could this be contentment?

 

I have a confession to make.

I have been experiencing something. It’s snuck up slowly.

I’ve tried to deny it, rename it, question it.

But friends, I believe it’s called Contentment.

Sunset 30 miles north off the coast of Cuba, taken this February.

After years of believing that I always have to be moving forward, growing, taking on more and more.  I’ve reached a place where I finally trust that no, right now for me;  I want to sit and bask in this time.  I don’t want to expand the time I put into my business, I don’t want to be involved in large numbers of art shows and networking and online classes.  I don’t want to join a bunch of mom groups.  I love my life right now.

After years of diligently looking at all my commitments and areas of stress, many which I wrote about in my ebook Finding myself in the Moonlight, I have added in breathing room and space into all areas of my life.  I’ve learned to trust myself more than ever before.  We’ve busted our asses for years and finally gotten to a financially free place where the only debt we have in the world isour home.  It’s truly freeing.  After years of having my head down and checking off an endless list of to-do’s I finally feel like I am in that place I prayed for so many times.

 

I’ll never stop learning (in fact I’m listening to a TED talk right now while typing this) but what I am getting better at is looking at classes and programs and knowing that now is not the time for most of them.  I’m still growing and learning and in fact my faith and spirituality is deeper than ever. Prayers and meditations and time in nature have all helped me to feel a contentment that I’ve never felt before. 

I share this to offer hope.  This may surprise you but I’m rebellous to my core.  I’m a rule following rebel I suppose.  I love to do good, I love to find good in others… but… the  minute society or people tell me that something should be done a certain way.. I question it.   It works though; I’m the happiest person I know.  I don’t feel like I need to do things the way everyone does them.   We all have areas we feel that pressure from. Here are some of the choices I’ve made that work for me (us) that have lead me more towards contentment:

