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Last week, I attended a memorial service of my dear friend, Becky Teter. Becky was a significant maternal figure to me for most of my life. When I was growing up, she lived loudly, wildly, and eccentrically in the house across the street. And she lived loudly, inevitably, and un-ignorably in the hearts of anyone who knew her.
The memorial service was amazing. Becky was one of those people who seemed to truly touch everyone she met, and so everyone in the crowded room undoubtedly had their own "Becky story". It was as if "It's a Wonderful Life" had been brought to life, as collectively we all realized how many things would have been different had we not known her.
Becky passed away after a fight with ovarian cancer that lasted an unbelievable eight years. Somehow, with each of the hundreds of chemo treatments she received, her faith and will became stronger and stronger. Several years ago, Becky edited a published book of essays by ovarian cancer survivors. One of the speakers at the service read these words from Becky's essay: "Cancer marinated me in mercy. I have been tenderized."
I don't think I'll ever look at a hardship again in the same way, after that. Even last weekend, when I broke my foot after a bad fall, I immediately thought of Becky and how challenges can "tenderize" all of us, if we will let the experience seep in.
I feel like I could fill a book of my own with the wacky and wise words that Becky has shared with me through the years. One particular memory sticks out from just last fall, as I sat in her front yard and shared with her the latest decisions we had to make about Kai's medical care. As mammoth as her own problems were, she sat and listened to me as if I was the only person in the world. And then she said, "Marney honey, a mother's intuition is THE strongest muscle in the body. And it gets stronger the more you use it. So baby, use it!" :-)
Becky lived her life based on intuition, which is why her choices didn't always seem to "make sense". I imagine that a lot of things contributed to Becky's finely-tuned instincts: among them, her spiritual faith, her wacky sense of humor, and her practice of journaling for over 20 years!
In line with this, next week I'm very much looking forward to be presenting a teleclass all about this very subject of intuition, alongside best-selling author and artist Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK) in a free teleclass called "SARK's Intuitive Flash" . If you're interested in signing up for the live class or a recording, please keep reading for more details. I'd like to think that Becky's blessing will be on all of us, as we gather together to explore this topic that came so naturally to her.
It's a wonderful life, indeed!
For those short on time, to simplify this week's Artellagram, here are some ”quick links” to the highlights in this edition. You can simply follow the links that you're interested in and go directly to that section.
1. NEW! Free "SARK's Intuitive Class" Class with SARK and Marney!
Next Wednesday, January 19, you can come join me in a fabulous and free teleclass called SARK's Intuitive Flash , alongside best-selling author and artist Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK ).
This free teleclass includes so many great opportunities to explore the gifts of intuition, including...:
I'm really looking forward to this fun adventurous class and invite you to join us. You can get more details and sign up for it here!
- A candid, raw conversation with me, as I interview SARK about the deep role intuition has played in her own life, both personally and professionally
- An opportunity to witness SARK's Intuitive Flash…in the Flesh! :-) During the call, we'll be calling on LIVE volunteers to participate, as SARK offers her juicy intuitive hunches to answer your questions about your dream!
- Hands-on training and practical tools for ways to expand intuition in your own life!
- An In-the-Moment Intuition Incubator to practice your new intuitive tools, as you practice giving and receiving Intuitive Flashes when you gather in small virtual groups.
- As a special bonus, after the one-hour SARK 's Intuitive Flash class, anyone interested in the winter session of Dream Boogie with SARK is invited to stay for a "SARK Unplugged" After Party!
2. NEW! What's new in the Artella Store? Here are some new additions to the Artella Store:
3. Mystery Mentor Project Update! Our First Annual Mystery Mentor Project is underway, and hundreds of people are using their creativity to spread fun little messages of encouragement and affirmation! Sign ups for this year are now closed, and we thank everyone has signed up! Remember that your commitment is to contact your Mentee at least three times during this month - simply offering “believing eyes” for his or her dream. We ask that at least one of these contacts will be through postal mail, where you send some small physical message or token to inspire your Mentee.
For more information, you can refer to these FAQs – or email Jennifer, the Mystery Mentor Coordinator.
4. Join the Affiliate Program! Join Artella's generous Affiliate Program and enjoy all the new affiliate tools that we've recently added! You can get more info by clicking here.
5. Interested in Becoming Part of Artella's Team? We are expanding our team for all the exciting things we're working on in 2011, so if you're interested in becoming part of the Artella Team, check out this page for details.
For today's "In the Studio" Interview, I'm delighted to present an interview with Certified ARTbundance™ Coach Janet Shepherd. Janet is a master at using intuition and encouraging her clients to do the same, so I knew she would be a great Coach to highlight this week!
Artella: What led you to become a Certified ARTbundance™ Coach?
Janet: I was so excited when I heard that Marney was putting together a training for ARTbundance Coaches! I've been a therapist for 20 years and an ontological coach for 7 years, and I was jazzed at the idea of infusing my work with the high creativity and joy that emanates from all of Marney's projects.
Artella: How has your ARTbundance™ training affected your work and/or life?
Janet: ACT training invited me to view both my work and my life in new and wonderful ways. As a side effect of ACT, I began to notice many more opportunities for playfulness, joy, and making art in everyday activities. For example, I now experience my necessary weekly paperwork session as a little party for myself, complete with music, snacks, and chocolate. My coaching sessions are more fun and more magical, both for me and my clients.
You can read the rest of Janet's interview, here
We have now closed the application process for the Fall 2010 ARTbundance™ Certification Program. If you are interested in receiving notification when the next ACT session is scheduled, simply fill out the form on this page.
A few years ago, I made a "Wonderful Life" tiny board book for Becky (whose story I shared, above) as a gift. I used vintage advertisements to illustrate some of the lessons I had learned from her. For example, here are some of the pages I made:
Try making a little book for yourself, or for a friend, filled with your own little bits of wisdom. You can make your own book with simple binding, or alter an existing small children's board book (often found super-cheap in bins at thrift stores), or use a blank one purchased from an art or craft store.
Here are the steps to create your own:
Step 1: If your board book has "shiny" pages, use sandpaper to roughen them up a bit; this will allow the adhesive to stick to the pages properly.
Step 2: Create simple collages for each cover (front and back) and each layout.
I chose a simple statement to be the focus of each layout. I used images and backgrounds from Artella's Fashion Passion Studio Kit. For the text, I used a label maker to create simple adhesive labels.
I used a Xyron machine to adhere all the elements in each collage, and to adhere each page to the board book.
I really like the simplicity of this little book. The images, colors, and text styles are cohesive and straightforward. The simplicity of the images allows the eye to really focus on the words , and let these important reminders sink in.
The resulting pocket-size book is a true gem! Whether you make it for yourself, to give to someone else – what a way to celebrate a wonderful life!
The project is excerpted from the Artella e-course, From Here to ARTernity: A Mixed Media Metamorphosis for the TIME of Your Life ! You can get more information about this course, here.