Scribbled Inspiration

There's this little thing I do some mornings. I get out a sketchbook and either some watercolor crayons or oil pastels, I open myself to magic, take the first color that calls to me, and I scribble. 

Let go of the cares that hold you back, let go of the limits, and be free.

I usually start with some kind of flowing lines or circles, keeping them very loose and intuitive. Sometimes it turns into some kind of object or picture.

And sometimes it ends up being more organic, a delightful scribble of color or a page of flowing shapes.

There's more than one way to view things. View your world through eyes of beauty.

I really don't care what I end up with. To me this is all about letting what's inside come out onto the paper. Its about listening to that inner voice, tapping into that deep well of wisdom we all have. It's also about expressing emotion.

Go outside- to the places that nourish your soul. Find peace in the vibrant colors of nature.

Then, when I'm done with my scribbles, I turn over the paper, take out a pen, open myself further, and listen again. There are words of wisdom that come with the art. It's not just words from my mind but words from that deep well of inner wisdom. I scribble them down and smile, because it's usually exactly what I need to hear that day.

I completely adore this process. It fills me with peace and centers me for the rest of the day. I want to make it a more regular part of my life so I plan to make it a regular part of my blog each week. So be on the look out for weekly Scribbled Inspiration!


You already have everything you need!

 I'm all packed for an adventure my girls and I are taking, a week in Hawaii for my sister's wedding.

We are headed the four hours to the airport and waves of panic and anxiety keep washing over me:
"Oh no, did I pack the flower girl dresses?" 
"Eek, did I pack all the correct cords we need for the electronics??" 
"I think I forgot the __(insert all manner of items)__!"

Finally I realize that I just need to trust that I packed sufficiently, and trust that I have what I need. Relief flooded over me.

Wow! Trust that I have what I need. It really hit me and made me smile. If I applied this to other areas of my life, things would go so much smoother.

I DO have what I need. I have a connection to my inner wisdom, my inner voice that has never lead me astray. Energetically I have a connection to all that is and can access that at any time.

I just need to trust that connection, listen to it, and I will have all I ever need: words, information, plans of action.


YOU already have what you need.

We just have to remember.


My Papa

There are people in our life that we look up to.
They're strong.

They seem immortal.
Like they'll be here forever.
And then we find out that they won't.

I lost my grandpa, my Papa a month ago today.
He had an intense, heart wrenching battle for three weeks in the hospital. It was surreal. This couldn't really be happening. Could it?

I went inward often during this immensely hard time.

I thought about all the great memories and experiences I've had with Papa, Granny, and my large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and more recently my cousin's and my children. Getting together for holidays, birthdays, and any other occasion we could find to gather together to laugh and eat. Time spent camping in the mountains and picnicking in the desert. Talking in the living room while sports were on the television. Listening to him talk about an interesting article he found in the National Geographic magazine. Finding treasures in his abundant garden, smelling roses in the yard or spotting birds in many of the trees around their home.

I had to find a constructive way to express my feelings of utter sadness. I felt a longing to paint. I saw big blue drips in my mind so I started there and worked on the painting between hospital visits.

While participating in this kind of painting, its all about being present in the process. I try to have no agenda. To only listen and be completely open to those little heart callings, those whispers of intuition, those pullings of the brush.

I felt compelled to turn the painting sideways and paint quakies, aspen trees. One of Papa's close companions during his many trips to the mountain.

Then I felt the painting ask for a full moon to be painted in the open spot to the right. Fear gripped me. It would be the full moon in just a few short days. Surely if I painted a full moon the unimaginable would happen soon and I would lose my Papa. I set my paint brush down and tried to walk away from the painting. I felt a strong, almost physical pull back to my painting. I stood there with tears streaming down my face. I've learned that it's important to listen to that quiet intuition, so I painted that moon. Then in my mind's eye I saw more blue drips, but this time coming down the trees. I didn't have the time at that point so I planned to come back to the painting.

The next day we were able to communicate with with Papa despite the ventilator and multiple IVs. He wanted to go home and he wanted the process stared now!

