Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keep Going

Oh to be able to feel the delicious sense of being ALIVE that arises from the process of exploration...

Oh to be AWARE of what this day has in store for us....

Oh, and to learn how to sit with those uncomfortable moments that make you want to tear out your hair when the art or the report or the talk goes "wrong" or it feels like time has been "wasted" or absolutely nothing is coming to you and you feel like you are tirelessly spinning in circles.  To learn how to be with those and yet to keep going....

To keep painting.  Or writing.  Or running.  Or napping.  Or doing whatever it is that your instinct tells you to do because it is in harmony with the moment.  We find a guide once we are tapped into that part of ourselves beyond the shoulds and the fears and the ego-driven wants.  If we stay in harmony with that guide, the questions of what and where and how and even why do not need to be asked.

And along the way, it is so important to celebrate and support others who are on this journey.  Who get up, again and again, and keep going.

One of my fellow travelers on this consciously creative journey is Theresa with Faerie Moon Creations.  Theresa is not only seriously multi-talented herself (check out her Esty shop! ) but she focuses on featuring other artists to spread the love.  (Talented and generous - what a combination!!)

Recently I was so thrilled to receive this from Theresa:

It is finding a place of honor in my home.  It not only celebrates her talent (she took that photo!), inspires me (the quote? "Just living is not enough, said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower" - Hans Christian Anderson), but warms my heart as I am reminded of her kindness & journey.

Thank you deeply, Theresa.
Finally, I recognize all of this only because I experience it.  In the past 24 hours, I have experienced the pains & elation of moving in and out of the flow - of stopping and keeping going.

I started an art piece on canvas, primarily for The Tribe (the group open to those who have completed BIG through Dirty Footprints Studio.)

I recorded the process on the web cam but may or may not get around to getting that up.  (Just FYI.)

At the end of the night, I had ended up with this:

And I strongly strongly disliked it.  It looked messy.  Trite in some areas.  And most importantly, Not Me.

I wanted to toss it.

That night, I kept going with my thoughts, my reflections, moving beyond that serious headache I was getting from trying to understand.

The following came to me:

I like time-worn colors. Messages that speak to the soul that exists in all of us. Whimsy that reminds us not to take all of this too seriously. Textures & figures that remind us of magic, mystery, tribal fires...all that we forget as we sit down behind the desk and merge into what we mistakenly assume is the "real" world.

This morning, I came down and starting distressing the heck out of the painting.  Sandpaper.  Distressing paint.

And I ended up with this:

I am much happier with this piece now (though it still calls to me).  I am at peace with the piece. :)  Most importantly, I have new insight into how to make my art and my voice sing the same song.  

All because I kept going.

Any places you can challenge yourself to keep going today?  (And yes, as long as it is your Truth, to keep going with sleeping counts.) 

Don't Forget: 21 Secrets Starts TOMORROW!  You can still Sign up!  

Click HERE to sign up or HERE to view my FAQ post on the workshops.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The FireStarter Sessions - Sale!!

For those who have not heard of Danielle LaPorte, you need to check this out.

(Click on the above link to find out more directly on her site)

From now until this FRIDAY, OCT 1, she is offering a buy-one-get-one-FREE offer for the Firstarter Sessions!

If you are familiar with them, now's your chance to jump on an unbelievable opportunity.  If she keeps coming up in your searches, take this is a sign that NOW is the time to jump on this.

**I will say it again below, but please remember: I will never promote something on this blog that I don't firmly believe in.  This blog is my brand is my vocation is ME - and I'm not about to be fake.  Been there.  Done that.  Didn't work.  Moved on.**

For those not familiar with Danielle, I am thrilled to be your introduction.  After following her blog for a bit (, I simply fell in love.  (Don't worry.  I'm not the first to admit my love for her.)

Danielle LaPorte is the creator of, which has been called "the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality." An inspirational speaker and business strategist, and former think tank exec, Danielle’s new digital book, THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS helps entrepreneurs rock their career with integrity, audacity and their truest strengths.

