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Posts Tagged this sensational life

Working on Workshops

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On Tuesday’s This Sense-sational Life post, I talked about the Sense of Choice and my shift from working for someone else to building a life around my dreams.  This week, my dreams are in front of me in a big way.  On Saturday I will be presenting at the South Western Unitarian Universalist Women’s Conference along with Jessica of Heath Roots.  I will also set up my art as a vendor.  What fun!

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Whole Woman Workshop

Jessica and I are sharing our Whole Woman Workshop there.  During the event, we invite women to come into the circle of sisterhood and explore through dance, storytelling, and doll making the essence of who they are as a woman.  You know you love what you are doing when you just can’t wait to do the work in front of you….and that is the case with this workshop.  I will let you know how it goes.

Touch Drawing

Last week I taught a Touch Drawing workshop at the Art Center of Corpus Christi.  I had a wonderful blend of individuals coming together to explore what was a new technique for many of them.  I loved watching them wade slowing into the process of going inward and discovering what wished to be expressed with the hands.  Working with a new media or a new technique can force a Creative to step outside their routine and engage the actual process of being creative.  That can be an uncomfortable place, but on the other side of the fear we often discover something about ourselves that we had maybe forgotten….like what it feels like when we don’t give up, how we act in the face of uncertainty, and the joy of embracing curiosity.

 This quirky woman began as a touch drawing of mine and grew into a mixed media piece.

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I think it is inevitable that while we work on one kind of project our mind brings up other similar projects for us to toy with.  I love to take full advantage of those times.  They provide yummy ideas and energy to boost creativity.  This has definitely been the case with all the workshops I have been planning.  These two have led me to think about the workshop I am teaching at the Creatives Celebrating Sisterhood Retreat in Wisconsin this coming April.

Passport to Dreams Come True

The workshop I am teaching there is near and dear to my heart.  It began as a seed when I was working on my Masters in Counseling.  Passport to Dreams Come True.  It came out of my love of bookmaking, doll making, and helping others nurture their creative spirit.

Passport to Dreams Come True

Within each of us is space where dreams take seed. Art is the perfect medium for accessing the symbols, stories, and inspiration to help those dreams become a reality. Join Rachél Payne as she introduces journaling techniques for exploring your inner landscape and blends them with bookmaking for a dynamic and transformative creative adventure. You will walk away with a process for accessing your heart’s desire and a work of art which documents your own personal journey to it’s discovery.

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Plan on hearing lots more about this Art Retreat.  Starting early April, I am hitting the road as I drive up the center of the country and back again on my own creative journey!

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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

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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!

 

All is Well

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One day several years ago as I was sitting in one of those over-stuffed chairs that used to be scattered through out the local Barnes & Noble, I began a light conversation with a man…a stranger.  I don’t remember much of what we talked about, but I do remember how he ended the conversation. He simply said, “All is well.”  And walked away.

All is well.

It echoed in the space where he had been sitting, lingered there for a long while until it found its way into my journal.

All is well.

I carried the words around for me for quite awhile, pondering them.  What if….All is Well?

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I have needed All is Well lately.  A series of mishaps has left me feeling off balanced the last month.  Scattered around me is the evidence that All is Well, but in my core, in my gut, All does not feel Well. All feels, well, off!

I could list the mishaps and give you plenty of good stories to elaborate on what has me feeling this way, but I really don’t want to do that. Not because I don’t want to share, but more because I want All to be Well. I want balance and peace.  Some of my mishaps have not been settled yet though.  There are some very personal happenings that are in limbo, that will only find resolution in time and which I can do absolutely nothing to truly help.  I both love and hate this predicament. I hate it for its discomfort and love it because it is one of the characteristics that makes life what it is.

This ambiguity is life.  This turning of my stomach in the middle of the night is life. This preoccupation with the past to make sense of the present in spite of a possible future is life. I feel it because I care about for others and for myself. I feel it because what was once lost is now found….again.  I feel it because I am alive.

Even in the pain…..All is Well.

Even in the not knowing…..All is Well.

Even when there is no end in sight….All is Well.

All is Well. All is Well.

 

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All is Well.

 

Thank you to Rosemary of Reflections of My World for inspiring this response as part of This Sensa-ational Life.  Please have a peek at Rosemary’s post and discover what a Sense of Well Being is for you.  The linky is open through the end of this week.  

 

 

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