Thursday 29 September 2011

Garlic by Angel Young

Garlic - it’s an unlikely start for a post I know - but it believe me - it works just like dreams.

Plant it in October, after the equinox. Garlic, you see - it needs the cold, it needs the dark - and I like to think that’s an important part of dreaming too. In the coldest of nights there’s still a sparkle of dreams, caught up in a longing hidden in the commute home, or in waking early and it’s still dark, or in the cosiness of a fireside. It’s in the compost, where everything breaks down, and is born again as something fresh and green.

Sometimes the dark is literal too - it’s a place which hasn’t been easy, but has taught us to follow our own sense of light. That’s just what garlic does too - in the spring the garlic heads up for the light. It grows straight up, because it knows it’s purpose, formed as it was, in the dark winter days, and from one clove in the cold - one little idea of life - many cloves have formed. Dreams work like that too - once you get into the flow of them they just expand into realities you could never have imagined. It’s all about trusting in your October that by July there’ll be garlic drying on your garden table.

And the best thing about garlic is it’s strong flavour - it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than it is - strong and forthright! You like it or your loath it. I like my people like that too - and dreamers make for strong flavours. So be garlic-like - plant your hope in what may seem like the dark, and when you emerge, don’t worry about being just who you are - let’s embrace being full flavoured - the world needs people who are just that - and I just know you’re one of them!

Angel lives in the UK and is having fun bringing more of the things she loves into her life.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

An Artist's Prayer by Kim LeClair

An Artist's Prayer

The Earth and the wild things upon it
Stand to serve me and my most inner wishes
Forces greater than myself, God and Wisdom and Light -
I ask that you Infuse me and Guide me.
Remove my burdens, remove my walls and boundaries
Allow me to stand before you, naked and beautiful
Pour yourself into me and open me to accept your light.

I want to do good in the World
Help me to see my path.
I want to honor my gifts
Open my eyes to my power.
I want to see the unknown of myself
Guide me to my own darkness and illuminate my shadows.
Soothe and release my wounds and scars
Heal my body and soul and join them.

I want to create and express and fulfill and experience
To honor myself, to honor the wildness of the world
For the sacred love and life that surrounds me
God and Wisdom and Light – Infuse me and Guide me.

Kim LeClair is Creative Director of the newly founded east willow studios. Dedicated to personal passionate design, Kim and the folks at east willow studios want to bring you solutions that fit, filled with honest and true content, all sprinkled with heavy doses of JOY and FUN and A-W-E-some!

Sunday 25 September 2011

To the Edge by Meghan Genge

“I don’t think most people go to the edge of anything.” – Caroline Myss

A little while ago I accidentally went alone to an Enchanted Palace. When I set off in the morning on a solitary adventure, I had no idea that it would take a fairy tale to wake this sleeping beauty.

I have often been told that my expectations are too high. When your expectations are too high you are inevitably disappointed when the reality does not live up to them. Arriving at the palace on this day, however, I had no expectations. I had made the decision to spend the day following whispers and as I got on the tube at Paddington Station, I noticed the poster for the exhibition at Kensington Palace. As a poster counts as a whisper, that’s where I decided to go next.

The exhibition was absolutely charming, but all I could think as I wandered through the rooms was that I wanted more. Bigger, more magical, more whimsical, more intriguing possibilities filled my imagination. They had given me a fairy tale, but I wanted to add fairy dust. I wanted to emerge from the other side with twigs in my hair and feet sore from dancing, with a whiff of spices tangled in my clothes and a faraway look in my eye.

Standing in the park afterwards I realized that it’s not that my expectations are too high, it’s that my perception of the possibilities is enormous. There, beside a lake in London, the ‘aha’ hit me: however big my belief in shining possibilities, there is the necessary knowledge of dark ones. One thrills and the other frightens, so I have spent much of my adult life wishing for one but preparing instead for the other and ending up somewhere in the middle. I have tried to want less fairy dust, but instead of being happier I ended up with cobwebs.

Blinders slipping, feet planted, hair tangled, I am getting closer and closer to the edge. I can feel it coming. Dreams and possibilities have been showing themselves to me bit by bit, and I know things are changing. I am no longer afraid of disappointment because I know that I am a grown up and that the magic is in my control. I am no longer interested in becoming a princess or living happily ever after: I want more.

(A lot more.)

Friday 23 September 2011

It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect by Ginny Lennox

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

I’ve looked at the above picture over and over again and each time I did all I could see was what was wrong with it. Today, I looked at it through the words of Goethe’s quote that I read in chapter three of The Artist’s Way. The flower is just beginning to bloom. Although it is not perfect, there is magic, grace, and power in what is happening.

Sometimes it is hard to start something new or to share our work with the world. Just like the flower above, our idea might not be completely ready but there has to be a first step, a beginning, and that beginning does not have to be perfect. The flower is standing up tall but it twists and turns just a little. New ventures are like that. They are going to be almost ready to bloom but there will always be twists and turns that we don’t expect. When you believe in yourself, your ideas, and your dreams those twists and turns can be filled with magic, grace, and power just like the flower. Do you have something you would like to begin? Let’s all take that first step and then share it with the world. I know it will make a difference not only to you but to someone else who is also just getting ready to bloom.

