Tuesday, March 25, 2014

RED IS MY LANGUAGE: Partly because I speak heart

RED IS MY  LANGUAGE (art by Hallelujah Truth)
RED. Recently this color has become my language. I speak HEART, and RED expresses my nouns, verbs, and objects so very well for me.

In my box of watercolor pencils, my beloved tools, I possess many REDS! Their names dance along their sides singing to me like studious German women visiting Paris cabarets. Here are a few to illustrate:

Karmin Rosa
Dunkelrot
Kamiumrot Mittel
Scharlachrot
Pompejanischrot

To begin a drawing, I often pick out a more subtle red to stroke out the draft, to caress an image into being. She might be called Venentian or Indian Red. Or I might invite Sanguine.  Perhaps their cousins may be summoned like Terracotta or Burnt Ochre. Whoever assists me at this stage melts away with water and becomes something more or less as other colors join us. 

If you haven't dabbled in the pages of Color: A Natural History of the Palette, you might enjoy learning about their histories. The chapter on RED that discusses in detail the use of the female cochineal beetle for obtaining a vibrant RED (that is even used in Cherry Coke), also gives broad, general meaning of RED

"For many cultures red is both death and life--a beautiful and terrible paradox. In our modern language or metaphors, red is anger, it is fire, it is stormy feelings of the heart, it is love, it is the god of war, and it is power. These are concepts that the ancient color coders understood very well. In Comanche the same word--ekapi--is used for color, circle, and red. Which suggests that in that Native American culture at least it was seen as something fundamental, encompassing everything."
I SPEAK HEART! (art by Hallelujah Truth, from this blog entry)

Yes, ekapi! COLOR. CIRCLE. RED. Yes! RED is more than my language. It is who I am and it is the realm I inhabit.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me about your favorite color and why that is so!

Acknowledgment: Thanks go to Jes Gordon for writing the first Monday Funday blog prompt for the Facebook Group, The Daily Creative Practice. Consider joining our group and participating in our Monday Fundays.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I am a "little body spirit" on this Earth, creating with all of my truth, tools, and community

EMBODIED SPIRIT. (all images by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for the largesse of our imaginations! Dear SOULS, I create with all of my truth, tools, and you, my blessed community. May we all enfold our entire BEINGS into our visions, magnifying and manifesting wholeness, expanding LOVE.

Today, I want to share with you how I continue to use my imagination to understand and express my truth here on Earth. 

Recently, I have been truly comprehending what Cynthia Winton-Henry means when she says our destination here on this Earth is being a "little body spirit." As a result, I have all the OUCHES that come along with being SMALL on a very LARGE planet. 

Since I use the tool of image making to expand and explore my truth,  I have made a series of images presented here to address some of the WOUNDING I have been experiencing.

Using "Mother Alligator" and Hallelujah Truth...

MOTHER ALLIGATOR, PROTECTOR
 Mother Alligator #1: Then emerged the armor--the shield embodying Wise Ancient Turtle--summoned on my call forth to be whole, healed, and healthy.

"What is it you need," both Alligator and Turtle asked. It was once again affirmed for me that we all have the ability to call forth "HELP" from our inner selves. That this "HELP" is somehow connected to the wider universe be it the subconscious and archetypes or what many call the Great Spirit or God.

As a meditative process, I invited Mother Alligator to return for four consecutive days. In this way, I could begin with the familiar--Mother Alligator, but be open to any transformation that might like to manifest.
FOUR-PETAL SHIELD.

 Mother Alligator #2: I find comfort in the four-petal flower. In this image, in place of Turtle, Hallelujah Truth has become the shied encompassed in four-petal wonderfulness. Fierce Mother Alligator by bearing my image, flourishes the depth of love and way of being that I emmanate. Empowered by my symbols, I awaken more fully to myself. My question, "What next?" 

The answer? Love, heal, and move into the MYSTERY with ease, joyfully.