Danielle is an uber-successful, tell-it-like-it-is, positively inspirational woman.  The Firestarter Sessions are her in e-book form.
Here's the description:

How's your cashflow and your mojo?
Does your vision match your reality?
Does your brand match your soul?
THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS is: an e-book meets video transmission of acumen and love. You: are likely sitting on an empire of content, product, services, and prosperity that needs a spark -- or blow torch -- to take you to the next level. You: want to rock your revenue streams and do meaningful things in the world.
Worksheets that help you draw conclusions, quick videos with motivational punch, connections to current thinkers, practical smarts, and frank wisdom -- THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS is packed with inspiration that you will put to use.
Danielle has worked with 462+ entrepreneurs in her 1-on-1 Fire Starter consults (which are $500 and booked six weeks in advance.) For CEOs, coaches, artists, retailers, bestselling authors -- from site design to big dreams -- Danielle’s strategies combine passion with pragmatism to get to fulfillment and cash.
Each chapter is it’s own “Fire Starter Session” that includes: e-book components, video inspiration or interviews, and worksheets.
Some of the sessions are: True Strengths & The Metrics of Ease; Branding: Clarifying the Diamond of You; Products & Services: Making Stuff That Feels Good to Make; Money: More is More, Enough is Plenty; Web Design & SEO: Your Virtual Real-Estate…and dozens of tips and motivating perspectives.
In addition to getting Danielle’s deep and detailed knowledge, THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS brings you contributions from some A-league marketing strategists, pro-bloggers, branding experts, and creativity coaches.
Whether you’re in the early idea phase or a well-established rut, Danielle’s thorough, witty, and experience-based advice will most certainly light a fire under your…aspirations.

You get all of that for $150.  But WAIT!

With the current special going on, you could:

  • split the cost with a friend or online contact at get it for only $75!  OR 
  • you could purchase one now and give one away on your blog (imagine the traffic that would bring!).  
  • You could buy one now and create something for which people could register...and give it away then.  

Countless options.

(Karma note: This is an affiliate link - so purchasing through these little buttons helps me keep paying for the tools I use to pass along my info to you!)

As I've mentioned before, I only pimp things on this blog that I believe in.  I have the Firestarter Sessions.  I LOVE the wisdom within.  They have helped me narrow down ideas that have been present for years and provide practical techniques to implement those ideas.

I jumped on the opportunity to purchase these on sale when I could and I have absolutely no regrets.  If you have any questions about my experience, I am more than happy to answer them - just email me (lifeunity at gmail (dot) com)

If you are at all interested, don't miss your opportunity!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shed and Experience

My brief reflections on shedding.

My closet and my garage, piled with long-forgotten treasures, are reminders to me of why I chose to start the Shed Project in the first place.  They cough through the dust, crying out to be released from their forced slumber.

Others need them - someone could benefit from that aging photo printer, someone might find such depth in those forgotten books, someone could actually be warmed from the bitter cold by that coat I long ago shoved away, someone else might look stunning in that wedding dress that stores duplicate copies of memories from over 10 years ago.  (But I'm pretty sure that torn shirt, "I'm With Stupid -->" has probably served its purpose.  If it ever had one.  Heh.)

It is selfish of me to cling so tightly.  Being aware of what I trip over and what it means, I am reminded...

There is a calling within me, a force, an energy, that has been awakened.  Once awakened, it cannot be put back to sleep.  I can either choose to do something with it or I can choose to consciously ignore it.  Either way, it is my responsibility to live with the consequences.

As I wrote in the last post, it is challenging enough for me to boldly face my days aware of the delicate richness of life.  Through training or fear, I have accumulated many other challenges in my life - perhaps if only to distract me from the sheer difficulties, chaos, and blinding beauty of the Experience of Life.

And yet, that energy within is aware of that experience now.  It hungers for it - longs for it.  It will not be silenced.

