you can begin again... and again... and again...

art journal during the 2017 Solar Eclipse in the states in Asheville, NC - by Hali Karla Some times we wait to begin until we have a plan, a reason, a focus, enough rest (money, time), a mission, validation from others, a synchronous series of 'magical' moments that must be signaling 'yes, this way is meant to be.'

Maybe it's just me... but as much as I love seeing the magic and miracle in life's messages, it sure seems like all of that can add up to a lot of waiting, procrastinating, disappointment, stalling, fussy busy work, mental monkey antics, and maybe a bit of bypassing what it takes to just... begin. To step through. To get things moving along already, come what may. To give form to the vision, one step at a time.

I think sometimes what so many long for in this culture is a notion that is fundamentally missing from integral stages of our life and decisions... an INITIATION. A moment in time that signals a chapter has ended, and indeed the next one is beginning. That you are loved, you are ready, you will be OK in all the uncertainty of taking new risks. What has passed is honored. What is to come is unknown and waiting, what you have been made for, and both more and less than what you dare to imagine... and what a gift to be part of this mystery. To get to breathe, and move, and love, and... begin things.

A couple weeks ago we had the great solar eclipse here in the states. Totality was just an hour from our house here in Asheville. There was so much talk of what an energetic moment in time it represents... a portal to what is to come, a great shifting of consciousness, the exposure and falling away of what no longer works and what is waiting to take its place in our creative efforts. All true and fun and inspiring and maybe hopeful in our crazy world right now. Sure. Let's embrace stepping into the gateways that open for us, into a living process of letting go and allying with what is changing.

And... these moments are subtler than we'd sometimes like or expect them to be, don't you think? An amazing solar eclipse for some, a pretty ordinary day for others. A time full of felt chaos and potential, tenderness and power... order becoming disorder in the dynamic process of transformation. So huge and great, and so small as well.Some of us notice, others don't. The world keeps spinning and transforming regardless.

And every day, there is still... chop the wood, carry the water... pay the bills, take the kids to school, pray for good news from the doctor, go to work, get the car fixed, and try our best to savor the little shared moments of true connection and love.

Because really, we don't know when the big changes and events will be so big in our path that life will never be the same again. Ask anyone on the ground in Houston this week.

It can be so easy to put off beginning. The conscious steps that move us into our next chapters, however subtle or extreme it may be over time. It takes the time it takes for us to get there, to the place of defined action, I suppose. And it can be good to be gentle about it.

It's also good to notice if the delay is unnecessary. Or more about fear. Or attachment. Or a sense of hopelessness because somewhere along the way we thought something else was the last time we would have to do the hard, blessed work of beginning again.

What I love to remember in my bones, when I finally remember that there's nothing to wait for, no reason to delay... to just begin... is that there is liberation, re-vitalization and glorious curiosity in the choice, the act, the effort of surrendering to the process and stretching the tired, resistant muscles of self into the act of beginning again.

Maybe you're facing the blank page. The move. The blog. The dream. The integration of all parts, dark and light, into your unique wholeness.

So if you're like me, and you sometimes need to hear it... you don't need to wait for the sun and moon to line up, or the heavens to part.

Just find your next right step. The do-able action. And begin.

And if you stall or forget or get distracted or discouraged, or can't do what you thought you could do, or have to course correct, and that little self starts to creep in with all kinds of doubts and conditions, just be gentle about it all and take a deep breath. Ground in your real-time life, with the people and animals and nature you can reach out and touch for a moment.

And then begin again.


This musing is brought to you by my desire to kick-start a fresh relationship with my musings here at the blog, and maybe connect more with you - my readers and subscribers in the process.

With the eclipse and the past few weeks, I spent some time off social media, reflecting on where I'm at and where my energy feels focused, not leaked - and I knew September and October would be my time to explore blogging again for a spell, and share some of the many, many things that have been on my mind and in my processes over the past year or so. Like this astrology kick that has taken over much of my work and offerings - and how it correlates and can inspire and inform our creative practice!

I was starting to come up with excuses why I didn't need to bother blogging, though... and then I saw Effy Wild is having a blog along for September. Some of her words today were just what I needed to remember about the ol' blogging process. So, I'm not sure if I'll stick with it each day, but I'm going to give it a Go.

Sometimes we just need an anchor of accountability to give a fresh start some roots. If interested, you can read about Effy's blog along here.

Or you can use this post as a nudge to start your own daily musing or blog practice.


Lately, I Have Been...

detail of art journal page in process, Hali Karlafrench broad river near hot springs, nc

prayer page, line drawing in visual journal (Hali Karla)

blessed skies (Hali Karla Arts)

mixed-media art journal page starts (Hali Karla)

handmade card from my hubby (Hali Karla Arts)

Lately, I have been...

... in a bit of a transition state with my personal creative practice. It looks like a lot of simple pages, false starts, quick messes and slow-goings. That usually happens before some sort of immersion of expression, but who knows?

Lately, I have been...

... putting together content, astrology insight and art journaling prompts and demos for the soulful creatives exploring IN THE STARS with me this year. Everyone is swimming the waters of awe and inquiry with their birth charts, while expressing possibilities and nuances in color and reflective words. My heart is filled up with this program and the participants so far this year! You can join us anytime, for the time being.

Lately, I have been...

