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Spirit whispers with symbols, synchronicities

Most of my life, I’ve been on a path of self-discovery. It can be exciting and expansive but sometimes it is hard to take those deep and introspective peeks inside of myself.

A day after having a particularly difficult emotional time, and still feeling raw, I decided I needed to walk. It was a pretty day here and I thought while out I might try a symbolic sort of grounding to bring myself back into my body and retrieve myself from stuck-in-my-head land.


Beach along Totem Park in Sitka

I asked women friends in a supportive online group I belong to what they do to ground themselves. With a few ideas in mind from what they’d shared and wanting to try a powerful meditation shown to me by my healer and teacher Robin Hallett, I decided to do a small ceremony at the beach on the edge of a beautiful forested park here in Sitka, Alaska.


Husband , dogs and my shadow on the beach at Totem Park

Even though I felt a little conspicuous doing this as my husband waited nearby with our two dogs, I tried to quiet myself internally. I explained to my husband what I was doing.

With my arms I scooped the invisible energy from around me, gathered it up and pushed it down into the ground in front of me imagining that my energy now reached all the way to the core of the earth where it intermingled with earth’s power. I waited a few seconds then I called the commingled energy back up. It traveled through my feet, through my body, and up into the cosmos where it flowed back down, surrounding my body like a beautiful fountain continuously circling through and around me.


Standing with dogs near the place I chose to do a grounding ceremony.

I stood there quietly for a bit absorbing earth energy and looking around at my beautiful surroundings. I stacked some rocks just for fun, snapped a couple pictures, then off we went to finish our walk.


While on the beach, it felt therapeutic to stack beach rocks.

A few days later my friend Mary, who is also in the online group, asked how I got on with my grounding. In reply, I posted a few pictures, one of them was a picture of my feet which at the time I wrote to Mary that I hadn’t noticed the heart-shaped rock right in front of my feet. She said she could see it too.

Later, while taking another look at that photo though, I realized that, no, actually I HAD seen that rock at the time. It was the reason I had taken the photo of my feet that day, looking down and seeing it right after my grounding. How had I forgotten that?!


A small heart-shaped rock was in the sand in front of my right foot.

I’m going to blame that on my trickster ego self. That fear-based part of me that wants to stay small, that is vested in separation, believing it is keeping me safe. My ego self doesn’t understand a larger truth about the oneness of this universe and all it contains. Ego had hidden from me, even from my own memory for awhile, a heart-shaped whisper from the infinite source of which we all are a part.

Heart-shaped rocks, to me, are like messages from the Universe. Quiet confirmations telling me I am not alone. As if the Universe is saying, “I am here! I am holding you! You are loved! All is well!”


A totem is silhouetted in the trees during our walk

I haven’t always known to look and listen. Oh, I believed in God even as a child, but it was more like an intellectual belief. It has taken a long while for faith to reach clear down to my heart. I have been on a path of healing and becoming whole. My intuitive self is waking up. This is the part that recognizes the messages which come by way of symbols and synchronicities. Spiritual scholars might say these messages are around us all the time.

I’m still learning to see them, and ego is still trying to trick me into disregarding and dismissing them as coincidences. I’m not buying it anymore, ego! Thank you for trying to keep me safe, but I got this now. We are safe and all is well!

What messages have you been noticing? How does your ego try and fool you?


Thank you and farewell 2015

This past week, I’ve spent some time strolling down memory lane, refreshing myself on 2015’s accomplishments and challenges. I thought doing a sort-of annual review would make for more solid 2016 planning.

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2015 calendar inserts

I poured through calendars, looked through photographs, and reviewed posts from my social media feeds to refresh myself on happenings in my personal and business life. Wow, so much happened in the past 12 months!

When 2015 began, I was employed full-time with the State of Alaska and I was doing art and pottery part-time around the day job.


