Writing a damn blog already!!

Writing a damn blog already!!

Ok, so I ‘ve been quiet in the corners of blog-land for a while, working on so many other things…but my business coaches keep saying “write blogs” and I seriously keep putting it on my to-do list then it keeps falling to the bottom.  AND the muses keep snickering & whispering their words of wisdom to share.

Hey, I ain’t no slacker!  It’s not like I’m sitting around watching Netflix and eating deep fried oreos.  No sireee……I am running a tattoo studio, teaching tattoo school, I’m writing a tattoo book, painting, drawing, planning my HIGH flying online business, editing plays, illustrating children’s books, tattooing my own clients, taking a “build your online business master class” reading tons of books, helping design a board game AND in between all that…I painted a sidewalk for 14 hours, over two days! (more on that in the next blog.) I’m exhausted just rereading that list.

Sooooo blephhh <——–that’s me sticking my tongue out! CUZ I’m a freakn hustling dynamo!

And yet the casual, fun nature of the blog calls to me.  I enjoy the short but sweet clips of life’s adventures and it is my honor to be gifted as a writer.

And so I’m returning to my sadly barren blog-o-rama with the intention to fill this space with sparks, thrills, positive thinking, feisty convo, and radical encouragement for my fans, clients, friends, community and whoever the fuck cares to listen to my musings.

 

I will promise TWO things: honest unfiltered behind the scenes of my artist/writer badass life AND tidings of great JOY!  This is because I MASH and MERGE my feisty, brutal Sagittarius side with the gentle nature of my spirit guide, the bunny !

I am a fierce Pollyanna people so watch out!!

Be prepared for positive messages with a swift kick in the hindquarters!

Be fierce. Be kind. Be badass.

~S

Know Yourself as Divine!

believe“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 

My past experience with spirituality was religion.  I grew up forced to go to church and vacation bible school, though my parents were NOT regular attendees. I never thought that was fair.  I was also forced to go to a Christian middle and high school.  There were so many rules; do’s and don’ts and lectures on SIN, it would make your head spin–so confusing for a young woman.  I always believed in God as a wee child, but I knew God as a benevolent, caring, father figure. Then around age seven, suddenly there were sermons on hell, brimstone, lakes of fire and sinners so horrible that Jesus had to sacrifice himself to save all us wretched souls.  My teen years were filled with guilt, confusion, anger and sadness that my beloved grandfather (who called himself a “Deist”, essentially knowing god through nature) was going to go to hell!

As a young adult, and newly married, I attended bible studies and attempted to live according to fairly legalistic principles;  woman was subservient to husband,  meant to be a mother and homemaker, have lots of children and be a Godly example. So from about 18 – 22 I attempted to fit in with these strict values: I was a republican, though I had no clue what that meant, and I jumped right in with the “anti” crowd—anti-abortion, anti-drugs &alcohol, anti-gays and anti-television.  I look back on that young, naïve self and realize I was beyond judgemental…but I explained it away because “I was a Christian and the bible was infallible”, so I was living according to “truth” and those other people were uninformed. Realistically, I was just trying to “fit in”.

Then about that time, when my kids were little and I was trying to be a good parent, my former husband and I both began questioning all the religious stuff, particularly when it came to obedience and spanking etc. I began researching “positive discipline”, “self reliance” and treating kids with respect. This led me to other great books that were–heaven forbid–not by Christian authors.

And slowly we began expanding our minds and then eventually stopped going to church. And lo and behold the heavens didn’t open with lightning and thunder to strike me down for not reading my bible daily, as I had suspected it would.  So between age 25 – 30ish I was “spiritually DRY”.  I wanted NOTHING to do with anything even remotely Christian sounding.  And of course I had been taught that the NEW AGE stuff was evil.  OY.  So my secret love of mystical things, mythology, fantasy etc, was just buried.

I got into self-help books and that lead me to Tony Robbins, then eventually to Wayne Dyer’s teachings and my mind began to open!! I now saw that spirituality was very different from religion.  And as my heart opened, my life got steadily more filled with joy.  It was a disappointment to my Christian Mom and family…but I was actually much happier getting away from the bible and church.

