Freedom to Feel What You Feel (February art journal reflections, Art Practice Moon Magic)

altered book art journal, selfie-portrait detail (Hali Karla)altered book art journal, creative practice, 3 different portrait styles (Hali Karla)

This past month's Art Practice, Moon Magic theme has been an interesting one for me to invite in... because the theme is "freedom" and "feel what you feel"... and I've been in the midst of an incredibly busy month with lots of unexpected setbacks, challenges, learning-curves and time-pinches.

That can make a sense of freedom, and taking the space to feel what you feel, a little tricky, if you know what I mean.

It can also get you right to the heart of it, real quick, if you pay attention.

Stress is not a big bad enemy. Neither are changes in plans. They are teachers, and opportunities... and way-show-ers. To experience something we haven't, know ourselves better, or just to get real clear moving forward.

I find that by looking beyond what feels constrictive in the moment, I can see both the bounty of blessings in the bigger picture of presence, and what freedom looks like for me. I can get real clear on what is a resonant YES to my spirit, and what is not. What needs to get packing, and what is healthy to keep around, so to speak.

I always lean toward simplifying and gratitude when taking stock and getting clear about the truth behind the whispers of my feelings. When I pause and breathe into it, there is always, a beckoning to slow down, even when... especially when the pressure is on.

Taking one thing at a time. Trusting that I am built to be living this journey of me, loving as best I can. Trusting my truth, even when it can look so different from what we are exposed to and fed in this culture.

It is in tight or 'busy' times that I need my creative practice and prayer practice most. Because it grounds me, AND lets me stay connected to what calls my spirit toward expansion, rather than retraction. Which can, ironically, look like retraction in my external life (and feel like expansion within). Paradox is the way of a soulful life.

I like to remember that the rhythm of life is like the tides... it comes and goes, can be high and low... is gorgeous and intimidating and full of promise and power....

My freedom is in remembering that I am both the shore and the water. The grounded and the groundless. Changing. Unfolding. Discovering. Shifting. Salty and cleansing. Tender, reflective and fierce. Full of feeling... and so very much more.


The three pages above are in my 2016 altered book art journal for daily contemplations. Much of the art I made this past month has been related to Essence, the first session of Making Art Medicine, where we are studying expressive {self}portraiture in our creative practices and taking a look at our own sense of self and how we relate. I love how there are *so* many ways of approaching a mixed-media portrait!