Thursday, February 24, 2011

Find Your Own Voice

Never be afraid to let your freak flag fly and just be you!

All But a Memory

It was a big pain in the butt while it lasted, but now that all of the snow has melted, I look at the photos we took on our own self-proclaimed snow days and can't help but almost be able to "see" the silence! There was so much snow that it actually made everything look like a black and white photo! Pretty while it lasted, and if I know the Midwest like I think I do, there will be more of it before we know it! But for now I am happy to just enjoy the memory of it.

Thank you ART people.....

I'm trying to discipline myself and only post once a day.....because I'm a chatty sort of girl and need to muzzle the mouth/hands sometimes....but what the heck...when something inspires you, I say run with it!
I've been spending a bit of time clicking through the seemingly never-ending artsy-inspiring-magical blogs out there in web land and I have to see that it's been truly eye opening. If you're a creative person then you will understand when I tell you that at any moment of any day, I seem to have a swirling buzz of colors flying around in my head.....and every once in a while words and phrases pop into the chaos and it can feel like if I don't find a way to flip the "off" switch then my head might explode. But as I am reading through all of these other blogs I am slowly learning that I am not alone in this colorful and creative chaos. For a while I thought it was a curse and really wished that I could just function on a normal level and in some sort of an organized fashion, but now I just feel like.....well, I feel like it's all going to be okay! So, I just wanted to briefly send out a little "thank you" to all of you creative types who have poured your hearts out via your work and your words! You are an inspiration and have given me the permission slip I have been searching for that has freed me up and allowed me to see 'art' and it's never ending possibility for manifestation as a gift! and I am forever grateful!!!
Wishing you a day with eyes wide open!
The older I get, the more I realize that optimism is a choice. Since I firmly believe that what you focus on follows you, no matter what is happening in my life, I do my best to consciously find the silver lining. Some days, when nothing seems to make sense and I feel like I am living in an upside-down world, it's a bit more challenging to be a glass-half-full kind of girl, but the alternative can quickly become a permanent state of brooding if I'm not careful!
I've run into a lot of people in my life that walk around with a permanent "why me?" cloud hanging over their heads ( you'll know them when you meet them because they never smile). They are quick to expect the worst and then wonder why bad things keep finding them. It's so easy to make a habit out of waiting for the bad news that we neglect all of the good things happening around us. It's even more challenging to be a in a permanent state of positive thinking when we are surrounded by people who are constantly negative themselves.'s no mistake that if you are a negative person, then you will unconsciously draw the same sort of people towards you. There would be no reason for the phrase "misery loves company" if on some level it wasn't true! So today, I pose a challenge.....a teeny tiny challenge that could potentially hold the key to changing your mind and the expectations you have about your life.....
It's a little thing I like to call "The BLISS LIST."
Grab yourself a piece of paper and some colorful markers or even crayons (everything is so much more fun when you do it in big, bold color) and put together a BLISS LIST for yourself! You don't have to make yourself crazy trying to come up with something profound, just very quickly jot down the top things happening in your life RIGHT NOW that fill you with a feeling of bliss! Take nothing for granted....not the air you breathe on your own, not your eyes, not the smell of a delicious pot of coffee brewing on a cold winter morning! There are 1000 little things happening around you right now that need to be recognized for the blessings that they are! So find ten of them, write them down and then post that list somewhere you will be certain to see it every single day before you leave the house!
My experience is that when we focus our energy on all of the good things in our lives, then we take the power away from all that other "yucky stuff." So, no matter how busy you are right now, stop what you're doing and write up your bliss list! If you're feeling really adventurous and optimistic, try to make a new list every couple of days and get yourself into the habit of seeking out all of the amazing things that you DO have versus complaining about what you think is missing! I promise you that once you get used to seeing the good, you will at some point begin to wear your optimism like a magnet and before you know it, all the wonderful blessings available to you on a daily basis will suddenly be knocking at your door!
Today I wish you the ability to send out a conscious invitation to the Universe asking it to shower you with abundant clarity and the vision you need in order to create your own Bliss List!
Have a magical day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ah-Ha Moments....

