Come Home to Your Self- Lotus Painting

Do you ever feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?  Like you are stuck in the mud and can’t get out?

I love the symbol of the lotus because it reminds me that the mud is the starting point for growth.  The lotus needs the nutrients in the mud. Likewise, our “mud” probably had lessons and realizations that can help us in some way.  We aren’t stuck.  We can choose to grow and come to the surface where we can bloom.

Through meditation, a guided visualization, a creative warmup, conversation, and a simple painting process, you will feel renewed and supported.  Even if you’ve never held a paintbrush before, you can take a breath and relax.  I will guide you through the process so that you can paint a lotus – symbol of renewal, rebirth, and hope.  Your painting will be a beautiful reminder that even though you go through challenging times, you can rise out of the “mud” and bloom!

Gift yourself a bit of time to relax, try something fun and different, and quite possibly discover something new about yourself!

Registration and details on Brown Paper Tickets.   Bring a canvas (at least 12 inches on its shortest side) and a journal.  All other supplies are included in the cost.  Dress comfortably in clothes that might get paint on them.  You’ll want to be able to relax and play with color a bit.

 

 

Rise Above Club: Intuition

“Would you feel even more loved, safe, and supported if you knew you were being guided in each moment to the spaces, places, and people that would serve your highest and greatest good in each moment?”  Whitney Freya, Rise Above: Free Your Mind One Brushstroke at a Time

How connected do you feel to your intuition?  Can you hear it above the busyness and noise of everyday life?  Can you tell the difference between inner wisdom, the inner critic, and fear?

“The invitation right now is to tune in to the ways your soul is whispering to you every step of your journey,” writes Whitney Freya.  Feelings, synchronicities, dreams, and imagination “represent an unfiltered, higher perspective.  Your soul communicates to you very clearly- if you understand its language.

Explore intuition through meditation, breathwork, a guided visualization, conversation, and a powerful (yet very easy) painting process that I will guide you through step-by-step.

Register on Brown Paper Tickets to reserve your place at the table for this conversation and intuitive, painting experience.

Imagine a World

Imagine a world where your daughter has personal power, sovereignty over her own body, a broad understanding of beauty that includes her, the confidence to trust her intuition, healthy relationships and healthy boundaries, and a connection to the natural world around her.  Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Families Need a Network of Support

Families need a network of other supportive people involved in their daughter’s upbringing- coaches, mentors, teachers, etc to counterbalance the negative messages from politicians, main stream media, the public education system, and peer pressure, to name a few.  They need other adults in the community to link arms and provide a net of support for girls- physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

What Do We Hope For?

Katharine Krueger, founder of the Journey of Young Women program, asked, “What do we hope for girls on their journey from girlhood to womanhood?”  Her answers inspired me to earn certification as a Journey of Young Women coach…

  • To believe in her self-worth, regardless of popularity or looks
  • To be safe and make wholesome decisions
  • To claim her gifts, talents and strengths with self-confidence
  • To have good friends and to be a good friend
  • To speak her truth- to those in power and to peers
  • To understand, honor, and care for her changing body

A Retreat for Girls (ages 8-12)

I designed my retreat around qualities that every person has in some measure, qualities that need to be nurtured and supported in our young girls, such as compassion, wisdom, and self-care.  I integrated stories of the Divine Feminine, movement, role playing, conversation, and creative expression to support each theme in a meaningful way.  There was no “direct teaching”; everything was experiential, relevant, and fun!

Enriching Activities

When we talked about Kuan Yin, we made vessels to hold our own water of compassion.

When we spoke of Aphrodite, we looked through magazines geared to women and girls to see what messages were being sent.  They are savvy, perceptive, loving, kind human beings with wisdom beyond their years.  They recognize that the definition of beauty goes far deeper than makeup and far broader than a thin body (no pun intended).

Beautiful Inside and Out

The most poignant moment for me took place after our discussion of beauty.  Each girl held a mirror and said her own name followed by “You are beautiful inside and out!”  Already, at this young age, two girls couldn’t bring themselves to look in their own eyes and say that.  One couldn’t do it at all and the other asked, “Miss Susan, can I just say I’m beautiful on the inside?”

With encouragement from me and the other girls, she finally smiled and told herself what she needed to hear, “I AM BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE AND OUT!”