So I consciously make my choices, aware of this immutable passion.  I fight to not sink into judging things as "wrong" or "right".  I simply choose to shed those things that no longer serve me right now.  I am choosing to shed those things that blanket over and mute that energy, those things that convince me to stay in this cage of comfortable, pre-defined reality.  The door is open - I am making the choice to fly out.  I am making the choice to experience what it means to live.
For those who have been following for awhile, you know my practicalities.  You know I have two kids, an established suburban lifestyle, a bank account that nears zero at the end of each month, student loans, a to-do-list that contains far more than I'll ever get done, blessings & stresses galore.  I am not ignoring any of these.  

I am respecting and celebrating where I am in my life and most importantly, not trying to judge it as "bad" and escape from it. As I make the choices that bring me greater experiences in life, they will incorporate those blessings in my life (my children, my husband, my family, our health, stable albeit tight financial means, etc).  I truly appreciate where I am and everyone that has helped me get here.  I am not trying to change for the sake of change; I am changing for the sake of experience.

I will find continue to increase comfort within (through meditation, yoga, art) so that I can increase discomfort in my life (going new places, trying new foods, meeting new people who have different ideas than I do, running that extra mile up that hill, and so on).  I am not only opening myself up to new experiences but also experiencing what is already in my life differently.
And to the energy we put out there, the universe responds.  Tonight I am thrilled to be attending a stop on the Unconventional Book Tour to chat with Chris Guillebeau and Adam Baker (who appears in Chris' most recent book, The Art of Nonconformity, and who I learned lives (or lived?) only an hour north of me!  Find him at
With hopes that you continue to find new ways to experience life,

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Nice Until It Isn't

A note.

I am so tired of hearing the excuses.

I am so tired of hearing, "It must be nice....".

It must be nice to live a life of privilege.

To be able to be ignorant of the color of the person's eyes who just died because they were so hungry that death was more welcome than the fight for life.

To have the freedom to whine about another hard day at work to someone else who had a hard day at work and to commiserate and find solace in one another so you can wake up and do it again tomorrow.

To bitch about the living conditions just outside of your neighborhood and the price of health care and the status of the educational system and the damn bank account that always hovers around zero.

To complain about the person who believes that and raise an eyebrow at the person who is placing items you would never buy on the checkout counter in front of you and the person saying things on t.v. or behind you in line that you would never say.

I will tell you from experience - it is only nice up until the point that you are aware that it is not nice.

Awareness changes everything.

Suddenly a life of privilege and people dying from hunger and the conditions of health care and the challenges of people around you are not "nice".

They are no longer reasons and ways to escape from life but reasons and ways why I must take responsibility for life.

It is hard.  (And oddly, the more challenging it gets, the closer it gets to returning to "nice" - but a far different version of "nice".)

To start small, to start somewhere, to act instead of whine - that is all I can do.

It all starts with awareness.

A disclaimer: I do not pretend to claim for a second that I am unfortunate.  I do realize how unbelievably blessed I am in life to have these freedoms.  I do not believe that my hardships are measurable in comparison to those in different situations.  I DO want to emphasize, however, the challenges that arise with living a life that is contrary to societal expectations, that challenges even the most fundamental of most beliefs.  To live outside of right and wrong? To be constantly aware of the hardships and blessings we face as humans?  To maintain this awareness while raising the kids, maintaining the household, going through life without a permanent lost look on my face?  It is a challenge.  One I feel blessed to face.
I will hit publish on this as soon as I am done typing to ensure my true feelings are not lost in the electronic world once fear of what others think sets in.  Obviously this is much deeper than my more recent posts but it too is what is going on in my life alongside 21 Secrets and art and yoga and laundry.

It is also a hint as to where LifeUnity - the new page, the newsletter, and so on - is headed.  (Though with a lot more humor sprinkled in). :)

I would love to know - is there anything of which you are aware that is a challenge for you right now?

Friday, September 24, 2010

21 Secrets: An Update and Brief FAQ

(More wisdom that I tapped into on my walk yesterday forthcoming.  But first....)

If you've been here before, you've heard me praising the upcoming workshop 21 Secrets: An Art Journal Playground.  (Designed and orchestrated by the splendid Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio.) (And Yup. She's one of the teachers.  And so am I.  Which, among other reasons, makes it totally awesome.)

