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Welcome to change

November 17th, 2021

Welcome to change!

I’m dedicated to helping you move from trauma and anxiety into your own sacred wholeness*!

I believe in you and am holding a space for you to develop this belief in yourself!

Having come through mental and physical abuse in my youth, my self-worth was low when I joined a fundamentalist church where I experienced further deterioration. When I left I felt I didn’t deserve to breathe the air or to walk the earth.

This is a place where you can find gentle help to rebuild your own self-worth and your faith, without judgment! This is a welcoming place for all!

Take a deeper look at life for inspiration and for some solutions I’ve developed from my own journey! My books and Guided Journals have been created to help you move towards healing and happiness!

I’m excited to share the first 15 minutes of the upcoming audiobook for “Developing Happiness When You Can’t Find It”! Narrated by Nicole Fagerhaug

Please follow me so I can drop lovely tidbits into your Inbox daily!

I welcome your thoughts and comments!
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* Please note that I do not belong to any particular church or denomination, and am not pushing anyone to do so. I believe that living a life of faith dedicated to the Higher Power of our own choosing serves our families, our communities, and ultimately our world! I write as a person of faith, not as a religious person.

My books: "Developing Happiness When You Can’t Find It" and "How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level". are available in paperback and Kindle, as well as Audiobook!

Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions: Removing Inner Blocks, Anger Journal, Guided Anxiety Journal Joy & Mindfulness Journal My Boundaries Journal My Inner Thoughts Journal My Travel Journal

Thanks for buying my books on Amazon!

Want Another Dose of Gratitude With That

March 28th, 2018

Want Another Dose of Gratitude With That

See this article on my website:

Have you been hearing a lot about learning to be grateful for whatever life gives you... even if life is throwing you a lot of curve balls lately?

Me too. I've also been reading a few disgruntled pieces from folks who are tired of being told they need to be grateful for what they're going through, even if that means eating lots and lots of Ramen noodles for a long, long time (for one lady).

I heard a good thought the other day: "Saying someone can't be sad because someone may have it worse is just like saying someone can't be happy because someone else might have it better."

Going through difficult things is tough, it's hard, it takes all we have sometimes.

We're told that if we wish good things to happen in our lives, we need to visualize what we want, think about it so strongly that our emotions imprint the Universe with what we want, and that any negative thoughts can accidentally send all the good running away. Being grateful for all we have, even if it is a life of troubles and difficulties, and very little in the way of material gains, is part of this visualization to have things magically work out for us we have been told.

What if this sounds hollow and we don't feel grateful for all our difficulties? What if it is taking too much effort just to live? Are we doomed to life never getting better? Are the overwhelming negative feeling we experience going to be responsible for any good to leave and never come back?

No! I don't believe that!

I've lived through long periods in my life when I was going through one difficulty after another, and I despaired of things ever changing. It took a lot of effort to do what I needed to do, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other to face a new day.

Then all of a sudden, it was as if the cogs in the universe shifted, and a sequence of events would happen, and all of a sudden my life had changed.

Some of the changes entailed going through more difficulties, so for a long time I despaired of things getting easier.

Yet, the Universe always took care of me and my daughter. We may not have been wealthy, but our needs were always met. I started to see this pattern, and started to notice the little things that did work out. By taking note of the little things, I was able to see that the Universe/God cared about us, because, the little things that happened, though small, were exactly what we needed in the moment.

Once I started getting the sequence of 4 identical messages from the 4 psychics, I started to realign my thoughts even though the changes were incremental at first. (I was told that I had agreed to all these troubles before coming into this life, and I was supposed to write about it in order to help others.)

If I had indeed agreed to all the troubles before coming into this life, I slowly realized I needed to change my outlook on how the Universe saw me. (I explain more of these events and what I learned in the book How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level.

Up until that time, I had deeply internalized the messages from the two churches I had attended, in that God was displeased with me and gave me the trials to correct me. I felt so without hope, because I was trying my hardest to life life in a good way, a way that I hoped would be pleasing to God, and no matter how hard I tried, I felt it would never be good enough, and the proof was how I was being "punished".

I had reached a point of feeling I was so worthless that I shouldn't even be walking on this earth, and planned a way to remove myself from this life. Luckily, I had an intervention, and moved forward from that point.

