Category Archives: 40 Day Blog challenge

Day 40- Forty Day Recap

i-did-it

This is day 40 of the Self-Love blogging challenge. I am pleased more than anything else that I stayed the course and finished something I set out to do.

Upon starting this, I told how I was new to blogging and wasn’t even sure I’d keep up, much less like it. But I did and I do.

I was afraid I would run out of things to say, but the words kept coming, which tells me I have found a positive outlet for things normally kept bottled up. Maybe we don’t reset our default settings, but adjust them, instead, as needed.

This 40 day challenge was all about Self-Love, a term unfamiliar to me in the beginning, yet revealing itself in stages along the way. I found comfort and encouragement with each post I did.

At the start, I worked really hard to get my web site and FB page up and running because I really wanted to be part of a blogging group that was doing this challenge.

Three days in, the admin deleted a post of mine saying it was too intangible and did not conform to the rules of what Self-love was all about.. (The post was Respect)

Taken aback by the stringent rules that could erase my words on a whim because I did not fit a prescribed standard, I stopped posting in this group that I had worked so hard to be in, and I followed my own calling. (hence, Find where you belong)

When I noticed not a week later, that this same admin posted about how she was going to follow her heart, a part of me, (see a visit from the Snark), wondered just how tangible that was. (while several choice words came to mind, I fell back on Dark Gifts and Life Lessons)

You see, my journey has been a long one to get where I am, and if I am going to be honest, no one single person can say, This qualifies as acceptable self-love and That doesn’t. It is because I know my Self-worth that I can Speak my truth.
I have goals, I have dreams, and I have found my footing. I feed my soul on a diet of color therapy, gifts of sound and good taste.
I’ve experienced growing pains, and have learned to Be still.  Meditation is still on my Want to do list, but at least I know my blooming place. Because, after 40 days of giving it deep thought, I can honestly say, I know what self-love is all about and now I can laugh at all the crap that came before.
Now that the challenge is over, I can get back to what calls out to me, because Art must be made and I have a sanctuary to clean up. Time for me to Go.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for reading.

Day 39- Want To Do List (Life List: part deux)

bubble grn

For your reading pleasure…
My Want To do List

Things I want to make:

Memory Board, Vision Board, Shadow Box art, 3D Journal, Tamales, Posters, Calendar art, T-shirt art, Fudge, Jewelry, Fairy Garden, 3D Artwork, Write a Book, Garden art, a Terrarium, a Vivarium, Historic art, Bible art, Affirmation cards, Mixed media art, Tea cup candles, Lip balms, Dream catcher, Bread, Jewelry board, Jewelry tree, Family tree, Medical tree, Diorama, Altered book art, Recipe notebook, Muse notebook, ER notebook, Invention Prototype, Silhouette art, Faux quilt, String art, Black out art, Finger painting, Homemade vanilla extract, ER Kits, Bird seed tea cups, Succulent tea cups, Wax tea cups, Halloween spell book, Glass art, Glitter art, Egg art, Gourd art, Cookie art, Water color art, Monthly goals, Magazine purses, Dragon Hides, Fossil art, Dia de los Muertos art, Dot art, Wood art, Aboriginal art, Sand art painting, Mask art, Dorodango, Tree art, Fortune cookies, Print art, Kid art, 2014 ornament art, Living plant wall art, Mirror art, Bonsai, write a Manifesto and write 12 monthly poems

Things I want to do:

Build Sand Sculpture at beach, Get a Professional Massage, Win Lotto, Research book ideas,
Invent something, Write a book, Get tattoo, Donate games, Build a birdhouse, Paint tennis shoes, Walk through an old cemetery, Get mani-pedi, Visit hypnotist, Explore a haunted house, Get acupuncture, Have an online Dia de los Muertos party, Read one book a month, Get Finances in shape, Get husbands birth certificate, Get husband and son passports, Spend time in an Immersion tank, Sell an item on ebay, Work on gratitude and giving book, do a puzzle, Spend at least one hour a week on soul work, Learn to Code, Study Cartography, Spend at least one hour per week learning about business, Monthly goals, Invent an app, Take online Small Business Bodyguard course, Relax,

Places I want to go:

Hawaii, Vegas, Ojai, Redwoods, Griffith Observatory, Del Mar, Rogers Gardens (six visits, have done two so far), Treehouse Point in Wa., OC Fair

(what’s on your list?)

