3 Ways to Cultivate Presence

3 Ways to Cultivate Presence

3 Ways to Cultivate Presence

Becoming present is all about cultivating awareness and becoming your own witness.

The more often you can connect to the present moment, the easier it becomes to detach from past / future thinking that can keep you stuck or create obstacles on your path forward.

#1 Way to Cultivate Presence: Yantra

A Yantra is a visual mantra. You can use symbols, images, or animals as a yantra by bringing them to mind and allowing that picture to create focus for you.

The animal totem I use to guide me into the present moment is the hummingbird. Imagine a hummingbird darting into your vision, its wings flickering and the light dancing off its feathers. Then, read these words:

As a hummingbird miraculously appears, as if from no-where, your mind is guided instantly towards the object of your soul’s desire. It’s iridescent wisdom becomes your muse. The hummingbird was created…… to drink sweet nectar from the ripest blossoms. You are created…… perfectly to have everything you need to follow your bliss and, therefore, offer your gifts to the world. Harmony in motion. When a hummingbird catches your eye, she commands all of your attention. When a person in flow, flying on the wings of their passion, crosses your path, you are likewise transfixed. Right NOW…What is your desire? BE that. Now,FLY!

#2 Way to Cultivate Presence: Witnessing Your Feelings

Choose to look at yourself, your emotions from a place of objectivity. To do this, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What do I feel right now?”

Then take a step back and observe your present moment. Are you feeling tired, happy, hopeful, frustrated, stressed, or excited?

Now, ask yourself, “Am I this feeling? Is this who I am?”

The answer would be NO. You are the you that is experiencing that feeling—you are not your feeling. In fact, at any given point in time, your focus, and the feeling being generated, is either on, or stemming from, the past, the future, or the present.

From the past, we can learn from our mistakes, recall valuable information, memories, or facts that we have learned or experienced and access our own personal set of baggage. From the future, we get the opportunity to plan ahead, envision the future we desire, or worry about what might, possibly, maybe happen if this situation, desire, or goal of ours does not work out. I have found, personally, that it is my default, after imagining something that I want, to almost immediately start imagining all the worst case, rather than the best case, scenarios.

That awareness struck me back in January 2014. It was the launch of my new website. It had been a full year’s worth of planning and expectation and thousands of dollars invested. It felt like all my high hopes and dreams were launched alongside that site. I found myself thinking about what I wanted my biz to look like a year down the road. But then I realized that I was following that desire with all my back-up plans in case it didn’t work out! Why would I spend my time, my powerful imagination, painting the picture of what I DIDN’T want!? I decided to change that pattern. With awareness it IS possible.

#3 Way to Cultivate Presence: Distract Your Thinking Mind

I coach people how to create the energy, the emotion, they desire to feel more often at the canvas, in a painting meditation process. The painting process distracts the logical, linear, go-go-go mind that is always tapped into the past or the future.

To cultivate the energy of presence, I guide my clients into the process of painting a mandala. First, we simply cover the canvas with multicolored brushstrokes. We don’t paint any THING, we simply play with color. Next, starting at the center of the canvas, we create a circular design known as a mandala. This is an ancient and sacred symbol that has been used by every culture to center oneself, connect to higher levels of awareness and to serve as a portal to the present moment. Distracted by color and form, your awareness focuses on the present moment and everything else falls away.

Regardless of the change you desire to experience in your life, cultivating presence in your life will inevitably guide you in the right direction.

Your muse, Whitney Freya


This article is adapted from Whitney Freya’s latest book, Rise Above, Free Your Mind One Brush Stroke at a Time. It is available on Amazon. Whitney Freya is an expert in Inspired Living, providing practical tools & practices that free your mind from limitations and scarcity to create more in your life that lights you up from the inside out. Learn more at WhitneyFreya.com


Exploring The New Relationship Paradigm

Exploring The New Relationship Paradigm

Exploring The New Relationship Paradigm

The New Relationship Paradigm is a new “canvas” on which you get to be the artist of your heart and express love, acceptance, compassion and wisdom…no matter what.

