Sunday, May 26, 2013


sometimes, i find it so easy to look at the woman across the room, across the aisle at church, across the www and think, i should be more like that woman.
sometimes, i find it effortless to compare clothes, talents, how many friends one has on fb.
sometimes, i crave for validation and think, surely, i can be the people i admire, then, i will have it!
sometimes. . .
but i know better not to compare myself to anyone:  not that friend who has a pink mansion, nor the other one who gets to jetset every now and then, nor even the small person whose size makes her look like a girl, and who floods her page with her trying-hard stance as a model.  bwahahaha!  to make the point clearer, not even that old lady who goes to church daily and speaks like she has a direct line to jesus while i feel like i am dialing the wrong number half the time.  not to any of those - or any other woman who has ever been or ever will be.  bwahahaha!
when i gave my life to him, i became a new creation.  in other words, i was made into something the world has never seen before and never will again.  i have often said this before, but i think it is important that i say it again, because i know a lot of women who struggle so much with comparison.
so now i shoutout:  i am a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, a custom design, a work of art. and when there is only one of something, it is impossible to compare it!  that means there is only one me, i cannot be compared!
so, what do i do, instead?  i be the me he created, called and redeemed.
i develop my strengths, discover my gifts, do whatever i can to serve with what i have.  i display him in my living fully alive, by beautifully reflecting the part of his image he has crafted in me.
so i give myself permission to stop comparing.  and instead celebrate who i am and the force that made me this way.  then, i let my heart feel his incomparable joy!
thank you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

i am a star!

it is seldom that i spend the night at the farm. i have my old house, too,  where i have a bed as warm.  but in those rare nights that i sleep over,  i cannot help myself from being in the most beautiful state of gratefulness, thankfulness.  i always believe in what i tell myself:  i must have done something good to deserve waking up in the morning in this lovely farm surroundings.
i meandered along the paths, now somehow lost, in this foggy morning.  i wandered down the back lanes, too.  down in the woods, i could hear them, the frogs singing, the birds chirping, and the cicadas. . .an invisible symphony.
in a world of reaching, how do i rest?  in a culture of numbers, how do i kneel?  in a world of ladders, how do i go lower?
somewhere, a dog barked.
i looked across the fields, there is always something barking loud in me, that i need a bigger field, a bigger farm structure, a greater life, a grander point.  there is always a part of me that wonders if anything i do matters enough.  and there is always someone who makes sure i know how much smarter and wiser,  bigger and better, known and greater they are.
there is always someone who snatches the horn to sing too loud of their own tens of thousands.  i have to remember to tell myself this:  the one keeping tally in life, they just want to know they can count.  bwahahaha!
the whole world could compete to be heard and esteemed and known and get ahead.  i do not have to.  i could breathe deep and feel all of me filling with this calm sea of peace.
i can give up the need to compete in the world, i did.  when i accepted being complete.
sometimes, the way to win is to never enter the race.
so i stood there, listening to the frogs croaking, song filling all this sky after that satisfying, thirst-quenching rain.  i just stood there. . .
there is no need to keep up with the joneses when i am in your company.  and i need not be heard. . . because i am known.  and i feel found.
i would be small and make life small.  and i remember  looking at a cloudless sky the other night, and watched the stars until my neck ached . . . i saw it all above me.  how the stars are always small. . .
thank you.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

it is okey to believe i am beautiful!

i sometimes catch myself standing in front of the mirror and tilt my head from side to side.  i have not often done this when i was younger.  back then, i could not care less how my profile is.  but this double and triple chins, they make me look in the mirror more often now.  bwahahaha!
but not all the time, that is what i see in the mirror.  often, i can picture that girl back then with the straight hair and a zit on her cheek never wondering if her smile will be enough to win her a spot at a table in the college cafeteria.
sometimes, i have to admit, i compare what i see in the mirror to the standards our culture puts out there for women.  am not thin enough, do not wear make up at all, my hair?  i have this perpetual do that i sport.  bwahahaha!  and i know, i fail in all those aspects.
this morning though, as i look in the mirror, the questions i usually ask quiet, instead, whispered to my heart:  the way you look is not for you,  it is for your purpose!  huh? bwahahaha!  i am a custom design by the force,  and i wonder what was on his mind when he created me.  bwahahaha!
i look in the mirror again and i see differently.  the round cheeks on my face that i sometimes wish were not there make me look kind ( and i am, promise.  bwahahaha!)  my brown eyes say:  trust me.  the crazy patch of grey hair on both sides of my forehead, that never ever stay where it is supposed to be, says:  i am a little bit messy, too.  could all these things be purposely placed by the force? they must be, right?  (answer, please.  bwahahaha!)
then that matters more than what the world says about who i should be, how i should look.  i believe as a woman that i am to honour and take care of this body, but i do not have to feel pressured to be someone i am not.
i am wonderfully made, a divine design, a work of art.  who i am and how i look is intentional, chosen with care.
i am beautiful, and it is okey to believe i am so.  bwahahaha!  (permission granted by the self, too.) 
after all, i disagree with what they say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, what i know for sure is, beauty is in the eyes of the creator.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

