On Practicing a Craft

We believe that crafting is a great way to get out of your head, into a meditative space, relaxed, clear and centered. The reason we created Divine You Crafts was to impart the idea that craft can be those things and more, a journey as opposed to a destination. We want creative seekers of all skill levels to be in the space of creativity, no matter how bad their minds tell them they will be at it. In our group classes we see that when a person can overcome those feelings and just create, a wonderful sense of accomplishment can occur, and the object made, even when they were certain it would be a catastrophe, ends up becoming a treasured talisman.

We love supporting others in taking a creative journey of their own to see where it will lead. We love seeing people experience a brand new craft form, one they had never thought they could do. We especially love when people send us pictures of the wonderful objects they have created with our kits. If you have anything to share, please email ann@divineyoucrafts.com. We hope that our kits give you moments of introspection, centeredness, clarity, peace and joy.

We also believe that these practices apply to any writing, art or craft you may do, as well as physical practices such as running and dance.  The point is the PRACTICE, not necessarily that you get to be a bestseller, a Picasso or a record holder. Showing up for the practice is what brings joy and expansion to our lives, and is a way to contribute positive energy to the world. 

Divinely yours,
Ann and Karen

P.S. Oh, and by the way, doing one’s chosen practice is exactly how bestsellers, Picassos and record holders happen. 

Staying Centered

I met an interesting and very intuitive person recently who, after getting to know a bit about me and all my many passions and interests, described me as a wheel. The kind of wheel he described to me was a wooden one, kind of like a spinning wheel. It has a hub in the center, and several spokes reaching from there out to the outer circle.

I like this symbol a great deal. Sometimes I feel scattered, as though my many diverse interests are conflicting.  But seen like this, they all contribute to the stability of the whole, and its ability to move. Trouble happens only when I go too far out on any one spoke, and spend too much time there. That can throw me out of balance.

As much as possible I am trying to stay in the center of the wheel. Meditating, walking, laughing, playing with friends and family, proper rest and food, and other forms of self care help to keep me there. It helps me to balance the energy I give with the energy I receive. When I stay somewhat centered there is a better vantage point of all the spokes, the wheel stays balanced, and motion becomes effortless.

In the body, the center of our energetic system is the heart chakra. When we breathe deeply, act and react from the heart in unconditional compassion, we can change not only our perception of reality, but the lives of those around us as well. Our love and acceptance can create the space for miracles to occur in our lives and our relationships.

From my heart to yours-
With much love,
Ann
 

Finding My Center

I was off on one of the many adventures I share with my fifteen year old daughter, and she asked me if we could go to Glendale to walk the labyrinth at Forest Lawn Cemetery. I was delighted at the idea, as it had been a while since we had done that. We got in the car, and headed off.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. Unlike mazes, which have many dead ends and traps, a labyrinth has only one path- into the center, and back out again.

It is a fascinating practice to do alone, noticing how impatient I am upon entering, how quickly jolting my steps are, fresh from the crazy world. After a while I find myself decelerating, the rampant thoughts easing as the gears in my head slow down, and my breath and heartbeat calming. I let the thoughts flow through me as I do this walking meditation until I reach the center. There I often sit and be, allowing whatever questions that may have arisen on the way in to be answered, or let go of. When I am ready, I take the walk back out out, calmer, more peaceful, yet energized.

It is an even more fascinating practice to do with loved ones. Depending on how long we instinctively wait before entering after them, different things will happen. Sometimes we will pass each other, letting our hands graze as we pass. Sometimes we walk in different lanes, but side by side, reaching out to hold hands as we do. Sometimes we are head-on for a moment, as two curves meet, and we exchange loving glances.  It shows me the way people come and go in my life, and the rightness of it all.

It is ironic that we do this practice in a cemetery, but perhaps that is part of the magic. We emerge more balanced and centered, and better able to appreciate the life we have been given. I urge you to do some research and find a labyrinth near you. It is one of the best ways I know to find one’s center.

Divinely yours,
Ann

Awakening Wonder

I am going to tell you a story about very special deer, and how he inspired my sense of wonder and opened up my heart. This event occurred sometime in the early nineties, a crazy time of three young children, a full time job, and about a million hobbies. I was always on the go, and seldom just relaxed and allowed myself time to just be.

