Soul Musings

Good Karma Sale: 15% off + Support for Standing Rock

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The GOOD KARMA SALE is back! What’s that? It’s a chance to make the holidays meaningful + spread good karma by pledging to give back. Today through November 28th at midnight, I’ll be donating 10% of my sales to the Standing Rock Medic + Healer Council.

15% off your entire purchase in my shop >> http://kristenfagan.com/shop/

Use the coupon code GOODKARMA at checkout to redeem your discount.


Want to donate directly to the Medic + Healer council? Find info here: https://medichealercouncil.com/donate/


What is a Good Karma Sale? Started by Kim Krans of The Wild Unknown Tarot – “In 2013, we decided to raise the vibration of our annual holiday sale with the launch of our Good Karma Movement, inviting other artists, designers, brands and businesses to join us in our shared commitment to donate 5-10% of our Black Friday through Cyber Monday revenue to charity. ” Learn more here: https://www.thewildunknown.com/pages/karma

Liz from The Lotus Root introduced me this movement and is also participating. Visit her shop here: www.etsy.com/shop/TheLotusRoot

Studio Tour

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Artists that inspire me at my desk: Clohn Art, April Howland, Kirk O’Hara, Tara Dawn. Affirmation banner, lotus and mandala paintings by me.

 

This summer my boys got their own bedrooms and I moved my home studio to a new spot in our house. It was a slow process. We downsized toys from the loft/playroom to make room for my studio and office. Lots of furniture re-arranging and space planning. We had to reorganize a bunch of closets too. I am officially setup in the loft instead of the spare bedroom and my sons are loving the extra spaces that are all their own. I’m excited to be in a much bigger space to spread out and create in! Two weeks ago, I popped in live on my Kristen Fagan Art and Design facebook page to give a quick studio tour.

Here is the Studio Tour video if you missed it:

 

 

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Finding Light within Darkness

2016-08-02 17.15.51Light within Darkness. 20×16. Acrylic on Canvas. 2016

 

July was rough. Intense and hard. Filled with stress and feelings of lack. It was the toughest month I’ve had in awhile.

When I’m out of sorts, I contract and withdraw. I have confronted this kind of lack and stress before and made it through the darkness back to the light countless times. So I know this dark time it’s fleeting, but then, that may be why I was so frustrated. Because I’ve been here before and I didn’t want to be here ever again. But I will be here again. We all will. It’s how life rolls. Control is an illusion (Thank you, Mr Robot for that tidbit, I found comfort in repeating it when I felt out of control.)

There were valid reasons for being so angry, upset and frustrated. However, I was often angry when compassion was what was really needed. I had to ask myself is this anger helping? and if not, let it go.

Thankfully, after many cries and allowing myself the space to process my feelings, I was ready to live in the truth instead of fighting it. I was ready to accept that we are human.  I was ready to open my heart again. I did the deep feeling. I didn’t brush past it or stuff it down (well I tried to stuff it down with food, but that back fired leaving me feeling worse). I ate a bunch of chocolate. I wrote. I meditated. I collaged. I spent time in my yard, enjoying the hammock, tending to my succulent garden and planting seeds. I once heard to plant a garden is to believe in or have hope for tomorrow. I felt that saying come to me as I planted flower seeds and allowed it to uplift me.

Most importantly for me, I painted. I gave the canvas all of my feels as I shared in this blog post. I love re-learning how to heal through creative practices, With creativity, I reclaim ownership of my life. Abundance comes from within. I remember that I can create something from nothing and that is empowering. Love and support and inspiration is always available. In this remembering,  I find the light within the the darkness, just as the moon shines in the night sky and the lotus rises from the dark, muddy waters.

