Hello again dear friends!!! It has been a long time since I did a blog post. I did not just give up on this, but I had some tech difficulties and instead of asking for help, I shut the computer and ceased to try.....not good! I admit it, I still have FEAR (false evidence appearing real). My new computer would not let me upload pictures to my blog. Without the pictures, I felt completely uninspired...I am sure you get that, being that making art is what I do! I admit it...patience in this department is what I need to work on....asking for help....even more so. The funny thing is that I did not even think about asking for help!?!?Last night, during a discussion with my oh-so-wise friend, Bryonna ( you can find her @ succulentpossibilities.com and she truly is intuitive...so much help making my book better). She suggested that I phone and ask the hosting company for help. I did that and the problem was so simple. All I needed to upload Google Chrome! Done...and here I am!So, if you do not follow me on Facebook, or Instagram, where I am quite prolific, you may not know that I have been painting and writing away, even though I have been MIA here. I have been working on making a deck of 44 oracle/inspiration cards (which I am still smitten with) when I had the inspired idea to make a book out of them. It is NaNoWriMo month, after all (where many people across the globe commit to 2000 words a day for the month, and voila, by the end of November you have a book). I realized that I had a book sitting there with my cards! And those cards had even been edited by knliterary.com! I was gob-smacked! Are you beginning to see a pattern here for me? I have the answers right in front of me. I just have to remember to open my eyes! Oh and to ask for help.Yep, I need to do that. APPARENTLY, no one can read my mind.
My editor, Chandika, edited my cards, and I had just closed out my account with K. N. Literary, when I sent her a message telling her about my new idea, and she thought it was a great idea. It is funny when you open your eyes, and step into the unknown, miracles begin to happen. It has been just over a year since I went to New York for the Hay House Writer's Workshop. Talk about open doors. If you have a chance to go to one of these events, especially if you dream of being a writer...do it! It was the best thing I ever did (hands down) for my art and writing. But, you do have to have the courage to step out of the small space you have crammed yourself into, and step into the middle of the big wide-open arena, though. In essence, you have to BELIEVE in yourself. Or at least be WILLING to make yourself uncomfortable, so you can begin to believe in yourself. The latter has been my path. I am definitely not without my own fair share of fear. If you cannot travel to attend one of these workshops you CAN do it online at Hay House Online Writer's Workshop. I attended another Hay House event recently, this past October. This one was a worthiness retreat in Maui with Nancy Levin and Doreen Virtue. These two workshops have literally transformed me and my life.So, as soon as we returned home, I signed up for Nancy Levin's Jump Coaching. I wanted to keep up the momentum.So here I sit, writing this blog, gloating over my book Lady and the Fox: A 44 Day Guided Journey Towards Liberating Our Inner Truth, that I just threw together (over a three year period of mass inspired writing and painting)...that I am madly in LOVE with. I submitted my manuscript (God I love that word!) to my editor, and I am overjoyed to say that she was very pleased. She told me that quite often people have to do a complete rewrite, and that I wouldn't have to do that (yes!!!). She said that my manuscript is well organized, and that I had not asked my reader to do anything that I was not willing to do. I share a lot of my most vulnerable stories:; stories that have led me to where I am today and I am ecstatic to be where I am.
I still have some darker feelings, I am not "there" yet....where ever there is? But I have so much joy in my life today that I never thought was possible. I got that joy by going through the darkness and learning to feel all my feelings, making friends of the ones I had long rejected, like 'anger.' and 'ego' (is ego a feeling? Yes, I think it is...it is fear).
Anyway, I will be popping in more regularly now that I have figured out my tech problems (thanks again dear Bryonna...you rock!). Thanks also to the lovely fellow at Bluehost for suggesting I upload Google Chrome again! Keep your eye out for my book. I am getting so close. Thank you, thank you, thank you! <3
Ta ta for now,
"Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches and deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all."
Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth.
This is such an important reading! It reminds me to always be aware of what my present focus is. Sometimes I forget what's important in life. I leave the present moment, and enter the "what if" realm. I fantasize about being grandiose in some way. I see myself as famous, appreciated, admired, etc., and when I go there, I am totally in ego, and I am out of alignment with my soul's purpose. And I know it when I am there. I just feel it. Something about my experience doesn't feel right at all.
