Look and you will find it — what is unsought will go undetected.” ~ Sophocles

As I walk to the water this evening with my mother, I will pray for all of us to find inspiration this Spring, and reclaim who we are meant to be..

AND lets figure out how to bottle the Lilac/Blossom scent!  I think we could make millions!

Slip Sliding Away


“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes, in the course of healing, something happens to bring you off course. The picture of a person walking down the street on a gorgeous winter day comes to mind.  They walk content, breathing in the fresh air, the beauty of the snow on the trees is breathtaking, children are busy building snowmen, and if you look towards the horizon, the sun is gently setting giving the snow a yellow hue… then suddenly, while lost in thought, they lose their footing and frantically start slipping on the ice which was hiding underneath the freshly fallen snow.. I see this person frantically trying to keep their balance in order not to fall on the hard surface below, and with one swoop of an arm, and good reflexes, they stand upright, shaken but not stirred.

This is how I feel right now.. shaken:  Time to “ground” myself focus on the NOW.

My first instinct is to find my ground, to take out my toolbox, and to remind myself that “this too shall pass”.  However, when I see the veil right in front of me, trying to fix itself over the chestnut brown of my eyes, I am afraid.  I try to fight these feelings, yet as I fight, they get stronger, yet, I fear if I let the veil envelop me, I will fall, slip and find darkness again.

Then the blaming starts!

“Oh Kim, you must have done something wrong on your path for you to feel depressed again” Shouts my mind!

“See, you procrastinated, and now look what happens, you fail”  My Fox News ego speaks (an unreliable source I may add) .

“Who will love you when you are not broken”   My tape plays….

I thought I threw them out!

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

It is wise to say, when going through depression, or any life challenge,  there will be times when the scenery will not always be pleasant, and one may lose their footing. The tendency to want to “beat” ourselves up is strong.. well at least in my case.  I found myself this week, ruminating, obsessing, worrying, and just focusing on the things I haven’t accomplished, or procrastinated on instead of looking at the things I have done.  I mean, I have not let everything go when I am in these moods.  I still cook, clean, support and love my children, pay bills, write, decorate, encourage my friends, talk to my mom, walk, laugh, sing, and relax with a good book.

Switching my focus, helped me switch on the light, when I started to feel the veil of darkness come over me.

BUT!! Who will catch me when I fall?

This is the most challenging part.  I have always been in co-dependant relationships and friendships.  My self-esteem was so low at one point that I never thought that alone, I could do things for myself.  There were also many co-dependants with me on my ride, so I had to cut off many from my life, some out of love, some out of necessity.  So when you are at the stage when it is time to create new friendships, but the trust is not there yet.  What to do?

This is my worst fear, I had a little scare a couple of weeks ago (an old health problem) and thought I may have to go to the emergency.  I called my daughter home from school just in case, so she could be here when my son got home.  I never ended up needing to go, things healed, however, this brought up a new fear. Who would be here if something happened?  Who would watch the children?  Who would feed them and send them to school?  Their father is not in the picture much, my mom lives in Ottawa?  My best friend already has 4 kids?

What if ? What if ?  What if?

Negative what if’s can be deadly… UNLESS, you change them.  Yes, it is good to plan for things that may arise, however, if I changed my what if’s to .. What if things work out?  What if my children take great care on their own?  What if I get a surprise visit from my mom? What if I stay healthy? What if… You get the picture.   This would be admitting that I trusted the Universe to take care of things as they arise, and that I have the right to continue my journey without worry, as long as I continue to take care of myself, and my children.

Wouldn’t it be nice… to completely surrender?

There are things I need, friendships, hugs, kisses, comfort, companionship, sharing, and activities that make me feel good.  I need to pray, to drink lots of water, to pray, and to surrender.. did I say pray?   Yet, it would be nice to just be able to ride this life without worries about money, health, relationships, and love.  Yet, I know there will be a day when I do not “slip” into these bad habits anymore, or if I do, they will be in passing.  I am a spirit in a human body after all!  The mind is strong, and loves to keep me on my toes, however, what I know for sure, is that I want to buy myself some cleats to protect me from falling, yet we cannot predict a fall, and cleats are uncomfortable.  That would feel like wearing helmet on my head every day just in case?  Not wise, plus it would hide my purple streaks!  I can’t do that!

Uncertainty:   I must accept you!

There are actions I can take to help me feel more secure, this would mean, getting regular check ups, finding a “go to” person in case of emergency, continuing my therapy, and making sure I do not put things off for too long, such as, doing my taxes (which I have been).  Most importantly, when I start to slip, I may call out to you so I can hang on for a little while.. not to depend on you, but to feel your support until the ice melts, and the veil lifts.  I promise I will do the same in return.

Is that ok?

What do you do when you feel like you are slipping?  Who are your “go to” people?

In Support Of Quebec Student Protests


I feel strongly in support the Quebec student protests and agree “The issue is bigger than tuition fees. It is a question of re-establishing democracy. There is no democracy. We are closer to totalitarianism. Decisions are made without listening to the people.” !

The Gymnast … Me?


“To love is to recognize yourself in another.” 
― Eckhart Tolle

Last night I dreamed I was a gymnast. Performing at the Olympics for the world to see.  I remember balancing on the beam and swinging on the poles.  I felt alive, flexible, and young.. oh so young!

