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Create Change

Our current world is far more sinister than the one I grew up in, and although humanity has persevered through very dark times, none feel as dark as this.   Evil is masquerading about, disguising itself as well-intended and dare I say even “good.”  We are discerning right from wrong misguided by people who understand how to manipulate our minds and our decision making.  Think you are obsolete from this?  I encourage you to read on.

Inherently, we are composed of both good and bad.  Our conscience, that when influenced, can sway either way.   Knowledge is available in an instant and literally at our fingertips.  We are rapidly making choices and decisions without understanding who may be misguiding influence in a particular way.  It has been proven that so much of our day to day decisions are not made of our own accord, but by those influences.  Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, offers his thoughts on this particular subject in his TED talk way back in 2008.  It is interesting to note that as we have become more engrossed in our high speed, online based lifestyle, we have also forgotten our real need for personal human interaction.  A point I will pick up on later.

Fast forward to our world today.  The Covid-19 “Pandemic”  Why do you think they chose that term?  One word, FEAR.  Charts, graphs and “strategic” projections based on too many variables making it difficult to comprehend.  Why?  Could it be to  create visual uncertainty?  Leaders offering daily repeated messages that seem far to general in offering clear solutions to problems at hand, and proliferating the agendas of those who have ability to influence.  I’m quite sure it’s to misguide our thoughts and sway our opinions.  Terms like ‘pandemic,’ social ‘distancing,’ ‘infection rates’ and ‘death tolls’ lean focus on the negative.  It’s no wonder people walk around like zombies with their heads down while doing their “essential” tasks.

I understand death is subject not talked about simply because of the real fear people have of death itself, probably why that remains the focus.  A message of hope in all the despair that is being projected is to step away from the messages of ‘gloom and doom’ regarding death.  It is the finality of LIFE, it’s not a new concept.  My experience with death is not at all despair or gloom.  In fact, what I have experienced with several loved ones dying is it may be sad but also very powerful on a personal level.  When it comes to understanding one’s own spirituality, I believe it’s almost not possible unless you’ve experience the joy of first and last breaths.  Grief, most often experienced as a negative emotion of death, is the counterpart of love and though it is painful and unpleasant, it is directly related to how much you love someone. (or something.)  We actually experience grief in all loss and it is justifiable and healthy to express.  Just as you are born, it’s certain you will die; what isn’t certain is how or when, it’s not really up to us.  What is also certain is you have a choice over what to do with that life, how you want to influence or lead others and what you want your legacy to be.

We also can choose how, with whom and where to spend our time.  There are 525,600 minutes in one day.  An hour contains only 60 of those minutes, make whatever you do worthy of that time.  It is certain you cannot get it back so use it wisely.

Getting back to the previous comment on personal human interaction, it has become clearly apparent how significantly lonely individuals are, yet we were too busy to recognize it.  Families, friends, businesses and communities have supported, without a hidden agenda, and have provided for each other in this time.  I’m overwhelmed with emotion when I see how as a human race we have bonded over this recent affair.  So many have joined together as humans and responded with hope and extended help to those in need.  Seeing beyond the power and greed showcases those that have pure hearts and wishing to lead from a place of love. 

I believe the messages presented in our world from those who are leading with impure hearts further cloud common good and common sense.   They are clever in their influencing and we may have to pick the ‘best of the evils’ in how our systems operate due to greed and power.  It takes far more courage to stand up and speak truth and lead with love than ever and it is certain we are in desperate need of those who will do so and make major change in our world.  

It all starts with us and where we choose to lead from.  I choose to believe that most people are of good intention, and may have unintentionally been misguided by influential propaganda directly out of their control.  Creating change we must remain true to our heart and lead with love.  This is an honorable propaganda that needs to be spread worldwide and for the greater good of humanity.

Definitely not my usual art related blog post, yet this was a heart led message that needed to be shared.

