Art Journaling, Art supplies, Classes, Creative Journaling, Gratitude, Project, Uncategorized, Visual Journaling

The Beauty of Letting Go

Last weekend, my family visited a pumpkin farm north of Minneapolis, MN. It felt so good to escape the noisy city for a while and explore fields filled with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. They had specialty pumpkins and gourds growing alongside the carving pumpkins so, as we trudged through the tangled vines, we were treated to a beautiful array of options. There were white pumpkins, square ones, itty bitty ones and some that looked more like watermelons than a festive squash. There was a moment, as I paused to look across the field to find my family and also take in the view, that I was overwhelmed by both the serenity and splendor of this place. Despite being surrounded by other patrons visiting the farm, I felt like I could get lost between the pumpkins — simply slip down and submerge myself in the stunning palette of autumn colors.

As we explored all the farm had to offer — corn maze, hay rides, pits filled with dry corn kernels, zip lines, pumpkin cannons, food trucks and more — we noticed that, although it was nearly the end of October, the leaves and corn stalks told a different story. The fall colors, though beautiful, were far from peak where they should have been. An employee of the farm explained that the summer’s drought had taken a toll on the area in many ways, which explained the lack of leaf color, but also things like the short stalks in the corn maze (this allowed for us to easily keep track of the kids, but also significantly simplified the puzzle).

I pondered this on the long drive home and considered the affect of things outside of our control. Later, while researching autumn for art inspiration, I stumbled across a quote:

“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”

Of course, I imagined falling leaves and crunchy brown piles filling neighborhood yards. But then, I remembered the farm and my expectations of what it “should” be and the reality of what it was because of the drought. My thoughts quickly changed from leaves to my own life and where I was because of factors far outside of my control. I definitely wasn’t at peak color and my stalks were significantly shorter than where I’d like them to be at this point. I also noticed the irony of how easily I abandoned my expectations of what it “should be” at the farm and embraced the magnificence of what it was, yet in my own life, I firmly grasped my beliefs and punished myself for not living up to them.

I considered the concept of “letting go” and was reminded of another quote, this one from the song “Let Go” by Frou Frou, featured in one of my favorite movies, Garden State.

“So let go, yeah let go, just get in. Oh it’s so amazing here, it’s alright, ‘cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.”

My favorite activity at the farm surprisingly was not the pumpkin patch, but instead the corn pit. It was a massive pit lined by hay bales and filled about 2.5” deep with dried corn kernels. It was surprisingly therapeutic to walk through and was the best foot massage I have ever had. I stood with my kids on the hay and leapt into the pit then promptly sank into a sea of yellow beads. I sat, buried in the kernels and simply ran my hands back and forth through the corn. It was meditative and peaceful and so utterly calming. And just like the line from the song, it was so amazing there.

Letting go is more easily said than done and requires both a leap of faith and baby steps. I am holding that memory of leaping into the corn in my mind as I move into the future to remind myself that sometimes heading into the unknown can be a beautiful, comforting and wonderful experience. I’m also trying to remember to be gentle with myself and marvel at my own magnificence the way I did with everything I experienced at the farm rather than condemning and shaming myself for not living up to unattainable expectations. When we got home, we all had corn kernels stuck in our clothes. I gathered all the ones I could find and put them in a little glass jar on my shelf to help me remember to let go, take those baby steps and to find beauty in unexpected places.

In the spirit of letting go, I have a few announcements about upcoming events and the future of my online artistic presence:

Update to Fall Reawakening Retreat — and FREE goodies!

The date for my upcoming Fall Reawakening: Creative Mixed Media Art Journaling retreat has changed. Due to Covid and forces outside of my control, the October date was not possible, so I have worked with my amazing friend Joleen at Big Raven Farm and we have rescheduled the event for November 11-14, 2021. PLUS — if you register before November 1st, you will receive a collection of FREE GOODIES! You’ll get a downloadable pack of handmade collage papers, a downloadable pack of unique paper dolls and when you arrive, you’ll also receive an exclusive collage pack created from the “ghost print papers” that are generated during the printing process when Big Raven Yoga mats are made! They are super cool and a lot of fun to work with in art journals and collage projects!

AND since you are one of my amazing blog readers, you get EVEN MORE FREE GOODIES!

If you mention this post on The Found Art Walk website in the notes section when you register for Fall Reawakening, you will receive:

  • A specially curated collection of handmade collage papers
  • A handmade junk journal
  • And you get to pick one of the yoga mats in the Big Raven Yoga studio to take home! (valued between $100-$150)

So don’t delay, click the link below to register and claim your free goodies today (but don’t forget to mention my website!)

Clearance Sale in my Etsy Shop!

I am extending the act of “letting go” to my Etsy shop and am having a clearance sale! Now through November 7, 2021, everything in the shop will be 30% off. After that, I’ll temporarily close the shop while I head to Big Raven Farm to host Fall Reawakening, then spend some time removing old items and restocking with new listings.

And finally…thank you, from the bottom of my heart

I need to extend a huge heartfelt thank you to all of you who have followed along for the past several years, supported my artistic journey and encouraged me along the way. The past couple of years have been extremely difficult — well above and beyond Covid and the political and social unrest — and I have needed to take a step back from my public presence to take care of my family and tend to my mental health. So many of you have reached out to check on me and I am so grateful for your care and concern. We are healing, but it is still very much a work in progress. While I hope to return to my Instagram account soon, it will not be in the daily capacity that it was before. I have LOVED my daily projects and all the connections I’ve made through them, but posting to Instagram on a daily basis is time consuming and I have needed to focus most of my attention on my family. It has also taken away from other areas where I’d like to grow artistically. While I love mixed-media and my art journals, writing is my deepest and truest passion (hence the obnoxiously long Instagram posts and this very long blog post — if you’ve made it this far, THANK YOU!) I’d like to do more writing in connection with my art so I’ll be moving more work to my website and blog, which will allow for more flexibility and control in what I’m able to share. If you’d like to receive notifications when new posts are live, click the button below (click the “Follow” button on the right side of the page):

Thank you for reading my blog, for all your encouragement and support in all ways possible and thank you for sharing your creativity and inspiration with me! You are all amazing. I have loved connecting with all of you and look forward to getting caught up soon! Until then, happy Autumn and be sure to take a moment to observe the beauty around you and let it inspire your art and soul!

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