July's full moon is known as the "Buck Moon."
It's the time of year when the antlers of male deer (known as "Bucks" or "Stags" for the more seasoned males) reach their peak growth, which shed and regrow every year- each season growing back stronger and more impressive than the previous.
The Stag card in the E M E R G E N C E Oracle invites us to consider this midway point through taking the time to still yourself, go within, and inventory the following:
1. What have you been building this year, internally and externally?
2. What do you desire to build or strengthen in the next six months, internally and externally?
3. Evaluating and grounding deeply into your values as you reflect on what it is you want to build, and getting clear on who you want to BE, AS you are building, (and what you'll need to give up, in the inner and outer, to align with this vision) can yield the most generative results for the Whole.
Additionally, observing the expanded growth of Buck's antlers within their cyclical pattern of growth/death/rebirth invites us into reflecting on our own Soul integration and ascension of consciousness:
-In what ways are you stronger or more resilient than you were at this time last year? Two years ago? Ten? 🦌
-What has been strengthening or maturing within you over the last six months- mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically? 🦌
-What have you been building/developing internally and externally, and what do you desire to build in the next 6 months? 🦌
-How has your "antennae" become more attuned over the last year, and what sorts of activities and environments help strengthen your inner knowing? 🦌
I'm so excited to share with you my latest creative initiative (nearly 2 decades in the making):
The E M E R G E N C E Oracle Deck, now available on Kickstarter!
This collection of pocket-sized micro art invites viewers to pause, play, and ponder. The cards can be used as a tool to:
The E M E R G E N C E cards offer inspiration for youth & adults alike, and can even be used as a year-long contemplative tool for educators, therapists, and coaches. The messages and lessons of the deck are unique to the individual in the sense that:
The signature cover illustration of 108 Rainbow Butterflies was completed in June 2022. Beginning as a pencil sketch, the sacred geometry emerged all on its own as a daily, progressive meditation totaling 432 minutes. Combining spoken words of self-worth and love, while simultaneously affirming high-vibrational intentions through movement and color, this practice was repeated multiple times a day for a series of weeks, templating the subconscious mind and stoking the flame of the artist's heart, for the World.
The resulting mandala of love and healing, dedicated to the Great Mother, is bursting with positive energy! It's being offered exclusively to Kickstarter backers as an organic cotton TEE as well as on vinyl stickers!! Spread the love!
2022 is asking for us to re-evaluate our self-care habits, routines, and rituals: anchoring even more deeply into the practices that truly nurture and sustain us from the very center of our being; dimming out the inputs that distract us from feeling truly present and connected within.
Be it 15 minutes of breathwork in the morning, a 30 minute mindful walk mid-day, or an evening, screen-free ritual of coloring and reflecting in gratitude, we know from experience that as we establish a consistency of practice, our combined purpose, intention, and presence empowers us through repetition to further reset, stabilize, and tether ourselves even more deeply to the still point within.
As we establish the habit of our self-care practice (this consistency doesn't come without its challenges- yet, we find that as we discover the rhythm and routine that works best for our lifestyle, which usually involves some trial & error at the beginning, and a healthy dose of playfulness and gentle tending along the way, we begin to see that as we build consistency, we start to become encouraged to continue showing up for ourselves), we come to find that even amidst the uncertainty and change that we face in our exterior worlds, our practice helps us remain rooted, nurtured, and restored in the Truth of who we are.
Art, specifically, coloring within the mandala, is a mindfulness pathway that not only supports self-care, it can also incubate and catalyze growth and expansion when met with purpose and intention.
While coloring in and of itself has been clinically proven to:
-lower blood pressure
-reduce muscle tension
-improve focus & concentration
-increase gray matter in the brain & thicken the brain stem
-produce natural antidepressants
...we can also take it a step or two further; utilizing coloring as a tool to condition our body and mind into a new state of being, while at the same time, anchoring us within the evolutionary process of change & transition, and cultivating compassion and acceptance for the whole of ourselves, just as we are in this moment.
