Let’s stop today and see what is here already…

Dear Seeking Girl,

It is often said that a good way to treat others that we love is to imagine that it is our last day with them…or our last day alive.

But what if we tried instead, to live as though it is our VERY FIRST DAY with them?

Try to live this day as though it is the first time you have ever seen your child, or the love of your life, or your parents…or your beautiful friends. Look at them from head to toe…see them for what they are and who they are…look around at all that they are doing, and who they have become……work hard to make sure they know exactly how you feel about them. Work hard to be someone that they might want to have in their life.

Brave Girls Club - LOOK UP, DARLING

We work so hard to go go go. Let’s stop today and see what is here already…what we don’t have to go anywhere to see.

Let’s try to start seeing things that would blow our minds and touch our hearts and bring us to tears if we were paying attention….or if it were the first time it ever happened…or the first time we ever met.

Life is so beautiful, so full, so miraculous.

You are so loved.

xoxo

(…pass it on…)
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All About July Soul School & What’s in the Brave Box

A new month of Soul School is ready for you! This just might be our most favorite Soul School class yet. You are going to LOVE it!! The theme for July is…

Protect Your Peace

A Toolkit for Finding Inner Peace and Doing What it Takes to Protect it

(If you’re not sure what Soul School is, CLICK HERE to learn all about it!)

july cover

july brave box

Deluxe subscribers get everything for the class in a digital and video format, while Premium subscribers get all the digital and video content, plus the Brave Box (see a peek inside above)…a beautiful box of all the materials needed for the class, plus lots of extras, like a brand new collectible patch,  DIY projects, premium-quality printouts of all the class collaterals, etc.

What’s included with the Protect Your Peace online class?

7 New, Original Melody Ross Mini-Classes with Videos and Worksheets for each one

(you can do them on your own schedule, at your own pace…each mini-class is do-able in an evening)

1. Making Boundaries Protects my Peace

2. Connecting to Truth & its Source Protects my Peace

3. Making Time for Self-Care Protects my Peace

4. Waiting to React and Thinking Through my Reactions Protects my Peace

5. Clear Communication with Others Protects my Peace

6. Avoiding Drama Protects my Peace

7. Taking Time to Make the Right Decisions Protects my Peace

Class Kit & DIY Projects

You’ll also get a kit of beautiful, original, artsy collaterals to make doing this class fun and powerfully meaningful (digital for Deluxe and Basic subscribers, or packed in our beautiful Brave Box for Premium subscribers)

(Digital versions of starred items (*) are also in the Protect Your Peace classroom for Deluxe subscribers and for making extra copies)

In the Brave Box you’ll find premium-quality print-outs for all of the pdfs for the class * plus….

Collage Sheets & Journaling Cards/Worksheets *

july collage sheets

july journalingThree pages of lovely graphic elements you can use in your art journal or any way that you like, plus four pages of Journaling Prompts/Worksheets to go with the 7 video lessons.

She Protects Her Peace Collectible PATCH

july patchSo beautiful… with a gorgeous winged heart… a one of a kind collectible. Melody designed this one extra special with metallic silver thread and it is stunning!

Three 1 inch buttons

july buttons“Brave Girl”, “Hello, Gorgeous”, and “She Protects Her Peace”. Colorful artsy little buttons to wear or give away or display… wonderful reminders of how beautiful and brave you are.

Two beautiful original greeting cards with kraft envelopes

july greeting cardsWho do you know who could use a loving surprise in their mailbox? You’ll be ready to spread some goodness and love because you’ll have these greeting cards on hand. By the way, YOU ARE LOVED! Just in case you have forgotten that.

DIY Projects & Stitchery Pattern *

july diy projects
july key chain kit

Includes a DIY kit with a keyring, needle, and clear case to make a fun key chain for your affirmation card.

You’ll also learn how to make gorgeous candle votives with twigs. Because what brings peace to a room better than glowing candlelight?

This month’s stitchery pattern is a lovely design of the word PEACE that you can make with wool yarn on canvas.

Set of 7 Flash Cards: The Protect Your Peace Collection

july flashcardsTwo-sided 5”x7” cards that go perfectly with your video lessons…these cards are an important part of the curriculum….you will love them!

Linen Art Print *

july art printA premium quality Melody Ross art print, ready to frame and hang in your home with a message that you are strong enough.

Affirmation Card

july affirmation card front

july affirmation card back Tuck it into your wallet, display it on your desk, tape it to your bathroom mirror, use it as a book-mark….read the back out loud every day to burn into your soul the truth that peace is important for your life and that you can protect it!

