Monday, August 22, 2011

joy-filled presence (august art bash & family celebrations)

We have been partying hard my friends. There has been much celebrating – balloons, cake, dancing and beaucoup arty goodness spilled across the table. We surpassed our initial goal and are working diligently towards our new goal of raising $1400 for Half the Sky foundation. There are two weeks left in this art marathon and each step, each painting, each and every donation matters.

But we haven’t forgotten this marathon is also a celebration of the connections and inspirations that have brought us to this place in our journey. And it seems fitting that this month-long festival of art and joy encompasses another significant celebration for today is the 5-year anniversary of our family.

Five years ago in an office complex in Guangzhou China I became a mother. The moment Cowgirl was placed in my arms my life set off on a new trajectory. To say she has profoundly altered my understanding of myself is an understatement. She has moved my heart and soul into closer alignment with my truth. She has tested me, challenged me, inspired, humbled, awed and yes, frustrated me beyond belief. But being her mother has cracked wide open the shell I had unconsciously built around my spirit and I am loving every minute of this wild and crazy ride.

My life has been the clichéd experience of “when the student is ready, the teacher will come.” Repeatedly the teachers I need for the lessons at hand have miraculously manifested in my life, in my dreams and in my meditations.

This week’s special guest I feel very blessed to have in my life as I consider her a guide and peer on this spiritual/creative journey. The first time I came upon Pixie Campbell’s blog and etsy shop, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. In my own practice I had been experimenting with sacred rituals - attuning to the insights and teachings of the natural world around me. My habit had been to turn to books, to experts and teachers to teach me how to listen and know myself. I was breaking away from that and felt a little “out there” until I found Pixie.
Through her writing, her painting and now in her SouLodge Pixie invites us all to tap into the wisdom that is our birthright as children of this earth. While she offers the example of her practices - sharing what has supported and guided her on her journey - she encourages us to look within ourselves and to trust our intuition and instincts.

And like all of the contributors to our party, Pixie is generously offering two prizes … and she let me pick them out! I knew immediately the first prize has to be her deck of 30 totem cards.

image courtesy of Pixie Campbell
for more info go here

I love and use this deck regularly. On the back of each card is her reading for that guide and each image is taken from an original work of art. I prop my card against my altar for daily inspiration.

The second prize from Pixie is a print and I struggled to decide which one to pick! In the end the image and the message of this critter seemed tailor made for the spirit of our party:

Pink Fox by Pixie Campbell
"She is the voice of the conversation taking place in our hearts right now."
full description found here

Meanwhile, Cowgirl and I were inspired this week by one of our favorite birds, the small but fearless hummingbird.

hummingbird pin i rediscovered!

This summer we were blessed to see many of these little warriors of joy while on vacation in Colorado. Their presence always reminds me to savor the delights of life which are all too fleeting, remembering that magic is available to one who seeks it out with passion and energy.

Our offering this week is Joy-Filled Presence

6 by 6 inches mixed media on gesso board

The all-important rules (how to enter to win): if you haven’t already done so, get thee to our Half the Sky pledge page and make a donation. If you’ve already donated, then you are automatically entered into the drawing for one of Cowgirl and my paintings. (Only one more painting to go after this week!)

To qualify for one of Pixie’s prizes you must have made a donation and either leave a comment here on or email me at: Lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net. Receive additional chances to win by blogging, tweeting, linking on facebook or any other means of helping us spread the word. Be sure to let me know in the comments or through email.

For more information about this art marathon and Half the Sky foundation, you can go here. To catch up on the last 3 weeks of partying madness you can peruse all entries here (or click the cute little button I made on the right hand sidebar!)

We will draw the names on Sunday night and post the winners next Monday, August 29 when we will announce our final week of prizes.

It has been a whirlwind of emotions and energy ... thank you all for your continued support, encouragement and enthusiasm! I am taking time to savor all these gifts of connection: family, friends, guides, and sparks of inspiration that brighten my world.

"Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them."
- John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara

our first night, 5 years ago in China

What is calling for your attention? What guardian or guide is assisting you presently? Who would you like to call on for support?

Update: Congratulations to all our winners from last week! Mourning Dove Love - Diana; Faith in her Path - Karen; Awakening - Meegan and Effy's journal - Esther. Your prizes will be sent out soon!


  1. love all these pics of your journey with your daugher, really touched me..
    big love to you and yours.

  2. Ps - I will tweet and share through facebook also

  3. Oh, how I loved today's visit. The first day of high school for my Emma... the first day of 5th grade for Samuel... I finally have adequate time to putter around visiting friends online.

    So grateful I didn't miss the party completely!

    Happy five year family anniversary!

  4. Cried(of course)at the honoring of the day your family came into being.So beautiful,magical & joy- filled!
    Beautiful giveaways this week. Pixie's magical creations & wow TOTALLY loving the energy of the hummingbird piece.They are a powerful connection to the Fey world :)
    Many blessings-

  5. happy anniversary, beautiful family! it is incredible how we navigate towards those we need and they show up at just the right time.

  6. Love being a part of this! Happy Anniversary!

  7. Oh, Lis. What an astonishingly beautiful account of the beginning of your lives together with Cowgirl. You expressed motherhood so poignantly and exactly as I, too, am experiencing it. Mama Bear, you bring more to this world than you will ever know. At the moment Elephant has shown up for me and it's all fitting into place. We are so blessed.

  8. Happy Familyversary!! :) I'm thrilled to have one Soraya's painting. Thanks so much for hosting this wonderful ArtFest! You have such a wonderful heart.

  9. *sigh*

    i'm just going to be sure to grab a hanky before i ever come to one of these posts....

    i'm at a crossroads, methinks...Crow visits me every morning now....

    beautiful Pixie-art -- such genuine magic there.


  10. yah, so me too. tears. this is so beautiful, all of this. LOVE being moved to tears so early, it starts the day off feeling cleansed somehow.
    beautiful art. beautiful family. beautiful cause.

  11. Oh, I have to enter because I love Pixie Campbell and her work! Oh, and I just love the pictures of your first days with Cowgirl. What an incredible way to become a mother!

    much love to you!

  12. all the best to you and your beautiful family, Lis!

    i love hummingbirds, Pixie's totem cards, and reading about your journey... it melts my heart :***

    Love : )

  13. Beautiful! Your family is incredible and is doing a wonderful thing :). Friends of mine are in the process of adopting a little boy from South America. They were able to host him for five weeks this summer and fell in love. I hope they will be able to have what your family has shared for the past five years. Loving the hummingbird (has been showing up for me the past month)and Pixie's animal totem art. I have signed up for the fall SouLodge - so excited! Posting a link up on my FB. Love to you all - mandy xo

  14. I love stories of all the beautiful ways families are made:) Thank you so much for sharing. Hooray for August Ar Bash!

  15. Of course, I meant August Art Bash:) Although this sounds like something pirates would celebrate - Ar!

  16. So proud and in awe of your work here. The description of how your life, how you, have changed since becoming Cowgirl's mother is beautiful. You have such a way with words! I'm also so excited about the Mourning Dove Love! What an honor to hang your artwork in my home :)