Last night went exactly as planned. I got home, got dinner made, did a few chores, and by 6pm, was sitting down to write. I wrote until bedtime. It was so nice! Tonight is more of the same, with a few more chores added in. But writing... writing... writing.
My novel is taking turns that I never had anticipated. I write with a set plan, and then she veers off, and she is way more interesting this way. My plan is to totally go with it. If it doesn't work, it will get edited out later.
A question for you writers out there... is that normal? For them to take on a life of their own?
As far as my etsy shop goes, I got more leathers this past weekend and will photo them soon. My fave new color that I got is seafoam green. I also got a bright pink, green, a gorgeous burgundy/red, black, and distressed brown. I can hardly wait to use them all!!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
A little more than 6 months ago, I received a call from my brother that said "I'm sorry, but he didn't make it." I traveled to Price, Utah to help my family plan and make it through his funeral. I rode in a car in a funeral procession that was over a mile long, led by his two remaining biker buddies. A little more than 6 months ago, we laid a great man to rest.
Since that time, I have begun selling leather journals, I've become the art journal making sponsor for Connie's Art Journal Love Letter's Class. I have left a very wrong marriage behind. I have begun writing my novel again (that I had stored away for over 10 years). I have taught one Artist Empowerment Class, and am moving towards another. I have moved so much closer to living my authentic life. 6 months ago, I was so far away from authenticity that I couldn't even tell where it resided. Today, it lives with me, and we are having a great relationship.
It's amazing what can happen in six months time. My life bears no resemblance to the life of 6-8 months ago. And I'm so thankful. I know that as I move forward (sometimes like the speed of light) that Dad is proud of me. And I know that if my life could change so drastically in one six month period, then the world better watch out for my next six months!
Friday, August 27, 2010
I've been spending a lot of time promoting my Artist Empowerment Class lately. It begins September 13, and I know that it will be amazing. The first time I had the class, it was a life-changing experience. There were 10 of us (it's really great for this class to be a smallish group, so that everyone can interact and encourage one another). We met once a week for a chat. The chats became the highlight, I believe. I couldn't believe the outpouring of love and support. You can read what the students said over here. My heart swells when I read their testimonials.
When I asked for testimonials, I also asked for critiques. I made notes of every change they thought I should make. It was an amazing class, but I wanted to improve on it for future classes. I can promise, that while the first one was life-altering for the students, this one will be even better!
I would like to write a post or two next week from your questions. Please ask me anything, about my class, my life, my beliefs, my motivation... whatever you would like to know. Post them in the comments and next week they will lead my blog posts.
Also, I would like to thank you for being here... thank you for being in my space and hearing me. I'd love to hear from you!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Yesterday at work drained me. I felt like I had been run over by a train. I opted for takeout dinner, so it would be quick, and I had a journal to make and orders to package. I yearned to write, but had accepted the fact that I most likely wouldn't have time.
However, I worked quite efficiently and had a spare hour. Oh joy! I got a little further in my story. I was able to move forward, and that mean the world to me. It's getting difficult to work full time and write, because all I want to do is write. someday. No. SOMEDAY. I will have the time to write. Putting that intention out there right now.
I've been involved in this thing called "The Receiving Project" where, for 32 days, you make note of the gifts you receive. It's only been 3-4 days, and I've received so much. Like my hour to write last night. Kind words from a friend when I most needed them, a new friend who I'm getting to know, and she is quite amazing. I find myself surrounded by artists.
In talking with artists, I'm still amazed that I have so much to offer them. I gain so much from our talks, and the connections we make, but when they go out of their way to tell me something, or thank me for a comment... I am just like "Wow!" Life is good. What have you been receiving?
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
This photo is of me bungee jumping. I have been on the receiving end of many amazing things lately. And I can trace them back to me taking leaps of faith. To me saying Yes, and jumping off that platform, that comfort zone. Just as we did when we bungee jumped.
