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Healing Art

Blogging at the Speed of Life

new life

Sitting in front of the computer, I don’t know where to start.  Blogging has been the most dedicated practice I have ever had in my life and the last 6 months Life pushed me off my game so I could pay attention to it.  This Summer I got sick and discovered I had uterine cancer.  It took awhile for me to get the surgery that was recommended.  But Life has its way of moving you into what is important. Its trick:  The more I needed to slow down, the less my computer worked.  I was pulled far from my blogging life.

Surgery behind me now….Today I woke up at 4:40 a.m. missing this space so much.  I grabbed my laptop and headed out for Sandi’s Diner.  Sandi is a dear friend who makes a mean breakfast at the break of dawn.   AND, also has internet.  SCORE!

 

The big question….would my computer work there?  Was something wrong with my internet or with my laptop.  If you are reading this, you will know the answer.  What was impossible at home is working like magic here.  Maybe life is just letting me loose.  Saying, go…spread your wings…you are free.

And that is how I feel these days.  Free.

I spent last month traveling back and forth to Houston’s MD Anderson, a world class cancer hospital that happens to be in my area of the world.  My hubby, Eric, went with me and several times we comment how we felt wrong for having such a good time at the hospital.  But they must have someone trained with running big places like Disney working there because it ran like a theme park.  I like to joke that they have a game you play there….take off your clothes, put them back on…take off your clothes, put them back on…and I was winning.  Yep, lots of tests.  Then the surgery.  And just last week, a check-up.

womb doodle

They feel like my prognosis is really good.  It doesn’t seem to have spread. YAY!  So they will keep an eye on my health every 3-4 months.

I chose the word THRIVE as my word of the year for 2014.  That’s what I am doing!

I have some catch up to do for Creativity Tribe.  My email has been down.  I hope to have that working in the next week.  If you tried to contact me and didn’t hear back from me…it was a little email snatching gremlin.

Big beautiful hugs to each of you.

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

Paint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo

Paint Mojo Austin

I absolutely am in love with Tracy Verdugo’s Paint Mojo approach to painting.  It is intuitive, based in a love of symbolism, an invitation to stretch yourself and let go of what painting is supposed to look like….it is beautiful and messy all in the same moment.  And sometimes the messies is where the beauty really surprises you!

I wanna share the evolution of my painting so you can get a feel for the way the workshop went.  But realize I can’t boil down a two day workshop into a small post.  So if you want the expanded version, you will have to catch Tracy the next time she comes around or….OR….. Head over and sign up for her upcoming Paint Mojo book.  (Can you say, Santa’s wish list??! I am eagerly awaiting mine!)

Pre-order Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo

Wanna dive into my Paint Mojo process with me?  Come on in! 

Tracy had us start our large piece by adding symbols to our painting.  This is the same way she started the first Paint Mojo I attended and I loved the idea so much that I have created a Symbol Journal that I have been filling with interesting symbols for the last year.

Symbol Journal 1

Inside my Symbol Journal, I collect and record personal symbols that have shown up in my  life with deep meaning or that have come in for a day that seem to capture the moment in a certain way.   When I apply them to my paintings, they flesh out a new story for me.

Inside Symbol Journal

Some of the symbols you might see in my painting (and their meanings for me) include a flower (growth), spiral (going inward), doorway (entering another realm), heart with cross at the bottom (neverending love), flaming chalice (sacred woman), female reproductive system (personal healing), and pelvic bone (cradle of creation)… to name a few.

Paint Mojo Austin 1

Next we added color washes.  These have the potential to bring the painting to life and give it cohesion.

Paint Mojo 2

It may take a patient eye to look for differences between these two pics.  At this layer we took small paintings we did as automatic responses to a poem and added them to the painting.  It was a stretch, but added more dimension and interest to the canvas.

Paint Mojo 3

I know it is a big jump from this image to the next.  My camera gave out on me, so some of it will remain a mystery.

Mermaid 500

At the very end, we looked into the mess of colors, symbols, textures, and marks that we had created and attempted to cull something out of it.  I sat with trust and tried to be open.  I felt a twinge of fear that I might not find something or that I might fall into having to force an image out, but in the end, a woman showed herself to me.