On December 22nd, 2010 I woke up expecting an exact repeat of the day before....kind of like my own personal version of the movie Ground Hog Day! Each morning prior to that I had been falling out of bed, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting quietly waiting for inspiration to strike. I had recently closed my store and made the decision to stop creating and selling the mineral makeup I had been producing for over 10 years. To say that I was at a bit of a loss would be a grand understatement. So every morning while scribbling in my journal I asked one question of the me a sign and give me some sort of an answer as to what is supposed to be next for me; and each morning there was nothing but silence.
December 22nd anxiety sat heavily on my shoulders dressed up as the weight of the world and I needed a momentary distraction, so I did what I always do, I checked my email. The very first item sitting in my "inbox" was an email with the following words typed into the subject line; "Heather, the answers will find you." I didn't even need to open the email because in that moment it was literally like lightening had struck. On any other day, I probably would have completely overlooked that simple line, but on THAT day, and in THAT moment when I was so desperate for some sort of a sign, well I was pretty darned certain that however crazy it seemed, I had just received it.
I'm not a religious person, but I do consider myself to be quite grounded in my faith that God is paying attention, he's just a really busy 'guy' and most of the time we just need to take matters into our hands. I believe that if we pay attention, we will find that we are given little cues from above that are meant to quietly help us along on our journey, but most of the time, we are so worried and caught up in our own lives that we tend to not notice the things that are right in front of us.
I'm not so narcissistic as to tell you that I believe God, with everything he has on his plate, took the time out of his day to tell me that he was listening....but what if he did? That little question is what changed everything for was my personal ah-ha moment. It was the notion that I mattered....little ole crazy me who hadn't really done anything exceptional to warrant the attention of the Universe just might matter in the grander scheme of things, and maybe it might not feel like it right now, but that knowing meant that I was going to be okay. So that morning, it got me thinking that if somebody like me could possibly hold such relevance in the world, than that means that we ALL do, and that each and every one of us brings our own version of something SO important to this human tapestry. It means that no matter where you are, how much money you you look, what your history has matter what, you matter!! When you allow that thought to wash over you, it can be life changing!
It frees you up from not competing with the neighbors, or being self conscious and worrying that you are not enough, it stops you from comparing yourself to every single person that you pass on the street. It gives you wings! It enables you to know that in the midst of everything happening in the world, YOU are an incredibly relevant part of all of it!!!! If we all just knew unconditionally how amazing we are can you imagine what that would feel like, what YOU would feel like?
I think a lot of us don't believe that we stack up. One million different circumstance could have lead us to a place where we just don't feel like we fit in or belong anywhere. But that can end right now. You owe it to yourself to unconditionally, at every moment of every single day, know that you, YES YOU are a MIRACLE!!! The moment you took your first breathe, you made a difference in this world. You might have days when you don't feel as though you're anything particularly special, but I promise you that you are! The minute you showed up on this planet, you were something special, and that has NEVER changed, not for one single second!
Maybe God doesn't a have big ole computer that drops little encouraging notes into our 'inboxes;' maybe that little note I got was nothing more than me so desperately searching for the answers that I somehow manifested those six little words to show up when they did. Whatever the case may be, the most important thing is that it made me stop to remember just what a gift it is to be here and that yes, some days might not go as planned, but that's just going to have to be okay! You and I, well we bring something special to the table every single day; we bring ourselves. And no matter what else is going on around us, if we can allow ourselves to really know that, then we are going to be just fine!
My wish for you is that today, regardless of what your circumstance are, or what you have been told, today you give yourself the gift of knowing unconditionally that you....fabulous you, are a miracle!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making it Happen....

