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When little Kai, who is two now, doesn't want to do something, one of his resistance tactics is to say in the most convincing proclamation he can enthusiastically pronounce, “I awwlready did it!” – as in, “I already brushed my teeth” or, as was the case in preparing for his latest surgery that occurred this past Monday, “I already got my tonsils out!” He'll say this to us with ultimate certainty, and then move on the next toy or amusement.
With the U.S.'s Thanksgiving holiday now just past us, it occurs to me that it's very natural for us to have the same reaction to gratitude…for us to think, “I already did that” and then move on to whatever captures our attention next. I strongly believe that nothing has the potential to change the quality of our lives more than actively practicing and expression gratitude, and doing it regularly. Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday, but giving thanks is really an ALLiday …because it can happen all the time.
Here are my four best tips for creating a meaningful gratitude practice that really works. They are the 4 C's….you can look at them as ways to help you “C” to it that your commitment actually happens! :-)
1) Make it Consistent – While any kind of gratitude is good, I've noticed that the wonderful effects of gratitude really occur when I engage in an actual practice of gratitude that is regular and consistent. A specific structure that is easily replicable from day-to-day makes it easier to make gratitude a pillar in your life. For example, think about the time of day that works best, and a particular way that you can express your gratitude easily and regularly. You might experiment and try a few different things until you find the alternative that seems the most natural.
2) Make it Creative – I encourage a “gratitude practice” because gratitude works best when we DO it, rather than just think about it. Naturally, creative spirits especially will be much more engaged when we are writing or drawing about our blessings, rather than just half-heartedly thinking about them. Think of simple, doable creative activities that you really enjoy, and play with incorporating them into your regular gratitude practice. This is the ultimate win-win, because then you are making BOTH gratitude AND creativity part of your daily life. My “Gratitude Garland” project, in which I create mini art journal entries on small slips of paper, is an example of this kind of synergy.
3) Make it Conducive – Your practice needs to fit in with your real life. So be realistic about what you can and cannot do, and think of ways for your practice to fit in with the nooks and crannies of your individual life. For example, if you don't have a lot of time to yourself because you are parenting young children, think of ways that you could include them in your gratitude routine, so that you are spending high-quality time with them while also actively engaging in your gratitude practice. If you have a long commute, perhaps you could use a handheld recorder to record a verbal list of your blessings while on the road or in the train.
4) Make it Challenging – Just as a physical exercise routine needs to be “changed up” every now and then, so that we can challenge new muscle groups, we also need to tweak our gratitude practice to keep it fresh and relevant. Your gratitude practice ought to be comfortable, easy, and doable – but not to the point it becomes stale, mechanical, or routinized. If you notice that your gratitude practice is becoming the latter, challenge yourself to mix it up and try something new. Expressing your gratitude in new ways also opens yourself up to having new eyes with which you can see all kinds of new blessings that you may not have noticed before.
If you are interested in exploring the very unique ways that gratitude can make an enormous difference in the growth of your creative business or project, you might also want to take a look at The M.A.I.N. Kick-Off Event , which begins this coming Tuesday, with a teleclass that is all about grounding your business in gratitude and passion. The class and accompanying workbook will engage you in exercises and fun ARTsignments™ to identify what you already love about your business, and how you can expand your capability for love and gratitude, and use it to infuse all aspects of your work.
Keep reading below for more details. I'd love for you to join us on Tuesday!
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! M.A.I.N. Kick-Off Event Starts This Tuesday ! We've just announced a new business-building program that we're starting in January: The New ARTbundance™ MENTORing and INVENTORing Network (M.A.I.N.), a 12-week ARTbundance™ Business Building Extravaganza, based on the ARTbundance™ Principles.
To start it all off, I’m launching the “M.A.I.N. Kick-Off Event” starting this coming Tuesday, November 30. The M.A.I.N. Kick-Off Event consists of three weeks of highly-focused teleclasses and accompanying workbooks that apply ARTbundance™ Principles to real, practical tasks that will prepare both you AND your business or creative project for your significant upcoming growth spurt next year! We'll use ARTsignments (exercises infused with creativity) as our basis for discovery, as well as many other practical tools.
The M.A.I.N. Kick-Off Event is a great way to finally get a jump ahead in preparing your business or creative project for the new year. The three teleclasses and accompanying workbooks include:
Teleclass #1: What you love about your business
(Principle of Gratitude)
Teleclass #2: What you want for your business
(Principle of Vision)
Teleclass #3: What you need to do to prepare for 2011
(Principle of Choice)
For more information and the complete class schedule that launches on this Tuesday, you can read all about the M.A.I.N. Kick-Off Event here!
2. NEW! SARK Special through tomorrow! - I've got incredibly good news for any Artellagram readers who have heard me talk about the Dream Boogie with SARK program but couldn't afford it, or felt it was too much of a time commitment. Best-selling author, and artist SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy) has just announced a new self-study version - called SARK's Dream Boogie - yourSelf Study Program - and through tomorrow, Sunday November 28, it's on sale for $89 ($127 after 11/28). I really think the world of this program, so I encourage you to take a look at it now more than ever because it's on such a good sale.
