Saturday, June 22, 2013

Keep Going

What About Bob? is one of my favorite movies.  Bob (Bill Murray)  and Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss)play an extremely needy, obsessive-compulsive patient and psychiatrist. One day after leaving Dr. Marvin's office, Dr. Marvin gets on the elevator with Bob, and Bob begs for some wisdom from Dr. Marvin.  Dr. Marvin had just written a book called Baby Steps, so he shared those two words with Bob, "Baby steps, Bob." So Bob gets off the elevator repeating those two words over and over.  

This is basically how my life has gone, in baby steps.  When I tend to procrastinate, I tell myself, "Keep going." When I have not succeeded at something, I say, "Keep going."  Yes, it doesn't matter how far, just keep moving forward in tiny increments if that's the best I can do.  

I think those two words, "Keep going," apply to anything we are going through.  For instance, I believe grief as a part of life is inevitable. When it seems I can't go on due to a particular heartache and/or disappointment, I just keep going.  Sometimes it takes the greatest effort to even get up in the morning, but isn't that moving?  Often I've needed help, and faith, friends, medication, and my increasing passion for mixed-media art are tremendous resources that keep me going.  I strongly encourage anyone that reads this to find your inner and outer resources. Look for them. Search for them.  You will discover them.  In the meantime, let's just keep moving forward even if it is at a snail's pace.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Since I am in a blogging e-class and group, I need to blog a little about blogging.  It is such an interesting process.  The main question is,"What do I have to say?"  "Is there anything to share that will be the least bit interesting to anyone including myself?"  As a photographer, I believe there is so much more to see in life, in the day to day, yet I still struggle to really "see."

Yesterday while having breakfast outside in downtown Encinitas with a friend, three separate women came up to me, and were concerned about my purse getting wet from water seeping out of a large planter nearby. Three!  All were looking out for me in the sense that purses cost money, and they didn't want me to have to lose my purse due to the water.  This isn't a big life changing incident, yet I thought about it the rest of the day ~ three people cared enough about my purse to let me know they did.  By the time the third one came over, all I could do was think how kind these three were.  By the way, my purse didn't get wet.  It just looked like it was in the line of water seepage.  

Kindness is such a precious commodity.  I made a little sign out of scrabble letters that sits by my kitchen sink that says, "Be kind." Years ago a friend shared that being kind was what she and her husband held sacred in their marriage.  No matter what happened in their lives as a couple, they wanted to remember to treat each other with kindness.

I don't want to become so preoccupied with my life that I miss "seeing" the kindness of strangers like yesterday.  Each one is a reminder of something I've come to value above most everything, kindness.  How can I show kindness to those around me?  How can I speak in a way that affirms without breaking down someone?  Today, tomorrow, and always I want to be in a kindness state of mind.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Evolution of a Cowgirl

As a Critical Incident Counselor, I go into companies that have been robbed, experienced an unexpected death, or a downsizing. I love what I do, because I get to meet people at vulnerable times when there isn't pretense, just raw emotion.  The people I meet teach me so much, and my life is richer because of this real life education.  

Out of my heart to encourage others, I believe the cowgirl was born inside of me.  It feels as though that seed has been geminating for years, and now it's time for her to come forth out of the dark soil into the day light.  For a very long time, I have chosen to move toward my fears in order to learn, grow, and become stronger.  It is by far not easy, yet I still persevere.  That's what cowgirls do! 

Today, looking back at some of my first cowgirls, I am humbled.  They look pretty pitiful for the most part.  I didn't even put whites in their eyes, and instead left them skin tone.  Some faces looked like little ET's (Extraterrestrials).  For anyone on the receiving end of an inspiration card from Jessica Brogan's swap, I apologize for the way these cowgirls looked. 

Just as I am changing, so is my cowgirl.  There is more clarity in her face, the whites are in her eyes, and she appears gentle, yet strong. She has gotten braver in her evolution.  We can all have an inner "cowgirl" or "cowboy" if we surrender to the changes life brings.  This is what is happening to my cowgirls on paper, and to me.  Yeeehaaaaa!!!    

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Small, Yet Strong

A friend in the hospital needed cheering up, so I wanted to give her some encouragement to help her get through what she is going through.  This 3" x 3" mini canvas took about six hours to create.  I kept drawing/painting on her face, but was not satisfied with how she looked. Finally, I made a new face on a separate piece of paper, and glued it onto the canvas. With tips from Christy Tomlinson's online workshop, Behind the Art,  I came up with another brave cowgirl.  She may be small, but she is full of empowerment!

Whatever you are going through, I wish you a mustard seed of faith to build on.  Just because it's small doesn't mean it isn't strong.  Be brave and have hope as a new week begins.