Archives for July 2012

The journey.. the scary, amazing journey…

I’m at the beginning of this journey of trying to accomplish my professional dreams.  Yet it’s more than just my profession, it’s more like the yearning of my heart.  And I’m not sure if I’m at the beginning.. I’m sorta 15 years into it, yet I feel in some ways like I’m just beginning.  You can read more about my journey leading up to this point here.

I’ve sold hundreds of pieces of artwork and I don’t even know how many other painted items, yet I feel almost paralyzed with fear sometimes. Am I enough, do I have what it takes?  Why can’t I just paint… why do I have to know about marketing, websites, getting wholesale reps or licensing reps, building my brand?  I’m trying to analyze my offerings and classify them into marketable groups and lines.  Some of that I think has happened naturally, some of it is utterly scary and overwhelming.  So… after spending the last couple hours feeling sorry for myself, analyzing if I should just give it all up and go work for someone else (I’ve realized that will not work w/ the kids schedules and Bruce’s schedule) so I’m just gonna put on my big girl underwear, roll up my sleeves and suck it up.  And in the true form of someone who feels the calling to teach through example; I’ve decided I’m going to share that journey more openly here.  I don’t intend on whining (much) but I know for me I have read tons of stories of people achieving success and looking back from the end it seems so possible and so much easier to believe in them.  But seriously if we were side by side with Colonel Sanders as he approached place after place trying to get them to sell his chicken recipe I’m sure we would have started to think he was a bit nutty.  After a dozen “no’s” would we have been supportive, encouraging?  How about after 2 or 3 dozen “no’s”?  How about if we watched him receive 1009 “no’s”?  I applaud his tenacity and unstoppable knowing.  I hope I would have done the same them but it’s doubtful.  Now factor in that he was in his 60’s when he finally made this career change.  And look at his success of KFC, unbelievable.  Beyond his wildest dreams I’m sure.

So here it is, as I stand now at age 34 I love to paint. I also know that I want to make a good living from doing it.  I dream of seeing my work in more stores and on products.  I dream of connecting with women, encouraging authentic, soulful living in both myself but those around me. I dream of having a community of women that are empowering, supportive and helping each other to help make the world a better place.

I took a huge leap of faith a few weeks ago and signed a lease on my first studio. I’ve never done my artwork outside of my home so this is so huge.  It has a large room for a classroom and 2 offices, currently one is holding my inventory and the other holds the projects I’m in the middle of.  Plus it’s just down the road from my house!! After the high of all the possibilities and the good feeling of knowing I was taking a step toward my above listed dreams the bottom dropped out and I sat in total fear for a couple of days.  Feeling it and mentally working through it.  Then I decided I can’t let it win.  So I’m taking small steps each day.  I’m going boldly with a bit of blind faith and choosing to believe that if I keep trying with good intention, and learn one new thing a day and do all that I can to not give up then I will get “there”.

I just hate to not feel in control.  It scares me that no one will show up to my classes, no one will care or people will be too busy to notice me even if they would completely connect with my artwork’s message… what if they never see it?  And then I think, what if I am able to make mass amounts of women feel better and inspired through my work, what if through my life story I can help other women avoid the same mistakes.  What if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams and I am able to tune into my life’s purpose and help women in their own life’s journeys.  What if?

Yesterday I did a guided meditation from one of Leonie Dawson’s courses. It was so spectacular.  I was able to envision myself in a tent surrounded by wise women of my ancestry and other teachers that have gone before me and are now passed.  They encouraged me to own my unique voice, own my feminine power, and be strong and wise.  They encouraged me to embrace my inner goddess and go into the world with my head high.  It was so spectacular.  Love her meditations.  Afterwards I just sat in that awesome feeling of being part of a sisterhood. Women helping and embracing women, honoring each other, guiding and sharing wisdom.  There is a beautiful sacredness that is built and felt within that.

