Saturday, January 28, 2012

You are here to...

Found this excerpt years ago in a magazine ad, not sure what magazine, think it was an advertisement in a sports magazine.  I don't really ever read sports magazines, but for some reason I was browsing through one and found this and instantly was drawn to it.  I still have it after all these years in my folder of inspirational words and pictures.  (I know it's proper etiquette to cite our sources, but like I said I got this probably over ten years ago and have no source attached to it at all.  So I'm not claiming it as my own, but I can't credit it, sorry.)  I hope you enjoy it.

You are not here to catch trains
and wear dress socks.
You are here to build things and teach things
and jump into lakes.
You are here to make things better for others,
better for yourself.
You are here to laugh, take naps,
and run around the basepaths.
You are here to live well.

(Instagram photo by me!)

I hope this message shares some inspiration for you as it does for me!  Thanks for visiting today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So Inspired

These past two years or so I've been amazed at the inspiration I've been blessed with from my new world of discovering other artists and bloggers who have published books or websites.  It constantly blows my mind the amount of beauty and positivity I have been lucky enough to have found at a low time in my life.  Let me give a little bit of background.

About two and a half years ago, I was out of work on disability trying to heal and get better so I could start chemotherapy for my kidneys (had lupus nephritis).  I couldn't start the chemo because I had consistent bronchitis and working in a middle school with germs wasn't helping, so my doctor thought it would be best to take some time off.  Well, at first I bawled.  Oh my God--this was serious.  If this chemo didn't work, I'd need dialysis.  If that didn't work, I'd need a kidney transplant.  Not to mention, I might lose my hair and who knows what else (I know in the grand scheme of things the hair loss is nothing).  I also was freaked out that people at work, my husband and my in-laws wouldn't understand why I couldn't work during this time.  I only was having chemo once a month.  Daily I had to tell myself I was doing what was best and was needed for me.

After I got over the initial freak-out, I actually felt so free.  So happy.  Which was so weird, because I was so sick.  That started to tell me something.  Maybe teaching wasn't where I was meant to be.  Maybe teaching added to my illness.  Well during that time, I found the book Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts.  You could say this is what started it all.  Yes, I've always wanted to paint, but this gave me the push I needed to jump in.  I read about her whispers and listening to them.  I knew I had whispers too.  Long silenced whispers.  But having all this time off gave me lots of time to start really hearing these whispers.  I found myself painting at 3 in the morning because my medicine gave me a hard time sleeping, but I was so excited, even though I would normally be so mad that I wasn't sleeping when I should have been.  It didn't matter because I knew I could take a nap later and I was also full of joy and hope.  As I spent months away from teaching I read more from other inspirational souls like Christine Mason Miller and Patti Digh to name a few.  Knowing my health was serious, I also started realizing that I needed to take my happiness into my own hands as well.  I started taking little steps by opening an etsy shop after e-mailing Kelly Rae Roberts and her suggesting as much.  I started applying to art shows.  I got accepted to some.  People told me that my work was joyful and happy.  I told them it made me feel joyful and happy creating it.  That was just the start.  Brave Girls came into my life as well.  In addition to creating, I started realizing that I was important and that my dreams mattered, no matter what.

I could probably write much more about my journey to where I am now, but I just wanted to share a few bits and pieces.  I want to just say thank you to those amazing women who gave me the courage to jump into a new chapter of my life.  Though I still have lupus, my kidneys are in remission.  Though my salary is much less as a library aide than a teacher, I'm so damn happy.  Thank you to all of you.  All of you who are inspiring and encouraging me everyday.  Not just the well-known artists and authors, but all of the women I've met on-line who are helping me fly as well as my friends Carrie and Jenny.  I'm so blessed.  Thank you thank you thank you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Vision Board for 2012

I had been collecting words and images for my vision board since after Christmas.  Full of steam, then I stopped.  I'm like that at times--so gung ho, then I lose that steam.  Not sure if it's fear or what, but following through and finishing things is sometimes hard for me.  I don't even like to finish a bottle of shampoo before I can move on to a newer, better, fuller one.  I'm working on it though!

Here it's mid-January and my vision board is complete. Well, sort of.  There are a few blank spaces I guess I feel like I should have filled up every white space, but didn't. I can always add more later, right? It's hanging on the closet door in my studio/home office where I can look at it everyday for inspiration.  I read somewhere that I should put a picture of myself in the center, looking happy, which I thought would be a great idea.  Me looking happy surrounded by uplifting words, dreams, goals and pictures.  My picture is from a night in November that I had some mini canvases displayed at ArtBar in Milwaukee.  Two of my best friends in the world went with me on this Friday night to celebrate.  Now it's not like this exhibit was a solo one at all; there were tons of other minis, but for some reason I felt on top of the world that night.  That's why I chose this picture--I can just see and feel my excitement from that night.

