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, on Amazon, and at several retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

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the link between fear and creativity

the link between fear and creativity

Creativity is less about talent and more about fear.

Yep, I’m going out on a limb here.  Time to have a serious talkin’ to … with ourselves.   

Not all fear is real.  And once we learn how to get out of our own way, our lives will be spectacular!

You’ve all seen the acronym FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. How many excuses do we need to justify not doing what we want to do?  Do these excuses come it from your M.F.T.P. (Mother, Father, Teacher, Preacher)?  You know these fears … Artists can’t make a real living.  You’re too old to write a book.  What if you fail?  What if people don’t like it?  Why can’t you be happy with what you have?  What makes you think anyone cares?  You’re too young.  You’re too old. 

Begone, excuses!  That was someone else telling you their fears.  And they were probably truly trying to help you.  But they are not you.  Their experiences are not yours.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know how I feel about “whispers.”  They matter and they are important.

As I write in my book 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul, I was an artist, in my mind, when I was eight years old.  Where it came from, I do not know, but I found myself sketching and longing to take an art class.  There were no art classes available to me, and “being an artist” was foreign to my family and my situation.  So I just drew sometimes … because it felt good.  (The rest of the story is in my book …  and the ending may surprise you.) 

My point is this: It took me 40+ years to listen to those whispers.  I wouldn’t trade anything in my life, except that I could have included art and painting all along.  I thought I had to make a choice.  I thought creativity tapped you on the shoulder and selected you.  I never dreamed, until I retired and had the time to listen to my whispers, that I actually was an artist.  Maybe not the best trained or recognized artist, but I was sure happy.

What do you want to do?  What do you want to try? Listen. Listen. Those whispers may be warning you of something, and deserve to be heard.  They may also be trying to get your attention so you can go on a journey of self- discovery.

Aim up!


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Your Creativity LOVES Uncertainty

Your Creativity LOVES Uncertainty

We certainly have been pushed into a vortex of uncertainty.

This is good news for your creative soul.

Don’t look now, but your creativity wants to come out and play!  And all the old routines that we were forced into, either gladly or reluctantly, are gone for a while.  Like the kids’ practices, and events we didn’t really want to attend anyway. 

Take a deep breath and say hello to your whispers.

As we rush toward returning to the life we once had, let’s consider what things we truly want to take back with us.  We have some time to reflect and remember who we really are.  What is most important to us?   Why do we live the life we choose to live?

Whispers are not scary.  They can be messy, though.  Whispers are thoughts or ideas that keep popping into your head, and sometimes seem silly or weird.  Those whispers start out quietly and can turn into nudges.  If we ignore the nudges or signs, a crisis can absolutely make you pay attention.  It’s so much easier to listen to the whispers.  Your inner voice will only speak when you allow it the opportunity.  Your heart is speaking; let it be heard.

Your whispers are trying to tell you something, so let’s invite them in and have a little conversation.  You are always in control, so start asking “why?” and let the answers come, then ask again, until you can’t get to another answer.  Your whispers don’t always make sense, but give it some time and listen carefully … your world will open up and your clarity will be laser-like. 

I had a conversation today with a friend about how she can’t plan for her creativity.  It just doesn’t work.  She feels there has to be a real need for it and then her creativity just explodes.  I call this Inspired Action, and I talk about it in the introduction of my book 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul

No two snowflakes are alike.  We are all creative and we are all truly snowflakes. Until you convince yourself you ARE creative, it may take a forced or planned action to get you to shine your little light!   

There is a real need right now to listen to your whispers so you can fast track your joy.

I believe in you.  Aim up!


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How is hope working for you right now?

How is hope working for you right now?

HOPE.  I used to think this word was an excuse. That it could mask pain and maybe even support a “why did this happen to me” mindset. It always seemed to come from need.  Hope seemed to require no real action, and did nothing. Nothing to get the car in gear and the pedal to the metal. 

Well, the universe has sure taught me a lesson around that, and it’s especially poignant during the uncertainty we are now living with. 

Hope is at the very basis of creativity, which stems from purpose and passion. In my book, 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul, I quote Liz Gilbert, who shared her thoughts on this:

 “Creative living is living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

To me, that curiosity can only be based in some level of hope, that there is something better waiting. Deepak Chopra’s asked the question “How is hope working for you right now?” and his thoughts helped me view hope, in the face of fear, in a whole new light.

