My new RedBubble Store

Translucent White Tulip Petals Red Bubble

Introducing my new RedBubble print on demand store. Just created it on March 15. I'm working on a longer blog that talks about RedBubble and Art of Where, and some current directions for my creative joy.

Meanwhile, here is a link that will take you to my RedBubble store landing page. I already have 20 designs, and am adding more all the time. Had some sales, too. Totally done for love and joy, but happy that people want to buy!

Candy Paull Red Bubble Store

When I create a new collection and put my art in a form that others can enjoy, I'm like a little kid showing my finger painting to Mom and having her display it on the refrigerator door. Even more exciting is seeing someone wear one of my designs, or wearing one myself. What fun!

 

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Excerpt from The Translucent Heart 

There is great power in immersing yourself in a satisfying creative project. First of all, it takes your mind off your worries and immerses you in the moment, in the doing of the thing. It is also empowering, for you are the one who is making the choices. The creative work is yours. When other parts of your life are stressful and feel out of your control, the world you create in your artistic projects tells you that you are capable. The soothing nature of the creative process can calm and center you, bringing serenity in those moments when you are most absorbed in a project.

As you move deeper into the process, you also learn to surrender to the greater wisdom of what is being made. A potter works with the clay, a woodworker cherishes the grain of the wood, the melody demands certain chords, the brush and color sometimes seem to guide your hand. You realize that surrender to the flow and energy can create unexpected effects and combinations, bringing something into being that is beyond what you originally imagined. It is true in art—and it is true in life as well. 

Eric Maisel, author and a psychotherapist who counsels artists says, “Remember the three companions of creativity: loving, knowing, doing. You can propel yourself into a creative outburst by choosing any one of the three as starting point.”  You can rejuvenate yourself by time spent appreciating great art, falling in love with the creations of others—loving. You can rekindle your creative spirit by learning a new skill or technique—knowing. Or you can leap right into a project, allowing the work itself to carry you along—doing. 

Composer Aaron Copeland said that inspiration is the antithesis of self-consciousness. Like children at play, we bring an unselfconscious joy to acts of creation. Tap into the unselfconscious pleasure of creating something that satisfies your soul, nourishes your heart, and challenges you to express your creativity. 

Austin Tyler Meade wearing the Mystery Pink Peony dress from Art of Where   Mystery Pink Peony

Austin Tyler Meade wearing the Mystery Pink Peony dress from Art of Where

Mystery Pink Peony

Creating Abundantly

Sea Roses 

Sea Roses 

Each person is nourished, made more whole, by making something which has life. 
Christopher Alexander

Abundance is an inside job. It begins with love. When you are creating a career, a craft, a partnership, a work of art, a home, choose to put your whole heart into what you do. When you give attention and love to your work and your relationships, they begin to glow with Divine life. The energies of love and a high quality of attention create wholeness in your life and in this world.

If you are feeling fragmented and broken, a simple way to bring the pieces back together is to do one humble task with attention and care. Be fully present in the smallest, most insignificant task and you will tap into the innate wholeness of the entire Universe. A new sense of well-being becomes available to you when you wash dishes mindfully or sweep the floor as if it is the most important work in the world. The same goes for focusing on the person you are with. Your loving attention will create a place for relationship to become a sacred trust. This work, this person, become important in this moment because the here and now is all you really have access to anyway. Make it count.

Create small spaces of beauty and order in your life. Commit fully to what you are doing and who you are with. Be fully present and create beauty that satisfies your soul. If you love it and work with your heart, you will be rewarded. 

Ask yourself these questions: 
• Does this thing I have made or done make me feel more whole and alive?
• Do I feel nourished and happy because of it?
• Does it feel “right” somehow, even if others might not approve or consider it important?
• Do I feel that I did this to the glory of God or for the highest good?
• Am I serving a greater purpose by choosing to do this?

The quality of attention that we give to the arts and sciences we love redeems the time of our earthly existence.
William Anderson

The connection between the life of a made thing and the healing effect it has on the maker is…this: People are deeply nourished by the process of creating wholeness. 
Christopher Alexander

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
G. K. Chesterton

The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come and sit on it.
Thomas Merton

Love the inward new creation,
Love the glory that it brings;
Love to lay a good foundation
In the line of outward things. 
Shaker song 

(excerpt from Inner Abundance)

Trust the Process

Spring Unfolding

Spring Unfolding

In a society focused on results and end products, it is easy to forget that you can’t create without going through a process of creation. You may say you have a certain goal or end result in mind, but often the actual work may take you in another direction. And many times a seemingly messy detour becomes the path to something unexpected and wonderful.

