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Monthly archive for April 2013

My Silent Passengers

alone but not lonely

Today marks my 22nd day on the road.  I am 5 hours from home by car, but sticking around Houston to offer a Sacred Cacao Ceremony to a gathering of creatives.  The closer I get to home, the more homesick I grow, and yet…. I am still deeply engaged in the adventure.

One of the ways I am doing that is by processing the trip…especially the parts I just didn’t foresee. You see, even though I spent over two weeks of the trip driving by myself, I felt as if I had Silent Passengers.  I never felt that I was alone.

Sometimes the Silent Passenger was my husband, even though he was at our home in South Texas when I up roaming in the Northern parts of the U.S.  I found myself talking to him in my mind, pointing out landmarks, crazy cars, interesting signs, and public art.

Whistle Stop

 

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Sometimes the Silent Passengers were my parents.  My mom was the one I pointed out the prolific wildflowers to, who was beside me when I screamed with delight upon crossing the Mighty Mississippi for the first time since I was traveling to Kentucky with her at age five, and who I sang to while diving through the Ozarks by moonlight.

Memphis Mississippi

 

My dad traveled with me through Memphis.  He visited the Sun Studio where Elvis changed music history, made the trek not far from there where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his last speech and to where he took his last breath.

memphis 056

 

memphis sun studio

 

Most of the time, my Silent Passenger was YOU, dear tribe.  I took you with me in my pocket, making wishes for your own life changing journeys, for moments where everything gets brighter than you have remembered it being in a long time, where you dare to take on the adventure that rises up out of the seat of your heart.

In My Pocket Art Card

 

That is the best part of the journey of life, when we choose to live our loveliest lives, it blesses the masses.  Every time we choose courage, it encourages another to think….perhaps I could.  I wonder what my journey might inspire in you.  Take me with you and let me be your Silent Passenger.  I am ready!

Rachel_Payne

On the Edge of the Woods

Postcard Road

I have been visiting some amazing homes with even more amazing people.  Each day that I share with someone, I just delight in the path that life can take us on.  I am in St. Louis today, having just driven in last night from Marseilles, Illinois where I was staying with my artist-friend, Amy Cavaness.

Rachel Payne Amy Cavaness

Amy’s home is tucked away into a little patch of woods out in the country.  Before I left, I made a video (below) in which I shared some of my thoughts about my Inner Gypsy Wild Woman and left an simple way for you to connect with your Inner Wanna Be. I would love to hear more about what wishes to share itself with the world.  I can tell you from personal experience, it is liberating!

Did you know I have a YouTube Channel…..

Creativity Tribe on YouTube

Re-story-ing my Life

IWB tour 060

I made it up the middle of the country.  I am sitting on beautiful Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, looking out the window at the Abbey Resort.  The sky is light blue with puffy little clouds, the water simmers with a restless kind of calm.  The trees outside my room (which are not a variety I am familiar with) have long strands of gold that hang from the limbs.  At there base on the side where the morning sun has not yet reached, a light layer of snow snuggles around budding stalks of green that looks like it may be the beginnings of blooming bulbs.

I feel like I am blooming.  The journey here has marinated my heart in a mix of stories from my past and about my future all while I live this new story in the present.  I am learning so much about myself.  I am falling so deeply in love with who I am that it scares me.  Why is it that love can frighten us so.

seeking wisdom

I turned 44 a few days ago and as I have shared here before, I have been re-story-ing my life.  When I was young, I lost my mother. She died at 45 and although I have tried to let that number mean nothing in my own life, it has some hold on me.  This year I am bound and determined to make it a year I will never forget, so that even if nothing were to happen to me….and I believe on most levels that I will be just fine….I will have NO REGRETS.  I will know I gave myself the callings of my heart whenever I could, that I connected deeply with the ones I loved and with the ones life put in my path. I will know I danced, I wrote, I played, prayed, and embraced joy at ever turn.

My word for the year is GIFT….and that is what I intend to be for others and myself this year.

