Mirror

Something about him

Stirred an awakening in me that made me feel

I needed his presence in my life to maintain

Was I in love?

Am I in love?

Or do I long for a love like that?

One that stirs an awakening inside me

And because our love runs so deep

We both stay

We are in presence with each other always

So I’ll take the gifts this man brought to me

And cherish them

And be grateful

For he is a reflection of what is already inside of me

Which I am now awake to

To experience this is to fully live

My tears are in gratitude for the experience

And the possibilities of what will come

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Magical Radical and visits in Portland

This summer I went out to Portland for two separate visits. One visit was to see my cousin get married and my second visit to attend Magical Radical an Art and Writing Retreat with Rachael Rice. Both events filled me up with love, for real, geesh.

The wedding was so great and I got to hang out with my parents during this trip too. Here is me and mom, not the best photo but whatever, we were both having a martini and we were in the moment, photo credit: DAD. Lol.

I gifted my cousin Nick and his wife Lindsey with a painting of their favorite peak in Oregon, Mt. Jefferson. If you go to my Instagram I posted a video of their reaction (just scroll down a bit): https://www.instagram.com/rebeccamaloneyart/. I love them both so much. Congrats you two!

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Now if all this wasn’t good enough, I got to reunite with my friend Lisa who I met last year in Glacier NP! She recently moved to Portland and graciously took me out to see a ton of waterfalls. Oregon has got it all. Thank you Lisa, so good to see you!

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Fast forward a few weeks after this trip and I was back in Portland to attend the retreat a double perk was I was able to see my family again, my cousin Nick, Lindsey, Eric, Hazel and their friends. Love you guys thanks for your hospitality as usual. You guys are the best.

I never attended a retreat like this before, something that included thoughtful and important discussion, art, and writing. In my inner most being I felt like I was holding in a lot and the idea of being surrounded by other women who could hold space for that and let me be seen was inviting. Being there I received that support and was able to give it back. I appreciate Rachael’s authenticity and big heart as well as that of all the women there. This retreat was incredibly refreshing and inspiring.

Oh… and we made a lot of art!

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Through writing prompts, meditations, and the art, I rediscovered what was within me, which I had forgotten, like revisiting an old friend that says, “Hi I’m here, I never left, you can depend on me.”

At the beginning of the retreat one of the things we shared with each other was what we were there to receive and give. I was asking to receive clarity and I was there to give love. I gave lots of love in the form of hugs and listening. We all shared laughter too. I did receive clarity in different forms which will be expressed through my art as time passes and also through just who I am. That is the thing with growth you can un-grow, you can’t retreat back to who you used to be, thankfully. For all this I am grateful.

More writing and art to come.

Thank you all.

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I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit me like a brick.

I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit me like a brick. I have been waiting and ready.

I have been noticing the things that grab my attention. The issues that show me where I can serve and create change. The conversations I have been having with friends and family that bring excitement. The sensations I feel on days that are overcast and days that have clear blue skies. The physical sensations in my body when I feel strong and when I feel my chronic aches. I notice when there is no aching. I have been noticing when I am triggered and inquire. I notice my neighborhood and the similarities and differences from one street to the next. When I go for a walk in the woods I listen to the sounds the beautiful and the ones that make me look to see whats rustling. When I am around my mother and father I listen to their stories and feel the love they have for each other. When I am with my sisters and brother I notice how they all bring something unique to the table and I am grateful. I watch the wonder in my baby nieces eyes when they look directly into mine. I sit in quiet stillness in the morning in my own company. I savor the taste of a fresh cup of coffee. I feel the softness of Mossie’s fur. When I am motivated to reach out to someone I make the call or send the text. I notice when fear is present and choose love instead. I open up when love is present. I make decisions that excite me. When I create I listen to all the voices in my head until they silence and I enter the flow. I find new colors to use and notice my excitement when something is visually stimulating. I notice courage when I write because I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I notice courage when I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I don’t know a lot of things and it makes me excited cause there is so much to learn and I can begin anew.

I have been waiting for inspiration to hit me like a brick.

