There is very little I need

 

Life is made up of many little epiphanies throughout it. I had a mini one today. There is very little I need.

I have a good roof over my head and more than enough food within reach when I’m hungry. I have a soft bed to sleep in. I have a man who loves me freely and without condition, and a handful of friends that do the same.

I realized that–if someone wanted to get me a gift today–I’d be hard-pressed to name anything.

When I was younger (and still on occasion) I loved to shop. There was always a list of things somewhere that I wanted, some purse or pair of shoes that I thought I might die if I didn’t get. With age comes wisdom in many areas. I don’t ever remember being this content or having such a lack of need to shop, purchase or acquire.

The needs I feel in my life now tend more towards those things less tangible that I can’t grasp in my hands. I’d like to have more influence, to expand my boundaries so that I might reach someone or teach someone something that I came by the hard way, that I might make a difference in someone’s life.

I’d like to share my art with the world.

I’d like to pave pathways for those that come behind me, to point the way and show them how NOT to stumble.

It was kind of shocking to see and know the difference in my desires from then and now. I’m so much happier now, so much more content. I seek for soul-affirming, spirit-reaching, life-affirming things and people.

Music, art, poetry, the thrill of finding a new fiction novel that will transport me to a new world, a new poet that will encourage and inspire me, these are where it’s at for me, and still, as I enjoy these things I realize more fully every moment

There is very little I need.

 

The Artsy Life-Love It or Leave It

I don’t know why the creative life is such a bi-polar one. Everyone I know that has ever made anything good with their creative gifts has also suffered mood swings from a super-confident high to some very low lows. But there are those of us who are blossoming, blooming, learning that our artistic life is not the beginning or the end of the world, it just… is. We’re learning to express freely, without hesitation, then let it go, stop standing there next to our work, hat in hand, waiting for the crumbs of acceptance or approval. If it lands with someone, it lands. If it misses, it misses. No matter.

If we’re blessed with the ability and the opportunity to make art (music, writing, sculpting, painting, whatever in the world it is that you do) we are blessed indeed. I, personally, am in the very midst of learning to let everything else go. I do it because it is in me and it is me (and in some cases if it doesn’t come out of me I will explode). It’s very freeing to realize that if your spouse or a friend doesn’t love your work, you’re not going to die. You’re going to be okay. If an art critic doesn’t like it, you’ll live.

The absolute most powerful lesson I am learning in my life right now is that there is freedom and joy in the letting go… letting go of expectations, letting go of criticism and opinions, letting go of all the negative voices, and just dancing in the utter joy of simply being.

I told someone the other day (when he brought up expectations) that they are indeed the source of all pain, and the longer I’ve tromped around on this planet the truer I have found this to be. I can pretty much look at every single instance of pain in my life and realize that any emotional pain I have gone through has been because I had some expectation of someone or something that did not pan out like I thought.

This is why I’m always saying (mostly to myself) Let it GO!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a process.

Happy creating!!   🙂

Follow Your Passion

I have always sought beauty truth and love and have tried to be as genuine as I knew how to be at whatever point in my life I found myself. You do what you know to do, like Maya said, when you know better, you do better.

I’ve learned so much over the past several years, it’s amazing what comes to you straight from God/the universe when you tune out all the noise. There was a time when isolating myself would’ve brought me destruction but this time it brought me salvation in its truest sense.

Why is it that I am now in my early fifties I see so much clearer than I ever have? It’s hard to have any kind of spiritual experience, epiphany or paradigm shift without everyone around you blanching and fleeing. Such experiences are as personal as your own blood and DNA and often cannot be fully related to others, I’ve learned to accept that. I don’t know why I feel such a need for others, particularly those I care about, to understand me, but I am now settling for acceptance and I’m also allowing that those who need to leave my life are going and new ones are pouring in every day. Finding a new tribe at this juncture in my life… who knew? And I love the ones leaving enough to let them go, want them to, even. And I welcome my new friends with open arms and an open heart.

This path I’m living and walking down is so full of wonder, joy, and contentment and that is because I’ve been blessed with love and care in my life and creative outlets that keep me sane. I’m a recovering people-pleaser who has been set free and I’ve learned that more people than ever connect with me when I’m my truest, realist, most vulnerable self.

Anytime you do something creative you are putting yourself out there—wide open to the judgment of others. Writing, painting, poetry, all of those things, can feel as though you’ve emptied your very heart and served it up on a platter. Then comes the tough part of seeing how others react to that, to the things birthed out of your very soul. It’s not an easy life if you are sensitive (and by and large Creatives are very sensitive), so we must develop the thickness of skin to let criticism fall away (from those who just don’t get it) secure in the knowledge that those who DO get it, they are your audience, your target. You WILL find those who love and appreciate both who you are and what you do.

To my fellow Creatives out there, if you’re feeling unloved and misunderstood, welcome to the wonderful world of Creativity! It can hurt sometimes, but you’re gonna love it. Press on, don’t listen to nay-sayers, follow your passion.

 

 

 

 

 

power and control and being a woman

Bringing Order to Chaos, that’s what I do 

Or at least that’s how I explain it to myself and others but what it may actually be is trying to impose a measure of my will in any given situation, to prove I have some power.

 What causes a control freak, what are the ingredients?

Is it born with you as part of your DNA or is it that which life draws onto your soul?Looking back over my early life I remember many times I felt I had no control and that made me anxious, maybe even rebellious because by damn nobody was ever going to control me again. I’d be the master of my own destiny.  