The skirt (or waist as it is now) was the first part to peek out.  Then, as I worked with her, she showed me her fabulous mermaid tail.   I was overwhelmed once I got her sketched out.  So much so, that I started to crying.  The image touched something deep inside.

I continued to work with her and soon, the moon over her womb appeared.  It was perfect.  The symbols I had chosen were my way of calling up the feelings and themes that circle around the uterine cancer diagnosis that I got this summer and the upcoming surgery that will ultimate leave me physically unable to have children.  I went to the workshop knowing I wanted to “go there”….knowing I wanted to give myself space to explore what not having a uterus will mean.  I also wished to invite myself to a new understanding of the womb itself.  As I painted, I asked myself, Is the womb a physical thing or could it be more?

The mermaid showing up as she did helped me somehow re-vision myself.  Uterus or not, I am a woman.  Or as the painting whispered to me that day in the circle of my Paint Mojo sisters….I am a Womb-Moon.  From the day I was born until the day I die….I am a creatrix… a supracreative… a spinner of dreams into reality…. a holder of space for the birthing of delicate cries for grand existence.  Take any part of the body away and I am still as much so….and perhaps with the trance-formation, even more.

That’s my mojo….ultimately. 

Paint Mojo Austin

Big thanks to Tracy for unleashing such beauty from each of us, for opening a circle that could hold our inner world as we turned it into an outer work, and for guiding our hands and hearts on the journey to discover our MOJO!   You are a dear friend and a gift!

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

Painting Up a Storm

Art Heals

There is a storm in my body.  I think it has been brewing for a long time, although I didn’t know it.  Recently it made itself known in a big way.  And now, I am sitting on the front porch of my soul watching it pass over me.

In the last several weeks it has felt so big that all I knew to do was sit with it. As luck would have it, I was in my studio the other night, and I began painting while I was doing that sitting.  The painting felt good.  I could tell it was doing something in my body.  Something…a hormone or feel good chemical, perhaps the workings of my creative spirit….something was helping the storm dissipate.

storm 1

This isn’t a huge surprise to me….this feeling that comes when we dive into creativity, no holds barred.  That is one of the benefits of art, it is a catalyst to healing.  And so, I am painting up a storm….or should I say OUT a storm.  And my body feels grateful.

storm 2

So grateful for the release that I have just kept painting…..a piece of cardboard, a bigger piece, a small canvas, then larger….then the entire top of my studio table.  The more I paint, the more cleansing.  The more I paint, the less dark the storm.  The more I paint, the better I feel.

storm 3

This is how creativity leads to healing, how it helps us understand ourselves, and connect with the world we have spinning inside.

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Creativity Prompt:  Invite yourself to sit with simple art supplies….pencil and paper, pen and paper, cardboard and paint.  Nothing fancy, just what is at hand.  Close your eyes and let the supplies give life to what you feel.  You don’t have to paint pain….but you can if you wish.  You don’t have to draw storms, but you can.  Perhaps what wishes to come up is that smile that doesn’t get to glow often enough or bright enough.  Don’t think too much and don’t halt what comes forward.  Make a mess.  Start with silly, ugly, scribbly, doodles, dashes, and wing-a-dings.  It doesn’t have to make  sense or look beautiful.  Think of it as giving your creativity permission to wander around.  When you are done, let it be what it is. Share it or keep it to yourself.  But KNOW….that this kind of self-expression builds bridges to healing us.  It gives us permission to express who we are and love ourselves in the process. 

Creatively yours….

Rachel Payne Life Coach

 

Angels & Faeries Week: Faerie Friends

Angel Week 3

Welcome to Angels and Faeries Week!  I am celebrating the countdown to the grand opening of Angels In My Studio 2013 by sharing some of my favorite winged, spirited, and energetic artwork. Angels In My Studio 2013 is a 5 month online class that goes to that space where art and mystery, creativity and imagination meet.  As part of the art course, each week you will be invited to explore angelic imagery through art and guided meditations.

Featuring My Faerie Friends

Fairy Friends

 

Faeries, everywhere faeries!  

 I have to admit, I am a sucker for the faerie folk!  I love the lore, the mystique, and the variety of ways they manifest within the Arts.  Some of my favorite movies are fae friendly…..Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Neverwas, Willow, and, oh goodness…don’t forget Peter Pan!

