Primal Scream Heard Around the World

Come Together II

 

I woke the other day to the Huffington Post headline that began with the words, “Women Let Out a Primal Scream“.  The urge to scream wells up in me and I know in many women (and some men) all over the world.  Some scream in public; some scream in private; some scream inside without letting out a sound.  If you are one of these women, or a man who screams in support, this post is for you.

What Was Hidden Has Simply Been Revealed

In my previous blog post, Balance, I cited Ken Carey’s book, Return of the Bird Tribes.  I have to see it as synchronistic when each chapter I read speaks to exactly what is going on in our world.

He writes “The Great Day of Purification has begun, a short but essential cycle of division that will gather those who promote fear and violence and separate them from this season of the world as chaff is separated from wheat at threshing….  As the sun rises, the shadows become sharper and more clearly defined.  As the energies of love grow stronger, the shadows of fear become more visible than before.  To some it may even appear that they have grown in number and in strength, but this is not so.  What was hidden has simply been revealed- that it might be healed and brought to peace.

I equate it to turning on the light in the kitchen and seeing hundreds of cockroaches scurrying around the floor and countertops.  They were hidden in the darkness but turning on the light revealed the level of the infestation.  The difference between the cockroaches and what is going on now is that the roaches would retreat back into the darkness.  That isn’t happening here.  They are boldly standing in the light for all of us to see.  As awful as that sounds, we now see the problem and can deal with it.  Yes, the first instinct is to scream.  The second instinct is to act.

Change is Occurring Everywhere

Ken Carey goes on to say, “You do not have to be a scholar to notice the direction and momentum of history.  Even a child can observe these times and know that fundamental changes are being wrought deep in the collective heart of humankind.  Something is changing on the surface as well.  You are here to help it change easily.  You have only to make the choice to shift the center of your motivation from fear to love.  Make the choice.

Make the Choice

Easier said than done, right?  I agree.  But if we each do what we can in our own unique way, we can be the change we want to see in the world.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot.  NEVER in history have oppressors succeeded for long.  In every culture and time that I can think of, eventually positive change comes.  Does it start at the “top” with governments and religious institutions?  Never (that I can think of).  It always starts with the brave person(s) who decides to take a stand.  The hope I carry now is that we are those brave people and we aren’t alone.

I’m a teacher, an artist, and an energy worker.  I will do my part.

What can you do?

What talents, strengths, skills, and gifts can you bring to this?

How can you use your uniqueness to affect positive change?

You may feel called to write, sign petitions, create art (visual arts, poems, songs…), become an activist, support your beliefs financially, educate, or run for office.  Let the knowledge of what is happening inspire, motivate, and guide you.  WE MATTER!

A New Way

What worked at one time no longer serves.  Carey likens it to eating out of a garden that grew in centuries past.  The food of that time has long since rotted.  There is no nourishment there.  We need to plant new seeds, nurture them, harvest them, and share the bounty with others.

We are stewards, caretakers of our world.  It is said that the true leaders, teachers, and healers will recognize what is going on and be the first to act.  You are among them.  We are “them”.

When we feel helpless, frustrated, and paralyzed by fear, Carey writes “You are doubting your own power.  You are not vibrating fast enough to channel the immense energies of creation because your attention is scattered and you are closed to the one moment where the love that would quicken you exists: the moment where you are.”

How Beautiful It Is

I’ll leave you with more from Ken Carey.

“As the new information society bubbles over into global spiritual awakening, we come to join with our human egos on a scale unprecedented throughout all of history.  People turn once again to the Great Spirit who is the source of all information.  Rapidly in some, gradually in others, our egos discover their appropriate roles in the communication of this new awareness.  And there is naturally distortion at first.  But in the explosion of consciousness, it is soon purified.  Our spirits incarnate in ever growing numbers.  Distortion diminishes.  Truth spreads.  And how beautiful it is!”

Every significant change in history starts with everyday people doing extraordinary things.

We are those people and our time is now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance

Several months ago, Marcy, my acutely perceptive Tarot Reader, spoke of the struggle we each have balancing our analytical, logical side with our intuitive, LOVE-centered side at different times throughout our lives.  This is especially true when we are in the midst of great change.  The masculine aspect of ourselves, associated with action, wants to DO something.  The feminine aspect of ourselves just wants to BE.

