Die fear die!

Hello my galactic gladiators!  You look marvelous in your love armour!  Just sayin.

Tonight I wanted to share some things with you about my struggles with some fears.  You know, there are many different types of strength.  There is the physical strength that we as humans admire.  The stamina that we witness as athletes work through their pain in order to reach the finish line.  They are often rewarded with tangible things such as medals, trophies and even t-shirts when they finish a race. 

Then there is the strength of a soldier and that soldiers family.  ( I use soldier as a generic term here because this really applies to every branch of the military. )  The soldier has to overcome a fear that runs through their veins like electricity when they are in battle.  The family back home has to overcome this same sort of electrified fear every time they hear of a battle close to where their loved one is stationed.  There are thousands of people doing this on a daily basis and very few of them ever see a medal.  That doesn’t make their service or their strength any less meaningful.  And to any of you who are military or family of military, I just want to say thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There is the strength we see when someone is dealing with a terminal illness.  Often the person with the disease handles things much better than those around them.  These people look death right in the face and find the courage to live their lives to the fullest while they can.  This was the case with my family when my sister was dying of cancer. 

Then there is the everyday person like me.  I don’t have a spouse in service who I worry about every night before I sleep.  I am not dealing with any major medical issues.  And yet, I have fears.  I have a fear that I won’t be accepted because of my size.  I have fears about my age, my art, my business and whether or not I’m the absolute best mommy I can be to my dog Maddison. 

Today was really hard for me.  I was really missing my sister today.  I mean really missing her.  I spent the better part of the day trying to stop crying and wondering why it was so strong today.  My sister has been gone since 2004.  Most of the time, I’m okay.  Most of the time I remember her fondly and tell her I love her and move on with my day.  Then there are days like today that feel like I can’t quite catch my breath. 

I realized today that there are certain aspects of my life that I’m unhappy with.  Mainly I’m unhappy with myself because I let my fears stop me from living my life to the fullest sometimes.  Well you know what?  I’m SICK of it.  I read recently that we are all just one decision away from changing our lives.  Today I made a decision.  I’m not going to live in fear anymore.  I know I will still have fears but I refuse to let them stop me from living a full and happy life.  There  is a strength in allowing others to see your vulnerabilites.  This is why I’m sharing mine with you tonight. 

A friend who is on a forum I frequent said the other day, “I want memories, not regrets.”  That really hit home with me.  I love people.  I really do love them.  I try to live my life in such a way as to never intentionally hurt others.  Now it’s time for me to start giving myself that same love and respect.  I’ve decided that I’m pretty groovy and I deserve good things in life.  There will be no medals awared, but oh the rewards will be magnificent!

So if you are dealing with fears too then I invite you to join me in my new mantra.  Die fear die!  I have a passion for life and the courage to live it!  Blessings and love to you all.

Happy Days Are A Choice

Hello you gigabytes of perfection!  Tonight we are getting back on track with the blog posts and the J’s.  Hooray for the J!  🙂

It’s funny how this silly little project has turned into something very important to me.  I actually missed posting and creating my J’s each night.  I still owe you guys some more J’s but I decided to pick up where I left off and follow the dog and cat theme.  Tonight’s J is titled J118 Kitty J.  This is the yin to the yang of the greyhound J from last week. 

J118 Kitty J

 Tonight when I talked to my mom I told her how sorry I was that she was so uncomfortable and had to go through all of this therapy now.  She said to me, “Well we have to look at the bright side of things”.  I realized that she is exactly right.  We have to make the choice each day to be happy, joyous and free.  We have to make the choice each day to see the positive and the beautiful in life.  One thing that I’ve learned is that we will find what we are looking for.  So if we are looking for a happy day then we will find it.  If we are looking for the beauty and goodness in others, we will see that too.  It also works the other way.  Today I choose happy.  Today I choose joy.  Today I choose to see the beauty and value of those around me.  And today I choose to believe that nothing but wonderful awaits me tomorrow!  You are surrounded by love and loving people.  I hope you see each and every one of them tomorrow and I hope they see you.  I’m so grateful for you all.  Thank you for choosing to be in my life and visit my world often.  🙂

 

Greatness requires attention.

