Intentions

This is what I’ve been doing almost every weekend lately..   DRAWING!

This photo is from a couple of weeks ago – I was finishing up a still life from my drawing class.

While I had my stuff all spread out, working away for hours and being a tad shocked that my drawing actually looked like how I wanted it to look (!!), I started thinking about this artist journey that I’ve been on for the past few years.

Did you know that I wasn’t always an artist?

Nope, not even a little bit.    Other than hanging out with artist people, I never EVER thought that I would be making art or that it would now be such a huge part of who I am and how I spend my time.

But seriously, I was a MATH MAJOR when I first went to college out of high school.  Art + Me was NOT happening.

I did, however, have secret artist dreams for as long as I can remember.  That’s why I hung out with artists.  I admired them and looked up to them and deep in my mind pondered what life must be like for them.

I spent much mental space WISHING.  Wishing that I could be like them, and feeling pretty certain that I couldn’t.  I would often have thoughts that began with “If only….”

Do you ever have thoughts like that?  That begin with “If only…”

  • If only I could work for myself…
  • If only I could be more creative…
  • If only I could RUN and be healthy…
  • If only I could travel and see the world…
  • If only I spoke French…
  • If only I could leave my job…
  • If only I was more organized…
  • If only I could find my passion…
  • If only ______________.  (Fill in the blank..  you know your secret wishes.) 

Well, I want to tell you that you CAN!

You can do anything you want with your life.. ANYTHING.

I know that it may seem impossible.  It may feel like you don’t have the skills or the courage or the money or whatever it is you tell yourself about WHY you can’t make that “if only…” a REALITY. But, you CAN make any dream you have happen.

Here’s how I did it to become an artist:

  1. I finally admitted to myself that I really wanted it. 

    I stopped hiding my dream of making art.  It was a little painful, the longing that was there.  It was something that I REALLY wanted, but I didn’t think I could do it.  Letting my heart open up to the desire was scary.  What if I failed?  Or people thought I was ridiculous?  But I did it anyway.  I claimed that want and owned it.

  2. I started.  I began making stuff. 

    It started with sewing things and being crafty around the house.   I still didn’t feel like I was an artist, but it did feel good to set up a sewing space in my home and to make things that I was proud of.

    From there, I started a preschool art group with my kids.  I started to learn about art materials and experienced the way it feels to put paint on canvas.  Still…  I didn’t feel like an artist, but people around me started to think of me as creative – because I was doing creative stuff all the time with my kids.

    Over a year or so, the people in my social circles me saw me in a new way. This wasn’t my intention, but them thinking of me as creative helped to shift my thinking about myself as a creative person.    (this is HUGE, my friends!!!  When your community starts to KNOW you as who you long to be, you start to believe it to.  Often they see it looooong before we see it in ourselves).

    This part of my process happened just because I started DOING stuff that felt creative and fun to me.

  3. I put myself in a structure to make sure I kept at it.

    About 3 years ago, I decided to go back to school.  I started out in a graphic design program.  It felt safe – I knew a little about web coding stuff.  But, it was creative!

    Along the way, I took my first ever drawing class.  I learned how to draw something besides stick figures!   It was amazing!   I officially fell in love with art and switched my major (to art education). 

    Every week now, I spend hours in art classes and I just keep getting better and better.

  4. I keep going even when I suck or I’m not feeling it.

    I have created a lot of BAD art over the years.  But, I’ve also created some good stuff that I’m proud of.  And, with every horrible piece I’ve made, I’ve learned something that has made me better.

    They say practice makes perfect and I know I’m a long way from feeling “perfect” as an artist, but I do see myself getting stronger – both in my abilities and in my confidence.

  5. I take baby steps.

    Everything that I’ve learned started with a small baby step.  I remember buying my first sketch pad and then having no idea what to do with it!  But, I bought it – a baby step.

    Now, I fill up sketch pads all the time and have quite a collection of them.  I even know about the different papers and what type I prefer to draw on.  I’m becoming an expert, which happens slowly, over time.   But, it happens.

  6. I practice.. A LOT.

    I spend at least 10 hours every week working on art!  At least.  Often much more.

