Getting Caught… In the Tendrils of Experience

Feeling today in the contrast of light and shadow.

Feeling today in the contrast of light and shadow.

Is this really the beginning of something great?

Getting caught up in the new year and lofty goals.

Getting caught up in self-doubt and apprehension.

Getting caught up in all the details.

Getting caught up in what’s most important in prioritizing tasks.

Getting caught up in making my experience awesome.


Too many things! Seems overly simplistic and obvious too even spend the time writing it here but there is so much that can overpower me. I now choose instead to be empowered by my desire to create happiness and my need to get the images blaring in my head out. The images, the words, the sounds.

Letting overwhelm fall away

Asking myself for quiet

Soft and gentle quiet

To listen with love

Receive with grace

Give openly my creative force

Sparked from within

Reflected out

Images of all shapes and color burst forth

With creativity unleashed

Dancing my way from overwhelm

Energy to be fully expressed

All the tendrils of experience released

In my most recent episode of Creativity Unleashed there is a point where I exclaim, “This is the beginning of something great!”

Totally unscripted and off the cuff.

This tendril of experience I will hold onto moving forward.

What does moving forward look like?

This is a great question and one that calls for clarity.

Clarity for me has meant drinking a little less and moving my body a little more.

Through this clarity I gained the insight to let fall away that which isn’t serving my purpose. If my purpose is painting. Then fucking paint already. Everything else comes after.

Moving forward from this moment; lofty ideas and grand new year plans that start out with a blast and quickly get buried under winter cover are kept safe to sprout in Spring, blossom into Summer, Fall into something that’s growing with each season, and plan for what’s next come Winter.

I vowed to bring Creativity Unleashed on the daily in a variety of ways: painting, photographing, and writing. Weaving it all together for a mind blowing body of art and bursting onto the art scene like a pro. (Now, as I proof read this I’m not surprised I got overwhelmed.)

And then it snowed.

That’s not the reason. It’s not even a good excuse.

Probably no surprise to anyone and not to me either that I got overwhelmed and confused in my lofty ideas. Disoriented in my own plan. Good thing the best plans make room for inevitable mistakes, as well as, the occasional snow storm. The tendrils of experience catching me up and quickly off guard.

I stopped.

I stopped everything and focused on the most important thing: painting.

I’ve been spending the past few weeks in painting storm.

Painting with sides of movement; yoga and dance indoors and brave excursions into this dessert hinterland. With meditation, journaling, and coaching around clarity of vision for my desired result: making an art business a money making business.

Before I tailspin into my money making madness and save that for another episode, let me try to break down what might be most useful from this episode of Creativity Unleashed:

  • Have lofty ideas and ideally express them but if need be, first record them. Write down that brilliant idea or take a video showing the idea if only for yourself, to know you have brilliant ideas.

  • Heart on heart on heart rainbow reflection. My example of a painting expressing tendrils of experience. 2 paintings I’ve started that are mirror images creating a heart when they are put together. Seems totally loving right? It’s my initials. I’ve decided to be OK with all the aspects of who I am in an attempt of living an honest existence. I have some delightfully narcissistic tendencies that I no longer have the energy to deny.

    • These 2 paintings are also in a category that seems the antithesis of the fine art. Clever. A saying to the effect of, don’t be clever, be clear comes to mind. Again, what can I do? I thought of it, I did it. Then because they were nearby when I spoke of tendrils I picked them up and put them in front of the camera.

The upside of reflection - tendrils of rainbow hearts

The upside of reflection - tendrils of rainbow hearts

There’s no downside, just another upside. Blue Kitty approved.

There’s no downside, just another upside. Blue Kitty approved.

  • What does success look like?

    • Not sure?

      • How about, what does failure look like?

        • It’s important to imagine both. Play it out.

  • I had a brilliant idea! To go to art openings and start to step out and connect with the art world in my community. I lined-up a few opening nights. Then, when they came around, I couldn’t go. If I can’t socialize and go out to support artists and galleries this whole business of making art a business might not work. Failure.

    • I’m not ready.

    • New people and new places are scary.


Maybe because it’s winter and I’ve just started painting again for reals, I was able to sit down with a glass of wine the night of the art openings and instead of beating myself up, ask myself what does ready look like? What about new people and places scares me? What will I do when I’m ready?

1st, I pondered the new places and people and reinforced with myself that I have social anxiety. I’m totally uncomfortable and weirded out by new people and new places. After spending a lot of years pretending I wasn’t and then using drugs and alcohol to help barrel through them and make myself sick in the process, I’m happy to be honest with myself about it. Success!

Now what? I made a simple adjustment to my brilliant idea; go to the galleries and shows I’m interested in on any other day than the opening. That feels way more comfortable and since having thought that I’ve found a few I want to check-out. Stay tuned to find out how that goes.

What does ready look like?

To me, ready looks like having a little bit bigger body of work done and a portfolio on my website created. Great news! I have a dozen paintings in the works and about 6 that are almost done. That makes 12 total. A solid start to the portfolio. Success!

2nd, I did some math; if I want to do this for the rest of my life, my body of work will only grow and the paintings I paint now will indeed be the beginning of something great. As an example; if I do 2 paintings a month, that’s 24 paintings a year. After 5 years, I’ll have painted 120 paintings. After 50 years. I’ll have painted 1200 paintings.

If I put myself in the shoes of a gallery or an art collector, hard core supporters of the art I imagined; the more work I do the more the previous pieces will be worth. This is my thought process and is very likely totally wrong, I honestly have zero idea. I haven’t done a lot of homework in this area either. I’m gonna just create thoughts again and guess that there’s little rhyme or reason to the value of art. Has anyone given insights in this area? I ask out loud as I stare blankly at the Google search bar. There is a desired expertise for me around this important detail for sure! Writing this now makes the kind of sense to me that pairs perfectly with the creation of art itself. Especially abstract art. Time to work some reality into this picture. Looking forward.

I can’t stop this truth telling spree! I’ve got some serious money stuff around not only my worth but the worth of what I create. Even now, doing a bit of math here, I get nervous. I refuse to feed the lie of the starving artist any longer and I’m done with it.

There is a strong apprehension in sharing this. 

Shhhh, Sam…. Don’t tell anyone…

I want to be a successful artist. 

I want my art business to be a money making business.

Sam, you can’t say that! You have to say that you’re driven to making art by divine force. Truth. That divine force also wants you to be successful and successful is in part profitable. Not at the expense of others, at the pleasure and joy of others. Not gross profits. Shit! That’s totally a thing; gross profits. Our language around money is so fraught with what seem to be damned trappings of the soul.

Failure!

How about net profits from painting? A safety net supporting Creativity Unleashed. Tendrils of support.

Success!

A work in progress; The story of my life.

Somewhere in my past I got stuck in this financial maze. I let my insecurities get the better of me. I let the insecurities of people that love me get the better of me. I hear the echoes of concern, ‘have a back-up plan, a good career, something safer, you don’t want to be a struggling artist for life.’

I let my insecurities get the better of me and turned toward the “good career” so I would be financially stable. I told myself, as others did too, I could paint as a hobby, on the side.

I never painted on the side.

Then, I ended up losing the “good career”.

I was left devastated and in the midst of a potent life crisis.

It turns out, the big failure happened.