The story of the “white picket fence” family, riding off into the sunset with Prince(ss) Charming, or living Happily Ever After with our one true love is changing. The truth is that it has changed.

Old stories, like the one that has defined divorce as a failure or the one that led us to believe that we are somehow “less than” if we are single, are begging to be rewritten. Dear reader, resistance to these changes is futile and this is your invitation into the New Relationship Paradigm.

Just look at the paradigm that existed in the “Beaver Cleaver” era, with its roles, labels and expectations. How different is that to today when so many more ways of living are now acceptable, there are so many more choices on all levels of modern, western living and we have exponentially more information awareness available to us?

The invitation is to shift your perspective on the role a significant, romantic relationship plays in your life and to objectively and authentically create your own truth around what you want and why. This shift does not mean that the ’til-death-do-us-part is extinct. It just means that there are more “colors on our palette” right now.

In my own journey, I have experienced leaving the “picture perfect” life, divorcing when my three kids were in elementary/ junior high school and being faced with the choice to believe that I had just screwed up my kids and ruined my life, or to believe that I was creating new opportunities for all of us to grow and learn. Was I conditionally loved, loved only if I “followed the rules,” or could I expect to find unconditional love that allowed me to be fully, completely me?

As the world around me echoed these musings, watching so many friends divorce and struggle with the right and wrong of it all, I committed to doing everything I could to birth a new story—one that was more reflective of our truth and the nature of modern living today.

The 3 Top Characteristics of the New Relationship Paradigm…

Relationships are where we learn our greatest life lessons.

Relationships are no longer about filling a void or completing yourself. We are ATTRACTED to another because they mirror for us something that we want to embody ourselves. We want to learn from our new partner how to be more… adventurous, compassionate, wise, funny, courageous, spiritual…. The attraction is there so that we engage on an intimate level and receive, just as intimately, an awakening, within ourselves, to a new facet of who we are and how we can express ourselves. We learn. How long is the relationship meant to last? Depends on the nature of what you have come together to learn. Sometimes the learning is over. The opportunity to separate will make itself available. No right or wrong, just a new beginning presenting itself with your new lessons ensconced in your heart. What if that was all exactly as it should be?

Relationships are not defined by fear, but love.

In her book Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert explores the history of marriage. It may not be what you think. The origins of “’til death do we part” have more to do with securing land rights and basic survival than it does to any intrinsic human standards of a “good” or “successful” partnership. One could argue that the contract of marriage is fear based. It is an illusive guarantee that you are now safe, will be loved forever, and will never have to be alone. As we all know, there are no guarantees.

In the new relationship paradigm, our most intimate relationship is with ourselves. Our “beloved” is ourselves. We now understand that it is only when we love ourselves unconditionally that we can love others unconditionally. That means that I will love you no matter what—including if our life paths seem to be diverging. You love yourself enough to not fear being alone and you love your partner enough to want what is best for her/ him. There is no scarcity of love and no need to hold onto a relationship that has become toxic, unsupportive, depleting or an obligation.

If you knew you had only more love to express and discover in your life, would you hold on so white-knuckled to a relationship that you honestly wished was different? LOVE motivates the new relationship paradigm, not fear.

Relationships never really end, they transform.

A lover can become a best friend. A spouse can become your greatest teacher, your co-parent and a source of support. Just because the romance ends, does that mean the relationship does? Or does it just change? Do you recognize the significant role you played in each other’s lives and continue to honor that bond in infinite ways?

Are you changed because of this romance? Are you wiser, stronger, more compassionate, or more loving? What have you learned? And is it so horrible that you now each have new lessons to learn? What if your most significant relationships became like a family? People you could count on or ask for support or ask to listen because they know you well; they know your strengths and your weaknesses? How much of your “story” around your “ex” has been written by someone else, from a fear based perspective, or by an out-of-date picture of what a “successful” relationship looks like?

