This is Me

Last night in the mirror I saw her again.

The other, stronger, edgier me. The one who is comfortable in her skin. The one who loves herself unconditionally.

She is the one who loves ME unconditionally. She loved me enough to leave dangerous relationships. She helps me love myself unconditionally. She is me. When she is in the driver’s seat I love myself. I am strong. Her smile, my smile, when she shines out of it, is so strong, so confident and so beautiful. I do not know why I don’t see that beauty when she is buried deep inside me, sleeping.

Though I can always feel her crying out, beating down the doors, trying to get out again.

The first time I saw her I was afraid of her,  afraid of becoming her. I was afraid of her fire, of her power, her storm. I had been broken for so long that I could not comprehend or envision what a whole, strong, powerful me might be. In a way, I was afraid to put myself back together. I was afraid of who I could be if I were whole.

When I was younger, a teenager, I was so completely myself. I was an individual, not like anyone else at all. People had no idea what to do with me. I refused to be boxed neatly–there was no box that could hold me. As the years went by, through the rape and abuse I suffered at the hands of my first boyfriend and later with my ex-husband, I was broken and boxed and shelved.

It has been a difficult journey back to myself. To wholeness. Breaking out of that box again has been a slow process. Sometimes now I find it challenging to live without allowing myself to be boxed and shelved all over again. It can feel simpler to take the easy way and be who others think I should be.

But I know, I’ve always known in my heart of hearts that it is infinitely better and more rewarding to be the butterfly storm I was always meant to be than to jam myself back into that tiny, ill-fitting cocoon.

 

I am meant to fly.

 

I am an artist.

 

I am that dark and shining, smiling woman I saw in the mirror.

 

I am beautiful.

 

I am a storm and I do not belong in a box.

Rebirth

 

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Reconnect

20180104_1020101698490635.jpgCold and moonless night

Silent souls circling bereft

Lost and lonely disconnect

 

See the spiraling sparks

Familiar kindred flames

The gathered kin knowing your name

 

Brightly burning fires

Hearts join the dance

Wild and free and inspired

 

Long forgotten meanings found

Songs sung in the mountains resound

Lost souls rebound

 

No more seeking silent escape

Creative spirits rekindled

In welcoming warm embrace

And She Danced

“…(she) dances in heaven now…. Aldeane loved to sing and dance, although she had a husband and son with two left feet.”–Bill Stanley (from her obituary)

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There has never been a time in my life without music. My mother loved all kinds of music–she got that from her mother. Aldeane Stanley loved music, and not just listening to it. She loved playing music on her mountain dulcimer, which she built herself. And she played spoons, mouth harp, funny percussion sounds with her mouth,– but not exactly beatboxing–autoharp, singing folk songs from her youth, or humming along with radio or television. But more than anything else she did with music, I believe she loved to dance, alone or with anyone who might be nearby.

As children, if we wanted to dance along to the music on the radio, Grandmother was always a willing partner. She taught me to waltz, though I’m not very good at it. As teens, when we began to feel awkward and afraid of looking foolish, she was still there, unable to sit quietly through a catchy tune. She’d get up and start doing her own version of the Charleston or clogging, and pull us to our feet to share her delight in the dance. Most found her impossible to refuse her invitation. No one could escape the contagious joy in her face. These were, I believe, some of the happiest moments in her life. They were pure expressions of love and fun and her gratitude for simply being alive.

Grandmother’s favorite TV show was “Dancing with the Stars.” She’d watch the dancers go round and round the floor with such joy and laughter and no small amount of wistfulness in her blue eyes. Even as she sat there, contentedly, enjoying the show from her chair in the living room, you could see her hands and feet tapping happily to the music. I’m certain she imagined herself twirling and whirling around with the stars on TV.

Although their song was “The Tennessee Waltz”, Grandaddy never really danced. I never understood exactly why, but perhaps it was due to his hearing loss or simply that he never learned to dance. Though Grandmother considered it a very small thing to give up in her life, and she never complained about the lack of a dance partner, the longing was still there.

So, too were the impromptu dance moments.

Every chance she had, even at 89 years old, as so much of her was slipping away, the dancing remained.

A TV commercial with a catchy jingle or a good toe-tapping song on the radio brought her springing up from her chair to dance with all of her being in the living room or even in the grocery store! Her joy was contagious. She’d take salespeople and other bystanders with her into her giddy jigs. It was impossible to say no to her energetic pleas for partners.