That “good career” money gone.

I’m now living with my mom.

The completely amazing and rich thing to me is, I knew the living with my mom part was going to happen. Only child, divorced parents, inevitable and turns out a life saver. I put this idea on myself a long time ago. I also envisioned I’d be living in a cottage. I never thought about the money.

So it turns out I envisioned with acute clarity exactly what I’m doing now.

Success!

****

If I can create this reality, then my theory is now to create more from the infinite possibilities available to me. Grabbing the tendrils of experience I envision with acute clarity and energizing them into existence.

****

Showing myself and others what it looks like.

The truth.

The successes.

The failures.

****

Moving forward ready… looks like creativity unleashed on the daily. painting almost everyday. Building a body of work that I share with the world. Making more money the more I do it.

****

Well, that’s some clarity alright! I went on a profound tangent there and look what came of it? A couple clear sentences of what moving forward looks like. A little shaky about the blatant money statement. But hot damn! Cardi B won a Grammy last night for such a blatant statement so I’m gonna follow suit.


It looks like the beginning of something great.

There is so much more in the episode though and I’ll just skip to the end.

In being honest with myself as a practice and confronting the dreaded money stuff, I’m learning how to re-write my outdated and completely fictional beliefs around money with new ones.

Great news! There’s a wealth of information out there!

Similar to the self help books I used to hide and now don’t care who knows because all that personal growth work has done me wonders. I’m now re-writing my financial story to make an art business a money making business.

Currently with the help of Jen Sincero’s book, You are a Badass at Making Money. The exercises and insights have been eye opening and super helpful and I will leave you with this excerpt and get my butt back in front of the easel.

****

“Take responsibility for the fact that you created everything in your life via your thoughts, beliefs, focus, actions, and energy, and that you have the power to shift your mindset, raise your frequency and create new things that will serve you better.”

****

It might be snowing outside but today’s painting will be fields of green under blue skies accompanied by rainbow tendrils of experience.

Cheers!

PS. Now here’s what you’ve really come here for… Emerald Heart Vagina.

IMG_5478.jpg

Sketching Out Orbs Before Painting - Painting Priorities

This week called for change-up.

The on-track of Creativity Unleashed.

It was a simple concept. Easy.

Was it too easy?

Yes. It seemed that way.

It is to paint.

The thing that I am here to do can be summed up in one word - paint. I laugh out loud as I write this now. Part of getting in front of the canvas, paint in hand, ready to rock, is clarity of vision to energize into existence.

Toying, playing, sketching an idea out. The practice of flow - having an idea clear enough to conceptualize in reality and expressing the freedom of the motions involved. I tend to tighten up the more I work on something. It starts as a clear idea. Sketched out loosely. Sketched on the canvas. Paint applied. Layer upon layer. Line after line.

As the idea becomes more real, the trappings of focus, clarity, and the boundaries of reality can weigh on the movement and action of emotion.

The feeling is joyful, happy, free. That the feeling can be taken with the observer. Not firm, constrained, perfect. A letting go.

As I start to sway with the flow of feeling. Lifted by light and color. Shape is transfixed on the canvas but also seems to move to the joyful upbeat expression.

The process is what it is and I can't make it something else. What I can do is make it exactly what I want it to be - a joyful, uplifting practice.

Back to it!

For you too!

To Creativity Unleashed!

Cheers!

Visit me on all the socials and say "hi" - ask any question you may want answered via any of them. You can visit my website - https://www.samanthashearer.com/gallery/ I paint, draw, write, podcast and create this zesty little show here. This is Creativity Unleashed. Thanks so much for watching!

Creativity Unleashed: What if Cthulhu & Darth Vader had a Baby?

Today's episode rides the ups and downs of Creativity Unleashed.

The Up's - completing my artists statement and painting.

Summarizing this weeks blog post: Just Write Zone: Energizing Vision Into Existence. The importance of having a open and safe space for self expression through journaling and sketching.

The Down's - the sketching video on how to draw a face for the abstract artist was a total fail. I couldn't edit into anything other than the crap it was. Although from this video I'm going to cut the section of me showing the picture and my statements about it. Cracked me up.

At one point in the video I mentioned I should be reading verbatim from my pre-recording notes and here is that writing: My artists statement - flowed freely - thankful for that - I cannot stress enough to shut-off - cut-out the outside noise and endless chatter of what other people - all the people - especially anyone not doing it and criticizing - fuck, what the world wants and focus on your individual message - because your message is important - your voice is important. It can change the course of events for you and the world - mine has been changed for the better through setting free my own self-expression - it’s fucking scary and takes bravery but when you step fully, unapologetically into your truth, it’s a clear path to self expression. Whatever that expression is.

I had a perception of what I was supposed to be and it made it so hard to express myself fully. Now that I’ve shed that, what has come out is my desire and fulfillment of happiness. Sharing images and ideas that can encourage joy. My own joy and the worlds joy. It just came out and I’m letting it be. The miraculous thing is if I’m judged harshly by some critic for my creativity unleashed, it’s on them. That’s their subjective perception, that’s where they’re at and they can go look at something else if they don't like looking at what I'm creating. For you. I want you to know you can do it too. Share here what "it" is and what your doing to energize it into existence. Reach out to others doing the same if you get stuck.

For next week: not giving up on drawing for the abstract artist video. The next blog drop is all about how raising our voices can change the course of events.

It's gonna be a goodie. I started adding to it here!

Just Write Zone: Energizing Vision Into Existence

Are you in the Just Write Zone? Have you done your journaling yet today? What are you waiting for?

Are you in the Just Write Zone? Have you done your journaling yet today? What are you waiting for?

I’VE BEEN DOING THIS REGULARLY FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS AND IT HAS WORKED SOME MAGIC ON MY PRODUCTIVITY AND PERFORMANCE.

Ever feel too scatterbrained to make sense out of what needs to be done, much less take the best next action step?

Just me?

I’m gonna go with it’s not just me because diaries, journals, and sketchbooks have been around way longer than I have. Way longer. So much longer.

What I have come up with works really well for me now. Well enough that it might work for you too. Feel free to just pick out parts that inspire you to give a try. Add to your current journaling routine. Mix it up!

I’m just gonna spill the beans here so you can get the goods and go forth. If you want to stick around for the tantalizing back story, please be my guest.

I keep an open document in my internet browser to journal in at all times. No endorsement here from Google(yet…).

What I do is have a google document tab open so I’m always just one click away (and an internet connection) from journaling.

As an alternative, I’ve used a document to leave on my desktop. Which works better if there’s no internet. Any of the desktop publishing programs work. I’ve even used Notes for Mac.

Here is an example of my Just Write Zone document.***

Images from my document: JUST WRITE ZONE

Page 1 of 2 - how I set-up my monthly JUST WRITE ZONE.

Page 1 of 2 - how I set-up my monthly JUST WRITE ZONE.

Page 2 of how I start my monthly JUST WRITE ZONE document. Good thing I can create a link.

Page 2 of how I start my monthly JUST WRITE ZONE document. Good thing I can create a link.

What follows are my steps for creating your own Just Write Zone:

  • Create a new document for each month. Titled: Month, Year Write Zone. Example: January 2019 Write Zone — I start with month and date to keep organized for reference. I need to just delete some, I do not look back at them but once in a great while.

