Moondancing with Jamie Raley of The Art of Awen

Moondancing Interview withThe Art of Awen, Jamie Raley Today, as part of The Messy Room Moondancing Muse Series, we are dancing to the moon and back with the refreshingly divine and spirited artist,  Jamie Raley, of The Art of Awen. (Who is also the goddess of hand poured, magically crafted artisan soy candles available in her Etsy Shop under the same name.)  She is August's co-host muse in A Mused Community’s 2016 Creativity Challenges (they are using my book, Moondancing, as a guide) as well as the long-time contributing muse, Urania, for Muses of Art & Soul on Facebook. So, I know what you're wondering. What's an "Awen"? Awen is a Welsh and Cornish word for (poetic) inspiration. But to Jamie it is so much more than that. The minute she lay her eyes on that word, something deep within her soul lit up and that fire has been burning ever since. Without further ado or drum roll, lets jump in and find out what else keeps her embers warm.
Okay, Jamie, lets get started with a quick warm-up … Do you make your bed in the morning? I make my bed when it’s bedding/laundry day, but I do straighten it out a bit before I climb in every night. Cookie, cake, pie or doughnut? All of the above… with a brownie on the side. What are you wearing right now? I just finished up some painting in the studio so I am in my grubbies. A pair of yoga pants & a paint covered t-shirt. I am always wearing some sort of Crystal or rock as well and today it is lemon serpentine, lava stones, and black coral. If a sandwich were named after you what would be in it? I'm a pretty simple gal when it comes to a sandwich. No frills for me. Wheat bread, turkey breast, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, pickles and banana peppers. It would be called "Hold the Sauce," because I am not a fan of the traditional sandwich sauces/condiments. My family likes to make fun of me for it! If you could dance under the moon anywhere in the world where would that be and what would you wear? It is ever changing but today it would be around a bonfire, atop a craggy cliff on the Isle of Skye. I would be dressed in a long white flowy gown, with a deep purple cloak for warmth. I’d be barefoot, with flowers in my hair.
Moondancing Interview with Jamie Raley of The Art of Awen Now, describe your creative work style using one of these patterns: Paisley. Polka dot. Stripes. Checks.
I'll have to go with paisley. My creative work style is very fluid with no real rhyme or reason. I tend to float from one thing to another and then circle back around until they are all finished. It's pretty typical to find a bunch of half finished projects when you walk into my work space.
Is your work style the same with day-to-day stuff? If not, what pattern are you then?
I'd have to say yes, with a splash of stripes. I have 4 young kids, all involved in school and sports, and a husband who travels often for work. So having some sort of linear plan in my day-to-day is an absolute necessity. However it is so against my nature to plan and schedule that I struggle with it sometimes. I tend to move through my house chores and errands a lot like I do my creative work. Bouncing around from one task to the next until they are all finished.
How about a favorite quote?
This is like asking me which of my children is my favorite. So I will go with what calls me right now in this moment. “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” – Alan Alda
So we can all put some good moon-mojo on it; what’s your Moondancing dream this year?
My Moondance dream this year is to step outside of my comfort zone, push the bar on what I feel comfortable and capable of creating and share more of this part of myself with others.
How do you approach a new project or idea?
I believe that when inspiration strikes you have to act, and quickly! Often I will get an idea at the most inopportune time. But I always entertain it. If I can't go up and actually create, I will pull out paper or my phone and start to plan. I do find that 9 out of 10 times that plan will change once I am able to put my hands to work but that's what I love about being creative. There are no rules.
Where or how do you get your inspiration?
I 150% believe that my inspiration and ideas come from spirit. Whether that be my muse, an animal spirit, or the great mystery itself.
What do you do when in a creative dry spell?
I'll take it back to something simple, and every day. Like cooking or baking. I'll whip up something different or new, and dance while doing it. That is one of my favorite ways to loosen up! Dancing in the kitchen.
Have you always been creative or are you a late bloomer?
I have never been a stranger to creativity. I have always had my feet in that pool since a child. Over the years though, it has morphed into a lot of different things. I am not afraid to try on different hats! As for Painting and Candle making, which is where I am now, I would say I bloomed exactly when I was supposed to.
Moondancing Interview with Jamie Raley of The Art of Awen What informs your subject matter?
The way I paint is completely intuitive. I do not often know what the finished product will be when I start but my favorite way to get rolling is with sacred symbols, words, and throwing paint around with my hands. When it comes to candles, I create what I need or am looking for. Whether it’s healing work I am doing or a special sabbat or ritual.
Being that this IS the Musings from the Messy Room, you have to tell us about your creative work space.
Considering I have a family of 6, I count myself really lucky to have an entire space above my garage that is all mine. The hard floors make it extra ideal for a creative gal like myself. (Easy cleanup!) While I know that it is only a temporary hang out for me, I am taking full advantage of it while I can. The short walls are adorned with artwork by my favorite artists, my children! They are great reminders for me to keep going when the going is tough, and to let go of perfection. The messier their art the more I love it. The East side of the space is dedicated to painting, the South holds most of my packing and supplies, the West is where I melt and pour candles, and the North holds an ever changing altar. A very special gift from a friend, a sun catching fairy, hangs right in the center of the space. This is where all the magic happens.
Moondancing Interview with Jamie Raley of The Art of Awen - Studio

