Tag Archive | creativity

Beauty and the Artist

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“Beauteous art, brought with us from heaven,
will conquer nature; so divine a power 
belongs to him who strives with every nerve.

If I was made for art, from childhood given 
a prey for burning beauty to devour,
I blame the mistress I was born to serve.”
~ Michelangelo Buonarroti ❤

I found this beautiful quote in the novel, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone.

It's a great quote which I interpret to be about his natural ability to be able to create artistic things, which he further develops through practice. He has a hunger for beauty and to create beautiful things through sculpting. I think his mistress is his untamed passion to create, his rapacious desire for beauty and art.

It’s really more like he is the prey to beauty; it seeks him out to wildly consume him, something that seems beyond his control. An urge, a pull, an immense craving he cannot resist. It overpowers him but in a beautiful way.

However it's meant to be interpreted, it flows so wonderfully and is full of passion and life.

It's beautiful to be so hungry, so full of desire and along with it, have the courage to act on it and the skills to succeed how we intend to.

Do you have an interpretation of this quote? If you want, share it here!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are!:-D

Much love to you,

xoxo Kim ❤

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Beautiful story

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https://pathsofthespirit.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/the-river-goddess/

I re-blogged this over and over and commented but it doesn’t seem like it was sent on any of those occasions!  So I’m sharing it here! 😀 
It’s a beautiful story! Very well written. I love how the goddess is so strong and independent. Some of her best qualities (her strength, tenacity, power, ferocity) are also her worst since they are used in dangerous ways against others. The personification of the river as a woman/goddess, especially one who is so strong and powerful and fierce, free in spirit, is beautiful and inspiring. Those are fantastic qualities to emulate in reality but with balance, mixing them with other qualities like softness, compassion for others, and empathy.  But there’s something beautiful and awe-inspiring about her being completely untamed, unable to be stopped, while inspiring the reverence and utter respect of others even though she doesn’t return that respect. Thank you for sharing your creativity, Trini! I love this! ❤

Please check out this beautiful blog & beautiful story! ❤

Much love & light to you,

xoxo Kim 😀

Help Me to Heal {a healing activity}

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“Breathe it out and breathe it in
Trust the light that shines within
Let it burn ’til you learn to love yourself
Breathe it out and breathe it in
Trust the light that shines within
Let it burn ’til you learn to love yourself
Love will lead you home…
Love will lead you home…
Love will lead you home…” ~ Olivia Newton John ❤

A few years ago I came across a blog, I don’t remember the blog now but wish I had the link still or remember the name. It’s an art journaling blog on blogger.com, I think, and the lady suggested an activity to help heal any emotional pain we may have about certain incidents or situations in life.

I may have shared it before on here but I don’t remember. 

If so, it’s ok, it won’t hurt to share it again! 

The activity is to take an index card and a pencil and very lightly, in almost imperceptible strokes of the pencil, write on the index card every painful emotion we have surrounding whatever incident or struggle we choose. Make sure the words are incredibly light, almost unseen. Or write the words regularly then lightly erase them but still leave a vestige of what was. This, I suspect, is to symbolically lessen their power over us. So we are no longer gripped in their bondage. 

The event or situation can be anything at all that hurts us, for example a painful breakup, the loss of a friend or family member, pet to death or any other way, a family member or friend diagnosed with a serious illness, being rejected in some way, losing a job, the loss of an important material object (house, car, jewelry, money…), chronic pain or illness, sexual assault, abuse, addiction, feeling abandoned or excluded….. anything that hurts.

After filling the entire index card up with words to describe our pain, words like: pain, rejection, lost, lonely, empty, grief, despair, torture, fear, embarrassed, devastated, angry, furious, broken, confused, numb, guilt, betrayed, envy,jealous, sorry, regret, doubt, heartbreak…..

We then take a marker of any color, especially a bold color, and write over the light penciled words in bold words, positive words like: love, healing, compassion, self-love, inspiration, wisdom, life, joy, happiness, laughter, light, optimistic, positive, balance, full, pleasure, fulfilled, Metta, gratitude, oneness, empathy, understanding, caring, beauty, perseverance, overcoming, stillness, serenity, peace, calm, tranquil, recovery, vitality, spark, acceptance, hope,longevity….

I’m guessing this activity is symbolic of positive energy and emotions overpowering the unpleasant ones. The light penciled words have no power over us if we do not allow them. And if we choose and work on it, we can let the bold, happy words take over. The light words are still there. Here. They still exist, the scars still exist. But they are now dormant or powerless or just not the main thing we experience any longer, not the noxious energy they once were. 

