Category Archives: self help

The dog ate my motivation

The dog ate my motivation. Good excuse, right?

We get inventive when it comes to excuses to avoid that which we REALLY want to do if we weren’t so scared.

A lack of motivation usually stems from fear. Sometimes we realize that what we have been doing isn’t working so we lose motivation.

I have been sensing a shift lately. I don’t lack discipline (but strong discipline can sometimes work against me.) A feeling that things weren’t working out has bogged me down in the last week or so.

I felt cornered. I made this art journal spread to express my feelings.

art journaling

Then I realized that I have to go back to the moment, to let my intuition guide me. So often I “push through” which is not guided by my intuition, but by my force of will.

I’m stubborn and I want things to happen NOW, not later or on a universal timeline.  As frustration sets in I have to surrender, and then I find myself back on track, motivated to step forward again.

Our body is a great indicator whether we’re “pushing” or allowing. How does if feel? Like rolling a rock up a mountain?

Water flows easily around obstacles. Be like water.

Listen to that inner urge, the subtle force that propels us forward. The turtle wins the race…

If you don’t feel motivated what can you do? If you want to make art, set aside a no-excuse time to do it and stick with it! Everyone can find 15 minutes a day.

Put your art supplies out on a table or counter somewhere. They are a reminder of what you want to do.

Find creative ways around chores and children or involve the tots in art making with you. You might inspire a future artist.

Watch art how-to videos on YouTube. I have a channel with lots of INSPIRING VIDEOS.

To get on track we have to engage with the things that inspire fear. Art is easy as you can’t go wrong! Look at is as exploration.  I’m only addressing art here, but if you have a different dream, what is holding you back?

Cultivate discipline but don’t let it consume you and your inner sense of what is right. There is a balance to everything.

Trust the sensations in your body. They are never wrong.

When you feel inspired, act! Don’t put it off.

When you don’t feel inspired, listen within and trust that everything is okay.

Make a habit of creating some art every day. It bears repeating. Make friends with your art materials. Sometimes unknown materials can be scary. Remember, your art is never wrong. Accept the ugly with the beautiful and keep going.

Stop making excuses, period. Stand “naked” with the pain of frustration and indecision. Allow the stuckness until you feel that inner “go” again.

Make some bold moves.

Don’t blame the dog! 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some inspiring and affordable e-courses if you’re looking for tutorials. CLICK HERE. 

 

Laura Probert and the April 2017 art prompts

Laura Probert kindly accepted to help me out with a month of art inspiration for my online art journaling group.

Laura Probert
Laura Probert

She is a great writer and has written for many online publications like Huffington Post and Elephant Journal. She is passionate about healing and uses writing and art, among other things, as tools to dive deeply inside and heal the wounds we carry.

This from her website:

“WAKE UP
“Without awareness there is no choice.”

John F. Barnes

Awareness is the key to healing.

I’ve spent my 21 year career as a student, healer and an athlete learning the tools, tips and tricks that will help you wake up and develop a practice of awareness. 

Healing is about peeling off the layers of mental, emotional and physical injury and trauma that cover up your soul and keep you from living the best, healthiest, most joyful life you can live.

 Awareness can help you heal physical pain and injury, relationships, business ventures, exercise goals…basically anything you want to change in your life.

I’ll teach you what I know about this powerful door to healing and the many paths to it. Everything that happens to us happens through our awareness…it’s a matter of being awake to the stuff of life. I’ll show you how body awareness connects you with your inner healer and gives you choices about your health and life.”

I like the idea that Laura offers tools for self healing and not trying to heal “you.” Ultimately, we are the only ones who can heal ourselves.

More from her website:

“BE BRAVE
“Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.”
Brene Brown

My journey has been about stepping into my power, claiming my self-worth and finding and expressing my unique voice. Being brave has been necessary and facing and moving through my fears has been a powerful process.

Dealing with the things that are keeping you stuck or holding you back from your desires helps you heal. I’ll show you how to integrate mind, body and soul in a way that gives you new techniques to deal with fear. 

Being brave is about feeling. You have to be awake to feel. Feeling is healing. It takes guts to feel. I’ll help you feel what you need to feel to heal. I’ll hold a space for you to do the work of feeling and healing you need to do to make a change.”

“DO WHAT YOU LOVE


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman”

When you connect with what you love, you move toward healing. When you heal, you are able to connect more with what you love.

More of my favorite quotes:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Mary Oliver

“When you are serious, determined, positive and on-purpose, magical shit happens.”
Torrie Pattillo”

Some info about Laura:

Laura’s healing programs, classes, workshops and books will help you redefine healing and take your journey to the next level. She’s able to combine the tools she’s learned for healing with the tools she’s learned for creative flow to create programs that are powerful, unique and integrated. She’s helping to move the knowledge of mind body connection from idea to action and teaches it in an immediately applicable way.