The New Relationship Paradigm invites you into a new level of trust. Can you trust yourself to love you the best way possible? Can you trust that life is always guiding you into new opportunities to learn and grow? Albert Einstein said that the most important decision you will ever make is to choose whether or not you live in a friendly or unfriendly universe.

If you choose to live in a friendly universe, I am challenging you to open up to all the ways you can create a new image of what the relationships in your life are truly here to offer you. You are creating your reality in each and every moment. The New Relationship Paradigm is a new “canvas” on which you get to be the artist of your heart and express love, acceptance, compassion and wisdom…no matter what.

Exploring COURAGE

Exploring COURAGE

Exploring COURAGE


Hi! I created a 3 Part Video Series in June 2019 to explore the subject of courage. I believe that an aspect of overall wellness is our connection to courage. Without courage, we may stay stuck in the known, when our heARTs are calling us into a new way of expressing ourselves, of being or living the art that is your life. 

It is also the inspiration for our December 2019 21 Day Creative Courage Challenge, a SPECIAL Art Gypsy Owl edition. SO excited. I wanted to store these video musings here so you could watch them and comment below about your relationship to courage and where you are “calling it in” for yourself right now!


Enjoy Part I…


Here is Part II…


Excited to read your comment below after you finish Part III!

How to Paint Wings

How to Paint Wings

How to Paint Wings


This is an excerpt from my Art Gypsy Owl Painting Course. I hope you join me for the whole course! I filmed it in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. The energetic focus of the course is on COURAGE and the OWL is our guide. 

In all my Art Gypsy Courses, I wait to receive the theme for the course from the land I am visiting and the nature of the journey. 

I found Lake Atitlan searching for places to fly my paraglider in March. Little did I know how magical a place this was. 

As I prepare to launch of the mountains surrounding the lake, formed by a volcano and so I was flying off the edge of an old, massive volcano, the theme of courage came screaming onto our “canvas.” 

So, together, you and I will unpack “courage” in this course AND paint lots of fun owls. You can see more images and the video montage of this Art Gypsy ARTventure HERE

Ok…here is the wing “Study” I did. I just wanted to focus on painting a mostly realistic, but still colorful’ish wing. I wanted to focus on the feathers, and challenge myself to go into the details more–this is my “work” in life usually…LOL. 

FIRST, outline the wing…


SECOND, use white, yellow, and a lighter and darker brown–any colors will do, or mix a lighter and darker brown. Paint the top of the wing the lighter brown and the tips of the first row of feathers the darker brown, leaving the right edge lighter. Don’t worry, we have so many layers to go. Take it as a wing experiment!


THIRD, add purple and cobalt blue as shadow in parts of the feathers as shown here.


FOURTH, begin to paint the bottom layer of feathers with the lighter brown. Notice how I am always leaving the right sliver of each feather open–for now. 


FIFTH, this is where it can get exciting and nerve-racking…deep breaths. We are JUST painting feathers. It doesn’t really matter. It’s fun to learn and try! You got this! See how seriously we start taking things?! Silly us! 🙂 I’m adding the “shaft” (did you giggle?) of the feather with the black down the middle and then adding white and the other colors to make the feather patterns.


SIXTH, watch for your “tipping point.” This is where you get giddy! The feathers come to life the more you add–use a “dry brush” to layer light layers of color onto the feathers. IMPORTANT & SUPER fun: see the little dark indents in the feathers? That was just like going over the outline and dipping my paint into the feather here and there. I got SO excited when I saw how adding this detail brought the feathers to life. 

NOTE: the white highlights I added at the tips of the darker top feathers and the details there… 


SEVENTH: say out loud, “tah-DAHHHHHHHH!” Love your wing! 


I hope you join me to explore COURAGE in the Art Gypsy Guatemala Owl Painting Course. Do be sure to watch the video montage–my paraglider buddy, Forrest, is a wiz with the camera. You’ll meet him in the course too… Go HERE to check it all out.