Now, for the Grand MoonDancing Finale, Jamie...

How does your muse speak to you? Your creative ideas come about for you?  What inspires you the most about your vision for them? Where do you see yourself going with this in your own creative process?
Art in any way, shape, or form is a deeply spiritual and healing process for me. The color and images on my canvas are an outward reflection of my own inward journey. The words and intention in the wax, a gift from spirit. They are what dwells in my soul. With the help of my Muse, Urania, I find it easy not to limit or label my creativity. I work with whatever medium is calling me at that specific moment. It may be paint, words, wax, nature, or something else entirely. I feel this allows for more growth, inspiration and excitement! Urania guides my hand and brings forward what is most needing to be birthed in the moment. Through a process of TRUST in something bigger than myself, SURRENDER to the divine, and ALLOWING the flow and unfolding of what images, energy or symbols are wanting to emerge, I am able to create from the heart without fear. As the years continue to fly by, my hope is that you will continue to find me creating away alongside Urania. Bringing awareness to her magic and keeping her mystery alive through stories on the canvas and words in the wax.
Moondancing Interview with Jamie Raley of The Art of Awen Hi! I am Jamie, a self taught, Intuitive Creatress, residing in the Pacific NW, along with my husband, 4 children, and our old mama dog. When I am not soul deep in creation, you can find me with my nose in a book, or my eyes focused on the heavens. I am inspired by the raw beauty in nature, the deep wisdom in animals, the mystery of the moon, the sacredness in symbols, and the capacity of love that the human heart can hold. My number one goal is to create in a way that is authentically me. Infusing my creations with beauty, inspiration, spirit and deep meaning. This is my "Awen."             Moondancing with The Art of Awen on Etsy Some links for Jamie if you want to follow her dance: Click for The Art of Awen on Facebook Click for The Art of Awen on Etsy Click for The Art of Awen Website Click for Muses of Art & Soul on Facebook       Jamie, your exquisite candles have graced my home during many a morning pages quiet time ... and now it has been a special pleasure to have your "inspiritus" energy grace my messy room.    Calling in the Muse Poster Download your FREE 2016 Mused Community Creativity Challenge Guide. You will get to know 8 of the 9 muses as well as this moondancing muse! Click here to download your free guide.           Click here for Moondancing book info Moondancing Mikey the Messy Room Kitty   If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we grow a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my Messy Room for more muse inspirations to come!          

