Soul Musings

Sacred Word of the Year: Presence

Happy New Year! Choosing a word of the year is one of my favorite New Year rituals. I love how it weaves it’s way through my year. It usually shows up in unexpected ways and always prove to be a guiding light. This is my 5th year choosing a word – I have chosen ABUNDANCE, CONNECTION, NOURISH, and DEVOTED and each served me well and in their own way.

In sharing my word of the year, I believe that it creates a sacred energy that feeds and nourishes it’s intention.

My heart has chosen PRESENCE as my sacred word for 2017.

Truthfully, when it first appeared towards the end of the year I was all YES! I even picked up the book Presence by Amy Cuddy to read. Before I began reading I started to doubt it. I didn’t feel as if it was active enough so, I thought of other options. However, I kept coming back to PRESENCE – ultimately it chose me! I loved all the expressions of presence and how it relates to personal power discussed in the book. Once I embraced the word, I realized all the ways it was a perfect fit.

“By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves.”

Ways I wish to embody PRESENCE

  • Let go of the past and release future worries. Only this moment is real. Be present.
  • Technology detox – disconnect from devices and allow inner self to show up.
  • Remember where attention goes, energy flows. Focus toward that which ignites passion.
  • Relax into the flow of life with yoga and meditation to discover peace, joy, and purpose.
  • Create rituals to empower my soul and bring consistency into my life
  • Be confident enough to share my imperfect self and imperfect work with the world.
  • Focus on the positive and lift each other up

Why Choose a Sacred Word for the Year?

ONE WORD deepens change. It relieves the pressure of having to make too many changes all at once and provides a laser focus on one significant change. Most of us forget our long list of intentions. It is easier to remember one word.

Tips to Choosing your Sacred Word

➳ Ask, “What word do I want to embody into in 2017?”
➳ Intuitively choose a magazine.
➳ Flip until you find a word that surprises or delights you, cut it out.
➳ Research and contemplate what your word means to you.
➳ Let your word pick you. If you “think” it’s not right but, you can’t shake it – honor it.
➳ Create artwork to celebrate and illustrate your word.

Life is yours to create!








Gratitude Changes Everything

15219597_1166234743414485_6262426479666908882_nWatercolor and ink artwork created for KERRY Magazine.
Border art appears on the back cover of Issue 3.
Quotable art was given away at the KERRY Launch party!


Gratitude changes everything. It’s a sentiment that has been on my mind a lot lately. I have felt less then grateful in some areas of my life – it has worn my compassion thin and frustration and unrest have taken up residence in it’s place. The suffering we experience really takes place in our minds. We look at reality vs what we “think” it should be and when it doesn’t align we feel that with anger, frustration and resentment. To be free, we need to let go of the idea that life will not challenge us. Life is never free of challenges. It’s possible to accept them and transcend them by actions, and one way to do that is through conscious gratitude.

I started a family gratitude jar in the beginning of November and intended to read through the notes on Thanksgiving, however, I changed my mind. I wanted us to have a little more time to think about the things in life we are grateful for so, instead, it will be a nice new year’s activity.

Stopping to think about what you are grateful for opens your eyes to the beauty this truly is around. I know that I have never been more grateful for my opportunity in this life to express myself through my art. It helped me see that most of my stress was in response to thinking about the future. It’s the present I needed to embrace. And, when I made that shift in my mind things got a little easier. It’s been such a profound effect that I think my word of the year may be “presence”. I’ll talk more about what a word of the year is and why I like to choose one soon.

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”~ Lao Tzu

If you are interested in making your own, I shared a diy: make your own gratitude jar on my blog, here. If you’re feeling a little ungrateful this holiday season I encourage you to give it a try and see how things start to shift. Even if you are already full of gratitude, it may be a nice family activity to do together.


Water is Life


Our water on this planet is in danger. Military action, for private interests, arresting peaceful native protestors on private land on behalf of big business. If you are unaware of what is happening at Standing Rock click here and watch the featured video.

“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” ~ Cree saying

Here is what the White House has to say about the project in the petition in case you are not aware of the issue:

“The Dakota Access pipeline is set to be constructed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, crossing under the Missouri River which is the only source of water to the reservation. The pipeline is planned to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The potential of oil leaks would contaminate the only source of water for the reservation…an oil leak from a separate pipeline in North Dakota was discovered (8/15/16) to have leaked over 500 barrels of oil since the leak began on July 19, 2016. You can read the article here: A leak like this from the Dakota Access pipeline would leave the Standing Rock Sioux without any clean water.”

Let’s say no to the Dakota Pipe Line #NoDAPL and sign the petition:

Shiloh Sophia wrote a poignant article about what is going on that was shared by Robert Mirabel, Native American musician and activist on his site, you can read it here.

For Giving Tuesday, please join me in donating money to support the men and women that are risking their lives as they peacefully protest at Standing Rock. In collaboration with my Good Karma sale, I will be making a donation to the Medic + Healer council:

I’m grateful to those who placed orders this weekend, thank you for being a part of our collective “good karma” donation. With all my heart, I am thankful for all of you for your support and presence in my life!

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



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 >>

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

Want to donate directly to the Medic + Healer council? Find info here:

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:

Liz from The Lotus Root introduced me this movement and is also participating. Visit her shop here:

Studio Tour


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:







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


2016-07-28 12.45.26

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.




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.







Embracing a Morning Ritual


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

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

2016-03-14 17.02.59

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 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!



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 to join in!