Thursday, October 28, 2010

Logo Design: EL Block

A new logo!!

Erika of EL Block Creative Studios designed the lifeunity logo you see now at the top of the page...I am so happy to have it!

Erika was so flexible in working with me as I hemmed and hawed about different ideas.  I wanted this and that, a handprint, try different colors....if I was working with myself, I would have driven myself mad.  Through phone calls & web contact, she proposed & tediously designed various layouts, designs, colors, and images....and together we came up with the gorgeousness you see above!

You may notice this logo popping up other places as the construction continues around here.

Be sure to find Erika HERE ( & let her know if you need something!

I feel like a little kid jumping up and down..."tell me, tell me, whaddya think?  whaddya think?"

One Word: Creative Energy

Today started brilliantly, then just turned into "one of those days".  No rhyme or is what it is.

I could feel the "funk" coming on.

Out of a newly developed instinct, I headed for my art supplies.

And I created this:
Without darkness, there is no light.  Without light, there is no life.

Simple effort, simple journal page, deep results.

I'm not saying I'm ready to start skipping around outside singing Disney songs, but I do have the energy to keep moving throughout my day - to accomplish the things I know I want to accomplish.

Creative energy is powerful.

Let me repeat.

Creative energy is powerful.

Broadening your perspective from art (to mind states or meals or a breathing pattern...), ONE WORD:

What will you create in the next 24 hours?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Newsletter & a Give-away!!!

Finally!  The official newsletter sign-up has begun!

The Fine Print is the name, awareness is the game.

Right now I'm scheduling to send a newsletter every couple of weeks, but this may increase as we get into the swing of things.

Included in The Fine Print will be stories, valuable information, resources, downloads, guest segments, quotes, and even jokes!

From yoga to art, creative exploration to passionately pursuing a vocation, weaving mindfulness into the mundane, Buddhist & other religious perspectives, philosophical musings to rather humorous (and hopefully not too crass) one-liners, the newsletter is all about enhancing and deepening your awareness: of your vitality, of what life has to offer, of your creative responsibilities (yup - responsibilities).

The Fine Print is going to be my way of staying in touch with you as the construction continues around here.  Eventually, this blog will be moving to my new website.  Those on the newsletter will be able to follow the move and not get lost in the dust!

And as a thank you for tagging along and signing up early, 
I will be offering a signed copy of Chris Guillebeau's new book, 
The Art of Non-Conformity, to one of The Fine Print subscribers!

(If you haven't heard of him or this book, trust'll want to read this.  If you have heard of him, you probably already have a feel free to keep this signed one and give yours away!)

Just sign up by Sunday, November 7th...that's all you have to do.  I'll be picking from the list of subscribers and announcing the winner in the newsletter on Monday, November 8th.

(*All "charter members" - i.e. those who signed up via the trial button - are already entered!)

Sign up HERE.

The new website is soon to follow, with more "About Me" stuff - including what you can expect from LifeUnity - a return to guest posts, and even a workshop or two!

I'm super excited about all of this and hope you are too...I look forward to seeing you on the subscriber list!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Experience Your Day

This morning, after dropping off our son at the bus stop, I laid down on the driveway and experienced in awe what was happening around me.

A storm rolling in.  Swirling masses of leaves finding their way back to earth.  Trees dancing to a hushed windsong.

And I?

I was here to experience it.

Yes there were things to be done.  The to-do's still waited.  This moment, however, would not.

I chose to allow myself to get drunk 
on the intoxicating fragrance of the impermanence.

It is how life is lived.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How a Smile Can Create World Peace

I alone may not be able to create world peace.

But I will not underestimate my role, my responsibility
 in making it happen.


I may go to the Starbucks and order from the barista who is having a rough day and who barely acknowledges me.

Perhaps I smile back and offer her a sincere thank you instead of being offended.

It releases her tension and improves her day.  She does not go home and complain to her boyfriend who was getting ready to leave her that evening because all she did was complain.  Instead, they have a healthy talk and renew their love.

A week from now they go out with friends, one of whom happens to work at the Peace Learning Center in Indianapolis.  They have a deep, hours-long conversation over dinner & wine which leads to a brilliant idea by the Center worker.