But, learning to be more of an objective observer of my behaviour is bringing me the gift of awareness. From a place of honest reflection, I can change what have been default patterns in my past. I can learn to focus on the things that makes my heart sing, instead of working towards making myself feel "bigger" somehow.
My True Heart is never wrong. It does not judge; It only Loves. When my actions come from that place, I know it, because what I do inadvertently touches someone (I can't plan this because planning only serves to take me further into my egoic mind). And that is my real gift; that is my purpose: To humbly be of service to others. Service is the food that nourishes my soul.
Our hearts and intuitions are the most accurate gauge of whether we are in alignment with our true purpose, or not. If we feel icky in the inside; or if our actions niggle at our conscience somehow, then we've got some clean up to do. For me, living with a clean and honest conscience, is the best design for living my best life.
I have read a lot of books on the Law Of Attraction; books that tell me that I can have whatever I dream of having. But then I read A New Earth, and I find out that I also need to be conscious of "what" I am dreaming about; I need to determine if my dreams are self-centered and/or self-serving, in any way? Because, if they are, I am missing the point of having these manifestation powers. I'm merely living my life in a superficial way. Sure, I can attract lots of "stuff" into my experience, but I will find myself in a room full of stuff, feeling completely empty inside.
We can't ever "really" fill ourselves up with "stuff." But we CAN "really" fill ourselves up with Love and Connections. And we do that by connecting, and sharing our true hearts with others. And the realization of this has brought me such a deep feeling of relief.
Today, I give myself permission to remain a humble and subtle force of Love in this world, and from that place, I know that I will get to be of service, to my fellows, in a much more profound way! And I am grateful for this message. Ahhh!
"The sapling doesn't want anything because it is at one with the totality, and the totality acts through it. Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow said Jesus, They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. We could say that the totality Life wants the sapling to become a tree, but the sapling doesn't see itself as separate from life and so wants nothing for itself. It is one with what Life wants. That's why it isn't worried or stressed. And if it has to die prematurely, it dies with ease. It is as surrendered in death as it is in life. It senses, no matter how obscurely, its rootedness in Being, the formless and eternal one Life."
"...whenever there is inspiration, which translates as "in spirit," and enthusiasm, which means "in God," there is a creative empowerment that goes far beyond what a mere person is capable of."
Both, Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth.
I've had a really busy weekend (month), full of all sorts of people energy and changes. And, when I find myself in these highly charged situations, they become a test for me to see how connected I really am to Universal Intelligence. Honestly, I think I failed the test last night! And this morning, I know that's okay.
Wayne Dyer said that if a person was truly connected to their Source, and took that connection with them into all their affairs, they could enter a black tie event in sneakers, shorts and a t-shirt and not even notice. I am not there yet. I'm more like a sponge, soaking up all of the energy, and losing myself in obsessive thinking.
I've never been good in crowds. I find that my insecurities become magnified. And after all the excitement dies down, I am left feeling like the duck, that Tolle talked about in A New Earth, who needs to shake off all of the excited energy he had absorbed, through fighting with another duck. Maybe that duck understood something that I don't (yah think?). Perhaps it's perfectly natural to need to release an over-absorption of energy. I sure hope so, because that's exactly what I did when I got home last night.
Interestingly, speaking about animals, Tolle said that during the tsunami of 2004, hardly any animals died. He suggested that, because animals do not have egos like people have, they are naturally more aligned with Universal Intelligence, which allows the Universe to lead them towards safety, through communicating with them via their intuitions? It makes sense then, that Intuition must then be the language of the soul.
I'm not sure why I felt the way I did last night. And, I'm not sure why the universe wants me to be so busy right now, but I feel some resistance towards it. I want to crawl into my safe little cave, and withdraw from humanity for awhile (recharge my batteries). Perhaps it's okay for me to do that? I just might be allowing myself the "space" (since WE ARE made up of 99.9 % space) to surrender to what I am needing to do to take care of myself right now? Maybe sensing what I need, and stepping into alignment with that, IS going with the flow? It might be that, when I fight against my intuition, thinking I'm suppose to be doing something, other than what my intuition is telling me to do, I'm totally lost in my ego, and can't hear my gentle soul? Personally, I think I am as close to the truth, as I can be, through using my thinking mind. Because, trying to "think" my way into understanding Universal Intelligence, isn't really possible. Intuition is more of a "right" Knowing than it is a thought.
