Wednesday, February 29, 2012

leap: Tidbit Tues(wednes)day

Oops.

As I drifted off to sleep last night, mentally ticking off oodles of to-do's and circling oodles of still-need-to-do's, I thought: oops. Blog.

Totally forgot Tidbit Tuesday. At one point last night I said to my husband, "I think my head is so full of stuff it's gonna pop." Or burst. Or explode. I really can't remember what I said.

Now, overly dramatic as that is, I'm not complaining--'cause all this Stuff swimming in my head? Oh, it's so good. It's the joyful work of Sprout. It's soul-work from an amazingly stirring online class I'm taking. It's bundles and piles and toppling mountains of ideas waiting for me to have time.

How did I get here?

Last night, brain-popping aside, I kept thinking: how did all these dreams come true? Are they really true, or am I sleeping?

Seriously. (Could have to do with needing to remember balance, and time to breathe, and time to re-fill a creative well that's constantly pouring out.) But beyond the joyful tiredness . . . is simply awe. Gratitude. Wonder. Especially in regards to Sprout, as I cultivate one of the most exciting issues yet (Creativity. Did I mention I got Christine Mason Miller for my Thrive interview series? Yes. I know I did. How about again? Christine Mason Miller).

So how did I get here?

One tiny, timid, trusting leap at a time.

(And this.)

(sneak peek! Some of the creative work I've been savoring.
You'll read more in Sprout: Creativity, releasing 3/15/12.)

Tidbit for today (err, yesterday):

"The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." --Agnes De Mille

what's one small step
(itty bitty, microscopic)
you can take today
to leap you toward
the life of your dreams?

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

part of something beautiful: Spotlight Saturday

This song brought me peace this week. I hope it blesses you too.

(Repeat as needed.)



Gratitude and love to Jenn Gibson, who originally posted this video and lyrics on Roots of She:

May the grace of God be with you always, in your heart.
May you know the truth inside you from the start.
May you find the strength to know that you are a part of something beautiful . . .
--Alexi Murdoch
Let's be part of something beautiful this weekend!

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

creativity that saves: Thanksgiving Thursday

Fresh out of Christine Mason Miller's webinar Desire to Inspire: Inspirational Character Study, I'm glowing with gratitude--

for Christine . . .

for creativity that saves, soothes, stirs my soul . . .

for the brave ones,
the artists and writers and explorers and dreamers
who share their journey with us--
and who invite us to leap beyond comfort and "safety" . . .
into the full, multi-colored, multi-layered,
soulful, joyful, passionate life

we were born to embrace.

(working on my inspiration deck
inspired by Christine's new book)

Need some inspiration in your daily life? Christine's book is an amazing place to start.

Sprout, too, strives to uplift and inspire you--right where you are, finding beauty and meaning in the everyday mundane.

(And . . . I can't keep the secret any longer . . . the lovely Christine Mason Miller? Yes, the one--artist, writer, explorer . . . creator of Swirly. The one and only. She's the subject of Sprout's next THRIVE interview! I'm still pinching myself, but it's oh so real. I can't wait to share her thoughts in the creativity issue, releasing March 15. What a dream come true!)

Where do you find inspiration?

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

to the unknown: Tidbit Tuesday

It's hard stepping into the unknown.

Right now I'm facing a heap of unknowns. New creative projects, an online class (which promises to be difficult and cathartic and exciting and energizing and exhausting and amazing all at once), growing and shifting and changing and expanding and lovin' on Sprout, and more.

Sometimes my heart thumps and my palms sweat and my stomach ties in little knots.

And so I slow down.
Breathe.
Say thank you.
Ask for help.
Listen for divine whispers.

Remind myself that the scariest times in my life . . .
have always led to the greatest growth
and (eventually) joy.

(one of my handwritten notes

Beginnings suck.

And beginnings are pretty much the best thing ever.

Don'tcha love this complicated, simple, crazy, serene, creatively chaotic, consciously peaceful, perfectly imperfect life?

I do too.

Tidbit for today:

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself." --Alan Alda

What are you beginning today? Ending?
Wherever you are,
I send you love.

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

inspire your home: Spotlight Saturday

"How do you define home?

Is it a place, a sense of well-being, a frame of mind? Can you touch it, is it concrete, or do you dream of it, night after night? Have you been there before, was it a stop along the way to where you are now? Or are you there now, do you feel that sense of home all the way down to your bones?"

--Jenn Gibson, page 8 of Sprout #4: Home
Did you hear? Sprout's fourth issue launched Wednesday--and I'm still rippling with joy. Each new issue deepens, enriches, strengthens my spirit and my relationship with each topic. Home? Oh goodness, this is no exception. With Sprout's help, I've been loving on my home like never before.