Ginny Lennox believes that each and every day is filled with special moments. On her blog Special Moments In Time she encourages everyone to recognize and celebrate their own special moments. Ginny also believes that we are all creative and talented people. In her workshops, All About Me and Circle of Dreams, Ginny shares ways to discover your talents.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Monday 19 September 2011

We Are All Divas by Amy Palko

When you step onto the stage of lila, you have a choice. You can drag yourself across the stage like you have been mixing Quaaludes with alcohol, or you can step into the universal spotlight like a great diva. The stage is set; the roles have been cast. In experiencing the passion of lila, the first step is to take command of the stage that is your life and develop a stage presence that embraces the fullness and complexity of your role on the stage of maya. ~ Darren Main

I read these words yesterday and they struck home. Like an arrow that has found its mark, these words penetrated my heart and reverberated around the house of my soul. It was one of those moments where you sense that you have been seen. Truly seen. Now, these words follow me from room to room. They are tracing my footsteps, tugging at my shadow, mirroring the rise and fall of my breath. And I find myself wondering in those moments where my movements are occupied with preparing the dinner, making the beds, retrieving the mail, “What would it be like to command the stage that is my life? To step out into the universal spotlight? To develop a stage presence of a great diva?”

It would require you to step out from behind the mask that you’ve so carefully constructed. Step out and step forward, unadorned by the trappings of doubt, the trimmings of terror. What will they say? What will they think? This familiar refrain repeats and repeats and repeats, almost as if it longs to drown out the embryonic retort that whispers: Who cares? Who really cares if you deign to be you? Who really cares if you peel off all those old costumes, the clothes of a character you were never born to be? Who cares if you enter stage left, the spotlight tracking your step as you make your way to the centre, the audience hushed, the usherettes awed?

And you know, you don’t need to worry about forgetting your lines. There never was a line that you didn’t know. The script is unravelling as we speak. Unveiling and revealing. And the picture your words are making is all down to you. You get to decide how you develop this role. You get to choose whether to play your life in a major or minor key. But just remember this. The world will not thank you for playing it small. There are no brownie points for hiding your light beneath layers and layers of false belief. Just as a star is born to shine, so are you.

Because if there is one thing this life is not, is a dress rehearsal. It sounds trite and cliche, but it’s no less true for that. The tickets have been sold, the programmes printed, the stage is set, the chorus line rehearsed… all that remains is for you to begin. Just start. Just say anything. Anything at all. It’s ok. It’ll be the right thing. Just go ahead. Begin.

You start off in a faltering voice, the trembling augmented by the echo, as your words bounce back at you. Someone coughs. You shuffle your feet, and tug at your clothes. In all honesty, you are wishing that you hadn’t come along this evening. You could have stayed at home, put your feet up, had a cup of tea, watched EastEnders, caught up on FaceBook friends. In fact, what the hell are you doing here? Didn’t you always want an easy life? Didn’t you? Didn’t you?

But deep down in your secret heart, that place where time dies and revives every second, that place where you know it’s all just an illusion, that place where you are still and always you… there, you know that you are not here to hide behind a mug of tea and an avatar. You know you were born to be a diva. To inhale deeply and let your voice carry you forth on the dust motes dancing in the limelight. This time your voice is stronger. It has a resonance, a timbre. You stand there knowing that you can be heard all the way up to the gods.

And the gods are listening. They’re all rooting for you to give an inspired performance. They’re willing you on, not keeping you in check. Not proclaiming your worth or defining your limits. They’re longing that you’ll choose to be ‘big’ – live life as large as you can; larger, in fact. That round of applause that you hear… that’s them. That’s them rejoicing that you chose to give a stand out performance of being you. That you shoved aside fear, and stepped beyond the comfort zone.

Because there are relatively few rewards for taking a minor part, for being an understudy. Wouldn’t you rather dance, sing, perform like no-one was watching? Wouldn’t you rather be a diva? A radiant diva that attracts all the light when she walks onto the stage. Luminous and free. Wouldn’t you rather be the star you are, and not the walk-on part you play, terrified that even the simple task of putting one foot in front of the other might be beyond you?

Because we are all stars – points of light in the theatre of a collective imagination – divas on the stage of our existence.

A true lover of stories, Amy Palko spends her days reading, writing and dreaming… well, that is when she's not being kept busy with her three children whom she home-educates! She is the creatrix behind Bloom by Moon, an online learning community of women exploring goddess myths and moon cycles through story, journalling, visualisation and creative exercise.

Saturday 17 September 2011

Tender Dreams by Susan Cadley

Your dreams, emotions, accomplishments, losses, mistakes, are all part of you and what makes you human on your life journey. As a soul tender, I want to share with you something I learned from one of my spiritual teachers, Edith, when I was in my 20's. Edith used to advise me not to share my hopes and dreams with people that could not whole-heartedly support me.