Anyway, today, I don't have much to give (I'm feeling pretty drained). But, I CAN see that I Am the Blue Sky, against which these dark clouds (thoughts) just continuously float on by, so, I think I will let them. "This too shall pass." Accepting how I feel right now, is a start towards learning how to Be in the moment.
My "free" workshop (designed for children, or for freeing anyone's inner-child really) is going to be called: "Yes! We Are All Artists. So, Listen When Your Soul Speaks!"
I'm going to use this art (as my poster along with a more male oriented one), and my children's book Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La, to show children, and educators alike, how we can all access and grow our inner-creative Being, by using only positive affirmations.
Basically, I am going to demonstrate how we can create a safe place for children so they c...an "risk" being vulnerable. Because, I believe that vulnerability is the way that we access the art that we were all born with, in our hearts. And the expression of that art, is the gift that we were meant to give to the world. It is our soul's purpose.
I will accomplish this goal by sharing my own "grade one teacher, who saved my inner-artist" story, by reading my children's book that I wrote, illustrated and published, in order to spark the children's own inner artist, and give them inspiration, knowledge and some tools, to start developing upon their own creative urges, right now.
I believe this workshop has the potential to heal a lot of pain that is expressed by children in school; pain experienced by shy children who suffer, bullies (who suffer too), and/or children who act out, in order to get the much needed affirmation that they we are all perfect pieces of art, no matter how diverse we are, we are all perfect and more than "good enough." We all want to be part of, not separate from, our tribe. I will highlight the BEAUTY of diversity in all expressions of art.
The idea of creating a safe space to express our birthright, "creativity," will be the foundation for the development of this workshop.
Feedback and questions welcomed!
Good morning friends,
I have been a bit negligent on my blog posts. I have been posting every morning on my Facebook pages, but I realize that many of you do not do Facebook still. And I want to include you as well. Here is my morning post from my Facebook page. Hope you enjoy!
"William Butler Yeats comments on man's loss of freedom. He says it is because we have turned the table of values upside down, believing that the root of reality is not in the center but somewhere in the whirling circumference. Life for most persons is completely exterior-oriented. We have been conditioned to think that we come into this life empty and go forth into the world to ...be filled. We go to school to get knowledge. We go to church to get religion. We go into the market place to get money and security, and we look to certain special people for love. Thus, love is outer-centered and other-motivated. It is thought of as an object rather than a faculty. If someone gives us love, then we will be able to love. Love comes natural to us when we find the right person to love, or to be loved by. Or so we reason.
Life for most persons is a long quest for love, which becomes a quest for objects of love. The most sordid and depraved lives are really crying out, "Won't someone please love me?" And yet, intuitively we know that love is an inner power and not an object, and that our need is to love and not just find someone to love us. Within every person is a hunger and thirst to be love, to express love, and to let the Infinite Power of Love flow through him (her)."
~Eric Butterworth, Life Is For Loving.
It's been a while since I spent some time with Eric Butterworth in his beautiful books. I missed him! I find the meaning, in his writing, to be clearer for me this time around though. I guess as we go along, we learn and grow, and certain concepts take on different meanings for us? Perhaps as young adults, it is natural to live our lives on the circumference? Maybe as we go along, and we realize that there is now more life behind us, than in front of us, we are urged to look for the real meaning in life? I don't know, but this is what I am experiencing at this point of my life.
When I was younger, I wanted all of the outer things too. I dreamed of a grand home, impressive cars, nice clothes, good hair, make-up to improve the outer world of me, a man to dote on me (yuck). And it's not that I'm against having nice things now, but they are not at the top of my list of priorities these days. Today I yearn for relationships, world peace (yes, I do), an earth that is cared for by us, her children who depend upon her for our very breath, and the ability to find Love in all of my earthly experiences.
Today, love means acceptance, generosity, caring, listening, seeing myself in others and caring for their feelings like I would wish to be cared for myself. I am not a princess today. I'm a fellow earth traveller.
Don't get me wrong, having someone who shares your values and gets you is really nice to have in my life. And those are the attributes that I desire in my partner today. That is what love, in the relationship sense, means to me. I wish to share my life with another human soul who allows me to be me, understands what is important to me, does not belittle my values and contributes to the love I want to share with the world. I want to recognize those same values in him too. And I guess I am really blessed, because that the love that I have.