Here is a fake one I made just for this post:

Unpleasant emotions/thoughts:

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(I made the words dark enough to see on here)

Empowering words/emotions/thoughts:

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“The answer is sleeping
Inside your heart
True love that you long for
That’s where it starts” ~ Olivia Newton John ❤

The situation I chose for this activity a few years ago is a form of rejection I once experienced. I allowed this experience to get to me much, much longer than is necessary. Well over a year after this experience, I was still shattered, devastated beyond words with no sign of it getting better. Some moments were worse than others. Some moments/days I finally felt like it would be ok but then I would crash back into the seemingly unbearable pain of it, feeling like I couldn't possibly go on. 

It wasn't depression but every now and then it would trigger a months/weeks long episode of depression and deep despair and even severe headaches, which became more frequent after this experience and lessened after I felt healed to a certain degree. Then when the depression would lift or the headache would ease, the severe pain of this situation would still linger, breaking me, bringing me to ruin. 

Rejection, loss, unrequited love, broken friendships/relationships,….are part of living and it's ok to experience them and for them to really affect us in deep and painful ways but they should never take over so much of life to where that's the main thing we dwell on each day and allow it to ruin our days or whole life. I let it ruin me. It's best if the pain of these situations begins to heal to a certain extent after a while. The pain does not have to be the thing that generally or frequently dominates. 

I was so pleasantly surprised at how much this activity really did heal me. I usually don't say things like something healed me or made me do something or caused something, because really, things usually help, provoke, and contribute to things, not actually cause it or make it happen. Things help me to heal. They don't usually heal me just themselves. 

But I feel this activity really healed me. Not completely. This is a scar I will always have and that's a good thing! It's good to be affected by all of life in both painful and joyous ways.

It's great to be touched in both pleasant and painful ways, by people and situations. 

It's better than being dead or numb or indifferent.

"There's nothing more whole than my broken heart." ~ Hasidic saying

But this activity really helped me heal the worst of the pain. It helped me release painful emotions themselves and the pain of how I viewed certain things. It helped me let go and liberate myself so I am no longer ruled by the situation. 

I was expecting it to maybe help a little bit, even if only during the moments I was engaging in it. But even after it was over, I immediately sensed a change deep within. I felt something release and shift and while I still carry that pain, that scar, that sliver of an ache, it's usually not the red, flaming hot agony it once was that felt like it was scorching the very soul of me.

"I know I'll find the strength to fight
If I can trust I'm gonna be alright
So walk me through my darkest fears tonight
Help me to heal
Help me to feel
All I know is what I see
So won't you help me to believe
Help me to heal" ~ Olivia Newton John

Help Me to Heal – mobile

Help Me to Heal – desktop

I only ever did this activity once and I lost the card but I have it somewhere. I read a book recently about how to cleanse our energy or aura and in the book is an amazing list of healing activities I’m going to try. This one is not in the book but the book reminds me of this one. It’s a fantastic cleansing experience. 

This activity can be performed for any problem whether it’s seemingly trivial or feels like it’s the end of the world.

I’m going to try it again for other struggles. 

I strongly recommend this activity. It’s not a cure and there’s no doubt in my mind that not everyone will be as helped by it as I am.
It’s likely not for everyone. Even if it doesn’t have long lasting effects like it does for me, just the act of engaging in it can be very healing. 

We can also color it with soothing colors, draw on it, anything creative to add to it. We can put our own spin on it.

It’s a very simple, very brief, but very profound method of healing.

I hope you find it healing like I do if you want to try it!

Learn to Love Yourself – mobile – Olivia Newton John

Learn to Love Yourself – mobile

Much love & light to you, always! 

😀

Xoxo Kim  ❤

One word.

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“…maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see.”
~Jewel

I’m Sensitive – Jewel – mobile

I’m Sensitive – desktop

This post is longer than I want it to be but I’m much better, in general, with keeping my posts, messages, comments to people….shorter. Who wants to read like 20 pages of a blog post or e-mail or comment?! Lol But I still tend to get carried away now & again!

;-D   

For the last few years I heard about the one word challenge where we choose one word for the new year and decide to live up to and honor it any way we can the whole year.

I never felt compelled to participate in this because I felt there’s too many words I want to live each day, not just one. It seemed uninteresting to choose one word to live & breathe each day for just one year. And many words or concepts are interconnected. So how do we choose which aspect to focus on? And I used to think, when the year ends, what happens to our word? It gets chucked out the window, kicked to the curb, forgotten, abandoned? 