When she’s not igniting transformation in her clients you’ll find her writing, hanging with her kids, dogs or a horse, hiking in the woods, practicing her axe kick, or taste testing dark chocolate. Find her on Facebook at Warrior Love or via her WEBSITE.

I would have to say that Laura Probert is a cool person to know and she GETS RESULTS  because she’s not afraid to dive deep. That is very inspiring to me.

If you didn’t sign up for the free 2017 art journal prompts you can do so HERE.

Lots of love,

Maria

Perfection kills creativity

Perfection kills creativity and how do you change in the direction of deeper creativity?

Do you compare yourself to the perfection of nature?  What do you compare yourself to?

perfection
perfection

As an artist, perfectionism stifles all expression.  Maybe it’s ok in the very last layer of a realistic painting, but I don’t know since I don’t paint realism. I have suffered from perfectionism from time to time. It shows up as:

That didn’t turn out very good

Is this any good?

I can never get it right

Those statements might not seem like an angle of perfectionism, but when we doubt what we made we have a picture of what it SHOULD look like, and it’s never good enough.  It comes down to comparison to some kind of ideal or living up to someone else’s expectations.

Maybe someone’s voice is running a commentary in your head?

Maybe our parents expected us to be perfect in every way. What does that have to do with art? It has everything to do with whatever task you attempt, be it art, writing, speaking, teaching, accounting. Basically, in every area of life. The way we look, the way we work.

How do you escape this tyranny of perfectionism?

First, you have to realize it’s present, and a pain in the ass. Not everyone notices or perfectionism is so embedded in the “norm” that it’s inconceivable to change.

As an artist, it’s important to let loose and try something completely different from your current mode of expression.

Become three years old again. Slap some paint on a poster board.

Make ugly abstract art. Muddy the colors. Paint big.

Use tools you don’t normally use.

As you explore this, something inside has to give. The perfectionist will raise a big stink, but allow it to and paint anyway. Just go nuts!

Do this with everything. Don’t mop the floor every day even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Don’t pick up the clothes. Don’t obsessively clean the kitchen counter. Let some dishes sit around in the sink.

Allow the inner wisdom to show you that life won’t fall apart if you get a bit “sloppy.”

wisdom
wisdom versus perfectionism

It is a challenge, but to truly change, you have to face the discomfort and get to the other side.

To become a life artist we have to face the difficult things that hold us back.

Paint anyway.  Show up, be daring.

Allow the emotions to flow. There might be rage under the perfectionism, but rage is good fuel for art! 🙂

Then, underneath the rage there might be other stuffed emotions. And then there is peace. And it’s ok if there are dishes in the sink for the time being. Expressing your creativity is more important.

Maybe you pick up a new style… YOUR style.

xo

Maria

P.S. If you’d like to get my art newsletter, please sign up HERE.

Healing through self love

I’m reading the book Healing by David Elliott and it’s fabulous. There is a free PDF download on his website HERE.  You have to register but then there is a library where you can download the book.

I resonate with his statement that self-love is something we all fall short of, and it is also the healing force for pretty much everything. There are some exercises and questions to answer to see where you lack the self-love needed for transformation.

David-Elliott-Healing-1571-157x205
Healing, David Elliott

I took the following description from his website to give you some more information.

What if you could heal yourself of any illness, addiction, or chronic condition? How empowered would you feel if you had the keys to healing, not only on the physical level, but on emotional, mental and spiritual levels as well?

HEALING, the second book by healer and author David Elliott, is a comprehensive and thorough exploration of the limitless potential within you to discover the healing you have been searching for.

  • Clear instruction and guidance on how to develop your own ability to heal
  • Examples and stories from David’s 20 years working as a healer
  • Over 30 exercises, meditations and numerous diagrams to help the reader

I really love this book and I can’t wait to try all of the meditations and breath work that help to open up the heart and release stuck emotions.

David-Elliott_Aspen-Grove-Creative-Healing-Arts-Center_265
David Elliott

I feel this kind of work can only help in my own journey of artful expression.  There is always more internal junk to release and I read a lot of self-help books. This is one of the best ones I have come across lately.

Want to give it a try? You won’t regret it. 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. I have a couple of new things for sale in my etsy shop now. CLICK HERE.

Andrea Schroeder on self love.

I have never met Andrea Schroeder in “real” life but maybe I have met her in my dreams.  She is the creator of the Creative Dream Incubator and the Creative Dream Circle.  A Canadian with a vision that goes beyond the usual “fluff” we so often see on social media.

