Thursday, December 31, 2009

Photo taken from top of Madonna Mt., Jeffersonville, VT by my brother Pat
Home Sweet Home.

Happy Holidays...Many blessings for this Brand New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

This image is from my journal in a contemplation of the title that I have given this blog and my etsy shop.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the name I have chosen: art asana. Asana is a sanskrit word (the language of yoga) that means seat, posture or pose (according to the glossary in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, translated by B.K.S Iyengar). So what is Art Asana?  In my naming of these two places in cyberspace, I wanted a name that represented my intention to embrace myself as an artist and yogi. To me, art asana means taking my seat in the intention of being an artist/entrepreneur/yogi and offering that intention up to something bigger then me. It's as if I am saying, here I am in the world (as I am), determined by my intention and diving into the flow of grace, letting it sweep me away towards whatever is in store. Taking this seat, this asana, as artist requires as much steadiness as it does letting go. Yoga asana is a way to embody our intentions and plant the seeds of them into the foundations of our bodies. We take our seat as yogis. In the same way, I set my intentions into the space of visual expression, I allow them to dance though the puddles of paint I squirt down on my palette. I take my seat as artist.
And don't we all want to feel this sense of belonging, this sense of taking our seats in our own meaningful purposes?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pomegranate Celebration

        The sun shone in today after the weekend's storm. It was beautiful outside with the piles of snow glistening. I tried to dry apples to hang on my christmas tree, so I cut them star-ways and put them in the sun to get all wrinkly. With my pomegranate lunch, it felt festive! 

I am feeling more festive with all this snow fall! 

While it did it's blizzarding thing on Sunday, I put some of my artwork up in a shop on Etsy! See the new side bar to the right? That's my shop! So today I celebrated this with festive reds and a juicy pomegranate!

What did you celebrate today?


Friday, December 18, 2009

Leaves and Feathers: A Winter Giveaway

photo courtesy of Faith Evan-Sills at Leaves and Feathers
 It is a cold friday morning here on the Cape. But the sun is shining and I have listed many of the things I am grateful for in my morning pages journal, which always gets me off on the right foot. One thing I have been grateful for recently is the discovery of blogging. I've been at it now for about three months and I've posted some and read A LOT. There are so many inspiring blogs out there! One of these blogs, that I have just recently stumbled upon, features the gorgeous artwork of Faith Evan-Sills. She paints colorfully euphoric and ethereal paintings and this weekend, she is offering a Winter Solstice giveaway prize of her artwork. I've entered the giveaway by writing about it here in this post! Her work is really beautiful and I definitely recommend checking it out! So head on over to her blog, Leaves and Feathers to find out how to enter her giveaway!

Have a safe and Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"Perched"  Mixed Media by Eliza Lynn Tobin
    This painting that I finished this week, perfectly describes where I've been at lately: "Perched on the edge of my perceived limitations, I can see farther then I ever imagined" it reads. Yes, I am perched, right at the edge of several of the dreams I've been scheming upon for a while. And it is terrifying (for I could fall or fail) and thrilling (I could succeed). Yoga has been helping me to slowly, quietly, lovingly, and gently nudge me closer to that edge. It is the force that opens my eyes to possibilities beyond what I can imagine. Maybe it makes me stronger and more able to experience my limitations without folding underneath them before I can slowly, quietly, lovingly, and gently push past them. The practice continues to help me really feel, really understand, the idea that we all have a unique gift to offer the world, that is ours alone to give. In my yoga practice (when I get past all my lame excuses not to practice), I see some glimpses of that gift, of that knowing that I possess something unique to me and it is my responsibility to share that gift no matter how scary that feels. 
      This morning, I ran across Jaime Ridler's "Wishcasting Wednesdays" prompt. It was "what do you wish to give" and as if she had been reading my mind, I started thinking about the answer to that question in relation to my "perching" on this edge of limitations. I thought about how giving my unique gift to the world was what I wished to give. By doing so, I might empower others to share their own true gifts in life. When each of us does this, I'd like to believe that it makes the world a better place. We all have something beautiful and unique to offer the world. How do we learn to get out of our own way enough to give it? How do I get out my own way and jump over my fears like the Cow jumps over the Moon?
      I think about what I could give if I did in fact jump over the moon of my fears without fear of failure or falling. Perhaps giving my unique gift to the world is how I could effect the world we life in positiviely--If we offer our unique gift (even if it scares us, especially if it scares us) and in turn others feel inspired to give their unique gifts, then suddenly all our lives are brighter, more colorful, more full of expression and love. Perhaps more gratitude would be offered, more care taken, more light shone into more dark places, more compassion to replace hatred, more healing to replace suffering, more peace to replace violence. More people would feel more full and we would all get to celebrate in that. So this wednesday, this ordinary day of extraordinary life, I wish to give my unique gift fearlessly, the unique expression of who I am (however that chooses to express itself). 


Friday, December 11, 2009

reflections on a year past

 My Husband and I on our Wedding Day (photo taken by my brother Patrick Tobin) 
     I received a newsletter recently from one of my yoga teachers about how this time of year is about pausing, quieting down, going inward and reflecting on the past year. As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I am bending around all my limitations and going full force to start the engine of my dream that is to make a living as an artist. This process and these last few weeks have been anything but quiet and reflective. I have been busy running through the incredibly lengthy list of learning and doing that goes into starting up a business. It is frantic and frightening. However, this morning, I did take the time to sit quietly after some slow seated yoga poses and a restorative (that was relaxing as soon as my dog, Tulsi, stopped licking my face). It took me a while to settle, to align my non-rhythmic and scattered mind with the steady beat of my heart, but after a few minutes I did. From that place of quiet,  I reflected on my past year, on the experiences that made my heart soar and the ones that made it sink, knowing that my acceptance and gratitude towards both will help me to move more bravely into the future. 