I never took formal dance lessons, but I carry Grandmother’s lessons in my heart for how to be happy and how to share it.

I believe, if she were here, sharing her wisdom with us now, she would take our hands in hers and say “Dance! It’ll do you good and help you too!”

Wherever she is now, you can bet that she’s dancing, and so is everyone around her.

My Thanksgiving Prayer

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For the first time in my life, the Winter Holidays are a thing I’ve dreaded almost all year. Working, staying busy constantly, so I would not have time to think about the end of the year and how it would feel. Now, at last, and all too soon, the first of these days has come and gone. Thanksgiving, the day itself was warm and pleasant in the company of my brother-in-law and his family. Of course, this was not the gathering I’ve been dreading. Thanksgiving is more of a mile marker in my year now. This year, especially, I am truly thankful for family, and friends who have become my family. spending the day with my brother-in-law is a relatively new tradition for us, only a few years now, but I treasure it even so. Having this planned day in place already this year eases me into the holidays to come. I draw strength from their warmth and love and let it settle over my shoulders like a cloak to comfort and keep me warm as I head into what feels like an endless, cold winter night.

Next to come will be Grandmother’s birthday on November 28th. Throughout my childhood we celebrated her birthday on Thanksgiving day since so many of our family would be gathered together on that day. This was always so much a part of the holiday that I came to believe her birthday actually was on Thanksgiving day. Somehow I didn’t consider or realize that the holiday wasn’t always on the same day of the month. Grandmother’s birthday, always on Thanksgiving day, always on a Thursday, was simply part of the magic that made her who she was for me, ‘practically perfect in every way’, my very own Mary Poppins. In fact, I was well into adulthood before I ever gave the matter of her real birthdate any thought whatsoever. So in this way, Thanksgiving was always a perfect holiday for me. I have been so fortunate in that I’ve always looked forward to and enjoyed every holiday with my family, unlike so many of my friends.

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When I was a child, every Thanksgiving, like most holidays in Grandmother’s house, was a constant. Each one so much like the last but never boring, never mundane. I know, now, that there was always a tremendous amount of work and preparation for most of the week before–buying groceries, decorating, baking, cleaning the house and setting up extra tables and chairs for everyone who would be coming together for this one meal. I helped with much of the decorating, cleaning and baking but it never felt like work. She, just like Mary Poppins, had a spoonful of sugar to make every job a game in one way or another. she worked hard, made it all look effortless. The day would arrive, we’d spend the morning watching Macy’s parade on TV until it was over and then football until time for dinner. During commercials and after the parade, I helped set the table and put out food and treats and whatever final decorating touches Grandmother asked me to do. All the while I’d sneak nibbles of treats from some of the dishes when she wasn’t looking, sometimes we’d sneak nibbles together!

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When dinner was finally ready and all the family was there, the TV was turned off and we gathered around the kitchen and dining room to hear Grandad say the blessing, he modeled humble gratitude for us all, never forgetting to mention being thankful for his wife and her hard work. Then he’d make some sweet joke and we’d begin filling our plates, waiting for Grandmother to go first as Grandad insisted she did.

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Among the delights to be shared were always turkey, sometimes ham, dressing, gravy, potatoes, mashed as well as sweet, corn, green beans, crunchy raw veggies and dips, deviled eggs and soft, warm yeast rolls with her special cranberry relish. The relish was a sweet and tangy concoction of whole cranberries, oranges, pecans and more, all blended together. We still make and share this often in our family.

If this wasn’t enough and if you still had room for them, there were pies–pumpkin, pecan, chocolate or her special butterscotch with meringue on top. Often there was nut bread, banana bread and cookies too. And birthday cake for Grandmother. Usually chocolate or German chocolate which she usually baked herself, unless my Mom felt up to baking. During dessert, she’d open her cards and gifts from all of us. She did so quietly, modestly as she did everything else. she didn’t want people to make a fuss over her but we always did. I believe I learned about being thankful from her, for all that I have. And because we celebrated our love for her on this day, I learned to be thankful for her and for all the people in my life.

What a powerful lesson my Grandparents have bestowed. Thanksgiving has come and gone and I remain thankful for everything I have and for all those people in my life, past and present, who have blessed me with lessons of their own. Though bittersweet and painful, I welcome the next month, the beginning of the end of a difficult year. I am already thankful for the rush of memories I am about to experience and for the comfort I know is there from those who love me. I look forward to a new year with new people and new memories to enrich the old.

