Throwing it Back to My 1967 VW Bug!

Rachelle's VW Bug - Painted to High School Perfection

Is this not the best?!!! Lol!
In June of 1986, I graduated high school and drove this sweet ride!

The father of one of my closest friends put this baby together from different parts. I basically “rented” it for the year. Knowing that I was going out of state for college, and it would never make it to SC from PA, Mr. West, let me use it until I left for Carolina (Go Gamecocks!)
The first week I had it, at the beginning of my senior year, the engine caught on fire!

I was captain of the tennis team and had stayed late after practice to plan some things with the coach. When I started it up, the engine sparked and then the back, where the engine lives in VW Bugs, went full fire. A friend of mine grabbed me out of the driver’s seat (thanks, Drew) and I grabbed my racquets from the back seat. There was no way I was going to let those burn!

Churchill High School Tennis Team Fall 1985



That was a Friday afternoon. Mr. West had a new engine and new back put on by start of class on Monday morning! Ha!

There were enough parts of the same year to label this a 1967 Bug, at least for the vehicle registration and insurance information. It had one of those large wire steering wheels and fabulous old fashioned dashboards with round gauges that looked like the inside of cups. Since I was going to drive it for a year, the very important senior year of high school, I sprung for a brand new radio with cassette player! It was very spiffy!
In the winter, I braved the cold as long as possible and, when I could bear the chill no longer, Mr. West connected the heat…a hot cylinder pipe that blew burning hot air from under the driver’s seat. If my leg touched it, it burned it so much that it would leave a welt. There was no controlling the heat. If the car was running, the heat was running. There were many days it was so hot in there that I had to drive with the window down in below freezing temperatures just to be able to breathe.
I loved that car!

One day while I was at work, my friends decided my Bug needed a make-over. They bought spray paint and sprayed each section of the car a different color, then personalized it with my nick name…Dish (in reference to the body builder Rachel McLish, but that’s a whole other story.) I came out of work to find my Bug painted…p-a-i-n-t-e-d! Every section, painted in a different color!
Talk about “rock star” status…that was epic! Once I got over the shock, and the fear that Mr. West was going to throw a fit, I embraced that wild and crazy fabulous work of art on wheels like it was my own personal Picasso! But the real treasure, was the gift my friends’ gave me in that crazy antic…a story of connection to them and a beloved time in my life.
And…I really loved that car after that!

My VW Bug was painted to high school perfection.

We used to go to the drive-ins all the time that summer after graduation and, since the price of admission was per car not per person, we would stuff it full. That sweet little thing that was a two sitter with a compact back seat ended up carrying 10-12 people to those movies. (Mom, I know you are reading this…it is 34 years later and the statute of limitations on being grounded has expired!💜) I swear we looked like the clown car at the circus when everyone peeled themselves out of it to sit on the roof and the ground around it to watch the movie. I feel like we were watched Top Gun at the drive-in a lot that summer!


Senior Year 1985-1986
Two of my other friends had Bugs that year and we even took a yearbook photo together, posing proudly with our buddies and our Bugs.

Memories like these are definitely priceless, as are the years that float in between. Our youngest child turned 18 yesterday and not only is it hard to believe that all four of our children are now adults, but it is hard to believe I am so many years removed from being 18 myself.

Some of these guys are ones who painted my VW Bug!

The phrase the days are long but the years are short is such a true and real sentiment. I long for the days when our children were little, would curl up on my lap for stories, and we would look at pictures together. I told them stories about my Bug, well most of the stories about my Bug, from the time they were little and over the years they have gotten me little trinkets as presents because they know how much mine meant to me.

They have given me stickers, a book about VWs, and Renée even gave me a toy VW Bug painted with daisies on it that sits on my desk in my studio to this day.

One of the neatest things I am appreciating with the passage of time is the merging of memories decades separated. It is the sharing of stories that give our children a glimpse into a past they never knew but shaped us, their parents, in ways they know so well.
I wish I still had that Bug to show my kids. Oh, there’s no way in the world I would let them drive that old thing as it would never be safe to ride on the roads of today, but it would be a fabulous yard sculpture for unique curbside appeal and provide priceless photo ops to bridge the generations of time.

Happy 18th Birthday, my baby boy and Happy High School Graduation to you and the rest of the Class of 2020! May you always, always, hold dear snippets of this year, as unusual as it is, and find the wonder of it to share with your own children one day.

Lessons Learned From Slow-Cooked Oatmeal.

