Creativity… you don’t have to be an artist

I’ve always been a firm believer that you don’t have to be an “artist” to be creative. We all have a creative streak in us. We have just been brainwashed by society to believe what art is supposed to look like. Do you remember seeing Sally’s drawings in school and people Oooo’ing and Aaah’ing over them and praising her? Or you scolding yourself, even if it was teasingly “I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can’t even draw a stick figure.” Well, I’m here to tell you, QUIT IT. We all do! We all have creativity in us, we just need to learn how to use it.

Creativity comes in many forms and variations. Some are messy, some are clean, some are planned, some are not. Mine are all of the above. It always depends on my mood. Much like my writing, my art varies day to day. Mood by mood. I have art that is clean, precise and planned but I also have art that is messy, moody and just as I go on the spot. My favorite is the later. It is also the ones that usually people are most drawn to. I assume because it is raw and full of emotion (whatever that may be at the time).

Creativity though, exists within us all. We were all born with a natural streak of creativity. Creativity is not a special gift endowed only upon a lucky few. It is for everyone and it is everywhere.  But the key to tapping into this creativity is understanding that our approaches to creativity differ in terms of level and style. This curiosity to create play is very visible especially children, but as we grow it gets washed away by the negative mindset of “I can’t” and “He/She does it better than I” .  Often though no one is actually to blame. Children ask questions, often a lot of them, and often us as adults get exasperated and tell them to sit down and shush. And just like that, we shut down their curiosity, a vital part of their creative process. It can also be suppressed when tired and adults stifle fresh ideas from young ones that may challenge their life long perspectives.

So the key lesson I’m trying to relay today, pick up a marker, a pen or just a crayon that your child left lying around and simply doodle. Even if all you start with, on a piece of paper or in a notebook, is a bunch of dots or circles or lines. Then start coloring them in with another color. Take your time, you’re not on a schedule or timeline for this. If you run out of time for what you what available tuck it aside and come back later. I will often work on projects for days on end. Here are some ideas of simple but yet beautiful little art projects to clear your mind and awaken some creativity in your heart.

3 Ways to Prepare an Art Journal Page + Journal Prompts for PrepareApril page Shari CarrollThis is an example of a drawing that I did while listening to "Florence and the Machine- Dog Days are over" Still a work in progress, thats what makes this technique so great!

 

In many ways it is remarkable that the world does have creative people because life and its many imperfections actually stifle creativity. So I truly hope you can be a little more creative and inspire others around you to be a little more creative and ask them to embrace creativity just a little more.

xo – Pixie

Two weeks and counting

It’s been two weeks and counting that this has let up . I track my Vestibular Migraine so I learn it’s patterns, it’s routines. My neurologist had told me I had quite a severe case. This may seem so, as this has not let up in a year now, at all. It is instead getting worse.

I am always in some form of pain. There is no days off, just like Motherhood! I’ve been in a state of Migraine now though for a solid two weeks & yet I’m still asked to function, because I can’t be under a blanket or hiding in a dark room for 2 weeks. So I have found the things that work for me, and I use the heck out of them and make them work for me so I can at least semi-function.

The thing is, with my migraines, I’m not always just in pain, that’s not all, there is also incessant dizziness, because the constant pain wasn’t enough, we have to add  constant spinning and vertigo. Yes, this morning I may be sounding a little frustrated , bitter maybe?! I’ll talk  you through this, just hang in with me. As I’m typing this, those of you that get migraines are probably thinking, how is she even typing without tipping off her chair, well one, my screen is very dim (YAYY for having a savvy crew that taught me!) and two, I’m leaned close to the wall beside me, so no tipping off my chair !!!

This neurological condition, has been something to say the least. It had thrown me into a bout of depression for a few months, it had taken so many things from my including a job I loved and activities I loved, and now most likely will not be doing again, but I gained so much during this last year. So much. This realization didn’t even dawn on me until a few days ago, but I gained a ton with this as well. I lost an awful lot, and grieved so much over that loss but the amount of beauty and lovely insights I have gained and found is tremendous. The lessons that have come out of this whole mess once I started slowing down and seeing the bigger picture. I am in constant pain with my VM. There is no real off days. Even on my good days I have a, what I call, a nagging headache.  I have returned to my roots. It took me a little while to find this place of my own truth again.