I remember at the end of 2013, I was having a horrible cluster of severe headaches and it was terrible. The word I clung to is “hope.” Hope that my headaches would soon end or that I would learn to live with the blinding, burning, aching agony, somehow learn to live with it. I bought a few things including a candle holder and notebook with the word “hope” on it.  I was so hurt and the end of 2013 is one of the most desperate, agonizing, traumatic, but beautiful seasons of this life of mine. Even though I still feel the trauma of it while remembering, it really showed me my strength and how desperate but hopeful I can be. It showed me what I’m made of and how a single word can do so much, be so much, be so inspiring, so empowering. The memory, while painful, is also beautiful in my mind. It really tested my life philosophy that life is so beautiful and is worth holding onto, worth each battle, even with very severe pain, both emotional & physical.  

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My experience with headaches piqued my interest in the one word challenge but not too much. But I wrote here that if I were to choose a word for 2014, it would be “hope.” I wanted to go into 2014 with more hope and a conscious, intentional determination to find & feel hope. I still did not engage in the one word challenge very consciously but I did better keep hope alive. 

You can read my December 2013 post here:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/and-then-a-hero-comes-along-with-the-strength-to-carry-on/

This year though, I received an e-mail, a subscription e-mail, suggesting I try the one word thing as an alternative to new year resolutions and for some reason I felt so inspired and compelled to participate the moment I began reading the e-mail and the word “beauty” was already in my head. I did not even have to search for or contemplate my word; it was just here in my head. I think it’s because my wisdom is deeper now than it was every other year that this challenge now inspires me enough to participate. Not that those who aren’t interested in this challenge are not as wise or even more wise than I am! 

It’s just that I now see the wisdom of focusing on just one word. Or just one thing. It doesn’t mean we can’t also honor other words or incorporate them into our days. Or that once the year ends so does our focus on the concept of our chosen word. I won’t stop seeing beauty when it turns 2017.  It’s just that the simplicity of focusing more on just one word for this challenge is very effective and organized. And we can take the skills it equips us with into the new year while choosing a new word to put more focus on.

Sometimes if we have multiple things to give much attention to, it can be distracting or not as clear. 

For example, when I have multiple books out or multiple books on my Kindle’s home screen, I often don’t know where to start or start with one book then keep switching. I love reading two books or even three on the same days but having too many isn’t always good because I don’t focus on the couple I try to. It’s good to give attention to one or two then when they’re through, move on to the next. I have had good books I tossed aside and never read yet because I had too many out at once and kept getting distracted so gave up on them all for a while.

It can be the same with college classes or utility bills that we are in debt with, if there’s too many, we may not know where to begin or how to get organized. 

One word for this activity brings clarity and organization. 

My word is “beauty.” I vow to see and look for beauty in each day, every situation, every person, no matter what goes on. I see/feel beauty naturally and when it doesn’t come naturally some occasions, I make it a point to look & find. 

But this year, I will focus even more on the beauty of life each day. When I say “see” I’m not just referring to visual beauty but all forms of physical and non physical beauty. We can use all the senses we are blessed with, however many we have. It’s often said we have five senses. Some say we have more. And some people have less than five. But no matter how many we have, we can use them to bask in all the beauty they receive. Beauty of all forms can engage our senses.

But beauty isn’t just physical. Haven’t you ever just felt the beauty of something or someone or your own beauty or beautiful feelings? I can often feel beauty, not just with my senses but feel it deep within. It can’t even be explained in words. 

“Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.” ~ Markus Zusak

There are many practical steps we can take to participate in this activity. We can use journals, calendars, arts & crafts, social media, lists, various outlets….

I focus on and see and feel so much beauty but this year I want to make it more intentional and even more conscious. 

One of my first steps to living in beauty will be better organizing my room. I am horribly disorganized in a physical way. My room is always a mess. I live with my mom, dad, and sister and my sister said my room is like a teenage boy’s room. Lol

I have food and candy wrappers around, clothes and books scattered around, soda cans, stuff just out of place. I disagree with a lot of people who say the condition of our room or house says who we are or a lot about who we are. Sorry but no my messy room will not tell you too much of who I really am within. All my room says about me is that I’m disorganized. Someone may interpret it as me being careless or apathetic or emotionally imbalanced but I’m not, I’m just a slob is all. Lol 

In elementary school, I loved school and my schoolbooks and class but my desk was one of the worst! I crumpled up paper and folders and just shoved them in my desk. I had broken crayons and pencils scattered about. ( I miss those desks now that I think about it!)

In high school, which I also loved, in eleventh grade English class, my teacher held up my folder and notebook which were overstuffed, falling apart, crumpled up, to the class as an example of what not to do. Lol Awkward! 

I have a beautiful mind and am passionate about the beauty of life and I love my books and things even though they are thrown around.

