Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sometimes courage doesn't roar

Alternatively titled: Why I'd suck on Survivor.

I had grand plans for this blog post weeks ago. Funny how sometimes I start to write the posts out in my head before the event occurs. I was writing a story of my year long journey into self and how I successfully spent 3 nights and 4 days alone in the woods on my vision quest. I was piecing together juicy details of hardship and triumph and how I would come away with a clear vision of my path as I walked back down that mountain.

Only I didn't.

The weeks leading up to my quest slowly filled me with dread. I knew what I signed up for in theory. I knew it would be the hardest thing I have ever set out to do. I didn't know just how hard it would be.

I consider myself a fairly stubborn and hard headed person. I will be there when I say I will be there. I will be there for you if I tell you I will no if ands or buts. So surely I will do something I say I'm going to do. I thought there was no out on this. I thought I would soldier my way through like always. I would do this even though it was the last place I wanted to be.

I tried. Oh I tried so very hard to do just what I set out to do. My first afternoon was spent sobbing in my tent. Sobbing. The rain poured down outside and the tears poured down inside. Come night I tried to find comfort in sleep only it didn't come. Hours and hours passed and I fought and battled so hard against my emotional self.

The next morning came and went and I was no closer to being at ease in my circle. I drummed, I sang, I chanted and when the weather allowed I fiercely marched around my campsite laying logs in a circular pattern trying to define my territory to the unseen outside wild.

Then I snapped. Something so deep triggered inside of me I could no longer stay put. I marched outside of my circle and was on a mission. I was finding my teacher and calling this thing. I was done.

The agony of having to voice that you just aren't strong enough to complete a task is... heart wrenching. I felt as though I was letting the entire world down. Those dear friends I told whom were lighting candles for me and saying prayers for my journey; those were the ones I was so afraid of disappointing. But that little inner child inside of me would not be silenced. She was raging and clawing her way to the surface, in dire need of being heard and being held. She needed rescuing. So after what felt like hours of a full on temper tantrum in the presence of my teacher I said the words. "My inner little girl needs to win this one, I'm going to do this for her."

So after two full days and one night in the wild I left my quest early and here is what I learned:

-Sometimes the biggest quest of all is the one we take deep inside ourselves. Not the one out under the stars.

-Sometimes having to say: "please help me" is the bravest expression of all.

-Sometimes I don't have to be the hero, the rock star or the inspiration.

-Sometimes things just don't unfold quite like you expect and that's OK.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Message

Softtone selfie double exp 
"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~Harriet Tubman

Sunday, May 13, 2012

and the winner is....

Congrats! Will be sending your art print this week!

Happy Mother's Day all!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To experience the wonder of great mysteries


One of the things I most wanted to experience when going to Kauai was to see the Hindu Monastery. Mostly I to see the very large crystal that inhabits the temple. I am a rock hound after all! Ken and I found we were a little ill-prepared and under-dressed on our arrival as I will never claim to be well versed in Hinduism. Thankfully a kindly elder took care to see us properly fit to enter the temple. I had absolutely no idea we would be able to participate in the puja. But we were welcomed and gently instructed on what to do.

The pools at the Hindu Monastery

The temple is a fire temple thought to break up old patterns and help seekers begin anew. It was an incredible experience. One I am still searching for words to describe. I was so awestruck that I struggled to stay in the moment during meditation. I literally kept saying to myself: "This is amazing!" As we re-entered the grounds after the ritual I realized it had started pouring rain while we were inside. I thought it to be a fitting way to start anew.

Hindu Monastery

I walked away with a new appreciation for all the mysteries of life and was so incredibly happy I got to experience this in my lifetime. The bindi on my forehead? To those of Hindu faith it represents the third eye of spiritual insight. Something this past year has been a huge focus on for me.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Art Print Giveaway

I'm feeling the call for another giveaway! There has been so much goodness over here and I want to spread that joy with you. In celebration of my previous two canvases being released into the world I want to offer a signed and matted print of The Raven's Flight to one lucky commenter. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below. I will draw a winner on Friday, May 11. I will happily ship anywhere in the world.

Also I wanted to share that both of my prints are now available on Society 6 as framed art, cards and iPhone cases. I hope you will hop on by to check them out. More coming soon!

Also, there are some new goodies in the Etsy shop! Thanks so much for all your support!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Glass Beach

Glass Beach 

Last week my husband and I escaped happily away to Kauai, Hawaii for a vacation to celebrate our upcoming 10 year anniversary. It was incredible! I am never disappointed with Hawaii, ever. This was our first time to the Garden Island and probably my most memorable trip to the islands yet. I have so much I want to share about our time but will break up the posts as to not overwhelm you all with too many photos.

First, I have a confession. I am an obsessive beach comber. If I get started it is very hard to stop! So when I did a preliminary search on the web for sea glass beaches on Kauai I was so ecstatic to learn there was in fact one. Most of the stock photos I saw were taken years ago so I didn't' allow my hopes to get too high but still was going to check it out no matter what.

