Friday, December 16, 2016

Making friends with what is

I am so grateful to live now.  There are many who are awakening and sharing their knowledge and understanding. I feel less alone now than I ever have.  I will share with you the people I am learning from or shall we say un-learning or re-learning?

Byron Katie.  I had heard her name for years before I decided to look her up.  I thought she was one of the founders of Unity.  I guess it wasn't the right time. Once I discovered her, I watched every youtube video I could find.  Sweet loving kind funny honest open wise.  I feel so blessed. (Since I drafted this blog post more than a couple years ago, she has gained some notoriety and public acclaim, thankfully.)

Eckhart Tolle.  Yeah, yeah, yeah... be present.  I even read (at least a bit) of a book.  Didn't do anything for me.  Then I watched videos of him.  I love the way he is able and willing to just sit and be silent.  Which brings me to...


Greg Baer.  He's been telling me to shut up for 17 years. He meant it for my benefit,  but of course that triggered the sound of my mom's voice and fell on deaf ears.  I have toyed with it over those 17 years, the practice of silence, and have become more peaceful as a result.  Thanks, Greg.

A book entitled "Inner Excavation," Liz Lamoreux, encourages us to explore self without the confines of having it look a certain way... so many ways to let go, eliminate self-criticism, judgment and stumbling blocks. Loosen up! 

Dance like no one is watching, because they probably aren't (people are way too self-absorbed, or in their phone's virtual world).  Life is too short to waste worrying about much of anything.  In short? Be real.  Be honest. Be happy.  Be real happy.  Be.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Camp is ON!

The heat is on, and so are... Summer Camps!

This pic is actually from one of my previous school classes: 3D self-portraits

I'm doing somethings differently this year!  Instead of charging a fee, I'm asking for donations of Michael's gift cards to buy supplies!  I'm also asking each student to fill out an information form that will help me to design projects suited just for them!  I'm also changing the times and group sizes.  Groups will consist of no more than 4 students and run from 9 a.m. - noon and from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.  This will allow me to better manage the projects, and add some resting downtime, too!

I'm really tickled about this summer's camp and can't wait to meet the participants.  We will be doing everything from paint to papier mache sculpture and anything else the kids want to try!  No particular skill level required, just the desire to create!  This camp can complement what the student is learning in their school, or, I can start with the basics, just for them!

Call me at 706-409-6696, for more information or to get started!

In lieu of great pics.... here is my car magnet, and front porch sign... smh.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Making Art and Helping Our Aging Parents

I'm not sure exactly how these two topics are going to merge, but I think they might.

 I spent one evening with my paints and canvases all over my kitchen table and counters, exploring myself and my process.  This is not usually a comfortable process as most artists know.  I can say this because I found confirmation that I am not alone in this recently in my local Barnes and Noble searching for inspiration.  I found it in the form of a book entitled "Art & fear - Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking," by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking: Bayles, David and Orland, Ted

It felt like one of those strokes of divine and magical inspiration when it landed in my hands... on the artistic struggle.

I was feeling sad when I left her yesterday.  I felt like she is going down hill.  She was lying on the sofa when we got there.  She has been lying down several times lately when we got there.  I don't think I ever remember seeing her lie down during the day.  I have often been over in the last few months and she would be sitting on the sofa sleeping, but never lying down.  She says she falls asleep every time she sits down.  My son agrees.  She has lost 9 pounds since she got sick. I cried on the way home, and voiced my concerns to my coworkers today, and asked them to pray for her and by the time we spoke around noon (mom and I), she sounded like her old self.  She said she had eaten, and wasn't satisfied and had eaten more.  She slept good all night long and didn't even hear her alarm.  She really sounded wonderful.  So, I guess maybe she'll be okay, for a while longer.  Although she'll probably have some bad days before she's really "back."  And, yes, I know she won't ever really be "back." 

I'm really going to have a bad time with this.  We have had some terrible times, but we've also had some good ones.  She is very important to me, probably too much so, I know.  She's going to leave a big hole in my life.  She has helped me raise my son and I couldn't have done it without her. I wish I could have healed faster.  I never felt like enough: mature enough, responsible enough, whatever, fill in the blank, and not because I haven't tried.  I've come to believe I really have done the best I could.  I love her very much, even though I also can't stand her a lot of the time. 

All this, with the knowledge that she could possibly outlive us all. 

Sometimes I think I'm PMS, even though I haven't had a period in at least 12 years.  This might be one of those blogs I should only send to myself. I'm working on letting myself be more vulnerable, transparent, and communicative.  So, here I am, in a puddle.

