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Lately Around Here: Making Progress

Lately Around here

 

Oh, hai.  It’s been a while since I gave an update on what I’ve been up to, so I’m filling you in on what’s been happening lately around here.  I was writing this kind of post every week for a while and it started to feel, well…stale.  So I’m going to go with the normal pace of life and post when I have things going on to share.  Life is a lot easier when I just follow the flow of things.

So anyhoo, I’ve been diligently working on getting my Etsy shop in order.  So yeah, WOW.  Who knew there were so many details to get to!  Summaries + descriptions + tags, the list goes on and on.  And then I have to figure out how to share it with the world.  It can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but I have to remind myself that it’s exciting, too.  (My newsletter peeps will get a special discount on prints when I open the shop, so sign up here!)

Fear is excitement

I’ve been trying hard to be more intentional about getting into the studio and putting in the time because these things aren’t going to paint themselves!  And me being on social media or email?  That’s not getting it done either.  I’m trying to figure out a rhythm that feeds my creative flow while also being a little disciplined about finishing projects and not falling down the Instagram rabbit hole for hours. I swear that place is like visual crack.  Here are a few pieces in progress:

Painting In Progress

Painting In progress

 

I kind of surprised myself at how totally psyched I was when Chris’s brother offered us tickets to see the Eagles game in his company’s box.  I’ve never been to a live, pro football game and WHOA–this is the way to go.  We had food and drinks at our fingertips, a private bathroom and our very own cheerleaders!  I’m ruined for football games forever.   How will I ever sit in a normal seat now?

Eagles Game

Go Eagles!

My cousin Seth has this totally rad hipster-fest art show each year in Asbury Park.  It’s not your typical art–it’s individually decorated motorcycle helmets by some amazing artists from all around the country.  He got a few companies to donate  the helmets and each artist put their own spin on it.  Talk about creative!  There was one covered in denim, you guys.

This year it was held at a retro bowling alley.  Bowling?  Um, yes please.  We not only were surrounded by fun, interesting people, but we could have a beer and bowl the night away.  AND all of the helmets were auctioned off to benefit waves 4 water.  It’s just a really cool idea and for a great cause.

Moto Show

Me + Chris before our attempt at bowling.

Me And Chris

A cousin sandwich.

Cousins

My sister, the unofficial model of Two Moto.

Swanky Liv

The art helmet hipster fest was hard to beat, but I was psyched to start back with my art class on Monday.  In the middle of painting session this week, our teacher told everyone to come outside to look at the light and colors of the sunset.  We all stood around taking pictures for five minutes and every minute it looked different!  The pinks + peaches + purples + blues were breath taking in a way that only nature can create.  I loved getting lost in all of the colors and loved that there were eight other people around me who felt the same way.

Big Sky

Michaelangelo Sky

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Lately Around Here: Making Progress2018-03-29T20:23:14-04:00

Who do you perform for? You’re not an actor. {Unless you want to be}

Who do you perform for in your life?  Click through for the easiest way to drop the act and be yourself.

I  have a lot of roles to play out each day.  You know what I mean–the lover, friend, therapist, all around fixer etc.  I wear so many hats that sometimes it fees like I’m performing different roles in a play.  It’s normal to be different things to different people, but what happens when those things begin to take on a life of their own–when it feels like you’re being a different person altogether?

It can be downright exhausting when you realize who you perform for.  Does this sound familiar: you can’t be a little off color in front of your parents because they’re old school.  You have to talk about politics with your boss so he doesn’t think you’re a brainless nitwit.  You are the sexy, nothing-bothers-me girlfriend.

And what’s funny is that a lot of the time, people can see through the crap. They can see that you’re spinning life through a particular lens that doesn’t suit you.

When did we start trying to be different things to different people?

You've changed

I was recently listening to a conversation between girlfriends, who were talking about these sorts of roles.  It was obvious they were polished o the outside and seemed to have it together, but they were complaining about having to play the game.  They’re moms, wives, sisters, friends and caregivers among many other things.  They tweak their temper not to upset others. They twist and contort their opinion to keep the peace.  They tamper down their personalities to smooth things over.  It’s something they were taught early in life–to be polite, to not rock the boat, to be seen and not heard. How utterly boring.

What if someone just told them to stop doing that?  To just take a deep breath and be themselves?

