Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slowing Down

I having been doing Morrea Seal's "52 Lists Project", which I have found to be very inspiring. 

Here is my page for week two, "Things that comfort me":
 Once I got in the groove of it, they just kept coming out.  I love it when that happens! 

I have also been going through Diana Trout's book, "Journal Spilling". Which is a really great book so far! 

This page was done for the first chapter on trusting the process:

 And this one was for the section on not caring what the end product looks like. Which was a fun exercise!

 This one is just a regular art journal page, but it is a bit different from my usual style and I quite enjoy it!

Lately I have noticed a definite slowing down in my life. 
I have noticed that the hurried and stressed pace I was going about in life was not doing me any favors. 
And now, when I realize that I am walking fast and just focused on getting where I'm going, I slow down. I walk at a steady pace, I pay attention to the act of putting one foot in front of the other, I observe my surroundings. 

Also, last week, I was having some bad days and instead of forcing myself to make art when I just wasn't feeling it, I let myself lounge around and watch Community instead. I drank lots of water and read a lot and went to bed early. And giving myself permission to slow down and have off days felt extremely good. 

Slowing down feels good. 
Why are we in such a rush?
Why are we pushing ourselves and our bodies, stretching ourselves too thin, and still not giving ourselves a break?

When we are going somewhere, whether we rush or walk leisurely to get there, we still get there. 
We are not changing that. 
What we are changing is how we feel until we get to our destination. 
We are sacrificing the present moment, straining and stressing about getting somewhere in the future. 

And obviously, this does not simply apply to walking. Obviously it applies to every aspect of life, but I don't need to elaborate on that.
Right now, for me, it is showing up in my walking. 
I am slowing down, enjoying the feeling of my body in motion, enjoying my surroundings. 

It is a much softer and lighter way to get around and to experience the necessary life of commuting.

Where could you slow down in your life? Where do you deserve to let yourself have a break? 

 Travel lightly, go at a leisurely pace, and appreciate where you are.
Your body and mind will certainly thank you.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


The weather is slowly warming up here, which means more art by the creek!
Here are some little drawings I did recently: 

I really enjoy this one. 

I have just started reading "Journal Spilling" by Diana Trout. 
And in it, she uses the Picasso quote "Every act of creation is first an act of destruction."

Which really resounded with me. 

She uses it as an example of conquering the fear of the white page, or the empty canvas.
And I think it is a great way to look at those blank pages. 
We want to create art, but sometimes the blankness we start with can be very intimidating. 
So much can happen after we start marking on that page. We could screw up entirely, we could end up with something totally different from what we intended or wanted, or we could create something that resounds with us so much that we can't stop looking at it. 
And that is a scary place to be at, the crossroads, where it can go any direction. 
And oft times, it scares us into inactivity, into not making any marks at all. 
It is safer that way. 

So, in order to create, we have to destroy. 
We have to take that white page down a notch, because we are in control here. 
We have to look it square in the eye and know that we have the power to destroy it. 
And that we must destroy it in order to spread the colors and lines and beautiful art that we want to share with the world, that we need to express ourselves. 

And while this has very true applications to the artistic process, it also got me thinking of all the other times in life we must destroy in order to create.
 We need to destroy what is holding us back, in order to have room, or even energy, for the things that will bring us growth. 

We need to destroy toxic relationships, to rid ourselves of naysayers and people that put us down, so that we may have more time to spend with those that care for us, support us, and cheer us on.

We need to destroy our reliance on objects to fill up our lives, so that we have more time and money for meaningful experiences.

We must destroy societal expectations so that we can fully focus on our passions and dreams, the things that brings us joy. 

These are the things we need the time, energy and space to create. 
And to do this, we must first destroy the weeds of busy schedules, the American dream, nice houses, settling down, unfulfilling jobs, the weeds that entangle us and entrap us.

Look them straight in the eye and know that you have the power to destroy them. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Little's Enough

If you have been reading for awhile, then you know that my guiding word for 2014 is "Become".

And I really feel as if I am doing quite well at having a guiding word to keep me on my path.
This is my first year at doing this and I am pleasantly surprised at how much lighter it is than having resolutions. 

I just have to keep reminding myself that it's steps. 
  I do want to become an active poet, artist, healer, inspirational presence, traveler. 
But I don't have to be all of them right this second. 
I am not going to wake up and just be those things, out of nowhere. 
It's a process, a path. 

I am doing little things everyday to be active in my passions. 
I am painting even one layer in my art journal, or writing just the beginning of a poem, or spend even five minutes being mindful of my body and mind and surroundings; it's all waves flowing into the ocean of me becoming. 

And all of the little things I do add up, they are seeds I am planting now. 
And in the future, they all stack up to me becoming and being immersed in my passions.

There is an Angels and Airwaves song that says "a little's enough". And that is where I am at in my life right now. If I expect myself to just be a published writer and making money from art and a seasoned traveler all at once, out of nowhere, then I am just going to stress myself and exhaust myself. 

A little's enough. 

And when the seeds have grown and it is time to harvest, then it will be time to expend every energy and resource to reap my workings and have them come to fruition. But for now, I just plant the seeds and water them. Patience is key. You can not rush the seeds of your dreams and passions. Let them soak up the daily nutrients and they will go strong for you. 

I have many other things I wish to talk about but they all deserve their own blog posts. (Look forward to me talking about BEARS!) 

And here are two new art journal spreads! 

 I'm loving yellow for a pop of color lately. 

I hope your little acts are going well and that you remember that a little's enough! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

We Must Become

Hello folks! 
I hope your 2014 is going magically so far! 

I just wanted to write a quick bit about a connection I just made. 
My blog/whole artistic persona goes by the name of "How Strange, How Small". 
This is a reference to the mewithoutYou lyrics "How strange, how small we must become."
Which is a phrase I am very connected to and hold as a sort of life mantra. 

To me, in order to experience this life to its fullest, deepest and most wondrous, we must become strange. We must not be afraid to be odd, to get weird, to let the freak flag fly high. We must not grow complacent with being a comfortable follower, with being a sheep. We must live out loud, to manifest our lives as outward expressions of our inward revelations. 

And we must become small. We must learn to be humble, to still ourselves, to quiet our egos. We must recognize the vastness of this universe, of this human experience, and realize our part in it. We must put efforts to healing those around us, to becoming servants, to living the small things with great care and patience and wisdom.

And it just came to my mind how appropriate it is that  my word for 2014 is "Become", when it has been a part of namesake this whole time.

"We must become." 

We must become the person we are in our minds, in our spirits. 
Not because of resolutions, or societal expectations, or goals, or looking impressive on the internet. 

We must become because it is the only thing that makes this human experience worth it. 
We must become what makes us burn, what makes us passionate, what fills us with air, what causes us to float in the ocean of chaos. We must become the symphony within ourselves and spread it across everything our lives touch.

And speaking of words and how me may become them and manifest them outwardly in our lives, I am participating in Moorea Seal's "52 List Project". (Which you can find HERE.) The first week is to make a list of words that touch your soul. I didn't get 52 words, exactly, but it was still a fun and refreshing exercise.

And here is a bonus journal page, made on the first day of the new year. "Just try and stop me."

I am loving 2014 so far. I feel as if I have been injected with Quickbeam's personality. 
(Don't know who Quickbeam is? I wrote about him HERE.) 

I hope you are all manifesting the words that make you feel bright and vibrant.
 You make my life brighter and worth experiencing! Thank you!