Give the Canvas All Your Feels

 

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Today I woke up sad. Really sad. Like couldn’t stop crying sad. Huge tears flowed from my eyes that I couldn’t control. I meditated before bed and that’s actually when the tears started. I let go of expectations, disappointments and pain (or so I thought) and I fell asleep peacefully. Obviously, I must not have been done processing it all because within a few minutes of waking up I was crying again. I tried to stuff it down with a cinnamon bun for breakfast which, delicious as it was, didn’t stop the tears from falling. How many times do I need to learn that lesson? But I digress, my art work is vibrant and joyful and I haven’t been feeling that so, my paints and brushes and stacks of canvas have been waiting patiently for me to return. No need to explain why I’m sad. That’s not the point. We all get sad. Sometimes it’s fleeting and sometimes it lingers. Today, I said enough and took my sadness to the canvas. I put on a “sad songs” playlist, really listened to the lyrics and painted. I used my fingers, I scrapped, I sprayed, I stenciled, I moved blue and black paint around and I felt lighter. I gave the canvas all my feels.

 

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There is beauty in expressing it all. Letting the creative process heal all the things that are welled up inside and spilling over. After a few minutes I felt a shift, the tears stopped, and by the time I was ready to stop, I felt peaceful and at ease. The power of expression. It gets me every time.

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Embracing a Morning Ritual

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Connected in Energy Mandala, Kristen Fagan ©2012. Yellow represents the Spiritual Solar Plexus (Third) Chakra which is positioned below your ribs and above the naval. In essence your solar plexus is a group of nerves that has a very ‘radiating’ appearance to it, which is why it got its name. This chakra is in control of your energies and activities connecting us to one’s own personal power, abundance, courage and self confidence. Yellow is full of creative and intellectual energy. A “sun color” it makes us cheerful and optimistic.

Slow down to move forward is something my wise friend Kerry Burki likes to say.

And it’s a phrase that has stuck with me. I get caught up in busy-ness. I am often doing one thing and thinking of another. Case in point, the other day I was writing in my journal before I started my work and mid way through writing, I was distracted. An email, a notification, a quick glance at my to do list, the distractions are endless. Then, I came back to the present and realized that I was in the middle of writing. I only finished a page when the goal is three. I ended up writing about how I was consistently being distracted. Single-tasking is ideal but, multi-tasking creeps up on me over and over again.day

It got me thinking. What if I carved out a way to wake up gracefully instead of groggily rushing to work. What would it feel like to truly embrace a morning ritual. It sounds divine and frankly a bit out of reach. I mean, I’m not a morning person. I do not rise with a smile ready to tackle the day. While I am more pleasant in the morning today then years past, I still love to sleep in. I want to wake when my body is ready. I despise waking up to an alarm clock and that happens most days (which is in large part is because of my night owl tendencies). With summer on the horizon, now is a great time to set myself up for success with a morning ritual. I liked this article, 7 Morning Rituals that will change your life.

Ideally, I think I have to keep my morning fairly simple:

  • Yoga 20 min
  • Breakfast 15 min
  • Morning Pages and Tea 10 min

This week, I began a few days with yoga and kept up with my morning pages well. I woke up just 20 min earlier to get my yoga done while everyone was asleep. I have tried to keep up a personal yoga practice before and get stuck deciding what poses to do. I decided to do 10 sun salutations followed by warrior poses on each side. Easy to remember and accomplish. It has been refreshing and I look forward to the benefits of more joy and focus infused into my day due to the slower start. In addition, I have to be mindful of distractions try to limit them throughout the day bringing my focus back to a single task until it’s done.

“You decide what you listen to and what you ignore” ~ Lisa Congdon, Becoming a working artist.

Do you have a morning ritual?

What sets you up for a focused and joyful day?

Finding My Strength

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Happy May! I can’t believe it’s May. I feel like I lost touch in April entirely. I have been trekking along as best I could but, haven’t been as on top of things as usual. I’ve been struggling with fatigue and burnout and overwhelm in ways that are new to me. My mind is full of ideas and dreams and my calendar full of action plans but, my body has had other plans for me and much of those plans involved feeling tired and weak. Remember back in January when I felt like I was hibernating? Well that feeling has been creeping up more and more and it’s been putting a real cramp in my style.