If I can stop controlling how inspiration hits, I can notice that its around me everywhere all the time.

Write it out

I feel confident with paint when expressing myself.

With words I get stuck. In this blog post, my goal is to not delete one sentence I write out, I will not try to fix anything, just free flow.

I have been  painting these mini mixed media paintings recently. Its been a great experience because I feel so free when making them. Free to make mistakes. Or what I think are mistakes.

But free, feeling free.

When you feel free you can accomplish anything, in fact you don’t even realize you are accomplishing something because it happens as a natural by-product of feeling free.

So what makes you feel free?

Have you ever been in a relationship that offered freedom? Boundaries are in place and respected yet the freedom between you two is such that you feel alive in your connection. Feeling alive – freedom.

Those who allow you to be freely yourself are the ones you want to be around the most, right? It makes sense.

What about when you are alone? The only one to come up against yourself is the self. Can you allow yourself to just be, and love your being-ness? To me that is freedom, to love yourself as you are.

What about in the world? What freedoms do you have that others do not? Can you do something about it? Will you?

It all starts with you. The more you allow yourself to be free of the limitations caused by x,y,z… the more you can get out in the world to free others.

We are here to help one another and make our lives grand.

So I will start by making more of these paintings. Because feeling free within my being-ness will ripple effect out into the world. Even when I am alone in my studio painting.

I wrote this out and I will admit I deleted one or two sentences to restart. As with anything it’s a practice. But I learned something through this one. Maybe I don’t get as stuck as I think, when I write.

xo,

Rebecca

Music in the video by Foreign Exchange

Music and Inspiration

Thanks to Spotify I am hearing all this amazing new music.

One day a few months ago I was in my studio with my Spotify on and I heard this beautiful song click here to listen. It was so beautiful I replayed it a few times. The artist is Jacob Banks. Spotify is such that you can listen to all the songs posted by the artist you are interested in. So I have found several great songs by him.

I found out he was coming to Boston to open up for another artist named Leon. I mentioned it to my girl Chantelle who lives in Boston and we made plans to go together.

Fast forward to the night of the show (Feb 1st) which was at the Sinclair in Cambridge. We got right up to the front. Jacob opened up with a kick ass song called Monster, listen here.

After he got off stage we hung out and watched Leon do a few songs. Also a great voice and I like the melodies in her music, check her out here.

We decided to leave early and as we walked out, there was Jacob Banks hanging out near the front of the entrance at the bar! Let’s just say I definitely tried to act as normal as I could. I was most excited to tell him how talented I think he is and that his voice is like no other.

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Sometimes I hear music and it is so beautiful that almost directly I see colors on canvas.

During my time in college I took a class in 2D Design. My professor at the time gave us an assignment to take a piece of music and create a color composition to it. I’ll never forget how psyched I was about this. I wish I could remember the song I chose. I think it might have been an instrumental Led Zepplin song? Not sure. Anyhow it was fun to create, and the memory of this project has stuck with me.

When a song touches me, and if I see colors or designs when listening to it, I save it to my playlist. I work in my studio to music that encourages ‘the flow’ the place where time disappears. It’s like the music is a means of accessing my creativity.

Here is a video I posted recently of me working in mixed media to some songs that I love. The music in this video includes the artists Chillhop Essentials, BeatPete & Jazz Spastiks, George Fields Instrumentals, & Nomak.

As I continue to find new and beautiful music I will share it here.

A few nights ago I was driving home and heard this one by Pablo Nouvelle click here. Just gorgeous music.

For me it’s important to find new means of inspiration. I also feel really connected to the arts more than ever with all that is going on in the world.

Music, the arts, dance, literature, etc, feeds the soul.

It was so great to get out and see a live show, especially with my good friend.

I currently have a giant canvas that is about 2 feet by 4 feet and it’s waiting for me. Maybe it will become a piece inspired by a song or song(s). We shall see.

What are you listening to? What artist makes you drop what you are doing and buy tickets to see them live? How does music inspire your creativity?

