Dreamers and Doers…..

This year so many of my dreams have come true, I am overwhelmed. When I first took the plunge and started this blog and writing  “out loud,” I had no idea what would happen next. I thought the most important thing to do was to get to work and began to create the life that I wanted to live. In fact, one of the most important things I learned was to keep all of my options open and go through the unexpected doors that seem to appear, even if that wasn’t my original plan.

I learned to listen better, first to myself, then to the Universe which was giving me very clear directions, only I was far to busy with all the naysayer’s voices buzzing in my head.  I have to admit, for a while, those voices were so loud, they were winning. It became imperative, to block those fearful voices out and navigate a positive and hopeful path designed just for me.  This is not for the faint of heart, make no mistake, this is much more difficult than it sounds.

So I discovered what I wanted to do when I finally grew up, and I followed the advice of artists before me, “find a support system that believes in you and your dream.” I didn’t realize how crucial this next step would be, indeed it is the make or break moment for budding artists. Surrounding myself with people who believe in me and my dream is crucial, especially when I am discouraged. My support team knows what is in my heart and what I am trying to accomplish, believe me, they dream MUCH BIGGER than I do. That is the greatest gift they bring to me, faith and encouragement that my dream could be even larger and more grand than I could ever envision.

So, I wanted to say thank you to my support team who push me to exceed my own expectations, daily. To my family who are a constant source of inspiration and the place where I get to play and talk about my dreams, thank you. To my friends who never say, “You’re doing What?” To my dear friend Beth, of www.simplysoapsmv.com, thank you for kicking my butt and making me reach higher. You never let me settle but keep pushing me to expand my vision and to “get my butt in gear.” She truly is the best cheerleader and butt-kicker all rolled into one. To everyone here at WordPress, thank you for encouraging me with your support, kind words, photos, dreams and funny replies. Your art inspires me to be better artist and try harder every day. And finally, to the strangers I meet along the way, who say the kindest and most unexpected things that spur me on to create better art. My gratitude knows no bounds.

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers, and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.”   Unknown

Dreams close and far...
Dreams close and far…

Italian Adventure…

Arrival in Venice 3/19/13
Arrival in Venice

I’m home from my Incredible Adventure to Italy with my friend Beth of simplysoapsmv. and I can hardly describe the beauty and the culture that we were immersed in for ten days. Words have flown through my brain faster than the speed of light and yet I can hardly grasp any of them as other words pushes its way through and I am lost trying to absorb the fantastic feast for the eyes, the spirit, the  taste buds, that is Italy.

I took 635 pictures, no I am not going to subject everyone to an endless loop of every adventure Beth and I found amusing, hilarious, spell-binding and soulful, however, I would like to share some of the photos with you.  I found myself wanting to take pictures constantly, but I quickly realized it forced me to observe the  beauty vista  from a more practical or photographic frame of mind, and that pulled me away from experiencing the moment right in front of me. It was a constant mental tug of war, to try to take in a whole other way of living in another culture and trying to record it for posterity.

So while I go in search of the elusive words that float and flutter endlessly through my mind, I will share some of the photos I did take along the way. I am so grateful to have these tangible reminders of an intangible, incomprehensible, magical Adventure of my lifetime.

And to my friend Beth, yes we are still friends even after 10 days and nights together in a different country, I have no problem expressing my gratitude to you and Dan for making this trip possible for me. We dreamt of going to Italy a year ago almost to the day, and like magic, (Fairy Godfather, Dan), we were off for the journey of a lifetime,  Thank you for Everything.

Special thanks to my husband, sons, my mom, and mother-in-law took over helping me out at home so that I could embark on what has been a life changing event, and I came home knowing that all my true blessings are right here, right where I belong, at home. This does not mean that I won’t be off to another Adventure soon, it just means, Home really is the most magical place on earth.

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canal in Venice
canal in Venice

Happy Mother’s Day!

What a beautiful and blustery spring day. Helicopter leaves flutter, float and glide to the ground all around me, like snowflakes on a winter’s day, and I’m sure I would never have noticed such things if it wasn’t for my beloved sons.
 
My youngest is always looking around and discovering new things, and he is always eager for adventure and to reach out and touch something, anything. I often catch myself telling him not to touch something foreign to us, he rarely listens, and as a result, I have touched some of the weirdest, slimiest bugs and some of the most unexpectedly soft and fragrant weeds and flowers.
 
Once he reached down and grabbed a murky brown pod on the ground, (I wanted him to drop it), and suddenly he rubbed it on his cheek , smiling and whispering, “it’s so soft, feel it Momma.” I leaned over and he rubbed the outer shell of the cherry blossom over my check. It felt like a chick’s feathers, velvety and smooth and I was unexpectedly delighted. My youngest and I exchanged knowing smiles and I was reminded again of the joys that come with motherhood. These are the moments that sustain me when I want to pull my hair out after I’ve said, “pick up your clothes or brush your teeth, with toothpaste,” one hundred times or more. It was a moment I will treasure, a snapshot in time.
 