A few hours after he arrived home, the most amazing thunder storm broke out. Power filled thunder and lightning shook. Rain poured down. Papa peacefully slipped away surround by his adoring family. The sky and the trees cried with my family at the loss of this great man.

I was outside on the porch as it happened, looking at the beautiful sunflowers across the street, and the birds, and the trees. I felt a warm hug-like presence at my side. I turned to see who was hugging me but no one was there. I know Papa had stopped to tell me it was all going to be okay.

The following days were spent with the family, looking at photos and recounting stories of Papa's life. Of the crazy adventures. Of his fondness for the natural world. Of the incredible love and support he had for his family. Of his wisdom. Of his strength.

It took a while before I could return to the painting but when I did, I felt a peace wash over me as I painted those drips coming down the tree. I turned my thoughts to a poem:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
I am in the flowers that bloom, 
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
-- Mary Elizabeth Frye
I love you Papa and miss you something fierce!


Look within

always look within
the answers you need are there
you just have to listen


A mentor and the title of teacher

Strength of Heart  (one of my first fearless paintings)
I remember this one day with vivid clearness. It was way back at the end of high school.

I had been accepted to a university and was working toward getting a small scholarship associated with my major. Part of applying required me to write a paper about why I felt I deserved this scholarship.

I finished my paper and took it to one of my teachers to help me edit it. This wasn't just any teacher. Mrs. D had an amazing gift of being able to encourage you in just perfect way in your darkest hour, spur you along just past your comfort zone when you needed it, or to simply listen and shed a few tears with you if that was what was required.

She came to a small statement I had written, "I want to help others learn..." and she said, "So you want to be a teacher."

"Oh no," I said, "I just want to, you know, help others learn."

"That IS a teacher, dear." She said in her matter of fact, Mrs. D way 
 with a short head nod at the end.

She stared at me intently with her blue eyes waiting for a reply.

I could feel that she had confidence in me, but teacher was not a title I wanted to claim. It sounded so... big and full of responsibility. So scary and intimidating. I wasn't ready for such a commitment. I didn't want to be that person out front, letting myself be seen.Yet deep down I knew what I wrote really did mean teacher. I wasn't ready to fully claim that title, but I erased the the statement and wrote teacher anyway. Maybe I would be ready to step into that roll someday.

College ended up not being my thing but I can't help but wonder if that whole process, deciding to go to college, applying for scholarships, writing that paper, and receiving that tiny bit of golden encouragement to claim the title of teacher, was all to help me now.

I am so grateful to have received such friendship, encouragement, and wise guidance from Mrs. D during those tough yet tender teenage years. She made such a difference in my life at that time and was a true mentor. I am even more thankful to still be able to call her friend. 

In looking toward following my calling to help others connect with their inner self through art, I feel fear and self doubt. Sometimes I feel like I did before I erased my vague statement and wrote teacher. I know that bit of encouragement has stayed with me all these years and the title of teacher is still gently calling me.

Little by little I am feeling more and more able to claim the title.

Helper. Connector. Guide.



Life Changing Classes (part2) IGNITE and Fearless Painting

This second post about my life changing classes has been put off for too long. Last night, while laying in bed trying to sleep, I realized why.

It's big and it's deep. The IGNITE: A Fearless Painting Teacher Training is going to be big, it's going to be deep, it's going to be powerful. How do you even put something like that into words?

I have to start with a class that I took back in January. It is the very first and basic Fearless Paining class that Connie Hozvicka teaches. It's called BIG: A Fearless Painting Adventure. And big it is!

The web page says: 

"BIG is not just about painting BIG--it's about living BIG."

This way of painting, Fearless Painting, is all about the process and not about the product. Why paint if it doesn't matter what kind of picture you'll end up with? Don't you paint so that you'll have a pretty, appealing picture in the end?

Listening and pushing boundaries with the scribble
When it's all about the process of painting, you take the time to really listen. Those little whispers, those little urges, those little callings, they are what's important. If you follow them, they will lead you to a deepened connection.

A connection to the innermost landscape of you. A connection to that wise center inside of you. A connection to the very source of creativity. If you keep listening to and following your inner voice, your intuition, you will have a connection to the most beautiful life possible. Amazing things will happen.

