“Circus of Balance”, available as A4 poster right here in my shop
We never know beforehand. Not fully. We have to walk the path, often feeling partly blindfolded or dimmed in our vision. Like driving through the night, only able to see as far as the frontlights are able to light up the darkness. And still we somehow get there. That is, if we “get up, get in the car and drive”. Sitting at home wondering how to drive in the dark won´t do it.
When I created this image it was for an international competition. I felt way out of my comfort zone and actually scared, but I dove in and really gave it my very best. I even went to have the painting scanned professionally and payed a graphic designer to create the file in the right dimensions. I often refrain from any kind of competition because I am afraid that I won´t be able to handle if I loose!
Well, I didn´t win and I was not selected as one of the top 50 either. There were more than 2000 entries from all over the world, but still I could feel my heart drop: “how will I ever get there” “There” meaning learning how to get into a market I don´t know much about, learning how to make a business from my passion, learning how to earn money from what I create so that I can keep creating.
I am still learning, and often frightened too. However, this image went on to become the all times bestseller amongst my creations so far. Whenever a shop places an order, they will give a number of their wanted cards and images in different sizes, and very often they add: and could you give us 10 extra of this image in all your sizes please, it is selling so fast!
What I am saying is: I could not see, it felt utterly uncomfortable, I still gave it my best – then I felt like a looser, and my heart dropped. But found my way forward with what was important: to keep driving/creating from my passion. And then this image found it´s very own way of being of use and joy in this world, slowly but steadily finding it´s own place and usage.
I am very thankful for that experience, the whole of it!
“The more graceful you are able to walk, the more grace will be thrown on your path”
I found this sentence today that I had dotted down on a piece of paper weeks ago. It was followed by these words: “Joy in every single step”.
“Jump into Joy/Hop ind I glæden” 30×40 cm/11,8 x 15,7 in – 2800 kr./ 525 $
The funny thing is, I kind of think I wrote those words, that they came to me during my morning pages. But it was written a while ago I am not completely sure any more. Anyone recognize it? When I google it, all that comes up is advice on high heel walking!!! That wasn´t quite what I had in mind…. But that doesn´t matter, the words ring true to me and help me remember the importance of every single one of my steps today…..and every day. And that is what matters. A good reminder for me today. Most days actually.
To me, walking with Grace means walking through life with the intention to stay aware and bring more light into this place. In whatever way that is possible. And I don´t mean that in any high-flying or quick fix way at all. I see it as a very real life challenge, where what counts most is the small adjustments in attitude. Every day, in every possible step. Some days it may mean accepting my boundaries. Or giving up on things I firmly believed I had to do. And other days it means daring to go out there in the world and do my best to let my light shine, even if it makes me nervous or doubtful at first. A beautiful challenge. I love this part of human life: That we are able to create something uplifting or healing by our small continuous acts of joy and awareness.
Sometimes we need other people to remind us of the importance of all those little things we do to lift human life and bring more light here. So, here´s a little note from me to you: Thank you, whoever you are, for whatever act you are able to put into this world today that will bring more light and joy and make you bounce with grace in your steps.
Image: “Pot of Inspiration” ON SALE right now. 20 % off everything in my webshop until coming sunday!!!
I write my morningpages most days. Some days it helps me be with the parts of me I would otherwise push under the carpet because it didn´t at first seem tempting to examine the feeling of fear, restlessness or sadness. Truth: they always hold a hidden gem, and morningpages is one way to uncover that. Other days it gives me a place and time to jump verbally with joy or count my blessings. In both cases, it´s like quietly stirring my inner pot of inspiration. It really is. I can almost feel the bubbles rising.
In my experience, Inspiration comes to visit when we make ourselves attractive to it. And, to Inspiration, attractive does not mean a perfect or always happy person. I find that what Inspiration seems to find most attractive is something I will call “Movement toward Joy”. When we dare to move – even with the smallest of steps – in the direction of our passion and joy and does so again and again, that´s when Inspiration decides to jump our train.
(Me, writing morningpages – yes, lefthanded!)
And “plop”, you have an idea that seemed to come from out of the blue. Or you suddenly SEE the solution of a certain problem. Or perhaps you just know that you have to begin taking that dancing class, for no seemingly logical reason. And when you do, even more inspiration begins to flow, which leads you in the direction of a more passionate and fulfilling life.
For me, writing morning pages (more about morningpages HERE) is the greatest help for inviting Inspiration as a daily companion. It keeps my inner pot brewing keeping up the temperature of my life passion without making me burn out. I highly recommend this tool, created and introduced by the blessed creativity coach, Julia Cameron.
I don´t think of it as luxury to live a life nourished by Inspiration. I think of it as a respectful and most fitting way of administering this marvelous life we have been given. May Inspiration quietly and steadily be bubbling in our lives every day. Perhaps hidden under the surface and not very feelable to ourselves on testing days. But all the time nourished by our quiet steadily Movement toward Joy!