This is my Thanksgiving prayer and my best wishes for all of the holidays. Thank you, as always for reading and being part of my journey.

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me too

Yeah. I know this is already a thing you may be tired of seeing on your social media feed. I’m tired of seeing it too. I’m tired of knowing that so many of my sisters–AND BROTHERS- out there have been assaulted, abused, harassed. I know that those are now becoming just words, sad words, but just words that you are already glancing over with numbness. I’m tired of needing to feel numb to the pain just to get through another day.

I’m tired of feeling numb! I’m also tired of the endless anxiety, fear, exhaustion, flashbacks and panic attacks that I experience anywhere from once a month to sometimes several times a day.

I’m tired of knowing that somewhere out there my abuser still walks free. Free to hurt other people. Free because, like so many people, I didn’t report him or his crime. I didn’t report it because for so long I didn’t even realize what had happened to me.

I could not even begin to comprehend it all. By the time I knew, understood and wanted justice, it felt too late, too impossible, too crazy a story anyway. Who would believe me? Who would listen and understand? and Why would they?

I’m sick of being silent about it so I won’t upset someone with my story. I don’t want to cause anyone to feel what I feel when triggered. But I do want to shake all of us out this numb state so that something can be done to help all of us, to stop the violence committed by the bigger, stronger, more powerful, more affluent on the weaker, more timid, fearful, poor, ordinary women and children in our lives.

I’m sick of walking on eggshells for the comfort of polite society. I HURT.

All my sisters -and brothers- HURT. EVERY. DAY.

I have worked hard every day for the past 30 years or so to conquer my panic, anxiety, and fear. There have been successes and failures. Good days and bad. It will always be with me, no matter how much healing takes place. It hit me in places I didn’t know I had.

Still does.

I spent several years introducing myself as a rape survivor to almost every new person I met. It was a way to cope, to try to understand myself better. Sure, I had therapy and it helped so much. Therapy, along with my super supportive husband, helped more than anything. Not everyone has that opportunity. Therapy is expensive. And sometimes you just need the validation of having one person hear you, listen and say ‘I believe you and I love you.’

I also created art to deal with my pain. This art remains in a closet because it’s raw and visceral and painful to see. I’m never sure if it’s ok to show to people.  I no longer tell my story at all, unless it seems like something a given person might want to know. I hate to bother people with it. It’s ugly and painful. I don’t want to be judged for any part of it.

I’m tired of hiding my story and my art. We need to stop hiding, stop judging victims. There are women hiding their pain, afraid to share their own ‘me too’ because they may be in danger even now or they may simply be afraid of being judged. ‘Why did you stay?’ is a question I hear over and over. Domestic violence was also a thing in my life.

Rape and domestic violence go hand in hand for many.

If we, the ones who got out, stop hiding and judging, the world becomes a safer place for women -and men- to ask for help.  No, you don’t have to absorb someone’s pain if you cannot handle it. Just be there. Standing up. Saying “me too”. This alone is powerful and will give courage to someone else.

If you are hiding your pain, your story, afraid to say ‘me too’ out loud, then say it softly. Whisper it. Tell someone you trust. Ask for help. Ask someone to just listen if that’s all you need.

Ask me.

Tell me your story. I’ll believe you and I’ll even cry with you. I’ll tell you my story if you ask. I’ll keep it to myself if it hurts you too much to hear it. But I will not keep quiet the fact that it happened. That I did not deserve it. That it’s ok to feel what I feel now. and That it’s NOT ok that someone hurt you, me or anyone else.

I’m here. living. loving. hurting and healing. and listening.  I love you.

Conditioned Soul
Conditioned Soul

 

 

 

Jumbled Thoughts

Thoughts jumbled

Voices mumble

Feelings rumble

World crumbles…

 

This sums up how my year has gone so far. Just before the turn of the year, Grandmother fell and broke her hip. I knew in my heart somehow that this was the beginning of the end for her. I guess we all did, but no one wanted to say it really. I regret nothing of the time spent sitting with her, watching, waiting, loving, living as she slipped away more every day. I am thankful I was there, sad that I wasn’t able to be there more. I don’t long to say more to her, to tell her things she didn’t know. She knew all of me. She built most of the world that gave me my foundations.  So I have no regrets. I know my roots. She gave me my wings. I watched as she earned hers by degrees. I was not there as she finally let go. And that, too, is ok. I am content that she finished what she came to earth to do. Momentary Sparkle

