30 June 2009

You Are So Worth it, My Dear!

Dear Blog, I have not forgotten you!

I have come to realise that eight and a half or nine hours of sleep does the trick; now I am not feeling quite so sleepy and discombobulated when I come home from work. Seven-hour-a-day lawn work is exhausting, though it gives me quite an opportunity to think about Life and all its wonders.

Recently, and partly inspired by Friday's post, I have been thinking quite a lot about confidence and what part it plays in success, relationships, hopes, and dreams.

I am personally not one who has been blessed with confidence; I am dependent on others' opinions, beliefs, and words to boost my self-worth. My mood is greatly affected by those around me. I lack faith that I am wonderful, beautiful perfection just as I am. I am saddened by this, and have begun the journey to turn these negativities around.

What, really, does it mean to be confident? I believe that it is the ability to support oneself emotionally; to be unafraid of failure, or to at least have the assurance that failure is merely something to push through; to be unaffected by others' views; and to maintain cheerfulness and positivity through the good or the bad.

It is saying, "I am good enough" - "I matter" - "I am worthy". (I certainly need to repeat this to myself more often. Do you?)

In my opinion, confidence plays an enormous role in the successes of one's life. With confidence, one has the strength to make one's own choices, and the faith that it will all be okay should it not turn out well. Challenges will not be a looming wall impossible to climb, but merely a puzzle, an adventure in finding the creativity to find a path around the obstacle.

Confidence brings a smile to one's face and a glow from within. It brings us the ability to choose and stand up for what is right, no matter how great the opposition.

Naturally, questions abound: How does one become confident enough to make choices right for one's self? Is it possible to learn it if one is not confident? Where does one find those answers, or does one have to learn them for oneself? Answers never come easily, it seems, though questions to life's mysteries are endless.

There is a saying by Jane Roberts: "You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy." If you don't love yourself, then why should anyone else? This is something that I am slowly learning, and I am slowly working on reversing my not-always-positive thoughts toward myself.

Confidence, I believe, is the key to happiness. Not being afraid to fail - not being afraid to appear ridiculous - not being afraid in general. Confident doesn't have to be cocky. It can be a quiet trust in the Self that wields the power to push through steadily towards a goal that only you can truly know.
Repeat after me:
  • I am perfect just the way I am.
  • My presence in the world is appreciated more than I could possibly imagine.
  • I deserve happiness, I deserve my dreams, I deserve to be loved.
.. Because you are, and you do - and so do I.

27 June 2009

Saturday Challenge, the Eighth

With this Saturday marking an end to another week, I am going to pledge to try harder to post more often. My poor blog looks so sad and lonely when there is only one post between Saturdays! I shall do my best from here on to spend a little more time with you, dear blog, and my readers as well.

This weekend I challenge you to find your creative voice. Pick up a paint brush, your camera, a guitar, or a pencil. Sing your heart out or go dancing down the street. Celebrate you and all that you can do!

You are a wonderful, talented, beautiful Soul and I say that it is certainly time you shouted it out to the world. Go show 'em what you got - and have an outstanding weekend!

26 June 2009

A [Very Long] Post on Wealth and Happiness

Hello, my dear, dear friends! How are you - is life treating you well?

I have been meaning to write this [exceptionally long] post for several days now, but every time I sit in front of my computer exhaustion overwhelms me and I can't seem to manage to put my thoughts into any sensible order! But after a nap this afternoon, I feel composed enough to finally put this post together.

Recently, for the first time in my life, I have come into close contact with those who have been incredibly blessed with financial wealth. My mind has exploded with questions: 'What would it be like to be truly wealthy? What is wealth, anyway? Would people treat me differently if I were rich? Would I treat others differently? Is money the only difference between someone who is wealthy and someone who is not, or is there something else as well?'

I looked up the word wealth last night. Merriam-Webster has several definitions, most of them referring to money; the most general definition called wealth 'abundance of valuable material possessions or resources'. I do not agree that being wealthy consists only of material things - one can be rich in experience or rich in love, or one can have a wealth of knowledge.

However, it seems that one of the most valued forms wealth is that of money, and for obvious reasons. Being rich makes life easier; one can buy the things one needs and provide for one's family without worry.

But, unless one is 'born' into money, one must work very hard to live such a life and accumulate the finances to support it - often, I would imagine, at the cost of doing something one truly loves to do.

Now I must make a note that all these thoughts on wealth come from my own place in life, one in which I am longing to do things which earn me little or no money at all; though I am a hard worker, I have little interest in business or sales or the stock market or any other traditional path to great monetary security. Others, I'm sure, have very, very different perspectives and opinions on the subject of wealth and on how money contributes to one's successes in life.

