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Monthly archive for August 2013

A Celebration….A Challenge

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A Celebration

Today I have been spinning with awe.  Something I wished to change in my life and set in motion last Fall rose up today to show me its resolution.  Sometimes we don’t know how our dreams will play out.  Watching them unfold can be a trip.

Last Fall, I began exploring a very ingrained story about dying at 45 like my mom and her father.  I don’t know why I got it stuck in my head, but I did!  I kept myself from truly following my dreams because I just couldn’t see life beyond that.  As 45 inched closer, I decided I would reach for wellness and longevity…..trying to avoid my fear of death wasn’t working so I might as well go through the back door!  I had tried to deny my fear for so long without making headway that I thought claiming life might give death a run for its money.

I began seeing a chiropractor who was also a naturopathic doctor.  Some of her methods were unconventional.  Some were cutting edge.  When it felt right, I followed what she prescribed.  I began listening to my body, working on the subtle issues that came up.  And a theme began to develop.  I was sick.  My cycle went crazy. You can read all about it in my previous post Boldly Saying the “C” Word where I share about recently discovering I have uterine cancer.

Yah, on my way to reaching for wellness and longevity I discovered the thing that just might have killed me just as I had been spinning in my imagination for decades.  Instead frantically wrestling with the fear, I shifted my reality.  Here I am with a very curable dis-ease, caught early, with a great outlook for the future.  I think some people might immediately see cancer as a pathway to dying.  I know for me it is a catalyst for living with more freedom than I have in decades. Cancer helped me let go of death and grab onto life.

With or without the cancer, I was on my way towards a better life thanks to the body work, emotional and spiritual work I have been doing since I started working on living longer.  Each day I would look for ways to make life better….healthier, happier, more connected to nature, people, myself, and that Something More that walks this journey with me.  Life felt like it was full of possibility!

So that is my celebration…..now an invitation for you to move towards a celebration for yourself.

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A Challenge

A Challenge:  What if there really was a field of possibility for you to pull your life’s desire out of….what would YOU set in motion?  Anyone dare state that today?   Check inside and see what might feel like it wants relief in your life.  You don’t have to know HOW you are going to do it.  You don’t want to know really because a big shift usually happens organically and synchronisticly.  Claim what you want in your life and then listen for the next right step.  For me it was moving towards a healthier, longer life by going to see that specific doctor.  I kept listening along the way.  Do it and I will hold that energy with you!  You can post here what you want or simply leave a note saying you want to make a shift and I will hold space with you.  Once you know what you want…listen and take the first move.  The Creativity Tribe is playing Possibility Tribe!

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Deep Gratitude

I want to share my deepest gratitude for the incredible reception I got in sharing my diagnosis of uterine cancer earlier in the week.  I had a LoveStorm of support, encouragement, and prayers expressed here on the website and through my personal Facebook Page.  I had more visitors in one day than I often have in a good week.  So much love!  I can still feel a circle of care gathering up around me.  I want to assure each of you that although I have a diagnosis, I am feeling strong, have no out of the ordinary discomfort and am just waiting for my surgery. I am adding in lots of self-care, and doing what I love in my personal life and business life.  Thank you again….from the bottom of my very grateful heart!

 Creatively yours,

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Click the box above for your free discovery session.

Boldly Saying the “C” Word

inwardOver thirty years ago when my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she talked about it in a whispered code.  I remember saying the full word in front of her one day in the kitchen while we were making lunch together. She gently redirecting my speech by simply telling me she did not like the “C” word.  I respected that it was difficult for her.  She had a strong personality that felt like it steered the direction of our family and to see something knock her off her feet for awhile meant it was a force to be reckoned with.  Her breast cancer didn’t keep her down, though, Mamaw outlived it by nearly two decades.

This summer, I found myself called to the bedside of my friend Patrice.  Patrice had boldly danced through life with cancer for twenty years.  Upon my return from the big road trip I took in April, I went to visit with her.  That began a streak of visits in which I did massage and energy work with her.  She would ask for me to help her with her legs and I found as much as she wanted me close by, I wished to be part of her last glorious days.  Her days were glorious, too.  She partied in the end more than any other person I had know who was on their way out of this life.  She held life by the tail and made sure it knew it was a tiger!