  • Hope is Intention   
  • Hope is Joyful Desire   
  • Hope is SELF
  • Hope is our source of strength in times of uncertainty.

Hope is faith in things working out, even if we don’t see how that will happen at this moment.

Hope is being brave, experiencing life in a new way each day, trusting others, and mainly trusting and living in our truth.

Hope is being true to yourself,  your inner knowing, your core, your true north – in a world that is beginning again and will be your new canvas on which to paint your story.  

Be well, my friends…and stay hopeful.

Who Are You?


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Rule #1 for a creative life … a book reading

Rule #1 for a creative life … a book reading

“Creative living is living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”

That line from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is a good description of a creative life. It’s not about what you do … it’s how you do it. A creative life is one of exploring possibilities, urged on by the whispers from your heart.

Please enjoy this short book reading from the first rule in Rita Long’s 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul … and listen to your own whispers. Enjoy!

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a teaser about creativity

a teaser about creativity

Creativity — for many of us it’s absolutely vital to feeling fulfilled and on purpose. That’s certainly true for Rita Long, an artist and life coach who knows the role creativity plays in her own life.

Rita shares with us a little preview of her upcoming book reading from 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul, to help us all learn how to listen to those whispers that are urging us on to create … this is where the yummy giggles lie! Enjoy the teaser below, then sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss the full reading. Stay strong and keep creating your best life!

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10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul

10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul

Rule #1 in living a more creative life … Stop stealing from yourself.  Every time we neglect ourselves or put the needs of others ahead of our own, we drain our cup.  Take the time to do things that give you the yummy giggles.

Rule #2 to living a more creative, fulfilling life …J ust Do You!  Creativity blossoms when we honor who we really are, beyond the masks and the to-do lists and the roles we play.

Rule # 3 to living more creatively … Courage, my friend!  Creativity is messy, it makes mistakes, it gets things wrong.  Embrace the process and be bold!

Rule # 4 for your creative soul … Call out your fears.  Fear grows in the dark and silence.  And it loses its power once we shine some light on it.

Rule # 5 to live more creatively … Surround yourself well.  We become like the people we hang out with. Check your circle.  Does it support you and lift you up? 

Rule #6 too creative living … Reframe your beliefs.  We all carry around beliefs about life, about our past, about our abilities … and those beliefs may or may not be true.  Maybe it’s time to redefine what we know to be “true.”

 Rule # 7 for a more creative life … Be FOR something.  It’s so easy to be against something … we are pretty clear about what we don’t like, what we don’t agree with.  Take a positive stand with your creative efforts and let them bloom.

Rule #8 for your beautiful, creative soul … Own your energy signature.  What you put out comes back.  Take a moment to really look at what energy you put out there. Is it lack?  Anger?  Take the time to adjust. Sprinkle love and light around like glitter.

Rule #9 for a more fulfilling and creative life … Be grateful.  Be thankful for this day, this moment, the people around you, that cup of coffee, those moments of peace in the chaos, support in the hard times, the respite from the mess, the indoor plumbing … know that it is all there for a reason, and be grateful, even if you have no idea what the reason is.

Rule #10 to living your best creative life … Stop It!  Stop the negative self-talk and self-fulfilling lies that you aren’t good enough, capable enough, smart enough, rich enough, pretty enough … just stop it.  If you have to, put a rubber-band around your wrist and snap it when your mind brings you back to those lies. Be conscious of the dialog in your head that makes you believe you are less than. Talk to yourself the way a best friend, a lover, your Creator would … You are unique, amazing, beautiful and whole.

Who Are You?

Excerpts from the book 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul

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The five people closest to you

The five people closest to you

If you are or once were parenting young folks, you will relate to this. 

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 feel, I know I have at least five awesome people surrounding me in my life.  I am lucky and grateful.

Key #1 –  Choose wisely and treat them kindly. Your chosen few are treasures and priceless.

Key #2 –  Create a full circle of stimulating your intellect, creativity, meaning, and adding value in doing what matters most to you.  It’s a true give-and-take.

Key #3 – Be honest with yourself, and become the person you were always meant to be.  When you surround yourself with the right people, you’ll feel good about yourself and your direction, your world will begin to expand.  And then you can give back.

This is creativity at its best!


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