Creativity soothes the rough spots

The lovely Emma Kupu Mitchell and I just finished teaching our four week online course, Elemental Self Care last Sunday. The class content proved to be essential for me as I started 2017. There are great shifts happening in my own life, which I know are mirroring the great shifts we’re all feeling right now. Some I had planned, some I definitely had not.  

Letting go can be hard. Letting go is also essential.

  At the end of 2016 I knew I had to let go of something that I love—namely being an almost full-time creator and producer of my Om for your home line—in order to make room for what I love more. It wasn’t an easy decision to stop producing my art and supplying customers and retailers, but I knew it was the right one. I needed to let go to open up to what I love more, and that is sharing the joy and healing creating has brought to my life. The kind of creating I do has shifted to include healing modalities that have been part of my life for years.  

Like my beautiful bee friends—I have gathered nectar from many fields of flowers. Now I am returning to share the joy with the hive community doing a waggle dance of delight!

  christine-pensa-artist-art-that-moves   My creative practice has become a hybrid of all the other learning in my life. This practice has expanded my heart and the creative heART’s of those coming to my classes. My joy has expanded. I feel a new energy, and, I am getting out of the way so I can be more open to hear the promptings of my spirit. A beautiful new soul friend suggested to me recently that I have been—like my beloved friends, the bees—gathering nectar from many fields of flowers, and now I am returning to the hive with my waggle dance of delight to share with my community. Getting out of my own way and opening up has been the easy part. The harder part has been to consistently practice self care during this time of change. The world is shifting and changing around me, no doubt! My family is shifting and changing this year too. We are helping my father dismantle his home of over 20 years and settle into assisted living. It’s emotional, and it is tiring, and there’s lots of letting go. I have so much on my dance card, I didn’t want to make self care another obligation.  

Elemental Self Care Online Community 2nd class coming later this spring

    elemental-self-care,-emma-kupu-mitchell,-christine-pensa,-www.artthatmoves.ca   When Emma and I created our course that was our intention, to make self care a joy. Self care as creative, expansive, magical, nurturing—and coincidentally—in perfect timing for us too. We loved it! We received such great feedback from the glorious circle of creative explorers in the first session, that we know we have to do it again! What I know is that creating this content has opened me up to new ways of being in joy while caring for my own needs. It's a light practice. Stay tuned for information on Elemental Self Care part two coming this spring. We would love you to join us. Another lesson I learned from creating the course was to be open. In fact, after returning from a tiring week moving, packing and arranging my father's house, I thought I might be too tired to attend Journal Jam night hosted by talented creative coach and friend, Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler's studios. I went in spite of my tiredness, because I knew I needed to do something for myself.

Creating, as always, proved to be a balm for my soul. I lost myself in the delight of mark making—once again—just for my own joy. I left feeling energized—my rough spots soothed.


Wishing you a creative day that soothes your soul!

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Creative Possibilities 2017

Embracing Creative Possibilities for 2017 Weekly affirmations from Art That Moves to help you say YES to your creative life!

The image below will be the first in a series of weekly affirmations to inspire your creative dreams. I made these cards a couple years ago and had them printed for my live art classes. Students pick one at the beginning of the class to give themselves a creative boost.

This year I thought it would be great to share them more widely, so I’ll be posting one a week for 2017 - for a total of 52, and this will be a creative challenge for me too because I only wrote 40!

I'm getting my thinking cap on to create more.

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy—and perhaps—be inspired to bring more creativity into your own life every week in 2017!


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Boost YOUR creative potential in the NEW year

Creative ideas for moving into 2017


We're coming to the end of 2016, and I know for many of us it has been a challenging time I know for me moving forward feels lighter—when you feel connected—when you are in community—so I thought I would share the work of some wonderful humans I have found comforting, inspirational and creatively joy-filled. My wish for you is that you too will find your own voice by tapping into the inspirational voices all around you!

slide-one-art-that-moves-2017     slide-2-art-that-moves-2017  

Here are some ideas to BOOST your creative potential in 2017

1. Creative people share their ideas & inspirations I was delighted to be part of the lovely Sarah Marie Thompson's conversations with Wild and Creative people in 2016. Sarah spoke to 30 people about their creative ideas and inspirations. You can find my interview HERE, or click here to scroll through all 30 creative interviews.


christine pensa creative interview 2. A creative community of prayer My dear friend, and co-creator of—The Soul Discovery Coloring Book—is the soul-full and effervescent, Janet Conner. Janet has created the 1 of Hearts Global Prayer Community To feed the Voice of Love in ‘We the People’ To create a seat at the table for everyone. You can join the daily global prayer from any time zone, find out more about this powerful intentional initiative by clicking the link above, or by joining the Facebook group here.

