Don’t Forget Breathless…

art journal page in process, altered book made of scraps and old paintings and old office supplies, bound at home

Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with all our busy thoughts about earth, sea, and air; if the very world should stop, and the mind cease thinking about itself, go beyond itself, and be quite still; if all the fantasies that appear in dreams and imagination should cease, and there be no speech, no sign:

Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still – for if we listen they are saying, We did not make ourselves….

And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision which ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder in joy; so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination which leaves us breathless.”

~ St. Augustine

Sometimes I’m so moved by a passage that I must write it with a pen myself – on whatever paper or notebook is near. Feeling the curve of the words on the page helps me be with the implication in an embodied way that just reading alone doesn’t match. Often, I forget about writing it out, pen to paper, shortly thereafter.

Until I open up that notebook or find the paper in a pile later… and I am swept up by the resonance again, reminded and brought back to the center of what matters to my seeking-seeing heart.

That’s what happened with that quote above. I found it written on a page in a notebook I haven’t opened in more than two years. The timing is, of course, perfect.

With all of this talk about the importance of our breath in mindfulness and presence, let us also not forget the pure joy of our breath being taken away as we are swept off our feet by life, in love.


Holistic Creative Chat with Stephanie Gagos

Listen to a free chat with artist and healing guide Stephanie Gagos

This week’s Holistic Creative is an artist who has personal experience finding and exploring healing through her own intuitive, creative process –  and now spends time helping others do the same through her online offerings. I first became aware of Stephanie Gagos and her work back when I first started blogging, and was interested in how she articulated about her own healing journey – because we shared some similar childhood stories and she was brave in her telling.

Stephanie is not afraid to sit with or talk about the dark stuff that a creative practice can stir up… and honors this as part of honest growth and realizing one’s own light.

So grab a cuppa and maybe your journal to doodle in while you listen in and get to know her a bit more…

You can visit Stephanie RIGHT HERE.

Join Stephanie for her workshop in this year’s SPECTRUM Holistic Creative Circle ::

A Call to Art and Healing: Reclaiming the Lost Child through the Power of Yes

We come into the world open, ready, absorbing everything around us. We come in with a huge force of YES. Unfortunately many of us found ourselves lost and wounded in childhood in some way.  Healing is about coming home to our original life force, our primary yes to life. In this workshop, we will take a healing journey through art journaling and writing, exploring loss in childhood and reclaiming a piece of our yes to life.  Reclaiming our vital energy is the key to healing. Doing so allows the hurts of the past to be met with love and life.  We will use intuitive painting and other tools to access these parts of ourselves, bring healing and create a new story.

by Stephanie
by Stephanie

For more Holistic Creative Chats, go HERE.

Join the Holistic Creative mailing list, to get holistic creative musings from me to you + updates + special offers right in your inbox, 1-2 x per month.

Holistic Creative Chat with Jamie Ridler

listen in to a free Holistic Creative Chat with Creative Living Coach Jamie Ridler at Hali Karla Arts

The one and only Jamie Ridler is this week’s Holistic Creative guest! A Creative Living Coach and Expressive Artist, you may know her from her Creative Living TV and podcast series, her daily Behind the Scenes videos and her beautiful offerings over at her virtual studio.

She shares with us a little something she had to accept about her own creative truth, where resistance is showing up right now for her, the “why” that moves her to inspire, and in all of that – a little insight about Pushing Through vs. Right Timing…


You can visit Jamie RIGHT HERE.

Join Jamie for her workshop in this year’s SPECTRUM Holistic Creative Circle ::

Gathering Words: Finding Your Voice – Discovering Your Inner Poet(ry)

You are a poet. You are a poem. Inside you and all around you are the words of your heart, your story, your truth. In this workshop, we’ll delight in being collectors, gathering to us words that touch our souls. We will play with words as though they were colours, looking for magical combinations that unlock the door to the part of your creative heart that is alive with poetry – even if you’ve never fallen in love with poetry before. You will learn a process that you can use again and again to find inspired, personal words for your creative work.

by Jamie
by Jamie

For more Holistic Creative Chats, go HERE.

