What’s Important to YOU Today?

Happy Monday! Or is it? 

We all try and start the “week” off on a positive note. As the jokes/memes say, it’s only downhill from here.

I tend to disagree.

Sometimes it can go uphill from here.

I suppose, barring unexpected occurrences, most of us can expect a normal UP and DOWN kind of week. It depends on what we’ve planned for ourselves.

I hope you have planned some positive experiences.

I know I know — you can’t plan gifts from God or sparkling experiences from Gaia. They just come when they come.

But you can plan activities that bring you extra pleasure. 

Of course, you know I’m referring to Art. Crafts. Writing. Piano lessons. Painting a mural on your garage door. Anything that makes you happy.

There is something about starting fresh on a project/projects you love that plants that sparkle in your heart that eventually flows all through your body. Even if you aren’t over-the-top in getting back to your Art, once you get there, the world changes.

Your flops aren’t really flops. They’re lessons. Your completions aren’t really the end, but just the beginning. 

If you can stop listening to that little demon who whispers that you’ll never be any good, you will be amazed at how finishing the book you are reading or sewing that last piece together can make you feel.

Give yourself a chance.

I have lots of demons dancing in and out throughout the day. I’ve learned to either ignore them or, if need be, let them scream their garbage and then kick them out the door. I am who I am, and all that hoo hah. But I’m always working on improving “who I am.”

For me, that’s perfecting my crafts. Always writing something, always fooling around with Angel Tears. I have a boatload of projects just waiting for me to open the door, but I promised myself I’d stick to just a couple for the time being.

Give Monday a chance. Let it be the beginning of new chances, new worlds, new universes. Well, universes is quite a big quest …. maybe start with something smaller …. like solar systems.

Go for it!

Tell me what your creative plans are for the week!

 

 

It’s Not That Hard

We all look for acknowledgement in our lives.

Whether we admit it or not, we are brought up to seek “approval” from our parents, our friends, our aunts and uncles and fellow churchgoers and those in our social circle.

As we get older, it’s not so much the strict sense of the word “approval” as it is more “kudos.” Words of praise. A slight nod of the head to show that what we are doing is appreciated.

Yet, bad relationships, bad choices, slipped steps and miscalculations lead us to think that kudos and praise and acknowledgement are for other people, not for us.

I am happy to say I am a survivor and purveyor of good news.

Appreciation is always appreciated. 

It’s funny. The blogs and artists I hesitate to post are the ones everyone loves the most. The Angel Tears I make and wonder about others really like. 

Every time I believe in myself and my work, something comes along to sow that seed of doubt. Then the world wobbles and I wonder what in the world I was thinking of. But then a kind word comes my way and I’m back up dancing on the clouds.

And it’s all because someone said something nice to me.

I mean, how hard is it to say someone, something, looks great? Smells great? That someone’s ideas kick butt? That someone looks good in purple? Or that their bright red tennies rock?

I am always trying to find something nice to say to both those I know and those I pass by. I’ve tried to do this most of my life, but more so now days.  With Covid and unemployment and other downers everywhere you look, the world needs a little bit of appreciation.

Your compliment never goes unnoticed, although the degree of reaction varies from person to person.

So does your “Thank You,” your “Great Job”, and your “Awesome.”

So to all my readers, those who comment and those who peek in then pass by, thank you.

You rock.

And so do your tennies.

 

 

A Star is Form(ed)

pastaI love watching  people “livin’ the dream.” Watching the Food Network’s last Food Network Star, that was a popular phrase shared by the contestants and mentors as well. And really — doing what you love doing, walking the hallowed halls of Food Network, past the gods and goddesses of cuisine, travelling to places like Caesar’s Palace and restaurants that offer $1,000 ice cream sundaes — how can you not be living someone’s dream?

Television is truly a dream all its own. I watched season 6 of Face Off, and one of the episodes sent the contestants to Japan. To Japan! Just to give the prosthetic makeup artists a little bit of inspiration?  They can inspire me like that any time they want.

Or Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen. Most of those contestants are animals from the start, but when they win challenges they do things like go sailing or have champagne lunch on the beach or, for the final competitors, a night in a suite at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. With a view!

I know I sound like I’m jealous — and I am. I know there are only a few that can rise to the top, creamy white and perfect. Some of it is luck, some of it talent, but a lot of it is throwing hangups and insecurities to the wind and just going for it. It’s using that innate talent that we all have and doing something with it, not being afraid to put it out there; not being afraid to fail.

I think I’ve always been afraid to put it out there because I’ve always been afraid to fail.

Our parents raise us as well as they can. Their hangups, their ignorance, seep into our growth whether we want it to or not. But their confidence, their dreams, their positive reinforcement seep into our growth as well. Cheering us on at soccer games, sitting and listening to us in choir concerts, marveling at our crayon drawings, all help us feel better about ourselves.

This is where our power as an adult comes from. Where it can be used for good or for evil.

I have always been what I consider a “nice  girl.” I was picked on through middle school, but I got passed it and moved along through boyfriends and job. Married and had kids. During my lonely days I kept a journal. I wrote stories. I aged. I role played, which was impromptu writing. I kept more journals. More stories. Poetry. More writing. My parents were good to me, but they never really encouraged me to follow my dream.  Maybe I should have gone to college and been an English or Writing major. But they didn’t have the money and I didn’t have the focus. To be honest, I don’t think a lot of us did that back then.

There are always a lot of winners and losers in the world. Only one person can become a Master Chef. Only one person can be the owner of the fanciest restaurant in San Francisco or Accountant of the Year.

