One of my life's passions is teaching people to utilize their creativity for healing and balance.
As a caregiver for those I have loved deeply and having dealt with many difficult life challenges, my creativity is one of the most important tools I have used to survive and thrive.
Music has always been my first choice for creative expression, with writing as a close second. Most recently, I find myself revisiting painting, drawing, and taking pictures of animals and nature. While music has been a career for me in the past, these new creative outlets are purely joyful, therapeutic fun!
You do not need to pour your entire being into every creative calling. Sometimes you simply need to listen and respond.
The world can seem very frightening and overwhelming. During these times, your creative muse can take you by the hand and lead you to a path of calm and release.
I am not referring to creativity under pressure or as a career choice. Pure creative bliss is about play, and expression, and forming a deeper connection with the creator within.
No worry, no judgment, no apologies!
As I mentioned in my last post, this summer I took my first vacation (staycation) in many years!
I spent a bit of time photographing flowers in the park. It was very calming and therapeutic for me. I am sharing some pictures here.
I encourage you to take a little time and play in your creativity. It doesn't have to be too long, even an hour spent in creativity can be transforming.
You are a magnificent creative being! We are all magnificent creative beings!
Peace, gratitude, colossal Joy and love in abundance!
This week I took my first vacation in almost twenty years!!! Too long!!! Way, way too long!!!
Today I had lunch with a friend to celebrate our birthdays and we started reflecting on where I was at this time last year. It was one of the most uncertain times for me. I had just been diagnosed with a precancerous condition...which could not be confirmed as cancer or precancer until after I had a complete hysterectomy...which I was not at all prepared for! I felt very scared. I had been dealing with all kinds of anxiety and depression from the hormones the first doctor put me on. She said it was all just peri menopause and cancer was not an issue and just prescribed a major amount of hormones (thank god I trusted my gut and the people around me saying"get a second opinion!").
So, there I was......a hormonal wreck.....facing a complete hysterectomy......my first major surgery..... the possibility of already having cancer.......oh yes, and a pending divorce. In the months that followed, things definitely got worse before they got better!
But today, I am not interested in reflecting on any of that. The smoke has finally started to clear. I look around and find myself living in a place of gratitude and grace. I am well. I am free of much sorrow and pain. I am remembering what it feels like to marvel in all the wonders of life, of art, of nature. I feel myself surrounded by beauty, love of dear friends and family, and a joy you can only touch when you are actively living. By this I mean living as presently as possible, with deep gratitude.
I have spent a large amount of my life being a caregiver... for my father with colon cancer, for my mother with brain cancer, for my exhusband with leukemia. It was my honor to care for them. Through these experiences I have learned that in addition to being a story teller, at my core I am a caregiver.
And miraculously (and kicking and screaming a bunch) over the course of THIS year I have become my own caregiver! I have been tested deeply and have seen the strength of my own roots. I have grown and evolved in ways I don't even begin to have words for.
Next week, I will begin a new chapter as I return to school. I will be pursuing a Masters degree in Social Work. I am enthusiastic about creating and stepping into a new role... combining what I know of myself as a teacher, an artist, a storyteller, a caregiver, with what I will learn and evolve into as a social worker and a helper.
Today I was more in the mood to paint so I will share my doodles. One includes a quote that is perfect for the week! I will keep this blog short and sweet, as I am still a bit under the weather.
I truly believe we are all here to create. Some people create music, some create children, some create ways to help, friendships, cures for disease, hope... the possibilities are endless. But it's incredibly important that we allow ourselves to express our creativity. I always feel better when I do. Sometimes we just feel down and then we create something... a great meal, a new poem, a silly voice, a doodle... and we feel better. It's pretty amazing. I highly recommend it! Create! Express! And don't worry about whether it's good. Good or bad is for critics not creators! Just create and be authentic in your expression. Let whatever is within you enter this world and inspire us!
I am a couple of days late on this. Sorry!! I really am committed to sharing one blog every weekend. However, this past weekend I was a little under the weather. Which now leads me to what I want to share this week.
Earlier this year, I moved into an apartment for the first time in a long while. There were quite a few bumps in my road that threw me into a very new and different path. I decided to make the best of it and do some things that I have been wanting to do but haven't! This included getting some plants. I haven't had plants in about twenty years and I dearly love being surrounded by living things.
While out shopping one day I noticed a little strawberry plant that was just barely hanging on. It was marked down to $1. Poor little one dollar strawberry plant. I wasn't really sure if it was even alive, but it looked lonely and sad. My Charlie Brown Tree... my new strawberry plant. I watered her and gave her love and she seemed to perk up a bit. But then she didn't.
I showed her to one of my green friends, declaring that had I killed her! She assured me that it just needed more water. After a few days my plant was looking great... with many pretty flowers throughout the summer! This is her today!
