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The Power of your Thoughts

Ok so today’s quote is:

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right. -Henry Ford

I forget the truth of this all too often. I am one of those people who often lives in the land of negativity. I worry, I fret, I assume things will not work out.

But, interestingly, this doesn’t seem to stop me from going full steam after things I want. One of my personal mottos is “yes I can.” Over the course of my life, I’ve had people tell me I can’t do things or that certain things are not possible and I’ve proven people wrong enough times to know that no one else gets to tell me what I can or cannot do.

Except for me.

And therein lies the problem.

When I am feeling low about myself or in a valley instead of peak, it’s tougher to remember that the power is within me. What makes something possible is my personal belief in it. My ability to believe it to be possible. And when I am feeling rotten, I don’t believe in myself at all. I think I can’t do anything. And so I end up being right, of course.

To me, the most important part of this quote is to remember it during those tougher times in life. When we’re feeling up and happy, we feel optimistic and believe in our ability to move forward, do things, make change. But when we’re down, we don’t think we can do anything to change it. Which then means we don’t do anything. Which, of course results in no change. So, when we’re struggling the most, our own thoughts get in the way of our ability to get out of the dumps.

Talk about a chicken and egg issue.

This made me think quite a bit about what I can do differently. How can I use the power of thoughts to my advantage during the tougher times. One idea I had was to write down a list of things I think I can’t do. Brainstorm as much as I can and then take them even one level deeper and write why I can’t do them. What’s in the way? What’s wrong with me? On and on until all of it is out of my system. And then to take a step back and try the opposite. What if I could do these things? If I thought I could, where would I start? What would be the first thing I would want to do/need to?

This way I allow the whole “wallowing” bit to get out of my system and then I move into a space of possibility. I am not saying I can do it, but I am asking what I would do first if I could do it. I am sort of tricking my negativity mindset here by short-circuiting it.

Not sure if it will work, but I am willing to try.

For those of you who believe in the power of thought, too, what do you do to help yourself when you are down on yourself and think you can’t do anything?

Listen with Intent – Week 14

For April, I wanted to set a light intention. Something that would remind me to seek the light and look for the joy when listening. I think it’s easier for me to look for the substance, the depth, the “what’s wrong” then it is to be with lightness. I am not sure why. But this month, I want to listen with the intent of finding the joy. Listening with joy and for joy.

The lettering is somewhere in my pinterest board but I couldn’t find it for the life of me. And the image is of blowing bubbles, which gives me joy to do and to watch.


Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Today I Know – Week 13

This week’s inspiration also comes from the Craft-A-Doodle book. Again from the artist Pamela Keravuori whose projects are amazing.

I drew this page and then colored it using Faber Castell qrt pencils and some peerless watercolors. Then I used some other water color pencils and I used some pastels. Some neocolor 2s as well. Then Stabilo All to trace it all once more. I colored the background with the gelatos.

prompt says: today i know that i have made it through

I wrote about how i made it through all my goals and dreams and it’s time to make new ones.


Today I Know is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Where You Fear to Live

I was looking at quotes last night to see what I might want to write today and I realized that Rumi and Ram Dass are speaking the most to me at the moment. As I scrolled through my list of quotes, this one jumped out at me. I tried to ignore it but no matter how much I went through the list, it would not let me go. So there’s today’s quote.

“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.” ? Rumi

There are so many parts of this quote that speak to me. I’ve always been a cautious person by nature. It’s just who I am. But even so, the idea of forgetting safety really appeals to me. When I read the last two lines, they sound extreme but also there’s this quality of total letting go. Not caring about others. Living whole. Just as I am. I love the sound of that.

The part that stands out the most for me, however, is “live where you fear to live.” I love this idea. I love the idea of walking towards the fear. Living in it, instead of running away from it. One of the things I’ve noticed for me is that as I’ve aged, I’ve become more fearful. (Izabela mentioned in yesterday’s post, too.) I am not sure what it is. Maybe I have more at stake. Maybe I have more to lose. Maybe the repercussions of a mistake seem much larger. Or maybe I haven’t been practicing bravery enough and my muscles have atrophied.

Earlier this week, I watched this wonderful video by Danielle. And I loved the very beginning where she says: “Your mantra of choice is: I’ll figure it out.”

I love that.

I want that.