At first, this puzzled me as I felt as if I was withholding parts of myself from others. However, as I grew older and wiser, I learned the truth of what Edith was teaching. Yesterday I was reminded of this truth as I was listening to Life Coach Cheryl Richardson on her radio show. Cheryl was reminding a caller to keep her dreams sacred as other people may place their emotions on her dream before it had manifested.

Our dreams are like tender shoots emerging from the earth and we must nurture and protect them as well. One way we do this is to share with loving, supportive people who can visualize and see the truth of who we are. This supportive energy can assist our dreams in taking flight.

So why would someone not support our dreams? The reasons are numerous. Sometimes our sharing can bring up feelings about yet unrealized dreams for another person. This may show up as jealousy, fear, negativity and naysaying. The trigger can cause the other person to negate and question our dream, or make a cutting comment passively, jokingly, or directly. This is all projection on the other person's part, a piece of their healing.

Find your circle, tribe, shaman, therapist, coach or best friend and ask them to see the best for you. Close your eyes and make a wish upon your dream seeds. I'll silently, quietly, and sacredly wish with you.

Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist & Soul Coach and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC.   Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops and book studies, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Creativity Map by Tammy Durham

So, with this venture of this new blog looming... I worried about what to write.
My creativity has seemingly gone into hibernation - or something. I haven't drawn, written, or created much of anything in quite a long time. There are many reasons why - some that I can truly name, others that I can't.

So, what do you do when your creativity takes a break?

Well... I personally start to feel a little bit lost. But, I also feel like I've lost my map. How do you get back to creating? Having that creative outlet? My steps? First - write this post to share with you lovely people! Isn't admitting that you have a problem the first step?

Hi, I'm Tammy. I'm an artist who hasn't made any art in WAY too long. So, now I've said it out loud to you (Yes. I said it out loud as well as typing the words in this post!) Now, I have to figure out what the next step for me is. I'm hoping that other of you lovelies will have some ideas that spark my creativity, light a fire under my butt, or otherwise help to get me creating again! (The painting to the left is one that I created several years ago in an art therapy session. It isn't one of my favorites, but I like the message. "Remember"... To create, to dance, to live life to the fullest...)

I know that I want to be making art. I have the supplies, I have the desire... I even have the time. I also have all of the handy excuses to NOT create. No room, no money, too tired, too hot... you name it. That whiny voice pops up in my head a lot. And way too often, I listen to it.

So, today, I'm acknowledging that whiny self. But, I am also putting her in her place! I'm going to take baby steps to getting back to creating art (of any kind! Writing, drawing, collaging, cooking...) Right here, with you, I'm making a commitment to do something creative once a week (to start with). If I can get on that track, I think that my creativity will flow again more easily. I know that creating will help me find my happy too.

What do you do when you lose your creativity map? What steps do you take to get back on the right path?

Tammy is an artist using many mediums to create and a web designer/editor by trade. She is the owner of Off-Center Studio.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

"Every artist was at first an amateur" Ralph Waldo Emerson by Michelle Reinhardt

So somehow in my love of perusing inspiring blogs and gathering wisdom and information, I stumbled upon a project that takes different quotes from "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and then various awesome writers share their thoughts and challenge readers to think and explore. The author today, Ana Guardia, mentioned that to be an artist one must find joy in ordinary things. For some reason(although I am recognizing that this is not unusual when something really rings true for me), this instantly makes me tear up with inspiration, excitement, hope and also a bit of frustration and sadness and stuckness. This one little post did all that. So today I decided to start getting more into the doing and less into the thinking. I decided to get my thoughts out on paper and take the risk to share "it" and all that "it" entails. I have to say this decision feels quite good.

As for finding the joy in ordinary things, I love this concept. It parallels gratitude to me. Yesterday I took a simple bike ride with my five-year-old. She has just learned to ride and the look of pride and courage and joy on her face is something that I'd love to bottle and sell. It is pure and authentic. Just an ordinary day, just a Mom and her daughter out for a ride. Yet somehow I know that this memory will stick with me as one of those perfect moments where everything felt good and right and rich and full. Simple and ordinary yet profound and moving. All a matter of perspective and presence.

So I don't necessarily always consider myself an "artist". However, in reading "every artist was at first an amateur" it made me so hopeful. I know for sure that I want to create and be an artist. I also know that I can "do" amateur artist. So I am going to start combining my amateur status without judgment and finding the joy in ordinary things and see where that takes me. Regardless of what happens, I know focusing on these two ideas will feel good and that in and of itself is grand.

Happy creating!

Michelle Reinhardt is a seeker of joy and beauty and ease on a quest to create her most authentic blissful life and hopes to help others do the same.  She is fueled by the laughter of children, people living their dreams,  doodling and dancing,  live music, yoga and green smoothies.

Sunday 11 September 2011

How to Be a Fangirl (or boy) by Kelly Besecke

I have been a fangirl my whole life. At the age of four, I began a three-year obsession with The Monkees. I could sing all their songs by heart. Every afternoon, I sat wide-eyed and mesmerized by reruns of their TV shows. I daydreamed about The Monkees.

Now I'm forty-one, and I'm still like this. Mostly musicians, sometimes actors, occasionally authors. Mostly men, occasionally women. They captivate me for a while, and I listen to their music over and over, watch all their movies, memorize their books, and spend hours searching YouTube for interviews with them.