Sometimes the process includes unexpected time out. That time out may be a business setback that plunges you into deep waters as you work to survive and pay your bills. A layoff or hiring freeze means that the bright career plans are put on hold. The collapse of the music industry or tremendous changes in the book industry can mean that even successful writers and performers find themselves without a livelihood, having to reinvent not only their careers, but who they are and how to offer their gifts in a chaotic marketplace. Sometimes it’s a family emergency, and you may find yourself in the role of caretaker, putting your own life on hold while you walk with a loved one through the valley of the shadow of death. It might be a mistake you or someone else made, a change in market conditions, an unexpected emergency or health crisis. It could even be as simple as a creative project that didn’t come out the way you hoped, leaving you wondering whether you should try to salvage it or start all over again. 

Take it one day at a time. Instead of trying to second guess the future, look at what you have right now. What can be accomplished today? Concentrate only on what you are able to do today. Do what you can and let go of trying to control the outcome. All you can do is do your best and leave the rest up to God. In most of the important things in life, we are dependent on the nature of creation and time, the grace of the Life Force flowing in us and carrying us through the events and processes of living.

In the larger perspective of life, eternal lessons teach us that trust and patience are required for the things that are really important. It takes time to raise a child, write a book, nurture a relationship, grow a career, and create a community. Think of a farmer patiently waiting for seed, soil, sun, and rain to do its work. The field must be plowed, the seed sown, the land fertilized and watered, the soil weeded, and the crop tended before it comes to full fruition. So it is with us. 

Trusting the process is a form of letting go. You can try to predict and control life, but life is larger and more gloriously complex than the calculating planning part of the human brain can comprehend. When some plan or project is on hold, trust that it, too, is part of the process. It has been said that we make our plans—and God laughs. So why not laugh along? Or at least stop resisting and open your mind to receive new insights. 

Trust that the goodness of life itself will lead you if you keep going. Trust the process of its unfolding. When a butterfly is working its way out of its cocoon, it is no kindness to cut the cocoon to make emergence easier. The struggle itself is an essential part of the process. When a human hand interferes with the process, the butterfly’s wings are undeveloped. It cannot fly. It dies. When the butterfly’s struggle is done in nature’s time, the emergence may last longer than our impatient hearts can stand. But when the butterfly finally emerges from this birthwork, it spreads its wings to dry, and then flies into its destiny. When you are stressed because your own process seems to be one of struggle and delay, remember the butterfly. Trust that a greater process is happening; that all this is working together for your good and your growth. 

Whether you are creating a work of art or a life, trust the process. Let go of your expectations and let what you are doing lead you from one step to another. Do your best and leave the results to God.


Trust God from the bottom of your heart. Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go.
Proverbs 3:5-6 THE MESSAGE

By going a few minutes sooner or later, by stopping to speak with a friend on the corner, by meeting this man or that, or by turning down this street instead of the other, we may let slip some impending evil, by which the whole current of our lives would have been changed. There is no possible solution in the dark enigma but the one word, “Providence.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sometimes providences, like Hebrew letters, must be read backward.
John Flavel

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. 
Eleanor Roosevelt

• Do a creative project, such as building model airplanes or knitting, and watch the process unfold. Meditate on the processes unfolding in your life.

Life on the farm is a school of patience; you can’t hurry the crops or make an ox in two days.
Henri Fournier Alain

I find that it is not the circumstances in which we are placed, but the spirit in which we face them, that constitutes our comfort.
Elizabeth T. King

Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.
Chaung Tzu

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they might have been.
William Hazlitt

The greatest and most important problems in life are all in a certain sense insoluble. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
Carl Jung

The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself as our own spirit of resistance to it.
Jean Nicholas Grau

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.
Peter Marshall

Nature magically suits a man to his fortunes, by making them the fruit of his character.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

On every level of life from housework to the heights of prayer, in all judgment and all efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are the sure marks of an amateur.
Evelyn Underhill

Poetic Risks

A poet is someone
Who can pour light into a cup,
Then raise it to nourish
Your beautiful parched, holy mouth.
Hafiz

Sometimes it’s a good thing to take a risk. I am trying something new on my blog, just for today. I’m sharing a couple of poems that I just wrote. It feels a bit daring, because my poetry comes from a quiet, shy place and isn’t used to public viewing. i

These poems grew out of an insight I received during walking meditation last night. We walked outdoors and down the hill, past the garden, through the pasture, and into a grove of pine trees. As we entered the hushed grove, it suddenly hit me. I had been struggling with trying to imagine the perfect job, and I realized that my dream job is to be a writer/teacher/spiritual advisor in residence at a retreat center. 

Thinking about the perfect job description, I realized I could teach journaling, writing, songwriting, creativity, meditation, and spiritual exploration. I could combine my love of dance, drumming, women’s circles, art, Interplay, and songwriting to help others heal and reconnect to the spiritual side of their creativity. I could lead meditation, and I could listen to those who needed someone who can be fully present, holding sacred space with wholehearted attention. And of course, I could continue my writing, growing deeper in that, and encouraging others to grow deeper in their own creativity and spirituality. I found it easy to visualize as I walked beneath the full harvest moon on the night of the autumn equinox. 