Please stay safe, be well and I love all you be-you-tiful peeps!  Art Hugs ~ Tammy

 

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Green Flash

It’s 6 O’Clock on what I think is Monday.  Both my girls are back to being freshman today.  (One in high school and one in college.)  Our new normal has brought insight to each of us as we navigate our days together; schedules aren’t necessarily parallel, but we’re making it work.

My brain is in overdrive and I’m struggling to manifest ideas into reality.   My in-house makeshift studio table has officially cluttered the space between our music/sitting and dining rooms with loads of “essentials” and mediums (from my studio) for small journal work, Acrylic April and mixed media playtime.  It has been my outlet space for now.  The word prompts for AA are producing introspective work, albeit they are only 8″x 8.”  Even with all of this, I cannot completely immerse myself in the process; the distractions are abundant which try my focus.  This week I WILL venture to my studio (In a building we own 30 minutes away) to get messy! I’m hoping it will help sort out the brain clutter a bit.

FORD_01_Flash at DuskDawn
“Green Flash at Dawn/Dusk”,  12″ x 24″,  Original $285

My artwork is very emotionally driven, so all of this Covid chaos surrounding us has really affected me more than normal.  Over the years I’ve learned to use meditation, stretching and deep breathing for focus.  I go for a walk or bike ride to sort out my thoughts, sometimes listen to classical music hoping to clear out my head, yet there is an underlying feeling that I cannot seem to extract no matter what I do.  It is troublesome not understanding what and why it’s out of reach.

It is taking quite a bit of time getting my online store up and functional.  I will update it with prints soon and streamline how it shows.  What a learning process!  The good news is I will be able to use that knowledge for my hubby’s business, as well.

I wish you all a wonderful Monday evening, may it be spent doing what you love to do.  Stay safe, wash your hands and get creating (that goes for me, too)!!!

Art HUGS to all you be-you-tiful peeps!  ~Tammy

 

 

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Finding Means Seeing

WHO AM I?

Seeing who we are really isn’t easy because the mirror often eludes us.  My perception versus personal vision of myself were not the same and this inner conflict has paralyzed me for a minimum of two decades.  All this time I thought the fear of failure and the acceptance among my peers held me hostage when it was merely my view of the former that kept me from progressing toward my goals and dreams.  There has been a discord between what I want to be and why, and actually achieving my dreams.  Only in reclaiming ownership of my talents and gifts will I be true to who I view myself as.

We are uniquely created by a divine source that yields us special talents and gifts, yet many of us during adulthood, including myself, struggle with conflict in knowing what we are to use them for and why.  I believe they are overtly evident when we are little but as we age the visions we have of our self, our talents and our gifts changes because of the unintentional perception afforded to us by others; somehow, we regress our gifts instead of growing them.  I feel it is exceptionally rare for those perceptions to not affect our personal vision.  We hear criticism and doubt or skepticism and jealousy; diverting our map to greatness along the way.   So many have grand dreams and hopes leading into adulthood, then BAM, it hits…reality.  Why do some stop believing that their dreams cannot be their reality?

I dreamed of being an artist.  Drawing, painting, writing, singing, creating in any way that I could and inspiring others to discover the beauty they have within.  That is my gift, my talent.  When I was in high school I was encouraged to choose a ‘career’ based on my interests, gifts and talents only to be told later that what I wanted to do wouldn’t make me money.  It was a dead end career choice.  But I was bold and pig-headed and started out with a passion.  I excelled in college, for one semester only, because that is all the longer I could stay.  Private college, although small and resourceful for my needs in the arts, was too costly to continue.  It also occurred to me during that time that  I would have to travel and move across the country to achieve any sort of accomplished wage if I continued this course of education elsewhere, in addition to leaving my family and my boyfriend (now husband!) to do something I was unsure of.  I moved back home and chose the only other option I knew to be creative and that was becoming a cosmetologist.

I have no shortage of passion when it comes to being creative, it changes my demeanor and fills me with such joy sometimes I think I may explode!  It literally needs to get out onto paper.  There is an age old saying though, that resonates with me about being an artist, and it has stayed with me forever…”starving artists get paid after they are dead.”  GULP!  How in the world can I take the single most fulfilling gift that I have and make money before I’m dead!?!?

