Self improvement

Self improvement

We’ve spent A LOT of time together this year on Rule #1 (Back your own Trailer) in my book (10 Little Rules for Mermaids) and ‘all that it is entailed in learning to do new things and what for me it means to ‘be grown’.

And as I wake on the dawn of a new era, I find myself realizing TODAY is a perfect day for EACH of us to make a COMMITMENT to stay in better touch with ALL that impacts us in this world, to be more interested, more active, more aware.

And being aware doesn’t mean becoming an expert. Being interested doesn’t imply studying every nuance. And being active doesn’t require leading anyone to change, except OURSELVES.

We NEED to understand what is happening around us Sunshine, we DESERVE to understand what impacts us, our families and our world. So let us recognize today as the clean slate that it is from a KNOWLEDGE standpoint, a chance to stay current with current events from the BEGINNING.

MAKE the time to spend fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes with neutral, factual, non emotion driven resources each day. Feel free to ask questions of teachers, librarians, even public officials, not so much for their thoughts or opinions, but for their resources.

And if you don’t understand what you just heard, that’s ok. You just may be surprised who else around you didn’t really either. So google it.

Knowledge is power Sunshine, but not having it doesn’t mean you’re not capable of gaining or understanding it. And not unlike a great meal, a walk on the beach, a brief flirtation or even a great romance, knowledge is rewarding.

Knowledge is INVIGORATING. And life is too short not to experience ALL of it my friend. The strength and confidence that comes from gleaning your own information is life altering, and life GIVING.

So taste it, sample it, SAVOR it. Because EVERYONE around you will benefit from your wholeness, especially you. Om shanti Sunshine. Take care of you, and I’ll see you when you get here.

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at several retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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Musings on Rule #10 for Mermaids … Closing the Chapters

Musings on Rule #10 for Mermaids … Closing the Chapters

The person who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones.

Indeed, Sunshine. Confucius was right.

And that mountain can be a guest room into which you can’t walk, weight you want or need to lose, new skills you want to obtain, changes you want to make within yourself.

But what if it’s not A mountain?  What if it’s a RANGE? 

I often describe myself as bouncing – I tend to go from project to project, rarely finishing anything in one fell swoop.

There were times I could have and just didn’t want to.  Yet in others were true hurdles and interruptions that were often blessings in disguise.

And it’s cost me a few tears here and there, but I’ve refused to change – or couldn’t – or maybe a little of both.  

I now liken my movements to bees moving from flower to flower, and  recognize it as the SKILL that it is – when applied correctly. 

But at some some point one does have to reign themselves in and wrap things up.  And maybe even look at some of the the underlying ‘whys’ behind each unfinished project.

‘But I can’t!’ you may be thinking.  ‘I have no help!’  

But how many times has a friend offered theirs?  

And how many times have you actually asked for it – slowly, clearly, not thinly veiled? 

And how many times has it come, and you missed it? 

What if instead of automatically saying, ‘No, I’m good thanks’, you tried ‘When I figure out what I need I promise I’ll ask’, and then do it?

What if you recognized that we ALL like to be needed and that allowing yourself to be vulnerable on occasion actually shows strength? (Thank you Robin Rivers for connecting THOSE dots!)

And what if instead of defending yourself to that person who just got off the couch to come in and say ‘Why don’t you get rid of some of this junk?’ you said ‘Oh cool! While you’re here, help me move this sofa!’

It doesn’t always come in a pretty package, Sunshine.

Sometimes the form it takes may be part of a bigger message, lesson, or plan.  

And sometimes, help is just help. 

But at the end of the day it may indeed be more blessed to give than to receive, but to REFUSE to receive may block the blessings.

So get on with it Sunshine. 

Get that $#!+ done and I’ll see you when you get here ❤️

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at several retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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More on Rule #4 for Mermaids … Curing what ails you

More on Rule #4 for Mermaids … Curing what ails you

Ah yes, back to waking up and not being able to go back to sleep … Sigh. But this time I know what I’ve done to ‘deserve it.’

And some of that is holiday. Some is year end business stuff. Some year end personal stuff. You know, life stuff.

But MOST of it is self inflicted ‘off the wagon’ stuff.

Now, I have NO CHOICE but to manage my diet differently than most, and quite frankly I see that as a true gift. Otherwise? Gurl.

And as a rule I don’t weigh every day – only when I can feel something is off. And then if I know why, I just fix it and move on.

But here of late, I’ve gained four-ish pounds that I cannot shake. In addition, each day I can be up as much as ten – and back down six overnight. THAT tells me I’m missing something.