In changing my thoughts and being told I had agreed to all those troubles, given where my spirit was at that time, and the conditioning I had gone through for years, my first thoughts were to blame myself for everything, and make myself feel even worse.

Around the time that I was receiving the messages from the psychics, I was also hearing about the information from the movie "The Secret", and people around me interpreted it all to mean that we attract the troubles into our lives.

I started to get depressed, and spiral down into feelings of depression, self loathing and self blame.

Somewhere in all that mess, my brain was thinking, and I realized that there was a little bit of opposition in those two messages!

The fact that the universe saw fit to send me 4 people giving me almost identical messages, told my brain that this was important, and I needed to pay attention to it, and that perhaps it wasn't meant to drag me down, but that it was to show something very important to me, and all this was happening at a time in my life of extreme stress, of seeing my second husband's dreams go down the drain, and that lead us to a bankruptcy. I wasn't exactly emoting a lot of positivity, yet the Universe chose exactly that time to bring me messages.

When I started to piece together how the Universe has always been taking care of us, together with the idea that the Universe cared enough about me to give me a reason for all my trials, I started to see that there may be something bigger going on!

Slowly my brain started to process this information, and I looked into my past and saw how my worst fears never manifested, how the Universe send us small tokens on a regular basis to show we were taken care of and remembered, even dare I saw, cared for and perhaps loved, I started to feel able to feel gratitude.
I've come to see that we are all part of a bigger plan, and that perhaps all of our troubles and trials aren't to punish us, but to help us. We aren't supposed to be ground down, but in learning the lessons, in going through trials, we are to become stronger, much like going to a gym builds bigger and stronger muscles.

When we are told to feel grateful, it is very difficult to do so, almost like pushing a puppy's nose in his mess. Stinks.
However, when we can see we are indeed an active part of the Universe, and not a forgotten entity, gratitude for how we are being taken care of, for the many small blessings that help us to carry on and to move forward, isn't now an impossible concept.

I've seen my life change and move forward quite suddenly sometimes, when the time was right - either I had completed something I was supposed to finish, or someone else needed to finish their part. Either way, when I look back, the timing was better that if it had happened in the moment I wished it too.

I'm learning that there is so much going on in the Universe for each of us, that there are so many factors at play, and so many possibilities and little miracles which have yet to unfold in our lives!
I'm grateful to know that nothing is set in stone, and positive change is possible for all of us!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Get my books now! Amazon:
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

#learning, #growth, #universe, #love, #loving, #time, #healing, possibilities, #open, #Amazon, sharing, #family

When the Elephants Poop in the Ring and Other Unexpected Things

March 28th, 2018

When the Elephants Poop in the Ring and Other Unexpected Things

See this article on my website:

We all want things to go as planned. It seems a like a huge disaster when something happens to throw us off track... if people are watching, we can feel humiliated, it's as though we failed to deliver on the experience we had built up for ourselves (or perhaps for others) to expect.

In all our planning, and expecting certain results, we can become really thrown off by the unexpected, yet when we allow ourselves to spontaneously follow the flow, we may find ourselves surprised or even delighted!

When I was a kid we went to the circus. I don't remember much from the other acts, but when the elephant pooped in the ring, my brother and I cracked up, we thought it was the most hilarious thing! To this day, that's what I remember the most!

The ring-master was flustered, because the delay threw off the timing of the show. The clean-up crew worked as fast as they could, but if you've ever seen this spectacle, then you know that the sheer quantity of it takes time to clean up!

Just when the crew finished, the elephant, as if on cue, pooped some more, and peed too. Of course, all us kids in the audience shouted with laughter until our sides hurt. Bathroom humor acted out live in front of us was priceless!

The clowns got in on the action, acting goofy, waving their hands in front of their noses to show it smelled, and of course getting in the way of the clean up crew, which upset the ring-master even more. This went on it seemed for a couple more times, the elephants being led more and more out of the ring to allow the new acts the space to perform.

(I don't think it was all staged, because the waiting acts seemed to be pretty ticked off at having to wait on the large beasts, and probably a little jealous that the clowns got extra time to, well, clown around!)

An inopportune moment was turned into entertainment for all of us. Somehow this memory stuck with me all through the years, as much as for the funniness of the moment, as well as for how I saw people turn something around to become even better entertainment.
What does it take to do this in our own lives?