Because meaningful rites of passage are woefully lacking in our culture, the retreat ended with a sacred ceremony that honored each girl individually as she walks the path of puberty and womanhood and also honored them as members of “The Nature Girl Tribe”.

 

 

You Already Know

I just purged almost 30 of my old journals.  Before I released them, I arbitrarily flipped through a few pages here and there to see what I could learn about the woman who wrote them.  I learned that I knew a lot more than I gave myself credit for!  I intuitively knew what mattered to me, what I wanted more of in my life, and what I needed to release.

My first reaction after reading entries that were almost a decade old was, “Why did it take me so darn long to act on my intuition?!”  For whatever reason, I wasn’t ready yet.  It wasn’t the right time.  There were still lessons to be learned, experiences to be had, and deeper connections to be made with people I value and love.

Another thought occured to me as I sat on the floor surrounded by my old journals- I ALREADY KNEW!  I already knew what I wanted to change even though I didn’t know HOW to change it.  I talked to people in my inner circle; I had dreams; I experienced synchronicities that supported and validated me but I just wasn’t ready… YET.

“But”, I smiled, “I’m ready now.”  How do I know for sure?  Because the synchronicities, dreams, and intuitive feelings are aligned.  I feel the support of the Universe, Great Spirit, Love, whatever you choose to call it.  The time is NOW.

Here’s an example of the mysterious, magical way the Universe works…

Three years ago, I stayed late at the school where I was working because I was attending a “Welcoming Tea” for the families of incoming first graders.  As the rising second grade teacher, it was my responsibility to welcome the first grade families and introduce them to the woman who would be their child’s new teacher.  (In Waldorf schools, grades teachers typically rise with their class to the next grade- all the way from first to eighth in many cases!)

To give the new teacher the opportunity to meet the parents on her own, I chose to stay out of sight until the event began.  I walked down a dark hallway to the room used by a support teacher.  I didn’t turn on the hall light but I did turn on the light in the room so I could get some work done while I waited.  I shut the door behind me, thinking “No one will find me here.”

I heard voices but assumed that they would see the teacher standing in the doorway of the first grade room, notice the group of parents, and head that way.  Instead, the door swung open and a couple stood there looking at me.  I got up, extended my hand, and said, “You must be here for the First Grade Welcoming Tea.  I’m Susan Korsnick, the rising second grade teacher.”  The woman shook my hand but the man stopped in mid-shake, saying “Korsnick?  Korsnick?  The principal at my old school was named Korsnick.”

This is definitely NOT a common last name but I knew my uncle, Jack Korsnick, was a principal in Maryland years ago.  “Are you talking about Jack Korsnick?”  He was.  He went on to tell me that he was a student in the school on a track for an electrician program but he always wanted to work with cars.  My uncle told him, “It’s important to be happy”, and made it possible for the boy to switch into the program he wanted.  “Your uncle was a great man.  He inspired me and supported me every step of the way.”

He then went on to say that after graduation, he volunteered with an EMS (Emergency Medical Service) in Maryland.  One evening, a 911 call came in.  He arrived at the house and went upstairs to the bedroom where a man had collapsed from a massive heart attack.  He tried to resuscitate him but couldn’t.  My Uncle Jack was already dead.

Why am I telling you all this?  This man from Maryland, who was inspired by my uncle as a boy and later tried to save his life, was in a small private school in southcentral Pennsylvania, after regular school hours.  He turned right instead of left and got lost on his way to the first grade classroom.  Instead of turning around at the beginning of that long, dark hallway, he chose to walk down it and found me.  Me- Jack Korsnick’s niece.

I sincerely believe that man was a messenger, gifting me the encouraging message that Uncle Jack gifted him decades ago.  I believe my uncle was speaking to me through him.

“It’s important to be happy.”  

My journals were full of reflections on life, spirituality, and what I was yearning for in some ways.  Years ago, I knew I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, who I wanted to be with, or doing what I wanted to be doing.  Life was good and I felt guilty thinking it but “It wasn’t good enough”.  I was feeling growing pains… a transformation.  Life just didn’t fit anymore.

We have intuitive powers beyond anything we can comprehend.  Very few of us realize that and even fewer trust it enough to take action when truths are revealed.  I’m here to tell you that the Universe is on your side.  It wants you to not just grow but thrive and be happy.  Call it Source, God, Goddess, Great Spirit, whatever you want; I call the energy that connects us all- LOVE.