The realization and the loss that I’d felt had made me allow the ego to set up camp in my head, and rule for a few months, and I allowed her rock the boat and let her do her thing there. It is so difficult to be mindful when you’re in a constant state of pain. I assume it was time to up my level of learning and now go to this level, from wherever I was before, so now I am here, practicing mindfulness even as I’m working on this post for you.  Mindfulness brings you back to the present. You observe what’s going on now. This means both inside and outside of you. The waves are still there but you are more calmly riding them. Being in the moment gives you a deeper sense of balance.

As Buddhist teachers like to say: the suffering is in the stories. An effective way to bring your attention out of your stories and into the present moment is to take three conscious in- and out-breaths while turning your attention to the present moment. As you do this, notice what’s available to your senses right now: a sight, a sound, the sensation of your clothes on your skin. Even if it’s not a particularly pleasant moment, at least you’re present for it instead of being lost in regrets about the past or worst-case-scenarios about a future you can’t predict. And, more often than not, being mindful of your present moment experience reveals that there’s something pleasant going on right around you that you just hadn’t noticed. This can be soothing and healing.

If you are struggling today – practice mindfulness, take the time to just focus on each task at hand feel each task, feel the street beneath your feet as you walk to your car, feel the air in your face, the rain in your hair, the wind on your face, the air in your lungs.

Most importantly….

Enjoy today & know you’re not alone

Love,

Pixie xo

Days like today. 

On days like today where my Vestibular Migraine side swipes me I have two choices. 

1) get swept up in the frustration of it and let the pity train take over 

Or

2) remember that I’m one tough lady, ask for help,  and just move slowly.

Today started as, what seemed to be, a great day. Other than my normal pain level of 3ish and the regular rocking ship feelings, I felt great. I was rested and was just well for the most part.  My new well feelings. I was happy, bubbly and full of gratitude before noon. By the time I made it it to my Dr’s appointment, I’d somewhere hit a wall. I was disoriented, in severe pain and could not think clearly. I imagine that it had to do with our weather changes, lack of sleep, or maybe I ate something funny. 

When I degraded so fast this morning, I quickly had to make arrangements to get myself safely home as driving no longer  was an option. By the time I made it to my workshops I was frustrated and felt insanely sorry for myself. I lost another bit of freedom. Again I had to ask for help. 

Within an hour at workshops, I emotionally felt much better again. Today’s topic was emotional fitness. It couldn’t have been timed better and just reminded me promptly that I need to breathe and if I can’t control how I’m feeling , I can though control how I’ll react and what I’ll do to ensure my safety. 

This condition has made me anxious and it’s made me fearful. I fight every day with my spirituality, leaning hard onto my faith and trusting that there is lessons and that I’ll find my way just as I always have. What I’d like you to know is that even when life is scary and crazy and things aren’t our norm, there are always silver linings and something to be taken from the situation. Have faith. Remember we’re all in this together,  and with love and our breath we can accomplish anything we can dream up.

Love , Pixie

The headache that won’t go away

I woke up with a headache just over a year ago. Then came the dizziness in March last year and neither has gone away since.  Most mornings I convince myself that the pain is minimal enough to just be happily on my way and other days I am on pain medication all day, cursing and being all around more negative than is normal for me.  Each day is like a balancing act, consistently feeling like the ground is tilting away from me, and that’s a good day.

 I usually have 10-18 hour stints ,several times a week, where the pain is almost unbearable and the dizziness is severely nauseating but with patience and lots of love from those amazing people in my life I’m making it day to day.

I’ve been told numerous times now that “I’m too young”. I didn’t choose this at age 29.  Nor would I ever wish any vestibular disability on anyone. The feeling of never being in control of what your body is doing is frightening. The fear of falling incredibly real. I used to be a person who loved thrills of roller coasters and the scarier and crazier the fair rides the better. Now just thinking of stepping on one and inducing the feelings I have daily basis make me sick.

Each day I wake and make a very conscious decision that today will be a good day. That I will smile, work through the pain and then move forward one tiny baby step at a time. Life isn’t as it was a short 6 months ago even but this is how things will be so my goals have shifted and changed some. Things I didn’t think I’d ever consider doing with my life have become very real visions that I’m now working towards. This last year I had to relearn how to balance myself and how to stay upright when everything is tilting away. I had to learn to ask for help when I don’t want it but need it and I had to learn patience. Mainly with myself. Learning that it’s OK to reach out sky stabilize myself on those around me, emotionally and physically, has been a huge part in my new lesson plan. But I’m getting there. Slowly.

The universe always provides for our every want and need. Just sometimes the way there is different than we could have ever imagined. In these times we need patience & faith in Love.