3. Artella Member Ship Upgrades Complete! Thanks to feedback from our recent Member surveys, we've completely renovated the Artella Member Ship, upgrading all of our Memberships with new features and goodies to make cruising with Artella even more inspiring! In our new format, we've been sending out weekly Muselets , and November's inspiring Luxury Cabin goodies were sent out last week, so if you are a Luxury Member and you have not received these things, please let us know so that we can check into it right away.
If you're not currently a Member, you can read about all the new goodies in the Luxury Cabins, here! If one of our cabins is calling out to you – it's easy to sign up, and you'll get a "Welcome Basket" of free goodies and coupons, too! Come sail with us!
4. NEW! Important Note to all Artella Cafe Users & Visitors - Just another reminder that since we will be adding many new interactive community-building elements through the new Artella Daily Muse, we will be phasing out the old Artella Café Web site during the next few months so everything will all be fresh, easier to navigate and all unified under the renovated Artella Daily Muse, which will now also be the lively daily center of all things Artella. At this time, the technology for the old Café is extremely outdated and so we're super excited about all the new improvements!
We won't officially be closing all forums, blogs, and galleries until the end of the 2010 year, though, to give you plenty of time to save any material that is currently posted in the Café. If you are a blog or gallery owner, we will be contacting you individually with reminders to save any material you would like to save before the phase-out is completed. If you have any questions about the phase-on, please feel free to contact us.
5. What's new in the Artella Store? Just this week, we've added a new downloadable kit to the Artella store – “Birds and Botanicals” .
You also might be interested in becoming a Studio Member, to receive a downloadable collage kit each and every month (this month: "Red and Green SEEnery"!) You can explore all the Luxury Cabins aboard the Member Ship, here.
6. 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.
7. Interested in Becoming Part of Artella's Team? We are expanding our team for all the exciting things we're working on for this fall, 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 Christine Dijuliis.
Christine leaves and breathes the ARTbundance™ Principle of Gratitude, so I knew she'd be the perfect Coach to feature during Thanksgiving week! Enjoy getting to know Christine!
Artella: How has your ARTbundance™ training affected your work and/or life?
Christine: I believe that once we are awakened to our truth, our relationship with our spirit and soul is never the same – we are born anew and will grow in new and profound ways. Through my participation in ARTbundance™ I discovered a great deal about myself, my inner life, my values, my passions and my purpose. Creativity is continually unfolding and creating miracles in my life which can now flow out through me and into the world. My creativity is my connection to the Divine and each day I strive to practice what I have learned and continue to learn as an extension of love and light.
ARTbundance™ has helped me create meaning in what I choose to think, believe and do and most of all it has helped the essence of my Being. I am now better than I was and committed to becoming all that I have the potential to be for the highest good of all. My work and life have merged and there is now no separation between who I am and what I do. Now, I still have my challenges and opportunities to learn and grow, but I also know in my heart of hearts that I am on my authentic life path and there is no turning back! From chaos comes clarity – out from the fires of transformation the phoenix rises and ARTbundance™ has been a treasured part of this journey for me.
You can read the rest of Christine'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.
Not only has SARK just announced the new SARK's Dream Boogie - yourSelf Study Program that I mentioned above, she also just released her 16th book: Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss and Change into Gift and Opportunity . I'm honored to also be featured in the book as I share about my challenging but rewarding transition into parenthood in the section of the book called “Portraits of Joy and Transformation Through Change and Loss.” The book is really inspiring especially for those who feel difficult circumstances in life are keeping them from being truly happy. You can find out more about Glad No Matter What, here.
In one section of the book, SARK presents the real, generally-unknown story of Pollyanna – and invites us all to share a life made of goodness and gladness, in spite of what is happening around us. The book even includes an image of a "Pollyanna Club" badge from 1913 that we can cut out, copy or wear.
You probably know that I love vintage images, so I was so excited to see this little treasure included in SARK 's book, and I was inspired to incorporate the image into a little ATC (Artist Trading Card). My ATCs are usually strictly two-dimensional, with papers only, but the image of the vintage Pollyanna Club badge prompted me to experiment with some dimensional elements. I attached the metallic label with tiny brass brads, and used a small piece of fabric as “valance” to frame the top of the card. I like the effect and am happy to have a new use for tiny fabric bits that seem too small to use!
I selected the vintage image of the reclining woman because she looks so peaceful and relaxed. It reminds me that being glad is not something we have to “work hard” at…that embodying gladness is relaxing!
Creativity Prompt of the week: Create a piece of art that represents gladness and gratitude , such as an ATC, a small sketch, or perhaps write a short poem. When it's complete, place it somewhere where it can be a helpful reminder of thanks giving as a year-round ALLiday! :-)
This Quotz Crystal is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. Print it out and hang it up to remind you of the power of the Thanksgiving ALLiday...all year through!
~Thankful for for's colors,
Artella Founder, Mango Lover, Hula Dancer
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