INterview With Renee Byrd


I met Renee Bryd in our dear friend Kelsie McNair’s kitchen (owner of With Lavender and Lace) we were making guacamole and her husband was schooling me on astrology information. Renee is the sweetest of beings. One of those spirits you can’t help but melt all edges with. She is here today to tell us about her journey and love affair with life and food!

I’m Renee Byrd. I like avocado on/in everything and I never travel without a mini Hario V6 coffee drip filter. I collect handmade mugs like some people collect treasure trolls. I dabble in playing drums and writing poetry. My kitchen is always a mess. I’m a blogger, writer, photographer, and recipe developer and I’ve lived all over Virginia but I currently reside in the small mountain city of Charlottesville, VA with my husband. I blog over at Will Frolic for Food.

How do you start your day?

Cuddling with my husband. Putting the final touches on a blog post while he starts coffee. Making avocado toast and wolfing that down before hitting publish and walking over to catch my favorite ashtanga yoga vinyasa improv class (if I’m lucky).


Describe vibrant living? What does this look like for you?

Vibrant living, to me, starts with practicing love and gratitude: for myself, my blessings, my teachers, my friends, and all beings everywhere. Vibrance, technically, comes from the Sanskrit word vipra which in its most literal translation means “to vibrate.” It’s a word that in Sanskrit is used to describe aspirants (or “the vibrant/vibrating ones”) on their many different paths to self-knowledge, actualization, and realization of the true nature of all things. I bring this up because living a vibrant life, to me, is about experiencing a sense of vibrating with this palpable vitality and grace on our way to ultimate knowledge of the Self or God. Vibrance is about spirit energy supported by internal and external work. A healthy, pure, wholesome diet and balancing physical exertion combined with a centered spiritual practice is what makes living a vibrant life easeful. If you put the work in daily, you can experience vibrance all the time. And begin to share it with others!

You said: “I believe that art and the making of food don’t have to be separate.” 

How did you discover that this way your way in life?

After college I started to realize how vital the act of cooking and sharing a lovingly prepared meal or dessert was to my relationships and overall mental health. When my dead-end job was draining me I could touch something beautiful and hopeful and MORE in a pot of curry or a batch of donuts it became essential emotional support. At the time I was working at a grocery store and writing and studying yoga. And making food was the only artistic medium I had that I could share with other humans.

Art elevates our experience of life beyond the mundane. It gives us a sense of the beyond; something emotive and untouchable that exists in our reality but that isn’t often perceived; that we rarely connect with outside of existential or religious experiences.

To me a really fantastic meal can offer illumination and escape;

can act as a salve or a door into experience you otherwise could never touch.

Good food is emotional, nostalgic and yet requires total presence in order to experience it in fullness.

It’s so human.


What does nourishment look like to you? 

To me, nourishment is a balance of feeding your heart, soul, body, and mind. Nourishing your heart with loving, supportive relationships (and putting less or no energy towards emotional vampires); your soul with work that feeds you (for me that’s music, yoga, meditation, and cooking); your body with exercise and pure, wholesome foods (mostly plants); and your mind with meditation and the constant pursuit of knowledge.

 What would you like everyone to know?

You can do it! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less than or stop you from pursuing your worthy obsessions. There’s a niche for everything.

 Tell me about what you crave?

Avocado toast. Hugs. Hang out times with my husband. Time hiking in the mountains. Coffee. Moving my body.

What are you saying a big Holy YES to these days?

 Responding to each and every worthy inquiry and comment with love. Every person deserves to be heard. Especially if they’re taking the time to offer love and support of the work I’m doing! That and reaching out to offer support and love to folks doing good work.


 What are your tools and teachers? What have you been learning from them personally?

My teachers are mostly other food bloggers, honestly! I spend a lot of time reading food blogs, and blogs in general. I feel like I’m constantly learning about how to be a better writer, photographer, and recipe developer from the incredible work other bloggers are putting out every day. I sort of feel like the internet is a free workshop for everyone to learn every thing they could possibly want to absorb. My husband calls me Hermione all the time because I’m constantly in study/research mode. I love it.

I also learn a lot through my camera, which — other than my kitchen utensils — is my main tool. I feel like a recently crossed a threshold where I now see terrain and people in terms of colors, light, patterns. I’ve never declared myself to be a visual artist before, and I’m still hesitant to do so. But I’m loving every moment of this journey and what it’s teaching me about how light paints our world and our perceptions.

I read this on your site: “Favorite textures: old cast iron, linen, well-cared-for oiled wood, tarnished silver, coarse sea salt.”

This was so simply soulful. I wonder, what is your favorite sounds? Smells? Sites?

Sounds: my husbands bursting laugh, the sound of coffee being poured into a ceramic mug, an egg being cracked and landing in a gently sizzling pan, the sound of the ocean from far away as you’re driving toward it.

Smells: melting ghee, fresh snow, clean bed linens that smell like my lavender dryer sheets, freshly roasted cacao, the smell tomato plants leave on your hands after you touch them to check on the fruit.

Sights: giant jars of our fresh roasted cacao and coffee, my husband sleeping peacefully, looking out over valleys at the top of a mountain path, early spring asparagus growing in our backyard, blackberry stains on my fingers.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?

Live. Live fully. Live with stubborn joy.


Wanna follow along with Renee and her chocolate journey? See what they are up to HERE on her website.

***You can also scoop up and try some of her really delightful recipes, she is always posting new ones.

Visit her on Instagram for all kinds of inspiration. (I swoon over her photo’s! Yum…) and on Twitter! 


