Manifesting, Making it Happen

It's not that my whole life I envisioned this. I guess I don't really work that way. The way I work is: I have an idea and I follow it. I'm not the type to brew a dream for years and years, squirreling it away, planning and, well, dreaming about it in my spare time.

Mark sings to me (from the musical South Pacific): You gotta have a dream, if you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?

No, I'm finally understanding that I'm the kind of girl who comes up with an idea, call it a dream, and BAM. There is it in front of me.

It happened when we moved up here to Sonoma county. I had this little idea that we should move to the country and before you knew it, we were buying 4 acres in rural Sebastopol, a hillside covered with old twisted oak trees and an abandoned water tower, and packing up our house in Alameda. My dream became Mark's dream and he built us the house we live in today. I guess I was pretty persuasive.

It happened again when a couple years ago I had an awakening with my Jewish music. I suddenly took my years of songleading to a whole new level, leading services, composing Jewish music, teaching and inspiring people spiritually. I'm still doing that. It keeps me happy.

So, I shouldn't be very surprised that today, less than eight months after first noticing the idea tickling the edges of my brain, I have my own art studio, several classes a week building steam, a list of people eager to play, heal, explore, and have fun in my midst, with all my art supplies, and all I have to offer.

My dream of teaching people the heart-opening process of art journaling is now a reality. I made it happen.

What did it take? How did I manifest this BIG idea?

I talked about it. With anyone who would listen. I thought about it as a given. I offered classes. I scoured Craigslist for a studio and then started going to look at rentals. I made a vision board and soaked the images all in. When a friend mentioned that my synagogue had a room for rent in the back, I decided to take a look. And after two months of renting one day a week (and having to unpack my supplies each morning and pack them up each evening--killing my joy) I arranged to rent it full time. Now, two months later, I have really moved in to this fabulous, light, and bright space...cabinets found on Craigslist, tables from our attic, bins from the Dollar Store, aprons from IKEA...and boxes and boxes of art supplies that I've been collecting for my own use over the years now displayed happily on counters built by Mark.

(Mark. Mark quietly supports my dreams every time. And with this one, well, it's kept him busy. Building, cutting, hanging, painting. He's in the background helping me to make it happen. Thank you, honey.)

I started without a long-range plan. I just started with an idea. If no one had shown up for the first couple classes, I wouldn't have moved forward so fast. But, clearly, the class intrigued people. This month my drop-in classes are free and most nights I've had 5-7 students working on their journals. I'm definitely meeting the needs of women who are craving some time for themselves, an opportunity to sing their souls' songs, and a place to spread out with collage and paint and soothing music in the background.

It’s within those walls that I’m braiding together the pieces of my soul: artist, teacher, leader, caretaker.

Friends have commented to me, "Wow! You really do move on your ideas!" And the comment has struck me as sort of odd. You mean not everybody does this? I suppose not. I could have considered the idea a bit longer. I could have done more research. Market research. Apparently, that's not how I roll, as my kids would say.

The other night, as I set up for my drop-in studio class, I considered the other part of the path I'd taken to get there. At the end of my tenure as an art student at UCLA, I specifically chose not to be a starving artist. I decided to become a teacher instead. Teaching was my art form for many years. And in the past three decades I've dabbled artistically in many other veins, as well. Music, craft, visual art, homeschooling, writing, photography. My art forms have also taken the shape of sculptures. I've molded communities of women in moms' groups, homeschool groups, and spiritual groups. For me being an artist is so much more faceted than just a paintbrush and canvas.

I got my business license the other day. "That's a long name," said the very nice woman at the Planning Department in Cotati City Hall. Yes, yes it is. But Unfold {your creative spirit} Studio is what I had to call it. Because it's within those walls that I'm braiding together the pieces of my soul: artist, teacher, leader, caretaker. I'm unfolding my spirit there. And I'm ushering my students along that path.

I hope you find time to make it to a class. Free drop-in studio ends at the end of July. But in August you'll be able to pay as a walk-in or buy a class card. Mondays and Wednesdays every week.

Be prepared to become totally hooked. Art journaling is so much more than just making art or keeping a journal. It's a no holds barred, rule-free zone. Anything goes. And the end result will keep you yearning for more.