  • Date each day. Example: Thursday January 3, 2019. I wasn’t in the best headspace when I started this journaling style. Having recently found myself laid off from what I thought would be my “good career”, I was having trouble remember what day it was. Good times.

  • Start with 20 minute free write. Just spill out all the words in your beautiful brain out onto the page. Don’t hold back. Don’t edit. Just let it out.

  • See what ideas flow out. After, I often go back and highlight, put in BOLD to explore ideas of jotted down further.

  • I also try to give some gratitude. What went well in my day. What’s going well. A little self love. A proverbial pat on the back.

  • At the end of the day I create the next days heading. Separating days by inserting a horizontal line. I just added this next step as I listened to my Mom watching football. I write PRE-GAME and jot down the most important things I want to accomplish the next day. This really helps me prioritize. Today for instance; finishing this was most important after painting.

  • When I wake-up in the morning, with my coffee, I start the day with GAME DAY and go write into it. Ha! Word play and puns. Can’t fight that loving feeling.

After the month is up I store them in a folder by year so they are easy to find. Which again, I have very rarely ever gone back to. Sometimes I have though but months, not years later. I don’t even want to look at what I wrote 3 years ago now. I’m going to clean them out.

For me it is that this practice has helped me create both my blog, that this is part of, and a podcast and vlog. If you would have told me I would have been able to get my shit together enough to start a new career as a painter, blogger, vlogger, and podcaster 3 years ago I would have said you were crazy!

Free writing stream of conscious style takes practice. I loved this idea of freely writing without inhibition. Whatever the thoughts may be. I do use it as a safe, confidential space to express openly all kinds of things. I’m especially grateful to my journal for allowing me to express my anger and frustration. When I’m upset about something that has happened this is now where I talk it out with myself toward a resolution.

I upped my journaling game with insights from Susan David, the author of ***Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life. She shares what she calls, Pennebaker’s Writing Rules, from James Pennebaker, a University of Texas professor. Professor Pennebaker did 40 years of research to writing and the emotional process so we don’t have to.

What we do have is the benefits of both their expertise to get ourselves on our own best track.

Pennebaker’s Writing Rules combine setting a timer for 20 minutes and letting your current emotional experience spill out. No holds barred. No judgement. Get curious.

I am especially thankful for my Just Write Zone when a post on social media triggers me. I’ll rant in response in my safe space and leave the triggering post alone. Letting that count toward my 20 minute of free writing a day goal.

One thing that still cracks me up about embarking on this endeavor is that I still edit as I write and erase sometimes. I can’t believe it! Erasing in the Just Write Zone is not necessary. I now test myself to just let the words flow onto the page. Letting go of the details; sentence structure, correct spelling, embarrassing details.

INHIBITION WARNING: I have had my journal read before and I have also sabotaged my journal for a snooper. Now I just let it flow and let it go. I don’t have time for that. If someone reads my writing from this safe space and doesn’t like what they see, that’s on them. Their problem. Not mine. I am just right here in my free zone. My radical freedom at its finest. Laying out grand schemes, solving the world’s problems.

More often than not, it helps me get out anything that might be holding me back from my objectives.

It helps me stay on top of details.

It helps me remember amazing experiences I want to keep fresh so I can enjoy them in story form again and again.

Through this practice I have been able to create this blog. I fantasized about art I would make. How I was going to do it. Now, I have completed paintings for the first time in years. I’ve created a whole website and a virtual gallery to sell these completed paintings.

I’ve written down dreams and actualized them through writing about them first in my Just Write Zone.

I’ve taken this journal around the world.

I also have a sketchbook, a few really. Always a great thing to have at hand. I use it for both sketching and journaling. Taking notes on a subject or from a speaker.

I may be above and beyond in my note taking but it’s how I organize my thoughts and expand on my ideas.

If I had a dollar for everytime a random person approached me to compliment me on my sketches(just because they see me holding a sketchbook). Usually expressing something to the fact that they can’t sketch at all and wish they could. I’d have a decent bottle of wine with that cash and not once has anybody outwardly seen what I’m doing.

As an abstract artist, it’s most likely something unrecognizable and even when it’s supposed to be recognizable, it isn’t always good. Sketchbooks and journals aren’t just for the good. They’re for the everything.

I do have my journal and sketchbook by my bedside and on my computer desktop at the ready. I’ve created notes and video journals on my phone too so that I always have an option for recording that exquisite, bright idea.

At the same time I no longer beat myself up if I can’t get to either with an idea and it flutters away. Often times those ideas come back. Not necessarily right away, nor do I always remember if I’d even had them before.

After 3 years and thousands of pages of creativity unleashed, more ideas come to fruition by writing them down.

Better to have a place to put them and not need it, then to not have the perfect place for exquisite, bright ideas. If there is nowhere for it to go it could fly away, never to be actualized. Or worse to be caught by someone else. Sliced bread! If I would have only written that idea down and sketched it out! Never again!

That is the case here. I could swear I’ve had the idea to share this before. I’ve shared the idea with friends and family. You’d think if that was the case there would be evidence but none I could find so I started anew.

Starting anew. Something I have taken to heart in a variety of ways and can’t recommend enough. No matter where you might be in your life. Start anew. Start now. Use whatever device, trick, hack at your disposal to help keep you on track. For you. For us.

The ideas and thoughts in your head are worth it. My new thing to say is that they are exquisite. Just write them down.

Get to it!

Cheers!

***

Here is mine to just have. My gift to you. Copy, paste, convert, and go for it! If only it were that easy. Turns out I can’t or maybe can’t figure out how to share a useable document to copy, paste, convert so if you are wanting it, I am happy to email it to you. No gimmicky, sneaky bullshit here just a legit sharing of a .doc file and a .pdf for anyone who wants it. Just email me at sam@samanthashearer.com and I’ll send to you to start on.

Also, This document is revised right from what I do. It is an example not a requisite. I only say that because if you have more income or less. More bills or less. You might have an accountant or like my Dad, getting his accounting program of choice on.

David, Susan A. Emotional Intelligence: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life. New York: Penguin, 2016. Print. pp.93.

Kicking Off A New Year Clear: Go Time v. Quitting Time

How I do some of my best work. Samantha Shearer sprawled out on floor in studio.

How I do some of my best work. Samantha Shearer sprawled out on floor in studio.

This is a story about when to keep at it, when to quit, and how to make that decision.

You ever think you’re being very clear and it turns out nobody, not even you understand what you were trying to convey?

I just did my 3rd episode of Creativity Unleashed - a show about doing just that and as someone that spent 30 years indirectly being creative while putting the back-up plan and “good career” in the forefront instead, giving myself permission to make art is indeed an unleashing.

The thing is, sometimes I don’t always know what I’m doing so when I did my last podcast and vlog it included an abundance of vague communication. Statements like: these and this thing I’m doing. Poor listeners, I’m sure they tuned out even though there were some nuggets of the creative process amongst the garble.

What is this and these things?

Paintings. Abstract expressions of creativity unleashed painted on canvas, wood, and sometimes something in between.

With these paintings, again, still lacking clarity. At least I included the word painting this time. This is what I want to invoke. Clarity of vision in order to have exactness in execution.

