Author Archives: CreativeCatalyst

Fall Workshop!

Let’s play!

The in-person version of my Intention setting workshop is ready to roll and will take place,
Saturday, September 16th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Awakening Yoga Studio.

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Weekly Themes

I’m having a bit of fun as I experiment with using themes for my week. My thought is to organize my yoga classes, my personal creative practice and my daily living around a main idea. It has been an interesting experiment so far. July 10th our theme was Curiosity. What do you want to know or understand? Ask questions, compare and contrast issues, see the world from another’s point of view. Be an observer.

July 17th we practiced calling in Joy. This one was a little trickier. One evening, I was told the yoga class I taught was “hard.” I suggested the joy may come from it being “over” for the night. We had a good laugh. Sometimes that’s the way it goes. It is a matter of perspective. At times, my joy is derived from the nonsense of whatever I’m doing being over. Other times, it comes from the activity itself. A breath, an exquisitely drawn line, the color pink, whispers, a fabulous sunset, managing a stressful situation or person, all bring me joy.

This week we are working on Grace. Can you allow a bit of grace to flow to those who irritate you? How about those that light you up? Can you send a thought of grace to yourself? How well do you accept where you are today? Your best today may be different from your best yesterday or different from someone else’s best. Is that a problem? Can you find the grace?

Next week I’ll be playing with Freedom. Seems like some interesting feelings could come up. Until we meet again.

Go Creatively Onward,
Julie

New Look!

Rolling out new images. As I gain a clearer understanding of what I want to do with my
enterprising life, the design changes. You will notice an updated header for this site. I’m still
incorporating “Creatively Onward,” but it feels that this is more of a tag line and underlying
sentiment for how I roll than for what I am. I have always been about forward movement, color, using the senses, radical amazement, energy and connection. I am Julie Baker, graphic designer, catalyst for yoga and creativity, mother, wife, woman, sister, daughter, teacher, student and so much more. I am grateful everyday for all with whom I share this journey.
Join me as I move “Creatively Onward.”

Light & Love,

Julie

Spring is a wonderful time for new adventures.

Green, pink, purple, yellow, white, color is everywhere. It is spring a time for new beginnings and fresh energy. And this means newness in my business life as well. The Universe keeps sending yoga messages my way. I am listening. It pleases me to announce that I will be teaching at Awakening Yoga Studio starting in the next couple of weeks. This is a great space in my new home town, with a wonderful group of yogis. If you’re in the area, check it out.

I have a few other ideas marinating, workshops, self-care mini retreat with yoga and art, and of course, the online class for my non-local friends. It is still in production. I’m getting closer. The tech is my block at the moment. If I wanted to contract it out, it would be done. But that’s not in my DNA. I love to learn which means I’ve been doing the work. I’m slow but consistent just like the tortoise. It will get done eventually. Until next time, go Creatively Onward!

Julie Baker Yoga Teacher & Creativity Catalyst

Whew! It’s good to be back.

From an elevation of 596 ft. to 10 ft., 2980 miles from the PacNW to southern Georgia, I am learning about my new home state. It has always been a belief of mine that I could “have it all” as the saying goes. However, I have learned that it doesn’t necessarily mean having it all at once. For me, I’m good with my top 3 (family, career & spirit) shifting order as the need arises. I account for each in their own way but one usually wins out for a stretch. This past summer and early fall, it was family. My design / teaching / art making business took a back seat as we made a move across the country.

It’s all good now. Team Baker has settled into school, sports, jobs, life. Once that happened I began to nourish my depleted spirit. I treated myself to a couple of art related eCourses; played with new markers and water soluble pastels; walked; practiced yoga; met my neighbors and allowed myself to process this massive change. Going from Kansas to Seattle to Georgia within 4 years is a lot. As I continue to process my new situation, I am listening and following my intuition; taking time to breathe; and reconnecting to me.

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As 2016, comes to a close, I am reminded of all for which I am grateful. Even the stressful times have lessons to be learned. I’m doing my best to forgive myself for what I feel I did not do well this past year (I am a recovering perfectionist so this is really hard). My successes are celebrated. I am looking ahead and planning for 2017. I’m excited for what the new year will bring. What is front and center in my mind’s eye is the eCourse that I have been talking about for a couple of years now. It feels like the timing is right. The information is flowing through me. I have been writing and am getting ready to shoot my videos and record the audio. Stay tuned to learn how you can take part. Until next time.

Light, love & blessings!

Julie

Spring is coming!

Bring on the sunshine, flowers, new growth and new beginnings. I am ready. Lots of change in the air. I enjoy that type of energy but I can also feel overwhelmed. My wise friend Maria, tells me to “trust and surrender.” I’m trying. Really I am. But there are those “special” days. You know what I mean. That’s when I turn to creativity.

I paint, sing, go outside, hangout with my family, make time for myself, focus on my breath or practice yoga. If you are in search of a creative outlet to help you navigate the spring energy, I have some ideas.

If you are within driving distance, join me for the “Live Your Words” book class. We will make an accordion book focused on what you want to bring into your life; healthy eating, art, exercise, gardening, chickens, yes chickens. This will be a visual representation of your focus or goals.

