Hi friends, it's Sue writing today's blogpost. Thanks for joining and taking the time to read and ponder with me!
I’m working on growing what I call my ‘awareness muscle’--meaning, I am becoming more and more aware of what’s going on IN me and being present to what’s going on AROUND me.
Today, as I reflected on what was going on “IN” me, I became aware of a tightness in my chest. Even though I was with a friend in the midst of the beauty of nature, I noticed what felt like a tangled ball of ‘something or a clenched fist inside my chest.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
I took a minute and asked myself this question without judgement.
"What is this?"
After a while, I sensed the tangle was anxiety over what was next. There were a lot of shoulds wrapped up in the tangle. Such as, what ‘should' I be doing? What 'should’ we do next. And I became aware of how much I ‘should’ on myself even though I know better!
I heard a saying recently that what we know doesn’t’ matter as much as what we believe.
I know in my head that I’m ok. God loves me, and that I’m where I’m supposed to be. But what I was believing, or what I was living out of was much more tangled.
When I’m present to what I’m believing in any moment… then I can tend to it. I invite Jesus into that tangle of ‘shoulds’. The knots begin to loosen and I am able to untangle them with truth in the inmost places.
So today, you might consider starting (or continuing) to strengthen your awareness muscle by taking a few minutes and asking yourself, "What’s going on IN me right now?"
Notice it, try not to judge it. It might involve forgiving yourself or someone else, it might mean taking some time to sit with the tangles.
The Psalmist did this too, so we’re in good company!
"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life”. Pr 4:23. NASB
Have a blessed day, my friends. Don't forget to give yourself some time!
Can you believe it? It’s June already! Wasn’t it just yesterday we were picking our word of the year for 2018?
Yes— It’s hard to believe. June. Winter is gone, spring has sprung and here we are. It’s the half way mark for the year and it’s time to check in with how we are doing with our word.
One of my cardinal rules in life is not to ‘should on yourself’ so this check in is not about should-ing. It’s not about self condemnation.
Remember, our ‘word of the year’ is like a compass. No matter where we are in life, we can make course corrections. We WANT to make course corrections. This is a good thing. The journey is rarely a direct path.
My word for 2018 is ‘dance’. When I envisioned my word at the beginning of the year, I saw myself letting God do the leading and me doing the following. I saw dance as a form of worship. I thought of dances of celebration and play and fun.
As I have reflected on the last 6 months, much of the time, life has felt more like slogging through mud than dancing. A twinge of self condemnation started to creep in, but a friend challenged me about what it might look like to ‘dance in the mud.’ Hmmm — an interesting thought.
This changed things for me. Dancing in the mud is perfect. It’s messy. It’s not graceful. It’s a choice. An attitude and, well, it might make the mud a little more fun.
What about you? As you think about your Word for 2018, this is a great time to check in with yourself. Consider pondering these questions:
How did you envision your word for 2018?
Where do you find yourself now?
What would/could it look like to ‘be’ (or embody) your word in the midst of your present circumstances?
What might you want to release? For me, releasing expectations of myself and others was key. I also find myself releasing burdens that aren’t mine to carry. It’s hard to dance when I’m carrying things— especially the ones that aren’t mine to carry.
Starting in June we’ll be posting journal prompts for you. This month our focus will be on checking in on our word of the year and making course corrections. We thought it would be fun if you send us a picture of your journal pages. We’d love to post some of them and share the fun. Here’s how to play:
Following the weekly prompts below, use your art journal and create a page that will remind you of this prompt throughout the week. If you don't have an art journal (YET) do a doodle!
When you are finished, post it to your social media with the hashtag
Every week, we will check through all the tags and feature people on our Facebook (click HERE)and Instagram (@heartcoaching) account!!
As well as using the prompts, every week Lynn will be uploading a short video on our Facebook page and our Instagram with a new technique you can try!! We can't wait to see what you all come up with!
Until next time,
Registration is OPEN for our Word of the Year Art Journaling Workshops!!
If you need no further reasoning as to WHY an Art Journaling Workshop would be an amazing experience, click HERE and read no further.
If Art Journaling is a foreign concept to you and you need a little more persuasion, keep reading.
1. Art Journaling isn't just writing and writing all your thoughts and memories on a page and then locking the book away. It's a creative expression. It's an artistic release. It's words, quotes, colors and techniques.
2.. There is scientific proof that CREATING is good for you!!
The American Journal of Public Health study states that there’s a connection between those kinds of outlets and your mental and physical health.
So, it's just as good as exercise.
The same article in the American Journal of Public Health kindly explains it this way:
More specifically, there is evidence that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer of the creative efforts of others or as an initiator of one's own creative efforts, can enhance one's moods, emotions, and other psychological states as well as have a salient impact on important physiological parameters.
meaning, we will pretty much be able to cope better. Done deal.
3. Creating improves brain function.
I have always known after spending some time with color and paper and all kinds of things, I walk away much happier. Not that I'm a scientist, but if you need scientific proof, here ya go:
According to the Public Library of Science, making art improves communication between different parts of the brain, which is vital to preventing cognitive deterioration.
In layman's terms, it sharpens our brain functioning. Who couldn't use a sharper brain?
4. Doing an Art Journaling Workshop is like taking vitamins. Or getting a serving of fruits and veggies.
In this article, our friends from Psychology Today tell us socializing can improve our mental and physical health as well as lower our risk of Dementia. Puh-leeeze. I KNEW having coffee and creating together was a good idea!!!!
