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This Sense-ational Life

This SENSE-sational Life: Sense of Self

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One day while sitting and thinking about my life, I realized it was just sensational.  I asked myself what made me move from not loving my life so much to being in this new place.  The answer came to me that I had connected with the senses in a very broad way.  Yes, the traditional senses had been part of it, but subtle senses were also part.  The sense of joy, a sense of gratitude, a sense of connection….when we tap into linking our conscious self with subtle parts of the self and the world around us, we can follow a path that leads us to a more SENSE-sational life.  Sure…it is a play on words, but try it and you may see it is also a great tool for falling in love with life.

Sense of Self

Today I am delighted to share a story that is unfolding in front of our eyes of a woman opening up to her Sense of Self. Nicole Bray is a woman who was born in a man’s body.  Her mother, Carol Bray, is a dear friend of mine and an artist I adore.   Nicole has undergone surgeries to alter her body so that it matches the Sense of Self she finds peace with. But her transformation is not yet complete and being in-between is a rough place to for her to be.

I share her story because if is brave, gives us the opportunity to support her and her mission to help others and because it is ultimately about Creative Living.  And Creative Living is what Creativity Tribe is all about.

This story is a bit edgy because it traces a theme in our culture that many people either are not comfortable with or stand in strong opposition to.  Being a Creative can also be counter culture.  But that is not the place I wish my visit with you to go for very long.  I hope you will hold onto the human aspect of what I share.  I am sharing a person who is discovering after a lifetime of deep unhappiness how to connect with who she is, and she is creating that self for the world to see.

That also is probably too simplified.  So this is probably a good time to invite you to let Nicole share her story with you.  And how she is moving towards her Sense of Self.

Nicole’s Story: A Transgender Woman’s Journey

Nicole’s Story from Nicole Bray on Vimeo.

You can find more information about Nicole’s campaign by visiting  indiegogo.com using the following link:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/untitled-documentary-nicole-s-story-a-transgender-woman-s-journey

You can also find Nicole on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NicolesStoryDoc

and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IdRatherBeGirl

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A Sense of imBalance

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My life has gotten out of balance….literally.  Last week I somehow twisted my knee.  I woke up one day to tightness, mild swelling, and an unstable joint.  When I wanted to walk, I had to hop and stoop to get around.  I am still all bent up.  The pain isn’t bad.  It just doesn’t really work right.  Needless to say, I am jumping into self-care mode to help get my knee what it needs.

This afternoon I am headed to the chiropractor; tomorrow, a massage.  Even with that though, I think the quirk in my knee must be less about something physical and more about something desiring more balance in my life.

That is why during my meditation this weekend I have explored where the imbalance comes from.  You see, I am learning that imbalance is an invitation to a new level of balance.  I don’t think it has to be that something is wrong as much as that there is a new something right trying to make its way into life.

My meditation connected me with a time when I was completely immobilized with severe back pain. Same thing then, no apparent episode to blame it on, just woke with it!  I remember knowing then that if I was ever to have better use of my body that I wanted to dance.  I needed to dance….not for the sake of my body, but for my overall well-being. Dancing celebrates my body.  It is a moving affirmation of a part of me that for much of society doesn’t fit.

Dance

I am a big, curvy girl.  I have been since the third grade.  Something shifted in my existence that year, and I went from a small child to a large child.  I have spent a good portion of my life fighting against the negative spin our society, culture, the media, and even well-meaning loved ones throw out about anyone who doesn’t have the perfect body. Sometimes I am tricked into thinking that only curvy bodies have to contend with this, but I know that there are very few women and even very few men who love their bodies and accept them.  How can that be?

Yesterday my husband made a list of reasons why he thought I should read a book. He said I had a lot in common with the author.  He is so cute. He even made a list.  At the bottom of the list of how I was like her, he wrote that I was an advocate for body acceptance.  I didn’t know he saw me as that.  I am an advocate for many things, but for body acceptance, I think I could up my game.

That is the new balance for me….affirming my body in all its roundness, with all its pudgy places, with its twisted up knee, its little mole on my wrist that grows a single thin hair out of it til it is long enough for me to pluck it away, for the lines that are stretching out along the soft flesh below my eyes, and the small but very present age spots that have found their way to the back of my left hand.