During my six weeks in BIG, my boundaries were pushed. My limits were challenged. My preconceived ideas and out-dated beliefs not just about art but also about life and myself were burst open and I felt a touch of the freedom that is possible when I truly follow my heart.

We are encouraged to paint on really large paper, about 2 feet by 3 feet long paper. Some of the later pieces are even bigger than that having two or more papers taped together. This really helped me to think bigger and be more open, despite feeling stretched at first.

In Fearless Painting we are lead back to the very basics: scribbles, flowing lines, shapes, and painting with the complete carefree abandon that a young child paints with. If I ever get stuck I try to remember to just keep going with one of those and I'll get back in the flow again.

Flowing lines exercise
 When we first began experimenting with these basics, I was pleasantly surprised at what I learned through these "simple" exercises. It was okay to scribble on top of scribbles. It was fine, advantageous even, to pull myself out of small boxed in spaces and paint flower on top of them.

I was taking my first steps toward listening and following even if it felt a little uncomfortable. I know that this process of listening to my inner voice and following it during the painting process has helped me to do just that in the harder areas of life. It's helped me to push through a little fear and discomfort here and there to pursue the callings of my heart.

I'll lead you through some of my thought processes on some of my paintings that I wrote down after I finished them:

I started with some scribble, a light pink, but felt I should leave room to the left. I saw orange there so I went to town with orange scribbles. Soon it turned into a mesa. Blue followed and again I felt compelled to leave space to the left. I felt an elephant calling to that space. An elephant?? Eeek! So I painted a scribble field for her. Then a whole herd of elephants were calling for that space. So I called on that child inside and painted elephants with light-hearted wild abandon. I found myself smiling at them. They're simple but I love them!

Sister Empowerment
I started out with the intention to just paint what my sister, Cari, and I "saw" through the front window on our very first road trip and see what would unfold. Well I felt compelled to paint my sister and I looking at each other. This was the first time I painted/drew a profile face so I ended up spending quite a bit of tedious time on those faces. I think I was listening but at the same time I was also concerned with getting it just right. (Even though they don't really look like either my sister or me.) I feel like I didn't paint as fearless as I could have on this one. Up close the shading on the faces almost look like wrinkles.. I think we'll will be road-tripping when we're old ladies!

Family Tree
In looking at the sister piece and contemplating my next painting, in my mind the road became a tree. That might be a good place to start. Then I thought about how that painting had ended up focusing on my sister and I rather than what we were seeing out the window. That is what really is important to me, spending time with others in my life. Sure the destination is is great too, but I would enjoy time with others no matter the destination. Then I saw faces in that tree that I planned to start my painting with. So I started with a BIG tree, then painted lots of little peach oval faces. I felt drawn to paint a couple at the foot of the tree. "At the bottom?? Did my people fall out of the tree?? Did they die and they're not part of my circle anymore?" I thought. I added them down there even though I was uncomfortable with the idea. I then added leaves, nice and green. Then it called for blueish and purplish leaves, so I added them. Pink and red started "shining" out of the trunk and between the leaves but not in a small clearing between the leaves on the left so I left that white. A black bird flew into that clearing. It was finally time to add eyes and mouths to all those faces. Some are happy some are a little reflective and the lonely face to the right of the trunk seems down right somber.

This piece is 3 papers taped together making it 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide. A BIG Mama painting! I really had fun with this painting. I took a guided visualization before in which I saw a girl with one arm raised above her head. So that's where I started, with big flowing outline strokes. I felt she should be holding something so I just drew a line and then "bucket" popped into my mind. A bucket?!? Well okay, it went on the painting. I really tried to be completely open and let the lines flow. A fence showed up at the bottom and I felt the girl should be flying up and away from it. During the visualization, I saw a beach, so I put that in. Then I saw a dolphin jumping out of the water. The bucket started dripping something out but I knew it wasn't water. A tree called to the bottom right. I felt something needed to be to the left of the girl but didn't know what so I put in some circles. I had my basic outline. I started filling in the base colors. I wanted the girl's dress to match the bluebird but when I started with the blue, I ended up starting in the sky instead of her dress and didn't realize till half way through. I turned out to be fine though because I added a lilac color on top and it was perfect! My beloved red rocks showed up. The drops from the bucket started out as pink flower petals and I had way too much pink so I put it in the circles intending to come back later and change the circles. They stayed pink though and ended up being pink glittery bubbles floating up toward the bluebird. The flowers became rainbow flowers and the drips called for rainbow colors too. Toward the end, a bunch of ravens flew in and sunflowers grew up around the fence. I left the face and hair detail to the very end and was afraid that I would mess them up but was pleased with how they turned out.

