tag archives: create the life you love

how reaching for something unattainable makes you crazy

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They are playing quietly.  Maybe, just maybe, I could sneak in the art room for a few minutes.  Just a few…I’ll do anything.  Print some photos for the baby book.  Start writing a blog post.  Listen to MY music.  Drink hot coffee…alone.

Anything.  Just something that I love doing, without interruption, for a few treasured minutes.

And yet, they know.
They always know.
When I sit down with that piping hot coffee and a dream to have a moment to myself, they know.

And my minute of excitement that it might just happen is gone as the oldest boy bursts through the doorway.

“Mom, I’m hungry.  What can I have?”  Didn’t I just clean up breakfast like 5 freakin minutes ago?

I hear the middle boy yell from the living room, “Mom, I want to play trains.  Can you get them for me?”  Seriously? There are already a billion toys all over the house.  And you want to get yet ANOTHER thing out?!

I feel the resistance in my body.  The gripping in my mind.  The frustration that the hope of stealing those few quiet – desperately needed – moments of “freedom” to do what I want to do…is gone.

I take a deep breath.  I let it out.  And for the millionth time, I let it go.  I think, I’ll get to it later.  Maybe I won’t be tired after they go to bed. Maybe my husband won’t be working late again this week.  Maybe my babysitter is free another day. 

The paintings to paint, the blog posts to write, the monsters to knit, the photo books to update…sit in my art room waiting for another day.

I help the older boy find snacks and I bring up the wooden train set for the middle boy.  He asks me to help him set up “the biggest train track ever” and just as we finish it he says, “I want to do a puppet show.”

And my coffee is cold.

It’s now lunchtime and I’m hungry and I hear the baby crying on the monitor.  Naptime is over and I try making lunch while wrestling a wild monkey boy who just wants to destroy everything in his wake.

And of course I let him because it’s easier that way.  Until after lunch I look around at the devastation only to find every pot and pan pulled out, all the plastic ABC’s spread across the floor and food…so much food…on the floor, on the wall and in his ears, neck and bellybutton.

Is it bedtime yet?

We clean up lunch and get ready for rest time.  All the while the talking and the questions and the story-telling continues at a non-stop pace.

I hear…”Mommy, why is it called an avocado?  Watch Buzz Light Year fly.  Is it going to rain today?  Are you watching?  Look what I can do.  Tell me about ice molecules.  Why does it rain? Why are there people?  Why are toots so funny?”…all in the matter of one minute.

And that’s how kids are…non-stop.

And that’s how life is…non-stop.

And yet, I know.
I always know (even when I forget).

That life with children may keep on going – sometimes at rapid speed – but that doesn’t mean I have to.
I can stop.  I can slow down.  And I can get a grip on my racing, resisting mind that wants the moment to be different.

I can find peace NOW.
I can feel contentment NOW.
I can experience joy NOW.

That’s what these kids are teaching me.  It’s ok to want moments alone in my art room.  In fact, for me to feel grounded, I NEED it.  And making space for the things that recharge my soul help me be a more present mother and a happier person.

I can get on the floor and play trains with the boys – and actually have fun doing it – when my mind stops gripping for something else.

I can answer all the questions and laugh more and stop being so dang serious, because my boys (toots and all) help me do that every day.

I can integrate my love of art, journaling and yoga with my mothering by doing these things with and alongside my children.

I can take breaks away from them to do what fills up my heart and enriches my soul.

And so can you.

Accept where YOU are in this moment.

Accept what stage of life you are in.

Listen to the messages in your heart.

What are you craving?  What quiet whispers do you hear?

Remember, it’s ok to want change.  It’s fabulous to start taking those steps towards the change you wish to see in your life.

But stop gripping.  Stop resisting.  Stop reaching for something unattainable, it will make you crazy.

For me, it’s an unattainable, frustrating dream to think I can be alone or do my creative work WITH three little monkey boys running wild in my home.