... practicing receiving. I'm not so great at it, but with my 40th birthday last month, I tried to get a little better as lots of love came my way from my closest folks. The anticipation of the big 4-0 was uncomfortable and sensitive, I won't lie... with some age appropriate life-reflection, I suppose. When the day actually arrived, though, I truly just felt so LIGHT in my heart and very, very grateful and joyful for this Life, and ready for the unknown of the next chapter.

Lately, I have been...

... reading some really great books on astrology, the moon, being a birthing partner (for my sis!), racial/criminal injustice, spiritually guided resistance (what would Jesus do? No, REALLY...? kind of stuff), icon and illuminated manuscript art, and practicing devotion. *ah, books*

Lately, I have been...

... playing piano more. Like I did as a kid. Losing time. For me. Music goes hand-in-hand with devotion in my world.

... and practicing reading birth charts. oh, how I love this. I offered limited readings in March to my students last week, and the spots were gone in less than an hour. It is such an honor & joy for me to get to spend time with a chart and share what I see with the person... all in the hopes that they feel more connected to their wholeness, to others and to the great sacred mystery of Life unfolding.

Lately, I have been...

... praying. Re-finding and redefining and finally claiming my faith. Every day. With others. In new, uncomfortable ways for me. Not just in the ways I was given or shown, or ways I have wished I could call my own, but in the ways I've been called. Being me, in relationship with God. This is tender territory... some of it very new territory to me... or variations on territory that's always felt like home... that is, such a huge, huge part of who I am and always have been. Lately, I've been trusting that more fully, and finally choosing to make it the most important relationship in my life. And so, as it goes with such things, there are changes happening within.

Lately, I have been...

... online a bit less. In my life a bit more. Loving it that way. And exploring ways of finding the balance that fits my work and life with this... which leads to another thought...

Lately, I have been...

... remembering how important a simple, grounded life is to me - especially in this crazy world. Remembering how much I value intimacy and time for my closest relationships, to learn more of what makes me a better human being, and to just be quiet, in nature, as much as possible. Remembering how I hope to show up to others I work with. How important it is to my heart and soul to choose a slower, intentional pace, and a clear channeling of my creative energy, for the possibility of communion with that deeper presence. Remembering that not knowing is the chance to connect with the natural, divine mystery. Remembering to not confuse tools with their intended purpose and gifts. To not get caught up in unnecessary nay-saying, gossip, drama, suspicion and critique, but to choose to see the beauty in the unfolding, the places where growth and hope can shine through the cracks... hushing our minds, shining peace on our hearts and initiating action with clarity.

Lately, I have been...

Listening. Growing. Grateful.

What have you been noticing in your world and skin lately? May you know clarity, peace and discovery, whatever it is.

With heart,

Hali Karla

Looking Up, Looking In... All The Feels and All The Colors

Path in the Western North Carolina Mountains (Hali Karla Arts)Western North Carolina Mountains in the Fall (Hali Karla Arts)Western North Carolina Mountains in the Fall (Hali Karla Arts)Cathedral in the WNC mountains with Prisma app, (Hali Karla Arts)Western North Carolina Mountains in the Fall (Hali Karla Arts)WNC mountain trail, light and dark, Hali Karla Arts This time of year is my absolute favorite palette. Rich layers, deep tones and changing colors with both bold and soft moments of exclamation... and this understanding within, that you best pause to take it in because only the temperatures know if the change will be swift or steady.

The temperatures fluctuate quite a bit where we live in the WNC mountains.

Some nights are cold, like you'd expect in the fall, and some days hot like summer. It will likely continue to swing around a bit before settling on a more consistent, cooler time of retreat in the winter.

I find that my creative visual practice slows a bit with autumn. Because I know there will be plenty of indoor time soon enough, and because... well, I'm a bit like a bird... shiny things and vibrant colors delight me, and it's time to let the rhythms slow, while the nest is tidied and tended.

The cool air is a promise to my soul, and grounds me in my skin and feelings. It says, This life is precious and oh-so-fast. Take notice. Be present. Celebrate creation, living around and within you.

There can be a solemnity to the rhythm and reflection, too. But it is not to be feared or fought. Just felt. Part of the mystery of all that beckons, shifts and transforms in the cycles of our consciousness.

I think often of how we co-create with this awareness.

Of how spirit speaks to us in so many ways - always trying to reach us in languages we can receive. Calling us home, right where we are. Often surprising us with connections and wonders we couldn't see before.

I also find comfort in the reminder that those who have gone before are not separate from us. They are with us, and we are with them. That there is a flow between times and lives, between heaven and earth. Especially in this beautiful time of year, when we reflect and celebrate on ancestors, saints and souls.

The changing colors and falling leaves speak of what is holy to me. Bold reds, oranges and yellows surrounding, and the crunch of transformation beneath my feet - it is a language I can understand.

The woods become cathedrals of remembrance.

Brightness, with rich layered depth, is a promise and validation I can feel. In its presence I am whole, devoted, surrendered, ready, re-filled. There is healing and relief from the intensity and stimulation of our times.

I wonder how this time of year speaks to you and your creative self in your place in the world... if you've been able to slow down a bit, to wander and listen.

Whatever it says, may you listen openly for the languages you naturally respond to, and receive the inspiration and love being offered.

Hali Karla