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!

Intentional artwork – hidden meaning and love – 7 horses – New Artwork

I am in awe sometimes of the moments in life I get to be a part of.

This new painting was so special to me. It’s a larger piece, 6ft wide and 3 feet tall. It features 7 clydesdales and is full of meaning.

 

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I’ve created a video to show the the story and the hidden messages I’ve hidden within the artwork, click the link to see the painting unfold in this short video.

This artwork was coordinated by Robin at Front Door Coaching, she soulfully teams together interior design, coaching and bodywork and had the insight to bring me in to do this artwork. It was a group effort that I am so incredibly proud to be a part of.  It’s a kind of artwork called, Intentional Artwork.  Where there is meaning layered throughout the piece.  It’s a perfect type of artwork for people looking to capture a deeper meaning after loss, life changes or encouragement moving forward.

When you watch the video I’d be so grateful if you’d take a second and send love to the family this was made for. https://vimeo.com/180342361

 

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Commissions – the magical way to get exactly what you need

Have you ever asked an artist to create something perfect for you? It can sound intimidating, and truthfully some artists won’t do it.  But me, I love them.   I love seeing the ideas my clients come up with.  They are inspired by something they’ve seen, another piece of mine that they need a bit different, a name added.  You get the idea.

I want to share a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.   Some things to consider when you’re looking:

what colors do you love?

what color is the room you’d like the artwork?

is there a style you’re drawn to? Rustic, romantic, bold and abstract? Don’t be afraid to ask for something in that style.

General size of the art you’re wanting.  A bold, room statement piece or a subtle smaller piece to accent an area.

 

One piece I just finished this week went like this:  I had the client tell me she loved the guitar piece I had a few years ago.  She wanted something like that to go in her living room.  Except she wanted her and her husbands initials monogrammed on it and their wedding date.  Plus she wanted lots of colors in the background.   So I emailed her a few ideas with a few different styles of writing and we came up with her design.  For commissions I require 50% deposit for me to get started, then the other 50% is due after I send you pictures and you approve the design.   You can find this sign here and have it personalized with your monogram and wedding date here.

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Forgive the horrible photo on this one but it turned out to be one my favorites.  There were specks of coppers and golds in the fall leaf.  There is a beautiful story behind this painting (that I’ll leave sacred with the client) but this large 30″ x 24″ artwork has turned a special moment into a daily reminder of love.

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This is an example of a step during the commission.  For this one, the client asked to have teal, reds, yellows, oranges and a touch of green featuring the Colorado mountains.  Then their last name.   So one the painting was finished, I send something like this to them to get both approval on the background, see if there are any changes needing to be made and also select the text style that they like best.  This sign is on a great solid wood plan and will be going over a door.

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This glass was part of a set of glasses commissioned and sent out to New York City in time for a one of a kind Christmas gift.  Inspired by the movie, “Birds”.

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I hope this helps take a bit of the intimidation out of having custom artwork created.  I’ve often had people come to me and say, what can you do for $500, I want a scene with “fill in the blank”.  around this size….    what can you do.    This is common.  It takes the fear out of not knowing if an artist is going to come back with a quote of $200 or $2000 and puts a bit of the control back in your hands as the client.

So take a look around, get inspired.  Look at your home, your office, is there something that could go in those spaces that speaks to you directly and inspires you?  Let’s chat and find out if we can create the perfect piece for you.

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Lessons after death

A few nights ago at 11pm I had a sudden urge that I had to listen to the CD recording from the only reading I’ve had from a medium since my mom passed.  It’s been over a year since I have heard the chilling and comforting messages my mom brought from the other side.  Before I start into that, let’s rewind a bit shall we?

After my mom passed away in early 2009, my heart ached.  It still does.  It was unexpected when it happened so along with the shock there was a lot of grieving.  As my and my sisters continued to have more babies, get married and all of us make more life changes there was also so many times a tangible feeling of deep loss at those events, not being able to see my mom there with us.  We’ve each felt her around at different times, we’ve all gotten signs, had dreams.  But there is nothing like the direct hug, conversation or looking into her beautiful loving eyes.