At the beginning of the summer, my cycle had become rather irregular.  I was returning from my trip when my period just lingered on.  I was consulting a naturopathic doctor and would see my gynecologist when I could get an appointment.   Each week I spent time during my meditation workshop exploring some of the issues that floated around what it meant to me be a woman. I looked at creativity, mothering, body issues, power imbalances, safety and vulnerability, objectification of the body, denial of the voice, freedom of movement, sexuality, abundance…..the whole nine yards! This summer has been packed full of personal growth.

Angel Work

Those few days after Patrice passed were very uncomfortable.  I had to stay close to home and became weak with an iron deficiency.  Something had turned a flood gate on, and I knew I needed medical help quickly.  I spent a month with the doctor doing this test and that, looking into options that might help me fix what was causing the crazy, heavy, unending cycle.  Just when we thought we had a plan of action we could all agree on (my gynecologist, naturopath, and me) I got the result back from a test that showed cancerous cells in my uterus.  That was about two weeks ago.

The “C” word.

I spent several hours after the doctor’s call alone at home.  I was shaken for sure.  You hear that word and the mind goes straight to the worst.  But on the fringe of fear I heard good news too.

We caught it early…we think it is contained…. you probably won’t need treatment beyond a hysterectomy.

Gratitude! Somehow I couldn’t help but think Patrice made sure I was taken care of.

Lots of things go through your mind when they give you news like that.  I thought about all the people I personally knew who had created a life with or after the “C” word.  I thought about the strength they had shone, about the way they framed their experience and what they made it mean to them and others in their lives.  Then I made a decision that I would be brave in my vulnerability, I would feel my feelings as fully as I could, process any old wounds that needed attention, celebrate the blessings that come with the journey, and when I could, I would share my personal story so others could support me and so I could help other women understand the beauty, strength, and essence of being a woman. What if this could change my life and the lives of others who needed….who needed….I don’t know.  I just feel like there is a gift in there somewhere.

That last part means claiming the “C” word to a world wide audience.  It is a big decision because in some circles you just don’t talk about your lady parts (yep, there is another “C” word some will never say) but I am bringing that conversation to this circle.  I am going to foster an honest, spirited sharing that doesn’t throw a hand up to make sure no one hears.

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I HAVE CANCER.  Loud and clear.

It won’t define me, but it also isn’t going to be just a blip on the map of my life.  I believe that there is Something Greater working here and the same calling that sat me next to Patrice in her last days to share my gifts…the same calling that has had me build a global community for the last three years just wouldn’t want me to keep the gifts of this journey secret.  To fully share those gifts, I think I must surely have to share the force that ushered them in.

So around here, I am beefing up the self-care, the self-love, and introspection.  I am going to continue to make my way through this life with creativity leading the way (now more than ever actually).  I open my arms to your support, encouraging you not to hurt for me but instead to hold a space of exploration and curiosity about what in the world I am going to transform this unexpected experience into. Be grateful with me, keep me in your prayers if you do that, and in your heart if you will.  For this journey I am grateful.  For this community I am grateful.  With gratitude, I am….

 Creatively yours,

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Click the box above for your free discovery session.

 

My Creative Weekend

my creative weekend

 Some of my favorite memories…

I am walking the aisles in the cloth store, hands lovingly, curiously touching, eyes soaking in as many textures as the fingers explored.  Mom was looking through patterns.  Dreaming.  I wonder what wonder she will craft out of this sea color and delight.

Years later I sit in a corner of my childhood bedroom.  A spiral notebook with scratches of a poem rests on my knees. I turn it into a song after watching Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter.  I want to share something meaningful from deep inside.  I yearn to express my world as Loretta did.  I want to sing big, with great feeling, and share myself with the world.

Rachel and Kim with Tucan

That’s me on the right…curly haired and bright smiled with my cousin and dear friend, Kim.

Middle of the night in my early twenties, I sit alone in the living room.  My husband is asleep and a grief about losing my mother rises up inside me.  He gets up at 4 a.m. to work.  I can’t get my head wrapped around the deep feelings welling up.  Something in me calls me to a college notebook.  I begin to write and then to draw.  A poem emerges.  Memories float back.  The grief subsides.  A gentle sense of my mother’s hands across the top of my head soothe me.  I head to bed and sleep peacefully.

