You can blame others or save yourself!

Either or.  Not both I’ve decided.  IT’s a funny thing about lessons.  They come when you need them right?  But in my case, I often notice a lesson playing out for others, before I realize that the dang lesson is for me.  So I’m going along watching others struggle with something and feeling like I got it HA!  and then I realize…dang the lesson is for me…not for them. Or maybe it’s for them…but it’s for me too.

This particular lesson has come up about ten times in the last four or five days.  Because, you know, I couldn’t get it the first time.  So, I’ve found myself , hypocritically, trying to point this lesson out to those around me. While not really practicing this little piece of spiritual advice myself.   I hate when I’m a hypocrite.  Ugh.

So, today, I sat with this thought while going about my other responsibilities.  Hey universe…I get it.  Blaming others leads to a whole lot of victim hood, depression, fear blah blah. Then I thought for awhile about how you can avoid blaming others.  At first, I was kind of like…“hey, other people do wrong you sometimes.  Other people can be wrong.  Murderers for instance…child abusers, people who interfere with your joy and happiness, liars (and there’s alot of that on the American scene right now) That is all true I said to myself.  Dang right it’s true I answered myself back”!  Still…what’s the answer to not blaming? Because blaming someone ….even if you think they deserve it… is still not going to get you down the path of healing and enlightenment right?

I suspect that the answer is different for different people.  But here’s what I came up with if it helps…

1.  Identify the problem.  Take a real,  realistic honest look at what is really bothering you.  Look at it from different perspectives.  What makes it better?  What would make your feelings about it change? Can you understand where the other person was coming from?  If not, can you at least get out of the blaming space?

2. Face your fears…take responsibility for resolving it.  No one is going to fix it for you. Most times the person you are blaming is not going to fix it because who even knows what their experience of the whole situation is?  They may be blaming you right back or have some other agenda that you’re not even aware of. Hey…they have their own journey and you have yours.  Save yourself is what I’m saying.

3. Don’t waste your time feeling bad and doing nothing.  Do something.  And if you can’t do something now…then let it go until you can. Really let it go.  Don’t do that martyr thing because… nobody looks good doing all that.

And last but not least…something I learned from Marianne Williamson….Pray hard for the person who you feel has wronged you. For days.  Either it will change them or it will change how you feel about what they did. Or you will get tired and move on to some other problem…lol.  You think I’m kidding but I seriously don’t have the behavioural  energy for long term blame, anger, and grudge holding.  For the most part, you have to really do me wrong in order for me to remember to be mad. And even then I mostly forget.

Now, if I can just put all that into practice…laughter…I’ll let you know.  Guru-in- practice Fonda…signing out.

The Summoner

Years ago I read a book by…I think it was by Marianne Williamson, and she made the point that we should look at our lives sort of like the hero journey(she’s not the first to have this idea but the way she wrote it stuck with me).  At the time, I was on a fairytale kick in my art.  So I set about translating her idea into the whole fairytale theme, you know, as one does lol.  In any case, that whole idea stuck with me over the years.  I began to intuitively translate subconcious stuff into stories.  About me.  And my world. And what it meant to me. Thoughts and ideas became creatures in my artistic shorthand and emotions became characters. Now…I rarely have thoughts or feelings without sort of seeing a creature or character in my mind.  This either makes me very imaginative or mentally ill.  Could be either one.  I’m not saying which.

So I was thinking the other day about how we sort of pull into our lives what we need to know to learn or grow or heal.  As I was journaling, I started to get the idea of that part of myself being “The Summoner”.  Rather than life happening to us, it’s working for us. This made me feel a lot better. ( I mean I knew that, but I haven’t been internalizing it lately.)  Because no one wants random chaos and crap in their lives.  And there seems to be a lot of it around these days.  So then I thought…”what am I summoning into my life”…”am I even aware of that process” yada yada.  The answer is no. I’m not aware. But I see the results.  Oh yes I do. I know that I am summoning experiences to make me flow right outside of my comfort zone.  I know that I am stretching and morphing from one day to the next.  I know that I am working on many levels.  Because that’s what artists do….they transform the world around them with their vision.  And that right there…is the biggest summoning of all!

http://tinyurl.com/http-Artasmagic-com

 

It’s already the end of the world!

Those of you who know me…know that I live with anxiety.  And yeah…I can’t really even pass it off as one of those cool artist kind of things.  Because it’s not cool. Oddly,  I don’t usually think of myself as a person with an anxiety disorder,  which is funny, since a pretty solid chunk of my day is governed by the fact that I am a person with anxiety disorder. Anxiety can turn something as simple as my morning chores into a psychological game show, where I’m constantly trying to figure out the correct answer before the timer runs out. Do I get dressed now in case I need to go to the hospital for a terminal disease/heart attack/catastrophic health event, or wait because if I move it might just set off the cascading effects of said disease/heart attack/catastrophe?  Oops, you chose wrong, and now you’re having a panic attack! Not only that but you’re not even dressed properly…lol.  But thank you for playing “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”!