  Mother Alligator #3: On the third morning, I emerged next to Mother Alligator, and she whispered in my ear: "Use this shield always! Your heart is protection from illness. Use your heart. Use your vision. Always. Do not retreat from the wisdom of your heart."

USE YOUR HEART. USE YOUR VISION.  Do not retreat from the wisdom of your heart--whispered Mother Alligator.
I AM DANCING MOTHER ALLIGATOR.

Mother Alligator #4: The last image I drew in this series was "embodying" my "little body spirit" in something larger than myself. The resource of Mother Alligator, provides me with the fierceness to dance my truth. My HEART is my shield and resource. And knowing that Mother Alligator has survived millions of years because she is resourceful. The SOUL is like this too!

Understanding our pain and woundedness is part of our path towards wholeness. 

As I create my images enlisting all my truth, I am also embracing the resources of my community, which includes YOU! We need simplicity in our creativity. Before we take actions to address our wounds, let's ask the following:

Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Is it true?

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and share your experience as "a little body spirit" here on this magnificent Earth. What are your resources? How will you create your truth?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 15): Thank you to C4 Atlanta and all artists everywhere!

LABYRINTH. The journey to the center of the artist's heart continues for me after 15 days of continuous blogging on meaningful topics. I have been unable to go to the depth and core of these yummy prompts. However, I have discovered that these questions hold value for me and merit numerous return visits. Thanks to all of you who have been on this journey with me, both in blogging in response to the prompts and leaving comments on my blog entries. It has been rewarding. Let's meet again down the road! Hope to see some of you at the potluck at C4 tomorrow. (photo by Hallelujah Truth, Pine Lake, Georgia)
Hallelujah for journeys! And Hallelujah for that special place where one journey ends and another one begins!

Thank you C4 Atlanta for launching this C4ward March Blogathon! It was awesome that we could collaborate, and that I was able to coordinate my very first blogathon along the fantastic team there at C4 Atlanta (see Day 15 prompt below). What a wonderful event we created together! Cheers to Deborah Sosower for her boundless energy and creativity in all that she did, and most of all, for saying YES to a blogathon! You are so HOT! And without Joe Winter's calm and soothing ways and superior technical abilities this blogathon event that united artists through a journey of deepening prompts would have been impossible.

I love C4 Atlanta! I love it now and have ever since I stepped foot in its Fuse Gallery for an exhibit last May. And especially after taking the Ignite and Website Bootcamp courses. WOW! A resounding thank you!

That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Tell me about your journey as an artist. Read back over the last two weeks of prompts where I have posted them and see if you want to answer any of the questions! Share here!

 

Reflections

C4ward March Blogathon: Day 15 Prompt

On this last day of the C4ward March Blogathon, you have two prompts to choose from. Your choice!
Prompt 1: Take a moment to take inventory of the results of continuous blogging about your art and networking with other artists through their blogs.
  • What have you learned about yourself?
  • What connections have you made with other artists?
  • Did you find a rhythm and style to express yourself about your art through blogging?
  • Did you discover anything new about your relationship to your art?
  • Do you have any better understanding of the role you play as an artist in your community?
  • Is blogging a worthwhile activity?
  • What do you need to keep you blogging regularly?
  • What questions do you have?

Prompt 2: Think for a moment of the fellow artists that have been on this journey of continuous blogging with you. What gift can you give them?
Some ideas:
  • Post an image with a photo caption
  • Write the lyrics of a love song, another Haiku, a creative paragraph
  • Record yourself singing a song, playing a musical instrument, reading a poem
  • Record yourself dancing or using a puppet
  • Etc...

Friday, March 14, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 14): Photograph Friday--Artist in my city, Decatur, Atlanta, and beyond

KNOWLEDGE AND WONDER. A public work in Chicago by Kerry James Marshall (1995) Chicago, exhibited in the show "35 Years of Public Art" in the Chicago Cultural Center, 2014.
Hallelujah for Photograph Friday and saying it all with images! Hallelujah for the theme of "Artists in the City" (see complete prompt below). I hope you enjoy the photos I selected randomly that capture a portion of the glorious life I lead in Atlanta. More shall be revealed another time!