“Dancing with Joy”, also part of the 20 % SALE this week!
2013 was a year with lessons in store for me. And when I say lessons I mean: it was not always an easy ride. Yet I am left with a feeling of honest and deep gratitude. And some relief that I lived and learned, strengthened my soul-muscles and are ready to move on.
(Me, from my first photo shoot with a professional photographer = awesome experience)
A few things I encountered during the journey this year:
Trying out being my own sales person
I set out to learn how to sell the products I began producing back in 2012, knowing that if I wanted to make a full income as an artist, that was something I had to figure out. So I travelled the country, visiting many shops (at least 100). It was one thing I thought I would never be doing. It was a lot of foot-work. I was scared. I recalled the “feel the fear and do it anyway”-sentence a lot. It involved cheers whenever I made a sale and quite a bit of self-doubt when nothing happened, feeling I was completely nuts to believe I could ever make this work.
It was a journey of trying out different paths to see what worked. And finding the flexibility and willingness to correct my course whenever the resistance became so big that it had too high a price for me personally, finding a smoother way to keep myself intact during the journey.
Low point: sitting completely exhausted, miserable and crying in the car at the end of a sales day, alone and far away from home and with no sales at all after visiting 3 cities and over 15 shops in one day, feeling like I would never be able to pick myself/ my confidence up again.
High point: The feeling of utter joy and rush when I finally experienced one day with flow and lots of sales and openings. And being proud that this happened because I kept going and stayed open so I could see that it was not me or my products that failed, but simply a journey of learning how to find my own way with it.
I learned: That it is so, so important to be surrounded by caring and supporting people who “get” you and are able to remind you of your full potential even when all you can say is: “I am stuck”. For me, admitting that I was stuck and did not know how to proceed was very embarrassing. After all, the fear of failing was what kept me from pursuing this dream for many, many years. Daring to believe in it and ACTING on it was definitely new and scary. I also learned that self nurturing is vitally important when you set out to do something far outside your own comfort zone. Just like your body needs vitamins, your soul needs comfort to stay intact during testing times.
(Lise Meijer cards on the counter!)
Finding my way with social life and friends
2013 threw in some challenges to do with social connections and friendships. I learned that even though I love to work alone and work from home, I have to make sure I am connected to other people both personally and professionally, and to pursue collaboration in many different ways in order to not feel lonely and stuck.
Also, I had to go through some grief-processes to do with the changing nature of some of my existing friendships before accepting that connections between people somehow has their own life and transformations are taking place that we can´t be wise about before perhaps much later. Acceptance and forgiveness to myself and others has been part of my journey this year.
As a surprise, some new dear connections, both friendships and work collaborations, presented themselves during the year, adding much joy to my days. For that I am incredibly grateful.
I am guessing we all love great opportunities? The kind where someone asks you to do something that you had (secretly or loudly) been wishing to do but not yet found your way into. Of course you still have to leap out and grab those opportunities, but the fact that they come is always a very good sign that you are on the right track….
In 2013 I was asked to:
– Talk about my creative journey and sing some of my own songs 3 times this year. And. I. Loved it!!!
– Create Blog banner and buttons for Amy who has this amazing and very popular blog. What a challenge! And so much fun to do!! And then she launched it with a sweet interview, such an honor.
– Make exhibitions with my paintings, these opportunities kept presenting themselves, meaning my paintings were almost always out partying this year.
– Contribute to a blog series and a project by two wonderful mothers, each with their own mission, with writing and images. I said yes and was part of this wonderful blog series about creative mamas and will be part of a very special new mama pack, a kind of gift for new mothers that will launch – well, soon! (I´ll share it when it´s ready)
– Teach a New Years Claring process in Copenhagen for the 4th. year in a row. Love that someone else is making the invitations and arranging the facilities with so much beauty and love and I am allowed to concentrate on the teaching and nothing else, yes!
(“Walking with Visions” – exercise during one of my workshops)
2013 was also the year where I finally created my very first Lise Meijer Wall Calendar. This was an opportunity I created for myself. And I am so grateful that so many of you jumped at the opportunity for some wall art for the whole year, so much that it sold out already middle december, yay!
Balancing life with my dear ones
As many people on this planet, I often struggle with finding a good balance between work life and family life. This year, a blessing in disguise presented itself and ended up giving me the long sought after uninterrupted work hours: one of our two cars broke down! And could not be fixed!!!
So, Rune and I sat down for a chat and decided that with me working at home we would try living with just one car for a while. The only problem was that then I wouldn´t be able to pick up the children every day from school. That´s a 15 kilometers drive back and forth.
(pic of my workspace….)
It turned out to be no problem: Celeste and Vincent (10 and 7) was ready to take the bus home on their own. Celeste picks Vincent up from after school care and they appear home about 1,5 hours later than I normally would have to go to pick them up. It has worked so well. We enjoy a cosy tea-time together when they arrive. I am more at easy because I feel I already had an honorable work day. Oh, and we are saving money and making less pollution, good deal!