A child-like sense of humor? A willingness to let go of a set outcome? An ability to find fun in spontaneity? Letting go of complete control of other people? Flexibility? A sense of adventure?

It's probably a combination of the above things in various amounts, plus a few other intangible things thrown in for good measure!

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.” – Amy Poehler

As we get older, it can become harder to wing it, and to go with the flow when things seem to go awry.

Partially it's because we do get set in our ways, and the rhythm of a schedule can be comforting. It's also because as we get older, we expect ourselves to become better and better at doing something, so it can almost seem like a personal affront to our skills and abilities when our plans go amiss.

These expectations can become a basis for some pretty negative self talk, leaving us dreading moments when it seems we're being judged for our poor performance.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -
for you'll be criticized for it anyway." - Eleanor Roosevelt

As we know, there are haters everywhere! Some people live for finding fault in others... should this paralyze you? Please, no!

We can be our harshest critics, and this dread can suck out the joy, and even prevent us from feeling like wanting to move with the events!

When things go wrong, a smile, a laugh can break the roughness of the moment! Find something that's working and build on that! Sometimes when things go wrong, it can even lead to something better... not always, but if we're not open to the flow, we'll never know!

Remember the #elephants! ;)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Get my books now! Amazon:
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

#learning, #growth, #universe, #love, #loving, #time, #healing, possibilities, #open, #Amazon, sharing, #family, #blog, #author, #publishing, #self development, #self improvement, #inspirations, #books, #health, #art, #photography, #mental health, #fear, #happiness, #recovery

10 Steps to Happiness

March 28th, 2018

10 Steps to Happiness

See this article on my website:

Quite a while ago I came across a post by prashchopra on Wordpress, entitled "Expectations and Choices". She ended her post with:

"And should you really worry about the decision points, because the goal is to reach the end, and then be perfectly happy (the pursuit of happiness)?
Or should you pick happiness at each decision point, live a little and move on... for little doses of peace, passion and content?"

Happiness deferred to be enjoyed at the end, or finding happiness all along the journey?

I really love how Prash laid it out: to choose joy and happiness at each decision point vs. waiting until the end, for realistically, not all of us will live long enough to get to the end point!

We've all known people who defer their happiness in the name of completing their goal, yet goals can shift imperceptibly, getting more elusive as time passes, leaving people stuck in a life habit of not enjoying their lives in the present time!

I’ve been doing my best to practice mindful gratefulness, which by itself is difficult, in order to achieve it I had to realize that at each point along my journey, I’ve made the very best decision possible, given the facts and the tools I had on hand at that time. This freed up my mind from feeling anxious or guilty to seeking to enjoy more and more in my day to day life!

When I consciously remembered this I could give myself permission to relax into being grateful, rather than scolding myself and feeling guilty about how a situation was playing out. By removing the negative self talk, I removed the negative feelings of depression and anxiety and became more open to seeing opportunities when they came up, instead of allowing the inner martyr to reign and then to force me to pay penance for a poor decision. That was such a negative cycle to have been caught up in!"
So, what are the steps we can follow to get to own our "Happiness"?

