Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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The Energy Vampires

This week in the Great Big Dreams e-seminar we are discussing energy and those things that drain our energy.  I refer to them as “energy sucks.”  They are like little energy vampires that slowly drain you.

We all experience this at some time or another and sometimes several times a day.  These are the incidents, the crap, the people, the stuff, that bring us down when we’re feeling up.  Or perhaps it happens before you even roll out of bed and, in a nutshell, it makes your whole day suck.

And you know when it happens.  You feel agitated or depressed or angry or whatever.

Here are some of my energy vampires:

Complaining & Negativity:  You’re with friends or family and someone starts complaining about the wart on her big toe.  Then someone else needs to one up that complaint and regales you with details of some minor surgery and how the doctor apparently screwed up.  Add to it a third person who has to be the winning complainer and well, you get the picture.  You’re sitting there amongst all this complaining and negativity feeling like maybe you should make up something just to join in the “fun” because well, you really don’t have anything to add to the conversation.

Instead you get out of your chair and walk out of the room and maybe someone asks “Was it something I said?”

This is also a big one at shows, especially when attendance is down and/or people aren’t buying (or at least not buying your work.)  At my last show I visualized that my booth was filled with and surrounded by positive energy.  Only one person with a negative attitude broke through that barrier and it wasn’t an artist.  I had to go outside of my booth to hear artist’s complaining.

It is so easy to feed into negativity and once you jump on that wagon you just bring yourself down.  You feel it happen as soon as the words come out of your mouth.  When I find myself in these situations,  I might say something “whitty” or nod my head and give a noncommital “mm-hmm.”  Most times I stay quiet and insulate myself from the negative vibe.

Comparisons:  Do you recognize this one? 
I wish I could be like________. 
I wish my art was as good as ______________. 
I wish I could sell my work like ____________.

Well, while you’re doing all that wishing it means that you’re not BEING and DOING.  Comparing ourselves to others is a cruel human habit.  We’re too busy looking outside ourselves for what we want instead of getting quiet and looking inside ourselves.  And I know that isn’t easy because you don’t always know what you’ll find.  Yet if we don’t start with ourselves, our wants and desires and intentions, we’ll never be happy inside.

Fear:  Yep, the big F-word.  The one thing that keeps us from making decisions in life.  The one thing that we hope will go away so we can get on with our lives and make those decisions.  The one thing that keeps us from progressing.

Inner critics (or gremlins ).  You know this one.  It is the voice that promotes the fear; the voice that states those comparisons; the voice that makes negative statements.  A while back I decided to name my inner critic Esther.  Her voice is like that of a stroke patient I worked with years ago; a former smoker with a heart of gold and a stubborn attitude to boot.  Inner voice Esther wants to exert her independence and protect me from being hurt or embarassed or from taking a chance.  Esther has been relatively quiet for a few months though recently she is speaking up again.  I think we need to have a talk.

I’m sure there are more, many more energy vampires out there.  These are the biggies on my list at the moment that I will be confronting.  Perhaps I will drive a symbolic stake through their “hearts.”

What are your energy vampires?

Note: You can also read Christine Kane’s post on energy leaks here


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My Sweet World Postcard

Here is one postcard I plan to send for submission in the WCA’s Sustaining Our Environment Postcard exhibit.  This postcard is made from an old Christmas card, candy wrappers, and images and letters from old magazines.

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My Sweet World (January 2008)

The submission deadline for this exhibit has been extended to February 18.  You can read more about it here.


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X-Man Puzzles

I loved to work on puzzles as a kid.  It was fun to mix up the pieces, pour them out onto the table, and then reassemble the pieces into the picture on the front of the puzzle box.  There was something magical about watching the puzzle picture come together.

X-Man Puzzles grew out of a hobby Randy Crossman picked up several years ago.  His handcut “micropuzzles” consist of notched, interlocking pieces as small as 1/4″ wide, long, and deep.