But I'm proud of my fangirldom, because I know exactly what I'm doing. Once upon a time, when I was very young, I heard this advice: "Women should become the men they want to marry." I thought this was brilliant. Because what we're drawn to, what we're attracted to, is really ourselves--deep, essential dimensions of ourselves that we want to more fully integrate.

So my obsession with The Monkees was about humor and energy and friendship. My teenage obsession with David Bowie was about crossing boundaries--breaking out of old confines and moving into forbidden territory. In my twenties, The Beatles were all about my creativity--some colorful, right-brain freedom to let my mind wander and create beauty. Right now, I'm cultivating a sense of centeredness, confidence in expressing my own unique perspective, authority over the conditions of my life, and a natural commitment to my own truth--and I can tell you anything you want to know about Johnny Depp.

So how to be a fangirl? Just give in, as you would to any other passion. Find the people who draw your attention, the people you admire, and immerse yourself. Absorb them. Find out what it is about them that's so captivating, and know, without a doubt, that those qualities are your own. They're who you really are--the aspects of you that you want to more fully express, the colors of you that you want to brighten, your greatest gifts and truest purposes, about to come into the sun.

Kelly Besecke writes about spiritual meaning, progressive religion, and authentic living. Her first book is You Can't Put God in a Box: A Thoughtful Spirituality for a Rational Age. She's a dreamer, a thinker, and an incurable idealist who loves singer-songwriter music, impressionism, and every dog she's ever met.

Friday 9 September 2011

Focus on What You Love: It's Important by Aimee Cavenecia

Over the last 3 years I have completely (well, not completely, but a pretty major overhaul) changed my life. I have been digging deep & uprooting old ways of being. I have been gradually changing the way I work & changing the overall feel of my life & what it looks like day to day.

I was reading a book about simplifying ones life (& work) last month by Ev Bogue. The book was Minimalist Business & it had a good proposal in it. The proposal was; 9 Ways to Focus on the Important. Earlier in the book Ev Bogue quoted Leo Babauta & talked about designing your life completely around what you love.
"Focus on what you love, and nothing else." - Leo Bauta
I made a list of what I love & a list of my top priorities after reading that book. I feel very happy about getting clarity on what makes me happy, what lights me up & what I am really devoted to. Of course there is so much more to that story. But the few Loves & Priorities that I focused on are just pointers. They are there to keep my life (& my time) pointed in the right direction.

My four priorities are: blogging, exercising, meditating, & studying
My four loves are: creating, dancing, being, & reading
& a few more Loves: juicy fruits, learning french, helping others, being outdoors

If you notice, the Priorities are very similar to the Loves. This is ideal! And if I get even more clear, my priorities/loves are more like this: Sharing (blogging/creating), Moving (exercising/dancing), Being (meditating/presence), & Seeing (studying/reading) [Seeing, as in; seeing the unseen or seeing the bigger picture]

Having this target list makes it so easy to have an ideal day or an ideal year. All I have to do is base all if my decisions around my top loves or top priorities. It makes choosing how to spend my time quite simple & effortless. If what I have as an option doesn't align with what I love, then it's a "No" for me. I pass on it & choose something that speaks to what I am about & what I truly enjoy the most.

The whole idea of this takes practice. I still have old responsibilities in my life that need some weeding, pruning & removing. These are past choices that I am still responsible for, so they are still an active part of my life. But having the target (as well as the list I will share below) is wonderful way to slowly transition yourself & your life. You will gradually become a more authentic you. Every aspect of your life will become what you truly wanted to create for yourself. This is a life created with awareness & the power of choice. It's really easy to fall into what you should do, or to keep building on top of decisions you made in the past (when you where someone else, a you from 10 or 15 years ago!) But now we can build & create from an empowered place. We can be an Aware & Responsible us; a This Moment us; an I Know Who I Am & What I Want -& I Am Living It us!
9 Ways You Can Focus On The Important:

1. IDENTIFY THE FOUR AREAS OF YOUR LIFE THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU. It can be powerful to know what is most important to you, because then you can begin to focus on only the essential.

2. LEARN TO SAY NO TO REQUESTS. Once you’ve identified the essential, you have to start saying no to things that come your way which don’t coincide with your interests.

3. START TO ELIMINATE THINGS YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT. Stop doing things you’re doing just out of obligation. Abandon the busy work.

4. GIVE YOURSELF HUGE BLOCKS OF TIME TO WORK ON ONE PROJECT. Give yourself five hours to work on one project, and do nothing else.

5. TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS. Turn off your phone, power down social networks, destroy your TV, and eat your lunch before you sit down to focus on the important.

6. DON’T COMMENT ON THINGS THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN. The next time you’re tempted to tell someone that what they’re doing is wrong, maybe consider first: are you willing to help them do it right?

7. MAKE TIME FOR IMPORTANT THINGS. If you want to be a good at something, you have to do it every single day for at least a few hours (if not more).

8. TELL PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES. By telling people, you can hold yourself responsible. Live and breathe your priorities, and they will become what you are.

9. LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. You have to study the subject of your priorities regularly. I promise you, it is the most important element.
And here are a few more notes from that chapter...

Focus Your Use of Time on the Important MANIFESTO:
• I will value my time to the highest potential.
• I will not engage in activities that do not contribute value to my life.
• I will focus my attention on creating great work that changes the world.

Focus on what you love, and nothing else. This often means restructuring things so that you can eliminate most of your emails, calls, meetings, paperwork, financial work, and so on. That takes some careful thought, some planning, and groundwork.

One of the easiest ways to avoid finishing is to complicate the process so much that you can never finish. If you’re writing an e-book, give it a title and start writing it. If you’re recording a podcast, turn on the recorder and start talking. Set a date to publish, and don’t miss that date.

And one last thought (in a link) to a chapter from another book that is on the same topic...

It's an e-book called Focus, by Leo Babauta. Chapter 1: Getting Amazing Things Done

What are your top four loves in life? What are your top priorities everyday?
For everyone it's different. That's what makes life so rich. It is most beautiful & most interesting when everyone feels empowered to be their most authentic self. When everyone feels content because they are living a life they love.

Aimee Cavenecia (also known as AimeeLovesYou) has an extensive background as a professional artist. Her current work is becoming an expert in Seeing, Loving, and Being (SLB). Aimee has dedicated the rest of her life to studying this field and sharing her insights on the topic.

Wednesday 7 September 2011

The First Step by Valarie Budayr

Photo by Hakan Strand

The first step is the absolute hardest!!!!

How many nights have I laid awake wondering how this creative project was all going to come together? How many days did I roam around putting more and more things on the “To-Do” list to make my entry into the artistic world of creative business a “perfect” one?

Why is it that every time I would set aside a “perfect time” to create, the refrigerator would call me to be cleaned? Or why was organizing my email so important? Or cleaning the kitty litter, taking the dog for a walk, perfecting French cuisine, or that every menial task of doing the laundry?

Daily, I would have a sense of failure for not moving forward in my creativity. Every day it became easier to not feel “good enough”. How does one stop this over active mind, this churning stomach? How does the incredible desire to live a creative life become more important than avoiding one?

It’s so simple and yet so scary. Here’s what I came up with…….

First let’s stretch to the words of  Shri Ravishankar Jee

Sound when stretched is music,
Movement when stretched is dance.
Mind when stretched is meditation.
Life when stretched is celebration.


Remember all of those questions up there?

I've learned that I needed to stop asking myself those questions and just put my life into motion filled with those things I love to do most. So I said to myself " Self, don't ask! Act!" It's the only thing I really have to do in life. Do the thing, anything, anything at all from the heart, the rest will follow. No need to think about being inspired or waiting for that perfect moment or feeling. Inspiration arrives after you start working on the thing you were searching for inspiration about.

And after that first scary step is taken, inspiration and creation follow. Here’s to your journey in creating!

Valarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the book The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and you can find her doing that on her popular blog and website, Jump into a Book

Monday 5 September 2011

Growing Pains by Glenda Myles

Transition is to change or passage from one state or stage to another. There are times in our lives when this happens naturally. As we grow older, these transitions happen less frequently naturally and more likely influenced by external factors. Either way transitioning is a part of growing.

I’m transitioning; moving to a new stage in my life. It’s filled with hope, possibility, excitement, fear (rational and otherwise), and a strange sense of peace.

My daughter (I’m a single mom) is almost finished university and will soon be moving out. I am transitioning to an “empty nest” as they call it. One of the benefits of having a child when you are young is that I am still “young” as I enter this new phase of my life. I am forced to come to terms with the price for decisions that I have made along the way. By focusing on my career and raising my daughter, I am now alone. I want to find a life partner to share this next phase of my life.  It’s work in progress.

And that career that I have been working so hard on, well it’s time for a change with it as well. I have a very good marketing job with a great company doing work that I enjoy. But at some point in the not so distant future, I want to run my own business. I want to set my own schedule, my clients, and my work.  I have started my business, Myles Ahead Studio, and over the next year I will be transitioning to it full-time. It’s work in progress.

I read. A lot. I love books. I love to learn. In fact, it’s one of my core strengths. Over the past few years I have been working on my personal development. Figuring out my strengths and passions and what I really want in my life.  As I determine what I want, I am transitioning to living my new life. I have outlined my ideal day: what my day would look like, comprise of, if I could do anything with no limitations. I now try to align my day as closely as possible with my ideal day vision. It’s work in progress.

During these past weeks with Circe Circle, I have recognized some of the challenges that I face – most internal – to fully transition to this new life. I know there will be struggles along the way. Growing pains: the price we pay to grow and transition.

I am committed to this process and I look forward to sharing my work in progress with you.

Focus on your vision and keep going until you hit the finish line. Don’t be one of the people who believe in their vision at first but then give up. See it through, no matter how long it takes. Understand that obstacles are just part of the game. Whatever you imagine, you can achieve. Once you realize this truth, no one is going to be able to stop you. - Russell Simmons from 'Do You!'

