Musings

Thoughts and Perspectives to Shift your Thinking from Ordinary to Extraordinary

You’ve Got the Power!

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!

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.

Transcend the Time Space

Transcend the Time Space

I am washing my brush at the sink when I notice that I have nearly as much paint on my hand as I do on my tiny 2-inch brush. I laugh. This is not new to me. Not only had I been painting less than 4 minutes but I was also not even properly painting. I was casually applying gesso to an already primed canvas. My cavalier approach had me disregard the need for an apron while I wore black to the white paint. I was lucky. Only managed to coat most of my right hand. More often than not, I find paint in the strangest places. I remember cleaning up after a marathon painting session and later noticing that I had gotten blue paint behind my left knee. The most unusual part was that I had been wearing jeans the whole time. How I transcended physics and permeated denim to get paint to the skin I do know now. I do know that painting does seem to transcend the space-time continuum, so that may explain somethings…

The idea that painting transcends time is not just an opinion it is well documented that there is a “zone” entered when an artist is fully engaged in the art-making process.  Painting becomes an act of meditation.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Maia Gambis writes that an art-making process is a form of mediation that not only aids in greater quality of life, but also helps with overwhelm and anxiety ( my favorites).

“Creating art is a type of meditation, an active training of the mind that increases awareness and emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind… Similarly to meditation, art can help us tap into a deeper and quieter part of ourselves. We enter into a state of flow and present-moment awareness… All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”

Ok, how cool was that quote??!

When I first began teaching painting and meditation workshops I was actually curious as to why I had decided to pair these two.  It wasn’t until I examined their similar effects that I understood why I was doing it. Often times, as an intuitive person, I will simply go with a feeling that something is the right choice before my logical mind shows up with a long list of how and whys attached to it.  This was one of those times.


I realized, however, that during these workshops I was more interested in facilitating the experience of the meditation and the art creation process rather than teaching a technical lesson on how to re-create a painting. My desire is to give participants the space to explore their inner landscape and create an external expression of it. Whether they had the painterly alphabet was not important, what mattered was that they had in their hands, for the first time in a long time, colors, brushes, canvas and space to simply express themselves without judgement. They could release what was inside of them looking for a way to get free.

The look in their eyes when they had moved into the zone, the silence in the room and the extreme sigh of relief when they had accomplished this courageous artwork was intoxicating.

I look forward to creating these workshops with extra-large canvasses and give participants even more room to set free what they have held inside for too long.  I can guarantee that when that happens, I won’t be the only one walking away with paint behind my knee.

How are you getting into your zone of creativity? I would love to know!

If you want to take a jump back into the pool of your art, head on over the Creative Jump Start Free Challenge. Ideas, inspiration and peace are waiting for you there.

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.

Yahoo!! I am Depressed! – Wait What?

Yahoo!! I am Depressed! – Wait What?

“Yahoo! I am depressed!”  is a thought I had well after I had been feeling super down for a while. It took me having to experience a whole lot of feels for me to realize my sadness was actually a gift.

What we don’t realize is that depression can sometimes be an amazing gift.  I am not talking about a diagnosed ongoing mental condition. I am talking about moving through the world when all of a sudden sadness hits you like a ton of bricks and the next thing you know you are plastered to the couch with blankets and wine sobbing as if you could cure the California drought with your tears. If only. The latter happened to me.

But here is what happened right before, see if you can guess what may have added to my emotional demise:

  • Viewing sleep as a waste of time, I took no more than 4 hours a night.
  • Every time I got thirsty my mind erased the fact that water existed and only coffee could fit in my cup.
  • I stopped taking vitamins.
  • I did the same things every day.
  • I saw exercise as a threat to my couch and forbid myself to contemplate more than a 20-minutes of yoga.

I’ve been here before. I’ll be there again. It’s a human thing. But what happened, as a result, was that each and every heavy moment became unbearable and slowly but surely I started losing perspective. I also had a ton of old sadness inside and it was time to come out.  So after I sobbed off and on for about a week, one day it was over. I was done. I really was.

Then I realized I was ready for a new normal. I think the fact that I wasn’t taking care of myself, opened the door to some old lurking sadness and it came out like a tear exodus.  And you know what it was great because I was able to clear space.  I always tell my daughter that tears clean your heart, but even I forgot that.

After I had cleared enough space to move in the Eiffel tower what happened next?

  • My next steps
  • Clarity
  • New ideas
  • New perspectives
  • I grew!

Does a snake cry when it sheds its skin? We do not know, but we know it becomes a new version of itself. I can imagine that is not a comfortable process. Nor can it be for any being. The same way we shed layers of ourselves through embracing the sadness and authentically getting real about what is happening in our lives  – our tears help us to shed the what is limiting our growth.

And if I view my life as fertile soil my tears watered it and grew a new version of myself that was ready to be born.

So here is my suggestion. Don’t wait to dehydrate yourself, don’t become a professional sleep-deprived zombie, find a way to recognize that where there is sadness there is a part of you longing for growth.  Emotional and experiences live inside of our cells, we literally have to release them.  When you are feeling the volatile energy taking hold, go into it and honor it.  Embrace the dark to release the light.

