Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

gettin' back my art groove

Something wonderful happened that I have been holding off mentioning; until the deed was really done. I'm gettin' back my art groove! (Well, I'm starting to.) I signed up to do an international paper swap at LaWendula's blog, Woven Letters. (LaWendula is in Germany) I was nervous. First of all, I have never participated in something like this before and second it has been a while since I have had the physical or mental energy to create a collage other than a couple of SoulCollages since I became ill last February (2009). I tried to participate in the Creative Journey Game last March, but never completed that part of my journey. My brain just wasn't cooperating. I know, you're thinking that I have been taking photos and writing all this time, but these feel like different brain processes to me. Perhaps I'm imagining this, but I don't think so. Not being a brain scientist I can't say for sure, just my experience from the difficulty I have at certain tasks compared to others.

Anyway, I signed up to do this swap in early December (2009), but it took me several weeks to sit down with art materials laid out to actually do it. It was not a procrastination thing exactly. Well ok, maybe a bit. There was some fear going on for sure, because creating a collage from scratch was a huge mental challenge. I wasn't driving a car yet then. I was just starting to do laundry for goodness sake and getting in and out of the bath on my own when I signed up. I was still struggling with syntax and an extreme globe trotting accent when I signed up. (My voice has mostly settled into a subtle European-ish accent of some kind-that becomes more noticable when I'm fatigued-and I still occasionally "lose" words mix up syntax and stutter..but I am much much better than I was!) And yes, I am a creativity coach who is human and occasionally procrastinates and experiences anxiety over art making just like some of you at times...go figure. Then a couple days after New Years I got a message from my swap partner. It was time to dive in to that deep dark well where creativity flows. And you know what, I remembered how to swim! My ability to conceptualize, paint interesting papers, find the right pieces that wanted to befriend the others, cut, glue and assemble the collages, to play in the waters of all came back to me. It took me longer to make these cards than it would have in the past but I held an intention to trust that whatever came together would be just fine. Not perfect. Not master works. But fine and filled with the love and joy of art-making. I'm so glad I sat and gave the process the time it needed to unfold. This includes the incubation period of non-doing. Being with the anxiety. Not fighting it. Considering what I wanted to create with the materials that were around the house. Wait...Let me go back 5 sentences because this is really important and worth repeating: I sat and gave the process the time it needed to unfold. This applies to any creative endeavor, to healing in general, to human to human relationships, to a meditation practice; pretty much anything soulful. There is waiting. There might be fear/anxiety. There is incubating. There is practicing. There is trust. There is more waiting...and then gradually (or sometimes suddenly) there is a shift. We might step back again into waiting, incubating, practicing...but through out the dance the intention is to trust that whatever comes together (what ever shows up) will be just fine and it will unfold in it's own sweet time. Of course there is an understanding too, that what we are imagining in our minds might be quite different from what actually comes to be. (I usually find it's better than I imagined anyway!) Ahhh Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice. I was matched up with Karen Meir (an artist from Australia) at Kazmos Kreations as my swap partner. Here are images of the cards Karen sent me. Each one is so unique, I love them ALL.

It's hard to tell from my photo, but the black ink is embossed so this has a lot of texture and shine. Feels like a New Years celebration, doesn't it?

These two ladies look like they go way back. The antique quality of the papers really emphasizes that sense of a long-lasting friendship!

Of course Rosie is fond of this one! Again, lots of texture, this time in the papers themselves.

"Live like it is heaven on earth". Yeah, life is pretty awesome; vibrant like the colors Karen chose for this card.

Thanks so much Karen for taking the time to create something just for me! And a very special thanks to LaWendula at Woven Letters for organizing this whole project over several continents! (oh I do love this bloggy world community)

You've patiently waded through all of my writing, you were dazzled by Karen's art...Trust, wait...TaDA

Here are the mixed media ATC's I sent Karen:
(sorry the colors are a bit off-someday I will have proper photo equipment)

To purchase some of the fabulous art and craft products Karen offers through her website click on the link below and...


  1. Fabulous Laura! congrats on being so healthy!!! I am delighted that you are in the group! xo

  2. Thanks's a long slow process this healing business...and no way to know if I'm at my NEW 100% at this point...Could get better. We'll see.

    I didn't sign up for the next swap...wanted to see how I did with this one first...It sure was a great way to get me focused though!

  3. What beautiful cards, both yours and Karen's! Nothing satisfies the soul like making art of whatever description. And Laura -- there's a Kreativ Blogger award for you at my blog today, if you want to pick it up.

  4. Thanks Debra...very cool, I am so totally honored to be on your list of creative bloggers...can't wait to pass it on to some other special someones too!