That “don’t tell me what to do” attitude grew in me quicker than a fox on a hunt. At seventeen I just knew I was grown… enough. Had to move out of my parent’s house even before I graduated high school because I knew better, I didn’t need anyone else telling me what to do. 

I can remember feeling powerless with a guy in the back of a car, powerless and also ashamed that I’d allowed myself to get into such a position. That wasn’t me or who I was supposed to be. But I was there, not because I really wanted to be, what I had wanted was someone’s time and attention, affection… love. I had no desire to be mauled in the backseat of a car. But a man (or I should say boy) knows exactly what to say to get a woman to respond, just what she wants to hear.  

But when a woman stands up for herself and takes back control she’s seen as sinful, brazen, haughty, bitchy. How dare we stand up for ourselves and demand respect? Who do we think we are? 

Unfortunately just saying “I am not in control, God is in control” has not been enough for me. 

Are we not also created by God to be loved, cherished, beheld? Yes, but not our strength, no, never that. We are loved so long as we stay in our place. This feeling I understand. Of course I do, I’m a woman. I’ve been objectified, talked about as if I wasn’t in the room, used and discarded like a wad of tissue, teased, bullied and perhaps above all, underestimated. Maybe that’s the worst one of all. Having people expect less of you because you’re a woman, think you are not smart, not intelligent, not capable of any sort of greatness in thought or deed. 

I’ve never really considered myself to be a feminist, at least not in the same way that others appear to be, I’m not a very militant person, but even I know that every human being deserves, and has the right to demand respect from others. I agree with equal pay for equal work and some other issues. 

In my life I’ve seen so many women utterly lose themselves in a man, and not always in a good way, I mean totally lose sight of who they are.  

A friend of mine when I was young used to drive with her windows down in 90 degree summer weather, not because her car didn’t have a/c but because her husband forced her to. He wanted to save a few pennies on gas, you see, but she was the one who worked fifty-plus hours a week while he tried to find himself. (He wasn’t looking very hard. I knew just where he was) but she never seemed to get it. He ruled her with an iron fist and her eyes were clouded over with love. Really? That’s love? If I have learned anything it is that we must respect and love ourselves before we can expect it from others. We have to know what it is, enough to recognize what it is and what it isn’t.  

And that’s only one example. I saw it many times throughout my life. Girl meets boy, falls in love but doesn’t realize he is only out to use her. Women put up with emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse and will stand up and defend the one perpetrating it on her. All in the name of love. 

We women love hard and often foolhardy. 

So when I speak my mind, when I follow my heart, when I use a gift, I am asserting a measure of control over my life.  And maybe at least some of my past experiences have influenced this control thing. (And my Rebel/Free-spirited DNA.)

 And like the song says, “God bless the broken road that lead me straight to you”—I can now say I’ve found a man that shows me a free and giving sort of love. I hope he understands me when I try to assert my power, when, as he hovers over me to give me a kiss I sometimes back away. It is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction. I’m making sure that I am in control, that nothing is gonna happen that I’m not okay with. I’ve had man-handling and I’m not okay with it, not ever again. 

He loves his mama and his sisters and he treats me with such love and respect and kindness and he brings out the best in me. Maybe he’ll be around when I finally conquer my control issues.

blah blah blog

This week hubby is on vacation and since we’ve just had to replace the roof on our home, I’m not sitting on a beach or visiting family in far off places.

It’s going to be nice just hanging out together though, getting some projects done in the yard or around the house. Hoping to see the grands that live nearby over the coming weeks, and I get to see my younger son and his wife and family this week as well (from VA). Summer seems to bring excitement of its own…. pool times and daughter times and lots of inspiration to be found for writing poetry and painting.

Writing (and painting too for that matter) helps me process life, helps me cope and deal with the chaos in the world and often in my own mind and soul. I wonder at times how people cope if they do not have outlets such as these.

I suppose some just lead horribly stressful lives, get ulcers, eat too much or drink too much, do drugs, whatever. Anything to deal with the woes and pains of life. Faith offers a refuge as well. I am a firm believer that all people find coping mechanisms… some are more obvious than others.

But we are all humans, doing our best to navigate this earthly existence. Perhaps how we navigate is the point in the end.

Off to do something with hubby now… pull weeds or varnish artwork or run errands, not sure what, but I will do it in peace. However you cope this week, I wish you a good one.

May the Fourth Be With You! (And a bit about flowers and just being.)

A productive day today, indeed, a great week thus far, but I have not painted in a few days. Lots of  errands done, cleaning, laundry, groceries bought and the like. Keeping the day-to-day business of  life going. But like a lover pining over an out-of-town love, my heart keeps yearning for the peace, joy, contentment and often euphoria that comes with creating.

I don’t know what it is about us “Creatives” but I’m convinced we see things others do not see. For instance I’m obsessed with the flowers on my deck, the yellows, pinks, oranges… (this photo does not do them justice as they’ve been pounded with rain and wind today) but their beauty is obvious when the sun is shining and all is as it should be. They need the nourishing rain but when that sun comes out they stand a bit straighter, open a bit wider and appear to smile at the onlooker. You’ll never catch a flower struggling with ego and self, with God or fellow man, they simply… are. They spend their time being what they were created to be, in all their glory.

Is it their color that attracts me or their innate ability to fully be what they were created to be??