I’m Back! Art & Hiking in the Wild West – Part 1

Hello! I recently returned from a trip out west! I visited Montana,  took a quick stop in California, & ended in Nevada. My trip was centered around great friends, nature, & art-making. I had a wonderful time. I want to share pictures from my travels but in two parts, cause I have so many pics! Here is Part 1 :-)

For the first few days of my trip I stayed in Polebridge at the North Fork Hostel click here to visit the website. It was a great place and I had a comfortable stay with a lot of great company. I met new friends and ventured out to Bowman Lake several times. (pictures below from the website)

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Sitting on the porch chatting with new friends, and we were visited by a deer and her baby.

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Bowman Lake was where I took my watercolors to paint. It is located in the North Fork area of Glacier and not commonly visited by most visitors to the park.

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Below is a picture I took off the web of The Mercantile “The Merc” click here to visit The Merc website. I could walk from the hostel to the Merc and pick up coffee and a bear claw – this place is known for the pastries. It was also a gathering place where everyone stopped before heading out on their adventures.

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One of my new friends named Rick had asked me how I had found the hostel. I said I had found it on the web and it looked very inviting. He said, “Well you found a gem, I have been coming here for 32 years with my sons, and now my grandson.”

A group of us went to visit Rick’s friend, Joseph C. Moore, an artist that lives right outside of Polebridge in his artist’s studio cabin. When we arrived we saw that he left a note on his door that he was out running an errand (he doesn’t have cell service, so he leaves notes lol). We walked around his property and I got to look into the windows of his studio to see some of his work. On the outside of his home he displays these faces that he makes with cement:

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I later got to meet Joseph that same evening but didn’t have my camera on me to take a picture with him. He had a gray beard and rosy cheeks. His personality was bubbly and friendly, he leaned in when he spoke to me, and asked me several questions about my art and travels.  He doesn’t have a website and his studio can be visited only through word of mouth. So unless you talk to the people in Polebridge and ask about him, you’d never know he was there. He invited me to revisit that next week so he could give me a tour but I had to say no cause I was leaving the following day.

The North Fork Hostel does exhibit a few of his paintings in the common area.

I wanted to share the picture I took of his view from the backside of his studio… ahhh-mazing:

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My last evening at the hostel I shared pizza and beers at the Northern Lights Saloon about a mile walk from the hostel. There Rick’s son played the blues while his grandson break-danced:

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The National Bison Range in Dixon, Montana, is about a 1.5 hour drive from Kalispell. The NBR is one of the oldest National Wildlife Refuges in the United States. I saw bears, antelope, an eagle, deer, mountain goats, and of course the bison herd…all on a 19 mile loop. Seriously this place was freakin’ cool. So much to see!

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I was longing to hike in Glacier National Park. I didn’t have a hiking partner so I asked around for what trails were most populated and was told The Highline Trail. When in bear country I especially do not want to hike alone.

I got up early one morning and headed for the trail head but first stopped at the Apgar visitor’s center. I talked to a park ranger who suggested the Highline Trail was best for hiking alone and she made sure I had bear spray…yes I sure did lol!

I left and while heading for my car a young woman named Lisa approached me and asked if I would like a hiking buddy? She said, “I overheard you say you were hiking Highline, I am too, and I would rather not hike it by myself” HOW COOL IS THAT?! I was so grateful that Lisa joined me… here are pictures of our hike. In the one with my hands in the air, I am standing in front of the Grinnell Glacier!

BTW this same trail was closed a week after our hike due to bear activity! yikes!

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Lake McDonald is a great hang out spot for relaxing or several water activities. And Amy and I visited the local farmer’s market in Colombia Falls – Beers, food, art, and bluegrass music!
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More to come! Thank you for taking a look at Part 1… Part 2 coming soon!

Xo

Rebecca

Nature, Art, & Meditation…is so Us!

Guys, what do you do when you need a boost of confidence? What do you do to reconnect to yourself and find that inner peace? When that damn self-doubt creeps in?
A blank canvas sometimes can stir up these feelings… all that white space just starring back at you. What will you create? What will happen? How will you do?
I mean seriously, I almost created a workshop called, “Let’s make mistakes!”
I am laughing just thinking about it. Hell I will probably still hold this workshop, cause I need it too! It would be a class specifically for the practice of creating & letting go the attachment to get it right.