The back of Balance- Animus

Logic

Marcy used the image of a uniformed guard putting great effort into “protecting” a stone building.  He held a flag and took his job very seriously… to the point of exhaustion… not realizing that this much effort wasn’t really needed.  The guard represents my logical side- some call it the masculine, ego, thought, left brain, or animus.

The front of Balance- anima

Intuition

At the same time, in this vision, a sleek female cat-burglar was sneaking past him into the building.  She wasn’t gloating but she was definitely amused that she was able to sneak passed him undetected.  Some call her the female, Intuition, spirit, heart, right brain, or anima.

The Illusion

It’s an illusion to think each, acting alone, will be beneficial.  They both need to stop their “game playing”, truly SEE each other, and know that when they unite, they will be able to fulfill their true purpose- provide balance.

Marcy saw the cat-burglar go outside and make the first gesture toward connection.  He wasn’t able to do it; he was too focused on his duty to guard and protect.  The guard didn’t realize that by joining forces with her, it would free them both.

She embraces him and he literally lets his guard down- weeping and awakening at the same time.  The cat-burglar, too, realizes the need for unity to fulfill their symbiotic roles.

Balance: masculine and feminine supporting one another

 

What is fascinating to me, beyond Marcy’s skill as a Tarot reader, is that this message was already coming to me loud and clear through my creative expression.

Creativity

Creativity is where I’m most comfortable letting go of expectations and outcomes, allowing my Intuition to guide the process and analysis to follow.  Intuition communicates most clearly through imagery, synchronicity, dreams, and most often my art.

Possibilities

The beings in both my sculpture and my colored pencil drawing depict the positive effect the unity of masculine and feminine energies can have when they are in harmony.

Return of the Bird Tribes

Ken Carey, in his book Return of the Bird Tribes, explains, “In a healthy state, the ego is a secondary component of identity…the Great Spirit is experienced as your primary sense of self….When your ego stops trying to do everything all by itself, and invites eternal spirit into your consciousness, your historical illusion evaporates like mist on a sunny morning.  A polarity reversal takes place in the charge of your human envelope.  The field of consciousness around you changes.  Instead of your ego dominating your sense of identity and blocking your awareness of the Great Spirit, an eternal sense of self awakens within you.  You know yourself as a projection of the Creator of all the stars in the sky.  You know yourself as one of a family of god-beings, sharing God’s Being.  You remember.  Everything is seen differently.  The world is perceived anew through the eyes of a universal awareness.  Your ego becomes your working partner, and you commence the conscious creation of a new human reality.”

Our Outer World Mirrors Our Inner World

Marcy went on to explain that our outer world mirrors our inner world. Relationships with others and our experiences inform us of the times we are living in balance and when we are not.  Balance, for me, feels like greater clarity and flow, bring to mind words like Trust, Allowing, and Surrender.  When the masculine and feminine are out of balance, I feel discord between my heart and throat chakras- the centers for love and communication.  To come back to center, I have to form a harmonious partnership between the rigid, analytical aspect that is most comfortable “DOING” and the intuitive, heart-centered aspect that finds comfort in “BEING”.

Seeking Balance

Seeking balance between Doing and Being, I treat myself with greater compassion, gentleness, and kindness.  In my Tarot reading, Marcy saw the cat-burglar make the first move toward the guard.  By holding him in her arms, she represents taking a LOVE-focused approach.

My intuitive art practice, meditation, connecting to nature, and time for dream-filled sleep entwine these two aspects of my Self.  From this place of unity, I can move forward with greater grace, serenity, confidence, and love.  That’s when I know I’m on the right path.

What do you do to bring balance between DOING and BEING?

How can your Intuition be given space to guide you more often?

When you are still and quiet, what is your heart saying to you?

 

 

Tiptoe If You Must But Say YES

Tiptoe if You Must

 

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. 

Tiptoe if you must, but… TAKE THE NEXT STEP”. Naeem Calloway

Say YES to the life you want to live.

Fear and Yes

As I commit to living the life I dream of living, I admit that “Fear” is a big factor.  Fear can prevent me from taking the next step… or fear of living a smaller, unfulfilled life can actually motivate me, even if only to tiptoe and take a baby step.  Any movement in the right direction, no matter how small, is the next step to take.  Is fear preventing me from living my best life or inspiring me to make changes so that my best life becomes a reality?  That is the million-dollar question!

