Category Archives: life

Dream life or dreaming awake?

Dream life or dreaming awake?  What does that evoke in you? Do you want a dream life with all the comforts and shiny stuff, or do you want to know more about dreaming? As in living by your inner guidance.

Sometimes I feel as if I’m wandering like a puppet through a dream, and that’s in “real” life. People seem like cardboard characters, and the craziness of the world is just that–crazy!  As in unreal.

I know in my heart that there is peace and beauty.  I feel it every day, and it’s in sharp contrast to the 3D life all around, UNLESS you focus on the mystery of life.

The tiny signals, the simple synchronicities in everyday life are what makes things really interesting.  They are subtle but you can experience the support of the universe though those signals.

It becomes a fun game to discover more of the treasures.

It’s too difficult to describe since it’s a personal inner experience, but it’s available to anyone who is curious enough to want to find out more.

Life is massively more profound than what we normally experience.

That is what inspires me these days.  I want to know more of the mystery.

Everything else is pale in comparison.

Still, I can’t just sit in a corner and wait for things to happen. I still create and that is as close as I can come to the mystery in my actions. I love the surprises that happen.

Lately, I created some clay hearts / ornaments out of air-drying clay. It is different to work with than polymer clay.  Lots of fun. I molded everything by hand.

dream life 
dream life

Sooo much fun really!

dream life

You are blessed!  We truly all are.  There is a difference to really feeling it versus just seeing the words.

I’m okay with hanging in limbo art-wise. There are so many ways to find expression, and these clay hearts became an experiment when my painting muse had been absent for a while.

Meanwhile, I look toward the mystery every day to see how I can receive more of the gifts by being open and grateful.  Everything else has sort of become secondary, but I long to tap more deeply into my creativity too.

I highly recommend a book I read recently: A Complaint Free World, by Will Bowen. I’m in the middle of the 21-day complaint free challenge, and it’s hard. It has shown me just how much negativity seeps from others, and also lives in me. The more aware I become the more I reject complaining, gossiping, sniping, bitching, etc. You get the idea.

Try the experiment. It will change your life! 🙂

So, there is only one way to go–forward!

Kicking and screaming sometimes, but that’s the human dilemma.

My dear companion kitty, Bailey, crossed the Rainbow Bridge two weeks ago, and I miss him so much.

dream life

Who is going to lie in my middle of my work table now? He would always jump up when I was in the middle of creating, but I didn’t mind. I moved to the side as you can see in the picture. 🙂

What we do for our furry friends…

I’m going in to my studio now. It’s time to create.

I wish you a creative and wonderful weekend with lots of sunshine.

Maria xo

For more inspiration, check out this post: Receiving is a Good Thing.

P.S. The hearts are available in my etsy shop, Earth and Faery, as are lot of other goodies!

Receiving is a good thing

Receiving is a good thing though they say giving is more important.  Receiving is not what we think it is as in birthday presents and people doing you a favor. Those are all part of it, but to me, receiving is a state.

A state is a condition that we experience, FEEL. Most of us don’t have a clue about how to receive. Guilt plays a big role. We have to live by the convention of “I scratch your back so you scratch mine.”

It is an exchange of energy between people and I don’t disregard that, but receiving is so much more. It’s a state of “grace”, of being fulfilled, of gratitude for life as a whole, not just the perks we get.

When you’re in a state of receiving you are not chasing anything, no gains, no positions, no desires, no wants. You are open to receive whatever comes, but if you are filled with gratitude for life, mostly good things come to you.

It’s not easy to gain that state of receiving in a consistent manner, but by examining life and all those beliefs and habits that hold us back, we can learn to accept it ALL, and from there gain appreciation about the mystery of life.

We basically don’t know any more than newborn babies. They know more that we do in a greater sense. They are still pure and innocent, as we once were. They are in a state of receiving.

As are pets if you think about it. They lie around all day and don’t worry where their next meal is coming from. It never enters their mind, and they are always provided for.

In a sense they take for granted that life will support them. And it does.

Meanwhile, humans run around, or rush down the closest highway to get to nowhere.  We worry and curse and plan.  We are always chasing money. The whole day is revolving around making money.

We lost that innocent trust a long time ago, traded it for a man-made world that offers a lot of pain and suffering.

When we claim life and stop struggling, something shifts. Life becomes more beautiful and filled with situations we can be grateful for. The more accepting and grateful, the more abundant the gifts from the universe.

It’s not easy to change, but by becoming aware of what we do, and why, and what we say, and our prejudices, we can slowly shift the energy to be more supporting and loving of ourselves. The more you love yourself, the more the universe will support you!

What does this have to do with art, you ask? Really everything.

We tend to criticize and judge our art efforts harshly.

We compare ourselves to others.

We have an idea of what the art should look like, and it never does, so back condemning the effort. It can be a vicious cycle. Many stop making art because of it.

What if the art you make turns out ugly (in your opinion.) What then?  Do you continue or just drop the whole adventure?

If we don’t stick with it, we miss out of the mystery.  The adventure becomes a hurried rush down the highway, like with so many things we do.

We are addicted to doing and seeing results.

When you can shift and be in a receiving mode as you begin your art session, you are in a non-judgmental state and can receive the art as it manifests through you. That is such a gift!

It might not look like much, but your energy is in it. The receiving as a state of grace shows up in your art. Even if you only painted a blue line across the canvas, people will feel something.

We might admire technique but it’s the energy that draws us.

Stop chasing, become a receiver of life. Make open stillness be part of your daily process.

I did some art journaling lately.  I can’t say I reached that magical state of wonder, but I had fun.

receiving

Be who you want to be.

receiving

A cat person…

receiving

Doodles


receiving

Strange lady… Summer solstice

receiving

More doodles…

I guess I was into yellow and blue this week.

To be open to receive is to allow, to accept, and live in gratitude for what is, and what appears on the page.

Follow me in Instagram. I post most photos there, @greeneearth

I have some ideas if you’re looking for a gift. My etsy shop has lots of cool gifts. Earth and Faery.

You can read some of my older blog posts for more inspiration: Why do you do what you do?

My inner critic on a rampage

Have a great and safe July 4!

xo

Maria

 

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