Start Every Day with a New Hope

Last night my hubby suggested going on a night stroll with our daughter. I love walking. It cools off after the sun goes down in the desert and it was a gorgeous evening. The only problem? Critters come out at night. You have to keep an eye out for anything moving in the shadows otherwise you could come head to head with a coyote, a bobcat, or worst of all…a rattlesnake. Now, last night was pretty uneventful. Until a good size mouse scattered across our path at break necking speed…my daughter and I squealed and my husband says, “Watch out for the snake!” I could feel the blood draining from my face. I whizzed around so fast I almost fell. My first instinct was to figure out how far the snake was from Faith, our daughter.

“What snake?” I asked searching quickly around us.

Hubby – “The one chasing the mouse.”

Me – “Where?”

Hubby – “He’s gotta be around here somewhere.”

I picked up on the smirky tone of his voice. By this time Faith was giggling.

I squeamishly laughed it off.

Good one.

We watched the mouse dash into his hole in the sand and I thought to myself…”yeah, buddy, I know how that feels!”

We’ve had a lot going on lately. Family visited. We went to Disney…which made me feel like I needed a vacation afterward. And last week we found out the military is moving us in a month and a half. Yippee. So I’m exhausted and a bit overwhelmed, and when that happens I tend to go into my “hole.” Yes, mister mouse, I can totally relate. I may not be chased by a snake (thank God), but I know where my comfort zone is.

Creating in my hole.

I decided to get crackin’ on my Dark Fairy. I’ve been working on her in the background for a while now and was finally able to finish her up this past week. The Dark Fairy, as taught by Suzi Blu in her Fairies class, is not necessarily “dark.” It’s a fairy that has been there for you through your dark times. Now I don’t want to divulge into the course material of Fairies, because I deeply respect Suzi and the amount of effort she has put into this class. But I will say this Fairy workshop will change your life. Suzi’s philosophy of all her fairies is fascinating, enriching and healing. IF there was ever a class I would recommend from her, this would be it. But I’ve said that about all her classes at one point. All I know is, 6 months ago I couldn’t sketch a face if I wanted to. Now? I’m doing stuff like this:

Fairy of Faith

The process of making this Fairy of Faith was invigorating. I feel I have learned so much through the process of this piece, and I’m eager to continue to learn from the other fairies in this workshop.

I’m so grateful to Suzi and what I have learned from her. One of the most important things is to be true to yourself. There are too many people in this world that don’t know how to be genuine because they have not been honest with themselves. One thing I have noticed about Suzi Blu’s school, Les Petite, is that there are so many artists there that have been through hell and back and they just want to paint. They want to be who they are, and they want to be in a place where they can be just that without anybody pointing a finger at them saying, “You’re not good enough.” No judgment. Be free. You can come as you are and discover that “You have everything inside of you to be an artist.” – Suzi Blu And this is exactly why I enjoy being a student at Les Petite.

I’m an artist. Suzi says so.

Un-slump Yourself

I have this vintage Mother Goose Book from 1942. A library was having a book sale a few years ago and I managed to snatch it up before it was donated to some second-hand store. And it was here in this treasured book that I found out the rest of the story of Jack and Jill. Now, I know that all of you are probably sitting on the edge of your seat wondering…what? There’s more? YES! Apparently it doesn’t end with “And Jill came tumbling after.” And so I will enlighten your eager minds.

The entire poem goes like this:

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water.

Jack fell down and broke his crown,

And Jill came tumbling after.

Then up Jack got and home did trot,

As fast as he could caper.

He went to bed and plastered his head

With vinegar and brown paper.

I can’t say I have ever heard caper used as a verb in my generation. BUT I do believe the important thing about this poem is that after Jack fell, HE GOT UP. He fixed his head. He didn’t wallow in his pain but did what he had to do to fix himself…with vinegar and brown paper…probably would not have been my choice of treatment, but it worked for him. The point? When you’re down, get up anyway. Sometimes, I honestly don’t feel like doing anything. I get tired and worn out and sometimes I just want to crawl up in the fetal position and tune everything out. But it is in these moments where I push myself to create, push myself to do SOMETHING…anything…even if it’s small. Because self pity doesn’t take me anywhere worth going. So thank you, Jack, for the reminder to get up, even when you’re broken, and fix yourself.

I’m thinking of Dr. Suess’ book Oh The Places You’ll Go where he states:

“And when you’re in a slump,

You’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

Is not easily done.”

Un-slumping yourself definitely takes effort. So in my slumpiness this week, I managed to get 2 journal pages done. I’m pleased with what I was able to accomplish despite the way I was feeling. Another reminder to keep at it, even when I don’t feel like it. 🙂

Thanks to those of you who have posted encouraging words in previous posts!