I am celebrating you too.  You, fat…You, thin….You, sagging….You, graying….You, bleeding or not….You, barren or bursting with child….You, tired and goofy or graceful and glowing….You, You, You….in every glory of every realness of You!

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Sense of Something More

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A Sense of Something More

For as long as I can remember, my family has told ghost stories. As a child, my father swore some ghost named Oscar inhabited the attic. We knew from Oscar’s outrageous life (the fact that his girlfriend’s name was Petunia and her favorite flower was a cactus) that Oscar was a brilliant, ongoing story my father crafted when he wanted our undivided attention.

We also had little gathering of the cousins when my Aunt Lynne was in town. Aunt Lynne told fortunes, read palms and gave me my first sense of Something More….something mystic….something beyond the veil. To see Aunt Lynne from outside the family, I imagine you might think she was a bit eccentric, but not any more than most Southern women. In fact, most of the women in my family fall into that category, an inheritance I proudly own.

Having watched the movie Ya Ya Sisterhood, we all recognized ourselves. In fact, we now regularly have Ya Ya parties with close friends and extended family.

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I have been thinking a lot about having gotten my palm read as a child and listening to my father’s constructed stories. Somewhere along the way those two things wove together. We grew up and the little kid stories moved closer to the veil.

By the time I was 21, I experienced my first death, and it was a doozie! My mom passed away. She was just 45 (I turn 44 in less than a month….and I still feel like….I still feel too alive to even consider that it could end so early). Losing her made me search for an opening to the veil, made me want to believe that the thread Aunt Lynne traced in our hands could lead across to a connection with my loved one.

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It was about that time that I noticed weird things happening. Sometimes subtle  sometimes apparent  A distinct sound or smell timed in a sychronistic or meaningful way……why, just last month after leading a group visualization something shifted in the next room where no one was only seconds after the intense meditation ended. I could tell story after story. I bet you could too. I often wonder if they are clues that we aren’t alone or perhaps coincidences.

I leave myself open to both possibilities but always follow the thread to the veil just in case.

This curiosity with Something More has strongly influenced my art, and the art has influenced me to consider even more seriously the Something More.

I was working with a counselor while in college. We were doing breathwork, increasing the oxygen level of the body, and I began envisioning my mother over me. She had changed. She seemed to be made of light and took on a kind of crystallized form. I felt comforted and healed.

I took it for an interesting meditation. At home, later in the day, I drew what I saw to share with the counselor the next week. Upon seeing it, she told me she had seen drawings like mine in an old book. She explained the book and the beings, calling them Devas. I was interested, curious, but didn’t take it for Truth per say.

Some months later on a trip to Austin, I found myself in an old bookstore. On a bottom shelf on the second floor, a book documented, with story and drawings, creatures the author called Devas. They looked like the drawing from the meditation. Not angel, not fairy, something elemental and outside my previous experience.

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After that, I did drawing after drawing of Devas, saw what looked like people when I passed trees, mostly women with crowns of branches. I learned to draw by trying to capture what my inner eye was experiencing.

To this day, when other people imagine their loved ones as angels, I tend to broaden it to account for my own visualizations. The thought that Something More is out there and perhaps even close by brings me comfort. I may be completely off, but that doesn’t matter so much to me. If those Something More’s are figments of my imagination, so be it. They are still mine, still as real as a drawing or sculpture, poem or choreographed dance. They are an expression of some part of me….and maybe even Something More.

I am delighted to share my Something More’s with you. I have been invited to join the instructors circle for Sheri Ann Ponzi’s Angels In My Studio this July. It is the second time the course is being offered. Check out the current class and stay tuned for more info about the one I will be part of. (You can subscribe below if you would like to keep in touch about it.)

Wouldn’t it be great to take the class together?

Some of the other instructors  for this Summer’s Angels in My Studio….