INterview With Consu Tolosa


This sweet and beautiful woman lights up a room with her joyful smile. She creates paintings that exemplify this playful joy, which she will tell you about. Im so glad she has graced us with her soulful presences!

Consu Tolosa: I am a curious & creative creature. Always wanting to learn and explore new ideas. I am a friendly introvert — a combination of traits which sometimes confuses people. I was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay. I came to the US when I was 17 and I felt at home. I knew I had to stay. After moving around from the gorgeous high desert of northern NM to the gritty urban areas of the Mid-Atlantic region, I settled in Portland, Oregon in 1997.

I enjoy being in the role of the observer, and my favorite thing to observe in this world are People. I am fascinated by the way we think, act, look & interact with one another. And so I paint People, infusing the process with my quirky aesthetic & point of view. In doing so, I transform ‘People’ into ‘Personitas.’ Personitas are often humorous and are born at the junction of play and joy, providing me endless sessions of delight in my studio. The painting process is spontaneous and unstructured at first.

I start without a plan, simply responding to color and form. At some point a tiny window of clarity appears and offers me access to the magical world that will later emerge as the painting itself.

Adding JOY into the world through my artwork is a goal close to my heart, and witnessing a human connection with the audience is the unexpected reward of my work.

Will you please illustrate a children’s book, because I think every mom in the world would buy it. Seriously. Are you planning too?

I would love to illustrate a children’s book but I don’t have a concrete plan yet… I think for this the story and concept will come first, and then the characters will emerge from there… any ideas?

I read you say: “I recognized a desire to anchor the unleashed creativity to a deeper part of myself.”

This statement is part of my reflections in choosing my 2014 word for the year, which was ‘depth.’ In 2013 I emerged from my self-imposed shadows and decided to be brave and vulnerable by sharing my artwork with the world. Coming out was scary, but the response was wonderful and encouraging… so I kept going. It was exhilarating to have the approval of others, but I realized that this could create an unhealthy dependency if I did not tether this newly unleashed creativity to a deeper part of myself. I had to continue to be in touch with my personal ‘why.’ 


Will you explain a bit about this journey? 

Going deeper in 2014 was amazing. I began to play with the ideas of personal power and magic along with courage and accountability. I made it a game of saying yes to things that scared, but thrilled me, and no to things that felt like obligation or some form of a ‘should.’ 

I reconnected with my ‘why’ {I make the choices I do including delving wholeheartedly into a more creative life} and developed a level of trust in the process that I did not know in this context. As an experiential learner I need to feel and see the outcomes before I deeply ‘get’ that something is true… and for this I had to take some leaps of faith.

We do not cease to play because we grow old. We grow old because we cease to play.”

-George Bernard Shaw

Ironically, I take play very seriously. 

The definition of play in the dictionary will tell you that it is a pleasure-seeking activity rather than one with a ‘serious or practical’ purpose. I beg to differ. Engaging in play allows us to improve our mood, which in turn supports our overall health. When we are more relaxed we are better problem-solvers and have access to deeper insight. Play connects humans to joy. Joyfully connected humans seek peace… you see where I am going with this?

I absolutely and unequivocally trust the need to dedicate ample time to engage in joyful activities. I do recognize the level of privilege that my stance implies and have tried (and will continue to try) to offer others in my community opportunities to experience moments of play and joy.

How do you make time for play? What does play look like?

Making time to play has to do with assessing your priorities and being good at setting boundaries. It means saying ‘no’ more often to things and relationships that are draining, and YES to what your heart whispers and longs for. You practice noticing moments of joy and being grounded in the moment when you allow yourself to be playful.

In practical terms, I made more time to play in the last year by recognizing where my time, and most importantly my energy were going. Changing my work schedule radically and cultivating the habit of showing up to my studio. Every one of the days that I freed-up allowed me to deeply trust that I could honor my needs AND that play does have some amazing fringe benefits. As I got ready to change my routine & schedule, I was wondering if I would be able to relax and play or if I would start doing house work instead… I am happy to report that my vacuum is still in pristine condition… 

Play for me looks like this:

picture a little art house nestled in the back corner of your garden (the photo is in my website, but I can send you another if you can’t find it!). There is good lighting, sometimes you can hear music for dancing during breaks, and sometimes you can hear amazing inspiring books on tape. The walls are lined with neatly organized art supplies of every sort and stripe! There are three, four, five pieces going all at once. I let go of expectations & facilitate a dialogue between my ideas and my supplies.


What supports the true expression of your authentic self?

My commitment to show up to those whispers in my heart with a curious and compassionate stance.


What is your mantra, your words to live by?

Hmmm, two of my dad’s sayings come to mind:

Querer es poder” and “Lo mejor es el enemigo de lo bueno” … which would be equivalent to “Where there’s a will there is a way” and the second one I am still searching for a saying in English… I have heard “Done is best” which comes close in spirit since it’s meant to encourage movement and combat any perfectionistic tendencies. (it literally means ‘the best’ is the enemy of ‘the good’ – i.e. there is no such thing as ‘best’ and its pursuit can keep you from getting things done at all!!).

You said: I have a blast tuning into my creative impulses each day!”

Tell me dear one, what does your creative impulses look like most days?

Every day that I show up to the studio to start a new piece or indulge on exploration I know I am likely to create a ‘Personita’ (which is what I call my many 2-d children!)… and I am always dying to meet them. It is so much fun to play with color and slowly watch a character emerge. By the time I get to their little faces I am literally smiling with them (or making whatever facial expression they are making). Sometimes I have a flash of awareness at that particular point and I wish I would have a hidden camera to see how often I crack myself up during a painting session.

What are you saying YES to these days?

I am saying YES to acknowledging dreams.

