When asked, “How did you get to where you are today?” I reply, “I followed my curiosity and paid attention to what energized and excited me.”
It’s been ten years since my first blog post and I’ve come a long way. Those first posts were so awkward and dry. I didn’t know what to write but I showed up anyway posting photos of my art experiments.
I poked around Bloglandia and connected with other bloggers. We exchanged encouraging comments that inspired me to keep posting. I remember my very first comment came from a woman in Germany. I was impressed that my pictures and words were seen not only by someone I didn’t know, but someone living in a country so distant from my own. This exchange held the same awe and mystery that I felt sending and receiving pen pal letters some thirty years earlier. Within a couple of months of blogging, my authentic voice began to emerge as I wrote about life as a single mother rediscovering the joy of creating for her own pleasure. The more I opened up, the more others connected with my words and ideas.
A whole new world opened up for me and my curiosity would lead me to try various mediums and techniques for expressing my inner landscape and philosophy on life. Within four months I found myself publishing weekly Soul Journal prompts and moderating a Yahoo board.
Now ten years later, I’ve published thousands of blog posts, offered a range of online courses, and trained with some highly skilled and talented facilitators. The best part has been connecting with kindred spirits from all over the world.
I’m grateful to have documented my soulful and creative life in blog posts, journals, photographs, and creative projects. This provided a record of where I’ve been and what I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing. To my surprise, I found evidence of an intention that would set the course to where I’m at today. In the very first year, I recorded my deepest wish: “My mission is to create and connect. My dream is to design inspiring hands-on activities that connect people with their Self and others.”
It’s so clear how all of the experiences and projects over the years stem from this one positive intention set ten years ago and today it remains true only with more clarity, confidence, and experience.
Highlights from the last ten years.
- The Collage Diva blog was named after my love for cutting and gluing paper since I was child. The name also reflects how I see life as a collage with random experiences coming together in a cohesive and meaningful way.
- 04/06/08 – The date of the first post. It wasn’t planned but the month, day, and year differ by two.
- For my 40th birthday, I hosted a SoulCollage® Tea party and hired a facilitator for a private workshop for my friends.
- Within four months of blogging, I started posting Soul Journal prompts and moderated a Yahoo board.
- After a year of blogging I launched the True North Arts blog. The first post featured mandala art created by people who were following my Soul Journal series.
- Over the course of the next nine years, my artwork appeared in a variety of exhibits and published in several books and magazines. I documented in photographs many adventures and outings over the years.
- In 2009, I began studying Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging.
- In 2010, I completed the SoulCollage® Facilitator Training. I started a study of the Olympic Greek Goddess Archetypes.
- In 2011, I hosted gatherings called Dream Circles for SARK fans in the New England Area.
- In 2012, I hosted a Virtual Wedding Event with my husband. It would be the first of many very creative online events.
- In 2013, I completed the Virtues Project Facilitator Training. I learned the empowering practices of speaking the language of the virtues and the Art of Companioning.
- In 2013, I developed the Journey of the Heart Journal and online course.
- In 2014, Mandala Fever Strikes! I launched the 100 Mandalas Challenge.
- In 2015, I focused on all things mandala and put True North Arts and Collage Diva on hold. I started a two year study (completed in 2016) with Susanne Fincher focusing on the Great Round Mandala series and launched a new 100 Mandalas website and YouTube channel.
- In 2016, my book, “The Mandala Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint and Color Expressive Mandala Art” was published. I hosted the first Mandalafest, now a week long online event held each October.
- In 2017, I ditched the day job to focus full-time on my business. I traveled to Hawaii for the Ram Dass Open Your Heart in Paradise Retreat and piloted my Goddess Course.
- I began 2018 teaching a mandala program at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center.
- In 2018, I opened the Sharing Circle as a free membership website. Started the monthly mandala challenges in January.
- In 2018, I completed the Soul Coaching® Facilitator Training.
- In 2018, I developed the Soul Journey Mandala Series.
- 04/06/18 – I relaunched True North Arts to offer an array of creative and contemplative activities for connecting with the wisdom of one’s soul.
Where do I stand today?
What is my mission? What do I see, hear, feel, do, and love? I took the figure from the center of my timeline mandala and answered these questions. At the heart of what I’ve been doing these last ten years is creating and connecting soul-to-soul.
With this new True North Arts website, I’m delighted to continue my exploration of the mandala and to return to where I began with blogging, vision journals, SoulCollage®, mixed media and documenting my soulful and creative life in photos and videos.
My latest curiosities are nature based as I explore the fascinating world of Shamanism. I recognize and celebrate that I’m a strong intuitive and want to guide others to listen and trust their own intuition using the expressive and contemplative arts.
It feels so good to have such clarity and conviction. I’m excited to see where my curiosity will take us these next ten years!
Celebrate with me!
Each month I host a mandala challenge and for April, I’m inviting you to celebrate by creating a “Celebrate 10 Mandala.” I talk about the challenge in the video above.
- Create a mandala with an element of ten.
- For a closer look at the mandalas from the video look at the gallery below.
- Post a photo or scan of your mandala in the Sharing Circle. Include a congratulatory message.
>>Not a member? Join for free here.
>>Members Log-in Here.
- Deadline to enter is April 22, 2018 at midnight, EST.
- One winner will be randomly selected to win a 100 Mandalas Gift Certificate that can be used toward one of these online classes: Color I Course, Mandala Drawing I Course, or Soul Journey Mandalas Course
Mandala Gallery: Celebrating 10 Years!
Fourteen members of the 100 Mandalas Community created these mandalas to kick off the celebration. Click on the images for a closer look at each mandala and to see if you can spot all of the ways that they worked in the number 10. I am touched by the messages that each artist sent along with their mandala. You can read them when you enlarge the view.