Moondancing with Intuitive Priestess, Shea Leona

Moondancing with Shea Leona - Stardust Today, as part of The Messy Room Moondancing Muse Series, we are dancing to the moon and back with moon and mother earth goddess extraordinaire, Shea Leona, of Shea Leona • Accidental Priestess. She was scheduled to be July's  facilitating muse in A Mused Community’s 2016 Creativity Challenges (they are using my book, Moondancing, as a guide) but life events have swept her up and away for a time. (We know how that can be don't we?) She has also served as a contributing muse for Muses of Art & Soul on Facebook. Shea admits she has a passion for all things health. Food, fitness, spirituality, ritual – her list goes on and on and on. (You know how muses are.) She believes our bodies are fascinating and capable of amazing feats of self-healing if we just support them. For her, nourishment is more than the food on our plate. True nourishment comes from all the things that feed us; body, mind and soul. Life, love, creativity .... whatever it is that lights you up! That IS your primary food. A woman who measures her words with deep passion, Shea dances as easily in the stars as she does on a forest trail. Without further ado or drum roll, lets jump in and find out what else makes this muse tick.
Okay, Shea, lets get started with a quick warm-up … What are you wearing right now? An old sweater that is like 3x too big for me, but oh so warm, my PJs and comfy socks. Have you ever skinny-dipped? A few times. In the river, swimming pools and once in a hot tub. I like being naked. I’d go topless on hot days if I could get away with it. What is your favorite highway or karaoke song? Total Eclipse of the Heart If a sandwich were named after you what would be in it? Thin slices of pan fried Tempeh w/splash of Tamari, vegan cheese sauce/spread, green leaf lettuce, red onion, avocado and Dijon mustard on a gluten free bun from Cascadia GF bakery. I have put a lot of thought into this, because to me sandwich making is an Art.
If you could dance under the moon anywhere in the world where would that be and what would you wear?
Stonehenge... and nothing.
Moondancing with Shea Leona - Roots Reach Now, describe your creative work style using one of these patterns: Paisley. Polka dot. Stripes. Checks.
Polka dot! 
Is your work style the same with day-to-day stuff? If not, what pattern are you then?
Same!
How about a favorite quote?
“Those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them back and destroy yourself.” – Richard Nixon
So we can all put some good moon-mojo on it; what’s your Moondancing dream this year?
To expand and explore the depths of myself. Finding ways to relate that to the collective consciousness, I want to heal the World…. It’s a big job, I know.
How do you approach a new project or idea?
I don’t force things. I ask for guidance and let the inspiration strike.
Where or how do you get your inspiration?
I meditate and spend a lot of time in Nature and in my kitchen – and that is when I get my best inspirations.
What do you do when in a creative dry spell?
Nothing different. I continue to meditate, seek nature, and cook while waiting patiently.
Have you always painted and danced... or are you a late bloomer?
I have always done everything and sometimes nothing.
Moondancing with Shea Leona - Self-Portrait What informs your subject matter?
I like beautiful things. My favorite piece is a self portrait.
Being that this IS the Musings from the Messy Room, you have to tell us about your creative work space.
Instead of having a TV in the living room in my home, I have my altars and my magical space/items. This is where I do everything from healing work to yoga to painting to puzzles on the floor.
Moondancing with Shea Leona - Creative Space Collage

Now, for the Grand MoonDancing Finale, Shea…

How does your muse speak to you? Your creative ideas come about for you?  What inspires you the most about your vision for them? Where do you see yourself going with this in your own creative process?
I have never really felt very comfortable writing about myself. I feel like I never know what to say and writing is not my strong suit. I am a passionate person on a mission to heal the world, one small deed and one person at a time if I have to. My heart aches for the planet and all her Earthlings. I find comfort and inspiration in nature when I can press my bare feet against the ground or feel Her waters run between my toes. I lay upon her face and she fills me with strength. Her Beauty IS my Muse. Everything I do, I do for Her. 
Moondancing with Shea Leona - Profile Pic   Shea Leona is a Priestess-Intuitive Healer at Shea Leona Herbal Priestess. She is also a Holistic Wellness Mentor, Past life Regression Facilitator, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and Reiki Master at Sheamless Vitality and Health & Human Services at Planet Earth In The Milky Way Galaxy. She currently lives in Milwaukie, Oregon.     Moondancing with Shea Leona - Links Photo   Some links for Shea if you want to follow her dance: Click for Shea Leona Priestess on Facebook Click for Shea's Website Click to find Shea on Instagram Click for Muses Of Art & Soul Facebook       Calling in the Muse PosterAbsolutely LOVE having your priestess-goddess energy grace my messy room, Shea. There is nothing "accidental" about you! Hey, can I keep the stardust and the flower wreath?    Download your FREE 2016 Mused Community Creativity Challenge Guide. You will get to know 8 of the 9 muses as well as this moondancing muse! Click here to download your free guide.     Click here for Moondancing book info Moondancing Mikey the Messy Room Kitty If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we grow a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my Messy Room for more muse inspirations to come!          

