day 22::when in doubt, vacuum

creativity is just connecting things.  ~steve jobs

you think i’m kidding, don’t you?


i know i’ve said it a million times on my blog, but it is absolutely, 100% the truth.  i get my best ideas when i’m doing mindless activities like vacuuming the carpet or blow drying my hair.  in fact, the inception for this entire series started out as a random thought in my living room while vacuuming the carpet.

there is some actual science behind this phenomenon. your brain basically has two major operating systems – logic and creativity.  if you are anything like me, your logic brain is the one in control most of the time.  my ‘real job’ requires a lot of critical thinking and it seems like the rest of my day is spent trying to cram in all the other stuff into the remaining hours.

but when your logic brain is mildly engaged in a relatively easy, yet repetitive task, it allows the creative side of your brain to be in charge.  where our logic brain looks for the usual answers, the typical paths of problem solving that are like carved out like ruts in the road, our creative brain is constantly scanning the catalog of images that we have accumulated.  and when our creative brain is allowed to take the wheel, so to speak, it can make all kinds of interesting connections.  things that we might not have ever put together.


so if you need helping solving a problem or need a little inspiration, go and find a mindless, repetitive activity.  vacuum the carpet, power-wash your patio, chop vegetable, clean your windows, take a drive.

the thing is, you already know what the answer is.  all you have to do is stop chasing it with your logic brain and let your creativity show it to you.

                              ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  matthew 7:7

31-days-blog-button2thank you so much for joining me on my 31 day writing challenge. to see all of the posts in this series, please click here. and if you would like to receive future posts via email, you can subscribe here.
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day 21::playing in the shallow end

   every child is an artist.  the problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  ~pablo picasso

if you didn’t know already, by now you have probably realized that by nature, i am an introspective person.  i think about my Art.  i ponder the meaning of life.  it’s just who i am.  and i am totally ok with that.


sometimes though, even for me…i get tired of being in my own head so much.  and it’s in those time that i know i need to get out of the deep end and spend sometime in the shallow end of the pool.


this past weekend i had the pleasure of spending a long weekend with my focusing on life sisters in galveston.  it was a photography retreat so of course we took lots of photos.  but mostly it was a chance to spend some time face to face.  a chance to really connect.  linger over our meals.  share a glass of wine and conversation.  laugh hysterically.  play on the beach.


in her book, the artist’s way, julia cameron often writes that our inner artist is a child.  and that it is important for us to treat ourselves as such.  so what could be more childlike than play?


   a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.   ~ecclesiastes 3:4

through play we nurture our creativity.  through play we replenish our creative fuel.


and it has a profound affect on our Art.  i am living proof.

31-days-blog-button2thank you so much for joining me on my 31 day writing challenge. to see all of the posts in this series, please click here. and if you would like to receive future posts via email, you can subscribe here.
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day 20::one small step

whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.  boldness has genius and power and magic in it! ~goethe

perhaps this has happened to you.  that you find yourself at a place in your life where you know you can’t continue in the ways of the past.  but yet you’re not really sure in what direction you should take the future.  perhaps you afraid of making the wrong decision.  afraid of failing.  afraid of change.


this is what it means to be stuck.

and i have been totally been there.

whether you are working on your (a)rt or your (A)rt, being stuck is like orbiting around fear…the magnetic pull of which keeps us locked into our dysfunctional, circuitous path.  around and around we go.  the same frustrating loop.  no matter which way we try to play it through in our minds, we wind up in the same agonizing place.


but we can break free…all we have to do is make one small bold step forward.

it sounds simple i know….but it’s so not easy.   for me at times it has been downright terrifying.  but it is the act of taking this tiny little step that changes everything.


now i know what you’re thinking…how do you even know which way to step?  and here’s the beauty…it doesn’t matter.  just move toward whatever moves you.  even if it is the slightest step.  even if you have no idea if or how it will work.  move toward the light. 


i think so often when we feel stuck, or restless or unsettled…when we are trying to find our ‘thing’ …we put so much pressure on ourselves.  like we have to have it all figured out in our heads before we’ll take that first step.  or that we want a guarantee that everything is going to turn out exactly the way we want it.

i would offer that this is why we get stuck.  because life just doesn’t work like that.


over the course of the past couple of months, i have read three books on art and each one of them referenced this passage from the w.h. murray book, the scottish himalayan expedition.

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative or creation, there is one elementary truth…that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would otherwise never have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have believed would have come his way.

i love this.

and this is how it works…by taking one small step, no matter how small of a step it is, it changes the trajectory of the loop.  it changes the shape of the path.  and when we take action, when we step out in faith, we are free from the bondage of fear.


maybe for some, big life changes come only from taking drastic actions.  completely overturning and overhauling their lives.  but in my experience, my life – my Art – took off  by taking one small step.  a photography class.  and it has made all the difference.


in Christ we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. ~Ephesians 3:12

so i say, even if it’s teeny.  even if it’s barely recognizable.  be brave, be bold.  take the first step.  because the world needs your Art.

