life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

life, love,art. heart failure and assorted ramblings

Don't Talk Like That...

I write to find out what my heart thinks....
I write to expose and work through the ugly parts of this disease, open heart surgery that was less than successful and more recently an S-ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) implanted in my chest that will hopefully restore my heart beat in case of sudden cardiac death. I am here to celebrate my life, to uncover my fears, to hold on to love, to learn how to live a full life with heart failure, to honor my creativity, and to explore all of my emotions out loud ...before anyone can say
"Don't talk like that!"


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Music is loading really slow lately...sorry...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Try Something Different


Like just about everyone…. my day begins with the same ritual…get up, start the coffee, unload the dishwasher and stare out of my kitchen window, think about the day ahead of me and sigh.

A few weeks ago I set this little guy outside the kitchen window to remind me to take a moment to sit and reflect, but this morning he talked back. He clearly spoke up and asked “Do you remember when I came into the world? I arrived the day you decided to let go of all that you thought you could do, to share a day with friends focused on doing something different, challenging yourself to create the uncomfortable, stretching past the familiar to carve concrete. Carve concrete???  It does not matter that I am not perfect or even good. I AM DIFFERENT and that in itself is good."

This morning he is saying something new, something I will strive to do every day, every day, every day….
Look past the routine...
embrace opportunities to move outside my comfort zone…..
try something different….
and trust that good only exists in the "different".


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rebel's Manifesto


Walking Away from the Crash

If recognizing the problem is half the battle, then I am well on my way!

I have no flipping clue what I am on my way to, just desperately need to move away from where I have been!

It is time to do, move, go, change, shift, refocus…..

“Think of yourself as an accident victim walking away from the crash: your old life has crashed and burned; your new life isn’t apparent yet. You may feel yourself to be temporarily without a vehicle. Just keep walking.”
                                        — Julia Cameron - The Artist’s Way

Friday, May 24, 2013

'Scuse me while I kiss the sky

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same
                                               ~ Jimi Hendricks


I have been stewing in a purple haze, not Jimi’s kind (rats) but the one that I know is familiar to other artists. I find myself asking over and over again, “is this “funk” part of the ongoing price of admission in an artist’s life, is it worth it and can I emotionally afford it?” (And…by the way, knowing that these artist funks are typical, or having been through it before does not make them any easier!!!)  

My creative identity has been cemented to a specific style of work for such a long time that it feels like any redirection will mean giving up what little recognition (and income) I have worked so hard to achieve.  

Life changes combined with the mounting frustration at my inability to make my very recognizable and financially productive body of work fresh, exciting or enlivening has pushed me into a nasty toxic emotional corner. A brooding corner where all of the work is boring, dark and stagnant. I feel trapped and snarled in the fear of letting go of my old familiar art style.

I knew that when I began moving back out into the art world, the smart thing to do would be come back with my recognizable work. I had no idea that taking this creative step backwards would come at such a high emotional price. It felt wrong right away, but I was fraudulently lured back into that art and life style I knew and was comfortable with when it was met with some commercial success. As the “funk” set in I immediately took some creative baby steps forward to an entirely different art medium and style, but rapidly retreated to the old established familiar work.  


  I get irritated with my own fear and    incompetence.  I am so afraid of starting all over again that I just close down. I have shut out friends, family, creatives and anyone that I am afraid might think that is a frivolous selfish waste of time. But, worst of all I have shut down my own creativity. I know it is time to reach up in there and pull it back out regardless of what form the creativity takes.

 I know I have to do it, so please,

“Scuse’ me while I kiss the sky”!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

working on it....


Every day, I must unlearn the ways that hold  me back, rid myself of negativity, and learn to fly all over again.  ~Leon Brown              
                                                                                working on it, damn it, working on it!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I wonder...

I am eccentric, impractical, blunt and broken.

My days are often too dark, my nights too long.

I need attention, crave passion and long to be desired.

I trip over my own insecurities.

When words fail me and they often do, I communicate with images and music.

with all of my faults...

I wonder...

am I still worth loving?

 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Crazymaker: A L E R T

I have become really good at identifying and limiting the crazymakers in my life. You know…. those people that create and thrive in high drama, suck up your energy, disregard your time, discount your life, steal you away from your own purpose and direction and in general make you crazy (hence the name crazymaker).    

I have recently discovered one of the most insidious stealth crazymakers I have ever known! A crazymaker that is capable of stopping me dead in my tracks, redirecting my awareness away from all of the boundless positive energy and significant gratitude available to me. A crazymaker that is so incredibly sinister, detection has been almost impossible.

This devious crazymaker does not care whether I have the time or energy to participate in its distorted agenda.

This deceitful crazymaker dispenses personal destruction without the slightest hint of detection.

This cunning crazymaker truly deserves an academy award for the ability to hijack the marvelous authenticity of “now” and create a ridiculous destructive fantasy realm of          “what if”.  

