There is that one thing I must do before I die.

My life feels very complete. My children grown and following their hearts fully. My creative process keeps my heart beating and my soul happy. And at the end of each day I remind myself it’s all about process and all my endless projects need to just unfold as they will. As does my life. No attachment to outcome nor need for accolades. And the ups and downs are simply part of it. However, there is that one thing I must do before I die. Setting the intention today.

See also:

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Vision 2019: COURAGE

Recall My Big Vision and Mission for 2018:

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Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung

This vision board has stayed on my bathroom shelf all year as a daily check in.  And as I reflect on a year that just sped by, much faster than expected, I feel the greatest gift of this past year is that I found an ability to speak my truth (out loud).  Even if my voice shook.

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In 2018, I came to understand that my core value is TRUST- to be trusted that I know what I am doing.  And I have been challenged in this regard both by myself and by others many times this past year.  Even today.  Even in this moment,  As I encounter(ed) and work(ed) through those challenges, I hear(d) myself (not perfectly, mind you, and not always in the most succinct way) speaking up.

Inktober was life changing.  Bringing me into a deeper creative process- allowing me to experiment with colour and narrative.

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Molly has been in hiding (as some producers took a stab at her) but I am “taking her back” and my life’s biggest creative project now enters a new draft, a new creative process.  I hear the voices of the ghosts again and a sense of emancipation flows through the work.  (And a relaunch is imminent)

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I explored my 1977 diary on the blog and though I haven’t been working on it of late, being too busy with my bread and butter work, I had a great sense of peace working on it.  A pure comic book version is the ultimate goal.

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I simplified this past year.  Savoured family.  Visited San Francisco.  Twice. Here at home, I retreated from invites.  Staying in with the cats.  Working, constantly working.

I pulled an angel card before I started writing here, asking for a message as to how I should approach working on my Vision for 2019:

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Angel Card bowl by Alison Donnelly.  Angel Card holder, a gift from Emily Cowan.

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The card is blank.

We have to be willing to accept that “drawing a blank” to our questions is sometimes the very best response we can receive. It calls for us to look inward for the truth and access our own authentic power instead of looking to others to tell us what to do or think. – Angela Rider

So as I have been reflecting on the year in the last month, one word keeps circulating in my mind for 2019: COURAGE.

courage (n.)

c. 1300, corage, “heart (as the seat of emotions),” hence “spirit, temperament, state or frame of mind,”from Old French corage “heart, innermost feelings; temper” (12c., Modern French courage), from Vulgar Latin *coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanish coraje), from Latin cor “heart” (from PIE root *kerd- “heart”).

Meaning “valor, quality of mind which enables one to meet danger and trouble without fear” is from late 14c. In this sense Old English had ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.” Words for “heart” also commonly are metaphors for inner strength.

In Middle English, the word was used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination, and it was used in various phrases, such as bold corage “brave heart,” careful corage “sad heart,” fre corage “free will,” wikked corage “evil heart.” – SOURCE

Why this word?

I have become more and more aware of when the anxiety arises within me.  When the floor opens up and I fall through.

And a journal entry at the airport on my way to an extraordinary adventure in San Francisco clinched the work I need to do in 2019:

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That question often came up this year– what happened to my courage?  Asking myself that question actually kicked my ass into motion even though anxiety feels like a cheese grater scratching at my heart.

Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognize the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences — good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.” – Brené Brown

And so-

I will use my own esteem heart exercise:

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And focus on the word COURAGE as a tactile connection to my 2019 Vision.

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Head up.  Straight back.  Panic arising?  Yell- BRING IT ON!!! 

Speak.  Speak UP!  

Listen.  Carefully.  Mindfully.

And create.  Create.  Create.

Anytime you write something, you go through so many phases. You go through the ‘I’m a Fraud’ phase. You go through the ‘I’ll Never Finish’ phase. And every once in a while you think, ‘What if I actually have created what I set out to create, and it’s received as such?’
– Lin Manuel Miranda

Guilty of intent.

One word… come on, Thorsen— just one word…

If I am to continue to commit to this artist life, answer to my gift, I must at least scratch out one word a day… just one word.

Maybe it is this long winter, or old age, or plain old fatigue from getting up at 5 every day, or maybe it is the rubber band pulling back, preparing for something big…

Maybe it’s not the season of output, but the season of preparing.

But alas my journals have been neglected except for some tired one word chicken scratches.  But I shan’t despair.  Even if I don’t do any journaling every day, I must at least intend to write—

If I carry the book with me, at least I can be guilty of intent.  Mens Rea.

So—

No matter where the journal is— on the table—

On the tub edge—

Or in the shelf in these somewhere— at least the intent is there.

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Input –> process –> output –> rest –> intention –> input –> process –> output –> rest –> intention…

 

Eclipse therapy.

Checking in to the August Power Path:

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I have been struggling of late with depression, been pulling out the tools and re-evaluating life, making strides, dipping down, climbing up etc. and I have a post I plan to write– as part of that toolbox– that I will share, but that will wait!

