August 27, 2007

Violet's Magenta Visions

I'm baaaack! --
Thank you for your happy wishes for my good time away..that means a lot to me : ) I had a magnifi-cent, creative, inspiring, heArtwarming & fun time with my SoulCollage sisters in the Boston area. Ahh...friendship is a marvelous thing...a haven for the heart, and food for the soul...when we allow it to is indeed, GOOD!
And...while away I discovered even more facets of myself (who knew!) during a very insightful SoulCollage® workshop...sponsored by Anne Marie Bennett of KaleidoSoul , and facilitated by Karen Mann ...all the way from Australia! Little-by-little I will share my new cards and insights at my gallery 1 or gallery 2 in the weeks and months ahead....
...In the meantime, please meet Violet. She sees with a mystical eye and shares beautiful, healing Magenta Visions for me, you...and our fellow & sister travellers. May you partake... be well...and may your days be your heArt's work of art!
(Mandala #72)

August 16, 2007

...Gone Fishin'

Hi there... I'm relaxing on holiday for about a week and a half. See ya when I get back!

August 15, 2007

Powerful Beyond Measure

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inade-
quate. ~ Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. ~ It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. ~ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? ~ Actually, who are you not to be? ~ You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. ~ There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. ~ We are all meant to shine, as children do. ~ We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. ~ It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~~ Excerpt from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.
I notice in my mandalas the V-like symbol shows up a lot. I view it as either a "merging"...OR a "fork in the road"...I see both as prompting me to be awake, aware and fully alive in each moment...making conscious decisions of how I will Garden Girl says... the "currency" of my time...the currency of my life! What a gift this mandala work is.
And we embark on our continuing journey and come to crossroads, it's inevitable that we will be prompted to to either "merge with" the greater ideas and attiudes that bring us in closer alignment with our higher and best selves...OR -- take the "fork in the road" and leave behind what no longer represents who and what we are, where we're going and who we're becoming. They're two sides of the same coin, with a subtle yet powerful difference; sometimes it's more liberating to focus on moving toward where we're going...and sometimes liberation comes from acknowledging and giving ourselves credit for "letting go" of what no longer serves us. Each are pivotal, defining moments...a celebration of self, really....And that's when Marianne Williamson's words shine as a guiding light in and through me. It's a wonder-filled light...and may that same light shine on you ever so brightly.

August 14, 2007

Baby Cheryl

Hi there...
My name is Cheryl and I'm excited that I get to talk about this week's Inspire Me Thursday topic, DNA. Thanks to the Creator, and my parents...Edith & Bill...this is how my Baby Cheryl DNA showed up about 50 years ago!* Happy, healthy & already creating!
As I sit in this comfy chair...(which my mom made the slipcovers for...'Go mom!')...I am thankful and happy that I had the parents I did! Mom and dad were always doing something creative, something to make our life and surroundings more colorful, unique, pretty and a garden with lots and lots of different kinds of flowers. Yep something creative was always in the works...and some of it you even could eat! my mom's oh-so-good homemade rolls, and her chicken & dumplings...or my dad's barbque...and his tasty chili (he liked chili-mac). I wrote a story about my memories of their creative pursuits...and how their loving, creative souls made my life a happy one. I invite you to read it
here. It paints a picture story of my DNA lineage... my parents; and I wouldn't be surprised if you resonate with my story...since the creative DNA is present in all of us. Oh...and thank you Royce for the idea of DNA= Dreams Nurture's so true!

One last note: Our family is a creative bunch, not just my parents, my brothers, sisters and I...but my grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles too. Even though I didn't know my great grandparents, my mom told me wonderful stories about her 'granny'...and the clothes she made using unusual materials. There was no box to think outside of back then...just unbridled imagination! Now, more than ever I realize how this creativity DNA has enhanced my life profoundly.

*To answer Garden Girl's question, I believe I'm between 12-18 months old in this picture.

