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Musings (Blog) - Art With Intention


Thoughts and Perspectives to Shift your Thinking from Ordinary to Extraordinary

The Illusion of Control

I recently had an amazing creative coaching call with a woman. There were so many “Aha moments” that I knew I had to share them with you.

After going through one of two meditations during the call, the first image that this woman had seen was a bird flying over a rainbow. She said was not entirely sure where that image was coming from. By the end of the call we both understood the meaning behind that vision.

This lovely woman had recently been feeling quite burnt out by work overwhelm.  When she had tried to control each metaphorical fire that had come up she was often left more and more depleted. This was an ongoing situation lasting over 18 months.

She had gone into her venture with enthusiasm but when challenges began to come up they seemed to never end and her enthusiasm soon morphed into emotional fatigue.

Then something magical happened.  She made an epic decision. She had had enough. She was done living inside of this situation. She decided to accept it as it was.  Perhaps it was never going to get any better. Maybe it was always going to need an endless amount of problem solving. Maybe she was always going to be tied to this situation. Fine. She was ready to accept that this situation had a life force outside of her and it was not up to her to try to control it anymore. She would be there in person but not in spirit.

She decided that instead of trying to control the outcome of this situation, she was going to start increasing her own personal joy.  She got a puppy.

Her love of her new puppy took over all the other feelings in her world. She knew that her dog was only a puppy for a short time and she did not want to miss out on that precious timeframe by worrying about her work.  The value of her relationship with her puppy became more important than the trauma of all things that weren’t working for her.  While still allowing her business to move forward, she divested her emotional interest in its shortcomings and instead began to invest her emotions in her new puppy and having fun with it while it was still young.

And, guess what happened?

All of her work-related problems began to take care of themselves.  One by one, everything started working out.   After a horrible 18 months of non-stop devastation with her work, she was now facing an oasis of peace.

So let’s unpack this a bit.

She decided that she was going to accept the situation the way it was instead of fighting to control it. 

I often hear the word accept and think that it denotes giving in. But I don’t believe it is. When you accept something you are declaring that your emotional boundaries have been drawn. There is now an official border on what you will allow to affect you energetically.

The concept of boundaries applies to all relationships we have. Not just partners but also jobs, conversations, interactions with people during your day. Essentially it is a decision about your own energy space and how much you will allow it to be affected by your external circumstances

Rarely do we decide on boundaries before we embark on a new experience or relationship. But doing so in advance of the experience really declares your ownership about your own energy and can set you up for feelings of empowerment vs. depletion, especially when everything begins to go south.

She may not have created boundaries at the beginning of her new work relationship, but she definitely was declaring them now. She was no longer going to allow for anything to affect her negatively.

She decided to relinquish her control over the situation.

Control is another fully loaded word.  In this case I would rather use the term emotional engagement.

When we are trying to control the outcome of a situation we are emotionally engaged in that experience. We have a direct investment in how the result will make us feel. When that feeling is not met we want to further control it until that feeling is met.  We can’t depend on the situation to give us the feels we are looking for because it can be an endless carrot that we are forever chasing. And each time the feelings we desire are not met, we sink deeper into disappointment.

What was so wonderful about this woman is that she realized she had erroneously been looking to this situation to bring her joy and relief.  And once she understood that this was not going to happen, she took her emotional engagement out of the situation and put it elsewhere. In this case, a new puppy!  And we all know the definition of puppy is Pure Joy!

It is no accident that once she freed herself from the emotional entanglement, things started working. It is easy to feel the need to wrangle something to the ground with the desire to control it. I think we have been lead to believe that if a situation needs to be solved, it needs to be done so as a hands on process.  We are not taught that by disengaging emotionally, declaring your energetic boundaries with the situation, and deciding to focus on your own joy is a profound way to truly affect a situation.

So what was the meaning of the vision she had after our initial mediation together? The rainbow had come after her storm had finally passed. She was the bird spreading her wings and finally flying free.

You may be wondering at this point what we discussed on the call. Her next steps. She was finally in a position to be starting over. We cleared stagnant energy from her prior experiences and began playing in the field of her imagination. That was fun!

Just in case you are in a situation where you feel tied to a condition that is not working and you are looking for some emotional relief, I have included a link (below) to one of my meditations. This one is about grounding your energy and removing what is not working in your life.  Taking even a few minutes to ground and center can greatly help shift your energy closer to joy.    Enjoy.

