Getting Through the Storm

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We were scheduled to do an art and photo shoot on March 5th and as the day approached, I noticed the weather was not looking too good.  There was supposed to be some light showers.  Well, I panicked.  I tried to change the date but there were too many people involved in the process.  It was not an easy task.  I decided to stick with the original plan and date.  It was time for me to let go and just trust the universe and whatever it had planned for me.

We began the day at 10:30am and it was a bit cloudy.  Around noon it started to sprinkle.  My models were getting goosebumps and I started to paint a little faster. We had some cover to protect us but the rain started getting heavier.  The floors were getting slippery.  We all clamored for towels to dry the floors so no-one would slip while doing the beautiful yoga poses.  I was getting nervous but at the same time I was excited.  The adrenaline was coursing through my body.  I knew at that moment that I was meant to be there.  I knew that the rain was testing me to see how devoted I was to my craft.  IMG_1458.JPG

Around 2pm, the rain completely stopped and the sun came shining down upon us as if to say “congratulations, job well done”.  Sometimes in life we see a storm coming and we panic.  Through this process I learned how important it is to stay calm and to be present and in the moment.  To never EVER give up.  That’s when dreams come alive and into reality.  Namaste.IMG_1490.JPG

Breast Cancer Awarenes and Art

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“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.” – Winston Churchill

Yrma was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2014.  Here is her story.  “I was shocked when I received the news since I was leading a healthy life.”  On March 13, 2014 she underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment that left her very weak and sick. But it was not over, she had to undergo five breast reconstructions and in August 2016 she had her last one!  “I was so very happy to finally move on!  This coming March, I am celebrating 3 years cancer free and decided to have my dear friend Sheryl do a body painting in honor of my third year in remission.”

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“One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. In recent years, perhaps coinciding with the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.” — Nationalbreastcancer.org

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My art focuses on inspiring women.  It’s all about their strength, courage, and their healing process.  I have been part of Yrma’s journey and have seen everything she has gone through.  It is empowering to see how she handled it all with grace and such a positive attitude.  It was an honor to paint her and to bring about awareness through these photos.  Please get screened and do your part to get educated about breast cancer.

Please leave comments. Let me know your story.  How have you or someone you know been affected by cancer?

Don’t let a challenge stop you from reaching your fullest potential.

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“Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going.” — Chantal Sutherland

The picture above shows my gratitude jar that my sister got me as a gift.  I had my family fill it up with notes of what they were grateful for.  I also have a few notes of gratitude in there as well.  Gratitude really puts things in perspective.  One thing I am grateful for at this moment is the fact that I was able to pull off creating a painting a day for the past 1oo days.  As I am finishing up my last painting for this challenge, I have realized a few things:

  1. Practice really does make perfect or almost perfect.  I have seen myself grow as an artist through forcing myself to paint every day.  I no longer had an excuse, no writers, or should I say, painters block here.
  2. Never, EVER, give up!  I am finally learning how to finish what I start, something I always encourage my own children to do.  
  3. Opportunities have shown up that never would have if I had not taken up this challenge.  I think there is something to starting something and an energy in it or a momentum that takes place.  Action always leads to some kind of reward.
  4. There will be easy days, as well as hard days.  It’s inevitable but the key is to keep your eye on the ball, don’t lose focus or go into self doubt.
  5. Don’t ever limit yourself, we are all full of an immense amount of potential!
  6.  Challenges are not easy, that’s why they are called challenges! 
  7. You may inspire someone else and it will lead into a ripple effect of inspiration.

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This is a photo from my recent exhibit at the Chocholate and Art show.  It was quite a night, so many amazing pieces.  A room full of artwork and artists.  My perfect world.

Go out there and challenge yourself to do something different, maybe a little out of your comfort zone.  See what changes it will bring in you, the growth you might experience might expand your world in ways you never imagined.  

The Ripple Effect of Inspiration

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“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even the smallest acts.  This is the secret of success.”-Swami Sivananda

I am witnessing the blooming of inspiration in all those around me.  It is quite magnificent.   My sister once put it so well, it’s like throwing a pebble out there into a pond and seeing a ripple affect.  My husband took the leap to start his own business, my best friend started teaching art to seniors, you can see it in the picture below.  Her mom even started to paint again.

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I am getting such beautiful feedback from the 100 days of painting.  Passion, persistence, desire, and focus, the recipe for making your dreams a reality.  When you put aside your doubt and fear and just take the leap of faith, everything will come around full circle.  

I just finished up an illustration for a spiritual children’s book and when I handed it to the author and she looked through all of them, she had tears in her eyes.  I definitely was not expecting that.  She was so overjoyed that I brought her book to life.  That made my heart smile.  A family member of mine commissioned me to create her business logo.   She just stopped by to show me the cards she made for her doula business, she even made a cute shirt.   She was the one I always looked up to before I started working again.  She also has three kids and eventually she managed to go back to school and become a doula and now she will be teaching other women who want to become doulas. I saw her commitment and passion in what she did and I wanted the same thing.  I have that myself now and every day I am working more and more toward it.  I know you can too!!  Keep inspiring my lovely spirits, keep moving, keep the positive energy afloat.  You never know whose life you might change in the most beautiful way.

 

 

 

The Ripple Effect of Inspiration

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“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even the smallest acts.  This is the secret of success.”-Swami Sivananda

I am witnessing the blooming of inspiration in all those around me.  It is quite magnificent.   My sister once put it so well, it’s like throwing a pebble out there into a pond and seeing a ripple affect.  My husband took the leap to start his own business, my best friend started teaching art to seniors, you can see it in the picture below.  Her mom even started to paint again.