August 13, 2007

The Texture of Life - Collage Therapy

"In the evening mist my spirit rises to greet me, and my soul wanders home."
~ ~ ~ ~ That beautiful quote rests near the picture of the woman sleeping. Isn't it lovely?
A little collage therapy...(You can click for close-up...the blurbs might make you smile : ) This was one of my morning collages from last summer. I created this Collage-a-Day project during
creativity coaches a way to be creative on a regular basis...because like so many people...I thought my life was too busy for me to actually "make something" regularly...and that made for a cranky and blue Cheryl! Creating something every day, no matter how large or small...or working on something, even if you don't complete so therapeutic...soothing to my soul. So whether it's collage, or mandalas, or jewelry or SoulCollage®, or blog posts, or crocheting or knitting...Twyla Tharp would be proud...I've cultivated The Creative Habit that she talks about!
This collage is about appreciating the texture of life...and you know me, I'm a
tactile girl! Life in 3D, and on the shores of 4D...taking in the rich depth, textures, gratitude and outright glee...and, knowing how to alchemize the shadowy moments...that's a part of the rich texture too. -- Don't you just love the look on the little girl's face!...and the woman in deep slumber...ahh... I can feel her releasing her day in appreciation for every bit of it...she just looks like she's a peace with life, and herself. By the way...if anyone can translate the words in the heart for me...I'd really appreciate it (I think it's advertising an apartment for rent.) And that perky little dog...and the swanky illustration of the women holding the sign of appreciation was the icing on the cake.
Yes, the texture of my life is deeply embossed with overflowing love & goodness, and mystery & spontanaeity and joy &'s...ever-expanding good...and I'm glad I get to share it with you!

August 8, 2007

Salad Mandala!

Look what I found...
....a mandala in my salad!
...They can show up in the most
unexpected places, can't they?
What a delight!
Ahh...this is yet another sighting of
the "Art in Every Day"!
So..."what juicy, unexpected art...or words...or scenes have you experienced, observed, or overheard today?"
And...if you haven't YET... this blessing is for you:
"May you be smitten by fields of unexpected, juicy & artful delights today...a bountiful feast for your senses!" ...And once smitten, please come back & share!

August 6, 2007

"A River Runs Through It"

Patterns continue to emerge and unfold in my mandalas...both visually and in meaning. Swirly, squiggly lines, velvety colors fit together like puzzle pieces...all flowing toward The Center and rippling out again. "Center" is a theme that keeps showing up. It's meaning and presence in my life continues to expand and deepen. Even in the mandala post below...even in that canyon of tears...the Energy of the Center is alive there too...bathing me with compassion and Love. The salty tears cleanse my emotions...and heart, helping me release what needs to be let go. Unity is an ongoing chorus that sings throughout these mysterious circles.
This mandala strongly whispers to me that... "A river runs through it"...through me. And of course, a river runs...through you too! We are all inlets continually flowing from where we are on our the great river of our being...and those ripples affect the current of the Great River of our Universe. We are being bathed in the unity, the love, the peace, the beauty...the wholeness that is ever-present. An more of it keeps rolling that huge boulder in the movie, Indiana Jones ...remember that? That's the way this mandala rolls to me...but with a gentle, suspended rotation much like the "Rich, Textured Journey" mandala..; but, the presence of this one is as if it was a planet... or moon hung in our Universe...vibrating "unity"...which gently runs through it...and us.