I’m hoping that I can document these ups and downs, crazy insecurities, moments of clarity and brave action, all so that it may help others going through this journey someday.  Even if our timing is different, it can be a shared experience.  I don’t think of myself as weak and normally day to day feel very in tune with myself, sure of myself and confident but I think that is why I feel it’s important to share some of these other moments that never get shared.

I thank you for sharing this journey with me!  **Noelle

Last but not least – The Crown Chakra!

The Crown Chakra – this chakra is located on the top of your head.

Sometimes that answers we are looking for in the world can be answered by simply tuning inward instead of looking outward.  The crown chakra is associated with self-knowledge, a connection with a higher being and a feeling of connectedness.   One of my favorite meditations is a quick 3 breath visualization.  This is my interpretation from one that was taught to me by Paulie from Dragonfly Journey http://www.dragonflyjourney.com/.  On the first breath visualize as you take a deep breath in; your breath going through your entire body and down through your feet. Then continue the breath down through the ground and visualize it into roots growing deep into the ground to keep you grounded.  On your next breath picture pulling universal knowledge and energy from the sky in through your head and down into your body as you exhale visualize all of the negative flowing out into the sky and into the stars. One the third breath picture these two energy swirly within you. You are connected to the ground, the sky, and all that is!

From about.com: The Crown Chakra is associated with the color violet or white. We use the seventh chakra as a tool to communicate with our spiritual nature. It is through this vortice that the life force is dispersed from the universe into the lower 6 chakras. It has been referred to as our “GOD SOURCE” – but this terminology might be confusing to anyone who equates God with religious dogma, because of this I choose to call it a spiritual connection or communicator. This chakra is often pictured as a lotus flower opening to allow spiritual awakening in an individual. The crown chakra could also be considered the well intuitive knowing is drawn from.

Chakra Seven – Associations

  • Color – violet, white
  • Sanskrit Name – sahasrara
  • Physical Location – top of head
  • Purposes – intuitive knowing, connection to one’s spirituality, integration of the whole
  • Spiritual Lesson – spirituality, living in the NOW
  • Physical Disfunctions– mystical depression, diseases of the muscular system, skeletal system and the skin, chronic exhaustion not associated with physical ailments, sensitivity to light, sound, environment
  • Mental and Emotional Issues – discovery of the divine, lack of purpose, loss of meaning or identity, trust, selflessness, humanitarianism, ability to see the bigger picture in the life stream, devotion, inspiration, values, ethics
  • Information Stored Inside Crown Chakra – duality, magnetism, controlling patterns, emotional feelings (joy, anger, fear)
  • Area of Body Governed – top center of the head, midline above the ears
  • Exercises that stimulate the crown chakra
  • Foods that fuel the crown chakra

Gemstones and Flower Essences

Gemstones and Flower Essences that stimulate, cleanse and energize the crown chakra

 

You can find the artwork prints here: www.noellerollinsart.etsy.com

  • Perfect people to receive this pose/chakra artwork are: people suffering from  depression, diseases of the muscular system, skeletal system and the skin, chronic exhaustion not associated with physical ailments, sensitivity to light, sound, environment
  • Or the emotions that come with discovery of the divine, lack of purpose, loss of meaning or identity, trust.

This piece is part of my Soulful Yoga Series. This series has been created out of my own journey to live more self-aware. I’ve longed for a way to quiet my always running mind, feel good in my body from the inside out and connect with my inner soulful awareness. I believe this series will connect with people who do yoga as well as those who do not but are looking for positive, encouraging, calming artwork.

You can keep up to date on my work and happenings here: www.facebook.com/noellerollinsart

If you like this artwork and would like to see one similar that includes a different uplifting message you will find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101000734/speak-your-truth-soulful-yoga-plow-pose

I will continue announcing each week one new piece for this series.

 

 

I give you permission to say, “NO”

I give you permission to say no.