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Ever notice in a painting class how everyone makes something different? It’s so very special.
When we are connected to our own uniqueness self-doubts become a whisper instead of a loud voice, they won’t hook us (like Pema Chodrun would say). The route back to our own inner peace becomes easier to navigate.

A blank canvas can turn into an epic adventure of exploring ones soul.

Nature, art, and meditation can free up some of those blocks we come up against. Or I’ll just say it does for me.
Nature stirs up a lot of awe in me. This article by Christopher Bergland describes awe as “that sense of wonder we feel in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.” Click here to read more.
The article asks; “When was the last time you had an awe-inspiring moment that made you say…

“WOW!”?”

I’ll show you one of mine and I’ll never forget it. The moment I laid my eyes on the Grand Tetons back in 2008:

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 (image from web, I wish I could say I took this picture!)
All of a sudden I was very small in comparison to these giant mountains. I felt an expansion, peace, and a connection.

I felt connected to something bigger.

The same article mentions William James an American philosopher and psychologist, who would hiking adventures in the Adirondaks:
“After his epiphanies on the hiking trails, he had a new appreciation for spiritual “openings” as a universal key-hole to higher consciousness accessible to anyone.”

Epiphanies guys… Epiphanies.

Last week I went hiking in the Adirondaks, here I am on Algonquin Mountain (can we say ‘perfect weather’):

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Sometimes I like to raise my hands to the sky. I imagine that I am receiving all there is to receive from the abundance of mother-nature. I also imagine that the universe is opening my heart more while I am opened up like this. It feels good.
This is how I reconnect in nature. It’s inspiration, its glory, its magnitude, its reminder to go with the flow, and to give my gifts to the world. Because that is all she does for us, is give and give and give. And if I end up with any epiphanies then awesome.

It’s quite beautiful…

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A tiny flower can bring a sense of awe. (my pic of a Lady Slipper in the forest.)
The point I am getting at is nature is a good coach. Get in nature to feel the flow and inspiration. Its all around us and there for us whenever we need it.

While creating I find that I go to a place inside that is quiet.

Quiet but also very active, active with inspiration. Where time collapses and all my surface thoughts fade. I connect with the consciousness that is me which is why its feels so good to create. It’s why a lot of my friends who regularly make art can’t not make art.  That freedom allows a r-econnection to ‘Self’.
I recently finished the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer. I recommend this book to get an idea of what I mean here when I say ‘Self’. He is refers to the ‘Self’ without a name, character, or personality… its deep.
The end product of my painting doesn’t matter. Maybe I will create something I will love, maybe I won’t. But the act of letting go during the process is what matters. It’s a place of letting the creativity inside me come through. No blocks, no judgements, it’s free. I feel a high state of re-connection to myself after I paint.
Here are two new paintings that I worked on side by side. I didn’t stop working on them until I felt they were finished. It was exhilarating to paint these, I really let myself go!

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“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart

I have been practicing meditation for 3 years. This year I made meditation part of my daily intentions and usually do it in the morning. I don’t fuss about how long, how I sit, when I do it, or even if I miss a day or two. I have grown a love for it. It has many benefits as most people by now know, one of which is re-connection to oneself. If there is a block, meditation helps me in not holding resistance to it.
Here is what sometimes happens during my meditation, my sweet girl Mossie (Mah-see) likes to plop herself right here on my leg – She looks out the window that I sit nearby. As my friend said “our pets know when we are on a good vibe”.