I urge you today... take one leap of faith. Stretch the borders of that comfort zone. Say yes to something, or just dive right into something else. Spread those wings out and fly...
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I felt empty yesterday. Like I had nothing left to give. Drained. But at one point, a friend on facebook posted how distressed she was about a situation and I said the right thing at the right time. That helped me immensely. Some other things came up, and I had a rough day, but as I look back on that moment, I realized what I need. I need to reach out and help. That fills my well. So, I'm taking baby steps. I'm getting there.
I'm in the process of instituting some self care (since fall is almost here and schedules are changing) and I'm figuring out how to reach out to those who need me.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Every once in awhile, I struggle with "What's the point?". I ask it about my etsy shop. I ask it about my facebook, and about this blog. And yes, now I'm asking it about this blog. There was a time when I would get a minimum of 4 comments each post. That's not a lot, but it kept me going. These days, I may get one. Of course, it's not all about getting comments. It's about what I have to say, and how I want to get it out there.
I have a lot to think about.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Last night after dinner, we began talking to our neighbors... the conversation progressed and ended up with them coming over to play wii. 2 adults and 2 thirteen year old girls. We were all talking and having a good time, then noticed one of the girls wasn't in the living room playing. Instead, she was sitting on the kitchen floor, with a notebook in hand, writing. I sat down with her and talked a bit. She has several books that she's written, sitting in her room. Hundreds of pages each. She has books of poetry she has written.
We talked for awhile about writing, but I wanted her to join the group and play. She refused. Her dad demanded she come out and play, she wrote more. He told me that's how she is. She has no idea how to play. I'm very impressed that she is so excited about writing, but she is thirteen! She is a loner, prefers to keep her nose in her notebook. And she doesn't know how to play.
That could have been me, and I'm so glad it isn't, honestly. It taught me a lesson about myself. The VERY thing I've been struggling with all week, I saw. Isn't that amazing? I will work to create more of a balance, making my evening time about writing more. But I will also play.
I meant to write a post today about the balance in my life, the yin and the yang... the opposing things that pull me to and fro.... and well, I guess I sort of did. But not like I had planned, so more on that soon.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I thought a lot about discipline yesterday. About the changes I will make to have my goals become a reality. And I thought I would have a couple free hours last night, so I planned to write. However, life had other plans. No emergencies, nothing like that. My two youngest sons were gone for the evening and my oldest son said "let's do something." So with no planning, we went and played 36 holes of miniature golf. We wandered through a downtown park. We looked at the clouds. We lived life.
For a moment, I felt guilty. "See Robyn? This is why your novel isn't completed. You always have something else to do." But, these times with my children are short. There will have to be times when they are the priority. So, last night I played. Saturday afternoon/evening I will write. Sunday I will write. The next 2 childfree weeks I will write like mad.
And through it all life goes on. I have to also consider the fact that I would not be a writer if I had no life experience. I would have nothing to draw from. So, my pledge is that I will work on self-discipline. I will make goals and keep them. But I will also allow myself to live life without beating myself up about it.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I am wondering today how others handle it when they have 15 amazing project ideas all at once. Do they start them, then flit from project to project to work on each one as they are inspired to do so? Do they write down the basics then prioritize and work on one at a time? How do YOU deal with this?
I'm dealing witht his right now, and I'm a flitter. But the problem with that is that each one takes 15X longer, and it may not get my best effort. So, I'm trying to figure out how to reprogram I think. Being able to switch gears works well if I'm just quickly trying to make a tweak or two to a project. But not when I'm in the thick of one and it truly deserves my full attention.
There is so much I didn't learn earlier in life, I now realize. Like how to follow through with amazing ideas. I will get there, it's just more of a challenge because I feel like I need to re-wire.
How do you handle projects/ideas? How do you follow through and give each your best effort?