That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me! Take me to your blog and photos of your arts communities.

PHOTO FRIDAY! "Artist in Your City"

C4ward March Blogathon: Day 14 Prompt

Like last Friday, today is PHOTO FRIDAY. Give yourself permission on PHOTO FRIDAY  to write nothing or something. It is up to you! Part of blogging every day is finding ways to make it sustainable. Having one day or more out of every week that requires only photos can provide a much needed break from using words.

Use 5 to 7 photographs (fewer or more if you want) to show and tell about yourself as an “Artist in Your City.” When you travel outside your workspace, how does the artist in your get expressed?

  • Where do you journey in your community as an artist?
  • Where are you exhibiting, performing, or selling your work?
  • How do you appear (attire, attitude, and ambition)?
  • Are you working at another job to support your art making?
  • What places do you frequent most often in your community? Why?
  • Do you support other artists at their events?
  • Who is in your community that you want to connect with?
  • Who cultivates the artist in you?
  • Where do you go to relax and regenerate your creative spirit?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 13): Contemplating my role as artist in my scientist husband's life

WHEN DID I BEGIN INTEGRATING MY ART WITH SCIENCE? I began claiming my role as a science advocate late in life, beginning in my forties when I met and married my paleontologist husband. We journeyed to magnificent places, ones where scientists go for field research. In order not to lose my identity as an artist in New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Newfoundland, Bahamas, etc., I learned to embody science and to love everyone and everything about their research and to make it mine. As the years have passed, I have become a part of my husband's scientific community and beyond in my own unique way. (photo by Tony Martin in the Field Museum of Chicago)
Since the C4ward March Blogathon Day 13 Prompt is about contemplating the relationship between me, the artist, and my communities (see the end of this blog entry for the complete prompt) I am choosing to write about my involvement with the science community--specifically how I support my husband Tony Martin who is both a scientist and an artist.

Today, I followed Tony Martin, to the University of Illinois at Chicago so I could observe him talking with university students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences about how to use images to expand and enhance scientific ideas, something he has done in his two most recent books, Life Traces of the Georgia Coast (2013) and Dinosaurs Without Bones (2014).

ON THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO. Voila! The quirky Science and Engineering building where Tony was invited to talk about scientific illustration. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Invited by Professor Roy Plotnick, an academic hero in his own right and colleague, Tony was delighted to eat pizza with the students at a brown bag lunch and to regale them with his humor, images, and ichnological knowledge.

ICHNOLOGICAL COLLEAGUES. Above Roy was kind enough to bring along Tony's books to show the students when introducing him to the class. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Using both photographs and line drawings, Tony explained how to communicate scientific information. He started with a comprehensive line drawing of an imagined landscape with a vast variety of dinosaur traces by asking the students what dinosaur behavior they could see or "read" from it.
A MENU OF FOSSIL TRACES. My husband has a vast imagination which lends itself to making "art" that is illustrative and fun. Here he is showing students an image from his book, Dinosaurs Without Bones, that contains an imagined landscape filled with many possible dinosaur behaviors. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
As he applauded their correct deciphering about nests, feces, and tracks, he coached them to discover the traces resulting from dinosaur behaviors that most people just don't think about--urinating, vomiting, and gnawing on other dinosaur bones.
EVERYONE CAN DRAW. Tony and I share this strong belief: Everyone has the ability to draw and stands to benefit from drawing regularly. Here, he is telling disbelieving students this message. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Part creativity coach and so much scientist, Tony cheerily told students that they could create such scenarios and draw them. After tossing a whiteboard marker to one student, which she caught, he encouraged all the students, "You have the hand-eye coordination to catch that. You can draw."