My Year in fast-forward (although not necessarily in order):

I moved from the mountains of Wyoming to Maine to teach for the very first time. 

I learned more then I knew was possible about my light and my shadow through teaching Art, living in a freshman boys dorm, coaching mountain biking and learning hip hop dance moves at the boarding school where I worked.

I started Grad school at Lesley University studying "Yoga and Creativity" and new doorways of ideas and ways of thinking began to open up all over the place

I received the love of a new puppy who we named Tulsi

I found Anusara Yoga, did a holiday retreat with Todd Norian last December and then took his 108 hour immersion program and then started doing his teacher training this November

I moved with my fiance to my parent's house in Vermont and lived in my dad's art studio and I worked our tails off getting ready for our DIY  wedding
                           The dirt road I grew up on (photo taken by my brother Pat Tobin) 
I married my best friend on August 1st in my parent's backyard in front of 250 of our friends and family.

I moved from one little Vermont town to another and began to dream about starting a career as an artist/yoga teacher.

I worked at a local teen center where I spent most of my hours doodling with sharpies and listening to ear-trashing music

I moved from one little Vermont town to a big coastal town in Massachusetts where I have been/am writing papers about the Bhagavad Gita and the creative process, thinking about how I need to practice more yoga (and then practicing a little bit), imagining myself taking a Zumba class and meeting new people, AND mustering all that I have to just go for it and begin chasing my art dream down.

Yeah for 2009!  

May this upcoming year be as fruitful, full and flavorful as this past one. May I continue to grow, expand and align with the beauty of my own heart. May I keep learning, evolving and transforming in big and little ways. May I remain steady, still and true to myself even on the days that want to knock me off balance. May I laugh and play and have fun. May I not have to move again for at least another year. 

May all the things that you wish for your new year come true in every way and more.


Monday, December 7, 2009

More on Trust

"Trust"   Mixed-Media Painting by Eliza Lynn Tobin

So I am still thinking about this BIG topic of Trust that I started writing about last weekend. I think that the biggest reason for this is that I am in the beginning phases of starting a business with my art (the planning phase, the "am I good enough?" phase, the "I am scared out of my gore" phase). So trust has been on my mind because I feel like I need a extra large spoonful of it these days. Over the weekend, I took the topic to my yoga mat. I thought about how it takes trust to do poses like handstand, how much hugging into the core of the body is required for a pose like that and how much trust that takes. It takes trust in myself to know that I am strong enough to pull into that central place. It takes trust to know that even if I do fall out of handstand, the ground will be there to catch me (hopefully as softly as possible). It's not as though I'm going to fall straight through the ground. Thank goodness for the ground! Then I moved onto some balancing poses, because they require trust also. How do I find trust in balancing poses, I asked myself? Again, it requires hugging into the center of myself, trusting that I will be supported from that place. I moved into Vasisthasana, side plank pose---a pose that in the past, I have hated, hated, hated because of the pressure it puts on my wrists, (especially on the right side).  I always dread doing this pose. However, as I have deepened my understanding and embodiment of the Anusara yoga principles, this pose has gotten better. But there is still some fear/discomfort/distrust that comes up when I go into it. But during the weekend's practice, I thought about how it especially takes trust (a lot of it) to do something that is scary and uncomfortable. I decided that by trusting that it will really all be OK, I would be able to move past the limitations that I have set up for myself.  Limitations that I have around a pose like Side Plank Pose, or the idea of making a living from my artwork. 

However with trust embedded in my weekend's practice, I did Side Plank Pose and I celebrated the small victory, believing, if for only a moment, that I can overcome any of my fears with TRUST that it will all work out.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Journaling Trust

I really love this journaling class that I am taking with Stephanie Lee, as I mentioned in my last post. I am not really journaling more then normal, but I am still really enjoying it. I usually do Morning Pages, an idea from Julia Cameron's Artist Way in which you write three pages first thing in the morning. Three pages, no matter what, even if all you have to say is "I don't know what to write" for three pages. Although, trust me, once you get the hang of it, you will always have something to say. I sort of signed up for the journaling class by accident. Well, I knew I was paying for it when I hit the Paypal button, but for some reason, I was under the impression that it was a VISUAL journaling class (which is something I want to learn more about). When I realized that it was a WRITING journaling class, I was at first annoyed with myself for the mistake, but decided to stick with it, and am glad that I did. It is incredibly inspiring to read all the sharing that other journaling souls are doing in the class, to hear bits of their stories and to read about how this process of journaling is effecting their experiences. And I have to say, despite the fact that I was bummed in the beginning, it really has given me a new understanding of how important the process of journaling is in my own life. How much it has transformed my life, even though in the thick of it, I am only airing my daily laundry. But wow, airing all of that junk I harbor inside of myself is so liberating! When I get it out in a journal, it's not rolling around inside of me anymore! 
      I have plenty of nay-sayers inside my head who need tape slapped on their mouths. You know the ones. They tell me everything about me is not good enough, smart enough, talented enough...and on and on. Lately, I've been trying to soften these voices and push them aside for something a little more powerful: Trust. I head something this week about figuring out how you trust yourself and I have been thinking (and writing) a lot about my answer to that question. How do I trust? I think that writing in my journal is a way that I have learned to trust a little bit more. I trust myself to be honest there and I trust that by putting my ideas/dreams out there in the universe (via my journal), I am letting them be heard, letting them breathe. And I think there might be something to that. So here's to Journaling! And taping the mouths of our inner critics shut to allow room for more TRUST!



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