This is a great article by Jim Palmer of  Divine Nobodies .  A friend sent it to me, so I don’t know if it was on his blog or in a devotional, but it means a lot to me and I wanted to share it.  He breaks the things he learned down into six items, and I am sharing each of these with you individually.

Don’t Look For a Solution in the Big Picture

Will I ever get through this?  Can I ever be happy again?  Will my life ever be better?  Is there any hope for me?  Is there a purpose?  Am I ever going to have the kind of life I desire?  Is it too late for me?  Am I too far gone?  Are things going to work out for me and my life?  What’s the future look like for me?  Etc.  Don’t look for a solution by searching for answers to these larger-than-life questions.  It’s torment.  The truth is that none of those questions can really be answered, and your emotional pain is likely to feed you negative answers to all the questions.  Don’t try to solve your present emotional pain by analyzing the possibilities of or lack thereof when it comes to how your life works out as a whole.

Forget about it!  Let it go.  Just do the next thing.  Life will resume.  Things will happen.  Good things will happen.  They may be small and simple things, but good nonetheless.  Maybe you have previously discounted these simple joys.   Don’t.  Ultimately, the satisfaction and fulfilment of your life is going to arise and flow out of your daily life and living…one hour at a time.  If you let yourself, you may let go of all the other questions entirely and find that fulfilment comes through simply showing up each moment to live and embrace the life that you have.  Seriously, what needs to change in order for you to be happy?  All the ingredients are already built into the everyday paths of your life.  Just live your life in the here and now and present moment.

It’s going to take a while but eventually a few things are going to dawn on you about your emotional pain.  Here are a few:

  • My emotional pain won’t really kill me
  • My emotional pain is not permanent and will go away
  • There are things I can do, ways I can respond, choices that I am capable of making to help me through my emotional pain
  • Everyone has deep emotional pain like I do.  I’m not a big loser because I feel this pain.
  •  People aren’t going to hate me or write me off if I share my emotional pain

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.:” Proverbs 3:5-6

A Flood of Creativity…

April 26, 2011

 

For a long time I was really struggling with creativity – it was like pulling teeth trying to come up with new ideas.  The stream was dried to a trickle.  Between working full-time in a job that utitilized every brain cell I possessed, being a single mom to two busy teens, bills, laundry, cooking, groceries…well, the well had run dry.

Now, however, it is like a flood and I can’t get one thing done without a hundred other ideas crashing over me like waves! It’s awesome and overwhelming and I just love it…I just have to figure out a way to live without sleep, because my mind will not shut down at night. 

I think being laid off has been similar to a dam breaking for me.  I didn’t have time to pursue the creative side of me, so it got dammed up and now I’m experiencing the flooding of all that backed up inspiration.  Contrary to the damage when a flood occurs in nature, this flood  is re-creating me as an artist.  I am rejuvenated and filled with optimism I haven’t felt in a long time.

Although my studio does look like a natural disaster, that much I must admit.  It’s even messy by MY standards, and I like to work messy!

But I am enjoying the awesome force of my creative nature, and I am sure there will be times in the future when the well runs dry again.  So it is as an artist.  For now I will ride the force of the creativity flood while it roars – there will be time to sleep another day.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;

establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”

   Psalm 90:17

Photo via http://www.geology.ar.gov/geohazards/othergeohaz_floods.htm

 

Handicrafts serve as a means of communication amoung people who are afraid, shy or sick, or even people who speak different languages.  There is something reassuring, homey, pleasant and relaxing to see someone embroidering or knitting in an airport or on a train.  One feels a trust and confidence about such a person.  If one has some similar work at hand, one becomes friends almost without words.  Or one might ask what the other is doing; and a bond of friendship, gentle and warm, is established with a person who only a short time ago was a stranger.  The handicraft is a bridge.

All creative efort is from God, and people who do handicrafts create.  To create is to be at peace, for in creating one is joined with the Creator.  Creativeness is one of the needs of our humanity and one of the gifts of God to us.  Handicrafts also are one more way of restoring us to wholeness in the natural and psychological order so as to better restore us to Christ.  The loneliness of modern people has almost reached a point of no return; but in a comon effort of creativity, men and women may find someone else who is interested in similar crafts, and become friends through their craftsmanship.  Friendship is still the most precious possession that a human being can share.  So handicrafts open the door to both friendship and creativity.  These aspects go together, for friendship both creates and demands creativity to grow. 