I began drawing faerie art just as soon as I had the courage to play with drawing.  I found them comforting.  They were fun to draw, felt inviting, and let my mind slip into a world of fantasy and folly.  They provided an integral part of the deep healing journey I took on after my mother passed away.

Decades later, in one of the times of my life that was most physically challenging, I found myself stricken with sciatica from a bulging disk.  No fun!  I was flat on my stomach for a few weeks, unable to stand of sit without excruciating pain.  I had never felt so low in my life.  But the tide began to slightly shift, and one day, I felt good enough to sit in a chair for a few minutes at a time with an ice pack numbing the worst pain.

On the table where I was sitting, I discovered a scrap of paper, a pen, and a magazine.  I tore out a little face and drew a silly body.  I remember thinking when the crude sketch was done that I had been about 2 minutes without severe pain. It felt like a huge breakthrough. In front of me was a wee one (see below).  This little faerie with her tiny broomstick, blossom hat, and witchy heels was the first of many faerie friends to take my pain from me for short periods of time.  They were my distraction, my meditation, and my medication. Who knew a faerie could be such good pain management!

AngelsFaeriesWeek

As time has passed, I go back to my collection like paper dolls and look for wisdom, joy, understanding, and inspiration in them.  Some have been transformed into other works of art or have led the way to understanding some aspect of my being.  They are some of the brightest, most child-like, funky art I have done, and yet, they usually show up when times are the darkest….perhaps to usher me to a new level of light.

They are a joy to share with you.  I hope you might see something in them that feels comforting to you or inspires you to look for your own tribe of faeries.

Fairy Friends 2

 Did you miss some part of Angels & Faeries Week?

Current Workshop: Angels In My Studio 2013

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN……CLICK FOR DETAILS

Say YES to YOU with Angels In My Studio…the e-course

Angels in My Studio 2013

Starts soon….would love to take it with you!

Rachel Payne Life Coach

 

This Sense-sational Life {blessing}

sensational

This Sense-sational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected life.  This week’s post is inspired by a women’s ceremony called The Blessing Way.

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The women gathered around one woman whose body was round with child. A first-time mother joined by the first-time father.  The grandparents beaming.  The friends fluttered around in excitement…in anticipation…and then, in celebration.  It began with food. It always begins with food. Then the showering of gifts.

BabyShower

Booties, lots of booties. Onesies adorned with cute sayings, stripes and the occasional monkey. Crocheted this and that.  The mother’s smile growing, the vision of the family’s life taking shape.

All of this was traditional. It is how my mother was showered by her friends, how in my family women have witnessed the coming of the child for generations.

But a new tradition has come to being among some of my friends.  The tradition has its roots in the Navajo Blessingway ceremony but in truth is only a resemblance of the intention of that ceremony.  This tradition has been spreading among women’s circles for awhile but is still very new for some.  The Blessing Way can be used anytime someone wishes to honor or create a transition in their life or wishes to bring themselves or their loved ones goodness, beauty, success, order, or harmony.

 

blessingway

 

We each brought a bead, presenting it to her, lending her strength and hope.  As we did the stories that were passed between the gifter and the mother became a gift to all who heard them.  Nervous laughter was the first sign that we were taken the circle to a deeper place. Only the mother knew everyone there so as we opened to her, we were having to trust in the virtue of those she counted dear.  But the opening happened.  Her mother came forward, offering her wisdom.  As she did I remembered that her mother sat with me in the minutes before I walked down the aisle, when my mother who had passed away long before could not. I knew the interaction between them would take the circle even deeper.  Then her father came forward.  We were surprised he would go there with us. He spoke eloquently, like a poet, directly from the heart, saying what every little girl needed to hear from her dad. The connections were deep and quick.

The bowl filled with beads, each with their own story, each holding the energy of a blessing. 

When I walked away from the shower, I was tired from the work of the day.  My spirit, however, was filled…was overflowing.  I knew I must speak of a Sense of Blessing with you this week.  This is only one way to create blessing in life.  Through out the week, explore with me what blessing looks like for you…what if feels like in your body.  Ask yourself how you know you are blessed and how you know when you are blessing another.  Share your thoughts in the comments. And visit me at the Creativity Tribe Facebook Page to find out how I am cultivating a Sense of Blessing throughout the week.