But it’s definitely more pleasant to walk into a beautiful room. Especially if we are someone who struggles with depression. 

My disorganization doesn’t depress me but organization and a beautiful room can be uplifting to someone who is in an episode already. And when we’re already deeply depressed, I’m sure clutter and things out of place, can drag us down a bit more. 

So I plan on organizing and beautifying my room completely! Not just clearing the junk but setting out more pretty things that stimulate the senses and emotions in a positive way, candles, knick knacks, decorations, flowers, pretty colors….  There’s also things I want to get rid of because they contribute to not just taking up space they aren’t worth but they contribute to negative energy or are somewhat draining to me.  

One thing I have laying around my room are celebrity gossip magazines. Eww. I do not read those. EVER! But my sister and me sometimes cut stuff out of magazines to glue into notebooks and stuff and we have a bunch of various kinds or magazines laying around the house. The one magazine I cannot stand to have near me is the celebrity gossip magazine. No thank you. I don’t think it’s ok to trash talk celebrities or stalk them or harass them at every street corner or air out their dirty laundry without them wanting us to, or make up and perpetuate lies about them just because they chose a job that comes with fame and fortune. They are not different than I am. I would never want gossip magazines or blogs or things about me and people constantly on my ass watching my every move then reporting it to the media or others. That would suck! Also, I do not judge people who read them. When I was young I used to read them myself. I used to try to sneak around in stores reading them without getting caught because we’re not supposed to read without buying. Sometimes they still catch my eye, rarely but still happens. I wasn’t horrible for getting into celebrity gossip. My sister loves celebrity gossip and my grandmom does. It’s just not my cup of tea anymore. I like stuff that others think is terrible to love. (like fiction horror stuff! And some people can’t stand horror books and movies/dvds just being near them like me with the magazines. It doesn’t mean they think less of me for loving it.)  

But that’s beside the point here anyway. My point is those magazines do not aid in my Beauty/one word challenge. They actually go against it. They don’t take up much space but they contribute to unpleasant feelings when I glance at them. I usually throw something on top of them so I don’t have to see them. But soon I will get rid of them completely! Things have an effect on our energy whether or not we fully or consciously realize it. Something that affects my energy or vibration a certain way may not have the same effect on others. It’s important to tune in and see how things affect us. Something that I find exhilarating(like being around lots of people, for example) may be life draining to someone else. It’s important to go deep within the self, pay attention, and see how things affect our energy. 

http://oneword365.com/

On the website (above) for the one word challenge they give seven ideas to effectively integrate our word into our everyday using a calendar. I probably won’t be using a calendar but I will be using a journal and put the date on each page, hopefully at least once a day. My handwriting is terrible though and it so frequently contributes to me giving up on journaling. I write like a 1st grader but worse. But as part of my beauty challenge I know I will find beauty even through my horrific handwriting. 

On the website they suggest a paper calendar or planner but also mention that most tips will work with a digital one. They also suggest maybe dedicating a specific planner or journal to our word, which I will be doing. 

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Here are their seven tips and my thoughts about them.

“1. Make a list of actions you can do daily, weekly or monthly that focus on your word and help you integrate it into your life. Then schedule them into your calendar.”

This is really good for staying motivated. I’m horrible with keeping up with things. I get so wrapped up into doing other things and then my goals get kicked to the curb. By scheduling them into each day, incorporating our word into our life each day, not only are we more likely to not give up on it but it will be more threaded throughout life each day, maybe having a deeper effect. 

“2. Collect quotes and sayings about your word and write them down in the daily or weekly section of your planner.”

This is one of my favorite ones because I love quotes & sayings & clichés! They are so powerful, quick, and uplifting! They are brief but say so much in just a few breaths. I think I will try to find a quote or song each day or week about beauty of some sort and write it in my beauty/one word journal as well as share here sometimes. 

The song I shared above, I’m Sensitive by Jewel is a great song about inner beauty and surrounding our own selves and each other in beauty. It’s about being kind to each other. It’s a beautiful song.

“3. Create a simple bookmark with your word. Take a piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper and write your word onto it with a sharpie. Punch a hole at the top and attach a ribbon. Use the bookmark in your planner to mark the current day.”

This sounds really fun! I think I will!

Maybe I’ll use these!

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(the little nose is my dog, Woody’s. Lol He was interested in my circles.)

I got them at Target a couple years ago but never really used them much.

“4. Write, doodle, draw or paint your word on your daily or weekly pages, or assign a fixed spot to write it down in your monthly overview.”

This is really good for maintaining our focus on our chosen word. Allow it to seep into even our daydreams and lazy thoughts. 