I’ve always been skeptical of people who say they can communicate with spirit.  I still am actually.  But I’ve know too many times where I know it to be true that I don’t doubt it’s possible.  I know in fact that my mother has came to me in dreams, I’ve been given answers to deep questions I’ve prayed about.  I pray, ask for help my angels, talk to my spirit guide and talk to my mom often as if she’s hear with me.

Back to the CD, in listening to this call the medium (Dwanna Paul) talked about things very clearly that had just happened that day.  She talked about what my husband had just said to me right before the call, passed along my mom’s motherly guidance based on what my sister and I had talked about the night before.  When I asked about messages for my brothers or dad the next 3 things she talked about in a row were for 1 brother, then something exactly regarding my younger brother, then my dad.   It was unbelievable.  I loved too that during the call there were a couple things I didn’t understand.  One for instance was she said my mom was showing her a strand of pearls. That didn’t mean much to me during the call. So she told me to just keep it in mind and I’ll know what it’s supposed to mean.   The next morning I was sitting having coffee and I looked down and my mug and gasped…   the mug was from my honeymoon cruise.  The cruise I was ready to board when I found out my mom had passed away; the Norwegian Pearl. Along the side of the ship was a strand of pearls.   The same ship that we re-took our cancelled honeymoon on 10 months later.   The same ship that randomly at 3am I went out to our balcony of sobbled, deep cathartic cries of missing my mom and talking with her about my life. My missing her, but being really happy otherwise. Talking to her about all the random things I would have when she was alive.   Then I remembered that right before the call the night before with Dwanna, I asked my mom to bring up that conversation as a sign.  Wow.  She sure did.

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Months later I noticed a song on the radio all the time.  When I’d walk into the garage that song was on, I got goosebumps from it.  I’d heard it in the car, on the radio. Each time I’d have a physical reaction of knowing to it.   One night I was reading a book by Allison DuBois (the medium that the show Medium is based on) and she talked about her dad that had passed on and how he’d communicate with her through song.  That next morning I went to a networking meeting and on my way home I turned on the radio and that same song was on.  This time, for the first time I listened to the words.  I was stunned.  Here are some of the lyrics,

“Yes, I understand that every life must end, aw-huh,..
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, aw-huh,..
Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands
the ones I love,”       Read more: Pearl Jam – Just Breathe Lyrics | MetroLyrics

The last line of the song is, “meet you on the other side”.

I just sat and cried.   Then I got home and googled it.  I studied the words and listened to it a million times.  It was so healing.  Then I really payed attention to who it was by… Pearl Jam…   yep another pearl reference..    mom, you are amazing!!!!  Looking back the song was released the year she passed away, yet I never was aware of it until all the above happened in 2011.  Really cool.

I’m not looking for anyone to agree with me.  I don’t care.  We all have our comfort levels, what we know deep down.  What we’re scared to know because of fear.  Fear of the unknown and also fear that religion has pushed on us (Highly recommend the book “Messages from Spirit” by Colette Baron-Reid where she really gets into when the Church transitioned from working with spirit mediums to instilling fear about them because they conflicted with the church’s agenda… fascinating read).   For me I have found peace as a Christian but I also believe in an afterlife, the beauty that can come from communicating, trusting, learning and also working with Angels, and more.  I also have found peace in parts of messages from other religions and spiritual teachings as well. But that’s another story…

I recently read a comment from a friend that she had shared on another’s page.  She was talking about the frustration she was having because her mom is in a dark place, not able to see her light, her gifts.  She’s depressed, hoarding and near death.  It’s SO heartbreaking when we want to help someone and they won’t accept our help.  I’ve dealt enough with people with addictions and depression also to know this to be true.  Its the deepest kind of frustrating, and especially when the person passes on it leaves us with a pile of what ifs.  What if I could have spoke up more, earlier.  What if I was too rough.   What if I wouldn’t have judged but instead would have just loved?  What if I wouldn’t have just loved them but instead would have helped them get help….   it is a loop of unrest, and questions that can’t always be answered.

I’ve settled on a deep comfort of believing that no one passes before their time. We all have a time that we’ve planned out before we even got here in this body.  It’s all divinely perfect.  From a human level we often don’t get it, but from a spiritual and soulful level, it’s perfect.   There is a peacefulness that can come from this.  It’s allowed me to go from anger to gratitude and surrender.