There is an additional item in my toolbox I must pull out today!

In camaraderie with my soul sister Patti and my daughter, Anna, I am setting intentions and sending out a Universe request to coincide with the solar eclipse.

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Eclipse times Vancouver BC Canada

QUESTIONS:

Short term/long term—

What do you really want to change?

How do you want your life to be?

What can you improve?

FOR ME:

What do you really want to change?

Short term: I want to change how I treat myself.  I don’t want to blame myself.  I want to earn more money.  I don’t want to struggle.

Long term:  I want to be celebrated and recognized for my work, by others– but mainly by me.  I don’t want to default to old brain patterns.  I want to embrace that I deserve as much love from me as I give everyone else.  I don’t want to beg for scraps, but be offered and accept abundance.

How do you want your life to be?

Short term: I love what I do, I love my home, I love the connections that I have with family and friends- and to maintain that, I want to be fully financially stable.  I want to sleep with ease.  I want to write and illustrate.  To teach.  To train the trainers.  I want to take mom and dad’s ashes to Sweden.  I want to spend time with my bird, letting him enjoy his senior years.

Long term: See big vision below.  I want a life of creativity, connection, ease and stability.  I want to write and illustrate.  To teach.  To train the trainers.  Work where I want.  Live where I want.  Take my family to Sweden when I want.  I want a cat.  Two, three.

What can you improve?

Short term: Get more cocky.  Slow down and think more clearly.  Step into projects, into every day with clarity.  TRUST.

Long term: Maintain cockiness.  Ask for what I want and know I deserve it.  Strip away that which doesn’t fill my heart.  Improve my Swedish.  Embrace my roots.  And really dig deep to address blocks.

Ask for it. 

Find a friend to share your answers with.  I will be sharing these answers with Patti and Anna.

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BIG VISION VISUALIZATION:

Check out Jennifer Lee’s BIG VISION VISUALIZATION and write out your answer, read it out loud and share it with the world!

My big vision (unedited, stream of conscious journal entry):

My work is at home.

A large sunny space.

With dogs and cats and the bird, and plants and a bright open concept with kitchen and living room and it is fresh and clean and I see trees.  

White walls and natural wood, vintage objects and cooking in progress.

I am illustrating and being paid enormously well for my unique work.  

I do not worry about finances as they flow in and out with grace.

I am at peace in the heart and body and I wear lovely linen and cotton comfortable clothes.

I engage in my work at home for it is my studio, my work, my natural place.

And I am able to offer classes for free to those programs I support and I am renowned (including in collaboration with my brother) for Professional Development classes and am highly sought after.

My work flows and I am writing and illustrating.

The calendar is happily full and I have been paid a large advance and have multiple publishing and movie deals.

I am my own boss and I make my own schedule, being fully present for my family.  

I can travel to Sweden, New York, San Francisco, wherever with ease.

Money is abundant.

The place is fresh and clean and smells like flowers and coffee and the pets are healthy and happy and it is sunny and just the right temperature and I am making something fresh for dinner, awaiting family.

I am embracing my gifts and recognized for them.

I speak openly about my story, my art and my life.

I am working on my books and I have great technology and art supplies and I can shop at Whole Foods whenever I want.

My legacy is the gift of free expression in all of us and embracing our gifts and walking through life with grace and authenticity and ease.

My legacy– my children, my home, my art, my grandchildren and extended family, my books, my explorations of the world.

I enjoy spending money on my children, my family, on good food, books, travel, research, art supplies, pets, plants.

Molly is published and award-winning, with a film in the works.

My next books are in progress and eagerly awaited.

I have engagements on the calendar that lift my spirit.

People are inspired and have tools, thanks to the connection through art, my work books and online site.

I am the expert and my teachings are effective, sustainable and joyous.

My online school is cutting edge and taken care of by tech guy, accountant and agent.

It is easy and joyous.

I am on podcasts and I am researching in archives throughout the globe.

I balance between my books and my teaching.

The day is ending.  The family ate and laughed.

I take the dogs out for a walk and then feed them.

I put on the TV.

Asterix’s cage is clean.  The cats are sleeping.

The lights are on- just right.

I put away the food.

I shut the door.  And contain my vision in my heart.

I live fully, honestly, peacefully, gracefully.

Jennifer Lee writes:

YOUR VISION = BIG PICTURE (positive difference, success, meaningful and fulfilling life/work)

YOUR VALUES = THE PAINT (the life blood)

YOUR VOICE = THE BRUSHSTROKE (uniqueness, authenticity)

BREATHE IN <– CREATIVITY/ VITALITY

BREATHE OUT –> TENSION/WORRY

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Message of the HERON: “Stand out in your uniqueness”

 

 

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it.

Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started.

I have been collecting soul work to do’s.   I’ve been preparing.

So yesterday, I thought allotting myself a two-hour window to create a mind-map of my vision and goals would suffice.  I was expecting to be able to share it quickly with my daughter, Anna, and with Patti, over a simple Skype chat.  I predicted an 18″ x 24″ piece of paper.  No, no, no.

