Finding your flow... 11 April, 2021
There are psychologists who define the word 'flow' saying it is when you are "in a state of complete immersion in an activity" but they are speaking about a very surface, mental level ( it all sounds rather dry) and there are in fact, much deeper, lovelier, juicier levels of flow just waiting for you to discover them!
As someone who has practiced both meditation and artistic activities for several decades, I have long been aware that they go together hand in hand - and that you don't have to sit cross-legged, watching how crazy your mind is, in order to reap the well known relaxation and well-being benefits of meditation...
When you are lost in artistic creativity, you're naturally able to enter into other realmy zones in which your right brain is activated and magical happenings abound, both within and without. The secret is to not be result oriented...
In the enormously crazy times on the planet right now, I have been so glad to have my art studio as a sanctuary in which to happily get lost into these deeper levels; leaving the world and surface level of life for something much deeper, full of colour and magical flowy happenings.
In my online workshops I endeavour to share this love of process over result; to enable the discovery of the value of play and to show how easy it is to get into that creative all deeper flow, to let it take you deeper.
If you've never tried mixed media intuitive art workshops, you're welcome to join me online and see what I mean! A certain amount of structure, guidance and lots of demo's are all you need to find your own style of intuitive mixed media magic - and within all my workshops you are able to find that unique expression and deeper flow.
I'm looking forward to rolling out the wallpaper soon for the 'Wallpaper Tapestry' online workshop, it's one of the best for really getting into this other worldly kind of zone of which I'm speaking.
May you find your creative flow in whatever you do!
Until next time,
Wise Woman 19 January, 2021
I love this image, which speaks to me of the archetype of the Wise Woman in how she looks so calm, centered and one with the natural world. It's definitely the direction I am moving towards this year which includes finding a path less trodden in this world and possibly moving out of the city in order to manifest that in life in a much greater way. But no matter where we live, becoming more in tune with the natural world is a worthy pursuit given a time when so many of us spend so much time online.
Going outside every day for a walk or spending time in the garden (weather permitting) for even twenty minutes is so good for our health and well-being.
Here in Alberta, Canada, it gets very cold in the winter, but as long as I rug up warmly enough I can usually manage a short walk every day and it's one of my goals from now on .
When you're on your walk, become more aware of nature; hear and see the birds, notice the changes on the trees and plants - this simple act of noticing is all it takes to begin to attune to what is always in a peaceful natural state.
This kind of simple wisdom can stretch and extend into other areas of life and is independent of the world and it's craziness. Taking care of ourselves can also mean dressing in a way that brings a sense of inner quiet happiness and often it's just a little more awareness that will see us easily making that extra effort to dress in a way that's comfortable and feels just right, even if we are spending the day at home alone (apart from that daily walk).
To me, becoming a Wise Woman means bringing a higher awareness into the practicalities of life and includes all the little details. It's how you do anything and how you do everything. When we bring awareness to how we do the tiniest of details in life, we will find that taking care of the bigger things will also be easier and more graceful - it is something I practice every day and it alchemizes the mundane into something higher... We can only share with others what we truly have within and for me that starts with a deep inner peace and a sense of bringing my higher self into this earth walk. The more we do this individually the greater the effect on the collective.
I am also bringing more of this knowledge into my art practice and the workshops I lead - check out the upcoming Soul Sister Retreat for real time group inspo and sisterly camaraderie.
Wishing all my soul sisters out there much courage and inspiration to step into the wise women that we truly are,
Until next time,
Welcoming a New Year 30 December, 2020
As this challenging, life altering year comes to a close, I am pondering what I've learnt from it. Primarily it feels like I've grown up a lot and I think all hardships and difficulties present that sort of opportunity. To not be in some sort of childish inner foot-stomping about what is out of my control and instead to dig deeper into my inner resources of calm and creativity...
Practically I've learned how to teach my online workshops from home and now I love doing it that way. I also hope that things open up again as I'd love to do more in-person workshops and retreats, but that's not for right now. Instead today - a full moon! - I launched the Soul Sisters Retreat and it was a labour of love to put it together...
This past year I've had a lot more time to ponder what it is that I really want to offer in my workshops and retreats and increasingly it has been to incorporate what I've learned spiritually into teaching intuitive art techniques and practices. In this latest offering I am pleased that it's really coming together that way - and this process of finding how a deeper art practice can reflect into all areas of one's life is something I've been working on for about fifteen years. My earliest workshops in Australia were called, 'Painting from Within' and even earlier, when I was at art school obtaining my Bachelor of Art degree, my written essays were on things such as, 'Artist as Shaman'. Everything we do here on the mundane Earth plane can be infused with a much higher plane, and it is this art of discovering our deeper and true inner nature that means the most to me. As such, to infuse my own art practice with this deeper connectivity and then to share this higher knowledge with others is more meaningful to me than any other kind of work I could be doing.