It took me many more years to sort out my beliefs–hundreds of books and audios, exploration of different philosophies, from Buddhism to Paganism, studying anthropology and sociology in college, for me to arrive at a place that I am content and feel supported by the universe.  And though I don’t have a label for my spirituality I do have a very basic philosophy of  “life is supposed to feel good”.  I am so much more accepting, aware, loving and giving than I ever was as a Christian.  I do believe Christ was an avatar but I think his messages are unfortunately too often twisted and adhered to blindly to justify harsh judgement and divisiveness. I lived that first hand.

I have come to comfortably understand that each person deserves their own relationship to the “Divine” or “God” or “Higher Power” or “Universe”…whatever people choose to call it.  And no one else can tell them what is right–no authority, no institution or religious leader.  And we all get to choose our rituals, traditions, prayers or anything that enhances or supports our feeling of inner peace and deep love.

I truly know that the power of BELIEF is incredible. As Oprah Winfrey says: “You become what you believe”.  I think if someone believes crystals are imbued with power, it is true for them.  I think if someone finds comfort in an altar, they should have one.  And if someone doesn’t believe in a higher being at all, that’s ok too. Maybe science and nature are their comforts.  I personally feel the idea of God equates with our own higher consciousness, the witness, the part of us that simply ‘knows’ the next right action. I like to think of it as the “Oneness”.  I’m now embracing my mystical side and I LOVE it.  I like affirmation cards, gems/stones, sparkles, altars, prayers, dream boxes, vision boards, magic, celestial connection and all things whoo woo, as long as it resonates with my soul and makes me feel good (god).

Creativity, art, writing and music are my channels to the divine.  I feel more connected to love and manifesting than ever in my life. I feel an immense amount of joy and satisfaction…even bliss on some days.  Appreciation is my soul-song.  And I give credit to the Great Spirit, the Divine Beloved or as Wayne Dyer once put it, “Infinite Organizing Intelligence”…all these names falling short of sufficiently describing what this magnificent spark really is. That is why the “Tao Te Ching” says “the name that can be named is not the eternal name.”

~Shelly Dax

 “The most common belief is that what we can perceive is real and that the invisible is unreal. In spite of this, scientific advances are revealing new truths about this ‘invisible world’ to us. With recent discoveries in the field of quantum physics it is slowly dawning upon us that the invisible world is in fact the only ‘thing’ that is real.”  ~unknown

Let it Go!

It’s strange toLet it go catch yourself feeling odd, and you take a moment to get quiet and then suddenly realize it’s because you feel so good! And you’re not used to it. What is this new sensation? I am in the middle of a hustle bustle day at the studio, people coming and going, flitting between my desk and observing students; and I find myself smiling. There’s a relatively new sensation in my bones…it’s the feeling of being centered. Whoa. This grounded state of being is something I’ve been searching for most of my life. Sure I’ve experienced this peace of mind off and on many times through-out my life—mainly the last 15 years, but never have I consistently felt this deep sense of calm.

So much of the time in previous years I would allow every little thing to get to me. I would allow picky customers or moody co-workers to throw me off my track. I could easily fall victim to the “sky is falling” syndrome when something didn’t go my way. Or when an honestly inconvenient thing–like knocking over fresh coffee grounds in the filter perched precariously atop my cup—would derail me. Boom! All over the floor when I was in a hurry. I couldn’t let things go.

My level of acceptance used to be so low I would actually argue for my complaints…”it’s real! I’m not making this stuff up! I have every right to be pissed off all day when I am out of sorts”. Thankfully those days are farther and fewer between. When my car’s anti-theft system locked up and refused to start for over an hour, while on a vacation at the coast a few weeks ago, I was calm while I searched google on my phone for an answer. As I watched my friend get tense and snappy with the man who came out to see why we were parked in front of his house, I truly understood the futility of getting upset or cranky. Bottom line: it simply doesn’t help. Sure it wasn’t exactly fun…but it was an opportunity to slow down, laugh at life’s foibles and praise the miracle of smart phones!

I have gradually embraced this idea of “you create your own reality”. Believe me; it didn’t happen all at once. It’s been about 10 years of reading and listening and about five years of serious challenges to truly test my mettle. (You know the old saying “challenges are just opportunities in disguise”? I have been blessed with HELLZA PALOOZA opportunities!)

Practicing meditation for the last two years added another layer of serenity. I just don’t let things get to me as much anymore. I’m saving my freak–out energy for the life altering moments. I have cultivated a secret place in my soul, undisturbed by daily troubles, that I can access to help me remain tranquil. Of course I can’t always get there as fast as I’d like, but better than I used to be is okay with me.