Join the Holistic Creative mailing list, to get holistic creative musings from me to you + updates + special offers right in your inbox, 1-2 x per month.


28 day Practice in Presence :: week 3

detail altered book art journal, 28 day creative practice
sketch in altered book art journal (Hali Karla)
pages from week 3 of 28 day creative practice in presence
The limitations of an effective practice are like contractions - often uncomfortable and exactly what is needed to birth our next creative expression and growth. -Hali Karla
detail of intuitive page in altered book art journal, 28 day creative practice (Hali Karla)

I found myself not quite as interested in the pages of the journal I began with for this 28 day practice. A little ugh-ish about it, really. And that’s perfect as long as I keep to it… I am less attached to the practice looking a certain way. There is room for a different depth of discovery in peeling back that layer. This is also a part of my personal patterns and rhythms with committing to practices and such.

The practice becomes  a little more raw in this stage – less presentable perhaps – and more honest and rich for the inner work of the process. Outwardly, it looks like scribbles and unfinished pages. Short sketch studies just because. Paint globs and 20 minute collages. Tape, crinkles and letting it be.

I am trusting more in what moves through me, rather than what you can necessarily see. More attention to the curiosity, less attention to the evidence on the page… and, ironically, in that, what shows up on the page is often even more revealing over time.

The creative energy that has been unleashed, through channels (re)opened by the practice – begins to carry on its current all sorts of morsels for my creative work and life. It’s as if the limitations, of 28 days, in the morning, in this book, with these supplies and these intentions, have aroused my rebel-spirit-heart into the creative declaration of, “Oh, yeah? I don’t think so. Don’t put your shackles on me. There is too much in here just waiting to burst free.”

So I keep to the practice, in gratitude for its ability to spark my fires – with a little less time and energy in the confines of it, perhaps – and I take that salvaged time and energy and reach for the things that my hunger is now craving. The practice has woken me from a slumber again, revealing glimpses of what is fundamental to my essence and needs, to what is of the greatest importance – what is cardinal, you might say (that page was already in the book – funny, huh?).

So the practice expands within me and echoes in my awareness and actions…

I tape the big paper to the wall and begin a prayer painting – not where I pray something specific, but where painting itself is my prayer.
I wake up with directions on the outline for an offering that has been cooking in me… for a very long time… without clarity before now.
I see what needs to be tweaked in my commitments so that I can continue to grow and thrive.
I instantly receive the language (while cleaning) to express the feelings I had no words for before when it comes to my workshop on Calling in the Grandmother Medicine for Spectrum this year.

A lot of teachings say 21 days is pivotal to creating change or (re)forming habits. I agree – something happens, something shifts, something comes alive between days 14 and 21. Change is awakened. The dark places are revealed and truth shines in.

And also, as a woman and devotee of the moon, I will never question the power of a 28 day cycle either. It is what allows my practice to be fluid and flexible and to shape-shift and adapt to my creative truth. A 28 day cycle completes what has been awoken, in a way that feels grounding – responding with shedding and/or the implantation of something forming.

A cycle that says I am here, shining, dark and bright, like the tides – swelling, washing over, receding; I receive and I will give back.


Holistic Creative Chat with Michele Lisenbury Christensen

Free Holistic Creative Chat with Couples' Coach, Michele Lisenbury Christensen at Hali Karla Arts. Join her and 24 other contributors for this year's Spectrum Holistic Creative Circle.

Today’s chat is so good, I’m not going to delay you – (because I babble enough at the beginning of the video for an introduction anyway) – but mostly because I *really* want you to listen to the story about a Queen and the General that Michele Lisenbury Christensen shares – as well as her thoughts on being a mother and wife with a business, and the importance of taking risks::

You can visit Michele RIGHT HERE.