These paintings are new to me. They are landscape abstracts. Surreal in that I have been trying to combine the majestic beauty the landscape of Eastern Washington and Oregon with the joy and connection I feel when I go out there, into the east of the west.

The original idea for this series of landscape paintings came from driving through Washington wine country on a weekend trip to Walla Walla, Washington. One of the most lovely places I’ve visited in the Pacific Northwest in both the landscape and the fun I always have when I‘m there. Lot of wonderful wine drinking and wonderful food to accompany it. Throw in some great company and it‘s party-on time.

NOTE: this is not an advertisement for Walla Walla, Washington just one woman’s good times to be found there. A wine drinkers paradise. Maybe reminiscing more fondly since I am on the old wagon for a spell. The new year is off to a sobering start.

I laugh out loud when I think of the most fantastic afternoons I’ve spent tasting amazing wines with my girlfriend as we look out at beautiful views. Here is probably the pinnacle of our tasting excursions. This was a magical afternoon that should have been hotter than it was, yet it was quiet and serene at Waterbrook Winery.

Again: not at all an advertisement but a remarkable place. It is in that category of place that at first glance looks inviting and at the same time so beautiful that I held myself at bay from. As if it might have an attitude about it. A self-consciousness on my part that I’m trying to lean more into than to exclude myself from based on appearance. It also has wonderful food. A bonus that not many wineries provide.

Me on the left. My dear friend Clairece Rosati-Hemenway on my right. All the wine and snacks that could fit on our table before us.

Me on the left. My dear friend Clairece Rosati-Hemenway on my right. All the wine and snacks that could fit on our table before us.

Yes! That’s right! There are all of the above in Walla Walla, Washington.

Couple more things: Walla Walla, Washington is a weekend getaway treat, I’m not getting paid to pronounce this and my girlfriend will probably prefer I’m clear about being single. This is not an advertisement for my single-hood, just a fact.

Gold. If you’re one for the finer things in life. The land just rolls along in gold.

When it isn’t gold, it is the most majestic of greens. The greenest of green from the alfalfa. I think it’s alfalfa. The vineyard green is captivating in its precison of planting and care. It’s winter now so my mind is imagining it as green, gold, blue. Clear. Bright.

Then the wine is poured. White, red, rosé. I had an image - an idea of how this amazing substance - color - interplay of community and gathering with dear friends could be creatively unleashed on the canvas. Wine and kinship mingling and growing forth from this beautiful land.

A few things became painfully clear when I started. I don’t paint landscapes. As challenging as that twist was on its own, I also didn’t quite realize the fine balance, similar to wine, from the original grape to the end product in the glass. My lack of clarity regarding my idea, as well, perhaps mingling with sobering from the wine party I’ve been having the past few years.  

As I painted, oddly shaped orbs formed or balloons growing out of the landscape. This excursion into landscape painting being totally new to me so even trying to explain it now is an amusing recollection as to how they really have yet to be determined or named. 

Clarity gained from realizing it is difficult to energize something into existence if it cannot be clearly described or defined as what it will become once made real.

So I painted them, even though I wasn’t totally sure what I was painting. Even my sketches are too vague. I’m surprised as I look at them that I was like, yes! Let’s do this!

Sketches for paintings done in late 2018.

Sketches for paintings done in late 2018.

I approved of my representation of the landscapes. I genuinely was proud of myself and my attempt. Combining the Blues(Blue Mountains of Oregon & Washington), the expansive, clear, blue sky, the wheat, and wine. Then these orbs coming up from the ground really messed the whole thing up for me. Unable to grasp their truth. Unable to express the vision with clarity.

Are these wine glasses? I had that idea and I loathed it for its predictability. Glasses of wine. Writing it now is just embarrassing. That I’m sharing the embarrassment is my growing edge. Wine glasses, full of different wines; white, rosé, and red. Not what I was going for emotionally. I wasn’t feeling it. I still photographed them to document the process of creating them. A very clear divergence from my norm. Even though I no longer had any resemblance of a norm in painting. Everything is new.

I remember thinking, there is some part of me not acknowledging the truth of the matter. What lies ahead? There are no lies ahead. I have had it with lies. The truth is, It’s not just the wine orbs - it’s the experience I’m trying to convey. The word capture comes to mind as an antonym to freedom. Why would I be trying to capture something when what I want is freedom. Embracing the Declaration of Independence. Old school. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Gratitude.

The truth is I’ve gone over these landscape paintings at least three times now and still cannot, for the life of me get over this hump.  

Now I face doing them again.

The last incarnation - the last attempt - the last layer was of sunsets orbs. A brilliant idea. I hadn’t liked the wine glass idea and in contemplating my other feelings and visual reminders invoked from my beautiful experience, I tried sunrise and sunset colors. This incarnation invoked months later and from a new location after a most fantastic journey balanced against a most dreadful break-up. Painting from a place where I now can get a pretty good look around. Sunrise and sunset views a mere stroll away. A new and magical occurrence. Unlike Walla Walla, Washington, I have no desire to even hint at where I live. Being able to see the sunrise and sunset equally isn’t necessarily a common vantage point though. There’s a hint for ya.

While on the subject of home. The sunrise/sunset theme isn’t blowing my mind. It’s not filling me with the joy and pleasure I seek when I gaze upon my paintings or the sun rising. Sunset in a glass, Sam. So cheesy! An amatuer move. I’m trying to be a real deal painter here. Sunset wine glasses in a field is a fail.

Warning: recovering perfectionist and aggressive self critic on the mend.

Letting self judgment go, choosing a more gentle approach with myself as a practice. The paintings just aren’t invoking the feeling I am getting and have gotten before from creativity unleashed. They aren’t at the bar (Makes me want to be at the bar).

The discovery now before me is what next? What is wanting to be made real in this image now?

It is joy calling to be expressed. It is the heart of the matter. The land before me; fertile and rich. The companionship and connection of lasting love and friendship. Big views and blue skies.

This is the part that I’m interested in discovering in these paintings now. It may be 2 fold. Now that I’m facing the complete doing over of them again - going over what I’ve done before again - will it be that last time and it works or is it that it isn’t working and I should scratch the idea?

This idea was genius in my head.

The experiences I’ve had in Eastern Washington & Oregon have been exquisite. Repeated and enjoyed every time I head east and I envision visits will be repeated again and again. 

Actually, just now I am fantasizing about Spring Release Weekend in Walla Walla, Washington. The first weekend in May. Before then, much before, I hope resolution is achieved with this endeavor. 4 month? More like 4 weeks to complete or cash out.

The choices ahead:

Choice #1: If I continue working this effort into existence for the, I believe, 4th time, what am going to do different in an attempt to finish this project I’ve started? From what I’ve written, the vision of what I would be creating wasn’t originally clear. Nor did I like the idea when I tried painting it so I changed it and liked the 2nd idea even less. How clear can I get about what I want to energize into existence?

Clarity Statement: These paintings are landscapes combining the Blue Mountains of the Umatilla National Forest with wheat farms, and vineyards in the foreground. Clear blue skies from warm, not too warm, light and bright days. Vessels of love not captured but swirling as wine swirls in the glass. The essence of something held dear. Why are they orbs? Because they are reflections of the sun. They are bright and radiating outward. A symbol of love. Love of the land. Love of the people that we share our experience with. There is some amount of opening so they are not completely closed off. These are expressions of love and joy open and free. So abstract. Light and bright. That helps.