Four adults sit around a table in the middle of a cafe. Music plays in the background, a Celtic band.  The conversation lulls then someone confesses to their disappointment in not having more art in their life.  Another chimes in, validates, commiserates.  I smile inside.  Reach for my satchel, pull out four small blank cards and a few pens.  Shared art begins.

These are some of my Creative Weekend memories.  Times when a break in my week reached out to support my desire to express myself, soothe myself, or connect with others and the world.   I could fill volumes with stories like this.  They are some of the highlights of my life.

creativity prompt

Make a memory with your Creative Spirit this weekend.  Set aside any preconceived notion that doing a creative  project takes too much energy or time.  Open to the possibility that it could make life stand still for awhile and help energize you.

Here are some ideas… Do a bit of double duty by making a hafto into an opportunity for creativity.  That lunch you have to cook, choose a new recipe, or plate the food with a bit of pizzazz!  That bath you like to take on Sunday evenings, why not add a few drops of essential oil and a lit candle near a small note card expressing a wish you have for the week to come.  Creativity heals, it crafts life, and helps us remember we are dynamic, expressive beings.  Invite a bit of Creative Spirit into your life  over the next several days. (Would love for you to come back and share what you did or use the comments to commit to something creative that is whispering to your heart!)

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I love Fridays around here because it is my chance to spin some energy for the folks who have bravely claimed creativity as a way of life on the Faces of Creativity Tribe page (you can put yours in too).  I hope you will head over to their blogs for a bit of inspiration….let them know you are part of the Creativity Tribe.

  •  A Smile Maker: Teresa over at A Smile Maker is just that.  I had the pleasure of spending a few hilarious evenings with her during my trip to Wisconsin for the Creatives Celebrating Sisterhood Art Retreat.  Her site is delightful.  I especially love her Late Bloomers series.  I hope you will give her a visit.
  • Art, Love, & Joy is the on-line home of Wini Dougall.  Wini is an artist who does feel-good art and spins out lots of love in her blog posts.  Always a joy to visit her slice of blog heaven.  Make sure to check out her shop while you are there.  I have been eyeing one of her throw pillows personally!
  • Simply Celebrate is an inspiring site curated by Sherry Richert Belul.  Sherry is the host and organizer of a delightful event I have enjoyed taking part of for the last two years.  You can find my Plant a Kiss Day post (2012 and 2013).
  • Cat Athena Louise is a artist and free spirit whose art reflects her love of myth, fairytales, and shamanic traditions.  I consider her a dear, sweet friend and am delighted that she has connected with me here.

 Creatively yours…

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Click the box above for your free discovery session.

Womb-Moon Wisdom Meditation

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I sat with the Moon last night.  It was full and wrapped in the clouds that brought a quenching rain the morning before.  I tuned in to my body.  It is changing as women’s bodies do.  For the last 6 months or so during the Wednesday night meditation group I attend with Rev. Shar Schwengler of the Lucid Waking Radio Show on A2Zen.fm, my body has been talking to me.  I began with exploring the stories that lived in various parts of my body.

There is the old hitch in my giddy up (my lower back) that flares up occasionally that reminds me of a bad fall I had in my late twenties that led to years of physical and emotional discomfort, the scar tissue on my right arm from getting it caught in an elevator when I was in kindergarten (sounds much worse than it was), the swelling that sometimes happens in my right ankle.  They all have stories to go with them….stories about what happened, what I think happened, and what the injury makes me think of.

Shar has been encouraging us to let go of the story and to work with the pains that come up emotionally and physically in a more energetic way.  It has taken me a long time to understand what she means, but I am catching on.  Sometimes I can let the story float away and imagine a glowing light attending to the area of focus.  The less I try to make something happen, the more profound the release.

Sitting with the Full Moon tonight, I sent my attention to the stories that float around in my Womb.  They probably aren’t much different than the stories that other women find there.  Themes of fertility and abundance, creativity and safety, of connecting with others and with the Divine Feminine.

full moon mystery

This has been the seat of most of my body work this Summer.  It has been difficult work, deeply personal, but so valuable.  The Moonlight flooded my Womb and illuminated areas that needed a bit of love and understanding.  Stephen Levine in his book Guided Meditations, Explorations, and Healings suggests that healing consists of inviting mercy and understanding into the mind and body.