Live in the moment by focusing on what is actually going on and not what we fear might happen, how it appears to others, etc.
Realize our lives are constantly evolving and we are constantly learning new ways to approach even old problems.
By absorbing the first two points, we can find some comfort to know that we make the best decisions possible, at a given moment, based on the tools we have on hand.
This is a very important step in the process: When you learn more tools, you'll be tempted to look back on old decisions, and berate yourself for "not knowing better". Please don't come down hard on yourself! Please forgive yourself for not knowing what you know now! Please do give yourself permission to grow as you go!
Please release the inner martyr! The Martyr loves to punish us for "bad" decisions, and for many of us, that has meant "doing penance" as an unhealthy way of trying to make up for choosing something we later regret.
Please realize that even "bad" decisions can lead us to incredible transformations in our inner selves and in the very structure of our lives, so we're never a lost cause and "all is not lost"!
Now relax! The above steps, when mindfully put into action help to remove the negativity that helps to trap us into that downward spiral of anxiety and depression. It's very hard to move forward when we keep reliving our past decisions and keep beating ourselves up for it.
The next step: Mindful Gratefulness... Yes! Within every situation there is a possibility for the Universe to bring us the lesson we need, the opportunity for change and growth, the wisdom to help someone else just behind us on their journey, and a few other possibilities, known only to us and the Universe! We can find much to be grateful for, even in very "common" things in our lives, that if those were removed, our lives just wouldn't be the same! Please remember to be grateful for the negativity you've been able to remove! Good job!
Acceptance: We hear a lot about acceptance, usually in reference to accepting whatever situation we're currently in. I think it goes deeper: when we accept ourselves and the decisions we've made, as being the best possible for who we were at the time, and for the tools we possessed, I think we come to a more peaceful acceptance of our life. Does this kind of acceptance mean we can't change or evolve? No! Future growth is also part of this acceptance package, for when we accept who we were, we are able to welcome new opportunities for change!
Welcome new opportunities for change! We don't have to blindly say yes to every single opportunity or choice that comes our way, in the name of being open. When we mull things through our decision making process, whether it is cerebral, instinctual, religious or spirit based, we reach a point of knowing if we will choose to step down that new turn in our road. Sometimes we don't even need to say yes to a new opportunity, just going through the process with our new tools, allows us to have a victory, knowing that saying no is the best thing for us!

We can't always follow these points in a consecutive manner, rather, our efforts may be a little scattered when we're first starting for it's human nature to resist change, even for the better!

So if you've started on your path towards owning your happiness, please be gentle with yourself! Keep practicing and you will get there! :)

Peace to you!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Get my books now! Amazon
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

#learning, #growth, #universe, #love, #loving, #time, #healing, possibilities, #open, #Amazon, sharing, #family, #blog, #author, #publishing, #self development, #self improvement, #inspirations, #books, #health, #art, #photography, #mental health, #fear, #happiness, #recovery

On Comparing Ourselves to Others

March 28th, 2018

On Comparing Ourselves to Others

See this article on my website:

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized for it anyway.” – Eleanor Rooselvelt. Eleanor Roosevelt inspires us to be ourselves, whoever, we may be.

How easy is it to feel badly when we compare ourselves to others following a similar path?

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Is it HEALTHY when we find our mind doing this, and how can we harness it?

I've been looking at this subject for a little while now, ever since I published the first edition of my book "How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level".

The euphoria of completing the manuscript, researching how to e-publish and then seeing it up on Amazon had been diminished when I found out that a whole new stage of work had just now started: learning to 'Market The Book' and 'Building An Author Brand and Platform'!

I've been awed and amazed how some first-time published authors have zoomed way past me in learning how and where to market themselves, while building a platform that is just, well, awe-inspiring.

There have been moments when I saw how much they've accomplished, and when I compared my progress and successes to theirs I felt discouraged.

I had to look a little deeper into this feeling... why was I feeling it? ...where was it coming from? ...was it true? could I harness the negative and turn it around?

My past history of self-blame, low self-esteem, and low self-confidence was threatening to insert itself, and the old feelings of paralysis were threatening to take over. Doubts, huge doubts were growing in my mind.
I didn't wish to be sucked down that vortex again, so I looked at it head on and asked myself some questions:

Was I comparing myself unfavorably with those authors because I had an inferior message/book?
Was my time-line of learning and progress inferior to theirs?
Was I supposed to have known all this before publishing?

I think that there were many more nebulous questions swirling in my head, but these three seem to encapsulate most of the strongest feelings and thoughts I was having. As you can see, just the tone alone of these questions shows a deep level of self doubt and blame, which in blue moments like to clear its throat and tap me on the shoulder.

At first I tried to dismiss those thoughts, but we all know, this isn't a good tactic! It keeps rearing it's head, and with each new difficult event, it gets more and more insistent in how it wants to be looked at!

Brushing our thoughts under the rug, so to speak, or trying to banish them to some back room in our mind, isn't a good strategy, because like the naughty children they are, they'll keep bursting out, stronger and stronger!

So, how to deal with those thoughts, without being sucked down into a deep pit of depression?

Denying these negative questions or trying to find arguments against them is useless I found, because I wasn't able to find strong enough arguments to convince myself and erase the self-doubt. I could always find the flaw in my weak reasoning, and became more discouraged as a result.

The best way to really deal with the negative, is by using the positive!

