let her bloom // The Phoenix Soul: Wild Joy

What if wild joy could be a living, breathing presence in your life?

My joy most recently bloomed with the birth of my son, Maverick Patrick, on March 25. My heart has never broken open so wide.

As many of you already know from following our journey on social media, our sweet Maverick had some serious health scares after birth (he's since gotten the all-clear!). Due to that and my own postpartum recovery, I decided to postpone publication for our Wild Joy issue. Wrapping final details since then and spending time deep in these healing pages as I've been emerging from new-baby bubble has been life-giving.

And now . . . WILD JOY is finally here! I'm thrilled to release this celebration of an issue, where we explore the primal power of wild joy's presence in our lives. As I learned with my son's medical scare and my difficult postpartum recovery, wild joy can bloom even (especially) in the spaces of deep ache in our lives. Joy is our salve, our healer, our companion in the dark.

We need not wait for our lives to look "perfect" to experience wild joy--far from it. She blooms right here, right now, and will blossom even more abundantly if we make space for her.

Dear phoenix, I don't know where you are in your life right now . . . whether joy feels impossibly far, or she is already within your daily being. But I know this: joy is waiting for you . . . and she's been here all along. The more we release our grip and let delight surprise us, the more readily and easily we will find joy in our everyday existence.

Will you join me in letting our joy grow wild?

I'm sending you so much love, phoenix. Do you feel it?

In gratitude,
(your fellow phoenix
& TPS chief gatherer of good)

Guest photographer: Fabrice Poussin

What vibrant delights
surround you right now,
waiting for your attention?

What happens
when you examine your life
with curiosity and playfulness?

Fabrice Poussin joins us today as guest photographer, transforming seemingly ordinary objects into magic with his lens.

Let's continue our exploration of VIBRANT LIFE!

Image by Fabrice Poussin

Image by Fabrice Poussin

by Fabrice Poussin

Image by Fabrice Poussin

Image by Fabrice Poussin

"Might BE Galaxies"
by Fabrice Poussin

Image by Fabrice Poussin

Image by Fabrice Poussin

"Art Preserved"
by Fabrice Poussin

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University, Rome, Georgia. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and more than two dozens of other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review, and more than ninety other publications. 

creative awakening // Truth Tribe interview: Anab Roa

Anab Roa once longed to live a more creative and meaningful life.

Now she's realized that it's never too late to be who she wants to be. She's designing the vibrant reality she always dreamed, one small step at a time.

Anab is a freelance landscape architect in the Philippines by day. By night, though, she is a painter of bold, colorful mixed media artwork that's both whimsical and full of passion. Her #15MinutePractice and #15MinutesFaces are beloved on Instagram, proving that we don't need infinite amounts of time to express our creative voices.

Although Anab loves her day job, she felt restless and unfulfilled before discovering her creative practice. Something was missing. After three years working in the corporate world, "the desire for something more grew louder."

Anab and I have long been Instagram buddies, but I never knew much about her creative journey.

I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation to join our Truth Tribe interview series, so I could learn more about her and share her story with you. Her colorful artwork and joyful spirit are a perfect match for our Vibrant Life issue.

Anab and I chatted about how she discovered her passion for art-making, why her daily creative practice is important to her, how she takes extra good care of her sensitive soul, her guiding words for 2017, and more.

image by Anab Roa

image by Anab Roa

One of my favorite revelations from Anab's interview is that she believes "we are all born creative makers."

We may not always recognize that, though, if we are not "raised in an environment that encourages and/or is conducive to 'making things.'" But Anab says even if we are not, this feeling "will not completely leave you: for we are creativity itself; for we are maker itself."

The key, then, is learning to listen to our true selves:

The challenge is, will we ever have, find, or give time to listen to our still, small voice, our inner wise-self . . . I did, after all those years of trying, stopping, and failing; after all those years of ignoring, sabotaging, and not paying attention.
— Anab Roa, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Vibrant Life

Anab finally listened to her inner wise-self:

. . . I finally gave myself permission to feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and troubled; knowing that it is okay to want and to desire things; knowing that it is okay to be not as good as them; knowing that comparison is the killer of joy. I did discover that passion is for reals. That I have it and you have it in you. I did discover my passion for art-making the day I started making things again . . . and again . . . and again.
— Anab Roa, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Vibrant Life
artwork by Anab Roa

artwork by Anab Roa

Creative expression is key to living our most vibrant lives, even if our practice occupies only a few moments of each day. This is a chance for your true self to whisper, shout, sing out. To let go of whatever is numbing and dulling your vibrancy. To shine up that radiant soul of yours!

Keep living. Keep asking. Keep hoping. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. You are not alone on your journey. No matter how quiet it may seem. No matter how much you feel unseen. No matter how lonesome it can be. You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.
— Anab Roa, Truth Tribe interview, TPS: Vibrant Life

Phoenix soul, it's never too late.
Begin your creative awakening today.

with love & awe,
your fellow phoenix

The Phoenix Soul: Vibrant Life is vitamin C for your soul! Come juice up your life with us. You are so welcome here.