Celeste, painting, dressed in her kitty-ears.
Thank you 2013, you came with testings and were rich in sweet surprises. You taught me a lot!
(Me, on Bornholm)
If you are in any way like me, you had a hard time learning how to make things happen in this world. I know some people are born as “action-people”. (If you are one of them, know that I admire you deeply!) I never understood how they made things happen so easily. With “things”, I mean everything in life, from creating a beaming home or a fulfilling work life to a blossoming social life or any other thing you want that takes ongoing action. I did all those things, but not really with full boost. I knew how to feel my way ahead and find my own inspiration which is also incredibly important qualities in life. I just didn´t get the concept of how ideas became reality on a bigger scale.
But over the last 10 years I began, very slowly at first and later with more juice and speed, to understand the concept of how to create something that I really wanted in this world. I am still learning, and I still have days where I feel like an elephant aiming to learn to dance ballet = it seems heavy and impossible. But I now know that it isn´t. And that makes a BIG difference. And one of the secrets is this:
Creativity + focus + actions (even the smallest tiniest ones) = making things happen. Quite simple actually, but only if you DO it.
I know that first we must set our heart´s compass for things that bring us joy and begin pursuing some of them with our creativity. And then add focus, over and over again. And when we have done that even just a bit, begin to take some of the many tiny actions steps that automatically will reveal themselves as possibilities when we work with our joy and creativity. Then things begin to happen.
Yes! Here it is: Creativity and focus. Added tiny actions. And things begin to happen.
They WILL happen. Not always as we imagined, but things happen when we make such an attractive cocktail. It is as if life itself supports it when we’re working that way. I know it because I’ve tried it myself. And I’ve also tried what doesn´t work, but I can tell you more about another day …
This spring I will begin teaching a course here in Denmark together with a wonderful coach and storyteller, Marianne, about how to find your vision, stay focused and begin making actions in that direction. And it´s all evolving around a…..wonderful creative scrapbook! So, danish people or adventurers from around the globe, the invite is here and it begins 18th january. Are you in? Would love to journey with you! And if you live too far away and still would love to work with these things, I am very open for international invitations, just saying! So, you are warmly invited and there are still open spots!
Invite for Vision 2014 course taking place 4 saturdays and a friday evening in Denmark, 2014
Creating Vision maps during a workshop
PS: if you are interested, here are some posts about my journey into doing more, with more passion in life: https://lisemeijer.dk/treats/my-creative-journey/
In good and wild news:
I am going to collaborate with a blessed storyteller and coach!!! Marianne Christensen and I will be teaching a brand new course about taking responsibility for our dreams. “Vision 2014” involves scrapbooking, storytelling and the power of finding your passion and creating a vision of it in your own book. A powerful combination of creativity and determination. I know how working with our visions can cause true transformation in our desired life direction. And I can hardly wait, it is going to be good!
Invite for Vision 2014 course taking place 4 saturdays and a friday evening in Denmark, 2014
You may not speak a word danish or live anywhere nearby. But I simply can´t help sharing this visual invite with you anyway. To make up for the language/placement issue, I promise to give you a few tips and hands on inspiration of how to make your own new years process at the end of this post. And if 2014 is going to be the year where you commit yourself to reach your goals, and you DO live nearby, I recommend you sign up NOW!
For years I had a special affair with New Years processes. I recall celebrating new years evenings as a teenager with my best friend, my notebook and candle lights whilst everyone else was out partying wildly. I loved it. And continued to love it to this day (even though I caught up on the wild party-thing when I got a little older, happy about that too!) Love the opportunity to cap one year and welcome a new by making conscious what was, and envisioning what lies ahead.
Later I learned more about the power of visualisation and cloaking our dreams with actual visible pictures, and began to incorporate it in my own process. And later in workshops for others. Vision-board-workshops as new years preparation is a very powerful and a truly helpful process. Like telling ourselves the story of our possibilities in a way that we can see them even when we thought we forgot. Because they are visible on a map right there on our own wall. And that opens the door to actually believing it.
Creating Vision maps during a workshop
Finding images for Visionmaps
Like promised, here´s some tips for making your own new years process. And if you do live nearby, I highly recommend joining our workshop. It could just be the extra assistance you need in meeting your own dreams in 2014. Contact me and I´ll send you the details!
Tips for making your own new years process:
Create your own Visionmap step by step (featuring my 2013 map oh yes!)
A free printable New Years Kit from “Do What You Love” that I found very helpful to keep focus.
And a soulful new years Blessing
Important to not stress about this. It´s not about getting it perfect. It´s about taking a conscious glance at a year gone by and sending out your wishes for what you would love to see in the year that is knocking on our door.
Love from Lise.