I use creativity to connect to my intuition.  Making art and writing reveal myself to me.

Wings are Meant for Flying by Susan Korsnick

 

Dreams and synchronicities are messengers.  They validate our intuition and encourage us to live life in bold colors.

The Wanderer (Tarot card from Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews)

Lessons Learned

  1. I already know.
  2. I can connect more deeply with my intuition through creativity.
  3. The Universe (LOVE) will send me all kinds of signs to support my intuition.
  4. When the time is right, I’ll be ready to fly.

Come to the Edge

“Come to the edge”, he said.  

They said, “We are afraid.”

“Come to the edge”, he said.

They came.

He pushed them… and they flew.

Apolliaire

 

Rise Above Club: Self-Love

Explore each chapter of Whitney Freya’s book, Rise Above: Free Your Mind One Brushstroke at a Time, with me.  As a certified Creatively Fit Coach, I have trained with Whitney and worked through her book twice (so far).  In this session, we will focus on Self-Love.

Many of us were not taught or encouraged to love ourselves unconditionally.  “In the process (of painting and conversation), you will observe your inner critic, your inner perfectionist, your inner ‘poor me’.  You can take back your power and tell those voices that they have been misinformed”, writes Whitney Freya.

Each session of the Rise Above Club includes discussion of the featured chapter, time to paint or work in an art journal, and meaningful conversation in a supportive space.

Create art to create the change you want in your life!

Get details and register at Brown Paper Tickets .

The Ripple Effect

Every Decision Causes a Ripple Effect

It’s been quite a journey getting here, embarking on a new life that inspires, motivates, and lights me up inside.  Don’t get me wrong, life wasn’t horrible.  In fact, it was good.  But “good” turned out to be “not good enough”.  I had a wake-up call, reminding me that life is very short.  “Hey Suz, is this really the life you want?”  The answer came quickly and truthfully.  No.

I made bold decisions to end a 10-year relationship and walk away from a 20-year career in teaching.  What seemed to take a year and a half from the first thought of these changes to the present, actually took a lifetime of learning and growing.

This morning, I realized with crystal clarity that both decisions had a ripple effect that impacted a lot of people.  Because I just left my job as a teacher (yesterday was the last day of school), I thoughtfully considered each person who was directly affected by this- each student, each family member, and each colleague floated one by one in my awareness.  Wow, that realization carries a lot of responsibility and weight!  (More on that later.)  Because of my choice, many of them had to make choices, too.  And the ripples continue to expand outward.

Decide How I Want to Decide

When it is time to make a decision, I have to decide how I wanted to decide.  Do I…

1. Make a choice based on fear, anxiety, and doubt?

2.  Or… spoiler alert- this is the better option…Make a choice from a place of love, courage, and authenticity?

A Team of Advisors

There are a great many candidates who want to be on my trusted Team of Advisors for decision-making.  Let me introduce you to them.  Perhaps you know some of them, too.

In one group are the naysayers– external and internal.  They think they are helping by keeping you small and “safe”.  They say things like, “You need to find a secure job”, “You can’t make money doing that”, “No one will ever love you like I do”, “You’ll never find anyone else”, “Who are you kidding?”, “You are too old/young/inexperienced/overqualified.”  The external naysayers could be friends, family, or colleagues.  The internal naysayers could be the inner critic, the perfectionist, the good girl/boy, the people-pleaser, or the martyr.  They mean well but guide from a place of fear.

In the other group are the encouragers– external and internal.  They have your best interest at heart, saying things like, “You won’t know until you try”, “You’ve always wanted this, go for it”, “There’s no time like the present”, “You deserve to be happy (loved, appreciated, valued)”, “Follow your heart”, “Trust yourself”, “You have my support”, and “I believe in you”.  The external encouragers could be friends, family, or colleagues.  The internal encouragers are your heart, feelings, intuition (gut instinct), dreams, and your awareness of synchronicities.  They don’t just mean well; they DO well, guiding from a place of love, support, empowerment, and authenticity.

You may have felt two very different sensations in your chest or abdomen as you read those last two paragraphs.  Read them again and heighten your awareness.  Which feels kinder, gentler, and more positive?  The second one, right?

