Connection

The Finale

Welp… this is a post that was both really hard and really easy to write.

And we’re sharing the details because we know that making hard decisions about where to put your energy is a necessary part of being creative - so we hope it helps someone out there.

Although we adore Creative Soul Weekend, and everything that it has brought us these last four years, we’ve been talking and we’ve realized… it is time for us to wrap it up.

Leah started the conversation in an email at the start of April, saying she felt like although she wasn’t burnt out yet, that she could see burnout around the corner. Her son Aidan is growing quickly, she works full time, and she wants to take a few things off her plate to make more space in her day-to-day life, more time to be present with her son and in her own life.

But it’s hard to admit that!

“I have so many fears about admitting this - that I’ll lose touch with you, that you’ll be mad at me, that it means CSW failed, that I'll be letting down all the gals who have been so supportive of us.”

Emily responded by email quickly:

“Is it bad that I had a sense of relief when you sent this? I've been back and forth for months. One day all in. The next, ready to send you this same email. Then back to being in love with it.“

Turned out Emily was feeling the same way. Although she had left her day job to focus on her growing design business, somehow it felt like her plate was as full as ever with volunteer commitments and a bustling biz. (Also - funny how that happens… the conversations we put off having because we’re so scared our collaborators or our partners or friends will be mad, are often the ones that they’re scared to have with US.)

Leah responded:

“Yeah, it's funny how little commitments sneak their way in, one little one at a time until before you know it you're running around like a chicken with its head cut off, wondering how the hell this happened.”

You think burnout is something you vanquish once in your life but it turns out to be like weeding a garden: perennial, constant, necessary.

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For both of us, Creative Soul Weekend has always been a passion project. Meaning, it is our passion, and nothing else, that fuels our work for it. We do not make money from it. The project breaks even - all money we take in goes directly to pay for the costs.

Just last month, at the Mini, washing dishes after everyone had gone, we were talking about growth of the project, about potential business models we could use. Social enterprise? Co-op? Non-profit? We wanted to grow, but although when we first started Creative Soul Weekend we dreamt of making it a for-profit business, we learned as the years went by that in order to do that we would have to charge a fair bit more money than we already did, which would in turn make the event more exclusive. And as the years have gone by and we’ve both grown in our social consciousness, exclusivity is not something we want. Self-care and creative development should not be only for those with money, for those with privilege.

But, without earning money from the project, it’s a fair bit of work for a volunteer gig. And though we’ve gotten so much from it in other ways (friendship, both with each other and our participants; joy; pride in creating events that have shifted people’s lives) - well, life changes. We change. And in our fifth year we’ve both come to the realization that we have limits. We only have so much energy, and there are other things in our lives that need our full attention more.

So with gratitude, we are wrapping Creative Soul Weekend up. BUT this is our fifth year and the cabin is already booked, SO - here’s what we’re doing for this year. We would LOVE to have a fifth CSW, one last hurrah, a finale, but even more chill than in years past. We haven’t booked anything else for the weekend (no yoga, no creative workshops) but depending on participants and their interest we could look at booking something. Food would be potluck style, as in the first few years.

There’s room for 7 of us and the cost of the cabin is $763, so if we got 5 other gals to split it, it would be $109 each. The price will change depending on the total number of participants; fewer people means a bit more cost. If you’re interested, send us an email and let us know!

We also need to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for supporting us over the years. You’ve all taught us so much, and shown us that there is a market here for events like this, and that creative women are a force to be reckoned with. Keep being awesome!! Keep creating and showing up for your creative life.

xo Leah and Emily

We Came, We Saw, We Mini-ed

A mini version of the main retreat was something we had always toyed with doing, and finally this year we made it happen. We wanted to do something that was (A) in the Sydney area, (B) only one day long and (C ) a lower price point than that main retreat. We still wanted the elements that we think make the main retreat so special - a small group of women, a yoga workshop and some sort of creative workshop. The space had to be homey and welcoming. The food had to be delicious.

And thankfully, that all came to be. We’re very grateful to the women who came to our event, and to the teachers and chef that we had work with us, for this special day.

Thanks!

Participants - seven women, each with unique creative gifts, stories and reasons for being there. You’re all gorgeous. You made this day what it was.