  • moving 40 miles from the cities to a property where we can grow food, embrace nature, have a workshop to build and create in.  We are tucked into the trees and have privacy and also the rejunating energy of nature.  We get a whole floor to ourselves and the kids have their own bathroom, all in our cozy little 1500 sq. foot house.
  • getting out of debt.  We paid off $48k in just under 2 years (you can read about that here).  What that has done to our lives and the peace it has brought since though has blown my mind. We recently were able to take our kids on a week long cruise to Belize and also do a small road trip after we got off the ship and see the Everglades and visit a state park in the Florida keys.  The best part; we paid cash for the trip. It is so freeing to be able to plan and save and pay for a trip like that and come home and still have money in a savings account.  We worked so hard for so many years saving every penny, selling things and praying that I share that to say all that sacrifice was worth it.  
  • Homeschooling our youngest. Our oldest is in public high school and she thrives and loves it, I was faced last year with a decision to homeschool our youngest.  While I admit I wouldn’t prefer to have homeschooled my oldest, each kid is different and it has been the right decision to homeschool our little guy. And we LOVE it.  Just this morning in fact, sitting with him and watching him learn to read.  It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve gotten to do in my life. Teaching him about living from the heart, music and the arts, endless time for science and real life experiences.  I am so incredibly grateful for this time, piecing together a curriculum and resources so I can connect him with learning opportunities that help him become the best whole health and knowledgeable person he can be.
  • Our 16 year old just got her driving permit and I’ve had a similar feeling teaching her to drive. It’s so special to get to witness and be a part of that growth. In a world where everyone’s first reaction is to go to the fearful side of this time, and yes of course that part is there too; I’m choosing to really honor the blessings that this stage of life is bringing for her and us.
  • This past holiday season I did something that I had never done before.  After years of doing holiday art and craft shows and in person shows, hauling all my work from place to place, getting sitters and paying entrance fees I turned them all down and trusted this little voice inside that knew I could do it my own way. (At least for now, with kids at home I have found myself losing interest in shows. There is only 1 that I love where the people and atmoshpere and crowd are so amazing that I may keep doing it, we’ll see – lookup 4Angels boutiques if you’re curious)   Instead I offered very specific items online including remembrance ornaments and sold hundreds of them. I also got a chance to connect with small groups of people in online artwork parties. During these parties I was able to show videos where I got to explain the deeper meaning behind my artwork pieces and really hear people’s stories and what exactly what people around them were going through and connect them with the perfect gift they could get for those they love.  It was such a rewarding and special set of parties and I got to meet so many beautiful women. Plus I got to do all of those from my home on my own schedule. 
  • January 1st, I deactivated my personal Facebook. I was finding myself having underlying levels of guilt, after cutting my friend list from over 600 to around 250 that helped a lot. Ultimately though I had to get really real that me being at home and having endless access to “check in” was costing me many minutes once I added it all up.  Now after 2 months after being away I can see that the part I was really reluctant to admit to myself was that there was a continuous feeling of static in the back of my mind. Anywere I was, anything I was doing; I always felt like there was something else I was supposed to be doing.  I don’t know if everyone feels that, but for me stepping away has allowed me to feel so present in my day to day life.  At some point I’m sure I’ll get back on but for now it feels like the right choice for me.
  • I don’t do networking groups.  Or mommy groups.  Here is what I know about me. My go to emotion is guilt. I really want to honor and connect with people once I let them into my world.  What can seem like a fun one time, meet new people networking experience for most people leaves me feeling flaky and unreliable after the fact.  I connect with people and then within my daily life I have no room for follow up.  I am not available to do follow up coffee meetups, business meetings in person or mommy activities.  So instead I’ve chosen to honor this time and know that someday I may want to dive back in and network and meet more people and really give it my all then I will do so with joy. For right now though I feel fulfilled with those in my life and the simplicity of our day to day.
  • I don’t do phone calls or in person meetings if at all possible.  Artwork is visual and for me sharing information via email or online works best.  I am choosing right now not to do a ton of in person events.  What I have found also is on my deeper, more intuitive based artwork projects I attain better results if I don’t have phone conversations with my clients.  That my sound strange but I hate the phone. I don’t like talking to new people on the phone and it drains my energy.  So knowing that I choose to keep my internal energy high and my intuitive energy at it’s deepest level by honoring them.  This will change at some point, but for me right now with a kiddo in tow and a routine we stick to it is what works best for me.
  • Choosing to drive used cars.  We don’t do car payments and all our cars (4) are paid for in full.  I was especially glad the other night (when I hit a deer a few hundred yards from our driveway) that I don’t worry about scratches or other life things that seem to happen out here. For the record the deer jumped back up and was fine and so was my car.  Someday we’ll get some nicer cars but for now, this works great for us.  I’m grateful that Bruce knows how to fix cars and keeps them all running.  I think the biggest thing has been to disconnect our feelings of self worth from the cards we drive. Yes, of course it is fun to drive a super new, decked out car and we had fun last year when we rented a car for a weekend and chose a new BMW suv. It was really fun.  But I don’t feel like less of a person because our cars are from both the 90’s and early 2000’s.  I actually feel great pride and think of the other things we have been able to do with that time instead of having to spend it making money to pay for upgraded cars. Right now, I prefer more family time.
  • Minimalism – we have gotten rid of so much extra stuff over the last few years.  6 months after getting married and combining our lives (stuff) my mom passed and over the next couple years our garage filled up with furniture, decor, clothes and candles that were hers.  It’s taken almost a decade but we finally feel like we have just a few really special things that help me remember her but don’t need to have our whole house stuffed with things.  We spend less time organizing, cleaning and moving things which has freed up not only time but also energy for the things we really want to spend it on.
  • We don’t have cable. We have a roku with netflix and amazon and a couple other channels.  We don’t dvr things.  So yes, we miss things that are on tv quite often.  Years ago I spent so much time watching tv and scheduling out what things would be recorded and learning about new shows but now it has faded.  But somehow I’m still okay.  This past year I’ve bingewatched; Heartland, Hart of Dixie, Hallmark’s Home is where the heart it and a few other shows that everyone else enjoyed years ago.  I’m okay with that.  They are coming into my life at the perfect time for me to really savor them and enjoy them.
  • Diminishing toxic relationships.  We can’t always completely avoid people who bring negativity into our lives but I strive to eliminate unnecesary drama or people I don’t trust.  Today I don’t have to spend much time or energy on this but years ago I had a list of people in my life who I knew I needed to move on from. I send them love and I chose to limit or cut them out out completely and it’s been life changing.
  • We talk in the language of love.  If you where a fly on the wall in our home you would hear my 6 year old talk about how his heart is exploding with love. How he happy cried in the car yesterday while looking at the sunset and again last night when we all sat on the floor working on legos with him.  We talk about our love, what eachother mean to us and share gratitude fr
    eely. Even while having a 16 year old daughter I love that we can talk so openly and validate feelings, our intuition and have worked so hard to make our home a peaceful respite in contrast to a sometimes crazy and stressful world. 

