I have always been envious of true believers on Etsy. The shops that sell religious inspired quotes, tshirts, prints and the like. Artists of faith seem to have less resistance when surrendering their artistic process to a higher purpose. Like they paint because of God’s will, or they sell bible quote pot holders because it is their life’s purpose. It brings them closer to God. As an artist, this mindset seems truly beneficial. To separate the artist from the responsibility or the burden of inspiration and ingenuity resting solely on their shoulders. If God is involved then it is not their process to bear alone. And I suppose that is one of the strongest offerings of belief. You are not alone.
As a person who has struggled with faith throughout my life, I always found the ability to share the artistic process with a spiritual being to seem so magical. It is something I have longed for. And I’ve tried. Really tried to embody this. If Mary from Wisconsin selling bible quote hand quilted wall hangings can let go and let God when it comes to her creative process, why can’t I? 
Yet, no matter how I tried to truly let go or seemed to let go, in truth, I was still holding on with a clenched fist. Logic reigning supreme with every idea. My mind constantly testing each and every inspiration. And it exhausted me. How I longed to be like Mary. Unquestioning my purpose. Unwavering in my inspiration. Ideas being good enough because they are handed down to me from a higher being. To be the ship, the vessel, and not have to be the captain too. 
I was in conversation over the holidays with a few friends about writing. I do not think of myself as a writer, but more as someone who writes. I’ve been engaged in a disciplined writing practice since 2016 when I began the These Three Things Project. Back then I was writing every single day and now I write in my mind every day, but only organize it into letters and words about once or twice a week. Those contemplations are shared here in this newsletter as part of my practice. I’ve been asked recently about my discipline. How do I stay focused and write every single week? Where do I find the time? How do I make it happen? What happens when I am blocked or lack ideas? 
I found myself truly surprised by my answer and kind of watched the growth of my creative process unfold in real time as I searched for the why and how of my writing practice. A few months ago, I’m not sure when, I surrendered. I decided that what I write, the ideas, inspiration, discipline does not belong to me. What results from the writing process is not mine. My job is to be the warm body. Get the words out. Share the ideas. To be patient and trust that I will receive the idea, contemplation, inspiration and know in a very certain way when, how and why it is time to write. To just be the ship. And quit being the captain. I was really surprised by this revelation. I knew the process of writing had felt different recently. I was no longer questioning the subject matter, worrying about what people might think, concerned whether I was worthy of weighing in on a topic. Somehow I had very quietly let it all go. Surrendered. My role is to get the words out to sea. I don’t need to decide the direction. 
I was surprised as I said these words out loud. I had wanted this for so long. To be like Mary from Wisconsin. To believe. To really fully feel like I was receiving the words, idea, inspiration. All I had to do was release it. I wish I could say I found God. I totally have not. Still working on that one. But I can say for certain that this creative shift - which has also happened with my fine art process, is most certainly due to a deeper understanding of my Human Design. 
Being able to better embody the idea that my mind exists to serve others and my body is here to best serve myself has really enabled me to let go. At least with my creative process, I can now allow my mind to stay out of it as much as possible. That is not to say I do not stand in judgment of my work. That’s a skill I have worked very hard on to develop. Being able to measure, compare, see in a very deep and critical way what works about a piece and what doesn’t. I allow for the very necessary critique to come in later. But where I surrender and leave my mind aside is in the process. Especially when it comes to getting started. 
I trust my ideas. I trust my inspiration. And I suppose this is a kind of surrender. 