(from Sprout #4)

Part of what's making a big difference in my home is making a conscious effort to surround myself with reminders of "me"--the truest, most heart-deep part of me. Color. Inspiration. Family.

This week's Spotlight offers a great opportunity for embracing this concept. Jessica Brogan of In Search of Dessert is hosting an "inspiration deck" art swap. Her idea blossomed from Christine Mason Miller's wonderful new book, Desire to Inspire. In this swap, you alter/decorate 53 playing cards with inspiring quotes and designs--one for each week of the year, plus an extra set she'll be sending to Christine. Jessica will gather all entries, mix 'em up, and send back a luscious variety of cards from other artists. Love! You have to go check out her images . . . so delicious. Deadline to sign up is February 20! (Cards mailed in by March 1.)

Have a fantastic weekend . . .
and wherever you go,
may you feel at home.

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sprout #4 now available (the home issue)

Where do you belong?

For you, home might mean comfort. Safety. Warmth. Or home might be more complicated, mixing heartbreak with hope, sadness with spirit. Maybe your sense of belonging has been hard-won. Either way, you are welcome here, invited to join me and 19 soul-soothing guest contributors as we cultivate a sense of home that nourishes, strengthens, and brings us joy.

Sprout's fourth issue (seeds of home) is now available!


find comfort. safety. hope.
    discover where you are meant to be.

Soak up this richly colorful, soothing, and soul-satisfying issue:

+ 60 vibrant full-color pages (PDF instant download)
+ gorgeous viewed on computers, tablets, or smart phones
+ hand-painted backgrounds
+ handwritten notes from me to you
+ art and photography
+ poetry
+ essays
+ creative prompts to cultivate home in your own life

Download a free preview here:


Sprout Home Preview 

Guests in this issue:

Jenn Gibson, Jennifer W. McCullough, Amanda Oaks, Hannah Marcotti, Kelly Letky, D Smith Kaich Jones, Leah Piken Kolidas, Heather King, Kristin Noelle, Julia Fehrenbacher, Maureen Helms Blake, Scott Simpson, Tammy Lee Bradley, Michele Bergh, Jenny Maroney, Lee Ann Monat, Rachel Greenhouse, Laura Boggess

Thrive interview series: Katie Clemons of Gadanke and Making This Home


Thank you so much for supporting Sprout. I believe in its mission with all my heart. I want nothing more than for these love-filled pages to bless you.  

Issue 4 (Home) $6:

Home + subscribe to upcoming issues:

NOTE: If you subscribe (thank you!), future issues will be sent on the 15th of each month to your PayPal email address unless you specify otherwise under Special Instructions: Note to Seller.

Sprout makes a great gift. Buying for a friend or family member? Purchase as usual, then wait for your email with download link (should arrive within a moment or two after completing payment), and forward that email to your recipient.

If you prefer the gift email to come from me, simply add Note to Seller on PayPal with your recipient's name, email address, and when you would like their issue delivered (immediately or on a certain date). If you purchase a gift subscription, I can also email your recipient and let them know details (again, leave Note to Seller). Thanks!


Catch up on Sprout's first three issues (Celebration, Abundance, and Boldness) in my new bundle pack--only $15 for all three. Click here or visit Sprout's shop to pick up your bundle of goodness now!

Problems? Questions? Email me at PersistentGreen (at) gmail (dot) com and I'd be delighted to respond.

Join the conversation at our Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

loved: Tidbit Tuesday

Wherever you are today
(hearts and flowers or not),
whatever you're doing
(hugging someone, eating way too much chocolate),

may you feel loved.

'Cause you are.
More than you know.

(I'm sending you some love-beams right now. Feel 'em?)

(ah, the sky was amazing that day)

Tidbit for today:

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." -Zora Neale Hurston

May your soul crawl out today and feel safe and loved.


Pssst, Sprout #4: home releases tomorrow morning! So much comfort, soul-soothing, and warmth. I can't wait to share these 60 colorful and inspiring pages with you.
Did you miss the first three issues of Sprout? You can now buy them in a bundle for $15. Catch up on Celebration, Abundance, and Boldness here.
See you tomorrow!

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

home sweet pinterest: Spotlight Saturday

What does home mean to you?

I've spent the past month pondering, perusing, playing with the concept of home. Sprout's fourth issue (!) releases 2/15/12--with so many sweet, soothing, stirring answers to this question. Home. Belonging. I love this topic as I cozy up inside with windows frosted over and cold winds blowing. I hope you will too.

And . . . oh, someone help me, I've gone and done it: started Pinning. (Blame it on the wonderfully enticing Pinterest-related piece included in the upcoming Sprout. And all the other stories, oohs and ahhs echoing over the Internet.) (And yes, I've read the warnings too! Ha!)