Looking toward IGNITE
Fearless Painting is truly amazing. I've learned a lot through it and am beyond excited to spend more time in the process. IGNITE is a 10 month intensive class starting in October. I am delighted to be joining twelve other incredible women on this life changing adventure!


Life changing classes (part1) Soul Art Certification

The first entry on my 32 adventures list is take a life changing class. Before I made the list, and even before I thought of the list, there were two big life changing classes already in the works. I mentioned them in my 2011 wrap up post.

I included them on the list because they are so very important to me. I wanted to cement them into my beautiful 32nd year. You see, these two classes will prepare me for my calling, my life purpose. I strongly feel called to help others connect with their true self through art and to trust and use that inner wisdom we each have.

The first of the two classes is Soul Art Certification with Laura Hollick. This work-at-your-own-pace 10 week class started the end of April. I'm about to start the independent assignment that will finish the first half of the class. The first half has been all about experiencing the soul art process for my self so I'll know what it feels like. It's been so much more transformative and soul connective than I dreamed possible. I adore the whole process, the whole journey.

Art from my first Soul Art journey
A Soul Art journey goes through defining an intention for the journey, connecting with your body through body-mapping, connecting with your soul/Spirit/inner self and intuitively pouring it out onto your body map through which ever art medium you are most comfortable with, then decoding the symbolism of your inner landscape.

The above photo is of the art I created for my first journey with acrylic paint and college. It was so awesome to gain insights from my art that directly related to my intention. I was amazed at the symbolism that just flowed intuitively into this piece.

After my independent assignment, a self lead Soul Art journey, I will learn how to lead others on Soul Art journeys of their own. When I finish the class, I will be a Certified Soul Art Guide! I am so excited and grateful to be taking this amazing class!

I am equally excited about the second class that will be starting in October. It's called IGNITE: A Fearless Painting Teacher Training and is taught by Connie Hozvicka. I'll talk more about this class in another post soon. :)


Adventure 29- family camping trip

Over the June30-July1 weekend my special little family went camping. We were invited to join a group of friends that were gathering at Warner Lake for the weekend.

 Saturday was a lovely sunny day with clear skies. We got all packed and headed up the beautiful winding Loop Road (adventure 19- take a drive in the mountains) up into the aspen trees, the cooler temperatures, and the bugs. The girls were excited to finally arrive and find their friends but we were the first of our group so we had lunch and took a little walk to explore.

Jim took us to a yummy, refreshing spring where we got a drink and watched butterflies zooming here and there. Next we took a small winding path up into the pine trees. The girls were getting tired so we headed back to set up camp.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, enjoying each other's company, exploring, and visiting with friends. There were a couple mishaps, Clover stepped in a cow pie, Sunshine and I had stinging nettle encounters, and we all got a couple bug bites, but the girls had an awesome time running and playing with their friends.

Early the next morning, Sunshine and Jim headed out for a morning walk. Clover was disappointed to have been left behind so she and I went over to see the lake. It was delightfully quiet, almost meditative. We watched the fish jumping to catch their breakfast and a small family of ducks swimming along the edge. As we headed back to camp, we found Jim and Sunshine, they had and even better story. They had seen a bear! Sunshine was so excited. I was just thankful the bear kept to itself. 

 Later, the whole group of us went on a hike toward Miner's basin. It was the same trail our family started up the day before, but with the encouragement of friends by their side, the girls were awesome little hikers and went much farther.