My best friend lived smack dab in the middle of Montana at the time. We took the youngest child at the time and headed out from Reno on an epic road trip to visit. It was stressful keeping track of my hyper toddler in someone else’s house, and I was desperately ready for some alone time with my bestie. We headed out to a gorgeous place called Crystal Lake for a walk and a picnic.

We walked all around the lake with dragonflies, butterflies, and other small animals as our guides. The water was the purest I had ever seen, and the whole place was magical. After walking the lake’s perimeter, we found a picnic area and sat at a table. My friend next to me on my left, we set about eating our packed lunches.

We heard a noise and looked up to see a young buck enter the picnic area. He stood there tentatively looking at us. I turned my face fully towards him, locking eyes with his, and began sending him love and energy. Relaxing, letting my mind go I began to let the pictures in his head and feelings in his heart fill my mind. I had a deep sense that he missed the comfort of his mother, but that he also wished for the comfort of a mate. He was lonely, stuck in a sort of teen angst. I radiated maternal love to him, and as I did, something really special happened. He walked slowly through the picnic area, up behind me, and rested his head on my left shoulder. I sat very still, relaxing as best as I could, taking it all in. After a couple minutes he backed away, and slowly left the picnic area.

It was an incredible moment for me, one that I will never forget. It was a reminder of how magical life can be when we open our hearts to it. Deep connection can occur when and where we least expect it, if we can remain present to the possibility. I am forever grateful to that beautiful deer, and his willingness to risk safety to experience a moment of connection with us.

With love and an open heart,
Ann
 

Awakening Your Sense of Adventure

My fifteen year old daughter and I have a really good time together. Like any mother and daughter, we’ve had our share of ups and downs over the years. We have come through it all with a strong bond of love, laughter and playfulness. We have had many adventures together, but last week we had crazy, spontaneous, epic one.

We live in the LA suburb of Santa Clarita. When I woke that morning, the hour away ocean was calling out to me. Lauren heartily agreed that I had a great idea, and we were on our way. It was magical at the beach, a gentle mist dancing on our faces as we walked along the sand, bundled up against the February cold. The salt air blew away my cares, giving me a sense of freedom.

Over the holidays, we became obsessed with the Disney animated film Moana. It was playing at Ventura’s cheap, “see it before it leaves”, theater, so we thought we’d catch it one more time. What we had forgotten was the fact that it was President’s Day, and about a zillion little kids were all there to see the same movie.

All of a sudden I had another idea, a really crazy one. Five minutes later we were back on the 101 heading North laughing, talking heartfully, singing at the tops of our lungs, as we headed up to Spooner’s Cove at Montana de Oro, one of our most treasured places. We ignored the fact that it was 200 miles away from our home and drove on.

We arrived at our destination at 4:30 and spent a glorious hour exploring the post storm beach full of treasures, the crazy waterfall brought on by all the recent rains, and recharging our batteries. The whole trip was like a reset button, an awakening of the senses. The drive home was every bit as fun, and we finally arrived home, hoarse and exhausted. We followed our hearts that day, and it was so worth it.

Remember to get out of your head and follow your heart sometimes!

Adventurously yours,
Ann

Intention to Forgiveness

Last month, January, I worked with the word INTENTION and the process of creating enough detail that I would recognize the answer to my prayers when the Universe responded.  But, sometimes, the appeal to the Divine for an answer needs to be loosely defined and full of emotion (energy in motion).

Now February has brought me another word, FORGIVE, along with a heart and the idea of consciously mending my broken heart.  I think that I had gotten so acclimated to carrying the sorrow around that I never really considered what it might feel like if it were mended.

When I dropped my Divine You heart it snapped into two pieces so cleanly it was as if it had broken there more than once.  I asked myself, “Is it possible my heart has broken more than once as well?”  I am sure, like many others, it has.  This process led me to ask, “Who, What, When, Where, and Why”, because I am ready to actualize FORGIVE.