Monday, August 16, 2010
It has been a busy summer. So much activity with the boys. Saturday we paintballed, we went to Saturday Market, we played at our favorite water park. We had declared it "no chain day". On no chain day, we only eat and shop local. We don't go to any place that is a chain. It has it's own challenges, like we gas up the car the day before. We do our grocery shopping prior as well. But it's a fun and challenging thing. And it makes us appreciate the businesses that are local, and we support them so we can have them around for the next time. More often than not, it gives us places to go even when we have not declared it a no chain day.
My life will slow down after next weekend. It will calm a lot. And I can dive in to my novel. I can pursue some new venues with my journals. My mind is always going, and quite honestly, I deal with a lot of frustration when I can't follow through. So, the time will come soon to follow through.
And so I have another week of percolating. That's ok. It will be a very busy week. And mixed into the busy-ness will be me laying out an outline of a game plan. So that I don't just spin my wheels once I'm able to act on my thoughts.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Last night was a bittersweet night. It was the last class chat for my first Artist Empowerment Class. I had the pleasure of leading a group of 9 amazing women.
I've posted a few testimonials on the class info site, which you can click on to the right, but here's another I received:
I feel so honored to have been a participant in this course. Even though my busy schedule can be hard to manage, Robyn made it easy to stay involved. The easy to follow format also made it easy for me to catch up on things I had missed. I loved the online chats! I think the chats really brought the group together and because of that we really bonded! Do I feel empowered? Yes, more than ever! As an artist finally taking the step to go full time into an art career, this course came at a crucial time for me. Most of the time, I am the one who gets in my own way and I found that this course kept me focussed and grounded every week. Will there be a part II to this course? If so, I would love to continue the work I have started.
I am also fine tuning every aspect of the class for the next one (Starting September 13), so each one will be better and better! I do hope that you will join me! It's an amazing experience.
Let me tell you a little about my students this past time. There was a bath and body/hemp artist, a jewelry artist who opened her own gift shop, a jewelry/fiber artist who recently quit her day job to be an artist, a painter/seamstress/all-around crafter, a baker/seamstress, and so many more... this class was a perfect fit for all of them, regardless of their craft and where they were at in their lives. So, this class is also for you! I hope to see you there!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Yesterday I started the day off with very good intentions. However... the day had other plans for me. I spent the day stressed out... trying to blend in to the walls so I wouldn't become a target for an angry attack. I worked hard, kept very busy, and for the most part it worked. Then last night, I felt like I could breathe deep again and then came the emotional release. That was a long time coming, I think.
Today I'm making journals with my boys, playing in the park, wandering with our cameras. Life is good. Life with my boys is also extremely busy. The novel has been pushed back again... only a little over a week this time til I can pour myself back into it.
I forget sometimes that it's ok to take a break. But right now, I am allowing myself that. A break from the writing. A day off from work. Unfortunately not a break from house work. But the plan is to have a wonderful day with my boys. And this weekend will be wonderful as well.
What do you do when you need a break?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Today I meditate on the following words, and try to apply them throughout the day.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will be grateful.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing
----mantra developed by Reiki founder Mikao Usui
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Some days I have no idea where I'm going. I'm moving forward, at least baby steps every day. But some days the progress I make is infinitessimal. Some days I'm just an observer it seems. I watch. I plan. And I barely move forward, except maybe in the planning.
Some days I grow by leaps and bounds. I move forward at the speed of light. I jump from one stone to another, crossing the river. I am not slowed by anything in my path.
Lately I've had more slow progress days. I've been bogged down with emotional issues. Worrying about my kids. Even worrying about my ex. Today is the day to shake that off. They will all be fine. Things will work out. And today I will shift my focus back on me.
Today is the day for some leaps and bounds. Today I will mail all my etsy packages. Today I will write some in my novel. Today I will meditate. Today I will fill my well.
What will you do today?
Monday, August 9, 2010
By a show of hands, how many of you knew what you wanted to do with your life right out of high school? How many of you stayed on that very path? Not me. I'm 38 and just within the last few years have found my true North.
