Summer nights, free-falls and creative rhythms

summers nightThe summer night is like a perfection of thought. -Wallace Stevens

My summer nights have been unique opportunities for thought, for abiding and enjoying fireflies and the sounds of the season. Extended afternoon naps inadvertently allow for capturing images of the night sky and are part of coping with the heat-induced fatigue of MS, one of the many adventures of living with the wellness challenges of MS.

courage doesn't always roar

ICAD Card, Day 28/61

Make your own recovery the first priority in your life. -Robin Norwood

I feel as if I am in a perpetual free-fall. But as complicated and disconcerting as that is, I know we discover more about our creative rhythms within the free-fall of Life’s challenges. I know self-compassion can become a parachute, stabilizing our descent as we begin to discern what grounds us … releasing everything else to the wind.

To decide to view yourself as a complete stranger, someone who has just stepped ashore in your life, is a liberating exercise. This meditation helps to break the numbing stranglehold of complacency and familiarity. Gradually, you begin to sense the mystery and magic of yourself. You realize that you are not the helpless owner of a deadened life but rather a temporary guest gifted with blessings and possibilities you could neither invent nor earn. -John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom


Day 7 “Evolution” // 100 days of planning circles

We cannot change anything until we accept it. -Carl Jung

The process of acceptance is convoluted. Twisty. Complicated. Complex.

And it always requires more time than we expect. Particularly those of us who have a habit of minimizing our daily challenges — and dare to expect more than is “reasonable” from our wild and precious life.

prepped index cards for ICAD

prepped index cards for ICAD

Optimism is my default; accepting that is facilitating positive change but I also keep tripping over it when I resume running as fast as I can.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. -Anatole France

Melancholy lingers after all the many changes for me during the past several months even as I die to one life and enter another.

planning circles

100 days of planning circles

I have a journal app that cues daily reminders of what I wrote years prior. Four years ago, I recorded this quote from Seth Godin, “The opportunity is simple: the more each individual gives, the more each of us end up getting.”

So … let’s honor our informal, free-spirited tribe and let’s be generous with one another; let’s be generous with our-self and allow time and space for summer nights and free-falls as we notice the creative rhythms that empower and sustain us.

succulent{for She who is freakishly succulent; for She who makes her own rules}

Braveheart, my energy is limited; fatigue has given way to depression and an intense desire to withdraw completely. But this is me showing up, and I hope you will show up in the ways that are best for you, too.

social mediaAlthough I am not posting here during July, I post to my Instagram + art, quotes and links to Twitter via:

  • @rightbrainplan — a daily tweet promoting the practice of visual planning + allowing the mundane to become art in business & personal planning
  • @theartjournaler — quotations & resource links promoting {no rules//just prompts} art journaling & creative planning as a practice // exploring life as art
  • @stargardener — my personal account, and another favorite social media space for connecting and eclectic conversations! {book notes, quotations and random links}

… and I am also resuming the digital collage of Pinterest: stargardener. It is something that can be updated in minutes, and I update this board regularly:

Weekly word prompts are posted here each Monday.

Thank you kindly for your love and support!

musts, shoulds and wholeheartedness


page view from The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Should is how other people want us to live our lives. -Elle Luna

must is

page view from The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self. -Elle Luna

must - now what

page view from The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

… choosing Must raises very real and scary questions. -Elle Luna

mustDuring my career as a freelancer, I have learned {over and over} that Must will evolve — so it is best to hold on loosely. Even so … I still freak-out a bit {um, a lot!} when I know it is changing.

what if it changes

page view from The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

But once you know your Must, it won’t be ignored. Must will wave wildly for your attention and it will interrupt your ability to focus on anything else.


page view from The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Must will energize you and feel limitless; but it is likely very few people will “get it” when are you starting out and it may not work out in the way you first believe … 

what if it doesn't pay

page view from The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

It may not always pay your electricity bill … But if you will honor your Must wholeheartedly — you will always find a way to have you need.

do you know for sure

What Makes Up Resilience? If you look at the current research, here are five of the most common factors of resilient people: They are resourceful and have good problem-solving skills. They are more likely to seek help. They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope. They have social support available to them. They are connected with others … -Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

now whatAuthenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are. -Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

I am in the next “hour” of ever-widening circles of my Next — the space of my Life clock that remains to be named for its mile markers.

my life clock

my life clock

I am living differently — there are new and marvelous {and daunting} changes in my life right now, both personally and professionally.