Boat dream

In April, my husband and I had found and purchased a modest-sized and priced boat, which he planned to use for commercial hand-trolling. He had served as crew on a commercial fishing vessel the past two summers, but our intention was always for him to run his own boat. By spring 2015, it was time.


Doug and brother Dave fishing for kings in Our Boat

After getting the boat all set, we were planning to refinance a property that I owned in Anchorage.

Unexpected news, revising plans

In May, due to budget shortfalls with the State, I was laid off from my job. That was an unexpected development. I had planned to stay at the day job for about 5 years before retiring to work full-time at my art. Somehow it felt like Universe was encouraging me to do that sooner. “What are you waiting for?” it seemed to ask.

After learning about my layoff in May, and not knowing yet what my income stream would look like, we decided to put the Anchorage property on the market instead of refinancing. I’d tried twice before to sell without success, but the housing market looked much different this time.

We listed the property toward end of May. In less than a week, we had an offer. It was a cash offer, which meant the closing process would be much quicker than conventional financing would be. Thank you!


After signing closing documents, I left the condo keys and a welcome home note and plant for the new owner

Easing in to my dream

For more than 20 years I’d been dreaming of doing art full-time, but fears about not being able to make enough money to live on kept me from taking that leap. Cautiously, after so many years of working long and hard for others, I thought this might be the time.


Glazed pottery is unloaded in preparation for market.

During the summer months, I eased my entry into the full-time artist role by taking a temporary 10-hour-per-week job at the local artists’ co-op gallery, in which I am also a member.

Proceeds from the sale of our Anchorage property allowed us to pay off debts and reduce monthly expenses. Very helpful with the loss of income from my day job. Between my husband’s retirement, his commercial fishing income, and my art sales, we have been doing OK. With these slower sales months, I’m looking for additional revenue streams, perhaps finding a way to use my graphic design skills to supplement my income. But that is a 2016 plan. Back to my review.

Ongoing education and projects

Throughout 2015, I participated in numerous online trainings, coaching groups, and classes. I adore learning and expanding my knowledge and skills. A few of the online programs included a Mentor’s Mastermind group with Robin Hallett and several of her Business Alignment offerings; a two-week, four-session class called “Permission to Be Creative and Make Money” with working artist Marissa Cummings (Creative Thursday); and during the last quarter of the year, a Creative Business Incubator program lead by multi-media artist Traci Bautista; and Vision Quest, a creative-fitness program with artistic muse Whitney Freya.


Watercolor created during Whitney Freya’s 21-Day Painting Challenge

I participated in online art classes such as Story Circles, taught by Cassia Cogger, Printmaking Unleashed with Traci Bautista, a 21-day painting challenge with Whitney Freya, and Sketchbook Basics with Diane Bleck. I also took a metal engraving class and two art studio classes at the University of Alaska campus here in Sitka.


A batch of glazed beads are unloaded from the kiln

I successfully completed an online 100-day project challenge in which I made beads, and boy did I make a lot of beads in 100 days of working on that. It was a great challenge and learning experience. I gave myself permission to just do a little bit each day, but usually once I started I did more than a little bit. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to share my process each day by posting to Instagram. Most of the days I posted photographs but I even managed to make a few videos of some of the process too.

Expanding comfort zone

Speaking of videos, I also made three music videos, which I posted on my personal Facebook page. These were something I did for my own amusement while I practiced playing my guitar and singing. Music is another of my great passions, one which I do not give much space for, so I’m happy to share it there to my friends and family. It actually feels like quite a feat for an introvert, such as myself.

Some 2015 highlights

A few other highlights of my year included:

  • Creating graphic art, watercolors, doodles, and photographs in addition to pottery.


    A digital doodle done on my iPad

  • Traveling to Anchorage and Palmer to see family – three of my four adult children – and in particular my one-and-only grandson, who was up from Louisiana visiting his aunt (my daughter). During this trip I was also able to sign closing papers on the sale of our property.
  • Attending Camp GLP, a summer camp for grownups held in upstate New York, where I got to meet in person several online friends and a number of coaches/mentors/artists whom I had followed for several years online.


