You want to THRIVE and live in the PRESENT MOMENT. You want to CREATE THE REALITY YOU'VE ALWAYS DREAMED through CREATIVE LIFESTYLE HABITS.You want to tap into that hidden, CREATIVE POTENTIAL that is ready to be UNLEASHED to the world. When your inner voice, your intuitive heart --- YOUR creative genius --- is nourished and pampered, you know you can create profound changes in your LIFE that is the art.
Desiree East is a Soulful Entrepreneur, Certified Master Transformational Coach, Creatively Fit Coach and Visual Artist. Desiree facilitates live creative workshops and retreats, as well as, online art programs focused on personal and professional development. She inspires her clients to create meaningful change in their lives through creative ritual, using art-making as a modality for creative wellness and deep transformation (no art experience required).
So I've been somewhat in hibernation mode this fall/winter, as I have been deepening my intuition and inviting my muse(s) to play with me for the creation of my latest creative project.
It's no coincidence, Maneki-neko (Lucky Cat) has been showing up for me, signs, signs, everywhere, on my radar, knocking at my door. So guess who is going to be my SACRED SYMBOL for this year (though, I’ve already tapped into that energy long before the New Year)?
Consider this a little spoiler alert for the creative process for my new Oracle Deck...I can’t wait to share more with you!
Click play below to see what I've been up to and to see a time lapse painting of my lucky, little, happy feline friend:
The reason why I'm sharing this quote, is because I have been on a quiet and blissful, yet deep and transformative journey with this new motherhood thing.
Granted, it has taken me a whole 2-3 years to finally come back to normal (whatever that means)...well, you know, like finally doing all the regular things, like going out to do FUN stuff...seeing your girlfriends, seeing your career gain traction again, taking regular showers AND glamming up (which, for me BTW, means a tiny bit of mascara and lip gloss...yeah, mama!)
But, more importantly, the reason why I'm sharing this is because I wanted to use this as a reminder that:
1) We are all humans (doing the best that we can do to survive),
2) No matter who we are or what we do (and whether you are a mother or not), each of us experiences different 'seasons' in our lives, and
3) We are always evolving into something new.
Something happens when you try to live up to a certain image (aka 'following The Jones'), where we live in digitally social world where our lives are curated, and if you aren't living up to Pinterest standards, well you kinda feel like, f*ck, what now?
With that said, I've been finally giving myself permission to have some breathing room (like, MAJORLY), as I dance through both worlds of motherhood, entrepreneurship, and being a compassionate, loving wife...without losing my sh*t.
For a desperate moment, I found myself striving to be the most attentive mamma to my little one and get back into the world of online marketing so that I could automate, automate, automate. Tighten up my funnels. Get my systems in place. Show up to all the masterminds. Create new programs. Serve my clients. Support the family business. Support my husband. Be a good wifey. Cook all the meals. Get back to dancing, surfing, self-care...all the stuff you're supposed to do to make you feel like freakin' Wonder Woman (which, I haven't had the pleasure to see, yet, because look how busy I am, people).
You get the picture.
And then it dawned on me.
I never fully gave myself a chance to become a MOM, like really, really, really embrace what it truly means to be a mother. A mother to this beautiful love-child, who wants nothing more than to hang out with me. How friggin' lucky am I? I've got a mini BFF who is truly coming into her own right now, and all she wants is all of my love and attention (and milk).
The first two years of mamahood pretty much looked like this:
Boom. Kirra is born.
Survival mode for the first year.
Hire an amazing nanny the second year to help with the survival stuff.
Try to get back to work.
Try to get back to 'normal'.
Try to get back to the 'old Dez' back (how naive was I?)
Realized that maybe I wasn't put on this planet to be super-stay-at-home-career-mom (all of you Pinterest-worthy mommy bloggers set the bar high)
Realized I don't have to be a super-stay-at-home-career-mom
And amidst the late-nights and self-imposed identity crises, my lovely husband, who truly has been my constant (if you've ever been a fan of the series, 'Lost', you'll know what I'm talking about), comes up with the most simplest of brilliant plans:
"Why don't you just go back to spending time with Kirra full-time and paint?"
