Yep, You Gotta Do it Every Day!

daily-practice-chevron-1We all know how important a daily practice is. Whether you’re trying to build a strong bicep, sculpt your abs, write a short story, produce a blog, make a painting, learn calligraphy, grow a garden, they all require daily practice. They require a daily commitment to give part of your precious resources (time, space, energy, and sometimes money!) to support your growth in the practice. Every day, just a little, and over time, those daily efforts accrue into a stunning photograph of a sunset, a perfect dahlia, a yummy Hungarian stew, a collection of stories from your heart.

For several years, I have used the writing app 750words.com as a way of tracking my daily writing practice. Before Buster, founder of 750words, entered my life, I sputtered and faltered with keeping journals—sometimes being very focused and disciplined, and then, dropping away when things got busy. But 750words.com flipped a switch for me on the habit of writing daily. There’s something about putting an X in those daily boxes at the top of the page that became addictive for me.

Lynn Whipple's Big Bold Blooms

Lynn Whipple’s Big Bold Blooms

These days, my passion is visual art. For the last three years, I’ve been experimenting with lettering and drawing and painting. I’ve taken a couple of online classes to learn about line and composition and color. I really grew under the skilled and supportive instruction of Lynn Whipple in two fabulous online classes, one on painting flowers and one on “Wordplay Painting.” If you want to ignite your creative energy, I highly recommend experiencing her joyful and encouraging on-line classes.

And in 2015 I participated in a year-long online class co-taught by Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple called “Year of the Spark.

That year-long class was fantastic and so much fun! Every two weeks a lesson appeared in my inbox, and these two talented artists walked me through the techniques of the week. I learned so much from them, and found myself “practicing” my art skills more and more because of the new techniques and clever ideas they were sharing with their students.

To find more classes offered by Lynn and Carla, go to http://carlasonheim.com/store/. They  are inspiring and fun, and I guarantee they will crack your creative road-blocks wide open.

SO . . .
365webslide-2-670x316I am totally excited to share the news that beginning January 2017 Carla Sonheim is offering another year-long online course. It’s called 365 Activate Your Brain. And I’m all in!

The Practice is About Flourishing – Flourishing is About the Practice

So listen to me, people, this is NOT JUST FOR VISUAL ARTISTS!! This is for anyone wanting to practice living life artfully. This is for anyone wanting to ramp up their creative sensibilities. This class will hone your creative eye, your imagination, your energy, your ingenuity, and your creative skills in any arena in which you want to be more creative, more artful. It’s a small, artful warm-up every day. Like your morning stretches. Like your gratitude journal.  Like your meditation practice. These small daily exercises will incline you toward seeing clearly and being alive to the beauty, wonder, and emergence of the creative spirit all around us.

Did I say I’m in??

I am SO IN!

I’d love for you join me!

So Here’s the Nudge

If you sign up for the class, I’ll be delighted to coordinate periodic meetings of those participating as we practice daily being more aware, more attuned to beauty, more appreciative of detail, color, form, movement, more willing to FLOURISH in our “one wild and precious life.” This practice will take us there. Let’s share what we’re learning!

Here’s the link that explains the year-long class:  http://carlasonheim.com/365-a-year-long-class/ Check it out, and if you sign up, let me know if you’d like to participate in our first ever “365 Activate Your Brain” group. (There’s no cost to be in the group!) We’ll meet irregularly throughout the year to share our experiments, celebrate our practice, and inspire each other with joy.

Straight to your Inbox:
A Unique Video Every Day… Short & Sweet!

prompts to draw and paint

techniques to make your own

inspirations to energize

ideas to share

words to ponder

tunes to hum

snacks to eat

corn to husk

waves to surf

presents to open

hooks to bait

and, of course, exercises to get you going!

Tips From Fourth Grade: On Winning Your Journey

14980806_10208121771190247_1323290811323443701_nOf the many joys I have in running LifeArt Studio, one of the very best is getting to work with Emily McFaul Coon, my communications coordinator. She is a remarkable woman in many ways—smart, insightful, creative, clever, and a beautiful writer, as you will see below.

