Intent to Play

 

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Natasha’s Vision Board 2014

As I sit looking at my Vision Board for 2014, I recognize the importance of having started with the intention to play. Through play I did not think so much as I moved from image to image with a sense of wonder. I waited for a “feeling”, a “spark”, and based upon that I would rip out images and later, words. That intuitive place of play is the birthplace of intention for me. Let me explain.

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Right in the center of the board there are yoga images that might initially speak to healthier living or exercise.  Upon deeper inspection one might see a desire for more peace and calm and again going deeper there is a desire for flexibility and flow. All of these things are right but when you move through each layer to the foundation of that yoga desire you find intention. My intention is to feel more open, flexible, free, calm, peaceful in my life and I believe the action of doing yoga will help to bring that about.  I did not know all of that before I started to tear out images. I just “felt” a spark when I looked at the picture so I tore it out and put it aside. It was when I began to lay the images on the board that I “heard” so much more about the desire behind it. I spent a little time journaling about it and loved what emerged. Beginning with play allows for unexpected delight as it allows your inner wisdom and your inner child to step forward without fear step forward and proudly declare what they would like to see in your life.

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As you move around my board everything from capturing more ordinary moments to exploring creative lands with a new character is based on a feeling I intend to manifest in my life in the year to come. The largest and most prominent intention emerged and surprised me – connection. That discovery helped me to unearth my phrase for 2014 which is “Connected Story-ographer.” I am not sure what that means when I think it or say it I am filled with an energy that borders on ecstatic. It just feels right.

 

If you saw my video for Jeniffer Hutchins then you know I pulled random words  and phrases as well, one of which is “herbal tea”. I still have no idea what it means. There are feelings I could associate with it but I trust there is a deeper meaning. There are a couple of images on the board that I am unsure of but I included them because it doesn’t all have to make sense does it? In fact I am often more intrigued by that which makes little sense. It’s the mystery of life and these are they are the playful pieces of mystery. We all need a bit of mystery in our lives don’t we?

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In many areas, this board has taken me to my edges and invited me to dive in deep.  Each day that I wake and look at it, I feel a bit more solid and I fill with a little more excitement. It is the doorway to imagination and opportunity, play and freedom. It is a reminder to live with an open heart full of hope and a willingness to surrender to tremendous possibility.  Armed with intention I am ready for the unknown adventure that lies ahead.

 

Tell me, what are your intentions and visions for the year? What are you most excited for as you step into this new journey?

 

2014 Vision

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Original Photo by Natasha Reilly @2013

Welcome to 2014!!!!!

It’s a brand spanking new year – all shiny and new – wrapped up with hope and promise. Truth be told, September always feels like the start of the year to me. Clearly I never got over the whole beginning of the school year thing and now with small children it’s reinforced. But I do like the feeling on that very first day of a new year.  I’m not one who makes resolutions but I generally spend time right before the start of the new year looking back over the last year and thinking about what I might want to see in days to come.

This year I wanted to do something more to bring in the year. I wanted to focus on intention and manifesting my intentions. Much like a science experiment I want to see what happens if I refuse to give negative thinking any time or energy and instead put all my positive thoughts into the things I want this year. And then I was given a HUGE sign from the Universe. The amazingly talented and wonderful Jeniffer Hutchins reached out and asked me if I wanted to be a part of her creative Vision Board 2014 project and I knew I simply had to jump at the opportunity.

I created a video to share a little about my Vision Boaridng experience thus far which appears HERE alongside with four fantastic women – Lisa Wilson of BeingBreath.com, Whitney Freya of CreativelyFit.com, Melissa Goslin of MelissaGoslin.com and Jeniffer Hutchins, herself.

This has been an amazing experience. Though I have some intentions for the New Year in true Tasha Nacho fashion I allowed mysef to play and I’ve found some very interesting things so far. Play is the absolute best way to experience life! Pop over and have a look!

Have you ever created a Vision Board? What are you looking to manifest this year??

Tune in tomorrow when I share an insane adventure from my first day of the New Year. It’s going to be a wild one!