Mkay. </insert a million heart emojis here>
All of a sudden, a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders (you know, like when you go backpacking for 11 miles straight in the blistering heat with 27 pounds of gear, and as you stop to rest in the cool-night air, you take your pack off and in an instant you're like, "Man, I feel like Neil Armstrong").
So that's why I've been away. And that's the plan.
To PLAY and CREATE. To fully embrace motherhood with deep presence, ease, and grace...and to take things slooooooow.
With that said, I am going to do this the best way I know, which is making a creative journey out of it.
Stay with me here, I'm switching gears for a moment...
I loooove oracle decks...they are such a fun and easy way to connect with your intuition. Here are some of my favorite decks to use, both personally and in coaching sessions for clients. The Medicine Card decks were introduced to me by a dear old friend way back in my college days...a little over 20 years ago!! (That makes one the more wiser, no?)
I've become somewhat of a closet oracle deck collector, and they have become essential tools in my studio for divine guidance and intuitive art-making.
So, today, I'm coming out of the woo-creation closet (SURPRISE!)
I'm embarking on the journey of creating and illustrating a set of oracle decks. I'm sooooooo excited...this is the closest thing to my dream of becoming a published children's illustrator (that will come later, when my co-author, Kirra, gets older).
This passage has come across my path at the most perfect time, as I have been craving more DOWN time, to work more deeply with my art and spend more time with my little love bug (who will be my most influential muse, I'm sure).
The completion of this journey might take 1 or 2 SEASONS.
It might take 2 years.
It might take 7 years.
But what I know for sure, is that this is something that I have been seeking... to SLOW DOWN and become more of who I am meant to be.
And the best way I know how to do that is through my art.
This is the thing that will help me make sense of my ever-evolving transformation, from maiden to motherhood...because, rushing around, curating a #perfectlife, and trying to fit into a mold of what society expects, as a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, [a fill-in-the-blank], no longer works for me.
This journey will keep me connected to the rhythms of Mother Earth and the galaxies above.
I look forward to sharing this creative journey with you.
It might be messy.
I might disappear at moment's notice, not to be seen for weeks on end.
I might bombard you with nonsensical images or words that only makes sense to my creative mind.
And you might see a glimpse of me that only the closest of friends and friends witness when we are two-bottles-of-wine-deep.
That said, if you are still reading this, you might be very well an inspiration and co-creator in my creative journey, too, so THANK YOU for the support while I figure out my place in the world as a new mama and evolving artist. THANK YOU for being here and for the positive vibes, my friends.
Doing some last-minute shopping for Mother's Day? I just wanted to drop a quick little note and let you know that I have a special offer for all the Moms (and daughters, sisters, aunties, grandmas, doggy + cat mamas, too!!).
As an artist and new(ish) mom, I know in my heart that having a regular painting practice has been an essential tool and wonderful way to ZEN out and gain much needed peace and quiet in my life. I was thinking of all the beautiful moms in my life and thought, "If every mother had a chance to connect to that CREATIVE and NURTURING part of herself that comes so naturally to her, but doing it at the canvas, as a gift to herself, what a beautiful gift that would be!"
If you're doing any last-minute shopping or would love to send a gift from afar, I have a very special offer just for MOMS If you think your mom would enjoy an online creativity coaching experience with me, please hook her up!! Offer ends on May 13th, 2017 at MIDNIGHT.
I have coached women virtually from around the world, and the experience of helping women create a sacred 'studio' space in the comfort of their homes, while we connect globally has been pretty amazing.
I promise, I will LOVE her up and take very good care of her!!
Please click the link below and purchase as a gift for your mom (and if you want to treat yo' self, please do!!):
Please COMMENT BELOW if you have any questions, and I'll be in touch soon about upcoming painting sessions this summer. Creative Art Meditations was a HIT, so you'll be hearing more about that, too. Have a wonderful weekend!!