This 2016 toolkit is taking a lot longer than I expected.

But I finally committed to it last night.  I created a toolkit last night in an old, recycled journal (a leftover from my work with youth on the Downtown Eastside).  I collected, cut, pasted, organized.  It’s ready to go.  And I’ll do a few at a time.

My personal toolkit contents includes a variety of empowering tools I’ve developed or gathered from my network.  All too good to forget so I just kept adding to the list. A toolkit to visit in bits and pieces, as needed, throughout the year.

My list:

  1. Vision board: take out my vision board from 2013- review it, re-evaluate.  Collage a new one.
  2. Read Anna’s goals and visions.
  3. Write a scenario of my story at age 64.
  4. Where do I see myself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years: personal, career, health.
  5. Answer the 10 questions that matter list.
  6. Go through current to-do’s and review.  Start a new calendar.
  7. Redo my 12 journal exercises project.
  8. Do core values worksheet.
  9. Mindmap– review old ones, create a new one.
  10. Do the Inquiry process– archetypes and shadow-work.
  11. What kind of bird am I? Study its symbolism.
  12. The Power Path– review in detail and mind-map the monthly forecast.
  13. Answer the Soul Prompts questions.
  14. Explore post-traumatic growth creativity.
  15. Write out the checklist: 25 things you need to let go before the new year.
  16. Write out a bibliography of my favorite creativity books.
  17. Acknowledge my history.
  18. Street art.
  19. Community– build it.  Honor it.  “Remember to rely heavily on your spiritual practice, your allies and your community.”  The Power Path
  20. Redo Peter Breeze’s exercise.  Write a letter to my future self.  Write a letter as my future self to myself today.
  21. Embrace your expertise and take imperfect action.
  22. Re-visit my favorite websites: Rebelle Society, Paid to Exist, Heroic Trading Co, Right Brain Business Plan, Start with Why.
  23. Review my 2013 manifesto and business plan.
  24. Pull angel cards and create daily ritual.
  25. Rethink EVERYTHING.  Scratch that.  Simplify.  Focus on the one goal and let everything else feed that.
  26. And remember- let go when overwhelmed and just meet it all with love!

This morning I awoke pretty frozen by anxiety (a variety of typical right-now reasons).

Larger scale inner RESETS are often accompanied by intense experiences of some kind that threaten the ego and false personality and may even cause one to feel like you are going a little crazy or completely falling apart. The Power Path January 2016 Forecast

Instead of drowning in it though, I dragged myself through the morning then finally  yanked out the toolkit I prepped last night and dragged it to a coffee shop, grabbed a coffee and sat outside and forced myself to write through tears, through fear:

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Journal entry January 13, 2016

After I got that out of my system, I addressed item 19:  “Remember to rely heavily on your spiritual practice, your allies and your community.

I texted my daughter and my friend/agent Peter for some much-needed good vibes.  Got some fabulous get your head out of your ass (Anna) advice.

Everything is as it should be.  U just need to allow (Peter).

Draw an angel card (Anna).

The sun came out as their multiple texts rolled in.

I decided to continue on the self-care focus for the rest of the day.  Do the toolkit.  Do the toolkit.  So I am taking my time, allowing, trusting and doing it.

For example:

Item 11: what kind of bird am I?

My sister-in-law asked me that question the other day as we reflected on my street art project.

After much thought, I really feel it is the Sparrow.  I always stop and observe birds.  But there is something in particular that I connect with in the Sparrow.

The Sparrow reflects self-worth.   If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth.  The Sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph.

The Song Sparrow reflects the chakra energy awakening from the heart and throat.  It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth. [source]

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Item 12 The Power Path January 2016 Forecast mind-map:

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Item 1: Review vision board from 2013:

My nephew, Henrik, fully immersed himself in the process with me
My nephew, Henrik, fully immersed himself in the process with me, Feb 2013

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I look at pertinent quotes on the 2013 vision board and make a found poem:

How to survive going nowhere?

What she said:

We change into our capes in a telephone booth-

and take on the world’s evolving challenges.

Referring to myself: 

Ways to stay up in the air?

New York

Item 24: Pull angel cards and create daily ritual.

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Beauty is the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when looking at it

The conception for beauty is used or studied in art, sociology, social psychology, and culture. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.

The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. [source]

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The journey continues.  I will indeed meet it with love and trust I’ll have some pressing issues sorted.

Everything is as it should be.

Much love, Kat

 

2015 reflections and 2016 intentions.

It’s that time of year to reflect and lay out intentions.

What a journey 2015 was.  It was the year…

[DELETE.]

I had written several lengthy paragraphs reflecting on 2015 and laying out a detailed list of intentions for 2016.  I almost posted it last week.  Then again yesterday.

But this morning I delete it.  There was an apologetic tone to the post that no longer sits rights with me.

And so…

I say thank you for 2015 and simply state:

2016 is the year I meet it all with love. 

(Note: in background- portrait of me by Emily Cowan and ink drawing of trees by Roar Thorsen)