Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Failure Syndrome

Are you stuck in it?

The Failure Syndrome is where you have a perceived failure, then become so upset over it, with feelings of anger, frustration, self-loathing, sadness, and worst of all, hopelessness. Your pereception is that you have failed, yet again, and there may never be hope. You will never get back to that place you were before. You will never be able to achieve your goal. And so, you begin to engage in even more self-destructive behavior. You give up. Then, more failure follows.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Remember how I like to say that failure is important? We must strive for failure - it is our best tool for learning! It is our best tool for growth! Failure makes up the sturdiest stepping stones on our journey through life.

I encourage you to view your failures - even the really big ones - in a new light. Don't get caught up in The Failure Syndrome because it is just a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone fails, even the most successful people in the world. The difference between them and those who never manage to fulfill their potential is how they view their failures.

There may be anger at a failure. But be more angry that you didn't learn something from your failure and make a change.

There may be frustration at a failure. But take that energy and use it to push past your frustration into a learning experience. What will you do different next time?

There is no room for self-loathing. Failure is not a defect, but a golden opportunity for growth, change, and a chance to try again.

There is no need to be sad. You just learned something new about yourself! Your failure means you actually tried to do something out there in the world! Please keep trying! We need your fabulousness out there!

Shove hopelessness out the door. Tomorrow is a new day. The minutes roll by - each minute after this very minute right now - that you are reading this blog - is an opportunity for change, for improvement, for growth, for inspiration. That's why you're here, right? You keep reading, with the knowledge, way back, deep in there, that there is hope.

The new year is approaching. In my opinion, it will be a tough one economically, easily rivaling this past year. Many terrible things have failed this year, and many wonderful things have happened too. It doesn't matter what kind of failure your are struggling with. A failing business, a failing job, a failing diet, failing at making art, failing in relationships.

Embrace your failures, maybe even write them down. Draw hearts around them.

Then, more importantly, plan your change. Don't go crazy. Start with baby steps. But know that the change is possible. It's all at your fingertips. The next minute is a whole new minute in the universe, waiting for your change.

It's all your choice.

The possiblities are endless.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pregnant Trees

Whoa! It might actually be winter around here - or more Fall-ish by the majority of the country's standards. In short - IT'S COLD! I mean ARCTIC! It actually got below 32 degrees last night! I had ice on my front lawn! Shock! Horror! Coldness!

I'm a weather wimp, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

My bright green front lawn managed to weather the cold last night better than me. It's still lush and green, even after the ice defrosted as soon as the sun came up...

Here's a Mr. Lincoln rose, petals glowing in the sun, after the rain. I just took this photo about 10 minutes ago in my backyard!
A relatively new theme that has started popping up in my art lately is trees. The butterflies are still there, but trees have become a big part of my thoughts. And what better metaphore to use on my plaster casting of my pregnant belly. This casting was done four days before giving birth to The Little One.
I painted the background with acrylics, then drew the tree with a black Sharpie pen. I added to some gold paint to a few random leaves. Yah, I like that. I started this piece at Julie's sleepover art party, and I finally finished it two weeks ago.
I've been drawing lots of trees. Practicing trees. What are you practicing?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It Takes Practice - and CARD SALE!!

Yes, yes, it's been waaaaaay too long! No excuses, really. Just life getting a little out of hand at this time of year, and it seems the blog was last on the list.

I've been dying to blog about this since last month! The Middle One came running to me just a few days before Thanksgiving, all excited, eyes wide.

"Mommy! Mommy! You won't believe what's going on in the backyard! Come see NOW!"

Well, I thought, how much could really be going on in our backyard? I mean, come on! But, I followed her anyway, mildly intrigued. What I saw when I peeked inside her bug catcher nearly brought me to tears. I was shocked at my reaction, but then, if you know my life recently, it only took me seconds to realize how everything was coming together...

This is what I saw...
It was beautiful. This was what had emerged from the dried up looking, what I was SURE was dead, cocoon that had been hanging in that darn bug catcher for at least a month, if not longer. In fact, there were two (what I thought were long dead) cocoons hanging in that bug catcher. The other butterfly had already hatched and was long gone when this one came out!
The butterfly hung out there for almost an hour before it began moving its wings. Then, it started flapping its wings and walking around the inside of the bug catcher. It practiced this for another 15 minutes or so. Practice, practice, practice. Back and forth. Back and forth. What could an hour and 15 minutes be out of the life of a butterfly - probably a lot. They don't really live very long.

It needed a lot of practice before heading out the door of the bug catcher, and into the big, bad world full of the nectar-filled flowers in my garden.

This is such an important lesson for all of us. We must practice and practice. We must try and try, and then try again before we are able to fly and find our true purpose. We must be patient, diligent, and keep practicing.

Of course, butterflies have so much symbolism for me, personally. I am trying to be that butterfly, and it takes a lot of practice too. I'm practicing living in my new body. I'm practicing some new attitudes and outlooks - not only on food, but on life. It takes practice.

So, to celebrate I'm having a CARD SALE!!! Yay!

All cards on my website (yes, ALL) are $2 each, with only $5 in shipping (no matter what size your order is) for all you cool blog readers. All you have to do is email me your order with the item number and how many of each, or you can download my pdf order form and fax me your order to 818-206-5320. Cards will ship the next day. Please include your VISA/MC account info or paypal info with your order.