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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Being the Conduit

Being the Conduit

Oh this is good one Sunshine! A topic I could do for hours, and have just this week. A stimulating thought provoking ‘what you give comes back 10 fold’ conversation filled with thought provoking examples.
But it’s not a game, and it’s not about manipulation, Or being frivolous, it’s about trust. A leap of faith if you will. It’s about knowing that the Universe has, does and will provide if you let it.

It’s about letting go of what drains your energy and blocks your space. It’s about getting things no longer needed back out into circulation and into the hands of those who do. It’s about making room to receive.

It’s about allowing goodness to come. It’s about believing that you too are worthy of that receiving. It’s about accepting the gift. And sometimes it’s about knowing that the person giving needs that blessing of your acceptance as much or more as you do the gift itself.

But it’s also knowing that if and when that gift no longer speaks to you, it is indeed ok to move it along. Maybe it was never truly meant to be yours, but instead you are simply a conductor if you will, a pass through to its intended destination.

It’s the going with your heart and giving the extra tip to the wait person who seems a little extra tired today and finding that forgotten $20 jacket pocket later that day. It’s cleaning out a cabinet and realizing you have two of the same book – the same book a friend mentions the next day wanting to read. It’s that passing thought of ‘I hate to mess with a full sized ironing board, but I sure would like to have one of those little ones for those rare moments I need it’, and finding it one in a thrift store, moments later for $3 – even better when you’d started not to stop.

And it’s hard, in times like these not to pull back in and stop doing. And at still others, hard not to over do. It’s times like these though that striking the balance becomes that much more critical. So don’t NOT spend Sunshine, but spend wisely. Put money in the hands of those to whom it matters most. Be it time, money or goods, re-distribute your extra. Gift to others however your heart guides. Go with your gut as we say, and the rest will follow.

But be willing also to receive. Because that my friend is how the Universe takes care of you for having helped it take care of others. See how that works? Om shanti Sunshine, 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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Leveling Up

Leveling Up

It’s early, and I’m laying here listening to the rain as I write this. I remember doing the same early on when all of this started with the pandemic and the shelter at home and realizing just how LONG it been since I’d done this and how really wonderful it was. I make a special point of setting my alarm a little early these days so I won’t lose that again.

And now that we’re out – sort of – and you stop and look past the craziness of what’s still out there, there are signs of progress. People standing up for each other, artists returning to their work and speaking to their renewed awareness as to what their talent does for the world … Good things.

And as full as my plate still is, I’m wrapping up giant packages, slowly atraching the bows. And with Mercury going into retrograde I hear tell this is the perfect time to do just that.

Little things keep happening. Little things that used to feel like such BIG things. My garbage disposal broke – but I fixed it myself thanks to my friend Bess and a set of Pinterest instructions.

I moved the counter at the store – along with the cords to the credit card machine – that were run across the 12 foot ceiling, thanks to my friend Michael remembering we had borrowed a ladder from the landlord to do it the first time, and my landlord coming out to loan it again.

Not that these friends wouldn’t have helped before, but this time I remembered to ask BEFORE I panicked, and I appreciate (vs. resent) having ACCOMPLISHED (vs. ‘having had to handle’) them myself.

And my truck was hit and run recently. But the fellow returned, and it all seems to be being handled. It’s a pain, and a lot of leg work, but in the middle of telling my ‘all about me tale,’ a friend shared that she’d lost her husband through all of this …

And I’m open – ish. And it’s a little over whelming at times to be ‘back in the saddle’ and ‘out in the mix’ but it’s WONDERFUL to have folks back into my shop. Everybody paying a little more attention to each other, and being excited to be back. I missed this.

It’s not over Sunshine. Not on the grand scheme, not even close to home, but it’s GOOD to be moving in the right direction. It’s good to be keeping it ALL in perspective. And it’s good to be retaining and maintaining the lessons.

And most of all, it’s good to remember that ‘you always get tested the most before you progress to the next level’.

Namaste Sunshine,
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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Meet the Author – Amy Hege Atwell

Meet the Author – Amy Hege Atwell

Having spent most of her adult life climbing the commercial retail ladder, author Amy Atwell dreamed of one day leaving the corporate world to run her own store The Painted Mermaid.  The arrival of her son, at age 43 gave her the confidence to just that.  A series of unexpected events put her magical world in jeopardy and send her down an unexpected path of self awareness, personal growth and enlightenment.  Her book 10 Little Rules for Mermaids was an important part of that journey.

Presently living through the shelter at home days of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 with her young son, Amy looks forward to returning to her loves of ‘picking’, ‘making’, merchandising and celebrating life with her shoppers and friends at The Painted Mermaid.  Until then, her love of cooking, writing, reading, yoga, great phone banter with friends, and most of all quality, one on one time with the 8 year old love of her life keep her safe, grounded, and hopeful.  

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the bliss of owning your story

the bliss of owning your story

“He can call you anything he likes. That doesn’t make it true.”

Those words pulled me up short. Spoken by a friend during a really rough time in my life, they drilled deeply into my soul.

Our story is so often conflated with other people’s stories about us that it’s easy to forget we are in charge of how we feel about ourselves, our lives.

I’d been telling myself various versions of other people’s stories about me for years, taking on their criticism and a side order of guilt.

“He can call you anything he likes. That doesn’t make it true.”

It only makes it true if I believe it, if I own it. This idea is one of the reasons why I founded 10 Little Rules … not just to publish my own book, but to give other authors a chance to tell their own story. In their words, not the words of anyone else.

It’s been an incredible journey these past nine years, and today we launch our next book into the world — 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, written by Amy Hege Atwell, owner of The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

On the surface, it’s absolutely delightful. And just like a mermaid, it dives suddenly and gracefully into hidden depths, re-emerging drenched in sparkles.

I’m proud to be associated with this book. It’s fun (and lord knows we could us a bit of fun these days) and it is empowering. As Amy said last week:

“I found myself a little – something – about the combination of all the world wide stuff happening and the timing as it relates a rollout, and quite frankly I have decided this is indeed the time to heavily promote ALL of our books. Not so much because of the hope and sunshine they offer, but the EMPOWERMENT. What better timing to show women in particular what they CAN do to drive strength and change within themselves and therefore the world. “

So today we launch pre-orders on this beautiful, soulful book, and I hope it does help … make you smile, make you think, make you feel a bit stronger about your own story and owning it with pride.

Namaste, Mermaids!

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