shine on: 10 shiny works of art you’ll swoon over

weekend swoon - shine your light

Isn’t always such a wondrous thing when the sun breaks through after a rainy day? Happened here yesterday; as the day was ending, the clouds began to clear and gorgeous rays of sun shone through. Actually happens to the best of us, right? There’s nothing like feeling like your own inner light is back in working order. So, I decided to dedicate the latest edition of The Weekend Swoon to art created specifically to celebrate our ability to shine bright.

Thanks to all the talented artists giving us a reason to swoon & shine today…
Rise & Shine art by The WheatfieldRise & Shine Print // The Wheatfield // $18 – $30

shine necklace in gold - marilyn monroe quote -

Shine Necklace with Marilyn Monroe Quote // Heartfelt By Foxy // $30

shine pillow.

Shine Embroidered Pillow // Hummingbee // $26

Shine Card - Click Image to Close

Shine Your Little Light Print // CurlyGirl Designs // $20 (on sale!)

Shine Bright - Adjustable Twist Aluminum Ring - handed stamped ring

Shine Bright Aluminum Ring // FamilyHouseStampin // $10

Shine Rubber Stamp from Creatiate - part of collection of SHINE art on Etsy

Shine Rubber Stamp // Creatiate // $14

Let Your Light Shine - Yoga Wrap Bracelet - Dragonflies - via D2EGallery

Let Your Light Shine Wrap Bracelet // D2EGallery // $35

Permission to shine - mixed media print by Kelly Rae Roberts

Permission To Shine Print // Kelly Rae Roberts // $29

Even In The Darkest Of Nights, The Smallest Of Stars Will Shine 2 Inch Leather Cuff Bracelet with Custom Hand Stamped Metals by MyBellaSmallest of Stars Shine Cuff Bracelet // MyBella // $38

You Can Turn Off The Sun But I'm Still Gonna Shine - Jason Mraz; art by The Pressing Pigeon (click for more SHINE art)You Can Turn Off The Sun But I’m Still Gonna Shine print // ThePressingPigeon // $8.99

Follow the Light

I am endlessly dazzled by light.

The way it dances across water, flickers through the trees, warms up any room, shines up the world. Last week in Chicago, I was on a bit of a scavenger hunt, watching for the magic of light throughout the city – in shadows, reflections, sparkles and glimmers. Wanna see what I found? Hope these pics inspire you to see all the light in your life, too…

How To Get Your Sparkle Back

 

The other day, I cleaned my rings in a cup full of Windex. They’d grown grimy and gross, but after soaking in that magic liquid and getting a good toothbrush scrub, they looked good as new – which led me to ask:

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a human-sized vat of magic liquid for everyone who’s lost their sparkle!? 

Okay, okay – maybe a chemical bath isn’t all that appealing. But what would we all have to do to achieve similar results? We’ve all lost our sparkle at one time or another – and experimented with ways to get it back, to varying degrees of success.

So, I did a little research – and realized the makers of Windex know something about sparkling that most of us forget. My rings didn’t get gunky overnight; they were covered in many months of accumulated debris and crud. I only noticed it when so much microscopic crap built up that my diamond looked cloudy – no shine in sight.

So, I grabbed the Windex – a chemical cocktail that breaks down grime and dirt. But get this! There are chemicals in Windex that also keep the dirt, once it’s been broken up, from settling back onto the surface. So, all that gunk not only separated from my rings – but it wasn’t allowed to return.

Whoomp, there it is! Our magic solution!

We can’t expect to sparkle if crud from our past accumulates slowly but surely and then, after we attempt to brush it off, is allowed to settle right back in again. When we start to recognize those old habits, those old hurts, those old patterns casting a shadow on our ability to shine, we have two chores:

1) do what it takes to release the old shit

2) shield ourselves from letting it creep back and settle in

We each have to create our own Windex For the Soul – a chemical courage cocktail of mindfulness, faith and confidence to keep our pasts from dictating our futures.  Soak yourself in it and scrub the scum away until you’re downright dazzling. Repeat as necessary. Ready? Set? Sparkle, baby!

 

 

Restless Soul Syndrome

street sign - wrong way

 Anybody out there feel like you’re living in a perpetual state of unrest? Inexplicably fidgety and anxious? Maybe you lay awake at night, knowing you’re dog tired but just staring into darkness? I feel, hear, see a growing restlessness among women I know. I hear from readers every week who know deep down there’s gotta be something more; they’re feeling pulled towards creative outlets they never before imagined enjoying, and tossing around ideas that seemingly came out of the blue. I think it’s an epidemic. Or maybe a revolution.