And so, I invited the Moon to hold that space for me tonight. I drew its light into my body and asked it to illuminate that great sacred center of creativity.  As I did, I felt my body and heart give into its sense of support and deep understanding of the rhythmic wisdoms I have played out over the course of my life and will continue to explore until the end of my days.  I allowed its light to bless my little girl Womb of the past, the Womb that wished for children, the Womb that decided not to conceive of human life in the end but revels in a deeper form of creating ( a creative of life….made of ideas, relationships, new beginnings, and exquisite possibilities), and finally the wise Womb that is more than a physical uterus and more like the energetic home for all I hold sacred of being a Womb-in (woman).

Each layer of my life as a female drenched in lunar lusciousness until every cell, every thought, every nuance glowed.

creativity prompt

While the Moon is in its fullness, set some time aside to do your own Womb-Moon Wisdom Meditation.  If you are a male, consider the value of imagining a symbolic Womb….a home, a vessel for your creativity.  Simply connect with its light, either in the openness of the night’s sky or in the comfort of your home (perhaps you might like to connect outside and do the meditation inside.)  Once you are comfortable, draw the Moon’s light into your Womb and listen for the Womb and the Moon to guide a journey together.  Know that whatever happens is just right.  This is your meditation, your body, and your healing.

 Creatively yours…

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Click the box above for your free discovery session

Minding the Mind, Mending the Heart

EveryMomentSome of the deepest disappointments in life are those times when we have let ourselves down.  Standing by our dreams, we watch them get smaller and smaller as the voice of doubt and fear win over some opportunity to bloom.  It happens to all of us in one form or another. Those shared human experiences tug at our hearts and are often created in the mind.

Recently I have been taking on the voices in my head with a fierceness I have seldom felt from myself.  I am focusing on a whole cluster of issues that rise up for me that I think of as a Life Theme.  The Life Theme seems to be a course of study that has accompanied me into this life. I work a little on it and discover some resolution, then it reforms with a slight change so that I can experience the theme again.  Each time I learn something about myself, often discovering gifts of the spirit along the way. I bet we all have a Life Theme or two to fully take in over the course of our life.

Fly Low ct

Some people may have Life Themes surrounding safety or struggling with lack, others keep coming back to the theme of belonging or perhaps some other shadowy difficulty.  It usually doesn’t take much to pull together the nuance of a Life Theme, figuring out a precise thread that travels through the life can be a bit more of a challenge.  Once you have a name for it though, it can help you identify when it knocks on your door.

The theme I am working on currently has to do with creativity.  If I know much about anything, it is creativity.  And yet…. the shadow side of creativity still challenges me.  I love that this place I feel so grounded in also has more growth to offer me.  And so I am digging deep to explore the ways creativity shows up in my life in a less grounded way….where it could be more rooted and secure.

How do I know where those places are?  I listen for the fear and frustration.  I listen for the places where my heart aches.  Those are the areas of my Creative Spirit that are asking for resolution.

I think it is important to point out that creativity is more than just something pretty we put on our wall or listen to on our iPod.  It is our ability to form relationships with self, others, and spirit. It is our relationship with abundance or lack.  Creativity is about making meaning and crafting life.

Once I discover an area where creativity is kinked up, I set out to open up the stuck places.  There are lots of ways to work with this, but for me currently, I have been minding my mind.  Every morning as I wake up, I let my mind wander into the fear.  Then I pretend to wipe it away and begin to imagine what life would be like if the fear magically went away.  I play with that new reality for awhile.  Then, I encourage myself to believe that if I can imagine the new reality than it is quite possible.

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I have been doing this for a few months now and my life is reflecting those changes.  My heart is blooming with possibility.

 Creatively yours…

Rachel Payne Life Coach

rachel payne coach

Opening Up to A Better Day

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It doesn’t take much for most of us to get bogged down by a situation.  Perhaps we just woke up a bit sore or have that nagging to-do that feels like it is going to get the best of us for another day.  Often we can’t even put our finger on what kicked our anxiety into gear.  There is just a heaviness that follows us around.

But just as easily as it comes on, we can help the residue of funkiness fall away if we have a few tricks up our sleeve. For me, having a few practices that cultivate mindfulness and help get my thoughts out so I can see them can make all the difference.