Anything that scares and excites me at the same time gets a YES!

I am saying ‘yes’ to walking out of my comfort zone.

I am saying yes to believing in {my own} magic and power to realize dreams.

What lights you up? What turns you on? What makes your heart quicken?

Laughter, color, thinking of obstacles, solvable puzzles & intelligence. Oh, and cats!

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?

This question will make my interview be late!! It is so big and so awesome … and I want to get it right!

So I will have to keep my answer as broad as the question. As it deserves to be. And let the details emerge unique for each season of that one precious life.

I think my plan is to always try to walk my talk. I plan to be brave and follow my gut to keep me grounded in my spirit, and be present so that I am able to contribute something relevant to the world at each stage. In this present stage I want to live the idea of turning inward for direction and trusting whatever comes up. My word for 2015 is ‘focus.’


You can purchase an original piece by Consu HERE.

As well as stop in and say hello on her website HERE and on Facebook HERE! 

Keep an eye out for more to come from this creatrix over on her blog HERE…


INterview With Michelle Madden Smith

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 Once upon a time I wanted a tribe and I wanted to paint with this tribe. Flora Bowley was leading an incredible workshop just an hour from my home and so I looked it up. Alas I found Serendipity, I found Michelle. I love how one like soul leads to another. Although I didn’t end up going to that particular retreat (because they fill up so darn fast,) however I have since then appreciated the magic Michelle and her counterpart Jen create at Serendipity! There is magic brewing between them and I feel we can expect to see marvelous things coming our way. Today let’s chat with the ever lovely Michelle!

Michelle Madden Smith is a wayfinder and mama living on a barrier island that arcs gracefully out to sea in North Carolina. She is co-founder of Animyst where along with her business partner Jen Gray, she co-creates inspiring online workshops and soulful retreats with artists and makers. She is also the creator behind the premiere yoga studio and teacher training program at Outer Banks Yoga. She lives and loves with her filmmaker sweetheart Bryan and their toddling daughter Lyla Maryanna.

Why yoga, why art retreats? How are they connected for you? How has spirituality affected you and your work?

I seek evidence of the invisible.

That’s what it all boils down to for me. All of my passions and offerings to the world were born first from my own inner journey of seeking what it means to live, of how to have a meaningful life.

I don’t say that lightly. My dark night of the soul lasted for nearly a decade through my late teens and 20’s. I awoke from that period feeling as though I only had one choice. I had to learn how to be in this world and to give myself fully to the search for meaning.

This journey began with learning how to breathe, you know the kind of breath where time stops and it brings you fully into the moment. When things were good, I’d breathe. And when they weren’t, I’d breathe then too.

A few years later my yoga practice, and ultimately the studio, were born from a physical injury that occurred because I didn’t yet know how to hear my intuition and I was actively pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I was still learning how to be here, so I didn’t know how or who to “be” much of the time. Time on my mat helped me heal the lingering deeper psychological wounds that led me to this breaking point, as well as helped me begin to trust my body again.

As I grew stronger, it became clear that I needed to find my own creative voice and save myself from a lifelong feeling of isolation. I’m an only child, mostly introverted, my Mom and I moved all the time while I was growing up… and now I live on an island. First blogs, then art retreats and gatherings helped me discover my gifts, my tribe and my current life’s work of helping other women reconnect with their creative voices. This lead to the creation of Animyst and our retreats and online art workshops.

So first I found my breath, then my body, and then my creative voice….a serpentine path through the invisible realms. I’ve moved away from teaching yoga as my creative life grew, but spirituality is at the core of everything I do. It’s hard for me to separate my personal life from my work in the world. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to continually evolve over these years, listening to the subtle cues and tugs of my heart and following the paths blazed by beautiful guides, teachers and mentors. I am just so grateful to be here.

PicMonkey Collagemadden2 I read  “Michelle encourage you to come home to the familiar environment of your body, yet expand your understanding of your own personal edges.”

There is a dichotomy in our culture of being mind-focused and disconnected from our bodies and yet completely focused on the body as an object rather than sacred space. My teachings lead students on an inquiry that ultimately brings them back to their first homes. Our bodies pick up more information than our conscious minds can process, by bringing people home they can begin to have a deeper dialogue with their physical selves and the world around them. By noticing the sensations they experience, or by noticing the energy of a space they can begin to open up to how powerful we really are, and begin to make change.

As for edges, we all have obstacles we come up against – insecurity, fear, a perceived lack – and these play out on the yoga mat just as in life. By nudging up against an edge on the mat – a physical or mental edge – and approaching both the experience of the body and the mind with curiosity and playfulness you can begin to learn how to move through those edges off the mat as well.

It’s all a practice, and it’s all connected.

How do you most like to celebrate your body?

Every way I can, but mostly it’s the simple pleasures like a slow Saturday morning yoga class or spontaneous dance parties in the living room with my baby or a long walk in the forest or along the sea. Delicious, nourishing food is important to me. I love the sweetness of allowing myself an extra five minutes in bed in the morning to stretch out fully. I love a good long drink of water. I love submerging completely in the ocean. I love placing my hands over my heart. I love deep eye contact with those I love. I love cuddling my baby skin on skin.

Do you have a sacred space? What does sacred mean to you?

I do have a physical sacred space in my home, but I believe sacred is what you create with your energy and intention. I create sacred space when I’m having a video chat meeting with my business partner, or meditating as I take my nightly shower before bed. But I’ve also carved out a space in my home that’s mine…my altars, my art, my work. It’s colorful and bright and messy and sacred.


Rituals can be a multitude of things what are a few of your tried and true rituals?