Many know that I do not cook. Like really…do not. For the 29 plus years we have been married, Chris has done the majority of the cooking. If he didn’t cook, one of the kids usually did. After all, we homeschooled and cooking was a great way to learn multiple skills. ?
Every once in a while, I would get a great wave of motivation and decide I was going to cook there by contributing my solution to the great cooking dilemma of our family…what shall we eat.

Instant Pot Love…and Loss

A couple of years ago, I purchased an Instant Pot and I stuck with cooking a bit. Then I got distracted by life and my husband started to use the Instant Pot more and more. I regressed back into oatmeal being my one contribution to our eating regime; and that was even a rare occasion.

In September, our Instant Pot broke and my cooking days went back to nil. However, December came and an undeniable desire for a traditional holiday season swept over me. Cooking was going to have to happen.
Without the help of the Instant Pot, I had to stay in the kitchen and actually monitor what was cooking. The strangest thing happened…


Cooking Up Joy

I enjoyed it! I get bored with the everyday kind of cooking and fancy myself as more of a creative cook. Being vegan, recipes that have interesting ingredients intrigue me and it is fun to alter traditional cuisine with foods like jackfruit, agave, and nut cheeses.?
As much as I have been enjoying cooking, especially with the fabulous purple cookware Santa brought us, it wasn’t until yesterday and today that I realized there is a bigger lesson to take away from stirring something at the stove; stirring steel cut oats to be exact.
My signature (Lol) dish of strawberry oatmeal was put on hiatus since our Instant Pot broke. Of course, there has been the instant oatmeal in a pack that our children seem to enjoy, but I have never been a fan of that stuff. Yesterday, I discovered the neglected canister of steel cut oats in the pantry and decided it would be the perfect base for the cranberry peach sauce I wanted to make.

Everything Cooks Better in Purple

Do you happen to share this habit I have? I tend to not fully read the directions for anything before I start; even the three line directions on the back of an oatmeal container. Once I had the water boiling and the oats stirred in, I finally read that it would take 25 to 30 minutes to make. Definitely not instant; not even quick. It was to cook uncovered with occasional stirring. With my kitchen wisdom that I have recently discovered at my ripe age of fifty, I realized that if I left the kitchen, this oatmeal would sure to burn and my new purple pot would be scorched forever.

You could probably say I really stayed to prevent the purple pot from an early demise. So, in essence, everything does cook better in purple since I won’t leave the kitchen and take the chance of burning something in my purple pot!

During the 25-30 minute span of stirring occasionally, I reflected a lot and learned a few things…

Embracing moments is as simple as sharing love with our (four!) dogs in between stirs. (Milo thought he could get a taste. Picture above.)
Nurturing myself in mind and spirit can be done by occasionally stirring while writing in my journal.

Fresh cooked food puts healthy eating on a different level than grabbing prepackaged items even if they are geared to be healthy like packaged vegan yogurt.

Our current culture of “being busy all the time” has skewed our perception and fed the notion that convenience foods are necessities.

It is refreshing to take the time to do something so simple yet so satisfying.


It is energizing to live slowly.


My epiphany came when the words I have been trying to vocalize about my art and the inspiration I hope to relay through my plant-stained papers and pottery were realized during those moments of stirring, petting, writing, and pouring my delectable yum into one of my favorite purple pottery bowls…

Slow down. Connect with moments. Savor each day.

And the oatmeal with homemade sauce made of fresh cranberries and jarred peaches, was so absolutely delicious, I made it again today.

When Your Battle Plan Needs Changed.

Seven years ago, our life changed with a literal heartbeat… my husband’s. Health-wise, most all is better now, but it has taken a very long time for us to get back on our feet. His heart event and subsequent job lay-off effected our whole family and our security as we knew it. To this day, we are still unsteady.

But, it is time. It is time to embrace our reality as it is. Holding on to the idea that our life is about climbing out of the metaphorical hole in which we seem to dwell has held us back.


Facing Reality

The reality is…this is our reality.
The more we thought that we needed to get back to where we were, that our lives were supposed to look the same as they did before these two events occurred, the more we were held hostage to the notion that we were the same. As fluid, ever-changing beings, we grew through these unwelcomed events. Just like a piece of art I could never make twice, we evolved through the process and came out changed from who we were. 

Being on the wrong path doesn’t mean there aren’t good parts to embrace.