Tamera Laporte  from Willowing

Kae Pea with Rubbermoon

Cheryl Irwin

Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution 

Claudia Olivos

Melissa Muirhead

Galia Alena 

Chris Zydel of Creative Juices Arts

Michael Golzmane of Clear and Connect

Nikki Shannon of Energy Painter

Havi Mandel with Soul Blissings

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Reminder: The 30 by 30 times 3 ends soon. 

Make sure coaching with me is the right thing for you, contact me for a free Discovery Session.

rae@creativitytribe.com

30 x 30 times 3 march

Rachel_Payne

This Sense-sational Life {Self}

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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 features guest blogger SuziCate, otherwise known as the Water Witch’s Daughter. She encourages us to consider the Sense of Self. 

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Sense of Self

I consider myself a creative gypsy. I have drifted my way through writing, beading, quilting, collage, photography, crochet, felting, painting, and embroidery. My soul communicates through my art, and my art nourishes my soul. While I have wandered I never settled into a single form. It took years for me to realize what I lacked was a sense of self.

Finding my sense of self came down to knowing myself on an intimate level. I had to let go of my fears. I had to stifle the voices that said I was too sensitive and needed to control my emotions. I had to allow myself to feel without limitations. All the while I kept roaming. Then I stumbled upon art quilting. This allowed me to incorporate all these arts and develop my own style. After all, I am a storyteller at heart, why not visually through fiber?

campground quilt web

Nature inspires me, and hiking defines my sense of self. I feel freedom among the elements. The mountains and sea speak riddles and draw me into their mysteries. The taste of salt air and wild berries intoxicate me.  I bend and soar with the wind as it whistles through the tall pines. The river sings the stresses of my life away, and I settle into my bones. Pungent aromas of cedar and bayberry transport me to other worlds. The tones and expanse of earth and sky blend until I don’t know where one begins and the other ends. My heart holds this secret, a truth hidden in time.

When I’m not throwing my restless energy into creative outlets or able to answer the call to climb mountains or swim the sea, how do I nourish my sense of self? I allow myself to own my feelings.  I light candles. I listen to music. I practice mindfulness. I notice the beauty of life’s simple pleasures. Being grateful open my heart.

I pamper myself. Essential oils offer me a fresh system of self-care. I reap the benefits of detoxing baths and massages. I scent my living space with sandalwood; the oil I feel empowers and completes my sense of self. Sandalwood soothes the soul of the wounded child I sometimes am and transforms me into the sensual woman who’s strong enough to own her emotions. These spiritual experiences ground me to the earth and connect me to the heavens.

These days I take time to care for my creative soul.  I no longer hush her but welcome her voice. When I nurture my sense of self my soul comes out to play…and everybody loves a play date!

SuziCate

SuziCate 

SuziCate is a weaver of words, a spinner of tales, and a dabbler of art. She spends her free time hiking and canoeing, simply enjoying the gifts of nature. She enjoys researching genealogy, especially family lore. She has published short stories, memoirs, and poetry. She is currently working on a novel and can be found at www.suzicate.wordpress.com or  www.suzicatepoetry.wordpress.com.

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Where do SuziCate’s thoughts take you? How do they inspire or guide you to experience life through the senses? Do you have ways you connect with your Sense of Self?  The Creativity Tribe wants to know. Drop a line in the comments or write a blog post in response and share the link.

This Sense-sational Life {courage}

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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 touches on a Sense of Courage and how it can shift over ones lifetime…especially in regards to our courage to be creative.

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It starts with remembering that something of you was forgotten….somehow some essence of the self hidden.

Looks like Rain

 And in a shift from hurried to a somewhat slower pace or perhaps found in-between breaths where you wait for the next exhalation, you hear it.

 It calls out from someplace far away, the desire to bring what was lost forth. But it is not so far away that it can’t be heard. Not so far away that it can’t be felt, and certainly not so far away that it can’t be reached.

Harbor Bridge Blue

That’s when you check yourself….that’s when you sense it….courage.

Yes, it is beckoning you to a cause, to a personal revolution, to a single-focused commitment to something more dear than you will ever commit to….to yourself. Yes, in the course of your life you will commit to others. To child, lover, parent, to the stranger who needs what you have to offer, to a cause that needs a champion…..

but none of these get full value, if you don’t first commit to self. If you never commit, you can never give them the most lovely of gifts… you.  You can not model for them how to fully love, to fully trust, to fully give and receive.

