Passionate enough to “Survive”

Painting by Cheryl Wilson Allurrence-Art.com
Painting by Cheryl Wilson
Allurence-Art.com

                          “Survivor”

Painting my Cheryl Wilson

When I painted this picture I called it “Survivor.” On my last brush stroke on this canvas, I cried. I have never felt the feeling of such deep connection to my own emotions and yet I was not even sure at that moment what the feelings meant? How could a painting I did created make me feel so emotional?I think God many times wants us to stop and listen and be emotional and ask: “what are you wanting me to hear, feel, and know and how to you want me to change? Do you want me to listen to you about something?”

This painting is in honor of two VERY special women in my life. Two women that have overcome struggles but through God’s intervention have overcome and survived to accomplish great things. I believe God makes NO mistakes.

In my personal journey, I am very passionate and emotional about many things in my life. I also am an introvert, but I am a strong woman. That might all sound like a huge contradiction, but it really is not. Through my life as a passionate and emotional woman, people have mistaken my emotions sometimes as a weakness. I think sometimes people mistake passion for a weakness because this world seems to have gotten so hard.

As I am 58 years young, I have experienced tragedy, sadness, loss of my family, along with joy, happiness and at times success. I have had to learn how to overcome thing I wanted to share with you in case my experiences might help you become stronger.

I believe in having mentors in your life. I have one now. I always have had a personal mentor and a professional mentor. The personal mentor is for the spiritual and personal side of me and I have always had a Christian woman in this role. My professional mentor is separate as I want a different person as the focus is different. My business mentor is a male.

I wanted to share with you something that both my personal and professional mentors have taught me and is has taken me YEARS to master and I am still mastering this.

“ACT and do not REACT!”

No matter if my pain is from a personal relationship, an emotional situation, or even a health issue, if I react to it I could let the event overcome me and eventually emotional drain or drown me. If I give the situation its own control then the situation (or person) has control over the event.

I have had to learn to be the one in control. I have the personal walk with God and want to be still and let Him talk to me. God uses my passion and shows me the way, whether it is with a small voice or a stroke of my paint brush, I want to know I am in control of me.

I hope this makes sense.

Self-Reflection, part one.

Photograph by Christina Toole  Photography(R)
Photograph by Christina Toole Photography(R)

There was another blog I wanted to write today, but I felt that I wanted to share with you a tool I use to help me reflect on who I am and who I feel God wants me to be. Psalm 139:14 says: “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

In other words we are all unique, again God made no mistake when He made you. You are exactly who He wanted you to be, but it is up to us to take care of our bodies, our minds, our gifts…..

I started a while back my own unique statements that define me. Some were for a season, but they still seem to fit. I add to them often.

I hope you start a list like this and read it often.

  1. My life is like an unfinished painting. There is always something to tweak.
  2. Everything in life is about balance.
  3. What deep wounds ever closed without a scar? (Lord Byron)
  4. Our scars remind of us our incredible journey.
  5. Stop, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax
  6. It is not the failure, it is how we turn that failure into our growth.
  7. Eventually all the pieces fall into place, until then, laugh at the confusion, live in the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.
  8. When you repeat a mistake, it Is not a mistake anymore, it is a decision
  9. God makes no mistakes
  10. A true friend is to is to see all of their magic, and to remind them how magical they are when they have forgotten it themselves.
  11. Love is that unselfish desire to meet the needs of the cherished object.
  12. Just when you think you have me all figured out, the seasons are already changing.
  13. We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
  14. I can be a blank canvas some days, but the goal is to end up with beautiful paint at the end of the day all over me!
  15. Music makes me change my mine from grumpy to happy.
  16. Be kind to yourself when you think you have failed.
  17. We cannot control the filters that others choose when they look at us. God made us who we are supposed to be.
  18. Life is like a piano; white keys are the happy moments, black keys are sad moments, but together, they play beautiful music.
  19. On days you do not want to do anything else, go to the piano shack and play music loud.
  20. A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on one another.
  21. Love can be just a word, but when you find someone it fits, it becomes a definition.