Choice #2: When to quit? Some things deserve to be quit. I’m beginning to learn humans — myself included — pinch myself — are hesitant to change course once a certain amount of effort has been put in. After learning this I see it clearly in my past. No longer as regret but as insight. Now that I’m aware of it, how do I confront it more honestly? In order to do more of what I want that also is working for me, and less of what I don’t want that is not working out. As always — moving through fear here. Stagnation is the killer.

5 orbs behind a blue sky.

5 orbs behind a blue sky.

Blue skies abound. What’s next? Other than kitty stretches.

Blue skies abound. What’s next? Other than kitty stretches.

I’ve started a new pass at these paintings which is a good sign. I had started them a year ago and want to finish them or move on. I love the idea, as I said before it was exquisite to match both my experience traveling across the country and my experiences with people I love in beautiful places.

Honoring beauty. This has been a new embrace for me and a great help in acknowledging, as well as, leaning into fully, my truth. Sounds so corny or elitist and I’m just gonna have to live with that. It was upon discovering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech, “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint” that I was ignited and encouraged in my love of beauty. Even writing it now gives me a charge. I love that which is beautiful to me.

My gratitude to Dr. King for this inspiration is two fold: One, that he gave this speech to high school students, which touched me because that’s where I’m picking-up from and when I got off track. The other thing that struck me a potent and cathartic blow was his urging commitment to “beauty, love, and justice”. The love and justice is obvious to me coming from Dr. King but BEAUTY and placing it first, sparked in me a calling to make art again with his inspirational blueprint as a guide.

Re-igniting joy through imagery is the goal of creativity unleashed. Clarity and authenticity of intent. No easy task. 

My Shearer Guarantee is that the effort to try is worth it.

Cheers!

Creativity Unleashed: Building Confidence and Getting Brave

Photographing sometimes feels like the very 1st time.

Photographing sometimes feels like the very 1st time.

Photographing my paintings yet again. Third time’s a charm! I can feel the self-doubt and fear creep in.

I asked myself to put everything on hold until I finished these paintings. In a few cases, paintings I hadn't completed in years. 

How did I do it? How can I ignite the momentum to do what comes next?

A solid plan of actions. Sticking to it pretty well, adding in space and compassion for setbacks. Speaking of sticky - this is often where I've gotten stuck.

Having NOT completed a painting in years but making a decision that I wanted to was the spark I needed to start anew again. For the umpteenth time. 

Embarking on paintings completely different than anything I’d ever done before left me a bit, how to put it, afraid. I was afraid to paint again, even though I wanted to and I was afraid of what I wanted to paint. Leaving me in a heap of self doubt mixed with a bit of loathing that took a few days to bounce back from but bounce back I did.

The thing that helped me get over my urge to not even start and also quit constantly along the way was the pretty good plan I’d laid out for myself to follow. It helped get off on the right foot for and really helped me keep going when I got stuck. Getting stuck has been my specialty. By stuck, I mean quit. 

Breaking down the actualizing of a dream into bite-sized nuggets of win. For me this was 3 months chunks. That’s totally from coaching. I didn’t invent but I decided to try it and it didn’t work.

KIDDING! It totally worked. 

By working I mean, I did finish. Did it go exactly according to plan? 

CLOSE. I was super close. Close-enough that sharing the steps in order to help someone else do it to and tell myself to keep doing it because it worked and it will work again, and again, and again.

CLOSE. I was super close. Close-enough that all my fears of failing erupted, yet close enough that I could see how far I'd come, how much I HAD accomplished, and best of all how close I was to finishing exactly what I had planned on. More actually. More because I had dreamed up and gathered new ideas that I wanted to energize into existence. 

Looking around me at not only the paintings that were very close to being done. I saw new paintings I’d started along the way. Helping to very clearly show me the progress I’d made. I’ve also recorded video and taken pictures along the way so I can see how far I’ve really come in my project.

I still was going to give up. Falling into the mindset of a painfully faithful old friend with some harsh - negative - self - talk. 

That’s when I used my trusted method of telling that shit talking voice, full of fear in my head, "thanks for thinking of me, now go away. I've got paintings to finish". Freeing me from the cycle of negative talk, allowing me to get back to work.

Turns out I was a only month off. The work to do has been mostly finishing touches and what to do next?

What to do next?

Sell paintings. 

Cue: oh shit moment! Now I’m here. This part that I want and I fear the most. 

Creating visually is so revealing in this: Making reality what dances around on our heads. I had an idea of rainbows flowing like rivers. It was a darker time in my life, full of turmoil. A relationship ending, a parent retiring, a self-prescribed mission that I would live with this parent and be there for her the way she was there for me. That’s plenty. A relationship ending, a parent move-in instead, I’ll throw in career loss. What the hell! No reason to paint a pretty picture where one doesn’t exist.

That sums it up perfectly: no reason to paint a pretty picture where on doesn’t exist.

Until that changed.

It all changed with a vision. A vision I wanted to make reality.

Learning and changing along the way and the shift in perception. Not only of myself but the view from others perspective. That used to scare me. What’s going to happen when I do this thing I’m passionate about doing and the people around me see me differently. When it came down to it I HAD to choose me. I chose to do the thing for me because I was pretty miserable and now I’m not and the people that love me dig that. ***This is a profound shift: think of it? Taking actions while navigating what others think is a detriment to making the progress that will have the greatest impact on those we love. I now scream out, STOP! When I start thinking about what other people are thinking. What a waste of time and a serious hindrance in making our own thoughts more impactful. 

Spending too much time on what other people think gets in the way of actualizing our own vision. Practicing keeping our thoughts the forefront of our execution is the essence of productivity. 

Want to be more productive? Stop thinking about what other people are thinking and get back to work.

A thing or 2 I learned can help others: to either not make the same mistakes I made, or confidently know it is possible to come out the other side triumphant. How fun does that sound? Triumphant! With more love not less. I gained. I want that for everyone.

This isn't a shtick.

This isn’t a sales pitch. Unless you want to buy a painting. Which would be lovely but not my desire in sharing the process. The process to success should be free. 

Idealistic? Maybe. Take a look at my paintings though. Rainbow Paths. Rainbow visions. I look at them and feel something. I feel a little brighter, lighter, a smile often crossing my face.

I’m thinking of an actor. Guess which one? Again, kidding. I’m thinking of actors that have had to play roles that were unflattering, ugly, hard. Glenn Close!! That’s the one! From the movie Fatal Attraction. I know people that still hate her because of that role. How powerful is that? Doing something so authentic and well that it creates a visceral reaction.

That is my goal here. To have you loathe me for creating something that ignites a visceral response. 

Not so much that. 

More to present something that lifts the spirit, making the moment better, if only for a moment. 

Leading up to this I was so angry, hurt, disillusioned, and so very regretful in all aspects of my life.

I wanted to paint my whole life and I had failed.

Until I had the vision of flowing rainbows to lift my spirit and get me to pick up the paint brushes, grab a canvas, and get back to doing the first and foremost thing I have found joy in my whole life. 

My previous career was in healthcare and my motto became ‘no guarantee’. It comes from health insurance when benefits are checked. At the end of getting insurance benefit details, for healthcare, the sign-off was and probably, as well as unfortunately still is something to the effect of, “a quote of benefits is not a guarantee of coverage”. 