 

That sense of unease and longing for something more is not in your head. It can’t be cured with a pill or a hot bath or a good workout. Because it’s deep.

 

“Any sense of restlessness is a sign that your soul is ready to grow. Answering the call of your soul by pursuing a new entrepreneurial activity or a form of creative expression, such as writing, playing music, or sculpting, would be a natural process in aligning yourself with Spirit. If you are restless, this is how you’re being guided or invited by your soul to find deeper fulfillment through more satisfying work and meaningful service.” – Ernest D. Chu in Soul Currency

 

Whoomp, there it is! I got chills when I read that last week, thinking about times in my life when that restlessness {Restless Soul Syndrome, I’ll call it} gnawed at me until I answered the call and allowed my SELF to grow. Heck, my post this week about finding my tribe is a perfect example; I knew deep down the ladies at Bunco Night and the executives at my leadership meetings were not my peeps; I was uncomfortable and restless during every gathering. I tried to stuff it down, tell myself it was all in my head. But it was in my soul – and you can’t fight that forever.

 

When I don’t take a hint, the growth I need is thrust upon me. Looking back, I definitely had Restless Soul Syndrome before big and unforeseen changes in my life. Losing jobs. Losing loved ones. Losing my grip. For several months before my radio show got canceled last year, I felt incredibly and inexplicably restless. Planning each show felt harder than before. Hosting each show felt less fulfilling. But I loved my co-hosts and I loved the subject matter, so I just plowed forward – until our boss walked into the studio and announced the show had been canceled. I didn’t see it coming…and yet I totally did.

 