God lays on my heart what to say.

How to “Get your Passion On!”

addy at the sea 2013310“The more you fail at being someone else, the more you succeed in become you.”

I believe you cannot have true passion in your life without your walk with God being as sweet as it can be. Start your day with God and be sure to have this walk with Him first and foremost, but I truly feel God does not want us to just stop there. He gave us desires that we feel so we should explore these desires and talents. He wants to encourage us to have the deepest passion that we can have. I have always thought that if we love music or art or looking at photography, then God put that desire or love within us to enjoy that passion. It is up to us to explore why we are passionate about these things. For instance, when I see a movie, I am always looking at the pictures on the walls, the colors and I find I love BOLD colors. Lines in a movie move me and I am always scrambling to grab a pen to write them down and ponder on them.

I was raised with very traditional style homes, colors and furniture, so I bought the same things for my home.   I loved my houses, but kept looking for how to decorate and felt I was not living in the rooms I always wanted. In other words, I did not feel passionate about my rooms. UNTIL, my precious daughter in law introduced me to color. I was too busy working that I never thought about changing my surroundings, I did as I always did and stopped short of listening to my passion within me. BUT when I did stop and think about what was the desires of my heart, I found that I was missing the bold colors in my house I was so passionate about I nature. SO, I started with all the cushions in my living room, by removing them and replaced them with COLORFUL ones!!! It actually took me several trips to Home Goods to buy cushions and return them for new ones, but I finally found what I love, bold oranges, blues and greens. (PS, one trick, take a picture of your area you are working on and then look at the picture, it helps give you a different view of what you are trying to do!)

So what am I saying?

To get your passion, stop and reflect on what makes you happy? God wants us to be happy. Look at where you are and decide steps to get these pieces of your passion into your life.

For me, decorating my home (on a budget) and writing was what I wanted to do. I now also added painting, but more on that later.

I had to decide on how to put the passion into my day!!

There are days I wake up energized and cannot wait to get my work done, paint, write and encourage others. But believe me I have those days where I want to hide under the covers. I become a little girl and cry and pull my pillow close to me and tell myself it is ok to be here under the covers because I feel like I need time to myself. On those darker days, I need to do reset my passion buttons and here is how I do it.

  1. I ask God to be the brush that paints my passion for the day. I know there are days I cannot do this alone. He after all gave me my passions, right? So I let Him help paint and design my passion. Makes sense, right?
  2. I have a notebook where I write down my passions. (I will pass on some tools in a later blog that I use)
  3. I set goals on paper as I am a goal setter. If you are not, just impress your goals in your mind. I start by day dreaming my goals and my work. I “daydream” about where I am in my projects and where I want to go that day. If you are a photographer, daydream of those pictures you would like to take. If you are a painter, daydream of those pictures you want to paint. If you are a musician, day dream of playing your music. Try to feel the daydream. (PS, if you do not reach your goal that day, it is ok!)
  4. I set aside time each day to do something that helps me focus and feel my passion. For instance for writing, I have downloaded authors that speak to the topics I write about. Have either a laptop ready or a notebook to start writing down what they say that inspires me. Believe me, soon, I turn off their work and I start writing my own work. It works every time for me!! Others inspire me to write. It is like God gives me the gift to hear what I need to get going.

Right now I am painting and learning how to paint for the first time. Believe me, being a beginner can be so intimidating and discouraging. In fact, two days ago, I completely washed off two canvases of painting that I hated, the passion was just not there, and I lost my confidence. So I stopped and googled some art that I liked and looked at some You Tube videos that inspired me. I always encourage you to have a sketch pad ready and soon you will find you will be drawing some of your own thoughts and your passion will start taking over and… Katie bar the door!!! Move over discouragement, here come my passion. Will the passion produce a work of art, perhaps not, but I have let go of the blockage that was taking away my passion.

