COURAGE + KINDNESS IN THE NEW YEAR

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As we approach 2017, I look back at 2016 with a flood of emotions.

This year has been absolutely life-changing. And it’s been a year filled with “the feels.”

Why?

It all came down to a decision to change. Not because I didn’t like who I was… I did (and that’s important. I want everyone to LOVE exactly who they are).

I decided that I wanted a great adventure. A fairy tale. A dream.

I wanted the thing that we’re told as a child that we can have… that we will have… and then, as we enter adolescence and early adulthood and beyond, we’re told by a thousand other voices here and there that we are no longer allowed access to that life. That the dream is impossible. That we’re asking for too much. That we should be comfortable where we are. That it’s ungracious to strive for more.

I call bulls$%t.

2016 was the year I decided to dream again. Believe. Wish.

I only needed one motto to make that change (and it aptly came to me in a fairy tale… Cinderella, in fact): “Have courage and be kind.”

That’s it. Two life rules to make everything change.
1. Courage
2. Kindness

The only thing standing between you and everything you want, deserve, and used to dream about is fear. With courage, bravery, persistence, and unabashed vigor (accompanied with constant kindness)… you can break through the illusion of fear.

Don’t get me wrong… it is not easy. Being brave is hard. Really really hard. There are sleepless nights, doubt, anxiety, and tears that accompany bravery. To grow, one must experience growing pains. In those moments, it is important to keep going.

Before any fairy tale character ever got to the castle, they had to brave the dark forest.

One of my dreams is that 2017 will be a year that we all learn to support one another’s fairy tale. The dark forest isn’t so dark if you aren’t alone. The dream isn’t so far away if the voices telling you it isn’t real don’t exist.

I commit my 2017 to the fairy tale. 2016 showed me that it’s oh-so-real (and worth every single sleepless night). Who needs sleep when reality is better than your dreams?

Wishing each of you an absolutely magical 2017. I hope that every single one of you lives a life that’s a little different (in small or big ways) this year than it was the last. Here’s to the dream. May you courageously earn your place in the sun.

NOURISH THE CHILDREN


I rarely use this blog as a platform for social change… but today is one of those days when I feel the need to encourage our generation (Millennials, I’m talking to you!) to give back.  Let’s NOT be known as the self-absorbed, entitled, and selfish generation… let’s be known as the generation that didn’t just insist on change, but actually facilitated that change.

I’m ready to walk the walk.  I urge you to join me.

Let’s be a part of the solution.

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CHARM + GUMPTION

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In the throes of my never-ending Pinterest obsession, I stumbled across the print above.  I was hooked. Who was this artist? I had to know.  After a little investigating, I found Holly Casto of Charm & Gumption.  Her artwork is simultaneously strong + feminine… and it’s totally inspiring.

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT – KIM WEST

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The One with the Bubbles (E. 3rd St at S. Hewitt, LA), 2012.
Acrylic, Spray Paint on Building Masonry. 10’x18′.

A blonde muralist, painter, creative, and visionary.  Kim West is nothing short of radical.  Her artwork grabbed me instantly.  Planning a day trip to Los Angeles to see these beauties in person.

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT – SANDY WELCH

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P.S. I LOVE YOU… madly!” Painting, 24H x 24W x 2in $1600

I am in love with the artwork of Sandy Welch. Dramatic. Feminine. Pink. Dark. Honest. Abstract. Emotional.

In the artist’s words herself: “”Painting is vital to my life. I paint from a youthful,fresh feminine and passionate perspective. Summer is my mirror, and fashion is my muse. My palette is FILLED with the delicious colors of summer. The many faces and inner beauty of women fascinate me. My most recent work is a turn toward abstraction. This new direction uses my same vibrant palette, energetic mark makings and gestural flourishes of delight. Painting is my pulse, my canvasses POP with provocative color and a flirtatious style. I’m excited by the beauty that surrounds me. This is how I choose to create my life and art”

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THIRTY

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photo credit: Scott Cutler

I thought thirty would look a little something like this…

Happily married.  Two children under the age of five.  A 2,200 sq ft “cottage” with a white picket fence, solar power, grey water, and a chicken coop.  A career (lawyer, real estate agent, POTUS) that generated considerable financial success.  A published book that resulted in moderate national renown.  Home-cooked Sunday brunches hosted in the backyard (all eggs provided by aforementioned chickens and produce provided by the yet-to-be-mentioned hydroponic garden) with a mimosa in hand, scratchy jazz playing, and a spattering of the most interesting, accomplished, jet-setting company that one could imagine.

No, no, no, I hadn’t put much thought into it.  None at all.

The truth was that I had put so much thought into it that it had become real.  I believed that this entire world existed and that the day I hit thirty I would magically acquire all of it.  I don’t know if I thought the hard work I had put in would cause it to just appear.  I don’t know if I thought it would come my way via osmosis.  I didn’t think much about the “how”… I just focused on the “why.”

Why?

Because I believed that was the script that would result in happiness.  I hadn’t even considered an alternative script.  There was no alternative.

Until I turned thirty.

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