Over the last few posts, I’ve been writing about and unpacking the idea of inspiration…what it is, how we can cultivate it, etc. This week, I wanted to share an article about how we can live lives that are an inspiration to others. We’ve all had someone who has been an inspiration to us. Someone who has spurred us to grow, create, take a risk, or just to keep going in life. For the rest of the month, I’m going to be talking about how we can be inspired and then be an inspiration to and for others. And don't forget to sign up for the upcoming Creāre Workshop on Inspiration, Saturday, April 6th! Enjoy your week!
So in my last blog post, I talked about how inspiration (the word) is also about breathing... taking in the very air we breathe. If we use that as a metaphor for living an inspired life, we have to think about breathing. If we’re running a sprint (something I never do) our breathing adjusts to quick, rapid, often shallow breaths. Our fast paced culture often presses us to live at this same sprinter’s pace, racing from work to home, filling up our calendars, and overwhelming our hearts and minds. When we live in this stretched, overscheduled way, we fail to breathe in the long, deep inhales that we so desperately need. And so it is with creative inspiration too. Like others I hear so often, I too have fallen captive to the belief that, “I don’t have time to be creative, or take that class, or do that activity that I’ve been wanting to, the one that I know will bring me joy, and life, and true inspiration.” Yet, despite our better intuitive judgment, our frenetic pace keeps us pounding the payment, mile after mile, day after day. The fact is, to breathe deeply we have to slow down.
Silence, solitude, and stillness, are the dynamic trio that can radically change our lives, but at the same time are so very hard to practice. These elements are not only counter-cultural, but in someways counter-human. I heard once, that typically one of these three is a primary growth area for us, but sometimes it’s all three. Even though over the past several years, I have been working on making a conscious practice of silence, solitude and stillness, it always requires intentionality and focused awareness. As an introvert, and one who rejuvenates through my alone time, silence and solitude aren’t extremely challenging for me. Taking a walk with my dog, spending time in nature, reading a book, diving into some creative endeavor, are all wonderful times in solitude and silence that refresh me, body, mind and soul. Stillness, on the other hand, is my growth area. I come from a long line of over productive, women who can work from dawn to well past sun down. Sitting down to rest, or ceasing the constant onslaught of work is almost unheard of. However, I’ve learned to recognize when I’ve moved away from my center of groundedness and health, when I am feeling more like a human doing than a human being. When my to-do list soars, and I feel the drive to accomplish and check off boxes, I recognize that I need to revisit my stillness practices. These include time in nature, quieting my mind with meditative prayer, and returning to my core identity and values.
I truly believe that all three, silence, solitude, and stillness are the pathways for slowing down that we need to breath deeply, to inspire. Then through drawing, we will be filled with inspiration, the life force that we need to live wholehearted, inspired lives, ones that transform us, our relationships, and our world.
In my next post, I’ll be writing more about what it means to creatively inspire, and how we can feed our body, souls, and minds with the inspiration which is all around us.
If you’re inspired to live more fully come check out my upcoming Creāre Workshops. Living Into Your Creative Potential, April 6th is all about finding your inspired pathways and how they can fuel your wholehearted life revolution! Finding Freedom and Authenticity, May 18th is a creative way to kick start moving past obstacles that are hindering your freedom in life. To learn more about Creāre, click on the link below.
All this March, I’m going to be writing about inspiration. I want to lean into this word and learn more, and to allow it to form how we’re thinking, being, and acting. So return this month to read more, and hopefully be inspired!
As an artist, I’ve often heard or used phrases myself such as, “I was inspired by... or this person or situation was an inspiration for me to in turn do/make something else.” My thinking about inspiration was limited to something that spontaneously found it’s way to me, something that I may not have been even aware. The other way I saw inspiration was as a launching off place that in turn triggered something else, whether it was a thought, idea, created image or object. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started thinking about inspiration from a widened lens and a more intentional perspective. My thinking about it changed and I started looking at inspiration as necessary fuel for my whole life, not just my creative output.
One thing that I enjoy learning from is word definitions. So, when I was wanting to know more about inspiration, I turned to the dictionary. Interestingly enough, when I read the full definition of inspiration it finally made sense to me as why it is so critical in our lives. Here’s what it said:
in·spi·ra·tion [ˌinspəˈrāSH(ə)n] NOUN
the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
* the quality of being inspired, especially when evident in something.
* a person or thing that inspires.
2. the drawing in of breath; inhalation.