And even still, my first thought is often ‘but I’m not doing anything any different’ (I mean, even when I’ve completely lost mind, it’s at least the same BRAND of frosting 🙄).

But with practice and, for the most part, clean eating, I can FEEL it when something’s different.

So drilling down the list, I now know to not only look for something COMPLETELY new but to revisit labels on the few packaged items I do use.

And you know what Mermaid? I think this time it’s my new supplement! You know, the kind that promises fabulous health and great glowing everything??

So. I will clean up the no-brainer holiday behavior (NO regrets). Deal with life issues by figuring out some semblance of an actual exercise ROUTINE. Eliminate the new supplement long enough to be sure my system is clear before adding it back in, and go from there.

And please know, it’s not so much about the four pounds Sunshine – it’s the fluctuating water weight that is TERRIBLE for your body. It’s the ‘fibromyalgia like’ symptoms. It’s the stiffness, the edginess.

So long story short, in the words of the GREAT Jimmy Buffet, it’s time to get back to treating your body like the temple that it is my dear, not a tent. See you when you get here.

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available at www.10littlerules.com, on Amazon, and at several retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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Hindsight in soft focus

Hindsight in soft focus

As the days pass, and periods in your life resurface,  look over them kindly and with open eyes, for THEY are what helped mold and shape you.

Grow to know and better understand the meaning behind the expression “hindsight being 20/20.”

And as distance allows a new clarity, and without losing sight of the opportunities and moments in which you are currently living, let those periods CONTINUE to help mold and shape and grow.

Knowing all the while that as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into years, not unlike eye sight, the details behind hindsight soften and fade.  So choose wisely on what you focus.  

And as the year 2020 comes to a close, choose wisely what you retain. 

Namaste Sunshine

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available on our site, at The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC and on Amazon.

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Becoming You

Becoming You

I can’t be the only one who does this? Gets sucked into the vortex of whatever it is, lives it, breathes it, eats it and comes out the other side refreshed and renewed … Or gasping for air … Or a little of both?

Interestingly enough, the older I get, that hasn’t lessened. In fact, if anything it may have deepened, and perhaps the opening myself to the lesson at hand become easier … At least for the moment.

And there is just SO much going on right now. So much that I believe is universally designed to DEMAND our attention, to make us STOP and to make us THINK. So much that can pull us in one direction or the other, spin us out of control, suck us into a vortex.

And our individual reactions can be surprising. And they can vary from day to day, or even hour to hour …

I come in and out of my bubble. Sometimes drawn, sometimes pulled, sometimes down right dragged kicking and screaming. And I see now that not only is that ok, but it’s normal, and it’s for the most part, healthy.

I had to MAKE myself stop this week and regroup on some of MY keys to survival – take a basic yoga class, eat real meals, drink less coffee.

And on the grand scheme of things, THOSE things seem overly simplistic, almost selfish, counter intuitive. But they’re not. In fact, they are quite the opposite.

So here’s my point. It’s about finding the balance. It’s about discovering, digesting, retaining, putting into practice, the lessons. It’s about staying grounded yet moving forward. And it’s about doing ALL of that at the right level of comfortable/uncomfortable, for you.

And when when you do get swept in again, and you will, know that it’s ok. Know that be it consciously or unconsciously it is important to allow those experiences to happen because it is through them we become stronger, more open, more confident and most importantly, more ourselves.

So take some time Sunshine. Take a break, take some time, take care of you, and I’ll see you when you get here ❤

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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Now What?

Now What?

It’s the every day Sunshine. The big stuff is obvious, but it’s the day to day that can get weird. It’s the day to day, no news is good news, ‘I was just thinking’, where do I start, HOW do I start that can get weird.

It’s the days that have no ‘in your face crisis at hand drama’ It’s the meals that have no designated celebration. It’s those moments when whatever project has landed or friendship has moved to the next phase and you stop and you think ‘now what?’.

And then we complicate things. We over analyze and over think. We tear apart the guest bedroom for the sake of organizing or make announcements about ‘needing space’. We plan big shopping trips for the sake of ‘eating right’ or take on a friend’s project for the sake of avoiding our own. We run, plan, move and do because we can’t seem to figure out how to just be.

And sometimes, when we finally realize that yes, just being can be a GOOD thing, and simple is often INDEED best, we don’t know how to un-do. We’ve collected too much, or said too much.

There are moments Sunshine, when yes, we’ve said or done something that hurts so much that there’s no going back. We can move forward, but things will never be the same again. And those moments are hard, and those moments are painful. Yet, those moments are rare.