Even to write it now, I get a touch of that visceral response.

That shit wore me down over time. I eventually lead almost every question I was ever asked with - no. Eventually I would have to go around and around to get to being open to a - yes. This also wore me down. In the end it wore me clear out of what I thought would be a long and prosperous healthcare career. I so wanted to help people until it got to the point I was hurting myself and others because of how 'no guarantee' had affected my whole person. 

It is true, there are few guarantees in life and the old adage, ‘death and taxes’, lacks the optimism and joy I now lean into so I came up with the Shearer Guarantee. My name has been a consistent and silly teasing throughout my life. Giving homage to anyone whose name is way more a target than mine, while also letting them know, no one gets off easy.

My Shearer Guarantee:

  • If I have an idea and it keeps popping back up, it’s wanting to come into existence.

  • If there is something I want to accomplish I make a plan to what I call, ‘energize vision into existence’.

  • I’m worthy of not only loving but being loved. If I don’t love and care for myself first, as a serious priority, I am no good to anyone else.

  • I can work on my faults. 

  • I can do better.

  • I try.

My Shearer Guarantee to you:

  • If you have an idea and it keeps popping back up, sometimes over and over, it’s an idea that wants to come into existence.

  • If there is something you want to accomplish, make a plan breaking it down into the smallest of steps. What I call, 'energizing vision into existence’.

  • You are worthy. If you don’t honor that first, you are not as good as you can be for others.

  • You can work on those things that seem to be holding you back.

  • You can do better. 

  • You can give it a try and see what happens after say, 90 days.

It’s those things in life that we can have control over the outcome of that make life truly worthwhile, and they ignite forth from us. Internal - eternal? It seems like eternal as I write it so maybe it is as well. They come from a triple D threat: drive, determination, desire. We ignite the drive through a desire and our determination is what energizes vision into existence. 

What I have deemed Creativity Unleashed. 

I raise a toast to a plan coming together, and another one now waiting at the ready. 

Cheers!

Creativity Unleashed in Green - A Mental Health Awareness Tribute

This video is great!!

And by great I mean I've never seen my downward spiral before and to have it documented is exhilarating! A tad frightening but mainly because I'm sharing it. I know some of my days are better than others but to see it, turns out to be more enlightening and uplifting then embarrassing or in honor of Halloween coming up - horrifying.

When I started this video I was at the 4-6 week mark of a 12 week plan to complete some paintings; to open the store, so to speak, and also use my images to create some retail with. I want a hoodie with one of the rainbow paintings on it and I want it soon!

I can tell I'm not feeling great in the intro video. I filmed it on the cusp of descending into a fit of physical pain and depression. No make-up, hair undone, and in my most worn of hoodies. I'm amazed I made a video! Hell, I'm more amazed I'm posting it.

There is struggle and difficult days as I work to create more good days than bad days, I continually learn more about what works and what doesn't. What didn't work just before this was an overloaded and very aggressive schedule that kind of made me sick. The bonus was I had planned a trip to see friends and getting out of the studio to visit with people I love was much needed and a definite treat. Coming back though was hard because I hadn't completed what I had planned to before I left on my trip and that guilt, combined with being a little worn out from all the fun made the next week of work slow and challenging.

The difference and benefit of seeing this video, which I hadn't watched until I completed all the paintings I wanted to add GREEN to is that I still managed to paint and record painting, it just took a couple weeks instead of a couple days.

Seeing this put together now, I'm OK.

I'm OK that I'm not at my most eloquent.

I'm OK that I'm not at my prettiest.

And I'm super OK that I'm still posting what I said I would because it shows that working through the fucking bumps in the road is still "on the road" and that I am truly thankful to be here doing this for myself and anyone else that struggles along their journey.

I'm also so thankful for the love and support of my family and friends. Love you! Love you! Love you!

COLORS: Titanium White - Blick

Iridescent White - Blick

C.P. Cadmium Yellow Medium - Golden

Iridescent Gold - Blick

Interference Gold - Golden

Permanent Green Light - Black

Phthalocyanine Green - Blick

Interference Blue - Golden

Brushes - Filberts all the way!!

Cheers!

Scheduling Success: Whether You Have All the Time in the World or Not Enough Hours in the Day

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I hopped in the shower yesterday and midway through, thought to myself, with pure joy, I don’t think I scheduled this shower! I don’t know the last time I looked at my calendar to shower. Then I laughed out loud at how far I’d come and a trick I use that may seem strange to some.

More strange than scheduling showers?

Depends on how important it is to really do the things you want to do instead of just daydreaming about them.

Whatever it is that’s important enough that you know you want to do; schedule it.

  • I love Google Calendar but there are many other similar options available.

  • Get a paper calendar/day planner.

  • Get a Virtual Assistant or a live in person one to do it with/for you.

  • Write one out by hand for the next week.


Whatever it takes to make that plan reality.

Is it really that important? Fuck yeah it is.


Just like bathing is! For a good bit though I couldn’t generally remember when I had last showered. Granted that “good bit” wasn’t really that good. As I look back on it, I really planned and scheduled my way to way better.

I wrote schedules for million dollar businesses and now I do the same for mine. My business is now my life, or my life is my business, either way I love my schedule. I love sticking to it. I love to plan it like a boss. I love to execute it like my life depends on it.

Because it does.

It took me awhile - a couple years to really make that connection.

Having made plans and schedules in my previous professional life that ruled my world, when it fell apart I wanted to be free of schedules, plans, appointments forever!

This echoes others I’ve talked to when they leave their job or their job leaves them. They now want to be free of that routine. Step out and away from that schedule, never to return.

I’ve heard said:

  • I want to be free of routine!

  • I don’t want to be boxed into my life!

  • I want freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it!

  • If I really want to do it, it will organically manifest! I Swear! I have heard this one and I sheepishly admit I thought it would work. It sounded so good.

Lies!!

The very tool I used to run successful businesses is the very same tool used to run successful lives.

So obvious!

Don’t hate me for my genius!

It is the great joke the creative spirits play on those longing for the freedom to unleash their creativity. You still gotta make the time. The secret lies just between all the time in the world and never enough time.

The simple answer: schedule it. Pencil it in. Make a plan. Follow it through. Repeat. Until death do us part. I may not be one for marriage but you can bet I will be scheduling my living until the very end!

Here is what this week looks like:

It’s a big week because I now live a big life. I had taken what I called: A Most Fantastic Journey to Creativity & Radical Freedom Unleashed so it makes perfect sense that my dance card is quite full… of my life.

One thing that stands out this week, other than bathing is still on the schedule, is I have a massage. Planning self care is as important as planning the most important business at hand.

In honor of scheduling self care, I recently started getting massages again.

Why, you might ask? Why were you not getting massages? What happened? Is there something about massages I should know? Even if you’re not into getting massage, the two of you might still find a bit of insight.

I jacked my back up moving. Not one, but two lives about the country and just knew I needed some musculoskeletal treatment to help try and repair the damage I’d done. On top of that the doctor told me to. I’m that girl.

The hesitancy came from my previous career, much of it spent scheduling healthcare and self-care, in various forms.