So, how do you cure Restless Soul Syndrome? With truth. Real, gritty, leap of faith, big picture, look-yourself-in-the-eyes kind of truth that challenges who you are and what you’re about and where you’re going next. The truth will set you free…and allow you to finally get some rest.

~~~~~

Need some help “treating” your Restless Soul Syndrome? Here are some great resources:

Michele Stimpson, LifeShine Coaching – She’s a dynamo coach who can rock your world over the phone.

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron’s book and programs have transformed so many lives, helping to unleash creativity and purpose.

Vision Boards – Christine Kane just updated her awesome resource on uncovering and attracting what you really need and want into your life {look up Vision Boards on Google and she’s #1}.

Book a Firecracker Call – Learn about my individual intuitive readings designed to help you clarify your path.

 

 

Pictures of Me {08.27.11}

I had my picture taken last weekend. A bunch of pictures, actually. And I wanted to throw up.
It’s not that I’ve never done this before. In fact, I’ve primped and posed for a fair amount of professional photo shoots over the years. But in the past, there’s always been someone else directing the shoots – reps for radio stations, publications or organizations – guiding the process, going for a specific “look” or “feel.” Not this time.
I’m launching a new web site next month {so exciting!} and need new photos to match the site and reflect me. But in the days leading up to the photo shoot, I became a nervous wreck thinking about my clothes, my hair, my makeup. How would I do this without having anyone to tell me how to look and what to do? 
Thankfully, I had an amazing cheerleader and ally in my photographer and new friend, Jennifer Liv Olson. Yep – her middle name is Liv and – like mine – it’s pronounced the Scandinavian way {leeev}. And she is all sorts of awesome. She has this crazy ability to capture a person’s essence – like she can see right through to their soul. So, I knew the photos would be great – but I was still freaked out.

Jen must have sensed it. In the days leading up to the shoot at her studio, Jen emailed and texted me tiny pep talks. Told me the shoot would be awesome no matter what I wore. Told me I’m beautiful inside and out. Told me to expect to just have fun. So incredibly sweet.

When I arrived at Jen’s studio, I suddenly realized I had been to the building before for another photo shoot. I flashed back to that day, four years ago, when I was three months pregnant {and not feeling particularly svelte}. I had to wear a certain hue and the shirt that worked was less than flattering. The makeup artist applied fake eyelashes so big I could barely see and told me my lips were too thin. And the photographer huffed and puffed through throughout the shoot. I remember smiling for the camera while feeling deflated and unworthy of the spotlight. And, no surprise, I hated the final photos.

As I stood in that space again last weekend, the nerves melted away and I actually felt relieved. I was far better off, I realized, calling the shots – wearing what I wanted, applying my own {minimal} makeup, working with a photographer who looked through her lens and saw beauty – not extra weight or short lashes or thin lips.

I wasn’t put on this planet to be a supermodel. And I’m pretty sure longer lashes and bigger lips won’t help me be any more authentic, any more creative, any more compassionate. What you see is what you get. And that’s what I love about these pictures of me.

photo credit: 
jennifer liv photography
web site: jenniferlivphotography.com
email: [email protected]
{thank you, jen!!! you rock!}

Pictures of Me {08.27.11}

I had my picture taken last weekend. A bunch of pictures, actually. And I wanted to throw up.
It’s not that I’ve never done this before. In fact, I’ve primped and posed for a fair amount of professional photo shoots over the years. But in the past, there’s always been someone else directing the shoots – reps for radio stations, publications or organizations – guiding the process, going for a specific “look” or “feel.” Not this time.
I’m launching a new web site next month {so exciting!} and need new photos to match the site and reflect me. But in the days leading up to the photo shoot, I became a nervous wreck thinking about my clothes, my hair, my makeup. How would I do this without having anyone to tell me how to look and what to do? 
Thankfully, I had an amazing cheerleader and ally in my photographer and new friend, Jennifer Liv Olson. Yep – her middle name is Liv and – like mine – it’s pronounced the Scandinavian way {leeev}. And she is all sorts of awesome. She has this crazy ability to capture a person’s essence – like she can see right through to their soul. So, I knew the photos would be great – but I was still freaked out.

Jen must have sensed it. In the days leading up to the shoot at her studio, Jen emailed and texted me tiny pep talks. Told me the shoot would be awesome no matter what I wore. Told me I’m beautiful inside and out. Told me to expect to just have fun. So incredibly sweet.

When I arrived at Jen’s studio, I suddenly realized I had been to the building before for another photo shoot. I flashed back to that day, four years ago, when I was three months pregnant {and not feeling particularly svelte}. I had to wear a certain hue and the shirt that worked was less than flattering. The makeup artist applied fake eyelashes so big I could barely see and told me my lips were too thin. And the photographer huffed and puffed through throughout the shoot. I remember smiling for the camera while feeling deflated and unworthy of the spotlight. And, no surprise, I hated the final photos.

As I stood in that space again last weekend, the nerves melted away and I actually felt relieved. I was far better off, I realized, calling the shots – wearing what I wanted, applying my own {minimal} makeup, working with a photographer who looked through her lens and saw beauty – not extra weight or short lashes or thin lips.

I wasn’t put on this planet to be a supermodel. And I’m pretty sure longer lashes and bigger lips won’t help me be any more authentic, any more creative, any more compassionate. What you see is what you get. And that’s what I love about these pictures of me.

photo credit: 
jennifer liv photography
web site: jenniferlivphotography.com
email: [email protected]
{thank you, jen!!! you rock!}

This Feels Sooooo Good: Big Launch News!!! {03.22.11}

