I know, I know.... upside down.... don't ask :)

Creative journaling is a form of creative expression that I do almost daily. I've found that it develops emotional awareness, reinforces self-esteem and aids in problem-solving while also providing a record of artistic growth, struggle and change. 

Recently I was asked to help a client with her creative process. Below are some basic exercises that I suggested she use to work through the creativity blocks she was experiencing.

DIALOGUE: Writing a dialogue between one or more subjects helps to identify and separate emotions, ideas, issues and influences in a given creative situation. The primary result of writing dialogue is to clarify the creative situation, to give voice to all aspects of the situation and to restore the situation to it's proper perspective.

GRATITUDE LIST: Thank you lists are very easy to write. It takes no more than a few seconds, some paper and a pen to create a list. Thank you lists, no matter what the length, powerfully challenge negative thoughts, disappointment and discouragement. Lists also help restore the situation to it's rightful place in the clients creative process. Thank you lists are especially useful when pursuing long-term goals and facing crises.

COMPLETED ACTION LIST: What a client thinks can powerfully impact the creative process. Building an artistic career upon past negative artistic experiences blocks creative expression. It also leaves no room for the possibility of current or future positive change. Keeping track of completed actions, no matter how small, provides an accurate record of the client's progress toward her artistic and business goals.

GOAL LIST: Identifying and developing artistic and business goals, provides a clear path for fulfilling the client's dreams. Regular progress through each goal can become a ready source of motivation for the client. The goal list provides a reality check for both the client and the coach, when difficulties rise or progress is being assessed.

CHARACTER TRAITS LIST: Developing and maintaining a list of the character traits reinforces self-esteem, aids in problem-solving, and increases emotional awareness. The client describes one success using one character trait. The client learns to acknowledge her participation in the creative process which will encourage future creative learning and growth.

Keeping a journal of creative work and progress can enrich all areas of an artist's life. 
What are some of your creative journaling techniques?

 I had a gorgeous time this past weekend at the 
 ☆~MotherDaughter~☆ Chakra Workshop

We began with a connection circle.

 Each of us opening ourselves to each other, from the heart...

and letting our energies merge and flow and hold us as sisters.

We then took a Journey through the Chakra's to pen and activate each of our Chakra centers...

and then we began our chakra painting and drawing... 

...while staying open to the energies that were activated within us...

and channeling them into our art work.

All Artists, All Magicians

A blank empty canvas
Pure as the winter’s snow
Open as but a vast window
seeing deep into its soul.

The mind ticks in emotional frustration
Relics of imagination fly and form
Particles of atomic consciousness
Gather and flows like an astral storm.

White wash covers the surface
the first invocation soothing and mild
Then images gather before the eyes
like a raging storm, fierce and wild.

The pallet is filled with rainbow mixtures
here one joins to the alchemist's dream
establishing upon board, paper or canvas
the unfolding of the creative stream.

Brush in hand, Like an ancient wand
One casts the horizon like a spell
Summoning, coaxing, those tides within
Where the possession conquered, flowed and fell.

Dashes here, strokes there
Balancing the tones within each hue, 
the thoughts so fast, mind captured
Projections all of that inner you.

Murky and shapeless at the start
But shadows enhance, inward glance
Light engulfs and shines but through
the eyes captured to the romance.

The artist gallant before her glory
yet! Never fulfilled by its view
playing upon its essence and structure
she draws upon images anew.

One here becomes the timeless Shaman
working the magic of nature’s way
Gathering the similarities and imbuing with fire
Elevating ever the thought to the creative day.

Or like a modern mystic
Grasped tight in spiritual bliss
subduing into but representations
the reflections of the heaven's kiss.

But all in all the artist is
whether by paint, sculpture, acrylic or oil
a voyager of the main stream existence
her vision of her own scared soil.

The goal is not unlike any science
to acquire that bridge of untold reason
for artist down throughout the ages
have awakened the soul to its season.

The emotions arise, fly, excite
those creatures of the inspirational mind
Poets, musicians, painter, writers
by whatever character there we find
All artists, All Magicians.

