Tag Archives: Personal Development

I’m A Fish Out Of Water

I’m a lot of things really—daughter, sister, lover, wife, mother and grandmother, all roles defined by my relationship to others.

I’ve held many jobs, in service and professional industries, paid and unpaid.

I am a writer. I manifested that for myself. I know it to be true, because I write something every day, because I have been published in many forms for more than 30 years now, because my first novel was published last year.

I’m also a dabbler in the arts. I long to manifest beauty from the tips of my fingers. This yearning existed before any notion of being a writer seized me. One day a week, I gather with others at the studio of a friend, where we draw and paint in companionship. I take real life and online classes, and watch endless instruction videos on Youtube. I have my own studio, and while I don’t make art every day, I’ve none-the-less made a lot of art.

I never call myself an artist. I think because so much of the art I create does not satisfy my eye. On the other hand, I believe that most of what I write (published or not) shines. My writing is often praised. I neglected to mention up top that I am also a praise junkie; I thrive on the words of others telling me I’ve done a good job.

But I’ve received praise for my art, and sold pieces without that ever being the intent. Why then do I resist identifying as an artist?

This early face was painted with craft grade acrylic, eye makeup pencils and chalk. I didn’t even know what mixed media was then. I thought this painting was amateurish, like something out of a coloring book. Somebody bought it. Now several years into taking online classes and watching hundreds of instruction videos on Youtube, I’m struggling to find my own style while emulating techniques and stylistic features of other artists. When I look at this face that so effortlessly flowed from my mind, heart and hands I have to wonder if I haven’t suffocated it.

mary-queen-of-heaven-lowres

A mixed media collage—again before the countless hours of online instruction. Again, it sold quickly. Again, I was surprised by that.

too-soon-september

These little fishes were sent off to the 2013 ROCO 6×6 show (#2447) if you care to find it there). I was once again surprised when I found out that somebody forked over a small bit of cash to take my fishes home.

3 Fishies

I don’t remember when I finally started identifying as a writer. I don’t recall what self defined criteria for validation I finally met. I’m not even sure why I have a desire to believe I am an artist. What difference would it make?

Isn’t it enough that I enjoy the process?

 

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Happiness Is Wanting What You Have

Somebody said that. I don’t know who, or if they were important or well known. Whoever it was also added that happiness is not having what you want.

Fifteen years ago I was meandering around the interwebs looking for things. I wasn’t sure what things, but things that would fulfill me, fill me. I’d know when I found it.

I found SoulCollage®. I knew I wanted it, or rather, wanted to learn how to create the telling cards and use the system of self discovery that was going to bring positive change in my life and others I would teach.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the spare change to fly my ass out to the West Coast, the only place training was offered at the time, let alone to cover the fee for the weekend intensive. So, I did what I always do, read every word I could find and improvised.

Almost ten years later, SoulCollage® training made it’s way east, to Chicago. This time I scraped up the fee, enrolled in the training and pointed my little VW Bug toward the Windy City.

It was everything I expected, and less. Let me explain. I was not disappointed in the least by the substance and quality of the training, the experience of community that I found with those of like mind, or the unique location—a former Catholic campus, turned residence home for retired nuns and priests.

Are you kidding me? A gaggle of middle aged feminists dallying with tarot-like image cards to access our soul purpose? We may as well have hauled out the Ouiji board and pentagrams.

Turns out the nuns were not only curious, but very open to the concept. As I explained it to one of them over lunch she smiled and said to me, “Oh, you mean you’re trying to know your inner Christ.”

You say potAto, I say potAHto . . . we’re both still eating carbs.

So, back to the part about being less than I expected. It didn’t change my life in any revolutionary way (at least not then). Probably because like many things I want with all of my being when I see them, once in my possession there are new wants to pursue. Nature of the beast, or nurturing from a consumer driven environment pushing us to always acquire more in our doing, being and having? New flash!  There is never enough, we are never enough in that paradigm.Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 11.45.07 PM

So, as it turns out, I’ve made quite a collection of SoulCollage® cards, and a funny thing happened along the way, a subtle change in my wants. Sure, some of my cards  speak to me about consumption and abundance, and time running out, about wanting what my eyes see—like this one. Can’t you just hear her, saying it . . . “Oh, I want that!”

But so many others are about hidden magic, creativity, freedom from expectations and a sense of wonder at the unexpected. Like me, a recovering Catholic school girl pulling up to a nunnery and not running in the opposite direction; totally unexpected. Or so enjoying the three days spent there that I have wanted to return ever since!

It’s very first world, to be able to say I’m learning to want fewer material things from the physical realm. It means I am secure and my needs are met—there is no wolf at the door. It’s the epitome of privilege to say I’m learning to want what I have instead of having what I want.

It’s where I’m at and who I am right now. And it’s enough.

I am the MAD Goddess, and I’ve got the *magic* in me.

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Spring Fever

Flapping About

Flapping About

I have been chasing spring these past few weeks, trying to catch up to Mother Nature’s coming out party wherever she may be making her debut.  Spring has been an elusive Diva, managing to stay always a few steps ahead of me.

In my wandering, I felt fortunate to spend some time where I was able to take early morning walks around a tranquil pond. The little oasis was frequented by area wildlife, including a rather large flock of Canadian geese, a family of ducks, numerous turtles, and a graceful, white egret.  I have more photos than I care to count of the geese and the ducks.  There are quite a few of the turtles sunning themselves, tucked close together on a fallen tree trunk. I even have several of the egret, though it was a tad camera shy.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

One visitor to the pond was not as easy to capture – a Great Blue Heron.  I spotted him moving in the underbrush of the little island that sits in the center of the bowl, with about 50 yards of water between us. I moved along the curving rim of my shoreline, stepping slowly and as soundlessly as possible. He stepped cautiously in and out of the trees, always seeming to duck behind a broad trunk, moving out of the circle of my camera lense each time I thought I had a good shot. The best I got was this blurred image (he is holding a fish in his beak).

A few days ago, I left the lodgings on the edge of the little pond to set up camp a bit further south, still seeking the sunshine and warm weather I crave.  As soon as the stakes were pounded in and my lights were strung along the front of my traveling gypsy wagon I went for my customary lay-of-the-land walk.  There is always much to see when walking past the compact, wheeled homes of fellow travelers, each adorned (or not) to reflect the personalities of the occupants.

While I was gawking at colored lights, wind chimes, wind and sun catchers, and other yard ornaments including customary bird statuary (mostly, but not limited to, plastic flamingos) I came nearly beak to bellybutton with a very much living and breathing Great Blue Heron. After all the time spent stalking another that was clearly not ready for his close up, here was this bold bird standing right in front of me – and me without my camera!

Sometimes the things we chase seem stubbornly elusive, evading our best attempts to grasp and hold tight. I have traveled from the top of the country to it’s near bottom point in my pursuit of warm, spring weather and still it eludes me – a reminder that the law of attraction might be powerful but it does not override the laws of nature.

Laying the groundwork to achieve goals is all well and good. Still, we cannot forget that all things take time and sometimes we have to pause in our pursuit to let time unfold in its natural course. To everything there is a season.

But, like the Blue Heron who stepped to within my arm’s reach reminds me, we must always be prepared for the opportunity when it comes knocking on our door.

I’m off for my morning walk – this time with my camera.

If you are ready to start pursuing your purpose, passion and pizzazz in the second half
of life, join me,
the MAD Goddess, and your sister seekers in the Dark Moon Lodge
(password: darkmoon).
We are moving through the seasons of the year in a course of
personal development and life enrichment;
one step at a time using intentional
creativity in the Art of Self Expression© See you there!


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