Please comment below with any questions and share your wing paintings with me! This can be FUN and you can use any colors. Play and imagine flying!!!! 





P.S. If you are reading this now–November 2019, I am hosting a SPECIAL edition Art Gypsy Owl: The 21 Day Creative Courage Challenge December 1st to 21st. There is no extra charge and you and I are going to be painting lots of owls for holiday gifts WHILE connecting to our heARTs and our dreams…calling in courage to support us along the way. Yay! 

Life as Your Vision Quest: A New Look at Balance

Life as Your Vision Quest: A New Look at Balance

Life as Your Vision Quest: A New Look at Balance

Did you know that, when your eyes are open, you the sense of vision is responsible for at least 2/3rds of the electrical impulses in your brain? 

This means that both what you choose to look at AND what attracts your eye are significant factors in what you are thinking, feeling, processing. 

It is also why I love looking at my life as a Vision Quest, calling on the visual language of symbols to guide me–especially when some kind of change is at the top of the list. 

I want to share an example. 

Since New Moons are all about change–what do you want to grow or expand in your life?–I often go on a Vision Quest through oracle cards and my own paintings to integrate or understand what energies are circling around me, wanting to play. 

Recently, to celebrate a new moon, I picked 6 different oracle cards. I love picking at least three because you can usually see a repeating theme. This time ALL 6 cards had to do with balance. 

The overarching theme around balance was a call to BE a balance of heaven and earth. Can you be the embodied union of light and matter? 

In Super Soul Flow, the meditations and the journey that is this online program, is all about adopting the truth that you are 1st and Infinite Being who is 2nd having a human experience. 

A lot shifts when you look at life from this angle–as an Infinite Being…do you really care about…? 

As an Infinite Being…do you believe this is ALL that is available to you? 

So I welcomed the call to BE more in BALANCE with my earth and heaven energies! 

Then, a couple days later, without a thought about the theme of balance, I chose to paint the Goddess Nut in my art journal for my morning painting meditation in the Vision Quest I am doing alongside my current Creatively Fit Coaches in training. I started with words of intention, painted black over the words, lightly outlined Nut in her familiar backbend and then went to my friend Mellisae Lucia’s Oracle of Initiation book to look up Nut. 

Whaaaaat!? Nut was there as the guide for the card: Balance of Balance! Balance again! 

Here is the finished (for now) Nut painting…

Then, I played with some filters and got this version that has Nut mirrored…

And then here is one of the cards that was part of my New Moon spread…it is about the union of YOU as heaven AND earth.

An open door. A new beginning, with Nut as my guide and the New Moon energies to support me. 

This New Moon, almost unintentional, Vision Quest has inspired me to truly focus my attention on bringing myself into my next level of balance right now. 

Like Nut’s pose in this painting, can you open to receive the guidance and support that is being offered to you visually, through symbols, images and colors? I promise when you do, you will discover a new inner strength to propel your life into your most Inspired Life right now!

Paint Nut and share it with me. See what musings come to you as you paint her. There is so much… 

Thank you for joining me today! I would love to hear your comments below. 

Your muse, 

P.S. If you are already in one of my online programs LOG IN HERE or click the same link to peruse the online experiences to inspire the art that is your life and YOU as the artist! 

I’m Not In It For The Money

I’m Not In It For The Money

I’m Not In It For The Money

Excited to share the evolution of this painting with you AND offer you a reframe so you can make money doing what you love!!!! 

First, watch the time-lapse video of this painting coming to life! 

Now that you are in your Green Tara happy place, I want to share with you a reframe–why you LOVE making money as a creative… 

Join Dawn and me for the next Creatives Making Money 30 Day Biz Challenge HERE

Do you feel you are living YOUR Inspired Life? 


You can.

Comment below and share one thing you can do today that will inspire the art that is your life!!! You got this!