I found positive and inspiring words such as: guts, confidence, joy, peace, creative fun, feeling good, sparkle, etc.  You can see them so I won't rewrite them for you.  Also, those of you who know me are aware that I was really excited about Flora Bowley and her Bloom True workshop coming to Wisconsin, so I even printed a photo of her painting on the bottom left, in hopes that I would be able to paint with and learn from her this year.  Sure enough, a few days after I finished my vision board, I was able to get registered into her class.  Though I don't have a lot of pictures, the others I have depict water, the beach, people doing yoga and overall tropical locations.  This is where I feel most at peace and want to invite more of that into my life--more travel and more yoga and meditation.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my vision board for 2012.  Looking at it makes me feel excited for the upcoming year and the continuing journey I am on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inspired and Really Thinking...Hello Soul

I just got the lucky opportunity to start the new e-course called Hello Soul, Hello Business sponsored by Kelly Rae Roberts and Beth Nicholls.  I was actually given the opportunity by a generous person, but that's all I can share about it right now.  I'm a few days behind, so I'm a bit overloaded with so much thought-provoking information right now.  But I'm also so inspired.  I thought this new painting I just finished would go perfectly with talking about starting this new course.  It's titled, "It Starts with a Dream" and it's inspired by all that I've been going through since beginning my creative journey.  Dream, Believe, then Fly.

I was never the sort of girl to ever really think my dreams could come true.  Well, the past few years have been changing that belief.  I'm dreaming and I am seeing some of my dreams actually coming true.  

Thanks for stopping by today.   I'm wondering if you'd share any of your dreams.  Are you seeing them come true?  Even in little ways?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bloom True Here I Come!

I've admired Flora Bowley and her work for a while now.  Not even sure where and when I first discovered her amazing work, but I was mesmerized right from the start.  Her paintings are so free and so interesting with all their layers and almost hidden pictures throughout.  I was originally thrilled that she was coming out with her first book.  Yay!  I absolutely love colorful books from my favorite artists, like Kelly Rae Roberts and Christine Mason Miller and now I will have one from Flora Bowley too for at-home, anytime inspiration.

As far as her workshops go, it seemed like she was always teaching in some faraway place like Bali, Mexico or Australia.  Places I just can't get to right now due to finances.  I had almost given up on painting with her when an email from her said she was teaching an e-course.  I was super super thrilled and instantly registered and paid with paypal.  The minute after I did that I thought I'd just browse through her in-person workshops and even said to myself, "not Wisconsin."  As I scrolled down the list I saw Valley Ridge Art Studio in Muscoda, Wisconsin.  My heart skipped a beat I think.  I started shaking. What!!??  I quickly emailed her and asked if I could cancel the e-course because I would so rather paint with her in person.  Not even thinking I'd hear back from her.  Well, she replied within five minutes and took care of it.  The rest is history.  I don't want to go on about every single step of this journey of signing up for her workshop, but this Saturday, I registered and I am going to paint with and learn from Flora Bowley herself, in person.  My husband said he's never seen me so excited.  Believe me I was flying all morning after getting into the workshop.  I even went nuts cleaning our bedroom and bathroom because I was in such a great mood, full of energy.

(image courtesy of

Now I just have to wait nine months till this dream-come-true weekend finally gets here.  I can't wait!  You'll definitely hear more about it when it happens.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Welcome 2012! Commit is my WORD for the new year.

I've never been much good at keeping resolutions.  Not sure if they were just too ambitious or just not specific enough, but this year I've picked just one word to be my focus for 2012. Commit.  One little word that is full of so many things, however.  A sweet friend helped me with this and told me that I can have little "sub-words" to go along with my main word because there is soooooo much I want to DO in this new year and so often I want to...and start to...but don't follow-through.   Therefore, if I say that little word "commit" to myself when I start feeling a bit lazy or unfocused, hopefully I'll get something done.

Here are a few sub-words that I really want to commit to focusing on.  These are some categories I need to follow through in, DO what needs to get done to make positive changes:

Get in Financial Order
Create Create Create
Initiate more avenues for my ART
Healthy Living (focus on exercise, eating and meditation)

Also, I've been wanting to attend a "real" creative retreat, not just on-line.  Don't get me wrong, ecourses are great, amazing actually, but last year I made an intention to see Flora Bowley IF she ever comes close to home.  Well....she IS coming to Wisconsin!  Even though money is an issue with me only working part-time, I feel like I need to make this dream, this goal happen for me.  I need to commit to figuring out the steps to do this, even if it's tough right now, because it is so important to me.

I'm not going to go into all the things I plan to commit to listed above, but I'm keeping in my mind that when I start something I need to commit to it and follow through or it will be just another quickly vanished resolution.  If it means enough, I need to focus and come up with a plan to "get the job done" so maybe this year can be a bit different than all the other years gone by.  I'm also turning 40 in about a week, so for some reason, I feel like I just need to step things up a bit and take control of my life and my happiness.  Along with this happiness, I intend to work on finding more peace and plan to do that through meditating.  I've never felt quite at peace with myself and must focus on taking the time to find quiet and just sit on a regular basis.  I know it will make a huge difference in helping me focus and get things taken care of that I want to.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you are having the start to a great year yourself! Do you have an intention for the new year?  I'd love to hear about it--I am always inspired by fellow bloggers.

If you'd like some more inspiration, some friends of mine that I took Flying Lessons with are participating in sharing their "one word" for 2012 in a Fly Tribe blog hop.
Stop by and see what they've got planned.

Blog Hop - Our Word for the New Year

Tomorrow is a big day.  The day many of us are sharing our chosen word for the new year. Instead of making new year's resolutions, we've decided to pick just one word to be with us for the upcoming year.  Some fellow friends and bloggers of mine are in a blog hop together sharing what we want to focus on for 2012.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and get some inspiration from these great girls.

Fly Tribe Word Hop 2012

You'll read about lots of hopes and wishes for a new, maybe entirely different life each person is hoping for themselves.  It would be great to hear if you have any plans for something different, more inspiring this year.  Thanks for visiting.  
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