Saying “No” Leads to Saying “Yes”

This is a hard one for me.  I’m not someone who likes to say “No”.  I don’t like to disappoint people and I like to do what I can to serve.  But saying “Yes” to every opportunity or favor asked gets in the way of saying “yes” to myself.  Of course, I could spread myself thin and try to do it all but that doesn’t bring me any closer to the life I want to live.

I am learning the fine art of saying “No” to what drains me or pulls me further off course from the life I am manifesting.  It takes strength and some discernment.  I may disappoint people along the way.  Would I rather do that or disappoint myself and put my own health, needs, and dreams on the back burner?  This isn’t a selfish choice; this is an empowering, self-honoring choice that leads to greater fulfillment, happiness, and more energy to give others I love.  A short-term “No” clears space for a long-term “Yes”.

YES with Hearts

What if You Aren’t Sure?

What if you aren’t sure whether you are sensing an honest “No” or “Yes”?  Connect to your intuition by trying this…

  1. Get very still and quiet.
  2. Imagine someone is asking you to do something.  Something that is a definite “No” for you.  Something you really don’t want to do.  Imagine it in great detail.
    • Where are you?
    • Who are you with?
    • What is happening?
    • How does the scene play out?
  3. Now, focus on your body.  Where in your body do you feel your response to this obvious “No”?  How does it feel?

Do the same thing with a definite “Yes”.  Imagine that an opportunity arises to do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Something that if it came along, you would respond with an eager “Yes!” without having to stop and think about it.

  1. Where are you?
  2. Who are you with?
  3. How does the scene play out?
  4. Focus again on your body.  Where in your body do you feel your response to this offer?  How does it feel to say “Yes”?
YES with Heart

A “No” Might Have Been a “Yes”

I am aware that a “No” might have been a “Yes” once upon a time.  The relationship that was so wonderful in the beginning has gone from “Yes” to “No”.  The job that aligned with my skills and talents has changed for a variety of reasons; it felt right but doesn’t any longer.

It could be any number of things that were right at the time but aren’t any longer- you’ve grown; you’ve changed; you have new dreams or goals.  Something else is calling to you and you can’t help but listen.

Is the current situation one that can be turned into a “Yes” with some tweaking or is it a “No” that needs released to make room for a “Yes”?

I’ve learned to trust my gut instinct- my intuition.  It has always, without exception, led me in the right direction.

I suffer most when I ignore my intuition and try way too long to turn a “No” situation into a “Yes”.  This was my way of trying to fix things or hope that they will somehow fix themselves- if I ignore them long enough.  Someone told me that if I ignore the whispers of my intuition, I’ll get hit with “a spiritual 2 by 4”.  The Divine will continue to escalate the situation until I pay attention.  Things will get more uncomfortable and more miserable the longer I ignore the wisdom inside that is trying to guide me.

YES with Wings

Questions that Guide Me

There are some questions I can ask to keep myself on the path I choose to travel.

  1. Who am I now?
  2. How do I want others to see me?
  3. What is the “Yes” beckoning me?
  4. What is stopping me from taking a step in the direction that is calling to me?
  5. Am I ready to take a big step or do I need to tiptoe or take a baby step?

In The Summer Day, Mary Oliver asks,

“What is it you plan to do with your ONE wild and precious life?”

I’d love to hear your answer.

My post Saying Yes Leads to the Next Yes offers more insight into how “Yes” can guide and change your life.

Watch Whitney Freya’s inspiring YouTube video for the #YESextravaganza this month.

 

Intuitive Art Journal Practice

My intuitive art journal practice awakens my authentic self and allows me to access wisdom I already possess.

 

Journal Writing Had Limits

I developed my intuitive art journal practice after years of working in written journals and traditional art journals.  For many years, I faithfully recorded my thoughts in a notebook every morning.  It was full of entries that explored the same issues and concerns, day after day after day.  I became frustrated.  I already know what weighed on my mind and made me feel like I was spinning my wheels in mud; I wanted guidance.

Interestingly, I knew the answers were within me, I just couldn’t access them this way.  I came to the conclusion that the process of writing sentences kept me in my left brain, the linear and analytical half.  This hemisphere is very helpful for planning a budget and making decisions but not so helpful when I want to get in touch with the source of my own wisdom, my intuition.

