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Monthly archive for November 2013

Gratitude {The Heart of Healing}

Heart Journey

When I was little, the giving of thanks came around the dinner table and at night before we “laid us down to sleep”.  As I grew older, I found myself part of a movement to more fully embrace that for which we were thankful.  I say movement because it seemed that Gratitude came into the global conscience  just as I was becoming conscious of healing from all those wounds we pick up on the way to adulthood. The Practice of Gratitude (although I didn’t realize it in the beginning) feels like it is at the heart of healing.

It is a worthy practice that can feel a little slippery at times.  I often wonder how far I can take Gratitude into my life.  For example, I find it easy to be Grateful for easy things like the ray of sun that is playing with the crystal bead on my necklace this morning, or the two snuggle cats who found their way into my bed last night and cozied up over my cold feet.  That kind of Gratitude is a no brainer…. although still very important.

Life is Good Banner

The challenge with The Practice of Gratitude comes in being Grateful for the difficult parts of life.  I think some may argue with me about finding Gratitude in some things, but for me, that is one of the big reasons I think we are here on what some have coined the Earth School to learn.  It goes to the core of what Life all about.  Are we here just to exist?  Perhaps.  Is there something more meaningful to our journey?  I like to think so.

Going deeper into Gratitude is one way I explore the wringers that come with living.  Most recently, while talking to my friend Jon, I discovered that he had witnessed a stranger causing a life threatening self-injury to himself.  I will spare you the details.  The man, Jon found out later, had taken the life of his own daughter and was attempting to take his own.  Jon struggled with what he had seen and why, of all people, he might have been the one to witness it.

As I was talking to Jon, I got a very deep intuition that this man had been deeply disturbed.  That might have been evident to some, but for some people they may have just seen what he had done to his daughter and labeled the man as evil.  Certainly, I do not excuse his act.   That is a given. My interest was in exploring what meaning there may have been in the fact that Jon had witnesses something perhaps more horrific than he ever will in the rest of his days.  Why that?  Why Jon?  My intuition felt like there was meaning in what Jon had seen.  I shared my impression with him that this man needed someone to stand witness to his worst day….to hold a kind of sacred space for him….and his daughter.   If he was truly disturbed and acting out of that disturbance, then perhaps Jon extended the energy of compassion for him as the man reached down into the dark night of his soul.

by Eric Payne

Mixed Media Work by Eric Payne

Some may believe the man didn’t deserve compassion. Where, after all, was his compassion for his daughter?  That is not mine to say.  I felt, that Jon’s compassion for the man in his hour of despair was not in vain.  It had meaning and was valid.  Any human suffering is more suffering than is necessary.  By giving his witness of the man’s suffering meaning, Jon could move past the senselessness of the event and into the heart of  healing for himself.  He could shift away from his own pain of what he saw and into a Gratitude for how he had served another.

This Thursday is the American Thanksgiving.  Many have turned it into a Day of Gratitude.  I certainly feel that way for myself.  We need more of those.

I would like to encourage you to begin exploring how far you can carry Gratitude into your own life.  Is Gratitude your fair weather friend, or can it become the sweetness that makes Life’s bitterness more palatable.  That kind of choice is how we create our lives and move away from the idea that we are not just along for the ride.

I would love to hear how you bring meaning to the difficulties in your life. Do you have a Gratitude Practice?  Share it with us….or claim a Gratitude.  Drop a comment below and join us in the Creativity Tribe Facebook Group to keep the conversation going.

CT FB Group

My Gratitude

I am Grateful for you.  Even if we have never visited before…. whether this is your first visit, one of many, or your last…. I am Grateful for the energy you bring, for the thread that led you here, and for the opportunity to connect.

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Rachel Payne Life Coach

 

 

Missing Mojo & The Skull Trade

skull and quote

 Missing Mojo

Over the last couple of weeks I have been sharing about the Paint Mojo workshop I went to with Tracy Verdugo.  Last week I showed pictures of the process and got to one part of it that seemed to jump too far ahead….my camera pooped out on me and I just missed a few steps. I found one more image that I want to add. (Judy Witkins….this is especially for you.  Hope it helps you see the process a bit better.  It is a hard process to show.)

Let me catch you up…. (for more pics head over to the original Paint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo post.)

We had layered in symbols and done a wash…then tucked in automatic paintings inspired by a poem….

Paint Mojo 3

We then added stencils and other markings…and painted back what was off balanced or added color to help even things out.  I wasn’t in love with mine and was feeling frustrated, so I grabbed some paint and let it wash over some parts and drip around….that’s where that runny blue at the bottom came from.  Then I walked away.  Sometimes you just have to walk away.

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This is what it looked like at the end of the day on Saturday.  I wasn’t in love with it.

Our next step was to look into the painting and see what came to us.  The runny blue patch towards the bottom seemed like it could be a skirt and before I knew it, I had fleshed out a woman…turned mermaid.  That moment of desperation with the blue became the catalyst for something beautiful that ended up touching my heart deeply.