July 2015 Calendar Page *

july calendarAll ready to hang in a place where you will see it every day.

Truth Card Kit *

july truth card kitA kit for making Brave Girl Truth Cards to reinforce this month’s theme… Protect Your Peace. Make several and put them where you can see them often. Make some for people you love. Or maybe best of all, make them along WITH someone else.

Patterned Paper *

july patterned paper

Melody designed this pretty paper to use in your art journal, collages, Truth Cards, or any other artsy project you like.

To learn more about Soul School or to register, CLICK HERE

July Brave Boxes are available while supplies last, so if you want one, be sure to subscribe right away!
We hope you join us!!

The Gift of a (love) Storm

Have you ever been in a dusty, dry place and watched a storm roll in?

storm

Brave Girls Club is headquartered in Idaho. And Idaho is in what they call a high desert. And (in case your experience with deserts is limited) deserts don’t get much rain. Around here it’s a pretty big deal to watch a storm roll in. The hope that comes with gathering rain clouds is bigger than the sky itself. There is nothing like watching the first drops of rain hit the ground, and feeling the hot, stuffy air give way to cool freshness. Then to watch water fall from the sky and make everything clean again feels like the whole world has been given a chance to start over.

Imagine being in a dry, dusty place in life…the kind of place that makes you feel broken and overstretched and like life could never possibly be green and lush again. You probably don’t have to try very hard to imagine…if you’re like most people I’ve met you’ve been in one or two of those places. I know I have. And then imagine watching love roll in. I’ve been in that place, too.

A while ago we took our family on a trip to visit my husband’s parents. We have a bunch of little kids, so getting ready for a road trip is neither easy nor pleasant. (Come to think of it, things don’t get much better once we’re on the road.)

Let me paint a picture… I have 5 children under 6 years old….

FullSizeRender

We start the day with breakfast for 5, then dishes for 5, clothes, hair, and tooth-brushing for 5, potty, loves, stories, snacks, lunch, diapers, naps, more snacks, more loves, dinner, bath, more stories, prayers and bed-time snuggles. Plus the times when somebody needs a new pair of underpants, and somebody spills liquid laundry detergent on the carpet (that happened this week), and everybody goes to timeout at least once for hitting or pinching or yelling. You know, regular toddler stuff.

Packing for a trip while all of that is going on feels like a really big deal…a 5-day trip has me tracking down 25 outfits, 25 pairs of socks and underpants, a supply of diapers and wipes, everybody’s special blanket and pillow. I mean, it’s a little overwhelming.

So for this particular trip, we had planned to leave at 3 in the afternoon, which meant if we didn’t stop much (a delusion), we would arrive by 9pm. But the day didn’t go as I had planned, and by 5pm we still weren’t ready to go. By the time we had everything packed I was sweaty and tired and at the end of my nerves.

Our house looked like a tornado had gone through….dishes all over the kitchen, clothes ev.ery.where, toys ev.ery.where, beds unmade, floors unswept. Usually I clean the house before we go anywhere….it’s the pits to come home to a messy house. But I didn’t have it in me. We decided to do a 15-minute clean up (set the timer for 15 minutes and do as much as we can), then hit the road, which we did.

I didn’t think about my house or my chores the entire time we were gone. We had a wild car ride there, a buncha fun at Grandma’s house, and a wild car ride back. I’m talking potty breaks every 20 minutes, and for some reason it always took us an hour to get in and out of every gas station we stopped at. Needless to say, what would be a 6-hour car ride with adults ended up being a 9 or 10 hour drive with toddlers.

By the time we got home from that particular trip, I was drained of everything but a very modest will to live. I don’t remember what time it was, only that it was dark when we pulled into our driveway. Everyone had finally fallen asleep and we would have to wake them up to put them in their beds. I was exhausted and still hadn’t given a single thought to the mess I’d left behind.

I got the baby out of the car, and followed my husband (also carrying a sleeping child) to the front door. He opened it and when I started to go in I saw vacuum lines on the floor. I stopped and stared for a minute. I didn’t remember exactly how we’d left the house, but I knew for SURE we hadn’t vacuumed. I turned to my husband and asked, “why are there vacuum lines?” He was smiling, but didn’t answer. “Jeff, we didn’t vacuum. Why are there lines??”

