Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finding Comfort Within Change

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."
—Alan Watts

It's a new year and things seem to be changing for many of us - our career path, where we live, how we see the world around us, our relationships and how we view ourselves all seem to be changing in one way or another. So often change isn't comfortable because we have no idea what to expect once the transformation is complete. It can feel scary especially when we know things are changing but are unsure of the end result. When we don't have all the details our brain tends to make them up for us and then we have a million scenarios running around upstairs all wanting our attention.

In the studio, we play with the question, "What if change and the unknown could be met with curiosity?" and we arm ourselves with the comforting knowledge that everything changes eventually--it is the only certainty we have. This knowledge lends itself to an exploration of the grandest kind and we discover a freedom in creating just to see what happens, unsure of the outcome. Carrying this freedom out into our lives creates some space for whatever arises and we remember to breathe, movewith it and join the dance.

Wishing you much love and peace in the new year,
Steph and Jen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nectar's Next Chapter Is Here

The new studio has been built and we are so pleased to share with you some pictures of Creative Nectar's new sister studio! Housed in Stephanie's home, Inside Out Studio is nestled in a small tree-filled lake community just 8 minutes North of downtown KC.

The studio is in a secluded setting and feels safe and nurturing. 6 People can fit comfortably in the space and painting will officially start the first weekend in March 2015

Stephanie will be facilitating 2-3 classes a week and seasonal day-long retreats with both Steph and Jen will be scheduled throughout the year.

We are also very excited to launch our new website early in the coming year. The site will be easy to maneuver in and have interactive options that will expand as time goes on. Basically, you won't have to live in Kansas City to be a part of our community because our website will be able to meet you right where you are with blog posts, MP3 downloads, videos, products and eventually on-line classes.

Also on the horizon, we will be offering another process painting series at Awaken Whole Life Center in the Spring and painting mixed with Equine Therapy this Summer. We have much going on and are excited for the future. We are constantly blown away by what occurs when we go with the flow and allow what is wanting to happen next.

With gratitude and many thanks,
Steph and Jen

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Magical Properties of Hibernation

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
                                  ― Roald Dahl

 There are times in the studio and in our lives when we feel as if nothing is moving. We are stuck beyond belief and cannot find our way out. It is in these times that we question whether anything at all is really happening. "Why do we do this work?" "What could possibly be the purpose?"
We can feel our wheels spinning as we go nowhere fast.
As we paint, we are asked to trust these moments and lean into the uncomfortable stickiness of them. Could we see our stuckness as a type of hibernation, knowing that as we slow way down we our resting for a big awakening in the Spring?
So much lately, individually and at Nectar, appears to be in a grand pause and as we move closer toward the Winter solstice, the desire to burrow ever deeper underground is an intriguing idea. Feeling into that perceived lack of movement and getting curious about its' magical properties is a way for us to navigate through the muck. Both in our painting and outside the studio, we can trust that our being stuck is absolutely fine and that even though things feel stuck there is indeed movement happening just below the surface.

Wishing you all the best this winter season,
Jen and Steph

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Gift of Shame

"...real freedom is not about getting away from what is troubling us but rather about going into and through it.We emerge with a few scars and probably a little less skin, but emerge we do, no longer bypassing our less flattering qualities. This is fierce, unconditional love for ourselves, alive with spiritual boldness that serves us all."

- Robert Augustus Masters (Spiritual Bypassing - When Spitiruality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters )

A few weeks ago in honor of Halloween and Day of the Dead, we decided to have a funeral for Shame. Nothing too fancy, we would paint as we normally do on Saturday morning, but also build an altar in the middle of our gathering table so after we finished painting, we could "lay our shame to rest". It was amazing what happened because at the end of  the painting session, we all came to the same conclusion, we didn't feel like we could lay our shame to rest because it was still very much a part of us and it wouldn't feel right to bury it because it for sure wasn't dead! Burying Shame felt like another way to push aside valuable information we are given about our interior. Instead of being ashamed of the shame, we could come to see its' presence as a gift and something to get curious about and explore. 

What an incredible idea! What if, instead of locking away the parts of  ourselves that feel too yucky to show to the world, we brought them out into the light and began to love the them? What if we were all really honest about our shame and started talking about it to people every day?  This is what we cultivate in the studio. Honesty and and working to meet our wholeness are the things that come up again and again at Nectar. Working in this way isn't always easy. Process Painting is invisible work and something not easily explained, but it is potent and when we are ready, it can be absolutely life changing.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Giving Thanks

We are still reeling from the amazing response we had to our Indiegogo fund raising campaign. Just 6 weeks ago we took the scary leap to publicly ask for help and boy did we get it! With over 700 views and an astonishing number of shares on Facebook and through email, we were humbled and our hearts were melted. Thanks to your many generous gifts, the studio raised $7,530.00! With this money we will be able to move forward into Nectar's next phase.

Please check back here for updates and more blogs from the studio in the very near future.
THANK YOU from the bottoms of our hearts. What a perfect way to begin this Thanksgiving season....fully immersed in gratitude!