I found no way other than to watch, listen, educate and persevere as a nail tech and stylist.  This became my source of income, limited by the amount of guests I served and the amount of hours I was willing to work during the early stages of my career, which  could be endless at that time.  This continued until my husband and I had children.  Suddenly there was this new desire to be the very best parent I could be, so that is what I chose to do for several years.  It was rewarding to be able to be a stay at home mom and really all I did was exchange my income for that opportunity.  I used any extra time I could steal and spent it at our church volunteering in any way I could be creative.

The crazy turns of life really can divert us from seeing ourselves as we want to be instead we are who we think we have to be.  I really desired to be creative but was still being met with the opposition of failing to make a living doing what I truly loved.  To this day, I am dumbfounded that those of us with artistic gifts often make money for others with our talents and not ourselves because of lack of knowledge in understanding how to brand and market ourselves.  Many examples exist including executive producers of music, theater and dance, visual art, photography or sculpture.  The artist often receives a sub-par wage or volunteers time or efforts in some cases and it most certainly is not an esteemed profession like a doctor, or a lawyer or a professor.

To say I wasn’t blessed to have the opportunity to remain at home during the formidable years of my girls would be a lie.  I was able to set up a painting/drawing studio in a former office space in our home and dabbled in my arts until life got busier with the kids’ activities and my husband deciding to leave his job and go into business for himself, manifesting his dream.  He worked all hours of the day and night and to say he was exhausted would be an understatement.  Money was tight and I went back to being a hairdresser, both for the money and for my personal satisfaction of perhaps, finally, ‘making it’ in this career.  I chose a salon, that I thought would benefit me in growing a clientele because of all of the advertising and I was able to make a living (sort of) again.  I found I had really missed this profession while away and found the passion to be creative and gain more education.  The salon, as much as it advertised, however, was not the correct fit for me.  I heard of a new salon being built by a former co-worker and was soon on my way to finally making this ‘career’ thing work.  It was my dream salon.  Beautiful inside and out, a day spa that catered to body, mind and spirit with a great culture and team of co-workers.  I loved it, and was finally able to make a great wage being creative.

Life has a way of bringing us back to ourselves, though.  In this newfound illusion of success and making money in a ‘career’ that was more esteemed than being an ‘artist’ I inadvertently extended myself too much.  Nights, weekends, split-shifts, education, community events and soon I was missing out on my girl’s events and spent less and less time with family and friends.  I experienced a life changing car accident, lost my mom to dementia and my aunt whom I cared for during that time.  My kids were needing a parent to be around as my husband’s business grew larger and he needed me to assist in the business.  Life is about the choices we make in the situations we are given.   I grew cold, resentful and angry.  I had pushed away most everyone that I cared deeply about, but most disturbing of all, I lost myself and the ‘why’ in regards to my talent.

So, at my husband’s persistent suggestion (nagging), I’ve been given a great opportunity that I sometimes still think I don’t deserve.  He has grown a successful business that I  participate in daily through bookkeeping, errand running etc. and his success has afforded me the ability to take a leave of absence from this career and rediscover myself.  Giving hope to my dream that I thought was lost and it sure feels amazing to be creating art again.  A gift and passion that is family friendly and comes from within.  Ahead of me is the task of creating an income revolving around this passion, before I’m dead!! (starving artist reference)

Too often, especially for those of us who are creative, putting our gifts aside to assume reality seems more important.  I needed to find those who were successful in what I wanted to do and simply ask questions and do some research.  In my nine weeks off, I have made some definite discoveries within myself and the torch has been lit.  I have a fire again, my personal vision is re-appearing.  Now comes the difficult part, having the faith to sustain me through the obstacles of achieving my dreams.  Resisting the urge for complacency and replacing it with the enthusiasm.  Forgoing opposition to complete what has been inspired from the beginning within ME!

It is true that life “happens.”  Somewhere along the way we need to make the choice of what that life will consist of.