Join Me

Heart Notes: From Lonely to Loved

I would also like to invite you to join me Wednesday, February 13th at 7 pm Central for the Creativity Tribe Party Line.  You will get details in the later today.

To subscribe to the Party Line Calls simply click the button below.

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I hope you can make it….just wouldn’t be the same without you!

Rachel_Payne

Love of Massage

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Falling in Love with Massage

Before I ever had a massage, I knew I wanted to love it.  I didn’t know why I needed massage in my life, I just knew I did.  The first time I had a massage, I went because I was ALL knotted up, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Massage doesn’t just work with the physical body. It also has the ability to touch the emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies. I have always been a sensitive person. As a child, I cried easily.  My feelings were delicate. I held onto the weight of the world. My body took it all in.

I had just graduated from high school when I first considered massage.  I had heard the word but never considered it something that was useful or proper.  But one night after a trip to the ER my mother’s nurse suggested we might look into massage and reflexology, explaining the benefits for stress and headaches.   Not long after our conversation, just about a month, my mother passed away.  I spiraling into deep grief, all the while having a strong curiosity about how massage might have made things different.  Could my mother have found a way to a less painful life if she could have experienced massage?

I would never know the answer, but I was determined to discover all I could about this touch centered therapy as a way of discovering what might have been.

 

Tea AltarMy Mother

I never suffered from migraines, but I felt a kind of overall inflammation that came with the grief of losing her.  I use inflammation not as a medical term, but more of a descriptive.  My soul felt inflamed.  The grief was pervasive, and I had little coping skills.

That is how I got knotted up. I got to a point where I was tired of the knots and the inflammations. I found my way to a massage therapist.  The massage felt great.  As she worked on me, I felt as though she was releasing a kind of tension that went beyond the muscles. My spirit felt like it was gently opening. I was emotional for days afterwards, but I knew it was the storm before the calm.

Massage would change my life.

Over the course of several years, I got massage as often as I could afford (every several months) and eventually followed my love of massage to school to get my license.  I went into massage looking for how to help get beyond just the physical benefits.  I wanted to give an experience that invited healing for the whole person, the same kind of experience I had been given.

Along the way, I discovered subtle nuances that offered that.  They were the same elements I cultivated in theatre and art classes, the same I now use as a Life Coach and Creativity Mentor.  They rise out of a feeling of safety, out of mutual respect, deepening trust, and a willingness to listen with empathy.

wildlycreative

Sure the mechanics of a massage are important, but I am believe in treating the whole person.

These are also the seeds of the community that is coming together under the umbrella that is Creativity Tribe. It is a sanctuary for Creative Spirits.  For some, that might seem like I am talking about art, but for me creativity goes much deeper than that. Creativity at its core is the fashioning of life itself.  It might take shape on a canvas, in between rows of dirt in the garden, on stage, or page.  It might also find its way – most certainly finds its way – into our relationships, our choices of how we treat ourselves, what we do with what the day gives us, and how we make meaning in our lives.

Massage called to me all those years ago, over two decades ago, so that I might give that gift of creativity and of touch to my body and then share in the creating of peace in the body, mind, and spirit of others.

When was the last time you had a massage?  Don’t you think it is time?  Your body will thank you for it.

MassageLove

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Self-Care for Survival

Because awful things happen and we often struggle with how to make sense of them….

Because there is no making sense of the senseless….

Because our hearts are designed to feel….

And our society often tells us not to…..

Or fails to teach us how to care for the heart that cares….

Because I care that YOU care and want you to feel the same comfort you wish for others….

 

For all those affected by the tragedy at Newtown or by any tragedy….. peace.

