Let go of the negative. And there will be more space for the positive.

Posted By on November 13, 2009

Let Go of the NegativeI mentioned this on my Sunday post, I was fortunate enough to meet and take a class from KC Willis.  She is an amazing fabric artist and an incredibly good soul.  Each of her pieces tells a story.  In her October class, she offered us the chance to make a wall hanging or a book.  I jumped on making a fabric book and by a stroke of good fortune was able to do a small wall piece as well.

I created this fabric transfer during KC’s class and coupled her image with vibrant blues and represented the blooming roses through the golden roses beneath her.  And in the script that appeared below her, I wrote “Let go of the negative.  And there will be more space for the positive.” This mantra came to me during one of my runs and I have been focused on it for about the last month.

The mantra has helped me to realize the importance of moving on after a disaster, heart break, or disappointment.  And through KC’s class I could express this mantra through fabric with Our Lady Guadalupe.  How cool is that/  KC’s class has inspired me at a level that is hard to convey.  But, what I will say is that the mantra is true in that by letting go of some of life’s craziness, I have been blessed with the chance to meet KC Willis and move my art to a different and more compelling level for me.

I hope my mantra can inspires you as well.

All the best…

This Weekend’s Lesson – Be Present

Posted By on November 10, 2009

Be Present As you may have seen over the year, much has been happening in my crazy life.  And I am constantly “multi-tasking” to get everything done.  And in the process of multi-tasking, I have made some random and sometimes costly errors.  

Recently I booked a plane ticket for an arrival date a few days earlier than I needed to be there.  Then I booked the wrong time on the plane ticket, because the cheapest flights are super late and highlighted at the top versus super early flights are at the bottom of the selection list.  And unfortunately, I needed to be there early.  But, I must say Frontier Airlines were awesome and change the flight time to an earlier flight and just charged the difference versus the difference and a $150 change fee.  At that point, I should have started to work out that there was a lesson in all this.  But, no I didn’t quite get it.  So to make sure I got the lesson, there was my race on Saturday. 

I trained diligently for the Heart Center of the Rockies Half Marathon.  It was to be my third half marathon this year.  But, here is where I missed the lesson.  The race had three start locations.  The half marathon was several miles away from the 10K and 5K.  I mistakenly drove to the 10K, because I just wasn’t paying attention to the instructions of where the half marathon started.  By the time I worked it out, it was too late to get back to the start of the half marathon.  

The bottom line is that with all that has been going on, I just wasn’t Present.  So, to say I was tremendously disappointed is an understatement.  On Saturday morning, I was inconsolable.  I finally stopped feeling hurt, disappointed, sad, and embarrassed about it sometime yesterday (probably when I started making art and writing yesterday’s post).  My husband kept saying, “no one died and no one is injured”.  And this is extremely true; the problem is that the running is helping me manage the pressure and stress I’ve been under over the last year.  And instead of eating, I have chosen/committed to run.  

So, I finished this collage tonight to remind me of the criticality of being Present.  To be Present can only serve me at every level in my life.  And for that, Saturday’s events were a valuable lesson.  Now I need to find one more ½ marathon for 2009. 

To my family and friends who have written or commented on my Facebook and blog, thanks for all the support.  I am Thankful for all of you.  

All the very best…

Thankful

Posted By on November 8, 2009

Joyful 1 BlogYesterday was an extraordinarily disappointing.  I missed a race that I had been training for since the beginning of October.  That may sound trite, but running has become my way of dealing with the incredible challenges that have come over the last year.  It is my mechanism for clarity and positive thought.  

With that said, I could sit here and dwell on my disappointment or I could be thankful instead for the blessing of family, friends, and art.  These things, combined with running have made a devastating year, manageable and almost tolerable.  So, with that thought I wanted to share this piece I did in KC Willis’ class last month.  