Turn on the light and the darkness flees!

I looked at what I had been able to accomplish, and I took note of the circumstances I was in while doing it. Many of us accomplish things not when all is going well for us, or when we're on the top of our game, but some times in spite of difficulties or barriers!

1) I wrote during a time one might think would be impossible to write in: my job ended, I moved in with daughter to help with the kids when my baby grand-daughter was re-diagnosed with cancer (she's back to being healthy again!), my marriage went down in spectacular flames. (I knew it was over when he was calling me on the phone while I was in the hospital with the baby and demanding I somehow get more money to him, even though I was out of work... No, I no longer harbor ill feelings towards him, since he has since succumbed to Dementia.)

2) In spite of going through this round of trials and becoming angry and overwhelmed with what was happening, I knew I needed to put the lessons of the book into practice, and work on a) becoming healthy and balanced for myself and my family, b) work on healing my emotional hurts from the divorce, c) be open to figuring out what new/deeper lessons I was being taught through this process.

3) I researched a) different self-publishing vehicles, and what they offered, (I chose to go with Amazon first, because of their size) b) how to prepare a manuscript for publishing to Kindle format, c) how to publish.

4) After publishing the eBook, I found out about the need to market it, build an author platform and build a readership/fan-base. I followed the advice given to me.

5) I started a blog, and have been trying to take care to write articles which will inform, entertain, and inspire my readers. I've been sharing my journey and the how to's freely to help others who are in the same position I was not too long ago.

6) I decided my branding and sharing needed to be more than just about selling books: I needed to genuinely help people, to become a resource if I could... after all, that was what was driving me to write books in the first place!

7) I needed to share my blogs on other social media sites, and as I find out information about one, I've been trying to be an active participant, rather than just posting information.

8) As an active participant on social media sites, I keep my focus encouraging and uplifting when I comment on other peoples posts, trying to help and amplify a message that is being put out there... again to share information.

As my list of my accomplishments grew, I started to feel much better about myself!

I may not be growing my sales/branding/readership at the warp-speed that other authors are doing, but when I look back at my own progress, I see a steady-as-she-goes approach!

I have made great progress! Even from a year ago, I've accomplished quite a lot... I realized I can be quite proud of myself!

Those negative thoughts and feelings just shrivel up and float away with the wind when I go over my list in my head! *I'm smiling now as I write these words!*

"Yes girl," I tell myself, "You've been doing well!"

I may not be the fastest, but who said it needed to be about speed?

A job well done is very satisfying!

Really, if we need to compare ourselves to anyone, I think taking a look back at what WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED is the WAY to do it!

Compare your abilities to how you were a year ago or ten years ago!

Life happens so fast, with many urgencies vying for our attention that we don't always do this useful exercise! If we don't take the time to acknowledge all we have accomplished and hold fast to that in our minds, when a sneak attack happens where we compare ourselves to others, it can take an unfavorable turn.

Beat those sneak attacks to the punch and prepare yourself mentally. You'll be glad you did!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Get my books now! Amazon
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

#learning, #growth, #universe, #love, #loving, #time, #healing, possibilities, #open, #Amazon, sharing, #family, #blog, #author, #publishing, #self development, #self improvement, #inspirations, #books, #health, #art, #photography, #mental health, #fear, #happiness, #recovery

Are you a Red Ocean or Blue Ocean Thinker

March 28th, 2018

Are you a Red Ocean or Blue Ocean Thinker

See this article on my website:

Are you a Red ocean thinker or a Blue ocean thinker?
Hmmm... a new thought! What does this mean?

Well, are you still a shark trying to get your piece of life in the feeding frenzy, or have you moved your thought process to seeing life as a big blue ocean of opportunities and abundance?
This is truly a quantum leap!

The most successful entrepreneurs in the past few years have been, in my observation, Blue ocean thinkers. This used to be called thinking out of the box, but that image has still been too limiting for many people! Hence, thinking in terms of a vast blue ocean of opportunity, abundant and available for all of us!

I've learned an awesome thought, from which is: "Thoughts become things... choose the good ones!" (You can sign up for a free daily email inspiration, which is truly uplifting!)
When we are looking to become better, to heal, to improve our lives and outlook, it's important to see the many, many opportunities that are out there!