My husband is that person for me. He loves me, even more, for my ability to love others. He never feels insecure because I Love so big. And together we are a love-force that is multiplied because we both want to love as much as we possibly can in this life. We work on our character defects together. We make each other better people. We are not so concerned about buying bobbles for each other, as we are about lending a hand to others who need it (including each other). And to me that is the best kind of Love. I believe that it's True Love. We are not perfect (thank God). We screw up all of the time. But together we help each other back up onto the beam.
I often sign off, with friends, that I love them. There was a time in my life that I would never have done that. I would have thought that they would think I was crazy (maybe some do...lol). But today I see myself in others. I really do love their hearts. I mean it when I say it! This life, this world, and all of God's creations are so beautiful. How could I help but be in awe and Love of that?
Today that is what is important to me. Ghandi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." What I want I see is Love, so I guess that is what I need to be! Peace and Love on this glorious Sunday to you all! JM
Artwork, Love, by Jeanette MacDonald
My most recent art. The message in it is we all have our own unique way of seeing life. It is as valid as anyone's. Be authentic and unique. <3 "Perhaps Roses are not Red like you think? Maybe to you, Roses are Pink? Well, that's perfectly acceptable my dear.' Her friend the blackbird, whispered in her ear.
Good morning friends,
I've been doing my "Morning Reading" posts on Facebook for a while now and I really love them. I can do them from wherever I am, using my iPhone! So, each morning I do a little post and pair it with a piece of my art, and push send. It is so easy and the real beauty of it is that I can be consistent. My blog, on the other hand, requires my computer and a bit more hassle. I haven't blogged on here in two weeks, and I apologize. But it will happen. We go to Hawaii on the 6th of June. I am going to Writing From Your Soul, by Wayne Dyer. I am not sure if you all know this, but my gift for signing up to my blog posts is called, Painting From Your Soul? I called it that almost two years ago! No coincidences, right! I am so excited to get to do this! Plus I get to listen to Doreen Virtue talk about writing too. I love them both! We are combining the trip with a 12 day vacation to Maui. We got married there almost 10 years ago, so this is going to be a very special trip for us.
So, I will be away from blogging for two weeks. But, if you follow me on my Facebook art page, or are a friend on Facebook, you will get my mini blogs, that I call my "Morning Reading". Each morning I write three pages to get any crap out of my psyche (Julia Cameron's Morning Pages). Then I do my inspirational readings. I have several daily inspirational books and I choose two or three. Then I sort out my thoughts that come up for me. It is my therapy. It keeps me feeling connected to spirit and happy. It is really magical.
I used to obsess a lot more over the things that really had nothing to do with me. My practice in the morning keeps me out of that obsession. I am so grateful for it. So, I thought I would try something a bit different this morning. I am going to write my Morning Reading here and then copy and paste it to my Facebook page. That way my blog readers, who do not do Facebook can read get it too.
"At its essence art is an alchemical process. By practicing art, by living artfully, we realize our vein of gold. What I refer to as "the vein of gold," Egyptians referred to as "the golden ray." It is the individual, indisputable, indestructible connection to the divine. The vein of gold in every life is located in the heart of that life. The heart is the origin of creative impulses."
Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way Every Day
Last night we watched a documentary on The Grateful Dead. A couple months ago we watched one on The Eagles. What struck me about the artistic success of both of those bands, was that their growth as artists seemed to be because of their perseverance. They played their hearts out and no matter what challenges came their way, they just kept at it. I get this drive to keep at it.
There were drug problems too, for sure, but it was the growth of these artists that excited me. I could see that keeping at their craft lead to improvement. Some people think that fame and notoriety, and the wealth that comes with it, are only accessible to the naturally talented. But this isn't so. I believe that what we desire is achieved simply by keeping at it.
In Julia Cameron's The Artist Way, there was a quote I read (I can't remember who said it) that has stuck with me. It said something to the effect, that in order to paint something well, we must first be willing to paint something poorly. We must all start at the beginning. And only when we are connected to our source, and enjoying the art of creating, and keeping at our practice, will we be able to amount to anything as an artist. In other words, practice, practice and more practice makes an artist.