It is all very lofty, this talk of courage and places in the self.  But it is also very real when we feel disconnected from something so vital.  If we are honest, it is dark and dank like the earth because it is a story that we bury inside of us. Often, we put our creativity away sometime in childhood and if we are lucky, we find the courage to stand up for it while it makes its way to the surface.

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The thing about courage is that it can be tricky.  Say for example that we put our creativity away because it was threatened. Perhaps what we expressed was criticized or never given the attention it needed.  Putting it away to protect it is a way of being courageous.  So where in the story does the courage get screwed up?

It happens as we grow up.  When we were young  any power we had was allowed to us by the adults around us. Our lives were tied to their will.  And as sometimes happens with humans, we may have gotten hurt or misunderstood.  Often just as a course of  living. We send our little creative spirits into hiding if they don’t feel safe.  Then, as an adult, if we find the creativity is calling out to be recognized, we have the opportunity to assure its safety.

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What has changed?  We are in charge of our lives. We have the choice to set boundaries and create safety. That is one of the great honors of adulthood….we get to create our lives!

And we are given a Sense of Courage to help us get there.

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The focus for This Sense-sational Life this week is cultivating a Sense of Courage.  Where can you envision yourself stepping more fully into your courage, setting a boundary to make yourself feel safe?  The Creativity Tribe would LOVE to hear from you in the comments. I will keep the conversation going on the Creativity Tribe FB Page.

Rachel_Payne

 

This Sense-Sational Life {choice}

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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 touches on one of the senses I have been working with for the last year as I moved from being employed by other to starting my journey as a Soul Proprietor. It has been one of the most amazing adventures of my life that come our of a Sense of Choice.

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Sense of Choice

My husband, Eric, is fascinated with the symbolism of The Crossroads.  He looks for it in movies, mythology, legend, and in his own life.  Because we share so much, I have taken to looking for it as well…..and learning from it. 

We all find ourselves at The Crossroads from time to time.  We stand there with the opportunity awaiting us to change paths.  Sometimes we know we are coming to The Crossroads. Sometimes we call it to us. And other times, it arrives out of the blue. 

The Crossroads can bring with them a new chance, perhaps leading us closer to a dream, or it may feel forced upon us, unwanted, never asked for, and not welcomed. However it comes, The Crossroads put a choice in our hands about how we handle them, how we frame the change. 

I came to The Crossroads in October 2011 when I discovered my life offering me a change.  I had been studying counseling and working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, but my passion for helping others nurture a more creative lifestyle began moving me into life coaching, offering expressive arts workshops and e-courses, massage therapy, as well as, sharing my own art with the world.

I remember the night I discovered I had a decision to make. I loved the work I did at the shelter. I loved the opportunity to be an agent of change in a venue that so desperately needed it, but I also recognized I was moving away from my dreams and my vision for my life.  You see, in my early twenties I looked inside at what I wanted to be when I grew up.  What I saw there was a confident woman who worked with others both one-on-one and in large crowds to help them connect with their innate ability to be creative.  I saw myself traveling to give inspirational talks, writing about the subject, and providing an avenue for profound change for people world wide.  For a long time, I didn’t know how to do that.  When I discovered blogging, a door was opened.  However, I had also found the work at the domestic violence shelter meaningful and knew I needed to be there for some amount of time.  The question was, how long?  My dream was calling me more strongly with every day.

I told my husband I wished I was brave enough to stay. That’s when The Crossroads revealed themselves to me. 

How many times had I sat with a woman on the verge of making a move into a life she wished for and witnessed her having to make the decision between staying in what  she knew but what might not be working any longer or risking the unknown to step into her hopes.  I thought being brave meant staying with the important work I was doing with those women and sacrificing my own dreams for theirs.  Then I saw the other way was brave as well. Maybe brave was following the call of my heart.

When I realized I could be brave on either path, following my heart became easier.