Susan MacDonald - delicious food and snacks, including a raw cacao hummous that we were all astounded at and a foraged raspberry leaf tea that tasted so fresh.

Alison Uhma - Creative Workshop about Graphic Memoir making that had us all giggling at our doodles and thinking deep about our pasts.

Molly Fletcher - for grounding us and relaxing us with your meditation and yoga.

Big thank you to Krista Montelpare for providing wonderful vintage dishware for our food, vintage vases and fresh flowers!

Carman United Church Hall - for the space full of history and warmth.

Lotherington’s Flowers & Gifts - for the Calandiva plants that were the welcome gift.

Here are the photos that Emily took that showcase our first ever Mini CSW:

Introverts Love CSW!

We totally get it. Events like this can be intimidating at first, especially for introverts. That's why we like keep things small and simple. We know sharing space with others can be overwhelming but the whole point is to fill your creative cup, not drain you. We leave plenty of space for everyone to have alone time to recharge your batteries. In any way that feels good to you.

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We want to create a space where you feel welcomed, relaxed and free to be yourself. So our hearts exploded when Jacquie recently shared her experience of Creative Soul Weekend 2017.

“When I was on my way to CSW in Port Hood I was a little anxious to be spending a whole weekend not knowing 7 out of 8 women attending. I am very much an introvert.

Not soon after, the nourishing food, creative activities, and laid back ‘do-whatever-you-feel-like, whenever’ attitude with the openness of those attending had me completely at ease. I’m grateful to have strong, female friendships in my life but if I didn’t attend CSW I wouldn’t have had the conversations and connections I made there with new people. It prioritized wellness, friendship, healing, joy and the importance of just taking time to be. It still has big ripple effects in my life now in 2019.”
— Jacquie B.

Thank you Jacquie!

Stating Who You Are. Our Manifesto.

Welcome to 2019! And welcome to year 5 of the Creative Soul Weekend. We’re going into this year on fire with creative ideas, a new one-day mini retreat for March in the works, as well as big plans for our “original flavour” retreat in September.

Part of that creative fire is setting monthly themes for our blog and social media. Kicking things off is January’s theme:

Stating who you are and standing by it in the world.

So to that end we’ve written a manifesto for the Creative Soul Weekend. We’ve long loved the idea of having a manifesto written but it was only two months ago that we decided to finally put pen to paper. Leah wrote it out by hand first, then typed it up, shared it in a Google Doc with Emily and got her feedback. After a few edits, Leah then made a collage (one of her preferred mediums). You can see the behind the scenes process in our Instagram Stories.

We would love to see various takes on our manifesto by various artists and creatives. So sometime in the next little while Emily will share her take on the manifesto with us and then we may tag another artist in and see what they do with it.

So here without further ado is our manifesto! We’d love to hear what you think of it.

Collage: Leah Noble



RECAP: 2018 Weekend!

A Note from Leah

This year’s retreat felt like the most magical and yes, intimate, yet. Every year I kind of hold my breath waiting to see how everyone “gels” together and (knock on wood) every year the group becomes fast friends. This year was no exception. By Saturday night it felt like we had all been friends for years. For me personally the highlight of this year was Robin Scott’s workshop on Saturday afternoon, but truly it is impossible to pick a favorite thing, as everything this weekend from the food to the downtime to the yoga was restorative and lovely. Already counting down the days til next year!

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A Note from Emily

Everyone single person who attended this year (like all previous years) was a welcoming, unique and brilliant woman doing amazing things. And our guides Danielle, Robin and Amanda brought so much needed energy to the weekend. The conversations were meaningful and life affirming/altering. Every year I come home feeling a shift in myself. Having the opportunity to plan and host such a special weekend is one of the highlights of my year. I'm grateful for everyone who has attended, wants to attend and have read our words. I get just as much (or more) from the weekend as those who we plan it for.

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What We Did:

The 2018 Creative Soul Weekend was our FOURTH annual retreat… how is it four years already?!? This year we tried some new things, and kept some traditions alive too. Emily got some fantastic photos, which we're going to share here, along with a day-by-day recap of how the retreat went. Stay tuned at the end of the post for what's coming next for Creative Soul Weekend, including the dates for next year, so you can mark your calendar and book your childcare now! LOL.