But it’s not unattainable to drink hot coffee (yeah for glass travel mugs) and it’s definitely not unattainable to make space for the things that enrich my soul.  I can paint.  I can journal.  I can knit.  I can write and blog and teach e-courses (stay tuned – I’m creating a new one!), even while being a stay-at-home-mom.  It just has to be when the kids are in the care of someone else. I have to be creative with my time.

I can do these things even with my children and I can surrender and let go of the frustration.  I am going to be interrupted.  I am going to be asked a million questions.  And I’m going to LOVE it now, because I know how fleeting this stage of my life really is.

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It is hard to find time for your creative dreams and desires in the midst of motherhood.
And it’s also a MUST.
Your dreams matter.  It’s important that you make SPACE for them.

So slow down.  Make SPACE in your life to play and to laugh and to dream and to get on the floor with your kids.

It’s in the space where you FEEL the peace that is ALWAYS in your heart.

And when you tap into that peace and stay connected to it, you will see the humor in the fact that your kids always know.  You are more likely to laugh when they interrupt your flow.

You will find more contentment and joy in this crazy life of yours, because it’s messy and it’s imperfect and it’s wonderful, just as it is, in this moment.

Peace and love to you on your day today!

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 Your Personal Reflection:

Notice when you feel frustrated.  Are you getting the breaks you need?  Is it time for a recharge? Can you schedule some time away from your family to do something you truly enjoy?  Or how can you start to incorporate more of the things you love in your day with your kids?  Pay attention to your body. Where do you feel resistance or tension?  Is your mind constantly racing and wishing for things to be different then they are right now?  Slow down and make space while you reconnect to your peaceful heart.

 

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Check out my Mothering with heART e-book!

the courage to listen to your heart

summer-boys On the way to his last day of kindergarten he uttered that powerful phrase he said to me on his first day of school, “Mom, I’m not scared anymore.” (The same phrase that helped me through my last natural birth.)

He had been anticipating this day for a week now.  The graduation ceremony to honor the 6 graduates from his Montessori class included dancing, singing songs, reciting poetry and presenting a timeline of his life to a room full of kids and parents taking pictures.

For a kid who does not like having the attention on him (at all) – especially in large groups – this event could be seen as complete torture! Yet, his mindful teachers knew he needed to practice – to help calm his nerves.  And that practice paid off because on the actual day of the ceremony, when it was his turn to present, he looked at me and took a deep breath (like we had practiced) and stood up, walked across the classroom and started to read.  He did it!  And not only were we, as his parents, beaming with happiness and delight, but he brought tears to his teacher’s eyes.

They knew how hard he had worked.  They saw how much he has grown.

His courage touched us all.

summer-g Even baby brother was clapping with joy! grad-collage-1 When I asked him later how it felt doing something that was scary, he exclaimed, “Great!” Just another simple reminder that life is full of unknown and scary things that we have to face, but when we can breathe through it, find the support to help us along the way and tap into our inner courage, it is so worth it on the other side!

As a mother, I am continually blown away by the daily lessons I learn from these boys.

Life is full of fears.  Some are small and some are enormous.  Some we face without much thought or preparation, some keep us stuck, stagnant and unable to move forward and some propel us to a place beyond our wildest dreams.

Ever since ending my last e-course I’ve felt a deep need to unplug.  To get quiet. To limit my computer time.  To untether from capturing, posting and sharing my daily events.

And I’ve been following this inner guidance by clearing space, going slower and embracing the relaxed rhythm that comes from summer.

summer-k I am loving my focused time with the kids right now.  We’ve made a summer list and we’ve already had a good balance of playful activities out in the world and downtime at home.

Slowing down feels really nice.

It’s good for my soul and good for my kids. Unplugging and slowing down feels a little scary for me.  I’ve been building an online business over the last few years.  I teach e-courses and build community on-line!  Fears like Will people forget about me?  Will I be able to do this online thing that I LOVE if I step away for a while?  Will I lose my creative ideas if I don’t act on them RIGHT NOW?  Will I lose myself in the world of “mom” if I don’t have something else to cling to?

But then I remember, I’m not scared anymore.  And I trust my intuition that knows this is what I need right now.

I see the courage in my boys.

I connect to my own inner strength.