There are so many. I was recently told that I was a monk in a past life and that I loved that life because of it’s simple rituals – rise, prayer, meal, vespers.

I think my rituals serve to remind my body of its lightness and my soul of the earth.

They are simple things like tea in the morning with my love and my daughter, tidying up my space and lighting a candle as I sit down to do my daily work. Prayers of gratitude sprinkled throughout the hours, an altar to bring sacredness to a project or to help a friend.

For a long time I’ve had this crazy idea I call the “Good for You Project.” What if we could create a list of all the things we should do for ourselves to find bliss based on the many health, happiness and longevity studies that have been done. The good for your body things like eat an apple a day, eat 12 almonds a day, drink your weight in water, exercise for 20 minutes 3x a week or the social things like spend time with friends, stay off social media, have dinner together. But since that list would be insanely long, I imagine you’d spend your whole day just trying to do all these things!

So for now, I created a sheet called my “DAILY”. On it are those things that I’ve learned help me to be healthy and feel whole and fulfilled. I try to do as many as I can each day, without grasping…allowing them to happen naturally to become habits.

In some ways, these are my tiny offerings to a life well lived.


How do you nourish your wellbeing on a typical day?

My daughter turned one in January and it felt as though my body finally fully exhaled. Everything about the first years with a little one is about learning a new way of being, and well-being can take on a survival-like quality.

So lately it’s making sure I’m eating well enough and drinking enough water and taking my supplements so that I can nourish her. It’s getting outside in the sunshine, getting bodywork done, making time with my love and my friends, staying offline as much as possible. And sometimes nourishing my well-being means focusing entirely on a project in front of me and busting my ass to meet a deadline. I think balance is a dangerous myth, quite frankly. Rather I prefer to focus on what is beautifully, mindfully in front of me.

You also said:”Tuning-in, noticing and listening to the inherent wisdom of your own body.”What is your wisdom whispering to you today? What is it asking of you?

My word for the year is bhaktim – which is Sanskrit for “to devote.” I chose a verb because I needed a word that inspired action.

My wisdom is asking me to deepen my commitment, to devote myself, to the myriad ways I feed my soul, as that feeds my daughter’s soul, my love’s soul and the soul of the world.

And, it’s asking me to not put my life on hold because I have a baby, as that only provokes the martyr archetype to come up for me. Instead, it’s asking me to discover all the ways my life can expand to include her. And always, behind all of that, my wisdom whispers…lighten up.

Tell me how you rise up in fullness?

Walking in the forest. I feel as though I’m in a cathedral directly in communion with the sprit world.

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What supports your authentic self? Your true expression of yourself?

Nature. Paint. Light.

Tell me about the love you give to yourself, to the world?

This sums it up for me: She walks in beauty. I imagine myself embodying this idea so fully I am completely saturated with it and it radiates out of me showering everything with feather-light glitter.

Lastly, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I want to become a living prayer.

I intend to keep chipping away at the ideas that prevent me from knowing I’m beloved and one with the earth, the sky, water, fire, intuition, humanity, the cosmos, and the spirit world. These are things like skepticism, palpable anxiety, self-doubt and fear. I want to be bold. I want to continue to learn and seek. I want to surprise myself.

I intend to be a model of health, wholeness and unconditional love for my daughter. I want her to feel confident, know she’s loved and have the courage to walk her own path.

And later, I intend to be a spirited old crone serving up easy laughter and cookies to Lyla, Bryan, our grandbabies and the tribe of beautiful spirits that we have gathered over the decades.


Want more of Michelle Madden Smith? I thought so!

You can visit her here at Animyst or here over on Facebook!

Take a class at Outer Banks Yoga or head over and take one of the online E-courses like Visual Quest with Pixie Lighthorse.

Join us again in 2015 for this 5-week Online Journey into the depths of Shamanic Painting with Pixie Lighthorse.
Creative living and spiritual practice represents all that is mysterious, alive and juicy in every one of us. This freeing process is release, it’s color and spirit in motion, it’s a deep embrace of What Is, and an intentional honoring of life itself. This class is a convergence of everything Pixie knows about spirit and art all rolled into one.

INterview With Moyra Scott


I met this insanely funny one while on retreat at Call of the Wild Soul in England. I don’t know how or why but somehow it seemed we ended up almost everywhere together. Between classes and dinners I spent a great deal of time laughing as well as seeing her develop as an artist. She is a magician with a sketch. In a moment she could draw a realistic figure. Boggling to my mind.  Years later I saw her again this time in California and to my delight she is just as I remembered her. Talented and a real treat to be around! Im pretty jazzed for you to get to know her too.

Moyra Scott: I am a mixed media artist living in Brighton, UK. I also work in a studio in Suffolk on the East Coast. I work on canvas, board, paper and in my journal. I believe in creativity as a way of making life better and that every human has a need and desire to express themselves.

As well as creating my own work I run creative journaling sessions helping others to connect with their innate creative selves, expand their creative boundaries, become present and work with what is. I am not neat when i create, I am wild and messy. I am also a coach (helping people declutter their heads, get organised and get stuff done) and I am a qualified yoga teacher (500hr Yoga alliance certified)

 “I work intuitively, I become deeply immersed in the process of creating my colourful, many layered ‘visual stories’.

I am drawn to the use of symbols (birds, cups, stars, ladders etc) to create dreamlike visual narratives.”


What does Intuitive mean to you? What does it feel like? Look like?

Intuitive means letting go of a specific idea of outcome and allowing that which is deep inside to surface. Its not a conscious controlled process, more one of getting out of my own way and connecting with the present moment, and working with what arises in front of me. I like to throw a little chance or random in there to jolt myself out of running old stories into new territory. Its like it only really works when I have no idea what I am doing but am responding in the moment with authenticity.

