The #ShePersisted Series Calendar is Here!

I did it!

Yesterday, I decided it was time to ‘get real’ with my #ShePersisted Series paintings.

I made a start.

I spent the day creating a desktop calendar and video to go along with it.

And… you know that saying, the devil is in the details?

Well, after spending several hours loading in the photos, smoothing out the page turns, creating graphics and getting the music to sync I read the fine print on Etsy.

Videos are 5 – 15 secs. No sound.

LOL — man those details can be annoying!

Today, I shall create a soundless short video to put up on my Etsy Store a

There is a silver lining. The 1 min video I did create gave me lots of opportunity to stretch my video-editing skills, and, I do have good promotional video for the calendar! Win/Win

It also gave me a chance to use one of my favourite songs by Taylor Cochrane of 36? fame.

So… if you want to hear 1 min 14 seconds of Man at the Door by 36? please do click on the video below.

Full disclosure… Taylor is C.C.’s incredibly talented son. Once you hear him, you’ll understand just how talented.

I have been blessed with Taylor and his partner Laura Hickli’s permission to use any of their music in my videos. It is both a privilege and a gift to be able to share their music and to in some small way support them in their creative endeavours.

And now, Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I are off to walk beneath winter’s soft grey sky and falling snow.

Once I’m back, I shall continue to update the #ShePersisted Series on my website and work on a new painting.

It’s the ‘thing’ I find so inspiring and amazing about the creative process. When I least expect it, ideas drift into my mind calling my imagination to run wild in creative fields of abundance.

The quote that drifted in as I lay between awake and dreaming this morning is:

“They said, it would be easier for everyone if you play by the rules.”

“She said, It’s not about easy. It’s about fairness, justice and dignity for everyone.”

Stay tuned for No. 61 (or is that No 59 or 62? gotta get that numbering fixed! :)) in the #ShePersisted Series.

The full version of The Man at the Door is available on your favourite music-listening site. Or click HERE to listen to it on YouTube.

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Click HERE to order from DareBoldlyArt on Etsy. Or DM me.

They make a great stocking stuffer! 🙂

Beauty Lives In All The Seasons

Mother Nature and the Muse conspired to get me outside yesterday and breathe deeply into and with the beauty all around.

I stepped outside my studio door and autumn greeted me with wintery kisses.

The muse wrote words upon my heart and… because I’m working on my video editing skills… I made a video of the muse-inspired poem that fell onto the page.

Learning To See… and Feel… and Be

“Openings” Mixed media on watercolour cardstock. 5×7″

On his blog, I Can’t Sleep David Kanigan shares two photos he took of sunrise this morning where he lives on the east coast near New York City and a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke. (click here to see David’s beautiful photos)

Both his photos and the quote ease my restless mind, awakening me to the sea of calm and peace within me.

The Rilke quote is:

I am learning to see.

I don’t know why it is,

but everything enters me more deeply and doesn’t stop where it once used to.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge

I commented and wrote,

“And the challenge becomes… as I learn to see and listen and feel deeply, all my senses awakened, it is not just ‘the good’ that enters. It is all of it.

Your images this morning enter and touch those raw parts that are on alert, waiting. waiting. waiting for news that is still too soon to tell.

Thank you for the peaceful respite and the reminder to see the beauty and let it wash away the anxiety. To feel the Love and let it embrace the fear.”

I remember when my daughters were born, how I’d sit and stare into their beautiful faces for hours and hours on end. I felt immersed in beauty, Love, joy, gratitude.

I remember thinking and feeling like I’d never in my entire life witnessed anything so miraculous and beautiful as their tiny beings.

They were so perfect. So innocent. So wondrous. They were, and still are, a true reflection of Love.

This morning, as I type, tears form in my eyes and gently find their way down my cheeks.

The sky above is pale blue. To the west, a single cloud stretches out across the near horizon drifting effortlessly towards the south. Its body is white above melting into dusty white and grey below.

To the north, a bank of grey on grey cloud covers the sky in mystery.

The weather is turning.

It always does.

Just like the season.

Yesterday, the day that has consumed so much of my thought and time for the past while came and went.

The results are too close to call, the newscasters say.

And, like the clouds floating across the sky, I let the news pass and fall deeper into Love.

And the world keeps turning.

And beauty and the beasts keep dancing.

And tolerance and disrespect keep meeting on the playing fields of lives lived in far away places and right here in the city where I live.

And joy and sorrow keep embracing in the hearts and souls of those who have lost a loved one, a dream, a game or perhaps their way on the road of life.

And through it all, Love keeps flowing, keeps filling the spaces between all of it.

Yes. I am learning to see.

And feel.

And honour.

And accept.

And embrace it all.

It is all here. All present.

I feel it all and let it flow. In the flow, Love prevails and holds me in its sheltering embrace.

In the flow, I am safe.

Namaste

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About the artwork:

I spent an afternoon creating backgrounds on 5 x 7″ watercolour cardstock.