Now I pose a question to you: If you could, which would you choose - happiness and a struggle to make ends meet, or unhappiness and financial security? I suppose that once one was truly rich, one could do most anything they desired, but for the moment and for the sake of argument, let's ignore this fact. Is it important to sacrifice one form of wealth for another? Would you choose wealth of money over wealth of other less tangible things?

Personally, I choose happiness. I choose the experiences, the memories, the family and friends and loved ones. I choose the dreams and the impossibilities, the freedoms and the magic of living an extraordinary life. Yes, I am still young - and yes, I have not yet truly had any of the hard experiences and responsibilities of life; perhaps - no, certainly - my ideals now will change in the future.

I hope for the time being, however, I can firmly stand in this position and live life for all it is worth.

This is a very broad subject with many facets to be explored. I feel that I have only scratched the surface of a very big question - what does it really mean to be happy? I shall continue to explore this in my own life, and shall share my own discoveries as I come upon them.

You, dear readers, are (of course) always welcome to share your own thoughts, ideas, opinions, or musings!
With love,

20 June 2009

Saturday Challenge, the Seventh

Today, I challenge you - and myself - to smile more. Practise smiling earnestly and kindly; make eye contact and send love towards those you meet, be they strangers or loved ones. Spread warmth and happiness. Bring joy to those around you!

Be the radiant, beautiful Soul you are, and encourage others to do the same!
Happy weekend,

17 June 2009

Changing the World

The other day, I heard a woman speaking about people, particularly the younger generation, and their desire to change the world. She laughed at the thought that so many hope to change the world, make it a better place, and make a difference, and thought that the desire many have of 'working with people' was humourous.

I have been pondering this for a while, and I think that what she said was very unfair. Yes, both 'I want to change the world' and 'I want to work with people' are vague terms that often lack any concrete plan to back them up, and yes, so many of us who want to save the world end up working in entirely different jobs that often don't help the world toward a better place.

But the desire to contribute something valuable and beneficial to our world is a noble one.

To want to be something more than what one is; to want to help all of humanity to walk hand in hand toward a better place; to want to change the world into a beautiful, peaceful, love-filled Eden is a spectacular thing! And that so many of us want these things, even if the means cannot be found, means that the world is already a better place simply because of the countless humans who are dreaming of these better things.

We are not so different, you and I. We are both finding our ways, slowly and unsurely, perhaps with only airy hopes and dreams floating in our thoughts. But we both wish for something better for the world and for the people who live in it, and are hoping one day to be a part of some grand scheme to work with our fellow humans towards something even more wonderful.

And I don't think that's such a bad thing.

13 June 2009

Saturday Challenge, the Sixth

Well - I made it!

After a very long drive and a boat ride, I am on a beautiful island full of artists and independent thinkers. I am near to the beach and with my art supplies close to my fingertips. I hope that soon I will feel myself being soothed, inspired, and challenged. What a lovely breath of fresh air this is, though, as always, there is also much hard work to be done.

This week, m'dears, I challenge you to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Go on a walk and pay close attention to all the small things - the birds, the trees, and the sunlight - that make the world so interesting. Go on a road trip, even if it's just to the next town. Explore your backyard, or go to a flea market and see what interesting things you can find!

There are so many details in everyday life that we pass by as 'common,' 'routine,' and 'ordinary' and we forget to notice them when in fact the most amazing things can be discovered in the most unexpected places. Go explore, discover, and observe!

I wish you all a beautiful Saturday filled with the most wonderful of adventures!

11 June 2009

Art Faeries

Since my last post, I have been painting and writing and sticking and cutting and playing.. and, as always, leaving a trail of scrap paper, wet paint, glue, and other supplies behind.

'Art-ing' is such a unique experience. When one creates, a stillness is created in which one can hear soft voices whispering from the depths of the Soul. (They speak of what it means to be alive and how spectacular life is.) Art is about acknowledging, exploring, and feeling one's emotions, whether they be positive or negative. (It also helps to heal pain or to spread happiness.)

To make art is truly to have a conversation with oneself. It is about learning to love, trust, and communicate. And what one learns is incredible, even if it can't quite be put into words.

Art Journal detail, June 2009
"May my Soul bloom in love for all existence!" - Rudolf Steiner

May your day be filled with creativity and colour, peace and love, happiness and wonder. Shine, my lovelies, for you have so much to give the world.

08 June 2009

Through a Creative Labyrinth

I have been bouncing all over the internet today, revisiting some of my favourite artists and their beautiful vibrant, imaginative, experimental, and soulful work. I feel my creativity being refilled.

I've been in a rut for the past couple of days, feeling unmotivated and useless and stuck, and feeling slightly out of myself, as if my soul is not quite firmly settled into my body. I suppose we all have times in our lives where we aren't sure how to move forward and are a little intimidated to try. Making changes can be scary, no matter how wonderful it is once you have come round to the other side.