An Art Journal Was the Next Step

I turned to my art for answers.  Art journaling gave my right brain freedom to fly into areas my left brain wouldn’t dare to go.  The right hemisphere of the brain is in charge of creativity and artistic expression.  It wants to play, explore, and be adventurous.  I splashed colors on dry surfaces and watching as colors flowed into one another on wet surfaces.  Then, I grabbed spray inks, stencils, stamps, water-soluble crayons, and bits of paper to layer and create different effects.  It was fun and relaxing.  I explored colors, compositions, and subject matter that made their way into artwork I exhibited and sold.

Like a written journal, an art journal has a purpose and I value it when my intention is to experiment and discover.   But there was still an aspect of myself that hungered for something more.  I longed to integrate my artistic side  and my logical side in a way that honored my uniqueness and opened me to deeper inner knowing.

Intuitive Art Journal Practice

My intuitive art journal practice is one way I awaken my authentic self and access the wisdom I already possess.  By weaving together ritual, meditation, guided visualization, and artistic expression with what I learned from spiritual guides, artists, and writers along the way, I am able to tap into information that has always been available to me.  I just had to learn how to access it.  Intuitive art journaling is a sacred process that allows me to hear the quiet voice within.  The piece above, Accept and Love, is one example of the messages I receive when I’m open and willing to surrender to my higher Self.  In other words, I allow the process to inform me.  I become my own guide.

Do you have a practice that allows you to awaken your authentic self and receive wisdom? 

Are you interested in learning more about intuitive art journaling?             

Be Love- My Mantra for 2018

Be Love
Be Love by Susan Korsnick- acrylic on canvas

Be Love- A Mantra Not a Resolution

In the past few months, I’ve noticed a lot of hearts appearing in my artwork.  Some resemble the ones we are used to seeing on Valentines and others are human hearts.  A self-admitted over-achiever and perfectionist, I’ve spent years striving to achieve and please.  Even my spiritual practice was based on getting in touch with my higher self.  I confused “higher self” with “best self” and that’s where I made a big mistake.  “Best self” is based on judgment and outcome; it always takes more to be my “best”.  It’s exhausting and unobtainable.  Logically, I know that but I always tried a little harder, did a little more, improved just a little bit.  Be better.  Where’s the love in that?

TAKING THE TIME TO LOVE

Christine Mason Miller wrote in Bella Grace magazine, “Whether about to turn 20 or 80, we all only have so much time, so why not be in a hurry- to reach out to one another, however we can- and love them.”  And before we do that, let’s take time to BE LOVE for ourselves- give ourselves permission to stop “doing” and start being.

detail of Be Love- Susan Korsnick's acrylic piece on canvas
detail of Be Love, by Susan Korsnick.

WAKE UP CALL

A recent health scare awakened me to the truth- it’s not as important for me to be my best self as it is for me to relax and be my authentic self.  Just BE.  It sounds so simple to do, doesn’t it?  Just BE.  I was humbled by the experience, to say the least, but there was a silver lining.  As much as I have practiced a spirituality that connects me to my divine self, I needed a bolt of lightning (of sorts) to reconnect me to my human self.

I don’t want to be that driven multi-tasker any more.  I want to create more art, read more books, spend more time with people I care about, play, laugh, and savor every precious moment.  It’s time to let go of judgments, outcomes, and  anything else that takes me out of the present.  It’s time to BE LOVE, starting with my self.

“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, ‘This is important’ and ‘this is important’ and ‘this is important’, ‘you need to worry about this and this and this’.  And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No! This is what’s important.” I. Thomas

I put my hand on my heart and promise to BE LOVE and allow that flawed, goofy, uniquely wonderful being who lives underneath to-do lists and expectations to come out and play and twirl in the light again.

Grampy and Me

ONCE UPON A TIME

Once upon a time, there was a little girl with straight dark brown hair and big dark brown eyes.  She loved spending her summers with her grandparents, Grampy and Nanny, in a small town in central Pennsylvania.  Every morning, the little girl’s grandfather would quietly tiptoe into her bedroom to tuck her blanket under her chin and softly pat her leg before he left for work in the brickyard.  To be completely honest, the little girl was rarely asleep when he came in but she kept her eyes closed and pretended anyway.  The whiff of freshly percolating coffee and the whispers of her grandparents in the kitchen wafted up through the register in the floor.  These soothing smells and sounds lulled her back to sleep.

