FIRE UP YOUR DREAMS FOR MAY DAY!

puresusan:

Very soon, I’ll be sharing an important announcement with my readers…. Marilyn Steele’s post is timely & poignant. All I can say is Dare to Believe in Your Self.

Originally posted on The Wild Feminine:

In each moment the fire rages, it will burn away a hundred veils. And carry you a thousand steps toward your goal                 Rumi Many mornings this winter I was waking up between 3-5 a.m., with rushes of fear spreading across my collarbone and down the insides of my arms. I have hated it. And really resented being woken up so early, in the dark. I tried all the coping strategies I could think of: Prayer. Chants. Mantras. Swearing. Sometimes I would get up and read. Or better, write. That helped for awhile but made the days very long and tiring. Finally I surrendered, remembered there must be a meaning to this, a purpose, something I needed to know for my own soul growth and evolution. So I sat up in bed and asked it: Fear! What are you doing here? What…

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What’s It Like in the Red Tent?

I found last Saturday’s Red Tent event rich in conversation & deeply moving.  I chose the topic “Mothering and Being Mothered” for Mother’s Day weekend… it seemed appropriate.  I’ll never divulge the details for “what happens in the Tent stays in the Tent” but consider how you’d answer these three questions and imagine what the conversation was like among women ranging in age from their 20s to their 70s.

1)  How does your relationship with your mother impact your ability to mother others?

2)  Who (what) do you mother and what forms does your mothering take?

3)  As you give generously in so many ways, how do you nurture your Self?

These amazing women brought their authentic selves to the tent, speaking their truth courageously because somehow each sensed that the tent is a safe, sacred, private place where women can speak without judgement, shame, criticism, or guilt.

For this Red Tent event, I established an altar in the center of the carpet to honor “mother” images from various religious traditions, our own mothers & grandmothers, as well as the ways we mother in our own unique ways.  Each woman brought an object or photo that symbolized motherhood for her and we shared their importance.  This initial introduction of ourselves- women who gave birth, adopted, chose not to have children, & were contemplating having a child for the first time- cast a magical circle of protection around us in some ways, allowing each of us to share deeply and honestly.  I call this circle the Sacred Wisdom Circle because each & every one of us brought the wisdom of our experience to the group for all to possibly learn from.  Each of us was student & teacher in turn.

When I create a Red Tent event, it’s not merely a “gimmick” to create a space that resembles a Middle Eastern tent with red curtains, rugs, and exotic accessories.  I deliberately design it with the intention that I’m creating a space set apart from our everyday concerns so women can rest, rejuvenate, connect with other women, and reconnect with their highest selves.  I want it to look different, feel different, and be different.  I want the women to feel different and be different from how they feel they have to be for husbands, parents, employers, and children.

The Red Tent is a womb– a protective place that nurtures and nourishes.  All who identify themselves as women are welcome here regardless of age, race, or spiritual beliefs.  Every tent is charged with the energy of the participants, be they contemplative, humorous, emotional, lively, or a blend of one or more of these qualities.

Our time together ended far too soon, after meaningful discussion and a reflective labyrinth walk nestled between the memorial wall and the majestic weeping beech at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York’s campus.  I trust all the women felt refreshed in some way be it physically, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally.  I know I did.

So what’s next?  My next Red Tent event will be an all-day retreat that focuses on Beauty- Inside and Out.  And this time, it will be open to women AND GIRLS ages 8 and up.  Mothers can share this experience with their daughters or come alone for the topic is relevant to all of us.  We’ll explore what it means to grow up in a society that still places too much emphasis on being skinny & young.  Most importantly, we’ll explore ways to be strong, empowered, & full of the knowledge that we are each beautiful in our own way.  It’s time to tell our girls that they are valued just the way they are.

Stay tuned….

 

Little Joys- Part 1

There are so many little joys to be grateful for in life, treasured not for their grandness or “importance” but for the happiness they bring to each moment if we heighten our awareness of the present.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in obligations, multitasking to fit it all in.  But if we can stop and take time to notice, these little joys gift us with peace, a smile, and connection to all that is positive.

I’ve been recording some of the many little joys in my life via Instagram and Facebook but want to share them with my blog friends as well.  What Little Joys bring light to your life?

Art Supplies

My art supplies… always beckoning me, inspiring me, and encouraging me to play.

Birdhouses

My backyard bird haven… plenty of shelter, water, and food. Seeing them flit about happily brings me joy.

Coffee in the Morning

That first cup of coffee in the morning, made even more special by being in a favorite mug.

Crocuses

Purple crocuses bring the message that spring will soon be here!

Daffodils

Sunshine yellow daffodils soon follow crocuses.

