Wednesday, December 23, 2015

calm and bright

Eek! So it has been a longer lapse than I had realized. Ahem. I blame it on the holidays and my tendency to find inspiration for the perfect gifts that I want to make in the dwindling days before the celebrations kick in. I thrive best with deadlines.

So in addition to my purported commitment to thriving in the holidays I should add to that generating and creating. Wow. I discovered the joys of repurposing sweaters into wonky hats, adding the most stylish of adornments, le pompom, to each. I stitched up eight hats in a handful of days (easily can whip out 3 of these babies in an afternoon session) alongside some homemade concoctions for the skin ... yummy sugar & coconut oil body scrubs with essential oils blend of citrus and mint. Festive AND smooth, that's what my feet say.

In this midst of all this crafting, I had my table easel set up (nothing like adding tubs of paints, piles of brushes, and mounds of paint rags to the festive home decorations) and I whipped out in three days two new Ganesha paintings for a holiday bazaar.  Yeah. My crazy. I don't thrive on this much pressure, but in an effort to walk my talk I donned my big girl panties and fired off an email to my friend who was hosting the bazaar. Putting my work out there is not business as usual for me, but another dear friend pointed out to me the lack of easy access to my work. "Where is the path to your paintings?" she asked and I had to admit, I don't help myself or my art by keeping things hidden away in my home. 

So I inquired whether there was room for my work in the show ... but here's where I back pedaled: I tossed into the mix a "if not now, perhaps in the future ... maybe something with Ganesha?" Of course the response was I would love some of your Ganeshas for the show!  Which meant I had to create some!

So it has been crazy around here but in a good way. The holiday bazaar was loads of fun and I made some wonderful connections, I have a few inquiries for pieces and I have more ideas for future ventures and ways to get my work in the world. It is never comfortable or easy promoting myself, but I am learning that no one will come in if I keep the door closed, locked and the front lights off.  And more importantly, I need to keep the pathway clear to that door so others can easily pop on by.

Now things are quiet ... I've begun my holiday baking ... presents are starting to appear under the tree ... the Husband and the Girl are amusing themselves in a game ... Moose Dog rests with visions of chew bones and liver treats dancing in his head ... after I finish my cup of chai I'm off to the living room and some knitting before the fire ... winding down and resting in this season of rest and renewal. Seeds dreaming in the dark is how one friend referred to this period of time and truly, it is a time to keep dreaming, keep an eye attuned to the light, the magic, the gifts and the hope of Light and Love.

And there will be more of this in the coming year ...

Happy Holidays to you and yours. xo

Monday, December 14, 2015

a quiet obsession ...

Sometimes in all the clutter and chaos (hello? are there no holiday wreaths available? Am I that behind?! And how much can I really knit/sew/bake/make in less than two weeks time? Things that could, but don't, keep me up at night. Not yet  ...) comes flashes of clarity ...

The above was painted two years ago and has been quietly working a spell upon me. For in the following year and a half, all of this has been slowly (and steadily) emerging ...

And while I continue to paint dogs (one pooch is currently in progress on my easel) look who has also been herding into my art ...

And I realize I am soo good at distracting myself, wandering off course while thinking I know my way ... and then there is this moment of realization ... that the way has been consistently presenting itself to me. My secret, unspoken desire has made itself clear to me, finally. It is time to give it my full attention.

Back to the easel for me ... painting on a deadline (amazing, I can actually call up and ask if my work is wanted for a show and wow! Yes happens!

What whispers are you ready to heed? What is asking to come into light or life? What steps can you take to show up for its birth?

Giddy up!  xo 

(in gratitude for friends who ask me "What would it look like to have a studio filled with your art?" and who remind me to allow my work the opportunity to stand in its own light. You know who you are and I love you for being such a brilliant mirror for me.)

Friday, December 4, 2015

wrestling ... with myself?

I've been building upon the theme thriving in the holiday season with daily reflections posted in Facebook and Instagram. It was a wild hair of an idea uttered out loud to a friend right before the Thanksgiving Holiday. "I'll start it on Black Friday!" I declared and having settled that, went on with my regular meandering/wandering/navel lint-picking ways.

Then Black Friday arrived. We had had freezing rain the night before and I was stuck at home. I couldn't even walk Moose, the sidewalks were that treacherous. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a smidgen but it was also cold and windy and I was not venturing forth.  I sat huddled before the fireplace, reading my really good book (Corrag by Susan Fletcher; part of the reading list for Reclaiming the Wise Woman) which had me far away from my present reality. I got up to get some tea when I remembered my intended practive-cum-project.

 Fuck it. That was my immediate reaction. I was right on the edge of releasing it when I realized a committed daily practice was exactly what I needed lest I slip into a mighty crevasse of seasonal ennui, fatigue, and/or overwhelm.  So I began that day at the end of the day, but I began none-the-less. (To see these posts, you can visit my InnerGlow page HERE and scroll backwards to view previous posts.)

I know I shouldn't be surprised, but I always am ... it is not so much the what of practice but the commitment to show up and participate at some level with the practice that reaps rewards beyond anything I could have predicted or envisioned.  

A couple of days ago, I was listening to a very inspiring talk where the speaker was sharing how she starts every day in a "meeting" with her spiritual CEO. In other words, starting out with mindfulness, reflection, and connection with what one holds vital or essential. She talked about writing down her the three things she wants to create that day, which is really just clarifying one's intentions or motivation for energy and actions.

There was this moment of "YES!" and then a crashing down as I looked around me to see the clutter of a day yet to really happen (in my mind) ... me still in my robe and slippers ... the clock ticking ... and an all-too-familiar feeling of "I've missed it again!" I know myself and I know If I reach noon and I have not immersed myself in my work (by which I mean that which excites, engages, challenges and expands me) then the window of opportunity has passed. For that day. I don't give up, but I know anything I embark upon in the afternoon will require a great deal more effort on my part both energetically and mentally. It just is. 

Still, I caught myself about to descend into some nasty self-talk ... you know, The Story about what I ought to have done and how miserable or useless a creature I really am ... 

"It seems I've lived as though there were two of me. Right where I stand is me as I am. Opposite me is another me, one I've never met. She is quite wonderful, charming, and accomplished. She sits longer, for instance, every day, and eats much less. She says and does nothing she regrets. She went to the exercise class I skipped; she didn't even glance at the dessert menu. She has all the potential I have misspent: youth, for instance, time, patience, and kindness. All the while that we have traveled side by side, she has taken a different road, one I've never seen. I am taunted by her perfection."

Thankfully, I remembered the above passage and I recognized I could simply Begin Right Now with my day, choosing what was possible for me in this moment. I looked outside and realized run would help me shift into clarity and alignment. I came home from my run (after seeing a Kestrel - Kestrel teaches speed and action of thoughts must be done with a balance mind and heart along with patience to act at the opportune time) and made myself a green smoothie even though that Perfect Me was screaming about the lack of fresh fruit in the house and the almond milk that was not-quite fresh (but still fine). And it tasted great and I felt great.

So each day I try my best and I honor that what I can do is what I can do. The only one looking over my shoulder, second guessing me is that mythic creature, the Perfect Me. And honestly, she is a tad boring, predictable and not very inspiring to be around. So I pat her on her tidy head and offer her a few oohs and ahs for her impossible schemes before returning to my real world clutter and chaos which always holds out so many interesting surprises, insights and opportunities. 

Just thriving where I grow ...