Day 38- Bloom Where You Are Planted

1610773_628865157220397_6701372040005963761_n bloom

I’ve always hated that saying, Bloom where you are planted. To me, it’s like saying you are stuck where you are so make the best of it.

For a wild flower like me, (wild flower not wild child), one that doesn’t conform well to flowered beds or neatly furrowed rows, it is difficult for me to like the idea of stuckness.

The meaning is not lost on me that it really is about being happy enough to blossom in your own skin, (yes, even if it is aging and acne prone at the same time)

This entire 40 day challenge brought me face to face with certain aspects of my nature I normally wouldn’t have faced.

I am not svelte or majestic. I’m just me. Like a weed, I thrive in the most unlikely of places and atmospheres. Similar to a dandelion, I am fragile yet I can choke the crap out of the more stately flowers because I am persistent. I don’t give up. I will fight for my right to be, whether I am a weed or not, because, dammit, we deserve our place in the sun, too!

So, when you think of that saying, ‘friends are flowers in the garden of life’…know that there is a tiny little ‘lion’ in there as well, enjoying the view.

(and what flower would you be?)

Day 37- The Lotto Game

lotto

Do you play the ‘Lotto Game?’
Not the Lotto but the game…you know, the, …’if I won the lotto, what would I do with the money’, game?

I love asking people this question because the answers are as varied as the people answering it.

Almost everyone I know always says, first and foremost, they would pay off bills. I would too. That shows how many responsible people I actually know.

After that, the answers are..travel, buy new cars, (get full medical check-ups for entire family…ok, that one is mine), etc. But then what?

Here is my secret- I don’t want to travel. I like staying local.
If money were no object, I would fix my car, (yes, I’d like to keep the mom-mobile running as long as possible), I would buy a home and then I would spend my days writing/crafting/reading to people and making art. I love to do these things.

I would start an online gallery/website to market and sell not only my work, but my creative friend’s work as well.

I would self-publish my stories, and I would find a way to patent and market my inventions.

My dreams are simple and that’s okay. I allow myself to dream any way I want.
Sometimes we need that little extra escape.
Today, I will spend a little escape time, dreaming, planning, and then seeing what I can implement in my life now without winning…who needs the lotto? Right?

(what would you do if you won ? Can you do any of those things now?)

Day 36- Want To Do List(s)

my tree

Are you a list person?
Do you make To Do Lists and studiously check them off once completed? Or do you just ‘wing it?’

I’m not really a list person. In my twenties, when day planners became all the rage, I bought one, or two, or three.
I’m really good at starting things but the daily lists and calendars became onerous and my free spirit rebelled.

I still can’t organize my drawers, my closet, my life.
There are some people that live for their BlackBerrys, day planners, calendars and to do lists.

I’m not one of them which is probably the reason I am where I am in life…but just because I don’t have a day planner doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. I do. Lot’s of them.

Only my life list/plans/goals are a bit more amorphous in their structure compared to others.

I’ve shared my Want To Do list with others and I will share it here, a bit later.

I don’t call it To Do
-That’s too obligatory
I don’t call it a Bucket List
-hypochondriacs don’t need a reminder of impending death
I call it my ‘Want To Do’ list because on it are all things I WANT to do and not things I have to do.
(Semantics plays a big role in my life)

Some things on my list are huge, some are teeny, all are favorable.

On my bedroom closet door, I have a creative tree made of post-it notes. (see picture) On each ‘leaf’, I have written down a goal. I look at this everyday. I add to it. I review it all the time. Each goal accomplished, I move the leaf down and move on to whatever catches my fancy next. My tree spreads out as more is added. That’s my list. That’s my life.

Today, I will choose one thing to complete and then move on.

(what is on your Want To Do list?)

Day 35- A ‘Real’ Thank You

365ThankYous

Several years ago, I read a book that made a huge difference in my life. It made me look at the people surrounding me with gratitude and it did what a month of Sundays in church, did not. It made me feel grateful without the guilt.

The book is called, 365 Thank Yous. It is a true story about a man whose life was in the toilet and he turned things around by a conscious decision he made to be thankful for all situations in his life instead of continuing the victim role he had partaken in for so much of it.