I have always said that the human body can only take on so many experiences before it explodes. We have to connect and release so we can make room for the new.  Have you been feeling sad, or like you desperately need to unwind? Chances are you need to detach and release.

If you are looking for some help on doing this:

Rent a sad movie and just start the tear train moving or put on your favorite melancholic playlist and grab a pen and start to write without restriction.  Dive as deep into your feeling as you can. There is something very powerful waiting for you on the other side.

You can also check out The Creative Jumpstart which begins with a wonderful meditation aimed at releasing what you no longer need energetically. And the 21 Day Meditation includes a release for the sadness in your hearts.  They are wonderful ways to get started.

Whatever you do, remember you are worth gold. Honor each and every part of you, especially your feelings.

Big Hug!

Elizabeth

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.

 

How to Stay Inspired

How to Stay Inspired

How to Stay Inspired

I came back from an amazing trip to California feeling extremely inspired! The sunshine and ocean were a balm to my thoughts and an elixir to my winter.

My wander through the redwood forest was nothing less than total replenishment.  I gazed upwards at prehistoric trees and felt alive and nurtured by nature.

Back in my winterland, I had been experiencing some major up-hill battles in my personal life. This trip to California took me out of my everyday surroundings and gave me the aliveness needed to create some long lasting perspective shifts, clarity and figure out some action steps. I was recharged!

When I returned to the Midwest, I soon I found myself in my old world habits and routines.  The feeling of excitement and anticipation was fading fast and I could feel it. The great ideas I wanted to implement began to take second-place to an older energy.  All my victorious clarity and zeal began to dim in the light of an environment I had grown too familiar with.

But my 51 percent was still in the new energy and I was determined to stay there.

Determination is a powerful tool, and when used correctly, can move mountains. Especially energetic ones.

I decided to take some immediate action steps to anchor in my new energy. To keep the feeling of my new desires fresh and alive I did the following:

  • I made a huge sign and hung it in my kitchen where I would see it every day. I took the ticket I had from my trip, taped it to my sign and drew a big red star it. That paper on my wall was a physical reminder of an energetic memory.  I put it near an area where I habitually cooked or cleaned to counteract the density of habit.
  • I dedicated a color to remind me of that energy shift and declared it out loud. Every time I saw the color red I would be reminded of a moment on my trip to California when I felt most clear and confident.
  • I put on a red thread around my wrist to keep me in view of my dreams.

These markers made the difference between staying stuck or moving forward. I moved very forward.

It is wonderful to feel totally alive and inspired by a new experience, thought or idea.  Yet it can be all too easy lose sight of its importance when we return to our “normal”.

External environments hold meaning for us. And when we change internally we must not allow our environments to hold us back from becoming a new version of ourselves.

This can especially be true with our New Year Resolutions. To create new ways of being in the world, we have to create new habits and actions.  If you find yourself fresh off of a new experience and want to keep it alive it is worth surrounding yourself reminders of the experience.  But how. Here are a few ways to keep the momentum alive.

  • Set up a visual anchors in your home or office (like a poster)
  • Write a letter to yourself telling yourself all the great ideas you have and how inspired you are by this new thought or experience. Post it to yourself and when it arrives you will be able to reconnect with the energy. (Plus it is always nice getting real mail!)
  • Set reminders on your phone to pop up daily with the new thought.
  • Dedicate a color to the feeling or new energy you want to bring in.
  • Or simply write a few post it notes with an affirmations of the experience and post somewhere you will see them every day.

Surround yourself with reminders of the new energy you are bringing in. It is super easy to maintain the consistency of the old, bringing in the new will take practice and attention to it. But stay strong because once you do it will feel so worth it!

If you feel like you would like some help with moving any resistance and bringing in new energy or creating an artistic way to anchor in your new energy – work with me. Schedule a call with me to get started.

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.

 

Trust

Trust

After a long meditation process followed by a wonderful painting session, I felt I had really begun to release a lot of outdated ideas in my head. But within a day or two some weeds of thought showed up again. I had to keep reminding myself that things were not how they appeared it was my outdated perspective on the situation that determined its meaning.

Almost like a test. I chose to release so much of the past but was I committed to that idea? If I was really going to let go then how would my approach to the challenges of today be?
Could I look with a fresh perspective?

How was I going to trust a fresh perspective that has no prior experience? I had been utilizing my “how things had been” viewpoint and not my “how can things become” viewpoint.

Sometimes old energy likes to hang on and see if we are really committed to breaking up with it.

The trick to releasing is to begin to have some really big faith in who you are truly and to trust that what is coming next comes from a part of you that you may not have connected with for a while. Your muse. Your deep inner knowing.

We have to make a commitment to trusting ourselves. Because future steps are either built based on what has happened in the past or on a decision to trust the part of you that is wise and limitless and can create a truly great possibilities for us if we listen to it.

By setting the intention to make conscious choices that are aligned with what you truly want the “unknown” can become a landscape of trust.

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.

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