Rule #5 – Surround Yourself Wisely.

Rule #5 – Surround Yourself Wisely.

My family called me active, and I was always wanting to do something different than most of the other kids.  Not out of judgement, but out of curiosity.  Still to this day, I am curious about learning new things yet have such a strong sense of what  I like and want in my life.   There’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning (thank you, Jimmy Buffett).

I’ve always struggled with being put in a box, labeled, pigeon-holed as any one thing.  Yet I am so clear on my vision of what I want.  The hows don’t really concern me too much, especially in the creative stages of my adventures.   Is it possible  to remain true to yourself and yet seek newness and change?  Absolutely!  Even more so for we creatives.

Most of what I do is paint, when it comes to creativity.  But I also am an author, a speaker, a teacher and a foodie. Heading up to the Leelanau Peninsula in northern Michigan this week, I was again stunned at the natural beauty of the Great Lakes and the intimate towns that charm their way into my heart.  Each town has its own energy that is unique.

The shops are similar and most often the restaurants are also.  But we found a Farm to Table Restaurant (and Farm) that got my creative juices flowing.  It’s 9 Bean Rows in Suttons Bay, Michigan, housed in a cute little row of shops and painted red.  It started with French Press coffee even before they actually opened, but they let us sit outside in the warm sun to enjoy the favor.

We returned for one of the most unique and healthy meals we have ever enjoyed.  The entire experience was joyful.  The food was fresh and unusual, using herbs and spices and abundant creativity.  They knew how to help us get the perfect wine and beer to go with our meal.

Pure Michigan turned into Pure Culinary Delight.   Every one of our senses was illuminated and it will long live in our memories as not only a special meal but a Moment That Matters, a memory, a “do you remember when we…” event.

So, although I was born creative, I did not know the extent of what being creative really meant until recently. Being a foodie, knowing, wanting and sharing good, fresh food with  good, fresh people is totally creative.  You first know what you want, you seek it out and you enjoy – and then your creativity is at a new level.  Today I used some of the ideas I experienced at 9 Bean Rows into my lunch at home.  Bam!!  I can’t wait for dinner.  And I can only guess how good my paintings will be tomorrow when I walk into my studio with coffee in hand (French Press, of course).

Surround yourself wisely in all areas of your life … and watch your creativity soar.

Be Original


Read Me Leave comment

Why do I make this so haaarrrrd???

Why do I make this so haaarrrrd???

Pardon me for whinging but seriously….why do I make things so hard? When faced with a decision, it’s as if there is only ONE right answer, and disaster lies behind the wrong choice.


Life is a brilliant stream of non-stop decisions, every hour of every day. Certainly some deserve more debate than others. What I’m having for dinner doesn’t demand as much thought as where I’ll live next.

Yet I find myself consumed to the point of distraction over things that really won’t matter one bit by tomorrow. Why?

After changing my t-shirt for the fourth time (don’t ask) I decided I needed to figure out what was really behind my unease. It wasn’t really about what I was wearing, but a larger, more unsettled dis-ease with my current situation. And because I couldn’t answer the big, life-changing questions in the moment, I transferred my uncertainty into things I could answer…like what I was wearing. So, that was weird realizing this. And enlightening.

The waiting game is always a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be a gut-wrencher. I just need to remember the words of 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul author Rita Long in mind: “If it’s not a HELL YES – then it’s a no.”

Until I get that HELL YES there’s no point in making the small stuff so big.

Read Me Leave comment

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.


Read Me Leave comment

J’aime la France!

Lavender Fields by Rita Long Art

New Years – New Collection!
Enough of 2016 reviews and “how can I be better this year”.  Time to paint.

I either paint what I love, or to get my customer’s memories out of their head and onto a canvas, be it in a frame or on a wall.  This painting appeared on my screen saver this morning and inspired me.  It now lives in North Carolina, and I miss it hanging on my wall.  So…a new version will be the first in my       “I Love France! ” Collection.  Keep an eye out for Paris cafes,  French vineyards, the Mediterrean Sea and other bucolic scenes.  It may end up as my 2018 Calendar!  Reliving Moments That Matter…priceless.

Rita  –  Vive la France !
Rita’s new book 10 Little Rules for Your Creative Soul is now available on Amazon. Order yours today!

Read Me Leave comment