Throughout my life there have been hours of “shoulding” but my Must evolved, bills got paid and I learned baby steps count.

There is a continual focus on letting go of who I think I am supposed to be and learning to embrace who I am.

page view from The Bodacious Book of Succulence, by SARK

page view from The Bodacious Book of Succulence, by SARK

There have been hours when I didn’t define my time, when I kept time with The Have-To Clock. And there will be again — Life is an of ever-widening circle of self-compassion and being true to one’s Must.

There are always lessons hiding behind my fears; there are always surprises and experiments — sparkly dares of trial and error. And there are miscommunications when what I {think} I am saying isn’t being said and/or misunderstood.



Writing about work earlier this month was intended to be more clearly communicated regarding how elements of my {living}, productivity and outcomes occur in 80/20 ratios. Perhaps the message was clear as a common thread of my posts … perhaps not.

I have been loosely applying The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80–20 Rule, to facilitate my own acceptance of the often perceived loss of time due to MS and other realities beyond my control.

notice cameraI have been reminding my-self procrastination is not a waste of time. It is my spirit whispering to my brain, “S-l-o-w down and notice this.” … “Get close up and capture its facets.” … “What are the secret messages?”

Venn of LifeBottom Line: statistically 80% of our time consists of the mundane, the insignificant and the adventures of moods and fears BUT we limit our celebration and valuing to the 20% we deem “newsworthy” …

100% of our {living} has value — and deserves to be honored & celebrated, Braveheart.

When we can loosen our expectations about being “productive and clear-minded” 100% of the time {aka perfect, like the people we compare ourselves to}, our stress levels decrease {less over-reacting, over-eating, over-spending, etc.}.

listen to your selfA release of expectations facilitates a dance in-Spirit.

Life is a spiritual dance and our unseen partner has steps to teach us if we will allow ourselves to be led. The next time you are restless, remind yourself it is the universe asking “Shall we dance?” -Julia Cameron

Let’s dance. Let’s hold on loosely. Let’s be at ease, Braveheart. 

Let’s name our Must, release the Shoulds and live free — and wholeheartedly! Let’s embrace our work as that of creating space {time, ease, a setting} each day for the purpose of our own becoming.

Work is the activity of both our “80%” and our “20%” …

work + enough

message written on her handAs long as we are focused on another, we do not have our own full attention. As long as we are focused obsessively on the outer trappings of someone else’s financial success, we are comparing our insides to their outsides — and that is never far. Jealousy will always block our own prosperity — spiritual as well as financial. -Julia Cameron, The Prosperous Heart

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Intentions for the Full Moon


More than a calendar cycle, my rhythms move more according to the moon’s cycles. It allows for more ease than numerals; a gradual movement instead of jumping from day to day.


I have intentions for my-self during this next cycle, a time of returning to the basics of my right brain planning; grounding my-self in what serves me best in the way of peace and productivity.

May page viewThe theme for May planning pages is “The Hours” + the word prompt for Week 19/52 {beginning tomorrow} is “write” …

writeAnd by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. -Sylvia Plath

Today is a fullness and light. I know for many of us this past month has felt rather empty and dark. And yet, every day counts, everything counts …

Thus, we have the option of accepting what cannot be changed — changing that which we can, as we are able via the imagination to improvise. {baby steps count}

  • For my baby steps, I will be using the time logs of May’s planning pages {purchase} + index cards and Post-it Notes. And writing, of course! 😉

P.S. I have been having a consistent challenge with my ability to see clearly; vision problems come with living with Multiple Sclerosis. Thus, less posting online and misspellings + missing details when I do post. What I often see is like looking through water. It’s a little wacky and requires lots of extra time to post even the simplest of posts.

The 100 Day ProjectI have been continuing my daily planning circle drawings, doodles and collage even if I am not able to post each day. It has proven to be a means of moving through the realities of the current limits of MS.

Weekly word prompts are posted here each Sunday, and listed on the monthly calendar of the planning page sets.