I recognized that my heart had been broken at least two times in the past fifteen years; once by a betrayal and then abandonment by the closest person to me at that time.  After thirteen years of marriage I discovered that I had been led to believe a lie, a story, about his life that was not true.  Not long after that revelation, one of the few people that I could truly be myself with moved out.  I could understand the moving out, children grow up, but to go from an easy-going, loving, and close relationship to the status of acquaintance? Broken hearted.

Then the fear, that if I pressed too hard I would lose completely this blessed child of my heart, kept me from ever being as open or free around them as well as refraining from asking why or what happened, even “What did I do?”  Now, I gaze on my broken heart with its golden scar tissue and I began to pray simply yet with great emotion that Forgiveness surround us both and provide the space in which to create our relationship anew from where we both are now, but with an understanding of the causes.

I can tell you this, when the Divine answers and you have asked so generally, be ready to accept whatever shows up. I can tell you from recent experience that the truth is very rarely ever what you expect.  Now, with this gift of understanding, given to me by the one other person that I can truly be myself with, I am experiencing what it feels like when your heart mends; full of Love and Joy and Forgiveness.

Troy Ballard
 

Intention in Action - Subscriber Troy B. Shares

    For the past nine months or so I have been on a personal journey of discovery about Who Am I and Why Am I Here, in this life, in this space, at this time.  There are not unfamiliar questions for me as I have been seeking and questioning for most of my life.  I am learning to move with the ebb and flow of the creative journey that I am on as I go with Divine You on our monthly consciousness creating craft.
    A few years ago on a visit to a friend’s home I gave one of my acoustic guitars to her son, an incredibly gifted young musician/artist.  Upon arriving back to my home I believed at that time that I had left my music books with him as well.  I despaired most about the 5X7 spiral bound notebook that held the notations of all the songs I had written before I met my husband.  Before I met him I accompanied myself on guitar and wrote silly love songs simply because I so loved doing it.
    In my desire to let go attachment to things and people in my life I discover that without intention I may as well be sitting in a stagnant pond rather than camped next to the river of creative energy. As I am exploring my path to my own expression of minimalism during this letting go process, the biggest steps for me are going through the packed up boxes in storage.  Tonight I opened a box of books that I had chummed through four or five times over the past four and a half years, this time with the intention of sorting through them and only keeping those that sang in my heart.
    As I was pulling pocket books out I spied near the bottom of the box a familiar name and face; John Denver.  My folk-singing, conservationist, and absolute favorite famous person to sing along with.  I also loved to accompany myself on my guitar while singing his songs.  My eyes lit up and I started moving books into a pile just to get them out of the way.  I lovingly gathered up this John Denver songbook along with another beneath it.  Lifting them out, I was effervescent with delight.  It was only a day or so ago that I questioned whether or not my 30 year old acoustic was still serving me.  My thought just now, “this answers that question.”
    My gaze dropped to the interior of the box and lying where it had been safely sandwiched between songbooks was my little red notebook.  My body became ignited with Joy and Gratitude and I snatched the little book to my breast.  Every cell in my Being was singing with Gratitude for what was lost, now found.
    I stood for eternity and 5 minutes letting my Love go out and accepting the LOVE energy in to suffuse me in Bliss.  I am still trembling in that Joy as I write.  My intention these past few weeks has been to allow Divine Source to show me that my prayers are always being answered even if I do not recognize the form the answer shows up in.  What I have discovered on the conscious crafting creation journey is that my intended desires show up to the level of detail I add to my intention in thought, words, actions, emotions, and Care.  The more detail in the intention, the easier it is to recognize the answer to our prayers when it arrives.
    A little sidenote…..
    Last night during a phone call with my daughter I expressed a desire for 1 or 2 long-sleeved T-shirts to add to my wardrobe to make it more interchangeable.  Tonight, while I was still in my effervescent state, my mother gifted me with my first long-sleeve T-shirt in my favorite color, purple.  How’s that for intention to manifestation?!

Troy Ballard

 

Subscribers Share

We have been so blessed in this new year.  Several of you have shared your creations, your thoughts and your miracles with us.  We had noped to create a community with Divine You, and we see it happening.  We love it, we love you and we love where it is going.

From Troy B.