Also using photographs, Tony talked to students about how to express scientific concepts. He showed an image of numerous sauropod tracks. He said if you looked at this closely enough, you would see five sauropods moving in harmony, evenly spaced, parallel to one another, moving together.  What dinosaur behavior would you interpret?  Students did not immediately answer "herding," but they got it in the end. Seeing a dinosaurian behavior as it was recorded in the fossil record is a valuable and alternative way to understand that information.

"Look at patterns and translate them into something meaningful," Tony said to an appreciative group of students, as he took a bite of pizza. He went through slides of photos and illustrations depicting dinosaur behavior. We saw a photograph of 3,000 dinosaur tracks from Lark Quarry in Winton, Queensland, Australia, that were eloquently mapped.

DINOSAUR BURROW ILLUSTRATIONS. In the top photo, Tony points to a photograph of a dinosaur burrow found in Montana in 2005, one which he helped identify. Then in the bottom photo, he explains how drawing the Montana dinosaur burrow helped him identify and differentiate it from the dinosaur burrow he discovered in Victoria, Australia. (photos by Hallelujah Truth)
There was an illustration where Tony let his imagination go wild as he envisioned the traces that would have been made by sauropods or theropods having sex. And, yes, college students wake up a little bit when sex is brought up in the discussion! Tony told students that maybe traces of dinosaur sex haven't been found yet because scientists are too prudish and that maybe there is a need to get more "dirty."
IMAGINING DINOSAUR VOMIT. Humor is greatly appreciated among scientists and may well be an unused resource in science communication. Tony explained to the students how he had fun imagining what a fossil trace of projectile vomit from such a large beast would look like if it had been preserved in the fossil record. On the whiteboard, he is writing his twitter name "@Ichnologist" telling students how his diagram of a vomiting dinosaur went viral this past week when a reader tweeted it. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
He showed images of cocoons found in rims of dinosaur nests, dinosaur burrows, termite borings, healed bite marks in dinosaur bones, dinosaur urine traces, and imagined projectile dinosaur vomit.  Oh, what a brown bag lunch discussion it was! Good photographs and illustrations help everyone learn the search patterns that lead to future discoveries.

The hour went by quickly, dissolving into a flurry of pizza boxes being swept away, soda bottles, paper plates....
VIEW FROM ROY PLOTNIK'S OFFICE WINDOW.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what your role as artist in your community is. Would you like to join my Facebook group, The Daily Creative Practice, that I created one year ago to establish a warm supportive community for us creatives? Click here.
RETURNING TO ART. Once we have finished serving science lovingly and joyfully, Tony and I feel no guilt in hopping on a bus and going into another community. Leaving the University of Illinois today, we ventured to the National Museum of Mexican Art and spent the rest of the day there fascinated by the diversity of Mexican culture, people, and history. (Selfie by Hallelujah Truth--see me in the reflection?)

CONTEMPLATING COMMUNITIES (The Rest of the C4ward March Blogathon Prompt):

Think about your relationship as an artist or artistic entrepreneur to your neighborhood, city, and region. Then respond to these two questions:
Question 1 (Artists Contributions):

  • What does your creative work contribute to your communities?
  • In general, what do the arts do for a city?
  • What do you do for your city or community?
  • What SHOULD you do, if anything, that you don't already do?

Question 2 (Cities Contributions):

  • How should communities develop and support their artists?
  • What is your city or community doing, if anything, to help you develop and support you as a creative?
  • What areas are creative communities nurtured in your area? Coffee shops? Galleries? Museums? Government spaces? Nonprofit spaces? Corporate spaces? Etc...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 12): Book of whine abandoned for joy and courage in Chicago

TA DAH! THE FIELD MUSEUM. Here is my Chiboogamoo waiting with anticipation to enter The Field, the third largest natural history museum in the United States. We walked 2.5 miles from our hotel in Greek Town to approach this magnificent institution from along the shores of Lake Michigan with the skyline of Chicago towering over us. Paleontologist Barbie awaited to be released from a warm backpack to explore the fossils that were summoning us! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for RANTING! Hallelujah for knowing what is gnawing at your SOUL and sapping that amazing energy from your every day BEING! 