When Grampy got home, after long hours in the stifling heat of that factory, he would sit on the porch with the little girl and open his lunch pail.  No matter how hungry he was during the day, he always saved her a bite of the chocolately dessert Nanny packed for him.

In the early evenings, the little girl and her grandfather went for walks to Martha’s Park where Grampy pointed out picnic shelters he helped build or to Webb’s field where they would sit as still as possible and watch the deer feed.  When they got home, Grampy would read on the porch while the little girl chased fireflies or bunnies in the yard with her sister.

Weekends were spent with Grampy- picking veggies out of the garden, playing in the playhouse he made for her and her little sister, shelling peas, and doing other chores that never felt like chores.

Nights were spent in front of the television, watching Lawrence Welk or Hee Haw while they played cards and ate dishes of chocolate ice-cream.  Triple scoops!  Sometimes they would watch the Three Stooges and laugh until tears streamed down their faces.  Nobody else appreciated Larry, Moe, and Curly the way Grampy did.

Fast forward a dozen years or so and the little girl is a married woman.  She’s standing in an airport with her grandparents before she flies back to California to reunite with her Air Force husband.  Her plane begins boarding and she begins hasty farewells because long good-byes lead to too many tears.  She hugs Nanny.  Then, she hugs Grampy.  He gives her an extra tight squeeze and says, “I love you.”  In over twenty years, he never said “I love you” to her.  She began to cry uncontrollably, not because she needed to hear him say that but because she didn’t.

She always knew she was loved… completely and unconditionally loved.  Grampy (Albert Martin Marcinko) instinctively knew how to BE LOVE.  And “being love” is the best kind of love there is.

FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT

Here she is.  The brown hair is turning gray and the brown eyes need glasses to read up close but she’s still the same tanned, barefoot little girl inside.  She knows how important it is to be authentic and how important it is to BE LOVE… everything else takes care of itself.

 

 

Embracing Hygge Before I Knew What It Was

Silly socks are cozy and are one way to let hygge into your life.
Silly socks are fun and cozy. I try not to take footwear too seriously.

 

Introduction to Hygge

As the rain fell this morning, I was savoring a cup of coffee and the latest issue of Bella Grace magazine when I came across the word “hygge” (pronounced hue-guh).  Reading through the articles, I got the impression that this term describes what I’m attracted to and what I aspire to in my daily life- coziness, comfort, intimacy, simplicity, joy, and presence.

I googled the term and found that it is a Danish word meaning “the art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel openhearted and alive; a coziness of the soul.” (LaWhimsy-WordNerd)

“A Coziness of the Soul”

Without knowing the word or its origin, I have embraced the feeling of hygge for years- in my home and garden, in my personal sense of style, and in how I try to relate to those I hold dear (all admitted works in progress).

My sanctuary is my backyard. Hygge is exemplified in everything I see; especially my hammock for two.
Comfort, relaxation, intimacy- all in the sanctuary of my cute and cozy backyard.

 

Hygge At Home

  • a hammock for two
  • a garden designed as a sanctuary- full of herbs, berries, flowers, birdhouses, and whimsical lawn art
  • lawn furniture on the deck for enjoying the sunset or watching fireflies sparkle in the nearby field
  • pillows
  • candles
  • soft throw blankets
  • soup in sturdy handcrafted mugs
  • zinnias- the more, the better!
  • inviting bed linens that make it hard to get up in the morning
  • open windows that let in the breeze or the sound of heavy rain
  • meditation area in a spare bedroom
  • my art studio… the ultimate sanctuary
  • lots of books in practically every room

Hygge In My Personal Style

  • Sensual fabrics that envelop me
  • Bath salts, essential oils, and scented lotions for a bit of pampering
  • A great selection of music for every occasion and mood
  • Yes, silly socks!