Glenda M at Myles Ahead Studio

Saturday 3 September 2011

Saying Yes by Meghan Genge

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." - Hans Christian Andersen

Here we are at what seems like the beginning of something.  Jamie has pulled together this group of dynamic, creative, inspiring women and it appears that we are starting here.  The blog is up, the women are writing, and collaboration is in the air.  And so it begins.

The truth, though, is the reason that I am writing here at all.  The truth is that this all began months ago when the notion of a dream, like the soft wisp of a dandelion seed, found fertile ground in Jamie’s creative energy.   She accepted it. She planted and nourished it.  She worked really hard on it.  And here it is, fully grown and incredibly beautiful.

How many times have you been given the gift of a dream seed?  How many times have you felt the soft touch of inspiration? Dozens? Hundreds? And how many times have you accepted that gift with open arms and fierce determination?  How many times have you grabbed it and planted it and worked your ass of to make it flourish?  Dozens of times?  Once or twice?  Never?

I am guilty of dream neglection.  I often accept the gift, scribbling it down so that I don’t forget it, and then close the book and walk away.  There are an embarrassingly large number of dreams lying dormant in my care.  But that is the beauty of the best dreams: they don’t go away.  Energy flows where attention goes right?  What dream seed it calling to you the loudest?  Is it time to give it life?


Thursday 1 September 2011

Introducing Creative Dream Journals!

Welcome, beautiful dreamer!

This blog is for you. 

Here you will find inspiration for your wild heart, encouragement for your creative spirit and nourishment for your deep soul.  We're here to share the creative dream journey - its questions, joys, challenges and celebrations - because we want you to know, beautiful dreamer, you're not alone.

Your Host: Jamie Ridler

Creative Living Coach & Director of Jamie Ridler Studios

Every year I lead a few women through an intimate coaching program called Circe's Circle: Your Creative Dream Team. Without fail, I am amazed by the creativity, brilliance and spirit of the women who step into the circle. I wanted to create a place where they can continue to shine, where their light would guide the way for other beautiful dreamers like you.

Website: Jamie Ridler Studios. Podcast: Creative Living with Jamie Twitter: @starshyne. Facebook. Creative Living TV.

The Dreamers

Circe's Circle Alumnae & Contributors to Creative Dream Journals

Aimee Cavenecia

Aimee Cavenecia(also known as AimeeLovesYou) has an extensive background as a professional artist. Her current work is becoming an expert in Seeing, Loving, and Being (SLB). Aimee has dedicated the rest of her life to studying this field and sharing her insights on the topic.

As an author and activist Aimee is igniting a bliss and self-mastery revolution through her weekly blog Sunday Is For Lovers. Aimee's mission is to create a world full of passionate lovers devoted to the beauty of Seeing and the bliss in Being - thus launching a global movement towards bliss and self-mastery where happiness and love is who we are and sharing it is what we do.

Website: Aimee Loves You. Blog: Sunday is for Lovers. Facebook. Twitter.

Andrea Schroeder

Hello, I'm Andrea. I'm a Creativity + Meditation teacher, Healer, Artist and Magic-Maker. My work comes from the intersection of Creativity and Spirituality. Spirituality is about going inward. Creativity is about expressing outward. But they both deal with the same thing: Your Creative Spirit.

Because that’s where the magic happens. I call it Creative Magic and it helps you to get un-stuck and create all sorts of magic stuff out in the world (AKA Creative Dreaming).The Creative Magic is why my work sparkles the way it does. The tools I use are: Creative Journaling, Creative Dream Incubation and Creative Meditation.I have developed these tools over the past 15 years.

On the creative side I have a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Design and half of a degree in Interior Design. On the spiritual side I am a highly intuitive Reiki healer, I have been trained and accredited as a New Thought Healing Practitioner and have attended more workshops and retreats in personal growth, emotional process integration and intuitive development than you can shake a stick at.But it’s much less about the tools and much more about letting your Creative Magic sparkle and shine and bringing your sparkliest dreams to life. My mission is to overflow this world with Creative Dreams come true. Mine, yours, everyone’s.

Website: Creative Dream Academy. Creative Dream Incubator. Facebook. Twitter.

Amy Palko

Amy is a writer, photographer, academic, teacher, spiritual seeker, wife and home-educating mother of 3. She plays many roles in her life, but the thread that runs through each is the sacred feminine. Whether she is photographing close-up images of flowers, facilitating a goddess workshop, teaching her students new ways to approach narrative, or providing a nurturing learning environment for her own children, She does so from a place of love and compassion. She creates and holds spaces for illumination to occur. She has recently launched an new online community/flexible course called Bloom by Moon which explores the different cycles of the moon as a way of honouring and celebrating the sacred feminine.

Website: Community Site: Bloom by Moon. Twitter.

Ginny Lennox

Ginny Lennox easily describes herself as wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and teacher.  Just recently she has begun to add the words writer, artist, and photographer to help describe who she is and what she loves to do.  Ginny is currently writing her first novel about a young woman who is on a journey to find her true self.  Ginny believes that we are all creative beings and that when we take the time to acknowledge, embrace, and celebrate our own unique creativity a whole new world of exciting opportunities opens up to us. Ginny loves to be a part of helping people recognize and develop their own special gifts and talents.  Ginny can be found on her blog, Special Moments In Time.