This little girl has such joy, considering she grew up in a time when we were not allowed to vote, lived in a segregated society, and could at best dream of becoming a maid.  She exudes joyfulness and makes anyone that sees her smile.  So, I thought I would reflect on her smile and remember there will be other opportunities and other disappointments much more powerful than a missed race.  And if I can just stay focused on positive thought, I may not be able to avoid the disappointments, but I can keep focused on my blessings and be thankful for what I have.  And that will make what ever the difficulty, better faster than I could hope. 

All the best…

Your Thoughts Create Your Future: No. 282

Posted By on September 20, 2009

Call me “crazy”, but yesterday I decided during my five mile run, I would run the Crossroad Half Marathon.  It started at 8 am.  And I only made it to the starting line by 7:46 am.  As I drove to the race, I kept thinking “I must be crazy…”   

I hadn’t trained as hard or consistently as I did for the Seattle Half Marathon in June.  But, some how I just knew I could and should do this race.  I had to keep my commitment to do another Half Marathon this year.  I just had too.  And I had told several folks (which is always a good idea, if you want to keep a promise to yourself.  LOL!!!) 

Last week had been extremely painful.  Between work, dealing with my healthcare provider (it is a complete mess!!!), and hard family events.  So, I had all but thought I needed to just stay home.  But, as I got up on Saturday and did five miles,  I thought I needed to keep my commitment I made in July to keep running and keep focused on staying healthy.  

I kept hearing a paraphrase of a quote from Louise Hay, “Your Thoughts Create Your Future”.  And I believed with every step, I could create my future, I could complete this race.  I never stopped running; I would pick up my water and keep going.  Going all the way to the end wearing No. 282, yes!!!  And people were kind all the way, saying good job No. 282, good job. 

Will I run another half marathon with out training harder?  Absolutely not!  And I hope and plan to do one more in November.  I’ll keep you posted.  See there I go telling people about my goals again…

In Retrospect: 48

Posted By on August 30, 2009

Count Your Blessings Series 2 compressedI just finished my 48th year in this world, yesterday.  And today is the start of the 49th.  I thought I would look back on the year and see what lessons I can take from the last twelve months.  

It has been an uplifting and distressing year.  It has been marked with pain from two car accidents, awe that the USA would actually elect Barack Obama, sorrow for two families that lost their young children, disappointment that I gained almost 30 lbs, awe in watching my little boy compete and place in gymnastics, fear that I would have to endure surgery for my work induced carpal tunnel, reclusion as I worked at shredding the weight and running through the traffic accident’s pain, distress when the minister’s dogs did $1600 of damage to my car and he declined to pay for the repair, pride when my daughter performed in her first school musical, joy when I ran my 20th Bay to Breakers, Bolder Boulder, and finally my first ½ marathon in six years, distress seeing our dear friend struggle through physical issues that had befallen him, disappointment with those that I truly thought were my friends, thankfulness for my mother, family, and my real friends, and the realization that I must live this life with Intention.  That in a nutshell was my 48th year.

 And during my 48th year, I did four pieces in the span of a few weeks.  As I struggled through the year, I came to the realization that I needed to count my blessings.  When I started to do that, I started to realize that all I can do is stay focused on the goal and not get distracted by the obstacles.  I forget that from time to time this lesson.  But at the end of the day, this particular art piece reminds me that I am truly blessed.  It reminds me to do the best I can by living this life with true intention.  As my goal is to get on the bus to heaven, whenever that day comes, I need to focus on making my 49th year an intentional and good one.

Hands

Posted By on May 8, 2009

My People Hope for Peace

As artists, we know that one of the greatest gifts we have is our hands.  With that said, one of the most positive things that came out of January was a confirmation about my hands.  I spent the tale-end of December, January, and February doing physical therapy for my hand.  My right hand has had issues since 1988.  And with recent work changes, my workload had jumped exponentially.  Because of that, I just didn’t have enough sense to take breaks during the work day.  So, I would just pound away, hour upon hour upon hour, trying to get everything done.  But, my hand knew there was a problem with that.  And in early December, I started back doing physical therapy twice per week (through the holidays and into the New Year). 