The first definition was the one that had always resonated with me for the word inspiration. It was that second one which took me by complete surprise - inspiration is inhaling or breathing. Wow! Now it made sense to me why I was beginning to see why inspiration was so important, because it is imperative for living. To be inspired isn’t something we can afford to be occasionally, once in awhile, or when we have the time. We need inspiration, just like breathing, to live.
This little lesser known definition at the end of the list, has been a game changer for me. It’s meant changing my priorities to not wait for inspiration to find me, but rather to intentionally pursue avenues of inspirations actively and regularly. What inspires me and you may be vastly different, but whatever it is, we must decide that it is important and valuable, and recognize that our lives will either flourish with it or languish without it.
So now that we know that inspiration is imperative for healthy, vital living, what’s next?? Tune in for the rest of March. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more about inspiration-what can get in the way, how we can intentionally pursue it, and how that can lead to a life that’s abundant, creative, and an inspiration to others!
One way to lean more into inspiration is to attend my upcoming Creāre Workshop on inspiration! Living Into Your Creative Potential, April 6th is all about finding your inspired pathways and how they can fuel your wholehearted life revolution! To Learn more about Creāre, click on the tab be
After many months, and frankly even a few years of incubation, I am thrilled to be finally launching my Creāre Workshops. We live in an information driven culture, and most of us have reached our saturation point. The Creāre experiences are geared for everyone and anyone who desire to move away from the onslaught of information, and into a more embodied life experience, that flows from their authentic core self. They are designed to allow for play, intention, reflection, and ultimately growth. Click on the Creāre Workshops tab above to learn more and to sign up!
For years now, I’ve “collected” quotes, along with pebbles from the beach, and shades of yellow vintage bowls. I like to surround myself with things that have stories, symbolism, and history. There are several things that I love about quotes. First, is how they inspire me in the here and now: how to love, stand strong, or live creatively. Quotes also connect me with those who walked through life before me; those who have said or written the words, which now inspire or speak to me. It’s a reminder that as humans we are all inextricably connected with one another. Lastly, quotes serve as a visual reminder for me to stay the course in my journey, and stay focused on what’s most important to me.
One of my favorite things that I have in my office, is a vintage magnetic photo frame, which now serves as a scrabble-tile quote board. It’s there to remind and inspire me and those who enter my space of how we live creatively unique, yet interconnected similar lives, and how we all need the support of another to make our way through this life.
A few years back, I took a great class with another Art Therapist which focused on developing our identity as artists. During that time, I learned about the stages of the creative process, and fell in love with the concept of incubation. I think what drew me to it so much, was the fact that I spend a lot of time, thinking, musing, wondering, writing or drawing about ideas that I have, but maybe haven't fully formulated yet. So for the last 2 years, I've been incubating the idea of launching some art based workshops that focus on developing creative identity, utilizing inspiration to fuel life, and living our most authentic and wholehearted lives.
My vision for these workshops will be to delve into art making as a way to seek answers to the questions. As author and artist Austin Kleon puts it, "Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it's going to lead you." It's freeing to give ourselves permission to stop thinking everything through, and allow another part of our brain and body to lead for a change. As an artist myself, I've been able to learn so much about myself and my interaction with the world through observing my own engagement with art. It's my hope that these workshops will give others an opportunity to explore and expand new or forgotten areas of themselves, and even leave with some clarity, direction or answers!
I'm working on the details now, and am really excited to see where this wandering leads. Keep posted for more details. First workshop is aimed to take place in the beginning of 2019. If you are interested in learning more, stop over on the contact page and send me a message.
Earlier this year I was interviewed for an article regarding the coloring book craze, and those claiming to be "Art Therapy." I am absolutely an advocate for people to explore and engage in their own creativity and artistic endeavors. Not only does it give us more ways to express ourselves and our feelings, but studies have shown that it reduces stress and helps with problem solving and flexible thinking! Both of which we can never have enough of! However, making art in isolation does not substitute for Art Therapy with a trained clinical Art Therapist. If you are dealing with intense emotions, relationship crisis, or pain from life's battle scars, then seeking the help of a therapist is recommended. I am always amazed by how powerful the art can be in helping clients express themselves and their inner worlds. Contact me if you'd like to know more about working together, with or without art!
Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD
I can’t say enough good things about this book. First of all, it’s important to remember that most parents do the best job that they can when raising their children. One thing that I valued about this book, was that it never takes the tone of bashing or blaming parents for all a child’s difficulties. However, it does not shy away from addressing what results from core emotional needs being unmet during childhood. Secondly, I appreciated the author’s empowering approach; aiming to help the reader take responsibility for their own needs and teaching strategies for learning to negotiate relationships with people who lack emotional maturity. I found the book to be extremely helpful in breaking down these into manageable steps: learning to stay observational not emotional, practicing emotional maturity awareness, and stepping out of old roles. Lastly, the book ends with a chapter on how to recognize emotional maturity in others. Often, when children grow up in homes with emotionally immature parents, they continue to seek out other people who have similar or familiar emotional patterns. This can lead to a lifetime of hardship and broken relationships unless they can learn to recognize and pursue healthy and mature people. I believe that learning to identify the characteristics and behavior patterns of mature individuals is beneficial to everyone, regardless of childhood experiences.
For many years now, I have journeyed with women who have found themselves in a pattern of frustrating, chaotic, or imbalanced relationships often as a result of an emotionally unfulfilled childhood. Many of them have found freedom by growing in their own awareness, acceptance and emotional maturity. If this resonates with you, please contact me so that we can talk further about working towards your own healing.health.wholeness.
If you have a lot of anxiety, you're not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health approximately 40 million adults suffer from a Anxiety Disorder. Although anxiety can be a very treatable condition, only one-third of people receive any treatment. If you are looking to find freedom from worry, chronic stress, fear, and anxiety then you are in the right place. For years, I have worked with women experiencing many forms of anxiety, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, and Panic Attacks. In working with women with anxiety, I utilize a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) approach which has been researched and proven to be an effective mode of treatment for Anxiety and Depression. The link below has some helpful information about anxiety. If you are interested in learning more about how I can partner with you to help you find freedom from worry, then contact me about scheduling a consultation.
Every day I see evidence for the importance of emotional intelligence for positive self-esteem, healthy relationships, life satisfaction, and overall personal success. Take a look at this article, about not only the importance of our own EQ, but of teaching kids about it too.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
Excellence is not about being without error, but rather being our best self, the person that we are meant to be. Often times, our choices or habits, shroud our true identity and cause us to be our less-than-better-selves. Consequently, our lives add up to a series of habits, choices that we make, and behaviors that we do. We all have habits or behaviors that we’d like to change:
- staying in a relationship or situation that isn’t healthy
- not advocating for ourselves
- being over committed
- lacking self-discipline with food, money, exercise, etc.
Changing a habit or behavior can be difficult, but not impossible. It takes desire, self-discipline, and commitment. We often try to make changes, only to quickly fall back into old patterns. However, if we take some advice from Aristotle, excellence or rather the success of reaching our desired behavior, is only a new habit away. Making a habit change has several stages: self-awareness, making a plan, working the plan, and maintaining the new behavior. Having a trusted companion, like a therapist, can provide a source of accountability, encouragement and support in making habit or life changes that last. So what's standing in the way of you being your best self?
Every person is inherently creative whether they recognize it or not. Sometimes, creativity is thought of in a limited way, in regards to making art, or other external creative designs. However, the definition of create shows us differently:
- to cause to come into being, as something unique.
- to evolve from one's imagination, as a work of art or an invention
- to arrange or bring about, as by intention or design
One of the aspects that sets me apart from other therapists, is my ability to integrate creativity into the therapeutic process. Being creative in therapy, is about tapping into each client's ability to create something unique. From utilizing metaphor, to art making, to creative problem solving, I am always trying to keep the therapy experience interesting and evolving. Growth and change requires a movement away from sameness or stagnation, towards bringing newness into existence. In other words, therapy is a collaborative creation.
No matter what season of life you find yourself, with age, relationships, career, or family status, taking care of yourself is not only vital to your own health and well being, but also to those who rely on you. As women, we often strive to support and give to others with our time, money, energy or individual talents. We work hard to give our best to our careers, families, friendships, and all the other aspects of our lives in which we are involved. Sometimes we feel like we are giving so much, and that there is hardly any time or energy left to devote to nurturing ourselves. However, it is vital for us, no matter what season of life that we are in, to be nurturing ourselves, inside and out. Most women I talk to do agree that it is important to take care of themselves not only to be healthy themselves, but so that they can continue giving of themselves in all the ways they do. Yet, so often there are hindrances that stand in the way of being able to practice self care at all, let alone do it well. Sometimes women think that focusing on themselves is selfish or they experience a sense of guilt about it. Other times, women have difficulty setting clear boundaries around their commitments and end up giving all their time or selves away. Take some time to reflect on your own life and assess whether you are giving yourself the amount of time and focus that you need to nourish yourself in body, mind and spirit. For today ask yourself these questions: How well am I caring for myself and my own needs? Do I tend to prioritize the needs of others to the detriment of my own? What hindrances are prohibiting me from giving myself the care that I need?