She’s an artist but also someone who delves deeply into the problems of being human.  She helps you expand the possibilities of being a life artist. I was intrigued by her unique take on common problems / solutions so I promptly joined her Creative Dream Circle.

And I have had fun with it ever since! It’s full of creative courses and other awesome offerings. The yearly  membership will not be enough to go through all the material, but I look forward to a long exploration on her site.

I will offer you links to her offerings at the end of this post.  This excerpt is from her free guided journal + free coloring book.

What it is: 15 pages of journal prompts and hand-drawn mandala coloring pages to explore and color.

She writes:

It’s a beam of creativity & love, from my heart to yours.

This book is designed for people who want to lead creatively abundant lives — and do ‘impossible’ things, with ease & joy, every day.

Filled with journaling prompts, unique energy alchemy processes and hand-drawn healing mandala coloring pages, this book will lead you through the process of learning more about your (amazing!) self.

There is magic in this book.

You activate that magic by playing with it.

Play in whatever way you want to play. Use whatever art supplies are fun for you: glitter pens, crayons, collage, etc.  There are no rules here.

The journaling prompts are tiny little diving boards, for you to dive off of into your own adventure – go off on tangents and explore whatever thoughts come up in the process.  They will lead you to amazing places.

The healing power of the mandala coloring pages is activated when you color them in, lighting them up with your unique creative expression and ideas.  (If you want to explore mandalas further and draw your own, I’ve got an easy-peasy anyone-can-do.

My hope is that this book helps you to fall more deeply in love with your amazing self.

mandala coloring pagesmandala coloring pagesmandala coloring pages

To download this free inspirational how-to go HERE.

You don’t have to be an artist to create these mandalas.

To find a full length course of painting mandalas or to find out about the Creative Dream Circle go HERE.

All artists and LIFE artists need a shot of inspiration so I have added the link below.  It’s really worth looking into.

To give Your Dream Wings, check out this full length e-course that is FREE!!!  Click HERE.

You can also find Andrea on Facebook HERE.

andrea1
Andrea Schroeder

We all need inspiration sometimes, and she’s great at offering new views and possibilities, and I like her laid back style.

I wish you a happy, creative weekend!

xo

Maria

P.S. If you’re looking for a unique gift please check my etsy shop HERE.

 

Raining on your parade?

Lots of people like to rain on your parade, but nothing new there, right? It’s all in how we allow it to affect us.

So many artists say that they get a lot of negative feedback about their choice of career.  This affects their self-confidence, but it doesn’t have to. If they feel passionate about art they need to stand tall and make the decision that no matter what, they are not going to cave to other people’s opinions.

The choice is about who you hang out with. If we have low self-confidence we hang with people who put us down.

A boost to your self-confidence: DITCH the people who put you down.

If you feel heavy and anxious around them, they don’t belong in your universe. Simple, right?

My dad used to say when I came up with some good idea;
“that will never work,” with sarcasm in his voice.  I proved him wrong a number of times, to his surprise.

DITCH the people who hog all the attention all the time and those who are envious of your progress.  They never followed their dream, but you don’t have to drink their poison.  Ditch the angry people.

The friends who only show up when they want something from you BECAUSE they know you did all the research already (on your own.)

People who make you feel angry for no obvious reason. Those are the “needle-nose” manipulators.

People who drain your energy in a sneaky nebulous manner. I call them the “black hole vampires.”  They don’t have a life, only a black hole.

I DO feel compassion for people’s predicaments, but there comes a time when you have to make a choice. Do they stay or do they go?

If you don’t make the choice someone else will. You don’t want an energy vampire to choose what you do with your energy, right?

Hang out with those who cheer you on and uplift you in every way.  If you don’t have such connections, find some.  Find some friends who are passionate about their own lives.

As an artist you let your vulnerability hang out for all to see via your art, and the beauty of your vision feeds their soul. Being vulnerable is your offering to the world, so don’t let anyone rain your parade!

  • Know your worth (as a person and artist) and if you feel that yours tips toward minus on the scale, find a way to remedy that.
  • Know that if you get lots of criticism and “hate” comments, you’re doing something right. 🙂
  • Don’t worry about others and their feelings, follow your passion. You’re not hurting anyone.
  • You are responsible for how you feel and how you take criticism. Try not to take it personally and don’t allow DRAMA into your life.
  • Don’t argue or try to prove yourself.  Just smile like Mona Lisa and carry on.

Passion grows and nothing can stand in its way. That is the power of passion.  You’re in it for the ride.

Create with passion today!

xo

Maria

P.S. I could use an art sale from my etsy shop if you feel so inspired.  Check ’em out HERE.