    It’s important to me, so I devote time to it.  My house often gets messy in order for me to do this, and other stuff falls to the back burner, but being an artist is a priority, so I make time for it.

  7. I spend time with people that encourage and push me.

    I have the best art teachers and mentors around me.  They know my goals and have seen my failures.  They know what I’m good at and what I need to work on.  I trust them.

    Because of our connection, these people help to push me forward, toward my goals.   I’ve accomplished things I never thought I would because they believed in me.

    This is another KEY part of making dreams happen – Don’t do it alone!!!! 

  8. I learn.  I take classes, I read, I try new things.

    This one is really a no brainer, but it’s important.  I try to not come at things like I already know.  I bring my curiosity along and allow others to critique and tell me how I can get better.  I read and research and explore.   Always.

  9. I share with people about my journey.

    Everyone around me knows that I want to teach art to teens.  I want to share the magic of creativity and make a difference.  It’s who I am and I live out loud about it.  It’s what people now expect of me and they come to me for guidance and encouragement in their own creative pursuits.

    I post images of the work I’m doing, even if it’s not that great.  Because I want to be KNOWN in my community as an artist, so I share about it all the time.  The more I do, the more that REALITY of Me As Artist comes true.

————–

One day while I was working on a painting,  I realized..  I AM an artist.  I’m no longer WISHING or wanting or trying to become.. I just AM.  And I claimed that title for myself.

It didn’t happen overnight, but by putting myself on the path and moving towards what I wanted.. here I am.. making art.  All.The.Time.

Sometimes the work I do is good, sometimes it’s awful.. but I have confidence now in who I am and the mark I want to leave on the world as An Artist.    I became who I wanted to be.

What’s cool about this story is that YOU can do it too.

Whatever your “If only…”   is, YOU can make it a reality.  You really can.  You just have to start, to begin and follow your own path toward becoming.

Start with my 9 steps:

  1. Admit to yourself what you really want.
  2. Start.  Just begin.  Do SOMETHING that is on the path of your dreams.
  3. Put yourself in a structure that keeps you working on your goal.  A coaching group, a class, a mastermind, an accountability partner, etc.  Come up with a way to make sure you stay in the game.
  4. Keep going.  Even when you fail (you will) or you doubt yourself (you will).  Just keep working on whatever your dream is.
  5. Take baby steps.  Start with one thing – something easy – and go from there.  I think we get overwhelmed by all there is to learn or do to make our dreams happen, so we don’t think we can do it.  But baby steps are a big deal, don’t discount them!  They lead to the good stuff happening.
  6. Practice.  A lot.  You aren’t going to get good at what you want to do if you don’t make it a regular, ongoing part of your life.   Make time for it.
  7. Spend time with people that encourage you and push you to grow and keep at it.
  8. Learn.  Don’t be afraid to look stupid and be a novice.  EVERYONE who made something big happen had to start somewhere.  Get committed to learning and exploring and discovering.
  9. Share about your journey and how it’s going.  This is a great way to see how far you’ve come, what you’ve accomplished and how you’ve changed.  And talk to people about your goals and your dreams.  Let the world know what you are up to and what you want to make happen with your life.  They will do much more than you realize to help pull you into the reality of living your dreams.

I know I make it sound simple and, really, it is.  Move toward your dreams.  Allow your wanting and then start to take action.  By doing so, YOU can live ANY life you can imagine!

Xo, Lisa

 

 

 

Here in the US, we celebrated Thanksgiving last week and that pretty much blasts us off into full on holiday mode.

The holidays can bring out the crazy in all of us really quick: from just being so busy we could scream, to seeing family that brings up disappointment and frustration, to just trying to fight the pull into the commercial buy-buy-buy mentality.

I think this time of year just naturally stirs the pot and shakes up the status quo. Alot is expected from us. And alot of that expectation is pressure we put on ourselves to create the “perfect holiday” for our kiddos.

But, this time of year can also be very magical ~ getting us in touch with how much we love our families and feeling the goodness happening all around.

I find that when I take the time – it doesn’t have to be a LONG period of time, just a few minutes does the trick – when I take time to set an intention for the holidays, it makes a BIG difference in what I experience, what happens and how everyone around me feels about the holiday season.

