Soul Treats from Anthony Strano! (classes & meditations)

One of my favorite people on the planet left his body a couple weeks ago. He was really more of an angel than a person and someone I looked up to as a living example of what a spiritual life looks like. He wasn’t dogmatic or judgmental but had a deep acceptance and love for people and life. He created several books and meditation cds and many a one liner from his classes still sings inside me today.

His name was Anthony Strano. I was helping him create illustrations for a book he was working on. In one email, we finalized a plan for the paintings and the next day, I got a call that he had left the body and had a heart attack.

Do you know the last words someone whispered to him before he left? He was conducting a retreat and a lady who spoke another language was moved by his classes and wanted someone to translate a message to him for her. The message was, “You’re an angel.” Those were the last words he heard. I wanted to share with you a few of his creations and honor the beauty of his life.

Two wonderful classes to treat yourself to: “Transforming Challenges into Opportunities” and “Mindfulness & Heartfulness”….luv luv luv! I feel a big thank you for this soul’s presence in my life… as many do.

(my favorite meditation cd!)

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both are available on Amazon…you may also be able to find on youtube.

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His last article, “To Doodle or Google” on Huffington Post inspired this art journal creation. I truly believe the path of the inspiration is a yin and yang thing, knowing I need to be active in creating pure energy and cultivating the gifts of the soul daily but I also need to learn the art of doing nothing to allow the magic of the muses and divine inspiration to trickle in. It’s essential for true creativity. Anyhow, thank you for letting me share his life. I hope you enjoy his creations!

IMG_4721Peaceful Trails!

 

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A Profound Spiritual Tip From a Friend

A friend of mine shared a profound spiritual tip with me the other week and I wanted to share it with you. We were talking about the importance of taking care of the body not just with supplements and exercise but with a spiritual respect for it as a living breathing, life machine that has feedback for us. My body has had some odd symptoms for a year or so.

So before I ramble on too much, I’ll share with you the tip.

a) Ask your body if it’s happy with you. Be still and listen for a response, a feeling, an image, whatever comes to you.

b) Then ask if there’s something you can do to help it heal and thrive. Listen for any answers that are coming to you.

I told this to my friend at work and he looked at me like I sprouted feathers but he then went and secretly did it while his dog was playing in the park and he was idling on a bench.

I was amazed at how clear the response was. My body asked for three things and those three things are making a huge difference in the way I feel.  I felt the body wanted more sacred community & connection, more movement and dance, and more breathing.Try it! You don’t have to go public or tell anyone you’re talking to yourself. It’s powerful.

…I ended up stumbling across a beautiful sacred women’s circle that meets ever Monday night and have been enjoying it thoroughly…That Sweet Communion is what seeded this  journal page…sisterhood is a powerful thang…

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….then the movement part. I’m not sure if you’ve read much about chi gong but it’s my new love (in addition to miso)-. According to Dr. Oz…if you want to be healthy and live for 100 years, do chi gong. It opens up the energy flow and just centers you more in the heart and in a feeling of well being. My favorite style is Sheng Zhen from a teacher that moves like water. It’s inspired by Lao Tzu so how could it be anything but lovely.

Anyhow, I hope you’ll try this and enjoy listening and acting on the responses as much as I did. Cheerio and have a grand week!

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A Video Flip Journal & a Magazine Looking for Art Journalers!

HeART journal magazine asked if I could post a tutorial and a flip video of journal pages. There’s no $ involved but I get 6 months free of the magazine which comes with all sorts of videos and articles…and publicity can never be a bad thing just in case it’s really possible to have a full time career doing art journaling & mixed media.  Wouldn’t that be lovely?! Anyhow, if you’re interested in publishing your work, it’s a great way to share tutorials, tips and inspirations…a way to get out of your art studio and into creative hearts! Check on the link above. They seem to be looking for art journalers! Below is a video I just worked on this morn…hope you enjoy!

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Shading, Sacred Seussing & Creating the 21 Secrets Video

IMG_4671The other week, I stumbled onto an art journaler who was taking a class in shading and I got inspired as I often do when peering in on the creative adventures of fellow artists…sooooo… I  did a few journal pages using various shades of golden teal, mixing in white and black to lighten or darken the hue.

