Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Heart Art.....

I used to wish that I could shake the part of myself that has anything to do with art and creativity....I honestly wanted to be the sort of normal person who could be happy working in an office somewhere. A steady paycheck, no crazy impulses to run out and buy strange vintage items, and the responsible sort of person who would NEVER choose to buy art supplies over paying a utility bill.


there are all those markers,

all those crayons...you know the ones, the big box with the built in sharpener that smells like heaven....

so many different kinds of paper....

WATERCOLORS (my newest love)






glue guns,

oh the list goes on....and on.....!

How could I have ever wanted to NOT be the sort of person who would sleep on a cardboard bed made of colored paper and be truly happy!
How could I have even thought that it would ever be okay to see the world from a purely black and white existence?

I would probably drown.

Knock Knock....

He who Guards our Home

The Neighbors....

When I was around 26 years old, I landed a fabulous job producing fashion shows out of New York. I used to fly around the country working with all sorts of amazing magazines and clients.... I thought I was in heaven! I envisioned my life as a magazine editor sitting in a big fancy schmancy office overlooking Michigan Avenue and being surrounded by the very best clothing and accessories that money could buy! Now at 41 I can't wait to walk out my back door each morning and look over to see what Jeremy the farmer is up to! Acres and acres of fresh produce, a hard-working family nurturing the land and oh the baby bunnies that are constantly out there playing. It's honestly a little piece of heaven, and yet, iIf you had told me that I could ever be this blissfully happy living next to a farm I would have never believed you.....Amazing how time changes us....or maybe it was there all along and I was just too young to know better! If the me of today met the me from 20 years ago, I honestly don't think they would recognize each other....and frankly, I kind of like the me I am today...so I think I'll keep her!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Choosing Happiness

It's a beautiful Monday morning....the sort of morning that always makes me happy and gets me excited about the week ahead. But this particular Monday morning has me thinking about conscious happiness. Do we to get to a happy place by choice? Are there some people that are just innately happy? IS there some great secret to it all? I read a fabulous quote last night that had something to do with making ourselves accessible to happiness. Am I accessible? I like to think so! I like to believe that if given the choice between being happy or being miserable, I would choose happiness. But I know that sometimes it's so much easier to get lazy and fall into the unhappy trap.
Admittedly, there are days when it's all not working and would just be EASIER to stay in bed. It would be EASIER to just hide under the covers for a while and wait for the storm to pass. It would be EASIER to blame PMS for my somber mood while scarfing down tubs of ice cream. But then there is the sunshine, and the fresh air.....there is the warm glow of possibility and the idea that if I do stay in bed I could be missing out on something fabulous! So...being the sort of girl that likes to assign myself little projects, I have decided that starting August 1st I am going to make every effort I can to CHOOSE to be happy. If the orders don't come as fast as I would like to them to, I will choose happiness. If my hair is not cooperating, the electric bill is unusually high, and the prices of gas go up, I will CHOOSE happiness. If I wake up to yet another group of friendly grey hairs that have decided to take up residence on my head, I will CHOOSE happienss. If hubby and I get into a tif about who needs to empty the dishwasher, I will CHOOSE happiness. It probably sounds a little odd to actually have made a decision to be happy...but honestly, sometimes I know I get caught up in my own head and tend to be a bit of a brooder....so for me, this assignment is BIG BIG BIG!!
I could choose un-happiness because most of the time that's the natural thing to do. I could get caught up in what is not working, what is not where I would like it to be and what is not happening in the time-frame I anticipated. OR.....I could see it all with fresh eyes....know that God knows what he is doing and be strong in my belief that things are just as they need to be. So, for August I choose happiness! I can almost certainly guarantee that this is not going to be as easy for me as it sounds, so you can bet that I will be posting updates. But in the meantime, I've given myself a few days to prepare for this new adventure to Happy Town. I'm packing nothing more than a shiny new journal, some watercolors and a whole lot of optimism! I hope I see you there!
Wishing you a cool-crisp-linen-sheet, a lazy breeze and breakfast in bed sort of day!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

When Mother Nature Sings.....