August 5, 2007

One of Those Days

Did ya ever have one of those days?...
One of the main things I love about creative-expression is the sharing of it...and the wonders it brings into our life and our very being. I am so appreciative that I get to share in your artwork, your process, your ideas...and your lives. My heart literally smiles and expands at the thought of this!
Tonight I viewed Garden Girl's Fear of Flying post, and it has touched my heart on many levels. Life is challenging and ever-changing...even if we sometimes don't realize it. Then something happens that jars our awareness of this. - The sentiments of her "Grief Mandala" and poem, are those I am all too familiar with.
She also mentions that my blog and mandalas have inspired her to deal with grieving in a new way. Thank you Garden Girl...for this I am touched, and grateful. I feel this is why we're all help and inspire each other. I know I'm certainly inspired by everyone who comes here and IMT. So Garden Girl, you have inspired me to share this mandala.
In keeping with the spirit of creative and art therapy, I made this mandala last weekend to "let out" how I was feeling. I was having "one of those days" ..which lasted the entire weekend. The good news is I heeded what my heart and soul needed...I rested...slept...created this mandala...and then about 4 more which were brighter, like the rainbow after the rain....and slept some more. you Garden Girl, I felt better too. It's interestng, seeing this mandala makes me appreciate the brighter days even more...and it reminds me that they are there...sometimes in the moment and sometimes on the horizon...but they are there indeed.

I Live in Color!

"Dear Diary" is this week's challenge at Inspire Me Thursday. This is the cover of one of my favorite creative journals! -- I created it in October 2005 after I returned home from Jill B's Muse Group Leader Training in KC. -- Actually, I bought this sketch book during one of our assigned artist-date-type excursions while there.

I had fun creating it... and being the "tactile" person that I am ...I was near-giddy when I found the sunburst at Michael's ! It added just the dimension and texture I wanted! Anyway, the cover to reminds me of how important it is to fully, authentically, and audaciously... be me! - To accept, and yes...celebrate all my quirks, my talents and skills and my splendid imperfections! -- I feel that's one of the most important things for ALL of us, is to fully express our selves...and..."to thine own self be true". I think the rest follows suit more harmoniously after that.

In addition to the cover, here e are two pages from that express that idea:

Alfri Woodard is one of my favorite people...and actresses. Something in me lights up when I see her...she's just got a good vibe! She walks in strength and radiates from her like moonlight...and goes before it's gently trumpeting the dawning of her arrival! She excudes, peace...and grace... and dignity...and spirited-fun as well! -- I loved her playful, humorous, loving-mother character in the movie Heart & Souls. The way I see it, Alfri Woodard is very much at home in her own skin...and it shows! And to me...that's one major ingredient of a joyful life!
The blurb in the middle of this "Live in Color" collage is from my muse project I did with Jill B. In it, I talk about how important it is that we "live in color"...letting our true colors shine through ....
I also write about the movie Pleasantville and what happened in the town to the people once they began to "see in color" ...Once they glimpsed colorful living, their experience of living grew like fields of wildflowers...and there was no turning back! (You can click on the image to read the blurb...if you'd like.)--
To me, living in color is continuing to discover, see and celebrate the colorful beauty...both tangible and intangible... that surrounds us. That's why I created this honor, celebrate and share that with all of you...and to share in yours as well! - - So...I raise steaming cup of Constant Comment Tea (my sweet mom's favorite) you and say, "Cheers! -- Here's to living in color!"

August 4, 2007

Rich, Textured Journey

This mandala is one of my favorites. I think it's because the colors make me smile. They're an unusual and unexpected combination which is pleasing to me.
I find that I'm drawn to making that sickle shape...that half-moon...or parts thereof. it feels good to have my hand make the smooth expansive strokes with the markers. I continue to marvel at the the different shapes and squiggles and the unusual colors that were inspired.
This mandala represents the richly textured fabric of my life...and my life's journey: It's colorful, unique, harmonious, beautiful, unexpected, intriguing, cheerful yet soothing...and always vibing with and abiding in...The Center.
Mandala #56