Still, there is a hole in my life without her. I have not had the luxury of time to truly grieve yet. I’ve been doing it in small chunks. A moment here with a photo, a moment there with tiny treasures that bring her smile back to me. Bits of paper and string, little pencils, old dolls, precious unfinished quilt pieces, fragments of memories, notes she wrote that turn up in my books, cards and letters she wrote–all of these have been signposts on my journey as I inch along, not yet ready to pull off the road and give them my attention. Not yet ready to fully feel whatever it is that longs to be felt. I am stubbornly not yet willing to allow anything to fill that empty space. img001

But empty spaces have a way of filling themselves sometimes. So my year has been full to the brim with busy. I’ve paid tribute to all that she taught me, each and every day since she left us. I have created more new work in this year than in any other since I began sewing professionally. I have cried into my stitching, blurry from all the tears and ripped it all out again countless times so far and the year isn’t over yet. I have shared stories and buttons and tiny treasures. I have felt joy and pride that she gave me the skills to change lives and hearts with the work of my hands. In the same breath, I have turned to the phone to call and tell her something new I learned or to ask her if she’d ever tried this or that craft, only to remember I can’t reach her now. wp-image-1354251400jpeg.jpeg

I have felt deeply the imminent loss of my childhood home–this, a grief so deep it surprised me, and few could comprehend my attachment to it.  It was my sanctuary, more than any other place I’ve ever been. It was where all my stories began and where some of them ended. It was where I learned about music and art and sewing too. It was the place where my imagination took wing and I knew I could do anything if I worked hard. Home was where I could return to nourish my aching spirit after all the times my world crumbled. It was simply home.

The year has felt like one crisis after another with no breaks, no vacations, no end in sight. My work has been behind deadlines all year. I have worked day after day after day, numb and in an endless hurry to finish so I could go on to the next thing. Even my writing, the thing which I felt was so healing, has fallen to the side in the face of deadlines. My health, too was suffering earlier in the summer. I’m slowly getting back on track.  Our family is now turning our attention to helping with all the random and myriad things that are so necessary to support our graduating high school senior. I don’t want to miss a moment of his senior year. I want to hold onto each one and it is all flying by so fast.

There still is no long week of leisure time ahead in sight for me. I will continue to seek out those bits of memories, fragments of precious time with my children and those moments of bliss when I see I’ve made a customer love who they see in the mirror in my studio. This post was not meant to sound like complaint but to remind myself to cherish what I have and with whom I have it all. Everything is bittersweet this year. I cannot even begin to consider what the holidays will look like without her, but I promise to hold you all close and to tell you I love you. And I do. I love each and every one of you. Thanks for reading.20170507_192620_optimized

 

 

 

I

 

Serendipity

wp-image-483930761Serendipity!

Yesterday I was surprised with another family’s button box! This was an unexpected and truly wonderful gift. My friend Helen, having no one in her family who wanted her button collection, offered me a simple white cardboard shoe box on Sunday morning just after church. I am both honored and excited to receive it!

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We opened the box together so that she could tell me about one or two of the items inside. Right away I could see that these were treasures. Helen had lovingly sorted them by color and some by style or use into small plastic bags. They were clearly labeled as well. Many of them were stitched together in sets with single strands of teal thread. There are enormous coat buttons and tiny shirt buttons. And all sorts of in between sizes.  Also included are buckles of all sizes and a few other adornments that are not, strictly speaking, buttons, but are wondrous all the same.  She pointed out some of the fancier ones and was somewhat apologetic over the modest white shirt buttons. As we talked, she was searching through the box for the buckles. She pulled out two of them to show me specifically.

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These two special buckles had been bagged, not with the rest of the assortment of small buckles, but instead, were in the bag with the fanciest of the buttons. The label on these reads ‘very nice buckles’. At first glance these two buckles seem somewhat plain and a little rough and uneven, with some dents and scratches in the bargain. Upon closer inspection, it becomes evident that they were hand crafted, many years ago. They have no signature or maker’s marks on them but it’s obvious they were carefully designed and constructed. Both buckles are pewter, created for a 1 and ½ inch belt width. Designed by and for a lady to wear, and would have been quite stylish in their time. In any time really. Helen tells me that they were hand-crafted by her own mother around the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I fully intend to find a way to wear them, and proudly.

I will also, no doubt, find some way of adding some of the other, equally beautiful and dramatic buttons to clothing of my own design. Whether I wear them or not, though, I will spend hours in the months and years to come imagining stories that must go along with the many treasures that are tucked away in this simple shoebox.

