Don’t Surrender Your Loneliness So Quickly

I recently received a message from a woman who expressed sadness at being lonely and who also expressed a desire to find a companion.

Loneliness and the desire for a relationship, particularly a romantic/love relationship, are two themes that can come up often with my private clients. I wanted to offer a few thoughts on loneliness that have helped my private clients and, if you are experiencing loneliness or wishing for a relationship, may help you as well.

One thing I’d like to add to what I say in the audio is just to make clear the difference between pure sadness from loneliness (“something missing in my heart” as Hafiz says) and sadness that is created because you believe that the fact you are experiencing loneliness must mean that something has gone wrong and you and your world won’t be right until that something missing is “fixed.”  If you let yourself experience loneliness in it’s pure form, you’ll find it does have a sharp edge to it (“let it cut so deep”) but as you can see from Hafiz’s poem, that is not an indication that something has gone wrong, it is simply the quality of the experience of that ingredient of loneliness.

You’ll find the audio here below.  Please give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Love,

Leah

 

Come visit me! (My art has a new online home!)

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Hello, friends!

I’m so happy to announce that my new online gallery and studio space, www.leahcbart.com, is now live!

I really wanted a dedicated, beautiful online space for my art and so I’m very excited about this milestone.  My first choice would of course be that I could share my art with you in person, but since that is not often possible (most of you all live so far away!), I wanted to create a space that would give you the next best experience.

I do believe art is an experience and I do believe that my art offers its own unique, special experience.  For those of you who resonate with my paintings, I wanted to create a space that would offer you enough surrounding serenity and stillness that you might be inspired to slow down for a few moments, allow the connection happen, and enjoy the very real benefits that the energy of beauty and meaning of art have to give you.

For those of you who want to bring that energy of beauty and meaning into your home or workspace, it is also very important to me that your experience of purchasing and acquiring an original piece be beautiful and ease-y.  The design of the commerce capabilities of this site were guided by that intention.

Also, after hearing from so many of you that you love the stories behind a painting, I’ve also included some brief descriptions with each painting and will be sharing photos and some journal-like, intimate thoughts on the creative process and specific paintings, too, in “Studio Notes.”

So, I’d love to have you visit me at “my new place” and let me know what you think! If you’d like to be added to my special community and receive the latest updates about new paintings and special offers, you can sign up for my art newsletter at the bottom of the homepage where it asks for your email address.  I have some very, very exciting things coming in the next year and whether you’re onboard because you love art or you’re collecting inspiration for creating your own beautiful adventure through life, I would love to share the best of what I know to be uplifting and inspiring with you through these carefully curated and not-too-frequent emails.

Thank you to all of you who enjoy my art and to those of you who have been so supportive of my ever-unfolding and constantly evolving journey as an artist.  It has been a beautiful, magical, incredible one – and it feels like this is just the beginning.

Love,

Leah

 

Learning By Heart to Unleash Your Own Extraordinary Work

The swan

 

“The Swan” by Ranier Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly,
written out by hand by me to hang on my fridge where it can become a very real part of my everyday life and being.

If you want to awaken and cultivate your inner genius, a powerful way to train and align your mind to do this is by identifying a master with whom you feel a strong connection and resonance and then studying their work until you know it by heart.

For instance, if you are working to develop your “voice” as a writer or poet, it would help you tremendously to study closely and learn, by heart, the work of writers and poets you most admire.  The same goes if you are a painter, a coach, a leader, an actor, a parent, or an athlete.

I’ve been learning poems by heart for awhile now as a way of becoming a better poet, but also as a way of becoming a better human being and a better coach.  It’s afforded me a way to learn from some of the greatest masters of all time who I otherwise wouldn’t have access to (often because they’re no longer living!).  

While some people might be concerned that absorbing the work of another might result in imitation and blocking of their own creativity, I have to say that this is only a concern if you are merely memorizing and not operating from a heart/soul level.

Learning by heart, I’d like to point out, is very different from memorizing.

Even though Webster’s Dictionary includes “learn by heart” in its definition of “memorize” I think there is an important distinction to make.

You can memorize something (i.e., remember it perfectly) but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve learned it by heart.

When you learn something by heart, you commit it to memory so that, yes, you remember it perfectly.  You learn it so well that you can reproduce it with a high degree of accuracy and barest amount of effort or second thought.  

Also, when you learn something by heart, something more, something spiritual happens.  You take it in, it rearranges the very cells of your being so that your being in the world is more aligned with clarity so that the way you are being in the world changes.

Once you learn something by heart, you are never, ever the same.  But you are more the real you than you have ever been.

That part of you that has always been most strongly YOU becomes more pronounced.  You feel that part of you that already knew the truth that Rilke’s poem, for instance, revealed.  That is the awakening part – the truth that another channeled with their work touches the part of you that is eternally connected to truth and clarity and inspiration, wakes it up, and it fans the flames of your inherent, inner genius – that part of you that is always connected to truth.

And the more your being is familiar with the truth/voice of another, like a Rilke, the more you could read a new poem without seeing who it is by but recognize it as “Rilke” or in the “spirit of Rilke,” then the more you are also able to sense that you must have a voice, your own distinct one-in-all-of-creation way of channeling truth and source, and there is no limit for the need of this kind of extraordinary work in the world.  

Suggested practice:

Choose someone who is a master in the field in which you are playing.  Be creative and find ways in which you can learn their particular work by heart – whether it is their trademark jumpshot, golf swing, work with color, or the way they master a stanza break.  Take it into your being, memorize it, then learn it by heart so that the reproduction of it is effortless, thoughtless.  In this way it will marinate with what is already latent within you and what is released from then on will be something that is unique to you.

XO-

Leah

 

HEY THERE, FABULOUS! WHY NOT YOU?! : A guided tour to an original work of art

HEY THERE, FABULOUS! WHY NOT YOU?!
“HEY THERE, FABULOUS! WHY NOT YOU?!”
Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2015
30×40 original, acrylic on canvas
$2,700 + S&H

 

“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love


This piece is about letting yourself be who you really are and letting yourself be seen.

The inspiration for this piece came last year after I realized I had this long list of qualities I deeply admired in other people – passion, playfulness, exuberance, boldness, sensuality, and a “larger than life-ness” – but that I wouldn’t let myself go there because “that just wasn’t me.”

Then one day I just asked myself, “Why can’t that be me? Says who?” So all those things I mentioned above that I told myself I was not? I went there in life, in painting, and especially with this painting.

This painting is for you if you too believe in holding nothing back and playing big. This painting will be a constant reminder that it is you, always you, who is the one meant to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous.

Special Features Guide To HEY THERE, FABULOUS!:

All of my paintings have special symbolism, sometimes words and phrases, some images hidden in plain sight, and other gems that can make the painting come to life if you know what to look for. Here are three examples of special features in this painting that will help you better enjoy the painting and feel more confident and savvy about why you might be drawn to this particular piece of art:

FIRST: The Woman

Can spot the woman hidden in plain sight? (I love me a good metaphor!)

SECOND: Shine

The following message is etched into the sun in the upper left corner: You shine brighter than a thousand suns.

THIRD: Use of Shape

I believe lines convey motion which convey emotion. I used a lot of curvy, rounded shapes in an overall pattern that is also very sweeping and curvy. To me this conveys sensuality and femininity. And when I take those shapes and create them using thick lines, large shapes, and vibrant colors, this creates a boldness, a strength, an unapologetic nature about that sensuality and femininity.

To acquire this piece, please email me at leah@leahcb.com.

Love,

Leah

suns closeup

With green added, HEY THERE FABULOUS

SHE RISING: A guided tour of an original work of art

SHE RISING

“SHE RISING”
Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2014, All Rights Reserved
40×40 original, acrylic on canvas
Available: $10,000

This painting is about the divine feminine and the modern feminist, a phenomenon and a movement that I call SHE RISING.

The original inspiration for this piece was sparked by an incident several years ago that occurred while I was riding my bike on a lonely stretch of Iowa highway.  I hadn’t seen another soul for twenty miles, but suddenly a voice, one that seemed to come from right above my left shoulder, spoke one strong, clear word:  SHE.

Fast-forward to almost two years ago when I began working on this piece, and I began to realize that that message “SHE” is strongly related to the ways I’ve  witnessed so many women waking up and remembering who they really are: divine and powerful.

This piece is like a mirror; it will reflect back to you who you really are, even when you’re tempted to forget and give into playing small.  Bringing this painting into your space declares, to you and to the world, who you really are: divine, powerful, and rising.

Special Features Guide to the SHE RISING:

All of my paintings have special symbolism, sometimes words and phrases, some images hidden in plain sight, and other gems that can make the painting come to life if you know what to look for. This particular painting is especially brimming with wild and gorgeous treasures like this!  Here are three examples of the special features about this painting that will help you better enjoy the painting and feel more confident and savvy about why you might be drawn to this particular piece of art:

FIRST: The Figure
I’m sure you’ve noticed the woman that is the central figure in this piece, but did you also notice she has a wing on her left?  Whether you decide this means SHE is an angel, or a woman who has remembered her ability to fly…or both…is up to you.

Another possible interpretation for the figure and the painting is that she represents Mother Earth, and yet also represents our special ability as women to be stewards and guardians of the Earth.

SECOND: Her Pose
The way we hold our bodies communicates incredible information – and so I am fascinated with how to convey this through the gestures and poses of figures I paint.  Notice in this painting her strong, upright stance, outstretched wing, and arm raised.  There is no doubt or apology here – it’s a poise of self-knowing and power.  She is rising.

Notice also that she is facing East – and towards colors that suggest sunrise.

THIRD: The Words
Words are a very powerful presence in this particular painting.  You can see where I wrote “She” on the upper left quadrant, near her outstretched arm.
Here are some other phrases that I used in this painting, some of which are still visible:

SHE
SHE will move mountains
SHE will change the world
SHE is rising

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BONUS POINTS…
If you can also spot the Tree of Life, the Phoenix, and identify Metatron’s Cube!

To acquire this piece, please email me at leah@leahcb.com.

Love,

Leah

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SECRET GARDEN: An original painting and her story

Secret Garden 1
“Secret Garden”
Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2015
12×36 original acrylic on canvas
$950 + S&H
This painting is only available in the original
(i.e., no reproductions will be made).

“Every woman should have a secret garden,” was a beautiful piece of wisdom that a mentor once shared with me.  These words have inspired my life and also helped inspire this piece.
This painting is about the mystery and effortlessly beautiful energy of a woman who is connected to and cares for her secret garden.
I created this piece to draw you out of your mind and what you “think” it means to have a secret garden. I created this piece because rather than have you just think about it, I wanted to put you squarely in an felt and known experience of being someone who enjoys a robust connection to her beauty, dreams, passions, and her own unique understanding of what it means to be a woman.
This piece is for you if you are one of those women who is determined to step out of the uninspired “should’s” and confining norms of what mainstream society expects from women. This piece is for you if you want your life, including how adorn the walls that surround you everyday, to be an embodiment of what it really means to you to be a woman – untamed, beautiful, and always a little mysterious.  
 Special Features Guide to “Secret Garden”:
All of my paintings have special symbolism, sometimes words and phrases, some images hidden in plain sight, and other gems that can make the painting come to life if you know what to look for. Here are four special features about this painting that will help you better enjoy the painting and feel more confident and savvy about why you might be drawn to a particular piece of art:
FIRST: The Figures
You may have already noticed that there are two figures in this painting, or do the two together make a third? Does this mean literally three different people, or three in one? Or is this not meant to be literal at all, but rather a gesture at the multitude of different dimensions we women, as rich and deep beings, all possess? You get to decide….
SECOND: Lines Convey Movement, Motion Conveys Emotion


Notice the lines in this painting. To me, the shape of the line conveys motion which conveys emotion. Notice how in this painting, which I’ve said above is very feminine, there is scarcely a hard, straight line to be found. Rather, from the shape of the woman/women to the shapes of the leaves and other marks within the figures, the lines are predominantly flowing and curvy.
Here’s an exercise you can do on your own. Get a piece of paper and draw a bunch of hard, straight lines. Now draw a bunch of curvy. Notice which one, to you, feels more masculine and which feels more feminine?
THIRD: Bird in Flight
Notice the flying bird beneath the breast of one of the figures? Take that in.
Now, imagine a tattoo of a bird in flight at that very same place on your own body. Notice what that feels like, what that evokes for you, how it changes your physical and emotional state in an instant to imagine that. What you felt was the life of this painting connecting to your life and dancing with you.
FOURTH: Hidden words
Although the words I inscribed into this painting didn’t show through in the final layer, the energy of them remains. Here are some of the words I used to inspire and focus myself while I created this piece:

SHE
beauty
SHE matters
breathe
stand
live

 

To claim this original as your very own, please email me at leah@leahcb.com.
Love,
Leah
 

secret garden 3

 

secret garden 2

Easy on the Eyes: An original painting and her story


Easy on the eyes 2

“Easy on the Eyes”

Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2015
original, 24×36 acrylic on canvas

This painting will be available only as this sole original
(no reproductions will be made)
$850 + $25 S&H

“Saints have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance.”
-Anne Sexton

I tell you what my friends, it is the dead of winter here in South Bend and my heart and soul are so craving warmth, color and EXUBERANCE.  So, necessity being the mother of invention and me being an artist and all…

Voila!

easy on the eyes, 2

Here you have it, EXUBERANT art!
If you have an exuberant soul, why settle for moderation on your walls?  This painting will express your spirit and bring beauty and color that’s easy on your eyes into your everyday life!
Special Features Guide to “Easy on the Eyes”:

Here are a few notes about this painting that will help you better enjoy the painting and better understand why you might be drawn to this particular piece of art:

Everything is energy and with my art, I love to play with colors, lines, relationship, and the textures, to create a certain energy.  I layered and juxtaposed until the result was an energy that felt like big, exuberant spirit and was also easy on the eyes.

Please email me at leah@leahcb.com to to acquire this piece.

Yours in Exuberance and Love,

Leah

Close-ups below…

 



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EPIC: My latest coaching offering

the long road home“The Road Home”
my own photo, 2014

Hello, dear readers!
Some of you are already aware of this, but for those who are not and have been inquiring about coaching, I am very excited to share with you here on the blog my new coaching program for 2015…

“EPIC”

“If you bring out that which is within you, it will save you.  If you do not, it will destroy you.”
-The Gnostic Gospels of Thomas
I’m living what I love, pushing the envelope, and creating a deeply fulfilling and wildly beautiful, rare life…and I want the same for you.
Maybe in the past you’ve given your dreams everything you thought you had and it didn’t pan out.  Maybe you’re reconsidering your dreams and thinking about hanging it up and just resigning yourself to a “normal” life…
Before you do that, please reconsider… it’s likely that if you’re reading this, deep inside you know you are meant for something more, something greater.  Whatever you do, don’t give up on that.  Whatever you do, don’t give up on you.
Maybe you do think you’ve tried everything.  I used to think that, too.  But the truth was, I was holding back from trying certain things because I didn’t think I’d “earned the right” to give myself those things yet.
What were those things for me?
They ranged from art supplies, to painting classes, to a life-changing retreat, to a vacation, to childcare support, to an afternoon off to go for a run and do whatever I wanted, to world travel, to a community of like-minded and kindred-spirited women, to a dreamy dress in the window of a Parisian boutique, to hiring someone to create a stunning online art gallery to showcase my art (which is coming soon- by the end of February!), to life coaching support for myself.
These have been just some of my heart’s desires that at some point I initially denied myself because I was playing the “I haven’t earned it yet” story like a broken record…which was why I was getting broken record- like results!”
I also was stuck because if I couldn’t see an immediate, rational, linear connection as to why they’d help make my dreams come true, then I had a hard time justifying the decision to give it to myself.
I began to change these patterns little by little – and made slow and steady progress.
And then last year I had a profound shift and experienced profoundly different results and at a much accelerated rate. What changed last year was that I made a promise to myself (it was my year of NO WAITING, a dramatically life-changing concept which I’ll write about sometime soon!) to listen to my heart, to my intuition, and work to follow it impeccably.  So, whether it was a high-level mastermind or that breathtakingly elegant dress or walk around the lake even when I had tons of work to do, if I checked in with my heart and it leapt with a joyful “yes!,” then I followed it.
As I alluded to before, the results that have occurred since shifting from a “wait until you’ve earned it” approach to “NO WAITING” have been nothing short of magical and dramatic.
And I tell you all of this to say because I KNOW what it feels like to feel beaten down, exhausted, all alone and on the brink of despair, ready to give up. I’m here to say, DON’T STOP. KEEP GOING.
Just when you think you’ve done EVERYTHING to follow your dream and you’re at the point of giving up, do a hard reality check.  Check in with your heart and ask yourself this – is it absolutely true that you’ve given your heart and soul everything they’ve told you they needs to help you live the life you are meant to live?
I’d ask you to especially look for places in your journey where you haven’t invested in the right kind of support, maybe because you think that’s a luxury investment for the day when you’ve finally “made it.”
I ask that because I know that roadblock all too well!  It’s a catch-22 and it kept me stuck and struggling for years.  The very thing you think you’ll invest in when you’ve achieved your dream is the very thing that will help propel you towards it – and with a lot less struggle and suffering!
So, ask yourself – have you invested in yourself and your dream (and what better to put your money on than YOU, right?!) by taking the training you need to take, hiring the right coach or mentor for you, and giving yourself all the proper resources, or have you just been pursuing your dream while trying to scrap things together for now, intending that you’ll just “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps”?
I totally get that and I admire that.  I did that myself for years.  I believed, “No one else is going to do this for me” and I thought of myself as pursuing the American dream while embodying the American ideal of “rugged individualism.”  I would not and did not ask for help.
And on so many of my big dreams, I could get myself to about 80% and then was stuck.  I just couldn’t break through and make it all the way, even though, on the inside, I had this overwhelming feeling that I had everything it takes to reach my dreams.
I did grow, make progress, and I even got really, really good at some things, but for the life of me I couldn’t seem to break through to “extraordinary,” – even though I felt, deep inside of me, that that was absolutely possible for me. That it was my truth and so it pained me to not be able to figure out how to match up the outside with the inside.
So then I began to doubt those “deep-inside” beliefs and dreams.  This threw me off for years and threw me into some dark places, including depression.
Eventually, I surrendered and learned that while the great American dream is still entirely alive and possible, this idea of doing it all own your own is a dangerous myth, and the one thing that I see standing in the way of so many great individuals who have the potential to become truly extraordinary and enjoy happy, fulfilling, prosperous lives.
Once I got wise to this and began to invest in myself through coaching, retreats, and masterminds, it was like jet fuel for my growth and success.  Places where I’d thrashed and struggled for years, YEARS, I was now having break through after break through in all areas – health, fitness/wellness, financial, creative (my art and writing), relationship, my career, and also just my general sense of happiness, joy, peace, and fulfillment deepened and become so much stronger.
So much of this I owe to the work I did via coaching. The two greatest gifts I’ve received from investing in coaching was, first,  the experience of being seen, not for my current circumstances, but for who I really am.  The second was the experience of someone else believing in me and my dreams so much that they were unwilling to let me give up on myself or my dreams. In fact, I hired them for that specific purpose – don’t let me give up on myself and eventually, I learn how to do that for myself.
That did in fact happen.  I learned to see myself, know and own my value, and follow through on my dreams.
As it turns out, having this experience being coached was excellent training for the work I do now.  In the work I do now, I see my clients at their highest potential and I hold that vision steady.  I reflect that back to them so they can see it.  And I never, ever, ever let that vision waver and I never let my clients quit on their dreams.  I believe that if I do this, they will grow in the ways in which they need to grow for that highest version of themselves, that vision that I’ve been holding, to become solid, physical reality.
In other words, my particular gift as a coach is being able to see into your soul of a person and to see who you truly are, and then to help you align your life, from the inside-out, so that the beauty, power, and majesty of their soul is reflected in their everyday life and in greater contributions they are here to make.  I know that once you remember who you really are, once you really get a taste of that, that all matter of previously dormant energy and gifts inside yourself are unleashed and you’re able to take inspired action and create the abundance, freedom, peace, and happiness which has before seemed mysterious and elusive.
My EPIC coaching program is based on over decade’s worth of following my dreams and along the way investing mightily in learning what really works and what doesn’t when it comes to taking those castles you’ve built in the air and now making them real, here on Earth. I asked myself, “After everything I’ve experienced and learned, what would be my dream coaching program to enroll in as a client?” I created EPIC as an answer to that question
EPIC is a 12 month engagement and includes highly customized, “haute couture” coaching, 2 weekend retreats where you will have VIP treatment and stunning, beautiful experiences designed to restore and empower you in mind, body, and spirit (these will be utterly amazing, on all levels!), 24 scheduled private sessions, a bank of “I need to talk to someone right now!” calls (i.e., you have me on speed dial), unlimited email/text support, plenty of beautiful, soul-filling surprises along the way and results you’ve only dreamed of…until now.
Investment: $25,000
I currently have two openings for EPIC clients. EPIC isn’t meant for everyone, but if you think one of these two spots is meant for you,  please email me at leah@leahcb.com and we’ll set up a time to talk.
Love,
Leah

SHE RISING: An Original Painting and Her Story

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SHE RISING

original acrylic on canvas, 40×40
Leah Campbell Badertscher, 2014, All Rights Reserved

Available: $10,000


This one is for you.
This is a huge painting.  I’ll never do another one like this, I’ll never come this way again.
This painting – it has such a big piece of me in it but also it’s about more than me.  
It began with a disembodied voice that spoke to a single word to me in the middle of Iowa cornfields nowhere and ended up being about the divine feminine and the entire modern feminist movement.  
Over 7 years ago (before I really started painted) I had this incredible, bewildering, and slightly terrifying experience while riding my bike one late afternoon on a lonely stretch of Iowa highway between fields of tall, tall corn.  I hadn’t seen anyone for miles, wouldn’t see anyone for another twenty miles, when suddenly, right above my left shoulder a voice spoke a strong, clear, solitary word:
SHE.”
My head jerked back to see who might have suddenly flown up behind me, but even in that nano-second I took to look, I already knew I wouldn’t see anyone.   My adrenaline had shot through the roof and I was already off like a shot, heart pounding, legs churning.  Neither I – nor the pounding in my heart – slowed down for the next twenty miles.
Fast forward several years and I began this painting, not knowing it would be about that moment, but somehow that came to be…as well as many other crazy, remarkable symbols and movements and messages until, ultimately, this painting came to be about God, the divine feminine, and the entire modern feminist uprising.
This painting has all these crazy, wild, and gorgeous symbols in her and around her that I had no idea at all that I was painting and I had no inkling what they meant (wings, suns, feathers of the Phoenix, Metatron’s cube, hummingbirds, words, churches, and more…)–  until the painting, and my own journey, moved further along and it all started to come together.   In various ways I was able to learn about the symbolism, stand back, and take a look at the painting and it’s story as a whole and when I did… WHOA.
I didn’t know these things (or didn’t know that I knew these things – I never learned about them) and I could not have made them up.  I could never have intentionally designed this painting, no more than I could have plotted or planned everything that has happened the last several years and yet.  I had no idea, those seven plus years ago, what that message “SHE” meant.  All I knew, down to my core, was that it was incredibly significant.  And now, amazingly, it all comes together and it all does come full circle back to that summer afternoon on my bike.
SHE is all women everywhere.  SHE RISING is about the powerful phenomenon that’s happening at this moment in time; it’s about what women everywhere are doing — who we really are and what we’re really about.
And woven into the creation and, ultimately, the message of this painting is the critical, vital need for “radical truth-telling” in our lives.
Radical truth-telling in the sense that we no longer ignore those tugs at our heart, those whispers of our soul that rise up through our dreams and even wind their way into our waking hours, or those little voices that whisper to us.  All of these messages and signs we get that, signs that persist, gently, but refuse to go away, no matter how much we try to talk ourselves out of them, calling them “unrealistic” or and explain them away, telling ourselves they we just “imagined it” or “made it up.”  All of these ways that something is trying to get our attention, asking us to stop and remember who we really are.  
This painting is about radical truth-telling in the sense that we stop pretending we don’t know who we really are and what we’re really about.  Radical truth-telling in the sense that we stop playing so small and stop waiting until “someday when…” to allow ourselves to be who we really are and do what is ours to do.
This radical truth-telling is, also then, about not hiding who we really are – any part of who we really are – but owning and embracing all of ourselves.
Owning what we feel called to do, create, and contribute.  Owning our gifts, our weaknesses, our triumphs, our trials, our “weirdness,” our simple natures… owning our passion and then really standing in it, giving it a voice and body, and then dancing and singing it, full heart and full voice – like we mean it! 
Radical truth-telling is owning, again and again, who we really are and walking with that naked, courageous vulnerability out into the light of day with our head held high, shoulders thrown back, heart forward, wings spread…to rise.
***
I wrestled for awhile with whether or not to offer this painting for sale.  I prayed, I meditated, I walked (I walked a lot), and I listened.
What I heard was that SHE RISING is about my own journey… and SHE is also about and for so, so many other women.
SHE RISING stands for the journey of all women who are trying to find their way back to themselves and to the divine that is within all of us, and then to come from that deep, true, profound root and rise into the fullness of who we really are.
SHE RISING is about women who are tired of waiting until that “someday” (which we know never comes unless you declare today to be the day!) to come into their gifts, their power, their voices… and then to rise up, use their voices, and share their gifts with the world.
The story and message of SHE RISING is that this force and energy of SHE RISING is absolutely, deeply, and  necessary for the healing, restoration, growth, health, and thriving of the world and its people–
and that the time is now,
and that SHE is you.  
And while this is the story and message of this painting-  SHE RISING doesn’t just stand for something.  This painting has been in my home for a couple years, in various stages of completion, and I can tell you (and so can family members and guests in my home) that SHE absolutely has her own incredible presence and magic.  There there is an intrinsic and powerful healing, life-giving, strengthening, nourishing, sacred, guardian energy to her.
Even as I write these words, I know I am not even beginning to touch the magic it might have for you.
I offer this painting with love and a full heart.
Love,
Leah

P.S. Below are a few of her close-ups.  Please send inquiries directly to me at leah@leahcb.com .

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Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind: Running as a Spiritual Practice (with free coaching audio!)

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There are so many beautiful things to discover (both in the world and within yourself) through running.  Here’s a shot from one of my recent runs around the lakes on Notre Dame’s campus.  
Hello Beautiful People!
Today’s installment in the Untrained Mind, Beautiful Mind is a bit different.  
A dear friend recently was telling me about how she wants to like running but isn’t sure how to make that happen.  I also hear from people all the time about how they wished they loved to work out like I do, because if they did, then they would do it regularly.  
Whenever I hear this, it makes ME wish I could spend a week walking (or running) this person through their workouts.  I wouldn’t teach them running techniques, but I would teach them how to train their mind to love to exercise – because this is the way it should be.  Our bodies are MEANT for movement, they are designed to move and they truly do love even the hard work.
So, what I really want you to know is that  learning to love to work out is completely possible, realistic, AND it just might be one of the best things you will ever do for yourself.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can become someone who loves to workout every single day, and thus become someone to whom all the immediate and long-lasting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of exercise comes naturally – with ease and strength, rather than emotional struggle and suffering.  
I really, truly do love to work out – most days – but it isn’t an accident.  There was a time when I absolutely dreaded hard workouts (running included) and I still occasionally have my days when I dread it as much as the next person.  
But I now look at these “dread” days as flukes, hiccups, and not who I really am.  What I’ve taught myself is how to coach myself – mind, body, and spirit- into a place of loving it so that I am able to do the difficult physical work without the mental strife and emotional exhaustion.  I’ve coached myself into the belief that I am a soul athlete and that exercise not only feels great but does incredible things for my mind, body, and spirit.  I’ve coached myself into being a “natural athlete.”  
And I know, beyond a doubt, that being a soul athlete and a natural athlete is possible for you as well.  Not only can you get your body into the best possible shape of your life, but you can get your mind into badass, elite warrior/athlete shape as well so that it can do the work of your soul.  
Today’s post is just the beginning of an answer to these things (bear with me as I’ve never tried to train anyone who isn’t actually right with me at the moment!).  Again, I am absolutely, 100% positive that if I could move in with you and do all your workouts with you, coach you (meaning YOUR MIND) through them step-by-step, that we could make some big leaps in getting you to love working out as well.  I hope this audio will give you some of those same ideas and tools.  
So, please help yourself to the  35 minute coaching audio below.  Again, this is for those of you who want to want to run, those who are already running but don’t really enjoy it, or those of you who already love to run but want to pick up some ideas on how to break a PR or how to use running as a way of training your mind.  
I believe anything can be a spiritual practice and a spiritual training ground – and running is no exception!  Running, in fact, is an excellent place to practice training your mind to become a stronger, healthier, more clear channel for your soul, because, if you’re running hard enough, it will bring up absolutely everything that’s been holding you back…so that it can be released.  Pretty soon, you’ll be running so strong and steady that that negative thinking won’t be able to keep up with you. ;)
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!  You can email me at leah@leahcb.com or post a comment to my Facebook page.  
Here’s to you, my friends – may you get your dreams off and running! 
XOXO-
Leah
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