Hygge With Those I Love

  • Walks in nature
  • Free summertime concerts in the park
  • Casual cookouts or potlucks so no one is stuck in the kitchen
  • Picnics
  • Relaxing time in a coffee shop or diner
  • Browsing leisurely through a bookstore
  • Laughter… lots of it!
  • Just being together- comfortable in the silence

Alex Beauchamp wrote on her website, Hygge House, that “Hygge literally only requires a conscious appreciation, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present- but to recognize and enjoy the present.”  She goes on to say, “Some also refer to hygge as an ‘art of creating intimacy‘.”

May 2018 bring you all the coziness, intimacy, joy, laughter, and comfort that you desire.  Happy New Year!!

 

 

 

 

Appreciation for Life’s Little Joys

Art is one of Susan Korsnick's greatest Little Joys.
Creating art is one of my favorite Little Joys. It invites me to be present  and playful in body, mind, and soul.

 

EXPRESSING MY APPRECIATION FOR LITTLE JOYS

Several years ago, I became more aware of my appreciation for life’s Little Joys.  I actively sought them out.  I didn’t have to look far or put much effort into finding them.  They were, and are, around me every day.  These treasures come bundled in gratitude, reverence, nostalgia, and humor.  At times, I capture some in photographs and post them to Instagram and Facebook; at other times, I write a blog post like the one titled Little Joys Part 1 from April 2015.  More often than not, I just stop, allow my Self to be fully present, and imprint the moment on my heart and soul.  These memories later flow out of me and into my artwork.

Snowy Days are another of life's little joys.
Snowy days give me permission to slow down and savor each moment.

 

STOP AND SAVOR THE MOMENT

Some treasured experiences are so fleeting that all I can do is stop and savor the moment.  After a playful session in my art studio, I laugh at the rainbow of paint on my hands and most likely, somewhere on my clothing, too.  A single leaf flutters past on the crisp autumnal wind; I float with it.  Sunlight dances on a sycamore’s mottled bark; I let my eyes dance over it’s surface wishing my hands could touch it, too.  The snow falls with the distinct sound of silence; I let the silence wash over me and fill me.  As I dress, I pay attention to the feel of various fabrics against my skin- the practical warmth of wool, the snuggly comfort of polar fleece, the luxurious softness of velvet, or the heightened femininity of lace.  The strong, bold taste of coffee in a ceramic mug delights all my senses; the feel of the mug warms my hands as the coffee warms me inside.  Obviously, my list goes on and on with all the Little Joys that reveal themselves to me!

Coffee is a Little Joy
What’s better than fresh ground coffee in a sturdy ceramic mug?

MY MOST TREASURED MOMENTS ARE SMALL

While I love life’s big adventures, my greatest appreciation is for treasured moments that are “small”.  Julie Cameron writes in her bestseller Finding Water, “Life is made of small sweetnesses, and they come to us when we are willing to be little, instead of big.”  She goes on to say, “Sometimes, we must play the sleuth with ourselves, asking ourselves what makes us eager.  We must follow our noses and allow ourselves to pursue curiosities.”  I agree with Julia, that at times we may be out of touch with ourselves and need to ask, “What makes my heart sing?”  But for me, more often than not, I don’t have to analyze my Little Joys.  I need to step out of my own way and simply allow them to be.  They having a way of finding me!

Dogs are at the top of my list of Little Joys
Goofy dogs like Sophie and Freyja have to be on my list of Little Joys. Just look at those faces!

 

TO FIND LIFE’S LITTLE JOYS

When life is super-busy, it’s easy to miss the Little Joys.  I’m preoccupied with to-do lists, obligations, and errands.  I’m reflecting on the past and planning for the future (as every good teacher does).  It’s at these times that life gives me a reminder (sometimes a friendly reminder, sometimes a not-so-friendly kick in the pants!), saying, “Be still and notice what brings you joy.  Fill your life with more of that and savor each precious moment!  Take time to share your little joys with the special people in your life.”

Stillness connects me to Little Joys
Stillness is at once a Little Joy and the light that illuminates other Little Joys.  I’d delete the word “alone” if I created this now, for I’ve learned that Little Joys are best when shared with someone else.

 

What are your Little Joys?  I’d love to know.  

 

Awaken to Creative Possibilities

This week, I’m sharing how “saying yes” in my creative process awakens possibilities beyond the realm of intellectual decision-making.  Last week’s blog post “Saying Yes Leads to the Next Yes” explored how opening to possibilities in life as they speak to me on a soul level, can create space for profoundly wonderful things to happen.  The same is true with my artistic process.  Sometimes, I start with an idea or sketch which makes its way to the canvas or paper.  Other times, I like to sit in the stillness and wait.  Rather than put my idea on the surface, I want to see what will reveal itself to me.  Being receptive rather than being “in charge”.  Allowing rather than controlling.