Last year, I didn’t do this. I was kinda depressed about Christmas. It was the first year of not being with my kids and I turned into a big bah humbug! I wasn’t even going to get a tree – I was so anti-Christmas. My sister helped me though, she gave me a figurative slap on the face, basically saying I needed to wake up and get in the spirit. And I did, sort of. But I know my efforts were half-assed.

I’m not sharing that with you to make myself feel guilty about how things went down, but to illustrate the difference that setting an intention can make. I know, without a doubt, that if I HAD created an intention for the holidays last year, they would have been very different.

I always take the time to do this, I have for many many years and even when things are “good” in life, it just makes celebrating so much better. That’s how I know that when things are not so good, creating an intention can make a big impact and shift how things go.

So, how do you create an intention for your holidays?

It’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Take a moment to be still.  Take a breath and get present to your life.
  2. Think about your family and those that you love and how much they matter to you.
  3. Imagine what the most magical, special, memorable holiday season would be like for you this year.
  4. What will your kids, you and those around you remember about this year?
  5. Then, jot down a few words that capture the essence of what you just imagined.
    For me, I wrote:  magic, awe and love.
  6. Next is to pull that together into a sentence that is easy to remember and captures what it is you want to experience over the holidays.
    This is mine:  This year I am going to bring magic into everything I do such that we get to live in awe and feel deeply loved.  
  7. Write out your intention and put it up where you will see it often.  Say it out loud to yourself, share it with your mate and other family members.  Talking about your intention is the best way to keep it alive and have it impact how things go.

I promise you that if you do this it will make such a huge difference in how you experience the holiday season.  You will create awesome memories, feel less stress and just enjoy things more.    Try it and let me know how it works for you!

Peace and love,

Spreading Joy. I think that’s important, don’t you?

my kiddos playing football on thanksgiving - JOY!

Really, can there ever be too much joy in the world?

Well, here is a really easy, super simple way to spread some joy around. And, I think because this is such a busy, crazy, often stressful time of the year, all the people that you do this with will be even more impacted.

It’s super simple.

You ready?

All there is to do just listen.

Don’t you love it when you get a chance to talk about your life, your dreams, your experiences? When someone is genuinely interested in YOU.. doesn’t that make you feel great?  Important?  Loved?  Cared about?  When someone really pays attention to you, doesn’t it help you get present to your own life, to your journey and to where you want to go?

Here’s what you do:

When you’re with someone.. a friend, a co-worker, another parent. You stop and get present to them. Without saying a word, shift your attention to them. Who is this person?  Open your heart up to them and give them permission to totally be themselves.

Doing just that will be amazing.  Trust me, try it.

But then, you can ask a question if you want. “How was Thanksgiving?” “What do you wish for this Christmas?” “What was your favorite thing as a kid?” “What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year?”

And then listen. Listen for their dreams, for what they love. Listen for who they really are (not all the stressed out, going through the motions junk).

Listen for their spark.

Give them some space to just share. To talk about themselves and to feel like what they have to say matters. Make them feel important by paying attention.

Easy enough, yes?

I’d love to hear what happens when you try this.  Drop me note, or leave a comment.  Lets you and me, together, spread some joy in the world!

photo credit

All this past month I have been focusing on creating intentions.  I started with looking out over this next year, but you can create an intention for your life or any aspect of your life in any given moment. It’s a tool ~ a very powerful tool ~ to help you experience life the way you want it to be. But, like any good tool, you have to use it, you have to dwell in it, you have to apply it.

And, that my friends is always the tricky part! But don’t despair! You CAN do it, I know this about you. And I also know that it won’t always be easy. But, hopefully, it WILL be worth it!

Working on your stuff is not always fun, but if you want to live present, alive, with power and truly fulfilled, it does take work. Just like if you want a sexy hot body, it’s not going to happen just by laying around and thinking about it! You have to get off your butt and exercise!

Which is why I offer the services I offer. :) So you can have whatever level of support you need to get off your butt and make some awesomeness happen in your life!

Need some serious one on one, hold your hand, push you hard and love you big support? Then check out my individual coaching sessions.

Do better in a group, connecting with other like minded mamas? Then the Visionary Mom Teams are going to rock your world.