I take a deep breath.

I clear my plate.

I get quiet.

I listen to that place within.

I let go of more.

I move forward slowly.

And I find the courage to listen to my heart – even when it feels scary.

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I encourage you to slow down, too!  Take time to get on the floor with your kids. PLAY together. Laugh, be silly, be present.  And enjoy the deep connection that comes from simply being together.

Let the summer begin!

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In between the bike rides, swimming, and getting messy, I will stop by Facebook from time-to-time.  Let’s stay connected!  Visit my A Free Spirit Life page and join my private Mothering with heART page to connect with other mothers from around the world.

 

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For fun creative ideas to do with your family and inspiration on staying connected to your own heart, check out my Mothering with heART session #1 E-book!

it’s time to help your dreams grow

ready for spring

Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.

~ Shigenori Kameoka

We are slowly emerging from the dark, cold depths of winter and getting ready to embrace the beauty that comes with spring. Depending on where you live in the world, you may be seeing new signs of life.

Symbolically, spring represents a time for new beginnings.

With new beginnings comes planning, planting and tending to the garden.  And as I make preparations to plant seeds with the boys, I can’t help but recognize how caring for these new seedlings is a lot like the love and care needed when tending to our personal dreams.

You have dreams inside that are waiting to be manifested.

And just like your garden, it is up to YOU to recognize the dreams deep within your heart – to clear the weeds, to create a strong foundation for them to grow, and to nourish them daily so they can thrive and flourish.

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1) Clear & Prepare

When planting a garden you must clear away the weeds and prepare the soil for new growth. The same goes for your own life. Clearing away physical, mental and emotional clutter makes space for new things, thoughts and feelings.  So take time this spring to clean out the closets, organize your cupboards, donate items you no longer use, and let go of the thoughts and behaviors that don’t serve a purpose in your life.  The more clutter you clear, the more peace and clarity you will find.  And being clear about your dreams gets you halfway to actualizing them!

2) Get Still & Breathe 

Life is moving by at a rapid pace and sometimes we truly do forget to stop and smell the flowers. Slow down and find quiet space in your day.  Whether it’s while sweeping the floor, folding clothes, sitting in meditation, taking a bath, or on the floor playing with your kids, you can find stillness by reconnecting to your breath in the present moment.  Take some deep, slow inhales and full, slow exhales.  Notice the quality of your breath.  Enjoying this stillness and letting go of the distractions in your day will reconnect you to what truly matters.

3)  Listen & Observe

When planting a garden you must tend to it daily.  Notice what’s growing, what isn’t seeing the sun, what needs more water and tender loving care.  What dreams and personal interests aren’t being cared for in your own life?  Start to observe your inner voice and stop long enough to really listenThe more you practice listening to the your intuition, the more TRUST you will build to follow its lead.

4)  Play & Explore 

Caring for a garden is a lot of work, but it shouldn’t be all work and no play! Planting, pulling weeds and seeing the results of that hard work can be lots of fun AND it gets you outside. Taking the lead from your children, being light at heart, staying connected to nature and playing more often, helps you tap into that curiosity and wonder – the place where the seeds of your dreams live. 

5) Create & Embrace the Mess

When you choose to plant a garden you get to decide what you will plant.  Will this be a flower garden and if so, what varieties and colors will you choose?  Or are you going to plant a vegetable garden and what kinds of meals will you make with this vibrant, fresh food?  The act of creating is a practice in letting go of perfect, in getting messy and in exploring new ideas. Whether it’s digging in the dirt or playing with paint, find outlets that you enjoy and carve out a little time each day to express yourself.

6)  Journal

Keeping a garden journal offers you a place to learn from past mistakes, as you document your growing conditions and keep track of what worked and what didn’t.  Writing from your heart can work in the same way.  You are more likely to notice patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life when you write them down.  This type of reflection is a powerful way to gain clarity and is a very freeing practice.  A journal can offer you a safe place to share your feelings, explore your dreams, and find the wisdom it takes to make those dreams real.

