Each morning we are born again!
Every morning I start my day with a ritual. I was raised Catholic and I like rituals. They keep me grounded . One of my favorite rituals is posting a morning quote on Facebook and sometimes on Instagram. I have jokingly been accused of walking on pink clouds and hanging out with unicorns ( that would be nice). I choose to be optimistic. It isn't always easy.
It is my pushback. I do not like the fear, the scarcity, the mean competitiveness , the anger, the rudeness, news, fake news, I do not like what I am seeing in this world.
I am one person and I was thinking what can I do?
I can’t afford to buy everyone a cup of coffee and talk.
But I can find quotes and share the wisdom of wonderful people and start others days off with a positive note.
Sometimes I pair a quote or thought with my art.
Now, my inner critics would prefer if I didn’t share so much, but my persistence of love overrides her.
It is so EASY to be full of hate and rage and it is difficult to stay in the magic and beauty of life in the moment.
We need to be awake now more than ever.
Let’s be sweet rebels of magic and beauty and create a conspiracy of love. Want to?
On January 21st, I plan on marching in solidarity with women all over the United States. I will don my pink cap, so kindly made by my dear friend Sharon and I will march in Lansing MI , my home state. Marching is way out of my nice girl, introvert, comfort zone to do, but I believe it is necessary.
When I was a teenager in the 70’s I was sleeping on a cot in a dorm room and I was awoken by someone grabbing my "pussy" I pretended I was asleep as I was afraid he would do more harm to me. Eventually he gave up and left the room. I never spoke about it but when the controversy came up before election that horrible feeling came up again, the stomach tied in knots. A flush of anger. I am walking for the young woman I was.
I will march for Love, for all. I will march for the insulted , the differently abled, the uninsured, the women who would like assistance with their health care. I will walk for future daughters in hopes of kinder times. I will walk for the objectified, the weak, the poor, for the gaslit, for those that have not found their voice. Every step I take will be a prayer for a gentler more compassionate country.
Do you feel like you are being heard?
“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” Brene Brown
I like to welcome the new year in with a word. For the 12 months going forward I carry my word with me. Much smaller than a security blanket, and it delights me to see where it will pop up.
Last year my word was Shine -- and oh! it showed up everywhere, my shampoo, in songs (think Crazy Diamond). Shine On, rise and shine, shimmer and shine.
However this year feels very different to me, not so sparkly, a little darker. This year, I am going with the word FAITH.
Deeper than hope, the knowing that every little thing is going to be all right, even though I am watching my hours of employment dwindle at my day job, and the idea of recreating myself yet again leaves me weary.
The winter is upon us and a new president is coming into power . Nothing is normal.
I will tuck FAITH in my pocket and wear it in to 2017.
What is your word for 2017?
“The guardians of high culture will try to convince you that the arts belong only to a chosen few, but they are wrong
and they are also annoying.
We are all the chosen few.
We are all makers by design. "
I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert -- for the second time since it came out.
I bought the book before it hit the bookshelves. Waited for the release date and tracked my package. I was the last delivery that day and I ran out of the house after the delivery truck because it passed my house. I stayed up all night to read it.
I am going to see Elizabeth Gilbert this Sunday with two friends so I re-read it.
Wow, where was I the first time? I had missed something crucial, that creativity is sacred and not at all sacred , that art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. That work wants to be made through us. I missed a whole lot!
I even posted some ridiculous question on her website about her podcast before I re-read it.
I love to create things, but sometimes I have been too distracted to create; by my family, crazy jobs, aging parents,grieving the parents, job losses, reinventing, fear, getting in my own way -- the nitty gritty of life.
My drawing and painting took a backseat -- no actually they were packed in the trunk with some rolling soccer balls, a green sock, mismatched set of mittens and an old empty juice box.
Recently that trunk was opened again and I feel so much better.
I create art so that I am not just working at a job and paying bills.
I share some of it, (that was difficult at first).
I am approaching it with curiosity again now.
I approach it with gratitude.
I really love to make stuff!
I love to make stuff out of nothing.
Making stuff is for love.
It is for trying something new.
It is a prayer .
My stolen moments with art make it even more amazing.
Guess what? My art and I are going to have an affair (her idea)!
Thank You, Elizabeth Gilbert for a new perspective.
I am curious, who inspires you?
“Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”
― Brené Brown
Ahhh, class reunions the best incentive to lose a few pounds.
I was asked to help with planning mine this year, and although I had no intention of going to it, I surprised myself and said yes, that might be fun.
I skated through high school not really participating in sports, or clubs or much other than Friday and Saturday night parties.
I strived to be cool -- I wasn’t! I hung out in the art wing. I laughed a lot, cried some. I wasn’t the best student, I wasn’t the worse.
Hung out with some amazing friends, floated under the radar mostly wanting to blend in.
Never felt like I belonged because I moved in to the community in eighth grade . Leaving behind all the wonderful coolness my siblings had forged in the school I had left. Repeating the story I would have been happier if left back at my old school. I wore it as an armor and I wore it well.