How many of you found your way at 30? 40? 50 even? So many of us, I assume.
But why the pressure on our 18 year olds to have it all figured out? Why do we tell them they need to get their diploma and immediately head in the direction that will determine the rest of their life?
I'm dealing with this right now. My 18 year old son graduated. He's brilliant. He is one of the smartest and most seeking people I know. But he has no direction. I have some ideas for him, to dip his toes in the water, and he is willing. However, his father wants what he wants for him. And that's the only path he is willing to consider. Forget the fact that this child is being told that at 18 you are an adult and you have to make your own choices. Forget the fact that his father still at 40 has not found his path.
I can help. I can guide. I can hope to teach him through life experience what he wants and doesn't want. And to do that I may have to beat my head against a brick wall or two.
This 'finding yourself' at 18 is resting heavy on my heart. Apparently, finding yourself means joining the military. Or immediately jumping into a career. To me, however, finding yourself could equally be to travel, to work dead end jobs for a year and raise the money to backpack through Europe. Or sign up for a temp agency to gain a little job experience and "try on" different vocations. Or seek out your OWN true North, with the understanding that it could take awhile.
Time spent finding this path is never wasted, in my mind.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
It's that time again! Time to sign up for the Artist Empowerment Course! This is a 6 week long online class. Here's what we cover:
Circle of Trust
Dreams vs. Goals
The only requirements for the course is an online connection, a yearning to become empowered, and a journal. Any journal will do.
Here's what some of my students are saying about this course:
*****This class is perfect for anyone who hasn't taken the time to do the soul searching they need, or for those of us who just didn't know where to start. Over the past six weeks, I've learned so much about who I really am, what my fears are, how to face them, how to pursue my dreams, and where I stand in the spectrum of my life. The weekly chats were amazing, Robyn is totally wonderful, and the connections I felt with the other class members will last a life time! Highly recommend this class to anyone and everyone, no matter what stage of their life they are in.
*****I am so happy I decided to take this class. I’m a wife, mother, caregiver, but also an artist that has a need to paint (draw, create, craft) nearly as often as a need to take in physical nourishment. I was struggling to find time for creating. Artistic expression is as much a part of me as the beating of my heart, but I had many roadblocks preventing me from this expression; I was allowing anything and everything stifle it. Robyn has a way of getting to the heart of the problem, whatever that problem or roadblock an artist may be faced with. She helps you to understand why you have these roadblocks and how to move beyond them. Some examples are lack of confidence, fear of failure, fear of success, CrazyMakers, and giving yourself permission. I also learned many things from the other wonderful artist that took the class,their struggles, their successes and encouragement helped me grow. Do I feel empowered? Yes, I feel that I have grown by leaps and bounds! My work has a new freeness; my change in attitude and my new found confidence has actually been noticed by others.
What’s holding you back? This class will help you answer that question.
******I think this class was important to me for so many reasons! Mostly it showed me that I am not alone in my struggle as an artist or the belief that I truly am an artist! I felt important as a person, justified in my fears and was shown a way to deal with those fears. There is such power in numbers and as artists we need to stick together, to believe in ourselves and to empower each other as well. Of course I believe there is an artist in everyone, just fighting to get out and show the world their talent! I still have doubts about so many decisions I've made in my life, but through this class I know that the decision to persue my art is not one of those doubts! I can and will be recognized as a very talented lady!!
I do hope to see you at the class! We will begin on September 13, 2010.
Friday, August 6, 2010
As many of you know, I'm the official art journal sponsor for Dirty Footprints Studio's online Love Letters Art Journal Course. I have been so blessed to be making art journals specifically for art journaling for months now, and still I'm loving every minute of it!
Art saves... I believe this... Journaling absolutely saves. And any outpouring of your soul, whether it's art journaling or writing can help growth occur. I've seen it in my Artist Empowerment Course (which I will be offering again soon!), where my students are asked to journal daily for the 6 week course. So many of them did not like that idea at all! But every week, I found that the daily journaling dug so deep into their soul. It uncovered beauty, and was a balm for the ugly, buried crap of the past. Journaling saves!