The summer is here, and I should be filled right now with endless possibilities, happiness beyond measure, and energy without boundaries. I have been waiting, searching, and hoping for Me to return, full of life and laughter and light.

And now, slowly, I feel myself becoming more engaged, ready to burst into creative light-speed, giggling and making the world explode with colour. Surrounding yourself with imagination and love and boldness is the way to go.

I'm finding my way back into my groove.

06 June 2009

Saturday Challenge, the Fifth

Hello once again, my lovelies.

This week, I challenge you to take some 'me' time. Meditate. Read. Pause for a moment and reflect on you - your blessings, your talents, your troubles (and how to overcome them). Breathe in deeply, be still, and find your centre. Spend a bit of time focusing on yourself today, and re-energise for the week ahead.

You are a beautiful, unique individual with so much to give to the world! Take some time today to re-remember that.

Have a beautiful Sunday.

05 June 2009

Mysteries of Life: Part 1

Lately I have been thinking about what it means to be alive and aware, and what it really means to be human. Because this is such a huge subject, I'm going to break it into several - or many - posts, as whole lifetimes are spent discussing "Why are we here?".

Pondering the meaning of life has been a practice by humans since the beginning of our existence, and while many beliefs have been established, no one really knows for sure what is, or if there is, a Right and True answer. Countless philosophers have developed innumerable theories regarding life's meaning and our purpose in our existence.

Regardless of one's belief, being alive is an unbelievable gift. To think, to feel, and to witness all the day-to-day miracles and to share them with our fellow humans - how indescribably lucky we are!

We each have our own thoughts, our own personalities. We make our own choices and our own mistakes; we choose what is important and what can wait. We have our morals and our beliefs, our own sense of styles and fashion. We love. We have our differences, our similarities, our hopes and dreams and fears and joys and sorrows.

We each have a body - hands, toes, lungs, arms, legs, a neck, a heart, a brain - and we can move it in any way we please. We can eat and digest food. We can run. We can think and analyse and rationalise. We have feelings; we can love. We can reach out and stroke a cat, type on a keyboard, or paint.

You, my friend, are an amazing individual.
Let's celebrate, shall we?

03 June 2009

Silent Auction for Recovery

I have just come across the incredible story of a very brave mother who lost her legs, an arm, and her vision after complications developing from an emergency C-section. Her daughter, Safiya, soon turns one year old.

Please read Carol Decker's story, and then support this Silent Auction - beginning 14 June - to help raise money for her recovery.

(Thanks to cJane.)

L'inKspiration Day

Oh, dear ones, I have so much to share with you today!

I have gathered some of my old favourite and some recently discovered art inspiration, and have conveniently gathered them here, just for you. (Don't you feel loved?!)

Here are some beautiful art journals and creative art projects I have stumbled upon:
If you need literary inspiration, I highly suggest The Kite Runner, The Soloist, or The Secret Life of Bees. (The films are good. The books are much, much better.) None of these are light or fluffy, but they are very, very well worth the read.

Lastly, visit these sites for some homemade inspiration:
If you are looking for more inspiration, check out my Interesting Things link list on the left side of this blog. Whenever I find something new and interesting and inspirational, I post it there.

If you find any or know of any other sites that you would like to share, please comment! I am always looking for inspiration and new ideas.

Be inspired. Be happy.
Go play and paint and sing for joy,

01 June 2009

Notes on Early Summer

Well, my friends.. it's June!

The sixth month of the year - in which Summer officially begins, fireflies begin to appear, and the smells of summer seep from the ground, the trees, the sun, and the clouds and make their way into your Soul. What happiness there is in this month!

On a personal note, this month will take me to a different part of the country, where I will spend two months working on new projects, meeting new people, and perhaps gaining a new perspective on life.

My blog will be updated as usual; I trust that this experience will fill me with more creative, refreshed, interesting thoughts and ideas. I can't wait to share them with you!

It being a new month, I have picked a new 'Word of the Month' (seen on the right side of this blog). We move from the noun 'ACTION' to another bold word, 'COURAGEOUS'. Hopefully this will bring strength to your heart and move you to push the limits, spread your wings, and soar to places where no one has ever gone before.

I urge you to spend this first day of June celebrating the cool creeks, the sunlight, the greenery, the lemonade or iced tea on the porch, and the birds. Drink it all up, savour it, and let it renew your energy and simplify your thoughts.

Photo taken by A.N., April 09, Central Park, NYC

Spend some time up among the swaying branches and fluttering leaves, gaining a new view on the world. Let the sun warm your skin. Let your toes feel the grass, the earth. Watch the summer constellations rotate next to the Milky Way.

Spread your arms, sing, dance, and celebrate!

Calvin once said, "If your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life." And that's what summer's all about, right? Green knees and tousled hair and dirty toes, a sun-kissed nose and a huge smile?

Oh, what a summer it's going to be!
With love,


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