5. Need some stress relief?
We have you covered. In our workshops, there is always laughter. Who better to tell us the benefits of laughter than the Mayo Clinic? Laughter soothes tension and even supports our immune system. And being a person with an autoimmune disorder, I. NEED. LAUGHTER. IN. MY. LIFE.
So come and join us for a workshop, won't you? We will gather and learn and laugh and have coffee and take steps to becoming the best selves we can be.
Register for one of our available workshops here.
There are a few dates to choose from (seating is limited)
We can't wait to see you!!
Lynn and Sue
Dictionary.com explains art journaling as a notebook kept by an artist as a personal record of images and sometimes words.
The folks over at mixedmedia.club.com defines it as An art journal, or artist’s journal, is a book kept by an artist as a visual, and sometimes verbal, record of her thoughts and ideas.
My favorite sentence in regards to art journaling is that it is "a creative way of self care".
If you type "art journal" into the search engine over at Pinterest, you could possibly be overwhelmed at the variety of journals.
Type "art journal" into Google Images.
Just wow, right?
I can pretty much hear you saying, "Riiiiiight. HUH-uh. Nope. No way."
"I don't journal".
"That's for artsy type of people, and I'm so not artsy."
"I don't like my penmanship"
So...let me ask you:
Do you need some time for yourself?
Do you need a few hours to get away in a safe place?
Would it be helpful to spend some intentional time refocusing on what's most important?
Can you use a pair of scissors? Do you know what a glue stick is?
If your answer is yes to just one of these questions, then break out your dancing shoes, cause we're doing a happy dance together!!!!
And I say to you, YES. YOU. CAN.
Sue and I have designed an Art Journaling workshop
YES, YOU CAN DO THIS.
We will come together (code word: TOGETHER),
and learn different art techniques to put in your very own journal that centers around your Word of the Year.
We'll ask ourselves questions and make intentional course corrections to get on track or back on track.
Don't have a word?
We (SUE, cause she's really good at it) will help you find it.
In this class, we will explore color, mark making, our word, how to cheat at penmanship if you don't like yours, creativity and time to breathe.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Seriously, we are all about the process and experimenting and helping each other find our way with creativity, laughter and love.
Glad you asked!
The first classes are available
Friday, May 18 6:30-9:30pm
Saturday, May 19 9:00 am-12:00 pm
At the Summit House Art Studio
Another good question!
Each class is $39
a $10 one-time fee for your journal and start up supplies.
This means if you sign up now, pay the one time fee, then
you can come to any further art journaling classes for $39, which will include all supplies.
What if I can come, but my friend can't?
Bring your sweet self and tell your bestie to mark her calendar for the next class. (There will be more) She can start up at any time, pay the $10 start up fee, and you can come with her for $39, cause you will all ready have your journal started!
What kind of supplies do you get?
A 5x7 binder that you will make uniquely your own.
140 lb, cold press water color paper
Access to vintage books, fun papers, stickers, magazines, inks, paints, pens, paint brushes, stamps, pens, markers and much more.
Stay tuned, cause we are busily working on setting up easy payment options and more details!!!
It's coming soon.
We are laughing at ourselves cause we are artists and life coaches. Not technical wizards, but we're working on it.....
Lynn for the team
I have a confession. I’ve been stuck. Before I left for Italy, my friend and heART coaching partner, Lynn suggested I do a Facebook live post from Italy. “Yes! Definitely— that would be so cool,” I said, and really meant it.
Yet, when I was there, If found myself thinking about doing a video, but every time, I talked myself out of it. I didn’t have any make up on. I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d say. I was afraid it wouldn’t be very good. So I didn’t. Actually, on my very last day, while stuck in the snow in the Rome airport, I actually did a video but didn’t have the guts to do it live. You see, I told myself there was no going back if I did it
live and I didn’t like it. (Kind of funny how I/we let our fears stop us from stepping out). And then… I found reasons not to post that too. I have let the fear of not doing it right, or doing it ‘well enough’ stop me.
Recently, I was talking to God about stepping out again. I thought that when I asked Him what to do, He’d tell me I didn’t have to do it. I’d be released. When I asked, I was surprised, as I sensed him saying, ‘Stop making more of it than it is. Lean in.” He told me to sit down, to ask for His grace for what was needed in that moment, and to expect Him to show up because He would. I sensed Him saying, “Even if YOU think it’s not good. You are your worst critic. Step in. The enemy has messed with you far too long. You have given him a voice and have listened. Enough of that. You are not able. BUT I AM.”
I love the Lord’s rebuke. Even if I don’t like what He says. It’s always good. It’s gentle—even in it’s correction. It makes me think of Romans chapter 12 when God says not to despise the Lord’s rebuke for He disciplines those He loves’, and God is treating us as His children.
So here I am, stepping into the imperfection. Expecting God to show up.
How about you?
Do you ever limit yourself? Or wait until something is good enough? How much do you withhold because something isn’t perfect? I never thought of myself as a perfectionist before but maybe when I get stuck… I’m just afraid. Can you relate?
One of the things I do when I get stuck is to ‘bring it into the light’— Expose it. Journal about it. Talk about it. Like I did here— with you.
In putting it out there— as raw and imperfect as it is, something shifts.
And by the way… I finally made it home.