I share some of these things because I know so many people do fill so much of their day’s doing things they “should” do instead of really allowing themselves to schedule in breathing room, space and peacefulness.  We want to make the people around us happy and sometimes we let the rule over that little feeling in our gut that knows something doesn’t feel like it fits anymore.  Give yourself permission to honor peacefulness as much as success and knowledge in other subjects.  It will make every area of your life better.  I’ve experienced the death’s of loved ones, a divorce, multiple moves, and defining and developing my business. Then later marrying a wonderful man and making choices that move me closer year after year towards a life I really connect with (including working really hard to un-learn so much I’ve been tought growing up.) That journey has led me to now has given me this gift of a chapter of contentment.  I feel so grateful, even grateful for the really tough times that make me even more grateful each day for good times.  I know life will be full of ups and downs and times where I can’t wait to be around people and others where I again crave solitude and quiet, but for now in this moment…  it feels so right.

Sending you all love!

5th day of Christmas – Poinsettias and peaceful prayers

This original artwork is titled, “Poinsettias and peaceful prayers” – It’s part of my Soulful Yoga Holiday collection.

5thday_PoinsettiaArt

You get your choice of the original 8″ x 10″ artwork on canvas. Wired on back, ready to hang. (1 available) Original price is $95 – Sale price of only $40

Or an 8″x10″ print matted in a white 11″ 14″ mat. Signed by artist. Comes ready to frame or give as gift. – (2 available). Original price – $24.00 Sale price only $12.00

This piece features a prayerful pose, surrounded by swirls and bold red poinsettias. Extra swirls around the heart area.

You can find more info or order here.

NoelleSignature_Small

New Artwork: Prayers for Peace

PrayersforPeace_web copy

 

Use as a reminder that we are all connected, a reminder to pray for peace. Feel the connection to others around the world holding the same intention.

-She holds a space and intention for peace as she visualized collaboration around the world.

-She wears red to honor her root chakra and connection to the earth, to stay grounded and secure. 

-She wears blues and purples to represent the crown chakra and her connection to the infinite universe and all that ever was and all that ever will be. 

-She has olive branched along the back of her clothing, representing her prayers for peace.

-She is a modern woman, who pauses during a moment of her day to day life, she’s just like us. Busy, sometimes unsure if her added prayers can make a difference. But she offers them anyways, having faith in the bigger, unseen picture. 

-The flowers in her hair represent the delicateness of life, around in a circle, never-ending.

We are one, living separate life experiences with one greater consciousness.

 

You can find the postcard prints for this piece here.

Updates on the Harmony tour to Israel and Palestine

I have been asked many times in the last few weeks about my feelings of what is going on in Israel and Palestine right now in relation to my going there this fall.

I’ll keep this  short but I want to share my feelings with all of you who have so kindly supported me and made this trip possible.

There are around 10 weeks until I’m scheduled to go, I am keeping informed of what is going on but I am refusing to get wrapped up in it or fall into fearful thinking.  I’m asking anyone who reads this to do the same and to resist adding to the fear and anger.  Instead send thoughts and prayers of peace and support to all involved.   This fighting going on serves as a reminder of how vital it is that these two sides find common ground.  We all can make an energetic difference through our prayers, meditations and thoughts of love and peace.  Pray for wisdom and clarity for those leading the fight on both sides, that they will find peaceful resolutions to the ongoing dis-harmony and back down the fighting.