I grew up with a superhero a superhero momma. She gave us haircuts or perms more than once the night before school pictures when we begged. Sewed our Halloween costumes, patched our clothing, even hand sewed on hundreds of beads onto my prom dress for me and made a purse to go with it my senior year. She showed up to every sporting event for all 5 of us kids, and even let me move back in with my daughter while I was going through a divorce years ago.  I learned how to be a devoted mother from my mom, I learned how to create a calming, love filled home from her. My biggest lesson however came from my mother as we picked up the pieces after she passed away.

Somewhere in her my mom associated her value with the sacrifices she made for all of us around her.  I watched my mom put each of our needs above her own.  I watched her take on caring part time for my nephew, watching my daughter when she could, I watched my brother come home with a dog (even after my mom told him he couldn’t have a dog in their home) but she gave in and let him keep it because she couldn’t say no. I later watched this dog cause thousands of dollars in damage in her gorgeous, beautifully decorated home.  Thousands of dollars in rugs with holes in them, a solid wood, carved dining room table with the legs chewed around the bottom, she bought a steam cleaner so she could keep up with the pee on the carpets, on and on. Plus then my parents bought the food for the dog, cared for the dog and my mom pretty much eventually stopped going out of town because she knew my brother wouldn’t care for the dog and it would cause more damage.  I watched my adult brother still living at home as if he was a child, my mom still giving him spending money and letting him pursue his dream of being the next Eminem rapper with God knows who coming in and out of their basement recording on the sound system set up down there. All hours of the night these creepy people would be coming in and out with names like Shadow and stuff. Can we just all agree that this in INSANE!!!!  Somewhere along the line I watched my mom blur the line in being loving and caring with enabling and not setting healthy boundaries.

When I was an adult and was back living in Minnesota again I thought it was great that she was going through a wine and cheese phase. . We’d watch movies together and have different wines and cheese and crackers or breads with different dipping oils. It was so much fun.  Pretty much any movie that included a Christmas scene or a house with fun decorating was always our favorites to watch.  What evolved in the years following however none of us saw coming.

Rewind to 2002 My mom was the peak of health, obsessed with vitamins and cooking healthy. She looked great, my sister and I had just had our first babies and our family was at such a fun place.  I was back down in Dallas from 2003-2004 and when I moved back in 2004 things were starting to be a little different. My mom had a knee replacement and was working on recovering from that, at the same time my youngest sister moved out and started college.  My brother was facing ongoing legal battles still haunting him from his wild teenage years and me back home with my daughter going through a divorce.  And then menopause hit. It was a perfect storm.  Had any one of these hit I am confident she would have made it through relatively unscathed.  However that’s not how it happened; the drinking increased secretly, (we didn’t find this out until later, I have since found out that increased drinking is very common during the menopause years) she became more depressed and from that showed even fewer healthy boundaries. She was so busy trying to make sure we were all okay and helping us fix our problems that she didn’t take the time out for herself.  What she needed then was to start saying no. No to the dog, no to spending money as an escape, no to all the relatives, no to us kids, no to trying to solve my brothers legal issues, no to paying for those legal issues, no to watching our kids so much… on and on.  I literally watched my mother’s inability to set healthy boundaries and her selfless act of helping others around no matter what it cost her ultimately kill her.  Her actual cause of death was pancreatitis but I know deep down that the world sucked her dry.

Oh how I wish I could go back and give her permission to be the bad guy a little bit. Tell people occasionally to fix their own shit, find that dog a new home so she could go take a vacation in peace. In fact tell my brother to go find a new home so she could regain her comfort in her own home. Tell all of us that she is not a daycare center.  I would make sure she knew that it’s okay to say no to organizing another event and she needed no other reason then because she needed a night to curl up and watch a much needed movie with my dad.  Sometimes you have to put yourself first; your life can literally depend on it. I wish I could tell my mom that she wouldn’t be letting us down if we had a small Christmas without all the gifts, gourmet meals and amazing décor.  I wish I could tell her that we would still know that she loved us even if she would have just said what she felt instead of feeling guilty that she might be a bad person because she felt resentful about trying to hold the world together for all of us. I wish I could just hug her and tell her that we love her for her and not for the things she did for us.

