To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement.

I am beyond THRILLED and honored 
to be one of the 21 teachers 
in the lineup of Dirty Footprints Studio’s 

And let me tell you why… cuz this is personal.

A little over two years ago, it became clear that I was not living in sync with my heart anymore.
I could sense that staying on the course I was on was literally bad for me,
my health, my relationships, and my overall quality of life.
With that admission, and a long story made short –
I knew it was time to quit my job and get back on track.

I was so disconnected from my truth that I didn’t even know what that meant,
just that it was shouting at me like banshees from within.
 So I quit and began stretching into new possibilities…
none that felt exactly right for awhile, but I was opening to change.

Then, my dad’s sister took her own life.
A story for another time, as well – but let me say this…
suicide of a loved one has a way of sneaking into the very center of your soul
and wrecking everything that you thought made sense.

For me, well it hit right into the center of my sense of living a spiritual life –
which I had become very out of touch with.
When you’re wrecked, you have a choice…
resist it and try to fix it, patch it, pretend, run, blame, hide –
and it will change you anyway, inevitably, by force, in ways that will sneak up on you later.
Or feel it, all of it, letting go of your illusion of control, and allow it to change you co-creatively,
trusting the grace in its challenging design, even when you don’t or can’t understand.

The tragedies, the sadness of living, witnessed or experienced, can open us up wide if we let it –
to the truths that are ours alone, just waiting to be heard, to be felt, to be shape-shifted.
They are the truths of healing,
the messages that lead to a more intimate relationship with our own joy and creativity.
 
My aunt’s passing caused a shift in my life, in me.
It drove home how incredibly fragile and courageous our spirits are,
how finite our time in this form,
and it brought me back to my greatest truths…
that the divine is present in absolutely everything,
and that we have this amazing chance, this gift of one physical life
to seek and worship the roots of our deepest love and joy.

What does this have to do with art journaling, you say??

Well, the truth I realized,
the truth I remembered, my truth,
was that I had steered too far from who I am ~ an artist.
I was not creating anymore. Not making art.
Not connecting to Creative Source in the ways I do best.
Not only not living my truth – but not even listening to it.

I had felt miserable for quite awhile
in this life I’d built around the ideas of what I ‘should’ want, feel or do.
It was like walking around in someone else’s shoes
– 2 sizes too small, with pinpoint heels – on wet grass.

But there’s this… 
we are always being guided, even when we think we’re not.

A few months passed and some heart-opening conversations led me to googling ‘art journal’.

Now, apparently, I’d kept an art journal of sorts many times before –
– but back in art school, we just called it a “sketchbook.

But I found 21 Secrets that day, and signed up –
an act which became my very gateway
back into the abandoned, aching, creatively-parched center of my soul
who desperately needed some TLC.
21 Secrets was my first sip of healing broth that year… 
and the first activated domino of many that has empowered me to continue this process
to rise up into myself and the creative soulwork that is mine alone.

Yep, that’s why this is personal.
And why I am so thrilled to be a teacher for this amazing circle next year.

It feels a little bit like paying it forward.
And that feels really good and right.

AND – I have a very special class in the works!!
(I am just bursting at the seams to tell you about it – it’s juicy! – but, alas, I must wait!)

Just know that all of the classes will be fun, diverse and explorative
for wherever you are on your own seeking, celebratory, healing, true-to-you, creative journey.
21 Secrets does not disappoint!

Classes will be announced, and registration opens to the general public on January 11, 2013!
But for now, you can read about the other amazing teachers HERE.

love-n-light,
~hali

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