Today's Atlanta's C4ward March Blogathon prompt has given us the permission to rant about our position as an entrepreneurial creative with really great questions (see the complete prompt at the end of this blog entry). I would like to address my rant briefly. 

THE BOOK OF WHINE (a quick look)
In my Book of Whine, I have some of the following chapters: Fear of Everything Business Related; The Ickiness of Details; Planning Sucks; Creativity is Undervalued; Everyone Pays More for Framing (this chapter includes being asked repeatedly for donated work); and Creatives are Expected to Volunteer.

But today because I am an Atlanta visitor in Chicago, I am abandoning the Book of Whine with courageous joy to celebrate my beloved Chiboogamoo, a.k.a. Tony Martin, and our trip yesterday to The Field Museum in Chicago to explore the ancient mysteries of life as expressed in fossils.
COLLECTIONS IN THE FIELD MUSEUM. How awesome is it to get the opportunity to go into the "secret" places in museums. Scott Lidgard, the Field Museum Curator for invertebrate fossils, took us to this curious place which houses all kinds of fossils from different periods in time with names like Silurian, Ordovician, and Mississippian. Here he is showing Tony how to manage the drawers with heavy fossils! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ICHNOLOGIST IN PRAYER AT THE FIELD MUSEUM. Ha ha! Fooled you! But Tony Martin takes his interest in ichnology seriously and with love. Here he is adding his "opinion" to what these trace fossils in the drawer might be. Imagine future scholars even 100 years from now looking at his hand writing and seeing what his interpretations were. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
PALEONTOLOGIST BARBIE CELEBRATES TRILOBITE TRAILS. Tony Martin's colleague in all things ichnological was excited about this clearly defined trilobite trail with a trilobite resting trace at the end of it. She climbed in the collections drawer and posed for this photo. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ANCIENT BEAUTY. Although this looks like a plant, it isn't. It is a crinoid from millions of years ago. It was on a slab about 4 feet by 4 feet. I should have used Paleontologist Barbie for scale! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
SPRING VACATION FOR TONY MARTIN? How beautiful a collections room in the Field Museum is. The glow of the light, fossils abound, and an intellect reads the trace fossils in the rocks. As I witness, I learn and have fun! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
EVOLVING PLANET EXHIBIT. This exhibit is one of the best I've seen in explaining the evolution of the Earth. It was a feast for our eyes! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
CHARLES KNIGHT MURALS ADMIRER. Tony was overwhelmed by the numerous canvases of Charles Knight's depictions of ancient life. Many of the artist's images influenced the way people thought about dinosaurs in the mid-Twentieth Century. Tony stands looking at this painting of a Triceratops and T. rex ready for battle. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
TIME ENCAPSULATED IN STONE. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
ART MADE BY NATURE.(photo by Hallelujah Truth)
HOLDING MYSTERY. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

WHY IS TONY STANDING THERE?. Upon seeing a replica of a Brachiosaurus skeleton outside of the museum, he recalled an illustration he drew for his new book (Dinosaurs Without Bones) that showed the forces generated by a vomiting Brachiosaurus. So here he very bravely stands under it, waiting to see what might happen. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
LEAVING THE FIELD MUSEUM. How happy we were to leave the Field Museum and venture forth on the Chicago streets, on the eve of a snow storm! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Do you have a rant you want to share with me? What is your Book of Whine?
GOOD NIGHT WORLD. Tomorrow is another day! Time to consider missions, visions, goals, risks, and rants. Love you all! (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

RANT!


C4ward March Blogathon: Day 12 Prompt


As an artist or creative entrepreneur, explore your relationship to money in a rant.
What do you want to proclaim about your art and its financial role in your life?

