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Getting Back to You ~ Artellagram 9/18/10
September 18, 2010

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Well, little Kai is now two (parents instantly seem to know what that means, LOL) and accordingly, he gets in his little toddler-moods. He also deals with a lot of physical pain from his medical issues, so it's always super-easy to tell when he's "not himself".

The other day he was having one of these "not himself" afternoons, and it occurred to me that it's often more difficult to identify when we, as grown-ups, "aren't ourselves". Isn't that interesting? Perhaps it's because we have so many "selves", we don't actually know which one is really us? Martin Luther King said, "Each of us is something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against ourselves" and I think that modern society certainly perpetuates this division. Or maybe it's because we're just so used to just getting by in our day-to-day routines, that we forget that it's even possible to remember who we really are?

If you can relate to this odd paradox, I invite you to simply try a very simple exercise this week, and see if it makes a difference. Stop yourself throughout the day and ask yourself:

"How much do I feel like me…the real, true…?"

I've found this simple question to be so helpful in getting in touch with the essence of when I am happiest, most productive and most centered. It's amazing how easy it actually is to tap into your authentic self once more. Simply enough, it all starts with awareness. Once you become more aware of the moments when you really, truly feel like you, then you can make adjustments in your life to bring more of those moments in. So, to start, first think about your life, and pinpoint the times when you have felt most whole, and the most comfortable being you. Using those moments as a touch point, then pay attention to your current life for the next several days, and check in with yourself often to become aware of when you are feeling more, or less, authentic to your true self.

Sometimes questions arise when you aren’t sure if you are really being “you” at any given time, or if you are trying to be “you” that you strive to be. Generally speaking, as long as the intended “you” is coming from an authentic place in the current “you”, then you are on the right track. You can follow your own feelings as a barometer; when you are feeling most comfortable and alive, those are generally signs that you are in an authentic moment.

One thing I've found particularly helpful is plotting points on a little informal artsy graph that I can quickly sketch out during the day. Simply ask yourself throughout the day if something feels right to you, and feels true to you, and mark it on a graph, chart or map. The actual format you use isn’t important, but whatever you choose, this practice creates an "authenticity meter" of sorts, and allows you to start recognizing patterns in your life.

As we all know, development and growth have their more awkward, even clumsy stages. Spending time around a toddler is certainly evidence of that! LOL. But it's not only applicable for physical growth, but also as we are settling into our constantly-evolving emotional, spiritual and mental “skins”, as well. Sometimes inner growth is, in fact, smooth and easy, just like many books and gurus make it out to be, but often it just happens one little ill-timed wart at a time :-)

In spite of our awkward fumblings, day-to-day life doesn't have to be a drudge…it can be a dance; a dance with the most daring and exciting partner of all: your true self.

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.

NEW! Free Class with Author and Artist SARK!

Save 40% with the Back You Special!

NEW! New Goodies in the Artella Store!

Earn extra spending money with the Artella Affiliate Program

Become Part of Artella's Team!

In the Studio with Coach Kelly Morrison

Creativity Tip: ME-flections of Love

Quotz Crystal™

1. Free Class with Author and Artist SARK! If you have a project, business, or idea that you're ready to take from DREAMing to DOing, you might be interested to know that bestselling author and artist SARK is starting a Fall session of her awesome Dream Boogie with SARK class on this coming Wednesday, September 22, and anyone is invited to attend the entire first of eight "Share-And-Tell-A-Classes" completely for free -- no strings attached.

I have loved being involved with the first two Dream Boogie sessions – it was great fun being the guest teacher for one of the eight classes, and I also had a blast conducting the inspiring "Inner Views" with an amazing list of folks. You can listen to some snippets from my interviews with them here!

You can also download a bunch of other free "Dream Boogie" samples, including colorful SARK videos, sample workbook pages, and a really great audio of actual Dream Boogie participants sharing their experiences with the program…all I can say is WOW, their personal stories about dancing from DREAMing to DOing are SO very inspiring and full of great ideas and insights.

There are lots of great things in this program, but I think the most valuable part about it all is you get to work directly with SARK, and, under her live guidance, actually begin moving from dreaming to DOing. Her personal "Intuitive Flashes" are absolutely mind-boggling! So, if it sounds interesting, just  sign up for the first class for free and give your dream a fun little kick in the caboose!

