Sunday…….

I am excited to introduce you to a new friend of mine, Amelia Woodbridge, she is a Jill of all trades! She graciously offered some of her thoughts on self-care for our suMmer:

The SumMEr of ME is for Everyone

honor. empower. motivate. inspire. It’s the mantra of Renee Burke’s blog. Renee decided to create the sumMEr of ME and concentrate on ways to practice self care and she invited fellow artists and friends to join her and share the many things women do each day to honor, empower, motivate and inspire themselves.

I think any woman can relate to Renee’s desire for self care … we women often put ourselves last and let other obligations take precedence. I admit that I overlooked myself physically and emotionally for a good 10 years until my inner voice began to yell loud enough that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I’m glad I listened.

I appreciate Renee asking me to join in her journey. One of my treasured self care habits is Sunday mornings. I try to take care of any household chores and errands on Saturday so that Sunday morning is mine. Leisurely and quiet. I enjoy my time in the early morning light in my favorite chair, reading the paper, sipping hot coffee, watching CBS Sunday Morning and the Food Network. I like finding a new recipe and often use this time to collect some new things to cook during the week. I read my favorite blogs or catch up on any magazines that might have come in the mail that week. I am especially happy if I get a “creative” magazine from Stampington, or a scrapbook magazine that inspires an idea. If I do, I’ll spend time on creative practice and cut and paste into my journals.

Somewhere in between I prepare a nice breakfast for the family. Eggs. Fruit. Yogurt.

I don’t apologize for still being in my pajamas at 11 am. I love the slow welcome to the day and relish it being whatever I want it to be. I appreciate the time to feel content, comfortable, satisfied.

I’ve taken a few e-courses this past year and doing this guest post for Renee’s blog helped me realize that the e-courses and their associated Facebook groups has also been a lovely luxury. Getting to know so many strong, creative, joyful women has been amazing. Enjoying their ideas, admiring their talent, engaging in conversation, and valuing how everyone supports each other and builds connections. It’s invigorating.

So nowadays a Sunday morning rarely passes that I don’t drop in to Facebook and see what everyone is up to. I hope you’ll find your way for regular self care.

Amelia Woodbridge
Freshly Hatched Studio

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Lists……..

Bonds are formed and lives are changed. Kindreds complete your world and I have met one such loving spirit in Jamie Burch. The more I learn about her, the more precious she becomes. Take a moment and see what she will be up to this sumMEr.

The sun is shining, birds are singing, and the world around me is bursting with color. So, why do I feel so blah? It’s a beautiful, magical time of year and I’m in a funk?
Well, that has to change.
I’m finally learning. This happens to me whenever I’m not practicing self-care or my life is consumed by to-do lists. And lately I’ve been trying to balance too much. This is the time of year to be outside, care-free, and on top of the world.
Instead I feel like the world is crushing me. Yikes!
First thing I need to do is throw that list in the recycling bin and stop focusing on trying to do everything. Certain things can wait, but life won’t.
Next, write a new list—a summer fun list. It’s time to let go, stop being so focused on working 24/7, and go out and play. Y-E-S! It’s time for ME to have some fun!
Fun is good, but I also need to do things that nurture my mind, body, and spirit. This is where I’ll want to pull out my daily rituals and healthy habits, like meditating, walking, being mindful of the moment I’m in, and taking time for the little things. And of course there will be reading and creativity dates with myself. I’d also like to take a couple e-courses that are in tune with the path I’m on right now. Finally making time to play with my new camera would be nice, too.
My soul needs a bit of reviving after the long winter and the short spring we had. It was snowy, rainy, and gray for too long. And my mind is tired from bouncing between revising my novel and starting up my jewelry business.
I need a break. I’m so ready for an adventure. (Can you tell I’m ready for a vacation?)
Well, the sunshine and warm weather are here now to help me beat the blahs and escape the mundane for a while. I just need to let the sunshine do its work and get back to living again.
So, now begins The SumMEr of ME. Time to go write that list!


Resignation……..

Today’s sumMEr treat features Nicla Williams. Below is a sampling  of her humor and the fun that she shares with all as she hopes to find the magic, grinning the entire time, I would imagine!. 

‘I’m hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided that I don’t want to feel the weight of responsibilities and feel like a zombie going through life without really noticing what’s all around me. I want back my rose-tinted spectacles, endless sense of wonder and curiosity.
I want to jump in naked in a bottomless sea, roll down a grassy hill and see what happens, be given piggybacks and squeal with laughter, gaze at the stars and discover new ones every time, swim underwater through canyons of coral and be amazed at the wonderful patterns of light reflected in the sea, dance myself silly for hours till I’ll flop on the floor exhausted, walk barefoot for a whole week and laugh again till my jaws hurt and my belly is really sore!
I want to find magic again in simple things, I really want to live the simple life again and feel good all day just because I saw the most amazing dawn or sunset or just because a baby smiled at me in the street. I don’t want my life to be a repeat of today and yesterday and the day before and carry on being overwhelmed by depressing people, news, stifling routines, talks of redundancy, the pain of losing loved ones, the separation from friends.
I really want to believe in the power of love and hugs, in kindness, justice, compassion, forgiveness, wild flights of fancy, letting your imagination fly high like a kite and never taking no for an answer.
So………….here goes, I’m resigning from adulthood and if you should try and stop me, you won’t catch me as I’ll be long gone and riding my shiny new Harley on Route 66 with no helmet, wind in my hair, the sun beating down on my back and a big grin on my face!’
https://www.facebook.com/nicla.williams?sk=wall ‘