I'm sure there are people, for whatever reason, are born with more natural inclination to be artistic in one way or another, but trust me, even for them, it took a lot of work to hone their skills. We see the band, when they have made it to the big-times and think that it happened over night for them. But, what we don't see is the the sores, blisters and loneliness, it took to get there. We think, "Wouldn't it be nice to have that kind of attention." But two things come to mind for me when I think like that. First, would it be nice? I am pretty sure it would be awful. I would not be into touring like a mad woman ( I love my quiet life). The Grateful Dead did over 3000 performances over the span of their career! Think about that!!! If they worked every night that is almost ten years worth of days! Not for me, sorry!
The second thought is that if I can feel good enough about myself in my own skin, I would not need that kind of validation from the masses. I am a bit of a hermit anyway. I love the social part of my life, but I love to get back to my little piece of the planet, away from all of that hectic energy. We live in a tiny little town. And I can breathe here. I want to keep it that way.
Being an artist isn't about doing something that will get the attention of others. It is about connecting our hearts to the divine. Art is a kind of communication devise that we can use to become a better person, and to allow us to feel confident and connected with the magic available to us all. Creativity is not something reserved for the talented few. Creativity is like breath. It is the path of the heart that leads us to all that is. It is joy. It is our gift from the Creator. And Julia Cameron, in Blessings, put it this way, "...all souls are part of God and God is part of all souls." We are all the same. There is no such thing as being better than anyone else. If you want something, you just need to work for it. Isn't that nice to know?
Have a blessed day full of love, light and creativity!
Hi everybody! In case you do not follow me on Facebook, we spent he past week on board our new-to-us boat. I did not bring a lot of art supplies with me. I was only able to bring pencils, coloured markers and Gelly Rolls (coloured ink pens). I managed to create quite a bit of art with what I brought though! I was surprised really. The 'naked-breast mermaid' was by far my most complicated to make using only the pens and markers I brought. It took approximately 12 hrs to make her! I know, I have trouble believing it too.
I posted her on my Facebook page along with a question wondering whether people thought having breasts exposed was too risky for my art page, or not, and I got a LOT of really great responses. The consensus is that breasts are good...phew! I thought it was appropriate for Mother's Day. Most of us have had some experience with breasts (yah think?). So it was fun to put it out there. I realized that I am a bit more prudish than I care to admit. But, it was a fun little experiment.
Making art on the boat was kind of a relief, to be honest. I had to curb in my more-is-more personality. I ended up creating my own version of stick people, being inspired by my niece who asked me if I would consider doing a baby in a Wearing, after she saw the wacked out little creatures with dancing animals I was createing. I told her I would give it a shot. But first she had to explain what a Wearing was (in case you don't know either, it is the scarf-like sling that a mother wears her baby in, like the antiquated Snuggly of my generation). I decided to give making a personalized piece a shot. I told her it wouldn't look that much like her. She and everyone else loved it.
So I found myself into creating these funny little caricatures of my loved ones. It worked to have something I could do on the boat. I ended up creating quite a few fun little pieces while we drifted from place to place.
I feel so blessed to get to live this life. Trust me, I have paid my dues for the ease of how my life is now. I appreciate my struggles though. It helps me to really appreciate the abundance and good life I get to enjoy. I never want to take that for granted. I am fortunate to be married to someone who loves my art and my heart as well. Could I ask for more...I think not! Here is the art I made this week:
Our Friends Don't Always Look The Way We Pictured Them
She Is So Catty; He Is Too Ruff
Just Because You Don't Understand The Music
Baby You Rock My World
Por El Amor De La Familia
Believe In Miracles
That is it for now. Thanks for stopping by! Love you and have a blessed week! Oh and make some heart art! <3
Art from my book Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La
I have a desire to write. I mean, I love painting, but I want to write as well. I am not sure where that desire comes from, but it seems to be a fairly strong one. I read Julia Cameron's, The Artist's Way Every Day
, daily, for inspiration and ideas on the mysteries of writing. And I just started reading Stephen King's book, On Writing
. There seems to be a common thread that runs through the experience of these two. Even though, they are both very different from each other.
I am not sure about the experiences that lead Julia Cameron to write, but I have a hunch that she has attended meetings at the same program as I have (hint hint). She speaks the language of recovery. My hunch is that King has some recovery under his belt too.