Do I stay on dry land where it is safe and boring, or do I throw on some water wings and jump right on in to the deep end? I say jump! For the last ten years, I have been in a bit of a cocoon.....creating and selling mineral makeup, and quite frankly, I did quite well. But in the back of my mind, I knew that I had bigger and more creative plans....I knew that I couldn't squeeze myself into one tiny box and be satisfied. Maybe it's some sort of a genetic mutation, but up until recently, I couldn't figure out how to channel all of the creative energy into something other than scribbling in a journal and making list after list of all the things that I would LIKE to do when the time was right. But it occurs to me that there really is no 'right' time, there is only what sits directly in front of us.

1000 Wednesdays is this vision I had of merging the real world with the imagination and seeing what showed up on the other side. It is drawings, and cards, random thoughts and finally understanding that all we really have is RIGHT NOW and to spend one more minute lost in a sea of worry or self-preservation just doesn't seem to make sense anymore. We spend so much time worrying about how we look on the outside.....but maybe that reflection in the mirror would be much comfortable if we paid a little more attention to what is happening on the INSIDE!!!

I invite you to sit back and think about what you would like your life to look like.....what sort of dreams you have dancing on the surface of your heart that you keep putting off until later. If you are happy where you are, then embrace it completely and celebrate! But if you have a little itch that you have been dying to scratch, then I say you throw off the mittens and SCRATCH IT!!!

I am currently putting together my new web site....1000 will be a little creative play house full of inspiration, color and heART... I may not be Picasso, though maybe he had his doubts too.....wishing he could be more like Renoir, but he didn't let it stop him, right? If every one of us looked the same, did the same work, and tried to be like the person sitting next to us then imagine how devoid of color the world would be! The new web site is coming soon, but that site and the work that I will be sharing is a part of MY if I can do it, so can you! Grab your life by the tail today and do whatever you need to in order to breathe new life into it! The only thing standing in your way is you!!!
I wish you a day dripping with all of the self confidence and motivation you need to take the first step!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Aventure ahead....

It started out like any other day....until the squirrel somehow managed to fall down into the fireplace shaft and land in the basement....though at the time we had no idea that was what had happened. I knew I heard a loud noise in the fireplace, and I knew I heard something scratching a few minutes later. It was a strange morning to say the least. Ironically enough, each time my husband came into the room the scratching stopped, so I'm pretty sure that although he was too kind to say anything, he thought I was losing my mind..... All week long the scratching and other odd noises continued. We took the entire fireplace apart looking for whatever had landed in there and we found nothing. It was a mystery and it was driving me nuts. Being the devout animal lover that I am, I simply couldn't live with the idea that maybe an innocent little bird was trapped in there and there was essentially nothing we could do.
So, here comes Friday, another day with nothing special on the horizon. I am in the basement working at the computer when suddenly a strange noise behind me.....I turn slowly to try and find the source of the noise and there, perched on top of a shelving unit is a squirrel.....staring right at me. Maybe he wasn't nervous because we had been feeding him and his friends right outside our window for so long..... Maybe he thought that if he freaked out he would no longer be welcome in his new home. Whatever the case may be, that squirrel never flinched, he just sat there staring at me like he belonged there. I of course went flying out of the basement to find my husband. Mystery animal solved. Now the question became how did he get it, and more importantly, how do we get him out?
Hubby came downstairs, but of course Mr. Squirrel was nowhere to be found so we searched for the point of entry. Sure enough, right next to the furnace below the fireplace was a little hole where you could clean out things that had fallen underneath the firebox.....another mystery solved. Off to rent a cruely free trap in the hope of being able to return Mr. Squirrel to his outdoor haven where he belonged. Pita bread and peanut butter nealty placed in the cage and we wait.....24 hours and nothing. Smartest squirrel ever, but hubby was smarter.....he found the clean out box outside, popped the door open and we prayed the squirrel would hop his way to freedom. Sometime late yesterday our prayers were answered and Mr. Squirrel showed up outside the family room window in search of food.....but I'm pretty sure that this time instead of just staring at me, there was a friendly little wink and a wave because after all, we had been roommates all week, so the least he could do was show a little gratitude, right?
Never underestimate what sort of adventure may show up on a seemingly normal day! A big thank you to Mr. Squirrel for shaking things up a bit, and for not tormenting our cats or dog in the process!
Have a fabulous day and don't forget to feed the squirrels!