What I find particularly effective with coloring, specifically, is, it provides framework of accessibility as well as a pathway of progression. No fancy materials or previous artistic experience is required.
Jung was the first person to introduce the mandala to the West (Sanskrit for “sacred circle”) as a tool to support people in navigating periods of immense change.
My mini mandala coloring book builds on this research based on my own life experience, and includes a number of guided prompts to get you started with working with Mandala Coloring pathway as a tool for anchoring into inner peace and supporting growth and transformation within times of uncertainty.
In this e-book, I share some of my personal process and practices for utilizing art and creativity as a tool for navigating change, and how you can take the same concepts and intentions and make them uniquely yours, within the nurturing framework of the Mandala. I’ve been guided to share it with you here. 🎨
I illustrated this 108 petalled mandala as an auspicious and playful tool for supporting your mindfulness journey through creativity via:
1. Contemplation: clarifying that which you wish to condition or cultivate- which includes holding acceptance and compassion for the parts of yourself that you wish were different, and loving all of you just as you are right in this moment.
3. Quieting the mind
4. Meditation: raising your energy, tuning your radio dial to the frequency of that which you wish to experience or cultivate within yourself and the world, and sustaining this state of consciousness for progressively longer periods of time as you connect your hand, heart, and breath with the colors, textures, symbols and lines on the page.
I'd love to hear in the comments how you are inspired to connect with your own creative energy! What is your favorite creative practice? What does your practice provide for you?
With that... teachers and coaches have been taking advantage of my buy more save more offers on journals and mindful gifts (like this ten-pack option, which gets you three journals FREE!) and I've also added few new products to my shop that some of you may be interested in....
....and, this weekend is the USPS deadline for Christmas delivery!
Gallery wrapped & framed canvas prints on best-sellers
Looking for unique, family-friendly mindful gifts that support personal growth & stress reduction, promote creativity & inspiration, and support independent artists and small, women-owned businesses all at once? :) Look no further than my Etsy shop for your holiday shopping needs!
I'm so excited to share this new line of vibrant, inspired Mindful Gifts to support you and the ones you love on your wellness journeys!
Featuring a thoughtfully curated collection of yoga mats, journals, puzzles, and hand-poured soy wax candles created in collaboration with Seventh Avenue Apothecary, every art piece featured in this gift collection has supported my own personal growth & expansion, and I'm excited for the creative inspiration to live on and support YOU in your highest and best intentions for your mind, body, and soul.
In addition to gift sets where holiday buyers can mix & match, personalize, and save BIG, I've also come up with some incredible offers for corporate gifting where you can save even more and shop small all at once!
On top of that, I'm also accepting Cryptocurrency via Coinbase where you can save even more!
Make sure to opt in to my e-news for the very best in special offers. Thanks so much for having a look- wishing you vibrant wellness and prosperity in 2022!
This art from many moons ago feels like it was made for these collective times.
When we are right in the middle of the breakthrough it can be easy to freak out and forget how the messy discomfort is integral for anchoring in a new way of being.
It is the very discomfort of emergence that empowers the butterfly with the strength for its wings to be able to soar off into expansive, nectarous new horizons. 🦋 🌸
Making art, dancing, breathing, and being in nature are some of my favorite ways to ground within the discomfort. What are yours?
While navigating the business aspects of sharing a creative practice that has served as an intimate anchor point for grounding what would have seemed at the beginning like an unfathomable amount of growth & transformation in the years ahead hasn’t been without it’s challenges, I'm proud that I've been able to stand my ground and remain committed to sharing authentically to the best of my abilities, while also holding the intentions lightly; doing my best to serve the moment, learning how to believe in myself, and allowing the work to flow through me like medicine all at once.
Through thick and thin, this resilient little business has given so much back to me in the forms of adventure, empowerment, learning, fulfillment, joy, timelessness, and sooo many inspiring moments of heartfelt connection and synchronicity with amazing people all over the planet, and I am so grateful for all of it!