I was a puppet to the critics in my head, repeating you are not pretty enough, smart enough, you are not ever enough.
Matter of fact when a picture of the runners up for homecoming queen appeared on the reunion Facebook page, they returned: not enough! why are you even doing doing this reunion thing?
My favorite critic, Who do you think you are ? showed up too.
I thanked the critics and told them I am safe. I can handle this now. I do not try to fit in. I show up, lean in, and participate.
Being an introvert that really loves people is ok. I know I am capable,brave and significant even when it feels like I am not.
I still love to do art, I still surround myself with amazing friends.
I know I do not have to do this reunion thing, but I finally feel like I belong, in my own skin.
Thank you Heidi for asking me to join.
Do you ever battle with inner critics?
Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you “I’m not f-ing around, use the gifts you were given.” Brene Brown
Ok, well maybe midlife plus.
I have started paying more attentions and sharing my drawing, painting, taking more art classes on line, and teaching art.
Art is something that calls to me, I do not feel like myself unless I create. It can be a great salad, a little poem, a meme with a photo and a great quote, a journal page, a watercolor painting.
I have resisted creating before, I will not resist again.
I recently went to an art show with my dear friend Nancy at a local University. This was not your typical art show.
It was the precious art of prisoners in the camps at Auschwitz.
They drew with crayons and pieces of lead, and hid their art in vessels they buried. Those that worked in the office would smuggle paper back to other prisoners. They carved buttons, pieces of found wood.They created, they drew themselves, what they used to look like, comics, flowers and beautiful landscapes. They drew knowing there were severe consequences . They made art.
I understood this call, it spoke to my soul. AndI was humbled beyond words.
The beauty amongst the ugly atrocities.
The tender amongst the harshest conditions
The bravest artists ever.
I don’t even have words to describe my admiration for these dear souls.
Are you using your gifts?
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!
-William Arthur Ward.
I will sing the songs but they might be out of key and kind of awful!
I want to thank you for a wonderful 2015 .
Thank you for signing up for my class, thank you for commissioning art pieces, thank you for encouraging words. Thank you for being an important part of my life. You are rock stars!
I love that 2016 is being referred to as "Sweet 16".
Somehow it just fits.
Every year I choose a word. Do you?
I find it is easier to have a word for the year than having resolutions that I break in a couple of weeks.
Last year was Meraki and the year before that it was Trust. I chose these words with gusto.
This year the word chose me.
It is not a word I would ever choose for myself -- it makes me a little anxious. I really love it but at the same time, it scares me.
So, I said yes to it.
I have been noticing this word in quotes, a dear friend mentioned it this week, my calendar reminded me of it on these cold gray days in Michigan.
The clincher was when I was getting ready to choose another word and the radio played A Pavlov's Dog song that had the word in it, and then a Pink Floyd song played that had the word in it too -- back to back.
Billboards, shampoo, everywhere my word kept popping up and I would notice and laugh.
My word? It's Shine.
Do you have a word to carry with you in 2016?
Let me know,xoxo Mary
If you enjoy my art and joy musings, I have a new subscribe button on my homepage (http://www.mpcillustrations.com/) where you can sign up to my missives and musings directly to your inbox.
You may be kickings someone”s ass at the moment metaphorically, of course. At the very least , you are probably standing up for yourself, reading someone the riot act, or kicking in the fender of the taxi that tried to overcharge you.” Meghan Cleary a description of the workingman's boot girl from the book Shoe are You?®
Well it finally happened.
I have been around the greatest of shoe lovers .
I know know the anatomy of shoes.
I can spot a Loubioutin or a Jerome C. Rousseau.
However I never felt an affinity to any particular shoe.
Until I wore a pair of dark purple,with a little fake fur in them, Doc Martens.
I put those on and feel like I am both grounded and yet I can fly.
They can stomp or dance .
They can tiptoe or tap
I never understood the shoe thing, seriously, I know I have been missing out a wee bit.
These Doc Martens will get me through the toughest of Michigan winters.
Now I have my eye on a ballet flat or two.
Meghan Cleary will be introducing her new shoe line at Nordstroms online.
I am so excited .
Blessed beyond measure to work with Meghan on her Logo!
I hope you will join me in supporting her awesome shoe line MeghanSAYS.
Starting right now you will be able to purchase these shoes.
I can now say, I have a favorite shoe designer too!
I feel so grown up!
Do you have a favorite Shoe?
“There are really only three types of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, What happened?” Ann Landers
Shout out to all the girls, that didn’t wear the fluffy dresses,
the shiny shoes,though I love them too!
the ones that read books
and chose hockey skates over figure skates
the ones that can skateboard,
hike up a mountain.
the ones that played soccer on a cold saturday morning
the ones that stood at home plate and swung
the ones that can volley a ball over a net
the ones that wore boots with dresses
I am so pleased to be going to a Buffalo Beauts game, it is a professional women's ice hockey team based in Buffalo.
Let me repeat -- Professional Womens Ice Hockey
I am just so excited that this is happening and women are being paid for their sport and it is not played in lingerie and it is a real league.
What is amazing you today?
Mary Pressel Cline