Carnival Freak

Favorite Mindfulness Practice

Simply focusing on the breath.  This technique is super easy and can be done anywhere.  Invite yourself to find your breath.  Then witness it move in and out of the body.  No need to breathe a certain way.  Nose or mouth, either works.  Simply witness.  You will notice almost immediately that there is a sift, however slight, in your stress level.  Perhaps you will feel an emotion come up.  If so, take a few minutes to honor it.  It is there to serve you.

I know that even in the most difficult of times giving space to my feelings has allowed me to arrive at a place of release that could only come by letting go and honoring them.  We spend so much energy trying not to feel the difficult feelings.  Simply by turning and looking at them, we can move to a new space….often opening up to the easier feelings like peace and joy.

Favorite Expressive Practice

Journaling is by far my favorite expressive practice.  My journal is a hodge podge of feelings and images that range from visually spectacular to scribbles, scratches, and mental malarkey.  The biggest trick to journaling is to give yourself permission… permission to explore your feelings and thoughts without censorship… permission to be messy… permission to feel… permission to show up without anything profound happening… permission to write and draw dark feelings, hard feelings, bright feelings, any feelings… permission to take time for yourself (as little as 15 minutes is clinically proven to boost your immune system….that’s some good medicine!)… permission to shine… permission to move to a place of deeper understanding of who you are, how you work, and what in the world wishes to help you move closer and closer to joy.

creativity prompt

Combine the two practices above by first attending to the breath (3-5 minutes) then opening your journal to see what wishes to share itself with you.  You might also note how you are feeling before the breathing.  You can assign a number to your anxiety or discomfort or simply give what you are feeling a name.  Do the same at the end of your journaling.  Try this prompt a few times in the next week or so to see if it might be something that helps you open up to a better day.  I hope it does.

Let me hear from you….. I would love to hear from you if you decide to do the Creativity Prompt.  Feel free to drop a note in the comments to let me know how it goes.  I know the rest of the Creativity Tribe could grow from your experience as well!

 Creatively yours…

Rachel Payne Life Coach

Painting Up a Storm

Art Heals

There is a storm in my body.  I think it has been brewing for a long time, although I didn’t know it.  Recently it made itself known in a big way.  And now, I am sitting on the front porch of my soul watching it pass over me.

In the last several weeks it has felt so big that all I knew to do was sit with it. As luck would have it, I was in my studio the other night, and I began painting while I was doing that sitting.  The painting felt good.  I could tell it was doing something in my body.  Something…a hormone or feel good chemical, perhaps the workings of my creative spirit….something was helping the storm dissipate.

storm 1

This isn’t a huge surprise to me….this feeling that comes when we dive into creativity, no holds barred.  That is one of the benefits of art, it is a catalyst to healing.  And so, I am painting up a storm….or should I say OUT a storm.  And my body feels grateful.

storm 2

So grateful for the release that I have just kept painting…..a piece of cardboard, a bigger piece, a small canvas, then larger….then the entire top of my studio table.  The more I paint, the more cleansing.  The more I paint, the less dark the storm.  The more I paint, the better I feel.

storm 3

This is how creativity leads to healing, how it helps us understand ourselves, and connect with the world we have spinning inside.

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Creativity Prompt:  Invite yourself to sit with simple art supplies….pencil and paper, pen and paper, cardboard and paint.  Nothing fancy, just what is at hand.  Close your eyes and let the supplies give life to what you feel.  You don’t have to paint pain….but you can if you wish.  You don’t have to draw storms, but you can.  Perhaps what wishes to come up is that smile that doesn’t get to glow often enough or bright enough.  Don’t think too much and don’t halt what comes forward.  Make a mess.  Start with silly, ugly, scribbly, doodles, dashes, and wing-a-dings.  It doesn’t have to make  sense or look beautiful.  Think of it as giving your creativity permission to wander around.  When you are done, let it be what it is. Share it or keep it to yourself.  But KNOW….that this kind of self-expression builds bridges to healing us.  It gives us permission to express who we are and love ourselves in the process. 

Creatively yours….

Rachel Payne Life Coach

 

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Welcome to CT

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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There is a beauty that comes out of sharing a journey with another person....a dream for yourself, a direction for a project, a way out of the muck that holds your Creative Spirit back. Let's talk about working together. creativitytribe@gmail.com