refusing to wish for something different

my mornings are always filled with small sacred moments of awareness.  i set aside hurry, pulling, wishing for different.  
i take my walks in small steps.  i linger over my meals, like they were the best.  hmmm, come to think of it, they are the best.  bwahahaha!  
when i get to hold my books with pages, my mugs with steam, and the hands that know my secrets, i savour each and every morsel of memory it creates, and brings.
my evenings are set down to rid me of comparison, regret, revenge and all my defensive explanations.
and when the night falls in, like a blanket of patchwork dreams, i settle in, right where i am,  refusing to wish for something different.
i am right where i should be. . . thank you. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

a letter to the young artist

dear young artist,
it feels strange and awkward in a way, for me to be writing to you because though i may have just turned gold, i feel like a young artist myself.  and feel young, too, in respect to practice and calling and purpose.  i have so much to learn.

i suppose that is my first point.  as i grow into my art and practice it more, a feeling of competency and arrival will probably never accompany it.  maybe i will always feel lacking, not good enough.  maybe i will not feel capable.  but why should i wait for that feeling to catch up with my reality?  there is just too much to paint and make art of!  i should not wait.  i have that realization now, well, not just now, a little while back already.  
i have always waited to feel qualified, certified or professional, i just have to tell myself: stop.  and started to give myself permission to work from my smallness (figurative.  bwahahaha!), from my humility and my humanity.
i will probably never feel like a real artist.  it is okay.  in the meantime, there are a bunch of messy, failing, brave strugglers doing the work of art - i welcomed myself to join them when i became and felt ready.

speaking of being human, i always remind myself i am one.  i have limits and these limits can be a gift if i am willing to see them that way.  after all, i started as a baby myself, tiny and helpless.  a few times when i was younger, i thought the sky is the limit and if i just had more time / energy / talent, i can get there one day.  
the sky is only the limit if i am in an airplane.  because i am human.  my feet will nearly always be planted firmly on the ground.  that is where they must be for me to do the kind of work that keeps me touchable, broken, but somehow at the same time, unbreakable.
creativity does not involve a magic potion.  the great artists i admire do not have a special visiting from a fairy muse.  they do not wake up feeling inspired or breathing out sparkly dust of wisdom and talent.
they wake up needing coffee and a shower just like me.  and then they get to work.  and often their work looks like a lot of hair twirling, window staring, and procrastinating.  but they do not give up.  they persevere through the boredom and the discouragement and distractions and they are most of all, willing to create awful art.
there is no such thing as bad art, only unfinished art.  when i am in my room with the door shut, i create ugly work.  make it messy.  embarrass myself.  finger paint.  write bad lines, poems, write horrible sentences.
i stopped waiting for the muse.  she is not coming.  there is only me, but that is actually more than i might realize.  i am made by design by his image and given a job to do. there are things i am good at and there are things i am not good at.  i delight in his companionship in the midst of both.
i know when i begin to create i might be tempted to avoid seeking out the work of artists i admire.  i made this mistake when i first started out, fearing their voices would be in my head and i would not know the difference between them and me.  now, i do the opposite of that.  i learn the value of being taught how to do something.  i let myself be a learner.
first, i learned by copying.  only after that can i make my own.  i soaked in the art of those i admire and let them inform my work like a great cloud of witnesses.  i let them mingle in my head and have tea with one another.  i listen in as they trade ideas and inspiration.  i read several books at once and let them spar.  the art i make as a result of sitting under their influence will be richer for it.

if my art is writing, i read.  if my art is music, i listen.  if my art is painting or dancing or sewing or cooking - i watch, handle, touch, taste.  i stopped trying so hard to be original.  it got me stuck inside my own head and my work became self-indulgent and self-centered.  i work instead to be generous.

i will even take it further and say - i long began to see the artistic potential in, not only my own art, but in the farmer, the longshoreman (whatever that is) and the physicist.  they may not identify themselves as artists, but the work they do is art just the same.  i respect them.  learn from them.  ask them questions.  and this i always remember:  my greatest identity is not artist, but child.  my desire to create is good and comes from heaven, but this desire is not all i am.  even good things cast shadows.  

finally, i remind myself often that my art is not just a gift to me, but from The Force through me to the world.  
feeling guilty or self-conscious about my art will not get me anywhere.  those thoughts have only the power i give them.  i start to see them for the shadows they are.  and then, i get to work and make art.
be generous.  be curious.  be patient.  and keep a light heart along the way.
with lots of love,