Click this link for your free Energy Grounding Meditation

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She provides creative coaching to remove old energy and gain clarity. You can learn more about working with her here: http://artwithintention.com/one-one/ She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

Is your receiver working?

Recently I was sitting with someone I admire and they were reviewing some work I had done for them.  As they spoke I found myself crossing my legs, tapping my foot and playing uncomfortably with my pen.  I also found myself struggling to make eye contact, which rarely happens.

The words kept flowing from her. Comment after comment about the work that I had done.

This was kind of difficult to take in.


It was a waterfall of continuous compliments.  Literally – non-stop compliments about the work I had done.

After the first one I smiled and said “Oh thank you so much.”  After the second, third and … I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

I tried to deflect  – saying that we all were amazing together It wasn’t just me.

I tried to return – saying that it is such a gift to work with someone so amazing.

But after a while, I had nothing left. It was just awkward. I had to accept these amazing words all directed towards me. For me being me.

Why on earth was this so difficult?  If she has sat there and told me all of the ways I could improve, I would have listened intently, taken notes and worked on my self-improvement model. But this was not like that at all.  There was nothing to improve upon. Omg.

I think we all have an under developed “I’m F’n Amazing”  muscle and an over developed “I’m not worthy” muscle.

This really needs to shift.

In the book, The Power of Receiving, Amanda Owen writes, “While the Giver archetype is celebrated in our culture, the Receiver is almost wholly unknown. The result? Busyness is a virtue. “  So true. Cultivating a life of doing and doing for others leads us down a path that thwarts our ability to receive. This ability to receive shows up in crazy places. It can be gifts, good health, relaxing and even receiving the gift of true love.

Owen writes, “The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive is someone who doesn’t know how to give.” That statement alone speaks volumes and begs us to ask ourselves, what value is there in not being someone who won’t’ open up to receiving?

There is no martyrdom nor are there any awards in being an over-giver. There is just an imbalance.

All of life depends on a flow of give and receive to properly flourish and thrive and we are no exception.

It is time to open the doors and let your all your joys in and receive them with honor! You deserve it!

So….in closing…If you want to praise this post, feel free to email me at Elizabeth@elizabethtuckwell.com – I am open to receive!

Big Hug Amazing you!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.



The Lens of Love

Seeing with Love’s Lenses

A woman I know looked at her phone and shook her head. She walked over to me and said look at this text message my husband just sent me.

It was a list of things to remember before her big trip.

I looked at it and said, “Oh look at all the ways he is telling you he loves you.”

Her expression totally changed. “Ohhh”, she said, “I was looking at this and thinking God look how he is micro managing me.   But you totally changed that for me.” A few weeks later she came up to me and showed me a text on her phone again and this time she said, “look at all the ways my husband is telling me he loves me.”  We both laughed!

How much better does it feel to look at something and feel the love from it than to feel constricted by it?

Love’s lenses are an incredible and freeing way to view the world around you. We are all in fact wearing some form of lenses that we view our world from and the vantage point is make or break.  No matter what lenses you chose to view your life from, you will always be right.  That is why it can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone (lover, partner, friend, colleague, parent, etc) where you do not share the same type of lenses. Especially if one person is heavily invested in their perspective.

Recently a friend called me to express her need for some help. She said she felt isolated and believed that there were not a lot of people in her life to help her.  She asked me to reach out and see if support was available for her. What I found was an outpouring of love and people wanting so much to help her. There was so much love available for her. But in her limited perspective she was only able to see some of it. How much better did she feel when the world of love that was surrounding her actually was able to be viewed because her lenses had shifted from isolation to that of love?

When we are only looking at life through one set of lenses, we are looking for life to appear a certain way. That is a bit rigid and our self-imposed lenses will also allow you to only see what is in line with that viewpoint.

What is important here is to allow for the possibilities of other viewpoints to come into play. It makes life’s playground a lot bigger and possibilities for personal expansion much greater. One perspective is one path and there is only one way to go. Opening up to other perspectives, lenses and interpretations of an event creates growth.

So ask yourself this question the next time you are feeling especially constricted by a situation, “If I looked at this through the lenses of love, what would I see?” I am willing to bet the farm that what you will see will be a lot more beautiful than anything before. Give it a try!

Big Hug!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.




Use Your Imagination for Good!