I am new to writing. I mean for the purpose of publication. I have been doing morning pages (We are asked by Cameron to write three full pages about the junk that floats around in our consciousness. This clears our mind of all that stinking thinking that rattles around in there, restricting us from being able to access our creatively), off and on for quite some time now. I am learning that consistency is key. And I have failed in that department. I have never made my writing a priority. This is what Cameron had to stay about keeping all of that crap in our heads:"Perhaps the greatest barrier for any of us as we look for an expanded life is our own deeply held skepticism. This might be called the secret doubt. It does not seem to matter whether we are officially believers or agnostics. We have our doubts about all of this creator/creativity stuff, and those doubts are very powerful. Unless we air them, they can sabotage us. Many times, in trying to be a good sports we stuff our feelings of doubt. We need to stop doing that and air them instead." Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way Every Day
King says, that if we want to write, we need to have a room away from it all, with a door that we must shut, so we have no distractions (even from the view) to divert us from our daily writing goal. And we must show up at the same time every day and set a goal to get down a certain amount of words. We don't stop writing until we have accomplished the goal we have set for ourselves. We write and then as we write the muse comes. It is not the other way around. We do not wait for the muse to show up to start writing. That is the way NOT to be a writer. And by the way, he says as a beginner we can make our goal a 1000 words per day (his goal is 2000 words/day). But the point is, we write until we have written whatever goal we have set for ourselves down. It is our job as a writer. We need to be disciplined and not cheat ourselves. It takes a lot of self-control. My inner-critic can be very creative and persuasive at coming up with reasons why I do not have the time to commit to making writing a priority, and in convincing me that my writing aspirations are too lofty for someone not naturally talented, such as myself. Writing is clearly not for the faint of heart. "Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work."
Consistency is a new concept for me. I write and paint a lot, but I do not do it every day. I mean, I write something most days, but I haven't had a goal before. If I did not feel like it, I simply didn't do it. So, I am going to try to make writing and painting my job."If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut."
King also says we must write about topics that we know intimately (and maybe even love). We can't just randomly pick any author and emulate their writing style and interests (although he does suggest that we read a lot on the topic that interests us and that we will emulate another artist's work that we do love to begin with and that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to do that...he has done it himself...phew!) thinking if we do, we can make loads of money and be on "easy-street" like them. That kind of thinking is a pile of bunk. Writers who make it "big", work their asses off. There is no "easy-street". We can assume that the stories that float our boats, were created by someone who took the time to lock themselves away, and translate the miracle of a story telling, from the ether, to the rest of us on the physical plane, who do perhaps like to be on "easy street"? Thank God for the writers who write the stories that inspire and please us, they improve the quality of our lives. And unless we are willing to give up a big part of our own life, and lock ourselves away, invest our passion into the craft of story telling, we probably won't be a good writer. That's what I hear. Dreams do come true, but only if we work for them. If I want to write, I need to put the time and energy into the craft and it needs to be about a topic that speaks to me about me. It is the only way
King says to pay attention to what we do like to read. I f we don't read anything, we are probably not going to be a writer. So I had to think about what it is that I love and what I read? The answer to those two questions will tell me about the kind of book I could write. That is my map. I read non-fiction books about the spiritual principles that I am passionate about. I like to paint pictures about fun, spiritual and happy ideas. I do not like painting sad and dark pieces (sometimes I do though). I love bright, whimsical and colourful art that is related to my belief that we manifest our destinies with our thoughts. And that is what I like to read about. I like to imagine a world where peace prevails, where people are passionate about art and where we learn to see the good in others and our environment. I like to imagine a world where we put our focus on those kind of possibilities. Not everyone likes to read about that stuff. But I do. So that is what I need to write about. It is my thing. It is my gift. And it is a start.
I have come to see that writers give up a big part of their lives, to make our lives more exciting. Imagine a world without stories and art. How dull it would be to live like that. I remember when I was a child there was a Christmas movie about a town where no one was allowed to sing, or play. It was a sad and dull Christmas for those characters, but it was a great idea for a story where a hero could rescue the village and bring back Christmas and the joy that comes along with creative expression. If we were not allowed to be creative, write, paint or sing, imagine how dull our lives would be. And now think of the blessings we get to experience because we have all of these talented and driven people who lock themselves away and create beautiful, colourful and interesting art and stories for us. I am now thinking differently about them. Are you?
Here is a list of some of the things we can do to make a writer of ourselves:
1.We need to have a love of the written word.
