Message from Beyond

See oil painting “Miracle Dancer” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

Well, it happened again. You might remember that I was shaken and unnerved by signs from beyond, messages that made me look into the possibility that someone I knew had died? And yes, someone had- less than two weeks prior, a person in my family connections had passed away. I talked about this in post “On my Mind” and then “Shocking Update“.

So, it was an anxious awakening this morning when I woke from a dream that featured my deceased mom- and someone she knew, who I was close to. It was my childhood dance teacher, who was my teacher for eight years, from age 10 to 18. At age fifteen, I was in a white water rafting accident. I was later hospitalized for frequent daily seizures resulting in paralysis/weakness, and I overheard a doctor say that one day I’ll never get out of that (wheel) chair.

But my dance teacher held my spot open in my dance routines. She visited me at the hospital, dressed as a clown and gifting me with balloons- the good kind, helium filled, which was expensive and a luxury treat back then- and she told me I’d be back in class dancing again.

It took a lot of hard work, but I was on stage performing just a few months later. She awarded me a trophy. The best of all is that she believed in me. The above painting “Miracle Dancer” is inspired by my journey recovering from the accident.

I hadn’t thought of her in a long while, and when I awoke this morning I was distressed about why I’d be dreaming about her. In the dream, we were sitting at a table, talking about Mom, as if my dance teacher was seeing Mom again, or something- I’m not sure. But I knew her clearly to be my dance teacher and it was as if no time had passed between us.

Later this morning, I was still upset about the dream, knowing what these dreams have meant in the past. So I did an Internet search and the results popped up instantly- her obituary. My dance teacher died three months ago, too young to have died from old age. No cause of death was listed. She is the fourth person I personally know who has died within the past 6 months. None of these people died from old age.

Imagining our life connections as a web, strings of my (our?) web are being cut. I have a horrible feeling that this is not the end of these cut strings. I don’t have any anxiety about myself or my immediate family, but I do have a bad feeling about my more distant relationships, acquaintances, neighbors, community, nation, and world.

More about these dreams:

I’m an observer in these unsettling prophetic or message type of dreams (of which I’ve had several; they are always accurate, so I get upset when I have one). The style of dream is very different from a regular dream, and I wake up knowing it’s some sort of distressing message. I know during the dream and after that the message isn’t about me, but involves whoever or whatever is in the dream. Sometimes my dream self can interact, other times I’m on the outside of the scene- I can see the others, but they can’t see me and I can’t interact with them. Either way, I’m an observer/outsider. The premonition doesn’t involve me, other than being upset by a loss or upcoming loss when I wake up and remember the dream (sometimes I have a dream shortly before the person passes, other times shortly afterward, within days, weeks, or a few months).

I realize I should add- these dreams are peaceful, gentle, and the people in them are warmly enjoying conversations with others (sometimes including me, usually not), or are otherwise happy. It’s just that I can recognize that these people are gone (from this world), and that’s what gets me so unnerved. These are not nightmares. These dreams are calm and pleasant, as if the people are showing me that they are well and content, and they are still connected to the people they knew.

It’s me who responds by feeling distressed, but the dreams are meant to be healing I believe. I also feel compelled to share the dreams and their outcomes/updates, as these mysterious events may be comforting to others who wish they had glimpses of the other side. I feel absolutely certain that life goes on beyond. Somehow we are still connected and one day we’ll understand that love is forever.

Even with that hope, I’m really rattled by this one. I can’t believe she’s gone. I feel like I should be able to search for her name and get a different result. But I know what I read is true. When I read about her life, I wished I’d heard the update during a catching-up chat, not by reading her obituary.

I was recently in contact with one of her family members and now I know I’m meant to reach out to that person. It seems these dreams/outcomes end with giving me an “assignment” that is meant to help or comfort someone who needs me. So I will do that.


Slow Change

See this oil painting of a lion called “Lion of Judah” come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

This lion painting has had several changes of music. This is the latest version for YouTube. The emotional vibe is entirely different, depending on what soundtrack is used. And even within the same piece the dynamics of the music change as well, bringing drama to the painting.