I have more to share, but the day is so beautiful I just have to go embrace it.

I want to invite you to think about the story you are living in your life.  What of it would you change if you could?  Now, do one small thing to put that into action today.  I am living this year as if it was my last so that I don’t have to be fearful that it might be. I encourage you to lean into life.  If you are like me, you will find some peace in living life a bit more adventurously because you might find yourself taking it in more fully and deeply.  Nothing ventured nothing gained?  I am venuring!!!

Rachel_Payne

 

When Life Makes Other Plans

Gypsy Self Banner

Today marks a week that I have been on the road making my way from South Texas to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for the Creatives Celebrating Sisterhood Art Retreat.  I will be teaching a workshop at the retreat called Passport to Dreams Come True.  The workshop takes mixed media techniques and blends them with bookmaking, journaling, creative visualization as a means of helping flesh out the vision and plans of our big hearts. Not surprisingly, as is the case often in life, my journey cross country is giving me lots of lessons to prepare me for helping others make their dreams a reality.

One of the dilemmas that comes out of saying we want to attract or create something in our lives is that life is good at throwing you a ringer.  We say to ourselves, “I want to accomplish XYZ, and I can see that if I do A+B+C that will get me there.”   Then, life alters the equation, and we are left trying to get things balanced without losing our original goal.

I started my trip out with destinations along the way up to Wisconsin.  First a few stops in Texas, then Oklahoma.  When I got to Oklahoma there was some trouble in paradise.  Something in my suspension went haywire.  I was bouncing an grooving all over the road.  No, fun.  I questioned if I should get it fixed, give up and turn back.  That is when I called on my Inner Wanna Be….the Gypsy Wild Woman.

I asked myself how she would manage this.  In my imagination a gypsy carries their home with them.  There would be no reason to turn back because where they were is where they should be.  I also imagined she wouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.  And so I did.  And the world responded with generosity.  My timeline was altered slightly, but in the end, I was able to get to my next destination.

The journey didn’t look like I thought it would. I imagined I would travel during the day with plenty of time to rest and with the option to look around the next new place before turning in.  Instead, I traveled at night with rain and lightening clearing the way for me.  I drove safely but didn’t stop very often because I felt a pull to get in and get settled.  Although that may sound frantic, it wasn’t.  I had plenty of good tunes to keep me company.

Behind the scenes, too, I was not alone.  I think this is going to be the big lesson of this journey I am taking by myself.  I am never alone really.  The day I was trying to get my car fixed, one thing after another put off the work.  It was my birthday, and I asked friends and family….and the Creativity Tribe Facebook Page gathering…..to focus my birthday wishes on getting it fixed and me safely to my next destination.  They did. And I made it.

At breakfast this morning at the Walnut Street Inn in downtown Springfield, Missouri, I was greeted by 9 couples who travel B and B’s yearly.  “Are you Rachél?” they asked.  I was delighted, a room full of strangers who knew my name.  “We were looking for you last night.” My heart was warmed.  Never alone.

And so, today starts out with a meet-up that happened spontaneously through the Creativity Tribe FB page.   Here in Springfield, I am meeting with Ginger Davis Allman with The Blue Bottle Tree .  Then, I leave for St. Louis where I will stay with someone I have never met through AirBnB.  I am expecting to feel that same sense of welcoming from the world each day and to give it where it is needed.  I think my Gypsy Wild Woman makes her way through life like that.  It isn’t part of the journey I expected, but I am delighting in it, leaning into it, and loving it…..even when, and especially when life makes other plans.

Follow my travels more closely by joining me on the Creativity Tribe Facebook Page.

Rachel_Payne

 

What is a Goddess….

Collaborative Creatives

Recently, I joined a brilliant gathering of women in co-creating The Goddess Chronicles: A Traveling Art Journal.  The mixed media, multi-country journal is the brain-child (perhaps that should be heart-child) of Texas artist (and world traveler) Sofia Dabalsa.  Sofia and I met on-line while taking Flying Lessons with Kelly Rae Roberts.  Not long after the class ended, we arranged a meet-up and have been cultivating a friendship ever-since.

