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Monthly archive for May 2013

Angels In My Studio 2013: Give-Away

Angels in My Studio 2013

One of my favorite creatives Jack Lemmon was known to start every new take for a movie by saying “It’s magic time!”   That’s the way I feel about making art of any kind.  When we engage the imagination, we never know where the invitation to create will take us.  There have been times when I walked away from a play, a poem, a blog post, or a work of art and wondered….Did that really come from ME?!

I like to imagine in those moments that something more has had its hand in the inspiration of my work….

Angels In My Studio?  Perhaps.

That kind of inspiration has put winged things and spirited beings front and center for much of my work over the years.

That’s why I was so excited to counted as one of Sheri Ponzi’s Angels for the Angels In My Studio 2013.  I am teaching a Spirit Doll Project, and I would love for YOU to part of the class.  I have the perfect opportunity for you to join the fun.  I am hosting a GIVEAWAY through June 6th for a spot in the course.  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post letting me know specifically why you are attracted to the course, then return June 7th to find out who won.  Good luck!

Visit my Angels In My Studio 2013 page….

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AIMS GiveAway

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Angel Work

Marvel Us Moon

I simply marvel at the story that life writes for us.  It can be more captivating than any dime store novel, more heart breaking than the best  Hallmark commercial, funnier than an extended bloopers reel.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel so marvel-us, but if we step back just far enough and cock our head just right, we can often see magic before our very eyes.

My work the last several months has been thick with stories which play out in both my inner and outer life.  Working as a life coach, creativity mentor, and massage therapist means my work can take on many shapes.  Recently, I have been working with individuals who are re-storying their lives after news of life threatening illness.  I didn’t go out looking for them per say  didn’t place an ad inviting this theme, never even consciously put it out into the Universe, but they all came to me within a short period of time.  When that happens, those big synchronicities, I look at them as gifts. (Gift is my word for the year….and boy, do they keep coming!)

The work varies. Sometimes I do something simple like offer a sip of water or listen.  Other times, my work is more hands-on and more closely associated with my training in massage and life coaching.    That would all be enough, that work….it would be fulfilling on its own.  But as sometimes happens when we open our hearts to another, we heal something in ourselves.  I like to think of myself as their Angel and them as my Angels.  That is something to marvel over!

This week there has been plenty of Angel Work!

That has been reflected in my artwork, as well.

Angel WorkThis is from the art journal I started at the Art Retreat I taught in Wisconsin during a class I took with Junelle Jacobsen.   I have been playing with it the last several weeks.

I am teaching banner

Angels In My Studio

This deep healing work and the art that is coming from it also reflect one of the focuses I am going to take up this Summer as an instructor for Sheri Ponzi’s Angels in My Studio 2013.  I am teaching a Spirit Doll Workshop where we will be creating mixed media dolls and getting in touch with our Creative Spirits!

Check back Monday for all the juicy details for a giveaway I am hosting for a spot in the class.  Wouldn’t it be fun to spread our wings together!?

Rachel_Payne

Mother’s Day: By Nature or Nurture

Mother Nurture

Whether you are a mother by nature or nurture, I wish you a beautiful Mother’s Day.  Today is the perfect day to honor all the ways you give to others but is especially good for connecting with how you mother yourself during the year.

I have decided to shake Mother’s Day up a bit.  Even though I don’t have children, I have always felt an extremely strong sense of Motherhood.  I am a champion of children (both young and old) and take pride in the fact that I can create safety for others to be the best they can be.  I also feel myself going through the birthing process with all the many projects that are conceived in my heart and imagination.

This year, I decided to start a new personal practice. On Mother’s Day, I am going to celebrate the Mother in me.  I don’t have a specific plan.  Instead, each year I will check in on what I need.   Perhaps it will be to reflect on how I have nurtured others during the year, how I might like to make mothering a part of the year to come, or even to create a celebration with symbols that are meaningful to me.

Grandmother Hummingbird

My husband woke me up this morning telling me, “You have heard of Mother Nature, right?  Well, I think you must be Mother Nurture.”  It was a dear gift.  So whether you are Mother Nature, Mother Nurture or a bit of both, I would like to invite you to join me in honoring the mother in you.  I know for many women Mother’s Day is a day to be honored by others, but I think honoring ourselves can be just as valuable.

Keep Creating….