Want the one on one, but can’t commit to specific times, or the idea of talking one on one is a little scary? Then try one of the online classes.

And… coming soon ~ really, really soon, like in the next few weeks, I am going to be rolling out the first of many online workshops that you can take at your own pace, your own speed, on your own terms. I am SO EXCITED about this first workshop – all about planning out your dreams. And, I have lots of other great workshops that will get created over this next year.  Yay for YOU!  :)

Back to Creating Intentions

Here is a list of what we were chatting about over the month in case you are just now joining us or if you missed something. Please, revisit this series often, whenever you need a little fresh mojo to make your heart sing.

Intentions for 2011

Sharing Your Intention

Love As An Intention

This Whole Thing is An Act of Creativity

Bring On The Passion

How To Create A Vision Board

The Intention Wall

You Are Enough

7 Ways To Make Your Dreams Come True

Creating Intentions For Your Kiddos

So What If You Messed Up?!

Creating A Life In Balance

Do Whatever Inspires The Heck Out of You

68 Juicy Possibilities To Live Your Life From

And, let me know how it’s going. What great things are happening? What delicious goodness have you experienced? Or where are you just plain stopped and frustrated about the whole thing? I am always here and happy to answer your questions or provide whatever lift you need.

Rock on my bold, passionate sisters! I am looking forward to good things in February with all of you!

Peace, Lisa

photo credit

You can create any intention for your life.. ANY!

Here are some that you might want to steal and use to empower yourself to live the most awesome life you possibly can.. say each one out loud, starting with, “My Intention Is To….”   See which ones resonate and speak to the life you want to live.

“My Intention is to……”

Experience My Power

Radiate Joy

Tap Into Passion

Express My Deliciousness

Create Like A Mad Woman

Love With All My Heart

Speak The Truth

Love My Body

Listen for Magic

Dance and Sing

Be Poetic

Celebrate Womanhood

Rejoice in Motherhood

Be Loud and Proud

Live Wildly Courageous

Empower Everyone Around Me

Know Myself

Celebrate Life

Radiate My Essence

Take Radical Action

Try New Things

Be Ferocious

Ignite Passion

Live Deliberately

Embody Love

Share Intimately

Celebrate My Genius

Rock the Boat

Dazzle and Inspire

Seek Beauty

Forgive and Forget

Trust

Surrender to Joy

Be Gorgeous

Cultivate Community

Cherish My Loves

Expand My Boundaries

Be a Magnet for Awesomeness

Experience the Exquisite

Beat My Own Drum

Feel Blessed

Revel in the Day to Day Living

Express My Hotness

Salute the Unexpected

Take Chances

Love the Unknown

Be Surprised

Live with Grace

Practice Kindness

Honor Spirit

Act Silly

Rejoice in My Own Spark

Connect

Cultivate Fabulous Ideas

Let Love In

Live Simply

Unleash My Creativity

Be Bold

Welcome Miracles

Embrace Abundance

Be Soulful

Live Fulfilled

Experience Wonder

Welcome Stillness

Glow

Shine

Open My Eyes

Celebrate the Small Things

I could go on and on and on… there is SO much possible out there in the world.  So many things to experience and and so many wonderful ways to be.

So, what is your intention?

photo credit

I think all this talk about intentions and manifesting and expressing yourself and doing what feels true can start to get quite a bit heavy.

Serious.

And that is not what all this is about.

I am here to inspire, to move you, to call you to push all the crazy self doubt aside and make some movement forward, toward your dreams, toward whatever is it that truly makes you smile.

So, if you created some big, awesome, totally inspiring intention that you totally loved.

And, now you don’t.  Now it is just something that you use to beat yourself up with or compare how amazing you could be, “if only…”

Well, if that’s the case, then bag it.

You’re not stuck with anything here.

This is all created… something for you to use to empower the heck out of you.  And if trying to fulfill on some intention is not doing that for you, then don’t do it!!

I say this because this whole month I have been writing about intentions, but creating intentions is not the point.

Loving your life is.

Embracing it, cherishing it, rockin’ it, having a blast just living.

That’s the point.

Creating intentions is a way to access that.  It is not a thing to do that will once and for all make you happy and fulfilled.