 By Catherine Doherty in  my Women’s Devotional Bible

Based on Psalm 90:17   “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”

For Emo…

June 4, 2010

I’ve never written about her.  I don’t talk about it much.  But today I got overwhelmed with some things I need to tell the world about someone who was my best friend.  Someone who I just clicked with when we met – one of those special someones that you know with absolute certainty will change your life.  I would have done anything for this woman, she was that special.

Emo had Cystic Fibrosis.  I had heard little snippets of whispers about her while growing up.  “She’s the one that’s dying.”  We went to separate high schools, but we still live in a fairly small town, and I knew who she was.  And that she was “dying.”  Knowing more beyond that happened later, when the overlapping of friends brought about getting to know each other.  The first phone call turned into a baring of souls and the beginning of a deep, deep friendship.

Emo was NOT dying.  She was living.  Every minute of every day she experienced.  She was the most genuinely funny person I had ever met.  God, we laughed.  Loudly, obnoxiously and often. There was very little she wasn’t up for, which was intoxicating.  She was also stunningly beautiful, which made her thrill-seeking all the more hilarious.  Nothing like seeing someone who looked like a Vogue model chewing tobacco!!  Or cussing like a trucker.  But somehow it was never tacky or vulgar on her – she was just enchanting and daring and courageous and fun.  She was the best.  She wanted to try it all and experience it all and enjoy it all. 

Emo died on May 18th, 1992 at 31 years of age.  The disease she had had since she was a few months old had finally claimed her.  I will never be the same.  You can’t lose someone like her and ever get over it totally.  She was one of a kind.  But my mom said it best when she told me that most people never get to have a friend like her in their whole life – and I had her for 12 years. And I got to say goodbye and tell her I loved her..again, something a lot of people never get the chance to do.

My daughter is named Emily after her.  I tell my children all the time how much she would have loved them.  She would have adored them because they are unique and special, just like she was.  I wish she was here to experience them, because she would have been such a marvelous inspiration to them.  And they would have loved her, too.  I feel bad that they never got to know her.  I feel bad for anyone who didn’t get to know her.

Two weeks to the day after Emo died I lost my first child to a miscarriage in the 14th week of pregnancy.  After just losing Emo, I didn’t know how I could ever survive.  But I did – my daughter Emily came a year later, and somehow the vision of Emo holding my baby in Heaven healed me.  Emo had desperately wanted a family but was not healthy enough, so it offered great comfort to me that I could give Emo what she had wanted – a child – and I had the comfort of knowing she and the baby we named Jordan would be waiting for me when I got to Heaven.  Two years later I had another late miscarriage and Emo’s family grew as mine grew.  Now we each have two children, which somehow feels right, even though I feel such loss in their daily presence in my life. 

I wish I never lost sight of the perspective I had when she was alive.  When she was alive and for years after she was gone I would constantly run through my head “Emo wouldn’t care about an extra 10 pounds if she had healthy lungs…Emo would survive a broken heart and flourish if she had a healthy body…”  when something went wrong. I lived better then – I lived like I was “dying” also, because I had the gift of her perspective on life to give me perspective on mine.  I really miss that, and it is harder to hold on to now that she’s gone.

I have really felt her absence since my divorce.  She would have helped so much.  She would have cried with me and then kicked my butt around for feeling sorry for myself too long.  She would have dragged me back into life.  She would have eventually made life into a grand adventure again.

Today I started thinking about the story “I Am Third” about Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Gayle Sayers lost his best friend and gave this tearjerking speech about how God was First, Brian Piccolo was Second, and “I Am Third.”   When that came into my mind today, I started to cry because I had never made a speech like that about Emo.  And I’m not famous, with national television cameras pointed at me.  But we do have the Internet now, and I do have this blog.  Today I needed to write about her.  I feel like I want to write more about her – get all the stories down before I forget them and they are gone forever.  I want other people to get to know Emo and for her never to be forgotten.

The girl who was not “dying,” but who was living.

I miss you, Em.  So much.

Thought For the Day #2

February 13, 2010

You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand…

Irene C. Kassorla

How We Should Live…

February 7, 2010

I have always loved these words of wisdom by Mother Theresa.  No matter how many times I read them, I always get something out of them.  I thought today was a good day to share them.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may be cheat you.  Be honest and frank anyway.  What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.  Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.  The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.  Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.  Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

–   Mother Theresa

Thought For Today…

February 3, 2010

“Think of yourself as an incandescent power, illuminated and perhaps forever talked to by God and His messengers.”

