Inspiration is a myth.

Carolina Andrade Photography

Carolina Andrade Photography

Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic, striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and everyday give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness. -Brenda Ueland 


How much do you like this quote ?! This is seriously the best kept secret of all time. There is this big taboo around quote-on-quote “creative” people. People think it’s easy for us (also the ‘us’ and ‘them’ drives me insane too but that’s for another post!). That surely they (the creative ones) have more time, space and money to do what they love. That ‘I’ and ‘them’ get inspired daily because I was miraculously born sparkly like that. This sort of thinking drives me nuts.  That I was just born like that. Pardon me? I maintain my creative force by… are you ready to hear it? Well, by working on it ALL. THE. TIME.

Everyday, I make sure I write or I paint or I make something - EVERYDAY. For me, I know 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minute of painting is ideal and realistic. On the days I think I failed, I widen my lens - I am reminded that I’ve cooked for my family today (putting a meal together is very creative!) or watered my plants (well, I have one right now!! It was however, a very meditative minute).

Inspiration is not one major ‘ah-a’ or lightening bolt that will fall by the will of grace to you if you are lucky. Dude, it’s like many mini ones. Read all about my Mindful Art philosophy HERE.

Yours in lightning bolt and joie-de-vivre, always.

E XO

 

You live in my chest

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💛 Now that you live in my chest everywhere we sit is a mountain top... I know this one by heart from Rumi. I’ve painted the quote too, I love it so, so much.

As I looked out that day, I made sure to wink at Tommy. It was quick “hi buddy!”. I am lucky. The mountains, lake and the warm air blinked back at me. Blink. Blink. Does nature blink back at you, too?

Five years coming and am still learning how to welcome grief. Sometimes I feel expansive and weightless other time so heavy, like a truckload of rocks. But by now, at least I know that what I miss so terribly is a celebration of what I’ve love. And that this very love does goes on.

If i don’t grieve, I will harden in anger and drown in bitterness and pride. If i don’t grieve, I’d be walking dead. The choice has been to live, be generous and present and engage with the world. Drive the truck full of rocks.Full throttle. The road is full of twist and turns, construction stops etc.. Whatever I pass all of that- damn you Tommy!! I transform rocks into art. May be that’s what he wanted all along!? I’ll never know.

But what I know is that the permission to grieve Tommy makes me feel alive.


Anyways, I told Scott I wish we had brought some of Tommy ashes to sprinkle over the majestic Rockies. And then Rumi reminded me that all this didn’t matter since he lives in your chest, silly!


Your in grief as love and love as grief, always
E ⭐️

#tommytinkerforever

The LOVE PROJECT : What are we here for?

Jessie Redmond Photography

Jessie Redmond Photography


There is always more to uncover, more to know, more to heal, more to love, more to give. Being true to oneself is a rough-and-tumble ride, full of challenges and wonders. The Jungian scholar James Hollis writes, "We are not here to fit in, to be well balanced, or provide example for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky chunky cells, see the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.

"Marrow" by Elizabeth Lesser.

The Love Project Workshop is starting again this fall. Become more and more of yourself.

A privilege to witness your unfolding, always.

E. xo


Bodyfull

Love that mindfulness is such a mainstream word these days.

Coined by the beloved author, Sharon Blackie, “BODYFULLNESS” - which I personally hope becomes common language too, someday!

We are not just a mind now, are we?

To put it simply, I am happier when I move. I think better. My brain is in less of a fog. My vision is sharper. I am less on edge. By the time I finish my dance-off, I am reinvigorated. The more I dance, the more I see that they’re is dance in everything.

I’ve been loving incorporating the dance breaks within my slower more meditative yoga practice too. I get so serious you know?

Tuesday dance off at your place, k?

Love you in cultivating bodyfullness, always.

E xo

Dancin' your little heart out !!

I used to teach Maya and Olivia kids yoga at the Cow Bay Hall when they were only little!! And now, they teach me hip hop dance with passion, gusto and sparkles in their eyes.  I love that the roles are reversed. I love young women entrepreneur who tell you to dance big, and low and make faces and take up space. YESssssssss!

Gosh, I love dancing! But more so, I love dancing with my neighbors.

Flash Mob in Cow Bay every week, yo !!

Here is the poster for Maya’s kick ass classes so you can join us for the next two weeks remaining.

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What makes you feel alive today?

JESSE REDMOND PHOTOGRAPHY

She Quest Podcast Season 1 recordings is wrapped up

(i’ve even put a bow on it, cuz you know me ; ) ).


WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE TODAY? is the ritual question I ask all my guest because ….first things first!


It’s an important ask, one that I wish would replace the common “how are you” which is replied (automatically, most often, to boot) with “fine, thanks”.


Asking “whats good today? what makes you feel alive today?” has no choice but make you notice whats alive all around.


And while Episode 9& 10 is to be launched in a week for SHE QUEST members, here is a wrap up tease of what my badass SHE QUEST guest said proudly!


More goodness in Season 2, coming in She Quest Membership near you.


Love you in sun, space, and sleep, always.

E. xo

To paint the ordinary... here we go!

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It’s Day 9 of my public #sheleaps challenge! and ps.... I am doing it too! 👊🏼

( my third 21- days #sheleaps this summer... woot ! woot!!)

For many years now, I have been resisting painting "still life" and "real life" stuff. Its easy for me to paint magical realism.


I paint what I imagine.
I paint my dreams.
I paint magic gardens where leaves are blue and pink.
I paint women with whales in their bellies and little girls that fly with eagles and bubbles.
But since I believe that magic is found in the ordinary and the boring, for this 21 days, I am challenging myself to paint the ordinary!
A constant thread for us SHE QUESTER : what you resist, it's there that your soul can grow.
I can’t wait to show you my “still life” paintings on this blog, later this week !
Remember #sheleaps -the moment you want to stop, that’s when the real work begins.

Love you so much!

E .xo

p.s: Magic is something worth wanting.

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The wild magic of horses and my son’s confidence riding this graceful creature.

Was I ever that confident with anything?

Horses represent freedom and power - to see them up-close... what a treat!


As a mom- I grow more and more aware that to live a magic life is to be challenged and tested. Daily.
But through my son’s eyes & heart, I stay close to wonder & awe.

All is alive with possibilities if you choose to see it that way.

All is a gift.
Above all, is to believe.
To believe that magic is something worth wanting.
Freedom and power, too.
Love you in warm summer nights and unlocking the key to your superpowers, always.
E ⭐️

SHE LEAPS: Challenge begins August 5th!

21 Days of "SHE" Leaps

#sheleaps

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.- Lao-Tzu 

Jessie Redmond Photography

Jessie Redmond Photography

This summer, I sat down and wrote my priorities, values and feelings.

 In a nutshell, this is what was rising in me now…

My priorities

Being present for my life, then my family life.

Stay healthy with running, yoga and dancing. Painting SHE. Holding space for myself + students. 

Radiantly alive, loving and giving of my light. Knowing my spark. 

I value:

Magic, Beauty, Connection with body, mind, soul. Dancing. Unrestrained living. Passion. 

I feel: 

Enthusiastic , Grounded, Powerful, Tenacious, Refreshed. 


After doing this mini soul inquiry exercise, I decided on my #sheleaps challenge. My #sheleaps challenge idea is heavily inspired from my SMALL DAILY ACTS OF BRAVERY philosophy. Watch the episode with this title on my CBC documentary here: 

Back at the beginning of the summer, there was a soul whisper telling me to go plunge in the freezing ocean water for 21 days in a row ( crazy! made no-sense!!). Another whisper (that one was more like a scream!) was that I wanted to be offline for 21 days. So technically I had two SHE LEAPS set out: ocean plunge and digital detox

AND I DID IT! 

Did plunging in the ocean everyday make me feel enthusiast, grounded, powerful, tenacious, refreshed? YES, instantly! Was it everyday that I wanted to dip my body in the freezing ocean? Nope. But fuck it! I did it anyways. (Let it be known that I live 2 minutes away - the ocean is very accessible!) 

Did going offline for 21 days make me present for my life and family life? YES! Was I a clearer conduit for holding space to the women that mattered most. YES. Did it reclaim my time, and allow me to paint more? Fuck, yes! In times of solitude, I get to connect with the magnitude of my authentic self. Deep work and much less noise - that was the 21 days SHE LEAPS pilgrimage I was really seeking because I know what I value:  magic, beauty, connection with body, mind, soul. Dancing. Unrestrained living. Passion. 

Btw- it scared me to do both. The ocean plunge is the one I thought I wasn't going to finish. One day, there was a thunderstorm, and I went so far as to think it was too dangerous to take the plunge. But REALLY, it was just my inner critic putting me down. I just waited for the lightning to subside, and hop(!) I went. They're is something powerful in witnessing  my fearful train of thoughts and going beyond my fears . I realized that the days I resisted the most, are the days I needed my plunge THE MOST. As the days went on, it got easier and I stayed longer. I tried to not scream or make big movements when I took the plunge - I just went in and kept repeating the mantra "I've got this".

