Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cozy


So, 'Hygge' is a thing I've been seeing a lot in the past year or so.  It's a Danish word that encompasses all things cozy.  [Go to the link to find out more.]

I am practicing hygge these days.  It's perfect weather for it - ice storms with power outages, bad roads and very cold temperatures to keep us home.  The things I do that cultivate the hygge is to keep fires in the woodstove, quilt on a new quilt, watch the snow swirling, snuggle with warm cups of things, feed the birds and watch them feasting, light candles, make smelly bath salts.  It all adds up to delicious self care and a reminder that abundance is a feeling, not a list of things we own.   That helps me live my best life now.

What are you doing to bring hygge into your life?




Thursday, January 11, 2018

Turquoise Barn

© Robin Edmundson, 'Turquoise barn and haybales', watercolor, 18 x 24 inches.  $750, framed.


I got stuck for a while right around the holidays.  I couldn't seem to paint anything I liked and felt way out of whack.   My mentor, the amazing Susan Webb Tregay, suggested that I focus on barns - lots and lots of barns.   For days I painted barns in all the colors.   I didn't try to make them 'good', I just painted them again and again.  I used the backs of a bunch of paintings in my garbage stack.  I tried new pigments, I tried new color combinations.  I whined a lot.  [A lot.]  But every day I painted more.

One day, it was time to pull out the Big Paper.  You know - the good kind, with acres of white staring at you, daring you to make a mistake.   I dove in, adjusting along the way.  Step back, let it dry, come back tomorrow, get feedback.  Adjust again.  Get more feedback.  Adjust again. 

I'm learning to linger over a piece and to not feel like I have to rush it. 

And in the end, I have this.    And of course I want more feedback - tell me if you think the gravel in the road is working.   I tried something new and I'm not sure how I like it or if it works.


Monday, January 8, 2018

Haybales

© Robin Edmundson, 'Haybales, blue trees', watercolor,  8 x 14 inches.  $375

Usually I try to paint the colors in season, and winter here is all about the umbers, cobalt and indigo.  This winter, though, I haven't been able to set the golds, greens and brighter colors aside yet.   I'm still loving those brights. 

I have a feeling that I'll be keeping with the brighter colors for a while. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Finding Joy


On the road to my best life this week, I'm thinking about Joy.

Here's the thing about joy; it's happy.  Here's the thing about me; my default setting is often frustration, not happy.  That made me feel bad for a long time.  So, I worked harder to be happy, to feel joy.  It didn't work...and I got more frustrated.   Seriously, What was WRONG with me??

It took a long time to realize that joy is what happens to me when I become fully immersed in a moment.  For me those moments come when I'm painting, or walking, or gardening, especially when I find something just a bit magical -- like that frosty dogwood twig in the photo.  It's 'winter rest' and 'spring potential' all in one!  I love stuff like that!  That makes me happy - and then the joy comes spilling in. 

For me, the trick is to get out of my own way.  To do the things I love, get excited about the things I get excited about and then linger on those moments.  For me, joy comes when I let myself linger.

Linger.  Even the word makes me happy.  This year I'm going to be doing a lot more lingering.  Over mugs of hot tea, over my walks, over the paint, over the garden, over dinner, over all sorts of things.

What sorts of things will you be lingering over this season? 





I'd like to invite you to join our Best Self facebook group where we can talk freely about becoming our best selves - and all that that entails.  In addition, I have another group, The Well Balanced Artist, for artists of all kinds, in all stages of their creative lives, who are trying to balance their art, business and personal lives.   

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Intention



I love the word Intention.   So much potential there.   I love potential. Potential for being my Best Self, living my Best Life,  being a Better Person, etc.  I also get overwhelmed by potential.  So many options - which is  the most efficient one, the most cost effective one, the right one, the best one.  Also, there's the whole - 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' thing - which clearly underscores the necessity for action in addition to intention.   And there's the intentions as wishes thing, but I like to think about intentions as baby goals.

Changes and actions usually start with intention, so I've been paying close attention to my intentions for the last while.  It's made me notice when I have mixed feelings about things, or when I'm letting fear be a guiding principle. [I think I want XYZ, but really I just don't want to be scared anymore - and then I realize I can get out of fear in other ways that may have nothing to do with XYZ.]  I've learned that I like to set Intentions that I can realistically be responsible for.   I can't decide how much yarn I'm going to sell, but I can decide to treat every client with kindness and respect - and become a better person in the bargain.

My intention for the next while is to be a more laughing/smiling person.  I need more laughing and I know the world is full of delightful and crazy situations so I'm going to focus on finding and sharing those. It's so good to laugh together. To that end, I found an old post from the blog that might bring a smile to your face.   This is what happened the day I tackled a rosebush with the mower.   I hope you get a good laugh.

What are your intentions for the next while?

p.s.  We'll be announcing details later this month for My Best Life Now retreat in October.  We're so excited!

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