Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My Story Of Being Lazy



There is a story I like to tell myself when things don't seem to be moving as I'd like in my life. I am not sure where or when it started, but it’s been with me for decades - my story of Lazy. Maybe it was created after years of buying into society’s sparkly idea of success – GO. DO. NOW! Or maybe it's something else. Honestly, the origin doesn't matter much anymore. What does matter is that I recognize it when it rolls around and that I meet it with as much awareness and kindness as possible.

As I continue my unfolding I notice that I'm actually not lazy. I am highly sensitive as well as introverted. Oh and my body is working to heal an under active thyroid. Because of this, I need lots of time to regenerate especially if I have been around lots of people. And as I continue to take the time to listen to my body, I find there are certain things I just can’t do well anymore like chase shiny things or pretend to be someone I’m not - especially the pretending.

 And I'm not gonna lie, I do have to continue to remind myself that there is nothing wrong with me, because sometimes when I look out into the world and the majority of society is functioning much differently, I can feel like I am not contributing or that I am failing in some way.

Here's what I'm learning... the less I listen to outside opinions and voices about who I “should” be, the more I get to truly know myself, like myself... and others (bonus!). And not just my body and this personality, my true essence. I realize it all works in tandem. This vessel is here for me to help navigate the world and I love her. Part of my spiritual journey this time around is to embrace my body and realize she is not something to fight or ignore, but to honor.

This time around I am working on embodiment and on actually listening to my sacred form when she tells me she’s had enough by feeling foggy, full or exhausted. And to respect her wisdom. I no longer want to override how I am feeling just to put someone else at ease or to feel accepted. I will no longer feel ashamed that I am built this way or compare myself to someone who is built in an entirely different way. 

** Image Notes: I love to collage images into my altered books. Lately, I can't get enough of the delightful images found in  A Book That Takes Its Time  from Flow Magazine.
As an artist, I feel compelled to give credit where credit is due....and I like to make sure that I have altered the images just enough to give them my own spin on things.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Creating More Space In My Life





As someone who has been living with chronic pain and fatigue for over 8 years now, I have to constantly remind myself that these things do not define me. I can feel like "death warmed over" and still hold my fire and bring my light, in every moment.

My art reminds me that I can hold more than one thing at a time and that pain and fatigue aren't the only things occurring. My art also gives me permission to feel how I feel when I feel it. So yeah, I can paint death warmed over one day and by the next, fire and light. 

That is the magic of process art. I don't have to know where I am going with it. I don't have to create a beautiful masterpiece for someone to hang on their wall. I just move as I am authentically led, from the inside out and in stillness, the rest happens naturally creating more space in my life for new things to arrive.






Stephanie Gray is a writer, artist, process arts facilitator and creative self–discoverist.

Her main focus is working with people as they make their way through life transitions - trauma, grief and spiritual awakening - by providing suggestions on how to stay connected to self during shifting times. Stephanie combines art making, creative writing, active listening, heart-based questioning and over 20 years of her own self-discovery practice to assist individuals in living a more authentic life, cultivating awareness of their sacred selves.

Stephanie facilitates creative self-discovery in person from her home  -  Inside Out Studio - and online with folks all over the globe (The Walkabout and HeART Journaling).Stephanie is co-founder of Creative Nectar Studio

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I Have No Idea What's Going On



The more I can go with the flow of what is occurring in my life, the less I "know" what's going on or happening next or even what needs to be done until... I am right there, in the moment. 

It's been weird not writing copious To Do lists, as I've done in the past. There's definitely more of a chaotic feel to things leaving so much to "chance". But there's also this deliciousness in not knowing (because really, what did I truly know anyway?) It feels like there is room in between the cracks, allowing for some magic to seep in.

Don't get me wrong. I am not in a place where I'm living entirely like this day in and day out. However moments of this sublime freedom do seem to come along with more frequency.

I have no idea what the hell is going on....and I kinda like it!



Stephanie Gray is a writer, artist, process arts facilitator and creative self–discoverist.

Her main focus is working with people as they make their way through life transitions by providing suggestions on how to stay connected to self during shifting times. Stephanie combines art making, creative writing, active listening, heart-based questioning and over 20 years of her own self-discovery practice to assist individuals in living a more authentic life, cultivating awareness of their sacred selves.

Stephanie facilitates creative self-discovery in person from her home  -  Inside Out Studio - and online with folks all over the globe (The Walkabout and HeART Journaling).Stephanie is co-founder of Creative Nectar Studio


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Shadow Work - A Big Pay Off



This is a written reminder for me and any other soul who is dancing with their shadow right now, that cozying up to our dark stuff actually DOES make a difference and when this dance becomes part of life, it can shift things. Shadow work for the most part is invisible and slow to show but it's good, vital medicine especially now as we are in this grand shift on earth.

My biggest shadow piece to work with this life has been that I was adopted. This abandonment shadow ran undetected through me like a dark river, calling all the shots. What I didn't know until just recently is I that I felt ashamed for existing. Sounds extreme, I know....and yet there it is.

Of course I didn't "know" any of this until I began process painting and walking my self discovery path. The past few years working with this core wound has been front and center, asking to be claimed. This work culminated with the discovery of my biological mother. I have wondered most of my life about her story and what she was like. Did I look like her? Did we have similar voices? Did she like what I liked? 




 When I reached out, she was not interested in having any contact, not even to share medical information. Of course this brought the abandonment and shame up all over again, in the deepest of ways. I wrote about it some HERE.

I worked a LOT this Summer and Fall detaching from a shame I have carried in me all of my life. I wrote, I created in my Journal and I alchemized the shit out of it.





Flash forward to last month and I was feeling trapped. I really experienced trapped - how it felt in my body, what it had to say, realizing it may have originated in the womb - then it all shifted. I created in my book with the anger of feeling trapped and some pretty nasty shit came out.





 Then, it no longer needed my attention.

The shift made room for other things to arrive and in that space.... about midway through the month, a big dose of intuition showed up.

One early morning, I felt strongly that I needed to contact the wife of my biological uncle via social media. My bio mom had stayed with my aunt and uncle while pregnant with me and even though I had been vehemently rejected by my bio mom just 5 months earlier and did not want to go through another rejection, I felt strongly she would respond.

Long story short....I took the risk and reached out... she wrote back and my life will never be the same. She and my uncle wanted to adopt me. Like really wanted to adopt me and I was never forgotten. When they were finally able to have their own children, they were told about me and their children told their kids about me too. They have been hoping I would contact them and have been waiting for me my entire life.

WHAT?? And YES...and Holy shit.

At one point during our initial conversation, my aunt said "You have been wanted and loved all of your life" and instantly my heart exploded open. I could feel her words travel through my entire body, quickly disintegrating my old story of "no one wants me and everyone leaves". This was a game changer on a cellular level.

I have already met everyone (except my bio mom of course) and we seem to fit pretty nicely. I was truly seen by this amazing family and it is already making a huge difference in me.

I can't help but think that ALL of the inner excavation work I have done over the past 20 some years has led me here. I faced and loved my shadow and this is what showed up. Of course I had to listen to my intuition as well as clear myself out a bit in order for it to arrive.

I also have NO expectations of a smooth sailin' life for the rest of my days here, that's a fantasy. What I know for sure is I am wanted and I feel worthy of it. I am ready for a new chapter that begins from this place. YES!