Have you experienced times in your life in which you expected or wanted a change, an outcome, a shift in status, or successful progress toward something you’d been hoping for… only to find that change seems non-existent or very, very slow? Years later, did you look back and realize that some of the things that you thought went no where, were actually training for the very thing you wanted to happen?

It turns out that when I was blogging away, without my awareness of it, I was coming up with show concepts for my new vlog series (that I didn’t even know I was doing until a few weeks ago). And I can only do this series if I have a large collection of work. So it’s a good thing then that I finished painting after painting, after painting. Dozens. Fifty. A hundred. Now hundreds, I think. I have lost count. 200?

My life is changing, but I hardly notice it. It’s not overnight. It’s in every paint stroke. It’s in every keystroke. It’s in every day that I never give up. Opportunities come to me, and I’m astonished that I’m uniquely prepared! It turns out that when I thought “nothing” was happening, a slow change was building.

That’s YOU. If you want something, work toward it. If you work toward your dreams one day at a time, a slow change will take place. When we put ourselves in motion, it may take a long time to get where we’re going, but one day we’ll look back from on top of the hill and say, wow, it was a long climb, but we’re finally able to stand at the top and look down at everything it took to get here. And then… it will be time to climb a mountain!


New Year’s Day 2022

Watch this oil painting of a tiger come to life in 2 minutes (time lapse)

2022 is the year of the tiger according to Chinese tradition. Tiger years are “all about going big or going home”. The tiger is known for power, daring, and doing everything on a GRAND scale. Courage, leadership, quick action, and crazy dreams are also traits associated with “tiger years”.

I found this interesting, even though I know nothing about these traditions. From my own perspective, I was floored because when I went to write tonight’s blog post, my tiger painting sprang to mind as the one to share, so I looked it up to see if it was remotely possible that I’ve painted an animal that is “the year of” for 2022. I about fell off my chair when I saw that this year’s animal is a TIGER! Wow. So, even though I don’t have any connection to those traditions, I *do* have personal experience with mysterious serendipity, intuition, and thoughts or feelings pressed upon us that we can’t explain in the natural world.

Happy New Year, dear friends! May you fully embrace your “tiger year” with good courage, big dreams, and risks based on hope for the future. God bless and keep you, this day and always, and well beyond 2022!


Please subscribe to stay connected to this blog. Thank you to all of you who are a part of my daily life. I feel you here and I appreciate you.

Update

Watch this oil painting “Painting Colors” come to life in 1 minute (time lapse)

I’ll be working on new projects this week. These projects require that I be in high energy, full of light and positivity, and confident in what I’m sharing. This can be hard to live up to when I’m feeling worn, discouraged, demoralized, and doubtful about the future. Any vocation is harmed when we don’t put our full and best selves into it. Our energy goes beyond careers or projects and into our homes and relationships as well. A big part of our future success, fruitfulness, prosperity, and influence for inspiring others requires that we live a life of healthy balance.

A great deal of my painting schedule is the time that I spend when I’m not painting. My choices affect who I am, and if I can be the person I need to be to produce the kind of work that I’m meant to share. Or, if I’m so consumed with my small life that I can’t create beyond my own needs and inner circle. And sometimes that’s all that’s expected of us: there are times when we must prioritize ourselves and our families. No one has regrets about work on their death bed. It’s the people we love and the dreams we didn’t act on that really matter, those are the things we may regret.

We all have a role in the bigger picture beyond what we can see; and our personal dreams may be important to the age we’re living in. Work must be a vocation; everything should have meaning. I’ve worked many other types of jobs, and I felt the same about those jobs as I do about being an entrepreneur, even when I hated those jobs. It’s something my dad used to say: “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” He was pushing for integrity and excellence, but I’d like to think about this as something more. Whatever we’re given to do, if we don’t do it well, it is not worth doing at all, as it wastes our life’s energy and brings our spirits into a rut that can be hard to come out of. 

Whether seemingly trivial projects or something more meaningful, everything we share becomes a part of something bigger. When we contribute goodwill, we add to the collective positive energy that helps humanity. When we fail to contribute, or when we contribute negative, fearful, and unemphatic work or actions, we hurt humanity. Our lives are bigger than ourselves; we must strengthen who we are so that we can fulfill the purpose for why we are here.