Moondancing with Ethereal Gypsy, Candi Walker-Snyder

Moondancing Ethereal Gypsy Photography River Scene Today, as part of The Messy Room Moondancing Muse Series, we are dancing to the moon and back with photographer, adventurer, striped socks wearer, and foster mom to homeless but much loved books, Candi Walker-Snyder, of Ethereal Gypsy Photography and Literary Leftovers Used Bookstore. She is also June's  facilitating muse in A Mused Community’s 2016 Creativity Challenges (they are using my book, Moondancing, as a guide) as well as a contributing muse for Muses of Art & Soul on Facebook. Candi's eyes get quite a workout between her love of books and her passion for photography. Whether wandering a nature trail or between a row of bookcases, Candi is right at home. Without further ado or drum roll, lets jump in and find out what else makes this muse tick.
Okay, Candi, lets get started with a quick warm-up … Do you make your bed in the morning? Yes and No. I would love it if I did make my bed every morning, but I'm usually frantically trying to get myself and kids out the door for school and work!  What is your favorite comfort food? Spaghetti!! Yum Yum and Yum! I could eat it morning, noon and night! What are you wearing right now? Black Capri's, T-shirt, cardigan and a leopard scarf. Plain Jane I am. Best Halloween costume to date? Six years ago I dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow for work. I was one ugly Capt. Jack. But it was fun! You could probably say that was my best and worst costume to date. LOL! If you could dance under the moon anywhere in the world where would that be and what would you wear? Haney Ridge in Gays Mills, WI. Beautiful open farm lands, clear skies and hardly no one for miles. It's the most comfortable, calming spot I've ever been. Not really sure, but clothes for sure. Something probably comfortable and easy to move in!! And bug spray. The mosquitoes are wicked there!!
Moondancing Ethereal Gypsy Photography Forest Gypsies Now, describe your creative work style using one of these patterns: Paisley. Polka dot. Stripes. Checks.
I'm just going to be honest and say Polka Dots just because well... I love polka dots! 
Is your work style the same with day-to-day stuff? If not, what pattern are you then?
No, my pattern you could say is more like a tornado! My ideas hit spontaneously quick and I move quick to make them happen. It's usually a song I hear or a book I am reading that ignites that spark of an idea. Then I have to make it a reality.
How about a favorite quote?
"I'll get you my pretty and your little dog too." – Wicked Witch of the West ( I'm a HUGE Wizard of OZ fan!)
So we can all put some good moon-mojo on it; what’s your Moondancing dream this year?
My dream for the year is simple. Step out of the shadows! Stop being afraid and be my true authentic self. If I can do it so can others. Stop hiding my art. I'm always helping others to grow and better their career and lives. I'm stepping up and finally bettering myself! Spending more time making myself healthy, happy and a little more adventurous!! 
How do you approach a new project or idea?
When I get a new idea, I usually let it consume me. It's all I think about. I make my list. ( I Love check-off lists.) Write up different layouts, plans, people I can convince to be my guinea pigs, costume ideas, do I shoot in black & white or color... Ect! What lens to use yada yada yada! I listen to LOTS of music, meditate and kind of go off into my own weird mind and work up creative ideas.
Moondancing Ethereal Gypsy Photography Sand Dunes Where or how do you get your inspiration?
I get 90% of my inspiration from music or a quote I read somewhere. The other 10% is luck. Right time and right place and thankfully I have my camera!
What do you do when in a creative dry spell?
Lots of nature walks, read, listen to music and meditate. I ask my guides for help also. Hoping they can help and give me a sign of some sorts!! 
Have you always taken pictures or are you a late bloomer?
I actually started taking photos in high school. When I was 16-17. So basically 20 years ago! I took a photography class in school and just fell in love. Ever since then I always have a camera on me. I love capturing the moments!
Moondancing Ethereal Gypsy Photography Fungi What informs your subject matter?
I love nature photo shoots. Nature speaks when you are still and just wait. I love when the sun peaks through the trees and the tree sways and dances ... It's as if nature is putting on a show for you to capture.
Being that this IS the Musings from the Messy Room, you have to tell us about your creative work space.
My creative space is really outside! Out in the woods. I love life in rural Washington. There are lots of trails and lovely places to curl up and wait for nature to do its thing! I carry an ipod with me so I can crank out reality and listen to music and work.  When I edit, I have a little corner in my bookstore I own. I make a makeshift desk/work area and, after I close, I edit for a while. It's quiet and no kids bugging me! 
Moondancing Ethereal Gypsy Photography Workspace

Now, for the Grand MoonDancing Finale, Candi...