    It was awesome to meet these beautiful souls in person after previously know only through online forums

  • Rearranging my studio, creating more space to work and making pottery wheel more accessible.
  • Making jewelry from beads made during the 100-day project mentioned above.
  • Creating opportunities for online sales by making a sales page on my Website and adding items to a Spreesy shop and Etsy.
  • Creating a space for a regular painting practice.
  • Participating in three “personal retreat days,” in which I spent the day without electronics and simply took time for myself and to listen for inner guidance
  • Using one-way tickets for myself and husband, we flew to Anchorage with a list of potential motorhomes. We trusted we’d find the perfect one and drive it back. After looking at eight vehicles listed on Craigslist, we narrowed it down to our perfect motorhome. We had a wonderful adventure traveling back home, camping in the motorhome along the Alaska Highway to Haines and riding ferry home to Sitka. We look forward to many more road trip adventures.

    Our first camping site in our new camper


    Doug cooking dinner in our motorhome


    Enjoying our first meal in our new motorhome

  • Helping my Mom with a project by taking pictures of each page of her treasured family scrapbook so she could have it in a digital form to share with other family members.
  • Practicing my graphic design skills to create several posters announcing First Friday events at the co-op gallery I belong to. Also, during the holidays, using my page design/layout skills to building a full-page ad for the gallery.
  • Created a page in a Doodle Girl & Friends collaborative coloring book with Diane Bleck, creator of the Doodle Institute.
  • Enjoying some rare time with my husband’s three (adult) kids during the holidays. They all live elsewhere so it was nice to have them all in the same place.
  • Participating in the Sitka Artisan’s Market, a three-day holiday sale.


    New display location resulted in higher sales

  • Increase in sales. In March, my pottery at the co-op gallery moved to a more visible location, and sales grew. Between the new display location, my participation in the three-day market, and a handful of online sales, my art income was three times higher in 2015 than it was the prior year.

Wrap up

Thank you and farewell 2015. Welcome 2016!

I am excited about the infinite possibilities that this new year may bring. Do you have some favorite 2015 moments? Feel free share in the comments. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


Fall – Time for Consolidating and Gathering

Wild Alaska blueberry bushes

Wild Alaska blueberry bushes

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors of fall and the way the air just feels a bit different, fresh and full of anticipation. It is also a time for gathering. My husband and I recently picked blueberries and many of our friends have been out harvesting edible mushrooms from the beautiful wilderness of the Tongass National Forest which surrounds this part of Alaska. Nature is truly abundant.

While gathering fruit for our freezer is satisfying, it was also time to do some consolidating and refining of my art business and its Web presence. If you are reading this, then you have found my new blog and Web site. Let’s just say that prior to this things were kind of scattered.

Wild Alaska blueberries

Wild Alaska blueberries

I had written a few irregular blog posts on WordPress while I was setting up my studio. Later, I took a photography class and wrote blogs on Blogger as part of our assignment explaining our decisions for each class project. You’ll see all of these posts here now. I’ve gathered them into one place.

Technically I’m still a bit scattered around the Web – you know, Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn etc., but here is my attempt to at least bring my Web site and blogs together in one location, albeit still a work in progress.

I plan to get better at this whole blog communication thing. As we’re heading into fall, I’ll be busier in my studio, making pottery, glazing and firing my kiln. Do you have a busy fall scheduled too? What is your favorite part of this season?

Where ever you are, I hope you find abundance. Happy gathering.



Studio Sunday

On Sunday I made cups for my studio. I thought people could use them while they visit me here. As a potter I’m just a little out of practice but it felt good to be at the wheel again and thought it went well for an afternoon’s work.


Last night I trimmed the cylinders and added handles to my studio cups. Wondering if some of these mugs may be too tall for my Keurig dripper. Ah well, good practice for my rusty potting hands.