Life Life Fully and Freely

Live LIfe Fully

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost exactly two years since I read “Walking in This World,” by Julia Cameron. It would be an understatement to say that it changed my life; although would probably be more accurate to say it was a catalyst for change.

It took me more than 12 weeks to finish the book, but as with most things in life the outcome was better because I didn’t force the process.In my final essay, I summed up what I’d learned:

  • Savor life – live with humor, joy, and passion.  Use feelings as fuel for creativity and creation.
  • Make something of yourself – do something, be something, make something.  Be who you are and continue to strive to become who you were meant to be.  Don’t be afraid to try, don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to succeed.
  • Accept yourself– be yourself, trust yourself, be childlike, own and understand your relationships, be aware and follow your instincts, be accountable, and last but not least, be kind to yourself.
  • Have faith – ask for and accept help, be teachable, life is spiritual, art is spiritual and it is healing. Follow your dreams and treat them as real.
  • We commune through art – when we create from the heart and not from the ego we experience a clarity of purpose and feelings of joy.

I continue to learn about synchronicity, serendipity, and faith. I don’t think it’s any mystery that many of the teachings of Louise Hay are congruent with the teachings of Julia Cameron. One of the concepts they both teach about is the concept of living life fully. Julia in particular reminds us to remember our inner child and to create time to play as an adult.

For some reason when we “grow up” we forget about the wonder of life we, forget about curiosity, and we take things too seriously. I know that happened to me. Life became about the schedule, the goals, and the perceived expectations. I had a career to build, a family to support, kids to raise, and an image to uphold. I thought I had to be “perfect,” I didn’t allow myself to be “me.” I worried about the future, re-hashed the past, and forgot to be present in the moment.

I’m re-learning the lesson that, being in “child at heart” doesn’t equate to being irresponsible or un-adult like, it means it’s okay to do something just because it delights us.

And now to share my most recent little art journal entries 🙂

letting go of the past is the path to the future

Welcome Life

Spring Foliage

Here’s what I know –

I can’t control what happens in life, but I can control my responses.

I can’t control how others affect the people I love – but I can listen, support, love, and be there  to comfort them when they are hurting inside.

I can’t control the future, so it’s important that I live each day to its fullest.

I can’t undo the past, so it’s essential that I forgive myself and others.

I am present, in the here and now, and that’s what counts.

I welcome life. There is no other path to happiness.

welcome life

March to the Beat of Your Own Drum

Release the past and embrace today and tomorrow

Friday night I went to a drum circle. Yep, I did. I had no idea what to expect and was utterly amazed and delighted.

I entered a room full of people, (all strangers outside of 3 familiar faces), a circle of chairs, and an assortment of drums and hand held instruments to choose from.

After a couple of icebreakers, we selected a drum. Mine was was a  Djembe drum with a rich red base. The leader had each of us introduce ourselves by speaking our name and playing a drum beat. The rest of the group followed each person’s individual beat and repeated their name like a chorus.

“My name is Beth.”

A gentle tap on the outer edge of the drum preceded each word before my name and two open palmed strikes to the middle of the drum emphasized my name and a non-existent syllable.

After that he had one person start a rhythm, guided the rest of us to follow along, and then invited us all to “do our own thing.” The result was amazing.

A group of complete strangers, each with our own rhythm and beat composed a beautiful and harmonious song of drum beats. The leader passed out some of the hand instruments, transformed into conductor and directed our tiny orchestra through the movements of the impromptu song.

It was amazing.

I experience left me feeling energized, inspired, and relaxed all at the same time.

It inspired a change in direction in one of my current projects. It occurred to me, that the process of journaling positive thoughts and affirmations will be even more powerful and meaningful if I make it truly my own rather parroting another person.

That night, I started with the concept and quote from Louise Hay ~ “I easily and comfortably release that which I no longer need in life.” But I created my own.

Release the past and embrace today and tomorrow

I don’t know exactly what form the rest of my journal will take – I imagine it will be combination of original thoughts and shared quotes. I’m making this up as I go along. 🙂

If you ever get the chance to attend a drum circle, I highly recommend it.