Carnival Freak

That began my shift into full time work for myself, now just over a year ago. With each passing month, I figure out a new piece of the puzzle, I grow in confidence, and see my vision more fully coming into shape.  Sure there are days when I miss the work I did, but the satisfaction that comes with knowing I am working for my dreams and helping others bring their creativity to the world makes a spark fire up in me that just makes me melt.

So how do we cultivate the Sense of Choice? 

For me, part of the equation is to become more and more aware of the choices that are put in front of us.  Some choices have become easy with practice.  What station will I listen to when I get in the car? What do I watch on TV Thursday nights?  Bath or shower?  Russet potatoes or sweet?  White, pink, blue or yellow packet….or maybe none at all? 

Some things we know because we have made an over-reaching decision about them.  But some things are up for change, some things are new territory.  In these instances, I like to believe that my choice will be made by balancing just enough information with a bit of clarity and a bit of intuition.  Then, I will try to determine The Next Right Move and trust that no matter what happens, I can always move to a new space. 

I give myself permission to flub up.  I learn from the choices I make and try not to beat myself up if it doesn’t go just right.  And when I do get it right, I celebrate. 

I would love to hear about your Sense of Choice.  How do you make the choices that are in front of you?  What do you do to make choice-making easier for you?  What is working?  Where do you need to make a choice in your life today? 

Rachel_Payne

 

 

This Sense-sational Life {blessing}

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

This Sense-ational Life {overwhelm}

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This Sense-ational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected life.  This week’s post features guest blogger Jessica Brogen of In Search of Dessert ~ A Metaphor for a Transformed Life.  

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Sense of Overwhelm

Greetings fellow creative spirits! I’m so happy to be blogging to you today from my friend Rachél Payne’s fantastic site. Of course, if you’ve been following along, you already know that Rachél has chosen 2013 to be the year of discovering, encouraging and exploring our senses. When I first heard Rachél’s call for blog posts around the “Senses” and a “Sensational Life,” I have to admit, my left brain immediately piped up: “Well then she’ll only be able to run this for 6 weeks!” My left brain was thinking only of the five main senses + the fabled “sixth sense.”

DSC_0354Image by Jessica Brogen

I appreciate my left brain, I really do, but I have a creative right-brain just like you, and I knew this was one of those situations in which I needed to call upon my creativity. Actually, I asked it to intercede and help me think “outside the box.”

For the next 4 weeks I diligently went about reminding my right-brain to come up with a thought-provoking and entertaining sense-related subject for this blog series. I reminded it…and reminded it…and reminded it.  Meanwhile, the holidays showed up, in all their hustle and bustle. There was a 3,000 mile roadtrip taken, boyfriend’s family met, and not a day spent without numerous people and pets. Upon entering the New Year, we acquired the recent flu bug, which lingered just around a week. Just as it was tapering off, my boyfriend and I walked into an apartment complex and nervously, but of course excitedly, applied for a bigger apartment – one that we would live in together…with both of our children. Since then, there have been boxes to pack, items to purge, a home to scour and oh, a six week old puppy to train.

Just this morning, in between carting oversized Tupperware bins of belongings out into the garage, answering emails about my coaching services and attempting to keep the dog from biting my small boy square on the you-know-what, I happened to ask myself: “Come up with anything for Rachél’s Blog Series yet?”

DSC_0389Image by Jessica Brogen

I laughed out loud.

So  I answered myself (You do this too, right?): “Uhh, no. Who has time to write blog posts? And just what do you think I’m feeling that I could write about?!”

My inner voice replied: “I feel OVERWHELMED, how ‘bout you?”

And my other voice went to snap back something witty about how Overwhelm was no type of sense, and how I wasn’t in the mood for feeling guilty that I still hadn’t written this blog post, when suddenly I stopped in my tracks.

“Hmm”, I thought, “maybe overwhelm is a sense!”

