The Little Table

The Little Table

The first piece I ‘picked’ was as a college student in Boone, NC.

The details are fuzzy some 30 years later, but it was in a quonset hut close to the sidewalk. Otherwise, I would never have ventured in.

It was a small chippy white metal table, and I LOVED it. I paid $20, and it lived inside every house or apartment until my little one was born some 25 years later. As a new mommy I was SO nervous about sharp things and hard things and ‘could be lead paint’ things, so the little white table lived on the porch and soon became the ‘little rusty table’.

I loved it still.

Eventually it moved with me from studio to studio becoming the guardian to hold whatever cumbersome thing that was keeping me from unlocking the door. Until one day, one of my long time shoppers who had nothing but love and support for “The Painted Mermaid” spotted it and asked if it were for sale.

I hadn’t known this man well over the years. I knew him and his wife as kind and special ‘regulars’ and had certainly known of her decline. But we had just spent the last few days together bringing the fabulous pieces they had curated together — many which I recognized, one of which was the first piece I had ever painted — back to what I had begun to realize was their ‘Mermaid’ as much as it was mine.

He told stories of each piece. Where they’d found it. How she’d felt about it. How he felt about it. And I remember saying the table was not for sale, but that it needed to be with him. He promised he would seal it (for safety) and love it, and never sell it. He kept his promise. And just a few short weeks later, when this man I had grown to love unexpectedly joined his beautiful wife, the little table came back to me.

I think of him often, and as I do today I recognize once again the importance of letting go. Making more room for the important things. And knowing that if it’s meant to circle back to you, it will.

Good morning Sunshine, 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, on Etsy, and at retail outlets including her shop The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC.

Read Me

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.

Read Me

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.

Read Me

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.

Read Me

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.

Read Me

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.

Read Me

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.

Read Me

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.

Read Me