Thursday - Welcoming The Gals

Emily and Leah checked in and set about making the cabin welcoming for this year’s participants. We set out flowers, the gift bags, and got the food in the fridge and cupboards.

* A huge thank you to Brenna MacNeil and Quincy Street Market for their unexpected and generous donations to our gift bags and to Robin for gifting us all with our own oil from her beautiful Oils for Empaths collection.

A note on food: This year’s food marked a departure from CSW tradition! We had originally done the food potluck-style in the first year to lower the costs, and then continued that tradition because it was fun to cook together, but it had come to be a little more trouble than it was worth, so this year we gave preparing all the food a try, and including that in the overall price. And because we had two participants who have gluten sensitivities, and one who eats vegan, we made all the meals vegan and gluten-free (with meat and wheat options for those who wanted them) a choice which was enjoyed by all and will definitely be carried over into next year. In this day and age we’re all aware of the health benefits of such a diet and it’s nice to try new recipes to take home. Links to the recipes we made are below in the post - we used all Oh She Glows recipes.

Anyway! Everyone arrived between 3 and 8 PM, as we were all travelling from various places… some from Sydney, some from Halifax, and one gal even came from Maine! This is why we don’t plan anything for Thursday evenings… it’s nice to just relax, greet everyone, and hang out. Unpack, check out the cabin, say hello to the space again.

A couple gals busted out their tarot cards to share, and after a while we ate lentil walnut tacos for supper. The evening passed comfortably with conversation and connection, and a late-night swim.

 

Friday - A Day with Danielle Bryson

Breakfast was DIY, with eggs, bacon, fruit, yogurt, granola and toast with PB and jam available, as well as tea and coffee.

Danielle Bryson, a yoga teacher and healer based in Baddeck Bay (Black Stove Studio), arrived at 10 and we spread out our mats on the deck for a yoga class. She opened the class by lighting white sage, then led us through poses to open up our chakras and get the creativity flowing, ending with a yoga nidra session. Danielle’s energy is bright and bubbly, humourous and yet wise, and it was a perfect way to start the day off.

Lunch was a spiced red lentil, tomato and kale soup, which one participant dubbed “Soul Soup” afterwards, with chickpea “egg salad” sandwiches.

> Recipe: Spiced Red Lentil Tomato and Kale Soup, Oh She Glows

> Recipe: Chickpea Salad, Oh She Glows

Then in the afternoon Danielle did private sessions of reiki, massage and yoga nidra in a bedroom upstairs. As the private sessions went on, the others hung out in the cabin, on the deck, or the beach.

When we don’t have stuff scheduled, it’s very relaxed - you want alone time, you can definitely go for it, no questions asked. Or if you want to hang out and make a collage, and chat, that’s totally fine too. The two Leahs did a run to the local grocery store for a few supplies, and a drive to a couple local beaches and viewpoints.

Dinner was pizza and warm squash salad. Confession - pizzas were of the frozen variety! Whatever… we feel that creativity is all about putting the work in, in some places, and making things easy on yourself where you can. Right? Right.

> Recipe: Vitamin Glow Warm Squash Salad, Oh She Glows

 

Saturday - Morning Free Time and an Afternoon with The Diary of an Empath

In the morning Leah N wanted to get some bodyboarding in, so she took anyone interested up the coast to West Mabou beach and then, after those waves weren’t great, to Inverness beach. There may have also been some “Instagram Husbanding” - impromptu photoshoots of us living our best lives. The rest of the gals stayed in Port Hood and had their own solo adventures. There was reading, walks on the beach, tarot, journalling and foraging for edible and healing plants.

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Everyone reconvened at lunch for Big Vegan Bowls, artfully arranged by one of our participants who happens to be a professional chef.

> Recipe: Big Vegan Bowl, Oh She Glows

Afterwards, Robin Scott (thediaryofanempath.com) and her friend Amanda Bradshaw arrived. We gathered around the table to take part in a sample of Robin’s Empowered Empath Journalling Course, on the Sacral Chakra. We made a small vision board and did some dream journalling and then learned how to set goals and work with the non-physical to take our power back and manifest what it is we are wanting for our lives. It’s hard to put Robin’s energy exactly into words, but afterwards we all felt calmed and yet energized, stoked to get our goals for the next month into action.