7) Take a Chance

I’m really new to gardening.  A few years ago we started with a 10 x 10 foot space and had so much fun that we expanded to a 10 x 25 foot on our community garden plot.  We had great success with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and beets.  We struggled with watermelon and failed miserably with peas.  Had we not taken risks by trying new things we would never have learned what changes we need to make this year.  So apply this same idea to your dreams.  I bet there’s a dream or two living within you that is ready to emerge, but you might be feeling some resistance or fear around them. Allow yourself to take more healthy risks (even especially when you feel scared) and watch your confidence and courage reach for the sun.

8)  Connect & Find Support

There are so many experienced gardeners and green thumb gurus out there – so don’t think you have to tend to your garden alone! Sometimes we can feel isolated and think we are the only ones having these feelings or experiences.  Reach out to a friend or local group that can help you stay connected and build power in your dreams.  Maybe that means joining a new knitting group or starting an art night with your friends.  There are tons of supportive, wonderful communities on-line, too.  (Like my Mothering with heART group!)  Connecting, sharing and relating with other like-minded souls is a wonderful way to ensure your dreams expand and grow beyond measure.

So as you embrace the change of seasons, take time to reflect on what seeds and dreams want to be planted this year.

Create the best conditions that will support this new growth and allow your inner garden and your heart to open, expand and flourish.  Start with the best foundation and tend to your dreams daily, and one day in the near future you will get to sit back and relish in their beauty.

Happy growing!

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taking care of you while working from home

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Little man turns 6 months this week! I can hardly believe it.

Rolling over, sitting up, new teeth popping through… Third time going through this new baby thing and I’m still amazed by these ever-changing, fast-growing little creatures.

Mostly, I’ve loved this time learning what it’s like to juggle being a mama to three. Yes, it’s been hard. Some days I throw up my hands and declare, “I CAN’T do this anymore!” And after leaving all three kids with my husband for the first time since babe #3 was born, to get my haircut and enjoy coffee BY MYSELF, I feel liberated! Ready for new beginnings and a new stage.

I will share more soon about how real life is going and some new things I’m working on for mamas.  In the meantime, I’m consumed by fulfilling the constant needs of a teething baby, a learning his independence 3-year-old, and a 6-year-old on spring break.  And I’m taking advice from other mama’s on how to keep integrating my need to work-from-home and be with my babes.

Today I’m excited to share a guest post from my friend – the lovely, kind and oh-so supportive mama and coach, Kathy Stowell, creator of Bliss Beyond Naptime.

Kathy definitely has experience learning how to balance the whole WAHM journey, and I think you will find her advice helpful and affirming!  (Make sure to check out Kathy’s Mama Bliss School that starts March 24th!)

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Designing a Self-Care Rich Flow to Your WAHM Day

~ written by guest contributor Kathy Stowell

I was so optimistic at the start of this school year. Both kids were to be away the whole day through, freeing me up to bask in a perfectly choreographed dance of work, yoga, coffee dates and creative expression.

Not exactly how things are rolling.

Instead, I have come to the WAHM (work at home mom) – realization that a) kids will take turns being home sick from school well into February and b) time flies when you’re having WAHM style fun. I find myself with barely enough time to get my magical three things off of my to-do list if all goes well.

If self-care isn’t designed into your work at home mama flow you can pretty much count on it not all will go well.  Without this important component designed into your work day you’re just making yourself more susceptible to the next ‘bug de jour’, feel overwhelmed by your perceived lack of time and frustrated by the sense of imbalance haunting you.

Making sure there are pulse points of self-care rituals designed into your WAHM days ensure your days are peppered with the reminders that a healthy and productive routine contains moments of excursion followed by deep but brief injections of self-care to properly revitalize.
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1)     Begin by making a list of your favourite self-care practices

Take five minutes to brainstorm big and small ways to treat yourself to some self-love. Include indulgences such as creative play, movement, stillness… essentially whatever thoughts that make your cells jump up and down a little as if they’re saying ‘yes, please’!

2)     Slip these lists into the appropriate time commitment box

Draw three boxes of three different sizes: small, medium, large. Jot down the self-care practices that require a bigger time commitment, like dance class or a hike in the woods, in the bigger boxes. Smaller ones like an herbal tea break or two sun salutes with a five minute savasana can go into the smaller box.