Will this always be easy, NO… but be kind to yourself. Let yourself breathe. Stepping back is sometimes that best thing you can do. Go for a walk, daydream, talk to God and better yet, and LISTEN to God for a while.

  1. I let the passion replace the negative in my soul. I do ALL I can to remove the negative from my mind. We all doubt ourselves and have moments where we have no confidence in ourselves. IN fact, I feel those with the most passion can become very discouraged. I have moments of discouragement throughout the day!! (I feel the devil would LOVE for us to be discouraged). A phone call, a rude person at the store, someone that cuts you off in traffic. The world is full of events that can distract us from our goals.
  2. I push negative thoughts out of my mind as soon as I can. Sometimes negative thoughts can help us grow, but we need to channel them in the right frame of mind. The ultimate goal is not to let these negative thoughts turn into insecurities, or fears or events that steal our passion.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……

If you are a photographer, take some pictures of silly things. Take pictures of your dog or cat, listen to podcasts of other photographers the inspire you. Have your camera ready with you everywhere you go (as much as possible). Enter contests even if you know you are not going to win. Take that step to do it anyway.

If you write, have a pad of paper or a tape recorder to take notes on things you hear that inspire you or are just different. I have found that what helps me in writing is to set goals and time frames for myself. I do an article a day. I do a detailed outline to get me started if it is a piece that I am not as familiar with and I include research. I turn off spell check and the first time though. Someone told me that creating writing and typing are from two different sides of the brain. So if you stop and correct your mistakes, you are stopping your creativity over and over again. I just let the thoughts flow and then go back and correct my mistakes. Learn what works for you, perhaps speaking into recorder is better than typing.

I heard a great quotation I want to share with you. “The more you fail at being someone else, the more you succeed in become you.”

The reason I call my blog Ruby Prose is because God tells us in Proverbs that a virtuous woman’s “price is far above rubies.” Virtue means morally good character. As women, we need to know how to develop our character and I believe passion is a part of who we are and developing our passion will help us become more of what God envisioned and created us to be.

I thought about talking about “Self-Reflection” tomorrow.  I hope some of my journey will help you in yours.

Do you have Passion?

imagesPassion means to have a very strong feeling about something or someone. It is an intense emotion. Recently, I painted a canvas with little regard to style, form, or design, I just let passion direct my hand into this painting and I painted what I felt. I posted this painting and within minutes, my painting made its way to someone that absolutely loved it and bought it for their office.

I tried a couple days later to do the same painting but without the same passion and that paining will never see the light of day as it is now painted over with another coat of paint!! I let other things dampen my passion and I knew it.

I decided to sit back and understand what was the reason behind one painting being a treasured and looked at and a motivator to others and another one just a painting on the wall. I realized it was the passion I felt when I painted. Now it also goes that the one loving my painting has to also have this same passion for it.

So how do we get passion and how do we let passion give us the creativity, the drive, the desire to enjoy the day and allow ourselves to be used by God to actually make a difference in this world. Are we on this earth to just live each day to just breathe or are we here for a purpose?

I realized that I was not meant to be a great singer, or preacher, or composer, but I can be that person that can encourage the great singers, preachers, and composers of this world. I can be “their person” by being passionate in what I do and how I do it in hopes that others will be encouraged by my words or actions. Have you ever read a quotation by someone and it changed your way of thinking? Your entire day changed. The poem created passion in your life. The day actually went better and not much bothered you.

You can be that poet in someone’s life. You can give that inspiration with your smile, your patience, your willingness to listen to someone. See, we do not have to be someone great to make a difference, but we can be the wind that swoops in behind of them to push them to greatness.

Tomorrow I will talk about what we can do to get that passion …. It is not always easy, I think we have to work at it sometimes. We have to have a plan.

But for today…………… think about it, do you have passion?