July has been a very busy month with the sun out and all. The beautiful weather always gets the best of me and before I know it another day has passed and I have little to show for my time. I love the long, warm days where I can twiddle away my time in my garden and take long drives to farmer’s markets and what not. I do wish these days of summer could last.

So, what happens in my art goals is that I get stuff done, but don’t take the normal amount of care documenting. I also tend to let my Morning Pages slide quite a bit.

This month also seemed to be packed with lots of projects as well including finally launching Michelle Quesada – Mused Art (my artist page). So Saturday morning came and I noticed it was the LAST weekend in July and knew that I was running out of time to get my Artist’s Date in for July. Imagine my excitement when I saw that Shiloh Sophia was offering a same day class called Being Abundance. I have long learned that abundance is a state of being–as well as a fleeting state at times.

I had just enough time to get down to make a few stops to pick up a few essential items to create an abundance alter before her class began (candles, chocolate, peaches, and flowers).


I already had the other listed items for making the painting. I happen to be a huge fan of her style of art which she says she uses a style of Jungian-Shamanism or Visioning-Imagination. This really means that you search for meaningful symbols through guided meditative journeying. It truly leads to beautiful and meaningful art pieces. I had taken a class from her before and found her process fruitful.

Although the six hour class had several breaks (including lunch), she taught it live and walked the students through a painting from start to finish. In this type of process, she is the guide to assist you in connecting with your own answers. I think this is what I really love about the philosophy that she uses. There was journaling, processing, letter writing, medication, prayer, and symbol identification. At the end of the day, you came away uplifted as well as with a beautiful symbolic painting of your own. I received several symbols some of which were included in my painting of my lady of abundance. I realized that the message that I heard was that I am blessed and that I only need to open my awareness to the beauty all around me.


This was by far one of my favorite Artist’s Dates so far this year! What has really struck me is that there are so many opportunities that would have never been possible a few years back due to the world wide web. How lucky are we all to be able to have access to talented artists such as Shiloh Sophia and so many others! What a beautiful day and productive class for only $47! I will be heading back for more of her teaching!

Open Your Heart

Lifebook Lesson 29, Making Our Key to Freedom by Danita

Don’t you find the Universe amazing? This week it really seems to be working to get me this similar message. That is the message of healing a very old hurt. My personal belief that I am alone, will always be alone, and am only safe when alone.

I worked on completing week 29’s lesson, Making Our Key to Freedom, which was taught by Danita (one of the most precious art makers). Before starting, she had you watch Tara Brach’s Beyond the Prison of Beliefs, which I found to be a powerful healing exercise in itself.

Next, you were to write that old hurt, feelings, and thoughts it a white watercolor crayon. I chose to write a story. Then you drew your cage and your figure with your key to freedom. I used watercolor for this journal page.


On another page, you wrote your answer to being free from your cage (your old beliefs). My new belief is that I am safe. It is okay to love and trust. This new belief is one that I have understood in my mind for some time, but I really appreciated the video and journal exercise because I was able to “feel” this in my body as well.


Abandoned ~ No More

Over the weekend I painted most of the downstairs, and while painting I listened to Oprah’s “OWN” channel. I must admit that I am more a former Oprah fan. I enjoyed her before I felt that she became “political” with her prime time talk show (it has been several years since I’ve been a regular viewer). I am not a big TV watcher any way, but recently I’ve come to appreciate Oprah’s message once again. How did she win my heart back? With one show. Super Soul Sunday. That was why I turned to her channel while painting and over the course of several hours I got a real feel for what her current message is today. Something that I really used to enjoy (the real hook for me) was her focus on self-improvement  and developing insight. I think that she continues to offer shows with that aspect, but now is working on helping people to develop spirituality as well.

Anyhow, by the time I was nearing the end of my painting frenzy, her Life Class came on. I didn’t expect to find myself drawn in and as emotionally engaged as I became. This show discussed Daddyless Daughters with Iyanla Vanzant. I went away asking myself why me, a woman who was raised with two parents (who never left me) came away with abandonment issues of my own. As a matter of fact, most people I know have some sort of “issues” connected with abandonment. Why is this? The show talked a lot about divorce and the children that sometimes are left behind, but again, this was not my case.

You may be asking what on earth any of this has to do with art or creativity…

Well, it is my belief that the disconnect that we feel may come somewhat from disappointment in our relationships in life. It is inevitable that we are going to be disillusioned and/or let down here and there. Yet, I feel that it is bigger than that–the bigger disconnect actually comes when we feel that we are not connected or aligned with our “Source.” For me that source is Spirit or God, but for others it may be the Universe etc. When we feel disconnected, we feel alone–even abandoned, but this is not the case. It is us who has moved away from the Source. It is there if we will yet seek it and align ourself with light and love.

I’ve asked myself so many times why working on writing or art brings so much peace to me and why when with other pursuits I may get caught up with old, unhealthy patterns such as “people pleasing” or “over committing” (the behaviors that may sometimes associated with women who have abandonment types of experiences). I believe that it is because when I am working on my art/writing, I am working towards being authentic, not some other Michelle that other people expect me to be. For me, this is two fold.

  1. Being creative is a habit that I am cultivating and feel very comfortable and at home with.
  1. Creativity is connected with spirituality or flow and, therefore, an activity that brings me closer to my “Source,” not farther away.

So, why does the mere mention of creativity send some people running? I believe it is because their experiences with art or some other pursuit was negative, yet that does not mean that they are not creative in every area of their life. We are all making choices every day, and those choices bring us down a road of our picking. We are creating the life we are living. Sitting down and really deciding upon the life path that is wanted can bring this to our awareness, but even without awareness, we are still creating our life for better or for worse. Setting intentions and working toward those can be tough, but with the simple awareness, we can develop and create the life we seek.

When we realize that creativity is connected with spirituality, things become a little easier–sometimes a lot easier. This realization has the power to take the pressure off of oneself to a significant degree. One reason that people may not connect up with the spiritual side of things is a distrust which is interesting because spirituality and the Source are there to help us attain peace and connection in life that we hope for. It many times means that we surrender some of our control. I understand that it can feel scary, BUT hey, are we really doing that great on our own? Maybe. But maybe not! If that surrender leads us back to our Source, then it is worth it to lose the feelings of abandonment and loneliness. It is worth it to finally feel whole and worthy of receiving love of others. it is worth it to feel LOVED, VALUED, & CHERISHED beyond our imaginations.