Category Archives: life

Dreams and disappointment

Dreams and disappointment go hand in hand. Anyone who has tried to create something from “nothing,” from a perceived dream has experienced disappointment.

disappointment
dreams

Disappointment is a given if you step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

I have experienced a LOT of disappointment as I have worked on creating a viable online business.  On the bright side, I’m learning loads of helpful stuff along the way.

What does it take to succeed?  Only one thing really: keep on going…

The traits we need to develop are patience, persistence, resilience. 

If you live long enough you will develop more patience. (hopefully.)

There is a saying: persistence pays. Yes and no.  It depends on what you’re persistent about.

Sometimes in life you get to a point where you don’t want to do the same ole same ole. Something inside is pushing to be seen, to be created, by YOU.

Failure brings disappointment, and you will experience lots of failure, but if you keep going, you will have the persistence to see it through to the end.

Resilience rises from a deeper sense of failure, especially if other people pooh-pooh your ideas and dis your dream.

You have your own doubts and nay-sayer inside, but what’s worse is when others criticize your dream. Your best defence is to just accept their opinion as THAT, an opinion, nothing more. It doesn’t mean your dream is useless.

It’s hard to get over your inner doubts and the inner critic who is always willing to throw mud on your ideas, but again, it holds no truth.

Then again, there is the “wrong” dream. I’m on my third dream, and I thought the other two were my true dreams. Loads of disappointment, BUT, I learned a lot along the way, so no experience was wasted. It’s good to be flexible and there are many dreams, not just one.

If the shoe doesn’t fit, try another pair. 

What is the easiest? What flows from you with ease? What do you feel comfortable doing? What do you feel excited about teaching?

Try and form a message from your dream. Who do you want to teach or who would like your view of the world and learn from it?

It takes time to figure everything out and the path changes course all the time, but by developing the traits above, you can’t go wrong in the end. You will succeed! Be flexible.

As I said, I had two biz flops before, not to mention all the rejections I got as an aspiring writer. I got there in the end! Persistence truly pays….

Find forgiveness of self for any wrong steps and be gentle. Everything is a learning curve. If others complain it’s because they don’t follow their dream.

It takes courage to move forward.

Dreams are real. They are the stuff why we are here on earth–to create, to discover all the gifts.

It can be lonely as you’re the only one with the vision, but there are like-minded people who want to support you along the way.

You set your course, like the captain of a ship crossing the ocean. If you get off course, reset the compass.

Dream and move forward, greet the disappointment with a handshake of recognition and know that it’s your friend. It’s time to tweak the course across the ocean of creativity.

That last sentence was kind of corny, but oh well.

Here is another blog post on the theme of dreams. Why People Don’t Follow Their Dream.

xo

Maria

P.S. I have lots of new things in my etsy shop. Christmas will be here before you know it. EARTHANDFAERY.

 

Hurricane Irma and art

Hurricane Irma could have done a number on my studio, but everything was spared. Not to bore you with too many details, but when I had to pack up some valuables in plastic bins (just in case) I stood in my studio and looked around the walls at my paintings.

What is important as far as possessions go?

My art is an income stream for me, but as I stood there staring at the walls crammed with art I realized none of them mattered. There were ugly paintings and paintings I love, and I thought “so what?”

What if I lost everything?

With that kind of thought, the paintings did not seem that important. I can always paint more, right?

At one point I felt detachment about everything in the house except my cat. I packed him up in a carrier (to loud protests) and went to a shelter.

The night was nasty but we were snug inside the building. The morning after we came home to a mighty yard mess and a fallen tree, but that was it. Nothing was harmed.  I can’t tell you how grateful I felt.

Then started the Big Clean-up. Still going on in places. We now have huge walls of debris lining the street on both sides. I developed toned arms… The hardest part was being without power for four days. In the 90s outside during the day and sticky heat at night.

I truly appreciate electricity! 🙂

What did I learn from this experience?