This process is sort of like painting blind.  As you go along, you realize you were creating an image with your intuition that you would never have achieved intentionally.  That is the mojo of it all!  MAGIC!

Mermaid 500

The Skull Trade

That isn’t all the MOJO I have been spinning.  A month or so ago…maybe two at this point, I joined an online artists’ group hosted by April Cole.  April is a blogger that I have been following since I was a new brand new blogger.  I considered her a kind of wise woman that I would turn to for inspiration and direction.  That, of course, would be news to her.  I have just secretly basked in her passionate offerings without offering much beyond energetic support.

But  I joined The Studio – Artist Community and decided to spin some real energy with her.  It has been super fun. She has a great collection of creatives there, offers lots of opportunities to share/trade art.  It is seriously like a party for artist.

My First Trade with The Studio: Journal Cards

The challenge was to create Day of the Dead journal cards to trade.  I love Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). It is a huge celebration in my neck of the woods. In fact, my hometown (and lots of my artist friends) throw a shindig that is touted as one of the top festivals in the US for the holiday.  They close several blocks down town and bring the flavor of this beautiful Mexican tradition to life.

Here was my skull card…

Collage Skull Card Rachel Payne

My card went to Belinda Dworak.  Here’s her card…

DayoftheDead BeBe Dworak

Here is the card I got back… from Kate Robertson

Kate Robertson Art Card

What fun it is to share art! In fact, it is one of my very favorite things about art.  SHARING!

Super special thanks to April Cole for sponsoring the challenge.  Loved it!

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

 

 

Running Buffalo Journeys: Spiritual Adventures

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Sometimes at night as I am drifting off to sleep, I follow my imagination to Guatemala.  The space around me becomes green with plant life, alive with the sounds of monkeys and children laughing, in my hand waits a steamy cup of pure, ancient-sourced cacao.  Somehow I feel at-home in that dream even though I have never been to Guatemala.

I know part of that comfort comes from the connections I have with friends who have made Guatemala their home and the stories they tell of their adventures, both physical and spiritual.  Someday I will join them there.  In the meantime, I am planning and dreaming.

Today I want to invite you to join me on a virtual trip to the luscious  mountain highlands of Guatemala.  Our guides will be my dear friends and Creativity Tribe wisdomkeepers Aaron El León and Milena Worsham of Running Buffalo Journeys

Wisdomkeepers are those Creatives who know something about bringing creativity to life and life to our creativity….and make it part of their life craft to hold a space for sharing that wisdom with others.

 So sit back, relax and enjoy the adventure.

Becoming Part of the Story

Aaron and Milena have been helping others connect with new life journeys through spiritual adventures in the Mayan heartland.  I had the opportunity to spend most of my Summer with them during a break they were taking in the states.  We enjoyed spinning energy about their tours and how they craft the journey to touch each person in a deeply significant way.  I love their process.  It is pure of heart and strong with loving intention.

Running Buffulo Journeys

That is way I am so delighted to share them with you….not just a video, but in an opportunity to shift something significant in your life by joining them to “run with the buffalo” as they put it.  Running Buffalo Journeys is offering a Creativity Tribe discount on their trips of $100.  If you feel drawn to their path, you can contact Aaron or Milena through their beautiful website.  Make sure to let them know you are part of the Tribe to take part in their special offer.

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

Paint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo

Paint Mojo Austin

I absolutely am in love with Tracy Verdugo’s Paint Mojo approach to painting.  It is intuitive, based in a love of symbolism, an invitation to stretch yourself and let go of what painting is supposed to look like….it is beautiful and messy all in the same moment.  And sometimes the messies is where the beauty really surprises you!

I wanna share the evolution of my painting so you can get a feel for the way the workshop went.  But realize I can’t boil down a two day workshop into a small post.  So if you want the expanded version, you will have to catch Tracy the next time she comes around or….OR….. Head over and sign up for her upcoming Paint Mojo book.  (Can you say, Santa’s wish list??! I am eagerly awaiting mine!)

Pre-order Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo

Wanna dive into my Paint Mojo process with me?  Come on in! 

Tracy had us start our large piece by adding symbols to our painting.  This is the same way she started the first Paint Mojo I attended and I loved the idea so much that I have created a Symbol Journal that I have been filling with interesting symbols for the last year.

Symbol Journal 1

Inside my Symbol Journal, I collect and record personal symbols that have shown up in my  life with deep meaning or that have come in for a day that seem to capture the moment in a certain way.   When I apply them to my paintings, they flesh out a new story for me.

Inside Symbol Journal

Some of the symbols you might see in my painting (and their meanings for me) include a flower (growth), spiral (going inward), doorway (entering another realm), heart with cross at the bottom (neverending love), flaming chalice (sacred woman), female reproductive system (personal healing), and pelvic bone (cradle of creation)… to name a few.

Paint Mojo Austin 1

Next we added color washes.  These have the potential to bring the painting to life and give it cohesion.

