Weekly Reminder 6/1

This is your friendly reminder to:

  • Step out of your comfort zone and try something you wouldn’t ordinarily. It doesn’t have to be bungee jumping 🙂 Maybe try a new flavor of ice cream … or a new shade of lipstick … or perhaps use crayons instead of inks to create something new. See where the exploration takes you. Who knows, you might discover a new favorite!
  • Choose vulnerability. It takes a lot of courage to expose your deepest fears and share your insecurities. But in doing so you’re letting go of the myth of perfection, you’re freeing yourself of others’ judgment, you’re embracing who you are with unconditional love and kindness. You can choose to do it in private with someone close to you or put it all out there like I do as an admission of being human. 
  • Set some time aside for yourself. Even five minutes of solitude every day add up to a whole lot of self-nurturing in a month. Hit the pause button, let the to-do lists rest a while, give your brain a break and listen to your heart beat. Truly pay attention to its rhythm and notice how it slows down. You’re no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first. Make it a priority and it will become a practice.

Weekly Reminder 5/26

This is your friendly reminder to:

* Listen closely to the soft murmurs of your heart telling you what truly makes you happy. That little voice will be soft but true. Don’t shut it down or ignore it because external chaos (a.k.a. “people”) is telling you that your life should be lived a certain way. It’s YOUR life … and you get to choose how you live it. 

* Learn continually because you can never know it all … there is always room to grow, to start from scratch, to be an apprentice. Experience the awe, the magic, the novelty over and over again in different ways with different things. Be a student for life. 

* Love yourself abundantly because you deserve it. Love your food. Love your things. Love your people. But most of all love the person you are and the one you’re becoming. Being kind and gracious to yourself is a daily practice … and YOU are worth the time!

Take good care. Always be kind. Spread the light.

Weekly reminder 5/19

This is your friendly reminder to:

— Be gentle, be kind, be at peace with yourself. Seek inner strength, not external validation Come into being who you are, so you can be.

— Be mindful of how you spend your time and on whom. Don’t get pulled into situations or relationships your heart resists. Ultimately, everything becomes a memory … make good ones.

— Be proud of how far you’ve come, applaud your growth, your perseverance, your resilience. Life isn’t easy to navigate, but you always have yourself to count on. You’ve always got your back. Give yourself some kudos!

Have a wonderful weekend. Stay kind.

New learnings, reaffirming experience

Many of you who follow me on social media channels know that I participated in a spring market in Downtown Los Altos last month.

I would’ve loved to just sit at a table and do arts demos but they wanted product — understandably since it’s a market — so, I ended up painting 50 individual gel-plate printed double-sided wooden discs that were varnished three times over; 80 unique roses on wooden slices to be used as gift tags or keepsakes; 30 intricately-detailed 3D-gold laced mini wooden tags; and 50 alcohol ink prints on metallic paper mounted to create beautiful frame-worthy cards.

The paintings were fun to create … it was fantastic to build three completely different series on wood (a substrate I usually don’t work with) and a wonderful feeling to know that these tangibles would make someone’s day.

But in the weeks leading up to the market and the four hours there, I started to realize just how much of my soul was not in the finishing process or the marketing of merchandise. The hours spent varnishing and sanding, deliberating over display aesthetics, purchasing props and simply guessing whether this would be a “successful endeavor” or not … it gave me reason to introspect. 

It also helped to have a myriad of conversations with those who stopped by … an informal survey helped me understand how much people want to see the process, understand what goes into creative process and feel encouraged when I tell them they are artists as well!

It’s taken me almost three weeks to fully recuperate from the event and in this time, I’ve had a lot of interesting, quiet conversations with myself:

What do I love most about art? Why do I yearn to make time for it? What brings me a deep sense of satisfaction, not just the temporary high? What fuels me, challenges me, engrosses me? What makes me want to show up every day? What feels empowering and fulfilling?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I needed this experience to:

  1. Validate that I enjoy teaching more than mass-producing products
  2. Push me to create mini project- and technique-based online courses
  3. Create an online store so that whenever I do have tangibles to share, you have a place to purchase them

It’s been a wonderfully enriching experience stepping out of my comfort zone and giving myself the opportunity to tune in, listen, and continue on my path of creating and sharing.

So, thank you for continuing to be part of my journey and I hope to see you, soon!

