Tea Time

Tea Time
As has been the case since January 1, I am on a mission to reduce clutter and increase organization in our home. I am going through the books stacked all through the house, as well as closets filled with items that I purchased years ago that are left unopened. The Goodwill pile is growing each day and I am far from finished.

After another taxing day, I had to stop because the pain had ratcheted up as I tore through the house. Such is the case with fibromyalgia. In my case, even though I take pain medications before hand, physical activity increases the pain from its’ every day level to one much higher and less controlled. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to take the attitude that I will have the pain no matter what I do, so I may as well end the day with a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment. My body was saying enough is enough, and I respectfully listened. Before I settled in, however, I made a blend of dried lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, red roses and orange peel for a fragrant cup of tea. It was perfect.

So, it should come as no surprise that when I settled down, I headed straight for Polyvore. I wanted to make a collage based on the color of the ingredients in my tea, that is, red, purple, yellow, orange and green. The above collage is the result. By the time that I’d finished both my tea and the collage, the pain was easing and I felt better. Tea, it does a body good. 🙂

Blessings, Lydia

All Will Be Well, St. Julian of Norwich

Warrnth

Warrnth
I created this vision board with the aid of Polyvore. Polyvore makes it easy and fun to make vision boards/collages. This one came about because it is cold outside and I choose orange, a color that oozes warmth. I added the number “7” because based on Doreen Virtue’s book “Angel Numbers” states that it means that “you’re on the right path. Keep up the good work.” At one time or another, this is an assurance what many of us need to hear. I hope that if it is cold wherever you are that it warms you a bit.
Blessings, Lydia

I am Loving Right Now. . .

self expression : heart-of-stone

self expression : heart-of-stone (Photo credit: cauchisavona)

Facebook has allowed me to meet so many talented, interesting and amazing people. One of those people is Mary Costanza: A Woman’s Heart and Soul. Her page speaks to every woman and those who love them. It is a community wherein a woman is reminded of her strength, beauty, power and self-worth. Mary reminds women that within them is the key to every secret dream and desire.

Granted, I regularly find that it is as if Mary’s posts speak directly to my heart, but I found a recent one especially compelling. In it, Mary writes about self-expression, which is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. She writes:

self-ex•pres•sion
noun

The expression of one’s feelings, thoughts, or ideas, esp. in writing, art, music, or dance.

She slowly began the process of self expression. She had so much in her heart and soul that she wanted to share with the world. She was tired of being so damn passive, quiet and unknown, and hiding in the shadows. She had a voice and wanted to share who she was with the world. She didn’t want to be loud and obnoxious; she wanted to express herself with class and style, and a little mystery. So she said to herself, let’s go for it, let’s be brave and bold, and let’s step out into the unknown, and with a deep breath, she began to write what she was feeling in her heart and soul, and the creativity was unstoppable, it’s like the sky above opened up and just started pouring down on her. Idea after idea just keep coming, the ideas kept coming so quickly that she couldn’t keep up with them all. She said I am not afraid anymore, she said I’ll dye my hair purple, red, gold whatever color she feels like wearing that day, she’ll wear leather, cover her body in tattoos, buy a Harley, travel the world, have a beer for breakfast or whatever it may be to express what she is feeling inside. She knows that there are those that will judge and criticize her, but she does care anymore, she is old enough, wise enough and brave enough to admit she is a little wild, and wants to be free, and she now knows it’s time to free that wild woman inside, it’s time for her to come out and play, she not hiding her anymore. The beauty of self expression, it can’t be explained; it can only be lived.

Mary Costanza

For the most part, I discovered self-expression through my role as a trial lawyer. I expect that given the public mindset of lawyers as a whole, it seems odd that one equates the practice of law with self-expression. Nevertheless, as a lawyer, I was able to express myself through one of my favorite medium — writing. More surprising, however, was the extent to which trying cases allowed the actor in me to flourish and blossom. Although representing the client was my first priority as an attorney, doing so placed me at center stage with an opportunity to orchestrate a performance wherein the most compelling, persuasive, engaging and believable party was deemed the victor. In most cases, that party was mine and justice was indeed served.

After years of practicing law, fibromyalgia forced me to resign from my active law practice. I landed on disability. For a very long time, my health took center stage and the idea of self-expression was frivolous and thus banished. In illness, I lost myself and with it the need for self-expression. The passage of time silenced that part of me that delighted in or curious about the act of creation or self-expression. I came to deny that such a need existed. I was lulled into an existence where my thoughts and feelings were unimportant and the only thing that mattered was my ill health and all that it had taken from me. I was told repeatedly that this was an opportunity that few had — a clean slate upon which to create the life that I wanted. I wanted no part of it.

However, as time passed, I began to yearn for a creative outlet that allowed me to express myself in new and exciting ways.  With that in mind, I created a list of activities that I wanted to learn and incorporate it into my life as a positive and healthy form of self-expression; something to counter and out weigh the self-defeating thoughts and ideas that had become the norm.  I sought to banish the idea that I was not and could not be creative.

During the past year, I’m beginning to overcome the word “can’t” and surrender to both drawing and painting. I am allowing myself to explore various forms of self-expression, some new like photography, painting, and drawing, and others like journaling, blogging and even writing. I’ve come to realize that the move of the hips in dance, every line of a pencil in drawing, every mark or stroke of a brush in painting and every word choice in writing or song, conveys a particular thought, idea, or feeling. Through these forms of self-expression, we release fear and anger, as well as love, joy and happiness. Embracing self-expression can be an antidote to negative thinking, pain and sorrow and an affirmation of  forgiveness, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth and self-acceptance.

As I read Mary’s post, I found myself nodding in agreement with one sentence after another. She expresses, far better than I, my thoughts, the why and nature of self-expression, and its’ pull that once unleashed is self-fulfilling. Her words remind me that self-expression is yet another of the precious gifts given to humans as a product of being human, of being alive, and “that it can’t be explained, it can only be lived.”

Blessings, Lydia

 

I Dared

Lydia's Dare III

Lydia’s Dare III

I’ve always wanted to be a creative, an artist. I don’t mean that I ever wanted to make a living as an artist. I simply longed to explore my “alleged” creative side. Until recently, I simply accepted that there are creatives, and then there was me. So with that in mind, I surprised myself when I registered for the e-course “Daring Adventures in Paint & Life.”  The course is taught by artist and author Mati Rose. As the course description explains, the “e-course is not just about painting, it’s about being daring in art & life! What you do on the canvas mirrors the bold steps you take in your life! This course is for anyone who wants to strengthen their creative muscles, be inspired on a daily basis, and step into their own brilliance and find their magic.” How could I pass up such an opportunity to mine the depths of my inner self as a way to unearth my hidden stores of creativity and magic? I am pleased to report that just two weeks into the 6 week adventure and I know that I choose wisely. The painting above is one of the three that I’ve already created.

At first, it was difficult to get past the white canvas because my thinking mind got in the way. At first, I was more than a little tentative. I mean, I’d never painted before and was unsure of myself.  With much support from Mati Rose and the enthusisam and inspiration from the Facebook group,I dare myself to let go of my fears and the paint brush fly. I know that there will be more for me to share with you. I won’t let the fear keep me from painting.  Whatever fear is keeping you from, do it anyway. Know that the risk will be more than worth it.

Blessings, Lydia