Because they for sure are not going to that.

Living your life full out with all your heart and soul and passion fully out there for all the world to see.  THAT is what will  have you totally loving your life.

Stopping doing all the crazy stuff you are doing to get better and fix whatever it is you think is wrong with you.

THAT will have you freaking fall in love with yourself.  Because there is NOTHING wrong with you!

Taking a moment to quit writing this and just be with my daughter as she takes inventory of all the parts of my face, quietly soothing herself to sleep.

Those moments.

That is what this is all about.

Living and loving your life.  Right here in this moment.

Do whatever inspires the heck out of YOU.  DO whatever has you savor THIS moment.

Celebrate all that is deliciously YOU.

Love all that is your life.

Get there however you get there – makes no difference to me.  But you doing it – really, truly loving your life.

That is what matters.

Day 13 of Creating Intentions

This week, I heard from Gina Osher aka The Twin Coach.  She shared with me her experience creating a visionary board and I thought is was SO GOOD.  So, I thought I would pass along her words so you can benefit from her inspiring discovery.

Here is a guest post from Gina…. enjoy!

My Vision Board: Creating a Life in Balance

Years ago, as I was learning various healing modalities before I opened my private practice, I had a class in which we were given an assignment to create a Vision Board. The idea behind this request was to encourage us to connect to all of the emotions, feelings and hidden desires lurking in our brains and bring them out, front and center. I quickly saw what a fantastic tool this simple idea was for getting clear about where you’re stuck, what you wish for and how you plan to get there.

Every year, like most people, I make a list of New Year’s resolutions. Not surprisingly, I never get very far with them, in part because my brain was the only part of my being that connected to these ideas. This year, inspired by Visionary Mom, I decided to change two things. First, I am making intentions, not resolutions. This simple change of terms completely altered the way I look at what I want to accomplish. Now, instead of feeling stress and guilt, I feel possibility and excitement. Second, I heeded her call to create a Vision Board in order to crystallize these intentions.

The really interesting thing about making this board is that I learned something about myself through each step of the process. As I spread out my choice of magazines from which I intended to pull photos and quotes, I smiled as I noticed the variety of topics that inspire me: parenting, writing, Eastern philosophy, homemaking.  As I cut through these magazines, laying out words and pictures, adding family photos here and there, I notice myself struggling to keep from over thinking things. I walk away, give the board a break, come back to it and rearrange the placement of things, still overthinking.

Then I recall another class I took in which the important aspects of a person’s life were compared to the four legs of a table – when any one aspect is less focused on than another, the table becomes unbalanced. Suddenly I realized that even though I had been thinking so much, I had not even noticed that I had set up 3 categories on my board: my children, my writing, my self. But what about that 4th table leg? Don’t tell my husband, but I had completely left out anything having to do with my marriage!

This is one of the great beauties of creating these boards. Had I not made a physical representation of my intentions and my goals, I might have missed the fact that my marriage had taken such an extreme back seat to everything else in my life. My table was sadly unbalanced and I hadn’t even particularly noticed it before.

My husband had a heart attack last month and I have been so focused on him and his health that it shocked me to have such concrete proof that although I adore my husband, I haven’t made any plans or intentions for how I want our marriage to grow. This part of my life has to be just as important and just as thought through as how I want to raise our children or how I intend to write my book or how I plan to live a happier life this year.

I went back through the magazines, looking at them with a fresh eye and filled in that part of the page where my marriage lives. Love. Desire. 100% Healthy. Grow old along with me. All of this was somewhere in the recesses of my brain, but now here it was for the world to see and it became all the more real. In a way, making a vision board is like telling someone a secret wish you have. Once you have whispered that secret, you are much more likely to follow through. I sit now, with this board, excited about the life I can create.

Gina Osher is a former Holistic Healer turned SAHM to boy/girl twins, a twin parenting coach and the author of the popular blog, The Twin Coach. There she writes on topics ranging from how Halloween candy helped her discover the meaning of life, to how to handle bed rest and premature babies. Gina describes herself and her blog as “one part friend who’s been through it all, one part mom of twins trying to figure it out, one part mentor willing to share”. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Day 12 of Creating Intentions