“5. Keep a record of things that happened relating to your word. Did it teach you something? Did it surprise you? Write it down!”

Yes, our experiences each day can strengthen our focus on our word and our determination to honor that word can help us stay positive in situations that may tempt us to succumb to unhappiness or other unpleasant feelings. I have an example already. I had a psychiatric appointment recently that  I did not feel much like going to just because. Sometimes I have to wait hours in the waiting room when my appointment should have been over in fifteen minutes. The people there are not always pleasant to interact with. The workers often treat us like we’re nothing just because we are financially struggling and mentally ill(at least I suspect that’s why – they don’t treat each other or the doctors in this manner, that I know of). They act in a very condescending, rude, abrupt manner, sometimes. Not all of them but enough of them. Not the nurse I talk to, she’s sweet, or the peer specialists who are also mental patients but very advanced in recovery. They are very friendly.  It’s a free mental health clinic and I am very blessed and thankful I have access to it. It’s not always a walk in the park having to deal with it but there are so many opportunities to find beauty like on my walk there, the air on my skin, things I can take pictures of, even glimpses of beauty seen in the people who act in rude ways(they still have good things about them!)…., the other patients I sometimes talk to, the people I meet on the way sometimes. Broken people attract other broken people. We often just sense each other. So I’m always finding someone new to talk to whether another patient or someone hanging around the clinic or neighborhood or at the busstop. There’s a couple busstops near the clinic. I usually walk the half hour instead since I love walking. It’s good to keep a list or book of our inner experiences of how this activity goes for us. It helps organize our thoughts, see what’s working well, what isn’t, and we’ll always have it to look back on. 

“6. Take a look at your to-do list: can you use your word as a guide to tackle your tasks? If you for example chose “Simplify” and you have 35 items on today’s list, you know what to do… :)”

Yeah this is similar to the above answer. Just incorporating it into our everyday tasks. This will have more of an impact. Our everyday chores, tasks, encounters are great opportunities to get in the habit of living up to our chosen word. And it can make these tasks more interesting if we incorporate our word’s concept into them.  In my case, it will be more mindfully finding beauty in each mundane encounter or situation, even the more unpleasant ones. Finding beauty or creating beauty in ugliness or dullness. Using our word to tackle tasks can stimulate our creativity. We can find new ways to integrate our word in each day, thread it throughout our everyday. Maybe your word is even creativity or creative and this activity itself honors that word. If your word is “calm” or “peace,” you can make it a point to do mindful exercises while doing each mundane task you have to do. If you are often late for work or somewhere else important, you probably aren’t very calm on your way there almost being late! That’s so distressing! So you can either start leaving earlier to be more calm or still be late but focus on breathing (and driving! If you drive to work or wherever it is) to calm your nerves.  Those are just some examples. 

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“7. Cross off or circle the dates in the calendar to indicate that your word has been present that day. A year-at-a-glance calendar can serve as a tracker for the whole year.”

Yeah this is really good for getting us in the habit of actively “using” our word each day. If you are a calendar user already (I’m not) then it’s probably even more effective than a journal keeping you on track because you already use it. With the journal, it’s a new activity I have to remember and find motivation to keep up with, challenging but fun! Also, marking the days that our word is present, we can keep track of and look back on our progress and better maintain our one word goal. 

While this activity can be practical like with journals and physical actions taken, it can also be an experience in our heads, just to honor our chosen word in our inner world, summoning feelings and images that relate to it.

I want to find beauty everywhere and share it with others through photos, quotes, blog posts, Facebook posts, conversations on and offline….I do this anyway but this year, I will be even more mindful. 

I will also live in love, compassion, kindness, inspiration….and other lovely words…but beauty is my word for this challenge. And beauty includes love and inspiration and other concepts. Compassion, kindness, & love are beautiful and when I engage in or feel them, I will also be honoring my chosen word, “Beauty.”

If you are also doing this challenge, I would love to know your word and/or how you plan to honor it each day! So let me know! You can write it in the comments here, write me an e-mail @ kimberlyjm52@gmail.com or write your own post on it and send me the link! I hope to think of some more creative ways to live in Beauty! ❤ 😀

Got any ideas? If you have anything to add, like creative ways we can incorporate the concept of our word into our everyday, let me know! I love knowing people's ideas! 

Even if you haven't chosen your word yet, you can now! Or whenever you want! I just decided to engage in this fun & inspiring activity a couple days ago!  And my mind is already even more in the habit of seeing beauty in mundane and unpleasant situations. It's never too late as long as we're alive!