janet conner, christine pensa, the soul discovery coloring book You can also join any one of the online classes Janet offers throughout the year. Signing up for one of her classes was how I met Janet and we became collaborators. Divine creative synchronicity! 3. Year round creative podcast inspiration! My first recommendation is my friend Jamie Ridler's podcast, Creative Living with Jamie. Each week Jamie talks to creative people to bring their inspirational stories to you. Jamie's infectious zest for life is sure to inspire your creativity. christine pensa, jamie ridler, creativity, art that moves My next recommendation is the thought provoking podcast, On Being, with Krista Tippett. The podcast description says it best, "On Being takes up the big questions of meaning with scientists and theologians, artists and teachers — some you know and others you'll love to meet. Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives." The sister podcast, Creating Our Own Lives, poses this question; "We’re called to create a better world, but what about the more immediate task of creating our own lives?" Both are great to fuel your creative fires. I've enjoyed being a daily Design*Sponge newsletter subscriber for years. It's founder, Grace Bonney, continues to bring a curated list of visual delights. Bonney has put together a list of, 13 Amazing Female Podcasters to Follow. You will undoubtedly find one who will inspire you among them. I know there are a couple I will be adding to boost my playlist inspiration.

COMING in January . . . . . . a chance to nourish yourself first in 2017

What I've noticed this time of year is that my inbox is filled to the brim with courses that offer to boost my abundance, or joy, or income, or whatever in "three easy steps."  If you're like me and this kind of offer leaves you cold. What I've learned from personal experience is that change and growth only have real roots if it is nurtured by your own heART's connection. Reaching your highest potential begins by recognizing and responding to the self care and nurturing of your soul. That's why I am thrilled to partner with Emma Kupu Mitchell for our online retreat to create a supportive community, to share exercises to expand and nourish your creativity, and, to expand your capacity for creating positive change in the way you care for yourself. Elemental Self Care, an online retreat offers you the opportunity to be part of a supportive and loving community as you explore the creative and spiritual depths of your own voice. If you're interested in taking time to nourish yourself by discovering new creative and healing practices you can take into the year ahead, we'd be delighted to have you join us! More info. elemental-square

REGISTER before January 11, 2017 to get the SPECIAL PRICE and receive 2 FREE Self-Care exercises ONLY $119.




Fall Into Self Care

You've heard it a million times before, but his time I'm not kidding around. A.k.a. Letting go—before you're forced to!


I've been a little quiet of late. It's a combination of the feeling I get every fall, and circumstances beyond my control.

When the fall season arrives, I watch the leaves drift down and Mother Earth begin to blanket herself in preparation for the renewal of sleep. I always want to do the same—find myself a cozy, moss-filled burrow—and let myself rest and recharge. Perhaps I was a hibernating creature in another life? What's different this fall is that I'm experiencing first hand the feeling of being part of the so-called "Sandwich Generation." Within the span of a few weeks, my father ended up in ICU and it's still uncertain whether he will be able to go back to his home again. Then, out of the blue, my son required emergency surgery. The surgery had a good outcome thankfully, but he requires a few weeks of care. In the midst of all of this, I am running my creative business.  

Not so secret revelation—I can't do it all. ALSO, not so secret revelation—sometimes you need to hear things like

"LET it GO!" a million—AND one—times before it sinks in!


So, what follows is a list of things that have helped me stay in my center.

I hope some of this might resonate with you, even if you're hearing it for the millioneth time too.


1. In the words of the frozen princess - LET IT GO!

Do not feel bad about saying no to anything that does not feed your soul. I have canceled so many events this month. I have had momentary twinges, but after backing out, I felt open and free. This is the feeling you're going for.


2. Self care, self care, self care

Yes, it's a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. Fact: women are more prone to dismissing the physical needs of their bodies in the service of others than men. I knew I would not be able to go to my regular yoga class because of my caregiver schedule. Then, gift from the Universe, a woman I met some time ago sent out a great special price offer for personal training. The talented and delightful Ida of Strength in Motion lives 2 minutes from me and she is coming to my house. I am often too tired to want to do this, but I know it's helping. Do something that appeals to you, whatever that may be, a long bath, a cuddle with your dog, time out for a coffee with a loving friend. Be creative and make a self-care wish list. (More info about Ida and the Strength in Motion special offer below, if you're in the GTA, I highly recommend her cuz she's awesome!)