Flyers2

Texas Fly Girls: That’s Sofia in the middle with the beautiful, long, curly hair and me in the green.  We are joined from left to right by Christina Fajardo, Ann Marie, Amy Hillenbrand, Rose Duncan, and Lisa Stamper Meyer.  Christina and Rose are also part of the Goddess Chronicles. 

Being part of the Goddess Chronicles is one of those game-changers for me, the way Flying Lessons was.  I have always been comfortable with the word goddess, but I know lots of people who aren’t.  They struggle with it’s alignment to a form of deity.  I took that to heart when I joined the project.  Latching onto it gave me the opportunity to figure out how to make the word safer for others while still being true to myself.  Certainly my intent would not be to convert someone to my way of thinking, simply hold up a mirror so that the word might be reflected in a new light.

Sunflower brilliant

Another part of the project that drew me in was the fact that The Goddess Chronicles will eventually make it’s home at Girls Inc. in San Antonio, Texas.  My friend Rhonda Wilson Williamson is President/CEO, so contributing to the girls she works with brought the intention close to my heart.

When it came time for me to do my page (which I can’t show you because the project may potentially go to publication…..but a good story will potentially satisfy your curiosity) I contemplated those people who might not get the Goddess thing and tried to put myself in the shoes of the girls who would ultimately take possession of it.  I kept thinking…What is a goddess anyway?  Over and over the answer came….Just another name for woman.

It is simple and profound all in the same utterance.  The word lets us know that we are special, that we have always been enough, that we don’t have to try to be more. We are enough today. We were enough yesterday.  We are enough at our best, and enough in our worst moment. Always enough.  It also informs us that goddess is common and universal…not touchable, but everyday.  When I say everyday, though, I mean it as it refers to all the beauty of what woman is.  Beauty in her simplicity, authenticity, and in her the complex intricacies she exudes.  What a paradox, woman…what a paradox, goddess.

flower girl

Lastly, the pages I offered for The Goddess Chronicles: A Traveling Art Journal became a reminder to myself of how precious I am.  Everyday I have the opportunity to honor the goddess I am.  I honor her by creating a life worthy of the divine-feminine in me.  I honor her by being in my power when others need the gifts I have to offer and especially when others are in their own power.  I honor her in small ways, like mindfully choosing how I talk to myself, and in the big ways like making self-care and self-love the standard of living that I set for myself.

The Goddess Chronicles isn’t just about me, though. It is packed full of amazing women.  I would like to invite you to get to know them…be inspired by them, and maybe along the way you might make friends with the goddess in YOU.  Sofia is featuring the goddesses on her blog so you can do just that. This week I was one of the featured artists.  I would love for you to stop by and support Sofia and what she is doing.  She proudly sports the Creativity Tribe badge, so feel free to let here know you dance to the same groove!

My Feature on Sofia’s Blog

Rachel_Payne

Lessons from the Road

Lessons 2

This week I packed up my world, grabbed my favorite artist man, and left my hometown in South Texas behind.  We have stayed with family and friends along the way.

I am traveling in celebration of my Inner Gypsy Wild Woman, that part of me that has always wished to vagabond around with flowing skirts, bangles up my arms, leaving a trail of creativity behind. Wisconsin is my destination for an Art Retreat I will be teaching.

As I have made my way up to Dallas (where my artist hubby, Eric, and I are staying now) I have made mental notes about how traveling in my Gypsy personae changes the journey.

Merry Rachelee

My first lesson is about giving and receiving.

Being a guest raises some discomfort for me, no matter how gracious the hostess. I just hate putting people out.  But when I set my fears aside, I know that the offers of help, the free meals, the comfy bed, and invitations to share life for a few days is really what connecting is about.  It is how we tell others we care about them. It is how we bless one another.