For all creative souls who are looking for a spark, tune in to the Creatively Onward YouTube channel and participate in the Monday Missions. Enjoy quick, weekly, creativity challenges. Take 5 minutes or 5 hours, whatever meets your schedule.

One more opportunity to play, join me in the Journey Within class where I am a guest teacher this May. I have been busy getting my segment together. Producing the video is giving me anxiety. But that is my perfectionist streak and inner critic creeping in where they do not belong! I’m learning and growing through the process and will have something for you all to see. I promise!

Until next time…

The Labor of Art Making.

birthing artOnce upon a time, I taught prenatal yoga classes. At some point during our journey together one of my students would ask about contractions during labor. I would explain that in my experience, it felt like a blood pressure cuff was being tightened around my belly from the inside out and every instinct was telling me to curl up and hold my breath. What I learned is the trick to coping is to do the opposite. Take a deep breath, think about opening, think about being one step closer to meeting my little creation and let go of the fear and discomfort.

This applies to the creative process too. Staring at a blank canvas or white paper can cause my throat to close; my shoulders to lift and round forward; my palms to sweat. Sometimes my chest feels tight.

Knowing that I want to create something but not sure what I want to make or knowing what I want to make but being afraid I can’t do it is paralyzing. Ugh! It’s just like labor. Then I remember what I need to do. I focus on my breathing and give in to the process. I’ve learned that I have to start somewhere. The more I resist and tighten the worse it is. So I breathe, I put some type of mark on my page, then another and another until whatever I am birthing that day presents itself.

It is messy? Sometimes. It is scary? Sometimes. Is the result worth it? Usually. I either make something I truly think is fantastic or I learn things that will help me do “better” next time. I wouldn’t have it another way.

How do you get through the fear stage? I’d enjoy hearing.

Restore

Several years ago, I engaged in a decadent 5 day yoga teacher training. Thanks to Renee DeTar, a small studio owner in Wichita, Kansas and Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew training. Five days of blankets, bolsters, blocks and eye pillows to support my body in luxurious yoga poses. Five days of focusing on my breathing. Five days of friends and five days of being, Julie. It was refreshing. At that time, I had a 21-month-old and a 3-month-old. I was bone tired and attempting to carve out an identity for myself. I loved being a mother but I missed being “me.”

Flash forward, today I have a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old. As each child becomes more of who they are meant to be, so do I. It is a process, a pact we made long ago. Someday they will be prepared to separate and move fully into their own lives. For this reason, I take the time to nurture myself along the way. I paint, sing, dance, write, think, move, laugh or just breathe. You see, in that teacher training long ago, something stuck. Judith offered a way of practicing restorative yoga that worked for me, a busy mom. It goes like this. Daily, practice one restorative pose for 20 minutes. Weekly, practice a short series of restorative poses for 60 minutes. Yearly, practice 60 minutes of restorative poses each day for 7 days. Judith shared that the week between Christmas and New Year’s was a wonderful time for 7 days of restorative yoga. Genius!

Now I will share with you that I do not always stick to this schedule but I do my best. I’ve applied this concept to other practices too. For instance, I am nurturing the habit of 20 minutes of creative time daily. Once a week, I go for a painting class. I have not had a full week of creating for 60 minutes daily but I will eventually (a week long retreat, is on my list). If I make it 3 to 4 days, it’s a success. Start small. Set up for success. Cheer when it works out. Reboot when it crashes. As the saying goes, “tomorrow is a new day.”

When you are making your resolutions and grand plans for 2016 make space for the “you” that boldly burst into this world to draw breath. Then ask, “What is it that I must boldly draw in right now?”

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I Challenge You! It’s Blog Hop Time!

Yes, it is game on! I am challenging Kiala Givehand creator the The Journey Within: A Year of Handmade Art Journals to play along with this week’s Monday Mission on my YouTube Channel.

Take a peek at the Creatively Onward YouTube channel to see what I mean. Feel free to join in the fun! To see who is next on the Blog Hop click here!

Blog hop, teaching gig, 2016 will be awesome!

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Oh my goodness this is exciting and scary all at the same time! I am thrilled to announce that I will be a guest teacher in The Journey Within: A Year of Handmade Art Journals with book maker, Kiala Givehand and 16 other artists. The class begins January 1st and goes the entire year (I’m feeling a New Year’s resolution idea here). Each month, Kiala will teach you how to make your own handmade art journal, give you prompts, tips and techniques for filling the pages, and bring in guest artists to share their ideas.

To kick off this fantastic course, Kiala has created a December book and asked each guest artist to give her a challenge to complete this month. All these challenges are set up to create an opportunity to “Blog Hop.” You can “hop” from blog to blog as the challenges take place. Play along if you choose. CLICK HERE for the blog hop schedule.

My challenge will appear on December 7th. Check back to see what I’ve suggested.

If you decide to play along, leave a comment with a link to your blog or to the page you completed so I can see your unique interpretation.

Each artist gets credit when someone from their world chooses to take the class so please CLICK HERE to learn more about the class or to register.

If your New Year’s resolution involves having your most creative year yet or you are vowing to learn something new each month, what are you waiting for, click that link and join me.

Until next time!