With Love and Thanks,
Steph and Jen

Friday, October 24, 2014

Nectar's Big Adventure

These are exciting times for us at Creative Nectar Studio! As we make our way through so much that is still unknown we are reminded of working on a process painting. In the studio we may start with an idea of how we'd like things to look, but as we continue to paint we realize it has other ideas on the matter. We can struggle and scream and try to push upstream or we can relax into what actually is and go with the flow, trusting that there are gifts there to be found even though we may not initially understand it or like how it looks.
As we go with the flow of Nectar's next phase, we realize that things may not look like what we originally envisioned, but growth is happening as we step into the next chapter with curiosity and wonder. We made a quick video to share with you about just that. Our online campaign ends November 2nd and we could still really use your help.
Thanks to all who've contributed so far. We are overwhelmed by your support and encouragement for what happens at the studio!
Sending you much love,
Steph and Jen

Monday, September 29, 2014

Exploring Our Vulnerable Side

“...and that visibility which makes us most vulnerable

is that which also is the source of our greatest strength.” 

― Audre Lorde"
The last few months have been financially hard on the studio and we've navigated our way through grief and anger at the idea of having to let go of our dream. Initially, we made the decision to close the doors when our lease runs out next March. However, after sitting with that awhile it became clear that we're not ready to give up! We want to fight for all we have built at Nectar, continue to offer this deep work and...ask for help. We realized just closing our doors was easier than having to show our less-than-perfect vulnerable side to the public and seek support.

So here we are, with all of our imperfections, asking for help. Much of what we do in the studio calls on us to dig deeply and get in touch with that "less than perfect" stuff that feels  uncomfortable and vulnerable. It only makes sense for us to explore what's happening with Nectar in the same way. So, we have started an Indiegogo campaign and we would love it if you could donate and/or share our campaign.We can't do this without you! THANK YOU ALL for helping in any way that feels right for you.
Jenny & StephanieIn Gratitude,
Jen and Steph

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Exploring Our Inner Wisdom

"If you can listen and respond to the inner messages of your spirit, then you're in a state of nourishment."
- "If the Buddha Came to Dinner:
How to Nourish Your Body to Awaken Your Spirit" 
In the studio part of what we are learning to do is truly listen to ourselves again. As we begin this relearning, it can feel unfamiliar. For most of us, we have been under the impression that what is going on inside isn't enough and we must search outside ourselves for the solution. The idea that we hold all the answers seems unrealistic so we shut down our internal guidance system. Painting gives us the opportunity get curious about our inner wisdom again. In addition to the many painting options available this month we are pleased to be offering a powerful 3 week series with long-time painter and nutrition coach Karen Ialapi. Using discussion and process painting  Karen and Stephanie will gently guide us to explore our hunger from a place of curiosity and non-judgement as we reconnect with our internal wisdom and pave our own path to True Nourishment.
We look forward to seeing you this month!
Jenny & StephanieSending you much love,
Jen and Steph

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Giving Back To Our Community

 "To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." 
      ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
A few months ago our friend James told us about a group of artists he'd met on First Friday that really moved him (JCDS Emerging Artists). He was so inspired by what they were doing he bought a piece they had for sale and quickly contacted Jenny to see if we'd like to paint with them. He also graciously offered to pay for their painting workshop at the studio so none of us would have to worry about where the money would come from.

Last Wednesday we had the pleasure of hosting 5 painters from this program along with their director—it a heart-opening experience that all fell effortlessly into place. And all this from one person who was moved to the point of action. We ALL really can make a difference. James knew that this would be a good match even though the Emerging Artists and Creative Nectar knew nothing of each other. He followed his heart and he got it right.

This is a call for all of us to follow our hearts.What has inspired you? What would you like to share and who would you like to share it with? If you don't have the time to participate but you have the money, you can fund an event. If you don't have the money but you have the time, you can volunteer or look for sponsors. This is how change happens.... one person at a time.
Jenny & StephanieSending you much love,
Jen and Steph

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Loving The Broken Pieces

Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanesegolden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanesegolden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered goldsilver, or platinum a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.  - Wikipedia 

Earlier this year during a Spring storm, our sign hanging outside the studio fell and split in two. We quickly set out to "correct" the matter by purchasing a new wood round and spending a few hours priming both sides. After that our white circle remained in the closet for several months. During this time we both worked with the realization that we each had an individual path we needed to take. For awhile, we weren't sure how it would work. The need to be a fully present and authentic person in the world, while working in partnership, felt confusing. How could we have one united front if we were both wanting different things as well as what we had created at Nectar?  What we discovered after some heart-felt talks and lots of painting is that the only thing that needed to change was the idea of what being in a business partnership meant. We realized that growing on our own path while moving toward the same goal for the studio felt stronger than trying to morph into something that wasn't fully representative of either one of us.

The work that happens at Nectar is deep and potent, not only for those who come to paint, but for us as well. It's this work that led us to the idea of mending our broken sign.

 We each worked on half of the sign, writing intentions for ourselves and for the studio. 
Then we painted our half with gold paint.
After some wood glue and a night of rest with some bungee cords, we have our sign back. Stronger from what was once viewed as an imperfection. 

Our sign now hangs as a reminder for us every time we arrive at the studio. Our cracks are not something to fix or try to hide, but rather an invitation to grow and make friends with what we feel is broken, ultimately making us stronger and whole.

Whether you paint with us on a regular basis, have only painted once, or come to our website from time to time, you are helping to grow this community and we are grateful.

Thanks and Love,
Steph and Jen