DSC_0924Image by Jessica Brogen

The more I mused on it, the more convinced I became that we actually have a sensory perception geared towards Overwhelm. At least we should. If we didn’t, there’d be nothing to stop us from piling on one thing after another into our lives! Unfortunately, much like how we acclimate to antibiotics, or the taste of salt in our food, we as a culture have also acclimated to our own sense of overwhelm, to the point that some of us are able to continue piling it on, ignoring the warning signs, until we crack (either physically, mentally, or both). We are often carrying out our daily lives dangerously unaware of how overwhelmed we are, while behind the scenes, realized or not, that stress is wreaking havoc on our health.

So if we’re inured to our body’s natural sensory alarms that should tell us we’re overwhelmed, how can we determine if we are in fact seriously overwhelmed?

Aren’t sure how Overwhelmed you really are? Okay, ask the Big Five:

  • Are you tasting the food that you put in your mouth or are you shoveling food in, while simultaneously doing some other activity.
  • Are you hearing what people are really saying to you or are you anticipating their needs, possibly unaware of what they’re really trying to say, and not genuinely communicating?
  • Are you aware of the smells in your environment (or that you may smell like you haven’t taken the time to shower in the last three days!)? What’s the last smell you purposely introduced into your life?
  • Are you being touched by other human beings?
  • Are you seeing the Big Picture, or just trying to jump from one to-do to the next?
  • Bonus Question 1: Are you sleeping well? 
  • Bonus Question 2: Do you know what really matters in life? Are the things on your to-do list that you’re aggressively trying to check off the same things on your “what really matters” list?

DSC_0935Image by Jessica Brogen

Okay, did you answer these questions? Truthfully? Doing so may sting a little. We may discover that we are not even engaging our natural main senses in our daily life anymore. If that is the case, what else are we losing? It’s a scary thought. If you’re like me, the last question really got you! I know that when I’ve been blessed with a moment of serenity (it’s usually unplanned), the happiness rush I feel when I am calm + engaging my senses gives me a wake-up call, and I immediately want to re-evaluate my daily life activities.

The under-use or down-right absence of our main senses is significant and immediately tells us that our life has become overwhelmed, and potentially focused on things that do not necessarily matter nor nourish our souls. It may be scary to realize, but at least we become aware. And of course, awareness is the first step in undoing any problem. In this case, awareness is the first step in reengaging your senses, slowing down and enjoying your daily life. Anytime you begin to feel you might be doing too much, take a quick evaluation of your senses, and they’ll tell you exactly what you need to know!

To your peace,
Jessica Brogan

Jessica_Brogen

 

Jessica is a writer, painter, and coach to women with creative drive who are seeking help with overwhelm. She is currently running the third round of the Inspirational Card Deck Swap – a popular International Artist’s Swap.  Click here to get your card deck of 52 unique pieces of art from women artists around the world.

And would love to connect with you at: http://www.facebook.com/jessicaleighbrogan
Feeling inspired by Jessica’s post about a Sense of Overwhelm?  Join the conversation!  Write your own post in response to this one, include a link to this post in it, and drop the link in the linky widget below. Let’s connect!

 

This Sense-ational Life {playfulness}

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This Sense-ational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected way of life.  

Sense of Playfulness

When I was in 8th grade, I started taking theatre and never wanted to stop.  I realized it was a way to play and still get credit in school. What a no-brainer!  As I got older, I found ways to keep that connection to play.  I took jobs that allowed me to play and get paid for it.  And eventually became a kind of play leader for other adults.

Here is a list of a few playful jobs I have had….

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

 

 

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A Way of Life

Playfulness has become a way of life for me.  It is how I socialize, how I practice self-love, a medicine when I am down or sick, an outlet for what wishes to be expressed in me, and even a way for me to embody my spirituality. Bringing it so fully into my life has taken work. Yah, that’s right. I had to work at remembering to play. As kids, it comes with the territory. But over time we lose our sense of playfulness and replace it with the roles and responsibilities of adulthood.  I would like to invite you to connect with your sense of playfulness this week, include both subtle and overt play.  Try an old favorite like blowing bubbles or something new like a 30 second dance party. Do it by yourself or with others by inciting random, unexpected playfulness. Create a playfulness on the go kit that includes some art supplies, a joke book, a few toys, or some kind of novelty item.

Cultivate your Relationship with Play

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Try one or more of these journaling prompts to boost your play-ability.