Part way up, we came to a small clearing. It was vibrantly thriving with life. We were surrounded with beautiful flowers and carefree butterflies. I wanted to just stay there and soak up the flourishing energy but the group pressed onward.

We journeyed up and up hoping to reach the top. Energy and spirits started to slow a little and there was no end in sight so we stopped by a big log to have a snack. When we were finished, we decided to head back down rather than trying to reach the top.

When we got back, we took down camp, packed up, and headed home enjoying the drive back down the mountain.


Adventure 17- Desert Rocks

17- go to Desert Rocks
June 7-10 As I put on Facebook, Desert Rocks music festival was one of the best and worst times of my life rolled into one event! As first time festival goers, Jim and I weren't completely prepared for our adventure. Live and learn.

With anxious anticipation we made our way to Jenk Star Ranch on Thursday, where Desert Rocks was being held this year. One of our tickets was bought through an online benefit auction but when we got to the ticket booth, they didn't have a clue what we were talking about. They took us to another area, they had no clue, thankfully the next people knew what was going on and we received our other wrist band. This was our first taste of the lack of organization of the whole festival.

Before leaving for this adventure, we were told by a concerned family member that "Desert Rocks isn't going to be like campmeeting," a church camp from our younger days. This quickly became our catchphrase for the weekend. "This isn't campmeeting!"

Next we had to find a place to set up camp. On the website map, it showed two separate places for car campers. When we arrived, they didn't have the one we wanted open which would have provided some bit of shade in the late afternoon and maybe a tiny bit of a windbreak.

Disappointed we drove toward the open sites. At first glance, it looked as if there were no open sites but after driving around a little, we realized that there were no set camping sites and it was a complete free for all, having to just find a place to fit your camp into. "This definitely isn't campmeeting." At the edge of the gathering we found a tiny bush, almost the only one around, that would give a touch of privacy. Although we quickly found out there's no such thing as privacy at a festival. As soon as we stopped, one of the Nazi-security guys came running over and told us we were not in the designated camping area.

Frustrated, we drove on. Finally we found a place next to a tiny bump of a hill to wedge ourselves into a microscopic space between two other camps, one with a huge shade structure, the other with a tight huddle of tents and tarps. Tentatively we set up camp, in the searing hot sun, hoping our neighbors wouldn't mind. We sat in our camp chairs in the shade of our tent to decompress and just take it all in.

Since we did not receive any kind of map or schedule of events, we set out to explore. The main festival area was surrounded by a fence and it took a bit of searching to find the one and only gate entrance that was unconveniently located a fair distance from the main camping area. At the gate, the Nazi-security struck again. Not only did they look through my bag searching for contraband beer, they opened my water bottle and sniffed it... they SNIFFED it. I tossed a confused look and a quiet "this ain't campmeeting" at Jim and we walked through the gate trying to suppress our giggles.

Entrance Gate: unique structure to the far right. Consciousness content tents: center. Lunar stage: bottom white structure.

Slowly we wandered around taking in all the sights: we passed all the vendor tents, passed the huge two main Earth and Sun stages, passed all the food vendors, around a hill over toward the consciousness content tents, the SolLun, and the smaller Cosmic stage. There wasn't a lot happening yet so we went back to camp.

Before long, another couple came looking for a camp spot, being seasoned festival goers, they confidently pulled up between our vehicle and our neighbor's vehicle, in front of their shade structure, and started setting up their tent. Soon we were talking with Jessica and Cory like long lost friends.

That was one of my favorite things about Desert Rocks. The people. It was such an eclectic mix of subcultures yet everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Differences were put aside for this shared experience. Observing this throughout the weekend put a smile on my face. Wouldn't the world be vastly different if everyday life on Earth could be our 'shared experience' that brought us ALL together.

It was getting dark so I donned my glowing, star head-boppers and bracelets, and off we went to our first night of live music and dancing. We found some music we liked and worked our way through the crowd. Since we didn't have a schedule, I don't know who we were listening to.

The main stages Earth and Sun
Over to the side, between the two main stages, some movement caught my eye. A woman was making her way up the breezy fabric attached to a lofty metal frame set up for aerial-dancers. Jim and I pressed closer. She flowed and danced with such grace.