He returns to work the next Monday and pitches the idea to a committee which takes it to the state level.  A group is formed which adds collaborative input to the original ideas and implements them on a state-wide level.

Two years later, the crime rate in the state has dropped significantly and the White House takes notice.  After research & a few changes over the coming years, the practices are put into place at all state levels.  The US begins a trend that leads to worldwide talks and culturally-appropriate implementation of the practices across nations.

Within ten years, hatred & crime are considered as outdated an concept as slavery.  Peace is the norm instead of an some seemingly unattainable dream.

Which wouldn't have happened without the world-wide implementation

Which wouldn't have happened without the talks.

Which wouldn't have happened without the US government putting the ideas into practice after noticing them at the state level.

Which wouldn't have happened without the the committee collaborating and acting on the ideas presented to them.

Which wouldn't have happened without the original idea proposed by the Peace Learning Center employee.

Which wouldn't have happened without a spark of deep conversation in a safe environment with no fear of conflict (or complaining) amidst good friends.

Which wouldn't have happened had the friends not gone out.

Which wouldn't have happened had the barista and her boyfriend not stayed together.

Which wouldn't have happened had the barista come home and complained once again to her boyfriend after a long day of work.

Which didn't happen because I smiled.

Today, try a smile.

Who knows?  You may have just created world peace.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Art on Love

Have you ever had a memory arise that just takes your breath away?  It is a personal memory, yet it seems like you are watching the drama from the outside - as if you are such a different person now that you can't imagine ever having been there.  Yeah, I've got those.  Many of them.

I chose to sit with my fires of emotion & memory the other day.  It brought up many stories that I'd stopped re-telling years ago.

Instead of clinging to the drama, I let it just flow right on through me into a play of art.

I created an painting in the middle of all of this and am most happy with the feeling it evokes in me.  The process was intense.  The final piece gives an option of a resting place for the ashes of what has burned.  There are so many stories I no longer need to analyze, to sit with and let burn....which is not overwhelming.

It is simply an opportunity for more art.

(You will notice in the following video some places where there is just video, no music and other places where there is just music, no video.  This is intentional.)

A warning: some might find the lyrics of the music I used offensive.  It is the music I listened to while creating the piece (literally: I had it on repeat).  It gives an important backdrop to the art and is an honest look into my creation process.  I find passion in everything from songs like this (Eminem/Rihanna: Love the Way You Lie) to rich symphony music.

Love from Lisa Wilson on Vimeo.

I'm truly fascinated by the way experiences get put into art and then how the art gets experienced by the viewer.

If you are game to play along, I'd love to know 3 words that this piece evokes for you.  No right or wrong...I'm just really curious!  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Become Aware With Me

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have beccome shriveled and closed 
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
If you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

Portions taken From The Invitation By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

My fire burns brightly these days.

Part of honoring that; respecting that; ensuring that it doesn't fade back to a dull, whispered glow is tending it. I have to sit close enough to it...sometimes even within ensure it does not die out.

It is painful.  It hurts not only to deal with those things that I've previously had the luxury to ignore but to be with the awareness of when I don't.

You see, when I become aware of something, I cannot become unaware of it.  I can choose to not deal with it but I am then conscious of my choice....that I chose to ignore it.

I am making a choice to sit with this fire because I cannot imagine any other way to live.  To walk away, to let this fire fizzle out, would be to choose death.

Dramatic as it may seem, do you not feel that painful, gripping slumber that arises when you step away from your passions, your life?  Like a game of "hot" and "cold", each time a single step is taken away from that which calls to your being, the spirit & the body grow a little colder.

I want to take the steps in my life and constantly hear "hot, hot, hot"!  (If you don't know the game, I don't mean hollers from construction workers as I pass by.  Though to be honest, I wouldn't be pissed to receive those.)  If I cannot hear the calls, I want to stop - to rest - to just listen until I find my direction again.

It is this rest that I find myself right now.  I am resting so close to the fire that the smoke burns in my nostrils.  The flames crackle out....

You don't really want a "business".  You just want to connect with other people.  Why are you wasting your time with all of this stuff?