Sure we have had some highlights over the last several years. We moved back “home” to Lakeland, Florida. I am an invited artist to Walt Disney World. Two of our children graduated high school (homeschooled all the way) and are now in college.  We have enjoyed family days at the nearby gulf coast, traveled to art shows and teaching engagements all around.  We got to spend more time with my folks before my dad passed away.♡

It’s the low parts that we have let define us though. My husband and I realized a couple of years ago that things were happening that looked good but they were not necessarily good for us in the long run. Things that looked good to the public came with a lot of personal sacrifice and financial burdens. The “magic” we thought we were embracing turned our world upside down and dug us into a deeper hole.

So, we regrouped, changed our focus, invested in ourselves, and went forward with better armor.


Warrior Pose


This “warrior artist” photo is my current profile picture on Facebook. It seems fitting for entering this new year. My caption reads…Entering 2019 with fierce determination to succeed in my business, finally climb out from this seven year hole that continues to try and swallow us, reclaim joy in my personal life, embark on serendipitous adventures, and bask in the here and now. My word is…steps.

Onward.

With all the necessary elements in place, it is this year we finally can take the steps forward. Hence, my word for the year… steps.


Good Plan, Wrong Goal

I thought I had the battle plan organized and was executing it with all the right moves. I had done my research, zeroed in on my desire and foreseen potential, and hired the right people to get me to the winning side. When my plan began to come to fruition, I realized the actions were not wrong, the goal, the one that I had been working toward for years, was wrong.

It would be easy for me to label the experience as a “crash and burn” episode, but I feel that would belittle it. The experience was an eye opening education and just like my degrees I worked so hard to attain, this learning was invaluable. It lit a fire under me and not only is sending me down a path I feel I am meant to be on, but brought me back to the roots that continue to hold me tight to the ground.
I am more in tune with myself than I have ever been and, in turn, feel I have more to give to others than I have ever had. I finally feel what other women in their fifties have described as a “coming of age.” It is not only a realization about myself, but the fortitude to live it authentically.

Steps to Take When Your Plan Needs Changed

So, here are the specific steps I can offer when your battle plan needs changed.
1. Take a moment, or two, or many.
It may be cliché but truly press pause. Take a breath. Try to find a place of peace and tranquility to reflect. Life can be overwhelming, especially when trying to change directions.

2. Go toward the next step, not run away.
Going toward something different for the sake of it just being different is often a form of running away from what has been going on instead of going toward something that is actually going to benefit you. Reflect, plan, act.

3. Listen to your gut.
You know that achy, sometimes jabbing, feeling in your stomach that gnaws at you until you either listen to it or you move on in spite of it? Listen to it. You know your situation better than anyone else. Advice is grand, but only you know deep inside of you what you should do.

4. Imagine scenarios. Play out possibilities
I am a visual person and it helps me to create scenarios that may occur on the paths of various options. I write, draw, paint these possibilities. It’s not about the writing or the art, but about releasing the thoughts that are filtering through your head. You can talk out these possibilities too. Find a friend who is going to be honest with you and talk out “what may happen” depending on which path you take forward.

5. Be flexible in your plan.
Set a course but allow opportunity for wonderful serendipity along the way. Often it’s these pockets of the unexpected that end up bringing you to where you are supposed to be.


If you run into set-backs in your new plan, as you most assuredly will, realize the difference between obstacles in a road worth taking versus the cliffhanger on the road you were on. “Should’ve, Would’ve, and Could’ve” are not invited to this plan. They were lessons learned and your growth from them guides your next moves.

Oh and number six is the most important step…

6)Take a picture of yourself! Get dressed in something that makes you feel empowered. Strike your warrior pose and snap that shot. I promise you that will be a visual that will bring you back to your plan if you fall wary and need reassurance. I even had my “Artist Warrior” made up into cards that feature my mantra on the back.

Create • Journey • Inspire

Onward.


Pottery Urn For My Dad – Sculpted Stoneware…A Narrated Video Stroll

My mind still talks to you.
My heart still looks for you.
My soul knows you are at peace.
~ Author Unknown


Today marks the one year anniversary of my father’s passing. As I sit in my mother’s kitchen in the wee hours of the morning, knowing that in just a few hours we will be at a mass in his honor, I can’t help but think that at the wee hours of the morning a year ago, he was still with us. Then, later in the afternoon, in a literal heartbeat, he was gone.

It’s been a year that is not quite like any other years I’ve lived. Memories have been triggered in unexpected moments… sounds, movie scenes, and in visits with old friends. The year has flown by in so many ways, making it still seem surreal that he is gone.

Please join me for a narrated story stroll of the pottery urn I sculpted for my father.

