Refill Your Creative Superpowers

Yesterday I woke with a bad feeling.  Do you ever start your day that way?  I didn’t want to get up.  I wasn’t sure I could face the day.  Something was just “off” (I even skipped my morning Doodle!).

I felt small. I felt insignificant. I felt lost. The day ahead had this feeling of being totally insurmountable.  I felt…vulnerable.



I finally got the nerve to get up and face the day anyway and started with a quick check of my Facebook Page and News Feed…

and there it was.

“Vulnerability” staring me in the face.

I’m not even sure where it came from but someone posted the Brene Brown TED video about vulnerability.



I’ve seen it before…but I watched it again and reconnected to the beautiful and powerful message she shares.   I shared it on my Facebook page, admitting my day’s “vulnerability” and went on to read other posts.  Apparently the universe knew I needed more, knew my vulnerability quotient was a little too high and needed some superpower infusion. I received it with more golden nuggets of goodness from Brene Brown and also a new discovery of Jamie Ridler who is doing great things with creativity and inspiration.

Brene became my superhero of the day.  Her honesty and authenticity around vulnerability and comparison is inspiring and refreshing.  In an interview with Jamie, Brene talks about her own journey of discovering her “creative side” and what it means to her and to others.

Join me for a little creativity superpower infusion courtesy of Brene!


Courage and Vulnerability – It’s Just Part of the Creativity Package

Did you know that creativity takes enormous courage and vulnerability?  I do…well, I sorta do.  I think inherently I knew it because I’m living in this vacillating state of courage and vulnerability every day as I move through my creative journey.  I’m never quite sure from one minute to the next which is going to be stronger:

My courageous self saying “I can do this!  This is who I am meant to be.  I’m going to share this gift I’ve been given.”


My vulnerable self saying “I feel small, insignificant, lost, fragile…SCARED!”

I now feel like I’ve been given permission to feel them both.  To be OK with not knowing which will come next.  To embrace both of them as shiny badges to proudly display for playing my part and standing strong in my creative journey.

I feel them. Brene Brown feels them.  Do you?




One of the downfalls of creativity is comparison.  In her interview Brene says there is a mantra for comparison:  “Be just like everybody else…but better.”  I find that whole sentence to be completely, utterly TERRIFYING!  Can you imagine holding yourself to that measure?  Can you imagine a world where we’re all the same…but we want to be better than the same?  Exhausting really.  But we all do it!

So consider her words:

“I’ll never be the ‘best’ _____________ [fill in the blank with your job, hobby, passion, dream…] but nobody will be able to bring to their [fill in the blank] what I bring to mine.  To sacrifice that, to make it look like everyone else’s…I’m sacrificing ME.”

That’s pretty powerful stuff!  I get it Brene!  I really do!

I’ll never be the “best” photographer, but nobody will be able to bring to their photography what I bring to mine.  To sacrifice that, to make my photography look like everyone else’s…I’m sacrificing ME!


Abstract Photo from the Water Colors Collection of images from the bottoms of boats


What do you bring?  What part of YOU are you sacrificing?




Own Your Story

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.  Expressing our creativity is the most loving way to own our story.”

We all have a story.  We all have something we can teach others.  Something that will touch another and change their life for the better.

An experience.  A lesson.  A journey.  Our STORY.

Sometimes it’s not easy to share.  I know this! And, sometimes it’s not easy to love ourselves through the process.

It isn’t easy because we get vulnerable.  And, we compare.

I realized today that I need to love myself more.  For the courage I have to maintain my creative journey.  For telling my story with creative expression.  For the “me” I bring to the world and to my passion.

I don’t need to try to be the best or like everyone else.  It’s enough to be fully, completely, expressively me.

And mostly, I need to love myself in the vulnerable days and be brave in the face of fear and comparison and stand strong in courage and individuality.



When you are brave, you make everyone around you a little braver…

Where are you being brave?  Who are you touching with bravery?




Thank you Brene Brown for inspiring me all over again!!


You can listen to Jamie interviewing Brene here.


Color Me Green! Happy St. Patrick’s Day

By special request from a St. Patrick’s Day birthday reader, today’s COLOR is an ode to the abstract photography Water Colors Collection of GREENS from across the country.

Get your GREEN on!

May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go,
and guide you in whatever you do–
and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always.

Water Colors No. 68 – Jamaica Bay, NY


Water Colors Iris – Port Washington, NY


These things, I warmly wish for you-
Someone to love, some work to do,
A bit of o’ sun, a bit o’ cheer.
And a guardian angel always near.


Water Colors Meadow – Port Washington, NY

Don’t you just want to spend the afternoon here with a picnic?


Water Colors “Recycled Collage”  – Izzy’s Picnic

Penny stole the cupcake for the birthday reader!  Naughty puppy!!


Water Colors Seaside Dreams – St. Maarten


Whenever there is happiness
Hope you’ll be there too,
Wherever there are friendly smiles
Hope they’ll smile on you,
Whenever there is sunshine,
Hope it shine especially for you to make each day
for you as bright as it can be.


Water Colors Pink and Moss – The Hamptons


Water Colors Fields of Green – Port Washington, NY

My favorite of all the green Water Colors!  I want to hang out in this field below the fluffy, white clouds and create stories with the shapes in the clouds, like fairy tales that promise to come true.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day (and birthday) from melissaAnne COLORS!


May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours

Valentine’s Day Color – Follow Your Heart

Follow your heart wherever it takes you.

I was in Texas in December for holiday with my family. Every December when I’m there I find a few days to spend some time “in the yards”:  the boat yards.

I love being in the yards.  Next to being on the beach, it’s my favorite place to be.

There is something about being surrounded by boats that inspires me.

The tall masts and imposing presence.  The feeling I get that the boats aren’t where they want to be.  Out of water, out of their element.  A bit lonely and neglected.


But a new purpose arises when I meet them with my camera.  They are no longer just boats.  They don’t just belong in the water.  They become storytellers.  Art makers.  A canvas for dreams.

Today in my melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email I celebrated Valentine’s Day.  I shared love from a boat yard.

Water Colors Follow Your Heart

A new image I took in December.  I found the heart lurking on the bottom of a boat in a boatyard on Lake Lewisville.  I worked on getting it right.  I took a lot of pictures of it.  I didn’t get the one I wanted.  It didn’t turn out. It’s not easy to take pictures of the bottoms of boats.  There’s lots of crawling underneath.  Shooting upwards.  Trying to prevent camera shake with arms that are twisted and tired…not to mention bugs, the “no snake” prayer, and dry grass stabbing through your clothing.

And you thought photography was magical and romantic?

I saw the heart right away when I was with the boat, but I didn’t realize until today what else is there.  A path.  A curving, wandering path that the heart seems to be floating along.   Just like the path our heart follows every day.  The twists, turns, ups and downs of love, life, and decisions from the heart.

Who knew you could find such a story on the bottom of a boat.

Photography:  it IS magical and romantic (even with the bugs).

Follow your heart wherever it takes you.