Tag Archives: Giving

It’s Friday!

Standard

Happy Friday to you!    Hope you had a week filled with peace, clarity, joy, and faith!   You define what your faith is!   But it seems in this world right now, it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that things are “going to get better”.     Maybe they will, but yesterday I met someone who really lifted my battered disbelief.

First, this person offered to me, free of charge, her painting stash.  She and her husband are moving, and she just didn’t want to pack it.   The minute I walked into her house I knew I was privileged to meet this sweet woman.    As we sat on the floor in her once dining room, with piles of “things” being packed, given away, I felt like I had known her forever.

She shared with me how she had a special needs child, who lived to be 24, many years past what doctors had predicted.   Love exuded from her as she spoke of him, it was an incredibly beautiful, and tragic story.

My curiosity arose long before I showed up at her door.     How many people do you meet who are openly giving, and offering of their treasures, and stories?   Have had dealings lately with a greedy person, so this was extra special to me.

With incredible grace and fortitude she shared her stories and excitement about a new chapter in her life, and I knew right then, I have received much more from her than the bundles of paint, surfaces and books she so graciously gave me.

I needed this experience.  I really did.    I left her house with my car full, but my heart fuller.    I had just been privy on a special soul, a giving soul, a healthy, beautiful, kind and loving soul.    I thought how her husband obviously knew what he was doing when he married her!   She’s a golden nugget, so to speak in terms of treasures.   Such wisdom, such beauty, such kindness.   I walked away hoping I will never forget this beautiful experience.

Such beauty does exist, and I was fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of her generosity, both with many material items, but more importantly, her happy, peaceful, beautiful soul.

I hope you get to experience this, too.   It renewed my faith in mankind.  Yes, I said it, I’ve been feeling fairly discouraged of late.    She gave of herself with little effort and absolutely no airs about her.     I am very grateful for all!!!

Alas, direction

Standard

Tonight I am flying high.  No, not on sugar, though I do have it running in my veins, but because what seemed to be a very long, much anticipated and grueling time that I have been “in waiting” for direction has finally arrived.     And comically, or rather ironically, I really don’t know the logistics or to what is going to unveil itself to me, but I can tell you, when the spirit hit, a couple weeks ago, I forced myself to walk in faith.  To just keep doing what I believe I was “supposed” to do.

Like negative space in a drawing, painting, or room, waiting for direction is anything but comfortable (unless you are privy in past to “wait for it”).  But I’ve lived long enough to know in order to have peace we have to find comfort in the uncomfortable, and those things that come after the longest time, and that time feeling like purgatory (No, I’m not catholic, but my mother was raised in this religion, I also pay attention to those people that are the happiest, the most peaceful, serene, and I listen to what is beautiful in their life), so when a break comes, a ray of light, or hope really, it is so incredibly wonderful.

In youth I was quick to jump, to “find” whatever it was I thought I was supposed to experience.  Maturity has taught me, nothing worth having comes easy.  Nothing.  And if it looks too good to be true?  It probably is!

So tonight I have five paintings started.  A still life, floral (2), a rooster, and  for the life of me I can’t remember what the fifth one is.  All started this evening when I got home from a day that felt purposeful, important, helping others, others who weren’t practicing the kind of drama that belongs on a stage (or in a helium balloon that floats fastly and quickly away), but real life, illnesses, frustration, and just needing a fresh advocate come in and help.  It feels so good to me to help others.   My last therapist wrongfully suggested the reason why I help others is because I get “kudos”.  I looked straight at her, without hesitation and said “If you believe this to be true?  You have never given to another from the goodness or your heart, and RECEIVED the loving touch of God blessing you.  I feel it.  I don’t seek for permission, admiration, or for others to pump up a broken soul.  I am not broken, I am not in need of friends, and I am certainly not in need to be validated as worthy.  I learned from the age of 10 or so that to give is to receive.   It’s one of my most cherished gifts in life.  And to fully understand this, give without the other person, or recipients KNOW you are doing it, and tell nobody, not.a.soul!

Of course, as with anything, there are extremes, and there are takers out there that will rob your heart from the generosity that we’re meant to feel, to do, to be.   That’s where lives lessons kind of kick you in the teeth.   Oh how I know this place, and I have no desire to return there, but I will.   That old familiar feeling of caring or giving too much to another will shadow a day, or two, but I’ll jump back in and try it all over again.  Just not necessarily with the same person, but sometimes, YES, the same person.

So, I really need to get to bed, but I don’t want to put the brush down.  It’s flowing, and creativity is at my optimum.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful, place to be.  So grateful I struggled so long in purgatory!   Because even if I wake up tomorrow and the creativity has fizzled, tonight?  What I’m feeling tonight?  Was worth the wait.  Keep in mind, I don’t know what’s ahead of me, I don’t know ANY details, I was just given a direction.   It’s exciting that something I once thought was so insignificant can and does bring me so much joy!

 

May peace be with you, and may you bask in the glory of “knowing” which road or path to take.  Love to you!