😀

Here are some ideas I thought of: serenity, inspiration, love, patience, gratitude, peace, kindness, creativity, light, motivation, astute, organization, beauty, alive, truth, acceptance, wonder, awe, confidence, clarity, discernment, tranquility, play, playful, , humor, laughter, lighthearted, health, enthusiasm, positivity, optimism, forbearance, magnanimity, humbleness, humility, independence, joy, openness, receptive, passion, tolerance, bold, assertiveness, fierce, gentleness, nurture, strength, wisdom, tact, spirit, attitude, persistence, compassion, hope, Earth, oneness, heart, sky, fun, mindfulness, music, song, minimalism, simplicity, growth, happiness, zen, balance…

Maybe you want to choose a word that already resonates with you in a deep way or maybe you want it to be a bit more challenging and choose a word or concept you struggle with. Either way is fantastic!  

When we choose a word, we can still live all these other words too but our focus for the challenge will most directly be on the one we chose for it. There are so many, many creative ways we can come up with to live the word we choose. 

Check this out for more fun & inspiring ideas for this new year! They are alternatives to the new year resolutions. 

10 Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions

Thank you!! 

Xoxo Kim 

30 Days of Photos – Day 15 – {Where You Lead} <3

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“Loving you the way I do 
I know we’re gonna make it through 
And I will go 
to the ends of the earth, 
’cause darling, to me that’s what you’re worth 
Where You Lead 
I will follow 
Anywhere that you tell me to 
If you need-(If)you need me to be with you 
I will follow 
Where you lead”
~Carole King/Louise Goffin   

Day 15 is intended to be a day for leading lines. It’s one of my favorite topics. But another one I don’t quite have down yet and have much to learn! It’s fascinating and an opportunity to get creative! But I got some sorry excuses for leading lines photos today! I intended to go out and get pictures but my mom, sister, and my dad went out and I stayed home and watched the dogs. They tear the house apart when we’re out so it’s good if someone stays home. And also I wasn’t sure if I would be back in time for work if I went with them. So, at work is where I decided to get the pictures since it would have been dark outside after work. I probably could have found things at home but just decided to get them at work! 😀

I am reminded of a couple lessons. Again, something is better than nothing/it’s the attempt that counts. And also I feel that my brain is being pushed to be creative even more than if I were outside since being in a store/work there is less obvious things to get pictures of! So I felt my brain working hard, looking at ordinary things in different ways even more than usual. Not that these pics are creative, they kind of suck(although I like the fan one!). But still, I’m reminded that all we have to do is look and open our minds and there’s bound to be something to take a picture of that is kind of ok even if it’s not brilliant. 

It’s not really about the subject of our pictures but how we look at things, our feeling of inspiration, and our passion.

So here are my pictures for August 15th:

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I like this one too. The color & texture help to make it more interesting than just a stack of paper bags.

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lol

And here is a sweet song by Carole King. I love the mother-daughter version she sings with her daughter Louise.

Where You Lead mobile

Where You Lead desktop

I hope you are having a wonderful day/night!

It’s about to be 12:00am here in Philadelphia! Sweet dreams! ❤

xoxo Kim 😀

30 Days of Photos (challenge) Days 1&2

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I signed up for a free e-course by Iphone photographer, Kristen Radden!

Everyday for 30 days we are challenged to take a picture of whatever it says that day.
It’s mostly about using smartphones but we can use any camera. Smartphones and ipads are encouraged though.
Some are easy, some a bit more challenging. 
Some easy ones are, animals, friends/family, a mannequin, our own face…one more difficult one is random people. lol Sorry but running up to a random person and taking a pic isn’t my kind of thing! Even if I ask, it seems intrusive or creepy.
Unless I take it of a group of people on the street while I’m in back. So their faces can’t be seen. But I guess being a bit challenging is the whole point!  
One day it’s the rule of thirds which isn’t an object but about position. Whatever we take a picture of should be in a certain position, like the third section of the phone camera, it can be hard if we aren’t accustomed to taking pics that way. But much easier if the phone has a grid, which mine doesn’t. 😦 This is like the one occasion ever that I wish I had an iPhone! 
It seems like every phone cam has a grid but mine! 
The point of the rule of thirds is to not always have the subject in the center, which we often automatically think to do. It’s good to mix it up a bit.

If our phone doesn’t have a grid, we can imagine one and take the pic that way, ummm what?! My imagination isn’t this good!  
So I tried to draw one on my phone with a permanent marker! Bad mistake!
I had no idea what I was doing. 
And did not realize it’s a permanent marker I was using. The word “permanent” is very faded. 