nicla.williams@facebook.com

Nothing……

There are not enough words in the Universe to explain how much Leah has impacted my life. She is loving, kind and gently reminds me that I am enough; I have all that I need to be all that I am. She truly has been called to be a Life Coach but she is so much more~she is my Soul Sister. I invite you to visit her sites to get to know her and watch the wonderful videos she created for us this sumMEr.

Mandala……..

 I am over the moon excited to share my friend, Rachél Payne, with you. She is loving, nurturing and wildly talented. She inspires you to believe that you can be the person you want to be. I was ecstatic when she agreed to participate in sumMEr. She has packed this blog post with so many goodies:

If I had to boil my big passion in life down to a few words Creative Self-Care would most likely fit the bill!  That’s why when I was invited to jump on the Summer of Me bandwagon with Renee Burke -of Happily Ever After, I danced a joyful little jig and hollered, “You bet!”

My name is Rachél Payne, and I am thrilled to be part the Summer of Me celebration.  I have several self-care tools in my back pocket and am excited to  share my very favorite one with you.

I live just under a mile from the water and find myself called to be close to it nearly daily. Recently, I decided to take you with me.  I took my video camera along and visited with you about the Self-Care Mandala, a tool I designed to help you set yourself up with a successful practice of self-care. This activity has served me for over 20 years and is something I have shared with friends, family, and clients. Now I am sharing it with you!

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Check out the video I made just for you: My Super Secret Self-Care Destination

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 What is a mandala?  It is a work of art in the form of a circle.

I developed the Self-Care Mandala while working with clients at a domestic violence shelter. It came out of an exercise I did in college. I chose to design it as a mandala because it reminded me of the sun, and I felt like self-care was a direct and powerful way to bring a bit of sunshine into our lives. It fits perfectly with the Summer of Me celebration.

To print out the Self-Care Mandala, simply right click on its image and save to your computer. You can also click on the link to go to the pdf version….then….Just print it up! Use the rays of the sun to list your ideas for bringing self-care into your life. Work on it a little at a time or all at once. Choose options that range from little and inexpensive to beautifully indulgent. There are no rules. This is YOUR list.

Self Care Mandala

When you have it mostly filled out, hang it somewhere where you can refer to it easily. Let it be a plan that you have put in place to make self-care a priority, to make yourself a priority.

Staying in Touch

I will be keeping you up to date with my own personal Summer of Me via my blog and the Creativity Tribe Facebook page.  I will be sharing tips and opportunities to get you inspired. I would also love to have you lend your voice to the Creativity Tribe’s growing network of support by sharing YOUR Summer of Me experience. One way to do this is by simply heading over to the Facebook page and posting your Self-Care Mandala for the rest of the Creativity Tribe to see. I will be looking forward to seeing your plan for self-care!

 

Speaking of Self-Care 

I am also excited to announce Touch the Moon, an e-course and art-ivity gathering about connecting with your creative, intuitive spirit. Touch the Moon explores lunar rhythms, folklore, and mythology while encouraging you to slow down and go within. Delve into your own personal waxing and waning cycles through art, meditation, and personal symbolism.  Experience dynamic creative art-ivities including journaling, art dolls, touch drawing, and collage. It’s the perfect way to bring a bit of meaning and magic into your life.

Touch the Moon will kick off Wednesday, August 27 (a few days before the Blue Moon) and go through Wednesday, October 31st (Halloween, a few days after October’s full moon).  The entire course is only $33.  More details will follow on my blog and Facebook page, including giveaways for spots in the circle.  Subscribe to keep in touch.

Let’s connect!

Read…….

I love a good book and what better time to read one (or ten) than sumMErtime?

Carol Bray of The Red Painted Cottage is very passionate lover of all things decor, art, word, life and love. She is always working on a project. She takes some time today to share her secret to sumMEr. So pull up a chair and visit with her in this blog post and be sure to look at her “favorites” and lovely art studio~Swoon!! xo

Rest……

I am soooo excited to share some tidbits with you today from Jill Lambert. I met Jill through an online class and we are now kindreds. Jill also has an auto-immune disease and understands that self care is critical. Her art mirrors her cheerful soul and she holds a special place in my heart. 

One of my beautiful friends Renee Burke of the blog Happily Ever After has declared this the “SumMEr of Me” and is encouraging us to follow along and make it a priority to practice self-care and love.