Now I don’t know if/how/when/where the full vision can become a reality, but I do know that portions of this exist in my life today. I do encourage others, and listen, and advise them on their writing, and meditate and pray and write. Visualizing the details of that dream life opened my eyes to the possibilities in my current life. It helps to look beyond today’s struggles. Such daydreaming and visioning helps me to see the larger picture. I choose to define my life by possibilities instead of limiting myself with reasons why I can’t have what I most dearly desire (though I admit, on bad days it’s far too easy to imagine dreaded disasters instead of desires fulfilled and dreams come true). 

I have returned to writing poetry again (writing for the love of it, because poetry and songs rarely fit into traditional business plans or typical job descriptions). It feels good to let that shy young playfulness come out after a long time being shunted aside for more practical matters.

I decided that today was the day to take a poetic risk, and so, instead of just squirreling the poems away in a notebook (or hiding them on the Poemflowers page, knowing it’s one of the least visited pages on my website), I’m offering two poems inspired by struggles and dreams. Perhaps you will be able to relate to these ideas and be inspired to write your own poems, to excavate buried dreams and dance once again with your childlike creative heart.

Job Description

I call it being a writer in residence
living in nature’s retreat
sharing poetry, song, dance
with true human beings
who are ready to have their inner treasures revealed. 
The day begins
with a sunrise meditation
and a moonset prayer
then a light poem for breakfast
with a sip of clear awareness
and a dash of tart wisdom
from a fine quote.
Day’s journal is written
in the work of caring for the earth
offering a helping hand
touching hearts
leading each one 
into the depths of its own silence.
Oh, and as afternoon light
slants lower and lower into dusk
the twilight gathering of memory
and the fire warmth of quiet talk
give way to the blessed rest
of a calm soul.
This to me is the perfect job
a career of the Spirit’s making.


This small poem is dedicated to poet Anna Akhmatova, who was persecuted for writing poetry, and for her son, Lev, who spent seventeen months in a Soviet prison for the crime of being the son of two poets. 

There are poets
who have been so brave
that prisoners have 
memorized their words
just to stay alive
as they kept the poems
from being destroyed by prison guards.
So if they can be 
that strong and brave
in a Soviet prison
then I can be brave enough
to add my song to the world
knowing that some prisoner
may taste freedom
in the sweet thoughts 
that liberate my own soul.


Affirmative prayer

I say “yes!” to life.
I am willing to try something different, think a new thought, and open my soul to new ideas and people I have never met before. Today I give myself permission to take a risk. It may be a simple baby step or it may feel like a giant leap. But I will take one step in the direction of my dreams. I stretch, I grow, I evolve. I give myself room to make mistakes. I embrace all that life has to offer. And I open my arms to welcome whatever comes, knowing that grace guides me and love walks with me wherever the adventure may lead.

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

I was one of the lucky people who took Chris Guillebeau’s $100 Business Forum in February 2010. It was my first time to be involved in an online forum, and I’m still absorbing and applying the lessons I learned. One of the benefits was meeting others online, and Tyler Tervoornen was one of the forum participants. Here is a portion of a post he wrote on February 4, 2010:

“I got laid off today. This is nothing more than a declaration of freedom. As much as I tend to shy away from words like "fate" and "destiny," this sort of coincidence is too convenient. Just yesterday I was complaining to myself that I was already behind on my homework here [in the $100 Business Forum], constantly busy, and too tired after work to put meaningful thought to my business planning. Well, yesterday that was fine because if I just sat and daydreamed, I'd be okay. If I gave up, I was out $100. I'd just go back to work tomorrow and more than make it up. Now there is no tomorrow. There is only today and today is only as good as I make it. The stakes just got raised and I'm all in.”

Now, six months later, Tyler has launched a successful blog. I’m already taking notes from his articles as I learn to grow my own online business. Chris Guillebeau just featured Tyler in his Emperor Spotlight emails (part of Chris G’s Empire Building Kit Package I recommended a few blogs ago). After only two months, Tyler’s site has over 1,000 subscribers, gets at least 20 comments on every article and even produces a growing stream of affiliate income.

His website, Advanced Riskology, helps you take smarter and more beneficial risks in your life. Tyler says, “Life’s most important lessons are learned from the risks we take, but we only learn when we actually take them. Advanced Riskology is not about finding the safest way to take a chance. This is not risk management. It’s risk appreciation. This site exists to say that there’s no way to know for sure that your crazy idea will work, and that’s exactly what makes it worth doing.”

I’m pleased to introduce you to someone who inspires and delights me. If you are ready to take a chance and try your wings, I recommend Tyler’s website. 

http://tylertervooren.com/advancedriskology/

Comments

  1. September 28, 2010 2:28 AM CDT

    Yes yes yes! Just found your free book on iBooks! Thank you!

    - Anonymous