How does your muse speak to you? Your creative ideas come about for you?  What inspires you the most about your vision for them? Where do you see yourself going with this in your own creative process?
I have really enjoyed working with and getting to know my muse. Erato is the Muse of Love and Poetry. She inspires and encourages us to take discarded items and find their beauty. I do this daily in my everyday work and also in my photography. There is always something special in something aged and discarded that I can fall in  love with.  As time goes on, I'll take my steps out of the shadows. I'm not so scared to show my work. I am hoping to grow my portfolio and maybe even show a piece or two in an art show!  I think what inspires me most about my vision is I think a little outside the box. I do not mind trying something new. I prefer my work to be a little odd and different!!   
Moondancing with Candi Walker-Snyder Hi! My name is Candi and I live in Battle Ground, WA. The beautiful Pacific Northwest. I own a small local used bookstore. I love books! Especially old books! Oh, if books could talk and tell us their journeys and tales. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and have two daughters and two cats. Yes, I am that crazy cat lady whom treats her cats as her kids. My kids are very into their activities. Soccer, basketball and softball. So, I am always spending time in my car driving them to practices or games. I love photography, tea and laughing with friends! I always have my camera handy ready to capture special moments and adventures!     Ethereal Gypsy Photography Logo   Some links for Candi if you want to follow her dance: Click for Ethereal Gypsy Photography on Facebook Click for Literary Leftovers Used Bookstore on Facebook Click for Muses Of Art & Soul Facebook       Calling in the Muse PosterAbsolutely LOVE your quirky spirit that no box will ever contain, Candi! It has been a real pleasure to have your energy grace my messy room. Oh, and I will be doing a book count after you leave ... just so you know. Download your FREE 2016 Mused Community Creativity Challenge Guide. You will get to know 8 of the 9 muses as well as this moondancing muse! Click here to download your free guide.       Click here for Moondancing book info Moondancing Mikey the Messy Room Kitty If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we grow a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my Messy Room for more muse inspirations to come!  

Who is the REAL Rescue? Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Kitty Mom's Day tO aLL the offiCiaL and UNofficiaL mOmmies out there who make room in their lives and homes to rescue, care for and LOVE our UNofficaiL four-paw babies! Where would this world be without their unconditional acceptance and love. Happy Mother's Day! Love, Bernadette and aLL her meSSy mEOws! MiKeY, THeo, ReeSie, WeeBie ... and the ones that now have FoReVeR HoMeS elsewhere. XOXO