In Focus and How I Got Here

Steps to Focusing

Once I decided to focus on eco-staining, a sense of relief set in and a direction began to be planned. The steps to getting in focus were not straight-forward and structured for me. I struggled with the traditional techniques of planning. Scheduling, list making, and goal/objective planning were steps to focusing that often caused me to trip.

My steps to focusing had to be ones that fit into my natural way of being. Sustainable within my life as an artist, wife, and mother.

Deciding the Focus

Deciding on what to focus was one of the biggest challenges we faced. I say “we” because it does take the support of those closest to you to make this kind of commitment. My husband and I had many conversations about which door to walk through…pottery, mixed media and intuitive painting, or eco-staining. There were pros and cons to all, and of course, financial risk.

It eventually came down to very basic statements about each. Pottery is my personal release and it always felt like creating for volume was intrusive to that feeling. Plus, I broke a ton of pieces traveling back and forth to shows. Mixed media and intuitive painting were mediums that seemed like everybody was doing and, even though each artist created their own work, in my mind it was becoming a medium that was homogenized. I admire the artists and appreciate mixed media and intuitive painting, but they don’t ring true to my artistic spirit.

Door number three, eco-staining, was by far where my heart was, after pottery. Eco-staining is an age-old medium with minimal exposure in the art world. It was personal and ignited my artistic passion while connecting me, as well as my audience, to nature. I had cultivated this art for years when we lived on our farm and it was the perfect time for me to take it to the next level. I never thought we, my art and I, would grow into this amazing journey. It only did so, with focus.

Lessons are learned the hard way.

I remember sitting in my studio early on in this focusing journey and looked over at my glass kiln. It was calling and beckoning me. I had beautiful dichroic glass I added to a recent supplies order and it just was itching to be made into something pretty. I got it out, scored, cut, and designed a beach scene tile. Then I did a tree tile. Then I thought, “Oh this would be a great class!” So then I put together a class…pictures, class description, scheduling, promo ad, etc.
If I had thought before I did and asked myself if the time I would spend putting all that together for the glass class would be worth taking time away from eco-printing, I would have said no. Instead, I went forward like I used to; excited to teach the class and have others enjoy it, but with no purpose toward my goal or bigger picture. It was a lot of time distracted.

I sold my glass kiln after that class.

Then I got rid of a lot of other things. Some things were banished to the garage; out of sight, out of mind. Some things were sold and some things were given away. Boxes and boxes of fabric were given to a local teacher so I wouldn’t get distracted and teach a “Sew Your Own Backpack Class” again. Old fashioned washboards for wet felting were tucked way back in the closet behind winter coats, something us Floridians do not need often. If it wasn’t out in the open calling to me, I was better focused on my goal.

Scheduling

Scheduling and structure do not equate to focus in my world and that was an expensive lesson for me to learn. I continually bought hard copy planners, books, and activity journals that were specifically orientated to achieving creative dreams. Nothing helped and I found myself wasting more time trying to fit my life into those little boxes instead of living my life my way but with my style of focus.
I had to identify qualities of myself that were authentic and learn how to gear all the energy of those qualities to my goals. So I went back to my journal and reflected. It was okay to “rachellesque” the situation because I am the one accountable. It’s not school. I do not have to show my planner or lesson plans to anyone. The only one that has to be able to function successfully to attain the goals is me.

Through reflecting and writing in my journal, I found confidence in my traits, whether or not they were considered good by others. For example, I do not like time. There aren’t any clocks in our house. If you want to know the time, look at your phone. Because we are not allowed our phones “on stage” at Disney, I wear an iWatch when I show at there for the single reason that I get notifications if my kids call or text.

Me trying to fit into an hourly schedule, or breaking tasks into 2 hours slots, is ridiculous. It just doesn’t work. I work from my home studio. I do not punch a clock. I can work when I want, however long at a time I want, and I can break away to go get coffee or a cocktail with a friend, whenever I want.

Mind mapping

Mind mapping is another technique I put back into play. I taught mind mapping as an organizational tool to writing essays and doing projects when I taught middle school English. As a homeschooling mom, I used mind mapping to intertwine themes and topics across disciplines. We unschooled and didn’t use set curriculum, text books, or workbooks. We believe the world is our classroom, and engaged in authentic learning. Mind mapping helped me make sure that the kids were exposed to certain elements while they were naturally learning.
Once again, in my journal, I would start by writing a keyword somewhere and branching out my thoughts. I could add, cross out, rebranch a direction, etc. It is a working technique that allows me flexibility for the continual flood of ideas but plots them into play with my focus. If those ideas don’t fit, then they don’t go on the mind map. If after a while, some ideas don’t make sense, they get replaced. It works much better for me than a linear plan with concrete steps. I am a creative, after all.