(Please note: I have fixed all of the links...I just found out yesterday they weren't working.  *sigh*)

I hope you have also had a chance to visit Paula's FAQ video (a.k.a. JournalArtista) in which she answers many of the questions about the workshop.

As I've been quite coy about everything that's being offered, I figured it was time to come forward and be straight with you.  I've had a few questions come my way so thought I'd offer my own little FAQ!  The teachers are all over the playground these days, tidying up their workshops, videos, lovely photos...and I cannot be more honest when I tell you that it is AMAZING.  Seriously freakin' amazing.

Let me fill you in on the details:

Registration is already open.  
The workshops will be accessible starting Friday, Oct 1st.

So how does this thing work??

You will have access to all 21 workshops (and all the goodies inside those workshops) on Oct. 1st.  You will continue to have access through Feb. 1st.  This is a limited time...however, there are countless PDF's available for you to download and keep. You can play in the morning, afternoon, evening, or late at night after everyone else has gone to bed.  24/7 the playground is open for you!

The 21 Secrets workshops are all on a NING platform.  If you are not familiar with Ning - it is a very easy to use site.  All of the workshops will be on one page and you can click forward and back to navigate through them.

What happens when I sign up??

You will receive very straightforward emails that will direct you what to do.  You will fill out your NING profile but will not be let into the playground (i.e. have your membership approved) until Oct 1st.  (You have to allow us time to get it all clean and pretty for you!  We wouldn't want to you to get hurt on a rusty nail or something.)

What do I get?

21 different artists showing you a wide variety of techniques and insights.  (Some going bigger than the journal, some using fabric, some on handwriting, some on paper-cutting, some on travelling, and so much more diverse wisdom!!)

I can only speak for mine and what I've perused over at the playground, but there are TONS of PDF's (you know - those things you download and can keep forever), Videos, instructions, suggestions, whimsy, ...even areas for students to chat.

So what about your workshop?

Oh, I'm so glad you asked.  My workshop is "The Secret of Beginning".  It is directed towards newcomers to the Art Journaling community as well as more veteran journalers who have lost their mojo when it comes to journaling.

I have four different discussions:

  • What Is Art Journaling?
  • Why Would Anyone Want to Art Journal (when there is so much else to do)?
  • Approaching the Page: The Materials
  • Our Stories (the place for us to swap stories)

Included in these discussions are: 28 minutes worth of video tutorials (a page from start-finish showing you oodles of materials and the process behind the page), PDF's describing materials - both a general overview and specific ones I use in the video, a fun artsy PDF I made with prompts to get you thinking about journaling (or just life!), and countless suggestions and techniques on beginning.

I have made a point to infuse this workshop not only with art journaling specifics, but also to encourage you to take the process beyond the page.  Art journaling is only the beginning....

But I Don't Art Journal?!

Do you want to?  Take the workshops.  Do you not care about it?  Don't take the workshops.  I'm not trying to sell anyone who doesn't care a cookie about the creative process on these workshops.  Just skip to my next post where I talk about something other than 21 Secrets.

I AM trying to encourage everyone who yearns for a more creative lifestyle, new ways to express themselves creatively, who is interested in exploring how art journaling can be done and taken beyond the page, and basically anyone who has read this far to SIGN UP.  

If you have ANY other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at lifeunity (at) gmail [dot] com.

I hope to see you at the playground!

Here are the other awesome participating artists:
Andrea Schroeder 
ABC Creativity
Angelia Thompson
Angelia’s Art Journals
Connie Hozvicka
Dirty Footprints Studio
Dawn Sokol
Effy Wild
Wild. Precious
Emma Peabody
Treehouse Jukebox
Hanna Andersson
iHanna’s Blog

Heidi Newstrand-Dilley
Jonathan “Blade” Manning
The Artistic Biker
Kelly Warren
Artful Happiness
Less Herger
Comfortable Shoes Studio
Lis Hofmann
Dandelion Seeds and Dreams
Of course, moi: Lisa Wilson
Life Unity
Natalie Malik
Awkwardly Beautiful
Paula Phillips
Journal Artista
Samantha Kira Harding
Journal Girl
Sarah Whitmire
The Paper Phantom
Tami Chacon
Dream Wish Hope
Tracie Hanson
My Blooming Life

Thursday, September 23, 2010

For You and For Me

I feel so alive right now.  It comes and it goes - probably by necessity - but I am trying to savor every last drop of this elixir I have been given.