 Brenda Uleland

"Illumination" by Smeetha Bhoumik

“Illumination” and other works by the artist can be seen at www.smeethabhoumik.net

prayerThis is a prayer I have had forever and I just love what it has to say.  On hard days it has always helped.  I hope it helps you, too.  It is by Paul Geres from the book “Prayers For Impossible Days.”

Lord, when I woke up this morning, I said to myself that this would be a day just like every other day.

And it was.

I took the same subway as every morning, I read the same comments in the paper on an international situation which never changes.

I went up the same staircase as usual, and on my desk I found the same piles of papers to go through – papers which have been exaxtly the same for almost ten years.

The janitor was the same and so was the personnel director.  They looked like they usually do; they had that blank expression which says that nothing new is going to happen today.

For lunch I had the same old thing to eat.  It was Monday.  I went back to my desk until five o’clock.  And I just came home knowing full well that tomorrow it will start all over again.

God, I’m tired of it all.

I had hoped for something completely different.  I had dreamed that someday I would lead an active and exciting life.  That was a dream.  Yet it can be painful to wake up from a dream.

I’ll never be anything but what I am.

I know that some people would be happy in my situation.  True.  But that doesn’t help my fatigue and boredom.

Lord, let me talk to you tonight about my fatigue, about my desire to get away from here.  To whom can I speak about this, if not to you?

Nobody understands.  They say: “What is he complaining about?”  And perhaps they are right.  It’s only normal that you do your job.

Therefore I shall talk about it only with you.

Don’t change anything.  My life doesn’t have to change.  I must change.

Lord, help me to think less about myself.

Help me to see that there are other people besides myself.  For whom today is just like every other day.

It is a great example of learning to get over yourself and think about others.  It is about making things better by adjusting your thinking instead of jumping jobs, houses or life partners just because you are bored. 

But most of all it is taking your discouragement to the Lord and letting him whisper to you what needs to change.

The Old Church Gallery…

August 20, 2009

old church 2

Once in awhile I get to have the pleasure of working at the Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  I love this gallery!  Last weekend was one of those rare occasions and I had an awesome, inspiring day there. The ladies who own it – Carlyn Lynch and Cindy Schmidt – are two of the sweetest ladies ever. 

These two women converted an old, unused church into an art gallery in a somewhat remote location and have turned it into a must-stop place on Hwy. M-35 between Escanaba and Menominee, Michigan.  It is primarily filled with art from local and regional artists.  There are so many talented artists represented here!

When I first met the ladies of the Old Church Gallery, I was newly divorced and lacking self-confidence.  My friend Karen encouraged (nagged) me into approaching them with my jewelry designs. I was so nervous!  But the ladies were fabulous and we have had a wonderful working relationship ever since.  Karen and I have done an artist-in-residence day,and this fall we are teaching classes.  It has been such a great relationship for me, and I know Karen feels the same.

During my hours there, my brain flooded with ideas!  I kept jotting things down in my notebook, barely able to keep up!  Creativity spurs creativity in me, and this place is SO inspiring!

If you’re ever in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, make it a point to stop in to see the ladies and their wonderful gallery.  You won’t be sorry!

hanging in tree

This is an excerpt from a post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.  It was one of the steps he uses when trying to complete a project, but I found it was really applicable to any work day.  I need to take “weird breaks” on a regular basis.  Don’t you just love the title “weird breaks?”  I’ve been taking them for years and never thought of naming them – thanks to Leo for putting such an appropriate title on them! 

Here”s what Leo says:

I often get mentally locked up because I can’t focus on what is right before me. There are too many options. If I have to write an email, generate a report, and work on a marketing plan then I feel hot and cloudy. My overwhelmed mind just wants to shut down. I usually get up and take a “weird” break to clear my head.

During my break I do something a little weird like take a short walk and hang from a tree branch. I find that it’s tough to worry while hanging from a beautiful tree. Plus, my creativity almost always starts flowing again.

There are so many ways we can pull ourselves out of a stressful state if we just take a moment to be creative.

I can add a few things to this list – I tune into a Latin music channel and dance, or bounce on my exercise ball.  During the last month of college, I would take a break from schoolwork and go to my studio and paint a silk scarf – I can do those quickly and it was a perfect break for me before I went back to the grind.  But everyone can come up with their own “weird list” for these times.  Whatever feels right and gives your brain a change of pace.  I would love to hear some of your suggestions for your weird breaks, also! 

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