In this book, the author makes a vow to hand write a thank you note a day for an entire year, to see if he can notice any difference.

His whole life changes.

I believe in the power of gratitude and of giving thanks. And I have many, many souls on my list. Here is a smattering of them.

A couple years ago, there was an online course I wanted to take, so badly, but being an introvert and new to social media, I didn’t know how to use skype, which is how the course was offered.

To me, Skype was so wickedly-exotic and the thought of using it was daunting. (funny now, but at the time, it was scary)

But I wanted to take this course, so I stepped out of my comfort zone and contacted the one offering this program, Limitless Megan, and she literally walked me through the steps to getting and using a Skype account.
This was one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever taken and I met some of the most amazing people that I still count as friends today.

From there, I jumped over to Jani Franck’s course on confronting block monster’s that stunt our creative growth and met a slew of other like minded souls that I am still in contact with and have seen some wonderful friendships blossom from this.

Teresa Deak, this gracious butterfly maven has shown that love and beauty can not only take on evil and win, but it also heals the soul and rebuilds our world into a more loving place.

Daniel Brenton, who not only keeps us updated on government corruptions, can write mind boggling novels that take 5 seconds or less to read, but helped me with my web site/blog and even designed my favicon before I knew what a favicon even was.

There are some people I know exactly where I met them and others I have picked up along the way that seemed to fit right into my world, seamlessly, like they have always been there, offering much needed encouragement and advice.

Sylvia vanBruggen, who reminds us that playtime is just as important as breathing and should never be overlooked.
Michelle Schrorer, speaking of breathing, this lady listens to the beat of her own drum and makes room for much needed breath breaks which are so important to our entire well being.
Cory Scurlock, Joanne Arcari and Clare Lopez, give a daily dose of laughter and are more in tune with with current affairs than most news channels.
Eveline Meadel , Angie Twydall, Tracey Selingo, and Amy Palko are all about the beauty and sensitivity of women’s issues everywhere. Goddesses all.
Kim larocque’s-Muse in the Valley, a tender soul that gave me the opportunity and platform to voice my opinions and opened up a whole new world for a shy gal from California.

Of course, my list would not be complete without the mention of my daily encouragers,
Clare de Costa-Funkhauser, that keeps the Aloha spirit alive with her art, postings and virtual hugs, or Shani Burgess dragon lover and pyrographic artist.

And then it is down to my two online besties. The ones I vent to, seek advice from and laugh with.
Karla Tucker and Sara Thibault. Sagely women, dream interpreters and grounding agents.

This is my circle. I am thankful for each and every one of them. These are real people behind their online avatars, with real feelings.

There are those who believe that online friends are not “real” friends because they are in a virtual world with no “real” substance.

I beg to differ.

All these people I have never met, have taken my by the hand, infiltrated my heart and have challenged me to be a better version of myself.

They make me laugh. Make me think. Have shared in my triumphs and have been cheerleaders that continue to encourage me along my path.

To each and every one of them mentioned, and those I have yet to get to, I say, Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Several years ago, I read a small book that stuck with me until present day. It moved me deeply. It wasn’t the great American novel. It was a short little read, yet I still think about, share and credit the author with shifting my perspective so much.

Today is a day for thanks.

(who is on your list?)

Day 34- Be Still

be still I

Do you ever feel unsure? Undecided? Divided?
Questioning where to put your energies- mental or otherwise?

Yes, these are the questions that sometimes crop up for me when I have a restless spirit and feel as though I am in a mental and spiritual tug-o-war.

It’s times like these when I want so badly to “DO” something. To act. To decide. And it’s at these times, that the best course of action is non-action.

It is rather counter-intuitive but it works. Be still, or still your mind. Go for a walk, meditate or exercise while not giving any thought to the problem at hand. Decide not to decide. If something isn’t working, don’t force it.

Walk away. Listen to music. Get back to nature.

Eventually, the disjointed feelings unkink themselves and the regularly scheduled programming which is your brain, resumes.
(If it doesn’t, then medical intervention should be sought)

Once the shadowed pall over the soul lifts, life goes on.

If prevention is the best medicine, it might not be a bad idea to make it a practice of being still.

I don’t know if this has any effect of working in advance, but there is no harm in trying. There are great benefits to meditation and such.