Along my journey (up closer to Chicago) I will be staying with Helen Bond of Motherland Rhythm Community and the Benkadi Project, who I met when she was touring the U.S. doing drum workshops.  Helen shared that her travels to West Africa taught her a similar lesson.  She told stories of how the villagers didn’t understand her inclination to spend time along as Westerners are apt to do.  They worried she was ill.  I have other friends whose travels took them out of the country to other cultures where time alone was thought of in the same way.

This lesson of the Gypsy Wild Woman to find blessings in connecting with others and even counting on others along the way feels innately good.  When I can put aside the part that thinks I need to play small and be totally self-sufficient, the giving feels soothing and healing.

This trip has brought out the giving in others as well (and that too can be a blessings….to be the giver).  I have had friends, family, and strangers contribute to my journey.  Sometimes it is with food or money, services, travel tips and personal stories.  Who am I to deny their giving….their opportunity to bless and be blessed.

So I am leaning into the giving.  I am soaking in the spirit of sharing.  I practice standing or sitting solidly in my body, connecting to the Earth, and taking in the goodness offered.

Sunshine Flower

Journey of the Inner Wanna Be’s

Exploring the Lessons:  If you are curious about your Inner Wanna Be, begin asking it to share its wisdom with you.  Record it in some way, either in your journal, with a video or a blog post. If you feel like sharing, add it to the Inner Wanna Be page (at the bottom where the linky is.)  I would love for you to take an inner journey with me as I make the journey up the middle of the US with my Gypsy Wanna Be.

Interesting in the other activities we are doing to engage the IWB?  Head over to the Creative Activities and Prompts Page for the full list.

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Standing in the Threshold

Giftquote

At the Threshold of a Journey

Anytime we poise ourselves at the beginning of a journey, either in the outer physical world or from within, we begin with an idea in mind of how we might approach our movement from where we are to where we wish to go.  There are the imagined obstacles we anticipate, various options for the course traveled, milestones we hope to reach, and some desired destination that just might be worth risking disappointment for the joy it could bring.  All of this is the beauty and danger of the In-between.

Should I stay or should I go, now? (You know the song!)

As I prepare for my cross country trip to Wisconsin, I am becoming evermore aware of the bounds within myself that this trek will challenge.  Fears rise up.  Doubts sit in my stomach.  Hurdles appear in my mind.  My spirited imagination can be both the life and death of my dreams.  I suppose the question becomes, then, what will navigate the vehicle my imagination fuels.  Will fear take me into the pitfalls and stall my voyage?  Or will I move through the vulnerability, however clumsily, for the sake of the movement itself. The inclination to abandon ship is sometimes strong.  Such a long journey, so many unanswered questions, so many uncertainties…. and yet! What is life without the occasional odyssey?!

Old Building 058

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974

I am determined to make vulnerability my friend these next three weeks.  I am learning that it is the life partner of courage. I have lots more to say about that, but I am keeping it close to my heart for now as it blooms into a deeper understanding of who I am, what I desire, what stands in my way, and what degree of uncertainty I am willing to withstand for the possibility of reaching the fulfillment I shoot for.

I know some of you have decided to take the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be with me.  I have been so delighted to have other Creatives declare their interest in playing along.  We really are a small but growing band of seekers!  I use the word play here because I feel there is a sense of make-believe we are engaging in when we explore the archetypes that make up the IWB’s, but at the same time, I know that something monumental can come from that examination.  Play has amazing curative properties. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself face to face with opportunities to bring real change to your life as you explore this make-believe aspect of self.  It may live initially in the imagination, but somewhere along the way you may find room for aspects of  it in your real life.  It is this dynamic that makes me call this kind of exploration Creative Sacred Play.

iwb inspire

Are you taking the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be’s?

We are several days into the Journey but still definitely in our preparation phase. I leave this Sunday for my trip.  If you wish to go on the journey and explore your personal Inner Wanna Be’s, here is a quick list of steps to catch you up.

