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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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Inspire

INSPIRE was the word that showed up today while meditating and reflecting along with the color yellow.  (If you know anything about chakras that refers to the solar plexus, the emotional connection of our being, aka soul, where everything combines together) Being quiet and listening to that inner voice speaking kind of caught me off guard, sort of like being bungee’d straight into the sky and losing your breath along the way.  What does it all mean?

Journeys can change at any given moment.   Each day is a new chapter in that journey.  I wake up and my course has been preset, even though the schedule may say something else completely.  Be ready for detours; they come in all shapes, sizes, challenges and surprises!  I’m learning to have a goal, but perhaps not an ‘exact’ way to achieve it and let the universe guide me.

So far, each decision I’ve made on my path of great self discovery, has delivered stepping stones for my future.  I’ve been able to renew relationships from the past.  It’s brought new people into my life from seemingly out of nowhere.   I’ve given all up to “Faith”  and am able to lean on “Hope” for the future (I know these are my daughter’s names, but there was another reason we chose those names many years ago).   My past was also necessary on this journey and I’m made more aware of that each day, as well.

I know that in time, my creativity will be used to inspire others, but it is important for me to be in a good place mentally and spiritually in order to help them on their journey using creativity to foster self acceptance, move beyond fear of failure and even heal from previous hurts.

I’ve been consistently creating, joined the Valley Art Association, got over my fear of hanging my work to display for more than ‘just’ family and friends.  I feel like I can trust my creative thoughts a little more after hearing comments from others about my work and how they perceived it as I envisioned the work to be viewed.   That being said, I had a creative light bulb also surface today shortly after meditation and I cannot wait to share what I’m thinking about trying in 2019, I shared this vision with my girls tonight, and they thought it was great.   You probably will be seeing some yellow in my work for a little while, and with it some emotion also.

I told my husband and several others that it is difficult to reign in all that has happened and how fast it is hurling this direction.  It’s important to recognize that when you truly follow your destiny; you may have obstacles to overcome but nothing can stand in your way!!!

 

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Spirituality-Religion or Faith

Are you spiritual?  What do you believe and why?  These questions befuddled me for the duration of my youth, and here’s why. (I’m using religion in quotations to set it apart for specific reasons.)

My mother was raised by devout German Catholic parents with 11 siblings on a farm in a small rural town right here in Central Wisconsin.  (I believe my grandmother was around the age of two when coming here from Germany.)  My father, youngest of four, was raised in one of the bigger cities in Central Wisconsin and also attended a Catholic church.  I watched my father’s quiet, yet steady faith while my mother struggled with practicing a religion versus having faith and a spiritual relationship with God.  For me, memorization and repetition ingrained the practice of this ‘religion’ into my very being as I grew up.  The Bible wasn’t opened at home, but preached by the Priest during the Homily at Mass, we didn’t get to question in order to understand it, we had to just believe it.  We prayed, but it was more like reciting words.

Watching and participating in the ongoing Catholic traditions; I was captivated by the beauty and mysticism surrounding it.   Attending Catholic grade school, I spent hours every week learning about Catholicism and attended Mass 6 days a week until I was in 7th grade (then it was only 4 days a week).  Even though I was taught to obey and not question these beliefs, I did exactly that.  I’m quite sure Father (our priest) winced as he saw my hand go up during ‘religion’ class when discussing such things as creation.  Asking questions such as,  “God created Adam and Eve and they had two sons, Cain and Abel;  if Cain killed Abel,  how did humankind begin without incestuous relations?”  “Why did Moses live to be so old?”  “Why can we eat apples if they are the forbidden fruit?”  (We seemed to have spent a lot of time learning about the Old Testament.)  And the list of questions goes on and on.  “Why must I remain faithful to this ‘religion’ or suffer certain damnation from God?”  “Who is deciding this, God himself?”  “Why does a Priest need to intercede on my behalf an absolve my sins?”  All the time thinking to myself, is this the type of God that I want to follow?  I don’t believe I was the only Catholic teenager to have these questions.  It was stranger still that fellow Protestant friends knew and understood the Bible and they seemed to question their faith far less.

In the Bible, Jesus tells us to live simply; why did Catholics seem to care so much about frivolous things such as large, ornate churches with statues and spires, gold chalices and vestments of every kind?  It seemed to be a lot of pomp and circumstance parading itself to attract followers.  Was I being presumptuous, perhaps?  Simplicity seemed the farthest from what this ‘religion’ was demonstrating.  I wanted so much to understand how this or any ‘religion’ was benefiting my own faith and spirituality.