3. Feed your CREATIVE SOUL

I know this is how I heal. Taking even a few minutes a day to do something creative is a balm for the soul. This can take many forms for you. Take 5 minutes to doodle, scribble or sketch. If you don't have a journal, think of getting one now. It's important you have a place for your thoughts, rants, and creative ideas. Soul writing or soul scribbling are powerful ways to release stress. I describe it as meditation with your eyes open.


If you haven't welcomed daily art practice into your life, be assured it's easy and fun. If you're interested in learning how, sign up for my newsletter by clicking the link below. I'll send you an info sheet with doodle-drawing ideas to help you unwind and get in touch with your creative heART.

sign-up-for-newsletter-button   As I mentioned above, I love working with Ida Jagaric of Strength in Motion. Ida has a very interesting story, which makes your interaction with her as a personal trainer more interesting! Ida is a former engineer who, in her words, ". . . through a series of lucky events, I was bit by the acting bug! So what else could I do but quit my engineering career and pursue acting full time, right?! So off I went to explore the second phase of my life... the joy of acting! But the lack of finances in this phase were a bit of a problem. After thinking long and hard about what else fueled my passions I realized fitness did! And that helping people did! So most naturally I went and became a personal trainer."  Click on the image below for Ida's special!   strength-in-motion

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Full Moon Creating

(the image above is from Art That Moves Full Moon Creativity Calendar 2016, the new calendar will be available in September on my Etsy shop)
A few days ago I posted an image from my Full Moon Creativity Calendar on Facebook and Instagram. I talked a little bit about the power of the full moon to affect our creative energy. It was a quick post—too quick for such a big topic.  

I know I didn’t really understand the power of the Moon in my own life.

In the past people were outside more often, and the phases of the Moon were more visible and apparent to them. They paid attention and aligned their work to the Moon and the stars. We can clearly see how the Moon’s pull affects the oceans of the world, so of course, as beings made mostly of water, we must be affected too. Do we really feel this in our modern lives?

When people today talk about the Full Moon they often mention something like this,

"it makes people crazy," or other such negative chatter.


Part of the reason I created my Full Moon Creativity calendar several years ago was that I wanted to get to know the Moon better. I wanted to understand the cycles and how they might be affecting me—someone living in a city where the lights often dim, or block my view of the Moon.  

I hoped I might be able to get to know the Moon better.

  Because I live in North America, I began to research the traditional Iroquois names for the Full Moons. These Moon months came alive with names I could taste like; the Full Strawberry Moon, or the Full Corn Moon. Names that made me want to howl like; the Full Wolf Moon and the Full Thunder Moon, and, names that made me smile like; the Full Sturgeon Moon, which is the name of the full Moon on August 18th.this month. I journeyed with the names for a time, finding out more about what each Full Moon name meant—beyond the obvious. After I felt I knew a little bit about them, I began to draw their images for my calendar. This led to a deeper understanding of the yearly cycles that the Moon mirrors for us.   There are so many ways to work with the Moon, and, I’ve only just begun to understand how to align my life with the cycles of the Moon. I know aligning in this way can help me move and flow more effectively.  

Working with—instead of ignoring or pushing past—the Moon’s cycles is like paddling with the river’s current—full of ease.

  My Shamanic teacher, Sandra Ingerman, says the Moon reminds us we need both times of regeneration, and germination. Ingerman says the Moon mirrors this very effectively for us, “There are times to be doing and out in the world, and times when you need to do that inner work when it seems nothing very much is happening, but something very big is happening on the invisible level.”   moon-two  

If you're a beginner like me, and interested in working with the Moon

I have some ideas to begin a one month observation.


1. Begin on the New Moon or the Full Moon. For instance, you could start on the Full Moon August 18, carrying on to the New Moon September 1st, and finishing on the next Full Moon September 16th.

2. Use a simple notebook, or a journal you already have for your notes.

3. Think of an activity you love to do that you will be able to repeat. I love working with art and creating, paying attention to the changes in my energy there. You could do the same with your writing, journaling, yoga, morning walk, anything at all.

4. Notice how you feel during your activity when the Moon is full versus when the Moon is new. Take notes as though you are an impartial observer, observing a fascinating subject—you!

5. I found it useful if I had general headings, or prompts, for my own notes.

For instance;

my mood today was . . .,

my energy today was . . .,

today I wanted to . . .,

today I created . . . ,

one thing that stood out about my day was . . .

6. Ask the Moon to be a teacher or co-creator with you as you start your journey.


Enjoy your MOON exploration!

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