Awakening to creative possibilities means saying yes as images appear.
The sketch for “Awakening” came when I allowed music to guide my process.

INSPIRATION THAT AWAKENED MY CREATIVITY

Several weeks ago, I decided to do something I had never done before.  This isn’t news.  I love trying new things!  Sounds of Spirit was performing nearby and I had the opportunity to attend.  I had never heard of them before but their website intrigued me so off I went with a sleeping bag, my journal, and a water bottle.  It was a spiritually moving and creatively inspiring experience.  The group uses a rich variety of instruments, nature sounds, and human voices to transport the listeners to a different place.  The outward experience of being in the space with them led to an inward journey for many of us in attendance.  I was so deeply moved that I bought their CD and listened to it over and over as I worked in my art studio.

 

Colorful washes both hide and reveal.
During the creative process, I have to allow each bold choice to guide me to the next choice.

 

ALLOW MYSELF TO BE A CHANNEL

On the day I created the sketch above, I turned up the volume on my CD player and let the music wash over me and through me.  I kept my eyes closed until imagery started to appear.  Then, I opened my eyes and simply transferred those images to the paper.  I felt like I was a channel not a creator at that point.  I said “Yes” to one image, which informed the next, which informed the next.   I allowed the process to happen freely without interference from my analytical mind or pesky inner critic.

I started with the 3 large repeated shapes in the background.  Then, the larger seated figure wanted to appear.  Then, little images around her began to tell their own story.  These figures informed the border and smaller symbols around the edges.  Each “yes” lead to the next “yes”.  The same thing happened when I chose my first color to wash over the larger areas.  Each choice naturally flowed into the next.

 

BEING BOLD MEANS BEING VULNERABLE

Who said being bold meant being confident or certain?  Not me!  Having the courage to be bold is also having the courage to be vulnerable and exposed.  Being bold doesn’t mean I’m always going to get it right in art or in life.  It means I have the courage to try.  There is a measure of risk  in creating art that is a genuine reflection of who I am and where I am on my journey.  There is even greater boldness and vulnerability in allowing others to see it.  For I’m aware that those who truly look at my art with open minds and hearts will have the ability to catch a brief glimpse inside the soul of the artist.

The finished piece by Susan Korsnick is an example of what happens when one is open to creative possibilities.
The finished mixed media piece titled Awakening is the result of saying yes to creative possibilities.

 

AWAKENING

After many hours in the studio and many layers of pencil, gouache, and ink, AWAKENING was complete.  I was awakened to the possibilities created by saying one “yes” after another.  I hope this piece awakens something in you, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Saying Yes Leads to the Next Yes

Transformation by Susan Korsnick
A flower blooms in it’s own time. Saying yes allows things to unfold naturally and in miraculous ways.

 

Saying Yes to the Next Right Thing

“When we aren’t sure what to do, saying ‘yes’ to the next right thing will lead to the next right thing after that.”  This is the nugget of wisdom I shared when the topic of change came up in a recent conversation.

Several days ago, I had the good fortune to spend time with some very interesting people.  As we chatted, we learned that the majority of us were in a period of change… major change… as in “New Chapter in Life” change.

An artist friend of mine shared that nugget of wisdom with me (and reminded me in the same moment of all the times in my life when this had worked) when I told her that I felt restless, like change was just over the horizon.  I couldn’t yet clearly identify it but I could sense it coming closer. I enjoy my job; I have meaningful relationships; my art is better than it’s ever been before; I love my cozy little house and yard; I’m healthy.  In fact, things are going really well.  I have an opportunity for professional growth.  There is a viable way for me to supplement my income by updating my skills at a nearby college.  There may be a new avenue for showcasing my artwork.  Each taking time, money, and commitment.  When I can’t possibly do it all, what should I do next?

That’s when she told me to “Say yes”.  Say ‘yes’ to what intuitively feels right.  Say ‘yes’ to what makes my heart sing.  Say ‘yes’ to what makes me feel more alive inside.  It’s this ‘yes’ that will inform the next ‘yes’ and the one after that.  It is the best advice I’ve ever had for finding one’s purpose and enjoying life along the way.