Everything else can find its home in the medium sized box.

Throughout the day, treat yourself with a dip into the little self-care box as a reward for an hour of work. I’m inspired by the Pomodoro technique that suggests working for twenty minute chunks of time and then taking a break to recoup and maximize brain waves and minimize burn out.

Write this out if that helps you to remember. For example:

9 – 10:00 Work

10-10:15 Read a chapter from a book on the couch

11-12 Work

12- 12:30 Lunch followed by walking the dog to the mailbox

3)     Save the bigger gestures of self-care as part of a weekly ritual or for after work hours

At the beginning of the school year I was taking a noon hour dance class but I found I couldn’t really let go due to this nagging feeling I was missing out on my optimum work time and creative peak hours. Instead I’m taking such classes in the evening and I’m feeling so much more relaxed during and after it.

Now when I come home the dishes are done, the kids are peacefully sleeping and my husband is waiting for me on the couch with Downton Abby all ready to go. Bliss!

Like everything else in our WAHM world it takes constant experimenting and trying on new approaches to see what works best. But as with anything in life, and especially in tree pose, dramatic discoveries of balance often only takes the most minuscule of adjustments.

This, along with many doses of Vitamin C and as much sleep as you can muster to keep the sniffles at bay, and small steps will be taken forward every day in both your business and this sacred business of being a present and joyful mama.

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Kathy Stowell is the founder of Mama Bliss Coaching School (spring session begins March 24th) where she helps moms create a thriving and sustainable coaching practice.

She’s a full time work at home mom herself and a certified Simplicity Parenting Coach and Kaizen Muse Creativity Coach. She’s a wife, proud mom to two kids and shares her work at home mama secrets in her free ecourse Money Bliss.

 

 

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Thank you, Kathy, for reminded us mamas that we CAN take good care of ourselves – while we work from home.  You have inspired me to keep on trucking down this crazy, unpredictable path…

I hope she has inspired you, too!

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blossom magazine (& winners announced!)

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I am beyond thrilled to be a contributor for the lovely magazine, Blossom, created by Amy Butler!

Issue #2 went LIVE today.  You can view it using the link below:

Blossom Magazine Issue #2

The intention of Blossom Magazine is to celebrate your authentic journey and to inspire you to live the life you’re meant to by creating love, expressing beauty and being kind.  You will find it is 230 pages FULL of that love, beauty and kindness through amazing photography, creative inspiration and personal reflections.  Truly, this magazine is a complete work of art and I’m honored to be included (see me on pages 206 – 213).  (And check out the beautiful ad my awesome graphic designer and friend created on page 213!)

final-mothering-with-heart-ecourse-200 I’m also SO excited about the launch of my Mothering with heART e-book that I’m offering 5 free copies in a random drawing!

To enter this simple give-away:

THE GIVE-AWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

 

 

 

The 5 winners of the random drawing for a FREE copy of Mothering with heART are:

 

Caroline, Amy, Tophat, Lori and Noelle!

(Email me for details on how to receive your free copy.)

 

You can also purchase your own copy of Mothering with heART.  I’m extending the special price going on now through March 15th, 2014.  Visit HERE for details.

Be well and keep creating a life YOU love!

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NEW mothering with heart e-book special!

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Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.

~ Jodi Picoult

Happy HEART day!

I really do love Valentine’s Day.

I always have.  Ever since childhood, when we decorated our cardboard boxes for party day.  Oh, the anticipation of getting cards and sweets from your friends and family.  SO much fun.

What I love about this day, in particular, is it gives us a lovely reminder to stop…and CELEBRATE LOVE.

So today, I am celebrating my wonderful family.  I have to keep this post short because we are making chocolate dipped strawberries and heart-shaped pizzas for dinner.

In celebration of YOU and my deep-seated passion to inspire, connect with and enrich the lives of mamas everywhere, I am launching the release of my brand NEW Mothering with heART e-book!