I just read your Divine You message - how amazing that yesterday I spent the day with myself with the December box and the January box and then to find out that in February we will be "mending a broken heart" - the combination of this crafting process, along with my own personal clearing processes has intensified both for me.

It seems that my life has moved further down my path then it could have had I not chosen to participate with Divine You.

Thank you so much!

From Ann U.

Preparations and then the holidays had kidnapped most of my time. Now I can catch up with things that I put aside. 

I loved the Treasures kit. In doing the worksheet I realized that aside from my family it is memories that I treasured most. I started to write the memories down and quickly realized that a single word would bring a memory to mind. So, in my treasure box I have words that contain my memories. In another box I have blank pieces of paper for new memories or when a forgotten occasion or person comes to mind. I like to think that someday I would take out my Treasure box and share my memories with my family and grandchild when they arrive. I also think about a time when I'm not here and someone comes across the box, they will think about their own memories as they pull a word. 

Thanks for providing a place for my treasures.

Love and Light,
Ann

PS: One of Ann's boxes is the photo for this post. :-)

Intending to Forgive

Although we are engaged in the concept of intention during the month of January, I find myself drifting already towards February, and a project all about forgiveness. I find myself feeling a profound desire, an intention to forgive fully, let go completely, and heal my spirit once and for all. Is it possible to achieve that? I don’t know, but I feel it’s time to break free of shackles and free myself as best as I can. 

At just four years old I was held down at knifepoint and brutally molested by a trusted family member, whose care I had been placed in for the day. This event remained buried inside only to come bursting forth as a release of muscle memory during a massage in my thirties, hurting and recovering from a car accident. A lot of things about me, my life, choices, and relationships became clear in that instant. This incident, and its effect on my physical, mental and spiritual health is up again now, and I am intending to let it go for good.

There is nothing I can do to take away the fact that it happened. There is no way for me to confront him because he has passed on. All I can do is reach to the other side in unconditional love. I do this not just for him, but also to set myself free, and to set the wounded little girl inside free. Reclaiming my soul, whole and strong, I intend that this event will no longer hurt me.

A couple of weeks ago we did our practice pieces for the February Mending a Broken Heart Kit. I used this incident in the process, and found it to be very helpful. We hope it will help you as well in the process of healing a past hurt and celebrating rather than hiding the scars that have made you stronger. If you are not a subscriber yet, there is still time to get in on this one.

With unconditional love,

Ann

Aging as a Work of Art

I have to admit I have been feeling a bit apprehensive about the fact that I turned 60 this year. Clearly, I have lived more years on this earth than I have left to spend, and that gives me a bit of an anxious feeling.  

So, I was excited to run across this article by Cecilia Dintino on The Huffington Post recently.

It gave me an entirely new way to frame this phase of life.  I would challenge all of you at every age to adopt this approach, as it is so much more useful, interesting, and uplifting than the ones we usually apply to a process no one gets out of alive.

Here's the start of her article.  Please follow the link to read the rest. You will be glad you did.

Happy New Life!

Karen

How to Age: Become a Work of Art

Cecilia Dintino/Dec 21, 2016

    What would you say if I asked you to consider yourself a work of art? Could you have fun with this notion? Can you get your creative juices flowing around the possibility? Or have I already lost you?

    I don't know when I decided to consider myself a work of art. Perhaps it was after years caught up in my shortcomings and flaws. Or maybe it was after years of personal therapy, and a lot of time spent recognizing my habitual thinking patterns.

    Maybe I decided to consider myself a work of art when I realized I was aging. At first, the aging process upset me. It filled me with despair and humiliation. I began to disparage myself and close off my options.

    But then I got creative. I decided to let something else emerge and, to my surprise and wonder, the creative process of aging, like any creative process, turned out to be both exhilarating and challenging.

    The problem with aging is that we get caught up in old, over-used narratives. We write scripts about our identities and potential, and then we let the scripts guide the course of our lives. We think we have life figured out, so we continuously look for the patterns that confirm the old scripts, passing by anything that may take us on a new or divergent path.

    In other words, we age without creating.

    Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir would call this "bad faith." Bad faith is when we play a role in a script without variation, without freedom. We stick so close to the script that nothing new or different can happen.

    READ ON IN THE HUFFINGTON POST