  • Letting go. don’t sweat the small stuff….
  • Breathing through the stress, before and after
  • Patience
  • Nothing is worth fighting over
  • Being FLEXIBLE
  • Be nice to neighbors, they are the best!

All creatures in nature learn to be flexible and stay that way. We could learn from them and experience more freedom.

I wondered where the birds went. They were gone for a couple of days, and then they came back. I gauged that by the attendance at the bird feeder. All the squirrels survived.

I think staying flexible was my biggest take away from this experience.

I got completely out of my creative groove. It didn’t seem that important to create–until now.

We got lucky in the Tampa Bay area. I don’t know how the people in the Caribbean Islands stand going through hurricane season every year. Many heartfelt blessings to them!

I’m slowly finding my groove again. I have many creative ideas swirling through my mind.

I made some of my polymer clay boxes, which are available in my shop now: EARTH AND FAERY.

follow your heart

winged heartwinged heart

Follow your dream, come hell or high water! Life is short and it is a gift, so spend your time wisely.

xo

Maria

 

Your dream is real

Your dream is real, yet we do everything BUT listen to and acknowledge our dream.

Everyone has a longing for something. For me, it was art, making art in many forms. I have made a lot of art over the years, but there have been many detours along the way.

The problem is DOING, and major lack of listening.

To really get beyond all the conditioning we carry from as far back as our childhood, we have to stop everything and listen within.

The dream might be a small flicker of light or a great big monster trying to get your attention.

Our conditioning is based on doing, of accomplishing, of getting ahead, of making money, of being practical. Listen to the voice of reason.

Problem is, life becomes an uphill struggle, a chore, an anti-dream. We push through, we are super women or men, and we hate getting up in the morning (if we allow ourselves to think about it.) Maybe all doors to thinking and feeling are closed. Easier that way.

But it isn’t. If we don’t listen within, there comes a crisis where we’re faced with our blocks and short-comings. Then there is no way forward except for letting go and facing the uncomfortable voice of truth.

Why do we allow the crisis to happen? It’s the illusion of all is fine, “I’ve got this,” “I’m okay,” while quietly suffering inside or not acknowledging our feelings. Sticking the head in the sand is not the answer.

I have come to a cross-roads and I’m willing to look at it. It’s not the first time in my life that change has come knocking on my door.

There has been a time of major blah in my life lately. I go through the motions but the mojo isn’t there.

Well okay, I recognize the signs of change.

Instead of stubbornly pushing through, which is my most common way of performing, I have learned to drop it all and really look into the gaping maw of the unknown.

Either I can be excited or full of fear.

Why hang on to the old? It’s like having a favorite sweater you don’t want to let go of even if it’s full of holes and paint spatters.

I might not know what is next, but so far, life has worked out just fine, so why would I need to fear the future?

I’m not afraid but I don’t like change. It’s so much easier to stay in my comfort zone than to take a look at my inner far-from-perfect patterns. It can be outright disgusting. But I have to acknowledge the truth if I’m to free myself from conditioning.

Self love, self-compassion are important as we change. They help when we’re facing the “beast” that does NOT want to examine anything. It says, “I don’t want any inner growth.”

But do you want to stay in the stale sameness? I know I don’t, so I bite the bullet. Allowing the inner to come out is a new way of living.

Let’s live from the inside out! Facing the “beast” can become a healthy habit, just like exercising and eating right. I’d rather support my path to renewal than support the same ole, same ole.

Behind all of the stuff we carry, there is LIGHT and it’s always available. 🙂

Yet, listen up. Your dream wants to manifest in 3D so let’s make room for it.

I did have some fun. I made a how-to art journal video this week. Check it out.

mermaid

Have a great weekend! Let that creativity flow.

xo

Maria

Mortifying memories

Mortifying memories remain very vivid in my mind. Isn’t it funny how we remember the “bad” things more than the good?

It’s about 90 degrees here today and I’m sitting at my computer sweating. It brought me back to some memories of snow. Let me tell you a funny story.

I grew up in Sweden and it was plenty cold, dark, and snowy for maaany months of the year. Think same latitude as Alaska.