 “When I work in my art journal, its transforms my day. It takes me away from myself and engages me in higher ways of thinking, richer, mythical, intellectually stimulating ideas, stories and worlds. It is deeply nourishing to my soul and is excites my heart and mind. It encourages me to build my desire and to express myself. This brings me into contact with my uniqueness, my insight, my truth. I love it.

What is your Truth saying? Where is it leading you?

My truth is saying that it is all about pure magical energy and connection between souls.

It is leading me to share my work both in terms of exhibiting, and teaching. Both are my work in the world.

A long time ago I read something about “the joy of the doing of the thing” its about joy, connection, being present and expressing who you are.


Tell me about your workshops? What is wild art journaling? What is it you want your students to take away?

I called it Wild Art Journaling because i wanted it to come from our “Wild Mind” – which is a phrase that I learned in a writing class. Its the notion that there is a part of our mind which is outside culture, its free and can free associate as it pleases. From this place, I believe comes our most truthful expression, and our most enjoyable creativity. I want my students to take away something they have created from somewhere they didn’t expect. I want them to let go of any idea of what they thought they might produce and realise it is all experimentation, all creative play, and none of it needs to be judged. I want them to leave having spent time in a part of their brain that is wildly free, wildly creative and full of inspiration, and return to their lives refreshed, inspired, seeing life anew, as if their soul has been nourished.

What are you bow down kiss the ground grateful for?

My son. Life itself. Music. Any time I get to spend being creative.

 Tell me about the tools you use and how they are teachers for healing? What have you been learning from them personally?

For me, working creatively, playing creatively (same thing) is a place where I am free. If I am down, spending time there, immersing myself in expression, takes me out of that down place and I forget any troubles I have. I don’t know of any specific healing that happens other than, it is my happy place, and going there makes my life better. I cant quantify this, but I do believe that in expressing my thoughts, feelings, emotions out of me and onto the page or canvas, that I am helping myself to see it clearly and to understand myself better. Its not quite the same as writing as its a more visual dreamlike narrative. But it helps me feel better. I think also its like meditation. Its a place where the brain waves are different. Its deeply calming and very present. Worries and anxiety are not there, afterwards new creative connections can be made.

As Picasso once said (I may be paraphrasing here) it ‘washes away the dust of our every day lives’.


What are you saying YES to these days?

I am saying yes to what lights me up. Eating good food is always something I say yes to. But right now I am going through a big phases of decluttering and fixing stuff. I am clearing out the old, and unessential. I have this feeling of needing to find only the essential and focus on that. Its a shedding and a coming together. It feels very right and good. Definitely bringing me some lit up joy!

What do you want everyone to know?

That finding your creative expression is neccessary in life. Its not frivolous in the slightest.

It need not be visual art, it could be music, dance, writing, whatever it is for you. But, whatever it is for you – you need to find it.

That, and… Magic happens.


Art On Right By: Crim Bo Taken At The Journal Session WIP.

How are you nourishing your wellbeing today?

Today I had a coffee date with a good friend. Chap in to fix our broken oven, and I am having a really big clear out of my work room ( office / studio).

Food wise I am planning a large fritata with roasted butternut squash, mushroom and goats cheese, served with kale.

I am off sugar, and I have a daily dose of organic cider vinegar and raw honey every day.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?
Ha! such a big question! SO MUCH!……. at the same time…. My quest is to be happy. To have what I think what I say and what I do be aligned. I am aiming to be happy, to rid myself of the unessential, live simply and well. To be as good a parent as I can be. To do what brings me joy. to share what brings me joy in the hope that I may help other people experience joy. To bring about pure magical energy and connection between souls. To do less, help people, and make friends. Eat delicious food in great company. I have a side project which is all about getting people to break bread together. Especially people who have not eaten together before.

Its part of building community which in turn is part of being happy, bringing people together and creating connection.


Connect with Moyra Scott on Facebook, Instagram or her head on over to her website for more details on what she is up to!

INterview With Katie Kendrick

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Photo bottom right by: Stacy De La Rosa

She is a wisdom walker.

A dear soul whom I can only imagine has the sweetest of spirit. One time I saw a photo Stacy De La Rosa took of Katie and I thought to myself I want to know her. Isn’t it funny how images can do that? Translate the soul for us! I shortly after saw some of Katie Kendrick’s beautiful journal pages and paintings, which I gasped over. I think she is wonderful and am delighted that I was able to speak with her and co-create this Interview today!

 Katie Kendrick: Who am I, now that’s the question I ponder every day. When I follow my passion I learn more about who I am, what makes my heart beat faster and my enthusiasm do somersaults. I love to create and make things. I am a mixed artist, I live for color and line; texture makes me giddy with joy. Nature is my muse. I feel grateful every day to live on 7 acres with my husband and our pets in valley surrounded by forests with a river running through. We raised our two daughters here and now our 6 grandchildren come to walk/run the same trails and swim in the river. I have a deep affinity for trees, plants, stones, and water. I am drawn to simple honest beauty. I love all aspects of gardening and growing plants from the worms and other soil creatures to the bees and butterflies. I enjoy cooking, especially with fresh homegrown produce. I teach workshops both nationally and internationally on painting, visual journaling, and connecting to our creativity.

PicMonkey Collkkage

Lets start with why do you create? What do you create?