You suck at being vulnerable.  You always have to seem strong.  You aren't going to get anywhere without the support of others yet when it comes down to the core you refuse to do it unless you can do it on your own.

Like anything else, I could ignore it.  I could walk away.  But I must let the tears fall and breathe through the gnawing in my gut and LIVE.  Because that is who I am.  Truly, I cannot live any other way.  Once the fires burn away the crap that keeps me from knowing myself, I will find the answers to those questions above.  I will move forward, stronger, to the next fire.

More and more, I hear the crackling of your fires as well.  Some are roaring, some barely provide enough heat to warm a fly.  And yet if I am going to be able to sit with mine you have to show me how you can sit with yours.

Because we really aren't alone in this.

THIS, beautiful souls, THIS is where I am.  This is where LifeUnity is going.  I am aware of this life, the heat, the cold, the pains, and the elations.  I'm learning to sit with my own fire and dance with the tribal beats and clapping hands.

I am creating my home, my thoughts, my art, my body, my life, my dance.  
I want you to do the same.  

At the very least, I want to lead you into awareness of this, to help you live.  The newsletter, the website, it is all just another clap, a drum beat so you can hear the rhythm, feel the rhythm, become aware and Dance.

Do you hear it?

Tell me - right now - one thing that drum beat says to you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lessons from Outdoor Painting

I recently did a field trip assignment for our fearless painting tribe.  (

We were to head outside to paint - and I was quite excited.  The spicy colors of fall are seasoning every overlook and capturing that beauty in paint was sure to be enjoyable.

Next time, I'll just have to remember to pick my spot a little better.  The video shows the story, but a quick overview: The family & I went to Brown County State Park and set up camp at a beautiful spot overlooking miles of orange, red, yellow, and green spotted hills.  After getting everything in place, we were literally attacked by ladybugs.  I tried to love them.  I tried to love nature.  I tried to be one with it all.

But when one crawled down the back of my pants I said words parents probably shouldn't say and decided the ladybugs had won.  This time.

I did finish painting at home.  I used techniques from 21 Secrets (written text on tissue paper, which I then adhered with a medium to make the tissue paper almost translucent) and a Rilke quote I heard on the drive (from the podcast Being with Krista Tippett on NPR)...and ended up with this:

(Is not impermanence the fragrance of our days)

Because I always find the process more fascinating than the end product, here's a look into the site, the ladybugs, the drive, my attention issues, and how the painting progressed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Funny The Way It Is

Funny the way it is
No right or wrong

An oddly intriguing video by The Dave Matthews Band - and one of my favorite songs.  Listen to the lyrics...I'd love to know what you think.

I think today I will go through my hours with a smile and the thought, "Funny the way it is".  I'll let you know how it turns out.

(Yesterday? Breath + laundry = happiness.  I hope that each of you breathing through work troubles & resistance and worry found your moments of peace as well.  Thank you for sharing your stories ...)

Monday, October 18, 2010

One Word: Find Your Breath

A short post and a short lesson, both reflected upon during my run this morning.

Do not be afraid of your breath.

When you feel tense or angry or stressed or exhausted
be aware.

Find a delicious moment of peace in the

Now go on with your life.

Tell me - one word - in what situation do you promise yourself to find your breath today?

Mine?  Laundry.  (Back problems always kick in when I bend over to pull out clothes & I frequently hold my breath.  I find when I remember to breathe through it I find core strength that makes it much easier.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Do I Wish To Fly Free From?

A video! In response to Jamie Ridler's Wishcasting Wednesday (Find Jamie's site at : ).

(I did this on the laptop and there is a horrible picture/sound delay...but I have no software to edit it from the laptop.  Sorry!)

And you???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Embody The Divine

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, 
then walks with us silently out of the night. 

These are the words we dimly hear: 

You, sent out beyond your recall, 
go to the limits of your longing. 
Embody me. 

Flare up like flame 
and make big shadows I can move in. 

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. 
Just keep going. No feeling is final. 
Don't let yourself lose me. 

Nearby is the country they call life. 
You will know it by its seriousness. 

