Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘inspire yourself’

Just Going for It with Paint

I painted a painting today. I know, I find the whole thing weird too.

I’ve been casually looking for an abstract seascape or something like that for over my bed. Right now I just have a blank wall. I’ve only been looking for the past several months (or years if you’re actually keeping track), but I have never found anything that grabbed me enough for me to buy it. Mostly the ones I found were not the shape I was looking for.

So today, I had some time on my hands and I decided to just go for it and see what I could do. Now, I didn’t buy the size canvas I want as I thought I should do a “test” painting first to see how it turned out. So I headed to the Dollar Store and bought paint, a canvas (16×20) and brushes; I think I splurged and spent $8 on supplies. Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, and I’m not sure if I’m going to go for the big canvas or not, but I’m pretty proud of myself for just doing it. I know I won’t be in any galleries any time soon but for a first painting I think it is A-OK.

I’m sure you are wondering where this wondrous painting is, so here it is in all it’s glory 🙂

IMG_20140622_204023Maybe I’ll just go for it and paint something else one of these days. It was fun!

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Dreaming of Photography

I woke up this morning from an interesting dream.

In it, I had met this sexy, young Italian man at a conference that I had helped organize. We were extremely attracted to each other and became lovers. Within a few days he had fallen in love with me and asked me to come back to Italy with him. I wasn’t sure if I wasn’t falling in love with him too so I said I would for a month. I took a short leave from work, moved to Italy and stayed with him while I pursued my writing and photography. I desperately wanted to photograph him.

I’m not sure what this dream means but it was HOT, and when I woke up it made me want to find an Italian lover and move to Italy for a month, lol.

But seriously, I’ve been thinking about photography a bit more these past few days. A friend of mine told me a couple of days ago that I had an eye for it. And then when I talked to my Mom on Friday she asked me if I had been taking any pictures recently. So I dug out my camera yesterday and went to a Pow Wow to take some shots. It was my first Pow Wow and it was pretty cool. I also took a few pictures of a crow in my backyard today.

I’m not saying I’m going to become a famous photographer but I do enjoy taking pictures so I should probably do more of it. I also need to dig out my photography book to read about taking better pictures. If you’re gonna do something, you might as well figure out how to do it better than before.

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Adventure is Coming My Way!

I’m uber excited!!! Adventure is coming my way! During the last few days, I decided to take my kids on a road trip to see Katy Perry this summer and my boss asked me if I want to go to Vancouver next month!!

I know, can you believe it?

The road trip was kind of a spur of the moment idea and will cost big bucks but the 3 of us will have an A-MAZING time. I was actually considering not going when I discussed it with Sven and he said I should definitely do it.

I thought he would be all practical and say it was a lot of money, but what he said was, “Do it, you won’t regret it.” And I’m quite sure that I won’t regret it. Plus, it will be so exciting and it will make an awesome memory so I put down a deposit and we are doing it!!!

vancouverThe day after that, my boss asked me if I wanted to go to a conference in Vancouver. First of all, I’ll be working a booth and forced to network which I hate,but the conference is definitely going to interesting and I`ll be exposed to a different culture, plus I get to go to Vancouver and I have never been before! I’m so excited about going that even the thought of exploring Vancouver by myself has not got me down. I’m going to bring my camera, take some pictures and just enjoy.

I have been itching to go somewhere for ages and this trip to Vancouver falls on a week that I can actually go and leave the kids with their Dad. And it will be Springtime and there’ll be mountains and the Pacific ocean and flowers and grass. I am all over that! Can you tell I’m excited?

I was hoping for travel adventures with other people but that plan fell through so I’m just going to suck it up and have my own adventure! And then have another one with my kids. Adventures are good for the soul so I’m glad that I have grabbed both opportunities.

I think there are always the possibilities of adventures, you just have to agree to take part in them. I’m really excited that I said YES!

 

My First Winter Solstice Ritual

I participated in an online Winter Solstice Ritual tonight. It was conducted by Christine Arylo, Shiloh Sophia and Amy Ahlers.

The premise of the whole thing is to slow down or pause and take the time to review the past year. To see the surprises, successes, failures and wisdom learned. Once you can take stock of everything that happened, it is easier to begin 2014 with a sense of fullness as opposed to a sense of emptiness.

Christine drew a Medicine Wheel or Wheel of Reflection for us. It pretty much looks like a compass with the addition of the thing that you want to reflect on written in the middle.

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During the process of reflection, you are supposed to start in the East with your surprises and then go clockwise around the wheel, ending up at North with the wisdom that you gained during the year. (The wheel doesn’t have to be used for just this ritual, it can be about anything).

I was lucky, I had this blog to help remind me of my journey during 2013. They did give you a way to try to reflect on what happened throughout the year, but I cheated a bit and looked at my Monthly Reviews. If you want to perform the ritual, you may need to spend some time thinking a bit harder than I did.

Once you have completed your list of items, you are supposed to share them with others. Sharing is supposed to help you remember the learnings from this ritual. Since I have this blog, I guess I’ll share here.

Surprises: 

  • the discovery of the importance of being ‘in the present’ and how it relates to happiness
  • a desire to write
  • a rekindled love of badminton
  • joining a writing course
  • my new job which involves being a minority and working with another culture

Successes: 

  • writing a short story and submitting it to a contest
  • welcoming abundance into my life
  • writing this blog
  • getting a new job
  • teaching my youngest how to ride a bike
  • losing some weight
  • keeping connected with friends

Disappointments:

  • dating the wrong men for me
  • not writing as much as I had hoped
  • multiple failed job interviews
  • continued bad eating habits

(You need to feel your disappointments in order to heal them! )

I’m going to leave WISDOM for now. I think it deserves its own blog post, plus I think I need to think about it a bit more before I can articulate the learnings of the past year. 