That’s how I want to think. I don’t want to stay away from things due to fear. I don’t want to worry. I don’t want to not try. I want to keep saying that mantra in my head “I will figure it out.” Because I know I will. When you’re determined to figure it out, the universe moves with you. So you just have to have faith and jump in.

And I just don’t want to be afraid anymore.

I remember telling my husband years ago (he was my boyfriend then) that we have to quit our jobs on Wall Street. That we have to be willing to walk away so that we get used to looking for new jobs, knowing our worth, interviewing. So that we never feel afraid to leave. So that we never feel trapped.

I don’t ever want to feel trapped in my own life. I don’t have to feel like a victim of my choices. I want to be able to move into places I fear and have faith that I will figure it out. I will survive.

Nah. not just survive.

I will thrive.

Never Too Late

This particular thought has been on my mind often lately. Especially as I count down to my fortieth birthday, I’ve been thinking about the concept of “too late” and about how I had expected my life to turn out and who I had thought I might grow up to be, etc.

I was one of those unusual people who knew what she wanted from a very young age. Before I was in middle school, I already knew I wanted to work with computers (and some form of art ideally) and I knew that I wanted to study in the United States.

As I step back to look at my life now, I joyfully acknowledge that I have had many of my dreams come true. I have now been living in the US for twenty years, I own a home that I love, have a truly wonderful husband who loves me probably as much as any human can, I have two young kids who are gifts that I am grateful for each day. I have a job at a wonderful company who treats its people as well as can be expected from a company. And I get to work with computers and help build a product I care deeply about. I get to coach people who inspire me. I also get to do a lot of art in my spare time and have the honor of designing for a few manufacturers whose products I love.

I am not sure I could have designed a better life if I tried.

And yet.

Of course, it’s far from perfect.

I still think about “what i might have been.” I wonder what that even means. I think about the kind of person I turned out to be. The way I treat the people I love. The peace I seem to yearn for but never allow inside. The changes I would like in my day-to-day life. The amount of stress I am carrying at any moment in time. How much I’d like to do with my kids. How much more I might want to do for myself.

There are parts of me that I wish were fundamentally different.

But then I think, wouldn’t that change everything? If I had been a different person, wouldn’t my life also have turned out differently? Would I be willing to give up all that I have to be this other person? My husband, my kids, my life?

Likely not.

I have always chosen to take the known over unknown. Partly because when I sit down to think about things seriously, I realize that there’s more good about me and my life than the bad. Most of which I wouldn’t be willing to give up in exchange for other possibilities.

However.

This doesn’t mean I couldn’t change and shift things now. In this day and age, forty is not old at all. If I am lucky, I might get to live another fifty years. That’s more years than I’ve been alive so far. It means that instead of being near the end of the road, I am not even halfway yet. So this is no time to give up.

It is definitely not too late to be who I might have been. Every day is a new opportunity to recalibrate. I get to choose who I am each moment. Who I am and who I want to be.

It is not too late to be who I want to be.

I had a lot of dreams at the age of nine and I followed through on almost all. Now that I am almost forty, it’s a good time to sit and make some new ones.

How about you, do you think it’s too late to be what you might have been?

Leveraging what You Have

I finished my monthly project in March and will be posting it next week. For April, I decided I will try the “A month of writing phrases.” When I saw Lori was teaching a class in February, my intention was to take the class and then schedule this for a month later. From having taken her previous class, I knew she’d inspire me and she did not disappoint!

I have also been sad that I am not posting my thoughts posts anymore, so I thought maybe I can couple the two and see if I can post more in April. No promises as I am doing a lot of work at work but let’s see how it goes.

This is one of the phrases that I have in my inspiration board for this year. When I first saw it on pinterest it immediately spoke to me. This whole concept isn’t even new to me. Years ago, I read Now Discover Your Strengths, which fundamentally talks about the idea of focusing what you’re good at. I remember one specific example of how when your kids come home with an A in English and a C in math, you spend a lot of time asking them why they got the C and how to improve it but you don’t focus on why English is an A and what that might mean. We don’t focus on the good. Instead we have this idea that we should be well-rounded and “good enough” on everything.

While it might be valuable to have a solid base on many different things, clearly we’re never going to be excellent at everything. And if you’re going to pick something to be good at, why not start where you’re already excelling?