Of note:

After much hemming and hawing, I decided to purchase Tara's ( & e-book, 52 More Weeks Of Blogging Your Passion.  She was a hosting a free webinar (via Ustream) a few days ago for anyone who preordered the book.  I literally hit "buy now" 5 minutes before the webinar began.  You know what?

I feel I got my money's worth just out of the webinar.  I've briefly looked through the ebook and related materials and have SO many ideas to implement.  Practical and creative at the same time.  During the webinar I had questions answered that had been floating in my mind for quite some time.  As I review the ebook, I am getting clarity on where I want to head...and how to get there by using the blog as a tool.

I decided to add an affiliate link in case you are interested in purchasing her book as well.  You can click HERE (Click here to view more details) or look over on my left sidebar and click the image.  

On a related note:

I JUST REALIZED THAT NONE OF MY AFFILIATE LINKS WERE WORKING.  I'm kinda bummed.  Apparently you cannot link a photo or other text to an EJunkie affiliate code.  Just FYI in case you ever try.  I have corrected all of these and apologize if you had any previous troubles.

Please note that I did add a title on my sidebar showing my affiliate links.  I want to be completely up front with you.  I firmly believe in the value of these projects/ebooks or they would not be up there.  

I am progressing with my blog, my website, my vocation and my life in a very conscientious manner.  I have been contacted by other organizations with whom I have chosen not to associate - not because they are inherently "bad", but because they do not speak to my soul and thus the soul of LifeUnity.  This may mean less traffic for this blog and my business, but it means a life filled with greater integrity.  To me, that is a much greater success than thousands of subscribers.

And yet more notes:

These next few weeks are going to bring some big changes around my virtual world.  As 21 Secrets opens on Oct. 1, I hope to have many of the changes I've been planning for months in place.

Without promising when they will be done, these changes include:

*A Newsletter:  I'll be offering newsletter-only material, special offers & giveaways to my newsletter subscribers!

*A Move and a New Site: I've been researching Squarespace for quite some time now and am ready to make the move. (which now brings you to this blog) will become the landing space for web traffic.

Fortunately, this means a beautiful new design, an awesome background on myself and LifeUnity, links to photos, new PDFs, the return of Strength To Be Me Interviews, and so much more.  

Unfortunately, this means everyone who follows me here will need to jump over there.

Don't worry - there's nothing you need to do just yet.  I hope to make this super-easy and rewarding for anyone who sticks around through the construction!

*Yoga videos, Art steeped in LifeUnity wisdom, and More!  The more I become me the more I am able to offer.  I radiate a wisdom that isn't ego-based...rather, something that is passing through me.  It's time I shared instead of keeping it to myself.

Please don't forget: 

Registration for 21 Secrets is Now Open!
(Click here to view more details

If you have never art journaled (and are not sure you want to), I still feel that $59 is an amazing price for the wisdom that is offered.  I made an effort in my workshop to go beyond the page....taking you into reflections on why Beginning is a crucial practice in every area of life.
There are countless videos, PDFs, pictures, and written lessons to absorb.

As I look around the 21 Secrets playground, I find that so many of the other artists are also offering so much more than technique.  (Though there are some amazing techniques in there that I'm itching to try!)  There are insights into creative living that go deeper than the page.

View my Post about it HERE


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Help Me. Be You.

Today was a beautiful lesson in serendipity...and how when I get out of the way of myself, I find wondrous life everywhere I look.

What I found may benefit you too.

By sheer luck, my husband and I found ourselves with only one child last night and without any children this morning.  (I love my children.  I really do. But parents - you understand.)  One at school during the day, the other at the grandparent's house for an overnight visit.