Moondancing with April Hughes of Prilli’s Pastimes

Moondancing April Hughes Banner Today, as part of The Messy Room Moondancing Muse Series, we are dancing to the moon and back with Renaissance-minded adventurer of all things creative, April Hughes of Prilli's Pastimes the Facebook page and Etsy shop where she currently dabbles in dangling and jingly wire-wrapped delights that are adorably adorn-able. She is also May's facilitating muse, Clio, in A Mused Community’s 2016 Creativity Challenges (they are using my book, Moondancing, as a guide – woohoo) as well as a weekly contributing muse for Muses of Art & Soul on Facebook. April enjoys wire work, beading, cross stitch, knitting, and making hanging sculpture type thingies. So, before we get too "wrapped up" here, lets jump in and find out what makes this muse tick.
Okay, April, lets get started with a quick warm-up … Do you make your bed in the morning? I’ve always contended that I was only going to mess it up again in a few hours, so why spend the energy? It seems like an act in futility. So no, I don’t make my bed. What is the title of your autobiography.? She Lived. Or maybe, She Experienced. If a sandwich were named after you what would be in it? It would be a flavor of the day sandwich, whatever struck the fancy of the one making it. And maybe even, sometimes, things you wouldn’t think would go together but actually do and do well. Cookie, cake, pie or donut? Yes. Yes, please. If you could dance under the moon anywhere in the world where would that be and what would you wear? I’d have to say my own yard. It would mean I have the privacy to do so and access to it at any time I felt like dancing. As for wear, either nothing at all (hence the privacy) or something flow-y and white, so it would glow in the moonlight.
Moondancing April Hughes Fireworks Now, describe your creative work style using one of these patterns: Paisley. Polka dot. Stripes. Checks.
I’d have to say paisley. The others seem far too orderly to describe what I do.
Is your work style the same with day-to-day stuff? If not, what pattern are you then?
Day-to-day, I tend to be a lot more methodical, so I’d say stripes. Straight and pointed toward an end.
How about a favorite quote?
“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” – Vincent van Gogh
So we can all put some good moon-mojo on it; what’s your Moondancing dream this year?
I just recently read a book by Barbara Sher called “Refuse to Choose!” and discovered that I am what she calls a Scanner (another author calls it a Renaissance mind). My Moondance Dream for this year is to figure out what my Reward and Duration attributes are and be able to embrace the reality of the way my mind works. And above all other things, find a way to do that and make money at the same time. A life constructed around my amateur mind would really be a life! And did you know that one of the definitions of amateur is “devotee, admirer”? I like that.
How do you approach a new project or idea?
I tend to just do it. I try to come up with how it might be done with the stuff I have on hand. If it’s a proof of concept and I don’t like how it comes out, I don’t want to have spent a lot of money to find out. And I find that if I just do it, I learn a lot about how my process needs to change in order to get close to the idea I have in mind. And sometimes I learn I need to wait for the tools and materials I need to come to my awareness.
Moondancing April Hughes Prillis Pastimes Where or how do you get your inspiration?
I’ve come to understand that I spend my days with my artist looking out through my eyes (sometimes making it hard to drive), so things are beautiful that others overlook or have a judgment about. But usually, I pick up a material and wonder “what could I do with this” and it won’t be long before an idea comes to me.
What do you do when in a creative dry spell?
I create anyway. Even if it’s something that won’t go anywhere. The point for me is the creative habit. So most of the time it’s not even in the medium I usually use. Those times open new doors for me to grow as an artist.
Have you always created or are you a late bloomer?
I consider myself a late bloomer. I’ve wanted to be an artist and dabbled in all sorts of stuff my whole life, but it’s been only recently I’ve made a concerted effort to make this art thing my reality. Accepted what I’ve denied myself for so long and allowed that part of me to have a real voice.
What informs your subject matter?
Right now, I’m using metal and resin to create pendants. The images I’ve created are simple because of my medium, but powerful because they usually have totemic meaning that speaks to people. Many of those images are nature based. I can’t really say I have favorites from the image but when a patina, something I have no control over, turns out interesting, I really like those. But I say “right now” because I am always exploring new avenues for expression and you never know what I might be trying my hand at. (Be watching for wooden geared clocks.)
Being that this IS the Musings from the Messy Room, you have to tell us about your creative space.
Oh my… Umm. It’s messy. I’m usually trying three or four things at a time, so instead of putting anything away, I tend to push stuff around until I have enough room to do my latest idea. It’s when stuff starts falling over that I tidy things. Of course, it’s never long before stuff is back out again… And I’m always looking for ways to use my scraps and stuff, so it seems like I never throw anything away. So. Yeah. Messy.
Moondancing April Hughes Studio

Now, for the Grand Moondancing Finale, April!

How does your muse speak to you? Your creative ideas come about for you?  What inspires you the most about your vision for them? Where do you see yourself going with this in your own creative process?
Clio is all about history. She comes to me at a time when I’m looking at my history as the hero’s ballad, the sh-tuff that I’ve gone through to get to who I am right now. She encourages me to look at my history, not as a list of excuses, but as everything I needed at that time. Yeah. I know. Needed seems like a terrible choice of words, especially when thinking about the really, really (REALLY) hard stuff. But that is the tale of a hero, right? Someone who walked through fire because the only way out was through. I am the hero of my story, and I’d rather it was triumph not tragedy. And she reminds me that history isn’t good or bad, it is, like anything, what we make of it and painted by our perspective. She encourages me not to turn away from it, but to understand it, to celebrate it. I don’t know where my creative expression will take me, but my hope is that it will be the truest expression of which I’m capable and that it will include where I came from in some form or fashion.
Moondancing April Hughes Bio     I’m April. I’m a Scanner or Renaissance Mind. I aspire to using my mind in the ways of Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Maya Angelou. I started my professional life writing computer programs for businesses, went back to school majoring in chemistry and math, then tried massage therapy, and now am creating art. I love language and started and finished a book for NaNoWriMo. I have many loves and fascinations, so you never know what I may be engrossed in at any time. One thing you CAN be sure of; I will be having a good time!   Moondancing April Hughes Shop Prillis Pastimes     Some links for following April's dance: Click for Prilli's Pastimes on Facebook Click for Prilli's Pastimes on Scott's Marketplace Click for Prilli's Pastimes on Etsy Click for Muses Of Art & Soul Facebook     Calling in the Muse Poster   Absolutely identify with your scanner spirit April and I think others will too! Your energy feels right at home in my messy room. And I didn't even have to clean up. Download your FREE 2016 Mused Community Creativity Challenge Guide. You will get to know 8 of the 9 muses as well as this moondancing muse! Click here to download your free guide.     Click here for Moondancing book info Moondancing Mikey the Messy Room Kitty If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we grow a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my Messy Room for more muse inspirations to come!    

Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?

Messy Love Definer or Refiner Here’s an idea to play around with. The next time someone or something upsets you, ask yourself, “Does this define me or refine me?” Why? Because your answer determines how you move through the experience and the baggage you carry afterward. Let’s see what Webster has to say about these two words.
Define: to determine the limits or nature of; describe exactly.
Hmmm. “Determine the limits” seems pretty limiting. And “describe exactly” is a crazy-making quest. I don’t know about you but my life – and upsets – defy any exacting description. This defining business is feeling a bit tense.
Refine: to free or become free of impurities. To make or become more polished.
To “become free” and “more polished.” All right. I’m exhaling here. This feels like something I can grab hold of when grappling with an upset. How a Defining Moment Becomes a Refining Moment. Stop. Ask the question. “Does this define me or refine me?” Make a conscious decision. Then proceed in the direction of your answer. When my ex husband left to explore a relationship with another woman – back in the days of Bernadette’s Pages – you could say his act defined our marriage (failed), himself as a man (untrustworthy), and me as a wife (not good enough). Failed. Untrustworthy. Not Good Enough. Now there’s a tidy package that determined “the limits or nature of” what happened between us. Had I accepted this view as my definer I would have gotten stuck, acting out patterns of betrayal, anger, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, remorse, confusion, mistrust, defensiveness … and I guarantee you that Bernadette would not be sharing in this blog. But this Bernadette? She asked the question. Again and again and again. As many times as it took for her to drop the definers, pick up the refiners and proceed in the direction of her happily-ever-after. Death-Sentence Definers. Hiding in the past, present and future are relationships and circumstances that beg to define you. If you’re having trouble getting beyond an upsetting someone or something you might be trapped in a definer zone. That’s where the person or situation defines you in a way that you are not comfortable with – many times under radar. A definer like this, with no follow-up refiner, can feel like a death sentence.
I saw Ted at Starbucks with Susan. (My ex must be right; I’m boring.) Samantha got the promotion. (My father was right; I’ll never amount to anything.) They didn't call me back for that second interview. (I am too old.)
Are You Really Upset For The Reason You Think? This world offers lots of legitimate reasons for upset, though illegitimate definers are more common culprits than you think. (Maybe Ted and Susan were planning a surprise party for our voyeur – but skewed definers are a topic for another day.) Whether caused by the real world or the one in your head, it’s key to note there is a difference between the upset of pain and the upset of suffering. Suffering is a choice. A mental attitude based on fear and often supported by a definer.   Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?It hurt when my ex left. Real bad. I was in pain. But it was my definers that made me suffer. Not his leaving. Once I got them to surface, I saw the classroom and an opportunity to cut through the crap – all the excuses that kept recycling the past into the present relationship. Surprisingly, defusing my definers opened the door to a refining process that allowed us to reconcile and make it another eighteen years. Defusing my definers also allowed me to recognize that divorce, for reasons that extended beyond our control or recovery, was ultimately in our best interest if we were to continue to grow. (Now there's a heavy duty definer-refiner playground.) If You Get Nothing Else From This Blog Post, Get This! A reason to pause the next time something or someone gets under your skin and ask yourself,
  • Does this define me or refine me?
  • Does this define me in a way that I don’t like?
  • Do I have to accept this definer?
  • Can I use this to refine me? (Make me a better person, artist, dog lover … free me from negative relationships, jobs, speeding tickets … Get the idea?)
Trapped in a Definer Zone? Ask. Decide. Proceed.
  • Does losing this marriage/relationship define or refine you?
  • Does losing this job define or refine you?
  • Does your childhood define or refine you?
  • Does your health condition define or refine you?
  • Does an addiction define or refine you?
  • Do your children define or refine you?
Here’s to replacing those definers with refiners that lead you to living your best life yet! As always, I welcome your comments. (They won’t define me but I might use them to refine me.) And, if you like this post then LIKE it and SHARE it. It won't define you if you don't but it might refine someone if you do. XO