Is your soul calling you to be still? You might want to listen to it.

Day 33- GO

flags I

On your mark. Get set. GO!

This is how kids prepare themselves to do something. Anything.

Filled with excitement. Anticipation.

Like racehorses at the starting gate. Chomping at the bit to get a move on.

Back then, living for the moment was everything.
“Now” was the time to do Everything…Anything.
Dreams were chased.
Fun was had.

Then we grew up.
Adulthood sets in like a bad disease and the new mantra becomes,
‘Hurry up and wait.’ ‘Wait, I’m not ready.’ ‘It’s not time.’ ‘Let’s think this through a bit. Then a bit more.’

Soon, those bits add up to years spent waiting. Wondering.
Is this why we wanted to grow up?

We forget we were destined for greatness. The greatness that only a child can imagine, because nothing is off limits for a kid.

The good news is, this little child is still inside there. Inside of you. Dreaming BIG dreams.

LISTEN. Do you hear it?
That little voice calling from the nether regions of your soul?

It’s saying are you ready? Get set.

                                                         GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(today I will dream the dreams that only the child in me can dream…and then start chasing them.
What dreams did you have as a child?)

Day 32- Growing Pains

10526142_627758610664385_7323047610253548963_n dragons

When my youngest started kindergarten, his first day, the teacher had each child sit on a carpeted square and this would be ‘their’ spot for the rest of the school year.

By the last day of school, the kids had already outgrown their squares, and each one was encroaching on their classmates squares.

Trying to corral 28 kids into a tight little space is much the same as herding cats.

By the last day of school, not only was the teacher ready for the kids to move on, the kids were ready, too.

You see, in a relatively short span of time, the children outgrew their clothes, their class, their space.

They would get antsy and grumble…a lot. ‘He’s touching me,’ ‘she’s on my square,’ ‘I have no room.’

These are growing pains. Not the typical, back aching, legs hurting, hip adjusting pains normally associated with growing up, but more of a spiritual one.

*                                                          *                                                   *

We have two bearded dragons. (reptiles for those wondering, see picture).

Sometimes, one or the other or both at the same time get in bad moods. (Yes, reptiles have moods)
They are fed, clean and well kept so we wonder, are they ill? Why are they sullen? Why are they snappy? Why are they puffing their beards out? (a sign of stress, illness, or aggression)
And always, always, within a day or two of acting this way, their skin becomes lighter, dryer, and they shed.

Growing Pains.

We get like this too.
We get comfortable with our environment, our clothes, our jobs and our lives.
And then one day, we get a nagging feeling that something is off. We get restless for no reason and start examining root causes.

Diet hasn’t changed. Work hasn’t changed. Relationships haven’t changed. So, if everything is the same, why the feeling of discord?

It’s because things haven’t changed. As much as we are creatures of habit, we are not meant to remain the same. We are not meant to be stagnant. We are meant to grow, evolve, experience new things. We are meant to live.

If things in your life have remained the same and you are happy with this, good. More power to you.

But if things in your life have remained the same and you feel restless, antsy, angst, then take stock of the areas in your life that could benefit from new energy and grow.

‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ ~Anais Nin

Day 31- Find Your Footing

 

art by Michael Whedon

Footing: 1. the position of your feet when they are safely on the ground or some other surface.
2. a secure placement of the feet in standing or moving.
A basis or foundation, position or rank in relation to others.

I often have repetitive dreams, different scenarios but the same theme. I am barefoot on very sharp, dangerous terrain. The need to move is imminent, but the fear of pain is paralyzing.

These type of dreams usually come at times in my life when I am feeling rather vulnerable and I’ve accepted this is how my subconscious translates it into symbolism.

I need to move forward but can’t.

When these dreams occur, it is a sign for me to take stock of what is happening in my waking life and to find my footing. The safety zone where I am grounded and steady.

I need to be on solid ground in order to make solid decisions, and once I find my footing, I need to find a way to keep my feet. To remain standing and face what comes my way.

We all walk a path of unsteady ground, we all slip and many, many of us fall, but we get back up because that is what people do.

My most recent dream where I was barefoot and vulnerable, ended up with me finding a pair of shoes to wear, and with that, I was ready for any journey to come.

Maybe that was my subconscious telling me, ‘You’ve got this.’

How can you find your footing today?