Skiing was something everyone did in the winter. Sometimes the snow glistened like diamonds with a soft layer over packed snow. Perfect skiing surface, and gorgeous to boot.

Around age of sixteen I got interested in slalom. I was never into taking classes at the time, but I went with a friend’s family to ski a mountain.

It started out with my dad buying mountain skis that were too long for effective use. The downhill boots hurt my ankles, but being young and strong, I endured.

The first time I went up a ski lift I fell off as I tried to get on it. My pants ripped in the ass and filled with snow. A totally mortifying experience as everyone watched. My memory is a bit hazy, but I think I fell off three times before I got the hang of it.

Not only did that happen but I had to spend the whole DAY with my undies showing through the rip and being cold from wet snow.

It took a long time to get down the mountain and I fell plenty, replenishing the snow in my pants. I realized I would have to learn how to slalom if I was ever going to enjoy the downhill experience. My ass was close to frost bite that evening. To my delight, I did get the hang of the ski lift…

Needless to say, it was a trip of mixed joys…

My folks didn’t have a lot of money, so classes were out of the question, but during dark winter evenings, after school, I used to hoist my skis on my shoulder and stagger down to the local slalom hill (converted sand pits.)

There I started low to the bottom and practiced my slalom skills. No one ever showed me how, but by watching others, I got some kind of hang of it and ventured up steeper hills.

Chicken as I was, I never dared to try the highest ones but I got courageous some evenings and went down the medium hills. It was a thrill.

The ski lift there was rough. You had to hang on to a handle and the handle pulled you up on a thick wire. You needed to have your skis aligned or you’d fall off and then you had to move sideways on skis up the hill, which was tedious beyond belief.

I almost killed myself there when my scarf got rolled into the wire and as I got to the winch at the top I had to quickly untie the scarf or get strangled and mangled. (Another mortifying memory.) The scarf came out at the other end no worse for wear…

The point of this story:

  • I stuck to the routine of learning slalom, almost every night, and I was sad when the snow melted and I had to give it up.
  • I went alone every time. It showed me that I could take initiative and do things without others’ approval.
  • It was frickin’ cold but I did it anyway.
  • One time I did cross-country skiing every day to recover from a severe illness. I was fifteen and took that initiative. Sometimes slushy snow made things difficult but the skiing made me feel stronger every day.
  • Something inside me pushed me to do self-care and to grow my confidence.
  • That something has been with me all my life and urged me on. Learn more, be curious about life, always learn more. Be a student of life.

It’s always about self-care! What do you allow in your life that is not good for you? Can you quit doing it? What can you learn today? Is life an adventure or a drag? Sometimes it’s a drag, but if you have a good foundation, you can rise above and still move forward.

The point is, question your routine and see how you can make it better. Let the years get better, not like some fading lamp of old age.

For artists: Make art every day! Learn something new. Take risks. Be bold. Enjoy the process.

I had a delightful chat with artist Trisch Rosema about art journaling. My little gift to you today. 🙂 You can watch it HERE.

If you want some more motivation, read this blog post: The Dog Ate My Motivation.

Or this post: Trusting Yourself.

What pushes you to improve?

xo

Maria

Masks we wear

Masks we wear are many and varied. One person can wear many masks or personas.  We swear the masks are who we are.

I could call myself an artist, a writer, a reader, a nature lover, a spiritual being, a woman. Some roles are more prominent than others. I could go on with more, but I’m already tired of thinking about all the roles I uphold. 🙂

masks we wear

I did some art journaling around masks and it got me thinking about what is behind everything.

We believe our mind is the sole creator of who we are. We have compartmentalized all that we know, all our experiences and beliefs of who we are and who everyone else is.

masks we wear

So much crap is stored “up there,” but to be honest it all hangs out in our energy. The brain doesn’t store all the images and beliefs. The brain is a glutinous mass that sends out and receives signals. (Simplified version.)

Just to digress a little… a bird is a bird, not wearing any masks, a cat is basically a cat, though I have seen mine wearing masks. However, on a more basic level all animals are what they are; they live by instinct.