We live in such extraordinary times when our future also feels uncertain and it's difficult to plan anything - yet that also invites us to be more simply, deeply present in our daily lives. Without becoming more deeply present we are not even truly here!
Another aspect of my work is to bring like-minded people together, primarily that's women - it seems we are the ones most drawn to express ourselves creatively (it was so in all my in-person workshops as well, about 95% were women) and I love the support and inspiration that comes from women who are being creative together, every time.
Having meaningful work is a blessing and having put this latest retreat together I have something beautiful to look forward to in 2021. I hope you can join me and kindred soul sisters next year, just around the corner now...
Until next time,
Oracle card artwork, Shanti George, 2020
Authentic freedom 16 December, 2020
Have you ever wondered what it means to live your life with true authenticity? As I have gotten older my understanding of this has deepened, liberating me from many false beliefs; realizing that if something spoken doesn't deeply resonate with me, then adhering to it (blindly believing it) will not free me, on the contrary it will keep me enslaved in some form of illusion.
To me these two things; being authentic and having real freedom, go hand in hand and life brings us the opportunity to discover this, to live it, to choose it. Sadly many people choose an outer authority to tell them what is true and it has been part of the programme on this planet for a long time; to unquestioningly believe what someone else tells you (especially if they're wearing a suit, just sayin').
To regain our ability to directly Know the truth; to have a deep inner sense of what is real and true and what isn't, requires an inner quietude and learning to reconnect with this deeper sense in life.
There are some simple clues to know the truth of something and the deeper you go with this, the more liberating it becomes. If something is deeply true it gives a sense of calm, of relaxation, of peace... We do not need to hold onto any beliefs when we trust our own deeper sense within, when we follow that because we know the truth of it and the deep value of living that way. This, to me, is true authentic freedom and so alchemically good it will turn your life golden, from the inside outwards...
No-one can control us or make us believe something untrue without first making us feel fearful and separate. In truth we are neither - but to undo this false programme, we must do the work so to speak, to change our inner make up, so that we are all aligned with truth. The more we do this inner work, the more we are nourished; for truth heals and nourishes us, from the inside out. To ask ourselves if we truly know the truth of something before blindly believing it and taking it to heart, especially if that choice makes us feel fearful or hardens our hearts, is the beginning of liberation - it is the great return.
We are living through extraordinary times in which the choices we make and how we conduct ourselves has a far reaching impact. In returning to our heart's wisdom; our true inner authority; we can free ourselves and lead by example in the most quiet and simple way. To live a life of authenticity is freedom from fear, freedom to love - and it uplifts us all.
I will be sharing more of my own spiritual journey and what works to enable this kind of true liberation; how to attune to our heart's wisdom & more in a new 'Soul Sisters Retreat' which is coming soon! This new online retreat will open up the potential for a deeper understanding of creative freedom & true togetherness, using guided meditation, artful practice & sweet 'circle' sharing to attune to what truly nourishes and liberates us all. Being creative together using the Zoom format is a wonderful way to stay connected and uplifted on our spiritual journey.
Stay tuned for when registration opens! (& follow me on instagram to catch the early bird pricing). And if you enjoyed this blog post please leave a comment on my instagram, positive comments uplift us too!
Til next time, happy creating...
A Creative Life... 3 December, 2020
What does this mean to you, to live a creative life? For me it means being free to think outside the box and to not be limited by what's considered normal (or even 'new normal'). I'm not just speaking of creating arts and crafts but more generally in terms of how you live, how you dress and all the other myriad little choices we make on a daily basis.
To me, a creative life is always exploring something new and, in being willing to go past our comfort zone and societal norms, it can feel quite exciting! (and a bit wobbly too at times). However, it is this enlivenment that is key to a creative life - real growth happens outside our familiar ways of being and living.
In my intuitive art workshops I am sometimes gently pushing and inviting this kind of exploration within the format of an art class and it's what I love about the intuitive process to art making - it's a great way to expand into newness...
For many people what inhibits such creative exploration is nothing but a belief they hold to, perhaps not even consciously and yet it does not truly serve them at all. In letting go of limiting beliefs about ourselves we are free to try something new, something that seems like it might be fun and good; a way in which we can walk on new ground. This kind of uplifting and refreshing change can occur in tiny ways and also much bigger ways - there are so many opportunities to live creatively and in greater alignment with our higher selves.
