Editor's Note: Writer and illustrator Dani Katz is a frequent Z Living contributor who recently published a transformational coloring book, Yes, I Am — which we love. Nab a copy for yourself right here. This is her story of the making of the book.
It all started with a calendar. I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to make what I've dubbed the world’s raddest time-tracking system. I blame the Mayans, really, because their calendar ended in 2012, which is when mine launched. Maybe I was, like, cosmically destined to pick up where they left off…
First, the Divine Feminine.
First was the Tiny Goddesses calendar, complete with solstices, equinoxes, moon cycles, astrological signs, mercury’s retrogrades, as well as visionary birthdays, to say nothing of the hand-drawn goddesses spanning a diverse array of cultures and traditions, and serving as illustrated embodiments of the seasonal cycles and energies they represented.
It was awesome.
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Two years later, I made the I Am calendar, which featured a different I Am theme for each month, as well as illustrated prompts, practices, mantras and interactive exercises designed to support us in being our very best Selves ever (yet). It was really just an illustrated collection of inspirational/encouraging notes to myself – little reminders I really, truly use to stay focused, aligned, uplifted and on purpose. And, guess what? They totally work. Which is probably why the I Am calendar attracted a devoted following who took it upon themselves to start coloring the crap out of their calendars as a way to more deeply engage the content.
Coloring my I Am calendar continues to reveal a path! Amazing! Interacting with your intentions for this calendar has become a daily practice. Each day, a canvas within a template. Megacosm meets metacosm. Yes!
Justin Polgar, entrepreneur/I Am calendar enthusiast
It’s Not Just a Book; It’s a Daily Practice.
“Go read your calendar,” barked my friend, Rima, whenever wind, weather and unintegrated shadows rendered me cranky, despondent or morose.
It always proved to be brilliant advice, as – the more attention I put on the calendar – the more I realized that the content doubled as a nondenominational system of awakening that helped the user cultivate critical thinking, emotional intelligence and healthy self-esteem by way of a diverse array of tools and techniques that really, truly work to optimize human potential, and galvanize community.
And so it is that I took to daily reading, contemplating and coloring, and realized I had made something truly wonderful, and very (very) transformative.
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How Come I Am?
I am are the most powerful words in all the mystical traditions. Encoded in these words is the transformative power of the universe multiverse.
When it comes to stating our intentions, and aligning ourselves with what we want to emanate, receive, achieve, give, resonate, experience and share, those little words – I Am – are our quickest, and most effective manifestation shortcut. And so it is that I opted to cut to the chase, and put ‘em to good, great, wonderful use with my calendar, and now - its next iteration - Yes, I Am, the book.
How a Calendar Turned into a Book
The thing is, analog wall calendars are kind of a hard sell. Plus, most folks don’t ever flip back to re-engage the previous months’ content, even though the information is super valuable, and warrants multiple reads. Calendars aren’t really designed for that kind of engagement.
And so it is that I reformatted, added a bunch of new content, and (finally!) turned the whole thing into Yes, I Am – a transformational coloring book you kinda, sorta can’t live without.
Also by Dani Katz on Z Living: How To Really Practice Practical Mindfulness
Yes, I Am clocks in at a whopping 444-pages of hand-drawn, high-vibing, intentional awesomeness. It is divided into the same twelve I Am chapters that comprised the calendar, except now each page features only one drawing, instead of a bunch of ‘em. Some images take up a whole page, and others just a little bit, which means there’s more space to play and draw and customize as inspired.
While the text and images are G-rated and kid-friendly, the content is sprinkled with multi-layered bits of nuance and status quo subversion (as well as laugh-out-loud hilarity), rendering it a favorite among even the most heady and sophisticated of adults.
“This is a delicious, quirky and often profound book,” says spiritual teacher Jeff Carreira.
Yes, I Am is a timely and relevant offering, given the turmoil and the heartache America is currently navigating. And so it is that I encourage you to click this link, and nab a copy not just for yourself, but for everyone, because it really, truly is one of those gifts that spreads joy, levity, and giggle fits, while warming hearts, opening minds, and inspiring wonderfulness the world over.