Rachel_Payne

What If This is Life’s Biggest Lesson?!

Step into the Light

Earlier this week I shared with you about how some of the difficulties in my life are transforming into wellsprings of beautiful lessons.  As often happens, I have heard from friends and colleagues that they too are having significant growth from discovering the gifts that challenging times offer.  I just love when the folks around me are “getting” it at the same time I am.

For that very reason, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I am helping that process along.  I think we often feel like those parts of our lives have control over us and that we are out of control when they happen, but I am starting to believe that those hard times just might be the most blessing rich times of our lives….if we choose for them to be.

Broke Beauty 500

My Tips for Finding the Gifts in Difficulty

  1. Feel the Feelings:  There is nothing worse than being in pain, emotional or physical, and never getting to fully have what your are feeling recognized and witnessed.  As a Life Coach, this is some of the most important work that I do.  However, I have learned over the years that I don’t have to have another person witness my pain, although that is certainly invaluable.  When I don’t have that luxury, I give myself permission to express what I am feeling through art, writing, movement, or just by talking to the walls.  It may sound crazy, but it helps.  I am able to move the energy of those feelings out to make room for a more enlightened perspective.  This allows me to grow a deeper understanding of what I am feeling, where it comes from, and what it could possibly transform into that I might never get to if I am unwilling to look at it.  In fact, not feeling our feelings can lead to even more discomfort and difficulty.
  2. Softening:  At some point in the process of feeling the feelings, I become aware that I have gotten to some of the meat of the issue.  For me, I sometimes feel myself pull back from the “feeling session” a bit, there is a lull or a break where I can see from the point of view of the Inner Witness.  Instead of pushing out the emotions with strong intent, I will shift into a more receptive stance.  For me, this is often the place where transformation can take place. I may find myself at a crossroads where I have a choice to make.  Should I stay with the difficulty or encourage myself to move beyond it.  Sometimes I have to stay with it a bit longer.  That is definitely okay.  But, often, I will choose to soften myself, soften my anger or fear and invite something new to come in.
  3. Looking for the Gifts:  I learned early on in my life that I could….that we could….. ask to see the gifts of a situation.  The more difficult situations can take more willingness to open up to, but those often come with the most meaningful blessings.  I have encouraged myself to continue to revisit the potential gifts from the uncomfortable places in my life time and again, and as deep as something can hurt, that is as deep as the gifts go.  If a situation has layers of grief, anger, fear, or pain, I discover a morsel of love and goodness with each peeling back.  Sometimes the hurt of a situation is so deep that I can go back again and again for decades with new gifts showing themselves.
  4. Claim the Gifts:  It isn’t just enough to get a sense of something being good or positive from a difficulty.  Just as we find deeper understanding from fully expressing the feeling of hurt, so do we more fully glean the gifts when we name them, when we talk about them, write or draw about them….when we make them real and fleshed out.  Claiming our gifts can also be a gift that we give to others because we are modeling a way of living to others that is based on love of self and love of life.
  5. Expressing Gratitude:  This is definitely the bonus tip.  When we gather a gift from a difficulty, there is an additional grace (or gift) that comes from affirming that the gift would not have been ours had the difficulty not come.  Moving into a space of gratitude for the painful situation can inspire even further treasure.

I would love to hear how you have found gifts in your own difficulty or if this list has inspired any ah-ha’s for you.  Creativity takes many forms, but this kind of work is the creativity of better living and it is one of my faves.

Creativity is Courageous2

 

Keep creating!

Rachel_Payne

Surprise Birthday Gifts

UNT Mouth

While on my road trip up the middle of  America and back again, I had a birthday.  I had thought perhaps that I would make a bit to-do about it….because that is how I usually do birthdays on my blog, but instead I was busy getting my car fixed.  I made the best of it though….donuts and all!!

Birthday Donut 2

 I had been staying with my cousin Lori on a communal far just outside of Oklahoma City.  On the morning of my birthday, she took me to a donut shop and ambushed me with Happy Birthday at the top of her lungs…solo.  I was mortified and delighted all in the same breath…which I am sure is the exact reaction she was hoping for!  (This little bird was my car mascot for the trip.  Great listener, by the way!)

Birthday Donut

My birthday passed rather quietly after that.  I usually like to spend some time looking back and visioning the year to come, but my attention was on the trouble I was getting fixed on my car and the 4 hour drive to at night to my next destination, Springfield, MO.