The 30-day e-course that I offered last spring is now its own activity and inspirational guide – to celebrate the mother in YOU.

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You can see all the details here:

Mothering with heART E-book

From Valentine’s Day – February 28th, 2014, I am offering this downloadable PDF e-book for a special price.

This e-book includes:

  • reflections and inspiration on creativity & intuitive mothering
  • weekly art projects to do with and alongside your children (of any age)
  • videos from me
  • connection to a private, ongoing community with other mothers from all over the world
  • personal essays, interviews, stories, tips and inspiration from artists, writers, life coaches, stay-at-home moms and more…

Whether you are expecting your first baby, you are a mom of young children, your kids are teens or just went off to college, NOW is the time to take better care of YOU, so you can keep being the mother and woman you want to be in the world.

Mothering with heART will give you the inspiration, time for reflection and connection to community that will enliven your life in more ways than you can even imagine.

Thanks for checking it out!

Ok…off to snuggle with my boys.

With deep appreciation for you…

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you are the creator of your life

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Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery starts Monday, January 27th, 2014!

JOIN US for art journaling, gentle yoga, guided meditation and connection to an international community of women – where we let go of perfect, make messes, play with paint, embrace our unique brilliance and build courage to create a life we love.

For more information, visit:

Inside Out

Be well and thanks for your support!

See you in class…

xo-shannon-blue

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celebrate your life

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The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

~ Oprah Winfrey

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Well, I certainly don’t have it all together. I’m still working on stuff…daily. Struggling and fumbling along the way.

But I gotta say, I sure scored in the husband department.

These photos are from my recent birthday celebration. The boys were so excited to surprise me. The rule was: under no circumstances could I come down to the basement. While the boys were busy building this birthday cake present masterpiece out of boxes, I took baby Grayson to the grocery store (which is always a treat just going with ONE kid) and then to mommy/baby yoga (which is so comforting and relaxing).

I took a nap in the afternoon (which is always heaven).

And made enchiladas for a small party with my family. All I really wanted this year for my birthday was a quiet evening with my family, eating good food and playing games. It was awesome. The boys could not contain themselves – pure joy and excitement. So they pulled me downstairs first to reveal this amazing gift. Or gifts rather. 39 presents for my 39th year. Isn’t that the sweetest?

And not only were the presents awesome, like a new journal, a smash book, coffee mugs…but each box had a note from the boys and my husband sharing what they love most about me.

I truly felt showered with love!

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It was a birthday I will never forget. One full of love, fun and abundance – for sure.

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my bday collage 2013

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And the birthday celebrations have continued, for my husband and my oldest, who turned 6 today!

This is YOUR one life…celebrate your breath.
Celebrate the ones you love.
Celebrate YOU.

Because YOU and your life are worth celebrating.

xo-shannon-blue

 

 

 

*Photos by my love, Chris Duh.

 

Inside Out Logo

Now that the birthday celebrations are just about over, I’ll be turning my attention to Inside Out.

There’s still plenty of time to join us! My 5-week e-course begins January 27th, 2014.
For more information, visit:
Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery!
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inside out registration is now open!

Inside Out 2014 from Shannon Kinney on Vimeo.

You have to grow from the Inside Out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

~ Swami Vivekananda

I’ve created a video for you!  Use the password: befree.

This is my first video since having my sweet newborn and I’m thrilled to be back sharing with you!

Inside Out LogoRegistration for the next session of Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery is now open! Session dates for 2014: January 27th – February 28th.  Join us for an incredible creative adventure and make this YOUR year of abundance, flow and transformation.

When you sign-up for this 5-week e-course you will receive my NEW Inside Out Take Action e-book for FREE!

Visit HERE for all the details.

Awaken to the wisdom of YOUR own soul and set yourself free.

xo-shannon-green

 

 

 

 

Here’s what past Inside Out graduates are saying:

I participated in the inaugural Inside Out e-course in January, 2010. I was still in the midst of undiagnosed, untreated postpartum depression (which I’ve really only fully understood from the other side).  Inside Out helped me see that I am capable of anything that I put my heart and soul into. The “realness” of everything Shannon teaches and shares, along with her ability to bring that out in others, helped me really see that extraordinary people are just people. They don’t have some special gift. They have a whole host of gifts, just like everyone does. What sets them apart is the action they take, putting themselves out into the world, taking risks, and moving forward. This idea is a value I hold very close to my heart.