My oldest son is amazing too, yesterday I was at his baseball game, and watching him play baseball is to watch a person  filled completely with joy, determination, and purpose. He loves everything about baseball and he is focused, alert, and alive during every game, dashing and diving towards the streaking baseball. It is  with a mixture of pride and bittersweet longing that I watch as the baby I knew grows into this man-child he is becoming, like a butterfly. He stands differently, taller, and he’s gaining confidence as he leans and lurches through life’s challenges, succeeding and failing, with undaunted courage.
 
I don’t know how I got so lucky to be the mother of these two extraordinary boys, it’s a gift to nurture them, love them, and watch them grow and develop into young men I admire and I like spending time with, most days. I always tell them, they were chosen just for me and they have filled me with pride, laughter, joy, adventure and most of all unconditional love. No matter how many times I may miss the mark for Mother of the Year, they continue to love me and shower me with hugs and kisses and frankly, life doesn’t get any better than that.
 
So on this Mother’s Day, I will share with all of you what I whispered to each of them when I held them for the first time, “Hello my love, and Welcome to Earth. I will be your guide for your journey here on earth and when it’s time for you to go out into the world, I will help you soar from my arms, high up into the sky, to the dreams of your own making.”
 
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there who work, dream, wash, care, nurture, and love their children from here to eternity!

A fantastical day….

Today is a fantastical spring day and it reminds me how lucky I am to be alive and to have so many blessings in my life.

I have had to reach deep down  into my soul to find my creativity and inspiration, there is a connectedness to my life that I had overlooked before. I was so busy paddling upstream that I didn’t take the time to look around at the wonders in my path, I was just moving, trying to get to “there.” I didn’t notice synchronicity or unexpected blessings, I kept my head down and just kept competing for my slice of the pie.

I believed the old saying, “only the strong survive.” I was exhausted and running out of steam and suddenly I looked around and found that I had achieved my “success” but I lost pieces of myself along the way. I was stretching for only one portion of my life and I had neglected a crucial element of life; spirituality.

It finally occurred to me that perhaps I could win in my life without someone else losing and perhaps, even, we could both win. So I began to read everything I could find about personal intentions, destiny and integrity. I found that abundance is a greater teacher than scarcity. There is enough in the Universe for me and everyone else, of course, and if I lift myself up then I can reach back and lift someone else up.

Then I thought of all the people who have lifted me up and I realized that I was already blessed in my life, not with material things but with the many teachers along the way who stopped and saw ME and tried to help.  I hadn’t been paddling this boat by myself, I wasn’t alone, and I didn’t have to crush anyone to succeed.  I just had to find my true north and allow my internal compass to lead me to my soul to my destiny.

It is said, “you wouldn’t have the desire if God didn’t give it to you in the first place,” so it finally dawned on me, I am in charge of finding my purpose and making a contribution to the world. I am here to be the best me that I can be and if I have dreamed it then I can make it come true.

Now I see the moments in my life like snapshots of a scrapbook. I take time to see the flowers, the ocean, my family, and the people in my life as sacred beings I am fortunate to know. I take internal and external photographs of the stunning delights I encounter along the way and it is a joy to share them with everyone.

Now when I look around at my life, I see serendipity and chance as a way the Universe communicates with me that I am finally on the right path. New doors and opportunities have opened and I am saying yes to (almost) everything and looking around at the magic in my midst.

Yes indeed, today is a fantastical spring day, Enjoy!

a new story….

It is inspiring to think that we can create a new life for ourselves, simply by changing our thoughts, beliefs, and expectations. Some say we have 60,000-100,00 thoughts a day and the good news is that we get to choose what type of thoughts we have, positive or negative. If our current lives are a manifestation of our thoughts and beliefs, and we wish for a different more authentic and creative life, then it is up to us to write a new script.

What I love about what Beth has accomplished with simply soaps is that she wrote a new story for herself, for her life, and she took a leap of faith and let her ingenuity and creativity narrate this chapter of her life. She has the willingness and the tenacity to do whatever it takes to stoke the spark of creativity within that allows her to envision a new unforseen path.

We all know that it is not about the destination, entirely, but about the journey, and life refuses to stay within the lines and travel predictably in one direction. As we get older and hopefully wiser, we become more adept and nimble at getting over these hurdles and obstacles without being defined or defeated by them.

It is exciting to know that our stories have yet to be written, and that we can decisively and swiftly alter our life’s direction, adjust our creative sails and invent a new story that speaks to who we are now and allows us to sail off to a sunset of our own making.  

Our stories, our unique masterpieces, these productions we call life, can not be told by anyone else but us. We are the directors and the producers, and for all of us here and now; life is a stage, who’s telling your story?

  Chapter 27                                                                                                                              

Simply Soaps a Vineyard  

           Bath Collection

 

 

Chapter 28

         

                                                                                          www.simplysoapsmv.com