Art Along Experience: Let it OUT. Let it IN

I've been getting my ass kicked recently.
No need to send condolences, I asked for it. 

I'm deep in my favorite annual big mama painting course for Cosmic Cowgirls - Legend.
And the themes that are coming up for review are...well...ass kickers.
This is my painting. (Doesn't she look like she could take me in a fight?)
Excavating themes of empathy, emotional caretaking, identity, beliefs.
Makes me want to crawl under the covers
Whether you ask for it or life just hits you with a one two three punch, what I've noticed is that checking out isn't actually the answer during the overwhelm times. Checking in is the magical answer. Duh, right?  And I know we all do the best we can and sometimes we just can't. So I was super thankful to develop the following intentional creativity game as a way to reclaim the skipped moments for myself.

I loved it as a gift to my sweet introvert spirit. Whether it was a difficult moment...
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Art Along Experience: Perspective


How do you start to look in a direction that you haven't been looking? You'll need a half hour, magazine, glue and a willingness to be surprised.  Note that the second half of the video includes the "secret decoder key" to our perspective game - so get ready to hit pause! (It's WAY more fun if you don't know where this is going while you're creating your collage!)

created for Codex

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Art Prompt: Transcendence


Part one Ordinary is above Part two transcendence is below:

How can you practice using conversation to move your art from ordinary to transcendent?

(Originally included in the year long course Imagine)

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Start with Yellow

As I mentioned in my "November begins with No" post, I've been doing my Time Bender course again this month. Heading into the holidays it's such an important time to get in the habit of little bites of creativity amidst the other obligations. Today's Day 12 prompt - just little touches of yellow while feeling into lightening up was, as always, surprisingly satisfying. I really do love this course.
I've been posting  my daily progress on Instagram:

Take 25% off Time Bender this No-vember
by adding the codeword:
>>> NOVEMBER <<<


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Do Not Scare the Future


Have you had that experience, where you go flipping back through writing or doodles or paintings years later and end up teary eyed with goosebumps on your goosebumps?  ALL THE INFORMATION IS RIGHT THERE! And exactly like any oracle message, it's mostly clear in hindsight.

I'm all watery faced right now because I was reading through poems that I wrote in 2009. That was the year I did one of the most fulfilling experiments of my life: I started a blog called 108 Nights. On the sidebar it said:

"Every night we dream.
Rich fragrant dreams,
weird upsetting dreams,
silly reenactment dreams,
enlivening hope feeding dreams.

I love dream time
and I find that when I pay more attention to it,
it pays more attention to me.
This is an experiment.
108 Nights of Dreams
posted as poems,
an homage.
Will you join me?"

I invited all my friends to post along with me and began to write a poem every single morning based on my dreams. Yes, for 108 nights. And it was such a good practice I promptly...

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November Begins with NO

A couple weeks back I sent out a newsletter that claimed three of my favorite holidays are this week: Halloween, my daughter birthday (also 10/31) plus Day of the Dead.

But in my enthusiasm I forgot the fourth:

November first, the first day of
"November begins with No."

My friend Juju was the one who introduced this phrase to me. And every year the first day of November feels like an inhale of oxygen after you've been holding your breath too long. 

Here in California we don't get seasons in the same way as the rest of the country so I  need an intervention at this time. Something to say- Hey, woah there Nellie, it's not summer any more slooooooooooow down, come inside, put your feet up. It's still pretty outside and I'm still wearing flip flops so the turn of the calendar has to  be my cue.

"Wait, what does November Begins with No - even mean?" my hubby asked this morning in the face of my enthusiasm. "No to EVERYTHING!" I said, throwing out my hands out in glee. (He...

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Inspired Inquiries Muse turns three!

My messiest Muse and most ambitious creative endeavor turns three today!


More in today's newsletter: Find it here & subscribe!



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AUDIO Introduction to Pluto

An hour long call excerpted from SkyMagic: The Art & Magic of Astrology Enjoy this Pluto Talk & Meditation with Mary Swanson

In astrology, each planet is alive and active in your psyche, enacting patterns in your day to day life. And each one has a particular way they wants to teach you magic! When we choose to consciously create and collaborate with these astrological myths and honor the active stories of the soul, our inner and outer life irrefutably change.

When you register for SkyMagic, each week you'll find a new lesson including Introductions to the Archetype with Mary Swanson, Art Journaling on the themes with Jenafer Joy, and Going Deeper Exploration and Meditation with Laura Tabet. Work through each archetype in step with the astrological year or engage in the lessons in your own timing. All audios, video, and handouts are available indefinitely.

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In medias res - in the middle of real life

Let's set the stage. Hubby & I are up against deadlines. The babysitter couldn't make it again today. My daughter is a cranktastic klingon because she's coming down with a cold. And wacky pms meant I ate a whole sheetpan of snickerdoodles (even though I don't eat wheat or sugar).

So when my daughter started to fall asleep on the couch I knew that this increasingly rare nap might just save all of our lives. 

Problem - she's on the couch, fully dressed sans diaper, a light sleeper and never makes it through a nap without peeing.

I've perfected my normal ninja diaper moves - tip, always put the tabs on the bottom no matter whether your kid is face up or face down - but this was a conundrum. No way were the leggings coming off and the nap continuing.

So I stole a slogan from Mommastrong and decided to Win Ugly.  Diaper on the outside of the leggings. Bam.

I was unreasonably proud of myself... I posted to Mommastrong in the daily thread. I was called a goddess.  I felt...

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On the Joy of a Goldfish life + Inner Monsters PEEK


Do you have someone in your life who really GETS your humor? Someone who knows just what's going to tickle your funny bone?  I have a confession to make - "historic me" makes me laugh.

When I gave birth to Hazel in 2015 I crossed over some sort of weird memory bridge. Maybe it was the hormones or sleep deprivation or simply that whole "erase previous files" initiation of having a baby but honestly I don't really remember what happened before her.  Serious bonus - that means I can go back and read all my favorite books "for the first time" and it also means that I can watch the prompts from my older classes and enjoy them as if someone else made them. 

I've just made my Inner Monsters class available to add to your library this month. It's half off (or free for 30 days if you're low on funds). There's a lot that feels antiquated from 2014. iMovie graphics, the size of the frame, my editing. But the prompt that I added above might be one of my favorite parts of a course...

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