Join Michele for her workshop, The Queen and the General:  Integrating Masculine and Feminine Power in Life, Love, and Action – in this year’s SPECTRUM Holistic Creative Circle, along with 24 other guest contributors. (Begins May 1, 2015)

Here’s the juicy description of her offering: Every human being possesses tremendous personal power in a range of flavors and textures.  We can activate our power as fierce and resilient, as focused and holistic, as receptive and driving.  Our culture can nudge us toward overvaluing the more make-it-happen aspects of our power… and thus overusing them.  We may also come to view our power to hold, to allow, or to be nourished as either a liability we must minimize or a luxury we must first earn.    In The Queen and the General, we play with the sensory-rich archetypes of a sovereign feminine power and a masculine consort whose qualities are devoted to serving the choices of the queen, rather than dominating her.  We’ll use this framework to refine the way we contain and apply our power.  It’s subversive, it’s sexy, and it’s oh-so-empowering.

photo from Michele
photo from Michele

For more Holistic Creative Chats, go HERE.

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Art Journaling vs. Visual Journaling… and Creative Kindred Conversations

We’ve been a bit busy behind the scenes lately for the creative goodness of Spectrum 2015 and 21 SECRETS, but I wanted to make sure to mention these two conversations I was invited to and honored to be a part of ::

is there a difference between art journaling and visual journaling?

Below is the fun video Kristal Norton put together on Art Journaling vs. Visual Journaling.

There are some great perspectives in here, if I do say so myself – fun for those of us who contemplate and develop a journaling practice – no matter what you call it…

I was also invited by the lovely Erica Simpson to take part in her Creative Kindred Conversation series…

guest interview post for Creative Kindred Conversations

You can head over to {e}everyday-art to read the post where I answer her beautiful questions right here.


28 day Practice in Presence :: Week 2

creative practice in art journal, detail, Hali Karla
creative practice in presence, in handmade art journal made with scrap papers and old painting, Hali Karla
creative practice in art journal, 28 day practice in presence, Hali Karla
28 day creative practice in handmade art journal made with scraps and old paintings, Hali Karla
detail of art journal spread from daily creative practice, Hali Karla

The pages say enough this week.

Smack dab in the middle of my 28 day practice, I’m in that interesting place where word and image are finding their rhythm together… on the pages and in my heart.

One technical detail to share, though… I started out with this as a morning page practice. Precisely because mornings are not my usual prime time for any practice. When week two began, I had already begun to easily reach toward a second session at the end of the day, though. A wind down session. A touching in. A time to finish or embellish the pages I started in the few moments in the morning.

This rhythm works well for me. I don’t have to give it my all in the morning hours – but I show up and receive enough breathing room within myself from just a little effort and commitment that I am centered as I start my day.

And then by the end of the day, I’m very naturally reaching toward my practice for all the right reasons to wind down.

In this way – two times a day – the daily creative practice becomes like a ritual of transition with my dreamtime and my waking consciousness.

I will never be a morning person, for the moon and I are much too in love.”
~ C. Poindexter

Holistic Creative Chat with Lisa Hofmann

Listen to a Holistic Creative Chat with artist, yogini, mother and Joy Warrior Lisa Hofmann at Hali Karla Arts

This week’s guest is someone I first encountered through the Fearless Painting tribe years ago, when I first started blogging myself… and I have to confess I was always a bit enamored by the way she emanates wisdom and wholeheartedness in her own down-to-earth, honest way. I was so happy she said yes to contributing to Spectrum this year, AND to taking the time to have a little chat with me to share here.

We chat it up about finding creative practice in how we live day-to-day, how accountability helps with our creative visions, presence and a topic near and dear to both of us – self-care. Grab a seat and hit play – or do some of those stretches you know you want to while you listen. We’re glad you’re here!

You can visit Lisa RIGHT HERE.

Join Lisa for her workshop Mandala Moon Meditations, in this year’s SPECTRUM Holistic Creative Circle, along with 24 other guest contributors. (Begins May 1, 2015)

Listen to artist, yogini and mother Lisa Hofmann share about creative practice, self-care, presence and healing... (Mandala by Lisa Hofmann)
by Lisa


For more Holistic Creative Chats, go HERE.

Join the Holistic Creative mailing list, to get a little note from me to you + updates + special offers right in your inbox, 1-2 x per month.