Because: Life has been Real... and There Is This.

simple art journal sketch, creative practice, Hali Karla It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve written a more personal update about my life, and the state of being an artist and seeker creating a livelihood from offerings in alignment with my process and values.

I guess that’s because there’s been so much going on, so much shifting and internal processing. Things like my dad being diagnosed with early onset dementia last year, my folks trying to wrap up 22 years in Michigan to move to NC to be closer to me and my sister, growing pains and deep soulwork in a nine year marriage, broken bones, little energy, a re-evaluation of life goals and a complete spiritual crises of sorts... shedding and remembering and finding my way in the dark... toward unexpected sources of light.

Life - and Spirit - move in such mysterious ways.

And there’s also been lots of work to fill my time and be grateful for - work which I love, and work which I don’t love as much as I used to - and the growth in that as well.

I bet you’ve had some life ‘stuff’ happening this year, too. There is so much happening outward in our world, so much unrest... and, likewise, so much happening within our own worlds and inner selves. Mirrors and light and shadows... and a whole lot of revealing and movement toward growth, it seems. As above, so below. As without, so within. Everything IS connected, after all.

Blessed be all the ways we are part of miracles and transformations.

Inevitably, we change, our relationships change, our visions change, and our circumstances. An unexpected moment can alter everything - and we learn more every day how much we don’t know about what is and what will come, or about anything at all really - at least if we’re paying attention.

There’s an Ani Difranco song-line I love: “If you’re not getting happier as you get older, than you’re fucking up.”

Strangely enough, as I get older, I do find more and more relief and happiness in the practice of letting go. I don't know if that's what she meant in that song, but that's what it means to me.

It’s a letting go of ‘things’ and unhelpful states of mind or expectations. It’s a surrender to the unknown, the great mystery of creative spirit, the frail tenderness of heart-breaking and heart-making relationships.

When I look closely at this in the quiet, it always somehow becomes about heeding and obeying my intuition, and the call of my inner self onward, forward, into expanded integrations of who I thought I was. Even when it leads me to something in my outer world that seems absolutely contradictory to what my mind had already figured out to be true for me.

There’s a golden nugget in that, I suppose: When you begin to feel like you’ve figured ‘it’ out (whatever it is), pay close attention for coming change - that curve-ball adoption of a soul-shifting and often unexpected perspective.

Even in this shifting, though, and all the different ways of seeking, finding and expressing it, it always seems to come to this...

We are here to {be} love. You are here to {let} love. I am here to {allow} love. Love wants to be known.

We can do all our good work of dissolving and creating within the presence of love, if we notice and let go of what our comfort zone and scared self tries to hold onto. This love, this particular kind of Love... it’s not something we have to give - just something we can acknowledge as already there for all of us, in all the ways. Cycling. Flowing.

This kind of love is an invitation to the soul. At least that's how I experience it.

You know, I sat down to tell you about the state of Hali Karla Arts - and some musings from my own life that might offer reflective-fodder for your creative practice and journey... and I sit here saying this instead: Just let the love in, and out, and let it swoosh all around the moments as much as you can - especially the hard ones.

Let it rise up in your awareness. Let your breath be your reminder of its creative presence.

It is already there for you, available, abundant, a deeply generous spaciousness... that, paradoxically, can fill all the places within that may feel abandoned or hurt or broken and lost - with an emptiness that is not void, but peaceful and loving in return.

Trust where your inner knowing leads you, even if you don’t get it or if it puts you way out of your comfort zone. Just go. See. Surprise your mind. Break your own rules and shatter those ideas you held onto so long that they have caused pain and unnecessary barriers.

This human experience is a sort of ride, and so much of the details of life and belief that consume our brain-time get tethered around our limbs like ropes, altering how we show up and engage. They are ropes we can cut free when we remember that most details are not so big in the grander scheme of life's preciousness and unpredictability. And beliefs - well, they need room to grow and develop, too.

We don’t know how long we’re here for, on this ride of life - how wild it will get, what's around the next curve, or how it might end. But when we trade in the unhelpful details, beliefs and ruminations in the name of connection, the power is shifted from our expectations and fears and given to the mystery of Love.

So we just get to try not to get too tangled up along the way... it’s a much smoother, clear ride when we don’t. A bit slower sometimes, but a better view and experience.

Loves nature is to flow, and sometimes it becomes forms in our life, or gestures, moments, experiences - with our help or in spite of us - and we are here to receive, revere and reflect it into the world for one another.

All of this rambling is really a glimpse at what a creative practice can show us, I guess. My words do little justice to that which is best experienced and personalized to each of us... but perhaps you can sense the inspiration.

For me, it is simply a centering act to stick to my creative practice. To engage my physical self and senses in the act of making, to let my spirit speak in languages beyond words, my heart guide movements and choices in color and with feeling, and my mind hold simple intentions or be calmed to rest by the rocking and rhythm of painting and moving color. This feels so very, divinely, human.

With all the happenings in life this year, in and out, my creative practice has been there for me.

Even when it wasn't particularly satisfying to my mind or relieving of my discomfort and uncertainty, it has kept me grounded and been a constant thread. Sometimes it has been about releasing the gunk, or cutting the tethered ropes from my limbs, and other times it has simply been a place of healing, contemplation and reprieve in moments of beauty.

It has witnessed the changes in me in ways even my most beloved people have not necessarily seen or understood.

My creative practice is always the first to bear witness. Whether in the pauses, or in the energetic moments of splatter and textures. It sees and reflects back to me, in a sort of secret code between us... what was, what is, and what is mysteriously unfolding in this living art of my life.

It is so very often a direct connection to the Love and belonging which cannot be described, sometimes feels so far away, and yet, is always there.


oct18-relate2015bannerThere are just a few spots left for the fourth and final year of my beloved 21 Day Creative Practice Circle RELATE. Learn more and join us HERE.