Building Your House, Building Your Life…

Building Your House, Building Your Life…

A long-time friend is going through a rough time in her life right now.  Changes,  decisions and questions have surfaced and are demanding answers.  In my attempt to help, I always ended with the question:  “What do you want?  What do you really, really want?  What do you really, really, really, really want?”  Somehow saying “really” four times gets down to the heart of the matter.

She was not amused or pleased with the question.  Most of us aren’t.  We feel the pain and seem to follow that pain into what we don’t want and why we can’t get it.  It’s like walking down a dark alley even after we see the dead end sign before we begin.   Why is it so hard for us to focus on what we want rather than what we don’t have or have been told we can’t get?

I’ve never built a house before.  A real house, from concept to design, from foundation to roof.  I find it to be truly exhilarating and freeing.  Yet dozens have warned me of what a long and arduous process it is going to be and the toll it will take on me.  Before we sat down with the builder and the architect, we prepared a list of general ideas, questions, variations and open-end options.

At the very  top of the page was our “What We Want” list.  It was not an easy, quick list we jotted down light-heartedly.   It was the result of many hours of thinking about and talking about what we do, what we like, what is important to us and how we want to feel when we get into our new home.  We reviewed many blueprints…many, many blueprints.  We feel in love with one and yet we still have to make adjustments based on our wants and desires and values.  My hubby wants his work bench and home theatre.  I want my studio and a kitchen that makes me feel yummy every time I go in there to cook.  We both want our lake view to be the star and focus of our new home…relaxed, comfortable and warm.

So – life is a lot like building a house.  

Must Have:  No compromises.

Want:             Some concessions may be needed.

Like:                If possible

No Way!         If it’s not a yes, it’s a hell no!  (10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul)

Start living a yummy life – stand up tall and strong and know what you truly want.  Go deep.

That home on the water you dream about is more than a home on the water.  Is it the peace and quiet of nature?  Is it the ability to ski and tube and party with like-minded people?  Is it the privacy and inspiration of the ever-changing view each day?   Build your life around that.

The only answer that matters is your answer and that fact that you have uncovered what it is you really, really, really, really want in life.    

Artfully inspired, Rita

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The 5 People Closest To You!

The 5 People Closest To You!

Part of my parenting was to teach and remind my children to carefully monitor the people they associate with on a regular basis.   Why?  The five people closest to us will impact our own success and happiness in life.  Just this week, even at my age, I had to make a conscious choice to choose who would hang out in my space.  Yes, it really is that important!   Presented with a lucrative opportunity, my gut told me “no way” even though my checkbook was saying yes.  So I remembered my new mantra from my book 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul: 

“If it’s not a “hell, yes” – it’s a no!

The mere thought now of seeing, communicating and dealing with this person on a daily basis makes me weak.  The confirmation  is so strong and I know I made the right decision.  The decision to say no.  The decision to include people in my life who inspire, encourage, dream, support, connect and care.  So when I ask myself daily what I want my day to look like and how I want to fell, I know I have at least five awesome people surrounding me in my life.  I am lucky and grateful.  Choose wisely – treat kindly!

https://www.elitedaily.com/life/sum-of-5-closest-friends/1723824

Artfully inspired,

Rita

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A Hole In My Soul

A Hole In My Soul

Who would have guessed that not blogging for an extended time would leave a gaping hole in my soul!    I didn’t even notice this until I began to write today.  It feels like coming home to the yummy giggles (10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul: page 3)  – that feeling that reflects a peaceful truth that has found its home inside you.

As a long-time advocate of journaling,  this surprised me.  I’ve studied  the powerful connection between hand-writing into a physical book and gaining awareness and understanding.  But this blogging thing seems to fit into my behavioral style better.   It’s faster and easier for me to get all the crazy thoughts swimming around in my head down into readable words.  Less delays, more accuracy, editing ease.  And, I can add visuals that help to tell my story, express myself and my ideas.

This little cutie in the photo reminds us to Shake Yourself Awake and do what you love to do.  We do have a life to live and there really is no such thing as being in balance (for very long, at least).  So do what you love.  Go find your yummy giggles!

Artfully inspired,

Rita

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Whispers and Creativity

Whispers and Creativity

It was a long, long time ago.  I still remember it as sharply as a sunny summer day.  The advice was heartfelt and genuine and I bought it without question.  It took me decades to discover that although delivered “in my best interest,”  it was not the truth for me.  And now, in retrospect, the only thing that matters is that I did not know enough then to listen to my own whispers.  Where do you hear your whispers?

I was always an artist in my own mind, as a child.  Yet it never entered my mind that I actually could be an artist.  When the nuns told me not to take math classes in middle school, and instead try Home Economics, well … I just did what I was told.  So today, math is not my thing. Go figure.

What is important is that I heard those whispers way back then.  The whispers spoke to me even if I did not recognize them as creativity, a calling,  inspiration, or a call to action.

I believe we all have whispers that are screaming to get our attention.  And the sooner we listen to them, with respect and playfulness, the sooner we arrive where we truly want to be…doing what we truly want to do.