Blog: Special Moments in Time. Email.

Kelly Besecke

I'm a sociologist-turned-writer who writes about spiritual meaning, progressive religion, and authentic living; I'm also a freelance editor for scholars, students, and nonfiction writers. My current writing project is my first book, whose working title is You Can't Put God in a Box: A Thoughtful Spirituality for a Rational Age. I'm keenly interested in the creative life, and especially in the many ways that people combine creative commitments with earning a living. I'm a dreamer, a deep thinker, and an incurable idealist who loves singer-songwriter music, impressionism, and every dog I've ever met.

Website. Facebook. Nascent and very occasional blog.

Angel Young

Hi I'm Angel. I live in the UK, and I just love art and writing and photography and healing (and canoeing, and meditation, and shamanism, and ...!!!). I practice reiki and I'm a natural sensitive. I'm finding ways to make space for all these things in my life by increments and one of these places is my flickr site. The rest is en route!


Kim LeClair

I have been a shadow creative for the past 40 years but I’m finally deciding to come out into the light. I’m sort of obsessed with the question of the difference between Art and Design and lately I’ve been dabbling and exploring and jumping and winging it (mostly winging it!) around that question. I guess now I’m going to do some of that 'in public'...that idea is mostly exhilarating with a heavy sprinkling of raw terror. My hope is that what I share here is honest and true and adds some Joy to the World....I’m a big fan of Joy!

Blog: Fitness for Mere Mortals

Meghan Genge

I am a writer, a seeker and a believer in magic. I believe passionately in the power of story and have decided to add the title of Talespinner to my list of passions. Born in Canada, I currently live in England with my husband in a rose-covered cottage much like the one I dreamed of as a child. I write books that take ancient stories and wisdom and help them resonate with a contemporary audience. I want people reading my words to feel like they are sitting beside a campfire at the knees of their ancestors hearing stories that help them make sense of their modern lives. I am currently looking for an agent and publisher for my first book and am excitedly spinning the next. I can be found at my blog: Creating Wings and occasionally on twitter.

Website: Creating Wings. Partner in: Randomly Challenged. Twitter.

Tammy Durham

I am an artist using many mediums to create and a web designer/editor by trade. My favorite mediums include oil pastels, jewelry making, sharpie art, and collage. I also enjoy photography. I think cooking is an art, and I love making new dishes (and attempting to get pretty photos before we devour!) I am a business owner - Off-Center Studio. Why Off-Center Studio, you ask? Well, I was involved in a wonderful teleclass (Circe's Circle!) last year about building dreams. My dream was to start this very business. We brainstormed names during the class, and I came up with several. The one that "stuck" was Off-Center. I chose studio since I do more than just web design! And I chose off-center because, well, I am a little off-center! I don't run with the crowd. I am an individual, and I like my uniqueness. So I am celebrating that with the name of my business!

Website: Off-Center Studio. Blog.

Susan Cadley

I’m a ponderer, I just can’t help it. My curiosity about human behavior, spirituality, creativity, animals, the life force, cultures, health, shamanism, the elements, dreams…ok…I could go on, and I will here. I’m always reading, listening, thinking, wondering, jotting it down or typing it up. I’ll be sharing what I what I’m noticing, processing and learning.

I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Soul Coach in private practice. My counseling orientation is integrative as I attend to the body, mind, spirit and emotions and the rich information they each can provide. I believe that each day is a gift and there’s richness available to you in every 24-hour timeframe. The possibilities are limitless. I also believe that you are the most interesting person you’ll ever know.

You are a soul – a shining light. You are not your roles, thoughts, career, economic status or who others think you are. My intention in my profession and writing is for you to be able to hear the messages of your soul so that you can live a fulfilling life as the authentic, real you.

Website: Coaching for Your Soul. Blog: Soul Tending. Twitter. Facebook.

Suzie Ridler

When I left university I did not know how to boil an egg. I could write a kick-ass essay and unnerving poetry but food was a complete mystery to me. I figured it was a secret world of knowledge I would only be able to access when I went out for dinner.

Unlike many foodies, I did not grow up on my mom's knee in the kitchen. I was a free spirit exploring the world and completely untamed, even when I was five. I have often asked my mom why I did not spend any time in the kitchen and she said, "Probably because I shooed all of you out of my way and outside." I think she is probably right. I have always been a wild child.

I can hardly remember a time in my life when I did not have a camera in my hands. From the old box camera to the 70s disc cameras, then stylish but super-heavy SLR days and now to the new digital photographic revolution, I seem to have an obsession with capturing my world into photographs. These days my focus seems to always be on my food.

I am a foodie, writer, photographer, reviewer and chronic rebel. Constantly stirring up delicious trouble in the foodie world.

Blog: Suzie the Foodie. Facebook. Twitter.

