Monday, December 16, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #32 - Create some Serotonin.


"Secret Wonder" collage by Lani, face from ArtTeaLife and textures by FlyPaper.
All of us have a type of chemical in our brains that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another, neurotransmitters called serotonin, which is totally tied to mood.  If serotonin is being absorbed and produced at the right levels then we feel good, we have a feeling of happiness, joy, peace, contentment, etc.  However, if our serotonin levels are low then we may struggle with some negative feelings like anger, sadness, loss of joy, tiredness, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, etc.  While blood levels of serotonin are measurable, we still don't know for sure if the dip in serotonin causes the negative feelings, or if the negative feelings cause serotonin levels to drop.

But when a person receives a compliment, or when their work is recognized and appreciated, it feels good, and the serotonin levels are balanced.  The person giving the compliment also has a serotonin related positive feeling.  When we are in an encouraging and positive environment we are generally more satisfied and happy than when we are in a neutral environment.

So try a daily dose of recognition and appreciation for all you do for yourself.  This is where an art journal comes in handy, you can always review the pages you have finished and find something to compliment yourself on.  This is always possible even if it's some small aspect of a piece.  Try it out!

For this challenge, review the pieces you have done so far with these challenges or as part of your daily practice, and zoom in on a particular aspect you really like.  Give yourself a complement or two and as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play and complements on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  (With the above collage, I was so delighted with the glasses and party hat and overall happy expression that I can feel the serotonin balancing every time I look at it!)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #31 - Gifts of Light and Inspiration

"Here comes the Sun" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Over at 14 Secrets we are celebrating the coming winter solstice and return of the sun with virtual gifts of light and inspiration from the moderators.

Day 1 was a video Gena took of a street performer in Paris.  It is so lovely!  I had to do some research on this kind of performance and I found a performer in Taiwan!  So here you are:




And of course we want to have some interesting, inspiring quotes as part of our gifts of light and inspiration so here's the gift from Day 2: Here’s the sexy white hot truth about creativity. It’s a religious experience. It’s a transcendental adventure. It’s the losing of the daily self and entering the magic kingdom. You come back bigger. You come back satiated. You come back sweeter. You come back with wings and fins and new toes that seek for higher ground. You never come back the same. by Tama J. Kieves

And my favorite Winter Solstice Celebration is the one that occurs at St. John the Divine in NYC. If you ever get the chance... oh my...


So here's the challenge. Create an art piece as a gift for yourself or someone else, that has something to do with the return of light and inspiration.  And as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #30 - We Are Loved

"We are Loved" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Our unconscious minds are very funny and powerful things. They can be extremely helpful and our greatest ally in working towards goals or using affirmations, but if we use the wrong language in creating a goal or affirmation our unconscious minds can sabotage this goal or affirmation. For example, I love this statement: "We are loved beyond our ability to comprehend."  Or maybe I should say that's why my unconscious loves this statement. It will recognize the truth in the feeling that it doesn't always comprehend that I am loved. It says, yes, that's a true statement. But when it absorbs the statement as quite true, it's also absorbing the idea that it is loved. So it ends up feeling quite jolly and lovable when it reads that statement. And if my unconscious feels jolly and lovable, then so do I.

So here's the challenge. Create a love note / art piece for your unconscious. Use this statement if you like or some other statement that will make it feel jolly. If the unconscious is too abstract of an idea, then try creating your piece for a child, perhaps even the child you once were. Take note of inner responses to this activity.

And as always have fun with this and feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.