There are tremendous civilian efforts going on behind the scenes showing support for one another on both sides. Stories of both sides serving, helping and praying for the other side.  You can follow any of these groups on Facebook here:

Unify

Palestine loves Israel

Israel loves Palestine

These groups are posting incredible stories of civilians coming together, stories of hope and more.

 

The women organizing our trip have our safety as an utmost concern.  One will be heading back the region in the coming weeks and from within the area will be in tune with the pulse of what is happening.  She is also in constant communication with both the Israeli and Palestinian women we will be meeting with while there.

I feel very called to be a part of positive change in this world and am confident all will work out how it should; concerning both my involvement in this situation and others in the future.

 

I’ll continue to update in the months to come as I know more, but as I said above I am just going to continue on planning that the trip will go on as planned, if things change we’ll deal with it then.   Thanks for your continued support!  **Noelle

a grateful next step… clarity

I have had such a sense of frustration the last month or two.  I knew I was growing and in a time of transition so I tried to use that uneasy, feeling and keep it in the background and trust the answers would come.  I shed a few tears, had a few moments of total panic wondering if I’m crazy to think that I can make a living as an artist and in my own way, journaled, found new information to help guide me, prayed, learned, slept …. but then….

This morning I woke up with such clarity.  Finally!!   I’ve been feeling unsure if I want to continue teaching my art classes in the way that I have been, I love doing them but something wasn’t sitting right.  I finally know what it is.  The reason I do the classes is to help women, I love to see a spark occur in women that normally give all their energy to everyone else around them but finally take a few minutes for themselves.  I realized this does not belong in the business part of my life.  It belongs more in my heart area of giving back, helping my comminity and global sisterhood.  I have so many great ideas how I can move forward in teaching through retreats, and collaborating with others but for my own classes in my own studio I have some great things I’m working on that give me goosebumps.  I see a clearer plan for my artwork, prints, licensing, wholesale. A larger global presense and a stronger sense of my place in it all.   Sweet hallelujah.

More to come as this clear path ahead of me continues to unfold and come into focus.

Here is one of my newer paintings in my Souful Yoga Line.  For now it’s simply titled, “Being”.

Soulful Yoga BEING artwork

The Sacral Chakra – artwork reminders for creativity, femininity and passion

This weeks artwork is all about the creativity, passionate, feminine self. love love!  This pose is called the King Pigeon Pose and clears and activates the Sacral Chakra!

Let’s clear out any blockages in our Sacral Chakra and let our creativity soar.  I love this chakra.  I’ve recently started in the last few months doing some of the S factor workouts and I love how much it opens this chakra and leaves me feeling more feminine and connected to my body. Great too for us creative types and I know for me after childbirth my hips have been so stiff so the poses for this chakra will also help loosen those up. Enjoy!

From About.com: The Sacral Chakra is associated with the color orange or red-orange. I usually visualize the Sunkist orange that has been dyed to attract the produce buyer, or the orange red of an evening sunset when I’m focusing on spinning my second chakra. This chakra often offers us the opportunity to lessen our “control issues” and find a balance in our lives, teaching us to recognize that acceptance and rejection are not the only options in our relationships. The process of making changes in our life stream through our personal choices is a product of second chakra energy. A well-functioning second chakra helps one to maintain a healthy yin-yang existence.

Chakra Two – Associations

  • Color – orange
  • Sanskrit Name – swadhisthana
  • Physical Location – lower abdomen to the navel
  • Purposes – emotional connection
  • Spiritual Lesson – creativity, manifestation. honoring relationships, learning to “let go”
  • Physical Dysfunctions– low back pain, sciatica, ob/gyn problems, pelvic pain, libido, urinary problems
  • Mental and Emotional Issues – blame, guilt, money, sex, power, control, creativity, morality
  • Information Stored Inside Sacral Chakra – duality, magnetism, controlling patterns, emotional feelings (joy, anger, fear)
  • Area of Body Governed – sexual organs, stomach, upper intestines, liver, gallbladder, kidney, pancreas, adrenal glands, spleen, middle spine
  • Exercises that stimulate the sacral chakra
  • Foods that fuel the sacral chakra

You can find the artwork prints here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101353743/soulful-yoga-king-pigeon-pose-infused

Perfect people to receive this pose/chakra artwork are: people suffering from low back pain, sciatica, ob/gyn problems, pelvic pain, libido, urinary problem and those working through the emotions that come with blame, guilt, money, sex, power, control,  and creativity.