Back to the Gifts

The work GIFT is one of my words for 2013.  It serves as a theme that I can focus on for self-exploration.  This last week, I have been working on understanding some of the more difficult areas of my life.  Why now?  Well, life has a way of doing a bit of Spring cleaning from time to time.  Now is my time.  Difficulites…..We all have them, the things we always come back to or that pop up multiple times over the course of our life.  It might be self-esteem, an old story about ourselves we hold onto, a fear we just can’t kick.

The difficult areas I am working on are about limitations that I have perceived in my life.  Some of them are physical limitations, others emotional….sometimes they are relational and even mental.   Some are stories about myself that were told to me when I was very young that I continued to believe.  Some stories about about what it means to be a woman in this society or to grow older as a woman.  Some are of my own invention, some circumstantial.

Over the last week or so, I have been challenging the limitations.  I think having driven to the other side of the country on my own has given me a new perspective on life. (Seriously, some days I am shocked that I did that. And never once since I got back have I regretted it!)  My new perspective isn’t just on life as it is, but I am looking back over my life and attempting to re-story-ing it.

I am specifically looking for aspects of my story that were overlooked before.  One of my mentors, Dr. Rose Knippa, has been visiting with me about how life is always in balance or moving back into balance…..and how we often don’t see it as such.  So I have been going back to look for how life was balanced when I didn’t see it as such.

For example, I discovered this week that one of the most difficult and painful parts of my life, losing my mom when I was 21, significantly shaped who I am today.  I have felt the limitations of it for a long time, and sometimes I could glimpse that good things came from it.  But this week I am more fully tapping into the many gifts my mom’s early death has brought to me and how I use those gifts with my clients.  Her death sent me looking for answers about pain management which sent me to massage school.  It sent me to study counseling and shapes my coaching practice.  It helps me to understand first hand the stages of grief, the process of dying, and the family dynamics that can shift as a result.  Her death was the catalyst for my shift towards visual art and has been the subject of most of my art journaling over the years.  More than anything, it has taught me that death isn’t the end. Even when someone dies, there is an alive-ness to what was between you and them that can grow.  You might call it cultivated memory or a spiritual relationship.  Whatever it is, it has been essential to the peace I am finding with her passing as I grow older.

Rachel Payne art

I just don’t know who I would be had I not had this extreme event to weave into my being.  For most of my life, I would not have even imagined that I might say I am grateful for her passing.  I would prefer that she be alive and happy, right here beside me. AND. I am grateful for the gifts that came from her death.  This week more than any in my life, I can see what those gifts are.

Later this week….

I want to share with you how I am moving from disgruntled about the difficulties in life to grateful.  In the meantime, I invite you to begin looking for the gifts you might have tucked away in your life that could make the hard times the most valuable times in you life.

Til then….keep creating!

Angels in My Studio 2013

Current Workshop: Angels In My Studio 2013

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN……CLICK FOR DETAILS

Rachel_Payne

On the Other Side of Adventure

Life As Journey

I am snuggling up at home these days, cats taking turns with my artist hubby for attention.  I was gone from home for 3 weeks, a record for me.  In my sleeping hours, I am still on a journey, trying to figure out where my bed is.  I slept in so many, I think my body forgot which one was really mine!

I have a thousand stories floating around in my head, like wanting to share with you all the amazing people I met, unfinished poems about the beauty of America writing themselves on my heart, realizations I made about myself and my life along the way, and the freedom of living life a day at a time with few responsibilities.  Some stories won’t get written because life tends to move faster than I can type, other stories will wait to be told for a day when they are more ripe.

For today, though, I want to share some of the pictures and a line or two to help you get a sense of them.  My camera was my buddy for much of the trip.  Sometimes I didn’t know why I was drawn to what I was, for whatever reason, it interested me.  Some pictures were taken from my car en route, most through the windshield.  They are a quick way to share my journey….enJOY!

Barn

america's heartland

Some of my favorite images on the trip were of the farmland and barns.  They reminded me of my youth, my family roots, my mother’s love of working close to the Earth, and of the origins of the food that finds it way to my plate.  Driving through so much of America’s heartland felt like living a moving prayer of gratitude.

beauty fields

The soft grass and skeletal structure of plant life displayed the artistic hand that nature paints with. My eyes were overcome with 3000 miles of beauty.