So then I quickly scrubbed/licked it off(you’re welcome to use my phone if you want…lol), luckily it all came off! The licking did not work so I had to scrub it with a paper towel. 
Then I looked it up to see how I can get a grid on my phone and found a forum where someone asked how to get one on blackberry and I couldn’t believe most of the people on there managed to get into a big argument over this! Insults going and all! Over a simple question about a phone camera grid! In the end they decided there’s absolutely no way to get a grid on blackberry camera. If a phone doesn’t come with one, you’re shit outta luck. So much for that one!  And the argument is years old, like almost a decade. It started over people saying insults about the person for being “so stupid” and caring to get a grid on a little phone and not just getting a real camera. 

The main rule for the 30 day challenge is just to take a picture of whatever it says that day. Then if we have a blog we are encouraged to put it on and also on Twitter (which I don’t have except an account my sister set up for me years ago because she wanted to test stuff without using her own, and I never used, not my cup of tea), instagram (which I also don’t have) and to upload the pictures we take to the website for the photo challenge, which I’m not doing. Because it doesn’t work good on my phone. I have a laptop computer now but usually prefer my phone. 

I think it would be good to have another 30 day challenge that is even more challenging where we get pictures of not necessarily an object but of an abstract idea. Like maybe one day can be to get a picture representing “loneliness” or “pain” or “joy” or “cheerfulness” or “in love” or “individuality”…..something like that. It would be so interesting and much more challenging in a good way. 

Here is a picture I took last year to try to convey a message of standing out or individuality. We used to sell these bouncy balls at work and most were blue so I took one pink one and put it with the blue and then slightly blurred out the blue ones. Nothing against blue balls or anything(although the pink ones are prettier!)! Lol I was just trying to portray an abstract concept.  

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Another great challenge would be 30 days of rules, like each day a different rule of photography to use. Like leading lines, negative space, rule of thirds, composition or perspective…this would be really challenging for people not completely familiar with photography and the various rules relating to it. It would be so fun! Are there even 30 rules though? Who knows?! But we can put our own twists and ideas onto the rules and it would be great! 

I would love to create my own e- course similar to this one and see all the various photos and creativity people tap into. I would make some days easy and some very challenging and there would really be no rules and it would be free for everyone! I probably need some money first, some more education on photography, just by reading and practicing more, and more followers interested, so I have a good amount of people and much diversity! Maybe one day! 😀

For Day #1, which for me was August 1st, so yesterday, the challenge is to get a picture of feet. Lol I got a few.

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This is me at work. Floor needs a good mopping! It’s my fault. I practically been living here the last few days (weeks actually) with all my extra hours and been slacking on the mopping. 

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This! This isn’t a “feet picture.” lol But my feet are in it! I spilled soda on my shirt, trying to mix stuff together to make a cold s’mores drink with Sprite soda and marshmallow fluff (the non alcoholic s’mores drink – I wasn’t getting my drink on at work or anything, and I don’t drink alcohol anyway) and I managed to spill soda on my shirt, just a drop and then I rubbed it with a wet rag, dreading the big wet spot on my boob. Lol Then I looked and saw it blended into a heart! Whoaa! Amazing! 😀 ❤ I find love everywhere I am.  (btw, I failed at making the drink…lol it just turned into slop)

And this wasn't taken on August first but it's still a "feet pic" and my doggy's cute paws are in it! Aww ❤

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This was taken over a week ago, it's my new pink slippers! I had black ones but my twin pups chewed them! Lol 

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of course my feet photo collection isn’t complete without a couple pics of me in stilettos!!

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August 2nd – today the rule is to get a pic of a tree!

Here goes:

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This is the gum tree outside of work! People just got into the habit of sticking their gum onto it through the years. People have even bought gum at the store here, just to chew and stick to the tree. Fun and interesting? or just disgusting? Poor tree! 

Through the years I have witnessed many parents yelling in horror as their kids were touching it. Lol It probably attracts like every virus in the book, sore throat germs, common colds, influenza, small pox (ok maybe not that one..), zombie infection?, probably not that one either (hopefully!)…. One day years ago, a little boy touched it and his dad screamed "you're going to get Hep. C. & HIV!!!!!!!" I couldn't help but laugh, I don't think those things are likely to be contracted through a gum tree. But I'm no expert on infectious diseases so I wouldn't listen to me! 

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This is the tree in my neighbors' backyard! 
I'm always taking pictures of it in every season, standing in my own yard. It has heart-shaped leaves in Spring & Summer, pretty purple/pink, fragrant flowers in May(my dog, Emmy got one that fell in our yard one year and brought it to my mom on Mother’s Day! lol He just went out and got it and brought it in to her!), and in Fall & Winter I can often see stars through the bare branches through my bedroom window.