About a year ago I felt like something was up with my body chemistry, I got blood work done but never went back for the follow-up appointment so, I never found out what was going on. Fast forward to this year and “I’m so tired” had become something of a catchphrase for me. I hated it. I was napping before dinner and often too tired to get up and cook. Which lead to us eating poorly and me feeling worse. My eyes have been extremely itchy and dry, making it tough to keep them open while working my design job. I started carrying eye drops with me everywhere. By the time I was done with my day job the thought of getting back on the computer to blog or email was the farthest from my capability. Which left me feeling worse about myself. My motivated spirit is something that makes me feel like me. I love getting shit done. But, lately it’s been a never ending cycle of excuses to myself as to why I didn’t do this or that – a viscous cycle.

In April, I finally got myself to the dr, did blood work and went back for the results. That part is key. I found out that I am anemic as well as deficient in vitamins B12, B6 and Magnesium.  I began taking an iron supplement two weeks ago. I also stopped drinking coffee. I read that it’s an iron inhibitor and so, it may have been adding to my low iron symptoms of fatigue, dry eyes and cold extremities. I love coffee and still want it as a treat but, for now I’m on a break. I’ve been drinking tea instead, some days caffeinated some days not. In addition I have been taking B-complex and a trace minerals supplement.

I’m a work in progress and most days I am more energetic then I’ve been in awhile. Having awareness about what is going on with my body has been huge help in me finding my strength again.

When you feel like something is off and you have strange symptoms popping up, don’t ignore it. I urge you to look into it. You’re body is trying to tell you something. Listen. Your intuition is stronger then you realize. xoxo

Art Is Not What You Make, It’s Who You Are

lotusLotus rising from the mud – created during Whitney Freya’s painting meditation.

This week I was rejected. Well, that’s not entirely true but, my artwork was and that’s pretty much the same thing. It wasn’t a flat out “we don’t want you” kind of rejection but, let’s face it, it doesn’t sting any less. A no is a no. It happens to us all at one time or another but, it’s still painful. I was disappointed, hurt, maybe a little angry. Rejection. It’s what we all fear. It’s what stops us in our tracks when we contemplate putting ourselves out there. So, what did I do?

I reached out to my husband and one of my besties to share in my sadness – misery loves company, right? I cried and moped around for the larger part of the day. I may have had a few handfuls of chocolate chips. I allowed myself to feel the pain. After a little bit, I pulled myself together and submitted my work to another show as well as jotted down some ideas for a themed show I’d also like to submit too. I got right back on the horse so to speak. I listened to Flying Leap! Lori Portka and Liv Lane’s free audio class about fear and finding your purpose. I purchased their book Infinite Purpose directly after. Divine timing.

Once the kids were in bed for the night I decided the best thing to do was give myself some space and paint. I have been listening to a painting meditation series with Whitney Freya on and off since January and that felt like the perfect medicine and you know what, it totally was. I listened to the meditative music, moved watercolors around on paper and I felt lighter, more connected to my soul and began to shed the sadness from earlier in the day.

Art heals. It’s why I create. At the very core of what pulls me in is the desire to feel that direct access to my heart through my intuitive mind, eyes and hands. Art is not what you make, it’s who you are. It’s who I am.

I let my feelings simmer for a couple days after my rejection and then replied. I was grateful they took the time to look over my work. I also wanted to ask a question. The response mentioned that my style was similar to other artists already scheduled and that stuck with me. You don’t want to hear that your work looks like everyone else’s and it’s tough to look at your own work with a critical eye. I wanted to know more. What was it that made my work feel similar to others? I wanted to be able to see my work through a different lens. I may or may not change my work based on the opinion but, I wanted the opportunity to sit with it and let it simmer. I have not heard back yet but, hope that I do.

Soul purpose sometimes doesn’t make sense. It isn’t romantic and doesn’t necessarily work the way you think it should. Soul purpose is about growth. It is about you showing up bigger than you ever have before. It is about you stretching in sometimes uncomfortable ways. ~ Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici

I know I need to show up more and do my souls work. I am leaning into the idea of daily practice and what that may look like. The desire to be authentically me is overwhelming and paralyzing at times. I look at this as a lesson of growth. My voice is a result of dedicated practice and that is something I need to make time for.

