A Year Older…Wiser…and My Moment With Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Biospheres

Last week was my birthday. I’m going to say that 46 feels GREAT! I have had an amazing, albeit a bit of a rollercoaster at times, year. It’s definitely been a year of growth, perspective and discovery and I learn more every day.  Here’s what I learned last week.

 

After the election I felt like I needed to do something to change the course of my social media feeds. It just wasn’t a fun place to hang out. So, I offered a free 30 Day Coloring Out Loud workshop to get people creating, connecting and sharing. If you follow me, you know that my workshops are full of color and creativity, but are more mindful self-discovery than art school. The workshop is going amazingly well and I’m spending a lot more time with my oil pastels and even some paints this month. This week, while coloring, I realized a pattern. I was “making something” with my art supplies and then when it felt done, I jumped in and changed it. I painted over it or I mixed the colors of my oil pastels to make something new. I was “letting go.”  When it happened unconsciously several times I was in tune enough to take note and think about it.

Let Go

That was the message that came to me and I connected deeply with. Nothing is “final.” You can add, change, and refocus to recreate something completely different out of what you originally started with. You can let go of an idea and let it become something else. Very powerful as we approach the end of the year and I begin to evaluate where I am and where I am going.

Then it snowed. On my birthday.

Yes, it snowed. An odd segue but stay with me.

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Coloring Out Loud

I was never loud.

 

Quite the opposite actually.  I was quiet, shy, hoping to “fly under the radar”, just fit in and not be noticed.

I rarely raised my hand in class.  I dropped out of choir when I found out I had to sing a solo.  Complete fear set in that I’d be center stage.  All eyes on me.  WHAT?  NO WAY!  I’m OUT!

I battled myself to speak up in meetings as a young adult.  I had things to say…but what if others disagreed, thought I was dumb…

Have you been there?

When I started the “Do The Doodle” 30 Day Challenge a few weeks ago…well, I almost didn’t.  I almost chickened out at the last minute.  It meant I had to put myself out there. I had to “speak out” through my journal drawings. I had to SHARE my personal thoughts and feelings. Dude, really?  That’s SUPER scary! Not just the thoughts and feelings part but my drawings too.

“I SUCK at drawing”.

“My handwriting is so UGLY”!

“People will…[laugh, judge, think I’m strange…]”.

“I’ll share something personal and someone might discover all my secrets”.

But, something pushed me to do it.  To just let go and do it.

 

What You Are Meant To Learn Is What You Are Meant To Teach

 

My voice is important.  It matters.

Speaking up feels good.  It’s empowering.

But most important, I’m learning, is that it makes a difference.  To OTHERS!

When I silence my voice, I silence others too.  When I don’t share my thoughts, I don’t fully show up.  Others don’t benefit from my contribution.  And I, in turn, don’t benefit from theirs.

 

F/A Train Doodle with colored pencils! Doodling on the subway is fun...but challenging!

 

 

It’s JUST A Doodle….

 

I know.  It’s just some colors on a page.  Maybe a few words.  But really, it isn’t.  It’s so much more.

Yesterday I drew 3 Doodles.  I judged each of them.  I didn’t like any of them.  Most of my Doodles weren’t about listening to what that inner voice was saying.  They were about my image and your acceptance of it.  I hesitated about posting anything.  But in the end I did.  I posted the “worst” one (visual judgement again).  The first one.  The one that really carried my message and where I was in my life at that moment.

It resonated.  With several people.  But for one person, it resonated in a big way.  It touched on an emotional level something really challenging that she’s dealing with in her life.  It became a dedication to someone she loves.

Just a simple little Doodle.  Done while sitting on my bed like a teenager.  Expressing a message from inside. Making a difference in someone else’s life.  A message that almost didn’t reach her because of my own self judgement.  How sad that would have been!

I contributed.  She benefited.  I benefited.  Maybe you are benefiting too?

But, it’s JUST a Doodle.  🙂

 

Colored pencils and pastel Doodle inspired by a conversation with a friend about rooting ourselves. When I finally got around to doodling at the end of the day, my first mark looked like a foot!

 

 

Coloring Out Loud

 

However you decide to share your message and use your voice, do it!  Don’t hold back.  Don’t hide.  You are important.  You are here for a reason.

Me, I’m going to continue “coloring out loud” because it works.  For me.  For others.

It’s about to get LOUD in here!

 

Getting DARING! Pastels, colored pencils, AND magazine clipping (GLUE STICK) doodle! I started with the clipping and when I read it the word "color" jumped in there.

 

A BIG thank you to “Team Doodle” for joining me on this adventure!  If you didn’t join the Challenge, no worries!  You can start doodling NOW.  Here’s how I got started.  And, I’ve been asked to do another Challenge when the 30 days are up.  I think the Doodle is here to stay for a while.

 

My favorite Doodle yet. A vision of freedom and joy in pastels.

 

 

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