~Kelly, Ohio  ~Perched to Fly

I had a fabulous time in Inside Out and it gave me the courage to start taking small steps.  I began with some e-courses to explore my creativity and to find out what I enjoyed. I have now started dancing classes and am having great fun.  I have also found an art course to participate in locally.  Yay!  Living in the moment and exploring my inner child is fun!  Without Inside Out I would not have started this journey and I love it.  Thank you so much.

~Victoria, Finland

The Inside Out e-course was an incredible, joyful, fun-filled experience where I got to make art like a child again. No rules, no outcome, just creating and seeing what happens. I have learned so much about myself, learned to enjoy creating in ways I never thought possible, and feel that I have loosened up creatively! 

~Jennifer, UK

Visit HERE to read more raves.

 

 

my self-discovery practice through journaling

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I started writing in my first journal several years ago.  I remember when I was around 12-years-old and my family was going through some rough times, my uncle gave me a journal and told me he’d pay me $1 for each entry I wrote, up to $15.  I think I wrote 15 entries in just a few short days.  Nothing like having the motivation of getting paid to write!  That experience introduced me to the world of exploring my deeper self through words.  I’ve written in a journal off and on ever since.

About 12-years ago I read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron and that’s when I fell in love with what she calls “morning pages.”  It’s basically writing, as much as you can, first thing in the morning.  Writing without thinking about it.  That was a new concept for me when I first started. It was hard to not think.  But the more I practiced the easier it came.  My writings were filled with questions, reflections, confusions, frustrations, and celebrations.  The more I wrote, the more clarity I discovered.

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After finishing The Artist’s Way, I didn’t write morning pages everyday, but I did visit my journal regularly.  My journals have become my old friends.  I can look back at them and see where I’ve come from.  I can see my struggles.  I can see my patterns.  I can see my self-doubts.  I can see my fears.  I can see how I longed to be me, to live a life that was true to my nature – one where I felt alive, vibrant and free.

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Through writing, I have created visual reminders in my journal.  I can return to them when I’m lost and confused.  I can trust them, and they help me awaken to that place that I know is always there.
I now can say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I believe my journaling practice has helped me get here.

My journal used to be much more black and white.  I would paint and sketch from time-to-time, but mostly I loved the freedom of a simple black pen on white paper.  It’s only more recently that I discovered my great passion and joy for art journaling.  I now merge my love of free-form (no thinking) writing, with my love for intuitive (no thinking) painting, to express a deeper side of myself.

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I journal because it makes me feel safe.  I journal because it helps me build strength.  I journal because I discover new dreams.  I journal because it helps me find peace of mind. I journal because it gets me out of my head and connected to my heart.  I journal because I long to go deeper.  I journal to learn more about me and this life I’m living.  I journal to stay grounded.

I journal to explore my creativity.

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I journal to stay true to myself.

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I journal because it helps me create the life I love.

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I journal because it reminds me that all of the answers I ever need in life are within me, and that I am right where I need to be.

(*Photos from Inside Out e-course.)

 

Thirty-day-badge
Today marks the last day of my November challenge, Thirty Days of Giving Thanks.  
I simply love this practice of gratitude and I see how it makes me feel more positive and happy when I focus on sharing my thanks with others.  Thanks to those of you who participate with me.  I appreciate the comments and emails I received from you throughout the month!

 

Today, I give thanks to those who have helped support me through my own self-discovery journey – which is pretty much everyone I’ve ever come in contact with!

 

Your Personal Reflection:  Do you journal?  If so, why do you journal?  If you’ve never tried journaling, what other self-discovery tools do you practice that help you create a life YOU love?

 

If you are ready to make some changes in your life and want to explore your deeper, creative side – check out my upcoming e-course:

Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery.

Registration opens tomorrow!

xo-shannon-green