  5. Lovely cards! Thanks for sharing!
    And yes, blog-community is such a great thing! xo LaWendula

  6. Thanks for stopping by LaWendula...I am curious about the next swap (for March) What a wonderful way to connect people across the globe :)

  7. I enjoyed all the artworks presented here, even though they are very different, the have similar fantastic appeal.;)

  8. Thanks Zuzana,
    For me the most important thing was just getting back on my little hobbie horse and riding again!

  9. Laura,
    I loved them. You ARE back in your groove. It was always there! I especially loved the third one.

    Barb Bernstein

  10. Aww, Thanks Barb! Good to hear from an old friend! I hope you are feeling well these days!

  11. Dearest Laura,

    So wonderful to know that you are feeling more vibrant, lately! The lovely colors in your work show the shift in perspective! I especially love the first and last pieces that you created. All of the pieces are beautiful. How wonderful it is to receive the gift of art from someone else's soul. So inspiring!

    I pray that you will continue to improve and regain your strength. You are such a strong woman with so much to share with the world! The obstacles, well, they are just that, obstacles. And sometimes, we just need to find a way to go around, under, or over them to get to where we want to go!(Now laundry, that is a constant battle!)

    Be well, my sweet friend!

  12. Oh my God Laura they are beautiful. Just stunning. Both the ones she made you and the ones you made her.

    What a glorious gift.

    Love Renee xoxo

  13. Ahh Debbie,
    I'm totally with you on this one...LAUNDRY is also my greatest obstacle (sometimes my arch nemesis, actually---I mean it never, EVER ends). Other waves come and go, rise and fall...but the laundry is continuous.

    You are so sweet to stop by! It is such a wonderful feeling to receive a gift, is it not? Thank you for sneaking a peek into my world today.

  14. So much life and color! Congratulations on the reconnection to your creative expression - this looks like a fun and wonderful way to have gotten back in the art making groove!! So glad you are able to do it again - may your artist soul be filled to overflowing :) xox Karin

  15. Thanks Karin...and may the same be true for you always...LOVE your mandala today!

  16. oh Laura...
    what a beautiful post... i'm so glad i finally had a moment to wander over and visit you... what amazing creations of color and beauty... creativity is a living, breathing process that ebbs and flows with its own rhythm... not something to be forced or pressured about, but is more like listening... waiting... realizing that every part of the process is important... and sometimes the down times are times of gestation, hibernation, of needed renewal... obviously so true for you as you have just burst forth with all of this loveliness to share...

  17. Yes Joanne,
    "gestation, hibernation, of needed renewal" exactly so. Thanks for stopping by. I've so enjoyed our connection!

  18. I am loving these creations, but then I love most soulful efforts of women. :-) We shine! Love the colors, Laura, so deep and rich and full of feeling. I am glad that you are thriving. :-)

  19. I love these. Glad to find out which blog is the currently active one!

  20. Thanks Jan...I really had fun, once I relaxed into the process (something that had always been easy for me in the past) another gift. This is what it's like for some of my clients. They feel resistance around their creative work...anxiety...fear...I had an opportunity to really be in that space and watch the resistance, anxiety and fear melt away as I sat and played. It is always a gift when we can view things from a new perspective.

    Hi Amy,
    I'm glad you found me too! You know, I think I got excited and then maybe greedy with my intentions to write so much in so many places...maybe things will shift and I will have the time to write on all those different blogs again...for now...this one feels like more than enough space to share the essential things that long to be seen and heard from my heart.

  21. You both are very very very talented artists!! I LOVED each and every one of those cards, what a refreshing feast for my eyes, when I've been feeling a little sad / hormonal today, Laura! What a pick-me-up, at both the art and the swap idea.


  22. Thanks Jannie...those pesky hormones...well, with out them we might be, I guess they are mostly ok. NOT that there's anything WRONG with being a guy...

  23. Laura, your art is a wonderful celebration of how much better you are feeling. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ~ shared gifts of heart and talent. I would frame the cards and put them where I would see them every day.

  24. Oh, they are all so beautiful, so interesting, so engaging! I want to be able to do things like this. I love the creativity involved in mixing different media, different pieces ... as you say, the right pieces that wanted to befriend others. "I sat and gave the process the time it needed to unfold." There should be a plaque we could all hang up on the wall to remind ourselves that we don't need to force things; we can be more in harmony with all there is and allow things to unfold as they need to.
    Beautiful thoughts, as always, dear Laura.
    (I'm so glad I had time tonight to come visit! I still need to go see your post on Jan's. Looking forward to it.)

  25. There's a lot of creativity going on here! Love the collages! I've never done a collage before- they look fun, and seems like they open up creative forces within. I'll have to do some research on this. They also look like the creative process in creating these calms the mind. My mind could use some calmness, so I'm bound to give it a try! Thanks for sharing your creativity. Cool!


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