Paint Mojo 2

It may take a patient eye to look for differences between these two pics.  At this layer we took small paintings we did as automatic responses to a poem and added them to the painting.  It was a stretch, but added more dimension and interest to the canvas.

Paint Mojo 3

I know it is a big jump from this image to the next.  My camera gave out on me, so some of it will remain a mystery.

Mermaid 500

At the very end, we looked into the mess of colors, symbols, textures, and marks that we had created and attempted to cull something out of it.  I sat with trust and tried to be open.  I felt a twinge of fear that I might not find something or that I might fall into having to force an image out, but in the end, a woman showed herself to me.

The skirt (or waist as it is now) was the first part to peek out.  Then, as I worked with her, she showed me her fabulous mermaid tail.   I was overwhelmed once I got her sketched out.  So much so, that I started to crying.  The image touched something deep inside.

I continued to work with her and soon, the moon over her womb appeared.  It was perfect.  The symbols I had chosen were my way of calling up the feelings and themes that circle around the uterine cancer diagnosis that I got this summer and the upcoming surgery that will ultimate leave me physically unable to have children.  I went to the workshop knowing I wanted to “go there”….knowing I wanted to give myself space to explore what not having a uterus will mean.  I also wished to invite myself to a new understanding of the womb itself.  As I painted, I asked myself, Is the womb a physical thing or could it be more?

The mermaid showing up as she did helped me somehow re-vision myself.  Uterus or not, I am a woman.  Or as the painting whispered to me that day in the circle of my Paint Mojo sisters….I am a Womb-Moon.  From the day I was born until the day I die….I am a creatrix… a supracreative… a spinner of dreams into reality…. a holder of space for the birthing of delicate cries for grand existence.  Take any part of the body away and I am still as much so….and perhaps with the trance-formation, even more.

That’s my mojo….ultimately. 

Paint Mojo Austin

Big thanks to Tracy for unleashing such beauty from each of us, for opening a circle that could hold our inner world as we turned it into an outer work, and for guiding our hands and hearts on the journey to discover our MOJO!   You are a dear friend and a gift!

Rachel Payne life creativity coach

When Saying No is Saying Yes

saying No saying YES

I am back after a two week blog break.  I believe that is the longest bit I have taken from my blog since falling in love with the practice 3 years ago.  Not bad, huh?  My two weeks has been a beautiful balance of rest, relaxation, and re-creation.  I have been dreaming, processing, and stretching my wings.

To be honest, I mixed plenty of work up with my play, but with a job like mine, sometimes it is hard to tell the two apart!

Some Highlights….

I started off by heading to Austin to spend time with dear friends and take the Paint Mojo workshop with Tracy Verdugo (which I will do a post on before too long…including pictures of my painting).

Paint Mojo TracyPaint Mojo with Tracy Verdugo

 From Austin, I headed about an hour South to the Black Rose Ranch, near San Antonio, and stayed with more friends.  Being tucked away out in the country was so restorative.  My bed butted up next to a window that I kept cracked at night, letting in the fresh air and sounds of coyotes circling the house in the early morning hours.

Black Rose HorseTime in the Country

From San Antonio, I headed towards Austin again and stayed in the little town of New Braunfels with my dear friend Jessica of WildWood Naturals.  Jessica and I have been friends for nearly a decade now, and whenever we hold space together (over the phone, the net, or in person) I am somehow reminded of who I am and what makes me tick.  I had a lot to be thankful for on my trip, spent time in nature, spinning my big dreams, and reflecting on my life….but of all those moments, there was an hour or two that she and I spent talking as best friends do that made my whirlwind trip all the richer.

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BWPJessica_zps6d8353e9-1_zps2266dfc4Sisterhood

After all that outta town love, I headed home to get ready for another trip.  Every Wednesday I meet with a circle of visionaries who dedicate themselves to two things…the love of meditation AND the love of chocolate (unprocessed ceremonial cacao from Guatemala to be more specific).  This last weekend we met up for an epic meditation session with one of North America’s oldest trees, affectionately known as The Big Tree.  Oh, and was she a beauty.  We sat and spun lovely energy together under the stars in the light of the Moon.

Big Tree 500In Touch with Nature and Self

As I look back over the last two weeks, I wasn’t any LESS busy, but I was busy with things that were very much focused on what I need right now… deep connection with what matters.  Certainly, my blog and this community matter to me, but I am hoping to balance more time in real life with less time on-line and that will mean saying NO to things I have sometimes gotten lost in…you know, social media energy sucks, surfing for things that don’t matter, falling down the rabbit hole.

Sometimes saying NO to all that means saying YES to what matters.  What do you want to say YES to in your life?  Don’t just let that question float by.  Sit with it today.  Journal about it.  Talk to your friends, loved ones, or a stranger about it.  Saying YES to your life is how you create it.   That is the ultimate in self-care.  That is what Creativity Tribe is all about! 

Glad to be home….Glad to connect with YOU!

Rachel Payne life creativity 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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