Wanderer

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There was a time I was famous for stopping the moment I couldn’t see my way through a relationship or a project. If I didn’t know that it was worth my time then I wouldn’t do it. I would simply stop and yet that was not a conscious decision. It was not something I was aware of it at the time. I was doing that overthinking thing so it felt like I was doing something but in reality, I was doing nothing. I had stopped. I halted on the road.

How could I continue if I didn’t know that the end result would be worth it? As I look at that question now I see it was more about failing than anything else. What if this project, relationship, situation fails? Then what? Everything I did had to be worth something and that meant succeeding in order to prove that I was worthy. Worthy of what? Love, friendship, just existing basically. But that’s not really what life is about is it, is it?

We are worth so much just being who we are in life. Each experience we have whether it be good or bad is worth something as it teaches us and allows us to grow . If we could see all the way to the end to whether we succeed or fail from the beginning would that be fair or even fun? You see failing gets a bad rap but it’s just the way the Universe brings us around to new experiences we might have missed otherwise because the point is that we experience the journey. The journey is always worth it because life is being lived in the moments along our journey.

In the most recent project I did with children and adult artists I had the idea but I wasn’t sure what the journey would look like. If I’d held back and decided not to do it because I wasn’t sure I would have missed out on the most magnificent beauty, storytelling and love. And that experience has led me to begin the creation of another.

So, I say dare to grant yourself the permission to wander along without knowing exactly where you are headed. You can have some vague idea of the destination but don’t let that be your focus. Instead bask in the random people you meet along the way, the connections you make or that fall apart, the moments that teach you a beautiful truth or sad fact. Remember this is your story YOU are the creator of it so create a story you love. You don’t need to know the ending to start, you just need to start with an open heart and willingness to see it all the way through to the end.

Dare to Share Your HeART With the World

Welcome to Art From Around the Globe! I asked my art class – eleven First graders and one Third grader – to create a poem piece with words and art. These children – many of whom are new readers and writers – began with the words, “I Am Like..” and ended with an animal. We talked about why they are like that animal and then they created their work. The results are works of art that are beautiful reflections of these amazing children.

I sent the children’s pieces to artists around the globe. From New York to New Zealand and many places in between these artists used the children’s creations as inspiration to create new works. They built stories, inspired new works of art and more. In one instance an artist AND her daughter teamed up to build a whole world based on a work by one of my students.

What I wanted my students to see is that their words and their art have the power to inspire and make the world a brighter place. What my students and these artists  - who have never met – have proven is that when we create together, when we use our voices we have the power to  create beauty that can change the world!

This project has been an exceptional experience. Thank you and so much love to each of my students and these artists. I adore you all. Enjoy this gallery of works and letters!

Abby and Kimberly

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 Original work by Abby – First Grade

Intuitive painter, fiber artist, teacher, coach, and writer, Kimberly Davis’ work inspired by Abby.

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Letter from Kimberly to Abby:

Hi Abby!

Pink is such a fun color! I love that you are a flamingo because they bring beauty and cheer wherever they flock. It’s gray and snowy where I live, so I was very happy to get a chance to create something bright and happy for you! I hope that you keep writing poems and drawing pictures. You have a wonderful imagination and I know you have lots of lovely ideas to share. It was my pleasure to collaborate on this with you. Thank you for the fabulous inspiration!

Your friend, Kimberly

Kimberly Davis You can find Kimberly Davis at  www.riverstonestudio.com and www.stitchyourartout.com

 

 

 

Alyssa and Judy 

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Original work created by Alyssa – First Grade

Photographer Judy Beedle’s Photos inspired by Alyssa.

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Letter from Judy to Alyssa:

Hi Alyssa!