I create because I’m alive and full of questions: “what would happen if I did this?”, or “I can imagine these things in relationship to one another, I want to see ..” It’s like a call and response, the universe calls out to me, and I respond by creating something. That “something” changes constantly, informed by the reality of my life in the present moment. When fresh tomatoes are hanging plump and juicy in the garden, I’ll get an urge to make salsa. When I walk through the woods and find mosses lying on the trail, special stones on the beach, a piece of driftwood with teeth marks of our local beaver on the edges, the urge could come as wanting to create a faery house or playground to honor the nature spirits and faeries that live in our woods. The drive to create is strong and curious and moving about like a spark, lighting on one thing then another.

What would you say are the major inspirations for what you create?

When I am painting or create any kind of visual artwork, I am continually inspired by the nature all around me. Taking a walk in the woods, gathering stones along the river, sitting next to our huge grandmother cedar, all of these activities empty and fill me – empty me of the small “me” and put me into the vibrant stream of universal flow where all ideas and inspiration come from. My paintings don’t look like the woods and river where I spend so much of my time, but the time there allows me to go deep within myself and co-create with those higher influences – those influences that make every activity juicy and satisfying. My imagery doesn’t feel of this world, even to me, and yet it feels familiar and like “home” at the same time.

That is the reason I paint, it is a light as I make my way home – to the place that resonates deep within me, the one that is total and complete mystery yet feels deeply familiar.

Surrounding myself with other creatives is another magical way of keeping myself inspired and passionate about painting and the creative process. That is one of the reasons love teaching workshop is the group field we create together, the energy and inspiration exceeds the sum total of what we all bring because it’s easier to tap into the creative field when you have the momentum of others with the same intention.

Holding life’s questions keeps me inspired. The big ones that are always changing, I don’t know the answer to them but hold them close to my heart as I move through the day…
what does it look like to create with my whole heart?
What do I have to say today?
How do I express being in a body with a soul? What is my soul’s purpose?

PicMonkehvky Collage

You asked: Are you ready to take an artful journey?

This got me thinking, although I am sure you meant it literally for an art retreat, are you ready to take an artful journey?

Which is to ask what is your artful journey? What does it look like,  feel like? Is it just in painting that you are artful or is it in the way you eat a mango? Describe your artful journey as you move through life!
Whatever I encounter on my journey, my goal and intention is to be present whole-heartedly. When I paint I want to be with the process – a question that I might hold would be “how does it feel to be one with the painting process”? I can put my attention on my fingers holding the brush, the roughness of the paper, the intensity of the color – there are so many paths to take, it’s up to me where to put my focus. From that place everything is unfolding and new, I am constantly surprised and delighted by the twists and turns of the process and the mystery of where it will end up. I feel that same way when I grow seedlings and nurture them, I don’t know exactly what each needs specificially but I show up whole-heartedly and ask, observe and learn.

Everything is a co-creation, a question and response.

Tell me how you rise up in fullness?

By saying YES every morning when I wake up, to all that the day will bring me, to decide yes before I know anything about the day. I say yes and trust I will have exactly what I need to meet every situation, to learn. Sometimes the yes is so loud that it shakes the roof. Other times, it is a quieter version. The important thing for me is that I say yes with my whole heart. As I learn and grow, my heart grows bigger and my capacity for fullness grows in proportion to my YES.

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Photo top left by: Stacy De La Rosa

What supports your authentic self? Your true expression of yourself?

Following my passion is the truest support I can give my authentic self, for it is the only way I can know what it is that gives me joy. When I follow those urges, the ones that feel juicy and remarkable and exciting and scary, that is where I learn about who I am. When I can offer who I am to you, to the world, I am offering the truest gift I can offer, the only gift that the world needs. I practice living from that place, old habits die hard so it is a daily practice.

Tell me about the love you give to yourself, to the world?

I would answer this question in much the same way. The greatest love I can give the world, or myself is to be aware of the desire and passion that weaves through my body and my life, moment to moment, the movement that is my intuition. I’m learning to say yes only to what is in alignment with my intuitive knowing, and being brave enough to say no to the people and things that aren’t part of that vision.

Lastly, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

I want to adventure, see the far-off corners of the world and the most intimate corners of my compost pile – to experience everthing to the fullest for as long as I have a body. I want to paint big, teach more abroad, paint a mural and do more collaborations with other artists. I want to be a bee priestess and love deeper than I can even imagine.



Katie has some amazing workshops coming up a 5 day workshop at Pacific NW Art School May 11 – 15, 2015, then a Workshop in San Miguel de Allende Mexico October 9 – 17, 2015

and lastly a 2 Day Painting workshop at Jenny Doh’s studio, Southern CA November 7-8, 2015

Have you seen Katie Kendrick’s book? Layered Impressions: A poetic approach to mixed media painting. You can buy it HERE.

You can sign up for her mailing list here (right side bar) to recieve notifications of upcoming workshops.


INterview With Robin E. Sandomirsky



I love that I quite literally stumbled upon Robin E. Sandomirsky. I hadn’t a clue in the world whom she was until Facebook suggested her as a friend. We had a load of the same super cool artsy friends so I looked into her courses/website. Not long after I took her and Alisha Sommers course liberated lines which I highly recommend! I have been discovering her ever since…

I am Robin E. Sandomirsky. I am A writer. I am a healer. I am home. I live in small town New England with my children and my four leggeds. I have been a story teller, worshipping at the altars of the word for as long as I can remember. Scribbled truths and half poems tracking me and guiding me down my lifelines. I have been a healer and teacher since I came of age. I will hold your hand and burn you through the spaces from here to there. If you are ready to come home, to fill whole, to rise up to your next elevation, then you are my people. We use the gentle pathways of deepest love and inherent velocity to achieve the simple impossible. We change your life. In this lifetime I have danced the darkness many times, but I am a holder and bringer of light. I don’t seek to present any perfection only what I know to be true. If you want to come home to your own sacred body, if you want to gift yourself the freedom of your being, if you want to touch that stuff you can feel under your skin and at the core of your core then you are ready to do this work.