Let's talk about the idea of detachment for a sec and explore what 'freedom' really means.
Just several years ago, I painted a mandala that I absolutely LOOOOOVED.
And there was this moment in the not-so-recent-past (last weekend), where I was invited to 'Rise Above' with my mentor and dear soul sister, Whitney Freya, and paint my wings (You might be familiar with the beautiful angel wings of artist Colette Miller, whose brilliant work could be seen in cities around the world, for The Global Angel Project).
I was called to paint BIG. As I looked around my studio to see what I could find, my eyes immediately rested upon my gorgeous mandala painting.
The (left-brain) thoughts started barreling into my brain...my ego was taking over...
"It's so prettttty...I don't want to ruin it.
But, I use it all the time for the background, for my video interviews...what am I going to use now??
People love that painting...I always get compliments on it..."
AND THEN my muse decided to pop in for a quick throw down:
"This is it Dez. You wanted to EXPAND to feel that sense of ABUNDANCE and FLOW...here's your chance to practice this on your canvas. Practice what you preach, girl. Go BIG..."
So I'm in the process of painting over this beautiful mandala that's been part of my life...letting go of perfectionism is hard, especially having a designer's mindset, where everything has a specific place, purpose and function.
As a mom (of now a toddler that pretty much rules my life with 24/7 hours of spontaneous wild-child energy), I've been practicing the art of detachment with a whole new set of eyes.
I *thought* that for many, MANY years that I embodied the gift of what it truly means to be laid back. I once had that gift of being ZEN (and like to think that I've still got it).
So in honoring 'what was' and inviting in 'what is becoming', I paint. In honor of a definition of what freedom looked like (externally) to what freedom REALLY means (internally), I am ready to go BIG.
To LET GO of what used to define me and open up to a life that is SO much bigger and meaningful than I have ever imagined.
Aloha, creative souls! So, I've been taking LOTS of breaks from the social media, as of late, especially since all of the hoopla surrounding the presidential election.
I mean, I had to. For my own sanity.
Did you hear? Someone actually called me the "c" word for mentioning my stance on racism (my stance, being that I will not tolerate it). *control-alt-delete* So, long sucka! That was the first time I've ever had to 'unfriend' a long-time friend on Facebook.
I also kind of had to take a break from all of the recent cyber sales over Thanksgiving Day weekend...oh my gosh, internet people (although, I do admit I have been guilty of this in the past). You know how in the old-school days, when you would walk out to your mailbox to check your mail, and when you opened it, ALL of the junk mail would just kind of spill out haphazardly into your hands?
Well, that's kind of what my email inbox was like, except it was my brain that was spilling haphazardly out of my ears. SO much information.
And then, all of the planning for the holidays. The shopping, the dinner parties, the travelling, the this, the that, andthe other thing.
So, I've been thinking...why do we do this to ourselves? It really doesn't have to be so busy, busy, busy. Really it doesn't.
If you're willing to play, I'd love to encourage you to, simply, simplify ONE area of your life that might need some breathing space. Remember, it's perfectly okay to gracefully say, "No" to the things that don't resonate with you anymore.
Honor down-time. Less is more. Quality over quantity.
Honor this season of slowing down, turning inward, reflecting, and just being.
(And, of course, I have to add this one to the mix):
Honor your creative spirit. Being creative is the best way to sloooooow down time. It's like time almost stops, when you get creative, doesn't it?
So, if you feel like your holiday nerves are getting to you, here are some of my fave ways to take that stress factor down a couple of notches:
Okay, so travelling in general could be very stressful at times, no matter who you are travelling with and no matter where you are going. Planes, trains or automobiles, kids or no kids, friends or foes, something bad is bound to happen, no matter how minor or major the incident. Travel incidents just come with the travel package, right?