Over the years I’ve used lots of therapies…some that worked and some that were laughable but hey…I tried them just in case.  But here’s the point.  The one that has been most valuable…the one that is a life saver….is my journaling practice.  My right arm is my secret weapon.  When I feel overwhelmed, chaotic, in over my head, when it feels like the end of the world…I sit down to practice my art in a journal.  I sit down to tour my imagination, and get those subconscious thoughts out on paper.  You can’t heal if you don’t deal…lol.  To get all hippiewoo on you.   And here’s what I know.  Anxiety, for me, is coming from suppressed emotions/thoughts.  I make it a practice to share those thoughts and emotions everyday.  In my journal.   I let my subconscious out to take a walk.  To send light to those dark crazy spaces.  Because anxiety is not the boss of me. It’s not even a good survival technique for me.  And It’s most definitely not a good fashion look for me.  True Story!

http://tinyurl.com/http-Artasmagic-com

 

Where She was Standing When She Lost The Flow

Ok, don’t judge me.  I think of my creative “flow” as a bright quirky goldfish.  She zips here and there and is generally all over the place.

Yesterday, I was in the “flow” big time.  Journaling away.  Then the kids started calling.  Our daughter (names withheld to protect me..lol) that is getting her Masters was overwhelmed and anxious.  She needed to be reminded that she could do it, and has done it and will continue to do it!  One of our other daughters texted me to check on party times for Sunday.  Our youngest daughter called to see if I would help her set up her classroom at the nonprofit where she works.  My son texted me to make sure I had picked up bread and snacks.  All within about an hour.  My flow just flew.

Once I got home from helping with the classroom….I sat down and tried to recapture where I was in my journal.  The above is all I could come up with in the thirty minutes before bed.  I can’t even remember my original idea.

I’m not complaining…I’m just stating the facts.  Sometimes/Most times when you have children, especially if you have as many as we do, your time is not your own.  And that’s ok.  I know without a doubt that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing when I’m dealing with these children.  Even though some of them are technically adults…they are still my kids.  Always will be. Evidently, I came into this world with a lot of Mom energy.

It’s a funny thing…there are lots of people out there who don’t really see raising kids as a life path, career, or even as work.  That’s ok.  But, for me, I don’t see any other way.  I kind of imagine it as being a steward of potentiality.  One of the kids we touch, teach, help along their way….may save this old world.  And I will be behind them clapping, cheering and wiping away a tear (with a paint rag most likely).

There are other colors…I’m sure of it!

Wouldn’t be nice if everyone could get that everything is not black or white?  I mean, sure…I’m a pretty black and white person when it comes to murder, child abuse, animal abuse, planet abuse…. the horrid stuff like that.   But hey, there’s a lot of other colors out there ranging from grey to white.  It’s not the worst thing in the world to try and understand someone else’s point of view once in a while.  You don’t have to adopt it.  Just stand in their shoes, momentarily,  and see of you can get where they’re coming from.

It would be so boring if everyone believed the same thing, wore the same thing, looked the same way!  Yuck!  Diversity of opinion is not such a bad thing.  And if you can’t get on board with someone else’s opinion,lifestyle, belief…… I’m saying…..at least treat the other person with some respect.  Realize that you don’t have all the answers, that we need diversity in this country in order to overcome our obstacles. Give peace a chance….be a little more moderate in your arguments today and try not to be so inflammatory.  Send some peaceful energy out into the universe.  We all need it.

It’s more obvious for some than for others.

What do you do when you just don’t know the answer?  I have spent a lot of my life not knowing the answers to a lot of questions that well meaning people have asked me over the years.  I am a bona fide expert in this field.  For instance, I was always in awe of my friends and family who knew definitively what they wanted to do.  To be honest, I often wondered if they were lying.  lol.  I mean how did they know at 18 that they wanted to be a doctor or teacher or whatever? I say, good for all of you people who knew and know what you wanted to do or be.  Even better if you knew the how, and why, and wherefores.  Those of you who knew/know all that don’t need to read further.  As a matter of fact, you should probably share with the rest of us how you did that.  But for those of you who are not always sure like me….read on.

I often will look to the past to try and help me navigate the future.  But in truth, the past is just the past.  It’s not the future.  It’s not even always a good predictor of the future.  Mainly because we are not the “self” from our past.  We’ve changed and hopefully grown into a whole new person. So…strike that technique to find answers off the list.

I know people who will look to other successful people for answers.  That might be a good technique for some… but for me…. not so much.  Because,  I am not that other person.  And if I am doing what someone else says they did, well it might be okay for a minute, but ultimately I’m not going to react the same way they did forever. And it’s not who I am.  It’s not authentic for me.   So I had to strike that idea too.