The wind blows in the trees, the leaves bend naturally to the wind. They don’t say or think that it’s uncool to bend. They don’t have to wear any designer masks to BE.

After my morning ritual I was lifting my arm to scratch my neck and thought, who is lifting my arm? Is it my brain sending out signals? Yes, but there is more too it.

The impulse that got my brain sending out signals to lift my arm to scratch the itch was automatic as is much action involving my body.  We don’t think about it, just do it.

We take everything for granted until it doesn’t work any more.

To cut to the chase, the life force moves the impulses and also creates my art. It makes the whole world go around, sometimes with terrible force like hurricanes.

We are NOT the roles we play.

Roles can only hinder the latent creativity that lies underneath it all.

It can be scary to remove masks. Vulnerability is something we protect at all cost.

However, creativity is vulnerability. If you don’t dare to show up as yourself and you express an artist persona or only copy art that is the latest “trend,” you miss out.

Sometimes I get stuck in limbo between stepping up and “taking action” (as in forcing something to happen,) versus allowing things to unfold at its own pace. It takes courage to stand vulnerable in front of your art. There can be a lot of creative angst yet the reward is great if you follow through and don’t give in to all the imagined monsters in the mind.

We have a great fear of being judged unfavorably. Seeking approval is one part of the mask we have built up. Truth to tell, who gives a sh*t what others think about your art??

We are the hardest judge. We compare the art to the accepted norm and find it falling short of expectation.

What a buzz killer that is.

You have a choice. Do you keep going or do you give up? Do you forgive yourself and allow the art to be just as it is?

We go through many stages as an artist. There are no shortcuts so we might as well enjoy the journey and revel in the moments that feel perfect as everything falls together without barely an effort.

Those moments become more numerous with time, but there is no guarantee.

Be the explorer of a new continent that does not have boundaries like land. Live in the moment and let the wind sing in your “leaves.” That is true art. 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. If you want to explore art journaling but doesn’t know where to start, sign up for my artist email newsletter and get a free art journal primer. SIGN UP.

A bunch of Mondays

A bunch of Mondays was something I used to say when I had a bad week. Nowadays I love Mondays. I love every day in fact, but Monday is a day full of possibilities for the week. “The world is your oyster” as they say…. or “where there is a will there’s a way.

a bunch of MondaysSquirrels don’t care if it’s Monday or Saturday. They want to eat bird seed and they don’t give up easily when the opportunity is there. They are opportunists, as are most animals when it comes to food. They see the possibilities in life.

People are like caged animals, something we created for ourselves.

Why did we divide the days into weeks in the first place? Cavemen went by the rising and setting of the sun (I surmise.)

People hate Mondays because it heralds the beginning of ANOTHER week, also called the grind.

I used to think Saturday was my favorite day of the week. I could go out shopping and meet up with friends and loved ones. There was always some party or event at night. Those were a bunch of Saturdays…

It got boring fast. I bore easily, but the one thing that never bores me is my art. Art is new every day. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but I would never exchange it for the grind.

When we do more of what we love, the days get filled with possibilities. You get a more positive outlook on life in general. bunch of Mondays

Living life from the perspective of possibilities and joy gives existence a whole new meaning.

We can break out of the cage. First, you have to discover what you really love to do. What comes easily to you? What did you want to do as a kid or teenager?

Do more of it. Sometimes it takes courage to choose a new path, but you get more brave with every step. As you keep on walking you discover that it is the only way to live.

Even if you are part of “the grind” do things that fire you up in your free time. Build dreams, see possibilities.

The inventors of the past were admired because they saw possibilities and took dedicated steps towards realizing their vision.

You don’t have to be an Edison or a Tesla to have an extraordinary life (dream.)

All you have to do is to acknowledge that you have a dream and GO FOR IT!

Monday will become the best day of the week if you do. 🙂

xo

Maria

P.S. I have some new and exiting things in my etsy shop. CHECK ‘EM OUT.