My name is Judy and I’m a photographer in Maine. I got to see some of your art and loved how you capture the happy spirit in dogs! I photograph a lot of people, but never really get to play with my camera and dogs at the same time. I have always loved dogs, but they make me sneeze, so I don’t really get to spend much time with them.
I live by the beach and often get to see dogs playing at the beach. There is so much happiness pouring out of them when they are running free and happy and near the water. After I saw your drawing I decided to ask a few friends to meet me one morning at the beach and I would photograph them while they played. We had so much fun!! I am including 3 photos I took that made me think of your art work, and I thought maybe you would like. One dog, Jupiter, is happy and running on the beach (a second later he turned fast and came running right towards my camera!). The other two photos are of Brandy, who was rescued by my friend this year, and is happily adjusting to her new home. I like the sweet and thoughtful look on her face, and thought you would like it too.
So, thank you so much for inspiring me to do something totally new to me! It also gave me a chance to see some people I really like and don’t get to see very often. Even though dogs make me sneeze, I truly had so much fun photographing them! Maybe this will be a new thing for me to do more of…
I hope you continue to make art! You are very, very talented.

Love & hugs, ~ Judy

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You can find Judy at beedlephotos.com and https://www.facebook.com/JudyBeedlePhotography

 

 

 

 

Antalya and Corina

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Original work by Antalya – First Grade

Passionate Painter, Mixed Media Artist and so much more Corina Stupu Thomas’ work inspired by Antalya.

For Antalya

Letter from Corina to Antalya:

Dear Antalya,

I was really happy to receive your lovely drawing a few days ago …. The moment I saw it, lots of happy memories came back to me ………..

…… a few years ago, or maybe more than just a few :) I went on a bus trip to ….. Antalya.  The trip from Romania took me 2 days and nights but being with my friends made it a very jolly adventure. Why Antalya? Because it is very famous for its warm, sunny, generous climate, for the juicy fruits, the passionate people who love the sea and the fishes and the tourists, the happy music, the tasty chocolate ice cream ……..

So thank you lovely Antalya for reminding me of very happy times.

Everything we do in life, no matter how small or big can help other people. As you can see … even a drawing can make somebody happy. So… keep drawing, painting, dancing Antalya … and dream ….. because … everything you would like to do in your life … YOU CAN DO IT!

A big hug from England!

Corina

Corina You can find Corina at www.searchingforhappiness.typepad.com

 

 

 

 

Campbell and Aimee

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Original work by Campbell – First Grade

 Aimee, the creator of Artsyville, was inspired by Campbell.

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Letter from Aimee to Campbell:

Campbell,

Your art inspired me in so many ways. I love your choice of the color green, your hearts, your peace signs, and your words. Your art piece reminds me so much of my own daughter, who loves many of the same things as you do. I hope you always climb as high as you can, just like a koala, and keep your heart open to whatever discoveries await you.

Aimee

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You can find Aimee at:
http://artsyville.etsy.com
http://artsyville.blogspot.com
www.artsyville.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana and Rachel 

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Original work by Dana – First Grade

Psychologist, author, + art playgroundist Rachel Awes’ work inspired by Dana.

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Letter from Rachel to Dana:

dear dana,

thank you for being so beautiful + coming up with inspiring zebra language.

you seem to know a lot about them + a lot about you.

i loved the zebra you made so much that i decided to include it in my drawing.

always trust the words + colors that spring forward from your being.

they are deeply important. you can love the whole wide world with such an expression.

all with love + thanks for YOU,

rachel

rachel awes with scarf 6 by 8 1You can find Rachel at her website: http://rachelawes.com or at her shop: http://rachelawes.etsy.com

 

 

 

 

Genny and Lisa and her daughter 

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Original work by Genny – First Grade

 Awareness Artist, Lisa Wilson and her daughter who is also a first grader created this work inspired by Genny.

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Lisa and her daughter were both inspired by Genny and decided to collaborate on this piece. Lisa copied and printed the lovely giraffe, adhered the printed image to a large piece of watercolor paper, and her daughter began to create.  Lisa explained the project and mentioned that the giraffe might like some friends. Her daughter did an outline of the animals, sun, and butterfly and then Lisa  filled in the rest of the color and background.

Her daughter also wrote a story to go along with the piece.

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Lisa then placed her daughter’s story on a colorful background.

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Letter from Lisa and her daughter to Genny:

Hi Genny!

My daughter and I both loved your giraffe!  She specifically mentioned that she, “likes your handwriting”, and that she thinks it looks just like hers.  Personally?  I am in awe of you who saw such a gentle and magnificent creature within herself, and had the courage to just keep on drawing and writing.  No mistakes…only art.