As I walked in, I started to remember things I know I’d left out. The giant pile of unfolded laundry that I left on the chair was put away…the dishes were done…the beds were made…the toys had been put where they belonged. Finally Jeff told me that while we were gone, my sisters had called and asked for our garage code. And that they brought a whole crew with them – aunts, uncles, cousins, my mom and all of my sisters – and cleaned our entire house. They even weeded my flower beds and garden. What would have taken me days and cost me tears took them about an hour. They called it a LoveStorm and that’s what it felt like…like cool, drenching rain in the desert heat of summer.

rainbow

That night we brought everybody into the house and put them to bed before enjoying a peaceful night ourselves. I spent the next day unpacking and enjoying my family, instead of feverishly working to catch up on chores. As I went about that day I kept noticing things that had been done…the bathrooms were clean, the garbage had been taken out, the washer and dryer had been wiped down. They didn’t leave anything undone!

Walking into my house that day could have been a horrible reminder of everything left on my to do list. Instead every step almost sent me to my knees in gratitude. I felt full and free and thankful and beloved by I didn’t even know who!

All I can think is that everyone should know what that feels like….everyone should know the gift of storm…a LoveStorm!!!

Sometimes the meanest girl of all is the one in the mirror…

Brave Girls Club - Everything changed the day she learned that she was just as valuable as everyone else. Dear Worthy Girl,

It’s no secret that there have always been mean girls, and mean girls often grow up to become mean women.

But sometimes the meanest girl of all is the one in the mirror.

Often we say demeaning and cruel things to ourselves that we would never dream of saying to or about someone else.

Today it is time for you to be kind. To yourself. You are the only one who knows the parts of you that need kindness the most, and for this reason, only you can provide this kind of deep kindness that you so need.

So today, please just try to be kind to the weak parts of yourself. Be kind to your addictions and your frailties, your mistakes and all of your human parts. Rather than treating these parts of yourself with hatred and disgust, please just take hands with these parts and say, “I am with you, we will make it through this.”

There are these kinds of parts to ALL of us. These parts are lonely, scared and act out in ways that make us sometimes feel ashamed. BUT, they ARE parts of us.

Just try, sweetest girl — just try. BE KIND to ALL of you. Let her know that it’s gonna be okay, that you are going to stay with her and love her no matter what as she works through all of this.

It will be worth it.

You are so deeply loved.
xoxo

(…pass it on…)
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Stay with it, Brave Girl…your courage does not go unnoticed

Dear Sometimes Tired Girl,

It’s interesting how the last leg of a journey is often the most difficult, especially when we don’t even know how close we are to the finish line.

Very often, the biggest most incredible breakthroughs happen during this last leg, and so often people quit JUST before it’s over…just before the luck would have turned…just before everything would have started to make sense…just when the difficult stuff beings to turn to beautiful stuff.Brave Girls Club - You will get through this

Stay with it, Brave Girl. You are courageous, strong and beautiful. People are watching…your courage does not go unnoticed. You are touching lives as you are becoming a woman of character and strength and depth.

…and quite possibly your next finish line is just around the bend.

So proud to know you.

You are loved loved loved.

xoxo

(…pass it on…)

 

Happy news! Melody is panelist at TEDxBoise event tonight!

We have some happy news to share with you!!!!! GUESS WHO will be on the stage at the TEDxBoise event tonight??? We’re headed down there right now to support Melody and take lots of photos to share with all of you! We’re so excited and proud of her!! Here’s her profile from the event website:

Brave Girls Club - Melody Ross - TedXBoise Panelist - Profile Picture

TEDxBoise Women Panelist Profile:

Melody Ross is the cofounder of Brave Girls Club, a global women’s organization that helps women create tools to help themselves and to help each other. She teaches her curriculum in online courses and also hosts women’s retreats at her Idaho ranch. Melody is also a longtime artist, author and product designer, building one of the most collected and sought after brands in the design industry. Melody has authored and published nearly 20 books over her career, including her newest book published by Andrew’s McMeel which launched this Spring. Melody and her husband Marq of 25 years are both Idaho natives. They have 5 children and 2 grandchildren. They love everything about living and doing business in Idaho.

Melody will be on the live panel of speakers this Thursday in the Boise State University Student Union. For event details followhttps://www.facebook.com/events/941253522565037/

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We are loading up the cars and heading down to the TEDx event!!! More photos to follow!

xoxo

kathy (very proud sister)

There is great happiness and peace on the other side of brave work….

“A sometimes very confusing paradox in life is that sometimes we cannot truly be happy until we work through the things that are making us feel so sad or angry. Stuffing away our feelings often means that the way to happiness is stuffed away too.

