Monday, November 25, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #29 - Resonate with the beauty of the Universe

"Life is Exquisite" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
This challenge comes from FaceBook friend Beth Pastore (you can see her Pinterest collections here).  She's been documenting the simple everyday beauty that's all around her, the beauty that hides in plain sight.  Well, lets go for it, let's open our senses and find the simple beauty and joy that is hiding all around us in plain sight.  If we do that, surely our hearts will beat with the heart of the Universe!

And as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #28 - Surprise others with humor and goodwill

"Fun City" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
This little challenge comes from an awesome deck of inspiration cards, Plant Seeds and Pick the Blooms, by Lynne Franks, gifted to me by Gretchen Miller (thank you Gretchen).  And actually if you click on the Plant Seeds link above, you will find a pretty inspiring website, well worth the trip.

The idea with the deck is to pick a card and use it as your inspiration for the day.  So I picked "Keep humor and laughter as vital ingredients in my life."  On the back of the card there's some explanation and a suggestion for action.  The explanation was that basically humor is a resilience strategy, that if you can keep a sense of humor especially in the tough times, that can reduce tension and also keep things in perspective.  The action for the day was to make an effort to be playful, surprise others with humor and goodwill, do something that will give you joy, remember to laugh.

So I thought why not make it an art directive, surprise yourself and others with an art piece which combines humor and goodwill.  And as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The I-know-it's-not-Monday Challenge #27 - What does YOUR light and shadow look like?

"Re-kindling" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
During our workshop at the Summit, Gioia Chilton and Rebecca Wilkinson and I were talking over something that had come up in one of our workshops.  Dan  Tomasulo had been taking about Jung's idea of the shadow and it's opposite.  Dan had us play with the idea of both positive and negative projections and how it might be a very good idea to recognize both the shadow and the light!

Rebecca and Gioia were remembering an art directive where you were to create a self portrait as a source of light.  And I was thinking what if you created an art piece which had elements of light and shadow?  What would that look like?

“To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand ... between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the Self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.” —C.G. Jung

And as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #26 - Enjoy the Subversive Qualities of Intrinsic Rewards

"We love our exciting and mysterious life" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.

I believe there is nothing that promotes freedom, independence,  and a sense of self worth better than the realization that we have the power to create our own inner satisfaction and intrinsic rewards.  Because intrinsic rewards are way better than extrinsic, they come from within, they belong to us, no one can take that away from us.  They'll liberate us and I believe that is why art and creativity are such wonderful playgrounds and why art therapy is so awesome.  In a nut shell.  Of course the powers that be (those folks at the top of the power pile) don't like intrinsic rewards.  It's the most subversive thing going!  They would prefer you look to them for your approval needs and rewards.  But hey, we are artists, why should we do what is preferred?

Edith Kramer first sparked my curiosity about things that provide inner satisfaction ( art, puppets, more art, beauty and warm fuzzy animals) and curiosity about the part of the super ego that is kindly and care-taking, that kind, wise inner-grandmother. Searching for an understanding of these things has been the best adventure of all. And long may it continue.

So for today's challenge, create an art piece that includes appreciation for things that might not necessarily bring you external rewards like money or fame, but that surely bring you inner satisfaction.  And then once the piece is complete practice Rick Hanson's technique of "taking in the good" (it's good for the neural pathways, believe me) and sit with it for a minute, appreciating it, enjoying your ability to appreciate things.  And as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool