"Over the past year, I’ve been on a journey to rediscover myself and it hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve dealt with cobwebs I would have rather left alone, found myself completely out of balance and off-kilter, discovered there was an overcast about me that needed a daily dose of “gratitude-attitude”, and realized that it was time to replenish a well that had run dry years ago. On top of all that, I realized that I had been depriving myself of something that always helped me deal with life in a more healthy, more productive, more positive way—my art."
In honor of the circle of giving, this purchase
"So when I discovered Sheri’s book,Creative Awakenings: Envisioning The Life Of Your Dreams Through Art: Envisioning The Life Of Your Dreams Through Art, this week, I just had to get it and I’m glad I did. The irony is that the technique discussed in her book is something that I’ve been slowly implementing in my own life—over the course of the past year—so I could have testified to its success even before I had read the book or learned of the process!"
"That being said, Sheri offers a three-step approach to achieving our dreams and becoming the people we’ve always envisioned ourselves to be—especially if we were on the right track at one time and sort of lost our way."
- Envision your dream. By allowing your intuition to take foot, you will be able to let go of the daily stress of life and the responsibilities that way you down, thus freeing your mind to think more clearly.
- Use images instead of words. Words can sometimes block the receptors of the brain, causing us to stop and think about things instead of allowing our intuition to move forward. By sifting through images, we allow the images to speak to our souls, thus bringing us one step closer to healing and one step closer to finding our true selves.
- Take real time to reflect on your art. Don’t just look at it and try to come up with a quick, snappy tagline or title for your art, but actually listen to your art. What is it saying to you?
"While Sheri understands that it only takes 30 days to break a habit and make a new one, she also understands that for the human soul to fully recover, to heal and move forward, 30 days just isn’t enough time so she’s come up with a 12 month plan, complete with a “Creative Awakenings Visa Application” in which you must sign. It’s a step that tells your inner-self that you’re serious about rediscovering yourself, of finding your true purpose, and of fulfilling your own personal dreams—not the dreams of your boss or your spouse or your family for that matter, but your dreams."
"In Sheri’s words, “to change any habit we must fully embody the new lifestyle so that we feel the changes on a cellular level”—and that just cannot be done in a 30 day time-frame. Believe me, I’ve tried! Old habits pop back far too easily and self-doubt creeps in when we least expect it."
"What I really like about Sheri’s process is that she doesn’t expect you to bulldoze through your emotions in order to reach some specific goal, she wants you to fully engage in the process—no matter how difficult it may be—so that you can come out the other side, stronger, bolder, healthier, happier, and with a clarity of mind that only you can give to yourself. “It’s an adventure, not a destination,” says Sheri. “It’s a process, not perfection.”
"And to help you get there, she’s created a “Transformation Deck” that allows you to envision, create, believe, write, live, and re-envision your life’s purpose. Each deck includes a word or phrase: abundance and prosperity, balance, believe, gratitude, procrastination, release the reins, replenish the well, rise from the ashes, and so on. Your goal is to pick one card, and spend the next 30 days creating an “art of intention” canvas. Every day you’re to add something to the canvas, based upon the card’s theme. Then at the end of the 30 days, you’re to reflect upon the canvas and journal your thoughts."
"It’s a remarkable book that’s truly personalized. As you read the book, you’ll discover that you’re not on the journey alone. Sheri took several artists on the journey and published their art, their journal entries, and their reflections in the book so that you have someone to relate to, so that you could see the process in action, so that you know it’s not just theory but really works—when practiced."
"Some of the artists got real and shared so much of themselves that you walk away thinking you’ve made some good friends—even though you’ve never met them or held a two-sided conversation with them. Other artists are so guarded that you don’t really see a change, let alone a transformation. In a way, that’s a good thing because it allows you to see how different personalities work in the system."
In the end, you’ll learn to:
- Believe in yourself,
- To move forward even when fear is present,
- Strip down to your very core and finally be real with yourself,
- Let go of perfectionism and inhibitions,
- Take risks,
- Accept that life is a messy process and there will never be a right time but there will always be a “here and now”,
- Give yourself permission to envision the possibilities,
- Listen to your intuition and realize that not everything is about a list of steps or set of rules,
- Release life’s burdens, and
- Learn new art techniques.
"Yep, you’ve read that last one right! Sprinkled throughout the book are several art techniques complete with step-by-step photos, a tools list, and how-to instructions. I really like this approach because it’s like getting a two-for-one deal—a self-help book and an art book!"
"If you’re ready to change your life, for the better, and use art as a therapeutic method, you’ll want to get a copy of Creative Awakenings: Envisioning The Life Of Your Dreams Through Art: today." Review Posted 2/28/09 by: Alyice Edrich
"I wrote a review for Creative Awakenings by Sheri Gaynor, and submitted it to Amazon.com and Amazon.ca today. I’ve never done this before (post a review on someone else’s page), but the book excited me, as does the amazing way Sheri is promoting herself. Self promotion used to have negative connotations for me, but I now believe that you can empower and enrich lives, including your own, by being willing to put yourself out there. It’s theatre, really, along with game playing, artfulness, and humor. LOTS of humor. Those brazen cowboy boots (purple!) of Sheri’s are walking all over the Internet, I daresay, but they are walking alongside people instead of over them!"
"I’m going to share my review here, as well. It needed to stay under 250 words, which made it tough, because I had a lot more to say, including the fact that Gaynor’s processes closely resemble my own personal methods of artmaking. She also echoes my passion for empowering others to embrace their creative possibilities. The thing is, she does it with such verve! It brings to mind the vintage Carol Burnett shows, where Carol pounds on her chest and emits those exuberant (some might say deafening) Tarzan calls. You must possess a certain confidence to pull off something like that. Sheri also displays that aplomb, and it beckons like a beacon to like-minded souls."
FEISTY FEMALES KICK UP THEIR HEELS
"Creative Awakenings honors the twelve months of Sheri Gaynor’s life when she ran away from home in order to recover her “authentic self.” She wanted a creative awakening, so she both imaginatively and physically embarked on a journey that would encourage personal transformation. Gaynor now offers a map for others to employ as a guide for discovering, or heightening, their own creative powers. The journey starts with a threefold assignment to (1) uncover and EnVision a dream (2) create empowering art to strengthen your intention to follow that dream and (3) reflect on your art to invite a dialogue that elucidates and deepens the dream."
"Gaynor invited guest artists to embrace the process she developed, and they are amazingly open and generous in sharing the experiences of their assigned month, including art techniques. The book closes with a vibrant, pullout Transformation Deck to help tweak the subconscious into revelation mode."
"I highly recommend this book to those Feisty Females out there who are ready to kick up their heels, shout “Wooo Hoooo,” and stomp all over the “Venomous Toad Committee” that always has pins poised to prick their dream bubbles. Gaynor is right on the trail with us, spurring us on. You cannot miss the shine glancing off her vibrant cowboy boots, or the invitation she is holding out, for a life filled with passion and purpose." Review Posted 2/27/09 by Carol Wiebe
"I bought Sheri's new book as a birthday present to myself. I can't put it down, it goes everywhere with me...it makes me hungry for more. It's the inspiration that's been missing all of these years!" ~ Beth M.
"So anyway, back to the book. It is a *must have*. And I'm not saying that just cause I'm in it. Seriously, Sheri is a very skilled psychotherapist who is also an artist. She is my on and off coach, I only say on and off because she coaches me sporadically these days , mainly when I get so wigged out I can no longer deal. She is brilliant and insightful and funny to boot. Plus she is an artist. She gets it."
"I can't wait to curl up with a kitty (or two or three) by a nice warm fire and read this one from start to finish." ~Mary Beth Shaw, Creative Awakenings Featured Artist