2. We need to read a lot on the topics we love.
3. We need a place to hole up in.
4. Do not take your phone with you or other distractions (for example: TV, computer etc...).
5. Set a goal for how many words you will write each day.
6. Do not leave until you have those words written.
7. Share your writing.
8. Don't believe in talent as much as you believe in good work ethics.
9. Have fun in your imaginary world where anything is possible.
10. If you love someone, it is perfectly acceptable to be inspired by what they do and to use that inspiration as a stepping off point for your own writing (or painting).
P.S. I have never considered myself to be a good writer, but over the past year I have had stories published in magazines, a chapter in the #1 Best Selling book Super Women Myths
, and published my own children's book, Shoo Shoo Shoo Sha La La
. Not bad for a start hey!
Thanks for reading this and feel free to leave me your feedback around this or any other ideas you have.
Good morning friends! I want to try something a little bit different. I want to post my comment about my morning writing and reading for you. I hope it will resonate with you. I think we all struggle with the same challenges?!
Yesterday, someone asked me what my word for this year was. I am sure I had a word, but I must have forgotten it already? I replied that I go back and forth between these three words: flow, allow and acceptance. She said that really they all meant the same thing. I guess they do. I might be just getting stuck on linguistics!?
I remember back a few years when I thought it would be quite easy to create a simple design for living a healthy life. I would only need a couple of rules to follow: A. Mind my own business and B. What others think of me is none of my business! Phew! Turns out that simple isn't really that simple.
A friend tells a story in Alcoholics Anonymous. He says one of his early sponsor told him quitting drinking was "simple". All you have to do is quit drinking and change your whole life! This simplicity business is hard core, right!?
So back to simplicity. Learning how to mind my own business was difficult for me. After all, everything everyone else had to say seemed like it was all about me. It was how I gauged whether I was ...... or not. You fill in the blank. I would put "smart" "pretty" "talented" etc...in the blank. But the biggie was "loved". I did not know how to be me and to be loved at the same time. Seems, it did not work to put the cart in front of the horse. I had to start with loving myself first. And how did I do that and still manage what everyone else was thinking about me at the same time? It did not work.
So there came a time when I had to matter. I just wrote a comment on a friend's blog where I said that who I was eventually demanded to be released. I am not sure why it happens, but we seem to come to a time in out life when who we are wants to come out really badly? It is not enough to care so much about what others think of us anymore. All of a sudden we have this uncontrollable desire to burst our truth onto the world. And damn the torpedoes! Or at least that was the way it was with me.
So back to my words and my morning writing. Yes. So today I am trying to stay in the now and in those kind of action words(Allow, Acceptance and Flow). In my morning writing I wrote:
"Help me to know that there is always a safe harbour for me in every kind of storm."
That is allowing and that is faith. It will all be alright. I realized recently that I can not concern myself so much with censoring every thing I say and do for fear that someone might get triggered. I came to the conclusion that if we get triggered it might actually turn out to be a gift for us? We must need to be triggered and shaken loose of the rut we have gotten ourselves into? It might feel safe in that rut, but it is merely a stagnant waste of life, in my opinion. I am beginning to realize that if I am feeling sensitive, or if what I say brings out sensitivity in others, we must need to do that work right now. I am learning to bless the lessons. I realize now that even though I am feeling uncomfortable, what is really happening is that I am growing and discovering my self at a deeper level!!! So bring it on!
Julia Cameron wrote: "When we write, we place ourselves in our world. We say, "This is where I am right now, and this is how I feel about that." Conversely, when we focus on the places we have been, we often connect to a deep and specific sense of how we felt when we were there. In other words, by mapping our literal, physical placements, we are often able to more accurately map our psychological placement. Good writers know this."
So, in other words, if I stay in the now and go with the flow, I will be okay (I am okay). I can allow for the unfoldment of the miracles that are possible in my life. But, I need to get out of my own way for this to happen.
Here is my little poem I wrote to go with the painting I made the other day (It is really all about faith!).
Open Your Heart
by Jeanette MacDonald
Release your vulnerable heart to the open ocean.
Cast your line out to the fish of your wish.
You might not catch the fish that you imagined....
But perhaps the one you catch will be more delish!l?