I've had ample to do recently...many of those things with an impending deadline.  But last night and today, I reminded myself what was important.  This mommy-daddy alone time with our 6-year old son is all too infrequent and fleeting.  So, per his request, we did pizza and ice cream last night.  If I would have been concerned about calories or fretting over not working on the things I "need" to get done, I would have missed out on his declaration on the ride home that, "This was the best night ever!  I have the best mommy and the best daddy in the world."

There is absolutely nothing more in the entire world I would have wanted at that point.  I let myself be a mommy and discovered, apparently, I'm the best at it.  :)

This morning, after he went to school, I once again put aside those nagging Needs.  (You need to get the house clean.  You need to work more on the workshop.  You need to do this and that and don't forget ...)

Hubby & I went out to breakfast at a local restaurant we discovered a few months ago.  It felt completely surreal (beautifully so).

We then decided to go for a brief walk.  We meandered past a local bookstore that I'm ashamed to say I've never actually gone in.  Something caught my eye as we walked past.

To be honest, I just learned of Chris Gullibelleau a few months ago.  But his name has been popping up everywhere recently...and I'm paying attention.  He's one of those Big Presences in the online world...but I'd heard he is unbelievably personable as well.  I connected to him on Twitter way-back-when and did some searching on his website.  I was quite inspired by what I found.  Because of this, his book (The Art of Nonconformity) has been in my Amazon cart since it was available.  (I put books in my cart and buy them as we have the funds - great way to keep track of what I want!)

But serendipity had spoken up, and I knew she was saying it was time to buy.  We went in the bookstore (and were greeted by three sleepy cats) to inquire as to whether or not they had the book.  They did, I bought it - and now I feel good because I supported a local business, I have a delicious amount of reading material for this evening, AND I get to meet the author next Tuesday.

As if that wasn't enough...

We rounded the corner and I finally got up the nerve to go into the Waldron Arts Center.  I've known about this place for years but for one reason or another have not gone in.  It was recently purchased by Ivy Tech (a college) so the center itself has changed a bit - but they still offer gallery displays, space, and classes.

We took a quick tour of the place, discovering galleries (and thus the work of some local artists!), children's work from a summer class (giving me some ideas of things to try at home with the kiddos), and - my favorite - two classes in progress.  I secretly watched as people shaped clay and listened as others learned about starting a sketch.  I felt alive.  I simultaneously was glad that I could go home and play on my own and equally enamored with the thought of being in a classroom learning about making art.

The point?

I learned more about myself and came home to be far more productive than I would have been had I first attended to the "shoulds".  I still got what "needed" to be done accomplished...the house was cleaned, this blog post written, some further work done on the 21 Secrets workshop & the new website.  I had more energy to do those things and was in a far better mood because I allowed myself to enjoy and explore in between the shoulds.

I allowed myself to not only peek behind the cracked door marked "What If" but to throw it open and dance in the brilliantly white sunshine so that I may return to work with warmth embedded into my skin.

Because I allowed myself to drench myself in....myself - my essence, my priorities, and awareness of that self...I can return to write this post.  I can celebrate a "successful" day and prove that it is possible to both get done what needs to get done and live deeply at the same time.

I not only want to give you permission to do the same - because everyone knows they already have permission - but I want to challenge you to do so.  Why?  Because when you are You, I am given more freedom to be Me.


p.s. I have more lucky finds that have come my way recently -- I'll share those with you tomorrow!  Be sure to stop back by...these are GOOD ones that you can benefit from as well.

p.p.s. I am HONESTLY blown away by the things showing up over at the 21 Secrets Workshop.  It is AMAZING that you can get all of this for less than $3 / workshop.

Paula - a.k.a. JournalArtista - did an awesome video answering some common questions about the workshop.  You can view that on her blog at: .

Another karma reminder - it is an affiliate program.  You can click HERE to buy through me (in which case you'll have oodles of love coming your way and I'm sure many good things in your future).  If you read this blog just to make fun of me and aren't in the mood to give me money, please still go and sign up over at