Tag Archives: life lessons

Negative space

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I’m getting some much needed alone time.     With music (therapy) in the background, windows open, I am painting today off an easel, a piece I had designed many years ago.  I’m not painting it the same way, nor with the same paint.   Today’s version is more realistic, and the palette much brighter than that of before.    I attribute that to high pigment paint AND my own growth as a woman, as an artist.

So I’m not using the old reference photos for anything but placement.  Basically trying to keep my life simple, because I recall the agony I had when first sitting down to design this piece.  It initially had a couple of watering cans in it, and it was too busy.   Back when I analyzed the shit out of everything, I would sometimes “fill” my paintings to the brim, instead of breathing, detaching, and appreciating or recognizing the need for negative space.  MUCH like the alone time I am having today.  I don’t mean to infer that I’m negative, not in the least today, but my alone time is crucial and vital to my peace of mind, creativity, and general health.  Therefore, I’m comparing negative space in a painting to alone time in my life because it’s needed and I’m usually pleased with the end result.

Such is true of food, as well.  I’ve been off sugar since April.   The first week was HELL.  I had headaches, quick trips to the bathroom, dizziness, and generally feeling like all I wanted to do was pick up a pop and drink it.    Anything to quiet the toxins that were being excreted from my body.    A week later I started feeling better, and stronger, and now some 14 weeks later I’m feeling SO much better, dropped a few pounds, and my goal is to remain happy and kind to myself.   The inner critic that resides in the darker parts of my mind is silenced at this moment.   When I catch it coming to forefront of my mind, I do what I was taught to do while learning to meditate.    Acknowledge it, and then go back to focus.   It helps.  And I’ve learned that it really is the smaller things that help me, not the large and drastic changes the critic sometimes pushes me to believe I need.

Music is a huge source of happiness for me.   Today, as my playlists echo throughout my studio, I acknowledge where the song takes me, the people that were in my life at that time, situations, circumstances.   And then when the song is done, I do it all over again with the next song.    I have several playlists that I’ve made, one all about my life, songs that come from the most significant times of my life.  And I’m here to tell you, “significant” wasn’t necessarily  big events like marriage, but reaching understanding, un-complicating my life from worry, finding peace, acceptance of things that LARGELY contributed to the bright side of, and improved quality of my life.

I’ve no answers for others, this in itself is a valuable piece of information.  I can’t live my life or make decisions for someone else, just myself.   And some days I have all I can do to do this for myself.    So the point I’m trying to make is, ridding myself of the clutter, both mentally and physically, in all aspects of my life have gifted me with this day of feeling happy.   I’m much looser with my painting, I’m focusing on the moment, and in the moment, and enjoying all this “negative space”.

Hope yours is going well, too!

 

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It’s Friday!

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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!!!

Tall goings vs short comings

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The past week has been trying, challenging, and disappointing to me.   In reviewing this week I know why I have had the desire to build a cabin in the woods and live far away from others.  Safe from the harm of insincerity, of cruelty, of pain.

As a kid my mother used to tell me “If you have one true friend in the world, you have it all”.  Well, it took me almost 50 years to figure out that my mother did in fact know what she was talking about throughout my life, and that this statement of hers was beyond truthful.

I was never really close to a lot of people.   A high school sweetheart whom I’d rather swallow mosquitos than spend time with now.   As an adult I have happened along many wonderful people, many to which I call my friend.    What does being my friend mean to me?   Well, what does it mean to YOU?

Life is about growth.  This I believe.   If I have to be under foot or on the phone with someone every day, every week, every month, it will never work.  Why?  Because right or wrong, I keep a distance for myself, for my own sanity, for my own protection or self preservation.     I’m not unique in my experiences, I’ve been hurt, burned and bruised by others.    For me I would rather put my energy into my art, my talents than risk losing another piece of my heart.   Sadly, I do not want to be like this.   I don’t believe that is what God would want from me.  Every day I struggle with the choice to let others into my life, into my heart.

Today I was crushed when someone I thought was a friend slammed me into a corner, accusing me of something that I am not guilty of.   Wow!   At first I took it with my tail between my legs.  A few minutes later I was ticked off and hurt.   Anger is hard for me.  I am learning how to deal with it.  In past I have swallowed oodles of food or whatever other addiction I picked up or vacillated through.  None of them work anymore.  None of them fill the void of loneliness, of heart-break, of fear.    I believe it’s supposed to be this way.  Why?  So that I can once again climb into the cart of self improvement, or growth.  So that I can live, learn and laugh through the many trials and tribulations that life dishes out.    I have fought against black and white thinking my whole life.   Either something really was, or it really wasn’t.   Finding the grey areas have taken time, patience.  There is no quick fix to this.  This thinking, as destructive as it can be to myself, I am realizing is also destructive towards others.   We all have our shortcomings.  We all have our challenges, our struggles.

My life will go on.   I will heal from the hurt as I always have.   I will continue on the path that I’ve worked on the majority of my life – self improvement, growth.   I will learn from this, and with God’s help, I will not let this take me back a few steps unless it is to gain momentum to move forward.

Today is no different than the lessons of yesteryear, perhaps a bit of a refresher?   Today I will drop a few tears, say a few prayers and tomorrow, when I awake, hopefully I will feel better.  Life goes on.  Life always goes on even when you think it’s cruel, when you’ve experienced an enormous loss and still, the birds chirp.  How can that be?   This is life.  This is a lesson in life.  Some of us get it sooner than later.   Either way, it doesn’t change the lesson, but the intensity of it.

Yes, I’m angry.  I’m very angry.  My therapist would tell me this is good.   I am sitting with this anger, sitting with this disappointment.    Such is life.  Such is life.