Interesting that also about a year ago I began practicing Louise Hay’s idea of putting your hand to your heart and saying to yourself “I am willing to change” and wow, this last year has been the most transformational of my life. So watch out kids—THOUGHTS have power!!

“Let it go”, as the Disney movie encourages, seems to be the new buzz phrase. Pop song or no…. best advice to help us transform our hurried, worried, wearied world.

“It’s not the situation that’s causing your stress, it’s your thoughts, and you can change that right here and now. You can choose to be peaceful right here and now. Peace is a choice, and it has nothing to do with what other people do or think.” ~ Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD

 

Writing Down The Bones

Just start writing they say. Whatever comes out. Let it flow. “Writing down the bones”, as author Natalie Goldberg says. Allowing thoughts to transform that blank page. No holding back. Even correcting and editing should wait until a lull in the flow of words. Just get started…past the hump. Don’t interrupt. Somewhere inside there is something to say. Something profound or relevant to share. But just beginning is the hardest.

I ask the fairies of writing to descend upon me in glorious splendor!! And that cursor sits and blinks. I invoke the powers of the divine mind to help me and then my foot itches. Ah it must be a sign, right?

But it’s just never comfortable enough to begin. I must have quiet. House must be clean. I must not be hungry or sore or in pain or itchy or anything that can distract me from writing. The conditions must be perfect. The stars must be magically aligned. (I notice all kinds of typos above and I resist the urge to correct them immediately).

And then the doubts creep in: What in my life is relevant to anyone? What is going to matter? This feels silly. This is all garbage and I’m going to delete it anyway so what’s the point? No one cares. Poor me! Ah the lovely little pity parties I can throw in my own head. I shoo those thoughts away and urgently ask the guardians of written word, the muses, the caretakers of literature to bless me.

And then the excuses pop up: When I get home from work, I’m exhausted. I think I might need a better keyboard. Laptops are so uncomfortable. My arms hurt from resting on the edge of the desk. I feel the height of my chair isn’t correct. (But seriously, does that ever stop me from sitting for hours on Facebook? Or from shopping on Amazon? Truth hurts.)

And next come the “shoulds”: I should learn how to type correctly. I should have a college degree. I should have a dedicated writing space. {temperature-controlled, sound-proof room, ergonomic cherry-wood desk and massaging chair with built-in aroma diffuser. Boy, then I could really get some writing done!}

And the biggest “reason” I can’t write: other people’s stories are more important than mine. They have more thrilling, dramatic stories than I do…near death, talk to angels, children dying, psychic abilities, surviving accidents or cancer etc. I’m just sure I was born in mediocre-Iand. And that brings me back full circle to the doubts creeping in. Wheee…it’s a merry-go-round! Suddenly my higher-self, that connected and grounded part of me, yells STOP! My low self-esteem is startled.

Then, as if by magic, the list is exhausted, I settle in, I move my fingers, my body relaxes, my ego takes a nap and the words begin to glide from my soul, bypassing my bewildered brain.

As Tony Robbins suggests, I ask myself some better questions: Can I believe that something I’ve been through matters? Could my experience and growth and expansion really help someone else? Could my writing be a source of support, inspiration or enjoyment for even one other person? Hell yeah! So let’s do this baby!

And here is the deal…for me writing is not an option. It has always been there. It is always tapping me on the shoulder. It wants to be freed. It is always nagging at me like a cranky baby. It wants to be born. I can no longer neglect the intense desire because of excuses or doubts. It is the “choiceless choice” that Kendra Thornbury talks about. When you ignore the call, life becomes a struggle. When you distract yourself with any number of diversions…it becomes more loudly insistent! And so here I am…giving in, listening closely, minding the baby, and shedding the excuses. I am a writer. And I shall write. From BOO HOO to WOO HOO!

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
~ Natalie Goldberg

Penguin_Pity_Party

Oh Life!

Way too long since my last post.  A roller coaster of ups and downs, mother passing, dear friend passing,relationship  transitions and many amazing things. Fortunately, life is trucking along as it does…regardless of whether I am conscious or unconscious.

Really appreciating Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day meditation challenges  (there’s been several now).

Current one is on Miraculous Relationships:

https://chopracentermeditation.com/programs/index

Helps pull me back to center!

