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Lose What Needs To Be Lost To Find What Needs To Be Found

These are the words that follow the title of a movie that was released earlier this year called E-Motion.  It is a brilliant and transformational film that delves into the workings of our subconscious minds and looks at the power it has over our lives.  This sneak peek of the first 25 minutes of the film opens with a quote: “The subconscious mind defines everything about us,”  and then goes on to explore what actually controls the subconscious.  Without spoiling the movie for you by giving away the details, I will say that emotions are at the center of the discoveries shared in the film.

For many years Lori and I have led various workshops in both corporate settings and other groups, and the one constant has always been an inward exploration of the self, and in particular our emotions and thoughts and their impact on our lives.  I have often shared a quote in these workshops from Charles Darwin that I find particularly profound: “When the human species has finally harnessed the power of emotions, we will be ready to take the next evolutionary leap.”  Seriously.  Think about that for just a moment…emotions…when we figure that out we will EVOLVE?!  Like drop the fins and grow limbs kind of thing…an evolutionary leap!  This is HUGE!  And, while you contemplate this and relate it to your own life, you will probably recognize the truth of it…emotions are really a powerhouse.  Positive emotions can facilitate great movement forward, open doors, empower and lift us.  The flip side is true too…emotions can keep us stuck in the muck and fear and cause all kinds of issues and trouble in relationships, in our work and with our sense of self.  For many of us our early training led us to ignore emotions completely in favor of relying on our logical/rational faculties.  What folly this has been!  The journey inward to explore these things is at the heart of what we encourage in our workshops.  Creative play and personal reflection are perfect partners in this inward journey.  I think it beats therapy any day…but that’s just me. The reality is… art IS therapy if approached in a mindful, unattached, process-oriented way.  It is cathartic and soul-expanding…and it can even be FUN…really!  This intriguing movie sheds some light on how it all works and shares some wonderful insights that, if applied, are life-changing.  Enjoy…


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Inspiration

Inspiration comes from everywhere, and goodness knows both of us are always happily researching and enjoying all kinds of great ideas and processes.  This publication is a favorite…and it’s available online for free.  Take a peek:

 


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What are your dreams for 2013 and how will you go about reaching them?

A new year is always about embracing the dreams and visions we have for ourselves.

But one of the things that keeps us from achieving those dreams is the inner critic. So when we give power to that voice by listening to it we shut down our opportunity to live the life we hope for and set out trying to live at the beginning of each new year.

This year we are SO EXCITED to introduce you to a process called intentional creativity. It’s  what we’ve been doing all along but had no official name for.  And sort of tiptoed around – just dipping our toes in with meaningful, thought-provoking projects and discussions . But we think you want more of that.  And we want to take you – and our evenings – to a deeper place.  We all want more insight, more meaningful conversation, more ah-has, and more connection.  We know that your time is valuable, that you are up to big things in the world, and you need a place to be inspired, and inspiring, and people who are doing the same.

 

Cheryl and I have laid out our plans for 2013 in a way that will build on itself over the course of the year.  And one of the first things we will do in January (Calgary) and early February (Vancouver Island) is address that inner critic head on, in an artful way.  We hope to and will work towards silencing and diffusing the power that voice has on us and our dreams and aspirations.

We all have a wise and intuitive self even though some days it seems silent – and we struggle to hear it.  It’s  simply being drowned by other voices – both internal and external. But when we begin to embrace, silence, or re-frame our own unhelpful internal messaging, we build resiliency and strengthen our ability to deal with the negative influences that come from our environment.

You might wonder how we can make a process that sounds this heavy FUN? But never fear! Not only do we have wine but we are both trained facilitators in dealing with stressful, negative influence. We know the importance of keeping a light-hearted approach in potentially heavy topics.

So, does this sound like an intriguing way to creatively begin 2013?

If you:

  • want and need connection with wholehearted (thanks Brene), interesting women
  • would like a consistent creative outlet designed to inspire and encourage you
  • love to get buried in art supplies and activities of all kinds
  • have 3 hours a month to devote to just taking care of yourself – and know how critical that is…

then check out our events page for more details here for Calgary and here for Shawnigan Lake and please join our mailing list.  We never bombard you – you’ll simply get updates about upcoming events and maybe a great resource or two.

 


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Connecting With Others

Connecting with others….yes, we need it like we need to breathe.  But, holy smokes it is easy to get SO wrapped up in all the things we have going on.  And, sadly, in all the devices that ding and vibrate for our attention.  We know the human connection is SO vital, and we know that making creativity a part of that connection makes it even richer.  Finding this article today over on Positively Positive is a great reminder.  (Yes, even we who KNOW these things need reminding!)

Need to Banish the Blues? Try the Power of Connecting to Others!

By Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW

 

 

 

 

Now that we’ve got the kick in the pants we needed, watch for details on an upcoming Wine, Women and a Paintbrush Session this month in Shawnigan Lake as well as some new ideas we are kicking around to share with you that will keep us connecting and creating and conversing….coming VERY soon!


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The “I’ll Just” Syndrome

I just read a great article by Lesley Riley (click the link for Lesley’s site) about letting the “I’ll justs …. ” get in the way of the things you actually WANT to do.  Like get into the studio, or take a walk, or just rest.  Imagine.  Lesley’s article is aimed at artists – women in particular – and has some excellent advice at managing our time more effectively so that we don’t let the minutae of the day keep us from creating.  I think it applies to everything though – and to men as well.  And to the big picture.  How many of us just “I’ll just” our lives away?

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_rgQHauK3psA/TQE_hArOXHI/AAAAAAAAAC4/KmVEsQ-IH6M/s1600/so%2Bmuch%2Bto%2Bdo.jpg

Either we let the to-dos pile up so that there is no time left for the pleasures, or we create to-dos to avoid doing our important, inspiring, fulfilling stuff.  But that’s a whole other post…  Or, if we work we put our heads down somewhere around 25, bury ourselves in our jobs, ignore or put off the things we used to love, and come up for air somewhere around mid-life wondering where the hell the time went.  (Though I think that the younger generations have that figured out – I’m talking to us 40+ folks.)

So what’s on your “I’ll just” list today?  Ironically, today is my birthday and my day looks like laundry, several hours of work, chauffering kids, and grabbing a quick bite with my husband while one of them is at her activity.  However… a thoughtful friend, who is one of the best people I know at doing what she loves, has managed to convince me to steal away for the afternoon.  We all need some help – either a friend like mine, a list like Lesley’s to follow, or maybe a course, sport, or activity to invest in, to ensure that life is as full of “I’ll just spend an hour in the studio/with a friend/relaxing” as “I’ll just get this laundry done…”.


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The importance of rest


This video isn’t officially about rest, it’s about barefoot running, which, if you are a barefoot runner or want to be one, you will find interesting.  Although it’s actually about a book about running… But I digress…

I realized today, while running, that I almost never STOP.  Like really stop.  Do nothing.  Just sit.  Even while sleeping, my dreams are crazy and busy, and now, at mid-life, I’ve got all kinds of lovely physical changes to keep me from totally relaxing.

So, what does that have to do with this video?   There’s a piece of it that describes how hunters, pre-weapons, were able to catch their prey, by tracking and running.  Until the exhausted animal, who, unable to regulate their body temperature, slows down and eventually collapses from heat stroke.  And it occurred to me that that is essentially what we humans do, even though for the most part, we have no idea how close we are to collapse.  I don’t think we’re very good at self-regulation either,  though we might think we are.  Most of us run/go/text/work/help/etc. without real rest until suffer our own kind of heat stroke – literally or figuratively.

Lots of us have put restorative practices in place – yoga, art, vacations, going “offline”.  Certainly there is enough attention on being in the moment, or meditating, the slow life, etc. to have resulted in a heightened awareness.  And we probably all know people who “never saw it coming” and we think “oh that won’t happen to me” or make a concerted effort to ensure it doesn’t.  But I wonder whether we are always “on” in some way?  I definitely am.  Always thinking, planning, running errands, catching up, working – it’s endless.  Even when I sit down to watch something PVR’d (which makes getting it watched so much faster so that I can do something else), I’m doing something else.  Unbelievable.  So I’m considering – just considering, since I’m pretty addicted to endless input sadly – actually stopping for at least a tiny part of each day.  Because though I seem to be healthy and able to keep up this pace, some part of me knows that all this running can’t possibly last.


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A Commiseration Party

One of the many reasons we started WW&P was to bring women together to create, but also, because we know that gathering is how we cope and support one another through life’s ups and downs.  And yet, for some of us, (me for sure!) it’s so easy  to turn away from others, hide out, not show our vulnerabilities, and try to get  through our sorrows on our own.  I’m working at changing that so have designated 2012 as my year of “being seen”, and am doing things very differently than my hermit self wants to.

7 short years ago

So, this August, when my oldest son, Adam, moved away to pursue his passion for hockey, I invited a few women over whose children were also leaving this fall  for a few tears and lots of commiseration.

When the day of the party arrived, the same day my son was leaving, it was all I could do to not cancel. All I wanted to do was mope around. (By the way, I had NO idea his leaving would hit me that hard. It wasn’t so much about his preparedness to fly the coop.  The sadness stemmed from a realization that this was the first real life transition in our family and that nothing would ever be the way it was again.  And from missing seeing him daily.) Fortunately, or unfortunately, I knew my friends would show up anyway so it seemed in my best interest to be ready for them!

It was exactly what I’d hoped for – and what we hope for in our events. Women sharing our lives, our sadness, our hopes and dreams, lots of laughter, and, in this case, quite a few bottles of wine! (Hence the blurry photo).

an evening of happy commiseration

I’m glad I didn’t cancel. This was just what I/we all needed. And I’m so grateful.


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Speaking of Perspective Shifts…

Neil Gaiman, author of the wonderfully dark book and movie, Coraline,  gives some absolutely inspiring advice and insights about pursuing creative work.  While we are focusing on perspective shifts in our June workshop, Neil’s thoughts really just add to that shift.  His is a refreshing and hopeful look at the creative life.  Enjoy!


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Should we aspire to not aging at all?

what else is there to say but "wow"

I’m at the stage of life where my own internal conversations – and definitely conversations with my girl friends – often is about aging.  One friend recently referred to her gray hair as her “wisdom” – as in, my wisdom is showing.  I love it!  What a warm, positive way to approach what is often a kind of difficult transition.  Everywhere we look we are bombarded with images of impossibly youthful looking women at middle-age and beyond.

Like the above image.  Holy cow!  She’s 65!  Gotta give her credit – she looks amazing.  And, as I understand it, she’s very well researched and educated on this topic.  HOWEVER, the “not aging at all” thing isn’t working for me and wasn’t the point of this post.

I wanted you to know about this blog – Advanced Style – and these incredible shots of lovely women who are aging gracefully, beautifully, and with style.

wouldn't you love to know her?If you subscribe to the feed similar pictures arrive regularly from all over the world.  So inspiring!  I think perhaps that these women are a more realistic approach to aging gracefully..

recycled chic

how sweet is she?

And while I certainly would love to look like Suzanne Somers at 65, having the grace,style and confidence of these women would be just as satisfying.  What do you think?

And, in honor of Mother’s Day, I think my Mom should be included here.  At 75, she’s chic, stylish and health conscious.  Here she is with my daughter, Robin, on a recent family holiday.