Hello you spiritual lightning bugs!  Tonight I want to share some things with you that have been on my mind lately.  As many of you know, I’ve been doing a good bit of work not only on my art, but also on myself.  I’ve been studying and reading and trying to practice what I preach.  The last part isn’t really that hard most of the time for me.  I mean I love people automatically so it’s rarely a challenge for me.  Once in a blue moon someone comes along who challenges me in this area though.  Today was one of those days.

As I walked into the drug store to buy some dish soap, there was a woman sitting on the sidewalk.  I noticed she was surrounded by stuffed animals and other dirty toys.  It was obvious that she was on some kind of drug or she was mentally ill.  As I approached the door she went into a rant about parking spaces and cigarettes and birds stealing her butts.  I smiled and walked inside.  As I was checking out she entered the store.  She was very loud in her expression of disdain at the world.  She also reaked.  I had to gather all of my composure as she stood next to me and spoke in gibberish for several minutes.  I spoke to her and asked her if she needed anything.  She simply responded with “The birds keep stealing my butts!”  She then went outside and began walking along the grass median between the store and the street.  I noticed as I got into my car that I was struggling with my feelings.  On the one hand, I felt very sorry for her.  On the other hand, I wanted somebody to do something with her.  Take her somewhere where she could get some help.  But who?  Where?  

As I pulled out of my parking spot I looked over at her things that she had lined up by the wall of the store.   I put on my brakes and looked closer.  She had two of everything.  The things that stood out to me were the two little plastic dolls high heel shoes and then the two grape purple monkeys.  There was a method to this womans madness.  Whatever else was going on inside her mind, she was able to line up two of everything that she owned.  Just before pulling off I heard her say to this bird, “You keep singing.  Greatness requires attention.”   Then she was off on another gibberish rant.

As I drove home, I thought about this.  Greatness DOES require attention.  This is true for art, cooking, writing, sports, computer games and even love.  I read a quote recently that said, “We spend so much time looking for the perfect lover, when we should be creating the perfect love.”   This is what I am trying to create in my life and the lives of others.  I believe the perfect love is the love that we are able to give to others without expectation of reciprocation.  That’s the hard part sometimes.  It’s also the most rewarding when we are able to pull it off.  I am finding that the more I practice it, the more attention I pay to it, the easier it becomes.  It’s very satisfying and always leaves me wanting more.  And sometimes, my reminders come from the most unlikely places.

Today I checked my P.O. box and my friend Gaby had sent me a huge bag of stamps from all over the world.  THANK YOU GABY!  *HUGS*  She put a note in with them that said, “Go nuts!”  That made me giggle.  I have so many ideas in my head for how I want to use these.  And of course I had to create a J out of them.  This J simply flowed out of me tonight.  It was easy and natural and it made me smile because I had already decided what I was going to blog about tonight when I found the LOVE stamp.  That synched it.  Tonight’s J is titled “J116 Journey of Love Stamp J”.  I just love the way it turned out. 

J116 Journey of Love Stamp J

 I hope you like this piece.  I feel very connected to it.  I would love to hear any of your stories about how you’ve either been loved or been able to love someone unexpectedly.  Feel free to share here.  I really enjoy the dialogue and I learn so much from you all.  Thank you again for being the loving beings that you are.  Thank you for sending out positive energy into the universe.  I feel it.  I need it and I love it!

Beauty in delicate things.

Hello my little fluffy poof. How is your gorgeous self today? I hope your day has been most wonderful. Tonight I want to talk about the beauty in delicate things.

For many years when I created art, I discounted anything having to do with a medium that wasn’t going to stand the test of time. In other words, if I didn’t feel like it was going to last for decades, I didn’t want to create it. I was very proud of this fact. In fact, I was so proud that I bordered on snobbery.

This changed for me recently when I began to notice how drawn I am to beautiful little paper cards, altered art boxes and bottles. Now these things may not last for decades but they most certainly bring pure joy and happiness while they are here.