At the bottom, a man was getting ready for his performance. The fabric was pulled to the side and in an instant he was spinning a staff of fire. Soon he was joined by other fire dancers: a fire sword, poi juggling, more fire staffs.

Magic began. I was mesmerized by the spinning, golden, orange flames; the music reverberating in my body. The crowd around me felt it too. Energy of this moment was strong, we were all one. I was part of the fire, part of the soft dirt under my feet, part of the breeze blowing my hair, part of the river flowing nearby, part of the stars watching from above and so was everyone around me. Swaying, moving, dancing, and breathing together as one. You may think I was under mind altering substances, but this was definitely not the case. It was the energetic, spiritual, connection that binds all together.

As quickly as it began, it ended, and everyone dispersed to other stages. Jim and I decided we didn't want to be out too late since it was only the first night so we went back to camp. Sleep was illusive; the music was loud and people's excitement surrounded us. A couple hours later, our neighbors with the shade structure returned and it sounded like they were joined by many more: tents were put up, vehicles were moving, coolers were opened and shut, there were shouts after someone was almost run over, and the tale was told time and again. As I faded in and out of sleep I hoped their vehicles were not close to our tent, yet didn't have the energy to make sure. Jim remembered the earplugs he brought for us and I was out for the rest of the night, oblivious to anything around me.

I awakened in a daze, in our hot, sticky, suffocating tent. A buzz of activity already around us. I felt a little anxious with a need for privacy. I wanted to hide out in the tent but the cool morning breeze called me out. I sat in the corner between our tent, table, and jeep while I slathered on sunscreen already feeling the burn of the morning sun.

After breakfast, and feeling a little more brave, we met our growing group of neighbors. They were actually from a band that would be playing later in the day, Tony Holliday and the Velvetones. Listening to their banter was hilarious and kept me giggling the whole weekend. They were the comic relief amidst the hellish parts of the event.

Since there was no cell service, Jim and I hiked up a hill to call home and talk to the girlies. They happily chattered away but were doing well in grandma's care and were excited to get back to playing.  The view of the whole grounds was awesome from the top of the hill. The breeze was starting to pick up a little and we could see the soft dirt swirling around below.

Back at camp the heat was already becoming unbearable so we stretched a tarp from our tent to the jeep to make a great little relaxing place. It almost felt like we should go do something, go check out what was happening at the main grounds, go, go, go, but we realized that just hanging out at camp together, relaxing, talking, and people watching really was okay. It was okay to just put our feet in the sand and relax, so we did, and we completely enjoyed it.

The river was calling to us that afternoon so we put out our large water jugs to reserve our parking space and headed out. The water was so refreshing, cooling and renewing. It was so nice to just sit in the water and let it wash away the dirt and heat of the day. Then we found a secluded place to nap in the shade. Later we ran to town to get ice and ice cream, and headed back to camp.

As we approached our camp, we found that our parking space had been over taken by a vehicle, two tents, and another tent in the process of going up. "What are they doing?!? Didn't they SEE our reserved spot?? Why didn't anyone tell them that was our space?? How are we going to park by our tent?!?" We got out to decide what to do. There was a little bit of space between the bump of a hill and all the other campers so Jim pulled the Jeep through there to park by our tent. I was concerned we would be blocked in and not be able to leave when it was time but we decided to not worry about it until the time came.

Frustrations quickly melted. The vehicle and closest tents belonged to two girls that were with the band camped behind us. Maya was rushing around getting the other tent put up while spouting loud colorful language. I was sure she hated us but amidst the flurry of activity she stopped to introduce herself. She stretched out her hand but quickly pulled it back and said, "What the hell is this? We don't shake hands at a festival, we hug!"

After sharing and comparing past experiences, ideals, drinks, finding things in common, and getting to know all our new friends better, we headed over to get our dance on again. First was a mix between a non-religious, protestant revival and hip-hop at Brother Ali's performance. It was different but fun. Later we enjoyed Phadroid's show which included psychedelic, digital art projected onto a flag dancer in white, set to electronica music. Last, we danced like no one was watching with Beats Antique. There were others mixed in there too but these were the most memorable.  

