Big Magic and Trust

Big Magic: Trust: Stubborn Gladness

Is it possible to quote a whole section? If I could, it would be Stubborn Gladness. I will quote the following from page 218:

I have chosen to believe that a desire to be creative was encoded into my DNA for reasons I will never know, and that creativity will not go away from me unless I forcibly kick it away, or poison it dead. Every molecule of my being has always pointed me toward this line of work.

It is like Elizabeth took the words right out of my mouth…well…she said it much better. I could fight creativity, I could choose to not make time for it, but then I would become the unsettled person I was a couple of years ago. I welcome the challenges that creativity brings to my mind, my soul and my heart. I trust it in it.

Big Magic and Persistence

Being courageously creative is 2nd nature to me. It’s in my blood. It’s in my heart. It helps me maintain a healthy mind set. I wrote in the post Big Magic and Permission briefly about how a stint of 5(ish) years of keeping creative tendencies- or passions- at bay was unhealthy for me. Being a new mommy is overwhelming. A new baby is a part of your life and requires so much attention. It is extremely difficult to understand that it is ok to take time to do what gives you a sense of relief and normalcy. Over the past year and a half I gave myself permission to take some of that time back. It helps that both of my littles are creative little beings too. Art projects and reading are their two favorite things to do. We can do those things together.

2019 was quickly approaching and goals were set to remain persistent. Persistent to read and challenge my creative mindset, persistent to pick up my pencils and paint brushes, and persistent to write words freely from my thoughts. Persistent is practically my middle name, almost as much as being creative flows through my veins. There is always room for improvement in anything that comes my way. Perfection is not a word in my dictionary, but persistent is.

Go get them. Run after those dreams and keep at it!

Big Magic and Permission

We have the permission to be creative. “Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe. It’s as if all our gods and angels gathered together and said, ‘It’s tough down there as a human being, we know. Here- have some delights’.” (Page 128) This was the best quote Elizabeth Gilbert had in the section titled Permission in Big Magic. How refreshing is this? We have something to look forward to while we wait for our time in Heaven.

The United States offers us the permission to be creative. There are countries where being creative is frowned upon or even against the law. How sad; I would feel robbed if I was not given the time to be creative. Not only do I live in a country that I can imagine, draw, write, paint and etc. I got to grow up in a household where being creative was welcomed. It brings upon an abundance of emotions to have creativity be accepted.

Being a part of creative energy makes me a more prayerful, grateful, loving, caring and positive force. Now that my kids have gotten older I have allowed the act of being creative to creep back into my weekly, and even daily, routines. For reasons I am uncertain of, I pushed it away while they were smaller because feelings of guilt were heavy upon my heart, mind and soul. Those years brought me down. If any words of wisdom can be shared…don’t fight the feelings. We all deserve creative outlets.

Big Magic and Enchantment

In the section of Big Magic, Enchantment, Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about people’s Daemon of Creativity. Page 67 describes a Daemon of Creativity as being “nicely taken care of by some external divine creative spirit guide”. How lovely does that sound? We have an inner source that lives behind the scenes of our lives and pushes us to our creative ideas.

What does your Daemon of Creativity look like?

I envision mine to be me but with the details that I do not have in my reality. For instance, my hair can not be long. Believe me, I have tried. My daemon probably has hair the color of peacock feathers. Perhaps, she even has peacock feathers instead of human hair. Sprigs of glittery silver highlights (more glitter less grey) throughout. Blue eyes the color of the Caribbean Sea. Soft and accepting of every person she comes in contact with.

She wears feminine materials that allow her to move quickly with my ideas. The materials flow so slightly for when she takes a moment to dance in the moonlight. No shoes are needed in my creative outlet even when she is wandering through the woods with me.

One staple this Creative Spirit of Mine has is headphones with music touching everything she does. She creates soundtracks day after day. Some get placed in my Spotify playlists and some float away.

I don’t know what to expect in the future sections of Big Magic, but this section had me in tears. I don’t know what the tears meant. Were they happy tears? Magic tears? Scared tears? Scared tears that my creative dreams might be swept up by someone else right before my eyes if I didn’t act on them quick enough? She said on page 58 “I believe that inspiration will always try its best to wrk with you- but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and to search for a different human collaborator”. There are so many dreams in my head, in my heart and in my soul. Can I just be paid to act on my dreams? One of the last paragraphs written in the Enchantment section said “All I know for certain is that this is how I want to spend my life- collaborating to the best of my ability with forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand” (page 78). I have to trust in God, in my Daemon of Creativity (really, I need to name her) and time. That alone is scary, yet reassuring.

February 2019 Goals

New Year’s resolutions are difficult. Keeping them past January 31st is even harder. The goals set up for February were almost attained. There are not feelings of failure, but if Jon Acuff’s suggestion of cutting goals in half were followed, the goals would have been met and then some.