DEPRESSION sets it when we see our lives as being set in stone, unchangeable, or that we don't somehow deserve good in our lives etc. These thoughts can overwhelm us, consume us, give us anxiety attacks and stop us in our tracks. Fear that there won't be enough or never will have enough can negatively motivate some to act out aggressively against others.

We have been conditioned to think in terms of scarcity, and this fear sets off the feeding frenzy, the super-competitive, stress-filled life of getting our share, and taking away from others to protect our territory. Is this scarcity model in fact a true-ism of life? Not really, since there is more than enough for everyone.

Our red-ocean, super-competitive way of doing business and managing life has created huge shortages in many parts of the world, while there is an over-abundance in other areas.
The Universe actually has very generous plans for each of us, but a re-thinking of how we approach life is important.

Is change possible? Yes! Is it possible for each of us to live a happy and awesome life? Yes!

Does this happen quickly or slowly? It depends on the changes we are looking at... some things change in an instant and other changes happen more slowly, over time, kind of a slow dripping in process!

How do we embark upon this new Blue ocean of opportunity? Our thoughts become our boats, carrying us to where we need to go!

I've broken down many of the processes into smaller manageable steps in my book How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level, to help you on your journey!

Please check it out! If you are a Kindle member, you can borrow this book for a period of time, before deciding to purchase it for ongoing reference!

Richard Branson's article also has a similar sentiment, and I thought it fit nicely here:

So, here's to your voyage on the Blue ocean!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Get my books now! Amazon:
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#Amazon,, #art reproductions, #artwork, #art, #Fine Art America, #Tamara Kulish

Must You Choose Only One or Two Activities for Life and Retirement?

March 28th, 2018

Must You Choose Only One or Two Activities for Life and Retirement?

See this article on my website:

Years ago when I was interested in quite a few new activities, I had some people trying to helpfully tell me I needed to choose one, maybe two of the activities which interested me the most, and focus only on those.

Their reasoning was that I couldn't possibly do more things well, and that I'd be dispersing my energies too thin.

Interestingly, at the same time in my life, back when I was teaching private art classes, I had many students who were facing their own internal skepticism about their artistic talents, and dealing with doubts expressed by friends and family regarding spending money on taking classes. "Why waste good money if you only enjoy something, but may not have a talent for?" was the thought.

These are questions which people ask themselves and others around them with regards to hobbies and creative pursuits. Some people feel they aren't able to justify their interests to other people, and so quietly shut it down inside of themselves, which in turn causes a lot of inner grief since the soul isn't being nourished.

When we shut down our desires to pursue activities we have an interest in because we can't provide an answer we think is acceptable to others, or if other people vocally express their doubts, this inner unhappiness can evolve into resentment and anger towards other people. Then further down the road it can devolve into self destructive habits, in order to try to quell those resentments, which by now have turned to bitterness.

I've seen too many people suffering with simmering anger, and trying to stuff it down through negative distractions.

Part of my work as an art teacher to adults, was to help people give themselves permission to follow their heart, and develop their joy and love of their new activity.

"There's no one in my family who is an artist!" Creative pursuits are thought to be inherited, and if we don't come from a line of artists, then one can't possibly have any talent! Does this sound a little improbable now that you're reading this? I've heard this objection so many times, I can't tell you how many!

"How do you know that there weren't people with creative talents in your family?" I'd ask.

"Well, it's obvious!" they'd say. "No one is an artist or a musician or a dancer!"

"How do you know that there aren't a bunch of people with talents in your family, but because they never gave themselves permission to pursue it, or because they listened to the criticisms of others, they shut it down inside of themselves?"

You Don’t Have To Be Great To Start, But You Have To Start To

This became a sobering moment. Upon reflection, many people realized that there probably was a great deal of truth in this thought.

"Are you able to give yourself permission to do this activity, or do you need me to express to you that I see you have talent, so you can allow yourself to continue?" was a question I frequently needed to ask people.

Some people were able to give themselves the permission, and other people needed me to give them affirmations, which they could then repeat to their critics.

Once we pass this barrier in life and give ourselves permission to pursue an activity, this opens up new worlds inside of ourselves! Many of us discover we have multiple interests!

Do you think it's necessary to choose between your interests and pick one or two to focus on?