Then we quickly got gussied up and headed across the village to the Clove Hitch, a local restaurant where we had a reservation. The intimacy and relaxation of the cabin is so lovely but it’s also nice to get dressed up and dine out with friends new and old! And the Clove Hitch is casual but also fancy… a nice place to wear our dresses and fancy clothes to, and wear lipstick.

Then back to the cabin afterward where Emily chatted with us about the Danielle LaPorte’s Fire Starter Sessions and we talked through some of the questions. But we were all pretty tired by this point so we ended up cutting it short… but we all took the materials home with us for further pondering.

 

Sunday - the Bittersweet Farewells

Ahh, the last morning. By this point we’re all ready to go home but also don’t want to leave. The weekend feels like it flew by, yet we’re all so full of goodness, we know we soaked up every second. It sounds cheesy but it’s true.

We made a batch of pancakes (https://ohsheglows.com/2014/02/25/easy-vegan-and-gluten-free-pancakes-strawberry-shortcake-w-whipped-cream/) which we shared around the table. We took a group photo on the deck, then a few gals took off early to catch a bus, and the rest of us walked on the beach one more time, letting the waves wash over our feet, sitting and chatting on the sand til a random raincloud came along and made us scurry for the cabin. Then it was packing up the cars and getting ready to head back to “real life”, whatever that is.

> Recipe: Easy Vegan and Gluten Free Pancakes, Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream, Oh She Glows

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The dates for next year are September 5th-8th,

so mark your 2019 calendars, book your childcare, start saving up your spare change (because your self-care is important and you have a whole year to make this happen for yourself!), and most importantly, either sign up for the newsletter or follow us on Instagram or Facebook in order to get all the goodness we’re going to be writing about between now and then! As well as to be the first to know what we’re planning for our big FIFTH YEAR and to know when registration opens.

Cheers!
Leah & Emily

An Interview with: Jacquie Blanchard

Freelance Graphic Designer

www.jacquieblanchard.com

I'm a freelance graphic designer living in the North End of Halifax, with my partner and our dog, Indy. I grew up in Sydney on Cape Breton Island, where a majority of my clients remain. I really enjoy working with new small business in the communities where I grew up. I coordinate a monthly local meet-up for creatives, entrepreneurs and small business called Tuesday's Together as part of the Rising Tide Society where people come together to learn and support one another. I'm also eating hoof prints ice cream from the bucket while trying to form full sentences (sun brain?! in this heatwave!)

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What if any boundaries do you have in place for your creative time?

Since I work for myself, I consider it essential that I take evenings and weekends off. Occasionally I’ll work an evening if I need to but turning my brain off at 5pm helps my everyday mood. In addition to this, I try hard to maintain a consistent sleep schedule because that directly affects my focus during the day.

How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?

I think when creativity is part of your job every day there has to be other creative outlets to satisfy the need to make and experiment. If I have a rough day I look forward to making a simple, well-cooked meal and I enjoy being creative in the kitchen. It also takes all my focus so I need to turn my brain off from work. For me, having other creative outlets takes off a bit of pressure from focusing so much on ‘perfecting’ my skills in one area.

Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?

Welll… I quit my job and moved to the other side of the world to freelance.
I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone but it was something I knew I needed and had been thinking about for quite a long time.  After some severe burnout, I approached any issue I had a bit more analytically in that I asked myself, “What is the cause of this problem?” “What can I do right now to fix it or make it better?” Most times the answer is rest, or reaching out to friends or family. I think intentions always have to come back to ‘what matters most, to me’ because it’s very easy to get caught up in what ‘we think we should be.’

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Refilling Your Creative Cup:

Drawing, painting, photography, and whatever I get my hands on. Lately I have a big interest in home decor and architecture so consuming and learning about that makes me feel excited and inspired.

Community:


I use Instagram as my online community by sharing parts of my life and business and think of it more as a conversational community space than just a social platform. This spring I took over running the community group Tuesday’s Together which is serving as a wonderful way to connect and support local creative entrepreneurs in the Halifax area.