I urge you to grow. Sign up for a class... start art journaling with Connie, or Empower your Artist with me. But don't stop growing.
Oh! to get your own Love Letter's Journal just click here!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Every day I figure more out about myself. I know so many people... who are content, who seem to know everything about themselves (or I should say, they think they do). People who just tread water daily. And I guess that works for them.
But that's not me. Every day I learn more. And the toughest times are when I'm learning about myself. Earlier this week, I made a comment in a group of people, expressing a view, that was not even my own. I said it because in that group that sort of comment was basically expected at that time and no-one else said it. I've been bothered every since.
Finally it hit me. Number one that this particular environment is toxic to me (which I already knew), but that part of my problem is that I purposefully don't read the tragedies of the news. I get my news from select places. I know the basics going on in the world, but I don't know the gruesome details of the drownings, of the fathers who imprisoned their daughters for years and made them bear them children. I don't delve into those heinous acts. However, there are places that I go where I here these details.
This week, I've heard way too much. I've felt the pain, or blocked the pain, and it has sucked my energy out. So, now I'm back to square one. It's not a situation I can just NOT be in. I need to find an alternative... I need to figure out how to not hear. Wow, can you even imagine that I just said that? That I need to not hear? In this case it's true. And now that I've figured this out, I will devise a plan.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Last night I was feeling blah. I was feeling discouraged. And I let myself feel this way. I wallowed for a short time, then I decided I needed a plan. So, I began to formulate a plan. And then I tossed and turned last night worrying about more stuff that I hadn't yet dealt with.
So, one of my plans will go into effect soon. I'm thinking a referral journal giveaway, but I haven't worked out all the details yet. Basically, I know that people who have bought my journals love them. And if you refer someone to me and they buy a journal, you'll be entered for a giveaway. But like I said, I'm working on the details.
The other stuff, I'll be tackling today.
Part of it is struggling with this authentic me. I know that writing helps to bring me to my true North. Writing is the art that has always saved me. And I'm working on that. I'm working on making the time. It's hard with 3 teenage boys who are talkative and funny and active. But I just need to make that time.
Another part is photography, and honestly I don't feel it right now. What I feel is a tinge of guilt but I don't feel inspired to do it. I do know that I will return to it. I will enjoy life through the viewfinder at some point.
So what are your struggles today?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This week in my Artist Empowerment Class, we are talking about permissions. How many times as artists we don't allow ourself to grow, we don't give ourself permission to take that next vital step.
This week I am giving myself permission to work on my novel. Permission to MAKE the time to do it.
I've been reading Life is a Verb by Patti Digh. In one section, she talks about the flight attendant's speech on a plane, where she tells you that if the oxygen masks drop down, put yours on first, or you're no good to anyone else. The way Patti words it is a gift. But her message absolutely struck me in this week about Permissions. As artists, creatives, wives, mothers, ok, even, husbands and dads, we must fill our own well. We must seek out the things for ourselves, or we may have nothing to give to our art, to our families.
It's such a liberating concept.
Monday, August 2, 2010
I have a new listing in my shop for a set of 4 black and white dandelions. It was a special request, and I hope the customer loves the results. I decided to keep the listing though and will relist if it sells. Dandelions are the make a wish flower... so magical, yet technically a weed. They prove to me that anything in this life is possible.
There is a shift in my world right now. I got out my novel and spent hours writing this weekend. I'm putting it onto a thumb drive just in case I get spare time at work. I have a list of research I need to do for it. And the words just pour through me.
I will continue to make journals, I'm sure of that. And at some point in the future my focus will shift back to photography. But for right now, the novel is calling. And it is very persistent. I think it has been calling for quite a while now, and I've been very stubborn and haven't listened. It is time. Time for me to pay attention, time for me to show up at the page.