This piece is part of my Soulful Yoga Series. This series has been created out of my own journey to live more self aware. I’ve longed for a way to quiet my always running mind, feel good in my body from the inside out and connect with my inner soulful awareness. I believe this series will connect with people who do yoga as well as those who do not but are looking for positive, encouraging, calming artwork.

The original that this print is from was created on an upcycled door. I love the symbolism of the doorway; closing the door on the past, opening the door to a new future. My husband helps me to cut down no longer needed hollow doors, we then add wood inserts to make all four sides solid. I then add layers of texture and finally do the artwork. I love when I get the change to create using repurposed materials.

You can keep up to date on my work and happenings here: www.facebook.com/noellerollinsart

If you like this artwork and would like to see one similar that includes a different uplifting message you will find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101000734/speak-your-truth-soulful-yoga-plow-pose

I will continue announcing each week one new piece for this series.

The Heart Chakra – artwork reminders of love, compassion and spirituality.

The heart chakra is in the heart area, behind the breast bone. It is associated with love, compassion, spirituality and healing.  Here is some great information I got from about.com The Heart Chakra is associated with the color green or the color pink. This love center of our human energy system is often the focus in bringing about a healing. Thus, the words “Love Heals All” have great truth. Hurtful situations that can affect our emotional being are divorce or separation, grief through death, emotional abuse, abandonment, adultery. All of these are wounding to the heart chakra. Physical illnesses brought about by heartbreak require that an emotional healing occur along with the physical healing. Learning to love yourself is a powerful first step in securing a healthy fourth chakra. The “wounded child” resides in the heart chakra.

Chakra Four – Associations

  • Color – green, pink
  • Sanskrit Name – anahata
  • Physical Location – center of chest
  • Purposes – emotional empowerment
  • Spiritual Lesson – forgiveness, unconditional love, letting go, trust, compassion
  • Physical Disfunctions– heart conditions, asthma, lung & breast cancers, thoracic spine, pneumonia, upper back, shoulder problems
  • Mental and Emotional Issues – love, compassion, confidence, inspiration, hope, despair, hate, envy, fear, jealousy, anger, generosity
  • Information Stored Inside Heart Chakra – connections or “heart strings” to those whom we love
  • Area of Body Governed – heart, circulatory system, blood, lungs, rib cage, diaphragm, thymus, breasts, esophagus, shoulders, arms, hands

This pose is called the Upward Facing Dog Pose. One of the chakras it helps open is the heart chakra.  You can find the artwork prints here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101348901/soulful-yoga-upward-facing-dog-pose-love

Prints from this chakra are especially great for someone going through one of the following times: heart conditions, asthma, lung & breast cancers, thoracic spine, pneumonia, upper back, shoulder problems and those needing extra support in areas of love, compassion and spirituality.

This piece is part of my Soulful Yoga Series. This series has been created out of my own journey to live more self-aware. I’ve longed for a way to quiet my always running mind, feel good in my body from the inside out and connect with my inner soulful awareness. I believe this series will connect with people who do yoga as well as those who do not but are looking for positive, encouraging, calming artwork.

The original that this print is from was created on an upcycled door. I love the symbolism of the doorway; closing the door on the past, opening the door to a new future. My husband helps me to cut down no longer needed hollow doors, we then add wood inserts to make all four sides solid. I then add layers of texture and finally do the artwork.

You can keep up to date on my work and happenings here: www.facebook.com/noellerollinsart

If you like this artwork and would like to see one similar that includes a different uplifting message you will find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101000734/speak-your-truth-soulful-yoga-plow-pose

I will continue announcing each week one new piece for this series.

more on the throat chakra – my personal journey

I’m learning to speak my own truth so much better. I think this year has been the biggest growing year for me in that area.  I was working with one of my coaches and it was interesting how many of the things I’m going through right now stem from some things I went through in the 5th grade. The year I hit puberty and my weight changed and I first felt some insecurities about my body, the year stupid Jim humiliated me in front of the hand washing station outside of the bathrooms and I didn’t have the skills to verbally put him in his place or the skills to not feel bad about it.  It’s no coincidence that my daughter is in 5th grade now and as I’m watching her go through this time period I’ve unknowingly been re-writing my own boundaries, sticking up for myself, finding my voice and FINALLY making peace with some of those past events.  So cheers to loving ourselves and having compassion for ourselves and others!