And this was taken Thursday.

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Tomorrow I will be posting the pic for Day #3, if technology isn't screwing around with me like it has been.  Tomorrow is the rule of thirds. I don't know about this! But I'll try it!

I love how this project encourages us to tap into our creativity, it has very little rules so we can be creative with angles, effects, concepts…

And it's something fun and new each day! 

If you're into picture taking, maybe you want to join too?! It's at your own pace and you can begin whenever you want. If you decide to or are already in the process, let me know! I want to see your pictures! 😀

30 Day Photo Challenge e-course

I hope you’re having a fantastic day! 

xoxo Kim 😀

Befriending our emotions

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“Life isn’t about learning how to weather the storm. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”~Vivian Greene

I read a novel, which I posted about last week, called “First Do No Evil” by Dr. Carey Baldwin, medical doctor and author, wife, mother, and with quite a few advanced degrees! She writes mystery books. The books are part of a series but can also be read individually. They’re mostly about doctors, usually a thirty something year old woman with a painful past who is now in some sort of trouble, like being stalked or the target of murder/homicide attempt, who meets a man who tries to help her and they begin to fall in love. The books are full of mystery, adventure, and romance. The characters are of substance and the stories are fascinating, page turners. Dr. Baldwin, the author of this book, former clinical psychologist, and now a family medical doctor, is a hopeless romantic and a genius! So her novels include romance along with the thrilling mystery and adventure.  Her books are intended for adults, not appropriate for teenages, as they contain explicit sexual scenes and adult language/content, and physical violence, even murder. Some romance novels are hallow, with no depth, not much of a plot, but these ones are not like that. They are full of beauty and amazing life lessons. 

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Here is one such lesson: 

“Above the clunking of snow chains, at last, Danny heard his phone. Grabbing it, he checked the display. It was the captain. His breathing grew ragged, and the hairs on the back of his neck lifted. Fear can do funny things to a man. It can paralyze his diaphragm and vocal cords so he can hardly breathe, so he can’t even manage to scream for help; or it can pump his muscles so full of adrenaline he can fend off an army of aliens. Fear can be a man’s worst enemy, or his best friend. Danny knew he had a choice. 
He chose friend.” 

This is a fantastic reminder of how seemingly negative or unpleasant emotions can serve a purpose if we allow them to. 

Guilt – can trigger us to make things right – it can inspire us to say sorry if we wronged someone, tell the truth, and avoid doing things to hurt others and be more mindful of our actions.

Anger – can fuel us or break us. When we get super angry about a certain issue or at a certain person, anger can trigger us to reach out to do something. Reach out not in a destructive way but in a productive way to help or to try to make things better. If we are angry about a political cause, for example, we can reach out in compassion and love to help, not give into the fury and react in a hostile way. Love and compassion can inspire us to act and so can anger and fury when we use it in a constructive way. 

Sadness – When we are sad, we can reach out to help or uplift others in similar situations. Our own sadness can deepen our empathy.  

Grief and loss– grief can help us in a similar way and can inspire us to build our lives into something better, we can become like new, use our grief to push us forward and rebuild ourselves while also reaching out in love and empathy to console others. 

Disappointment/sense of failure/frustration – teach us lessons and motivate us to work even harder. We can acquire/develop more skills along the way and use our experiences to help others. 

Pain of any kind can be our catalyst for positive change in general and can deepen our wisdom and strength and empathy. Pain can bring us to ruin and then we can take that ruin and become even better. Sometimes after experiencing severe pain of any sort, we can change our lives to be better in general than even before that pain. 

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Jealousy – When we feel jealous that someone has something we don’t, that jealousy can inspire us to work harder for what we want or to work on ourselves to accept how we are instead of wanting what we cannot have. It can also provoke us to look within and see what is going on, to see what we feel is lacking or why we feel that way. Then we can become even better/stronger than before. 

Fear/panic – fear can pump us to act or trigger us to collapse and we can choose which to allow.

Unpleasant seeming emotions can inspire and motivate us to create, to build, to reach out, to survive. 

Depression, anxiety, chronic pain, illness…anything that seems negative or unpleasant can be our friend, our teacher, our motivation. 

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Think about your unpleasant emotions. How have they helped you? How can they help you now and in the future? How can you use them to your advantage instead of letting them drag you down?  What can they teach you? Tapping into the wisdom of each experience and emotion is a skill that we can develop to be better. 

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~Let pain make you better, not bitter.~

I’m wishing you much love and light today and always. I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are! ❤

Xoxo Kim 😀