Where do you hear your whispers?    Most likely it’s while you are in silence or when you feel your own brand of yummy giggles.  Both are places of honor and are not to be taken lightly or given away.

Rule #1 in “10 Little Rules for your Creative Soul” is Thou Shalt Not Steal.  Do not steal from yourself the holy sound of silence where your whispers will be heard loud and clear.  Do not steal from yourself when you experience moments of pure bliss and pass it off as silly.  Do not steal from yourself the opportunity to hear your own whispers.  If you ignore the whispers, the cosmic 2 x 4 will arrive to somehow get your attention.  That, my friends, is not fun.

Give yourself the gift of silence.  Honor yourself and open yourself to what you are trying to express.

Be Original.

Rita

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Coffee & Creativity

Coffee & Creativity

Picture me carrying my coffee, walking into my studio and painting on this cold, sunny March day in Michigan.  Just that customary practice of taking my coffee into my sanctuary starts to stir things up inside me.  Good things.  Creative things.  I only drink one cup of coffee a day, so it’s not the caffeine. But it got me to thinking about how rituals and clarity can work for us in our attempts to be creative.  Can we “create” creativity?  Hmmm … or are we either creative or not creative?

We don’t need anything to become inspired. Rather, we need to take our attention away from what we see and move into the miraculous world of creativity, where joy and bliss awaits us!  We are talking all kinds of crazy creativity – your garden, how you prepare a meal, what you paint, how you dress – the list goes on and on and on.

If we feel joy and bliss we are “in the flow,” “in the zone,” “living in yummy giggles.”  It’s all about the feelings. What we do willingly is never a burden.  How could it be if we are feeling joy and bliss?  Even in difficult times we will do the difficult tasks if it gets us to that place of joy and bliss doing something we love or being with someone we love.

And that’s enough to start.  Just do something you love to do and brings you joy and bliss.  You can start big or small, whatever you decide…the point of power is in the present moment.   Doing one little thing that feels like inspiration or creativity will kick-start your journey.

Be Original.  Be You.  As you become the director of your own life, be sure to cast yourself as the star!

Excuse me while I continue off to my studio!  Be Original.  Buy Original.  Rita

 

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The Art of Trying to Fix Things – Rita Long Art

Today our Supper on Sunday was a big, delicious, outrageously yuScreen Shot 2017-03-26 at 10.09.17 PMmmy brunch of bacon, sausage, and blueberry waffles.  Two grandsons were here and they are teens, hence the brunch instead of the breakfast, as they sleep late these days!

But the real message of today was The Art of Trying to Fix Things.  We’ve lived in our home for nearly 24 years and things just need to be “fixed.”  Updates, painting, replacing and sprucing up….some small tasks and some seriously big projects.  It can be exhausting and at the same time exciting.  Our grandsons helped us with some chores and we realized what strong, dependable and bright young people they have grown into recently.

Yet sometimes, a situation cannot be fixed.  It may need to be fixed or fancied up, but getting started and involved may cause even more damage.  We were asked today for advice about such a situation, one close to home.  Lending an ear and offering an opinion, if asked, is welcomed most of the time.  There are times, however, when we can’t rush in and solve a problem that isn’t ours to solve.   As much as people or things need “fixing up,”  it doesn’t always mandate our direct involvement.

This is one of life’s tough lessons.  It doesn’t make us feel good.  It doesn’t feel like we are doing anything to help and we want to help.  We feel guilty.  Truth is – sometimes it is not only not our responsibility, but more importantly, does not serve the people or situation in question.

Supper On Sunday can allow us time to reflect on when to jump in to help, or when to watch from a distance with love and compassion.  If we keep our hearts open and filled with kindness,  we will know when the time comes to eagerly leap with joy, resolve and total commitment to help.

Moments That Matter!  Rita

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Supper on Sunday: It’s All About the Choices

Supper on Sunday: It’s All About the Choices

Growing up in Ohio, lunch (noon meal) was called dinner, and dinner (evening meal) was called supper.  Supper on Sunday was always  earlier than other days of the week, maybe because mom was tired and wanted to get it over with and rest.  Maybe it was because in those days everyone was home and we could share a meal early and get ready for work and school the next day.  It was also always special, just a bit more “fancy” then our other meals.

I have been asked and encouraged lately to do more blogging.  So my Sunday blogs will be called Supper on Sunday, a mix of thoughts to noodle on, a way to possibly look at an issue from a different angle, and time to connect and communicate with “family”.

This first one is tough, and I have been thinking about it all week as I’ve had lots of alone time to paint the big mural I am doing in my Gallery.  I kept reflecting on all the hysteria, real or imagined, that is going on in our country today.  Sides are not being taken here, so don’t run away.