I'm very happy I didn't limit myself! I taught myself to do calligraphy and jewelry making; experimented with advanced painting techniques and even discovered a few on my own; started writing; pressed flowers from my walks and later made beautiful creations with them; sewed, crocheted and tried knitting; dabbled in stamping for card making, and most recently got into lino-cutting with my art group!

My experience with multiple creative areas in my life has shown me:

Creativity doesn't get used up, rather it expands!
We create more neural pathways in the brain by learning new activities, and being involved in them!
Each area then speaks to the others, because we're developing brain, body, and spirit skills, so improving in one area interestingly has an effect of other areas improving too!
We see life in enhanced ways, since we keep alert for new experiences and materials to bring to our chosen activity!
Our satisfaction with life increases, because we are expressing our spirit in so many different ways!
When our brain becomes saturated with one activity, we have others to move into for self expression!
We have multiple outlets of expression for dealing with life's issues and joys!

The Trouble Is, You Think You Have Time

Based on my own experiences and my observations with other people, I can whole-heartedly endorse having multiple interests and activities.

One point which I've mentioned from the list above, of being able to move from one activity to another when the brain becomes saturated, has been misunderstood in the past.

Previously it was thought a person was fickle, not able to finish something, or didn't have enough interest in an activity to continue with it. However, it is now understood that realistically, the brain can handle only so many hours of input before it becomes saturated, and taking some time off is useful.

It's no longer necessary to drop creative pursuits entirely when the brain becomes saturated or tired from one activity, and many of us have found that by engaging in something else, the brain shifts it's focus, and refreshes itself, even finds solutions to barriers or problems.
How does this relate to retirement? Is it a good idea to wait until retirement to start new activities, or is it okay to start sooner?

I advocate sooner! In fact, the sooner the better, for you will tap into areas of yourself which will bring so much satisfaction and joy in your life!

Think about the advantages of starting sooner:

Joy and satisfaction starts to manifest sooner!
There's more time to develop the brain and body skills needed;
which keeps the mind young and more elastic!
This leads to increased self awareness and self-confidence,
which leads to connecting with our inner spirit, a very soul nourishing benefit!
A salary helps in the purchase of materials and tools over the years, so there's not a huge start-up cost upon retiring!

Life Has No Remote. You Have To Get Up And Change It Yourself!

Is it more challenging to find the time to pursue activities while still working? Yes it is. I've been doing it for years, so I know how it feels to come home after a day of working, to make dinner, care for the kids, do laundry, clean, run errands. I really do understand the challenges of squeezing in personal creative time!

My creativity and being able to do creative work isn't just a cute pastime; it's a necessary component to my life being in balance and feeling positive about life! I need to express myself in one way or another, or I will suffer inside! It's how I process much of what happens in my life, and is an outlet for a wide range of emotions.

Even though I come from an artistic family, where my mother was an artist and my father was a musician, I still had to find appropriate responses to the critics I had in my life, questioning the need and "wisdom" of immersing myself in a creative pursuit vs. doing something more "productive"!

I've had to give myself permission, many times over, to keep involved with activities which brought me pleasure and release, while not adding to the family budget!

So my final words of advice? Go ahead, take classes to learn, do and practice your chosen activity or activities! If you need permission, give it to yourself!

Have fun! Enjoy! Live your life!

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Creating Art Out Of Nothing aka Making The Best Out Of A Bad Situation

March 28th, 2018

Creating Art Out Of Nothing aka Making The Best Out Of A Bad Situation

See this article on my website:

Finished2 Ink drawing Handtowel series w black background. Drawings in series are all done with a blue ink pen on trifold paper hand-towels, then glued onto textured art paper and colored with Sharpie Highlighter markers! A unique presentation!Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had ABSOLUTELY NO ART SUPPLIES to work with?

Yes, me too!

Many years ago I was stuck doing a job I hated... a job most people hate! I was forced into becoming a Telemarketer due to a very tight job market and I needed to pay bills to keep a roof over mine and my daughter's heads. I hated selling a product I felt was bogus, and which no one wanted or required.

To keep my sanity I needed to doodle. Doodling has proven to be very meditative and calming, so incorporating doodling into my daily work was very necessary to reduce the incredible stress I was feeling. (PS: Check out the Adult coloring books I've created on Amazon!)

