Risk - The Joy Diet

My art studio and the beginning of Painting #3 - "Stasis"

This week we're taking risks as part of the "Risk" Chapter in our Joy Diet Creative Blogger's Book Club and I have started painting again after a long hiatus of about one year.

My "Desire" (Chapter 3) which had not yet been identified (actually, it was deliberately kept private) is being revealed brushstroke by brushstroke as I explore emotions and intimacy within my marriage.

Each day that I paint I feel these emotions deeply as I express them on paper with paint, ink, water and pastel.

I risk exposing myself and my inner world to the world-at-large feeling raw, vulnerable and accountable as I begin "Journey into Intimacy" a new series of large paintings (4' x 5') - partly abstract, partly symbolic and very expressive.

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." (Eleanor Roosevelt)

You can read more of my Joy Diet posts here.
You can still sign up for the Joy Diet Book Club here.

Painting #1 - "Finding My Wings" and Painting #2 - "Arrow of Pain"

The Joy Diet Begins

Welcome to week 1 of our Creative Bloggers Book Club (The Next Chapter) started by Co-Active Coach, Jamie Ridler of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You too can join in on the fun as we come together to post our discoveries chapter by chapter! The book for this session is called The Joy Diet by Martha Beck PH.D, life coach and monthly columnist for O:The Oprah Magazine.

This book is NOT about dieting as in food intake. It "contains instructions for a different kind of "diet," one designed not for the body, but for the soul. The Joy Diet is a list of ten behaviors you can add to your way of living and thinking to enhance every day's journey through the unpredictable terrain of your existence."

Menu Item 1 (Chapter 1) is "Doing Nothing" for at least 15 minutes a day for 1 week. That part starts up this coming week, but today we're just introducing ourselves and outlining our hopes and wishes for this journey.

So, a bit about me: This is my third Blogger's Book Club adventure - the first book we blogged about was The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and the second one was Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. So far it's been a great excuse to read inspirational, fun books and to force myself to actually partake in the exercises within the book, plus it's always fun to blog along with other creative types too.

Now the Real Work Begins - a Lefty Drawing

This time around I hope to gain some inspiration for my own upcoming Lefty Oracle inspired e-book and e-course. Like The Joy Diet it will also have chapter by chapter activities and exercises designed to enhance, amuse and challenge folks to live a soulful, passionate and truly intuitive life.

Donna poses as a Lefty at Main Beach, Laguna Beach, CA

I am not a life coach, per se, but a psychic-medium and soul reader. I do not follow and track my client's progress over time, but instead give my clients a push and the encouragement necessary to live a soulful life by tuning into their intuition, spirit guides, the ancestors, the planetary cycles and the healing power of crystals and stones.

I resonated with Martha Beck's writing because she immediately took things to a soul-deep level with humour, intelligence and practical wisdom intertwined.

So, if you want to join in, it's never too late, but you will need to find a copy of The Joy Diet and sign in here on Jamie Ridler's The Next Chapter Book Club site.

Here is a link to Jamie's first Introductory post plus a welcome video and links to everyone else who has posted about Part 1 - The Joy Diet - Intro.


Welcome to Week 2 of The Joy Diet blogger's book club. This week our group tackled Menu Item 2 - "Truth". I've been gone for the past week on vacation so I missed out on "Nothing" (Menu Item 1.)

"Doing Nothing" for 15 minutes should have been easier than it was considering what I do for a living, but connecting with stillness just for it's own sake is not usually how I meditate! My own form of meditation involves grounding myself in Mother Earth, then working my way through the rainbow colours of the chakras starting with the base chakra upwards towards the Divine (white light) and then circling back to earth and going through it again and again. The "Doing Nothing" exercise seemed to be lacking and I felt distracted.

Item 2 was "Truth" and the first day I really got into the question, "What hurts?" and "What is the painful story I'm telling" etc. but by day 2 it just felt like I'd already spent enough time delving into the pain so now what?! The whole thing just started to feel too self-indulgent and I had a lot to do that day!

What I'm really interested in hearing about is how other folks handled "The Truth". So far it's been an interesting experiment and I can feel myself opening up to new insights and challenges that I want to explore. Interestingly enough, I tapped into Menu Item 3 - "Desire" in my last post - "Returning Home" and I'm looking forward to amping things up even more in the coming week.

It's never too late to join in the fun - you can sign up and read all the other entries at Toronto Coach, Jamie Ridler's site - http://tnc-thejoydiet.blogspot.com

The illustration featured above is from my Lefties Series drawn entirely with my non dominant left hand.


This is Week 3 of Jamie Ridler's Joy Diet Blogger's Book Club and the featured Menu Item this week is DESIRE.

This week we combined Doing Nothing for 15 minutes (Menu Item #1) along with Truth (Menu Item #2) and now Desire - identifying, articulating and exploring at least one of our heart's desires.

It has been a week of exploration - of ups and downs while tuning into true desire - not the shallow, effervescent, cotton-candy-coated kind, but the deep-seated, sink-your-teeth into, everlasting kind.

It hasn't been an easy week although you might think that uncovering one's true desires pebble-by-pebble would be a thrill a minute.

Distinguishing secondary desires was first but getting to the core desire was the real challenge this week. And no, I'm not going to reveal what that was (I can hear your ears getting bigger) but hint, hint, in the process I did discover an excellent metal band called Master Splinter and the Shredders performing live and trust me, I was rocking out all week long!

Desire can be tricky - it can take you in many directions - all leading to the same place, I do believe.

Well I'm up for the ride, no matter what and I'm also really excited about next week's Menu Item - Creativity.

Read more of my Joy Diet posts here.
The artwork above is from my Lefty Series drawn entirely with my non dominant left hand.

Creativity - The Joy Diet!

Welcome to Week 4 of The Joy Diet!

This week our creative blogger's book club is exploring Menu Item #4 - Creativity - yehh!

Suffice to say that this chapter got my creative juices flowing BIG TIME!

My favorite parts:

"To increase the range of your creativity, try the following "mind-Yoga" techniques.

1. Force innovation. Think of 10 ways to solve the problem you're facing. These solutions don't have to be sensible, ethical, or even legal. The only thing they must be is different from each other. Got that? Good. Now think of 10 more.

2. Perseverate on your enemies. Target an individual or group you hate. Say what you hate most about them. See if a reframed version of this quality might be something you either need, or already have. Let yourself act as your enemy acts, within your moral boundaries.

3. Unify false dichotomies. Make a list of things that cannot coexist in your behaviour, your environment, or your life. Commit to being, doing, or having both of them. See if a solution arises."

My journey through creativity is highly personal and private so I cannot share the details with you, dear readers, but I will say that this book has forced me to re-think and re-imagine myself daring to live the life of my dreams. It feels like going out on a metaphorical limb or jumping off a cliff. It's exciting and very scary, but so is life and the challenge of living it fully.

So here I go...dear Goddess grant me wings!