In my art studio I love the beginning layers of a mixed media piece as it's where I can really let go and just play; enjoying the world of colour and different art products and attuning to a deeper flow of creativity. This year has deepened my creative flow in the studio and in my workshops and although it's been difficult it's provided many opportunities and had me thinking in new ways about so many things - I'm sure I'm not alone there!
I'm currently working on a brand new offering which will begin in the new year and should go up on the website in the next week or so, an online art retreat like no other! I will post when registration's open for that on my instagram.
Until next time,
Soul Vision Board, Shanti George, 2020
Feed Your Soul... 24 November, 2020
Although I do a daily post on Instagram it feels right today to begin something new and I'm fairly excited to begin to share more with you here on my new Soul Sister Blog. What I want to share more of is what matters to me, which is all about combining spirituality with meaningful creativity. Basically that's what I'm all about and that's what my art workshops are increasingly about as well.
Generally speaking, artists are not particularly valued by this world, hence the term 'starving artist' (I rest my case). I struggled for many years to get into my own art practice in a 'serious way' and by serious I don't mean being focused on fame or fortune, I simply mean making time for it and putting it before such things as making money or doing what anyone says I can or should do. To be a real artist in this world takes courage and commitment. As such, my workshops are designed to encourage, inspire and support others in their own creative unfoldment.
I know it's 'my thing' to run these workshops; it fills me up, it's just true, I just know. My own art practice and the workshops I teach have continued to evolve along with me in a more personal way, for the past 15 years. As I learn what works and what doesn't - what feeds my soul and what doesn't - then I'm able to share it with others. It all takes a certain amount of courage, firstly to be creative in this world, then to make it part of your daily nourishment and bring it to life. Perhaps not everyone is meant to be artistic or creative; but I think of little children and how they all love to paint and draw, and almost everyone I've ever asked has admitted that they loved doing artsy things when they were little. As adults we stop doing it for a variety of reasons, including the main one that it is not considered a worthy thing to do, generally speaking. However as I get older it's all I want to do! To do what's true and has meaning and most of all to do that which truly feeds my soul. To be free of fear, to relax and enjoy mixed media creativity, to paint my heart and soul and to share the joy of that with others. Doing a job you don't like and all the other things we do in life that we don't enjoy does not nourish us - and we all need nourishment; the deeper kind; the kind of nourishment that reaches deeply into us and nurtures from the inside out. As such, my workshops are a lot about finding that deeper, easy, relaxed flow, rekindling how to play... It takes some time and commitment - and because as artists we are overwhelmingly alone in our creative endeavours, when we do it in a group, magic happens, pure and simple. It works and the relaxation and deeper flow that you can learn to reconnect to through your art practice will seep into all other areas of your life. I once awoke with these words in my head (it was a message from Spirit), "Cherish the artist in you on this Earth plane." And ever since that day I have increasingly done so with absolutely no regrets what. so. ever.
My workshops are often designed to cover 3 or more weeks as this helps to build that 'creative muscle' so to speak and the more that kind of deep nurture can occur and those beliefs that stop us from making the time to be creative can be eroded at the same time - we need to remember how good it feels to play, to enjoy colour, to forget about our worries and enter into a very different stream; one that feeds us more deeply... Once that creative spark's been rekindled then it's good to keep it aflame and to nurture it by doing it regularly - and in that, having a supportive place in which to allow that process is key (even an online supportive place such as my online workshops).
So many people believe they're not creative - it's not true - we just need the right environment to get that beautiful sparkle back and being creative returns it to us. Taking an online art workshop provides the know-how as well as support (which gives a sense of self empowerment) as well as having a teacher to guide you on your own personal creative evolution, which is why all my workshops are 'live' and not pre-recorded. When I teach, I am not just teaching how to be creative from a purely practical point of view, I include a lot to help us relax and tune into the process in a way that nurtures us. For example, at the start of our creative session I lead everyone in a mini meditation, although only a few minutes long, it's just enough to help us all relax, become more present and begin to attune differently... Our world is so result oriented and that is not the way, it does not lead to real happiness.
Thanks for taking the time to read my inaugural blog post - more shall come as and when I feel the urge (I'll probably do a new blog post about once a week or so). If you're not already following me on instagram please do so, as that's where you'll see when I make new workshops available and also when I offer freebies!
Til next time,