Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Challenge #32: Visions of Myself

Do you see yourself living your dream or living a life of want, longing, and regret?

A synonym of the word “dream” is “vision”. Often our vision of ourselves can directly affect whether or not we achieve our dreams. We have a clear picture in our minds of ourselves, but unfortunately that picture is often distorted by self talk, doubts, fears, and personal mythologies. Interrogate these visions of yourself to see if they hold up to scrutiny. Stop getting in your own way, and start visualizing yourself living the life you dream about.

How do you see yourself? What can you do to see yourself in a more honest and authentic light? How could a clearer, truer vision of yourself help move you toward that dream?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Direction of Intention

Over the years I have noticed a pattern in my life - periods of intense energy, activity, and focus followed by periods of exhaustion, stagnation, and confusion. This is a cycle that seems to pass at pretty regular intervals, and I must say that I am in the latter part of the cycle now. I have been intensely busy since last spring devoting energy to many new opportunities and filling my time with travel to new places and making new art. Now I am in a lull. The activity has subsided, I don’t need to exert so much energy. I look at my calendar and see that it is pretty wide open. I’m still making new art, but a feeling of exhaustion and stagnation has crept over me. Perhaps it’s the time of the year. As one year ends and a new one begins, I become very reflective and try to make some sense of the past year and try to set a course for the new one.

This year, however, I feel exceptionally exhausted. And it seems that with great frequency, I reflect on how tired I am both physically and mentally. I think that I am just tired of being tired. That’s it - I am tired of being tired - tired of being grumpy - tired of feeling like I’m not living - tired of waiting. I am tired of waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, the right situation, the right circumstance. Perhaps I am not where I want to be, but how can I begin to live that life now at this very moment and begin a substantial movement to that place I want to be?

I am ready for a change - something new - growth in a new direction. I am ready to take the next step. I’m just not certain how to take it. I know what I wish for my life. I can envision it, but there seems to be so many obstacles that are standing in my way. The only step that I can see now that is not a drastic, quit-my-job-that-pays-the-bills-and-hope-for-the-best kind of change, but small changes where I reach out more - to do little things that can begin to shift the momentum in the direction I want to go. I want to do as Patti Digh suggests in Creativity is A Verb, and focus on the direction of my intention. I can sit around and wallow and moan about how tired I am and about how I’m not living the life I envision, and sing the whole woe-is-me song. Or I can start to do something about it now. I can literally and metaphorically get off of my lazy ass and do something that points me in the direction I need to go. In order to create the world that I envision, I need to “get busy living or get busy dying.” (I love the movie Shawshank Redemption).

I have begun a journey - a journey that I plan on sharing with anyone willing to tag along. As part of that, I have a few projects in the works - ways to open myself, reach out, and allow my voice to ring out. I'll be sharing those later as I wrap them up. I hope that you will tag along.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Challenge #31: Dreams and Nightmares

What do you fear most about trying to achieve your dreams?

Along with dreams come nightmares. These may be nightmares that we have while sleeping, or the worst case scenarios that we experience when we are awake. For many of us, it is impossible to imagine our dreams without imagining the nightmare. We think of all the reasons why it won’t and can’t work out. We balk at the fear, trip ourselves up, and hold ourselves back. Acknowledge your dreams and nightmares, and shine light into your darkness. Don’t let the possible nightmares squelch your dreams. Confront the negativity as a means to overcome it and move beyond it.

What are your dreams? What are the corresponding nightmares? What are your worst case scenarios? How can you overcome your nightmares?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Challenge #30: Daydreams

What thoughts, ideas, and scenarios flash through your mind throughout the day?

Our thoughts can very easily float away from us during the day. We may be sitting in a meeting, and our minds may wander because the meeting doesn’t hold our attention. We may daydream as we drive to work or to the store, or we may just sit and think allowing thoughts and ideas to come and go at will. Pay attention to these times, and record and embrace these meanderings of the mind that we call daydreams. They seem like whims, but they are peeks and glimpses into what we want and need the most. Pay attention to the fleeting thoughts that pop up throughout your day and document them so that you don’t forget.

Where does your mind go when it isn’t actively engaged? What are your daydreams? Do they hold clues about your bigger dreams and hopes?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Art Unraveled 2012

Journal Page by Dave
The Journal Fodder Junkies will be returning to Phoenix in 2012 for Art Unraveled where we will be teaching two all-day workshops. The dates for Art Unraveled are July 30-August 7, and we will be teaching August 1 and 2.

Wednesday, August 1, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Personal Histories and Mythologies
We have all have our stories. As we deal with our present, we are consistently rewriting our pasts, whether romanticizing or demonizing ourselves. Like it or not, we are defined by the events that have transpired during our lives. This is a process we all engage in to face our uncertain futures. We continually edit the scripts and dialogues running through our heads to reinforce the myths and the stories we construct to define and articulate our lives.

What is your story? What is your history? What are the mysteries of your life? What are the stories that you have told yourself over and over to the point that you believe them and accept them?

This mixed-media workshop focuses on the personal and private use of the visual journal as a powerful tool for self-reflection and self-discovery. Learn to mix a variety of art techniques and media with personal ephemera and reflective writing to explore the stories that you tell about yourself and investigate the mysteries of your life. Bring images, memorabilia, and other ephemera that will help tell the story of YOU. Rose tinted glasses optional.

Thursday, August 2, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Transitional Spaces
Are you looking to transform your artwork or your visual journal from a static surface to a dynamic, interactive space? Are you looking for ways to create richly layered spaces within and between your pieces?

This mixed-media workshop delves into creating this layered and nuanced interaction within and between works whether they are pages in a journal or stand alone pieces. Discover ways to give your artistic endeavors an extra kick as you explore how to incorporate transitional spaces that bring surprise, interactivity, connection, and hybridity to your art. Learn about windows, doorways, pockets, secret passages, and more as you consider and reconsider how spaces and pages interact and create a dialogue. Make artwork that opens up, flips out, and unfolds into other realms.

Although it is more than 7 months away, registration is open now. We're hoping to pack both of our workshops, and we hope to see you there. Please check out the Art Unraveled website for more information on workshops and registration.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Challenge #29: Dream Journal

What are you dreaming about?

We all have dreams, actual night visions that dance through our sleeping minds, as well as our hopes and aspirations. Document both kinds of dreams. Keep your journal or, at least, some paper next to your bed, and when you wake throughout the night or first thing in the morning, jot down your dreams before you forget them. Elaborate on these visions, and reflect on their contents and meanings. Keep pen and paper close at hand during the day and write down your dreams, your hopes, and your aspirations. Reflect on these thoughts and musings. This type of documentation becomes fertile soil for your intentions.

What are you dreaming about at night when you sleep? What are the details and the nuances of the dreams? Do you have reoccurring dreams? What are you dreaming about when you are awake? What are those aspirations? What do you dream about and hope for?