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I am getting such beautiful feedback from the 100 days of painting.  Passion, persistence, desire, and focus, the recipe for making your dreams a reality.  When you put aside your doubt and fear and just take the leap of faith, everything will come around full circle.  

I just finished up an illustration for a spiritual children’s book and when I handed it to the author and she looked through all of them, she had tears in her eyes.  I definitely was not expecting that.  She was so overjoyed that I brought her book to life.  That made my heart smile.  A family member of mine commissioned me to create her business logo.   She just stopped by to show me the cards she made for her doula business, she even made a cute shirt.   She was the one I always looked up to before I started working again.  She also has three kids and eventually she managed to go back to school and become a doula and now she will be teaching other women who want to become doulas. I saw her commitment and passion in what she did and I wanted the same thing.  I have that myself now and every day I am working more and more toward it.  I know you can too!!  Keep inspiring my lovely spirits, keep moving, keep the positive energy afloat.  You never know whose life you might change in the most beautiful way.

 

 

 

Don’t let perfection ruin your new year!

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“For all my friends in the media who like quotes, mark this quote down. From this day on I’d like to be known as ‘The Big Aristotle’ because Aristotle once said, ‘Excellence is not a singular act; it’s a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.”- Shaquille O’Neal

I was once at my friend’s house, and she had a painting she created hanging up.  Only one.  I asked her where the other ones were.  She said she no longer bothered painting.  I asked her why….she answered, “I’m too much of a perfectionist and it just drives me crazy”.  That made me so sad.  Here was this talented young lady who really made a “perfect” painting.  But that “perfectionism” killed her art, it killed her inspiration, it killed a future filled with magic, creativity and growth.

 Don’t let that happen to you this coming year with a million resolutions.  One thing I learned from my experience of painting 100 paintings in 100 days (I’m halfway through, yay!), is to let go of perfection.  It really is about taking it a day at a time, whether you are going on a diet, starting to exercise or a new hobby.  You will not lose weight overnight or be the most athletic or talented person the world has ever seen after a few weeks of trying.  It’s all about taking baby steps. 

The picture above is of me painting away while on vacation with my family.  When I signed up for the 100 day challenge, I didn’t think ahead about the difficulties that lay ahead.  That would scare me too much.  I just figured I would figure it out along the way and I did.  That was the second time I had to paint in a hotel room and it was quite the adventure (both times).  There have been “frustrating” days, “tired” days, “I want to give up” days, “I want to throw this away “days.  But there have also been, “I feel great” days, “this is looking good” days and “I can’t wait to paint the next one” days.  I always say there is beauty in imperfection.  So let go of perfection and see what MAGIC  you can create by that one act!  Have a spectacular new year and don’t ever let perfection or fear get in the way of anything you desire!!  Dream big, dream on…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways Busy Moms can find time to be creative…

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A few years ago when I started to paint again, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to start or even have any time for it.  I had three young children, I was teaching on the side and I had a husband and house to take care of.   It is said that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit but I decided to take it up a notch.  So I decided to do my 100 days of painting, even if it meant painting for 5 minutes a day, just so I could get my mind and body used to it.  Those 1oo days of painting changed the trajectory of my life.  That was almost three years ago.  Now I’m doing 100 paintings in 100 days.

My good friend recently asked me, “How do you manage to find time to do what you love and feel a calling to do while being a wife and mother?”.  Here are a few tips that worked for me and maybe might help you as well!

  1.  The Passion planner– Another good friend of mine told me about this thing called the Passion Planner, its an amazing organizer that helps with planning out your day, week and month.  There is a page devoted to “Your Passion Roadmap” where you can write down everything you want to do and be.  And every month you go over what you accomplished and what has worked and what has not worked.  There are also great, inspiring quotes. I’m the type that prefers to write things down instead of putting them in my phone so it has worked wonders for me.  It’s also very beautiful to look at!  www.passionplanner.com
  2.  Start small–  Start in small increments.  Like I said, I would even paint for 5 to 10 minutes a day and I just worked my way up as my kids got older and I had more time on my hands.
  3. Take action and tell people– Stop talking so much about it and just do it!  Go post it on Facebook or Instagram so you are held liable and you have no way out.  Tell your good friends so they cheer you on.  I know having a wonderful support system has helped me a lot!
  4.  Buy online–  Save time, instead of going shopping for shoes or going to the store, buy online.
  5.  Be creativeI took my art supplies in my car with me and painting in the freakin CAR people!!  I didn’t want to waste my time on Facebook while I was waiting for my kids to get out of school so I decided to take my art supplies with me.  Figure out when you are wasting your time and put it to good use!  There are no excuses to why you can’t to do what you are passionate about if you really really want it.
  6.  Take your kids–  If they are old enough of course….I have friends who take their kids with them to their Zumba class.  They give them their ipads or phones but it’s only for an hour.  Plus your kids see that it’s important for mom to have her own desires and needs.  They need to see that, it’s not all about them.                                            I hope this helps you find that precious time to do what your heart really needs.  I know as a mother it is necessary to find who we are again.  Getting lost in motherhood can be overwhelming and daunting at times.  Don’t get me wrong, its also a very beautiful time.   It’s just even more beautiful when we have that time to have what moves our spirit and soul!