The digital detox is obviously tricky since my livelihood depends on me posting my art and writings online. But if anything, I wish I could have taken a longer Instagram sabbatical. To my surprise, it was easier than I thought. It was lovely to reclaim my time. I really didn't miss it and realized how much I had been craving my own magical kingdom of thoughts and sacred expression. This time alone - without so much screen time - lead to a complete restructuring of how I use my social media channels and how/when I spend time on the world wide web. 

#sheleaps is a public challenge but I see the SHE QUEST participants (YOU!)  as luminaries for it. Whatever it is you choose, you are ready! Here are 10 SHE LEAPS potential ideas

  1. 21 days of making veggie or fruit smoothies

  2. 21 days of painting flower power ( I am gifting this class for free only for SHE QUEST and art lovers of this group! - please email me if you would like your code!) 

  3. 21 days of journalling in the mornings for 5 minutes.

  4. 21 days of breathing/yoga exercises (review all videos so far).

  5. 21 days of no make-up.

  6. 21 days of pulling an oracle card. 

  7. 21 days of going to the beach - rain or shine.

  8. 21 days of making wild flower bouquets.

  9. 21 days of singing mantras.

  10. 21 days of nature walks - rain or shine. 

What will be your SHE-LEAPS? 

Rules: 

1) Starting Aug. 5th, Do one thing everyday for 21 days! One small daily act of bravery. Use #sheleaps and tag me @estelle.thomson and @thepracticemovement.ca for your chance to win a 4 month SHE QUEST MEMBERSHIP ( sept, oct, nov, dec) AND one month unlimited yoga at the new studio in Dartmouth “The Practice”. The more you post under the hashtag #sheleaps, the more chances you have to win.

2) Really do it! It will be easier if you answer the soul inquiry questions above: What are my priorities?  What are my values?  What do I want to feel? On the days you don't want to bother, go back to your intention behind your small daily acts of bravery.

3) When we commit to something that is aligned with our priorities, values and feelings our spirit SOARS with gratitude & delight. Yes! This is a rule. Works every time.

Jessie Redmond Photography

Jessie Redmond Photography

Start with 5 minutes a day of something that perhaps scares you and /or makes you nervous. Your SHE-LEAPS have the powerful potential to become an ingrained daily ritual for the life you truly want to live.

The Practice Studio and I cannot wait to see your LEAPS!! Announce before Aug. 05! 

Estelle xo 





In the name of ART & YOGA

It’s been a learning curve for sure, but I’ve had so much fun this summer producing my new She Quest Podcast! My calling and mission with SHE QUEST has always been to educate and empower modern soulful women to carve pockets of time to implement real-life mindful and artful rituals in their lives and homes. I find podcasts to be a intimate and accessible way to get my points across! YAY.

Like this golden nugget: To normalize art & yoga! To bring back it’s rightful place in our society, schools and family. To try it. PLAY. EXPLORE. To stop overlooking it’s potency for healing physically, mentally, spiritually .

The SHE Quest Podcast will continue in the Fall in light of my first ever membership!

Watch out, world!

E.xo

3 easy breathwork techniques to do with your children (even if you don’t do yoga!)

Watch this short 4 minute easy breathing exercise to do with your child (children) even if you don’t consider yoga to be your jam!

  1. Hands-to-ribs cage exercise, watching the inhales go in , and exhales go out.

  2. Lobster-claw breath! Fun and easy for the hot summer days in the car looking for a parking or on road trips!

  3. Release Breath is genius for any tantrums.

Was this video useful? Let me know how it worked with your family!

Love you in peaceful summer breaks, and good times with your family, always!

E. xo

Traveling: patience, empathy & discovering what really matters.

Byron Bay Sunset, July 2018

Byron Bay Sunset, July 2018

Bucket list trip last year going to the land down-under with the fam. It was incredible! What a privilege to experience Australia’s magic.

We started out on Stradbroke Island. We decided on the camper life, and while we wish we had brought softer bags ( twas a bit cramp in there) we truly enjoyed every minute of it!

Straddie Island was filled with stunning oceans view, great (kid friendly!) hiking trail, wild kangaroos ( tons!), life-changing beach yoga, and whales, dolphins sighting and jumping (!!) everyday.

My husband loved Australia for it’s surf. Things we do while daddy surfs: Beach Yoga!! Collect shells ! Hug !!
And make memories - wherever we are !