Also I enjoy the Meditation Podcast:

http://www.themeditationpodcast.com/episodes.html

Truly helpful to have that time of quiet and connection before the busy day starts…full of flurry, people, activity, those ups and downs I spoke of earlier.

 

🙂

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” ~ Pascal

 

Day after Day

Practicing looking at each day as a new experience.  A friend mentioned “having an original experience” when she was with a person she had known for a long time.  Instead of expecting the same old thing, or being disappointed when they act a certain way, she was attempting to stay open and fresh each encounter with this person.  It got me to thinking: how often do I just create the same old thing?

How often is it my own focus, my own thoughts and beliefs, that keep me stuck in the things I claim not to want, day after day?  If my imagination is reality, and I’m beginning to believe it more and more, than why am I wasting so much thought/energy on stuff I DON’T want to happen?  When I focus on positive energy, heck, I just feel better.  So do the people I encounter.

Why do I expect so much from people and then allow myself to get disappointed so often?  I heard a saying recently: “expectation is just premeditated resentment.”  Yikes, that hit home.

I am becoming more aware of the choices I make every day.  I choose to have an original experience each day.  I choose to stop bringing all of yesteryear’s baggage to this new day.

“Growth is the willingness to let reality be new every moment.” ~ Deepak Chopra.

Guess I’ve grown a wee bit.

S

The voice in your head

Are you plagued by the swirling thoughts syndrome?  Do you find yourself always thinking, thinking–trying to figure things out?  Exhausted from listening to that voice in your head–your constant companion…the worried, negative, demanding roommate in your brain?

Stress, challenges, worries, difficult times, place undue burden on our bodies and souls.  Be here now, we are told.  The power of now.  I understand the concept, but it just ain’t easy to enjoy the present moment, when that darn voice is saying “finish that piece”,”your paperwork is two months behind”, “how will you ever make that payment?” and on and on.

A friend of mine told me one of her solutions.  A god bag.  Once the swirling thoughts start, and she can’t figure out how to solve a certain problem, she will write it on a scrap of paper, fold it up and put it in her god bag–then the key: LET IT GO. (She’s been doing it for more than ten years.)

It’s sort of like a little prayer being put out there…an asking. And once asked, we don’t need to repeat it over and over for the universe to know what we’re requesting.  But getting it out of your head is crucial.

So I made myself a goddess box, painted it, put decorative metal corners on it and voila!–I sequester my swirling thoughts in to a colorful, secure box, where the source of all-that-is can get to work handling the problems.

And suddenly I feel relief.  Strange.  Just knowing they are in there, stewing, bubbling, squirming in the magical energy of the angels or god or source or higher power or whatever you will call it…makes me feel a burden has lifted.

My friend says approx twice a year she will take out all the scraps, read them over and burn the ones that have been answered or dealt with, in a friendly bonfire or some such thing. She shared that this has been a transformational ritual for her.

Awesome.  Just in the last week one issue has already been solved.  I look forward to torching that little scrap!

Getting the hang of things

tweet, twit, FB, apps, my space, my goodness. Just getting the hang of all this amazing technology and figuring how to incorporate it into my life and my business. Very excited to start my blogging and share inspiration and ideas with other awesome folks.

Life can fly by so quick, busy busy with a million details. Yet the quiet and contemplation calls to me. Thats usually where I find my AHA moments and inspiration.

More to come!

Inspiration/Intuition

Inspirationa divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul;  in-spirit

Intuitionthe quality or ability of having such direct     perception or quick insight.


I have been giving these two words a great deal of thought lately, in how they relate to my journey as an artist.  Sometimes it’s a struggle to feel inspiration.  People talk about it as an elusive, shadowy thing that you may get lucky enough to capture, like a leprechaun.

But when I put the “in-spirit” twist on the word, it makes more sense.  It’s always there, like the sun shining behind the dark clouds.  And knowing this means it is just a matter of cleaning up the cloudy connection and allowing what is already existing to bubble up.

And when inspiration has an unobstructed path up through me, intuition follows.–direct perception of what my creative process is to be–quick insight!

How to clear up the connection, blow the clouds (or cobwebs) away?

Relax, ask, meditate, quiet the noise in some way–this allows me to notice the point of view of my spirit, the most authentic me, my self that is divine.

And sometimes it take me just starting the project, regardless of my state (cranky or no), and inspiration shows up.

Then what I am to do next becomes obvious and the creation process flows a bit better.  Slightly easier than catching a leprechaun.