Your imagination is such a powerful part of you. In fact, if you spell the
word imagine out loud it sounds like ” I am a genie” because you are
and it is.

Every once in a while my 7-year-old starts on a worry route. She will
have watched or heard something that tipped her mind in the wrong direction, like a
scary part of a movie, or a bad dream, and she will start to ask a
series of “what if” questions all designed to calm (or cement) her

“What if it is real?”
“What if that really happens”
“What if something like that happens to me?”

I comfort her, ensure her that it was all pretend. I tell her that she is safe.

And then I tell her that she is just using her imagination the wrong
way. She has the power to imagine anything. Don’t choose what feels
horrible. Choose what feels good. Those what if questions are gatekeepers to your imagination.

It is the essence of worry. Worry is simply using your imagination
the wrong way. Using it to bring you closer to your fears versus towards your joy. When we go the route of worry we are using our “What If” muscles to create something we don’t want instead of what we do want.

Two sides of the coin, both just as powerful.

Growing up we are trained to dismiss this power of our imagination as a frivolous
part of our make-up. But it is actually an indispensable part of our
lives.  If we can begin to see anything in our mind, and do it often
enough. we will see that our minds will start to bring that to us.

There is a part of our brains designed for this. It is the Reticular
Activating System. It is a part of the brain that filters all of the
information coming at you. It only takes in what you have deemed most
important by your habitual mental setup. The thoughts you think over and over and over.

Your consistent application of your imagination.

Holding a thought in your mind and imagining that thought coming
true is holding a space in your life for something to come in.

Whether it is good or not so good. Staying aware and in ownership of this is learning to master what we intentionally place in our lives versus what shows up by default.

We are easy creatures of habit and this also includes our thoughts and what we allow as the focus of our attention. Checking our phones every
3 minutes, waking up and staring at a screen, binging on Netflix, video games –  all gives our attention away and eludes our ability to our focus. This all takes away from us intentionally using our imagination.

Picture in your mind having something that you really want right now.


  • How much time do you give to this one idea throughout the day?
  • How much time do you spend imagining what it would be like to have this in your life?
  • How much of your day do you outsource your attention to the things around you?

Take a moment to expand on what you are really wanting? Feel how what you want to feel when you have it. Now imagine that desire hovering over you like a light above your head.

Now imagine it descending into your whole being. Feel the warmth and gentle confidence it is bringing to you. Hold this feeling for as long as you can. Then let it go.

You have just used your imagination to bring you what you do want.

Doing this intentionally and on repeat will start to bring more of what you really want to you. It will start to tip that RAS in your favor.

When you begin to go down the path of worry, realize you are simply using your imagination to bring you what you don’t want. You can stop it in its tracks and turn the vision around. Imagine the opposite. That everything IS working. That it is becoming easier and easier. Imagine that situation simply floating away from you resolving itself. Win Win for all.  You just used your imagination to bring you what you do want.

You have this power that totally listens to you. It is impartial. What your use your imagination for it will bring to you. So let’s start intentionally using it for good. Even more than good – let’s start using it for the Best of the Best right now.

And we all want that, right?

Happy intentional creating! Love you!

Would love to know your thoughts/ feelings / ideas? Xoxox

Want more info on the Reticular Activating System?:





Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

You’ve Got the Power!

I did it! The other day I shot out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning. I was full of vigor, might and all the potential joy in the world. The 364 days leading up to that day I had been wanting to start a morning routine where I managed to work out, meditate and set the intentions for the day all before waking up my daughter. Today was the day!

My intention was to create my own energy field and remain aligned with it throughout the day.  What does this mean? It means that instead of having my feelings be based on reactions to my day, I would have a day based on the way I wanted to feel. I was going to decide how I wanted to feel that day and not waiver from that – no matter what. Obviously, I wanted to feel good. Real good. All day.

And today was the day! I got up extra early and did yoga, ran on the elliptical, had a wonderful shower then meditated. I was feeling great. Today was going to be amazing!

I woke my daughter and we got our day started with some crazy accents, major silliness and lots of laughter.  I knew that this day was going to be amazing for her as well because it was starting so beautifully ahhhh… (I am sure there is a choir of angels in that sentence somewhere).