A True Story Where Saying Yes Made All the Difference

Close to 15 years ago, I had a similar restless feeling.  I lived in Virginia, taught school, had meaningful relationships, satisfying hobbies, and a charming circa-1918 home to call my own.  There were nature trails and the river nearby, perfect for dog walks.  I could sit on the dock and watch the moon’s reflection shimmering on the water.  One evening, I sighed deeply, recognizing a restlessness.  What did I want?  I wasn’t sure.  I just knew that I didn’t want “this” anymore.  I missed Pennsylvania and felt it calling me home.  Things were changing at work, relationships were not as satisfying in lots of ways, and Hurricane Isabel all but wiped out the forest where I loved to walk.  Doors were obviously closing.  But where was the next open door?  Hell, I’d take an open window!

Intuitively, I knew to say “yes” to what intrigued me and pulled at my heart.  I got certified to teach in Pennsylvania and put out over 40 applications to various school districts across the state.  A district made me a very generous offer, which I accepted (the next “yes”).     I put my house on the market and it sold within one hour!  Something larger than myself was at work here.  I knew I was on the right track.  Although, to be honest, the thought terrified me.  I was getting what I wished for!  The power of that is a might bit scary.  Things were falling into place so quickly.  I know from experience, that’s what happens when one starts to say “yes”.  The Universe responds.

Saying Yes Again

Once in Pennsylvania, I hired a realtor to find me a new home.  She began as the cold voice of reason but soon became the dark cloud of pessimism.  I’d have to settle for a house with old wiring or no air conditioning or no space for my dogs.  “You can’t afford the house you want”, she declared.  If she didn’t have faith or hope, she certainly couldn’t be of any help.  My instincts told me that I needed someone who believed in possibilities.  I said “yes” to the desire to hire a new realtor.

We met in her office where she showed me a website I could use to begin house-hunting.  When I found some I liked, she explained, I could contact her and she’d set up viewings.  Cross my heart, the first house she pulled up on the website made me gasp.  “That’s it.  I want to see that one!”, I declared.  She made the appointment and within a couple of hours I made an offer on the house I’m still living in- a cute rancher with modern wiring, air conditioning, a fenced yard for the dogs… and more than I ever imagined!  I didn’t know it would work out like that but that’s what happens when I say “yes”.

When I’m Not Sure

Sometimes saying yes rises confidently from me without involving heart or head.  It just is a clear and resounding “YES!!”.  At other times, it’s not so easy to hear.  I’m not so sure.  Some things I do to help when that happens…

  • Listen.  When I meditate or just sit in silence, I can more clearly hear that small soft voice inside.  “Yes” may be a loud exclamation of delight or a gentle coaxing whisper.
  • Be Still.  Stillness opens the space for possibilities.
  • Be present.  Set aside fear, doubt, and anticipated outcomes.  Stay in the moment.
  • Do what is possible then surrender the rest.  I could send out resumes.  I could get another realtor.  But then, I had to surrender and allow.

Restlessness

Julia Cameron, in her National Bestseller Walking in This World, writes “…restlessness is a good omen.  … Being alert to the possibility of change opens our ears and eyes to receive psychic signals more often and more quickly.  Irritated, restless, ready for change, we snap, ‘Goddammit!  What is it?’ when destiny knocks.  But destiny does knock, and it can be colorful and expansive if we will allow it to be.  When we are restless and our lives feel colorless, it is a clue and a cue that they are about to become colorful- if we cooperate.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here so I hope I don’t lose you, kind readers…  Julia goes on to say, “… it is my experience that when we are willing to be irrational and intuitive- even when we despise those words- we are rewarded by promptings, callings, that come to us from some mysterious and deft sources that guide and encourage us toward what might be called destiny.”

Did I lose you with talk of destiny?  I sincerely hope not!

Bottom line is that I know from experience that this is true and I must now take my own advice.  This website is a “yes” for me.  I hope that if you have stayed with me through this rather long blog post that you will continue to accompany me on this mysterious journey through my writing, my art, and/or upcoming workshops.  I look forward to traveling with you!  And I look forward to reading about your experience in the comments.  Namaste!