©Gloria Gypsy. 2012

I spent my childhood in 'make believe' worlds although they were very real to me. With my little sister in tow, we would set out on journeys to the wild wood behind our house encountering many epic adventures, once we stepped through the portal from the 'real world' into an enchanted world of trolls, shapeshifters, plant spirits, and the fey.

Sometimes portals were found in books or closets, sometimes in friend's yards, sometimes by the lake... each with your own unique realms and magic.

As I grew through the years I was fortunate to be of strong will and so I never caved to the ideas of 'make believe' being for little ones, and at some point I would have to grow out of it... I would have to grow up! Well, grow up I did but I kept that magic with me through the years. I suppose, it was inevitable that I would one day weave magic into all aspects of my life.

I wrote the above poem All Artists, All Magicians a few years back and today I came across must listen to free audio download (thanks to Jean Anthony Shamanic Ceremonial Artist ) discussing artists as magician, as shaman, as storyteller and bringing to light the myth of art has no meaning, no purpose...

It speaks of other myths such as the myth of the starving artist and how one can change that into the myth of the thriving artist. I highly recommend all artists and everyone else for that matter to take a listen!

Today the New Moon has risen in Sagittarius.

The start of a new cycle. The start of new beginnings.

The New Moon is a time for the conception of an idea to become birthed into life with the coming Full moon. Knowing that words and thoughts ARE vibrations that flow out into the ether, my intentions (whether thought, written, or spoken) carry power.

I will set aside space tonight to sit in my intent. To manifest. As women we too have our phases, as does the moon. I've come to find that working in connection with the moon is most beneficial, and that the more I sync with the moon the more potent my work is.

First I cleanse my sacred area with an opening prayer/invocation and a sage/mugwort smudge mix. I lay my crystals and and personal sacred objects, including a ring I will wear until the Full Moon (fruition of what I create tonight).

Then I center, letting go of the days energetic dust. Letting go of the stress, the worries, the agendas... all of it, as I visualize it flowing down and out of my body, through my feet and into the ground below.

I then sit with my art journal and begin to writing and sketching, and painting my intentions.... as I take the time to do this I am also feeling/seeing/knowing these intentions as real... as coming to life.

This is manifestation!

I will work on this for some time. Work until it feels right to stop. Then throughout the remaining days leading to the full moon I may come back to it and write more, or perhaps add new images that represent my intentions and prayers.

Some days I will simply sit with the journal, revisiting the words, the images, the essence of it. Perhaps I will go through the meditative visualization again. Whatever I am called to at each moment...

I've been participating in Whitney Freya's 21 Day Painting Meditation. Here is what she says:

You will also be able to sink into a new daily, creative practice that will help to cultivate a meditative mental state, one that is like a blank canvas, ready for what your creative soul wants to create through you. Creative & meditative activity have been proven to produce the same brain waves.
Right from the start I was fully drawn into the meditations through my painting.  Although I regularly incorporate meditation into my intuitive and prayer painting, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was having a new experience through her suggested techniques. With her meditation challenge she takes it down to the basics, and makes it FUN. There is no long, drawn out process... it is all about opening to the creative energies .... and I've discovered how playful watercolor painting is.

The energies of watercolor paints do not want to be burdened with technical process or technique. They want to be free to flow, spontaneous creation. These spirits are playful and energetic (no wonder kids love creating with them!)  Even after the 21 days are over I will be setting aside (at least) a few minutes each day to let my inner child play! Below are a few samples of the painting I've done for the challenge.

If you have your own way of letting your inner child play tell me about it in the comments below, I'd love to hear your stories!

Autumn Equinox, or “Meán Fómhair” in the Gaelic calendar, which means the “middle of autumn.” We call it by this name because this year our Autumn Equinox High Day ritual honors the Gaulish Horned God, Cernunnos.

In the spring, we celebrate the power of the sacred feminine; thus, the autumn is the time to celebrate the sacred masculine. For without the womb there would be no birth, but without the seed, there would be no harvest. Cernunnos represents the virility which counterbalances the Earth Mother’s fertility; both of which are necessary to bring life to the land.