31-days-blog-button2thank you so much for joining me on my 31 day writing challenge. to see all of the posts in this series, please click here. and if you would like to receive future posts via email, you can subscribe here.
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day 19::answering the call

art is when you hear a knocking from your soul, and you answer.  ~terri guillemets

for the past couple of years i have planted sweet peas in my vegetable garden.  they are one of the first things to to plant in early spring, and what’s even better is they are one of the first things to emerge from the still cold earth.

it’s amazing to me how seeds know how to sprout and grow.  how they know which way is up, so to speak.  because i am a total nerd, one day i decided to look it up.  and it turns out that it is due to what is known as ‘gravitropism’.

2013 03 24_1916_blog

without boring you completely to tears with a botany lesson, basically gravitropism is a living organism’s response to gravitational pull. in the case of plants, there are specialized cells and chemicals in the roots that sense the pull of gravity and therefore grow and divide in that direction.  the same holds true in the stems of plant only in reverse.  it’s like seeds have an inner GPS.  roots grow down, shoots grow towards the light.


i often think of my life like this. because i believe that God created us with a sort of spiritual GPS.  a direction for our lives….an inner calling.

our purpose on earth of course, is to glorify God.  the inner pull to know and love Him, that is God calling.  and how we hear and respond to God’s call, well I believe that is our Art.

if you are anything like me, the word ‘calling’ can be extremely intimidating.  doing the work that God put me here on earth to do…glorifying Him with my life???  no pressure right?  and what has been even more frustrating for me has been trying to figure out what exactly my calling is.  i mean honestly…if i had a dollar for every time i’ve asked myself this question, i would be writing this blog post from a beach chair on the island of st. john instead of sitting hunched over my laptop on a barstool at my kitchen island….i’m just sayin’.


it would so much easier if God would just call me on my cell phone.  or send me a text.  an email even.

but that’s not how a calling works.  a calling is not something that come from the outside, it’s something that comes from the inside.  a calling is often disguised as a stirring in your heart.  something that moves you.  you might not even know why…it doesn’t matter.  your calling is a tiny voice from your soul that wants to express your God-given creativity.


a calling can be many things.  it can be the desire to make what we commonly call art – painting, drawing, architecture, music, etc. but a calling can also be a desire to do something entirely different like start a business, fly a plane, plow a field, go to medical school, raise a child.  for some, a calling can also be ‘real job’ and that’s wonderful.  but rest assured…our response to God’s call does not have to come with a w-2 at the end of the year.

our calling is whatever moves us toward the light.

God created us.  God loves us.  God infused his creative spirit in us.  God calls us each individually, according to the gifts and talents He bestowed on us.  our calling is written is our DNA.  and as we draw closer and closer toward him, listen to His call, this is how we make Art with our lives.

if you are anything like me and unsure of your calling, pay attention to what you pay attention to…it’s like a road map to that place in your soul.  but don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out…it’s a lifelong process.  all that matters is that you answer the call.


here i am, Lord isaiah 6:8

only i could overthink something so profoundly.  but after all these years of searching, i should have just listened to my heart…it was there all along.  because my calling is my belief that there is joy to be found in ordinary life. this is what moves me.  motivates me.  inspires me.   some days it smacks you upside the head, and some days you have to dig deep.  but joy is there for eyes that wish to see.


31-days-blog-button2thank you so much for joining me on my 31 day writing challenge. to see all of the posts in this series, please click here. and if you would like to receive future posts via email, you can subscribe here.
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day 18::when it’s time to let go

all the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. ~henry ellis

it’s one of the hardest things for me…when to hang on and when to let go.  how do i know when it’s time to let go?


for me, one thing i’ve found to be helpful is to ask myself who’s driving the bus.  because if fear is driving, it is going sounds a lot like this.

  • i’m afraid to change jobs because what if i hate it?  what if i’m jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
  • i’m afraid to let go of my girl because motherhood is such a wonderful source of joy and inspiration.  what if i am empty?  what if there’s nothing left for me?
  • i’m afraid of trying new things because what if i’m not that good?  what if i fail?


holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future. ~daphne rose kingma

so now, anytime part of my decision making process involves the phrase “i’m afraid….because….what if the bad thing i don’t want to happen happens” that’s a red flag. and a sure sign that it is probably time to let go.

time to let go of fear.

time to let go of the fear of change…. let go of the fear of failing.


because the better choice is to hold on to faith.  hold on to trust.  hold on to hope.

for you, o Lord, are my hope, my trust…. ~psalm 71:5

31-days-blog-button2thank you so much for joining me on my 31 day writing challenge. to see all of the posts in this series, please click here. and if you would like to receive future posts via email, you can subscribe here.


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