I am so glad I decided to bring her home with me. She has been an excellent teacher of lessons: about how the most wonderful things can't be judged by a price tag, that having a loving heart can offer great rewards, of the importance of reaching out to friends, paying attention to the needs of others, and how we can all grow and flourish when we have what we need; loving kindness, compassion, care, a bit of sunshine, a little shower now and again, and resolute resilience. ❤️
How do you define beauty?
Why is it so much easier for us to find beauty in other people and even in things but so many of us truly struggle with recognizing our own beauty? Why do so many people waste time and energy (not to mention money) trying to be someone else? When we fixate on our own outer beauty we miss the true blessing of being who we are.
When I was a young girl I always felt ugly. Constantly, I would compare myself to others who I was taught were "beautiful". I could never see myself there. Of course, I would rarely see anyone who fit that description. I wouldn't just compare myself either. But I was much harder on me than on anyone else. Thankfully, I grew up and out grew!
Life taught me the true definition of beauty. I learned about true beauty from the wonders of nature. I learned about true beauty from the loving hearts of those who showed me kindness and compassion, I learned about true beauty while taking my mother to radiation treatments, I learned about true beauty by seeing the world with my most open heart instead of with a societally narrow vision. I don't watch television anymore and I am very particular about what media I take in. I define beauty for myself.! And guess what? Now I see beauty everywhere!
The difficult challenge still lies in finding it in myself. I am amazed at how many women have this same issue. I was in a store recently when a woman was complaining about her "sagging neck and her aging face and body"and she told the clerk "never grow old". Seriously? Never grow old... what kind of crappy advice is that? I could not stand to hear her continue. I interrupted and said I was "older" and proud of it and she should be too! I thought we were about the same age. Turns out she was a bit older. I told her that whenever she felt old she should remember that someone my age thought we were the same age. She seemed very pleased by that thought. But I felt sad to think that a woman could have a healthy, younger appearance like that, have nice, clean clothes, two eyes that work, teeth, arms and legs, could speak, and all she could use her voice to say was "I am not beautiful"... and why? Because you are not young? How messed up are we? Beauty is not an age thing! The association of beauty and youth is the worst part of our messed up, brain washed perception of it all! True beauty emanates from those who live in gratitude ...period. Have you ever noticed the difference between someone who looks angry and someone smiling? It's incredible!
I have only recently started to see glimpses of the depth of my own true beauty. I see it in the way I love my friends and family, I see it in my compassion. I see it in my deep respect and appreciation for all living things. Looking deeply into the goodness inside of each of us and trying to live life in a way that cultivates more of that, makes you feel beautiful. Because you are!
I hope we are beginning to embrace a deeper sense of what true beauty is about. That we can let go of what we have been wrongly taught and open our hearts and our eyes to truly see ourselves. Beauty is not about something we have. It's about something that we are.
Now is the perfect time to embrace the immense beauty that we are each capable of manifesting and begin spreading it! As we do, we will attract and illuminate it in each other.
So, okay... here goes... I am beautiful.
Wow. Even writing these words I find the brain washed little part of me creeping in and worrying that someone reading will criticize me for daring to think of myself as beautiful in any way. But honestly, that is the type of shit that holds us back from being a world of beautiful people... truly beautiful... not that fake or made up crap.
Truth time begins now! If you are sharing your authentic self, and you are offering loving kindness and compassion to others... You are beautiful!
Own it! Share it! Live it!
I can't wait to start blogging again! I can't believe it's been over a year! So many changes... quite a year! So ready for a fresh chapter! I will be sharing weekly updates of the many things I am learning as I embark on this new time of growth and adventure! Hope you will join me, my friends!!
"Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we're holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we'd rather collapse and back away. They're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it's with us wherever we are."
- Pema Chodron
"Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time"- Pema Chodron
"WEE FOLK, LITTLE FOLK FAERIE FOLK FASHION, IS ALL ABOUT CARING, KINDNESS AND COMPASSION!" THE FAERIE'S HAVE A VERY SPECIAL WAY OF SEEING THE WORLD! THE WEE FOLK, LITTLE FOLK FAERIE FOLK BOOK IS THE LATEST OFFERING FROM THE COLOSSAL JOY PROJECT! AN INSPIRATIONAL FAERIE POEM FOR ALL AGES... COMPLETE WITH HAND DRAWN OIL PASTEL ILLUSTRATIONS.
I am very excited to announce that the newest Colossal Joy project will be available for sharing very soon (hopefully by the end of March)!
The new book is a faerie poem which includes original artwork and a very positive message (delivered from the faeries, of course). It was a project I started many, many moons ago and happily it recently crossed my path again, quite magically... which is just so like the faeries, you know.
The book will be available through Amazon and as always, from me. As ever, I thank you all for your support of the project. It means so much to me. With Much Gratitude and Colossal Joy, Lisa