At the balance point just before the dark part of the year reigns, we remember the strength of our bond to Cernunnos, the Horned God. We honor the characteristics of the Hunter, the primal Lord of the Wilds, and the paths of sacred ecstasy. So many of his aspects are things people fear and shy away from; but we were all wild once, and there are still parts of ourselves that will never be tame. Those are the parts that are closest to Cernunnos, and we honor him when we remember those aspects of ourselves and when we drink deep of all the abundance that life offers to us.

Night and Day rest, for a moment, in perfect equality and all of Time and Space balance on the head-of-a-pin that is this Autumnal High Day. What could not be possible at a moment such as this? Cernunnos, Lord of the In-Between presides over the Mystery of this turning point when the dark half of the year looms before us. We call upon the Great God to prepare us for the Cosmic Dream Time by transforming our souls into animal form, for Cernunnos is also Lord of Animals. The ancient Celts knew that such transformations were necessary for growth, for healing, and to revive our primal nature which has been too-often compromised by the strictures of society. this is a time to journey to Cernunnos in the primordial wood to be remade and dance in new form.

My son and I spent the entire weekend in celebration and ritual with the equinox. Below is a peak at the Prayer art ritual we created by the lake and our Mabon fire later that evening. 

Sand prayer ritual for the Autumn Equinox. I drew the prayers as symbols/mandalas in the sand as I set the intent. As the water carries the prayer they are released.

Since childhood I have been drawn to writing and art. I participated in many poetry and art contests throughout grade school , and even won a few awards from both.

Reading was highly encouraged in my family and I became an avid reader from a young age. I was drawn into the mythical realms with the a certain well known hobbit, I gained a boys perspective while stranded on an unknown island ruled by the Lord of the Flies... my greatest inspirations came not only from reading, but also from the hours I spent in art museums and art galleries....and always developing my imagination.

I never stopped writing, or painting, or drawing... I was always on one kind of creative project or another, right into young adulthood. In my teens I was fortunate enough to have a high school art teacher, who let me replace my study halls with volunteer work at a kindergarten art class as a teachers assistant. This was my first taste of teaching and I just loved the energy of those kids. I loved how they had no preconceptions of what art should or shouldn't be. They were fresh and open, there was no right or wrong way. It was ALL about PROCESS.

However, instead of pursuing a teaching degree I went on to learn graphic design. Back in my day we called it Commercial Art. At the time, under advice from the schools career guidance councilor, it would be the best way to incorporate art into a practical career... with good pay....

Again, I continued my creative endeavors, painting on the side, writing some although the writing was pushed aside more often than not. During this time I discovered Buddhism and spent a great deal of time with a friend I had made back in college who was a practicing Buddhist. This education would play a big part in my art process later in life.

I became a single mom in 2001. I quite working, stayed at home, had more time to be creative and eventually began homeschooling my son along the way. I joined a local homeschool group and began exchanging art lessons and workshops for arithmetic and math lessons for my son. I was back in a role of teaching and guidance and loved it!

Now days we practice free range learning, or unschooling as others call it (although I don't connect as much with that term). I am still enjoying the freedom of working for myself through art and writing, while also offering intuitive painting classes and workshops, and my intuitive women's workshop Red Paint!

My intuitive art processes have been based deeply on teachings from Buddhism and Hinduism. I work extensively with the Chakra's and incorporate energy work, I've learned as Reiki master/teacher. I am currently entering a new phase where I am going back to nature so to speak. I've started using natural, organic paints in my work and I have some new projects lined up incorporating natural materials and art forms.

I was off to a slow start with writing but have been gaining momentum and re-connecting with my writing muse through this blog and was so excited when Tery Brouwer of Creative Soul Poetry nominated me for this (not your typical) blog hop!

To keep the hop on...  The Wisdom of Not Knowing Everything and the healing artists and blogs on the Art & Healing Network are two main places I gleen regular inspiration.

Bridging Science and the Arts

Arts & Healing Network