So, while it doesn’t seem related to my goals as an artist, when I spend time gardening and feeding the wild birds, I am putting work into my spiritual self, which is a big part of whether or not I succeed in my vocation. When in healthy balance and feeling strong, we can better handle the demands on our time, whether it is home related or work related- or handling unexpected crises events. 

After a flurry of other things to focus on and manage, I’m ready to re-focus on the painting schedule. One of the paintings on the schedule is a long term project, the other is a short term one that I’ll likely share with you by the end of the week. These will put me two more oil paintings toward my lifetime goal of 1k finished paintings. I’m also working on the next show, the 2021 Holiday Show (another variety show featuring live oil painting, but also singing and dancing). 

My goals are to be joyful, encouraging, and a reminder that you are loved, that you were born to love others, and that love is the greatest blessing we shall ever have. When we focus on the love from those we lost, from those we nurture, and from those who love us, we live in gratitude. No darkness can swallow this light. It is a gift that shines in the deepest pit. It is a light that pulls us through excruciating pain, intense anxiety, and the starkest of fear. It is my hope that my work inspires you.

Some of my work is casual, average, mediocre, or unfinished and rough. Some of it is just a frog or an odd composition for a project. But every now and then, I paint a masterpiece, as defined by the person who connects with it and feels understood. When my work becomes something bigger than myself, I have done what I’m meant to do. It is with this in mind that I paint the next project, and the next, knowing that not all of my art will hit the mark, but each painting is one painting toward the ones that do.

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Watch me paint “Kitchen Devotions” in under 1 minute

(time lapse)

Surrealism is an art style that combines unusual elements together to produce a dreamlike effect; merging reality with fantasy, simulating the subconscious mind. But sometimes paintings are just “a little bit” surreal. The unexpected, unreal, or dreamlike qualities may be so subtle that viewers of this style of art may not even be aware of it, and yet, they’ll probably sense that something is different that they can’t quite put their finger on.

 

In “Kitchen Devotions“, there are several elements in the composition that are unexpected. Why are the flowers in a food bowl? Why is one side of the curtain moving slightly, even though the window is closed and the other side of the curtain is standing still? Why are the walls that odd color and pattern? Why does the mug look like it was made by a pottery student? Why is the bookmark floating rather than in perspective? Why does the book look “ghostly” and blank? Why are the flowers spaced evenly apart and straight?

 

Artists who paint “freestyle” (painting an idea rather than prioritizing a careful, realistic technique), may inadvertently paint in a slightly surreal style. “Kitchen Devotions” was a freestyle exercise to paint whatever came to mind, without looking at a reference or planning ahead. This type of exercise is beneficial for any skill level of artist and may even emerge to become a favorite work or a signature style.

 

-from blog post “Painting Surreal

What I want to add today, is a different perspective on Distorted Reality. Rather than looking at it from the artist viewpoint of surrealism, what about when life itself feels surreal? These days I’ve been waking up after vivid, disjointed, and disturbing dreams. For a few seconds upon waking I’m not sure if the dream is real or not… and then later in the day, I may still not be completely able to sort the dream state from reality.

For example, yesterday I had a dream that I had flooded the bathroom of a house I’ve never seen before, but in the dream it was my house. I flooded it with clean soapy water, but I was still concerned that water had seeped inside the walls and would be trapped there to mold or cause water damage to the home. 

Later in the day, I was cleaning the real life shower stall of this house, when suddenly I realized that a repaired spot in the stall had fallen out, revealing an open hole that had been apparently plugged with putty at some point. Now I had a real life concern that soapy water had gone into the wall!

Fortunately the hole was very small and I’d noticed the exact moment when the repair patch had fallen off. I cleaned and dried the area, texted my husband, and he stopped by the store on the way home from work to get putty. He re-patched it in seconds. It was really not a big deal, unlike my dream that had me standing in about three feet of water!

But, real life was a smaller version of the dream and it was unnerving to have dreamed something so similar just before it happened. I felt a lot of stress when I saw the gaping hole, even though it was small and turned out to be easy to repair. What a trivial psychic ability! Not much prophetic use for predicting minor anxiety-producing events that are quickly resolved!