With love,

Lisa

Lisa&DWilson ed  You can find Lisa at http://www.BeingBreath.com

 

 

 

 

Isabel and Jane

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Original work by Isabel – First Grade

Mother, teacher, artist, and storyteller, Jane Cunningham’s work inspired by Isabel.

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Letter from Jane to Isabel:

Here is a pink poodle for you.  I hope you like her.  Natasha may have told you that I was thrilled to be joined up with you because even though we are on opposite sides of the world our love of poodles joins us up!  We have a 7 year old poodle called Coco, who is sweet and kind and friendly just like you!  We like to leave her shaggy and here is a photo of her looking pretty scruffy.  I hope you like it.

booba and the bds 002 edWhen I did my painting I made layers and layers of work.   Something about doing this helps me to know that mistakes are ok and that if it all looks yuk at some stage I can just make another layer.  That is a good lesson about life too I think, we get to turn up over and over again and keep trying if we give ourselves a chance.

The first layer was stamping with letters, the words we thought of when you first talked about poodles with Natasha.  Then I made a painting of the world with poodles leaping joyfully around it and little lines connecting them because I think that kind of playful joy is a great fuel and connector for people all over the world.  I put all the words down that poodles have meant to me (my Dad is not very well and he calls my poodle his medicine so I even put that there). Then finally I painted a pink poodle on the top because I loved your idea of the pink poodle so much.  The poodle looks a little bit sad in a way but I think even joyful beings get sad sometimes, and that is ok.

I hope you like the artwork as much as I liked working with you ps. I believe you like black white and red a lot.  Ralph Hotere, one of New Zealand’s most famous artists painted almost entirely in those colours so you are in good company!

Jane ed  You can find Jane at www.numinousjane.com.

 

 

 

 

Marshall and Connie

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Original work by Marshall – First Grade

Artist, teacher and creative entrepreneur, Connie Hozvicka’s work inspired by Marshall.

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Letter from Connie to Marshall:

Hi Marshall,

The painting I made inspired by your drawing and poem is called “I’m A Shark Too”. When I saw your drawing what really impressed me most was that you chose the shark.  To me, the shark symbolizes someone that is not afraid to be who they are and personally, I wish to be who I am as well with the fierceness of a shark.  I was also very touched by how dedicated you are to being an Artist.

Connie

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You can find Connie at Dirty Footprints Studio: http://www.DirtyFootprints-Studio.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah and Reina

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Original work by Sarah – First Grade

Artist Reina Brill’s work inspired by Sarah.

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Letter from Reina to Sarah:

I love this poem! The main reason is that it reminded me of me. “I’m like a Bulldog because I am nice and tough”.  The thing about bulldogs is that they look mean on the outside, but inside they are big piles of mush. Since I am a short woman I feel like I need to project a tough image so people won’t take advantage of me. This is exactly what I saw in the poem. The lettering of the words “I AM LIKE A BULLDOG,” are bold and make a statement! It is for this reason that I sculpted a girl with a bulldog mask. She is a really sweet girl even a little bit shy so she puts her bulldog mask on when she needs to be stronger, tougher. I love the green background and green lettering. Green is one of my favorite colors so I gave the girl a green knitted wire dress with some pink polka dots added on. I also gave the girl sculpted ponytails since the girl drawn around the poem had long hair. The main thing that struck me about the poem was that this little girl is powerful and not to be messed with. I purposely placed her standing on top of planet earth with rays of sunshine shooting all around her. Within her, lies an energy that cannot be contained.

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You can find Reina at www.ReinaMiaBrill.com or her shop,

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ReinaMiaBrill

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sophia and Jennifer

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Artist Jennifer Hunteman’s art and story inspired by Sophia.

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Jennifer created a story for Sophia:

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You can visit me at the following spots on the web where I share my creative journeys:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raena and Violette
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Original work by Raena – Third Grade
Author, artist, and pez dispenser of Creative Idea, Violette Clark’s work inspired by Raena.

