Monday, December 18, 2017

Red Hot HOTY (Horse of the Year) fundraiser

For the past couple of years I have been involved in a lively yearly fundraiser for the therapy horses of HETRA (Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy) known as the Horse Penny Race.  Starting in January and running until around the middle of April, each  horse active in Hetra's various therapeutic riding programs has a team of human supporters collecting donations which will be used to support the care of the herd.  

To be sure, these busy horses eat their fair share of hay and grain, not to mention other supplements to keep them healthy, happy and serving the community. (Hetra's programs include: therapeutic riding - an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs; Hippotherapy - physical or occupational therapy which uses the movement of the horse to facilitate improvements in the client; therapeutic carriage riding and equine services for veterans.)

All monies collected benefit the entire herd, but to make things fun each horse is in competition to be name Hetra Horse of the Year, or HOTY.  The horse with the most donations is crowned HOTY of the year and receives a new bridle along with a plaque hanging above his/her stall.  Of course, all of their human supporters get very excited promoting herd favorites and I admit to being an impassioned fundraiser for the horses, as I just know they appreciate the adoration. 

Let me introduce you to the Hetra horse I am stumping for: a handsome and personable sorrel gelding named Red:

Red is one of those horses who will knicker the minute he hears a human coming into the barn (surely to say "Hello!  Hey, while you are at it, can you drop some hay into my stall?")  Red is know as the peace-maker in his group, making sure everyone gets along although he can also instigate a little friendly play. I have know and loved Red since 2014 when I began volunteering. He is an energetic, personable boy and deserving of the title HOTY ... I mean, look at him!

This year I am offering sets of Hetra Herd postcards for sale to raise money for Red in the Horse Penny Race.  Throughout the year, I photograph the horses and from my photos create pen and watercolor portraits which I have made into postcards. I am excited to offer my third set of portraits: 11 cards depicting individual horses from the Hetra Herd (including 2 recently retired and favorites of the herd):

Each set, including postage to a U.S. address is $18. With each purchase of a set of cards, $15 will be donated to Red for the Hetra Horse Penny Race. (I make no money off of the sale of the cards but I do need to deduct the cost of printing and postage to cover my expenses.)  This set includes 10 new cards not seen in previous sets.

Postage Options

Thank you for your support and GO TEAM RED! 
If you want to donate directly to Red's Hetra fundraising page, you can do so HERE.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

HeartFull Living 2016

How can I best serve Love in my life? What does that mean for me on a daily basis?

I invite you to join me and 14 guest contributors in exploring what Devotion to Love really means in terms of a daily life or daily practice.  How can we use the inspiration of Love to guide us in thought, word and action?

The Intention: 

Dedication to living life guided by the wisdom of the Heart; Opening, Receiving & Generating Love

The Invitation:

~Three weeks of Love Notes, whispered inspiration, shared stories on living a life devoted to Love
~Insight into the many ways we can reset our internal compasses to  turn towards love, towards joy in each day
~Conversation around the challenges and how others navigate the tight spots when Love and Trust seem far and distant

Bonus Feature:

Fourteen guest Joy Warriors & Love Pirates will be sharing their Heart Stories, their best moves to realign with Love

HeartFull Living is held in a private blog space that only members can access. Each day there will be a new offering presented -  a story, an idea, an inspiration or practice. You can drop in daily or gather what you want, when you want. Conversation happens in the comment section, often a lively and insightful feature of past HeartFull Living offerings.  

HeartFull Living is not a classroom, it is not a course ... It is a community. It is a space of sharing, a place to witness and be witnessed. It is an invitation to talk about what really matters, what inspires all that we do and all that we yearn to do and be ... Love. Your voice is needed; your voice matters!

HeartFull Living begins February 14, 2016 and runs live through March 5. The space will stay open through April 3rd, so there is plenty of time to access the material. 

membership fee: $18 (all proceeds to be donated ... keep reading!) 

HeartFull Living Project:

This year I am excited to announce that all of the proceeds from HeartFull Living 2016 will be donated to Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA). I have been volunteering for HETRA for the past year and it has been an incredible opportunity to witness the power of Love to inspire and heal. HETRA's Mission is "to improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children with disabilities through equine assisted activities." 

HETRA is a non-profit 501c3 organization. They rely upon donations and funding to keep services affordable for the 115 or so participants who ride each week, supplementing approximately $75 to $90 for each rider. They offer a variety of services in Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Services for Veterans,  Therapeutic Carriage Driving, Day Camps, Life Skills Training and Special Olympics. In the Winter HETRA runs their Horse Penny Race, a campaign to help raise funds to offset the care and training of their 16 therapy horses, the heart of their programs.  I am part of Team Star, a handsome 21 year old Palomino Quarter Horse and Star will be the HeartFull Living mascot. 