I didn't let a local shop owner deter me when she said that she had heard there was no longer any sea glass at the beach (later we wondered if she was trying to deter tourists from the area). When we set out to find the beach in an old industrial area it looked rather unimpressive from afar. We opted to leave the rental car on paved road and walk the very gnarly dirt road to the beach.

This is what we found:

Glass Beach

Yes, this mama was very happy! We hadn't expected to find much so we came only with an empty water bottle to fill. Local courtesy is to take only a gallon of glass a day. I had no idea that it would be possible to even get that much. To say this was a very happy place for me was a huge understatement. We were able to take home enough to mostly fill my collection jar at home. Which means I get to check this one off on the Life List!

Glass Beach

I also feel the need to mention the WHY here. Why is this beach such a hot spot for glass? Litter. Plain and simple. The industrial area surrounding this area is full of factories and this beautiful black sand beach was previously used as a dump. It hurts to think about how much trash was dumped into our beautiful mother ocean to create this much glass washing up on the beach year after year. The truth of the matter is that yes, it is an absolutely beautiful and fun hobby to hunt for sea glass but we must remember why it is there in the first place. We haven't always nor still do respect our Mother Earth but she is resilient. She grinds down our trash and spits it right back up for us as a reminder that time is stronger than anything we can do to her. She will survive but we may not if we keep doing this to our planet.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

11 Questions

The lovely Elizabeth Grant Thomas has tagged me in a blogging meme of eleven questions. Its perfect timing since my posts have been a bit sparse lately. I fear my writing muse is in waiting as I work on paintings. So here we go! The rules are:

Answer 11 questions the tagger posted for you
Create 11 new questions to ask the people you tag
Tag 11 people
Let them know you’ve tagged them

Elizabeth's questions:

1. What book has moved you the most in recent history?
Oh goodness. I've been blowing through books lately both fiction and non. I thoroughly enjoyed Jamie Sam's Dancing the Dream If you are a little woo-woo like me I would highly recommend it.

2. What’s your favorite way to spend idle time?
My guilty pleasure is actually video gaming. Something I was sort of in in the closet about until a few years ago. Now I'm pretty much ok with declaring myself as a geek and I think for the record that gamer chicks rock! Right now my current time suck is Skyrim.

3. Share a silly photo of yourself.  What’s the story?
My What Big Eyes You Have!
This was one of my earliest Photoshop attempts. Back when I was just starting to learn photography. The theme for the photo was Grimm's Fairy Tales and this was my silly attempt at Red Riding Hood.

4. What astrological sign are you? Do you believe in astrology, or think it’s a bunch of hooey?
I'm Cancer and I think that if you looked up the description it would describe me very accurately. I love change, can be a wee bit touchy, live in my protective shell and am very much a homebody. My experience is that most people are true to their sign. Do I plan my day around my horoscope though? Not so much.

5. What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
Dinner at the Seattle Space Needle with my husband. I remember the view was incredible as we rotated around and the food was well worth the price. Close second would be breakfast in Hawaii. There is something so incredible about eating fresh fruit outside with the birds first thing in the morning.

6. Do you believe in fate, or that we’re the masters of our own destinies?
Can I believe in a little of both? I think the Universe sets opportunities in front of us but we need to actually act on them to set them in motion. I've experienced quite a few incredible events in my life too often for them to all be pure coincidences.

7. What is one of your favorite memories from childhood?
Visiting my Grandfather in Wisconsin and getting to spend my birthday on his boat, cake and all!

8. If you know it, what is your Myers-Briggs type?  If you don’t know it, would you characterize yourself as an extrovert or an introvert?
I have not taken the test but am fairly certain I fit the Introvert, Sensing, Feeling, Judging descriptions.

9. What is your favorite flower?
Daisies. Simple and white. They are so beautiful. 

10. No one can ever believe that I’ve never seen The Princess Bride.  What movie have you never seen that everyone else seemingly has?
I'm pretty sure there are LOTS that could make this list but one would be The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. 

11. What quote or motto best describes how you endeavor to live your life?
"Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My questions:

1. Describe your favorite scent.
2. I adore animals but for whatever reason cannot bring myself to get a dog. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
3. What is your biggest fear? Could you overcome it by facing it head on?
4. What song currently lights up your life?
5. What is one personality trait you feel others overlook when describing you?
6. If you could have one super power, what would it be? Why?
7. One food that you would never consume would be:
8. What movie would define your teenage years?
9. Post your favorite photo. One catch: you must be in it!
10. Do you keep a journal? Why or why not?
11. What is the craziest most out of character thing you have ever done?

Tag you're it!
Rather than trying to figure out who has and has not already been tagged, consider yourself tagged if you are reading this!