Brave Girls Club - CHOOSE HAPPY, online class for Soul School

Sometimes we need to just stop and grieve, or stop and let ourselves feel angry. Sometimes we need to have a day to cry…or a week or a few weeks. Sadness and happiness are good friends and they work together to make our lives full and good and whole. They are both important.

We need to listen to our feelings and ask them what they have to say. Often our sadness is simply a wise messenger letting us know that there is something in our lives that needs to be addressed…and that when we take the steps to address it, there is great happiness and peace on the other side of that brave work.” — Melody Ross, May 2015 Soul School Course: “Choose Happy”

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Our May online class for Soul School (“Choose Happy”) is underway! You can still join us…find out all about it at http://my.bravegirlsclub.com/soul-school-registration

Melody is featured in FREE “Happiness After Loss” Summit…register now!

Perhaps you’ve had a loss that’s left you wondering if you’ll ever feel happy again.  You know there’s supposed to be more to life – more joy, more fun, more fulfilment – but you just don’t know how to create that. You’re so over getting over it.

Our friend Lois McCullough from New Zealand, has put together this wonderful online summit for people who want to reboot their lives after experiencing a loss. She’s gathered together 21 experts from all over the world to talk about finding happiness…and she’s sharing her interviews with these thought leaders with you, for free.

It’s the Happiness After Loss Summit, and Melody is delighted to be one of those experts!

Brave Girls Club - Melody Ross interviewed for Happiness After Loss Summit

Melody’s interview will be featured on MAY 23
Register FREE Here

” When Lois invited me to take part in the Happiness After Loss Summit, I was honored and excited. This is such an important subject and one that’s close to my heart – how we can heal, how we can be truly happy and healthy, and live the fulfilled lives we’re all entitled to.” – melody

The experts Lois has brought together are speaking on a huge range of issues that will inspire and move you. Just some of the things they’ll be discussing include:

  • Recovering from a broken relationship
  • How to be happy after a bitter divorce
  • Helping children cope with trauma
  • Dealing with loss and stress after 9/11
  • Eating and exercise to support body and mind
  • Maintaining a healthy and happy sex life in times of stress
  • Owning and honoring your feelings
  • Being in control of your finances
  • Rediscovering yourself in changed situations
  • dAnd there’s lots, lots more.

You won’t want to miss their stories. Click here to reserve your seat!

For Lois, this summit is personal. She has experienced significant losses in her own life but she didn’t let these events drag her down. How she coped amazed her friends and family but she always says, “If I can get through this, so can you.” That’s why she’s so passionate about this Happiness After Loss Summit. She’s walked the walk, and has carefully selected this top team to guide you to rediscovering your happiness & sense of self.

The summit is only days away – make sure you register now so you don’t miss any of the speakers. Here’s the link

Do join Melody, Lois, and the other experts on this important journey. I promise you’ll be inspired and supported as you find the joy and happiness you truly deserve. And remember this life-changing, transformational event is free! http://loismccullough.com/MelodyRoss

 

With love to every Brave Girl out there…

xo

kathy (and melody)

P.S. Each interview link will only be available for 72 hours after it’s released. Register before May 15 so you get to listen to every speaker from the start! Here’s the link

P.P.S. Do forward this email to friends and family –  everyone is sure to learn something.

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I made some art for you….step by step….so honored to be a part of THE DOCUMENTED LIFE PROJECT!

colored lovers

So….I worked on this art journal spread this week, it was so very very fun…and let me tell you why I have put a step by step tutorial about how I did it…. (and if you are coming over here from the Art to the 5th blog…WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME!!!)lorraine and us

This is a picture of Kathy and I with one of our dear soul sisters…Lorraine Bell………we met Lorraine wayyyyyy back when we first started Brave Girls Club…she came to one of our first camps and became a friend and sister for life (just like everyone does!!!) …..Lorraine came by herself, and then later brought her dear friends,  Sandi Keene, Rae Missigman and Barbara Moore. I bet all of these gals sound familiar!! They all teamed up with their dear friend and incredibly talented artist, Roben-Marie Smith to start ART TO THE 5th….and let me tell you, my friends….this is something that you need to check out!!!

www.arttothe5th.com

www.art5academy.com 

They asked me to be a part of their wonderful and very popular Documented Life Project 2015 as a featured artist!! So, my prompt is “The Fabric of Your Life” and I am challenged to work with TOUCHY FEELY fabric in my art journal. This is perfect for me because I use fabric as a texture all the time!! CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CHALLENGE

and here’s my project!!

colored TWO page spread

I have been working in an old LIFE Magazine annual…it’s a perfect art journal with thick pages and lots of amazing photos…I just use them as a starting point for my journal layouts…..here’s how the page started…

1 the book BEFORE

and I gathered some fabrics from my life! I always save old clothes that I love but I am done wearing…and I search out clothing at thrift stores, etc that have beautiful trims or lots of texture and embroidery…..here are a few of the things I gathered…2 clothing fabric

Then I started painting the background with some turquoise paint. I thought I might save part of the words so I didn’t paint over that…..I just scraped the paint on with a drywall scraper….