I’ve been getting better at this as the years go by.  It started when I realized having lupus, an auto-immune disease, has given me some limitations, especially physically.  Many people have a hard time understanding it because basically I look fine–illnesses that involve the immune system often don’t show obvious physical signs.  I used to worry what people thought when I took my daily naps or tried to find shade in the summer.  I now know what my body needs and wants and I NEED to care for it.  I’m really the only one who can care for myself if I really think about it.

My lupus is in much better control today and I do credit it to a few things…leaving a job that wasn’t right for me…creating art A LOT…resting which includes napping almost every day as well as going to bed early if I need to (and not feeling guilty about it anymore!)…finding joy in ordinary moments…taking walks and doing yoga…enjoying nature…sitting by a lake nearby and reading……

Enjoying our patio garden…is it just me or is the center of this rose heart-shaped?

Hidden path on the way to the cliff to get onto the beach at Lake Michigan…

Giving myself and others encouraging messages…

Visiting Lake Michigan with a best friend, her daughter and my daughter:  just talking, watching the girls play in the water and putting my bare feet in the sand…ahhhh….

making a “studio” in my sunroom to enjoy painting in while the weather is warm…

indulging in some books from Amazon…

living in the moment with Isabella, which includes me going down the slide and swinging along with her…she’s not going to be young forever…

I know I have a lot more to work on in terms of self-care…cooking at home on a regular basis is one that I need to commit too as well as sticking to yoga regularly.

I would love it if you stopped by Jill’s Blog.  Please make sure to visit with her and learn more about her heART!

Today……

I have an outline of my focuses for this  sumMEr  with the main point of all this being:  How to change my relationship with me so that I will be better equipped to help others and connect with my soul’s work and the Goddess that I am? I know it all starts with me – no one else can do this work. We all have magic to share and we must take care of ourselves and believe in ourselves in order to be able to share that magic.

I am becoming more aware of how I speak to and about myself, aiming to be gentle. I am putting in place rituals that feel right for me and organizing so I have a calm reprieve to physically land when I let my mind get out of hand. I will make better food choices and start taking better care of myself. I will listen to what I need most and stand firm, not apologizing, remembering that when I say ‘yes’ to something that does not serve me, I am saying ‘no’ to something that might. I will not give into guilt. I will remember that ALLOW is my word of the year and I will make sure to have quiet time at least weekly, where I can reflect and offer gratitude. I aim to lighten up and not take everything so seriously, acknowledging that I only get this one life. I will enjoy the things and people that I love most. Everyday I will honor myself and in doing so, create a safe place for others.

There are many books and ecourses  and retreats that I want to delve into. I started this sumMEr off with an online class hosted by Liz Lamoreux and an art workshop at the studio of Jenni Horne. I am now joining Liz in her Inner Excavate-Along and Catherine Just in her Soul*Full Summit .  My lovely friend, Jenn Borek, has invited me to participate in her ecourse which involves one of my favorite things in the world: sticky notes! 😉 Rounding off my sumMEr will be the Artist’s Way Bookclub that the fabulous Jessica Brogan.

I invite you to poke around and see if any of these things call to you.  You might want to take this sumMEr to go inside yourself and reflect. There is no wrong way to do this – the ‘being aware’ is the most important part; it’s all in the becoming. Go at your own pace. Notice how you talk to yourself . Reflect on what you really want from your one precious life. Lean in. Live your Poem. xo

 

Fears…….

Andy and I watched The Muppet movie last night – just for fun (workin’ in that sumMEr fun – yay!). It WAS fun! And it reminded me to let go a bit and to whistle even in the midst of life and all its fears….. xo

 

I am honored to share with you words from Linda Kinnaman of Linda Kay’s Art. We have been classmates in several online courses and have formed a bond, which is not hard with this loving, giving, gentle soul. While I have yet to meet her in person, you can feel the very kindness radiate from her words.

Linda started a weekly ‘Fighting Fear Friday” blog and in sharing fears of her own, she invites us to acknowledge and sit with our own fears. Linda wants to be a force of good in this most times fearful world. She wants you to know that you are not alone and sometimes, if you open yourself to a new reality, one that you never planned, something bigger and better might just be in store.

As part of the sumMEr of ME project, Linda offers her latest realization of self-care in her post today. She invites you to drop in and get to know her and who knows, you might find a bit of yourself in her words! xo

 

You……

What have you done today to honor ‘you’? You might not know what that would  even look like. What would you like to do?

It can be simple. Sit outside in the sun for 10 minutes. File your nails. Read a chapter of a mindless book (aka not self-help/textbook/required reading). Take a bubble bath. Just be in your skin.

Take a few moments to reflect back on your day –  I would love to hear what you did to honor yourself. If you can not think of anything that you did to honor yourself, take a second and be more aware. You still have time. I invite you to think of what you can do tomorrow, too. You deserve to be honored. It all starts with you. xo

 

**Rachel Payne was kind enough to share some of her thoughts on the sumMEr of ME project. I would be thrilled if you dropped in and got to know her!