Always rich, always inspiring, the members of the HeartFull Living community make this yearly offering a highlight of the year. It is as a collective that we mine deep truths, insightful lessons and healing wisdom bringing HeartFull Living into our world.  Past participants shared the following:

thank you for your deep and truly heartfelt offering Lisa... beautiful conversations and the softness of this gathering was a joy... I will come back to read as time passes and knowing this collection of wisdom and kindness will be here as life whirls and spins gives a sense of contentment  (j)

thank you so much for creating, for curating, for loving this space along for us, lisa. the conversations have been on my mind as we've moved through these four weeks {i'm eager to dip back in to those i missed}, they've been in my heart. such softness, such love.
and now we ripple... (m)

Thank you my dear friend for this sacred space. though I was only able to check in here and there it provided me a beautiful safe space to come to when I could.. no goodbyes only beginnings again (k)

Lisa, what a lovely offering you have gifted us with this class. I thank you, especially for showing up as the real authentic you. That is one thing that really draws me back to your offerings/classes... is how authentic and uniquely you that you show up as in the world. I'm so grateful for this time that brought me to deeper connection within my heart space and in that place of opening myself up to greater love in my life. I'm so grateful. Thank you over and over again. (s)

ALL of this! Your initial post, Lisa - and every comment after - are like oxygen to me. I'm breathing them in, resting in their life-giving nature. I'm resonating with so much that has been said here - so many experiences/feelings in common ... (s.p)

I can't wait to begin.  Let's come together to share our stories, bearing witness for each other and feeding love, spreading love from my heart to yours, and from your heart out into our world.

course closed - thank you for the overwhelming response! If you would like to donate to the therapy horses of, you can still do so using the button below. 
Join Now! The conversation begins February 14, 2016

Questions? Leave a comment or feel free to email me: Lishofmann88(at)gmail(dot)com

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

HeartFull Living: Conversations on Love 2015

Two years ago I wrote these words:

What does my spirit crave?  Connection.

What do I want to make space for in my life? Community.

What do I need to nourish me in this season of dark and cold?  Conversation.  Deep listening. Being heard.  Hearing the truths of others. Sharing and through sharing, learning, growing, and healing.  Settling deeper into myself and embracing my truth, my story.

I hear the geese flying overhead and my heart soars.  I feel that call to return ...

HeartFull Living 2015

A new year but a return to visit with old and new friends, sit in virtual circle and share what is on our hearts and our minds.  A place to share our stories about healing; to celebrate the scars that represent our strength and determination; and to hold witness to our inherent power to choose truth and love and to create joy in our world. 

This year I want to explore these questions: 
How can I live my life dedicated to serving Love?  What does that look like? How does leaning into love translate into everyday action?  What does that mean for me? For my family? For my community?

I want to hear your stories.  I want to share mine.  I believe both voices are necessary to our ability to envision new possibilities, new ways to heal ourselves, our families, our community, our planet. I want to challenge myself to show up on a regular basis and feed my heart. 

Like tomorrow's beautiful flower encased in a delicate bud, the expanded heart is, for many of us, still in a latent form. The heart, like the bud, protects itself from the harshness of the external world by staying cocooned, locking the Divine within. But through continuous nurturing of deep devotion, the bud, in guarded increments, can expand its petals to fully blossom in all its beauty. (Nischala Joy Devi -The Secret Power of Yoga

The blossoming of the heart is possible in the soil of our very lives. We just need to fortify that soil with our attention, being full present, awake and aware. We can do that by sharing our experiences, sharing insights and discoveries in addition to sharing the ways we sit with uncertainty, confusion, and the unknown.  

I invite you to join me for 4 weeks of conversations.  Each week I will offer up my stories, the pebbles from my trail through the terrain of the heart.  These offerings will be the invitation for you to share the lessons and stories of your heart's blossoming.  

This year I will be joined by guest contributors. Each week there will be one or two new voices - some of my favorite Joy Warriors and Inspired Creatives who exemplify honoring the heart's truths -  sharing their experience of living a life dedicated to love. These are the people I turn to when I need to realign myself with my heart, with Love.  

The format will be bare-bones in honor of Ease.  One private blog site where we gather to share through posts and discussion threads; an open invitation to contribute your words, images, work to the site. New material three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) with surprises certainly welcome and encouraged! 