 

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Letter from Violette to Raena:

Dear Creative Friend,

I loved your drawing of the howling dog and how you glued it to a piece of yellow paper. The yellow paper made your cute dog drawing pop!  I liked your dog drawing and how you had him standing on sturdy feet! Being like a dog and howling tells me that you like to be free and express yourself in a fun way. You inspired me to think about howling dog cartoons – especially Snoopy from Charlie Brown and how he used to howl – it brought a smile to my face.  That made me decide to do a cartoon for you even though I’m not very good at drawing dogs – but I had such fun doing it! I hope you like it. Thanks for the lovely Poem!

Love,

Violette

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You can find Violette at

http://purplejuice.ca and her blog http://www.violette.ca

 

 

 

 

 

Violet and Shamsi
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Original work created by Violet

 

Shamsi, the Lover of Wonder and the Generally Fascinating, was inspired  by Violet.
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Letter from Shamsi to Violet (which is also in the piece above):
Dear Violet!
I am *very* glad Ms. Natasha let me know that you are like a cat. You see, I have the mice-friends, who were looking for a cat-friend, and I hoped you wouldn’t mind too much taking care of them and playing with them for me.
Also, they need names if you have any in mind.
Shamsi

 

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You can find Shamsi at http://shamsidances.com/

 

I hope you have enjoyed this gorgeous art conversation between children and adults across the globe. Please feel free to leave a little love and some thoughts! Thanks for being here :) As you walk through your day remember, anything is possible if you share!

 

 

Your Garden Will Grow

Dare to Plant

 

Original PIece by Natasha Reilly © 2013

A little over a month ago, I planted the seeds of one of my dreams. I finally stopped thinking about it and though I was a little scared, I moved to action. This dream has blossomed in ways I never imagined. Tomorrow, I will share it here with you – a little present for the holiday season.

Tell me, what seeds would you like to plant today? What dream do you feel you must egin to grow?

Go

Let Go

 Original Piece by Natasha Reilly © 2013

One of the hardest things to do is let go, at least for me. I hold onto clothes thinking, ‘Well one day I will fit into this again’, or ‘I will finally figure out what this goes with and will wear it.’ This is across the board – I like to keep things but the fact is that sometimes we all need to let go. Perhaps it’s a relationship we’ve been holding onto that leaves us feeling bad instead of energized or an idea that we’ve outgrown. If we don’t let go of things, we can’t possibly make room for all the new things we need in order to learn and grow. We become so overcrowded and weighted down that we run the risk of missing the possibilities that float by.

Today, I am going to practice letting go of things. I think my focus will be letting go of negative thoughts that keep me from moving forward. I will let go of stories that have kept me small in the hopes that I might begin to grow in ways I have not even dreamed yet.

What will you let go of today? It doesn’t have to be anything big. All change begins with one small step.

Your Truth

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Original piece by Natasha Reilly © 2013

Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is to show up bathed in vulnerability and share our hearts. In the last week, two incredible friends of mine have done just that. In one instance, I spent part of the afternoon with an amazing friend talking about life and sharing in a way that reminded me of the beauty in just being who we are – no masks, no false pretenses – just who we are. In the other, an incredible friend allowed me to read an essay she wrote that was so honest and beautiful it moved me to tears and inspired me to be kinder to myself and share more in my life.

When a person allows you to see them just as they are there is such exquisite beauty to behold and lessons to be learned. You learn that the most rewarding friendships and connections are born when you allow yourself to be seen in all your imperfect humanness.

Today, dare to share some of your magic!

Happy PPF too!

Right Now

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Original Work by Natasha Reilly © 2013

This moment.

In this moment, I sink into: the feel of his small head in the palm of my hand, his smell – baby shampoo and, though a toddler, a hint of new baby, the way his curls tickle my nose, his little arm wrapped around my neck, the softness of his cheek and forehead as I plant kisses to take with him on his nighttime journey, the way his back rises and falls with his soft, quiet breath as he answers the call of his dream and finally the way his body relaxes as he slips into it completely.

That space on my shoulder that serves as his pillow; he nuzzles into the most safe and loving space in the entire world right this moment and always. Yes this moment that will become a treasured memory is my slice of heaven. Right now this is everything in life.