Keep moving forward, no matter how troublesome life may be & remember even the biggest storms have sunshine in the end.

Love,  Pixie. 

Some perspective

When we face life changes it sure seems that we start seeing things with clearer perspective.

When I left work due to illness in October, I started having a lot of time for soul searching, and I did just that. In time i came to despise every situation that did not make me truly happy and in turn removed myself from those situations. Having so many new things to focus on in my life, including my health having been not so dandy, has made me very selfish for my own peace and happiness but mostly healing. I needed to heal. On an emotional and physical level.

I deserve happiness and peace. And when I realized that it was truly within me and not up to anyone but me to make myself happy, a weight lifted.  It was almost instant. There was nothing that brought it on other than maybe time and circumstance. I don’t have to like everyone and I don’t have to make everyone happy. And in turn what other people think of me is not any of my business nor is it worth loosing sleep over. 

It has taken so much time for me to realize that I’m important too,  that it took illness to understand that i do not need to be available to everyone at their beck and call. Having to force myself to take care of myself first, so that I can effectively take care of those around me has been an important lesson that has finally sank in. When too much is asked of me, I can simply no longer comply. I don’t have the physical or emotional energy to be as patient as a once was. My health has taught me to love, accept but also let go. It was another huge lesson I’d had to learn. I can’t do it all any longer nor do I aim to. 

Years of studying spiritual studies and guidance caught up to me in one quick and almost overwhelming instance. It took time to digest, understand and then return to my roots. This is me. Unapologetically loving and sometimes a little too motherly but I am a recovering people pleaser. Also, I’ll always have this disability but with time I’ve been learning how to live and thrive with it 

Pixie xo 

I was diagnosed & reacted…

Good evening, happy Saturday and Happy January 21st

For some it may be Sunday by the time you read this but I wanted to touch base anyways. I went and saw the Neurologist this week, and the news he gave me was far from what I wanted to hear & with all my spiritual training and studying I assumed I’d react better than I did. He diagnosed me with “Vertiginous or Vestibular Migraines”.

Vestibular migraine is a variant of migraine in which instead of headache being the most predominant feature, dizziness is. Patients usually say that out of nowhere they got extremely dizzy and don’t feel like they’re on even ground. Some describe a spinning or rocking sensation. They have light or sound sensitivity and get nauseous or throw up. Episodes can last minutes to hours, and there’s a chronic form where people have a constant sense of imbalance.

This is a strain of migraine that very few people are lucky enough to get so very little research has been done and I was also lucky enough to get the “chronic version” were you are always dizzy and unbalanced. If you’re new here let me go back just a little bit. I started having extreme dizziness with slight migraines back in May of 2016. In October everything changed, I was taken to hospital,  pulled from my job and became quite dependent on the people around me during my “bad days” which were becoming more and more often, until they were daily.  I’m constantly feeling faint with these tremendous headaches and pressure behind my forehead. I spend most days walking along furniture or balancing on my dog who has been a blessing to me during this time.The diagnosis basically told me that I would be like this most of my life now. There isn’t a “cure” for this, just a medication that I was now put on that may reduce these symptoms by up to 50% over the next 3 months. So, I will still not be “normal” and will most likely always be this way. That was quite the shock. I reacted quite badly and had a pity party for myself that whole day.

After the initial shock wore off, I changed my tune. I went into myself and pulled out every ounce of strength I had and I leaned on my inner guide. I prayed and I asked for guidance. I asked the Universe to show me the way. I surrendered this all and asked my inner guide to take the wheel. In the next few days I spend a ton of time researching the heck out of this condition and have reached out to the kind people around me to help find answers that may not be part of our traditional western medicine.  With the help and love of my inner guide, and knowing she was going to walk beside me through all this I found some great answers as to what I’m even up against which has given me the new drive to get answers in regards to regaining a little sense of normalcy somehow. There is many people out there that deal with a lot of medical issues on a daily basis, so I can too!