Mississippi River Bridge

I was fascinated with bridges during the trip. This one crosses the Mississippi into Memphis.

Historic Route 66

This bridge is from Historic Route 66 in Oklahoma.

Lincoln Memorial Bridge -Illinois

Lincoln Memorial Bridge on Illinois River….rainy day.

Geneva 2 112

I was on the road when the attacks on Boston took place.  I was staying with a sweet couple I met through AirBnB and feeling the stress of being far from home and family.  The next day, my journey took a wrong turn which ended up with me pulling into the entrance of the  Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.  I took it as an opportunity to show my gratitude for freedom and for those who have been part of weaving it together.

Rachel Payne on Road

There are so many more pictures to show and stories to tell of my adventures on the road.  But for now, I am working on getting back into the swing of home life again.  That’s one thing I learned along the way, for sure.  Life keeps moving and so do you!  Make the best of where you are in the moment, know where you are headed and take with you the experience and grace of where you have been and remember…All is Well.

Keep creating!

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Plant a Kiss, Too!

giving quote
In the spirit of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s work,18 bloggers set out to “Plant a Kiss” in the world on April 29. We each did something we thought would spread a little extra joy, color, connection, poetry, or magic in the world. Then we watched to see what would happen!

Today all of us are posting about that experience.  

Plant a Kiss Blog Hop Party

This was my second Plant a Kiss celebration.  Last year I met with a few local creatives to make a labyrinth on the beach for others to find. It was one of the highlights of 2012 for me.  This year, I wanted my kiss to keep the same spirit of celebration but knew I would be celebrating on the coat tails of a long journey that took me up the middle of the U.S. and back again over three weeks.  I made self-care a priority for the day, but balanced that with a deep desire to share myself with others in a meaningful way. Since GIFT is my word for the year, I wanted my Kiss to be about giving.

The target for sharing my kiss this year was on the other side of the North Atlantic Ocean in Guinea, West Africa.  If you have looked around on my website, you may have discovered The Benkadi Project page I have dedicated to work being done in the capital city of Conakry and in rural villages there.  I didn’t pick the Benkadi Project out of a book or by running my finger across a map to choose a place. I chose it because I met a man, Fodé Cameron, and a woman, Helen Bond, last Summer who are doing beautiful work there and I wanted to somehow be part of what they were doing.

Helen Bond

On my trip to Wisconsin, I stayed with her….Helen Bond.  As luck would have it, my travels took me to her area on a day when she was hosting an event to help build biosand filter units for families through her non-profit, The Benkadi Project.  The event featured West African drumming and provided education about the work they were doing.  The Benkadi Project was planting major kisses that night by being one shy of reaching their financial goal to build 50 units.  The water treatment will serve 50 families of 10 people for 10 years.  That is 1,825,000 days of clean drinking water.  I adored getting to be part of that!

biosand filter

For Plant a Kiss Day, I celebrated the good will I got to be part of and sent well wishes in the form of a meditation to Helen and the team she will be taking to Guinea later this week.  As part of my celebration, I lit a candle and spent some time playing a drum that was made by Fodé.  I also spent the day drinking water mindfully, being grateful for the easy with which it arrives to me anytime I need it and for the fact that it is safe and satisfying.

This year’s Plant a Kiss was very simple, but I think that is the beauty of giving.  It can be just a thought, a wish, a prayer or can be traveling across an ocean to make a difference.  It is amazing the feeling of love it can bring to your heart when it is based in genuine caring.  I think that is probably why it is called Plant a KISS.

If you found your way to this page or have been hopping along visiting others who are part of the Plant a Kiss party, I would like to encourage you to thing of some way you can Plant a Kiss, too.  Close your eyes right now and invite a simple act of giving to come into your heart.  Let your mind work out an easy way to implement that, then join us!  Let’s make the world a bit love laden today.

Masks

If you would like to know more about The Benkadi Project, you can….

Get the Details of the Water Initiative

Follow Benkadi Project on Facebook

Become a Supporter

Read a Past Newsletter

Visit Plant a Kiss 2013 where you can find links to all of the participating bloggers and hop around to see how each woman was uniquely inspired to celebrate Plant a Kiss Day.

Special thanks to Sherry Richert Belul of Simply Celebrate for inviting me to be part of this event, I have felt blessed by it!

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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