August 3, 2007

Spiritual In-sight

I started this mandala one evening while listening to a CD(set) by Dr. Michael Beckwith*. I've been a enthusiast of his since the early 90s, and he is a major Catalyst for me in regard to my inward journey of spiritual growth and transformation. On this particular CD, in addition to a soul-awakening message, he takes us through a powerful guided meditation in which it I saw a starburst of silvery-white shimmering light well-up rapidly from the Core of my being and rush through me. It then flashed behind my eyes and lingered a if to say "Yes...I'm Real". An awesome experience. It was exhilarating, assuring and a whole lot more that I cannot find the words to describe right now.
Anyway, you might already know that "eyes" have been showing up in my mandalas since I started creating them in May of this year. - (Making them was part of the Integrative Breathwork Weekend that I participated in at FullCircle Retreat in Wisconsin.) - Since I create them spontaneously, the well as everything else...really does decide if, when and where it will show up; I just let it come through and create it accordingly. As I was just about finished with this mandala, while still listening to Dr. Beckwith, I had a flash of In-sight and realized that it indeed represented the "flashing starburst of light" I saw during the guided Spiritual In-sight. What a gift this is...what a gift life is!
*Dr. Beckwith, one of the teachers in the movie, and book "The Secret".
Mandala #71

August 2, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger Award

Today I was awarded the "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award from my friend Pattie! Thank you Pattie! I am honored and excited...and I'm feeling immense gratitude that I'm a part of such a wonder-filled, amazing, inspiring and kindred circle of creative, warm, compassionate women. My creative world has opened up tremendously in the last two years; and meeting Pattie, as well as Royce was a big part of that opening...and richly rewarding one in ways too numerous to count. We met through Jill Badonsky and her playful-yet-powerful, quirky...wise and inspiring work through her book, The Nine Modern Day Muses &...a Bodyguard.
I've often said..."You turn right instead of left and your whole life changes!" -- It's the seemingly-simple and small choices and steps that can make a huge difference, and reverberate in our lives forever. This is the basis of the "Kaizen Way" as discussed in Dr. Robert Mauer's book, One Small Step Can Change Your Life ...and a large part of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching.
Just September of 2005, if I hadn't taken a few minutes to go online during my lunch hour, and "happen upon" The Creativity Portal, which lead me to Jill, who knows if or when I would've ever set my creativity free, released the blocks and learned about myself and my (the) creative process and the sensitivities that are inherent in us right-brainers! Meeting Jill and taking her Muse Group Leader Training as well as her Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Training, and bonding with other sister-muses & coaches...changed all of that! My creativity has sprung forth in ways I'd never imagined...and the creative bliss, and energy I get from that is like none other...and yet, it's is still unfolding!
Actually, I've put the cart before the horse! A few months before I met Jill Badonsky, I read Anne Marie Bennett's article: Fall in Love with Yourself With SoulCollage® ...again, at that Universe of Creativity and Inspiration, The Creativity Portal! (By the way, Anne Maire is the creator of the awesome KaleidoSoul.) I was so inspired by Ann Maire's article that I made my first card using her e-workshop. I loved the process so much that 18 months later, I flew to California and took the SoulCollage® Facilitator's Training at a mountaintop retreat with Seena Frost, (& co.) the creator of the SoulCollage® .
...But wait! there's more!... Anne Marie and I have become the best of friends, and I have made other deep, heartful connections and friendships with many kindred spirits and sister-faciliators across the US, Candada & Australia! -- So here's a big hug and "thank you" to Chris Dunmire recognizing that our art-thirsty souls needed The Creativity Portal. And...Chris is also the creator of Creative Slush her endlessly creative and amusing blog...go on...take a sip, and please tell her I invited you!
So, Chris, Anne Marie and Jill, I am so thankful to you all for being rousing creativity-catalysts...and I'm glad Anne Marie, Pattie, Royce, Jill and I are "...still together after all these years" as the saying goes... or is it "...still CRAZY after all these years"? LOL!! ...I think it's all of the above!! -- And I thank all of you who visit here, leave wonderful, inspiring comments and share your ideas and encouragement. I'm so glad you're here...and I always look forward to visiting your blogs! You're all an enriching presence in my life.
And now...I pass the torch of "Rockin' Blogger Girl" seven other muses: Jill, Leah, Megan, Pilar, Lea, Chris and Anne Marie! -- Rock on girls! ..and pass it on, if you will.