  • Ask Play, “In what ways do I discourage you in my life?”
  • List 10 or more ways you can incorporate play into your home life.
  • Brainstorm with your family how you could all enjoy more play.
  • Write a letter to yourself that gives you permission to play more.

I would love to hear about your Sense of Playfulness. I invite you to write a post about playfulness and paste the address in the linky below. Make sure to link to this post in yours so others can discover their own path to playfulness.

 



This Sense-ational Life {direction}

sensational

This Sense-ational Life is a blogging series that explores the senses as a way of cultivating a more mindful, connected way of life.  This week’s post is inspired by the 3 Day Right Brained Business Plan Workshop I attended through CreativeLIVE with Jennifer Lee, the brain-child and heart-matrix behind Right Brained Business Plan.    

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Irene

SENSE of DIRECTION: Moving forward

When I talk about the senses with this project, I love to play with some of the popular phrases we have for them.  When Aristotle classified the senses over two thousand years ago, he defined those same five we learned as children. Over time, the  philosophers and scientists have expanded their meanings. Poets, artists, and creatives have given them a spin.  I love the spin!

A sense of direction falls into several camps for me.  Physiologically, direction can come from a blending of sight and sound mixed with information interpreted by the hippocampus in humans. Birds can also use their magnetoreception for help with migration. But for me the sense of direction interests me most as the symbolic or metaphoric force behind personal growth.

Growth happens in a couple of ways. We wake up one day and realize we love brussel sprouts for the first time in our life. Unconscious, undeliberate.  Or, we decide we want to get somewhere in life. We orient ourselves to the destination and move on out, making adjustments as we go until we arrive, triumphant. ….or fall on our face trying.

My journey here has been a combination of those two things.  I am okay with that. I fell in love with brussel sprouts this weekend (true story). I couldn’t be happier. Not everything has to be planned.

BUT…..when nothing is planned, that leaves too much up to chance for me. I want more out of life than that. That is why Jenn’s RBBP workshop was such a streak of luck for me.  I needed something to magnetize to. I needed a course to show me the way. But more than any of that, I needed to have a better idea of my destination.

Her workshop was filled with exercises and projects that utilized creativity to help us discover the visions we have for our businesses.  You may have felt frustrated at the idea of planning for your dream business in the past. I know I have. It has stopped me in my tracks, paralyzed me. Instead of grinding to a halt, RBBP kicked me into action. It fleshed out parts of my business that I couldn’t get a grip on or that were sort of ambiguously floating around in my head.

Here are a few peeks into my process….

BizSelf-Portrait

My Business Self-Portrait is a collage of images that helps me understand who I am as a SOUL proprietor.  Click to make bigger.

I love the women on the page. The first woman is feminine but empowered. I clothed her in numbers to help me understand that I can be comfortable with the more left brain aspects of business. I also threw in some luck and love.  Doesn’t she have amazing confidence?!  The woman in the center is reaching with celebration. She is open wide, dynamic.  Her skirt is expanding around her with so much enthusiasm that it pulls in the space and objects around her.

RBBP-ideal_client

These little collaged cards show My Ideal Clients. 

Something big shifted for me as I worked on these. Some of the cards reflect the kinds of problems my coaching helps with…like time management, self-care, managing creative projects, direction for creative businesses, improved self-confidence, and personal growth.  My work as a massage therapist and artist also showed up.  I am looking forward to exploring these client profiles even more deeply.

It doesn’t take much.

Finding your direction can be as easy as getting centered or having a meaningful chat with a mindful friend. I would love to hear about what gives you a Sense of Direction, where you are headed, when you want to get there, what action you are taking.

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Sharing in This Sense-ational Life: Complete the Circle

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If this post inspires thoughts about how you can or do experience a Sense of Direction in your own life, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments or write your own post and enter that post address in the linky below.  Make sure to link back to this post so your readers can discover this blogging series.  Then, check back for others who will be writing about This Sense-ational Life. You can grab the button just above and link it to the page for This Sense-ational Life.

http://creativitytribe.com/events-and-projects/this-sense-ational-life/
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