I’m now playing with them and creating greeting cards.

The joy has been, particularly in the instances where I don’t particularly like the background (like the large image at the top which was really ugly!) finding the beauty calling itself into being seen.

The WindSong Dance

I awoke this morning with an invitation from the muse to play! And what better way to play than to listen to the stories of the wind rustling in through the trees?

“And the wind blew wild and free full of the stories it had heard on its journey around the world.

It whispered its tales of wonder and delight into the bare boned limbs of the trees and the trees gathered the WindSong tales blowin’ in the wind and the branches danced and the leaves rustled and Nature sang a song of joy.”

I hope you join me in the dance!

Just hanging On!

Hang on! Hang on! The leaves cry frantically to one another. The fall is coming. The falling is coming. Resist! Resist!

Let’s stick together, they tell one another as they huddle closer to the branch. There’s strength in numbers.

In time, none of it matters. Resistance is futile. Defiance unnecessary.

As predictable as the earth’s orbit around the sun, the fall beckons. The leaves fall. Winter descends. Spring follows.

Nature always has its way.

Let’s face it, hanging on is sometimes the only way we know to avoid the thing we fear even more than speaking in public or dying — change.

Change is in the air. It always is. Change is here to stay.

Have you ever…

Stayed in a job you hate? A relationship that made you unhappy?

Are there clothes in your closet that no longer fit? Shoes that hurt your feet? Sweaters with holes and pulled threads that you no longer wear but just can’t get rid of?

And, what about memories?

Do you keep a reel of unhappy stories on repeat in your mind? Do you replay them and replay them so that your ‘poor me’ story becomes the only story you know how to tell?

Do you wish you could change the past? Redirect the movie of your life into someone else’s story?

Well, here’s the deal. No one is powerful enough to change the past. And someone else’s story will never fit you.

All you’ve got to work with to create the life you dream of is this moment right now and your willingness to bet your life on your heart’s desires, whatever they may be.

So… what’s holding you back? What are you hanging on to?

Ask yourself,

“What am I feeling right now? Do I want to be feeling these same feelings I’m feeling right now in a week, a month, a year, five years time?”

“Is there a burning desire deep within me to make a dream come true and I am doing nothing to make it happen because I’m afraid to let go of… [name your poison] Fear of failure. Looking silly. Falling down. Being laughed at. Being right. Having to learn something new. My story of why it isn’t possible. My deeply buried belief my dreams are not worth fighting for…”

“Am I holding onto past hurts and pain because I tell myself at least I can count on the past? Nothing changes there. And anyway, I’m not ready to let go of them yet.”

Once you’ve examined your feelings and thoughts around those questions, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen if I let go of [fill in the blank] and my fear of change and the stories I tell myself and decide to just do it anyway?”

Fact is. You might fall.

Then again. You might soar too.

You’ll never know until you let go of what is holding you back…

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About this post:

When I took this photo yesterday on one of my walks with Beaumont, I was fascinated by how this one bush was still covered in leaves when all through the forest the trees stood bare, stripped of their autumn finery by wind and snow and the changing of the seasons.

I wonder why this one tree hasn’t lost its leaves yet, I wondered… and then, the parallel to my life began to form.

What am I holding onto that I need to let go of? I wondered.

I think it’s a great question to begin my day.

Namaste

Be. Here. Now.

I am walking in the woods. Dry leaves crunch beneath my feet. Beaumont the Sheepadoodle bounds through the leaves and grasses surrounding us.

I walk and as I listen to the inviting crunch of the leaves I notice my mind is busy, filled with thoughts darting through my mind like Beaumont chasing a squirrel bounding through the forest.

I stop to watch their dance. Beaumont thinking he can catch the squirrel. The squirrel confident in his prowess and speed.

I stop and listen to my thoughts, trying to capture them but they are fast. Elusive. All I feel is the sensation of their wanting to capture the beauty around me by comparing it to what is happening around me and to how golden, or not, the leaves and trees and forest was yesterday.

“How often does that happen?” I wonder. “This constant comparison and judging of this moment against past moments?”

I think it’s probably a lot.

I step closer to a tree and stand beneath the autumn filled canopy its branches stretched out above me. I reach out and touch its gnarled trunk. “Here I am,” I whisper as I crane my neck and look up through its golden leaves to the clear blue sky high above.

And the tree stands in silent witness to my presence. Neither comparing nor judging how I am and how the world is in that moment.

“Be like the tree,” the voice of wisdom deep within me whispers. “Be. Here. Now.”

And so I breathe and close my eyes and let the presence of the tree fill me with its silence.

“Here. I am. Now.”

Namaste

Fall Deeper

Friday morning. Days turn into weeks. And then months.

Forest fire smoke that clouded the sky has lifted. Leaves are falling as the season turns from summer to golden autumn.

And I find myself curving back into myself, again and again, where I fall, deeper and deeper into Love’s way with every step I take.