Helen Yee

Helen Yee is an improvising violinist, multi-instrumentalist, composer with experience in a broad range of music genres. Currently violinist for the eclectic string trio, Trio Tritticali she also performs on yangqin, a Chinese hammer dulcimer, with Music From China. A multicreative adventurer at heart, she also loves exploring and collaborating in other forms of improvisation including vocal work, movement and text improv. She considers the practice of improvisation a profound teacher, in art and in life.

Website: Blog: First a Glimmer. Facebook. CD and music downloads: Trio Tritticali and CD Baby.

Becky Armstrong

Hi everyone, I am Becky and I live in Durham in the UK with my husband Ross and my 4 gorgeous dogs; Oscar, Bella, Mavis and Bud.

I run two businesses, a few years back as a result of coaching I decided to set up a business working with my passion – dogs and that’s how Bright Paws was born. I now get to work with dogs every day as a canine behaviourist and massage therapist. Last year I had the opportunity to leave work and decided to take the leap and go for it. Having spent 12 years in learning and development my biggest love was coaching – helping people be their best selves and in February this year I set up Sparkle, my coaching company through which I help people follow their dreams – whether that be a new career (like it was for me), a new business, a new country … whatever it is for them.

I love walking my dogs and doing cross stitch and this year I am finding the writer in me which I am loving, I am just getting back on track with my poor neglected blogs and starting to do newsletters fortnightly (feel free to sign up) and I am even in the process of writing my first book

I look forward to getting to know everyone better. Feel free to connect on linked in or Facebook.

Website: Sparkle People and Development. Website: Bright Paws.

Valarie Budayr

Valarie Budayr is the founder of Audrey Press and author of the book The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden. She is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and you can find her doing that on her popular blog and website, Jump into a Book. When she isn’t being bookie, she is very happily the mother of three uber creative children, married to a wonderfully patient man who has come to love yarn, and caretaker of one adored cat. Other creative interests are music, travel, knitting (a bonefide yarn harlot), and gardening. She loves living a daily creative practice, where even a good cup of coffee is art.

Website: Audrey Press. Book: The Fox Diaries. Website: Jump into a Book. Blog: A Place Like This.

Nolwenn Petitbois

Nolwenn Petitbois is an eternal dreamer. Looking at the sky and seeing shapes, inventing stories, writing to let go, painting to make the Universe happening in her mind real.

She is a French who was dreaming hard of living in Canada since her teenage years, and was lucky to find her SoulMate, who shared the same desire. They just waited to give birth to two wonderful girls before making it their reality. They now live in the Beautiful British Columbia.

Nolwenn is a huge believer of how positive thinking and Gratitude can impact your life for better, and also how their is a reason for everything that happens.

She discovered Creative Journaling a bit by coincidence, when she was not looking for it, on the summer of 2008. And this was her epiphany, exactly what she needed, when she needed it; she went for it head first, despite her thoughts about i-am-not-a-creative-person. Healing was (and still is) the main goal of her creations, but she now focuses also in helping others to see how beautiful and shiny and positive beings they are, even in the darkest moments Life can bring...

Blog: Inner Voices. Etsy Shop. YouTube. Facebook.

Glenda Myles

Who am I: Mom, Marketer, Teacher, Student, Creator, Problem-Solver, Activist, Volunteer, Reader, Vegan, Foodie, Yogini, Dancer, Writer, Adventurer, Possibility Creator, Music Lover, Newbie Artist, Moon Watcher, Magick-Inspired Dreamer, Always Hopeful, Get Things Done Kind of Girl!

The Basics: Education – I have a Master’s degree in Marketing. Experience - I’ve been in business and marketing for almost twenty years holding middle and senior management positions in a variety of sectors and industries over the last ten. I enjoy the balance with the creative elements and the analytical. Other tidbits of interest – I’m a trained and certified JourneyDance™ facilitator and Dance the Body Divine™ facilitator. Yoga is an integral part of my life and philosophy. I am a vegan because of its health, environmental and animal rights benefits. My first university degree was in health education. I am also a single mother of an amazing 21 year old who still lives at home while attending university.

My Biz: Myles Ahead Studio. I work with businesses (small and large) to come up with creative ideas and solutions to their key business problems. I offer a variety of services to assist teams with idea generation, creative problem solving, strategic marketing, and more. It’s all about ideas. And, of course, making those ideas happen. As an experienced facilitator, I love to lead workshops, seminars and conferences. At the end of the day, great ideas are only great if well executed. That’s where the “getting things done kind of girl” comes in.

My writing: I started my new business during Circe Circle. I plan to officially kick things off in the fall 2011 while still working a full time corporate job in marketing. I expect to transition to the new business fully over the next year. I will write about the challenges of transitioning: transitioning careers and work-life, transitioning to an empty nest, transitioning to a new way of living.

Business Site/Blog: Myles Ahead Studio. Creative Blog: Be Myles Ahead. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Email.

Michelle Reinhardt

I am a seeker of joy and beauty and ease. I am on a quest to create my most authentic blissful life and hope to help others do the same. I absolutely love to learn and grow. I am fueled by the laughter of children, people living their dreams, doodling and dancing, live music, yoga and green smoothies.

Twitter. Facebook. Email.