Give me your hand. 
Rilke's Book of Hours, I, 59

**Sourced from "Being with Krista Tippett", American Public Media

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who We Are - Your Comments

Thank you to all of the lovely comments - one word or more.

We are a community, a tribe of individuals that live deeply.  This is what is on our minds:

We are human and fascinating.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Word

I often find myself reading moving blog posts and not leaving a comment.  It's not because I have nothing to say; rather it is usually because I have too much to say.  Trying to come up with the "perfect" wording or even something that remotely hints at what I want to say becomes too stressful.  So I just click the little "x" in the top corner of my browser and end the smile that the author will never see.

Which is a shame.

I love to know when people have been here, when someone has read the words I took time to type.  If I had to guess, many of the other writers - no matter if they have 10 followers or 10,000 - like to know someone is reading.

I thought I'd implement something here to make all of this just a bit easier.

At the end of many of my blog posts, I will be asking you for One Word.  That's it.  One.  You can write more if you feel like it but the pressure is off if you don't.  Yes, you'll still have to type in those creative little confirmation words that arise before your comment is published, but I find those bring more laughs than stress.

Let's try one.

I've been finding myself running around in circles again recently, not sure whether I should name the newsletter this or that, run 2 miles for a fast pace or jog/walk 4 miles, go out to eat for dinner or cook that pasta that has been sitting neglected in the pantry for far too long.

When I step back and look at the choices, it almost makes me laugh.  Really, these things matter so very little.  If my neighbor hates the new website and Oprah loves it - it doesn't matter.  If I never run under a ten-minute mile despite years of running - it doesn't matter.

As I start to think yet once again about perfection and target markets and web code and fiber and caffeine and .... enough.

I choose my word of the week to be "Eh".  (Yes, your "word" can be whatever you want it to be.  No rules.)

So to all of these seemingly oh-so-important-potentially-life-changing decisions, I bid you an "Eh."

So there.

Your turn.

You can share your reasons or not, but what is your one word of the week?

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Worth of What Is

"When the well is dry, they know the worth of water"

~Benjamin Franklin

Griffey Lake
Bloomington, Indiana
August 2009

September 2010 

May 2009

November 2008

September 2010

 May we be grateful for what we have when we have it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life Happens

I've been waiting.

I have been not posting on purpose, hoping to make the next post "the big one".  Waiting to reveal the new newsletter, the new website, the "IT" that pulls all of this together.

I have catchy names that change depending on my mood, pages of business plan material - some by the letter, some doodled.  I have things to offer you and things that will fulfill me.  It is all so close to being ready-to-roll.

And yet I wait.

And life marches on.

“Life is what happens to you 

while you're busy making other plans” ~John Lennon

So let's keep writing our story, shall we?  No more interludes while we plan something more exciting.  Let's promise one another to keep making each day matter - whether or not we are planning for tomorrow, today is the only thing that exists.

Today I challenge you to do one teeny tiny thing that celebrates life right here, right itsy bitsy step towards You.  Mine?  This post.

Life is happening now, baby.  Let's not miss out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Work in Progress

A quick note: You may or may not have noticed the little "Newsletter" button over there: ---->

You don't need to do anything at this point - this is my little "test" version.  There will be a way cooler button when I get the real newsletter set up. :)

I promised many changes happening around here and I wasn't kidding.  I am absolutely giddy about all of the things that will be revealed soon - but in fairness to one bit of news, I want to keep all of them under wraps for now.  (Jealousy issues between news bits, ya know.)

IF you do want to help me out with my test, please feel free - I would be quite grateful!  Just click on that little button on the sidebar and you'll be taken to a subscription screen.  (Don't worry - you'll be able to unsubscribe if you change your mind)  Please let me know if you have any troubles - you can email me at lifeunity (at) gmail (dot) com.

If you do sign up, you will not receive anything beyond the subscription confirmation right now.  (e.g. no real newsletter.)  Once the final version is ready to go, I will send out an email to all trial subscribers confirming that you wish to stay on the list.

I will post more information oh-so-soon on what exactly this newsletter will contain...and all of the awesome changes that will be accompanying it.

Stay tuned (and thanks to any trial members!)!!

Tripping Over Joy