What I envision is a space we each come to -  perhaps first thing in the morning as a means of setting the intention of HeartFull living for our day; or as a haven at the end of the day, time to reflect, thoughts to help guide us in the work of our dreams.  I want to challenge myself - and I extend the challenge to you as well - to commit to showing up regularly for myself and for my life.  To dedicate my practice to HeartFull living for one month as a means of preparing myself for a new year, a new cycle through the seasons.


 password: heartfull
Direct link to video here
please note, video lists dates for last year!  

HeartFull Living 2015 begins February 16 (introduction) and runs through March 15, 2015
(from new moon to new moon!)
cost: $21

To honor the inspiration of Charm, my mentor in leaning into Love, $10 of each membership will be donated to HETRA - Heartland Equestrian Therapeutic Riding Academy, and specifically to support Charm in this years Penny Race for Horse for the Year, a fundraiser for the organization. To read about my experience as a volunteer, go HERE. IF you would like to vote for Charm using your pennies, you can do so HERE.

questions?  contact me at Lishofmann88(at)gmail(dot)com.

I'd love to have you join me.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Gift of Practice ♥ An Autumn Offering

Real knowledge does not come from books. It is gleaned through the experiences of life: through personal encounter, through the body, the senses, and through the heart. It is through practice – regular attention and engagement with the multitude of details and treasures that make up daily life -  that I evolve and grow.



How do we translate daily actions into soul-full living? How can I make that my practice? 

That is the intention underlying all the practices that I seek to cultivate to through creative actions, through meditation, and through spiritual study. 

I've always had some form of a practice.  Over the years, the nature of my practice changes but the motivation remains the same: to live my life wide awake and present, committed to the evolutionary growth of my soul, and seeking to realize my fullest creative, human, and spiritual potential.

How do we slow down and pay attention to what really matters?  With so many demands upon our time and attention, carving out space for what is vital for our well-being can be challenging and overwhelming.  Attending to the nurturance and care of our inner life – creative, spiritual, soulful, magical, whatever brings juice and joy into our very core – is something we hunger for yet all too often relegate to the bottom of an endless to-do list.

Showing up for one self, for one’s life, is a practice.  It is the ultimate practice.  Practice is both a discipline and a means to freedom.  It establishes regular attendance to the things that matter and in doing so, nourishes the parts of ourselves that feed meaning, purpose, curiosity, creativity, gratitude and joy. Through practice, structures and habits of support are strengthened; our gifts then grow and thrive upon that framework.  

The Gift of Practice: Nurturing & Nourishing Self is my offering in support of inner nurturance and care.  It is an exploration of the structures, the habits, and the obstacles inherent to establishing and maintaining a regular practice whether it be a meditation practice, daily self care, creative work or mindfulness amid the flow of the everyday. 

What is this program about?

A supportive space to experiment with the structure and experience of regular practice in whatever form currently meets your needs and interests.   

There will be practical wisdom on how to structure and create support for a fruitful and regular habit of practice gleaned from my years of study and practice as a Kripalu Yoga instructor and student. We will examine the obstacles and inherent dips and plateaus in one’s progress, learning how to cultivate new attitudes and a flexible mindset as we come to understand better the purpose and flow of any practice.  Knowing when to apply discipline and when to adjust and adapt practice to meet evolving needs is an essential skill vital to unlocking the power and potential of practice.  You may wish to utilize the gathering as an opportunity to commit to a practice or you wish to gather information, tools and insights to better prepare the foundation for a future endeavor. 

Each week there will be interviews with Creative luminaries sharing their experiences with a variety of creative practices: writing, drawing, painting, poetry, art journaling, and photography.  All practice offer the opportunity to deepen presence and engagement, with the rich details of life experienced with open eyes, mind, heart and soul.  Through dialogue with the group and the insights of our guest presenters, we can gain valuable perspective and understanding into the vast array of possible forms practice can take and we deepen our commitment to crafting our unique and personal expression of practice that sustains our evolutionary urge.

Who is this program for? 
You have struggled to start or maintain any kind of regular practice
You have never maintained any regularity in creative expression, self care, or supportive health care practices (but aspire to do so!)
You are curious about what a more disciplined practice can offer you
You have a practice but want to deepen it or infuse it with new energy and vitality
You feel stuck or unable to move forward in some aspect of your life
You yearn for deeper connection with yourself or wish to create space to hear and honor the whisperings of your heart and soul

This offering is for you. 


Important details and information:

Dates: offering runs live September 22 through October 31, 2014 (6 weeks) with content remaining available through the end of 2014.

-Material will be posted in a private online classroom space where questions and discussion threads will be monitored during the live segment of the offering.