If you are struggling tonight, know that you are not alone! Know that when you surrender it all to God, Mother Earth or the Universe (or any God of your understanding), know that you’re never alone in your struggles and your happy moments. Know you’re always guided, we humans just sometimes make the mistake of letting the ego take over and thus silence our inner guide and cheerleader! She’s always there to show us the way in good and in not so good times, and if you just listen, you’ll not be steered wrong. My “listening” comes in several forms, sometimes it’s an article or a book, or a gut instinct, or a friend who just has some kind & caring words to guide me but when we just listen and are willing to receive, we’re always guided.
Love, Pixie

Please support and help us here if you can, by either sharing this link, or helping with a small donation! And also to read more about our story! THANK YOU!!!!! All of the amazing help we’ve received has been so loving and I’m forever grateful ❤

 

A little on Gratitude

I continuously observe people being very ungrateful and miserable in their lives. It is tough, I fully understand. Life can be miserable and it can be unfair. I understand that too. Good people don’t _____ <– fill in the blank to your needs. The reality though is that we all have ups and downs, life does give us lemons and life does throw us curve balls. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

As I love reminding myself that I’m a #spiritjunkie and that I am growing each day right beside you guys, I read daily morning pages. Some days those pages are simply from my current book (right now I’m reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert) and other days I simply search the web for articles. It’s healthy to grow and it’s healthy to reflect. This morning though, while chatting with a great friend, I noticed again how bogged down we get with life & how easily we forget to be grateful for the things we do have.

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot” ~Hausa Proverb

For myself, embracing a gratitude journal seemed a very obvious way to start, as I love writing. I started this years ago on occasion just within my normal daily writing practice, but around Christmas time I decided it was time to dedicate one journal simply to gratitude. It’s lovely really, when my mood is bogged down, it’s much simpler to look back on the great things. Read a few days of entries and instantly be reminded of the great things in life! When I sat down this morning, I was going to type out a brand new list of ways to start a gratitude journal or maybe on how to be more grateful, but then I remembered, why start a whole new list when Authors like Louise Jensen over at TinyBuddah have done this so beautifully! I’d rather share her lovely insights with my amazing readers than rewording something that has been written countless times, when I can’t possibly word this much better.

There is joy everywhere, but it can be overshadowed by pain if you allow it.

When I have a bad day now, I read back over my journal and I remember that life has so much to offer. I still such a lot to be grateful for. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones. I have a life and I love it.

If you want to start a gratitude journal I recommend the following:

1. Don’t just go through motions. Make a decision to be consciously more grateful.

Don’t reluctantly journal because you think you should. Feel what you write. Believe it.

2. Don’t set yourself a minimum number of things to write per day.

This is a toughie. Many sites will recommend five or so things per day. In my experience, there are days I have less, and that’s perfectly okay. On balance, there are days I can fill a page. Don’t put yourself under pressure to stick to the same amount each day. Be flexible and don’t take the joy away by being too regimented.

3. Don’t wait for the right time.

I try to integrate this into my bedtime routine, but if I have a joyful experience, I often write it down straight away. This reinforces the positivity felt and ensures I don’t forget anything.

4. Elaborating on why you are grateful allows you to really explore your feelings.

If, like me, you intend on flicking back through your journal, make it clear why you are grateful for the items you add. For example: For the first entry, I put “my children.” On day two, I wrote, “my children for putting on a sock puppet show after school and making me laugh.” That triggers so many memories each time I read it and always makes me smile.

5. Focus on people rather than things.

As much as I love my iPod, it can never give me the same warm, fuzzy, loved feeling my partner instills by making me a surprise breakfast in bed.

6. Don’t rush; savor every word.

Don’t see this as another chore to get through. The fact that you can make a list of things that make you feel grateful should make you feel, umm, well, grateful!

7. Include surprises.

Unexpected events often elicit a greater emotional response. They’re also wonderful to look back on when you feel that life is mundane and the same old routine all the time.

8. Keep the negative out.

If you want to keep a diary to record how you feel, this can be constructive, but leave your gratitude journal as a purely positive only exercise.

9. Mix it up. Don’t put same thing every day.

Expand your awareness. The more you do this, the more you’ll start to really appreciate what a gift life is. The world is beautiful. Learn to really experience it.

10. Be creative.

Who says a gratitude journal has to be full of lists? Mine contains everything from concert tickets to photos and restaurant receipts. Have some fun with it.

11. Give it a fair chance.

Some experts say it takes, on average, twenty-one days for a new habit to form. Don’t give up or dismiss it as not working before then. Commit to just three weeks and then see how you feel. What have you got to lose?

Love, Pixie xo

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Source – http://tinybuddha.com/blog/turn-pain-to-joy-11-tips-for-a-powerful-gratitude-journal/

If you have not had a chance to read my story please do so! It has encouraged me to practice mindfulness and gratitude in a much more consistent way! www.gofundme.com/financial-pains-due-to-illness