This self-absorbed crazymaker ignores reality, snubs the truth, discounts common sense and disregards the blessings that exist now. 

May I introduce you to the most notorious crazymaker of all time

….ME….
 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I choose...





I need to remind myself every day, every day that it is my choice… I choose. It is alright to listen to advice and opinion but inevitably I am the responsible one that will redeem the rewards or suffer the consequences, I have to listen to my heart.

Quiet the outside, turn down the intensity of feelings and just listen to my heart, my instincts, deep down inside all of the answers are already there.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

One foot in front of the other

When the only choice is to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving…that is what you do. On these crappy days I need to be vigilantly aware of how blessed I am that so many of my days are focused and full of purpose.

When these ugly days arrive, all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other.

 One foot in front of the other....One foot in front of the other...One foot in front of the other

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I have a confession...



What is seen as successful, fulfilled and happy is as simple as this.

if you expect nothing from anybody, you are never disappointed

Expect nothing…keeps my heart protected and lessens pain.

Expecting nothing... keeps me insulated, safe, strong, but extremely lonely.

I am incapable of trusting and unable let anyone fully into my heart and/or life.

I cannot afford the emotional cost.

Whew...it is not just me!
from 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy
14.  Give up attachment.  This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grades are posted!

And… the semester from hell is finally signed, sealed and scored! I finished with an A in Linguistics. Not a bad class, language, semantics and what constitute a truth or a lie, especially as it applies to politicians, a hard class but very interesting.

Astronomy was a bitch! I figured I would be lying on a blanket with a bottle of wine, romantically staring up at the planets, figuring out constellations and the names of stars. I sure as hell did not figure on a massive dose of physics and quantum mechanics as part of it. I was woefully unprepared for the astronomical amount of (pardon the pun) math and science required to calculate chemical compositions, orbital speeds and rates of decay. I finished with an unimpressive C, but am thrilled that I passed at all. I am ready to dance in the streets! (If I had someone to celebrate with, it would be perfect!)

I am so ready for summer! Bring on the heat!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

disconnect...

Seems simple, but for me this statement is full of guilt and selfishness instead of being an uncomplicated statement of self-care.

The sharing and engaging are easy; it is disconnecting that creates the problem. The disconnecting is the source of my angst.  

I want to be liked and loved...sacrificing my own feelings to make that happen.   

Am I the only one that does not know the difference between self-care and selfishness?  

How do I learn this?

Monday, May 13, 2013

What next?

I launched back into my life last year, thinking that was all I needed to do. It was a huge emotional step.   I rescued what I had lost by digging into the past, resuming life where I left off and evoking the courage I once had to continue on the path that seemed so right for me.  

I felt returning to my work, my art and the outdoor art show circuit was all I needed to do to reclaim my life. However, while I was physically and emotionally healing, life changed or maybe it was just me.  I did learn that I can do much more physically than I thought was possible, but found out that it often comes at a high price. I am learning that I cannot simply go backwards to the life I knew and had control of.  

There has been a shift in my world.  I felt like I knew and understood that my life would be different but I did not expect that my confidence, future and purpose would lose focus and become so muddy. I wanted to effortlessly slide backward into my comfortable life, but I see now that is not going to happen. I am going to have to work hard to move forward, create a new life and it scares me.

I am frightened, lost, and I hurt. I understand that this discomfort and uncertainty is not a punishment, but a necessary part of growth and transformation.  As much as I understand this concept intellectually it does not mitigate the emotional pain I feel. 

I do not know what is next, all I can do now is release my past and faded expectations.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Maybe the Universe is telling me....more creative facilitating


It was a great opening reception!  The Artist's Way Artists enjoyed themselves, they were proud of their accomplishments  Every single umbrella sold and the proceeds will fund 4 scholarships for summer art camp. 

ummmm.....and they missed my last name on both counts....what is that about????

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Outside my Comfort Zone

"Umbrellas"   2013 Leesburg Artist's Way Group Exhibition
I wish all of the answers were more clear, but maybe all I need to do right now is just keep putting me, my art and my creativity out into the Universe without any expectations.  

Facilitating the Artist's Way in Leesburg introduced me to a brand new group of artists.  This should not come as any news to me or anyone else for that matter.  However, I was quickly reminded after the first class that they were all new.  I cannot remember the last time I taught or facilitated a class that there was not at least one "repeater" and sometimes more.  It was comfortable for me to begin a new group with friendly recognizable faces.  This time they were all newbies, not one familiar face with approving nods as I work through the chapters each week. 

Tonight was wonderful and different, as this new Artist's Way Group installed their remarkable exhibition.  All of these new artists trusted and believed in me.  They followed my lead and created and reached way outside of their comfort zone. What they have created is genuinely remarkable!

They are teaching me that maybe outside of my own comfort zone is where I should consider spending  more of my own  time.