Monday, September 14, 2009

Stretching Myself

As I typed out the title for this entry, I was compelled to add "too thin!" I've definitely had a few too many pots cooking on my stove top and to stretch a image even further, I've felt a few times things may have bubbled over and burned. But I am choosing today to dwell on the positives and look at what I accomplished over the weekend. An attitude which is another stretch for me.

I held my first art workshop and I have to say, it went well. This little guy greeted me when I got to the studio ... I took it as a favorable sign.

I tried not to over prepare, allowing space for the class and the group to flow in its own direction. I did bring way too much stuff for the afternoon. I guess I was fully in child mode, meaning: I figured we would jump from project to project like my Cowgirl does. HA! The group really focused upon their journal covers and that is all we did in 3 hours time. I pulled out a lot of my goodies to share as future inspiration for materials or techniques; we did a relaxation/visualization practice to get the juices flowing and mostly, everyone created and shared. I caught myself at one pointing looking at the group, the room silent, and each person absorbed in her work. It was so inspiring so see the smiles on their faces and the sense of relaxation and ease as each person explored her vision for herself through art. The greatest gift were the requests for future get togethers ... my ulterior motive in presenting this workshop in the first place! So I am dubbing the day a success and resting a bit before turning my mind towards the next workshop: an art camp for girls and I already have some girls enrolled. YIKES.

Did I mention I was completely exhausted by the end of the day? I did catch myself wondering if I really am up for all this. I mean, it is easier, safer, more comfortable not to put myself out there. I caught myself contemplating a retreat back to business as usual; nice to do these workshops, but not on any regular basis. Then I started thinking about how any new pose or practice I try is usually awkward at first. There are new muscles screaming out their presence, questioning why I am bothering them and my mental muscles are not so different. Today I remembered a great explanation of yoga asanas: the act of consciously placing oneself in an uncomfortable situation to learn how to relax. And that is what I am doing - putting myself into these situations to stretch and grow. At first it is awkward and the task is to learn how to be comfortable, be myself, be truthful to my vision where ever and whatever I am doing.

I also was also reminded recently of something one of my yoga mentors told a group of us during our teacher training. She said after she did her training, it took her 5 years before she could gather the courage to teach. She said eventually her love of Yoga became greater than her fear of teaching. I am trying to remember that when I teach, that is the case for me. What I am doing I love so much, I want to share it with others. I am definitely not the most skillful in what I am teaching, but what I do have in buckets is the passion for the material. Both art making and Yoga are practices that have helped me find my voice, my power and I know it is the teachings that teach, not me. I just share the love.

What are your passions? How are they calling to you? Are you listening?

(I have received comments about not showing or talking about Moose dog very much on this blog. So here he is, modeling the necklaces Cowgirl made for him. He is always present for me, lying right by my feet at all times.)


  1. beautiful post, lis...
    it made me think of my wisteria vines... first they stretch their fresh green little arms out, find something to hang onto and then fill out... one little branch 7 leaves, and then two branches and before you know it 15 little branches all heavy with blooms and dark green leaves... and that arm shoots off a new tendril and the process begins again. i feel that my life as a woman is like that...

    love the accompanying pictures, too!

  2. Moooooooooooooose (called by a crowd as in,'Brooooooooce')! What ahandsome chap and you...? Well I'm so proud of you! You're doing it! It's real!

  3. Hi Lisa,
    I'm sooo happy for you! It sounds like your art journaling class was soooo successful! I can very much relate to your comment about it being " easier, safer, more comfortable not to put myself out there." I have those thoughts as well. But in the end, it always seems that it's wiser to put myself out there!

    Keep up the great work! Gosh...I wish I lived closer to you! I want to sign up for one of your classes, too!!!

    Jean :)