Tag Archives: life

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

 

Needing validation

Needing validation is like breathing; it’s something we all do.  As artists it’s important to have someone say, “what a great painting,” or “I love your art” or “your art gives me a good feeling.”

We love comments like that whether they are honest or not. Validation makes your work worthwhile.

However, if you sense the compliments are not sincere, you start doubting your talent (again.) I assume we come from a place of doubting the art all the time. I know I do, except for a few times when I truly KNEW the paintings were great.

needing validation
validation

How does it all start?

As kids we had to find out if what we made was any good. I remember showing drawings to my dad, and thank goodness, he always said they were nice. I still remember that.

But I also remember the bullies in school who always tried to tear you down, especially if you’d done something good, like gotten an A on a test, created a beautiful painting or broken a school record of some sort.

To seek validation is like making sure we are alive.

If we didn’t get any validation who’s to say we even exist, right?

That’s a pretty deep question, but one place were we can find true validation is within. You can validate your worthiness through whatever physical aspect you use to express. Worthiness is a feeling inside.

When you feel good about something you did, that’s validation enough.

We are social creatures but do we need the false compliments that people hand out to be “nice?” I say thank you for every compliment, false or true. I’m not going to confront someone about their honesty.

So how do you get to a point where inner validation is enough?

You have to learn to trust yourself.

Trust is a sense that was beaten out of us since childhood. “Trust no one.” I remember I learned to keep secrets so as not to be punished I was four years old. It didn’t get any better through life until I realized I have give myself the gift of trust.

If I trust in me, I can trust the world. The secret is to grow the trust within so that the games of the world do not affect you.

Trust, like worthiness, is a soul feeling.

I have learned to trust more through forgiving others and most of all, myself, for having a low opinion of myself.

Make a list of people you need to forgive today. Truly forgive them for all they have done to you, and ask for forgiveness for your stuff. This can be done in silence, but you need to be sincere.

Life is so much easier, brighter, and filled with possibilities when the burden of guilt and shame is gone.

Through inner trust you can find true validation.

Forgive yourself for art that didn’t work out and try again, and again. Life is a journey, art a process.

Life itself is validation enough.

Fear and mistrust go hand in hand. I have another blog post that takes this further, What do you fear?

Make something fun today!

xo

Maria

P.S My etsy shop is stocked to the brim. 🙂 Sale coming up SOON! EarthandFaery

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

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.

Who is looking?

Who is looking through my eyes? Kind of a deep question, and something that could be discussed at length, but to make it simple:

Life itself, filtered through many of my beliefs and preferences, (perhaps unfortunately,) 🙂

Life itself does not judge. When I’m aligned with that and in flow, working, I don’t think much about the art and where it’s going. I just DO.

who is looking?

I add one color or one item that pleases me. It’s an automatic act, pretty much. I lay down one color and then I choose the next and so on. I choose what pleases my eye in the moment.

The process intrigues me and the result usually amazes me because what appears is beyond what I would have painted had I decided to paint a still life motif or some other fixed view.

The process is so intriguing that it becomes the most desired way to express for me.  I’d go as far as saying it’s addictive.

It takes trust to work this way.  Trust grows by DOING.

What the art process reveals is always interesting even if I don’t like the finished art work. That happens quite often, but I respect the process.

Then I move on to the next page or canvas… and the next. After all, art is constant change.  Life is constant change. What we liked yesterday does not work today.

who is looking?

Art reveals life and life reveals art.

We learned to live in 3D by experimentation. Toddlers live in trial and error mode all day long. 🙂 Once we get past that stage, what then? Maybe boredom sets in.

I think it’s incredibly important to keep experimenting with life. No need to go to extremes, but what is your creative power?

It doesn’t have to be art, but for artists there are endless possibilities for experimentation. We are so lucky! We can be catalysts for life itself, our hands and tools extensions of something greater.

All we need to do is get in the flow every day, by DOING. Do art, make stuff, trust your instincts, have faith that all is well, embody the greatness.

Allow life to see through you and use your unique gifts. That’s when life becomes magical.

Have a creative weekend!

Maria

P.S.  The art journaling pages above are part of a new e-course I have set up, titled Life’s Song Art Journaling e-course. You will learn how to make your own papers and ephemera and incorporate them into your art journal pages. It’s a four segment course, and the first segment is available NOW.  The rest will be published once a month for the next three months. Each segment is ONLY $12!!!  Enroll now and get creative. CLICK HERE.

 

Waiting to start living.

A lot of people, including myself, are waiting to start living.

After the memorial service I attended yesterday, it was brought home to me that 3D life can end in a split second, so why hold on to anything?

Why not go all out and live in a way that supports, activates, thrills, and satisfies us? That is of course different for each person, but if we follow the inner lode star (as in listening to that “small still voice”) we will make choices from a point of aliveness instead of fear.

When I forget to breathe, I have lost my center. It is a vital practice to stay in one’s center for making the choices of the soul. The soul is still, yet acutely alive, while the ego is never satisfied always grasping for more. The ego wants to win big, and then bigger. Be faster, thinner, more successful. Still, that will never be enough.

The soul abides in the stillness within, and when the time is right, inspires action that is aligned with one’s highest purpose.  Here is where I stumble a lot. I’m impatient and want things to happen NOW, so I force the action. That is never aligned.  It leads to burn out and frustration.

Soul inspired action leads to enjoyment and enthusiasm. The “wanting” and the “hustle” is gone, yet a lot gets done IN ITS OWN TIME. It takes trust and dedication to live from a soul driven life.

It doesn’t matter WHAT we do, but if we choose to do things out of fear and shoulds and have-tos, we are totally missing the point.

Soul inspired action is easy and smooth. There might be hard work involved, but it doesn’t feel like hard work, more like an immersion.

I believe it’s the new way of doing “business.” To be uniquely you in all that you do, (including when you’re doing the dishes.)  Not your personality but the very essence of who you are.  It takes practice to stay in your center.

The ego will never go away, but it can be tamed to fall in with one’s true wishes as long as it understands there is no fear or danger involved.

The thing to remember and practice is to:

BE2When we live from that point life becomes an adventure. Let go, dare to live with uncertainty, be bold, truly listen within, and trust your body.

Have a creative week, folks! xo

Maria

P.S. I have some cool self-study e-courses available HERE.