Aspects of money to consider:

  • Pricing and selling your art
  • Purchasing tools, supplies, and space for your art making
  • Paying for promoting your art
  • Negotiating financial matters involving your work
  • Supporting yourself from your art

What is a rant?
In case you didn’t already know, a rant is some or all of the following:

  • An impassioned form of expression
  • Statements of strong (primarily negative) feelings
  • Complaints
  • A litany of disparaging remarks
  • A list of short direct sentences
  • Exaggerations often creating humorous or comic results
  • energized stirred up exuberance

Have fun! Get stirred up! Find energy inside what may be the ambiguous feelings you have about the relationship between your art and money! Get it all the ick out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 11): Seeking grace-full people, places, and activities

FINDING GRACE AT DANCE CHURCH. (photo by Tony Martin)
Hallelujah for resources (see C4ward March prompt below) that support our journeys! On my creative journey, I seek the "physicality of grace." This is the term that Phil Porter and Cynthia Winton-Henry created to define the open, relaxed, calm, and creative feeling we experience in our entire bodies when we are engaged in doing what we love.
EVE AFTER THE FALL. This is a statue that I saw at the Art Institute of Chicago yesterday. For me, what the Old Testament Eve is experiencing here is the opposite of GRACE. Let me be clear, the GRACE I am seeking and what InterPlay means by the "physicality of grace" is not religious. However,  the feeling expressed in this figure who has fallen out of God's grace definitely displays the negative impact that stressful emotions have on our bodies. (photo by Hallelujah Truth, sorry I did not get the name of the sculptor)

WHAT IS PHYSICALITY OF GRACE?
As I train to become an InterPlay leader, I am focusing on embodying the concepts from Phil Porter's book, Having It All, and these concepts come from the chapter, "Grace Is Physical":

BODY DATA
We all know when we experience grace--the opposite of stress. It is acknowledging "the good" in the moment that we are feeling. This physical feeling is body data.
 
BODY KNOWLEDGE
Then when we recognize 
WHERE this physical well-being of grace occurs...
and WHAT we are doing...
and WHO is bringing us grace...
this is body knowledge.

BODY WISDOM
Once we have BODY DATA and BODY KNOWLEDGE, we can practice BODY WISDOM. Yes, we can choose to increase the physicality of grace in our lives! We can make the choice to be in spaces, engage with people, and do those activities that bring us energy, peace, calm, and creativity.

FOR MY LIFE AND WORK, WHAT RESOURCES DO I NEED TO ENGAGE IN THE PHYSICALITY OF GRACE?
Great question! This C4ward March Blogathon prompt has me asking pertinent questions and is helping me clarify the direction of my life's work in seeking the physicality of grace. 
 
SECOND SATURDAY ATLANTA INTERPLAY (March 2014) I feel the "physicality of grace" when I do InterPlay. (photo by Callahan Pope McDonough)

To be an InterPlay leader in the Atlanta community, which would bring me grace, I need the following:

1) Training in InterPlay, which requires time, money, and teachers. 

2) Once trained, I need spaces, players, collaborators to conduct InterPlay.

In addition to being an InterPlay leader, I want to be a creativity coach. Then there is my desire to continue growing as an artist who "draws from the source" and the support I need around that soulful experience. 

I see now that I have a lot of body data to collect to be able to determine the resources I need to embody the physicality of grace I am seeking in my work to earn a livelihood exuberantly and easefully.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Tell me about your experience with grace. Where, when and with who do find that wonderful feeling of calm, energy, and renewal?
 
EMBODIED SPIRIT. This is a small portion of Chagall's stained glass windows in the Art Institute of Chicago. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

 

C4ward March Blogathon: Day 11 Prompt

Today, we want to ask you to name some of the tools, resources, or connections that you need to conquer your creative dreams.

  • What knowledge gaps do you have?