Journaling

My Eco-Stained Journal is a useful tool in more ways then I have already mentioned. It is my sounding board, my brainstorming companion, and it is my voice from a different perspective. When I write, I change. I evolve. Never again will I be the same as I was when I wrote those words. By having those thoughts written down, I can look back and see what I was thinking and analyze the path I took between then and now.

Since I began this journey of focus, I have grown. My journal is my evidence of growth. I don’t write diaries. They are not word for word accounts of what I do. My journal writings are reflective and descriptive. I get inspired to write and when I return to read them, I get inspired in a different way. That inspiration keeps me focused on my goals.

Getting Off Track

Then there were times when I got off track, even more so than the glass class episode. After two years of showing my eco-stained art at Walt Disney World, one of the merchandising consultants found out that I was a potter. It was over a casual discussion about a display piece I wanted for my journals and I said I would just make it out of clay. “What?” he said.

Well, after I told my history of being a potter, the merchandise buyer then got wind, and asked me to do a production of pottery for the next EPCOT International Festival of the Arts with live demonstrations on the pottery wheel. And still present my eco-stained art.
I know better. I really do. But, I said, “Yes.” And I was excited about it. Really excited! Until a couple of months into creating all those one of a kind vessels while still finding time to switch creative gears and make my eco-stained papers. Without my undivided attention, creating in both mediums resulted in pieces I was not completely proud of and I felt like I sacrificed my artistic integrity.

From January to May, I showed seven days a week, with only a break of 9 days between festivals in February. I was playing constant catch-up trying to complete pottery pieces and eco-stained pieces to display. I was stressed, exhausted, and more than ever, felt defeated. Needless to say, they were not successful days.
That experience was, however, the kick I needed to reevaluate. It made me take the plunge and not only regain my focus for growing my eco-staining art, but investing money into building a business that wasn’t under anybody’s control but my own.

Consciously Redirecting

The launch of my new collections and the ribbon cutting of my new website a couple of weeks ago, brought my dreams to fruition. I am now selling my Eco-Stained Journals, Stationery, and Wall Decor completely online. I still continue to work 15 hour days, but they are from my studio, my purple chair, or the coffee shop down the street.
It is definitely a challenge. I have to constantly redirect my thinking and hold true to my focus. I have had to say no to opportunities and suggestions that may look like good opportunities to someone else, but my experience tell me are more distracting than beneficial.
Recently I have made two very definitive redirects after asking myself if the opportunities supported my goals. I did waste one entire day- 15 straight hours, on creating a “how-to” tutorial for an art project before it hit me that what I was doing was exactly opposite of my intention with my eco-stained journals. The other one came after a couple hours, a discussion with my husband, and the realization that going in that direction would put me right back into the chaos I was rising from.

Recap of How to Get In Focus

This is a rather long post. I guess somewhat symbolic of the long journey of focus I am traveling. If you would like to trying implementing some of my experience into your journey, I have listed the four main keys that exemplify getting in focus for me.

  1. Distraction Free Zone

    Get rid of everything around you that is “calling your name” to distract you. I do not mean kids or significant other. Although if they are, try to work out a way they know you need distraction free time.

    What I am talking about are projects and the like. I am getting ready to donate four huge tubs of baby clothes that I have been keeping to make quilts for each of my kids who now are ages 16-24. That isn’t going to happen.

    Ask yourself, “Does it support my goal?”

    Answer honestly. I recently read an article on social media and business posting. They said to ask yourself if the post you are considering putting online one for vanity or one that is relevant to your audience. I never thought of it as vanity before, but now I see that interpretation and it really helps in deciding if something supports my goal.
  2. Mind mapping

    Identify a keyword or keywords for your focus and branch off from there. Mind mapping is free thinking and free form; no numbers or lines. It is a visual way to organize those concepts that do support your goal.
  3. Journaling

    Reflect then write. Journaling will help you focus on where you’re headed and see how to get there. It is your mirror. When you see something in a mirror that you don’t like, you change it. When you like what you see, you go forward. Your journal is a place to reflect on changes you need to make as well as see the beauty in what you do.
  4. Enjoy

    The hardest part of my day is at the end of it. Stopping. There is always more to do and there is always more that I think I need to do…at that moment.
    Now that I have my art focus on track and beginning to bloom, I have to work on regaining some personal and family focus.
    I think that keyword is going to be “Beach!”