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When we’ve lost someone we love, our biggest shift can come when we stop focusing so much on their passing and instead start to focus on the gratitude for their time in our lives.  Our experiences shared, lessons taught and learned.  The love we gave and received.   When we can pull ourselves from the anger of not having longer and instead sit in gratitude for having what we did.

Today I sit in gratitude for those who are in my life.  I savor the memories of those who have passed.  I work to live my life in a way that others will someday look back at their times with me and feel love.

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Finding Myself in the Moonlight – learn more this week on True to you radio

Attention women around the world. Are you feeling disconnected, exhausted and not even sure how to begin to re-find your inner joy again?

Join me as I discuss my Finding myself in the Moonlight online course starting in January 2015.

Share with your sister, mother or girlfriends that are looking to feel truly inspired again.

Click the image to go to True2Youradio.com:

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It will play this week on Monday at 6:30 pm central time, Tuesday 12/31 at 7:30am and 10:15pm.   You can check the schedule to see the rest of the play dates.

 

Also, did you know that you can listen to all my past radio shows?  There are 20 of them now.  Once on the true to you page then click the archives tab. Find Creating an Inspired Life.  Then once you click it will give you the choice of all my past shows for you to choose from.

 

Enjoy!

You an also click here to read more and watch a video:

 

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Wishing you an incredible New Year!!   Please pass along this link to any women in your life that you know is looking for some help making some changes.  There is no shame in it, we’ve all been there or will be there.  Sisters coming together to share knowledge, love and stories… it’s going to be amazing!

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6th day of Christmas – Magnet gift packs

Welcome to the 6th day of Christmas!

Art Magnet 5 packs!

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You are gonna love these fun magnet packs. Each magnet is 2″ x 3.5″ (business card sized) and comes individually packaged.
These gift packs are perfect for friends, kids, kid’s friends, teachers, secret santa gifts, stocking stuffers, you get the idea.

Each magnet retails for $3 separately so these kits are a great way to stock up for the holidays and the rest of the year.

The following sets are available:

Soulful Yoga: Eagle Pose – Inward Journey, Boat pose – Gentle, Lotus Pose – Clarity, Lotus Pose – Abundance, Standing Bow Pose – Trust

Inspiring: Mountain Pose – I am that I am,Crossroads – Sophisticated, Standing Bow- Trust, Lotus Pose Abundance, Dripping Gold

Sisterhood: 5 identical magnets – each features the silhouettes of 3 girls. You can see the larger version here for more details: https://www.etsy.com/listing/102990501
Great for a team, best friends, bible study or actual sisters.

We are a Family: features the silhouette of a family of 4. All 5 magnets are identical. You can see the larger version here for more detail:https://www.etsy.com/listing/111557643

Only $1.00 shipping on each additional set in the same order

 

You can view more pictures or order them here. 

 

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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.

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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.

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New artwork – Cardinal in Winter

Introducing my newest painting:

 

Cardinal in Winter

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You can click the image above or here to read more about this painting.

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Living Alive Aware and Awake – interview with Mary Welch – Creating an Inspired life radio

 

This week over on True2YouRadio.com  join me for a soulful discussion with author, facilitator and coach Mary Welch as she shares how she is creating an inspired life and how she helps others to be Alive, Aware and Awake.

 

You can go here to the main page to see what is playing now and when the show will air.

 

Or REALLY COOL you can also now go to my archives page and listen to all the past shows, see them all with titles, a description and pick which ones resonate with what you wish to hear.

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European Tour Recap – Creating an Inspired Life Radio

 

This week on True 2 You Radio I share all about the amazing lessons, experiences and life changing moments from my 2 week tour in Europe.   Listen in as I talk about how the project came into fruition, how I became involved and what transpired with the women from around Europe during our visit.  I wish everyone could have a chance to spend two weeks with these incredible Braveheart sisters. It’s truly an experience of seeing the best in people.

 

https://true2youradio.com/previous-shows/     go to this link. Scroll down to the Creating an Inspired life link. Scroll down to the October 26th, 2014 podcast: Harmony Tour recap.

 

The show will be replaying all week long. You can see the schedule here.   You can also do a search on iTunes for Noelle Rollins Creating an Inspired Life.

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