I'm gathering some dreamy favorites for a home-sweet-home inspiration board:

visit my board here:

Some might say I'm asking for trouble, beginning what will clearly be a new obsession--while I'm scurrying to finish up Sprout #4.

They're probably right.

But at the same time, I'm loving this visual way of gathering my thoughts . . . amplifying, illustrating . . . stirring the creative pot while I work. I find myself drawn to jewel tones, comfort, signs of life. Bits of joy.

What does home look like to you?

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

not small at all: Thanksgiving Thursday

Don't get me wrong--I love to give thanks for big things.

Love. Family. Home.

The heavy hitters certainly deserve gratitude--and lots of it.

But when it comes to everyday thanks . . .
keeping up this gratitude practice on a daily,
no.matter.what basis . . .
well, it's all about the small:

purring cat insisting her way onto my lap.

cold wind, warm home.

steam rising from steeping chai.

"out of the blue" email,
exactly when and what
I needed.

goodbye-i-love-you
pre-work
kisses.

afternoon light puddling on new table,
where echoes of laughter still ring
from our family party.

(yes, handy husband assembled this breakfast nook! oh mercy.)

'cause these small joys . . .
well, they really aren't small
at all.

What small joy are you giving thanks for today?

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

go out and do it: Tidbit Tuesday (sorta)

Taking a moment from all my talk here about joy-seeking,
practicing gratitude, and celebrating life's sweet, simple pleasures . . .

to actually go out and do it!

We're finishing up my husband's 30th birthday celebration today
with a family party at our house. This afternoon has been filled
with cleaning, prepping, anticipating.

Tonight we'll party, eat Indian tacos (local delicacy: fry bread
smothered with all the usual taco fixin's), play games,
and laugh.

Especially laugh.

On Thursday we'll return to our usual schedule here.
For today, I'm sending you love and laughter
wherever you are!

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

the big 3-0 & Cohabitation (Amanda Oaks): Spotlight Saturday

Happy 3-0 to my husband,
my best friend,
the one.

We've now been together a third of his life . . .
and even more of mine.

And we're just getting started.

Happy birthday, love!


Before we head out to celebrate, I'm thrilled to Spotlight my friend Amanda Oaks once again. Remember I mentioned last week that she relaunched Words Dance? Well, I have even better news . . . she just released Cohabitation, a sizzling collection of her poetry.

As I told Amanda yesterday morning, I was supposed to be working--but her poetry pulled me in, riveted me to the screen and I just had to keep tasting one after another. Her words pop and spark and fizz with all the passion of real love.

"i hunt for things you do not know
like what your eyelashes look like
when you close your eyes, a secret
i haven't confessed until now . . ."
-from "the problem with becoming widely aware of us
just before sleep," p. 43

I devoured these delicious poems like a starving woman--but can't wait to go back and savor, slowly, with a hot cup of something and a candle or two.

Amanda's poems are spicy (sizzle at your own risk), but never without the weight of truth--that instant recognition in the pit of your stomach, saying, yes, i know this. And all at once, our private worlds are connected. Validated. Companioned.

Our stories are different . . .
but the humanity? The held breath, thumping heart?
We all bleed red, friends.

Amanda's startling and sweet and spicy collection is 46 pages (PDF instant download) for $6--so worth it. Go, read, savor.

***

As for me? It's time to go celebrate with the birthday boy!
Happy weekend to you!


Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

love list: Thanksgiving Thursday

today's love list:

+ lazy-morning laughter with hubs
+ returning to workout routine, body creaking back to life
+ hot coffee, flowing inspiration
+ Mom's patient help
+ super-secret birthday surprise underway (Jason turns 30 on Saturday) (shhhhhhhhh)
+ old photos: captured smiles, hidden tears
+ lemon water
+ blazing hot showers
+ kitty cuddles (even if she just wants food)
+ uplifting music
+ healthy delicious lunch (even if it was topped by a handful of Doritos)
+ the blessed "problem" of work to catch up on
+ settling into loooovely new big workspace, assembled by hubs with love (photos soon, promise) (the desk, not the hubs) (well, maybe him too)
+ Sprout, Sprout, Sprout
+ oh, and Sprout
+ did I mention Sprout?
( + being a woman obsessed with purpose, passion, progress)

(handpainted papers waiting for the next issue of Sprout:
2/15/12: seeds of home)
(yes, I actually paint the backgrounds!)

what do you love today?

Sprout is OUT! Sprout, my new online magazine, strives to uplift and inspire by cultivating color, beauty, and meaning in our daily lives. Issue 1 asks: what would happen if we faced every day with a spirit of celebration? Click here to visit Sprout's home base.