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Helen had never read my story about my own grandmother’s button box and so she could not have known how much I will truly love and cherish her gift. I am humbled and honored that she would think of me. And I am delighted by the serendipity!

Grandmother’s Button Box

20170520_185003Grandmother’s button box was always kept on her sewing machine desk. it was more of a small canister, really, made of tin with a terra cotta colored plastic lid. There were images of Victorian era people shopping for fabrics and notions. I do not remember a time without it’s presence. The button box was another constant thing in my day to day world, reassuring to see and comforting to touch, a delight to open and explore.

The tin sits there with it’s old-timey pictures on it, full of mystery and promise beckoning to you–young or old. Beneath the cover you know you’ll find her timeless collection of buttons and other random treasures that inevitably make their way into boxes and tins in all sewing room-safety pin, snaps and more. It is an archaeological dig site–artifacts of days gone by, treasures and the wisdom of the ages lie within. All you need to do is dig in!

Giving in to the anticipation, you plunge your hand in and soop them out, sifting buttons through your fingers. falling back into the trove with the most satisfying jingles and clickety clacks of metal and plastic! In that moment these ordinary bits and bobs are the most extraordinarily precious objects you’ve ever held in your hand. They exist to be studied, counted, sorted and inspected again and again. The buttons are alluring and exciting and full of tiny fairy adventures with Tink, The Borrowers, Thumbelina and perhaps even Ariel on any given day. Exciting and mysterious, full of never-ending stories you make up anew with each time the box is opened. It is a great privilege to be allowed to open it and play with these magical jewels!

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Later on buttons were part of my first sewing lessons. So many things to learn about buttons in sewing! So many things that button sewing teaches you in sewing too. Patience is one of those things. Buttons are final details on a project, but are often the most important and the most noticed. Buttons taught me to pay attention to the details, take care to make them secure, but neatly–one of Grandmother’s hallmark traits too. Sew each stitch with love.

 

While sewing buttons, one has time for inner reflections and daydreams. Sooner or later you begin to consider the history of a particular button in the box. She told me stories of where many of them came from, whose clothes and in what season. Sometimes there was a funny story about how the button came to be in the box or about the person who wore it. So now the button box was a treasure trove of family stories and history. Buttons from Grandmother’s childhood clothes and one or two from Grandaddy’s time in the army. There were some from her mother-in-law, my great Grandmother, Estelle. Her buttons were always fancy and fashionable. She was an incredibly snappy dresser and gifted seamstress too. Her button sewing taught me precision, as did her life. But those are other stories, for other days. Estelle’s buttons added to my fashion knowledge and enthusiasm.

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Among the sparkly button treasures, sorting, sewing, stories and daydreams there was wisdom gained as well. Saving extra or found buttons is an obvious one–you never know when you might need a button. Throwing them away would be wasteful. Many things are useful for more than their originally intended purpose–this was a lesson Grandmother taught me time and again, in so many more ways than the button box. Follow the trail of stories in your breadbox. Like breadcrumbs, they can lead you home. Listen to the lessons of patience and persistence and care about the details in your life as well as on your shirt. Make it secure–do the job right the first time. You may be glad you did. A job worth doing is worth doing well. All these may be cliche, but they are cliche for a reason. Listen to the stories of your grandmothers and grandfathers. And remember that even the old, shabby looking buttons are still useful, still beautiful and they carry the wisdom of the ages.

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Stories in Her Face

The last days of Grandmother’s life were hard, though at times she was herself again–you could see the familiar sparkle in her eyes. But mostly she was confused, existing, waiting, lost somewhere inside herself. We kept her as comfortable as we could, hoping to see any sign of her old self. She gave us that for a brief moment, when her brother, Buddy, came to visit. She knew him instantly and was so excited to see him. It was such a joyful surprise for all of us to see her so happy. 

She soon lapsed back into confusion, trying to tell us things but the words would no longer connect in her brain and came out all mixed up. She fought sleep like a small child would, not wanting to miss anything. Eventually rest came, if only for a little while.

 As I sat with her, watching her sleep, I noticed patterns in the fine lines and crinkles in her face. The wrinkes seemed to flow in paths and patterns all down her face and around her features. Like the glowing spirals and brush marks around the stars in Van Gogh’s most beloved painting, those lines in her sweet face told her story. I thought about the many stories she lived and told over the years. I wonder how many stories remained untold.