New Traditions

Remember when Thanksgiving was simple? You would get up early, waking to the smell of all the regular holiday favorites wafting down the hall, the sound of plates descending from their cabinet dwellings, and remember it was Turkey Day?  Turkey Day!  You had been waiting for a month for the time off from school, time to hang out with your cousins, time out in the backyard, the warm sun taking the chill off the newly cool air.  Then Mom would call everyone inside.  You found your place at the kids’ table, eyeballing the black olive plate and deviled eggs….and yes, the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, and all that jazz.  A prayer.  A sip of Aunt Joyce’s sweet iced tea. And then weighing that plate down with your favorites.  One by one you went around, each person saying something they were grateful for when what you really wanted to focus on was what was on your plate. But by the end of the day, you would collapse in some soft corner into a turkey coma, your heart and tummy both satiated, both filled with gratitude for the day and your life.

Years have passed, so have some family members, the food on the table comes sprinkled with statistics about how much water you will might retain, weigh you might gain.  You feel the strain of a Black Friday early morning sale calling. Suddenly Christmas is at your door and the pressure is on to make this the perfect year.

Gratitude seems oh-so-far away. You know you should feel it, but does it have to feel so forced?…forced through a wall of stress. How in the world do you get back?

Several years ago I asked myself the same question.

My answer….new traditions.

This year I was excited to add to the my personal holiday traditions by joining Sherry Richert Belul of Cherry Blossom Soup for the New Black Friday Love List.  I knew for several days that I wanted to participate, but couldn’t figure out who I wanted to make my list for. I decided to let the day lead the way.  When Friday came around, I got sick.  I recovered quickly and then my hubby got pretty sick.  Spending my time those couple of days after Thanksgiving caring for myself and then for my honey, my thoughts went to the team of helpers we turn to when we need a hand with our health.  We are both doing well now (whew), but I am remembering that when we are truly in need, we never worry about being alone.

We currently have three special health care providers we use. One is a specialist and two are chiropractors.  Each has helped us out of some difficult times or sent us down roads towards better living.  My Love List this year is for each of them.  I created a card, made prints and tucked our gratitudes inside.  They will go into the mail this afternoon.  I think we often spend so much time getting down on the medical profession that we forget the gifts they give us.  This year I am especially thankful for them.

I want to thank Sherry for sharing her new holiday tradition with us.  It is one I look forward to incorporating year after year.

 

Art Every Day Month UPDATE

I have loved this new practice of being creative every day. I am looking forward to the end of the month only so I can look back and take stock of what has come of it.  One of the most dear acts of creation has been the new friends I have made and the new blogs I have discovered. What an amazing group of people….and still so many to explore.

Make sure if you have stopped by and you think you might like to “join” the festivities around here that you grab the badge and connect with us by leaving your blog address on the Faces of Creativity Tribe Wall.  The more the merrier!

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Art Every Day Month is a movement, inspiring artist around the blogosphere! Head over and see what they are up to today!  Then, consider joining us.  It is a small act that makes a big different.  Creativity…….. engage!

Healing Art

Several years ago when I was very sick, I made my way back to health while preoccupying myself with little drawings. I called the simple little sketches my Fairy People, although they rarely had wings and some were even skeleton folks.  I think I must have thought of them that way because something in me felt like modern medicine and even alternative medicine was not fully helping. I unconsciously turned to my imagination to help me escape the pain and wished for an ounce of magic or miracle to cure me.  Something I was doing worked. When I drew, the pain left for a bit. And eventually I recovered.

I have been in a bit of discomfort for the last couple of weeks. Nothing life threatening or even anything to worry about. My spine has been working out some alignment issues.  This week while organizing my studio, I found a little stash of my Fairy People.  My back (which had been the thing that made me sick all those years ago) seemed to want to grasp at them again, as if to call on the same relief they had given way back when.

This morning I went to the chiropractor and have been taking care of myself with periodical naps and just being mindful of my movement.  When it came time to think about my creative project for Art Every Day Month Challenge, I remembered that it was Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, also called All Soul’s Day) and that we were planning to attend the street festival tonight.  I decided to explore the skeleton drawings I had done back then and to do another.

 

Then….

Now…

By the way, I am feeling a bit better. (wink)

 Check out AEDM Day #3!

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Welcome to CT

Welcome to CT

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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Creative Live Coach

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There is a beauty that comes out of sharing a journey with another person....a dream for yourself, a direction for a project, a way out of the muck that holds your Creative Spirit back. Let's talk about working together. creativitytribe@gmail.com