Nature and time Outdoors:

Being outside every day has become a necessary part of life for me. Having a dog that needs walking means it does happen most days. I'm a big day dreamer and walking allows any stress, ideas, or anything else to have space and work itself out.

 

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What is something you have always wanted to try?

Carpentry… hm.

What do the words "creative power" mean to you?

Creative Power to me means the magical feeling when you’re truly expressing an idea, or yourself in any form. I’ll call it the ‘flow’ which I don’t think really happens that often. Most times I need to sit down and force myself to be creative, even if it’s for fun. To sit down and draw because I know I enjoy it - even if nothing particularly interesting comes from it. The act feels more important and powerful than the result.

Who inspires you artists? coaches? speakers? authors? people in your personal life?

Most definitely women in my personal life. The extra love, gentle push and ability to be open is what helps me take risks when I’m unsure. Artists, go-getters, writers, poets, gardeners, and most creative endeavours inspire me when someone is really devoted to their craft.

What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?

If you have time, take the break. Or try something different. Definitely take pause. I think creative blocks are more than normal and necessary parts of living a creative life.  

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Suggestions!

Something to Read - Motherhood by Sheila Heti

Something to Watch - Abstract: The Art of Design, on Netflix

Something to Listen to - I’ve had this instrumental on a lot lately. I love it

Something to Make - A short list of what fills you up when you’re feelin’ down


Keep Up With Jacquie:

Website   Instagram   Facebook   Pinterest   LinkedIn

 

 

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*Thanks for all the great photos Jacquie!! <3


An Interview with: Robin Scott

A social worker from the East Coast of Canada and founder of www.thediaryofanempath.com - A site devoted to Empaths and our unique set of energetic and emotional needs.

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What do the words "creative power" mean to you?

Creative power is the sacral chakra! But also, a power to heal. Because I feel strongly that embracing our creativity is how we heal ourselves and in turn, humanity. Because reclaiming our creativity is reclaiming our power, especially as women. For so long we’ve been told who we are and how to be and creativity is our way of saying, no more. “I’m going to do it my way ~ I’m going to be ME.”

 

You send out a weekly self care reminder to your newsletter list which reminds us to be aware of and honour own needs. In your experience why do you think it so difficult for us to truly take care of ourselves?

As Empaths, our energy system is designed as a chalice (a cup) so it’s easy to pour ourselves empty.

We’ve been taught this is a good thing, but as we learn, we learn it’s not. We need to be balanced. My reminders work to activate the lower chakras by sharing what I’m personally working through  because we are a collective and are all working through the same things. I share what’s happening in my life to activate the lessons in those reading. It’s actually really beautiful and something I never planned! Writing in this way is a big part of my mission on this planet.

When we begin to work on our lower chakras and start to meet the lessons we are asked to learn, taking care of ourselves becomes a lot more natural.

We become self-centered, and from there begin to heal from a place of wholeness, not wounding.

Because giving, giving, giving doesn’t make you a good person (that’s programming we are transcending as a community) it means you have energy leaks and deep wounding (from past lives, childhood, etc.) that are screaming for attention. When we learn to give AND take, those who take learn the same ~ just opposite.

And things begin to balance naturally <3

 

You do a lot of work with balancing chakras. Can you give us a small taste of how working with chakras can affect our creativity?

Creativity is governed by the Sacral Chakra, but in Empaths, we have to work on our Solar Plexus. Because we don’t need help being creative, we need support in understanding the worth of that creativity. Especially when it comes to pay. We also have to do work on the Throat Chakra (our authenticity and how our authenticity plays a role in the collective and what it’s needing) to remember that our creativity really does make an impact on this planet and we were given a specific set of skills ~ whatever those skills might be ~ to help others and ascend humanity into a higher way of being.

I walk folks through the Empath Chakra System and give specifics on how to heal each at www.thediaryofanempath.com/chakras. It’s free!

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What if any boundaries do you have in place for your creative time?

One of the ways my creativity comes through is through ‘problem solving’ ~ I’m very creative in how I support people in working through things. And that’s why I love being an entrepreneur and creating worksheets and programs and working with people 1:1,  but for a long time I didn’t value this skillset and spent a lot of time answering people’s emails about their hardships and situations for free because it came really easy to me.