I also feel like we tend to assume that what we’re good at is as easy for others as it is for us. Or as fun. And neither is true. Each of us has her own unique cross-section of things we’re good at and enjoy and like to spend time doing. This list is not to be dismissed or undermined, it’s to be looked at really carefully. This is your essence. The stuff that comes “easily” to you or the stuff you like dedicating your time on is your stuff. It’s where your passion and talent meet.

It is not to be undervalued.

I feel that if we all did more of what we love and came easily to us, and less of trying to round out the parts of us that are less natural, we’d be happier and the world would be a better place. Not to extremes, of course, but to some extend. We do not all have to be good at Calculus. We do all have to understand some basic math. We do not all have to be able to write incredible poems. But we should all read some. To me, the balance is not in the “doing it all well enough.”

The idea is to pay attention to who you already are and cultivate that deeply. Take those seeds and really grow them.

And then you watch them bloom.

Remember This - Week 13

We’re back to Life Book this week. This is week six which is taught by Tam. The Lesson was on playing with spray inks. Spray inks are not and have never been my friend. I just don’t like how they are never easy to use. I have sprayed my face, hands, and all the items on my table in an effort to use them before I just gave up.

When I saw that this week was sprays, I almost walked away, but I decided it was a sign and that I had to at least give it a try.

so I did.

Even though the paper wasn’t perfect for it, I did the spray part on the right page first and then I drew the profile on the left and painted it with oils. The oils are still a challenge for me to use and I am trying to learn. They also take forever to dry.

Once it was done, I did some pen-work like Tam did and wrote my little reminder message, which says: We accept the love we think we deserve.

That’s from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A book I love.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Monthly Projects - January - Birds

One of my goals for 2014 was to do Monthly Projects. My intention was to do a daily art practice every day on something I wanted to get better at. In January, I picked birds. I posted one update a long time ago. Even though I never posted more updates, I did do a few more. I didn’t end up with 31 but merely 14. That’s still 14 more than I would have done otherwise.

Here they all are:

None of these are original to me. All of the birds come from artists in this pinterest board.

And here are larger versions of the ones I didn’t post back in January.

So here we are. A whole lot of birds.


You can read more about my monthly projects in 2014 here.

Listen with Intent - Week 13

Here we are, at the end of March. For this week, even though most of the week will be April, I wanted to set one more brave intention. I figured after daring to be open, releasing what I was holding on to, and stopping to listen, it was only fair that I also chose to leap. Even though most of this word is not about action for me this year, I still feel like even small, tiny leaps to honor what I hear will be worthwhile.

The lettering I used here comes from Calligraphy Alphabets Made Easy.

I don’t know if the image worked well but it’s intended to look like a woman leaping. Half the fun of it was trying.


Listen with Intent is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Today I Know – Week 12

This week’s inspiration comes from the Craft-A-Doodle book. Specifically from the artist Pamela Keravuori whose projects were my absolute favorite.

I drew this page and then colored it using Faber Castell qrt pencils and aquarelles. Then I used some other water color pencils and I used some pastels. Some neocolor ii’s as well. Then Stabilo All to trace it all once more. I colored the background with the gelatos.

prompt says: today i know that i feel best after I have

I wrote about how i feel best after I’ve taken some time for myself.


Today I Know is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

One Little Word - 2013 - Final Page

I realized this week that I never shared my last OLW page from 2013 with you. Last year, I didn’t do any of the OLW assignments past June. The individual assignments didn’t inspire me and I felt kind of blah the second half of the year so it just never came together.

After I beat myself up for a while, a long while, I decided to do one mixed media page that would allow me to reflect on my word and all its gifts to me throughout 2013 and then let myself move on. I had some fun and wrote some journaling and ended up with this.

With that, I was able to release 2013.

Remember This - Week 12

This week’s page is also from The Walk. Week two. One of the assignments this week was to collage a self portrait and then write/collage a list of things about yourself. What you’re good at. What’s your essence, etc. I decided to draw mine and made this girl.

My girl is holding a box. Last year, when I was in a Coaching course, we did a visualization exercise where we were to find out our Captains and what came to me was this little girl and she gave me a box. When I opened it, it was filled with light. Over that course and the next few months, I’ve come to believe that it represented the light we each have within ourselves and she was giving me mine and telling me to open it so it can shine through me. And also that this is what I want to do with others. Help them let their light shine through.

So once I drew my girl, I made some lines in the background and journaled all over it.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.