Evening Walk with Pups

Evening walks with the dogs. My way to release the stress of the day , transition into my personal life, and take time to notice the little joys in nature with my pups.

Freyjas Soulful Eyes

Freyja’s soulful eyes. This gorgeous girl was once someone’s helpless puppy mill breeding dog but luckily for both of us, she’s been my little girl for 3 years, bringing me joy with every soulful expression on her face. I think we rescued each other!

Rag Rugs

Rag rugs are a great way to salvage scraps of material and give them new life. Each piece has a story. I made this rug over 20 years ago and enjoy the vibrancy and cheerfulness of every color.

Sily Socks

Silly socks… just because.

Warm Cinnamon Rolls

Warm cinnamon rolls with icing drizzled on the top. Comfort food at its best.

Finding Joy

As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a goal-setting, list-making perfectionist, who has been able to accomplish whatever I set my mind on accomplishing.  There is a bit of success that comes with this but the cost is in the measure of joy I have along the way.   It’s a tough road to travel when one is constantly striving to be more, be better, be enough.  There is no time to admire the scenery.  There is no stopping to refill my fuel tank.  And there is no stretch of highway that doesn’t have a road block of expectations (usually my own) hampering my progress.

When it comes to joy… you can’t get there from here.Beacon of Light

So, I’m throwing away the map that got me to this point and trusting my inner compass instead.  It’s been trying to lead the way but I’ve been ignoring it on this race to the top.  The top of what?  Some future achievement?  When?  Always later, I  now realize.  There is no destination on this kind of a journey.  It’s a constant push for a future reward that comes at a price, if it comes at all.

Relax and Release

Someone said that depression is a focus on the past and anxiety is a focus on the future.  The only way to be happy is to “Focus on the Present”.   Let me throw in a few more affirmations for good measure- Go with the Flow; Let Go; Take What’s Working and Leave the Rest; Seize the Day.  You get the point and finally, I do, too.

One of the first things I did to nurture myself this year was register for LifeBook 2015, the amazing online art experience… the art extravaganza, actually… created by Tamara Laporte.  She organized a yearlong exploration of art through a variety or techniques and mediums as taught by over 25 artists, including Joanne Sharpe, Flora Bowley, Jane Davenport, Alisa Burke, and herself.  It’s contemplative, it’s creative, and most of all it’s FUN!!

Art Feeds My Soul

It’s time to enjoy life and release what no longer serves.   I don’t know how many of you out there are Type-A perfectionists like me but to say “That’s enough” and most important, “I’m enough” is huge!!!  I have given myself permission to play and have fun along the way.

These are some of the pieces I’ve created through LifeBook so far this year.  This experience is for the joy of creating and that’s all.  And that’s enough.

2015-02-08 08.12.24

 

Girl on a Wire

 

2015-02-14 07.58.22

 

Affirmation Feather


DreamCatcher  

Blessing and Being BLessed Jar

 

 

 

Change- The Painting

Last summer, I had a reading from a very gifted Tarot reader named Marcy at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY.  She explained that if one wants positive change in one’s life, one must break the old patterns and do something new.  Anything new.  To paraphrase– If you always eat a ham sandwich for lunch, eat something different.  It doesn’t matter if it’s tuna fish or pastrami on rye.  Just try something different.

I’ve used the analogy before of sledding down a snow-covered mountain.  We are so used to doing things one way, seeing the world one way, and responding in one way.  Like a sled going down the same well-worn path, we go down the same path with friends, co-workers, & our significant others.  Even though this path no longer suits us, it’s hard to break free.  But consider this, by lifting the sled out of the rut, even slightly, a new path will automatically be taken.  All it takes is a slight adjustment.

Change: a mixed media piece on canvas.

I’m making a real effort to do that in all aspects of my life, including my art.  Change, a mixed media piece on canvas, exemplifies that for me.  My previous work is known for bold blocks of color or pattern and solid outlines, usually black. With Change, I’m loosening up and allowing greater energy and movement in the piece.  Who knows, this energy and movement could translate into something wonderful in my life.  It’s worth a try!

Legacy

For women, the divine feminine is a concept that may be unfamiliar except in the context of the Virgin Mary.  I painted this to remind us that our legacy as women is the entire history of the divine feminine found in ancient cultures around the world.  She is earth mother, healer, creator, and destroyer.  She embodies love, compassion, courage, strength, and creativity.  All of these goddess images are our legacy and all reside within each of us.

This piece is featured in Volume 3 Issue 2 of Wild Woman Rising magazine, an amazing online magazine that celebrates and honors women.      http://www.wildwomanrising.com/category/volume-3-issue-2/

Legacy:  The entire history of the divine feminine is our inheritance.