-A gallery of participant's offerings/insights/inspirations will be available for you to use as a form of accountability or to share your growth and development.

-Required tools: curiosity, acceptance, suspension of self judgment, tenacity, commitment to showing up for yourself and/or the group.

-Suggested (but not required): any toys and props (journal, paints, crayons, pencils, camera, etc.) that you may wish to explore during our time together.

I first offered this program in the Fall of 2013 and it has been my favorite program to run and to participate in.  I am excited to be including new interviews in addition to archived interviews for added inspiration and support.

I am deeply grateful to the teachers and kindred spirits who have inspired and supported me as I craft my unique expression of practice.  I am eternally curious to see how others incorporate and adapt the discipline of practice to experience and express spontaneous action, insights, and spiritual/creative growth.  

 This is not a how-to course - this is a collaborative adventure!  That said, I am all about  balancing willful effort with surrender and will not offer hiding spots for excuses or hanging back.  Any quest worth the time requires stretching oneself beyond the edge of comfort, moving out of ease and into the unknown.  I invite you to join me on a journey to the far reaches of possibility and potential.  Stories, snacks, and other essentials will be provided ♥ 

Registration opening soon for Autumn 2014 session

6 weeks (live; classroom space stays open through March 20, 2015) - $88

Spring session  2015 to be announced (leave me a comment if you wish to be notified about upcoming sessions)

Please be sure the email address you use to register is the one you wish me to use to send course information.  You can email me directly with any questions or to edit your profile: Lishofmann(at)novai(dot)net. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sketch Diary Explorations: An Online Summer Camp

Summertime for my nine-year old is a time of expansive play.  Days of wide open play are punctuated with bursts of discovery, exploration, and creativity harvested from day and week-long summer camps.  I admit to being envious of her adventures.  Then I realized: I can craft my own summer camp!

For myself, summer can be a frustrating mixture of fantasies and hopes dashed upon the rocks of reality.  It can be too busy!  What I have learned is rather than limiting my aspirations, it is best to simplify.  Much depth can be found in the simple.

That is my guiding principle for Sketch Diary Explorations.  Keep it simple, make it adaptable to a chaotic and changeable summer schedule, but make it happen.

For the past six months I have been creating a sketch a-day in my art journal.  I didn't set out to do this practice, it just happened.  The pleasure and ease of my daily sketching had me reaching for my journal day after day.  When I realized it had become a practice, I was inspired to see the possibilities for depth and connection my sketch diary held for me.

It marks the quiet, but important transitions in my life ...

It allows me the space and time to relax into my day ...

Slowing down ...

And notice the tiny but miraculous details that I might otherwise overlook ...

In times when I felt lost or overwhelmed, my sketch diary gave me a finger-hold upon my life ...

As I transition, so too my sketch diary expands to hold that new vision ...

As summer is a time for adventure and play, I am excited to see where my sketch diary will take me!  I want to share this practice and see what discoveries it opens up for others.  Sound like a good plan?

What: Sketch Diary Explorations: an online art camp

When: Go at your own pace. Original camp ran in August of 2014 but I have had requests for the materials and can set up a 6 week delivery plan or send you all the lessons at once. If you are interested, contact me at: Lishofmann88(at)gmail(dot)com. I will then send you a paypal invoice and make arrangements for how you would like to receive the content.

How: Once a week email newsletter with written content and links to videos (so you can go at your own pace, the material is yours to keep!)

So six lesson ideas (delivered to your inbox on Monday) and the rest of the week to practice and play, adapt and change.

Hidden page on my blog to share my daily sketch diary explorations (and any pages you wish to share!)

Content will include practical and technical tips along with support for establishing and maintaining a regular practice.  No fuss, no musts involved.  Make your practice work for you!

Guest sketch-bookers  may make an appearance to share their practices. By no means limited to how I sketch (I make no claims to be an expert drawer; just a passionate one!) 

price: $44 $35 for Summer 2015!

Keep it simple, make it doable, immerse yourself in the details of your life, your dreams.

Frequently asked Questions:  

 I love this idea ... but I can't draw!  How is this for me?
Absolutely this is for you - and everyone! If you can't draw - or rather, you think you can't draw - this is the perfect place to begin fresh and new.  While we will be practicing sketching/drawing, the main focus of this offering is slowing down, turning off the thinking mind, shifting into the creative side of the mind and strengthening our ability to really see what is before us. The action of sketching allows us to engage more intimately with our world while allowing a natural pause in the rhythm of our day.  Consider it to be a form of meditation utilizing vision as a resting place for the always busy mind.

