The past few weeks I’ve been preparing for the new show series “Inspired by Natalie” vlog, uploading my painting videos to YouTube (not done with that yet, still have many more to go- I added this owl video today), re-organizing my space, learning new video editing software, purchasing upgrades, etc. But finally, I got back to work today on the actual PAINTING part of what I do!
I’m finishing the holiday themed painting I started before Christmas and set aside when work was intruding too much on family time, baking treats, etc. Since the holiday break ended weeks ago, it was a bit hard to get myself motivated to finish that one, but this afternoon I managed to put myself into the cozy and sentimental holiday mood to work on it. Tomorrow should be the final session.
After that, I’ll be on track to resume work on the 2022 collection, beyond Christmas related art. WHEW! Having that leftover holiday painting sitting on my easel is a bit like leaving the Christmas tree out too long!
It feels good to be back to work and making progress in 2022. LOL! I had to edit this blog post because I typed 2021 everywhere that 2022 was supposed to go! Hopefully winter will go by fast and we’ll soon be in a more positive season (meaning that spiritually as well as weather). Tomorrow is the middle of the week. Let’s make it a good one!
You might remember when I blogged about this. I did this landscape as two separate paintings, of an owl, and then of a rabbit. I added a moon for the final outcome. This experiment allowed me to paint economically, using only one canvas for three different paintings (photographed separately for a variety of uses for prints, publication, designs, etc.), as well as economy of time, as it was faster to paint multiple paintings using the same basic palette, and everything was all set up. I could just sit down and paint the next one. Well, sort of. There’s a lot that goes into these painting sessions, but you get the idea. It gave me a few shortcuts.
The more important result though is that when I shake things up and try new things, I’m pushed to approach my work differently. I usually go right back to my regular way of doing things, but it’s with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. Experimentation makes sure that we don’t get into a rut. I try new approaches on a regular basis- not so often that my schedule is chaotic and unfocused, but often enough to keep myself challenged.
Currently I’m doing something I’ve done before, but haven’t in a while. I have two projects going on at once. I’m alternating between the smaller short term project and the larger longer project. I work on one painting and the next day the other, switching back and forth. When I finish this short painting on my easel now (probably tomorrow), I will then set up a new short project in its place. I will keep going like this until the long term project is done.
As usual, we can use painting strategies as metaphors for life in general. When we change how we normally do things, we can regenerate our thinking and shift ourselves into higher energy- spiritually, mentally, and physically. When we feel renewed, we tend to feel more positive, our thoughts are more focused, and we move faster. Positivity, clarity, and movement lead to a healthier and more prosperous life. We can plow through our hardships easier, we see solutions faster, and we have greater physical stamina to handle the fatigue of challenges that come our way.
When we don’t push ourselves to try new ways of doing things, we may fall into the trap of waiting for life to get better and being enslaved by events we can’t control. Bad times come to everyone. When they do, we need to be strong. Challenges make us stronger. We can make small changes, like fixing something unexpected for dinner. Our food choice can be a new recipe, or an old family favorite that no one’s made in years.
The important thing is to break out of a rut. When we see patterns in our life, we can deliberately break them and shake things up. We might discover something we’d like to keep doing and add to our lives indefinitely, but it’s likely that we’ll revert back to our familiar and comfortable ways. When we do, it feels a bit like coming home after a vacation. It’s good to take a break, but it’s even better to come back home and feel a renewed appreciation for our lives.
Are you impossible? Sometimes we describe a stubborn person as being “impossible”. We may not be fully aware of times when we are ourselves impossible- TO ourselves. Often, it’s a spiritual battle we’re fighting and we would be much happier if we’d only understand the type of war this is. We are often at war with ourSELVES, and are our own worst enemy!
We may tell ourselves that something we want or need is “impossible”, when it’s really OURSELVES being impossible. Consider this… name anything you want that you don’t have, any place you haven’t gone, a job you’ve not done, or any other unfulfilled desire. Why do we not do the things we long to do?
“It can’t be done. It’s impossible!” (and yet there are examples of others who have found a way to do it)
“It’s too hard. It’s impossible!” (and yet we make no attempt to learn how, become stronger and more capable, or ask for help)
“I don’t have time. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!” (but some people have much busier schedules than we do, yet manage to do much more)
The truth is:
It CAN be done.
Nothing is too hard when determined and persistent.
There’s always time for what’s important to us.
So if we’ve not yet done what we want to do, we must ask ourselves why, and let our answers be honest. If we have no money, have we tried to raise it? Have we taken on an extra job? Have we asked others for help? If it’s time we need more of, have we stopped wasting valuable hours by cutting back on unimportant things? Have we made ANY changes at all in the direction we want to go? If not, why not?
If we are weak, weary, or of ill health, have we put together an action plan to become stronger, rested, and well? Have we found a way to manage any physical limitations? Have we learned about resources for help and assistance? If not, why not? For what we declare as “impossible”, others have done. Perhaps some of these others have more hardships and limitations than we do, yet have accomplished what we have said was too hard, impossible.
If, after analyzing the situation, we decide that the honest answer is any of these:
“I don’t want to work hard enough for it”
“I don’t want to make the time”
“I don’t want to face up to my anxieties or fears”
“I don’t want to work on my health, financial situation, or any other obstacle”
…if our answers are any- or even ALL- of the above, then we don’t really want it badly enough. At this point, if we don’t let the matter drop, the situation isn’t what’s impossible, it is WE who are being impossible. For when we know in our hearts that we will never choose to act on what we think we want, we have no business being envious of others who have it, or in sulking as a victim of circumstance.
How we live is a choice and it’s up to us to be held accountable for our own happiness. If we determine that something is “impossible” (because we don’t want to commit to what is needed to make it happen, or because we don’t want it after all), we must then let go of the desire to have it. We must accept that the door is closed, because we have CHOSEN to close it. For whatever reason, we have determined the situation to be impossible, and now it’s time to make peace with that decision.
If we cannot make peace with our decision, we will stagnate. We will be prone to jealousy when we see others pass us by, living the life we wanted. We might fall into a state of bitterness, resentment, and self-created depression. All of this would not be because we are victims of circumstance, or because our situation is impossible. It would be a result of US being impossible in our attitudes.
When we let go of that which doesn’t belong to us, and make peace with life’s disappointments, we are in good practice for how to handle bigger things, such as an extreme crisis or heartbreaking grief. We have learned to live a disciplined live, in which we hold ourselves accountable for our own happiness, and can therefore rise to the challenges that come our way with the strength and calm that we need to survive. And best of all, holding ourselves accountable for our happiness lends itself to being happy! We don’t just “survive”, but THRIVE!