Rejection. It is a catalyst. It is something that pushes us, makes us uncomfortable and can break us if we let it. Don’t let it. Move through the hurt and find your strength. You are not the sum of what people think. You are so much more. Believe in your worth. Believe in your gifts. Believe in YOU.

_MG_0969Photo by Kerry Burki and Kimberly Kling. Art by Kristen Fagan

KERRY Magazine Issue #2 Behind the Scenes

Issue #2 of KERRY Magazine will be sent to her email subscribers this week. Get on Kerry’s email list at kerryburki.com to receive your copy. 

Sneak peak at Kerry’s photo shoot for the second issue of her magazine. Recognize anyone – haha, we were having too much fun! I am blessed to have met these women. This issue is healing, therapeutic, unique and engaging. I am so excited to be a part of it.

KERRY Magazine is a dream project by Kerry Burki, who is an inspirational a catalyst for positive change. It’s a digital magazine that uses real women as models, supports small businesses, encourages you to feel beautiful as you are right now.

Happy New Year!

NewYear

 

Happy New Year Friends!!! Thank you for an amazing 2015. I haven’t had a chance to process it all yet. I will be working in Leonie Dawson’s Shining Workbook this month and once I release my 2015 it will really come into focus what transpired. I know it was a big, transformative year. I know this because I have been in hibernation resting from it all. I have slept for 12 hrs on at least three different occasions within the last two weeks. I have taken the kids school “winter break” quite literally, ha! In addition to all the sleep, I have been binge watching movies with the family and reading so, even when I’m awake there has been a lot of down time relaxing. It has been healing.

Of course, I felt the “should’s” creep up. I should be getting things done; do my workbooks, clean the garage, take the kids to see snow, work on a new jewelry idea, get my artwork updated online, get outside and the list goes on. All those “should’s” are compelling and worth making time for but, I had to shoo those thoughts away and remind myself that rest was work too. A different kind of work … soul work. There is no shame in giving in to your need for rest and recuperation. When the need within being is strong, it’s important to listen. The creative muse often shows up demanding attention, energy and time in anyway possible followed by a quiet stillness. It’s okay to enjoy both, the yin and the yang.

Fittingly, I was treated to an online yin yoga session this week. It was an offering in the Woman Unleashed online retreat. And today, I had the pleasure of exploring painting with intuition (my fav) with Alena Hennessy. We created “I am …” artwork.

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I am devoted. I love that. I have never had that word show up for me before. After I was done, I thought about my devotion and how it applies to my life. I am devoted … to my creative life, my art, my loves and my tribe (that includes you!) Wishing you a new year filled with love and devotion. xoxo

Do you want to learn more of Woman Unleased but, worried it’s too late to join? Relax. Take a breath. There is still time. Visit www.womanunleashedretreat.com to join in!

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Happy Solstice

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If you are in the northern hemisphere, Monday was the shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice is the moment on Earth when darkness reaches its peak, just before the return of the light. We are reminded that the old must end in order to begin anew. It is a time of stillness, reflection, re-birth and transformation.

I celebrated by beginning the Woman Unleashed online retreat, a free event, with Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici to help me awaken my power, passion and purpose for 2016. Visit www.womanunleashedretreat.com to learn more.

One of my desires this coming year is to truly pause and celebrate the changing of seasons. Being a desert dweller our season changes are subtle and the days flow into months without realizing how much time as passed. I’d like to fully honor the season changes with a small ritual.

Here are a few ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice:

  • Spend time with loved ones with a feast representing the season.
  • Light a candle. Reflect on your aspirations for the coming months.
  • Visit a place outdoors that’s special to you. Consider watching the sun rise or set from your little patch of the world.
  • Hold a fire ceremony. Write what you’d like to release and throw the paper into the fire as a symbol of letting go.
  • Reflect the stillness of the day by cultivating stillness in yourself. Consider a meditation or hour of silence.
  • Build a shrine (or mandala) of nature’s found objects.
  • Give to others by donating food or clothing to those less fortunate.

As you light the fire and candles for your celebration, do so with the intention of bringing more light into the world.

How about you? How do you celebrate the changing of the seasons?