  1. Make a list of your Inner Wanna Be’s.  Follow the link for a full description of this Creative Activity.
  2. Invite your friends and family to do the same.  This is optional but loads of fun.  The video is a great jumping off point for getting a sense of the event.
  3. Choose one IWB from the list you created that you are going to explore for the rest of April.  Place it lovingly in the comments below.
  4. Begin “dreaming on” or contemplating the IWB you chose as the weekend goes on.  Don’t force it, just let it share itself with you.

Now, dive into the vulnerable and list your IWB in the comments. I can’t wait to for you to join us!

Rachel_Payne

Witnessing Discovery

Discovery

I love witnessing discovery! 

The best part of Creativity Tribe is the work I do with Creatives who find their way into the projects I offer.  Sometimes it happens in a coaching session or on one of the Party Line calls, but most recently I have been connecting during preparation for the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be project.

A peek into the project so far…

Below you will find a video.  Before you watch it, I want to share with you the process that went into making it.  The individuals you will see are folks from my hometown.  I consider them (and many others) my local Creativity Tribe.  Some are long-time friends, some new; some are even family.  All are courageously sharing with you and the world little glimpses into their inner world.

Art Opening

In the video you will see handmade signs much like the ones I held up in my video from yesterday’s creative activity kick-off post. What you don’t see in the video is the conversation that took place as the signs were being put together and after the video was complete.  Imagine a table at a cafe filled with people sharing fond memories of wishes gently tucked aside or screw ball ideas about how life might be lived paired with a true desire to throw caution to the wind and be that wild character they think they should only dream about. Imagine two loved ones revealing to one another aspects of their personality that they had never thought of sharing before and planting the seeds of conversation that supports one another’s deepest becoming.

Lisa

Loss for words…

I tell you, I love to write, but moments like the ones I have had in just these beginning explorations of the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be have left me searching for more accurate ways to explain them.  The best I can do is to encourage you to experience what I did for yourself.  Tell your friends and family about this project.  Feel free to say you heard about it from a lady on the internet who is a bit unorthodox, who is doing something (as my father says) that is a bit far fetched.  Then invite them to “go there” with you.

What if you could be anything?  What if you could name the kind of life you would lead if there were no rules?  What would you call that life role?  What archetype would you explore?  No holds barred.

Have them make signs or even index cards to share with you.  Video tape them or just talk about them.  Who knows what discoveries you will witness!

If you do decide to make a video, please feel free to share it on our Inner Wanna Be page.  The more the merrier!

Want more creative activities to inspire your Inner Wanna Be?  I will be updating the IWB Activities and Prompts page as the journey plays out. Feel free to explore all or just the ones that call to you.

Rachel_Payne

Gathering the Inner Wanna Be’s

iwb banner blog

 

It starts today….prep for the Journey of the Inner Wanna Be’s.  A month’s worth of peering inward to see what wishes to come forth into our lives….what wishes to be played out….what is willing to risk being a little vulnerable for the sake of finally going “there”.  Who knows what will come of our social experiment.  Here we are, a bunch of people in love with the idea of being creative, deciding to play What-If together.

What if I indulged this thing I always wished of being and brought a bit of it into my life?  What if I stopped hiding behind what I should or shouldn’t do and when out on a limb to do what I WISH to do?  What if I did it with other people who were risking just like me?  What if….

The great thing about this journey is that it can be as simple or intense as you would like.  Want to mostly just dream of your Inner Wanna Be’s and claim ONE DAY out of the month to put that into action?  Great!  Want to journal daily and push yourself to see what a month of playing out your fantasy in some way would be like?  Go for it!  Perhaps you just want to watch as other creatives dive in….there is room for you too.  The Creativity Tribe Inner Wanna Be Gypsy Caravan is big enough for all!

star you are

Preparation: Exploring Your IWB’s

We start by going inward and asking what of yourself wishes to be known.