Painting by Jeanette MacDonald, "Good Ship Lollipop"
So, everyday there are opportunities for me to grow and overcome my fears. I know this is going to sound crazy (unless you are like me, and then you might actually relate to it), but I hate having my picture taken. I don't particularly like my face that much (I know...I have no business saying something so sacrilegious and taboo as that, and I am pretty sure it discredits me as a stable individual, but I enjoy the opportunity to be honest and reflect on my insecurities). I am trying hard to be grateful for what I have.
Getting pictures done is a challenge for me. The little annoying "I don't believe in you" voice was running rampant yesterday evening. I even took along my fuchsia coloured dress for the shoot, just in case I miraculously turned into someone other than who I am (I am not a big fan of colour in my clothes!) while getting my picture done. Surprise, surprise, that did not happen. I was still the same Jeanette who did not like looking down and seeing fuchsia on my body. I ended up wearing my gray sweater, jeans and cowboy-ish boots. Now there is a surprise! No one will recognise me in my uniform (sarcasm)! But my beautiful and talented photographer, seemed to have an intuition about what was really me and what was not...thank goodness. This is a very valuable skill for a photographer to have. Remember this is her art.
This sometimes chameleon tendency of mine, prompted me to take a look at who I am and what I like. And why do I try and be someone or something other than who I am anyways? I studied this picture, which has probably been touched up a bit and I still see wrinkles and imperfections. Sometimes I study other people's faces and I still see wrinkles, but I admire how those lines have created the beautiful face of someone who wasn't born yesterday. In some cultures it is even revered to be older. The older you are the more status-y it is. So why do I feel repulsed by my own signs of aging? Perhaps because in our culture we admire youth?
It was Aristotle, I believe, who said that youth was wasted on the young. I agree. I told two of my girlfriends that I thought it would be cool to look at myself now, like I would when I was sixty! That way I could appreciate the youth I have now in comparison to what I will have 8 years from now. My, oh-so-well-rounded, girlfriend asked why I can't just accept myself now...as I am in this 50 something moment? Hmmm....I don't know why I can't! Or maybe it is better to say that I haven't been able to yet, but I am working on it.
Getting pictures done was hard for me. The wind kicked up. I hate wind! I hate it when my hair blows all over (turns out that allowing the wind to blow my hair all around was pretty!) and I hate it when my hair sticks to my lip-gloss. I hate being cold. I hate being the center of attention, with my insecurities exposed like a badge that reads "Member Of The Odd Squad". That is a lot of hate, right? And I hate hate...lol!
But the bottom line is that I love me. I delight when I look at my face and know the struggles I was going through in the moment of facing a fear. I love how this picture reminds me of Sherry, who was so excited to capture a beauty she could see in me, even when I could not. I love how when I posted this photo as my new profile picture, it was received so well.
When Sherry was asked by a friend on Facebook, whether she would recommend a book that they could read, so they could take pictures that would tell the story of the person getting the picture done, as they felt she had done with me. My friend/photographer, Sherry Nelson of Fresh Air Photography
here on the Sunshine Coast, said that it was in caring about the person being photographed, that the best pictures came out of a shoot. We had a half hour to take these pictures and I was laughing at my hair flying all over my face. I never had a chance to feel like a poser. Sherry was talking and engaging me, and it just felt like two friend goofing around on the beach. I never had a chance to get all up in my head about it. Thank God!
So this post is turning out to be a bit of a contradictions. A love-hate story if you will. But the truth is that getting my picture taken, turned out to be way more like therapy than photography. I want to love myself. Every time I stretch myself by doing something outside of my comfort zone, I feel like I grow a little bit. So, thank you Sherry!
So here are a few suggestions that I as an photo-phobic person have learned from this experience, and perhaps you can take along with you if you have anxiety around getting your photos done:
1. Hire someone who is a little in the gray zone rather than all black and white. Artists generally love diversity and look for the magic in all experiences!
2. If the person is a bit spiritual it helps.
3. It helps if they are a relationship artist (this is when the artist combines their art and the art of relationships.
4. Take only what makes you happy to wear. If you don't wear purple, it's probably not the colour to start wearing now.
5. Don't think of it as a photo shoot...think of it as having a fun artist date.
6. Allow them to be the artist here.
7. Have FUN!
If you live here or close to here and need a special moment captured, check out Sherry at: http://freshairphotography.ca/
You will not be disappointed!
Love you all and thanks for loving me back! <3