I hate to tell you; some, some of you out there don’t have the best overall record for sticking to a schedule, keeping a schedule, honoring a schedule. This isn’t only massage therapists but on this day it was.

Many times the people getting massages aren’t the most reliable either (I could barely get out of bed) so having totally changed gears to the other side of the desk, I apprehensively made a massage appointment.

I showed up early. Of course I did. Just after parking my car a woman frantically pulled in right after me, jumped out of her car, and ran inside.

Please don’t let that be my massage therapist.

I gave it a couple more minutes and then I went inside to find the waiting area vacant. This began my real concern and ignited some leftover feelings, strong feelings, from my medical & restaurant management days. Namely, try to be in the waiting area for arriving guests. There’s this schedule and you can see who’s coming and going. If someone is supposed to walk in the door at 8, be at the door a few minutes before to greet them.

Sitting alone in the waiting area, eyeing all the goodies ripe for the taking. Hearing people distracted in the back.

I took a few deep, cleansing breaths.

Trying not to project my management style onto this perfectly fine clinic, while trying to avoid thinking of the discomfort nudging me from behind. Literally my low-back hurt so bad aka my ass hurt. Gluteus maximus strain with some deep abdominal strain. It’s getting better. I hope!

As the clock crept closer to my appointment time. My first appointment. I began to fall into my distress over timeliness.

Where the hell is the massage therapist?

What kind of place is this?

Why am I even doing this?

I knew this was a bad idea!

One minute before my appointment time - the one minute before I was going to leave, an apparition flies in the door, says a quick “hi” as she breezes past. That is my massage therapist.

A few more minutes pass and in unison the massage therapist and office manager make an appearance. The massage therapist picks up some paperwork from the desk and says, “Megan?”

Holding my paperwork up as I stand, I say, “you’re not ready. I think I’ll go.”

I can see myself saying this and by the reaction of both women it was clear, I have managed to get my temper pretty under control through some actions I’ll share in an upcoming blog. Sometimes I forget how I can affect other people with my brazenness because both their eyes got so wide and they adamantly apologized and protested I not leave.

I conceded. I’m so glad I did. It was a great massage. Made better by the guilt upgrade.

Generally, I try to participate in my massage with good breathing and “trying” to relax. Which is really just me being present to letting go of the tightness and strain, and open to help working the tightness from my muscles.

This massage had an additional element of coaching to it. One of the many reasons I’m thankful for the training. She had great massage training but she was very obvious in her struggle to get everything done that she wanted to with all the things that cause her to get sidetracked and off schedule along the way.

On the bright side I was just telling a friend of mine about my experience and she has been working with a specialist physician - the big-time of medical providers, and they can’t keep to their schedule so don’t feel bad massage therapists.

I’m not just writing this to pick on you, and if this story triggers your relationship with time, you are not alone!

It turns out all kinds of people can’t stick to a schedule and I have been one of those people on a few occasions.

Actually, this pretty much sums up my teen years. To the extent that I remember my high school principal lecturing me that if I couldn’t stick to a schedule, I wasn’t going to get anywhere in life. He told me this as he was issuing me a school suspension for tardiness. What a fucking oxymoron! Suspending someone from school for not wanting to go to school.

An early lesson that we can get the things we ask for in life but the more clarity we add, the more accurate the reality.

Thirty years later and I’m going to give him a little credit. Far more than I did in high school. He had a point. I hated high school though and herein lies the secret: You have to be in agreement with the schedule to keep it. It’s more than just making a schedule or sticking to a schedule. It is the passion and drive for the things scheduled that counts.

Something about the truth in what we want to do and the time it takes to accomplish what we set out to do is another important key.

The only reason that unfinished projects abound. You have the weekend but the weekend isn’t long enough to finish the project.

I started to rebuild my life through scheduling the things that were really important for me to do. The things I wanted to be successful at went on the schedule and I tried my best to stick to it.

I quickly learned that one of my biggest problems was being realistic with time.

The time it takes to get something done.

This is huge. At least for me. I am notorious for underestimating how long it really takes to do certain things.

  • Get into reality.

  • Have a back-up plan.

  • Add double the time.

  • Sticking to the plan to completion.

  • Not getting side tracked during my time. If I schedule 3 hours to paint. I now paint. But if I don’t complete the painting in that time, there are other painting days scheduled.

Painting for example: I’m going to paint regularly for the rest of my life. Once I let that sink in I was able to let go of some of the pressure to, “finish this painting in 3 hours!” I just schedule the time to paint and paint. Right now I’m trying to complete 5-10 paintings so I continue to pick those paintings out that are closer to completion so that I have a plan of attack for my next session.

This is how I started to plan for my success: Warning! There’s some math.

There are 24 hours in the day.

Questions?

How many hours do you need to sleep?

Take that number and subtract from 24.

How many hours are left?

Use that time, in whatever capacity you can to unleash your creativity & radical freedom toward your own success.

I’ve heard too many people say that they want more free time, wish they had more time, or can’t make it to an appointment on time and now there’s just no excuse anymore.

It’s costing you! One way or another. If you aren’t honoring time and playing nice with it, it is going to rob you.

I can say this because I full-out committed to going with the flow for like 20 years and I didn’t get shit done. For myself that is. I worked my ass off for million dollar businesses, while my personal creativity sat whimpering in the corner until it became an all-out cry for help.

Now I schedule my flow and flow through my schedule.

Flow and freedom have a whole new meaning and with my new goal of filling my day with fun, it helps me gauge how much time I want to spend on what is most important.

I want to spend most of my time creatively. Specifically several hours a day painting, writing, designing, photographing, and connecting with my community.

When I recently listened to my friend that works in a restaurant sigh with exasperation that he hadn’t gotten his schedule for work yet, I was livid. Remember, I’ve got a righteous temper, I was especially hot since we were sitting thousands of miles away from his work on a little getaway to New Orleans. Since his flight was the next day and he scheduled it that way to be at work the day after, I asked when he normally got his work schedule?

His answer put me into an apoplectic fit.

He hadn’t gotten his schedule that started in 2 days and there was no consistency to his schedule so it’s not like he could just show up at his usual time.

As I jot this down, it occurs to me many people may not face this. They go to work the same time everyday. What about them? They don’t need a shower schedule. Or do they need it more?

Maybe not a shower schedule but a passion project schedule might be just the thing.

A schedule that balances the things that must be done and the things desired to be accomplished.

One of my favorite management mottos: we are here to take care of business so we can go home and take care of business that feeds our soul. That what fulfills us outside this job is what makes us better employees.

Part of the fun I experience now is integrating the many aspects of my life and skills I have gained. The only reason I embrace scheduling my life now is that I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t trying to get a grasp on time and learn how to use a schedule.

Start with a rough sketch of what the week might look like. A day to start. Next thing you’ll know your life might be planned out by the year. How exciting would it be to know what your doing? You won’t ever know what the future holds unless you plan for it.

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As an expert at scheduling, seriously, the comments are gonna be abundant to my scheduling expertise! So not holding my breath.


Go! Get started now and if you need help, the options are a plenty.


Just added to the previous list: the life design + soulful planner 2019 that I see a colleague of mine creating. I’ve been seeing more of these and they give me hope that in these, some might say, turbulent and technological times, we aren’t sitting back letting life take charge of us but taking charge of our life.


Cheers!