In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we want to bring happiness and joy to others? Don’t we want them to see our value and our worth? Don’t we just want to be who we really are and have people love us and accept us for this? I know this is true for me.  I’ll tell you another truism about me.  I want to let the delicate soft side of myself take over more and more.  I spent a lot of time in my younger days being tough.  I felt I had to do this because of some circumstances in my life.  What I have come to realize over the years is that who I really am is who I really want to be.  And who I really am is who I want to show the world. 

This can be scarey at times because when we take a risk and reveal ourselves to others, there is always the chance of rejection or judgement.  The most important lesson that I have learned in this regard is that just because someone is unable to love me or accept me does not mean I am unlovable and can’t be accepted.  It just means that particular person has chosen to deprive themselves of the joy of knowing me.  It’s a shame really because I love to love people.  I love to encourage others and remind them of their beauty and value.  I’ve had to accept the fact that some people aren’t ready for that.  Some people are more scared than I used to be.  I’m patient and I believe they will gain courage as they grow. 

J110 Delicate Beauty J

Tonight’s J is titled J110 Delicate Beauty J.  This J is created on thick watercolor paper.  I basecoated the background with a combination of white, taupe and cream paint.  Then I painted a bunch of little paper flowers.  They started out solid white.  I almost left them in their natural state but I wanted just a dash of color.  Finally I finished it off with two strips of a delicate peach satin ribbon.  I love the way it turned out.  It’s soft and feminine and delicate in it’s beauty.  I think it’s going to look beautiful in a white frame or a shadow box.

Rest well tonight. Dream a beautiful dream. Remember that you possess delicate beauty that is remarkably attractive. Find someone you feel safe with and show them. Then take a risk and show someone you don’t even know. You will find strengh and joy in this. I promise! 🙂 Thank you for bringing your exceptionally beautiful self to visit me. You make me smile.

When life is demanding.

Hello dream catchers!  I hope your weekend has been wonderful.  I have had an excellent weekend, albeit a bit demanding.  Mostly it’s been other people who have been demanding but I must confess that the wonder dog has been a contributor too.  You see, the wonder dog is a rescue.  When she was a puppy she was very very sick for a very long time.  Due to her health issues, I couldn’t have her spayed as a puppy.  Now she is three years old and I still haven’t gotten her spayed because of issues in my life.  Mainly financial ones.  She never goes outside off lead because I live in an apt. and not a house with a back yard.  Well, she is in heat right now and she is miserable.  She is so miserable that she has decided that she is going to let me know just how miserable she is by staring and trilling at me.  I have proof that she is doing this. 

Demanding Wonder Dog

I know she is miserable.  I know none of us females enjoy the female issues, but honestly, can you see the face?  She’s like, I’m miserable so I just want you to know it.  LOL  I love her.  She sounds like those tribbles on that episode of Star Trek. 

Because my time has been crunched today I had to settle for a little illustration J tonight.  It is titled “J93 Lavender & Tulips J”

J93 Lavender and tulips J

It’s a little 3 X 3 inch art squared piece.  Speaking of tiny art, here are a couple of the little inchies I’m including in G’s box.  They are so much fun to do but challenging because you are so limited in the space you have to create on.  I’m thinking of plucking some of my hair to use as brushes and try a detailed piece.  These two are one inch squares.  

I want to give you an encouraging word tonight.  If you are feeling that life or people or a job or whatever is being demanding on you, remember that you are stronger than you think and you can handle more than you realize.  Step back and take a deep breath.  Assess the situation and if you can, step away from it for a while.  We forget to find our balance sometimes.  If you can’t, remind yourself that it’s only temporary.  You are so loved and you bring so much wonderment to the world.  Never forget your value.  I won’t!   

Inchies

Don’t be a catfish. You can be a flashy fish.

Hello my fabulous life stream swimmers!  It was a glorious day here today!  The weather was beautiful and there was a nice breeze all day.  I took a long drive today and it was so good for my soul.  There is just something so magical about driving with the window down, letting the wind blow through your hair as the sun shines down on you. 