Crossman sketches a line drawing, adheres the pattern to 1/4″ thick cherry plywood and cuts out figures or objects that will be in silhouette first.  Next, concentric circles are cut in a snaking pattern.  The last step involves cutting out the tiny, individual puzzle pieces.

Gallery Series puzzles, aimed at curio collectors, have 1,200 to 4,000 pieces.  Limited Edition Series puzzles have 140 to 400 pieces and the Silhouette Series puzzles have approximately 40 to 65 pieces.

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Most of the puzzles I’ve ever put together are eventually taken apart and put back into the box for another day.  Crossman’s puzzles are stunning works of art that deserve to be displayed.  To see more X-Man Puzzles, click here.


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Quotable Monday

There is a movement going on. 

It may only be 25 or 30 percent of the population, but they’re getting to the point where they’re asking: What is important to me, and how can I create my future based on what is important to me rather than what I was told as a child should be important to me.

This quote was originally in reference to those in the 50+ age group, however, I’m seeing this change in those of us in our 30’s and 40’s too.


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Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?

One of our first assignments in the Great Big Dreams e-Seminar is to think about why we decided to take the course.  I admit to hating these types of questions.  It reminds me of being asked why you chose your particular career (Because it sounded interesting on the skills assessement?) , why you want a certain job position (Because I always wanted to be a …), why you like chocolate ice cream (Because I don’t like rocky road?) or why you want to join a certain organization (I don’t know; it sounds cool? I just like it?). 

I saw the question and my gut response was “I have no idea.  I don’t know.”  And after some thought, I realized that my “I have no idea. I don’t know” response was an easy, default, avoidance response.  It keeps me from having to delve deeper and think about why I’m doing this.

Now realistically I know there is some reason for why I’m taking this workshop.  I don’t believe it would have appeared on my radar if I wasn’t looking for this type of challenge; this type of self-discovery.

Yet it made me think about how easy it is to say “I don’t know” in response to many questions or how easy it is to just give an answer without really thinking about it. 

And it made me think about why I do or want to do some things and not do other things.

I admit to being the type of person who has just moved through life.  I never considered myself to have lofty goals (e.g. becoming CEO) and feel I’ve often done what was expected of me (e.g. going to college.)  I consider myself an introvert.  In new settings it can take me a while to warm up to people.  I’m often more of a listener than a speaker.

And now I’m being asked (again) why I want to do something.  And therein lies the rub: easy and don’t think.

Easy
It is easier to go through life doing what is expected of you or doing what pleases other people, or saying what you think someone wants to hear.  You avoid conflict.  You avoid confrontation.  And then what?  Do you lose a little bit of yourself each time?  Do you talk yourself down for not standing up?

Compromise is a good place to start; however, you have to think about why you feel a certain way or want to take a certain approach.

Don’t Think
It seems that don’t think is the mate to easy.  If you choose the easy response, you don’t have to think about justifying yourself (usually).  You don’t have to put any effort into your response.  You move merrily along.  However, sometime later (perhaps sooner than later) you start to wonder why you did that.

So why are you doing what you’re doing?

Now I’m not saying that you have to give thought and justification for every single thing you do in your life.  And yes, there are things we do because they are expected of us (such as obeying laws.)  Yet when you are pursuing aspects of your life, especially those involving change on some level, it really does require thought.  And thinking about that change can be hard because it requires some amount of self-evaluation.

And then there are those times when you want to do things a certain way and it requires compromise.  Simply state why you feel a certain way, state the facts (just the facts, try not to get emotional) and put the proverbial ball into the other person’s court.  If the situation doesn’t work out in the end at least you know you didn’t just do what was expected or say what someone wanted to hear.

And then there are times when you “just know” you have to do something and you truly don’t know why.  You just have to act now and ask permission later, as they say.  Sometimes things just feel right.

So why am I taking this seminar?  To find clarity and direction.  I have many ideas in my head about which direction I want to move next in regards to my business and other life interests.  Christine is providing many exercises to help us through our intentions; lots of great ideas and words of wisdom.

So now I know why I’m doing this.  Journaling and meditation have helped me reach this conclusion.

For now.

I think.

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