But part of me thinks we often romanticize travelling ( just  like we glamorize motherhood but that’s for another post!)!  Traveling is an exercise in patience, empathy, and discovering what really matters. I wish we treated travelling as formative as schooling - I do want to highlight you do not need to go to Australia to learn all of the above (!!!!) - basically a local camping trip with the fam could potentially ( and most likely) have similar effect!

1) Patience

I often think ones true self is revealed in airports, buses and trains. How do you deal with what’s out of your control in a peaceful manner? Their is always a choice. This is something I especially love teaching Isaiah. Like, “you know bud”, I tell him. “It sucks that we are stuck in a very hot plane right now on the tarmak for more than two hours, but things could be worse! What could we possibly do to entertain ourself?” More so, for anyone who has dealt with their family with jet lag, kudos to that. Patience is a great muscle to build while traveling and CAMPING!

2) Empathy

I love opening Isaiah eyes up to other cultures and how they do things. They’re is an open mindedness and respect for others humans and animals that comes from travelling. Confidence is another aspect of traveling, for him and me that’s heightened! Everywhere he has been he’s had to make new friends, interact with others even if it’s daunting sometimes to talk to new people. Approach new maps, explore new environments, and try our best to walk in others shoes.

3) What really matters
So much is out of your control when you travel. I remember being so hard on myself for being impatient or angry with my boy on that trip. The proximity of everyone sometimes made me irritable and the lack of a schedule- dizzy. But at the end of the day, what really seemed to matter was that we were together and healthy! We had this incredible opportunity to see a corner of the world so different than ours and live that to the fullest, knowing we might never have the opportunity to go back!

We ended our days in Byron Bay, scouting the local scenery and wide beaches!

Side note ****** that as a visual artist, I am enormously influenced by nature and my surroundings. Australia really gave me something to chew (paint) on!

The last sketch is now part of my Magic Journal Collection.

Travelling really does awaken everything for me! And taking pictures of our travels. It brings me back to that exact moment, one years ago, where all was well. It was fleeting, this moment. The time of the timer’s click. A beat. A clap. But it was real. Us, all hugged in. It was pure. It was soft. It was love.

Last night in our Aussie dream

Last night in our Aussie dream

 Love you in adventures & wanderlust, always.

E. xo

 

 




10 things I wish naïve ME knew 9 years ago.

Oh Lordy! Me- fresh out of my second Yoga Teachers Training in late July of 2010.  Photo Credit: Hannah Thomson

Oh Lordy! Me- fresh out of my second Yoga Teachers Training in late July of 2010.

Photo Credit: Hannah Thomson

9 years ago. Fresh out of Modo Yoga Teachers Training. Newly engaged with a few calm months to spare finishing my M.A . This feels like it was taken in another life, before entering the jungles gates to motherhood and what ultimately ensued.

Here are 10 things I wish naïve me knew way back when:

1)    In your quest to make people feel less broken and make that your life, you will learn the very same only by being broken yourself.

2)    You will make some terrible mistakes. Receive and give unfair feedback. It’s these fuck ups that will ultimately make you: a grown ass woman.   

3)    PLeasssse, giiiirlllll !!!! You are not here to fit in! Do your own thing. Do it your own way.

4)    Unrelated to art & yoga: GROW YOUR EYEBROWS.

5)    There is always more to learn and more to heal.

6)    Never look back. Nothing is ever wasted.

7)    You can touch others only as far as you’ve allowed to have been touched yourself.

8)    Say YES to your fate! Just say YES. Do not skip this important step. This will mean saying YES to death. YES to life. YES to horrible and wondrous thing. Saying yes will help you say no, too. Saying YES will walk you back to why you took your yoga teachers trainings and why you paint in the first place… for Moksha… for liberation.

9)   Insecurity is not the truth of you. Kindness is the truth of you.

10) Fuck it! Just do it. Go on, dance like everyone’s watching.

Yeah. Still naive. Still growing my eyebrows. Still trying my darndest best at life..

Yours in valuing your original self, always!

E. xo

Non-negotiable: Journalling & Mark- Making

Source: @juliacameronlive

Source: @juliacameronlive

I call bullshit on individuals who claim they cannot “journal”. As my best friend Julia Cameron writes: “If you can’t think of anything to write, then write “I can’t think of anything to write”.

Mark-making is also well under- utilized as a self-inquiring tool for personal growth.

It’s this black and white philosophy that 89% of our planet hold, that one of “I am not creative type”, “not for me” and the “how would I even go about this” thats led me to create my free guide to creative liberation. “Marks & Doodles” which btw, you can find it as a permanent instalment on my website here:

http://www.estellethomson.com/marks-doodles-course

Journalling and Mark-Marking are really you, healing in motion.