Once again, the goals were broken down into four areas; Reading, Art, Move and the 7 Challenge by Jen Hatmaker.

Reading

The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner was completed and the full book review is found here.

Along with The Fringe Hours I was going to read Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. This is where I “faltered” and took on too much. I did read a second book this month, Friendly Deceit, but I only finished 1/3 of Dare to Lead. I am determined to finish this book though, prior to picking up another “second book”. From what I can tell, Brene Brown speaks my love language. She keeps me engaged, she is funny and she is darn inspiring! More to come on my thoughts of her book.

Art

It was difficult to finish four pages in my sketchbook last month. Four were finished this month but I eased up on the pressure some. For a couple of pages I just let loose and played with medium I had not touched in awhile. One of my close friends, Amanda, had a birthday mid month. She and I had the pleasure of visiting Vegas in college as we won a lighting design competition. Vegas is not a place I desire to return, but we sure had fun. I took a photo of her and me and put a slight spin on it. Creating an image of her and I revisiting that special city with the way we look now put a smile on my face.

Move

Oh goodness, the goal was met this month. No specific workout program was followed, but each week 5 days of workouts occurred. This ranged from running, Tracy Anderson Method, PIIT28 to yoga. Some days it’s really hard. While at my in-laws early on in the month I stepped on a scale. I have not stepped on a scale for a very very long time. 6 plus months ago at least as I was trying to operate on the “feeling” of how do I feel in my clothes? Now, flabby feelings were happening, even with the dedicated workouts so maybe the numbers should not have thrown me off of my rocker. I thought, when I get home I will try “my scale”. Same numbers *sad face*. The numbers were higher than they had ever been while not being pregnant or “recovering” from post pregnancy. Ugh. Cry. Sigh. Ok, back to the scale for regular check ins. Dedication and accountability are being prayed upon.

7 Challenge

February’s 7 Challenge was over clothes. There were two days this month that I was home with the kiddos as they didn’t have school. We took those times to go through our closets and dispose of things that no longer fit or no longer had places in our hearts. Bless Jen Hatmaker as she took 7 pieces of clothing and only wore those pieces. There are probably too many clothes in my closet still. I can not help that I feel attachment to the board shorts I wore in Maui almost 15 years ago. Do I wear them much? No. Do I still fit in them? Yes. Will I wear them? Maybe. They make me happy when I look at them. So, on the shelf they still sit. What kind of thoughts did I have when going through my closet? I need to stick to buying really good basics as they do last, I wear them most often and they make me feel good. I need to think long and hard when I go through the Target clothing aisles. They market their clothes well and they last a short while, but it is best if I stick to buying better quality. *sigh* Sorry Target! Thank goodness the girls are old enough to give me opinions. Going forward as we get hand me downs, we will go through them right away and only keep what they plan to wear. There is no need to hold onto things that they will never wear. Shout out to a couple of friends, Abby and Heather, you are awesome for passing a long your cute clothes. They save us a lot of money! It felt great to donate garbage bags of clothes.

Here is to another month of loving life, doing what makes you happy and feeling accomplished.

January 2019 Goals

January tends to be a month of new beginnings and resolutions that get put to the wayside two weeks into the new year. There is a Jen Hatmaker podcast where she interviews Jon Acuff. He is the author of a few books including, Finish.

Jon recommends that people need to determine their goal and then cut it in half. He found with his research people tend to reach too high for their reality. Once they do not make the mark they get discouraged and discontinue working towards their goal. Half way through January there was doubt that I would accomplish the goals I had set. I was determined to accomplish them as I wanted to complete them, but time was running out!

The goals were broken down into four areas; Reading, Art, Move and the 7 Challenge by Jen Hatmaker.

Reading

Jen Hatmaker wrote Of Mess & Moxie. This was recommended to me by my friend Melissa. Her writing makes me smile, laugh, and say “ahhh, me too!” Each week I read a section of the book and followed a study guide which prompted me to meditate and reminisce about topics in which she wrote about. The blog has four separate posts.

The goal was to read one other book besides the personal development book. Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty was the January book club pick. Big Little Lies, the HBO series, was based on her writing. I binged watched that show (link) awhile back and was glad that Three Wishes prompted me to actually read one of Liane’s books. The Coffee Pines & Designs book review can be read here.

I surpassed my goal of reading two books in January by one book. The book club pick for February was Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I listened to this audio book on a road trip. A highly recommended book and see why here.

Art

Art is in my blood. Art is a passion. Art gets put to the wayside. *sad face* Abstract art is a strength of mine. I have always wanted to be better at figure drawing. I am attracted to people and what makes them who they are. I ran across Jane Davenport thanks to Instagram. She combines figure drawing and abstract methods creating whimsical drawings and paintings. Guess what? She has books to teach her methods! Guess who bought a couple? Why not? The purpose of this goal was not to complete 4 pages of frame worthy art, but I did manage to complete one page that was intended for my cousins, Kelly and Jade, birthday. It also prompted my mom to ask for drawings similar of my sister and me as well as Stella and Emery. Pressure is on and challenge accepted!