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Here are beginner instructions for meditation from the book “Waking Up” By Sam Harris.  “The goal is to awaken from our trance of discursive thinking—and from the habit of ceaselessly grasping at the pleasant and recoiling from the unpleasant—so that we can enjoy a mind that is undisturbed by worry, merely open like the sky, and effortlessly aware of the flow of experience in the present.
  1. Sit comfortably, with your spine erect, either in chair or cross-legged on a cushion.
  2. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and feel the points of contact between your body and the chair or floor. Notice the sensations associated with sitting—feelings of pressure, warmth, tingling, vibration, etc.
  3. Gradually become aware of the process of breathing. Pay attention to wherever you feel the breath most clearly—either at the nostrils, or in the rising and falling your abdomen.
  4. Allow your attention to rest in the mere sensation of breathing. (There is no need to control your breath. Just let it come and go naturally.)
  5. Every time your mind wanders in thought, gently return it to the sensation of breathing.
  6. As you focus on the breath, you will notice that other perceptions and sensations continue to appear: sounds, feelings in the body, emotions, etc. Simply notice these phenomena as they emerge in the field of awareness, and then return to the sensation of breathing.
  7. The moment you observe that you have been lost in thought, notice the present thought itself as an object of consciousness. Then return your attention to the breath—or to whatever sounds or sensations arise in the next moment.
  8. Continue in this way until you can merely witness all objects of consciousness—sights, sounds, sensations, emotions, and even thoughts themselves—as they arise and pass away.
It’s all a practice just like with meditation. But as my curiosity about all this increases life keeps getting more and more interesting. The blocks tend to be more flexible.

Try a creative project, go for a walk outside, and please try meditation -make the time – its worth it.

If you are interested in practicing with me check out my upcoming event Art & Inspiration at the Inn ~ A Day for the Artist in You I would love to have you!
Thanks for reading and being a part of this community of creators. I don’t take any of you for granted.
Please share your thoughts, what’s new in your world?
To opening and being,
xox Rebecca
P.S. Check out the work by Christy! Created at my most recent workshop where we used script along with mixed media.

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A New Collage, Lunch with a Friend, & Nature

Hi!

It feels like summer. I am enjoying it, its nice to sleep with the windows open and wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping.

Last week I spent the good part of the week working on some new paintings. I was working on one abstract painting and noticed a struggle to make it look like something. I felt an urge to pull a face out of the lines and textures, maybe a tree, or leaf. I fought the urge because I didn’t want my painting to “look” like something, I wanted to find my own language through the abstract process. Well, that painting is sitting on my easel starring at me… I am giving it space. The process is like nature in a way. You see things are going to bloom when they are good and ready, that goes for spring flowers as well as what is sitting on our easels. Trusting in the process and being patient is required however hard it is.

During the week I met for lunch with my former high school art teacher and talented artist Carrie Simon. It was great to reunite with her, its literally been years! :-)  carrieandme

She continues to challenge her artistic process as well and is inspired by nature. Here is an example of one of her acrylic paintings, isn’t it lovely?

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She remains an encouraging spirit for me as she did all those years ago. We both acknowledged the same struggles when working on our artwork. Working with nature came up also in our conversations. Carrie has more recently been inspired by floral imagery, she explained when she is in the zone and painting in her studio it’s like she hits a rhythm that feels like a dance. Carrie will be showing her work this fall in a solo show – see more of Carrie’s work here & info: http://carriesimonart.com/

After our lunch I felt reassured and decided to not hold myself back again when I am working on the canvas. I also agreed to feel frustrated if frustration came, I agreed to BE WITH IT.

I went home and started a small 12 x 12 canvas. It started in watercolor then I started adding mixed media collage, I let it just go where it wanted to go. Then trees began to appear. I started to create a landscape. It felt great and I was in a flow state (one of my favorite destination spots ;-)). Here are the results:20160526_125756

My mother says it reminds her of a church. I thought how perfect that is! Nature IS my church… I agreed. Nature may be wanting to be expressed more through me, maybe the language I am seeking to find is all around me… In the inspiration of the natural world. I am excited about what is to come. I’ll update you all on what happens with the one starring at me on my easel too lol!

I found sheet music in my collage collection and one of the songs was titled, “Look to Your Soul” – Connection? Ahhh yes. And it all came together. Music, Nature, Art – a great trio, top that off with self-connection and boom!.. “Look To Your Soul” was born.