For a little more backstory, check out my post from August 9, 2019… Journey to Focus.

Journey to Focus

Focus is not a strength that comes naturally to me, but it is one I am learning. My journey to focus began as a bumpy ride but transitioned into an intentional drive. The fact that I can overwrite the blue print of my past scattered living is still somewhat of an astonishment to me.
I am a passionate person and emerge myself into situations…to the extreme. We have moved 19 times in 30 years, mainly because of my short attention span. Once because of our dog, but that is a different story. [I am trying to focus here!?]

My complete emergence type of life has benefited my family in so many ways, but in combination with my short attention span, has also often prevented us from having a feeling of stability. My journey to focus has helped find that stability as well.

Artist…Artist…Artist…


Prior to this second time living in Lakeland, I had been an artist, store manager, artist, national marketing director, artist, executive learning lab facilitator, artist, elementary school teacher, artist, store owner, adjunct college professor, and, yes, artist. As a wife and mother of 4, even when I stayed home with my children, I was still working as an artist in some capacity. Obviously, being an artist is where my passion is. I may have not always been able to make a living at it, but I never doubted it was who I am.

In retrospect though, the artist I was lacked focus. One of my good friends and mentors, Peggy Karpick, once told me that I make my parachute on the way down. That, my friends, is completely me. As I got older, I felt like I was also mixing the paint to color the parachute I was making on the way down.

That way of living worked for us for a couple of decades, then we settled down a bit on a hobby farm in NC. Horses, chickens, guinea fowl, vegetable gardens, and forests of tree energy surrounded us. Life was grand, until a health event my husband endured threw us for a loop. Within ten days of each other, he had a major heart event and lost his job of 15 years. In a literal heartbeat, our lives changed. It was devastating, emotionally, and financially.

Chaos Led to Ruin

Things just got chaotic. The chaos effected everything; my business and my family included. I owned a retail art studio at the time and, overnight, it was thrust into the position of being the only income for our family. Up until then, it was a side income. Only two years old, it was still emerging as a teaching and entertainment venue, and still not showing a profit.

In a few weeks time, I was forced to find a way to make that business double its gross revenue. I abandoned my original business plan for organic growth and started grasping at whatever quick fixes came along. The constant pressure of trying to make something work without taking the time to get to completion took a toll on my emotional and mental health. I was spiraling down a hole and I was failing to support my family.

After two years of that, I…we, had to make a change and fast. Within two weeks, we closed the store, packed up everything in NC that would fit on one truck and returned to Lakeland, Florida; no jobs, no direction, just a promise of something new in a place we found joy before. That’s when I discovered the amazing power of focus.

If Not Now Then When

After three weeks of sleeping a lot, I emerged from our unpacked boxes and broken spirits to realize that if I was ever going to succeed as an independent artist, this was the time to go for it. We were already broke financially and emotionally, but our family was in tact and we were together. My husband has always been a huge support of my dreams and my mother has always been the physical being of the wind beneath my wings. With the trust and support from both of them, I started carving the path to being able to focus on one medium and take it toward unlimited heights.

Of course, it doesn’t happen over night. Even while focusing and developing my eco-staining, I have had to count on other revenue streams to carry me through, sometimes I still do. There’s a difference between doing what you have to do to get to where you want to go, and grasping at everything thing to just be doing something. That difference is an important life lesson that my children are learning a lot earlier than I did. I saw a glimpse of that with my son yesterday. It is always such a nice feeling when those little magical moments happen.

Learning How

There are no intro classes or study skills that I have found to teach me how to focus. My journey to focus has been more of a smorgasbord of research…blogs, readings, reflections, and, of course, journaling.

It has definitely been a journey in mindfulness. I have taught myself, or better yet, trained myself to practice being more aware of what I am doing and why I am doing those things. The old adage “think before you speak” came into play with “think before you do”…anything. If you have tried that before, you know how hard it is.
But I did it! In my blog post, “In Focus and How I Got Here” I share the challenges I faced while transforming into a focused artist. I also share tips on how you can use those same techniques to find focus in your life.

I am only human, though…

The funny thing is that when I set out to write a post about my journey to focus and how much I am working to achieve that, after the first paragraph I went into writing about my art journey…for two pages! Now I have another blog post started and waiting for completion.

I am trying, I really am!