Jean Elizabeth Tait

Desire for Community & New Day Planner idea

The way we show up in community is often a push/pull experience. How do we see things in the world? Is our experience similar to others? Or, do we feel that our experience is not what others are having ? If this happens, we can end up feeling very alone and disconnected from any sense of belonging to a supportive community. In today’s world, many are feeling isolated and disconnected from their tribe. Others make it a priority to connect with those who nurture their sense of being-in-the-world in a very restorative way. This is what we all want … to be appreciated for our truth of who we are and what we have to offer as we walk on our Sacred Path.

The way I find my truth is to smudge, pray, meditate, write, and make art first thing each day, in order to balance my Spirit, emotions, physical self and my mind. Above and Below…. and Within. These are the balancing directions in the Medicine Wheel teachings. Connecting with others requires that I must be able to hear my own truth first. Otherwise, what could I possibly have to share with others?!

I’ve made art to heal and balance parts of my life for several decades now. Making art will often be in a visual art journal. This morning, reading “Journal It! Perspectives in Creative Journaling” by Jenny Doh (2012), I saw another way of incorporating art into the everyday. I’m fascinated that Bruce Kremer uses his day planner in a way I’ve not seen before. While he has some “to do” items on the page of a regular lined planner, he’s used such items as wide clear tape to tack down leaves. There are quick sketches and doodles. He has sections of maps and even highway signs to mark the route he took to get somewhere. As someone who navigates by landmarks and visual cues, I think this would be very valuable for me! What he has done is created a “snapshot” of his day, but in such a creative way. I’m the curator of a LPP collection (little pieces of paper). Finally a place where these might land! While I have a written journal and several art journals and a “serious” sketchbook with art ideas for paintings and developing my own artwork, this would capture my day is a highly visual way. Think I’ll give this a try. Will let you know if this is working for me and post a sample. If you don’t see anything, it means I’ve abandoned the idea and will use it as an altered book someday, or a place to smear leftover paint for collage material! You can see an example of what he calls his journal and more about his art work here: Bruce Kremer

Jean Elizabeth Tait

Chris Zydel’s post on Creative Juices Arts

I have long admired Chris Zydel, her approach not only to creativity, but to life as well. Chris runs Wild Heart Painting workshops that use an intuitive approach in Oakland, CA and other locations.

Here’s what she had to say in her post, “Breaking Through Your Creative Joy Ceiling” 

“There is an issue that comes up again and again and again in my many painting circles, which is the idea that happiness and joy and ease and pleasure are not REAL spiritual and emotional work.

And not to be taken seriously.

Because of this belief, there’s an impulse to be constantly looking and digging for what is painful or difficult or challenging as you are creating, because that’s where the REAL art comes from.

Of course, I call bullshit on all of this.

This attitude is just another version of the starving artist syndrome, except in this scenario artists believe they have to starve themselves of joy.

Also, opening yourself to the power of joy can be TERRIFYING. Because on some level it is the most transformational energy of all.

We learn not to trust our joy because joy makes us vulnerable. Joy means we are open to life. And open to possibly being hurt. Many of us got all kinds of messages growing up about how joy wasn’t safe. Or welcome. Our joy was part of our natural exuberant expression as children and was often seen as threatening or too much. We were also told that joy can’t be trusted and that it won’t last or will lead to even greater disappointment when it inevitably goes away.

So we stuff our joy, Sit on our joy. Close ourselves off to our joy as an automatic and unconscious response.

And deny ourselves the deeply soul nourishing experience of being fed by the energy of joy.

I’m always SO excited when someone reaches the point in their creative process when they begin to challenge these old patterns around stifling joy and find themselves at the edge of their joy ceiling. Because when that happens, it always means that they are ready to break on through to the other side into a greater experience of liberation and a deeper connection with their life force energy.

Which then leads to an increasing capacity to experience more and more joy.

I know it can sometimes be hard to believe… but joy is our birthright. We were MEANT to feel joy on a regular basis. Joy doesn’t have to be hard or complicated or rare.

But it does need a matrix within which it can grow and thrive.

And that matrix includes doing the things that we love… like making art… on a regular and ongoing basis. Surrounding ourselves with folks who can SUPPORT our joy by embracing their own joy. And healing the limiting beliefs and ancient messages we have internalized around being worthy of our joy.

If you nurture your joy, your joy will nurture you and continue to grow and blossom into a robust and thriving force of endless goodness in your daily life.