This is the very first Summer here at our Magical little home....and we are so blessed! The previous owners spent years and years creating wonderful and oh-so-abundant flower beds in the front and back of the house. It's taken hubby and I a lot of blood, sweat and tears to bring those gardens back to life and we have a long way to go. But the reward, the beautiful reward is the plethora of butterflies and Hummingbirds that have suddenly shown up to enjoy the flowers almost as much as we are. This little guy and a friend of his have been dropping by every day to pay us a visit and I finally managed to quietly sneak up behind him and catch this photo. I was afraid I would never be able to capture the beauty of this flying friend, but my goodness....I got it! I wonder if he will ever know that he is like a painting....a work of art with wings and I was fortunate enough to capture his awe-inspiring dance! For me, it doesn't get much better than this!

Patience and Hope

I woke up last week filled with anticipation. I had an interview scheduled with a potential client that I was genuinely looking forward to, an optimistic to-do list, and it was Monday....another opportunity for a week of endless possibility. But sometimes, no matter how optimistic we are, the Universe just seems to have other plans. My appointment never showed up, and the phone calls and emails I was expecting never happened, add to that a misunderstanding with a potential client and by the end of the day I was ready to push the pause button on the week and get back into bed for a month. Yes, it was one of those days. The sort of day where you feel like no matter what you do you are just running in place while wearing painful stilettoes.

Those are the days where if you are paying attention, and when you least expect it, the Universe will serve you up a life lesson on a glistening silver platter. My lesson came from a tiny little packet of seeds. About a week ago I decided that this year I was going to grow my own flowers and vegetables from scratch. I purchased a handful of various types of seeds, planted them all in those little eco-friendly cups and waited. Like a little girl on Christmas morning I have been bouncing down the stairs every day in anticipation of seeing some sort of indication that my little seeds were coming to life. Day after day, I was greeted by the same thing; dirt in a cup. I'm admittedly not the most patient girl in the world so after about four days of watering dirt and waiting for something to happen, all hope for my beautiful garden was essentially gone and my patience had officially run out. After all, I had done my part with the very best of intentions....I planted the seeds, talked to those little cups of dirt, given them plenty of water and light and in return they did nothing.

But then suddenly and without warning, on the fifth day, those little cups magically came to life. Where there was once only dirt and frustration just one day prior, was now an array of tiny little stems barely popping their little heads out above the soil. Hope was restored!! Hour after hour, those amazing little stems seemed to almost double in size and within about three days there were actually little tiny leaves. I am happy to tell you that today, almost every seed seems to have burst wide open and my little cup garden is now happily in its new home in our yard. We are mere days away from the beginnings of what will surely be a bounty of beans, tomatoes, peppers and herbs!

Being the sort of woman who believes that the Universe is always sending me little signs and messages, I looked at those seeds like a great life lesson. Here I was making all of these plans, doing the work, planting the "seeds" and no matter what I did, it felt like nothing was happening. Things were not progressing as quickly as I had hoped and my patience was wearing thin. But if I give up and just throw in the towel, how will I ever know what "could" have happened? How would I ever find out what those seeds might have become if I just stopped watering them?

There are days when it feels as though nothing is happening. The orders are not coming as fast you had hoped they would, people are not calling back, nobody is lining up to show their support for what you have worked so hard to create and life feels as though it is at a stand-still. Those are the days when you have to push yourself the hardest because in the blink of an eye it can all change. The fact of the matter is that although we create timelines and deadlines for ourselves sometimes the Universe is just running on a different schedule. That doesn't mean we give up and it certainly doesn't mean that something fabulous isn't on the way. It might just be that all those little seeds you have been planting are slowly working their way towards the surface, and just because you can't see them growing today, well tomorrow you just never know what can happen!

So, the moral of the story is simple.....plant your seeds with the best of intentions, water them daily, nurture them with care, and most importantly, stay patient and hopeful because one day when you least expect it, those little seeds are going to burst wide open and where there was once only dirt will magically be a bright and beautiful flower! Wishing you a day filled with patience and hope!