But there are a lot of wonderful, brilliant, fun people at number two. Or three. Or seventeen. After we get over our jealousy of what others “get” (which…come on…we all feel…at least initially), we can can celebrate our love of our craft no matter where we are. We can encourage our kids and grandkids to go for what they want. What’s the worst that can happen? They don’t become number one? So what?

Parents have the power to make that okay, too.

That doesn’t mean we don’t teach our kids and grandkids to compete. The working world is still a working world, and you rarely get ahead by being cute or dressing like Beverly Hills. Most successful people know what they can and cannot do, and go after what they can do.  They work hard, play hard, and love hard, so when failure comes their way they have other outlets waiting for them.

I still would love to be one of the portraits hanging down the Food Network Studio Hallway, but my cooking skills would never stand up against those with more experience. No matter — I know a couple of kids who love to cook. Why not encourage them along the way? Encourage them to have fun while they hone their skills? For that matter, why not say something positive about someone’s poem or drawing or how well they hit a baseball? What have you got to lose?

I’m still working on putting myself out there creative-wise. What have I got to lose? Besides — I still have time to push J.K. Rowling off her throne and take her publishing crown.

Even if it is too small for this swollen head…

 

Where in the (&?;A@#?<%) Did I Put That Magic?

As I ran around the house this morning getting ready for work, feeding the dogs, putting the gym shoe one of the dogs brought upstairs to sleep with back where it belongs, flipping through the TV stations looking for a weather report I already knew, trying on my third outfit because the first two made me look like a pudgy pie, realizing I’ll have to take a banana that’s seen better days and a huge container of leftover macaroni and cheese for lunch because I don’t have time to divvy up the leftover into human-sized portions, I wondered ― where has the magic gone?

Oh, I know “cosmically” it’s still hanging around, in and through me.  I know it’s outside in the morning sunrise, in the beauty of Bach on SIRIUS XM POPS and the bright fuchsia of the flowers outside my window.  I know it’s in the tinkle of a baby’s laugh and the breath of a secret.  Blah blah blah. All I knew was that I wasn’t feelin’ it. And the day was going to go downhill if I didn’t find it soon.

Magic is one of those words that can ruffle feathers in certain spheres.  So to distinguish the word that boasts levitation and lightning bolts from the one that’s benignly linked to the soul, let’s talk about the latter. The one that sparkles with positive vibrations. The one that binds friendships and leaves a smile on your face. This sort of magic makes size 18 look like size 10, makes your doodles look like a Picasso, and your sing-with-the-song-on-the-radio voice sound amazingly like Whitney Houston or Harry Connick Jr. 

In the frustration of having to get up early on a Saturday morning to work my second job, I found myself wishing I could connect to all sorts of magic.  Time travel and teleportation came to mind, along with channeling the winning Lottery numbers and seeing a 1967 427/435hp red Corvette in my driveway instead of my beat up Honda.  Realizing that cosmic power was not mine to wield, I would have settled for a bit of the buzz that would have automatically washed, dried, folded, and put away my six loads of laundry on the floor next to my bed or scrubbed that line of black stuff from beneath my open window.

The skeptics and the pragmatics say I should stop being so selfish and me-centered; that I should use my magic for world peace and feeding the hungry and stopping the drought in Texas. That sort of magic is way beyond the ability of both me and my blog, but, trust me. Should my omnipotence ever reach that level of magicology, those would be the first things I’d handle. 

I think it’s a universal to want to quickly and guiltlessly make our lives easier. Who wouldn’t want to whip up gourmet meals with a flick of the ‘ol wand? A twitch and voila! Duck a l’ Orange! Who wouldn’t like to turn water into wine ― or at least into a German Weiss beer? Who wouldn’t want to buy a pound of ground beef and be able to make enough burgers for a game night of 30 people?  What’s wrong with wanting a little hocus pocus in our lives?

It doesn’t mean we aren’t willing to carry the burden that’s already strapped to our ankles; that we aren’t willing to work out way through adversity to see the sunshine on the other side. Magic is not a cop out ― it’s a viable tool that, in the right hands, makes our lives easier, opening our cosmic space so we can pursue more “enlightened” and worthwhile pastimes.

Somewhere in our under-used brain mass lies a spot where all things are possible. A direct line to the energy that pulses all around and through us ― the cord that connects us with all living things. As we age we realize that spot is not so much buried as it is forgotten.  We find that when we least expect it our desires produce the most magical results. We find we are creative, expressive, loving, and intelligent. We don’t have to twist in angst for hours and days about decisions that need to be made right away. We don’t over-analyze the pros and cons of turning left instead of right ― we just turn. Whatever’s there is there. And we’ll handle it just like we handled everything in our lives.

Isn’t that what magic is all about? Finding our way through life one day at a time, making the world a better place by sending out positive thoughts and feelings? Knowing there are some things we can change, some things we cannot. And swirling our hands and saying a little chant or turning in a circle clockwise three times then counter clockwise two turns does the same thing as plain paying attention. We’re moving forward anyway. We are working on a better life, not only for ourselves but for those we love, for those we know and for those we will never know. What does it matter if you make a brew of chamomile tea and mint and rose petals and a pinch of cayenne and call it a magic potion or a refreshing experiment? What does it matter if you sage your house to protect it from dark energy or if you grow pretty flowers and mow your grass for the same effect? 

We perform magic all the time. Every time we pet our dogs and make them feel good, every time we wrestle with our kids or grandkids and make them laugh. Every time we make a meal from scratch or go to work so we can pay our bills or give money to charity.  Every time we wake up and see sunshine or rain or two feet of snow, we experience magic. For we have seen nature, we have seen the light. And have found a way to handle it, to transform it, to make it our own or a way to get rid of it. 

Now, if I could just turn the clock back an hour, seeing as I’m going to be late for work…