Have you ever been in the presence of someone that just by being around them you felt elevated, inspired to be your best self. I recently had this experience in a simple exercise class. Just watching this woman standing and walking strong, filled with the glow of life left me knowing that we all can embody greatness in our daily lives and through the simplest of tasks. You know that saying that you become who you are around? Well, I believe it. What a gift to others in your life to be this kind of person!
Having this experience really reminded me of how much I - we - can have an impact on each other. We are in this together and we need each other's strength, patience, love, courage, compassion and vulnerability. Sometimes we forget we have this super power. We forget why we should use it. We forget that we can start where we are. We can let our inner critic, the outer critics, our insecurities, surrounding negativity and MEDIOCRITY get the better of us and play it small. You don't have to follow the herd.
As a person who was not instilled with a lot of self esteem as a child, as an adult I have had to work very hard to give myself credit for the good things that I do and try to be even better tomorrow. I have had to learn that I am worth it, that my life is worth it! Every week I try to affirm my "musts" which are my values that I live by. Things that I must do in order to be satisfied with my life. I check in on this at least weekly. I don't know what I can accomplish. I don't know what I can do yet. I fall short, but the reflection on what I did that week to work towards my musts builds me up and creates a stronger center of self. This is ESSENTIAL for my mental and emotional well being.
Especially, the more I put myself out there, showing my work publicly and especially online. You want a test of your self-esteem just put up a YouTube video, or post work on Facebook. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will take every chance to tear you down. I've been criticized on almost everything I can imagine.....and it's not constructive criticism....including my voice and that I talk to slow. I've had people tell me to "get a life" that my painting sucks! Ha Ha. Then others who are not as hateful, but decide to take it upon themselves to send me "helpful" ideas and pointing out where the flaws are in my work - when they are not even in the arena themselves! They are sitting up in the stands pointing their fingers at everyone else whose trying. Sometimes these ridiculous comments can catch me off guard and take me back a bit. I always have to remind myself that I know I am working towards my values every day, in the arena contributing what I can. I also have to remind myself for every criticism there are probably 50 times that in positive feedback. A few comments cannot rock the bedrock of 8 years of hard work.
I hope you will find your gifts and refine them ever day to give back as a gift to the rest of us!
Here is some of the work I completed over the last 10 days.
Minis! Don't forget to JOIN the blog for a chance to win a MINI on March 1st:
"Hot Pink!" - 7"x5" - Starting bid $50 here:
"Lavender Rose" - 90 minute Classroom demonstration
starting bid: $125
available here: http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/505669
"Daisies in Glass" - 6x6" - oil on panel - 60 minute MINI
I made a YouTube video showing how I painted this one, that you can view here :
"Moroccan Blue Jar" - 16"x20" - oil on linen - $2400
This one I worked on several days and still think I will go back for a few more touch ups/changes. I wanted to do a combo of rich warm oranges and yellows with the cool turquoise blue and I wanted it to be filled with light and atmosphere.
Along with teaching taking up 3 days, I also took another 3 days to record/edit some new videos. This painting "The Blue Ginger Jar" is a new lesson that I recorded on video. It is over 2 hours long with me talking about what I am doing and why every step of the way. It also includes several pages of written material as well.
It will be available this week for $25 at www.openstudioonline.com
Thank you everyone for your ongoing support! My goal this month is to raise $1500 through my MINI and demo sales (to go towards my student loan debt) and I am more than a 1/3 there so far!