IMG_4670Then…a little play with forms.  I cut out a magazine figure, resized her on my copier, outlined each figure on the page, reinvented it, and made a traveling scene…not sure where she’s going, but she’s closer.

IMG_4667 And finally…The 21 secrets art journaling series is coming up and I just created the journal spread below and videotaped the process for the workshop. Woohoo! Now all I have to do is edit and tweak the video, record the steps and deliver it to the 21 Secrets Fairies. If you’d like to sign up, the button is on the sidebar. There will be 21 art journalers sharing their secrets of how they create their pages…

IMG_4681Inevitably life finds its way onto the page. We’re touring with a summer show based on Dr. Seuss’s story of the Lorax and the gal on the left started to go “Seussish” on me. It happened before I could intervene. However, I like a little silly in my sacred so it suits me fine.

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Guitars, Yogis and the Soul Food of Inspiration

wow…July has been a sneaky devil slipping beneath my heels. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted until I almost forgot my log in name. That could also be brain fry.

Hope you’re all well and thriving. I’ve been playing around with forms in the art journal and even dabbled with hands and guitars…fun fun

IMG_4616We’ve been busy touring our summer show so I slipped a sketch pad into our touring van so I can doodle between destinations. Otherwise, the rust sets in.

IMG_4660 I’m also including a lovely class by a soul named Ken O’ Donnell. It’s about overcoming spiritual inertia and moving into inspiration. I found it fantabulous. Hope you’ll enjoy…happy trails.

..tried to embed the interview but it’s not working so here is the link

From Inertia to Inspiration

…and a meditation to go with it…

Have a blessed and beautiful weekend!

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An Art Journal page inspired by a grand book by Mike George

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I’ve been reading a book by Mike George called “BEING Your Self” and am savoring “aha’s” about how to move into the real self and out ego. He talks about truth as the experience of the real self rather than a theory, religion or philosophy. But most importantly, he shares how to observe the ego in order to loosen its grip.

I’ve been  thinking less, talking less and thinking more without words or bodily images and scenes of the world.

Yes, I’m out there… but it’s a peaceful place to be when it works. This art journal page was inspired by the read. It would take pages to give you the update but below are some of the  big differences between the real self and the Ego that he covers…it’s worth a read…very freeing emotionally

The True Self

1) Pure vibration…just a radiant feeling of peace, well-being, joy… naturally generous

2) It has no identity and seeks no identity. It exists beyond stories and roles as the trees, lakes, mountains, etc

3) When one is in the real self, the soul wants nothing else but to be in that vibration. It is the feeling of fullness.

4) The real self passes through the scenes of life and the “dramas” but is undefined by them and even at the highest stage, unaltered emotionally…eternally in truth as the scenes of life whirl about.

The big Ole Ego.

He talks about how he feels it’s the main cause of suffering in the world and chalks it up to mistaken identity, a forgetfulness of our real and true nature

1) Ego always has an image of itself, an identity it seeks to preserve in order to feel valuable

2) Ego always wants something more because the experience of the true self is missing. No matter what one has physically or even in terms of achievement, there will be a empty spot that only the real self can fill.

3) The ego entangles itself in the stories and dramas and feels defined, uplifted and taken down by those dramas. It has forgotten there is a backstage of life where one can exist beyond the stories and scenes.

Anyhow, I’m enjoying moving through the world with a cleaner mind…and a few new practices. We got the book early because he’s coming for a visit to our meditation center. It should be out on amazon soon. Hope your week is a lovely one…

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The Play of Peeled Paint

This journal page is called “The Muse” and was inspired by the wow, wow talk by Elizabeth Gilbert.   I always feel guilty when I waste paint so I’ve been  loving this technique. It works great with non stick palettes or those palette papers that come in a booklet.

blog picOnce the paint globs onto the palette or palette paper thickly enough, you can let it dry. Then peel it up and incorporate it into your art or journal page.

close up blog picThen you can use it to make hairdos, borders, horizon lines, flowers, you name it…

close up blog pic 2Hope you’ll give it a whirl and have fun!

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