In my youth

Standard

,

I’m painting (on canvas) for the first time in months, listening to a playlist on Spotify that depicts my life and times in words, songs.   “Rocky Mountain High” just played, which was, I believe, our 8th grade graduation song.   John Denver got me through MUCH in my youth.   The, what seemed insurmountable problems of youth, which seemed so very difficult, something like a blemish on my face, or my favorite Levi’s not clean for a date, etc.   I think about it sometimes, as I drive by the local high school and see these YOUNG KIDS and I question, “Was I really ever that young?”    And then, putting into proportion the immense deep feelings I had for a kid that I had hoped would last into adulthood.  I’m laughing now.  IF ONLY relationships were that easy!  ha!    But it’s nice to think about being so young, so innocent.  And certainly the woes of that time were real, and feelings are so deep because you’ve yet to experience life, to experience loss, to experience the pain of broken hearts or dreams.    I’m not meaning to sound cynical, not at all.   I guess I’m just saying, the innocence and naivety are covered with blankets of protection of our youth.

I’ve often written about music.  How important it is to my well being, to my mental health.  I simply don’t know how I could ever live without it.    In thinking about life’s necessities, and if I were given only one luxury, would I choose music over art?    I think I probably would!  And yet art is so important to me, ingrained in every aspect of my being.   I’m so fortunate that I have known passion for such.   I’m grateful for that.  I’m grateful for where my paint brush has taken me in life, and all the good it has brought me to.

Now, a song by Toni Child’s “I’ve got to go now”.   A song about a woman in love with an alcoholic, who tosses her and his children aside for the almighty bottle.   This song actually relates to the three major relationships I’ve had in my life.  All alcoholics.  The first, who physically beat me, the second who emotionally did, and the last, the one who gave me so much, and likewise, took so much of me when we parted.     “Must be addicted to all this pain, because I keep coming back for the shame.  Dear God give me the strength to leave, I’ve got to keep going, keep going this time”.   Powerful song, and an epitaph of my past relationships.    Listening to this song does not always make me sad.  Shat it does is get me in touch with the courage I have mustered in my life.  The starting over, the strength and fortitude that comes when you say goodbye to the one you love, because you know, if you stay, you will die before he.

Now, “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks.  I LOVE this song.  It’s been, what I call, my “recovery” song.  Questioning, seeing, surviving.  “Oh, mirror in the sky.  What is love?  Can the child within my heart rise above?  Can I sail through the changing ocean tide?  Can I handle the seasons of my life?”   I go to this song when I am questioning,  seeking strength, seeking guidance.  Doubt becomes certainty, becomes strength, endurance, and then even on top of that becomes the silver lining of it all.  “But time makes you bolder, and children get older, and I’m getting older too…”   Life, learning, lessons.   I’ve become the person I wanted to be, when it comes to morals, standards, strength.  And how did I do that?   Only after the landslide took me down.

Life these days is pretty straight forward.   I am working hard on myself, and my home.  I am focused, aligned, very content with my life.  Change is coming, I’m not afraid of it, nor am I afraid of how it will change me.    I’ve got a track record now.   All the difficulties have thickened my skin, but not my heart.  My heart is strong, my thoughts are clear, and damn, I just had pistachio ice cream!

Music?  A necessity for me.  I have an italian friend who says she couldn’t live without olive oil.  Me?  I couldn’t live without music.   What’s your necessity?

And now I’ll close as “Rhythm of my Heart” Rod Stewart, is playing.”The rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum, , with the words I love you rolling off my tongue, Never will I roam, for I know my place is home, where the ocean meets the sky I’ll be sailing!”  Have a great weekend!  Chase your desires, your dreams, or hell, just get yourself an ice cream, and sit and listen to your favorite tunes.    Love to you…

 

The artist that WILL, the artist that IS!

Standard

As I sat in the meeting today with a few hundred people listening to speakers who have and are sharing their success with this company, I thought about an interview that Bob Dylan did many moons ago with Morley Safer.     Always interested in his life, his thoughts, I remembered a line out of this interview that I’ve held close in thought.    He speaks of destiny.  Defines it as knowing something about yourself that others do not know.  The power to believe in yourself and the danger in sharing it, allowing others to squelch it.   He “knew” he was going to be a musician, a famous musician.

What do you see for yourself?  What did you dream about as a kid, as a young adult?  Do you still dare to dream?    Years of life kicking the crap out of me I had lost my dreams.   I’m not sure if I actually lost them, but I certainly buried them deep within the confines of my mind, locked, for safety.   It takes courage to dream.  It takes courage to love.  It takes courage to show up every day to life, to not only face the difficulties but also?   Also the good.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown author of “The power of Vulnerability” shared her beliefs about using vulnerability to transform our lives!   Vulnerability is at its highest with dreams, the things we love.   The fear of achieving, losing, the fear of allowing ourselves to succeed…  I got it.    I get it.  I agree!  Check her out..she rocks!

Last weekend I was scraping ground, feeling depleted, exhausted to all that I have done and have been through in my life.   With my head in my hands, tears falling onto my lap, I knew it was time for a change.  What’s the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over hoping for different results!    I am an artist.   I will always be an artist.   I can work in a nursery, or in a restaurant, this doesn’t take away who I am.  If anything, it teaches me, gives me lessons, knowledge to take with me on my journey, life’s journey.