Then it happened. Without warning my sweet child turned on me. There were more tantrums than I could count. And they were all happening in micro seconds. Shirts were not comfortable. Oatmeal was not pretty. Life had become totally unbearable in a matter of minutes. Tears were flying and I was standing there stunned. Did my seven-year-old child not understand that mommy had already decided today was going to be amazing. At no point had I added a buffet of tantrums to that list of loveliness. So what was this?!!

After we moved through the rest of our morning and I dropped off my daughter at school, I walked away thinking heavily about the morning that had gone south despite my 6 am pep rally. The day that followed had a few hiccups too and I almost began to call this day a wash by 9:30 am when I realized that it was still very much in my control! Wait, what? Despite everything that had happened I still had a major playing card. My decision to have my day aligned with peace. No matter what. I had cultivated that feeling at the very beginning of the morning and I could reactivate it anytime. I started to realize that this day was less about things going wrong as it was about me testing myself.

I heard once that when you pray for peace you are not sent peace, you are sent challenges that force you to choose peace. What you seek must be cultivated on the inside for it to be real. I had made a decision to own the way the day felt for me at the beginning of the day. It was not up to the world to make sure this happened, it was up to me. So what happened. I got a day that asked me how serious I was about this? How committed to me am I?

I thought about this over and over throughout the day. I began to see each hiccup as an opportunity to re-establish my connection with what I really wanted this day to be for me. It was a liberating way to move through the day. Each time something went left when I wanted it to go right, I simply told myself to not take it personally and move on.

Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements started playing in my head. It outlines the four basic tenants of wisdom that, when followed, make life a lot easier:

Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.

I went through this simple list and related it to my decision to stay in aligned with peace. It was, and is, such an excellent guidepost for keeping in harmony throughout the day.

Since that morning I have been taking this concept to other areas of my life. Setting feeling intentions before anything happens. Reminding myself of how I want to feel.  Knowing that if something externally has me deviate from these feelings, it is up to my internal guidance system to get me back on track.

I think this is some serious life mastery stuff we are talking about. And when it works it really works. Does this technically mean I am adult-ing??

Question: How do you want to feel today? Tomorrow? Next week? Right Now?
You have the right to decide that. You also have the power to make it happen.

Big Hug Beautiful Creator!
Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

Your life is your Masterpiece!

Do you feel like creativity is just for Artists?

When I tell people that I am an Artist I often hear them say, “ I don’t have one creative bone in my body.” To which I reply, I am sure you do.

I say that because I really believe that everyone is creative. We just have to re-write the definition of what creative means and look at from the viewpoint of the choices we make. These choices are our moment by moment brushstrokes on the canvas of our worlds creating the picture of our lives.

Each choice we make determines the moment that follows it. We are creating our futures moment by moment by the mico choices we make all day long.

From the moment you wake you are making choices that will determine the outcome of your day. Often times these choices are habits, like brushing your teeth, making coffee, working out (or not working out). Sometimes these choices are as simple, or for some complex, as deciding your outfit for the day.  Each of these morning choices determines the foundation of your day.  Throughout the rest of your day you will face seemingly endless micro choices; pick up the phone, ignore it? reply to this email, ignore it? Call the one you have been thinking about for 5 years, or ignore that idea?  Stay within the comfort zone or try something new?

Start recognizing where you already are creative in your own life. Look at the things you love  – how do you express yourself around your loved ones?  What ways do you create moments that matter? Look at the ways you create peace, inspiration or even dialogue. Look at the way you express yourself.

Being a creative is about the way you express yourself in the world.  But it is not limited to creating artwork. From the way you dress, meals you cook or order in, the music you choose, the artwork you look at. The moments you create in your own life count too.

I think by realizing that you, in fact, possess these creative powers innately, and use them daily, you will start to look at your world a bit more differently. Seeing that you have actually placed the items in your life there for a reason.

It is a beautiful way to look at your everyday. It is easy to overlook the small actions you choose through the day as random ones. When in fact it is the collection of micro-choices that make up our macro world. There is something about you that is choosing this cup over that one, or this colour shirt over another. And only you can make this choice for your life.

An interesting experiment is to examine how you create on purpose is to take a notebook with you one day and jot down all of the choices you make throughout your day on one column and on the other write why. Small or large they all count.

If we start to see how we create big moments out of little ones we can start to see how powerful we are.

At the end of the day, you are a great artist. You are creating your life. You are the artist of your life and your world. So why not make it your masterpiece.

Big Hug Great Creator – Stay Amazing!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.