Saturday can pretty much be accurately illustrated by wind, dirt, heat, blasting, sand, sun, dirt, dry, and more wind and dirt: gusts of hot blasting typhoonish wind all day. Seriously, we sat either under a flapping tarp or in the Jeep ALL. DAY. LONG. It sucked. This was definitely not campmeeting! We should have gone to the river. We watched a huge multistory tall pyramid tent get swept up into the sky and go tumbling. We saw a multitude of items being blown through the campground. Tents, shade structures, and gear was broken and tattered. The feeling was oppressive and defeating. When the one cloud of the day drifted across the sun, cheers were heard throughout the grounds along with a shout of "thank you cloud!"

Covered in dirt from head to toe!
That late afternoon I pulled together any shreds of courage I could find, tied a knee sock around my face, and Jim and I headed out to see what was happening at the main grounds. Atomga was playing their lively afrobeat sounds to a small group. We got a snow-cone and listened in for a bit but it wasn't his favorite so we went back to camp. At the end of our snow-cone I was amazed at the amount of dirt in the bottom, although I shouldn't have been. I don't think I can accurately portray the exorbitant amount of dirt that I experienced through the weekend.

Jessica and Cory were just arriving back from their relaxing day at the park, a place we totally should have gone, and was excited to catch Chali 2na's show. We went along and had a total blast while getting sand blasted. Chali kept the huge crowd's energy ramped up and moving despite the crazy conditions. I love live concerts for this reason. The performers' ability to bring so many people together, help them to let go of their cares, and just enjoy the moment of this shared experience is fascinating to me.

Just as that show was wrapping up, the wind began blowing even harder, changed direction and became colder. We rushed back to camp to secure everything. We thought it would be ridiculous to try to sleep in the tent so we quickly moved things around, put our bed in the back of the jeep, and hung out there for a while.

There was another show we wanted to see so we pulled out all our warmer clothes and my glow goodies, connected with Jessica and Cory, and went forth into the blizzard-like sand storm. We thought the wind was bad earlier in the day but that was nothing compared to this! I had to keep my sunglasses on, even though it was dark, to protect my eyes. Shortly after passing through Nazi-security at the gate again, we found the music had been canceled until the storm let up.

We agreed to have an awesome time despite the situation so we headed to see if anything was happening at the SolLun. The partial enclosure offered some protection against the storm while the SolarSaucer provided awesome beats to dance to if you could find room in the full house. Later we continued on in search of adventure, huddled together against the freezing, blasting, dirt hurricane. We poked our heads into some large tents and domes but didn't find what we were looking for until we were almost back to our campsite. Inside a smaller dome, a huge gathering of people were squeezed in, listening to a funky, bluesy set. It was warm but there wasn't even room to breathe let alone dance.

It was getting late, or early I should say, so Jim and I headed to bed. I was completely covered in dirt. It was in my ears, eyebrows, eyelashes, hair, and all over, but I was too tired to care so I quickly drifted off to sleep.

Even though Sunday wasn't the last day of the festival, people were tearing down their camps all around us when we awakened. The amount of broken gear was astonishing. The port-a-potties were even blown over in the night! Our band friends said that they've never left a festival early but they were getting out of there as soon as possible. Since we had planned to leave Sunday so we weren't away from the girls too long, we followed suit, packed up, and got out of there before the wind hit again.

We had a truly unforgetable experience at Desert Rocks 2012. We intend to go again, and want a different location with some trees and less dirt. If it's in the same place, we would probably pack up some extra things, prepare for the dirt and wind, and go anyway. It was that inspiring!


Adventures Experienced

It's been two months of great adventures since my birthday! I have so much to say that I don't even know where to start! :-D I'll go in order of my adventure list:

1-  take a life changing class
I am in the midst of a few awesome classes: Laura Hollick's Soul Art Certification, Leonie Dawson's Business Goddess Ecourse, and WILD: The Way of the Woman's Wild Creative Heart. All three have brought about great personal flourishing, especially Soul Art. I'll post separately about that.