Sometime in my late teens and early twenties I began to raise the question what is spirituality and how does it differ from ‘religion?’  I felt there was more than what I had been taught, and longed for more meaning in my faith.  In growing and learning about the complexities of this world and choosing NOT to remain in a state of prolonged naivety in regards to my spirituality and faith, I searched for answers.  I spoke with religious leaders, other faithful, read the Bible and other books about Catholicism, read about other ‘religions’, even books about spirituality.  I would sit in the library on the floor, at times, perusing the books and devouring any information I could find.  Throughout this time I came across many unique observations. Beliefs seemed to vary based on humankind’s historical interpretations of ‘religion’ itself. (Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and the list goes on and on.)  Many had similar fundamentals, but varying structures.  Even paganism, astrology and mysticism seemed to breath the same truth.  A common factor in these beliefs was undoubtedly the care given to heal, use and grow the spirit or soul of an individual.  This was certainly an AH-HA moment!  I understood that although we may achieve it in a myriad of ways, believers had a goal in mind and that resonated with me.

Now, in my fortieth decade, I recognize ‘religion’ as a term used to describe an organization in which believers follow a doctrine or specific regulations authorized by a group of people; perhaps even to benefit their own agendas.  GASP!  Now, you could assume that I am against ‘religion.’  This is untrue.  I completely support a group of faithful, well-intended, spiritual believers gathering and participating in events for the greater good of humankind.  Unfortunately, I have experienced far too many ‘religious believers’ speak, act or disregard the very ideals of the ‘religion’ they claim to be practicing.  It would seem contradictory to assume a title of a religious sect without practicing its beliefs and likewise for a ‘religion’ to assume the role of attaining followers to benefit their agendas.  For this very reason I chose to separate from organized religion and its practices, while maintaining my spirituality by practicing simplicity.

I prefer to ‘practice my faith’ by surrounding myself with those who have similar beliefs, morals and ethics as myself.  I choose to teach my children about the Bible and expand their knowledge so they may grow their own faith.  A personal relationship with God (or whatever you’d like to refer to that Higher Power as) is what I am referring to.  Something specific, intentional and personal.  A spirituality so wonderful, that when you establish it, you will feel incredibly blessed.  It is not always black and white, and at times I’ve been drawn away from God through temptation, but I always return.  In returning, I’ve developed a stronger relationship along the way.  I believe this is how we grow our spirituality and faith; molding and shaping all aspects of our lives.

Seem too simple?  Jesus taught two simple commandments; “Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself.”  I really believe if more spiritually faithful people listened with their hearts and truly heard the Message and lived the commandments; we could drastically change the course of our world.

I am forever grateful for the journey I’ve been on.  My upbringing in the Catholic church with all the memorization and obligatory repetitive behaviors taught me fortitude.   I learned tenacity from watching my father, knowing that this faith can get me through some pretty tumultuous ordeals, and that it has.  Experiencing so many family and friends leaving this world has given me hope that there is more than we know waiting on the other side of our human realm.  Joining with other believers in prayer taught me that many hearts together can heal.  Listening to that inner voice that speaks can be difficult in this chaotic world and equally as difficult is demonstrating spirituality and faith by how we choose to live.

Take time to be still, open your heart and listen to this Higher Power, experience the love and peace that comes with It.  Imagine what It can do for us, our loved ones, our community and ultimately our world.  Remarkable idea.

 

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ME and energy

After reading Doreen Virtue’s, “Don’t Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle: How to break free of Negativity and Drama,” I was left with a hunger to research more deeply into why some of us seem to get caught up in a vicious cycle of dramatic events.  It may seem drama finds us!  It is clear that our subconscious minds may be directly at fault.

My current read, written by Alexander Loyd, PhD ND and Ben Johnson, MD, DO, NMD entitled, “The Healing Code: 6 Minutes to Heal the Source of Your Health, Success, or Relationship Issue,” has me reeling in positive energy.  I’ve personally owned my copy since 2011, but only had skimmed through the pages.  When putting away my Christmas items, I scanned my bookshelf to see what I’ve accomplished and there it was; screaming at me to pick it up and READ.  I believe there is a Higher Power responsible for this happening and credit my life’s current state of healing to that Higher Power!

Let me take you back a few years to understand how I felt a few short months ago and why I am doing what I am.  I could only go so long spread thinly, over-stressed, mentally and physically exhausted, sad, angry, bitter, jealous and helpless.  Feeling like I was divided into so many bits, none of which were getting the amount of time/energy they required to be satisfactory.  I desperately wanted my faith and my family to come first; sadly they were relegated to whatever energy I could muster.  How the heck did I get into this mess in the first place?!  I felt like I spent the previous six or seven years just scraping by.