But as my community grew and I started getting more and more emails from people with their life stories I had to face myself and my lack of boundaries.

These days I am selective in who or what I respond to. I feel my way through things so my boundaries are intuitive, not concrete. But I do answer emails MUCH less and feel no shame in sending people my payment links if what they are asking for oversteps my internal sense of worth and requires they pay me.

 

Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?

YES. The fire (Aries) in me burns me out easily. I burn out regularly. It’s just how I work. I don’t plan to overcome it, I plan to continue to heighten my awareness of it; so I can work with the energy when it’s happening. Some things that help are baths with flowers (burnout is an overwhelm of Masculine energy, water and flowers are Feminine so it balances things), going to the forest, journaling, talking with people who get me or -- napping. <3

 

How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?

My creativity is hot and cold and that leaks into the other areas of my life in both big and sneaky ways. One is that I go into a cave and avoid most things when I’m creating. Sometimes eating and sleeping! I learned early on that I don’t ‘work’ in a traditional way and that’s okay. It’s just important I communicate with those around me when I go into the creative caves because being so hot and cold can affect relationships if it doesn’t come with honesty.

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On Embracing Self Care:

YouTube videos! I love watching other Intuitives and learn about what they are going through, it makes me feel much less alone. I also love to sit on the grass and tune into my heart. And visit a spot I found a few years ago that I call the Faerie Gardens. Oh! And time with my dog ~ or any dog. But especially my pup Melanie <3

 

 


 

On Refilling Your Creative Cup:

Though I’m an Earth sign, I have A LOT of Fire in my chart.

Aries, Aries, Aries everywhere,  including my Venus sign (passions) so I like to create things only to burn them down. Again and again and again. So I expend a lot of creator energy in a short amount of time creating things and then refill my creative cup as they burn to the ground.

The release feels really good to me and gives me that space to think up my next creation.

On Nature and time Outdoors:

I’m a nature being ~ an Earth sign, and I have strong spiritual roots in Avalon (Glastonbury, England) the home of the Fae, so nature is so very important to me. I go there every day to ground, especially when life feels overwhelming.

I also sell a grounding essential oil blend based on the feeling of walking barefoot in the forest with my friend Laura in our new line, Oils for Empaths. It’s helped and continues to help me tremendously.

www.thediaryofanempath.com/oils

On Community:

I didn’t mean to start a community when I first started out. I just wanted to shine light on the programming that has kept Intuitives (Empaths) feeling small. I thought I wanted to be ‘an Academic’ and just produce content for others to consume. However, over the past year or so this has changed and community has become very important to me and the diary! It built itself organically because I decided to share authentically  ~ the ups and downs. I share everything and others relate because they are going through the same things. 

I build through writing but also through the creation of free and paid workshops/worksheets and programs.

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I feel strongly that embracing our creativity is how we heal ourselves and in turn, humanity.
— Robin Scott

Who inspires you artists? coaches? speakers? authors? people in your personal life?

This changes daily. My intuition leads so I can adore someone and feel ‘meh’ about them the next day. Because I’m drawn to them as I need them, and then not when I don’t. It’s all based on light codes; a light language. We are drawn to those who have the codes we need to activate our DNA to move us to our next place.

Right now I am inspired by Stacia Ashe, a poet and member of my soul family.

I am also drawn back to Rebecca Campbell and her work with Rise Sister Rise.

And because I’ve been in my Feminine and needing to rely a bit on the Masculine around me, I am feeling deeply inspired by my Twin (Flame) and his courage and ability to stay grounded through challenging things.

 

What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?

Walk away.

And listen to your body;

If your body is stressed or acting funny, it’s trying to tell you something. It knows what is right or wrong (for you) long before you do consciously. Pay attention, and know that what you are wanting to create will be created in perfect timing.


Suggestions!

Something to Read - Your own surroundings and what the external world is trying to tell you about yourself internally.

Something to Watch - How you react to others and if it’s coming from a place of empowerment or a place of wounding.

Something to Listen to - Your own heart, the deep whispers of your intuition.

Something to Make - Changes to your life, it’s okay to let go of things.

Somewhere to Visit - Home, whatever that means. Be it the stars, the earth, or home with blood family.


Some links:

New to the Empath journey? Here's a great starting place.