12- visit with old friends
May 25- I had a wonderful time with two great friends of mine, Mark and Jeremy. We spent 2 hours talking, laughing, and eating at Cheese Cake Factory. Good times for sure! You know it's been a good time when your cheeks hurt (no not those cheeks!) Later we danced it up at a fun nightclub. This was part of the next adventure and I hope to add more old friend visits!

14- SLC weekend with Jim
 May25-27- Jim and I had our yearly post LASIK check-up in Salt Lake City so we decided to make it a whole weekend. We had the best time together. First up was shopping at a couple DI's (huge awesome thrift stores). Jim is actually really good at finding me cute shirts, so I came back with a new, cheap wardrobe. Love thrift shopping! We settled into our hotel then spent the evening with friends (above entry). Next day included a yummy breakfast out, our check-up, more shopping, watched Hunger Games at the theater, and went dancing at our favorite nightclub in SLC, Allure. Thankfully there was a photographer there because I forgot my camera and didn't get any  other photos of the rest of the trip.
See why I love this nightclub?? I adore the lit dance floor! It's so fun! The next day we had another yummy breakfast out, headed part of the way home, watched the Avengers (Hunger Games was better!), went the rest of the way home, got big hugs from our sweet lil girlies.

15- dip in the river
June8- As part of our Desert Rocks trip (will post seperately later), we went to the Green River for a cool refreshing break from the heat and wind. I really enjoyed it but hope to also do a Colorado River dip!

16- daughter dates-25unique activities
We've done a few fun activities with the girls. I don't have pics of most of them unfortunately (must have gotten camera burn-out from doing the yearbook!)
    1- Sunshine's class went to a cute little general store to learn about how they make huge batches of fudge. She felt bad that Clover missed out so we took her after school. We bought some fudge for later and got some ice cream to enjoy while sitting together on main street.
    2- We had a picnic on the roof! The girls were a little unsure at first but soon settled in and loved it.
    3-The girls, Gram, and I went out for lunch to Milt's. We sat outside and enjoyed yummy food and  ice cream!
    4-Picnic lunch at the park.
    5-I took the girls to a beautiful park to play with waterguns. Unfortunately they didn't work well but fortunately the sprinklers were on! We had a blast running through all the big sprinklers together!
    6-Swimming at the pool together.
    7-Watched both the solar eclipse and the transit of Venus together. Jim made a great little viewer out of welder's glass. I think Jim and I enjoyed it more than the girls. lol Jim was able to take the below photos of the sun through welder's glass. The tiny black dot against the sun on the bottom photo is Venus!

    8-Attended a dance party at a one of the girls' friend's home with a bunch of other friends and their families. What a fun time everyone had together!
 More to come!

32- picnics
Oh, we've done picnics. On the roof, at the park, under the tree, at the school, and I'm sure there are many more to come!


32 adventures for my thirty-second year

32 has always been my number. It happened around the age of 13 when a friend and I said the number at the same time. We thought that was awesome. And it stuck.

Now that I am about to turn 32, I've decided to make this the best year yet! Astrologically, this is a very good year for me. I'm excited that its also the year of the Mayan prophecy which I believe is filled with joy and evolution.

32 adventures for my thirty-second year:
1-  take a life changing class Soul Art, IGNITE
2-  hike to delicate arch
3-  spend a week on the beach
4-  work on my rag quilt
5-  sister trip
6-  take a dance class (qigong)

7-  go to a concert
8-  spend time in Castle Valley
9-  get a tattoo
10- go to a waterfall
11- play poker with the family
12- visit with old friends: May 25
13- start a business July 11
14- SLC weekend with Jim: May 25-27
15- dip in the river: June 8
16- daughter dates-25unique activities 1-8
17- go to Desert Rocks: June7-10
18- family girls weekend
19- drive in the mountains June 30
20- attend a Frankie D's event
21- say no to something I don't want to do
22- swing in the park
23- do something spontaneous
24- help someone connect to inner self
25- go to the circus
26- get a passport
27- host a women's circle
28- leave encouraging notes around town
29- family camping trip June30
30- do an activity requiring a harness
31- go sledding
32- picnics! yep