  • What classes are you dying to take? Creative, professional, technical, etc...

  • If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently - or in a different order?

  • What resources do you feel are essential to the growth of your creative or entrepreneurial practice?

  • If you had a super power, what would it be?

  • If you could work with anyone, who would it be?

Monday, March 10, 2014

#C4ward March Blogathon (Day 10): Risks leading to positive change

CHICAGO MARCH 10, 2014 (photo by Hallellujah Truth)
Hallelujah for #C4ward March Blogathon on day 10! Hallelujah for asking the big questions about taking risks. 

Today I am going to answer only one of the prompt questions (see the rest below at the end of this blog entry):

Are there risks you've taken that have led to positive change?

In the past academic year, I took the risk of leaving my job of teaching English as a second language (ESL) after more than two decades in order to pursue a new way to make a living. This leave taking from a known profession with distinct parameters to an undefined creative field was definitely a risk!

Has it led to positive change? Today, when I would have been heading back into the classroom for another 8-week session at Georgia Tech's Language Institute, I boarded a plane and flew from Atlanta to Chicago to spend four days with my husband who is on his spring break from Emory. That's fun! Yahoo!

Opportunities abound for me. Flexibility is a wild horse flaring its nostrils and snorting to go...almost anywhere. Like Raleigh two weeks ago. And Chicago now. Heaven only knows where I'm going next! Not to mention all the people I am meeting and opportunities I'm being given to grow deeper in the activities and way of being I love.

I feel magic percolating. I have been initiated and graduated. My super powers are aligning to serve the world, maybe even the universe. As I establish the foundations of what is next for me as a result of my risk taking (leaving my ESL profession to be an entrepreneur) here are a few photos from my first day in Chicago. Enjoy!

HARRIS TRUST BANK. I couldn't believe it when I saw this building was Harris Trust Bank! By chance, I had stumbled upon the building where my grandfather, William Milsted, had worked for 41 years. When I was in first grade, I had toured Harris Trust with my family and been given a lion bank--the bank's emblem--and one dollar.  (photo by Hallellujah Truth)
DOWN BY THE LAKE. We were so fortunate to have great weather on this 10th day of March 2014! We walked from our hotel all the way to the Art Institute of Chicago and to the banks of frozen Lake Michigan. (photo by Hallellujah Truth)
FROZEN LAKE MICHIGAN. I went swimming in this lake when I was child. Tonight, Tony and I were told by our dinner hosts that a number of people have died this winter by walking out on the frozen lake. Tragic. (photo by Hallellujah Truth)

TWO TALENTED MEN. How awesome to visit the Art Institute of Chicago and see so many works by highly esteemed artists. Here, of course, is Vincent Van Gogh's self-portrait. Tony Martin was kind enough to provide scale and in so doing, revealing his inner Van Gogh. (photo by Hallellujah Truth)

MILLENNIUM PARK. This fascinating sculpture reflects the city and its inhabitants. There was a constant flurry of activity surrounding it with people moving here and there to see how their reflections changed. (photo by Hallellujah Truth)
FAILING FORWARD FAST. While I'm counting on positive change and succeeding in making a career change, I know that failure is an option too. Trying new things. Guessing. Jumping from here to there in the unknown. Well that is risky and with risk comes failure. I'm learning to make friends with failure and how to increase the speed of progress from what I learn from these deviations from my success.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and cheer me on as I move forward taking risks.

C4ward March Blogathon Prompt (Day 10)
 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU CONSIDER RISK TAKING AS AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CREATIVE: 
  • What are some appropriate risks for you? 
  • What risks can you take in your business? 
  • Are there risks you've taken that have led to positive change? 
  • Any that have not panned out they way you thought? 
  • What are some of your greatest successes that have arisen out of risks you've taken? 
  • If you are very risk averse, what is holding you back from making that leap? What support system(s) would you need to have in place in order to leap into that new creative or entrepreneurial space?