I have worked for many years in a career that I loved.   I used my God given talents and was largely rewarded by teaching others to paint,   By painting a picture that came from my mind, through my heart, out my hand onto canvas.  Wow!   I remember the first time I was introduced to decorative painting I saw what was in front of me, what others were doing and I KNEW, I KNEW I could do this!  Well, I did!   I accomplished what it was I KNEW I could do and wanted to do.   This is about me, my own life, my own visions.   Although I do not measure success in dollars, I know what it’s like to have few, and the pressures and energy it takes to live life jumping from one bill to another.    I don’t want to live the rest of my life this way.  As a cancer survivor I’ve been blessed with another chance at life.   In some ways I think it would be beneficial to all to have a diagnosis of a potentially fatal disease…. why?  Because it gifts you, well I should say, it gifted me with perspective.   No, 20 years from now it’s not going to matter that my electricity was shut off, that my bank account was belly up.    What I truly believe is how we give to and help others.    I learned at a young age that to give without strings is to receive.  The feeling that encompasses your mind, body and soul is of peace, warmth, love.  There is no greater gift we can give another than ourselves, of our time.

I’ve lived a purposeful life teaching others to paint.   To help another person get in touch with their creativity, to see the looks on their face when they finish their painting with pride… well, it’s very powerful, rewarding.   I could be in the worst funk possible, go into a room and start teaching, by the end of the class I was whistling and singing.  Seriously!  Teaching has been an experience that I never want to lose, though the subject matter may change.

I have dusted off the cobwebs and busted out of confinement my dreams of past, and dared to dream for the future.  HOPE.   What more could you possibly give another than HOPE?   What are my dreams?  Well, there are materialistic desires, though I will always be careful to not live a materialistic life.  Hey, it would be great to have a car that runs, I hear they have seat warmers and fans now!  Who knew?   It would be great to have a house that I can open the windows to fresh air.   It would be great to not have the constant worry of how to survive, financially.   This has affected me physically and also spiritually.   I have not been at my best nor can I be at my best when my mind is preoccupied with such troubles.

So last week I did something that I only told one person.   I’m not sure it was a good idea (LOL) but this stood for hope, determination.   I dusted off the cobwebs and busted out of confinement, my dreams.   I care not to share them, for the very reason Bob Dylan shared in this interview, but I will share my favorite and most meaningful dream.  I would like to teach painting to cancer victims, to their families as they sit with their loved ones while going thru the long and scary road of treatment.   I would like to give forward, what was given to me when the disease knocked on my door – an ear, a hand, a hug.  Encouragement when I felt like I could go no further.   A smile, laughter through tears which is absolutely my favorite emotion.    I will one day soon, have the time and means to jump on and ride out this dream.   It’s funny, I was reading a decade old magazine in which I was interviewed.    I knew THEN, prior to my own journey through cancer, that this was what I wanted to do.   My own journey only reinforced this vision.    I CAN do this, and I WILL do this.

I have never seen anyone who only does for themselves truly happy.   How could you be?   Until we can grasp the gift of giving, I don’t think we can achieve longevity in happiness, peacefulness.   Selfish acts will pour out gold perhaps, but will that make us happy?  I believe in karma.  I believe that what we put out comes back ten fold.   I’ve been too bogged down with fear, uncertainty, discouragement to pick myself up and jump to a new track!   Sure, material things are nice.  I’m looking forward to driving my new Lexus, it IS going to happen, I’ve made the decision.   It’s about a decision, failure is not an option.  I will not stop until I accomplish what I want to accomplish, very much like what I did in the decorative painting industry.   I wanted to teach others, I have and do.  I wanted to have my artwork in magazines, I have.  I wanted my artwork on the cover of a magazine, I have.   I wanted a website.  I had one!  Decided it wasn’t worth the work!

So, how do I get there?  Where do I sign up?  How do I start?   It all begins with renewed if not the beginning of hope.  I have grabbed onto an opportunity that I KNOW will not only get me there, but have a LOT of fun doing so!   I’m meeting fun, positive, kind people.  I’m sharing seats with others who are realizing their visions, their dreams.   Next is to believe, to envision, to send it out to the Universe or whom or whatever you believe feeds, channels you.   Before I leave this earth, I will know what it feels like to teach cancer patients to paint, to find their creativity through the tubes, the uncertainties, the difficult and reach for and paint their way through the challenges of cancer.

I know this trek will be full of ups and downs.  So has my life been!  So I might as well go through those ups and downs with others who want me to succeed, who will and are helping me to get beyond the ghosts of yesterday and move onto today.  Powerful.  Powerful.  Powerful.

I am psyched, pumped and ready to roll.   I can do this, and if you so desire?  You CAN, too!    I, we can expose our hidden dreams, and come up with a few new.  It’s time!   What have you got to lose?   For me?  A few pounds, wrinkles, age spots AND the constant worry of survival.    Stay tuned!   ♥♥♥