Available to you in this permission, on your pages, a brain dump! And when you cannot put words to it, you can surely put marks to it! It’s a powerful thing to see your life on paper, to let it unfold in all it’s wonder and imperfection. Right, Sark?

Source: @sarkilife

Source: @sarkilife


This is surely why I have created my own line of Journals and Portfolios!

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I love my Estelle Thomson Art Permission Slip inscribed inside!

Let this journal be the roots

Let it help me grow.

Let it remind me that I loved.

Let it rip my heart wide open.

Between these pages, anything I want can be released

Why am i scared?

Why do i hide?

It’s now or never.

Show up. Be Loud.

I am ready to feel awake and alive, but from inside.

I understand that self-love requires self-work.

Let this journal witness to my words, stories, doodles, sketches, and paintings.

Bringing forth, whats within me:

I write.

I tell my story.

I doodle.

I sketch.

I paint.

And this will change my life and the world.

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Yours in healing, always.

E.XO

p.s: When you join SHE QUEST or THE LOVE PROJECT or YOGA MENTORSHIP or any of my on-site training you get a journal for free!

Where does magic live ?

Where does magic live?

Suspended, on a swing.

In sunlight, moonlight.

In dusty books and a light switch.

In the first bite, first sip, first kiss.

In open fields, water, crossy roads and ditches.

In stretched out lungs, held up by wind

I take life too seriously

When in the end, magic lives

Suspended, on a swing

Perhaps a hidden dream,

Unfolding

What’s already in.

written by me, your muse-fairy.

Love you!

E. xo

!

Rap it!

Source : Unknown

Source : Unknown

If you can call yourself human then you can call yourself an artist.


Also why self-expression is medicinal!!


Also why making art builds empathy, vulnerability and exercises courage!!

I am this close to making a rap song that repeats these lyrics over and over again: yo yo yo its in your DNA to make beautiful things!! Can you hear it? Bahahahahahaha I can.


Making art pulls you closer to your humanity and divinity.
Come to mama and tell me what you made todayyyyy!!!!!

Yours in creativity as a necessity, always.
E ⭐️

P.S: more on my Mindful Art philosophy HERE.

3 Ways You Can Exercise Beauty Today

Forget what you think is beautiful.

Forget what you think is not beautiful.

Forget what you’ve been taught about beauty for a split of a second and instead remember what’s true. This is perhaps the greatest gift of a daily art & yoga practice: a greater understanding of what is true. Not what is beautiful.

As an artist & yogi, my intention is to bring forth what’s inside me OUT. Express my innards out into the world. I don’t know anyone who’s innards is always pretty and cute. I also don’t know anyone who is able to live in a vacuum. Your truth is meant to be witness, shared and loved.

To not bypass the gut wrenching moments of my life ( one of mine was holding my sweet boy until the last few moments on earth) is not easy, it’s the work of a lifetime. My hope in giving you these 3 mini art & yoga tools, you can try to be comfortable in what you cannot change or solve.

  1. One of my favourite, quick getting ‘down and dirty' meditation is SAT NAM. Sat Nam meditation is an inner sound base meditation. The Sankrit word “Sat Nam” can be translated in English to “i am truth’. I sit down, cross legged and or on a chair for at least 5 minutes and Inhale to the sound Sat and exhale to sound Nam. Mantra’s have powerful in the the vibrational qualities, they stays with you all day ( if not weeks) long. I have students who say they cannot commit well to Sankrit, I would then suggest to repeat the mantra in English or your language of choice.

  2. In summer, I love to go outside and do a breathing exercise I call: breath beauty. It’s so simple! I go in my backyard - you can do this exercise ANYWHERES and breath everything that is around me. I breath the grass, and the trees, and the leaf, but I also breath the things I think are yucky like the spiders, the worms and even my old shed-lol! You can start with your yes wide open and look around you. Perhaps their are thing in your room or space of choice that you are seeing for the first time!

  3. You know I love journalling! I love it so much, I have several journals and portfolio’s in my online shop. To help you debunk your own concept of beauty and truth , answering these question will start the much needed conversation around this. Here are some prompts to start you with 1) what would happened if I operated from a place of truth? 2) How have I been not living my truth ( living a lie perhaps? ) 3) When is the last time I was truly moved by an experience?

Tommy and I wish you live in truth and never neglect the “not beautiful” , always.

E.xo

p.s: Art & Yoga tools are the cornerstone of my on site THE LOVE PROJECT Workshop ( now open!) and SHE QUEST ( which is becoming membership in September)

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