Legacy: The entire history of the divine feminine is our inheritance.

Detail of Legacy.

Detail of Legacy.

Susan_Korsnick_Legacy_acrylic_48x36view3

Detail of goddess image.

Going With My Flow

I rested.  I reflected.  I reevaluated what mattered most to me.  I released what no longer served me (as much as I could, knowing I’m ready and willing to release even more).

These last several months have been a time of great introspection for me because I feel the familiar pull of a place further down the river of my life and know the best thing to do is to stop, listen, and wait to find out what is beckoning to me.  Am I being called to action or am I being called to prepare in other ways first?  Do something or just “be”?

I check in with my Self- signals from my body, mind, spirit, and soul.  I listen to my intuition– my inner wisdom.  What am I supposed to be doing right now?  When I’m unsure, the best thing to do is be still.  So, I’ve been still for a while.  No blog posts.  No committee meetings.  No activities that I’m not completely passionate about.  Doing my best to have inner quiet and stillness while I outwardly continue the hurried pace of living, finding peace amidst the chaos to some extent.

I’ve bobbed in the Dead Sea and know how serene it feels to let go.  It’s a profoundly simply yet powerful way to fully experience the concept of “surrender”, feeling completely supported and safe, warmly embraced by the water.

The cliche, “Go with the flow”, springs to mind, bringing a bit of anxiety to this woman who likes to know where she’s going at all times.  What flow?  To where?  With whom?  So I coined the phrase, “Go with My Flow”, recognizing that we are at different stages of our journeys and that “one size does not fit all”.  Your flow is different from mine.  I might choose a chubby inner tube bobbing lazily down the river of life while you strap on your helmet and buckle your lifejacket, ready to brave the whitewater of your life. Or maybe it’s the other way around, I’m plunging down a foaming waterfall while you are wading knee-deep in the safety of the shoreline.  It doesn’t matter.

We each have to go with our own flow.

Winged Spirit- Soar to New Heights

Winged Spirit emerged from the canvas to remind us that we should release our burdens and soar to new heights.

Winged Spirit emerged from the canvas to remind us that we should release our burdens and soar to new heights.

Winged Spirit speaks to me, gently saying “Release what no longer serves so you can soar to new heights.”  Her wings are strong yet nurturing. “Fear not,” she continues, “when you have the courage to take a leap, Spirit will carry you safely on the wind. You will not fall.”  What wonderful advice as we head into 2015, a new year & an opportunity for a new beginning!

By letting go of my preconceived idea of what this canvas could be, Winged Spirit continued to reveal herself.

By letting go of my preconceived idea of what this canvas could be, Winged Spirit continued to reveal herself.

Winged Spirit emerged from layers of acrylic paint playfully applied with a variety of tools- brushes, a spray bottle, sponges, a fork, stencils, stamps, and my fingertips.  I was able to connect with this piece far more deeply than I had with some of my earlier work because I allowed myself to enjoy the process and let whatever was going to happen happen.  Surrender… a new concept for me.

After freely applying several layers of paint without any thought to the outcome, I saw Winged Spirit peeking through the drips, splashes, and strokes.

After freely applying several layers of paint without any thought to the outcome, I saw Winged Spirit peeking through the drips, splashes, and strokes.

 

Early in the fall, I strolled into my local fabric store and happened upon a display of art-related books.  As soon as I read the title “Brave Intuitive Painting”, I knew I had to have Flora Bowley’s book for that’s exactly what I would love to call my painting process.  But I can’t.  Not yet.  I stayed up late into the night soaking up her advice, techniques, and colorful examples, enthusiastically telling my boyfriend, “If I could write a book, this is exactly what I’d want to say!!”  She encourages artists to release preconceived ideas of a finished product and immerse ourselves in the process of discovery… and self-discovery.  The book led me to her website which led me to her e-course called Bloom True.  I highly recommend it for anyone to wants to break free of expectations and allowing the experience of creating art to be a more intuitive process.

The point of taking Flora Bowley’s workshop is not to copy her style.  Rather, the point is to honor the authentic creator in my Self, silence the critical mind for a while, and just BE.

Visit my shop on Etsy to view the art I currently have for sale.  www.etsy.com/shop/PureSusan

Bridges and Boundaries

Transformation is only possible when we choose to build bridges instead of roadblocks.

Transformation is only possible when we choose to build bridges instead of roadblocks.

I thought I fully embraced transformation–eagerly desiring positive change and building bridges to what I envision as the next phase of my life.  But something has been getting in my way.  Me.  I’m building my own roadblocks as fast as I’m building bridges.