Being yourself wholeheartedly means being vulnerable.  It can be uncomfortable when you are the full throttle version of yourself, it’s scary and you can be rejected because people may not like you at that moment.  But what if that was ok?  Afterall, you can’t please everyone.  And guess what?  If you turn those people off, those are not your people.

And there’s also a lot of other wonderful things that come with being yourself like relief and ease.  You can relax.  You automatically create room for other like-minded friends.

As I get older, I realize that I care less about what other people think about me.   Don’t get me wrong,  that pit in the stomach feeling still happens–wanting to seem like I’ve got it together!  I’m making it happen in life!  And it’s all easy!  But nothing could be further from the truth, we’re all feeling our way through.  But I find it’s a lot easier to manage things when I’m not lying to myself about it.  I think it’s a combination of maturity and understanding that everyone else has that same fear of just wanting to be ok.

What I often forget though, is that people connect on the things we usually try to hide.  The quirks and the weird things that we think other people won’t like, are the most endearing part of who we are.  We all want to seem more ‘normal’, where in reality it’s that freak flag that really draws people in.

We all play roles in our lives, but hopefully there comes a point where the role you’re playing and who you really are come together.  It feels good to be authentic and make no apologies for your presence in the world.  Try it out, you might just be surprised.

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Who do you perform for? You’re not an actor. {Unless you want to be}2018-03-29T20:23:28-04:00

5 Ways to stress less when the universe is messing with your mojo

Stress is such a buzz kill!  Click through to learn a few tips on how to stress less and get more out of life.
It started out as a relaxing morning; I was driving to the gym and wanted to make a quick stop to put some air in a suspiciously low tire.  I jumped out of the driver’s seat and the door clicked shut.  Like a pro, I filled the tire lickety split, grabbed the handle of the door to get back in… and the car was locked.

It wouldn’t have been such a big deal but, the car was still running.  Not to mention my money, ID and phone were hanging out on the seat.  And no, I didn’t accidentally lock the car, it locked on it’s own. (I swear!)  So much for shortcuts.

What was meant to be a happy productive day of exercise!  working on my blog! lunch with a friend! quickly turned into a stressful pain in the ass.  It was a total buzzkill.

It got me thinking–how can we prevent everyday stress from killing our mojo?  Daily stress  will always be there, it’s a part of life.  And sometimes stress is good, because it motivates us and keeps us moving.  But in this case?  It was a total bummer to get locked out! #nothelpful

So what should we do when over the top stress just plain sucks the life out of us? Here are some ideas on how to stress less:

  • Short of death and dismemberment, there are few things that can’t be fixed/undone/changed.  When in a stressful moment, taking a deep breath will help get things in perspective.   OR, do a jumping jack to get out of that crazed feeling in your head and get back to being present in your body.  Afterall, attitude determines altitude.  Using these tricks changed my thought to: “At least this happened when I have a flexible day so I don’t have to stress about screwing up a rigid schedule.”
  • Give in to the moment.  When we stress about things, it’s often a projection of what might happen in the future as a result of one bad occurrence.  Stay in the now so you don’t get all crazy about the future.
  • Ask for help.  God knows we’ve all had our share of stressful moments!  Asking for help always seems to take a little pressure off and it gives others a chance to feel good too.  Given the opportunity, I’ve found most people like to be helpful (and thanked!)
  • Loosen the grip.  Instead of waiting on line and being royally irked by the loud talker in front of me, I try to imagine her having a hearing problem (so she needs to talk louder) or I imagine her as a little girl that was bullied (she just wants to be heard).  A little compassion can go a long way.
  • Give in to the actual moment so it can pass.  Stress isn’t always bad–it can help get things done and keep life moving along.    But stress can make even the most chill of people, flip out.  So when a situation starts to feel like a tight noose around my neck, sometimes I just throw my hands up and say mercy.  It helps me to see the situation for what it is, and move on.

Two hours later, multiple phone calls and failed attempts to locate my spare key, a kind soul finally opened my car door with a jimmy-thing (proving me right about people just wanting to be helpful).  I thanked the gas station attendants and the various people that tried to help along the way and I hopped in my car, grateful to be back in action.  Let’s just say now when I leave my car, so do my keys.

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5 Ways to stress less when the universe is messing with your mojo2018-03-29T20:23:29-04:00
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