Always.

Tell me about your moment.

Yes, YOU are!

Amazing

 

Original Work by Natasha Reilly @ 2013

I am amazing!

I wrote that sentence and then sat here with my fingers drumming the table in time with the blinking cursor on the screen.

Believe it or not that’s a hard sentence to write.

Try it. Write it. How does it feel?

For me, there is this split second of euphoria where I know with every fiber of my being that is true. But then an instant later those awful voices start – they will think you are conceited, full of yourself, a bitch. Who are “they” exactly? And why have “they” become so skilled at keeping me from shining my light?

You see, I am amazing and so are YOU.  Why? We are these very cool creations that are filled to the brim with yummy wonderfulness. We have colors and words, ideas and stories, characters and dreams, sadness and love and so much more magic inside. We are all completely unique because as we travel down the road of our life we pack our backpack with adventures that no one has seen or experienced the same way that we have experienced them.

And yet we worry about sharing our unique magic. We worry about shining too bright. We worry about standing in the middle of our awesome amazingness! And why? Because others who are scared might shoot us down. That sucks! We should not be afraid of over-shadowing another. We should be excited to shine because when we shine our authentic light we inspire others to shine.

Stop being afraid to shine! Can you hear me yelling at myself? Accept it – you are amazing. I am amazing. Want to know why I am? Because I love with my whole heart. Yes I get scared of being loved but I love with all of me. I am creative and I share my stories through writing and art. I have this very cool ability of holding up a mirror to show others that they are amazing. I am amazing just because I’m me.

Now tell me why are YOU amazing?? Don’t be shy. Please shine!

The Love-ly Dares

Dare 1 to Share

Original piece by Natasha Reilly, 2013.

The Love-ly Dares. December can be a stressful month filled with have-to’s and should’s. But it can also be a month filled with a love and warmth, if we allow it. That’s why I would like to invite you along on a little adventure. What are the Love-ly Dares? They are loving dares throughout the month to inspire you to share a little more love or laughter or fun or magic with yourself and with others. They are meant to be little presents to you and others. And why not? This is season of giving, isn’t it?

It started with facepainting. A friend came over with her kids and her older son told me a story about how his younger brother was on line for face-painting at a birthday party and just as he got to the front of the line, the person said she had to stop. He was heart-broken as he loves face-painting. So I broke out my facepainitng kit right then and there and started painting each kids hands and faces.

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Face-paint + Paintbrush + Tiara = Happy Me

The next day my six year old began painting her face, then her brother’s face and mine; I wanted a panda and a dinosaur. (LOVED the way my daughter painted my dinosaur) Somehow once my daughter started to paint my face I found myself donning a purple tiara and could not help break out some paper and paints!

All this painting got me thinking about the colors inside of us. The moment we are given permission to throw on a little color, do all our colors come spilling out?  Some people let their colors out while singing – on stage, in the shower, in the car – others paint, still others write or speak with feverish passion that colors conversations and sends ripples throughout the world. We highlight ourselves with makeup to bring out the color of our skin, our eyes, our lips, etc. I could not help but to think that we are gorgeous canvases waiting to let our colors shine.

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Painted Flip-flops in winter!

When the colors take shape on a child’s face the animal inside roars to life like a tiger,  the wee ladybug’s wings begin to beat, the flower blooms, the pirate says, “AArgh!” and joy takes up residence.  As colors take shape on an adult’s face, people stand a bit taller and smile more. Whether it’s with make-up or face-paint, clothing or hair dye, we are beings of color – colors we need to share. I don’t think we know how much our colors long to break free and sail through the world until we start to let them out.

So today I dare you to let your inside color shine on the outside. Think about it. How would you do it? As I asked that question, did you feel a thought take shape? Why not try it?

Will you wear a pair of earrings you love but have been saving for the perfect occasion? Will you draw on your hand with highlighters at work? Will it be your bag? Shoes? Will it be in the words you speak? Or write? Will you leave a colorful note for someone? Will you spill paint along a canvas or write in sidewalk chalk? Color the world today in some way. Great or small it does not matter so long as it’s color comes from you.