When I woke up this morning, this little guy was waiting for me on the island in the kitchen. It appears that my daughter did some nighttime spider hunting. We are definitely a catch and release family with these big daddy long legs. They eat mosquitoes which is invaluable in Florida, so I will put him out on the porch to dine. It struck me as I snapped this photo that it was more than just cute, it was also good advice. I’ve been inside too much lately and since I am still here to enjoy this World, I will kindly get myself outside today! Heading for the ocean….
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Are you trying to hold on to your youth? Your children? A dysfunctional family? A job that isn’t right for you? A marriage that doesn’t work? That D you got in trigonometry in high school?
So many of us cling tightly to what is familiar or comfortable. Others bind themselves to the past and allow it to punish them for their entire lives. Change is scary. Some just cannot picture a life different than the one they currently have. I have learned that the harder you grasp something, the more it hurts when it slips away from you. The secret to life is “letting go”. Also known as acceptance. This has nothing to do with giving up and everything to do with knowing when it is time to move on.
I had a few years of uncertainty and fear as I moved into middle age. I was panicked at the thought of my little girl out in the big mean World all by herself. My marriage had a major hiccup one Summer and I was not sure we would make it. I noticed that I was starting to lose the interest of men when I walked into a room. My body and face were aging and I did not know how to handle it. I was also very confused about what I wanted to do with my business. I considered shutting it down and taking a different path by getting back into Holistic Medicine. I call those years “the worry years”.
Slowly I started to realize that I could not hold onto all of those things that I wanted to remain the same. More importantly, I did not want to. I discovered it was safe to let go and just celebrate where I was headed. I was not only physically different, I was also mentally and emotionally transformed. At 45 I am now excited to watch my daughter leave for college and blossom into her own life. I will not be keeping her bedroom as a shrine where I can focus on the past. Instead it will be converted into a sanctuary for yoga and thinking. She will be welcome to visit anytime, but I will use that space for mediation. I have learned to work “with” my partner instead of “against” him as we weather life’s bumps. I am less selfish. I have also decided that I will not be artificially preserving my youthful face. It’s gone and no amount of face lifting, injecting or sand blasting is going to bring it back. It’s o.k. to have wrinkles and fine lines. In fact, if you allow yourself to let go of what society dictates is beautiful, you can actually admire them for what they really are: signs of a life that has endured numerous storms and celebrated many triumphs.
As for my career that is still being pondered. I have a few new ideas about what direction I would like to move in. But whatever I decide, the process leading up to it will not be fraught with anxiety. No, these are truly “the wonder years” for me. The dictionary tells us that “wonder” means: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. And that is exactly where I am. Bring it on life!
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Spring is in full swing here in Florida and I have been one busy bee! I have been painting lots of commission work and my print sales are at an all time high. I just spent a few days with my daughter in Sarasota for her Spring break which was fun and relaxing. But today it is back to work for me. We’ve been cleaning and doing some upgrades in our home. I do not comprehend the concept of “light” cleaning. It’s always “deep” cleaning because once I see funk or dirt, I MUST clean it! I cannot turn a blind eye.
How does this tie into “zen”? The urban dictionary says:
I have been experiencing the “zen” of cleaning. My focus is intense and both my mind and body are fully together in my tasks. There are no illusions here. Dirt and dog hair have infiltrated every pore of my home. “The house was dirty, the house is cleanish.” 🙂
Happy Spring Cleaning!
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Her Heart Has Wings
Her heart has wings,
for more than flight.
They give her strength.
They give her sight.
Her heart has wings,
battered by the wind.
They do not break.
They help her bend.
Her heart has wings,
that can’t be tied.
And hopes and dreams.
That won’t be denied.
Her heart has wings,
for so much more.
Her body has limits.
But her spirit will soar…
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I have really been branching out lately into new techniques and media. I do not know if it is peri-menopause, the rotation of the sun or just a new mindset, but I am feeling so much happier about myself and my work. I am finding myself a lot less critical and more open to the process of creativity. “Making a sale” is taking a back seat to “making a moment”. Yes….I am spreading my wings and it feels so good!
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I’ve got a birthday next month and I will be turning 45. I’m not old, but I am also no longer young. I am in the middle….middle aged as they say. I knew my body would start changing in my 40’s but what I never expected was for my attitudes to change dramatically. My mental state is undergoing the most transformation. Things that used to drive me crazy, no longer do. I am calm and at peace in so many situations now that used to get me totally worked up. I am patient with my daughter. I appreciate my husband a whole lot more. I am just more clear on what’s important in life. I woke up this morning realizing that for 45 years ALL of my needs have always been met. Sometimes that meant peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a game of Go Fish for a date. Sometimes it meant The Ritz. And there were times when I had to wait long periods of time to get some things I needed. I’ve had to work hard for sure and at times have enjoyed luxuries that as a kid I could only dream of. And also times where I had to sell everything I could to get groceries. My life has always given me everything to sustain me….in the good times and the bad. Right now one of the biggest changes I am feeling is with my art. I no longer see it as just a means to an end. Income. Don’t get me wrong, I like making enough to support myself and help my family, but I am feeling the joy in creating more and the satisfaction of making people happy. I am here to bring joy to other’s hearts. As history has proven, my needs will always be met, so I do not have to worry all of the time about making a “sale”. Here is to change!
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I’ve always thought that was a funny saying….but it’s true! I’ve got ants in my pants over my new Looking Glass Series. The response has been phenomenal and I made my first sale only days after it’s launch. And I sold a HUGE 84 inch print! So excited! But I’ve also really had ants in my pants and I can tell you it is no fun. Chi Ant isn’t that kind of bug. He’s a lover not a biter. When I first fused the painting together and saw Mr. Happy bug I thought, that’s weird. Then I realized the piece made me feel happy. There is something about his soft pink complexion and content eyes. There is also a beautiful aqua butterfly looking up at him….and if you look closely a walrus is in there too.
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