P.S.

Here are my journal entries from the past week. I’m having a lot of fun with this project.

“I love and approve of myself. I am loving and loveable.” ~ Louise Hay. I added the word Beautiful.

release aches_I Love and Approve of Myself_04_06_2014

“I now discover how wonderful I am. I choose to love and enjoy myself.” ~ Louise Hay.

This little entry has a “writo” which wasn’t intentional, but I think it’s meaningful.

I discover how wonderful I am

“I love and accept myself at every age. Each moment in life is perfect.” ~Louise Hay.

I love myself at every age

The original Louise Hay quote is “I live in now. Each moment is new. I choose to see my self worth. I love and approve of myself.” I changed the last sentence to “I choose to live life not hide from it.”

I live in the now

“I deserve to rejoice in life. I accept all of the pleasures life has to offer.” ~ Louise Hay

I deserve to rejoice in life

Inspired by Louise Hay ~ “I love and approve of myself and I trust the process of life.” I am safe.”

I trust and follow my instincts

All is Well in My World

Rain doesn't make a day awful. It just makes it wet

I recently discovered the teachings of Louise Hay, author of “You Can Heal Your Life.” She has an amazing story and her beliefs are very thought provoking.

Her philosophy includes many points which center around loving oneself and how our thoughts affect our present and future.

“Every thought we think is creating our future.”

This sounds like something super philosophical and esoteric, but it’s really very practical and true. A few chapters into the book I had a huge “aha moment” when I read:

“Rain doesn’t make a day awful, it just makes it wet.”

Rain doesn't make a day awful. It just makes it wet

Wow, it really is up to us to make each day a good day or one that we want to forget.

She firmly believes that we can heal what ails us through the power of loving oneself and that aches and pains in each part of the body are associated with things like past experiences, negativity, fear, and a lack of self love.

Self love is not the same as self indulgence or self acceptance. It means that we treat our bodies and our minds well, enjoy the person we are in the present, forgive and release the people and things from our past that hold us back, and embrace our future with confidence.

Part of her teachings include using daily affirmations as a way of changing one’s world for the better.

After reading the book and thinking about this concept for a while, I decided to create a journal with the affirmations from her book that resonated most deeply with me. For the next 100 or so days I will create my book one a page at a time and continue to change my world one affirmation and one day at a a time.

At the end of each chapter is a longish affirmation that speaks to the lessons within the pages before it. Each one ends with the phrase “All is Well in My World.”

Just that affirmation on it’s own has a powerful meaning and I thought it was perfect for the cover of my new journal.

All is Well in My World - Journal Cover

As I see it, the focus of her teachings is for each of us to love ourselves and use our thoughts and actions to “Be Whole,” which is the phrase that came to my mind and wrote on the back of my journal.

Be Whole - back cover of the journal

I already know how the story turns out so I created the final page and glued it to the inside of the back cover.

I Am - back inside cover

It’s interesting to me that this simple phrase, “I am,” keeps appearing in my life through different experiences, authors, and artists. Like, “All is Well in My World,” it stands on it’s own as a powerful affirmation.

I created the backgrounds for the first set of daily inspiration with watercolor. A fun side benefit of this project is the opportunity to explore and experiment with this medium.

watercolor pages for journal entries

The first affirmation is, “I release the pattern in my that created this.” I am at Peace. I am worthwhile.” (Louise L. Hay)

There’s a theory that we often-times create a pattern of chaos in our life without even realizing it. The chaos leads to accidents, mishaps and mayhem. Well mayhem might be a little strong, but the word fit nicely. 

I’ve begun to wonder if we have “strings of bad luck” because we start and persist with internal thoughts that, “life is hard,” “nothing is easy, “things never go my way,” and “I wonder what’s going to go wrong next.”

It could be that life just simply runs in cycles or there could be some truth to the belief that our thoughts create our reality. Maybe it’s a little of both.

release accidents_04_05_2014

I’ll be sharing these daily inspirational quotes on Facebook and Google Plus. In sharing them, I hope the right affirmation finds it’s way to others just when they need it.

Today and every day, all is well in my world.