After we completed the Wheel of Reflection, they shared that January is known as the “Dreaming Time”. It’s the time to visualize and to look towards your future with the possibilities of what can happen as opposed to looking forward from a place of negativity. And once you’ve given yourself permission to look at your future as a canvas that you can paint, then you start your new year in February.

Finally, they discussed that within the next few weeks you should declare 2013 as being complete and to determine what support you need for 2014.

I really enjoyed this ritual. It just seemed very fitting for 2013 for me. I have grown and learned a lot this past year. And as you can see, my successes outnumbered my disappointments so I’m on the right track. I’d like to pull together some pearls of wisdom before I declare 2013 as complete and then I look forward to considering what I need to make 2014 as successful as 2013.

Feel free to do your own Winter Solstice Ritual, there’s still time. Winter Solstice is actually tomorrow :). And don’t forget to share your reflections! I’d love to read them.

 

 

Compliment 7 People in 7 Days

I’ve been slacking on my 52 Actions so this upcoming week I’m going to try extra hard to do this one. It’s an easy one but pretty important. Compliment 7 People in 7 Days.

I mean, who can’t compliment 7 people in 7 days?

In fact, it’s so easy that I dare you to join me. I dare you to compliment 7 people in 7 days. Even if just 2 of us do it then 14 people get compliments. If 3 of us do then 21 people get compliments. You see where I’m going.

So I triple-dog dare you to join me in complimenting 7 people in 7 days. You know you wanna. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.

And to inspire you further, listen to Kid President, he’s pretty smart and says that you should do it too!

Experience Gratitude and Be Present

Here’s a reminder to be present in your life.

Today is a gift. Open your eyes and your heart to it. Experience it in its glory. There will never be another day like this one. Take the time to see what is right before you and to let it envelop you with its beauty. There is always beauty.

I came across this gem of a video the other day and wanted to share it with you as it is a reminder to appreciate today, to connect with nature and to look for the beauty in your surroundings.

My 7 Days of Gifts

English: A gift wrapped in yellow and green paper.

English: A gift wrapped in yellow and green paper. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my actions for last week was to give 7 gifts in 7 days.

The idea started way back in March when I read the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker. In the book she gives 29 Gifts in 29 Days and she found that it changed her life.

The premise is that giving gifts to others forces you to take the focus off of yourself. So instead of focusing on her illness and negative thoughts, she was able to invite more abundance and positive energy into her life. This changed her perspective and helped to improve her health.

So I decided that I would do a watered down version of the challenge. I have so many things going on at the moment that I didn’t think I would be able to keep it up for 29 days so I tried it for 7 days. I was almost successful but I forgot all about my gift on the last day. I was going to give it on the 8th day but forgot again. One of the keys to the project is that your gifts must be mindful and authentic, I think I failed the mindful part at the end.

Anyway, here is a run-through of what I did manage to give:

Day 1 – Sven does not have a car, so my gift to him was to take him to get groceries. It may sound silly but he appreciated the fact that he was able to pick up more than he could physically carry home as we were driving instead of walking. I even helped him carry the groceries up the stairs to his place.

Day 2 – I was having a bit of a bad day and yelled at my oldest daughter when she wasn’t helping like I thought she should. Once I finished yelling we managed to talk about what happened and I gave her the gift of an apology. An apology may not sound like a gift, but sometimes we as parents do not always admit when we make mistakes. I over-reacted and apologized for doing so.

Day 3 – I took Sven out to lunch and bought him a bottle of wine as a house-warming gift. You probably are not supposed to give the same person more than one gift but that was how things worked out.

Day 4 – A week or two ago I had told my youngest that she could babysit herself for about 30 minutes while waiting for her father. Things happened and she never got the chance. She was disappointed that she couldn’t show how responsible she was. So on day 4, I went for a 20 minute walk and left her home to look after herself. I gave her the gift of feeling responsible.

Day 5 – We were at the mall shopping for some jeans and we had some coupons for 25% off. We had 4 coupons actually. So we gave away 3 of the coupons to customers in line at the check-out. People were very happy to get them and it was nice that they actually got used and didn’t go to waste.

Day 6 – I’ve been wanting to purge some of my daughter’s old, but still good toys for ages, stuff that is really too young for her now or that she doesn’t use. I snagged a good one and gave it to Sven for his daughter. He has a new place and no toys or things there for the kids so I thought she might like it. He thinks she will too so we’ll see.

Day 7 – :(, I forgot to give my gift. My youngest’s school is looking for some books for their library so I was going to take a couple in. I’m still going to do it, it just didn’t happen on day 7.

All in all, I’m happy with the way things turned out. I think I’d like to try it again and perhaps even work up to the 29 day challenge at some point. It is a great way to turn your thinking towards how you can help others. One of the changes I’d make for next time is to gift to a wider variety of people.

I dare you, my lovely readers, to try giving 7 gifts in 7 days. As you can see by my example, they don’t all have to include money, but they should all be mindful and authentic. And if you want to do the full 29 day challenge, one of your gifts should also be of an item/thing that you find scarce in your life. It’s not a big challenge but small things can make a difference.

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