Fall In Love With Stick Figures Again

This week was long, tiring, and freakin’ awesome.

I’m so amazed at the changes taking place in my life right now. I wanted to end the week by sharing with you this week’s artistic accomplishment, and also share a little bit about my life changing, soul fulfilling events.

To begin I want you to think about stick figures. Yes, the round headed, lines for body doodle. Remember drawing him in elementary schools or the occasional Hangman game?   Well, take everything you remember about it and throw it out the window. Really, this is going to blow your mind, and possibly get you addicted to drawing stick figures.

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This week’s Lifebook lesson was taught by the amazing Mandy van Goeije, a Dutch illustrator, artist, and teacher. She introduced us to a brand new spin on stick figure drawing. So whether you can draw or not, you will be able to create this simple doodle. The surprising part of doing so is the therapeutic message these little stick figures can add to your life. Mandy encouraged us to add as little detail as possible while creating a small storyboard consisting of two or three frames. In each frame, stick figures would depict our story, message, ideas, anything really. At first I thought “Hmm..really? How can I tell a story with so little detail?” Well, you can, and it turns out that letting stick figures depict your story is much more powerful than filling a whole page with words or painting a masterpiece. Below are some examples of my stick figures.

16195630_10155000430091323_3536615251610619902_nDrawing them made me feel like a five year old again….and for all the right reasons. You see, you NEED to approach art with a child-like innocence to express your true, raw, meaningful stories. When we grow up we have to become “responsible”, “sensible”, “wise”…and we tend to lose our child-like imagination. Art doesn’t work well with stern, methodical approaches. It yearns to be free, simple even, always expecting nothing but your true self.  When I connected with my fellow artists and we exchanged our stick figure stories, we saw how this process unlocked so many emotions.  Some expressed and processed grief in their drawings; others expressed gratitude; everything was simple, raw, and yet incredibly powerful.

I was so inspired by this process that I created a journal where I can add all of my stick figure stories, short frames telling about my feelings, my day, and my dreams.  And yes, even the silly and mundane moments, because they all matter and they add up to this thing we call life.

So why don’t you give these little figures a chance to enter your own life?  But I must warn you…they’re highly addicting.  You may find yourself drawing dozens and dozens of storyboards, stick figures becoming what words can’t express and the neatest companion you ever had.  Please share your stick figure storyboards with me, I would love to see what they have to say 🙂

And finally, I must say I’m so incredibly thankful for the events unfolding in my life right now.  I recently joined Devorah Spilman’s InStory group, where I have a mentorship for my creative visions, purpose in life, and soul calling.  Being mentored and supported by people who get me is an unbelievable feeling.   I have so many projects ahead and for the first time in a long time, I am confident in all of them, knowing that they’ll enrich my life, connections, and soul in so many ways.

And…..to add more sparkle to my life, I have also signed up for Over The Rainbow, Jane Davenport’s newest 8 week long art course, where I’ll be making Emerald City come to life, with all its darling (and some a little evil) characters.  I’m so excited.  Join me on this adventure, connect with me and other artists, and find your tribe.

 

Till next time, love yourself and others, honor the calling, and create like a child. XO

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Cry Them A River: Why It’s Okay To Be Sensitive

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photo credit: shelby sheene photography

Have you been told you’re too sensitive? That you cry too much? That you need to grow thicker skin?  Actually, being sensitive is a gift, not a flaw.

It started like any other morning. I checked my work emails, sipped my coffee, and ended up on social media. Bored, I decided to watch a shared clip of a medium performing a reading. The video only lasted three minutes but by the end of it my face streaked with tears. The person being ‘read’ experienced an array of emotions; from deep sadness to profound relief about her deceased father. Her emotional response affected me on a deep level and for those three minutes, I was the one experiencing the grief and relief.   I thought of my own journey, the people in my life, the concept of life and death, and suddenly a floodgate of emotions washed over me.

I wiped my face and thought “Really? You’re ridiculous. It’s just a video!”

But then it hit me. Why was I scolding myself for crying over something that touched me emotionally? Why is it a weakness to feel and show emotion, to be sensitive, to allow myself to be charged by a random event?

We live in a world where we hear it all the time: Suck it up and deal with it. You’re too sensitive! What are you going to do, cry about it?

Sure, there are people who use their ‘sensitive status’ to obtain what they want. Or maybe they’ve been catered to most of their life and associate crying and being overly sensitive with self-entitlement. But this isn’t true for everyone. Turns out that sensitive people are very complex. They are more intuitive, better sympathizers, and exceptionally in tune with the world around them.

There have been several studies showing that individuals who tend to suppress their tears don’t…[READ MORE HERE]