The Artful Life » Blog

Italy and Other Good News

Italy-040 It has been a long-held dream of mine to bring my work with women to retreats in Tuscany. Italy is one of the dear homes of my heart, and my visits there over the years have been transformative spiritually, personally, and artistically.

A few months ago I realized it had been a decade since I was last in Tuscany. Too long! I started telling people I was going to Italy in September 2017. I really had no idea how this was going to work out, I just started saying it.

Then, on the beautiful juicy Cancer Full Moon a few weeks ago, the lovely Jane Reeves, of Radiant Jane (she’s a wise and loving coach, retreat leader, and yoga instructor) invited me to come along on her La Dolce Vita Castle Retreat in Tuscany in September, as the resident wise woman and moon priestess. I’ll be leading the New Moon ceremony there,  and offering intuitive readings and one-on-one mentoring to retreaters.

This is going to be an exquisite retreat. We’ll be staying in a 15th Century castle on a working farm with vineyards and olive groves… days will be spent in yoga and loving-kindness meditation, exploring the countryside and nearby villages, with special treats like wine tasting and gorgeous meals prepared at the castle. Jane is a special, truly radiant spirit with deep experience leading retreats and leading women towards wellness. I’m honoured, and really beyond excited, to be a part of this gorgeous offering. You can learn more about it here.

This is evidence to me that our dreams come true when we are ready to receive them… and that really is good news. Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 1.15.22 PM Italy-089

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New Moon in Aquarius – Grand Vistas

aquarius-new-moon {Each month, nature in her wisdom and beauty offers us an opportunity, a clean slate, a shining outward and visible sign of the grace we are always given to move beyond our own shadow and start again. In the night sky, the dark Moon begins to clear her shadow and reveals a tiny sliver of the freshest silver. The New Moon.}

Imagine, or remember a time you were on a road trip… maybe you’re feeling a bit stiff and groggy from hours of sitting in the car, the stuffiness, movement, the noise of the engine, the road rolling by… then you see a sign for a look-out or vista coming up, and you pull over to stretch your legs and take in the view. You ease out of the car, and walk stiffly over to see what there is to be seen… then… Ahh!  A sharp intake of breath as a grand unexpected vista opens out before and beneath you. Is this a moment of vertigo and fear for you, or a moment of giddy joy? Or a little bit of both?

This is the feeling you will be having somewhere in your life tonight as the moon and sun move into conjunction in Aquarius. If you can, choose giddy joy over fearful dizziness. It really is your choice to make.

Use the strong intake of breath, the new scene, the expanded horizon, and the rush of adrenaline to clear your head and steel your resolve for navigating the fast-moving energies of the coming month. Set intentions and cast wishes concerning your long-term goals, the ones that get you closer to your heart’s desire. Please feel free to share your New Moon intentions here in the comments, and I will put them on my New Moon altar.

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Si - To rekindle love <3

Bronwyn - May it be so!! <3 <3 <3

have you set your intentions for august?

FullSizeRender(13) it’s that time again – time to create your monthly vision board and goals.

This ritual has become a valued moment of self-reflection for me each month, and the collages, which I create directly in my planner, become touchstones for how I want to feel throughout the month. I check in with the image almost every day, and it helps me to stay focused on my most important goals, and to keep my mood positive and my actions aligned with my greater vision for my life. If you’d like to learn more about my process and how to make a goals collage yourself, read this post. If you’d like to see my monthly goals collages over the years, go here.

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Welcome Back to the Artful Life!

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It’s that time again – time to create your monthly vision board and goals.

This ritual has become a valued moment of self-reflection for me each month, and the collages, which I create directly in my planner, become touchstones for how I want to feel throughout the month. I check in with the image almost every day, and it helps me to stay focused on my most important goals, and to keep my mood positive and my actions aligned with my greater vision for my life. If you’d like to learn more about my process and how to make a goals collage yourself, read this post. If you’d like to see my monthly goals collages over the years, go here.

I’m a little late getting to my goals collage this month… April has already been exciting, fiery, and full… how has it been for you? Have you been finding time for creativity, and time for self-care?

I want to share with you that my art practice has been languishing for the past year or two. When I see this happen in other artist’s lives, I know what it is. I know it is a necessary period of dormancy, a period that always precedes a creative re-awakening, and usually precedes a big leap forward in their art practice. Of course it has been hard for me to see my own artless time in this light. Two years ago we closed the doors on our ceramics business, Terra Home Ceramics, a venture I had poured my heart, soul, and creative energy into for seven years. I made so many beautiful things, brought that beauty into so many homes; I worked hard and created beauty that will last a lifetime… and I learned so much and expanded my craft and my design vocabulary and had so many adventures! It was hard to let go. The period of grieving was long. I didn’t really recognize that I was grieving that venture until a friend pointed out that perhaps the reason I was having difficulty committing wholeheartedly to new ventures was that I hadn’t really let go of Terra Home. I needed to mark the ending and move on. Rituals of release are so important when we let go of things we love that can no longer be part of our lives.

Of course my friend was right. I still had so much love and energy tied up in something that was over. Letting go is not my strong suit. But I am learning. I packed up the ceramics studio, boxed up so many gorgeous tiles and gave many of them away to grateful friends. I am doing my best to move on emotionally. And energy is opening up in new creative areas. It is really opening up. I can’t wait to share some of that with you here.

I’m easing back in to the artful life and The Artful Life. If you are like me, you may find you awaken creatively at this time of year… you feel more drive to create, to learn, to flex your art muscles. As a way of welcoming you, and myself, back to the Artful Life, I’ve created a free email series based on my Nine Keys to an Artful Life… each day for ten days, starting on April 13 (that’s day after tomorrow!) you’ll receive a creative prompt in your in-box. Each prompt will be based on one of the Nine Keys. Some will be art journaling prompts, some will be life activities, some will be written prompts, and ALL of them will be fun, short, and doable. Want to come along? Just join my email list and you’ll receive all nine prompts, starting Wednesday. If you are already on my list, you don’t need to do anything, the prompts will come to you automagically!

Say hi in the comments if you like, I’ve missed you.

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Have You Set Your Goals for February?

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It’s that time again – time to create your monthly vision board and goals.

This ritual has become a valued moment of self-reflection for me each month, and the collages, which I create directly in my planner, become touchstones for how I want to feel throughout the month. I check in with the image almost every day, and it helps me to stay focused on my most important goals, and to keep my mood positive and my actions aligned with my greater vision for my life. If you’d like to learn more about my process and how to make a goals collage yourself, read this post. If you’d like to see my monthly goals collages over the years, go here.

As one of my favourite astrologers said, “For 2016, February is the new January!” I know I’m not the only one who spent January feeling just a little bit stuck in the mud. But as the calendar shifted, my mood lifted, and I feel ready now to jump in to 2016 with both feet.

What are you doing to jump-start your creativity this year? I’m back to my daily art journaling practice, focusing mostly on pen and ink and watercolour illustrations, and infatuated as always with food illustration. To keep myself accountable I’m following along with a couple of art journaling challenges: weekly challenges from Journal 52, and daily drawings with the #cbdrawadaychallenge. Fun!

Let me know in the comments what you are doing to indulge your creativity in the new year.

Bronwyn Simons

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