I share a little bit more on this topic HERE.

The dates don't work for me; I will be out of town - I have other obligations at this time - I'm not sure I will be available for all six weeks.  Can I go at my own pace? Or will I miss out?
I will be sending out the content in 6 installments spaced a week apart to allow time to really engage with the material.  How and when you choose to work with the lessons is totally up to you!  You will have the emailed lessons to keep and the video files will be available indefinitely, so you can return to the material again and again.  You may spent six weeks playing with the ideas from lesson one before moving on.  This is a go-at-your-own-pace offering and you can begin at any time.

I want to do this with my child/friend/partner.  Is sharing okay?
Having a partner is a great way to strengthen commitment to a new practice and a fun way to experience the material as we each bring our own flavor to the practice. My daughter will be joining me in camp this summer!  So yes, I would love to imagine groups gathering to view the videos and spending time together sketching and sharing experiences and insights.  While I welcome community, I do ask that you do not forward the email lessons or video links to others.  It is fine to share together, but I ask that the content stay with the paying participants.  I am a self-employed artist and depend upon this income to support my work.

What if I need support or want feedback?  Will you be available?
I love this work.  Love, love, LOVE it.  However I can support or assist you, I am here and available through email.  I would be happy to arrange a one-time skype session gratis if you would like feedback on your practice or ideas to tailor this practice for you. 

Sorry ... camp is over!  I am hopping to create a single PDF self-study version. If you are interested, please leave me a comment here and I will get back to you!

for more examples from my sketch diary (which by no means is to limit how you will choose to work in yours) visit HERE

Thursday, June 19, 2014

summer sketchbook camp (preview)

Couldn't wait to share ... something fun, easy, and deeply satisfying amid the busyness of summer play time ...

Details coming soon.  But will be simple, easy on the wallet and crafted to give lots of inspiration, ideas, support and encouragement for what is a simple, but profoundly rewarding practice.

Start gathering your pens, pencils and paints!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Mandala Moon Play

As I prepare for The Gift of Practice online offering, I am finding myself inspired to dive deeper into processes that have nourished me in the past.  One practice that I have turned to repeatedly for guidance and insight is the Mandala.

A mandala is a circular format representing the wholeness of existence.  At a basic level the circular template means there is no one area of dominance (top versus bottom) other than a central point : inner flows into outer, top flows around to bottom and back up again. Working within the shape of the mandala, our eye and hand travel around the surface, often spinning the mandala and shifting perspective as we work within it.  

According to psychologist Carl Jung, mandalas are "the psychological expression of the totality of the self." Jung posited that in working with mandalas, we tap into archetypal symbols and messages that constitute the collective unconsciousness.  Jung equated the mandala with the eye, expressing the action of Seeing merging into Consciousness.  To create a mandala is to See the play of our physical and spiritual impulses, urges, desires, struggles and triumphs.  

Given the round format of the mandala, it seems natural to equate it to the fullness of the Moon.  Thinking about the natural cycle of the moon as it transitions from empty (new) to full, and back to empty again, is a beautiful example of our own energy patterns.  Emptying myself of what no longer serves or describes me, opening to fill and receive new insights, new possibilities, transiting into an every expanding understanding of myself and life.  From that new perspective, I begin once again the process of shedding what no longer fits into this new perspective.  And so I roll!

According to different world cultures, each month's full moon offers symbolic teachings attuned to the seasons.  As part of my mandala practice, I will be meditating upon the life lessons of each month, utilizing the energy of the New Moon (new beginnings) to assist me in setting an intention for myself for that moon cycle.  What I hope to create is a monthly "snapshot" of my inner growth tied to the seasons along with a kind of monthly mindfulness practice.  

Knowing that any journey is enriched by like-minded company, I am proffering this handmade invitation to have you join me:

 direct link to video through vimeo here

Mandala Moon Play will be a  once a month email with written prompts and ideas; material suggestions; an audio link to a recorded guided visualization on that month's moon energy; and a private flickr group account where we can upload our images and share through comments or discussion threads.  As I sit here brewing all this up (literally, on the spot!) I am envisioning postcards or a group journal to commemorate a seasonal or yearly cycle of mandalas. 

The first cycle - the Autumn moons - begins October 4.  Each month's email will arrive in time for the New Moon (November 3, December 2, January 1 & 30; March 1).  You can opt to join for Autumn or Winter (3 practices) for $20 or for the entire 6 months (last half of the seasonal year/6 practices) for $30.

For future offerings, please contact me directly at: Lishofmann(at)novia(dot)net.