I am a regular green smoothie drinking, lunch packing suburban mom. I am also a luminary explorer, a freedom igniter and a warrior blooded game changer. I live Truth. Velocity. Embodiment. I want to guide you home.
I offer luminary healing sessions – in person and long distance, small group in.body intensives – using physical practice, writing/creative exploration, and meditations to cultivate embodiment, and I am the co-creator of liberated lines – an Instagram based, quick & dirty, poetry and prose course. I also teach early childhood programs and yoga/movement classes.

I read you say: “Worshipping at the altars of the word for as long as I can remember.”

Oh how language is so so much more than words, tell me what language is to you? What it feels like? How it moves? How do you live in/through language?

Words and language have always, always been like the pathway from the edges to the centers and back again. Like ever moving ink stains ingrained on the underside of my skin. Like the particular structure of the fluids that course through my body. Like the map of my energy field and my emotional body. Words have led me astray and brought me back home, have cultivated and added to my depths and my evolution. Words swirl in my brain and bring me, like breath, into the full embodiment of this life right here in this exact moment. For me words are like magic. Even in the incarnations of imperfection and unable to get it quite right. Still they string together like a raft. Partly because they are all mine and partly because they spiral outwards from me like connection. Language is this thing that is never able to tell you the exact beating of my heart but still is the way I holler out across the vast expanse from here to there, “Hello, I love you.” Language becoming like a dance and dancing becoming like a song and each song being just exactly who we are in that one instant – before we glide into our next self in the next instant. You want to peek inside my soul – language will float you there and I will open my eyes and gaze through your heart riding on the wave of the language you gift back to me. Spoken, written, imagined, felt.

As a healer language is a part of what flows out of me like an offering. My work is multifaceted but there is always language involved – talking and sharing and expressing and learning through spoken word – through story and telling the truth of the lifted veils. For me this works like incantation and what is spoken in the name of healing weaves into the arrangements of the energetic, physical, and spiritual bodies as well. In this way, language becomes like the laying on of hands. A portal through which energy flows in mystical ways.

Language like the translator of the hollow bone, language like the dance of the shaman.


You said::“The deepest truest you that hums in the marrow of your bones, the cellular contractions of your heart, the flow of your cerebrospinal fluid. This is the body that can contain stillness within movement and silence within sound.”

How do you most like to honor your body?

I honor my body by being here with a beating heart and lungs that fill and empty with breath. Most days it is that simple. I live, here, in this body, so I honor her. We are the most intimate of lovers. I honor my body by wanting to know her. By coming to terms with the ways I have abandoned and disgraced her at times (she is never mad at me about this but always welcomes exactly what is). I honor my body by walking a path that strives towards embodiment. I honor my body by believing in her power, in her strength, in her functionality. I honor my body by coming home to her.

I honor my body through my physical practice when I am rocking it, through the food I lovingly prepare when I am lovingly preparing food, through dancing wildly in the kitchen with my littles when I am dancing wildly in the kitchen with my littles. I honor my body with massage, and touch, and love, and adornment. I honor my body by making egregious mistakes. Eating total crap. Drinking too much. Not getting enough sleep. Losing track of my meditation practice. Pushing myself too hard. Not being disciplined enough.

I honor my body through the art of practicing self-forgiveness – which she has taught me a thousand fold. She has never left my side even when my honoring her looks like a trail of bad decisions laced with whiskey and cookies.

So I place my hands on my heart again and feel the way it beat beats. Oh yes, and I breathe. I am alive still. I honor my body with this life and with the ways I release self loathing and dive back into what feels good. Movement feels good. Water feels good. Pleasure feels good. Seeking feels good. Breathing in and out and relaxing my face feels good. I honor my body with headstands and flying pigeons and walking the dog in the woods and steaming bowls of bone broth and gently wilted greens.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a clear answer to this? If I could prescribe a track of body honoring that each person could follow and thus have the altar to body all sorted out? But I honor my body through relationship, through learning, through loving her as best I possibly can in any given moment. It is a constant state of wonder how she loves me back. Body blessing. I honor my body through my life.

We are together in the light and the darkness. All the way.

Tell me how you rise up in fullness?

I rise up in fullness through my work and my love. I find fullness as a mother. This has been true for me from the first moment and I accept it as a gift. That my children have healed my heart and soul in ways I could never ever have imagined just by the fact that they came here. That they have eyes I can gaze into and smiles that are filled with light. That I get to spend time with them and have the pleasure of being known by them and knowing them back. I accept this gift.

I rise up in fullness when I part the curtains and let myself soak in the rays of sunlight. Accepting warmth and being fed by the heat of the sun.

I rise up in fullness when I step out of the way and allow my body to explore being in space. In deliciousness. In being no shape anyone told me to be but instead listening in to what the cells know and trusting their guidance.

The kitchen has always been a place of magical realignment for me. I complete my own circles when I alchemize in my kitchen. When I let ingredients come together as they want to and as my mouth waters for them. When dough rises, when vinegar splashes and oil drizzles and herbs are diced or torn. When something is just beginning to soften in my favorite pot. When an egg is just right with crisp edges. When almost anything is roasting in bacon drippings.

And I rise up in fullness when I offer myself. As a teacher, healer and guide. This is when my cells burst with light. When I stop trying to hide what is and I trust in my own path, my voice, my heart, my getting out of the way to be something more than what my ego has offer. My fullness comes out boldly in these roles. In unexpected and cleansing and settling ways. Each time I am of service in some form of healing I am vastly healed. My work is my pathway to evolution and expansion. What is more full than that?