3 scraping the paint on

I also dropped some alcohol ink for extra color & interest…

4 painting the pages

then I scraped on some white paint…

5 painting the pages

I LOVED the poses of the people……but I wanted it to look more hand drawn…so I just wet my Stabilo pencil and started roughly sketching over the photo…

6 drawing over the photos

7 drawing over photos

and I decided why I loved the photos so much….because they are full of love…and they inspired me to love even more…and I love when LOVE inspires more love….so of course, I took my wet stabilo and wrote…LOVE…

8 writing the words

and I thought about how cool it is that those photos inspired me to feel love and to want to create more love and have more love….and so I added the words PRACTICE THE KIND OF LOVE THAT INSPIRES MORE LOVE…and then I thought…wow, that’s going to be my new mantra! :)

9 writing the rest of the words

and then I started adding the fabric :) When I put fabric in my journals or on my art….I soak it in collage medium…I am loving Collage Pauge but I also use Mod Podge and when I’m doing a piece for the wall, I use gel medium….but the important thing is that you soak the fabric so it sticks down and becomes part of the page….10 adding the lace

One of my favorite things to do is to dress my people in my journals and art! So I started crafting some sweet fashion out of the fabric…

11 adding skirt fabric

and again…had to really soak the fabric to paste it down…

12 adding more fabric

then I started adding trim…..the photo of her dress already had such fantastic trim that I just added to it…

13 adding lace trim

then I decided to put lace all over the word LOVE…

14 adding lace to the words

…and I LOVE how it turned out! So much beautiful texture!!!

15 lace on LOVE

yum!!

16 love lace closeup

 

I also added white pen to the outside of the letters!

17 practice love angle

then I just kept going with dressing the lovers….so fun!

18 texture on people

19 clothing closeup

20 people closeup

 

and I added a few flowers and stems…

21 people closeup angle

22 people closeup angled

then I took my Inktense blocks and colored some of the areas that I wanted to have more color. I LOVE these…they are like pastels, but when wet, they become permanent INK. Really awesome. They also have Inktense pencils…

with inktense

I just wet my paintbrush and painted the pigment where I wanted it…where I had colored it…

colored lovers

and voile! it is done!! I love how it turned out!! I hope you will try out using some fabric in your art….and that you will start saving old clothes and other fabrics from your life to put into your art stash! It’s so much fun!

colored TWO page spread

Hope you loved it!! And I hope that you will check out our monthly Soul School class, CHOOSE HAPPY! Premium subscribers get this BRAVE BOX full of beautiful treasures…this is a great month to try it out because you will receive the gift of a free signed book in your box this month only!!

soul school box

Along with SUCH wonderful treasures! Check it out in this blog post HERE ABOUT SOUL SCHOOL >>>> and make sure you check out Art to the 5th!!

I’m so honored to participate in this wonderful challenge!! Thanks for sharing this time with me!

Have a beautiful day!

xoxo

melody

Live big in your own skin and take charge…

Dear Steadfast Girl,

One of the most powerful thing we can do it is to stand in our very own skin and proclaim out loud (even if we are our only audience) what we will and will not allow…what we will and will not believe in…what we will and will not fight for, or fight about….what we will and will not accept as truth for our life or ourselves.

Sometimes we think things…but we never claim those things powerfully, or proclaim them. Sometimes we know something is not right…or we know something is very very right…..but we never stand in our own power and make it real.

Beautiful friend……try it. Try to stand up tall….get your big beautiful soul into your own skin…and say some things out loud that you believe….that you may have been afraid to say out loud before. You will find that it will be incredibly amazing to hear your own beautiful self say things with such power and conviction…and you will find that your actions will follow your proclamations….come on, just try it.

Brave Girls Club - DECIDE to live an extraordinary life!
You have the right, you have the choice…you even have the responsibility to live big in your own skin and to take charge of what you will and will not do..will and will not believe…will and will not allow…….let yourself hear it from your own mouth…..miracles will happen.

Come on…be brave.

You are so very very very loved.
xoxox