This week brings the opportunity to reflect on two SOLAR TRANSITS along with the beginning of the first quarter of the Human Design year, the Quarter of Possibility, which begins on 2-2. If you feel as though these past months things have been moving backwards and it has been hard to get traction, take a deep breath, that feeling of stuckness is about to ease. The tension of the year end encourages us to find stillness, even when we do not want to, in order to reflect and contemplate the ending of the previous year as we begin to think about what we truly desire for the coming months. It is an important part of the process and one beautifully reflected in nature as she grows quiet for the winter, preparing for spring. The Quarter of Possibility which runs through May, illuminates nearly all the GATES of the Solar Plexus or the Emotional Center. It is a tender quarter and you might find yourself really being led by emotions over the next few months. The opportunity of the emotional quarter is to understand your ability to regulate your emotions while also honoring them. To offer a presence of emotional certainty and knowingness to the collective while acknowledging what we feel and how this effects our narrative, our relationships and how we hope to experience expansion this year. 
Beginning this week, the sun moves through GATE 19, the GATE of ATTUNEMENT. This week you are invited to bring awareness to your sensitivity. To balance the art of allowing for sensitivity without compromising what you want and who you are. To truly understand what you need from both yourself and others in order to feel grounded in your sensitivity and autonomous in your sensitivity instead of shut down, victimized or codependent. 
Journaling Prompts for this week:
1. Am I holding back from asking for what I need emotionally? 
2. Do my relationships reflect my true emotional self? 
3. Am I both able to regulate my emotions and also ask for what I really need from myself and others?
On February second, the sun transits GATE 13, the GATE of NARRATIVES. GATE 13 tasks you with the opportunity to redefine yourself every single day. To envision and adopt a narrative that reflects your current values and empowers your authentic self. To model a personal story of expansion and abundance that allows others who are stuck in suffering to see what is possible. 
Journaling Prompts for this week:
1. What past narratives am I holding on to?
2. Do these past stories reflect my current self? Do they reflect what an expanded version of myself believes? 
3. What do I need to surrender to in order to rewrite my current narrative? One that reflects my creativity and possibility? Who do I need to forgive or what circumstances do I need to reconcile in order to unburden myself to write a new story?
4. Am I holding on to outdated or current stories of others? Do I need to release them in order to rewrite my own story?
Have a great week exploring this transit! Let me know what came up for you! 
Sometimes I miss radio, and then I think about all the songs that saturated the airways and kind of lost their impact and nuance. If you lived though the 80's and 90's you know what I mean. Especially in the 90's so many great bands fell victim to over saturation. There are only so many times you can hear Mr. Jones before you never want to hear it again. 
This week's song recently popped up on a 90's grunge playlist I was listening to and I remembered how much I really liked this band. Blind Melon was great, is great, but their contributions were diminished by the very quick and dramatic ascent of Bee Girl and the song No Rain. Also too, the untimely death of lead singer Shannon Hoon. Sadly not an uncommon fate for 90's grunge musicians back then or all these years later. 
All of this is to say that I've been doing a little dive down the rabbit hole on albums and artists who I actually really liked but needed time away from just due to hearing one song over and over again on the radio and Mtv and everywhere I went. Blind Melon is one of them and the song Change is really beautiful and can probably stand alone as a solid song on it's own if anyone else were ever to sing it. I included the full lyrics below. They are simple, yet profound and a plea that rings true both past and future. 
I hope you enjoy it too. Hit listen to get a taste.
Blind Melon
I don't feel the sun's comin' out today
It's stayin' in, it's gonna find another way, yeah
As I sit here in this misery
I don't think I'll ever know, Lord
See the sun from here
And oh, as I fade away
They'll all look at me and say
And they'll say, "Hey, look at him"
"I'll never live that way"
And that's ok, they're just afraid to change
When you feel life ain't worth living
You've got to stand up
Take a look around, look up way to the sky, hell yeah
And when your deepest thoughts are broken
Keep on dreamin' boy, 'cause when you stop dreamin' it's time to die
And as we all play parts of tomorrow, Lord no
Some ways we'll work, and other ways we'll play, yeah
But I know we can't all stay here forever
So I'm gonna write my words on the face of today
And then they'll paint it
And oh, as I fade away
They'll all look at me and say
They'll say, "Hey look at him"
"And where he is these days?"
When life is hard, you have to change
When life is hard, you have to change, mmm

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