I also talked to my mentor today.  He has had a nickname for me for a while.  That nickname was “catfish”.  Now before my non-southern friends roll your eyes let me explain.  This wasn’t some “Dukes of Hazard” type deal.  He called me catfish because I was hiding from the world for so long.  You see catfish lie on the bottom of the river and they cover themselves with mud so as not to be noticed.  My mentor said that I was doing that with my art and with who I am as a person.  I’ve been working on changing that for a while and today I took another step into the light.  I have to tell you, it felt wonderful.  Taking risks can be so scary but the rewards can be amazing.  I am happy to say that I’m no longer a catfish.  I’m now a flashy fish!  I’m in the stream swimming and finding my own path and I have to say the water is great! 

If there is something that has you stuck in catfish mode, I highly recommend taking a risk and doing something you are afraid to do.  I read somewhere once that most of our fears are tissue paper thin and a single courageous step will carry us right through them.  It’s true and tummy butterflies are awesome! 

Tonight’s J is titled “J76 Flashy Fish”.  This is another art squared piece that is also an art by the inch work.  This little fish is only 2 inches by 2 inches big.  Isn’t she cute?  I’m totally in love with her. 

J76 Flashy Fish

So one of the risks I took today was sending an inquiry to a company about submitting my art.  I really hope that they find my work to be a good fit with them.  They are part of the positive press family so I know we have the same philosophies.  However, if I never hear from them I took the steps.  The important thing is I believe in me enough to try.  You all help me with that every single day.  I thank you and love you for it!  I kind of like the idea of a school of flashy fish!  Blessings, love and peace to you all.

Is your umbrella up?

Hello my super special hip cool peeps!  It’s been raining here since last night.  I love the rain.  I love sleeping when it’s raining.  I love painting while it rains.  I even love watching it rain when I’m in a cabin out in the woods.  There is just something magical and cleansing about it. 

I had a conversation today with one of my mentors.  He commented on how much growth and change he’s seen in me in the past few months.  He also commented on how my art is evolving and how he’s able to see new joy coming from my art.  This really made me smile because fun, laughter and joy is what I strive for in my whimsical art.  When I do fine painting I’m in a totally different mindset but in my J’s I am going for whimsy. 

This led to another discussion about going for our dreams and not letting anyone rain on them.  When negative people try to rain on your dreams open up that umbrella!  Sometimes it feels like we’re all alone in this world, but you know what?  It’s never true.  We are never alone, just lonely.  All we have to do is reach out to others and we are instantly delivered back into the world of human connection. 

Tonight’s J is titled “J67 Dreams J”.  This is an art squared piece.  It’s done with copic markers, india ink and a watercolor background.  I really had fun playing with the watercolor.  It’s fun to see the different effects I can accomplish with them.  I’m also totally in love with the copic markers.  I can’t wait to expand my color palette with these. 

J67 Dreams J

I hope you are chasing your dreams.  I hope you open that umbrella when you need to and let the sun shine on you the rest of the time.  I hope you will always remember how special you are and how much you mean to the people in your life.  I hope that you see your beautiful reflection in the puddles and shout out to the world, “I’m AWESOME!”  Because baby, you are!

Grow into your egg.

Hello all of you beautiful magnificent musical notes.  I heard your song today.  This has been the most interesting day.  This morning I had to make some phone calls that I was dreading, but I ate the frog and got it done.  In case you’ve never heard of the book “Eat That Frog” you can see a very short movie about it here.  http://www.eatthatfrogmovie.com/   I HIGHLY recommend it! 

After the phone calls I got busy with my day.  Mostly I was doing drudge work today but it was work that has to be done in order for me to maintain my sanity.  Then this evening I had to have a conversation with someone really important to me.  I had to tell them exactly what I need from them.  I was scared because I didn’t want to cry or appear weak.  Why do we worry about this so much?  Why are we so afraid to reveal our humanity to others? 

The good news is that I did it.  This person listened to me and responded in a very loving and positive way.  It ROCKED!  I walked away feeling stronger than I’ve ever felt and feeling so good about taking care of myself.  It occurred to me that I had to grow into this.  It has seemed like such a hard thing for such a long time, but tonight I was ready,  I had grown into my place.  What a great feeling this is.