Big news, beauty lovers! I’m soooo excited:  my brand new Feel Good Deal of the Day web site is LIVE! Many of you know that I started testing the waters by launching a Feel Good Deal email in February. So, for the past five weeks many of you who signed up {thank you!} have received a deal every weekday on something creative, artistic, uplifting or fun. I wanted to make sure a) I liked doing it as much as I thought I would and b) that YOU liked it as much as I hoped you would! Mission accomplished, it seems. 
I’ve had this idea for a while to create something that’s a service like Groupon…designed to soothe the soul and brighten your days. Another form of choosing beauty, really. I love, love, love a great bargain. And I also love, love, love supporting people and companies who are putting good stuff into the world. What kind of stuff, you ask? Artist-led e-courses. Personal growth teleseminars. Beautiful books. Fun fashions. Unique gifts. Etsy shops.

{Okay. Breathe, Liv. Just tell the people what they need to know.}

~ First and foremost, I’d love for you to check out The Feel Good Deal of the Day web site. If you like it, keep coming back each day, okay?

~ Second, please share it with your friends! The URL is www.TheFeelGoodDeal.com. 

~ Third, feel free to “like” the brand new Facebook page where I’ll post a link to the daily deal as well as exclusive offers for Facebook fans. 

Last but not least, I want to shout a HUGE thank you out into the ether in celebration of so many folks who helped me birth this baby and many who have been so lovely in sharing it with the world over the past few weeks….including my dear friend (and chief cheerleader) Tracy McDonald, Michelle Stimpson, Michele Bergh of BeInspired Design, Bridget Levin, Joan Steffend, Colleen Lindstrom, Amanda OaksLouise Gale, Michelle Ward, Chrisi West, and so many others. Love to you all today!

This Feels Sooooo Good: Big Launch News!!! {03.22.11}

Big news, beauty lovers! I’m soooo excited:  my brand new Feel Good Deal of the Day web site is LIVE! Many of you know that I started testing the waters by launching a Feel Good Deal email in February. So, for the past five weeks many of you who signed up {thank you!} have received a deal every weekday on something creative, artistic, uplifting or fun. I wanted to make sure a) I liked doing it as much as I thought I would and b) that YOU liked it as much as I hoped you would! Mission accomplished, it seems. 
I’ve had this idea for a while to create something that’s a service like Groupon…designed to soothe the soul and brighten your days. Another form of choosing beauty, really. I love, love, love a great bargain. And I also love, love, love supporting people and companies who are putting good stuff into the world. What kind of stuff, you ask? Artist-led e-courses. Personal growth teleseminars. Beautiful books. Fun fashions. Unique gifts. Etsy shops.

{Okay. Breathe, Liv. Just tell the people what they need to know.}

~ First and foremost, I’d love for you to check out The Feel Good Deal of the Day web site. If you like it, keep coming back each day, okay?

~ Second, please share it with your friends! The URL is www.TheFeelGoodDeal.com. 

~ Third, feel free to “like” the brand new Facebook page where I’ll post a link to the daily deal as well as exclusive offers for Facebook fans. 

Last but not least, I want to shout a HUGE thank you out into the ether in celebration of so many folks who helped me birth this baby and many who have been so lovely in sharing it with the world over the past few weeks….including my dear friend (and chief cheerleader) Tracy McDonald, Michelle Stimpson, Michele Bergh of BeInspired Design, Bridget Levin, Joan Steffend, Colleen Lindstrom, Amanda OaksLouise Gale, Michelle Ward, Chrisi West, and so many others. Love to you all today!

You Are My Sunshine ~ 03.07.11

On Sunday morning, while the family was busy doing and being and playing around the house, I pulled out a giant slab of wood to use as a background for pictures in my shop. I placed it near our front door, right in the path of a beautiful ray of sunlight.
I was very focused, kneeling down on the ground, zooming in on the details of necklaces and prints and cards. Moving each piece ever so slightly until the lighting was just right. And then I saw them: 10 tiny toes. My concentration broken, I looked up to find my ray of sunshine was standing in the ray of sunshine.
You Are My Sunshine Print

He giggled – totally tickled to have captured my attention. He stepped on a couple of necklaces, finding his way to me, and then plopped right down in my lap. And we just sat there, snuggling in the sunlight.

As we cuddled, I was transported back to the day he was born. When I was pregnant with Tru, I often wondered if he liked listening in as I sang bedtime songs to his big brother. I got my answer hours after he was born: cradling him in my hospital bed, I started to sing “You Are My Sunshine.” His eyes shot open – SO WIDE – and he looked at me with this deep knowing, as if to say, “Ohhhhhhh. It’s YOU!”

It was the first of so many sunshine moments in our life together. Every snuggle, every giggle is a sweet reminder of what really matters; a chance to let the light in and live in the now. 

You Are My Sunshine ~ 03.07.11

On Sunday morning, while the family was busy doing and being and playing around the house, I pulled out a giant slab of wood to use as a background for pictures in my shop. I placed it near our front door, right in the path of a beautiful ray of sunlight.
I was very focused, kneeling down on the ground, zooming in on the details of necklaces and prints and cards. Moving each piece ever so slightly until the lighting was just right. And then I saw them: 10 tiny toes. My concentration broken, I looked up to find my ray of sunshine was standing in the ray of sunshine.
You Are My Sunshine Print

He giggled – totally tickled to have captured my attention. He stepped on a couple of necklaces, finding his way to me, and then plopped right down in my lap. And we just sat there, snuggling in the sunlight.

As we cuddled, I was transported back to the day he was born. When I was pregnant with Tru, I often wondered if he liked listening in as I sang bedtime songs to his big brother. I got my answer hours after he was born: cradling him in my hospital bed, I started to sing “You Are My Sunshine.” His eyes shot open – SO WIDE – and he looked at me with this deep knowing, as if to say, “Ohhhhhhh. It’s YOU!”

It was the first of so many sunshine moments in our life together. Every snuggle, every giggle is a sweet reminder of what really matters; a chance to let the light in and live in the now.