Like the impressionists, I would sit for hours and observe the colors- fleetingly shifting and dancing across the wheel day after day. It was as though the sun itself was providing the rhythm, the response of light reflected was the melody, and the weather was the channel through which light expressed its potential: some days it was clear, other days cloudy.
Looking back, I can see how what came through in this painting was a transmission from my soul: it was showing me a snapshot of my inner landscape- shiny and beautiful, but in need of alignment and some serious TLC. In both process and form, the painting was asking for me to slow down and tend to the alignment of my inner being with the same sense of persistence, patience, and openness to learning that I was giving to the painting itself.
Half a lifetime later, I feel like that I finally got the memo:
We don’t need to wait another half of a lifetime for the next big breakthrough, healing, or ah-ha moment. Our souls are constantly looking for ways to speak to us and guide us back into alignment with who we truly are.
Slowing down to become present to the channel of intelligence that is flowing through all of life, and developing a habit of consistently tuning our antenna to listen and receive, is all that’s needed for the next great shift.
The messages speak in as many languages as there are people on this planet.
One of the many things Carmen taught me is that when we love and appreciate people, we must never hold back in letting them know how much we care. The call to rise with this is in learning how to give this love freely, without any expectation of receiving anything in return.
It feels as though this is one of the most tender and vulnerable aspects of what it means to live as an open-hearted human.
There have been countless instances in my life when I thought I was expressing love and appreciation without condition, only to later realize through my grief or frustration that I had been holding a subconscious expectation all along.
And yet, Carmen seemed to embody a superhuman ability to love without condition with such tenderness and grace. She was masterful in her ability to empathize, to express gratitude and appreciation, to make people feel special, to love in a way that healed the world.
Even with the monumental challenges her life presented, her ability to emanate loving presence: to see past people's stories and straight into their hearts, to feel what was needed in the moment and respond intuitively, was unlike anything I've ever experienced in a relationship. The loving presence that she shared with me over the years continues to be such a powerful teacher and healer.
I truly believe with my whole heart that Carmen embodied the kind of energy and heart that will heal this planet, and the legacy she leaves behind is a call towards our collective awakening to Love.
In honor of her birthday today, here are some of of her messages of love and appreciation. Close your eyes and take a few breaths and then take a screen grab.
Also, if you’re interested in viewing the collection of paintings created in her honor, you can check them out in my Etsy shop. It’s feeling like this may be the last opportunity to collect originals at this price point, so it’s a great time to get in on the inspiration.
I love you, @gracefully.healing 💜🌸🌌✨
Healing Frequencies | Joanna Read
115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
September 1- 25, 2021
Artist Meet & Greet: September 16, 2021 5-7 PM in conjunction with Gallery Night, Providence
This exhibit of 22 drawings & paintings features integrative healing frequencies that have been working on and through RI artist Joanna Read over the last 18 months, drawing on mythical, ancestral, and energetic themes that have served to ground, empower, enliven and uplift her inner being in congruence with deep inner work. Motifs of the Divine Feminine Archetype and Seven Generations principle interweave throughout this collection of meditative images.
“This intimate body of work represents a soulful homecoming, and I am so grateful for the privilege to heal, create, express, and share.”
Along with supporting AS220, an additional 7% of all art sales will be donated to Ascend’s Evacuation, Resettlement, and Continuing Aid Fund. Ascend is a Kabul-based NGO that helps Afghan women discover the inherent value and potential in themselves and in others through intensive outdoor leadership training.
An additional 7% of sales support the Trevor Project, the only 24/7 suicide prevention helpline explicitly aimed at LGBTQ+ youth. The Trevor Project also offers expert-led suicide prevention and mental health crisis intervention training sessions for teachers, school nurses, counselors and others who can make a difference in a young person’s life.
Joanna has been serving the Rhode Island community for the last 12 years through art, nonprofit work, outdoor adventure experiences, and yoga teaching, and she works now as a professional artist, coach, and mindfulness educator.