  • You can do that by finding a quiet space free from interruption.
  • Keep pen and a pad of paper or journal (perhaps one you will keep all your IWB journaling in) close by.
  • Close your eyes and get comfortable.
  • Say to yourself something like this…..I am thinking about those parts of myself that never really got a chance in the spot light, parts that I haven’t made space for in my life.  I wish to name them and recognize them now.
  • Let your mind drift around as you remember interests you have had, archetypes you have resonated with, and character types you have dreamed of being.  Let yourself dream on this for a bit.
  • When you feel like your heart and mind have explored your Inner Wanna Be’s, let you hand begin listing them on the page.  Try not to edit the process.  Let the list be impractical, fantastical, and improbable …as well as authentic.
  • Once you have listed your IWB’s, consider sharing them with the group on the IWB page.  You can do so as part of a blog post or as a video response to the video below.

Rachél’s Inner Wanna Be’s

 

Rachel_Payne

My Redonkulous Birthday Bash

Events  I am sort of in LOVE with April.  First of all, it is my birthday month, and I have a tendency to stretch my celebrations out a bit.  But I am going to redonkulous links to make this year’s birthday celebrations stand out!  How am I doing it?  I am bringing to life the dream that I had as a wee lass of being a Gypsy Wild Woman.

It’s kind of silly, I know.  I turn 44 in 14 days and all I care about is playing out my Gypsy Wanna Be.  What’s even sillier though (and I love how delightfully wonderful this is), I am not doing it alone!  I have already been joined by a circle of local creatives who are exploring their Inner Wanna Be’s with me (oh, geez! I can hardly wait to show you the great video we put together!!!) And…. I am hoping as I go along on my nearly 3000 mile road trip that others will join the festivities.  (And I especially have my fingers crossed that one of them will be YOU!)

Image by Ann Marie

 

I leave on my trip to Wisconsin in 6 days, headed up for the Creatives Celebrating Sisterhood Art Retreat where I will be teaching my Passport to Dreams Come True Class.  I am busy in the studio this week getting supplies together and whipping up a few special giveaways to share once I get there.  I am also beginning to contemplate the Inner Wanna Be I chose to breathe life into during the trip. I have a special video about that coming out tomorrow. (wink)

Being a Gypsy isn’t the ONLY part of myself that hides just beneath the surface.  I have lots of Inner Wanna Be’s (IWB’s).  We all do in fact.  Sometimes we just aren’t in a place to live out some aspect of ourselves.  Perhaps our creativity feels challenged by our environment or some aspect of our culture keeps us from fulling living out what is inside….whatever the reason, that part of ourselves goes underground.

Over the course of the next 4 weeks, I want to invite you to explore your IWB’s, choose one to make a journey with, and invite it to come out to play.  “What’s the payoff?”, you may wonder.   I think at the very least, exploring an aspect of yourself in a creative way can help you grow your Creative Confidence.  And who knows, you may discover a pathway to more heart-felt way of living.

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Staying In Touch

I am planning on keeping in touch during my trip by updating the blog with posts, pictures and videos throughout the month of April and a wrap-up after the trip.  I would love for you to interact with me.  Hey!  It might get lonely out on the road!

I have created a page just for that purpose.  This is how it will work….

  1. I will be sharing my post on the blog page and occasionally offering opportunities for you to explore your own IWB, through a journal prompt, creative activity, or perhaps a suggested video topic. (First one tomorrow!)
  2. I would love for you to create a post with that and leave a link to your post on the IWB’s page. Don’t forget to place a link to my page in your post so others know where to find you.
  3. You can follow highlights from other Creativity Tribe Inner Wanna Be’s by visiting the page and clicking through to the links at the bottom.  Leave a bit of encouragement behind, letting them know you have visited.
  4. I will also have a badge for those of you who want to get serious about playing with their IWB’s and would like their world to know it.  (Coming soon!)

If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, make sure you subscribe to the blog for updates.

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Rachel_Payne

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Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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