Here's a link to a great article I just came across relating to this... Psychologists Say Coloring Is The Best Alternative To Meditation

We weren't allowed to keep any papers on our desks which weren't work related, so bringing in any blank paper or art journal was out of the question. If we did, we risked our angry supervisor coming around and confiscating it and publicly throwing it in the trash... yes just like in school, except we were all grown adults.

The only thing available to me which was acceptable to have on my desk were the paper hand towels from the bathroom. I started with a couple which I started to doodle on.

Being an artist, I used the challenge of the long narrow shape to create some dynamic pieces. I kept the paper towel folded and used the bottom layer as a cushion to prevent the thin paper from splitting and shredding. My blue ball point pen was my only possible art medium, and so rather than fighting the constraints of my materials, I embraced them.

My angry boss came around and challenged me. "You're not allowed to draw during work hours!" he began. I replied I was just doodling to help reduce my stress, and to keep my hands busy while I waited for the customers to answer the phone.

He let me know that I wasn't allowed to create anything of value, to which I gestured to the paper toweling: it wasn't being done on art paper... it was trash paper!

I took all my finished pieces home with me each evening... naturally!

Once I amassed a collection of these, and after I had stopped working for that company, I took another look at all the pieces I had created. I decided I was going to do something with all those doodles.

I wanted to take the scraps of a difficult time in my life and turn it into something viable. I didn't want my efforts from that time to be wasted!

In keeping with the cheap, low cost materials I had used, I decided to use Sharpie Highlighters to color up the ink drawings. I layered and blended the colors to create the rich effects you see in the finished pieces. Then I carefully ripped the paper towels and glued them onto coordinating and contrasting colored art papers.

I just love the effect!

To see the complete collection you can view them all on my Fine Art America website! Tamara's Paintings and Artwork on Fine Art America

Have you been faced with similar circumstances where you didn't have any "real" art materials? What did you create? Was it related to a difficult or pivotal time of your life? What are the ways you've taken difficult circumstances and allowed the experience to evolve into something positive and productive?

To see the complete collection you can view them all on my Fine Art America website! Tamara's Paintings and Artwork on Fine Art America

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Do you prefer a White Canvas or Colored for Starting a Painting

March 28th, 2018

Do you prefer a White Canvas or Colored for Starting a Painting

See the original article on my website:

Should you start your painting on a white canvas? ...or is there an alternative... And I'm not referring to the black canvases you can buy!!

I found myself answering a fellow blogger who had purchased an easel and a large white canvas a year ago and is sitting staring her back and challenging her!
A blank canvas? Follow the example of some of the masters: paint a colored background first!

The Group of Seven from Canada (I had the incredible opportunity to view their work up very close, a few inches away in the National Gallery in Ottawa, when I noticed this), and Tom Thompson especially, would paint over a pre-painted orange background, sometimes red as I recall. If bits of orange showed through they didn't stress over it since it added more dynamism to their paintings!

I've experimented with this concept and have used different colors for backgrounds. It's also very relaxing to do this prep work!

lone red tulip watermarkedHere's my Orange Tulip done on an orange background: while this flower painting Blue Fairy Tree was done on a dark background of blues and greens mixed with black:
The of a blank white canvas scares and intimidates too many people! Try different colors, not just colors you might find in your future projects but try complimentary colors!

If I'm in a slump I find preparing a few canvases helps get me through it... I'm doing something productive and my creative juices start flowing!

Be sure to allow for enough drying time before painting on top! If you paint regularly, you'll want to prepare your canvas backgrounds on a regular basis so you'll have enough canvases dry and ready for when you start the actual image!

By pre-painting the backgrounds, even in complimentary colors, your first brushstrokes or markings will appear to make more sense, feel more anchored, and you'll have a sense of already being in the painting, without the trepidation and anxiety of starting completely from scratch!

Is this cheating? No, because you'll have done the work of painting the background yourself!

It's freeing and liberating! I love the discovery of how my background colors interact with the colors I place on top, especially since I favor working in thin glazes to build up layers of rich color!

Try this and I'm sure you'll have fun!!

Here's few more links to paintings I did on pre-painted canvases (with real paint, which adds some background texture to a finished piece, and will modulate the colors, as opposed to colored Gesso - where the color is one color and flat).

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