Sides is what bothers me.  Sides should be just that…something we add to our main course, not what defines us as a human being.  A friend who moved out of state recently was asked, when she changed her license, what political party she belonged to.  “Belonged to?”  When we have to choose, we are being asked to believe in all of the doctrines of that party, movement, church, group or family.  I’m not sure if everyone can or should believe in everything that everyone else does, all the time.  It makes me wonder what the term “politically correct” actually means?  Is it a political issue or a values issue?  When we know what our core values are, our true north, our “why”…decisions are easier and there is a calmness that resutls.  The core values,  our true north, our “why” is our main course and stay in the center of who we are.  The sides are variables and add-ons that enhance our expereince.  Freedom of Speech is America’s True North.  How it is expressed is optional and answerable to chosen guidelines.

Example:  I believe anyone living in America is privileged.  Yes, anyone.  Could things be better – absolutely! Do we have problems – yes!  I think we are heading in the right direction.  The access we have to do, think, be and support whomever and whatever we want is freedom.  Rare freedom that is not guaranteed, so we best not take it for granted.  But forcing our views, opinions, beliefs and actions on others is sheer bullying.  Destroying other people’s property and physical harm is a crime.  Freedom of speech means that we and the other person also has that same right…and it’s about speech, speaking, voicing our opinion, marching, protesting.  Period.

I am much more concerned with people who wear masks, harm other people, and destroy other’s property than I am about anyone voicing their opinion.  And if you didn’t vote in the last election, regardless of which “side” you are on, I don’t choose to hear your opinion of the state of the country.  Voting is a right and a privilege…you don’t even have to leave your home to vote these days.  No excuses!

Another example:  How do we express Freedom of Speech here in America?  Now get ready because this will  stir the pot (as they say in Ohio!) as I am going to talk about football.  Not Wall Street, not Republicans, not Democrats, not Mellennials…just football.  Now I know I have your attention.

Why do so many people watch the Super Bowl?  Because they like football is not the only reason, right?  Advertisers who want our money have turned it into the magic bean that will grow their sales.  The NFL has turned it into entertainment (that is questionable to some) to get more viewers. The Entertainers have turned it into a political platform to spread their views and opinions.  And this it is what makes our country great.  We may not agree with it but it is Freedom of Speech.  The other thing that makes our country great is that we all have a choice to participate or not to participate.  In watching the game, the award show, the movie, the drama or sit-com on TV.   All of it – we have a choice to watch, respond or not watch or not attend.   That’s freedom.

As Gary Vaynerchuk says:  Let’s Make Positivity Louder, viewable on YouTube.

For me personally, it’s all about the choice.  Without taking sides, I choose to paint a mural this afternoon, eat an early Supper on Sunday, and meditae tonight.  I choose not to watch football, advertisements, entertainment, or political statements today.  It’s just my choice and I am so overwhelmingly grateful that I have that choice to make.  I give thanks for that right.

Moments That Matter
Rita

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Creativity, Clouds & Courage

Creativity, Clouds & Courage

Rita's cloudsSeveral people who are reading my new book, 10 Little Rules For Your Creative Soul,  have asked me to explain further what I think creativity really means.  I love getting questions like this because without awareness, change and growth can not happen.  It means we are asking ourselves an important question…”How do I get unstuck?”  My short and sweet answer:  Expand your awareness and change accelerates.

Living a frustrated life is not creativity. Owning your creativity is being free.  Your creativity will give you the “yummy giggles” (see page 3 of my book).  Living a creative life is participating with joy in a life you love.  Creativity is connecting what you know with what you want.  Let me explain.  It’s really about removing the limits in your life.  Now let’s talk Clouds, Creativity and Courage.

CLOUDS – I love painting clouds (and the sea) so I began to do a large mural in what will be my new art gallery. I know how to paint clouds, and am also a believer in lifelong learning. So  I searched YouTube, my files, art instruction DVDs,  and online to see if I could add a technique or method to bump up my skill level.  I  spent hours and learned many fresh and effective ideas.  I tried one.  It looked bad.  An entire wall with the wrong color of paint for the sky I wanted, and clouds that looked like a pre-school art project.  I repainted the entire wall and started again.   The picture you see is what I produced after having the COURAGE to “just Do You” – Chapter 2 in my book.  MY gallery mural had to be MY clouds, so I painted MY clouds.  I think it looks good.  I have the yummy giggles looking at MY clouds when I walk into the room.

Chapter 3, “Put Courage Before Confidence,” speaks to the fact that we must have courage first before we are truly confident about doing most things.  We learn and study to become accomplished.  But without the courage to actually try something before we are certain and confident we can do it – that takes courage!  The doing, the hustle, the pushing through frustration into joy is what CREATIVITY is to me.   Recognizing that limiting beliefs about ourselves, feeling inadequate,  fearful of failing,  jealousy and doubt –  those thoughts and emotions are just visitors.  Think of them as clouds in the sky that come and go and change.  They need not be permanent.  What is permanent and noteworthy is the freedom of living your life “as if” your wildest dreams were reality…and trusting yourself enough to know what makes you happy and whole.    Living in your “present moment” as often as possible will get your unstuck faster than anything else I know.

I knew I wanted clouds in my mural.  I knew how to paint clouds.  That is what kept me on my journey to always do what feels right for me.  It also seems to get me what I want.  Funny how that happens.

Moments That Matter!

Rita

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