So what does work?  What is the “answer” (literally and figuratively)? It took me awhile to realize that the answers are not as important as the questions.  That’s right, you heard it here.  Our society seems to be answer driven.  But what about the lessons we learn as we journey to the answer?  What about that huh?   What about the unfolding in time so that we have a chance to internalize the lesson? It seems to me that the “good” answers are the ones that show up in our lives from a lesson we learned.  Not because we skipped the lesson and went right to the answer.  I know it’s what we all want, instant gratification.  Hey, I’m right there with you.  I’m all about instant gratification.  Unfortunately, the glow from instant gratification sure doesn’t last very long.  And then, you’re right back where you started.  Lost.

What it comes down to is this, for me……I don’t know how to find the answers other than to just live the journey.  That means living with the unknown and sometimes unknowable. So, mostly my prayer is to ask the right questions, to have the strength to live with them, and to recognize the answers when they show up in my life.  TA DA!!   Pretty dang wise you say?  I have to agree.

All the better (a repost from a couple of years ago)

okay so this one was a doozy.  I went back and re-read Little Red Riding Hood and it was just as odd as I remembered.  So I get that this is a metaphor for young girls being preyed upon as they come into puberty.  A not so subtle one.   And I get that the whole moral is that you should not stray off the path or there will be trouble.   But this whole thing just irks the hell out of me.

Why would you let your young daughter go wandering off in the woods in the first place, and if you know that she does silly things and can’t keep her attention on the path….then why send her? And if the grandmother couldn’t come and get her own supplies then she shouldn’t be living alone in the woods.  Just saying.  And in every version I read, there seems to be a kind of flirtiness and a sort of sly sensuality between Red and the Wolf.  They both seem on the creepy side to me.

Yet, this story never seems to go away.   It seems to be part of our consciousness.  Something about flirting with danger and the wild side of ourselves….maybe……something about I can handle myself if I do get off the path and if I can’t , some guy with an axe will come and save me….maybe. Something about death and rebirth…possibly.   Some archetypal images are strong and there’s a good reason I suspect.  So I get the strength of this story…it still just irks me…lol

Possibly it irked me the most when I read the ending.  After conquering the wolf (he dies),having her grandmother reborn from the wolf’s stomach,  and being saved by the woodsman…  Red Riding Hood heads home…and she says to her herself, “i should have listened to my mother.  I didn’t and that’s what got me into trouble.  But at least I never forgot my manners…my “please” and “thank you.”   Thank goodness for that right?  She never lost her ladylike manners in the midst of bloodshed and mayhem and trauma. ACCKK!!  That’s me coughing up a big old red riding hood and the wolf furball.

And yet…she persisted!

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I recently had someone tell me on Facebook that they were tired of all the political stuff.  I get it.  I do.  But how can you be tired of fighting for whats right?  There are bad people out there that count on us to get tired.  In fact, they count on it so much that you hear it on the news and from elected officials.  Constantly. They’ve even begun to spread rumors that the outrage of the American people is being paid for by “liberal activists”.  I haven’t received a dime nor would I expect to.  This is the American way. Not my job!!

And there are people out there who don’t understand why the “liberals” are upset.  They want us to give this new administration a chance.  I’m not one to use a broad brush in painting people who are different from me, people who believe differently, as evil.  I don’t believe that.  But I do believe that there are people who are ok with evil things happening as long as it doesn’t affect them or their loved ones.  This will not play out well for anyone.  We have to get involved.  We have to have a dialogue about the direction of our nation.  Democracy is a spectator sport.  It just is.   So today….I only ask that people get involved.  In whatever you believe in.  I will not try to argue you around to my admittedly liberal point of view.  But I will ask you to reflect how you would feel if some of the things that are happening today…happened to you, or your family.  OM.

In my Spare time (new listings)

So in my spare time…I create.  Little moments stolen from the demands of life in a big family.  I haven’t made the time lately to make sure that my listings were updated on Etsy.  But I did today.  Woot! And it is very cool sometimes to see all of this artwork together and realize that you can create a body of work in those small moments.  You can.

 

Alien Thoughts bear channel Choose thoughts that bring relief claim your strength you are not that fragile Culturally transmitted madness Driving the Prejudice Vehicle is a dead end job hush hush I Am You I know you by your opposites listen as hard as you can mostly just a dream mother maiden crone Not bone tired but heart tired objects of scrutiny Once there existed a golden time One day at a time Playing the part despite her ancient knowledge Rabbit Requiem of doubt secure in the strength she was born with Some angel that wanted you to choose to breathe Tell The Truth The magic never left you The Unique Ones tired of watching every step waiting on the next step to be revealed what goes on in the pauses What if you're just too damn tired whispering fairy tales to my inner child