Tonight when I was drawing out my J I knew I wanted to paint a bunny.  I’ve got Easter fever.  As I drew the little bunny I was thinking of putting a bunch of little eggs all around her.  Then I got the idea of having one huge egg behind her.  It seemed like the perfect fit tonight.  I mean we are all born small and we have to grow into our lives or our eggs.  Are you still feeling scared or nervous about something?  It’s okay.  You’ll grow into it.  You’ll wake up one day and you’ll just know that it’s time.  And on that day, you’ll grow into your own egg.  Then you can paint it anyway you want!  WOO HOO!!

J66 Grow into your own egg J

 After you get that egg painted another one will come along for you to grow into.  Isn’t the universe cool?  Thank you for all that you add to this world.  Your music, your smile, your heart and your colors are beautiful.  I’m so grateful for all of you.

That magnificence of loneliness

Hello luminous creatures of love!  Tonight’s post is going to be a bit different.  Tonight I am sharing a poem I wrote.

The Magnificence of Loneliness  

You wrapped your long arm around me, and whispered in my ear.

Oh you newly single woman, you have so much to fear.

You are alone. Just look around. No one to call you dear.

No one to snuggle up with, not even a daily hug.

Only chocolate, sad music or strong drink from the jug.

But I can offer you depression, desolation and despair.

You’ll love it really, just think of it, you won’t even have to fix your hair.

We can commiserate on the sofa, I’ll allow you to cry all you need.

I feel your desperation and pain, and these things I’m happy to feed.

On the other side of the coin, I can offer you much education.

You will begin to see your worth, with just a bit of cooperation.

For though your heart aches at times, you will begin to see your merit.

You will aim high for your goals and reach them if you dare it.

You will see your spirit soar, your progress roll like thunder.

You’ll turn around and realize, you’ve made it out from under.

So let me just embrace you love, feel the softness of my caress.

Let the magnificence of loneliness, remind you that you are blessed.

————————————————————————————

Today I purchased some Copic Markers for myself.  I am completely HOOKED on these markers.  I will definitely be adding more to my stash.  Here are the four I bought today. 

Copic Markers

I also did some doodling for my art journal page.  I’ve filled an entire sketch page since taking this pic.  I’ll show you those soon.  I plan on journaling thursday since I will be off.

Journal Doodles

And tonight’s J is titled “J60 Zen Pastel J”.  And just a reminder, it’s only five days until the giveaway!  WOOO HOOO!  I’m totally excited! 

J60 Zen Pastel J

Oh how I longed for some blues and yellows tonight.  These will be the next in the stash along with the blender.  Thank you for looking.  I wish I could reach out and give you a big tight hug!  Thank you for being your most fabulous and magical self.  You are loved!

Lift them up in love.

Hello all of you fabulous smiling faces!  I want to thank those of you who took the time to email me or send me an IM about my post yesterday.  I wanted to address something that I didn’t go into much detail about yesterday.  That is, what I feel, is the best solution to those people who ignore or treat poorly those who are different.  This is a tough one because it takes a conscious decision.  That decision is to forgive them and lift them up in love. 

I know this sounds counterintuitive and sometimes it is.  But I believe with everything in me that this is the answer.  How does one open another’s eyes?  With patience and kindness and exposing ones own humanity and frailties.  The truth of the matter is that we all have fears, scars and warts we don’t want others to see.  The funny thing is, even as we grow in love to others, we may still guard our own scars.  We are so convinced that our particular brand of ugly is so much more pervasive than the average person.  How many of us are walking around feeling like nobody would love us if they really knew our secrets? 

The truth is, it is in acknowledging our weaknesses that we find our strength.  And in finding our strengths, we are able to face the world in a whole different way.  We are able to walk into the sunshine without fear of the shadows behind us.  We are able to lift others up in love until they see who we really are.  It is then that they will recognize the fully capable, loving forces that humans really are.  If they look through you, lift them up in love until their eyes are opened enough to look at you.  When you catch their gaze, smile and let them see the love.  It’s the most amazing power in the universe.  Omnipotent it is. 

J33 Lift them up in love J

J33 Lift them up in love

Todays J is titled J33 Lift them up in love.  You can do this, but will you?  If you will do this, you will find unwavering joy in this exercise.  I can’t wait to hear some of your stories!  Peace, love and joy to you all.