Well, let me tell you, the first two days were hell. Ironically, it was not because we had a baby in tow. In fact, Kirra did soooooo well at the airport waiting in long lines, plodding through TSA, and she was a champ (in my eyes) on the flights to and from Hawaii. She got a little restless toward the end of our flights, but who doesn't? (You should feel my biceps...talk about workout).
TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT:
American Airlines, you suck.
There were no clear signs of where to check-in, nor were there clear, designated fancy red line ribbon thingies. What happened to the fancy red line ribbon thingies??
There were no regular check-in lines to check into. The only thing available were these little self check-in kiosks, scattered throughout the floor, underneath the big American Airlines signage.
"No problem, I've got this shit. I'm a computer nerd. I've done this before, we'll be done in 5 minutes flat..."
The self check-in kiosks were not working properly. 1 out of 5 computers in our line were in working order. There was ONE employee that was available to assist our entire area (which was filled with a massive crowd of unorganized, helpless, desperate souls).
Then I looked outside to the Valet check-in. LIFE SAVER. We tipped our dude $20, worth every penny.
Because of said disorganized check-in lines, we were were one of the handful of people to get on the full flight. I even saw a guy sitting a couple of rows behind us roll his eyes, as poor Kirra started to fuss. In my mind, I was like, shut it, dude. Shut your rolling, judge-y eyes.
Yep. No matter how prepared we were and no matter how early we got to the airport, we were that family.
And NO time for a diaper change.
SO much drama for this mama. Sheesh.
SINKING INTO ISLAND LIFE - BLESSINGS ABOUND
Even though our trip didn't start off as smooth as possible (does it ever?), there is always that moment when you step off of the plane and breath in the tropical air that is filled with the scent of sweet plumeria leis...where everything slows down and everything is ooookay.
We crashed out pretty darn early on the night of our arrival, only to wake up at 5am the next morning to find out that there was a Hawaiian blessing and ceremony taking place on the beach where we were staying.
I took this as a sign, and decided to use this opportunity to introduce Kirra to the ocean water for her very first time, as well as, honor my transition into motherhood. The releasing of being a maiden and honoring my role as a mother for Kirra (which was quite the journey, especially with her wanting only me during the entire trip) was something I've needed since she was born. Some sort of meaningful ritual to make it all legit.
And this was it.
Coincidentally, it was also the anniversary of my beloved furry family member, Moana (my other daughter - no, really) passing, and to add to that, the name of the chant was about 'Moana', and it took place in front of the iconic Moana Surfrider resort. Whaaaaaaaat?
I swear, I didn't plan it that way.
And the funny thing is, is that Brendon and I have always believed that our dog, Moana, was the one who sent Baby Kirra to us. That, my friends, is yet, another story.
This beautiful "Ho 'ala" (or awakening) was a Hawaiian ceremony of renewal of mind, body, and spirit, and it took place at sunrise, facing Diamond Head. It was a practice of getting into the correct mind-space, cleansing body, mind, and spirit, focusing our minds toward a future, filled with renewed vitality, hope, and happiness.
An ocean blessing of sorts.
Kirra loooooooooved the ocean water, and she had a big grin on her face when we took her past the shore break. It was such a special moment. Of course, we didn't get it on video or capture any photos, but it was definitely memorable.
At Dusk. Quiet. Still.
Diamond Head in the background.
Perfectly peaceful, as we chanted toward the sunrise:
E ALA E
E ALA E
KA LĀ I KAHIKINA
Awake! The sun is in the East
I KA MOANA
KA MOANA HOHONU
At the ocean, the deep ocean
PI'I KA LEWA
KA LEWA NU'U
Climb to the heavens, highest heaven
AIA KA LĀ
E ALA E!
In the East, there is the sun, arise, awake!
So, there was a point during our trip where Brendon and I decided to stop trying to plan and control every single second of our vacation time (because, naturally, that's what we had been doing all along to make the vacation happen, right?!).
Let go of needing to figure what we needed to do next.
Let go of figuring out where to eat and when should we eat and what time should we eat and what about the baby?
So much pressure, man.