Me and my girl

I really believe that when we are in tune with our life’s purpose and are speaking what is true for our most authentic selves that the universe responds.  There is power in thoughts and tremendous power in words, good or bad. Speak from your heart, your souls best intentions and truths and it’ll all work out.

The Throat Chakra – artwork reminders to speak your truth

It’s easier said then done sometimes to be confident in the voice we add to life’s situations.  Even rarer is someone who has the courage to speak their truth.  So often we are encouraged to blend in, just agree and be pleasant. Especially here in Minnesota, they don’t call it Minnesota nice for nothin’. The nicer and kinder the better.  Please don’t cause an ripples, just smile and we’ll all pretend that everything is fine.  It would almost be a funny experiment to video tape the faces of family members as a disagreement starts, you would see total terror come across their faces. ;-0

I really believe that when we are in tune with our life’s purpose and are speaking what is true for our most authentic selves that the universe responds.  There is power in thoughts and tremendous power in words, good or bad. Speak from your heart, your souls best intentions and truths and it’ll all work out.

In honor of speaking ones truth this weeks art is all about the throat chakra.

This pose is called the Plow Pose. One of the chakras it helps open is the throat chakra. The throat chakra is associated with personal expression, creativity, addiction, criticism, faith, decision making choices and lack of speaking up. The coordinating color for the throat chakra is blue. You will find blue colored accents within the border flowers of this artwork.  You can find the artwork prints here: www.NoelleRollinsArt.etsy.com

This piece is part of my Soulful Yoga Series. This series has been created out of my own journey to live more self aware. I’ve longed for a way to quiet my always running mind, feel good in my body from the inside out and connect with my inner soulful awareness. I believe this series will connect with people who do yoga as well as those who do not but are looking for positive, encouraging, calming artwork.

The original that this print is from was created on an upcycled door. I love the symbolism of the doorway; closing the door on the past, opening the door to a new future. My husband helps me to cut down no longer needed hollow doors, we then add wood inserts to make all four sides solid. I then add layers of texture and finally do the artwork.

You can keep up to date on my work and happenings here: www.facebook.com/noellerollinsart

If you like this artwork and would like to see one similar that includes a different uplifting message you will find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101000734/speak-your-truth-soulful-yoga-plow-pose

I will continue announcing each week one new piece for this series.

Sneak Peek to my new Soulful Yoga artwork series

Third Eye Chakra Artwork

I am so excited about my newest artwork series, it so reflects the personal journey I have been on and where I hope to go. I am a student learning the yoga lifestyle. How to be gentle with myself, how to stop forcing things to happen and sometimes just allow things to happen. This requires a faith that what’s meant to be will occur, a trusting and believing I’m am on the correct path with my souls purpose. I have studied each of the body’s chakras; did you know there are colors that tie in with each chakra? Or that different yoga poses not only increase circulation, stretch your body and quiet your mind but they also activate an awaking of certain chakras depending on the pose.  This fascinates me. As I have said before, I am on my own personal journey to being my best self.  I have made huge strides but most difficult one seems to be honoring my body. Respecting it with my time to exercise it, stretch it and appreciate it. I want to feel good from the inside out.  

Each week beginning in June I will be introducing one of my new artwork pieces from this series. Each piece has a back story, a chakra related to it and I am working on a full line of items to go with them. Greeting cards, prints, etc.  I’ll have links to those each week as well or you can save the link to my etsy site where they will all be posted: http://www.etsy.com/shop/noellerollinsart 

I hope you’ll take this journey with me as we together learn more about the body and mind connection, yoga, poses and chakras.  If you have people in your life that may be interested I’d love if you’d share this blog with them.  I will also have links, photos, etc on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/noellerollinsart

***Noelle