Higher Vision: Demanding Justice in Dallas, Texas

I woke-up today once again outraged with the tragic death of Botham Jean by a Dallas, Texas Police officer.

Not knowing what to do at first, over days of wondering what the fuck is going on down there.

The whole time lining up parts of Botham Jeans story with my own.

The disparity is grotesque.

I didn't know what else to do so I made this video as my protest from far away. ]

I'm so sorry this happened to you and I demand justice.

All insights and additions are welcome.

DEMANDING EQUALITY: I’M DONE & I’M JUST GETTING STARTED

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My head hurts.

It’s too much.

The warning that lies within these words is that we are speaking up, speaking out now, and I hope forever more. I am adding my voice to this movement with this first story to encourage others to do what I didn’t do for too long; tell somebody. Hell, tell everybody.

This is a two-fold unleashing:

  1. Speak up. Speak out. Speak your truth. Know you will be heard.

  2. To those that have abused your power of another in any manner; Your time of getting away with it has come to an end.

Too many instances over the past two years to count my outrage. An outrage on top of an outrage over the times of discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, rape, rape culture, mansplaining, and double standards I have had reflected back on me from our society. Stirring back a reflection from my own experiences; too many times to count throughout my life in regards to the inequality in behavior and grotesque abuse of power shown me by a handful of people.

I will no longer remain silent and want anyone reading this to know you can speak out too.

4 important ingredients in this dish:

  1. Listen. Get quiet.

  2. Speak your truth. Say something. Say it loud. Say it with your whole being.

  3. Change. We have the capacity to change. To do better. To make this world a better place for all people.

  4. This one’s for those that use their power to harm others in a way that should land them in jail: GO. AWAY. Stay Gone. **I want to add a caveat based on my optimism; I would love to hear some of these men come clean. Truthfully acknowledging their abuse, expressing remorse and telling their story so we all can learn from them and those teetering on the edge can choose a path of respect instead of abuse. Then a quote from The Shawshank Redemption slams into my already aching head, “everybody is innocent in here, don’t you know that?” I’ll stick with: GO. AWAY.

The veil has been lifted. The deceit and pervasive manipulation that I have lived with is shattered.

For most of my life I have suffered from what I think now is an all too common ailment: this is just the way it is so best of luck navigating the creepiness and grotesque behavior you’ll experience because it is just a fact of the world you live in little girl.

A total lie. A total lie built by those that abuse their power and have gotten away with it for far too long.

Change. I changed. I no longer believe this statement to be true and anyone that wants to join me, you are invited to come along to make a more level landscape for our future.

The lie was handed down to my parents and this was their response in raising me:

  1. My Dad: You are going to be sexually assaulted so I’m going to teach you how to defend yourself. I was maybe eleven and he was still late in delivery.

  2. My Mom: You are going to be discriminated against and harassed; called a bitch and worse with a encouraging addition of, don’t be seen crying because then you’ll be called emotional and weak.

They were onto the deception but still trapped by its spell.

They were just trying to protect their little girl with very practical and what turned out to be very useful advice.

All of those things happened, many repeatedly and I was always able to navigate through, get out, get away, find a work around but I never told anybody that could help shift the balance of power. In this I fully perpetuated the abuse of power.

Let me assure you now that - hopefully - that this abuse of power - the people abusing this power are in the minority but that their abuses have created a sickness that we have all been exposed to. I’m now encouraged because if a very few can have a very powerful effect on the perception and behavior of many, the tables can be turned.

It is time for the tables to turn because this has shown me that I can have that same power. You can have that same power. We are going to make changes that help prevent these abuses of power from happening and in the tragic event that they do, we will all know to take immediate and direct action for justice with no hesitation.

This waiting years and years to say anything will end. Mine ends today but starts with a difficult truth that I have had to face. I will address it now with the apology it deserves.

This is to express my own part in how we got here, that by not saying anything or speaking up I played a part in this culture of abuse, rape, harassment, the list goes on and on. I’m not gonna play that game anymore.

this decision comes more easily now. I’ve been practicing a bit. Sharing pieces and parts vaguely for awhile now.

A soft opener might be that a male friend of mine came to visit me at my new place a few weeks ago. He came for the weekend and it was overall good but on the last night we had a little too much to drink and he made a bad joke at my expense in my home. It’s just a joke, but he has made them before and I let them slide. I got mad, then I got up and left him sitting at my bar. I went to my room, shut the door, and had a hard time getting to sleep.

The next morning I got up and came downstairs to his chipper voice greeting me a “good morning”. Chipper in that way that says whatever happened last night can be brushed under the rug and forgotten about. I had forgotten to tell him that after my last break-up I vowed never to play this game again: the let’s pretend that never happened game. I looked him the eye and told him just that. “I’m not playing this game anymore. You need to acknowledge your inappropriateness and apologize before we continue.” He is one of the good ones, which is why I share this. He apologized and we moved quickly back to our weekend of fun.

Yes, it’s a softball but for me it has become second nature to pretend it never happened. Taking that small stand opened the door to this one.

This part is a little harder: I’m sorry I never told anyone.

I’m sorry I never went to my parents and told them you sexually assaulted me because I thought I they might be mad at me. By not saying anything, maybe you did what you did to me to someone else and that breaks my heart.

I’m sorry I never went to the fraternity leaders or the university when you tried to rape me at that frat party. By not saying anything I put other women in danger of being raped.

I’m sorry I didn’t call the cops when the whole group of you had my girlfriend drunk in the bedroom, wouldn’t let me get her, and started crowding around me, the circle closing in tighter but I got away, got out, got in my car, and drove home crying. I left my friend with you and in doing so let you all know that gang rape is something you can get away with. Me and that girl never spoke of it again.

I’m sorry I didn’t call the cops when you tried to rape me at a house party by playing on my graciousness with the old -”let me show you the house trick” which ended in a back room where once I was inside you locked the door behind and jumped on me. I lost my shit and have ever since borrowed a line from James Brown, (yes, he is another celebrity famous for some of his abuses)  - “I don’t know karate but I know crazy!” I got away. I left. I didn’t turn back, and you may have gotten away with it with someone else because of my silence.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell the bouncers or the owners or whoever at all the clubs and shows that I have been groped, grabbed, attacked, and jumped at, nor did I do anything other than feel sorry for the other women I would see it happening to in the crowd around me.

I got away and never looked back because that was what I believed the truth to be.

Predators are everywhere.

Nothing can be done about it.

It’s going to happen to you so try your best to get away and don’t look back.

Try to forget.

I’m so sorry I let the greater prevalence of rape culture delude me for so long.

I’m sorry to anyone that may have gotten hurt because I didn’t say anything. I was happy to get away and felt stronger for it. That false sense of strength shattered by the recognition that my silence put others in harm's way.

Stop! This stops now!

To all those that have taken advantage of and abused their power with no regards to the rights and respect of others, this is what the opening of the floodgates looks like.

Today, I want to honor those that are standing up and speaking out against these abuses. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thanks as well to those that are helping all of us along the way.

I hear you and I am with you.

Today, I am in no mood to help those few that have hurt so many or even those teetering on the edge in an attempt to help prevent them from such abusses. That may be a story for another day or another voice.

Today and the days that follow are filled with empowerment.

My head feels a little better.

Cheers!