 

As this had been a long term issue, I had to take a test at the end of January.  It was an EMG.  One of the most painful things I have ever had to do.  As they tested both hands, they hurt for two days after the testing that went on for a full 30 minutes.  The singular positive thing was at the end I had a diagnosis and the knowledge that I don’t have to have surgery!!!  YES!!! 

 

Because I had been doing all this physical therapy, I have done limited art work over the last several months.  But, this art piece due to the image and subject matter, truly resonated with me today.  And I wanted to share it with you.  I created only two, one for my dear friend Kelly Kilmer and one for myself.  Kelly loves hands and is very knowledgeable about the politics of the day.  I think she is awesome and I enjoyed making this transfer collage for her.  

 

With that said, this art is now much more symbolic for me about being a mother, wanting peace for my children, and wanting peace for myself.  Now that I know I don’t have to have surgery, I have found a little Peace.

The Shooting

Posted By on May 8, 2009

The Shooting

 

January had an intense start to the New Year!  Work was crazy as well.  And my boy’s gymnastics season kicked off.  It was two meets, with one being at Disney World.  It was an amazing week in Disney World.  My youngest thought it was the coolest thing ever to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and many more characters.  And my son took 5th place (for his age group) overall during the meet.  The great thing is that I can now reflect on these things.  I can reflect on and spend time with my children and know that they are healthy and loved.  But, for the briefest moments on January 4th, 2009, I thought I would not get to spend another moment with my children.

 

I left my house at about 11:20 am MST, headed down our dirt road.  I have run that same road for almost 8 years.  I was headed south and had past at least 4 houses.  As I came over the tiny hill near our friend’s house, I could hear gun fire.    I have grown use to hearing gun fire, as we live in the county and shooting on your property is legal and acceptable.  Until that moment, the one thing I have always assumed is that my neighbors (while doing shooting practice) were practicing safe shooting habits. 

 

At 11:30 am MST, I realized I had been tremendously naïve.  All at once, I heard not one, not two, but three bullets whistle in front of me.  In that split second, I realized I was under fire.  I dropped down on the road in the dirt and started screaming STOP Shooting!!!   STOP Shooting!!!    Please STOP Shooting!!!   At the top of my lungs, I screamed and screamed and screamed.  And the shooting continued.  I could hear bullets ricochet off rocks that were closed to my head.  And all the while I kept screaming STOP Shooting!!!  

 

Some how I realized it wasn’t going to stop.  So, I got enough wherewithal, found my cell phone, and called home.  The phone just rang and rang.  I knew my husband was there.  But, it just rang and rang.  Finally, he picked up the phone.  And I just started screaming, please come get me.  They are shooting at me.  I was hysterical, there is no doubt. 

 

He threw our kids in the car and drove out to where I was.  The gun fire finally stopped.  I now suspect it was because they could see our car coming.  I could barely get in the car, because I was so frighten that I could still be shot.  When we got home, all I could do was lay down.  My kids were so worried about me; they didn’t know what to say.  My husband was so mad; he didn’t know what to do with himself.  He asked where the shots were coming from, I told him where I thought they came from. 

 

He tried to contact the owners, but their number was disconnected.  He called our other neighbors that live two doors north of the house.  One is a police officer here locally.  She called and spoke to the owners and discovered that their children were outside shooting.  The mother had no idea that they were firing at the dirt road. 

 

When she would subsequently question her son, he indicated that he didn’t know I was out there.  Or that he had fired at me. 

 

I can tell you now that life is extraordinarily brief.  And we can go outside just worried about our everyday lives and by someone else action, what is most dear to you can be taken from you.  It took me three weeks, before I could run on our dirt road again.  It has taken even more to feel remotely secure about running on our dirt road. 

 

But, this is the one thing I know.  I have been chased by my neighbors’ dogs, I have just missed stepping on countless rattlesnakes and I have just been missed twice by my neighbors’ speeding down our dirt road.  And I keep running.  And I will keep running!!!  As Americans have a constitutional right to own and carry arms, I too have a right to run on our dirt road.