This is a common pattern for me and many others.  We get close to fulfilling a dream and then pull away out of fear, whether it be deepening a new relationship, deciding to move, or changing careers.

I’m grateful for finally recognizing this for it means I am in a position to break the cycle of self-defeating behavior.

What do I mean by “bridges”?  

Bridges are any action or decision you make in alignment with your soul’s wish.  When I decided to leave Virginia, I focused on finishing my masters’ degree, got certified in other states, sent out resumes, made phone calls, and traveled hundreds of miles for interviews.

As I got closer to my goal, I let fear overpower me and I started building roadblocks instead.

What do I mean by “roadblocks”?

Roadblocks are the barriers to success and the awakening of our authentic Selves.  They are any action or behavior that gets in the way of reaching your goal or fulfilling your dream.  When I accepted a position and prepared to move, I began to sabotage myself in three significant ways.  FIrst, I claimed to be “too busy” to follow up with realtors who were trying to sell my house & help me find a new one.  Second, I let perfectionism paralyze me, making the excuse that everything had to be perfectly in place before I’d move forward.  And lastly, I shut down.  I was so scared about the scale of this life change that I couldn’t make any decision regarding the move for a few days.

There are already plenty of roadblocks between us and the fulfillment of our dreams.  Do we honestly need to sabotage our Selves, denying our right to happiness and an authentic life?  Naguib Mahfouz wrote, Fear does not prevent death, it prevents LIFE.”

So what am I doing differently?

Anything.  Everything.  It only takes one itty bitty baby step to break that negative thought pattern.  I am acknowledging my fear and taking the next step anyway.  I am choosing to listen to my intuition more than my inner critic.

To learn more about my painting called Transformation (seen above) or to view my other work,

visit me at www.etsy.com/shop/PureSusan .

Listening to Intuition

I’ve been craving space, knowing that life, like the earth, has seasons.  Autumn is ending and the last of the crops have been gathered before a period of rest.  It’s getting dark earlier.  Snow will most likely fall tomorrow and there is little else to do outside.  So I eagerly anticipate winter for it symbolizes the winter in the cycle of my life – a time when I can go more deeply within, rest, wait, emerge transformed.  I honor these cycles and learn from them.

I was overdoing it.  The perfectionist in me loved the committees, obligations, and productivity that I had over the last couple of years.  The authentic me, buried beneath the to-do lists, longed to step into the light and just BE.  As my commitments came to an end, I refused to “fill the void” with yet more committees and obligations.  Instead, I chose to sit in the growing space and settle in.  A little space felt good and more space felt even better.  I respected what I was feeling and stretched out my arms, embracing the mystery.  I don’t need to “be” anything other that me.

I have to warn you.  If you are brave enough to try this, some people won’t understand.  They have expectations for you.  They remember the old you and want you to stay that way, for if you reveal your authentic self and come from a place of inner knowing, they have to take closer looks at themselves, too.  Not every one is comfortable with change.  Be okay with that.  And be okay with the fact that some relationships will fall away to make way for relationships that align with who you are, NOT with who you were.

I also have to warn you that like-minded people will suddenly surround you.  Kindred spirits will respond favorably to the change and affirm your decision to be YOU, for they have traveled similar paths.  You’ll be amazed at who appears in your life and the new opportunities that come with your growing authenticity.

This has been my experience over the last few months.  I love the way it feels yet acknowledge a part of me that is uncomfortable with the growing space… that perfectionist who adamantly says, “I should be doing more.”  “I should say yes to all the things people want me to do.”  “It’s selfish to self-nurture.”  Right?  Wrong!!  That’s just fear and insecurity calling out in desperation to be recognized.  That’s the voice I listened to in the past.  But I want something more for myself so I ignore that desire to please and produce and continue to sit in the space I’m creating and nurture myself.

So I’ve stopped saying yes to every request for my time & energy.  I’m only saying yes to things that stir my soul and energize me.  To get back to my nature analogy, the earth goes through periods of birth, death, and rebirth.  So do we.  Some call them “chapters” of their lives.  Some say they are “entering a new phase”.  Whatever you call it, honor it.  Surrender and see where it leads.

My period of rest has given me the time to get to know my true self- Pure Susan.  I like where I am going and I like who I am traveling the road with.

I’ll be exploring this & other related topics in my next several blogs.  How do we create space?  How do we say no to energy-suckers?  When opportunities to fill the space come along, how do we know which will nourish and which will drain?  How profoundly can life change when we say “Yes!” to what stirs our souls?

I can’t shed everything that no longer serves (yet) but by shedding what I can, I create a sacred space for my authentic self to grow and reach for the sunlight of all possibilities.

 

 

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