In 2011 I was an accident in which I rolled a truck several times at 40-50 MPH and escaped with very minor injuries and if there ever is a reason to believe you have a purpose on this earth, a brush with death can absolutely confirm your existence.  Who has time to think about dealing with that emotion when you haven’t the time or energy?  At this same time, my mother that had been previously diagnosed with Dementia was declining, requiring my sister and I to spend countless hours and numerous days necessitating her needs and wishes, eventually having to find her placement in an assisted living center because neither of us were capable of appropriately caring for her many needs.  Yet, during this time other priorities were many; two children, a husband who happened to be building a business and a full time career of my own.  My physical health suffered to the point where I was experiencing such terrible pain physically due to herniated discs; I simply could not function physically at all.  There were times I thought I cannot possibly go on and not sure how I did.  (Thank God for his understanding through this.)  How am I going to be there for my family if I’m unable to move?  My negative thoughts dictated everything I did.  My situation was dire at times and my husband could attest to it.  I felt great shame in feeling this way, I was a Christian after all and didn’t know what to do about it.

I discovered that talking with my close family and friends was difficult to do simply because most didn’t understand or hadn’t experienced what I was going through.  Time itself was a demon.  It seemed oblivious to me and I of it.  There was not enough me to go around, so in order to try and cope I shortened my work load.  My husband picked up the pieces of our family life with the kids so I could run at the drop of a hat to aid my mother.  My career became a creative outlet and source of personal esteem, even though I wasn’t able to perform at my best.  I could channel my positive energy into making others look good but at the same time it was keeping me from acknowledging I needed positive energy for myself.  Lord knows, I didn’t have the strength to take care of my own needs.

My mother eventually passed in 2014 and shortly after my godmother required assistance as she entered 85 years of life .  Exchanging caring for one to caring for another.  Caring for the aging is as exhausting as it is rewarding and I know what an emotional toll it takes. I actually think I became addicted to needing to care for someone.  Thank goodness I recognized this fact.  I am extremely grateful to have experienced their final years with them.  I learned so much during that time.  (Things that will guide me on my healed journey in assisting others as they navigate this path, with the ability to show them it is difficult to choose between aging parents and relatives, kids or husbands, taking time for yourself.)  I was unconsciously keeping busy to avoid dealing with all of  the emotions.  Add that to children’s activities and friends, a husband’s business changing and growing very quickly, along with a career servicing others.  (Fake it till you make it is a slogan I’ve grown to live by as a stylist.)

I purchased this particular book during that time hoping to find an answer to a myriad of personal questions regarding my emotional and physical health.  I really wanted to change.  What I now know was I had to choose myself in order to heal and change.  I wasn’t mature enough to say, ‘YES’ to myself.  I cannot believe how odd it sounded to audibly speak those words so I could move forward.  Then, equally as difficult to share that information with so many people that relied on me, or my services in their lives.  I was deeply blessed to know that they cared enough and were happy I was finally doing this!  What??

I thought I was alone in feeling these emotions and it dawned on me that I’ve always had the capability to get through, I needed to lean on the Higher Power and CHOOSE healing!!  Now getting back to this great book,  if you are a believer in a Higher Power and that everything is composed of energy, this book is extremely enlightening!

We really only are aware of about 10% of why we do what we do, why we think what we think, etc.  The other 90% of how and why make up our subconscious minds.  NO wonder we feel like a hamster stuck on a wheel of drama.  Our bodies have been programmed to operate based on whatever memories we have stored in our subconscious.  Not only that, but quantum physics would have us believe that if there is no beginning or end to an energy wave, our past family members energy is stored directly in our very own DNA!  Have you ever wondered why diseases and likeness travel through generations?  Scientists have proven it.  Check out quantum physics, it is truly amazing!

As I learn to eliminate negative energy from my own body, I am becoming more aware mentally of so many things.  Why I felt the emotions I did, why I needed to guard myself during stressful times.  Why I am able to move past these emotions now.  Things are so incredibly clear.  I have felt energy my whole life in most everything when I choose to pay attention. I have known since I was a young girl that deep within me that energy can help or harm.  Sadly, I had turned this ability off for the past several years and I am so happy to be moving forward in hopes to inspire and heal myself and bring positive energy to others.

For the first time in a long time, I am excited about what my future holds. Being blessed with a generous God, having a beautiful family, creating memories in a home that my husband and I dreamed of.  I get misty eyed just thinking about all the blessings that have been awarded us, it sometimes saddened me that I didn’t have the positive energy to appreciate the blessings I have!  So many more opportunities await, so many more people I will be blessed to call friends.  I am loving believing in myself and my gifts with the ability to share with others.  Let that positive energy keep flowing!!