With Choice Comes Responsibility

So back to “the ripple effect”.  With every decision comes the weight and responsibility of impacting others.  As I considered the weight of my most recent decision, I realized that almost everything I do can impact others and, likewise, what others do can impact me.  That’s just part of being interconnected.  It can paralyze us, detering us from ever deciding anything.  But then I asked myself a question that made all the difference.

The Big Question

Am I living my best life from a place of love, courage, and authenticity?

If something is going to ripple out from me energetically, I want it to be positive!  The teacher in me imagines how great it would be if each child grew up feeling encouraged to be themselves and follow their hearts.  We are examples for one another.  I’m constantly inspired by those who have the courage to pursue their dreams, leave unhealthy relationships, take chances, and SOAR!

An acquaintance asked me what would happen if I failed at my business venture.  My response, “I can’t fail.  By having the courage to try, I’ve already succeeded.”

The Universe Will Respond… I Promise

As soon as I released what no longer served and made space for new possibilities, the Universe responded in surprising and magical ways.  There were synchronisitic events, support came from the most unexpected places, clarity came through dreams, and expansive opportunities appeared almost immediately.

Remember when I asked you to reread those two paragraphs?  The feeling you got from the second one is the feeling I get when I listen to my intuition, knowing it is my most trusted advisor and encourager.

What I say to my Self is what I say to you-  Trust your Self.  You already know.  There are encouragers, seen and unseen, just waiting to support you.  You are loved.  Namaste!

 

Come Home to Your Self

The Message I Needed to Hear

Late last spring, I received a one-word message from my intuition, “Home”.   After a busy year of teaching, two consecutive summers of work-related traveling, and the end of a significant relationship, this was a welcome word that I took literally.  I stayed home to create art, take care of my house and pets, and tend my garden.  To keep this story short, what I got for my effort was bare skin covered with ant bites and a bee sting on my lip that caused significant swelling.  “I stayed home for this?!”, I complained out loud.  And just as clear as that one word message I received in the spring, I heard, “Come home to your Self.”  Actually, I think I heard, “Duh, Suz!  Home means come home to your Self.”  The Universe has a sense of humor!

What did it mean?  Start doing things differently.  Like what?  (I was full of questions but unaware that I was full of the answers, too, if I would only listen.)

At first, I felt stuck.  I heard that “when one door closes, another opens.”  But, I didn’t see any open doors, sun-filled windows, or light through a keyhole beckoning me.  I was facing the wrong direction.  I was focused on what I didn’t want and what wasn’t working.

The Choice

There were two choices- stand still and stay stuck or take a step.  It sounds a bit flippant and oh-so easy but it’s not.  It takes a lot of courage to take the first step in the direction you want to go.  You don’t have to run or even walk… just take one small step and it will guide the next step.

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

Tiptoe if you must, but… take the step!” 

Naeem Calaway

Journey of Love

I realized that coming home to my Self is a Journey of Love.  Whoa, hold on just a minute!  Isn’t it selfish to put my Self first?  Absolutely not!  How can I offer anyone else a drink from an empty cup?  I had to fill my chalice first.  I had to be “Self-Full”.  Keep in mind, I said this is a “journey”, not a destination.  It meant reprioritizing.  Making space.  Saying “No thank you” to things I didn’t want to do.  Taking care of my body, mind, and spirit.  Having fun.  Reconnecting with people I love.  Doing less so I could be more present.  It meant loving, accepting, and respecting myself.  It meant having the courage to be authentic… and visible.

Home Means…

  • I choose Love over fear.
  • I express gratitude for all the treasures in my life.
  • I focus on what I want with greater clarity and intention.
  • I use my creativity as a portal to connect me to my inner wisdom (intuition, highest self…).
  • I allow my inner wisdom to guide my choices.
  • I follow “YES”.  Even if it’s a baby step, I take the step.
  • I release, with loving kindness, what no longer serves.
  • I connect to the Divine energy in all that is seen and unseen- the Divine within me, too.
  • I trust the Mystery- relinquishing the desire to control outcomes so the real magic can happen!
  • I accept myself for being human…a perfectly imperfect human being.

Come Home to Your Self is a Journey of Love… it begins with one brave step!

When we can love ourselves and have the confidence to show up authentically,

our example gives those around us permission to do the same.

My Calendar of Events lists upcoming workshops and retreats where I guide people on the journey back to Self through creativity, intuitive experiences, ceremony, visualizations, and more.

 

 

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.

 

 

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!