Breaking Patterns

It is a rainy Sunday morning here in Chi-town...which is probably a good thing because I have much I would like to do and if the sun were shining then this blog probably wouldn't have happened. But....the Universe is paying attention and the constant winks and nudges it has been sending me can no longer be ignored. So, today, I begin....again.
Begin what you ask? Well, another leg of life's tour....a new turn on the path.....one more do-over with the hope that this time I finally get it right.
I inherited a very special gene from my father....I like to call it the "self-sabotage" gene. It is the constant nagging voice in my head that stays quietly tucked away the first few weeks of a new endeavor and then like a jack-in-the-box that has finally been wound too tight, the voice pops up out of nowhere and stops me dead in my tracks. Every new art project, every shift in career choices, every hope that I will finally find my niche; halted.
I have been living like this for as long as I can remember. Trapped in my own head with what feels like permanent shackles chained to my ankles and preventing me from moving forward. This 'gift' my father gave me has been a great source of anguish and frustration in my house. I have this amazing husband who sees all these wonderful things in me. Each new idea I bring to him, each piece of art I create, or sentences I write, he applauds and I know he secretly hopes that THIS time I will finally follow through....that this time I will have the confidence to share it...to finish it.
In his heart though, he knows that it is only a matter of time before I come up with an excuse for why IT won't work. Whatever my "IT" of the month is, he can almost bet on the fact that I will find a way to sabotage it. Don't get me wrong, I really don't want to be this person. I don't want to be the sort of woman who takes two steps forward and three steps back my whole life. But frankly, that is exactly who I am.
I don't sit and wallow....if you didn't know me as well as hubby does, you would actually think I am quite functional. because on the outside, I am a good wife, a good step-mom, a good person...I am funny when I need to be, supportive unconditionally, and certainly not a sad soul to be around. But on the inside, where it matters the most, I have just been stuck for a very long time and I don't want to be stuck anymore.
I think I have spent a lot of my life trying to find my place. I search and search for people like me who are creative, yet terrified to share their creativity. Ithink to myself that if I ever found them, then we could form some sort of a club and hide out under the moonlight together...But all I can find is myriad of talented people who just put their "IT" out there and hope for the best. I want to be like them. I want to not be afraid of what people will think. I want to wake up every morning excited about what is to come instead of secretly finding ways to hide. But for as long as I can remember, hiding is what I do best. Hiding my art, hiding my words, hiding who I really am.
I don't feel like hiding anymore.
Inspiration Pie is the manifestation of the world I have been creating for myself in my own head. It is the whole menagerie of ideas, snap shots, projects, lightening bolts and anything else that comes to mind. It is me, finally stepping out from behind the curtain and letting a little sunlight hit my face. Maybe today Inspiration Pie will be about a painting....and tomorrow it will be the rings I created.....perhaps by Wednesday it will be a whole new project. I never know what is lurking in this constantly spinning mind of mine. I only know that all this time I have been pushing away any chance I have for authentic happiness because I find ways to rip it away from myself. I have always had so much that I want to share with the world, and yet, I silence myself constantly. I don't want to sit in silence anymore. I want to climb to the top of a mountain and give myself permission to be heard. So, I created Inspiration Pie...again...and my hope is this time I will find the courage to silence the voices of self-sabotage and make "IT" all work.
There is so much to enjoy. So much to celebrate, and be inspired by....and I notice all of it, I drink it in like a cold glass of lemonade on the hottest day...and then I neatly fold it up, tuck it into a box and hide it...I find reasons not to share it, not to embrace it. But today, at least in this moment, I can't stand the thought of keeping all of this creativity and thought bound up in my own brain for another second. I feel the sand plinking through life's hourglass one little fleck at a time and I just can't imagine choosing, actually choosing to waste another minute.
Here's hoping beyond hope that this time I will allow myself to slice off my own piece of life's inspiration pie and finally take a really big bite out of it!