And once I decided to consciously let go of control (damn post-partum OCD. There is such a thing, isn't there??), all was good in the Hawaiian hood.
And I applied that to tending to Kirra the entire trip, too. Letting go of having to be the perfect vacation mommy. Letting go of having to be the perfect vacation wife.
And my, oh my. Everything just fell into place as easily as it could in paradise.
FAST FORWARD A FEW DAYS
As I was sitting on my surfboard, salt water dripping from eyelashes and onto my lips, a dear friend and beautiful surf sister that I've known for many years gently shared this little piece of a truth-bomb that was given to her from another friend, on being a mom:
"Your life is no longer your own..."
What? Ouch!No, no, no. La, la, la,la, la, la, la...
"I know, how depressing, huh?" Thank god she shared the same sentiment as me.
I really didn't want to hear that, and my instant inward, silent reaction (being a life coach and all) was, "Pfffffft...there you have it, another limiting belief, disguised as wisdom, promising to hold me back from doing all of the things I want to do in my life."
But the truth was that I had only a small window of time to paddle out and enjoy my very first surf session since I became pregnant with Kirra. And the truth was, was that I was thinking of Kirra every single second I was out there.
What was she doing?
Is she playing with Daddy?
I hope she's not crying.
Is she having fun?
I missssss her.
And, it was true. I have been admittedly been playing this game of denial with my former maiden-self for quite some time now. "What?? My life isn't going to change that much. I wish people would stop telling me my life is going to change. Bah, humbug. Not happening over here. Because, see look: #TRAVELLINGWITHBABY"
And then, my break-time was up.
Long gone are the surf sessions that lasted for 2 hours at a time.
Long gone are the surf sessions that had me staring off blankly into the horizon with no care in the world.
Long gone are the surf sessions where both Brendon and I could surf together, wherever and whenever we want.
Long gone are the carefully planned surf sessions, perfectly synced with the tides, the wind, and the swells formed from stormy seas thousands of miles of away.
Yes, this is all true. BUT, it doesn't mean I have to give up the things that I love and stop doing the things that make me feel complete. Otherwise, I will really go insane. And that is not good for me. Nor for Brendon. Or for the Baby.
So, let's reframe this, shall we? ('Reframing' is an example of a pretty awesomely simple coaching technique, where we change the meaning of an unwanted situation in order to gain a more positive perspective on the outcome...incredibly useful stuff, if you're feeling stuck!)
MY LIFE IS STILL MY OWN AND NOW I GET TO SHARE ITS BEAUTY WITH MY LITTLE BABE
The flip side to this new mamahood thing is a whole 'nother world that has opened up in tremendous ways. New ways of being. New ways of seeing. Now I get to share my love of life, of travel, of the vast ocean and its blessings, with my little girl. I have a whole new perspective of ocean-life from the eyes of a child. And it has been magnificent. And soooooo much FUN!! So much laughter (Kirra is a really funny baby, guys!) And the LOVE, I can't even to begin to measure.
As soon as I got home, I had a conference call scheduled with my fellow Creatively Fit Coach Team members. And it was just what I needed to seal the deal of this whole transforming into motherhood thing (although, I suppose it never really is a process that ever ends, is it?)
In speaking with my colleagues, something kept ringing in my ears loud and clear:
So, as a new mom (and your Creatively Fit Coach), I'm going to practice what I preach and go back to the canvas and commit to my personal painting practice for four months straight. So I could allow myself to re-connect with myself.
To make time for me (selfishly, how dare I do such a thing, that thing they call self-care?!)
To connect with creative, kind souls (are you ready?)
To connect with mother nature (I hear the ocean waves calling to me as I erratically type)
And to just beeeeeeee...FREE, INDEPENDENT, SELF-EXPRESSIVE and LOOOOOOOVED!
AND, I'm going to commit to my creative coaching practice and my clients, my people, I miss youuuuu!! Whew...cheers and big MAHALOS for sticking with me through my transformation. I hope to support you with the same.