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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Cup Full of Nutrition

Cup Full of Nutrition

Being on the road or overloaded stress wise can be extra tricky for me from a food standpoint, and getting off track even a little bit can REALLY put me off balance. Fastest way for me to regroup is concentrated nutrition on the form of a smoothie – in fact, at our house we call it the power smoothie. And how bad can something that tastes like a chocolate shake be?? Take care of you Sunshine! 

… so here we go!

Mine always start with an avocado when I have it, a banana when I don’t, or both when I can. That’s what makes them creamy. If I don’t have an avocado, I add coconut oil – it’s the good fat I’m after, and arguably the most critical to eliminating any cravings and getting me back on track.

I add unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened cocoa, and organic local honey (I use what I sell) to taste. I add frozen unsweetened fruit to make it like a milkshake or ice.

Its all about the nutrition, so I frequently add mushroom extract and/or cinnamon. Sometimes a pinch of turmeric.

The rest of the day I focus on real food – no processed, no sugar. I rarely do any grains, especially wheat. But meat, vegetables, good fat (avocado, olive or coconut oil) and fruit are unlimited. (When I was looking to lose weight, I did less fruit than i do now, but I refuse to apologize for eating REAL food).

I intermittent fast, so if I eat at 8pm, I don’t eat again til at LEAST 8am. BUT bone broth doesn’t break a fast, so I will drink that with turmeric chipotle and sea salt (or whatever flavor sounds good- and make sure if you buy it, it is as organic as possible and NOT fat free – I add avocado oil when necessary. (Aldi makes for simple/affordable shopping for me).

That’s it! Happy to help where I can, so if you have questions, ask!

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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Subtle Steps

Subtle Steps

Is it that we adapt, or perhaps succumb to the influences around us?

Is it that we stay busy, side tracked, sheltered, or sometimes by choice, just blissfully unaware?

When something happens, something tiny, something huge … what is it that makes us all of the sudden think, acknowledge, realize?

And now that things look different, seem different, ARE different, what is it that keeps us right in the middle of not altogether knowing even how we got there, let alone how to get out?

People do things in numbers Mermaid, because there is SAFETY in numbers. Being part of something bigger than ourselves makes us feel safe, accepted, smart. Yet often the strength of those numbers is intimidating and overwhelming and once we’ve been swept up by numbers that no longer make sense for us or by a person or crowd that is no longer a right fit, we can be at a loss for for right steps to get out.

We all make mistakes. We all make decisions poorly informed. We have all found ourselves influenced by the thoughts, words and energy around us. And we ALL have changed our minds.

So in a time when our world is in SUCH a precarious state, a time when EVERY thought, word, action or vote carries so very much more weight that perhaps EVER before, my challenge to you is this …

Gather your own intel Mermaid. Seek out information from MULTIPLE sources. Watch a new channel, read, digest, think and ACT on your own behalf.

Know that it does not make you any less sharp, strong or loyal to CHANGE YOUR MIND.

And as much we all would like to INFLUENCE change, let me leave you with this. If influencing others feels too big, or too scary, or just too much, don’t. You don’t have to INFLUENCE others to be a part of CHANGE. Quietly, privately, independently, subtly, yet bravely take even the tiniest step and ACT on what matters. Because you ARE smart. Your opinion DOES matter. And without a shadow of a doubt, EVERY vote counts.

Take care of you Mermaid 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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Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

How often do we REALLY do that Sunshine, “Let things happen as they are meant to in the highest way for all involved’?

And when we do, how often is it from the beginning, or is it that at some point we finally give up forcing and THEN just go with the flow?

How often do we notice, let alone allow ourselves to be INTRIGUED by the zigs and the zags? The unexpected? The out if left fields? The path they take us down and the amazing end result?

I spent SO MUCH of my early years mapping out my days literally down to the MINUTE for work- who was going to do what, with which step, in what floor move at what time. And getting SO frustrated or even ANGRY when things didn’t go as planned.

Even still, there’s no getting around it. There’s a lot on the plate, you have to map things out, it doesn’t make sense not to. I hate to be late, resent it when someone else doesn’t appear to respect my time, like and need to get things done efficiently and hate when things linger, but here’s what I’ve come to know … All delays are good delays, and things really do have a way of working out.

And if you TRULY want to play this game well, stop and recognize the POSITIVE impact of that ONE thing that shifted the gears and redirected the plan, and how eventually it all just fell into place.

So relax Sunshine, even just a little. Have faith that whatever you need WILL come EXACTLY when it is supposed to and not before. Know that forcing whatever it is it will only slow things down but make you crazy in the process.

And when a wrench gets thrown into the cogs, take a deep breath and reassess the situation. Recognize that things may be fixin’ to get interesting. Relax, go with the flow and just know that at the end of the day the only thing YOU can control is your reaction, so you might as well just strap yourself in and enjoy the ride.

 

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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Letting it Flow…

Letting it Flow…

My phone is crashing, slowly. Whatever wants to load, loads whatever doesn’t, doesn’t.

And when I got home yesterday, way earlier than expected after moving what literally felt like the entire store, I needed to write.
But for whatever reason, the phone would not allow it, and instead I started going through a photo album I hadn’t even even realized was there.

It was surreal looking back at projects I’d forgotten, art I’d created, magic I had made. And it takes A LOT for me to call my own work magic, yet it was. Not so much the work itself – some of it WAS really good, some of it was ok – but ALL of it had felt like magic at the time for what it represented in the moment.

As I scrolled through the image of the serene woman surrounded by water appeared (The word ‘mermaid’ in Spanish being ‘sirena’ speaks to me now …) and held my attention for a bit. I don’t remember where I found her, but clearly she felt important enough for me to take her picture from a magazine. The fact that she is so peacefully just barely keeping her head above water spoke to me. Silently, yet forcefully. The fact that I save pictures of women for my art and that she had clearly been forgotten spoke even louder.

I slept – strangely. Woke up at my new normal, 2:27. Got up at 3:33 (didn’t plan that, but it made me smile) showered, got dressed, ate, went through my email and just couldn’t do any more. I allowed myself to go back to bed. And when I woke up, I opened my phone to three oddly relevant pins.

Now, I don’t mean to make any that be any more than it is. But this morning, it was exactly what I needed to put some thoughts into words and some perspectives into place.

Magic isn’t about perfection. Happy isn’t about perfection. And sometimes getting where you need or want to be puts you in precarious places – the water right up to the edges of your face. But allowing yourself to be submerged is important – As long as you come up for air. As long as you return – or better yet, never leave – what speaks to your very core. As long as you don’t lose sight of YOUR mission.

I do my best these days to not force things – and that is not only a scary thing, but it does not come naturally. Although I am a believer in what flows flows, what crashes crashes being an important mantra, I also recognize that waves crash, and return to shore repeatedly, and the ocean is arguably one of the most powerful elements on this earth. Yet by the same token, it does so by the pull of the Universe.

So don’t force it Mermaid. Take your time, go with the flow, trust your gut and follow your signs. Because the most naive thing that any of us can think is that we are the ones with the plan.

Namaste Mermaid … 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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