Please don't feel like you need to even respond, it just feels good to know you're there, reading.  And, I hope it doesn't upset you. I know we are "supposed" to be a light and uplift... maybe that's where the art comes in.  This weekend will be my second "Whole-Hearted Art" workshop for Cancer survivors.  I'm thinking we should do a workshop for Life Survivors... for those of us who are still here. 

So, we sit at a table and make art out of books and magazines that were destined for recycling.  Kind of the way we are making art out of lives that are destined for ... light?

Soul Food Workshop Win! Yay me!

I'm posting this because it's been sooooooo loooooong since I won anything, let alone something I wanted... well.  My luck has changed.  Sweet! More about the upcoming workshop here

This one of Mystele's.  Isn't it beautiful!  I can't wait. 

The First Whole-Hearted Art Workshop Follow-Up

Time for reflection, follow up, decompression.  It was #1... the first of it's kind-by-me, Whole-Hearted Art workshop.

First, I must admit to some pretty uncomfortable feelings.  (Is it a southern-thing to use the word "pretty" to mean a certain quantity or type of something?)  I was humbled by the burden and pain several of the Cancer survivors/attendees were dealing with, maybe all of them, but a couple shared some details that would have put the average person in the dirt.  These women were no average people.  The strength and determination, and heart of the human being is so blinking enormous.  I'm in awe.  I don't know what I may have been able to offer them that will help, I introduced them to what I know, which seemed to pale in comparison to what they were dealing with.  What they gave me was huge.  They showed up, they jumped in, they made a page or a spread in an altered book.  They began, probably their first, art journal.

I realized later, I could have given better art instruction.  I really wanted to share Real Love with them, so I focused mainly on communicating some basics about that.  I can also see now that I was too focused on what I was trying to say, and not really connecting as much as I'd have like with each person.

So, maybe going forward, I'd like to read some from the Real Love books, in a more comfortable setting, like a living room set up... big comfy couches and a comfortable floor to sit on, and later move more into tables set up for art for the altered books.  I intend to do some follow up this week, in order to really connect with the women who were there, and get there take on whether they'd be interested in more information and/or more art workshops.

So, all in all, I guess it was a success.  I did it.  I faced my fears.  I started with an idea and followed through.  I realized my fears, flaws and shortcomings.  I appreciate my own relatively pain-free, healthy existence.  I appreciate the burdens that others are carrying.  More and more daily, I guess I'm believing that we really don't know what others around us are going through, you can't judge a book by it's cover.  I guess that would be a good analogy to pursue, altering books, like our lives are altered, making conscious choices what to cover with gesso, and what to write in them.  What catchy slogans and quotes motivate us to go on when the going gets tough... what inspires us.  How do we become the person we want to be, the one we came here to become, the one that got squashed growing up.  Who are we?  Who do we want to be?  Do we really all just want to be loved?  Do we even recognize it when it's there right in front of us?  Lots of questions.  The answers, hopefully, are in the journey.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

For Cancer Survivors Workshop

What on earth qualifies me to think I can conduct a workshop with cancer survivors???!!!

I'm not one myself.
I'm neither a therapist nor a counselor in the strictest sense of the terms.

I do, however, have some qualifications:

I'm a survivor.  Period.
I’m a survivor of a great number of soul-sucking trials in life.
I survived my childhood and the myriad stupid mistakes I've since added to all that trauma.
I was fortunate enough to meet someone like myself who'd been hurt, lived to tell about it, and, better yet, figured out a way to help me and others like us.
I've been applying the principles I've been taught for over 17 years now with incredible success.
I've become very close to many others with various traumas and backgrounds who have done the same thing.
I have come to understand that although the pain of cancer and other medical conditions, is indeed horrible, the pain of unmet emotional needs is even worse.
Our needs may be met, after which the emotional wounds heal, and this allows the other pains to be lessened also.
Much research has been done that shows that the more loved and peaceful we are, the better we thrive in every way.
Lastly, but most importantly, I have a desire to share these principles and to show others how to live lives filled with joy.


I leave people with not only a personal experience of feeling unconditionally loved, but resources such as free conference calls daily and group meetings, and a community of hundreds of others worldwide who are learning to be loving.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Fitting Farewell and Tribute to Pappy

In one of my last posts, I referred to a friend at work who had asked me to paint a portrait of the family pet who had recently departed and left a big hole (mostly in the husband's lap).  It was my first attempt at painting a dog, so I don't think it's wonderful by any means, but she seemed satisfied with it.  I will post the final pic, and then the different stages it went through, just in case any of my artist friends are perusing.

His mom and dad love flying, and that's their plane in the sky.  I worked from a photo, and added one of his favorite balls, and the little collar/tie.  I'm really glad I had the opportunity to do this for my friend and her husband, it was very challenging and a lot of fun!