The message here is trust and patience… I found this great poem yesterday which I thought I would share:

Every morning
Swimming up out of dreams
I surrender to being here
I let go into gravity
Into the way the sweet earth pulls me to her
Head, hip, arm, leg . . . . with each exhale I drop further
Into cool white sheets, firm mattress, bed frame,
floor, walls, earth, earth, earth. . . .
It takes practice
To give up habitual holding on, holding in, holding back
Every morning I open myself
And invite grace to have its way with me

~ Oriah “Mountain Dreamer” House

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me. I’d love to hear from you whenever you feel the urge. Share with me whats going on for you, your art, what your celebrating…

Invite the Grace…

Hugs,

Rebecca

P.S. Here is a beautiful song to create to: Sacred Sound by Youssoupha Sidibe

 

 

Move your Body, Make Art, Feel Joy!

While hiking hard last Sunday I was experiencing full-on JOY!

The day before I was painting to this awesome song Ed Sheeran – I see Fire (Kygo Remix) LISTEN HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWYp1xRPH5g

…and I experienced again the same full-on JOY!

I started thinking about the similarities in both activities. Could it be the release of stress?  Increase of endorphins? Or just the experience of doing something I love?

I came upon this article http://jamesclear.com/make-more-art by James Clear titled, “Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity”

The part that resonated with me was his explanation of the release from life.

He says, “In our always–on, always–connected world of television, social media, and on–demand everything, it can be stupidly easy to spend your entire day consuming information and simply responding to all of the inputs that bombard your life. Art offers an outlet and a release from all of that. Take a minute to ignore all of the incoming signals and create an outgoing one instead. Produce something. Express yourself in some way. As long as you contribute rather than consume, anything you do can be a work of art.”

I feel the same release when I am in nature, taking a walk, hiking, playing basketball, or creating a painting or collage. Here I am last summer on the summit of Mt. Whitney, in my element.

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I just started watching NBA Basketball again too! Those athletes are just incredible. I played basketball in high school and I am proud to say I still have a great three-point shot. *toothsparkle

There is nothing like the feeling of the release of the ball from my hands and seeing it line up perfectly, have a knowing that you are going to make the shot, and then ‘SWISH!’ It’s like magic… and compares to the feeling I have when I am in the creative flow. It’s like you don’t have to think… the magic is coming through you.

Check out this article to find “10 Athletes that Paint” by Raka Sen and Vanessa Castro

http://www.complex.com/style/2013/09/athlete-artists/

I mean, how cool is that?

“Serena Williams took time to learn how to paint in Paris during her visit for the French Open. Jeremy Evans turned his portrait of himself dunking into a “dunkception” performance piece by actually dunking over it. Even athletes that don’t paint still have their ways of embracing art; Tyson Chandler and Usain Bolt have both taken up photography. And Carmelo Anthony and Shaquille O’Neal are known for their art collections. However they choose to do it, it’s great to see America’s sports stars embracing the art world.”

This is a painting by Ernie Barnes artist and professional football player.

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The benefits of health/fitness and the benefits of expressing ourselves through the arts are plentiful.  Exercise stimulates endorphin production, when your body crosses from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, it’s suddenly working without enough oxygen to provide the muscles and cells screaming out for it. This is when the “runner’s high” occurs.

For artists, there must be something similar but in relation to being in the ‘FLOW’ maybe we can call it the “Artist’s High” lol!

Here are some things I experience during physical and creative activities I enjoy, i.e. dancing, painting, hiking, collage-making, weightlifting, basketball, etc:

*Release of stress and negative emotions

*Rush of positive energies

*Feelings of courage and pride

*Connection to higher power

*Connection to self

*Imagination expands

*Satisfaction in productivity

*Growth

*Acceptance of being open to new possibilities

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The happier we are the better people we are out in the world. Find the things that bring you joy and try to do them once a day even if for 30 min.

What artistic activities and sports/play to you enjoy? What are the feeling similarities that you notice?

Try them this week and let me know how you felt after! I would love to hear!

Hugs,

Rebecca