However, there have been other times when my portent dreams were not trivial, and it was very sobering when the predictions of my subconscious mind came true. Dreams are sometimes prophetic, but not usually. Many dreams feel like nonsense, or are a boring play about regular life activities. Sometimes dreams are a confusing distorted mix of people and places from our past jumbled together with current places and places we don’t recognize- and maybe don’t even exist!

We might wonder what the purpose of dreams are, but usually we don’t think much about it… until we have an unsettling dream, a vivid dream, or a dream that feels like a portent. I’ve felt lately that life itself feels like we’re in a dream state. More and more, as we merge the surrealism of our sleeping mind with the distorted reality of 2021, it can be difficult to sort out the truth. What is real?

In dreams, we may fear things that aren’t real. Anything can be dangerous in a dream. In our waking life, do we ever fear things that aren’t quite real, or at least not at the level of danger that merits the terror that is conjured up? What is real, and to what degree should we fear the dangers of 2021? Who are the truthtellers? Who are the “experts”? Who do we trust? Who should we fear?

Perhaps my dream of flooding a home, causing lasting damage and dangerous toxins, when the reality was vastly different: one small hole that merely needed to be patched, is an example of a bigger paradigm. Sometimes we fear a flood when the problem is much more manageable. We may even have a fast and easy solution to repair the damage and resolve the problem.

The trouble is, we may not know which way things are going. Life may feel surreal. Is it a flood or a small hole? Does this situation merit a small amount of anxiety and stress, or fear and escalating terror? We may feel confused, disoriented, and exhausted. Conflicting perspectives reach our ears and we may not be able to sort out what is real.

If something or someone is driving fear using hostility, ridicule, and disrespectful, dehumanizing and tyrannical methods that are devoid of empathy, are full of control and manipulation, and possibly even frothing with malice, condemnation and discrimination against those who disagree, then fear isn’t real… not fully real. Because when fear serves a master, the driver is hate (deception), the opposite of love (truth). It is not loving to be unkind, to use bribery or punishment to coerce people (rather than information, patience, and evidence). It is not love that whips up fear. Hate does that.

So when fear hits you from a source of hate, it is NOT real. We must stand against it. Step back, analyze the situation, research it, be patient with ourselves as we sort things out, and treat ourselves kindly. Never take on shame that doesn’t belong to us. Humanity is precious, and our sovereignty is essential. When fear comes through a person, entity, or government that wants us to control us, then we must question its validity.

Emotion and anxiety are not reliable indicators for testing if the things we fear are real. In dreams we may fear things that are not dangerous. That is true of our waking self as well. So we must use logic, facts, accounts from trusted sources, and stories relayed by fellow human beings who have nothing to gain by sharing their truth.

We must also trust ourselves, beyond our emotional self. Intuition is more than a feeling. It is defined as the ability to acquire knowledge without (or maybe ahead of) the evidence, conscious reasoning, etc. to properly analyze the situation as fact. Psychologists recognize intuition as nothing magical, but rather a way in which our minds generate “hunches” in our unconscious minds. It is referred to as a type of knowledge. 

Spiritual people have much more to say about the power of intuition. They may refer to it as the voice of your true self, your highest self, or even the voice of the Holy Spirit. Humans have acknowledged and defined intuition in many ways, and hold dear the idea that intuition is meant to help us know what is true. It is mean to protect us from bad things.

When our intuition seems to shout, “Pray NOW”, stop and pray. When our intuition says, “Don’t go that way today, take another route”, do it. There are so many stories of people who mysteriously felt an urgent tug on their hearts to go a different route and avoided a tragic end. Others tell of going a different route and being on the scene to save a life. We may never know why we are meant to go here, or not go there, but often we recognize immediately why we were “told” in our hearts to do something, or not do something. The important thing is to pay attention to what our intuition tells us, and do it.

When the world feels surreal… when things don’t look quite right… when something is off, and we have trouble sorting out the distortion from reality… when we don’t know who is lying, and who is telling the truth… when we don’t know what to fear, or how much to fear… we must trust our intuition. 

Often, a flood is just a hole. There is a remedy. All will be well. When our intuition says, “Do not fear”, we must remain strong, steady, healthy, and positive. We will endure. We will persevere. We will live fearlessly.

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