Last week, she made a post on  Facebook  about her nine-year old son, Jesse, receiving the Genesee Valley Kart Club‘s Dick Caster Junior Sportsmanship Award, by member vote. This post says so much about Emily’s son and his accomplishments, but it also speaks volumes about Emily, and the high standards of living she holds for her children and herself.

I asked to share her post because what she says here about Jesse’s dedication to kart racing turns out to be a kind of manifesto that can inspire all of us. It’s about passion, setting goals, dealing with set-backs, learning perseverance, and developing integrity. I aspire to be like Jesse.

Here’s what she wrote:

Of all the awards Jesse has earned (and thanks to the club, there was another armful last night) this one means the most.

Karting was the first thing to light a fire in Jesse. Virtually every Sunday since first grade, April to October, he’s been at the race track. Pushing himself to make a perfect lap, set up the perfect pass, shave a tenth off his best time.

For a parent, it’s a special kind of joy to see a child fall in love with something, set his own goals, and reach them through his own passion, focus, and dedication.

It’s even better to see your child begin to understand that the trophy only means something when the journey has been a good one.

If he’s reached for his personal best, every time, even when he could sit back and take it easy.
If he’s shown up relentlessly, no matter whether it was a good day or not.
If he’s shown respect for the service of officials and volunteers, regardless of whether a call was ideal or the starting flag perfect.
If he’s raced clean, no matter whether other drivers choose to do the same.
If he finds joy in the chase and congratulates another driver who has taken the finish.
If he remembers the feelings of other people when he celebrates his own wins.
If he can begin to help other drivers to grow in the same way and achieve their own personal best.

Keep it up, kid. Proud of you.

jesse-racing-coverHere’s Jesse in his kart. Pretty cool, don’t you think? Congratulations, Jesse!

And thank you, Emily!

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Joyful Words from Writing Your Life’s Patricia Charpentier

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As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I want to express my deep gratitude for the people, like you, with whom I come into contact while doing my work.

I feel fortunate to be able to help so many people preserve their memories and the memories of their loved ones for themselves, their families, and the generations to come.

As part of my writing and spiritual practice, I make a gratitude list every day. My gratitude list helps me see the world differently and urges me to look for the good even in difficult situations. My sweet husband Bob tops my list most every day. The beautiful view I look out at each morning also appears regularly as does the clients and class members I work with and the amazing stories I hear daily. This practice bolsters my spirit and helps me refocus my attention and my intentions onto what is important in life. I’d encourage you to try it, and this season of Thanksgiving is a great time to do that.

Red Five-Year Journal

A five-year journal makes a wonderful gratitude journal, and I know many people who use them for just that purpose. In it, you can compare your own gratitude list today to your previous lists. Once completely filled, you will have a record of five years worth of gratitude!

Wouldn’t this journal make a lovely hostess gift for the people at your Thanksgiving table?

Of course, a five-year journal need not be limited to gratitude lists. It can contain your memories, advice, and hard-earned nuggets of wisdom, handwritten and treasured or even given to a loved one once completed.

Or maybe your children or grandchildren would love to receive a five-year journal for the
holidays. They might use this versatile book for gratitude lists, dreams, goal-setting, travel
writing, creative ideas, career planning, or just about anything else they want to regularly
document.

Sample Journal EntriesThe top of each page in this sturdy, hardback journal displays the month and day at the top of the page, provides a space for you to insert the year, and offers six ruled lines for each of the five years.

Choose from chocolate brown, hunter green, sapphire blue, navy blue, or cranberry red–whatever best suits your style. To read more about the five-year journal or order one or more copies, follow this link: five-year journal.

And remember, I can ship it directly to that special loved one in your life, and I’ll do so the day you place your order. Priority shipping for last-minute orders is also available.

As a special thank you for being part of the Writing Your Life family, use the coupon code gratitude and take two dollars off the cost of shipping your five-year journal. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Self-help author Melody Beatty wrote, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Keeping a gratitude list in my five-year journal has certainly done that for me. Writing my life stories and helping you write yours has done that for me, too. For that, I am truly grateful. Thank you.

I hope you have a happy and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving.

Patricia