Weekly reminder 5/12

This is your friendly reminder to:

  • Slow down — there is no competition to beat, no awards to be won, no grades to brag about, no crowns to be worn. Life is too short to let it become a blur.
  • Seek contentment — it is different than temporary happiness that comes from massages and manicures, spa days and shopping excursions. It’s something that comes from a daily practice of gratitude, of self-love, of kindness.
  • Support other women — without judgment or jealousy or comparison. There is room for all of us. Compliment generously, listen intently, laugh heartily.

You get one shot at this thing called life. Live it well. Stay creative, be kind.

Weekly reminder 5/5

This is your friendly reminder to:
— Reclaim your identity because you’re more than just a mom, a spouse, a daughter or any other caregiving role you’ve been assigned. Take yourself back for an hour, a day, a weekend…celebrate being un-needed. Rejoice being YOU!

— Reclaim your three-year-old self and say “YES” to ice cream before dinner, splashing in the puddles, eating with your hands, not combing your hair, wearing mismatched patterns. Say yes to everything that gives YOU joy without a thought for all that social judgment and condescension!

— Reclaim your truth because it’s in there waiting for permission to speak up. Diplomacy, compromise and people-pleasing should not stifle your authenticity. Give yourself permission to have an opinion, take a stand, be strong. Because you are worth listening to!

Save. Share. Always remember to be kind.

Weekly reminder 4/21

This is your friendly reminder to:

  • Put yourself first — without guilt or shame or question. Give YOURSELF the best you have to offer, for a change. Take yourself out for a hike or a dessert or just allow yourself a nap. Nurturing yourself is not selfish. It is a necessity.
  • Put down the phone — it’s the only way you can be present in the here and now with yourself and the environment around you. Make it a practice. Start small (30 minutes of undivided attention to something or someone) and try increasing the time limit. You’ll notice how irrelevant some of that digital noise becomes when you aren’t constantly responding to it.
  • Put that plan into action — you know the one where you create all these beautiful things in your head? Stop stopping yourself from starting. Don’t just plan … do it! There will never be the perfect moment, the perfect idea, the perfect outcome. There’s just putting ourselves out there and trusting that doing our best is enough.

Take good care. You’ve got this!

Weekly Reminder 4/15

This is your friendly reminder to:

  • Remain a student — when you approach every day with curiosity and an eagerness to learn, your art journey (and life in general) becomes much easier and more interesting.
  • Regain your sense of purpose — you may want to set aside some introspective time to remember why you started down the path you’re on. Was it for fame? For money? To help others? To make a difference? To feel happy? What was the core driving force? Go back to that as you forge ahead and you’ll feel a renewed sense of energy.
  • Release your fear of judgment — bid it adieu because it’s only holding you back. It’s not the worst thing to be judged by others … they will judge you regardless of your best or mediocre efforts … what’s worse is letting the fear of being judged prevent you from trying what you want to do. Free yourself of that burden and create for yourself.

Weekly Reminder 4/9

This is your friendly reminder to:

• Rekindle your creativity through experimentation and spontaneity … there are no mistakes and nothing “needs” to be planned.

• Remind yourself that creativity isn’t limited to making frameable art … you’re being creative every single day in the way you dress, problem-solve, cook, garden, parent, and a plethora of other things. Art is just one outlet.

• Reassess your relationship with the creative within you. Show her some kindness, respect her journey, give her some grace. It’s not a competition…simply you going at your own pace of self-discovery.

Weekly Reminder 3/31

This is your friendly reminder to:

  • Embrace imperfection — no one and nothing is perfect so why do you keep beating yourself about it? The asymmetrical bits, the town edges, the wonky lines … they tell a story filled with highs and lows, drama and adventure, human-ness and vulnerability.
  • Eliminate judgment — once you embrace imperfection you’ll realize that there is also no room for judgment. We are all, for the most part, trying our best … trying to be good parents, helpful coworkers, productive employees, responsible citizens. You do you … don’t judge others but also don’t judge yourself through other’s eyes. What you are and what you have to give us just as unique as how you do what you do. Just try your best because that’s all that any of us can do.
  • Enable kindness — before you start elsewhere, I implore you to begin with yourself. And then enable it in others…help people be kinder to themselves so the ripple effect can be felt by every life they touch.

You get just one shot at this thing called life.

Stay creative. Give yourself grace.