When I get caught up in my usual perfectionist ways, I have learned that I tend to over-think, over-analyze, and over-complicate......over and over again. So, in an effort to get out of my own way I have made a quiet little promise to myself to try and be more aware of old habits that show up when I am trying to get from point A to point B..... I think sometimes I make things harder than they have to be just so I don't have to finish anything. But last week instead of sitting for hours and thinking about what I wanted to do, I stopped and I just did it! At first it felt a bit unnatural and messy, but the more I forced myself to just stay present and go with it, the more comfortable I got. Miraculously I got things done.....let my imagination go without worrying about what other people would think and just let 'it' happen! The result is loads of new drawings, a bottomless (for now) well of creativity, and a whole new direction for myself! Who would have thought that a simple decision to keep things simple would hold such magical powers?
Get out of your own way and keep it simple today sweetheart!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do NOT Lists....

We spend a great deal of our time making endless TO DO lists.....when maybe we should be focusing a little more energy on
DO NOT LISTS................
-do not compare myself to others
-do not settle for anything less than bliss
-do not forget to pamper myself
-do not forget to laugh
-do not forget to say thank you
-do not forget to eat chocolate
-do not forget to smile at stangers
-do not ignore beauty and the many forms it comes in
-do not get lemon juice in my eyes because it really burns
-do not forget the power that one little random act of kindness can hold
-do not live unconsciously
-do not take life too seriously........................
Today, instead of sitting down to write out YOUR to-do list, maybe you could instead try your own version of a DO NOT LIST!!! I promise all of those tasks you couldn't wait to scribble down will be still be there!
Have a magical day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

It all Started With a Unicorn....

I was just 13 years old when my parents decided that it might be fun to send me to overnight camp for 4 weeks....and needless to say, I was not a happy girl. I had never been away from home for that long, and the idea of sleeping in a cabin with 9 other girls was enough to make me want to pack up and run away from home. But mom and dad thought it would be a great experience, and a fabulous way to spend the summer.
From the moment I arrived at that camp I cried....(yup, I was THAT kid) and I didn't stop crying until the first letter from my father arrived. I ripped open the envelope hoping to read that my parents missed me so much that they were coming to pick me up. No such luck. Instead I was greeted by page after page of my dad's scribblings about Unicorns living in our backyard and hot air balloon ride adventures that he was enjoying with the monkey that had moved into my bedroom. At first, I didn't get it, and thought that maybe my dad had taken a nose dive right off the deep end.
But the longer I read that letter, the more I realized that no, my dad was not crazy, he was just using his imagination in order to prompt me to use my imagination, and until the day he died, I don't ever think he really knew what sort of gift he had given me with those letters. Each time a new letter showed up I was magically transported to a place away from all of those campers, and though I hadn't noticed it, I was not crying anymore. Before long, the four weeks had passed and my parents finally came to pick me up. I'm pretty sure that those letters (and my amazing counselor Zoe) are the reason I survived that wretched experience. (to this day when anybody even mentions the idea of going camping I have an overwhelming urge to cry)
The amazing thing about those letters is that they didn't stop showing up just because camp was over; each time my dad and I were either separated by miles, or I was having a particularly bad day, those letters magically showed up always filled with the most amazingly fantastic stories.
Today, the memories of those letters always reminds me to step outside of reality and let my mind wander a bit. They remind me to color outside of the lines and live life way outside of the box. But most important, they taught me how to use my imagination, and that is a gift I have carried with me my entire life.
My dad was an unconventional and wonderful man who for better or worse had the unwavering ability to see things a bit differently than the rest of us. He never figured out how to use that magic mind of his to change the world, but for one 13 year old girl with an imagination as far-fetched as her father, well that colorful wisdom continues to be life changing! So daddy wherever you are, I hope there is plenty of chocolate and you have not forgotten to feed the tap-dancing sea horses!