Move

Exercise really makes me happy. I easily get bored though. I miss the gym atmosphere. Living outside of town, working full time and having kids makes it not an ideal situation to use a gym. January was a month to focus on PIIT28. For the most part I liked the variety it gave to me. I fully enjoyed it towards the end of the month when I could do it while watching Dawson’s Creek. My dear aunt, Melinda, read a post I completed while reading Of Mess & Moxie and sent me season’s 5 and 6 of Dawson’s Creek *totally own the guilty pleasure* The goal was to workout 5 days each week. I totally owned this goal until the last week. I am not certain if it was boredom of the method I was dedicated to since mid December or if it was the head cold I was fighting. I managed 4 days that week. Summer can’t get here soon enough so I can run outside again.

7 Challenge

January’s 7 Challenge was over food. You can read about my experience on the blog.

I met my goals at about 95%. I do not feel I need to cut my goals in half, but February is a shorter month. These goals would not be a problem if I did not truly feel passionate about all of these areas. I am going to strive for them all again but if I miss a workout here or there, or do 3 pages in my sketchbook rather than 4, I am going to cut myself some slack.

Love life, do what makes you happy, and feel accomplished! Cheers to a great month to start off the new year!

The thing I fear most about my kids…

Many of you with kids may have conferences around this time of the year. I am blessed that our girls are doing well academically. I could use this time to talk up my kiddos, and believe me I could, but this post is about the thing I fear the most with my kids. Are they nice? In a world where there is so much hatred, disrespect and bullying I truly want kids that are nice to one another. If they are not doing well academically, I want them to try their hardest. That’s all.

When Stella came home with this piece of homework it made my heart sing. It made me smile. It brought tears to my eyes out of happiness. I got to hear her describe how God wants us to like others, like us, and not like us.

Dear God, please keep this mindset with Stella. Let her welcome people of all different backgrounds into her life. Amen.

Creativity Takes Courage

The other weekend I was driving home from dropping my girls off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I had 4 hours to listen to various podcasts I had downloaded on my phone. As I was listening to a Rachel Hollis podcast one of the people she interviewed said the words “Creativity takes Courage”. I wish I could remember which person she was talking with so I could give credit where credit is due.

This quote resonated with me though. Whatever your medium- paint, writing, music- it takes courage to put yourself out there. Often times someone’s art comes attached with emotions. It takes courage to share those emotions with others. People connect over other’s creativity. It persuades one to think outside of the box, it prompts communication and can shift the world.

It may not always be easy to share your creativity, but how wonderful it is to know you impacted someone out there. Go ahead, take the leap!

Friday Favorites: Snail Mail Surprises

I have a couple of friends that love snail mail as much as I do, giving and receiving. Occasionally we send each other a little something something. When I am out and about it is my favorite thing finding a treasure that makes me think of a family member or friend. It is not the easiest thing for me to get it to the post office, but it will get there *smile* my friend, Melissa, sent me these note cards from Tiny Prints with artist Stina Persson. The print is of a woman that has amazing earrings. Melissa and have a “thing” for Nickel and Suede earrings. It’s a connection we have, in addition to many others! Thanks to this wonderful gesture, I have found a new artist to love!

Janet.

I got myself out for a walk/run tonight as it was absolutely gorgeous out. Just enough breeze, enough sun left and a quiet road all to myself. I had Janet (Jackson) on tonight. I was about ready to switch it up when Black Cat came on, you know, the music video where she is wearing a white button down shirt and black pants on stage? Who knew that classic combo could be so rock n roll? Oh yeah, there was the black bra too! Maybe not so classic? Or maybe so *wink* Rhythm Nation was one of the first cassette tapes I owned. In fact, when I listened to that song tonight I was expecting to here the “glitch” on the song that my cassette tape used to have because I listened to the song so often!

Here are my top 10 Favorites:

1. Black Cat, that guitar solo!

2. That’s The Way Love Goes

3. Escapade (hello, Minneapolis!)

4. If (I once requested the song on the radio station as an 11 year old, boy did the DJ have fun asking me if I knew what the song meant… *blushing, I only slightly had an idea* *dying laughing*

5. Rhythm Nation, what a great dance sequence. Talk about an iconic video.

6. Scream, not enough credit for this sister/brother duo. The words still speak to me today. Full of complete emotion. And her hair cut in the video, awesome and edgy.

7. Got Til It’s Gone with Q-Tip (remember when he played her boyfriend in Poetic Justice before she met Tupac?) He has such a unique voice. This album was underrated. There was such an underground and groovy sound to it. Possibly a favorite of mine.

8. Love Will Never Do Without You, the deepness of her voice was so surprising to me when I heard this the first time.

9. Again.

10. All Night, possibly my last favorite of hers to come out.