What supports the true expression of your authentic self?

My people. My friends, my family, my four leggeds – the people who listen to, hold, touch and love me. My connection to the divine universe. Ever present even when completely forgotten. The universe supports me. The great mother in all her glory. Birds in flight, a soft breeze, deer cutting across the trail right in front of me, thunder and rain, crocuses…the great mother reminds me of my own resonance and being.

What is your mantra, your words to live by?

“I am free to…”

I had this life changing realization some time ago that I was boxing myself in even in moments when I was trying to help myself. “I need to…” being a mantra of “I am not already doing enough.” So even the revelations I had about things that might have felt really good were already being twisted energetically into failure. “I need to be kinder to myself,” felt to me like it carried, “I am not kind enough to myself.” See, failure.

But, “I am free to be kind to myself.” Ahh, this felt like something I could relax into. Like a release of tension not an accumulation of tension. “I am free to experience daily practice.” Now my daily practice is a gift I am free to receive not something I have to check off my list. So, whenever possible I try to remember to language my hopes, dreams, and desires in combination with freedom.

Freedom is my mantra in life.

Currently I am working a 43 day practice that includes chanting mantra and there I am working with Aham Amritam. As I was taught, this mantra translates to, “I am the essence of the heart nectar.”

What does mystery taste like to you?

I have always had a rebel side lurking beneath my polished exterior. Mystery tastes like that. The late night wanderings. Conversations no one else knows about. Damp skin in the dark of night.

And mystery feels like the expanse of the void. The ways I have come to know the edge of it and how someday I will also know the centers. Mystery is the way the wind howls there and sometimes it is dark and starry and other times its like the sun soaked desert.

Sometimes mystery is this scent I can’t quite name on a soft wind in the middle of an ordinary day. Sometimes it is a spider web, a hawk in flight, the way my children’s eyelids flutter as they dream.

Mystery tastes like sage and dirt and blood and wine.

Like swallowing the air.

Like falling on my knees when I feel beaten and crying hard and standing back up again to carry on.

Mystery is the swirling grain on my hardwood floors and my dining room table. Lingering whispers from my ancestors. The future calling out to me and daring me to arrive.

What are your tools and teachers? What have you been learning from them personally?

My tools are breath, movement, direct communication, daily practice, shaking, yoga, inversions, exploration, balancing, writing, sleep and nourishment. My teachers are my kindreds – soul sisters who are willing to dive into the creases and the wide expanses with me. My children who are clearly here to set me straight on just about anything if I will take the time to listen in. My teachers are the obvious, people I study from and books I read. My teachers are also a surprise – a stranger who reminds me of my truth on exactly the day I was ready to take it in.

Recently I have been learning about using what I have. I have been learning about quiet and how I hold the quiet in the noise. I have been learning about stillness and the kind of stillness that is achieved through movement. I have been learning about the walls I build and the ways I am ready to allow them to dissipate.

My teachers have always been the invisible. My spirit guides and allies. My team. What I learn from them is simple. I am everything. I am nothing.

What are you saying YES to these days?

I am saying to sunshine, coffee, ginger, essential oils, homemade muffins, and broth. I am saying yes to a stronger physical practice and more time in meditation. I am saying yes to reading more books and allowing the idea of studying all the time. I am saying yes to short notes and writing even when I have nothing perfect to say. I am saying yes to noticing love around me and laughing more and failing at things.

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild precious life?

I plan to do my own work all the time knowing that my own ferocious evolution will ripple outwards. I plan to step ever more fully into holding the hands of others and guiding them to the next level. I plan to seek truth, knowing that it is always everything and nothing. I plan to live, and rest, and live some more. I want to cultivate happiness and allow for pain. I want to drink up what is offered and make space for even more. I want to embrace freedom and let it be contagious. I want to trust my lineage and my heart to guide me towards my highest evolution of resonance with self. I want to rest assured that I have no idea how beautiful it could all be but that if I show up on the dance floor the universe will see me trying and she will say, yes my love, here you go. I want to relax into resonant potential. I want to bridge the gap so we all rise to the next evolution. I want to be a rock star and the quiet grounding we all need as a base to rise up. I want it all. And I want to take you with me.


Robin E. Sandomirsky has co-created with Alisha Sommer this beauty of a course called Liberated Lines.

Liberated Lines is a daily practice because we know that this is where the magic lies. The truth is you can change your life, your breath, your very being with a daily practice. It doesn’t matter how brief, rough, or seemingly small that practice is. To tap into releasing the shades of your truth a few times is lovely but to cultivate a freedom that resounds through your very cells takes a commitment to repetition. That is all. A mini dance with creative truth that happens every day will touch you. And you deserve to be touched.


*A liberated lines FLASH :: evolve ($20)  (This is a steal my dearest friends. GO:::: check out this lovely offering!)

Luminary Healing Session: One on one Luminary Healing sessions. A chance to explore ways to radically shift your life. To listen and speak, touch permissions and reclaim freedoms. Meet and give voice to layers of your creation and lesser known parts. Extend invitations to rejoin the active living of this life. I will offer and make known all kinds of support systems, animal medicine, personal teams, stone allies, plant medicine and ways to dive deeper into your intuitive living. This includes working with all the bodies – spiritual, energetic, breath, bliss, and of course the sacred temple of your own physical body.

We travel to our rightful place at the edge of the void. Where we come to know everything and nothing all at once. This is the space. Luminary exploration. Igniting freedoms. Working with warrior bloodlines to change the game. This is the space. Truth. Velocity. Embodiment.

Healing. You deserve.