Although she didn’t live a life of high adventure and epic tales from far away lands, her stories, her moments of joy and sorrow were as meaningful and compelling as anything Hollywood has ever adapted to film. Grandmother’s stories were often about the little things in her life. Simple things that became building blocks of a long life filled with happiness and hardships, love and loss. She lived through decades, observing some of the most incredible moments of history.

Reflecting on the lyrical, swirling stories in her face, I find that I am not quite as dismayed by the inevitability of the lines that will, all too soon, appear on my own face. I will try to wear them with the contentment I saw in her. Now I see echoes of stories in the faces of everyone I meet. I find myself wondering more and more about all the untold little stories that built those lives so far….

Welcome To Manderley’s Soapbox

Creativity has infused all aspects of my life since birth. Through all the good and bad times, the accessibility of this wonderful tool has helped to keep me grounded and centered. I feel fortunate that creativity was fostered and nurtured in my life right from the start. It was never in some box, reserved for the “talented few”.  I was never taught to believe there even was a ‘box’ or a ‘talented few’. Without ever stating it directly, my whole family showed me that creativity takes many forms and is accessible to everyone in everything we do.  I have, at many  times in my life, suffered from bouts of low self esteem or self doubt, but I have never once doubted my innate sense of creativity. As long as I remember to seek it, creativity is there inside me, just waiting for my call. Creativity is inside everyone, including YOU.


Humanity is hard-wired to be creative. From basic survival–learning to make fire and tools and clothing–to storytelling and cave painting and then on to writing, languages, numbers, higher math and fine art– humans and creativity seem to have been born together. From the first moments of life, creativity is constant. Every parent knows this to be true. Children creatively challenge us every minute they are awake! And as parents, we meet these challenges with every ounce of creativity we have! Learning is a creative process. Creativity is a learning process.


So many people suffer under the misconception that creativity means one is skilled, gifted or talented at some kind of visual art such as drawing, painting, ceramics or the performing arts. Those are certainly all creative art forms, but they are by no means the only ways to be creative. That would be a narrow definition of creativity indeed!  While creativity is needed and fully realized in all of the arts, the arts themselves are learned skills. Some people may have a greater affinity for or dedication to a particular art. Just like athletes and sports, that dedication leads to more practice time and thus, greater skill. But given time and opportunity, anyone can learn skills necessary to participate in all of the visual and performing arts. In many cases, only basic skills are required in order to simply enjoy the process of creative self expression through arts and crafts. Classes are available in most towns and online.


“But I’m not artsy”, you say. “Crafts bore me” you say. “I’m just not creative” you sigh. It is at this point that my husband sighs and takes a giant step back as I step up onto my soap box. (he is actually afraid of getting hit by stray bits of glitter as I begin to actively help you dig in and find your inner well of creativity–he has seen this happen once or twice).  So, let’s do it–let’s look for it together. Trust me–I have experience.


First, just ask yourself a few questions (have a cup of tea and get comfy-this may take a few minutes).  What is your favorite color? Why is it your favorite color? What are some ways you bring this color (or colors) into your everyday life? How do you feel when you discover new ways to use your favorite color(s)? What is a color you DIS-like? What are some ways you avoid it?  I  know what you’re thinking – “is she for real? What does this have to do with finding my creativity? Is this some trick to get me to make a macaroni duck?” Whoa! I promise it’s no trick, although we could make a macaroni duck if you think that will help. I’ll follow your creativity wherever it leads….but I digress. Stay with me a few more minutes. ok?


The same questions I asked about color could apply to most aspects of your life. What are your favorite and least favorite activities, tasks, sounds, foods, people. The actual answers are not quite as important as how you think of them, the process of answering the questions. There, in the middle of coming up with the answers lies your creativity.


Creativity is in every choice you make. It is in how you see and interpret nearly everything you see and hear and taste. It is in your own unique experience of the world in which you live. You only need to open your mind and expand your perspective. Allow your own creative self to bubble up out of that box you set aside to contain it. Let your crayon wander outside the lines and ask yourself “What if?” a little more. Imagine the possibilities, and choose a few to explore. I promise you’ll be glad you did. Admit to yourself  that you ARE creative. Give yourself permission to wade into your creative river. Then dive  in and keep swimming! Share your experience-it will become more real. I’d love to hear about your creative journey!


And say to yourself  every day —

“There is no wrong way to be creative!”


Let’s repeat that together–

THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO BE CREATIVE!