2.NEW! Back to YOU Special! While the kiddos are going back to school, Artella invites you to go back to you….and answer the true call of curiosity and creativity deep within. Our Back to YOU Special, in an effort to make it possible for everyone to receive rejuvenating inspiration through Artella’s flagship creativity eProducts has been a big hit and  you can still save 40% on up to 2  eProducts of your choice. This includes all Artella e-courses, eBooks, recordings, downloadable collage kits, Digital Altered Books™ supplies, Artellabets alphabets, and all other downloadable art supplies!

It's our most inspiring sale of the year, just in time to help you come back to YOU!

Fill up your backpack with the Back to YOU Special here!

3. What's new in the Artella Store?Just this week, we've added two new downloadable kits to the Artella store, and both them are eligible for the 40% Back to YOU Special. Take a look at the Summer Fun and Travel Tidbits Studio kits!

You also might be interested in becoming a Studio Member, to receive a downloadable collage kit each and every month (next up: "Artsy Anatomy'!) You can explore all the Luxury Cabins aboard the Member Ship, here.

4. Earn money and great prizes for spreading the word!Join Artella's generous Affiliate Program! If you're looking to make extra income or even just some spending money this year, join the affiliate program and find out about the great bonuses we have going right now!

5. 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 Kelly Morrison.

Since today's article is all about connecting back to your "true self", I knew that Kelly would be the perfect Coach to profile, as both her life and work radiate positive authenticity. Enjoy getting to know Kelly!

Artella: What led you to become a Certified ARTbundance™ Coach?

Kelly: I've been coaching and leading retreats for the last three years.  I include a creative component in every thing I do because I believe that it helps gently access deeper personal understanding. The ARTbundance™ training developed an even stronger connection between coaching and creativity; it strengthened the foundation that I coach from.  This training has increased the value my clients receive from me.  I've gained great confidence, confirmation and inspiration as a creative coach.

Artella: How is prosperity related to creativity and spirituality?

Kelly: For me, spirituality is living with a deep experience and relationship with something greater than myself.  This relationship is my foundation for believing that I am loved as I am, that I am created for a specific purpose - with both my imperfections and the ways I show up remarkably.  Spirituality is essential to all forms of prosperity, because until I accept and love myself fully I cannot receive any kind of prosperity fully.  Prosperity is so much more than finances.  I consider "prosperity living" to be living a life that is rich in every way.  Overall, creativity and spirituality open my heart, mind, soul and spirit to see the abundance all around me and to seek to live a wider life.  I'm a big fan of pronoia, I believe life is out to bless me.  (The opposite of paranoia.) 

You can read the rest of Kelly's interview, here

The next ARTbundance™ Certification Training Program is beginning this fall!  If you would like to receive an application, simply fill out the form on this page.

In the Artella e-course, "Mixed Media ME-flections: 30 Self Portrait Projects to Change Your Life", one of the lessons involves creating a self-portrait that reflects what you love about yourself.

On the purely physical level, it is a wonderful experience to be able to look at images of yourself objectively, and see things you like.  Try looking at images of yourself -- be they photographs, self-portraits you've created in other media, as well as the image you see in the mirror -- and get in the habit of looking for things that please you.  You can start with small things you notice, like:

"My hair has a nice shape."

"My hands look strong."

"My neck looks graceful."

"My eyes look nice in that light."

Beyond the physical, you can also try to observe other things about images of yourself, like:

"My smile looks really genuine."

"There is a glimmer of curiosity in my eye that is intriguing."

"In this picture, I can see my grandmother in me, and also her strength."

"I think that expression really captures my enthusiastic spirit."

As you become more and more comfortable seeing positive things in images of yourself, a natural segue is that it becomes easier to see things that you really like about yourself, as a person.  So the sentences above can turn into things like:

"I am a warm and genuine person, and I like that about myself."

"That glimmer of curiosity is one of the things I like best about myself.  I'm curious about everything and anything and this is one of my favorite personal qualities."

"I am learning to see that I have a huge resource of inner strength.  I'm really proud of myself for that."

"My enthusiasm makes a difference to others, and I really appreciate that about myself."

Try this: Select a photo of yourself, and do some free-form brainstorming about all the things that you like about the image, and how those things relate to the things you like about yourself.   Then plan an art piece, incorporating materials, backgrounds, images, and elements that all contribute to the overall theme.

You may find it helpful to summarize the things you like about your image and yourself in ONE word (such as in the example shown above), and build your piece around that word. I hope you'll give this a try, it can be a very rewarding experience!

If you like, you can learn more about Mixed Media ME-flections, here.

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 being YOU…

~Loving who truly is,

Artella Founder, Mango Lover, Hula Dancer

Artella Land ~ the creative isles of words, art, and spirit

Artella 9090 Skillman #182A-116 Dallas TX 75243

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