The Christmas Tree & Other Realizations

Posted By on May 7, 2009

Along with my commitment to give back, December was a tough month, due to work and health reasons.  Now you add on top of that shows and Christmas and I was so excited to see Christmas break starting at 12.19.08, I didn’t know what to do with myself. 

 

The low lights of December were that I finally realized/acknowledge that I had gained almost 30 lbs and my tendonitis in my right hand was becoming acutely painful.  I would ultimately rejoin (with commitment Weight Watchers) and file for Workman’s Comp for my hand. 

 

The highlights of December were the Christmas tree almost fell over about two weeks prior to Christmas Day!  We had to strap it to our stair banister, until we could take the entire tree apart and reset it up.  It was very very funny!!  The tree sat at a 45 degree angle for about 5 days (work was crazy!!!).  :O) 

 

The next coolest thing was that I decided that I would do 10 charitable things before the end of 2008.  Check out my blog that just preceded this one.

 

The most coolest thing was how excited the kids were when they came down and discovered Santa had been at the house and ate his cookie and drank his milk.  And then he left them fun toys and boring clothes!!!  It was a good day for them and for us.  December was a mix of highs and lows, but it reminds us of what is truly important.

Ten Acts of Kindness

Posted By on May 7, 2009

With all the excitement around the election and volunteering to support it, after everything was over, I wanted to carry on the hope it instilled.  And as all of us have watched the world financial system meltdown and listen to all the on-going job loss statistics and business closures, I realized how thankful I am right now.  So, with that said, I came to grips that I needed to do what I could to contribute to my own community and fellow man. 

 

In December, I set myself a challenge to do at least ten Acts of Kindness or contributions.  And in the process, I shared it with my friends and co-workers as one of my goals.  As I put it out there, new ideas came in and I inspired some of my buddies to do the same.  Here is what my family and I have done so far:

 

  • Purchased $5 meal vouchers for needed families through the Vitamin Cottage
  • Purchased books that local kids have picked out (for their Christmas presents) at Barnes and Noble  
  • Purchased books for my children’s school library through a special program at Barnes & Noble
  • Contributing to two Adopt a Family for the Holidays through friends at work
  • Asked my two closest friends to skip sending me a Christmas gift and instead contributing the money to their favorite charities
  • Contributing to my friend’s fund raiser to purchase a goat for a family in Latin America
  • Contributed to Salvation Army

 

And with two additional contributions, I left 2008 with Hope and my goal is to inspire Hope in 2009.  My Ten Acts of Kindness has been a good start.

November & December 2008

Posted By on May 7, 2009

San Francisco & NYC

 

November was a whirlwind this year.  Between the election, two business trips, my mother’s visit, Thanksgiving, and putting up the Christmas tree, I am exhausted.

 

I wanted to highlight my two trips this month and share some things to do the next time you are in the two cities.

 

I flew out to San Francisco the day after the election.  When I got to the airport, I purchased every paper they had.  I read every election page in the NY Times on the flight.  And I will be honest I cried at least half the flight.  I was so shocked, overjoyed, elated, and stunned, that our country would actually vote for someone that spoke about Hope, instead of fear and had a plan on how to dig us out of the worst mess since 1929.  I am still amazed.

 

As I grew up in California, I always feel so good when I get back to Northern Cal.  And to meet up with the team and to share how excited we all were about the results was just awesome.  We checked into the hotel and grabbed lunch.  We then worked until 7:30 pm that night.  It was a really long day starting at 3 am PST.  But, we learned a lot about our customers, which was the whole point of the endeavor. 

 

We headed off then to dinner at CoCo 500 .  It was a great meal; my best friend recommended the place.  Then off to the hotel and to crash.  

The next evening I spent the evening with my best friend and his partner.  We had the best Thai dinner in the Castro.  I just love San Francisco.