In those moments when you’re feeling … Something. That emotion on which you can’t quite put your finger. Is it guilt? (I really didn’t have that money to spend, and I will never eat artichoke hearts no matter how glowing they will make my skin). Is it lack of confidence? (Dammit I shouldn’t have called I’m sure he/she is tired of me at this point). Is it lack of control? (Why the #!% did I pull apart the bedroom, I haven’t even finished the garage??)

Whatever it is, just stop. And just be. For even a hot second. Take a deep breath, and remember. You can return, donate or gift the artichoke hearts. You can close the bedroom door and head back out to the garage. And you can stop and think how nice it is to RECEIVE a phone call, so why wouldn’t someone else like to?!

Get over yourself Sunshine. Get over yourself and get started. Pick one thing that overwhelms you, and just get started. And if you get interrupted or have to shift gears take a minute to just be and then get back to the task at hand. Don’t stir the pot for no reason. Don’t work yourself into a froth. Don’t create a problem that wasn’t there. Regroup. Refresh. Just be. And for the love of Pete, appreciate and enjoy the simplicity of the day to day.

See you when you get here ❤

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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Just One to Plus One

Just One to Plus One

It’s easier Sunshine, much, much, MUCH easier to just sit and watch from the sidelines. We sit, shake our heads, and just watch. Perhaps we FEEL something – anger, shock, horror – but how often do we DO something about ANY of it?

We know that one vote can make or break an election, one bad grade can fail a course, yet we sit and think of ourselves as ONE. One person. One action. One word.

We see what power of one terrible action all day, every day – too many times to count – yet we still think ‘what good can I do? – I’m just one’…

There is no room for judging a book by its cover Sunshine. None. On any level. The EYES are the window to the soul, not the size, shape, age, gender, background or color of the skin.

And there is no room for ugly – ugly words, ugly actions. I recognize that lashing out is frequently a response to hurt or fear, yet violence -verbal or otherwise is NEVER the answer.

So WHAT do we do with ourselves as ‘just one’?

HOW do we make a difference?

We speak up. We lead by example. We do what feels right in the moment to drive positive change. We change our way of thinking from ‘just one’ to ‘plus one’. We think big. We stand up for what we believe is right, all day, every day without question, regardless of who is in the room and THAT Sunshine is how WE make this world a better place …

See you when you get here 💜

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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Planting Seeds

Planting Seeds

My grandfather was a hard man – a very hard man. He loved me and my brother, but he made it very clear who he didn’t.

And he wasn’t gentle, even with us. I endured a lot of jokes at my expense, and I’m sure my brother did too – comments about my hair or clothes, all said with a laugh and designed to gIve the other adults in the room a laugh.

And it wasn’t always about color. We lived through a lot of comments about backgrounds, education, size, ‘intelligence’ about others.

My grandmother in particular would occasionally step in with ‘nod toward us and say, ‘Ed the children’. He loved her dearly, so it would stop. For the moment.

My mother in particular would explain later ‘that granddaddy had grown up in a different time’ and how this was ‘bad’. But I knew from the reactions of the others in the room when it was happening, that regardless of when he had grown up, it was bad.

I don’t know what would or wouldn’t have happened in my development having that influence in my background if I hadn’t also been given the gift of height.

In my time – and I’m not sure why, perhaps it made it easier for the teacher to see us all? – but I remember being lined up for various activities by height. Which put me in the back, with mostly boys, several of whom were black. And most of whom I remain in some kind of contact to this day.

Now I am a believer in the fact that children aren’t born being influenced by color. I watch my little guy on the play ground, and they ALL just accept each other as CHILDREN, but I also believe that even without influence, we all tend to migrate to what is most familiar, so I know that growing up tall put me in a unique position to grow a different level of comfortable with those outside my own race.

I remember them accepting me. I remember laughing. And I remember getting in trouble for being the one who couldn’t stop talking in line. (I know y’all are shocked).

And I remember growing more and more horrified by my grandfather’s views.

So here again, I’ve gone long in making my point, so let’s drill this down. It is even the SMALLEST of influences that can make the GREATEST impact. So inasmuch as I would love to tell you my family felt strong enough to push back hard against this hard man, I cannot. But I can tell you that what they were able to do in those moments kept my young mind open to accept children different from myself as being equal.

And does that give us the immediate change being demanded today? No, but it does help reinforce the long term POSITIVE impact of what I believe in my heart is coming.

So if for whatever reason you can’t separate yourself from whatever negative influence in your life Sunshine, don’t discount your own. Speak up when you can, however you can, even if it is after the fact.

Plant those seeds now and nurture them well as best you are able – for it is through our little people we solidify the change we want and very much need to see in this world.

Amen and Namaste.

See you when you get here ❤

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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