This week, I was focusing on definitions, and how we tend to let others define who we are, or how we live by the stories we tell ourselves.  I shared this quote on my Facebook Page:

“Give up defining yourself — to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”

– Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth

According to the LIKES and stats, this quote affected many of you. Like I was saying in my last post, I will NOT let anyone define who I am anymore. No no! However, the thought of how I define myself came to mind.  Because, being me is just that, being me.  No definitions really..  However, if I had to give myself one definition, it would be multidimensional, or Rainbow-Sheep!  This is what I am. I am not one thing, not just a mom, not just a daughter, woman or friend.  Not just a writer, interpreter or poet.  Not just a human, or a spirit, but really a spirit in a human body.

When asked the question to my followers they came up with:

An enigma (I’m still trying to figure me out), lighthearted, evolving and fun, plus playful and wise!  Those are honest answers, thus ring true.  However, I think we are all multidimensional don’t you think?  We have all those qualities in ourselves:  lightheartedness, playfulness.. etc.. and even being an enigma is good!  Just to begin to know yourself, on all sides, is seed of spiritual growth.

So when the dream of gymnast came up!  I thought wow.. How flexible is that?  If you look to define: gymnast or gymnastics, look at the wonderful adjectives:

gym·nas·tics http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (jm-nstks) n.

1.

a. (used with a pl. verb) Physical exercises designed to develop and display strength, balance, and agility, especially those performed on or with specialized apparatus.
b. (used with a sing. verb) The art or practice of such exercises.
2. (used with a pl. verb)

a. Complex intellectual or artistic exercises: mental gymnastics.
b. Informal Feats of physical agility: had to go through gymnastics to cross the slippery walk.

Strength, balance, agility!  I would also add flexibility!

http://psychedelicadventure.blogspot.caSo my dream of being a gymnast, is in concordance with my multidimensional personality. Fits quite well I may add!

I wanted to share this with you today, as I thought it could help you look at your own dreams. What theme comes up most often? Who are you in your dreams?  What characters or professions come up when dreaming of other people.

Because, don’t forget, when we dream of other people, we are usually dreaming of ourselves, meaning that the person represents an aspect of yourself (or aspects) as we all are mirrors of ourselves, the good and the bad.

Love and light,

Share your thoughts with me in the comment section. What is your definition of self?

How Does an Elephant Get Down from a Tree?


I chose the title because it reminds me of a time  of my childhood.  My cousin told me this joke up in the cottage attic, and I thought my aunt would scream “one more time GET TO SLEEP!”. That night, I just couldn’t stop laughing!  I will reveal, if you do not know, the punch line at the bottom.

Today’s post came out of the blue, and all of a sudden, elephants started appearing in my mind, sending me on a tangent of research. So here goes one of my most cryptic posts.  I hope you enjoy.

I have thoughts rummaging through my mind these days. I’ve started to get lost in my musings again and I feel so much coming up from deep inside.  Fear is one of them.

Tears get shed, as I clear away some remaining pain… can you feel that?  Can you hear the cries that ring in your ears?  I can…

Fact no. 1

Elephant trunks can get very heavy. It is not uncommon to see elephants resting them over a tusk!

Things anger me.. I go off on a rant, I feel better, then, hours later I cry! I lay down my trunk.

Um… mountain?  GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!

Fact no. 2

Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh!

I feel like an elephant, strong, feisty and ready to charge when faced with a challenge. I am here for myself, for my children, ready to protect them in a single bound!  I am fierce, and I am loyal, and loving.  Just like the elephant, I play, I cry, I laugh.

Step 1, step 2, step 3! 

1.   I notice, since writing down my feelings (almost a play by-play) for a class I am taking, that I am able to feel and deal with whatever comes up almost immediately.  2. After days and days of clearing away, bigger more POWERFUL feelings emerge. 3. I am able to pull out the cleaning products, put on rubber gloves, and pull all that gunk OUT!   

Cry baby cry, mama’s here, I’ll comfort you.

Fact no. 3

Elephants are sensitive fellow animals where if a baby complains, the entire family will rumble and go over to touch and caress it.

As the tears come, and my body shakes, I hold my own hand.. I want to reach out, and tell everyone my sorrows.. but NO, these sorrows are mine, and do not always need to be shared.  I can do it.

I CAN DO IT! I am EFFING’ terrified, but I will dance with fear!

I can mother myself!  I can coddle myself!  I can run to myself!

Gone is the old Kim, she would be telling you right now what is wrong in her life.. .all detailed and oh yes. she IS  a victim. She would wait on you hand and foot for validation, for approval, for your love! I have my tools, and I WILL use them.

Fact no. 4

Elephants don’t drink with their trunks, but use them as “tools” to drink with. This is accomplished by filling the trunk with water and then using it as a hose to pour it into the elephant’s mouth.

I will not allow ANYONE to define who I AM! I forbid it!

NO! I am who I am, a crazy mama, purple haired and emotional.  I cry a lot, and I love to sing.  I can be somewhat lazy, but that’s not who I am!  I am what is.. and that’s it!  I am you and really you  are me!

Do you see the reflection?

NO!  You will not deter me from my path.  I am guided by spirit.  I am here to ask questions, I am here to learn. I am determined to fulfill my purpose.

I AM elephant, hear me roar!

I am here for you, and I am here for myself, taking a blanket and wrapping us together.

Fact no. 5

Elephants have greeting ceremonies when a friend that has been away for some time returns to the group.

As I greet myself to this present moment, I greet you right here and now and honor you as I honor myself.

Note:  All elephant facts are quoted from elephant.elehost.com

Punchline:  … it waits until the Fall, and floats down on a leaf!  HA!