Still searching for your purpose? First find these four things.

Curious about the Law of Attraction? Learn how being an Empath makes you amazing at manifesting.

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*Thanks for all the great photos Robin!! <3
Taken by Briana McCarron and Lisa Delorey.


An Interview with: Danielle Bryson

Health and Wellness Practitioner for 20 Years • Compassionate Care Assistant • Yoga Teacher & Nidra Teacher • Reiki Master

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You're an advocate mental health and wellness. In what ways has building a community around your creative business benefited you and the women you work with?

Mental Health & Wellness is top priority for me. Our minds and energy swim together like two fish. Where one goes, the other follows. I try to lead by example and strive to offer a space that allows for a clear mind and positive energy. In the hopes that you take what you’ve experienced with me and share it with others. Good medicine multiplies when shared!

How does movement and yoga play a role in fostering your creativity?

Movement medicine is my main creative outlet. My body, energy & presence are fed by this movement. This is my canvas, to create a shape or sensation. To loose that internal chatter, even for a few briefs moments, is BLISS! I can reach that place best through Yoga, Dance and Song.

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Do you have any experience with burnout? How did you or are you overcoming this?

Burnout can come on slick and fast. So if your not paying attention to the amount of energy you dispense and where.....Burnout shows up knocking on the door with a fat fist and you weren’t prepared for visitors. We become short & angry when we aren’t fuelling ourselves. Check in with yourself often, ask where your engaging your energy and if your being nourished. 

How does your creativity impact other areas of your life?

As a care giver CREATIVITY is very important. Going with the flow & thinking outside the box. Creativity doesn’t always mean a physical product will be the outcome. Sometimes my creativity produces a “Feeling” and I’m all about creating a fabulous feeling for others.


On Embracing Self Care:

I schedule time for myself, the same way I put aside time for others. I define self care as ANYTHING you do solely for yourself. And I make it a priority/ like a special event marked in my planner.

On Refilling Your Creative Cup:

I surrounding myself with inspiring ladies! We are so blessed to live on such a talented and creative island. One day I’m fuelled by a walk in nature with great people. I’m moved by the wicked support I receive from my Archery Club. Or perhaps it’s signing up for an embroidery workshop at Victoria Country Creates. Filling my cup on CB is easy, sometimes it’s finding a big enough cup to hold all that is on offer is the hard part. 

On Nature and Outdoors:

I crave the fresh air above me and the solid ground below me. It reminds me of the “Big” beautiful picture. Settles my mind and ignite’s my spirit.
 

On Community:

My greatest passion and honour in life is to share healing tools. I created Black Stove Studio so my community had a safe and supportive space. This lil space in Big Baddeck is inclusive, welcoming and definitely represents my giving quirky personality.

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To me, "creative power” means standing in my truth, and sharing that truth with my community.

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What is something you have always wanted to try?

I grew up hearing the ladies in my family talk about weekly ceramics classes. Molding something with my hands and sealing it with fire! That’s something I’ve always wanted to do CERAMICS/POTTERY

What advice to you have for someone struggling with creative blocks?

Dance, Dance, Daaaaance! Shake it off siSTAR! Don’t get stuck on being stuck. This to will pass and the creative juju will once again flow. Because all blocks can be shook lose with a good solid BOOGIE!


I’m extremely fortunate to have a group of inspiring and creative ladies around me. Living on Cape Breton Island is like being a box of Light Anywhere Matches......it’s super easy to get fired up! 
— Danielle Bryson

Suggestions!

Something to Read - Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Something to Watch - The Fall By Tarsem Singh

Something to Listen to - Bat for Lashes

Something to Make - A self portrait 

Somewhere to Visit - Gampo Abbey Buddhist Monastery/ Pleasant Bay, CB

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Thanks for all the great photos Danielle!! <3 Check her out on Instagram!


The 2017 Creative Soul Weekend - Recap

The 2017 Creative Soul Weekend - Recap

The 2017 Creative Soul Weekend was our third annual retreat and we're really pleased with how it went! We tried some new things, and kept some traditions alive too. Emily got some fantastic photos, which we're going to share here, along with a day-by-day recap of how the retreat went. Stay tuned at the end of the post for what's coming next for Creative Soul Weekend!