I’ve really been working on having healthier boundaries myself since she passed.  And just as important; giving myself permission to not have to justify my every moment or decision when setting those boundaries, speak my mind more when I am feeling resentful and explain more why some things I allowed to go for years no longer work for me.  Example: “I wish I could watch my sweet nephews every day of the week but I can’t do that and build my career. Dad, I wish I could continue helping you with your company for virtually free but it no longer works for me. I wish I could give away my artwork anytime someone says they like it but that won’t pay my bills. Sorry brother but until you help yourself by doing steps 1,2 and 3 don’t call me again. Once you do those things I will happily help you with step 4 but I don’t want to have one more phone conversation with you telling me I need to fix your problems and hear about your life falling apart when you haven’t even completed the first fucking step !!!!”

I have learned that there needs to be an equal exchange of energy in any transaction otherwise one person won’t feel satisfied.  How often have you helped someone with something that really put you out.  Only to later realize they really didn’t even appreciate it?  I did this with my ex; I would try to fix his problems, invest a ton of my energy, time and problem solving only to later be bitter that he wasn’t grateful. Finally one day I realized that he hadn’t even asked or wanted my help.  Light bulb moment.

So now I give you permission also to say no, speak your mind and tune into your inner knowing. You can be loving, classy, kind and giving and still have effective boundaries.  You are not bad if you decide you don’t want the neighbors kids showing up at your home at all hours looking for entertainment. You are not a bad person if you say no to someone who wants to borrow money and you know in your gut that the money will not help them or it will cause you to not to be able to cover your own bills. I give you permission to just say, “Sorry, that doesn’t work for me”.  It may help build the no muscle to start with, “sorry I will have to get back to you after I check my schedule.” This will buy you time to really decide if something is a good decision instead of saying yes immediately and then later regretting it. Or for example say, “that day doesn’t work for me to watch your dog but if you are able to do help me fix my garage door  tomorrow that will free me up to be able to come over and pet sit for you this weekend when you’re out of town.”… you get the idea.  It’s sometimes helpful to think about if you’re going to feel resentful after doing whatever it is that has been asked of you, if you are then maybe you’re better off saying no or changing the terms of the agreement.   I’d love to hear any of your stories about how you’ve learned to improve in these areas or times you wish you had.

One of my favorite memories of my mom is her last Christmas just 3 weeks before she passed, my husband, daughter, my mom, a few others and I were all quietly chattering and taking in the peacefulness on a late stroll down her dark, quiet dead end street on the Christmas night of 2008. The snow peacefully falling on us, we were all together and we were all so happy and content.  It was simple, free and fair for all us.  It was also a moment that she didn’t have to sacrifice her own happiness or feel guilty in order for us to be happy.

Added 7/24/2012:  I feel the need to add one more thing to this post.  The reason I’ve chosen to share this incredibly personal and private story is because I know that it was something we as a family never talked about while it was happening.  It was one of those things that was off-limits. There is shame so often felt when we are going through a rough patch.  But if this could happen to my happy, articulate, loving family then it could happen to any family.  And even more importantly if my mom could go through this so could anyone. She was (is) a shining soul, loving and supportive person.  She radiated love and light to all around her. I share my perspective of her journey with a goal of helping other fabulously loving women see another side, another voice outside of their own homes and give them a reason to value themselves and their space, their dreams and cherish them.

girl doing cheers at restaurant

Third Eye (brow) Chakra – lets get in touch with our intuition

The third eye chakra (also known as the Brow Chakra)

This I admit is the most intriguing chakra for me.  Ever since I was little and I saw people from India with the red dot between their eyes it made me curious.  I now know that these Bindis are worn by women of many religions in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and is not restricted to Hindus. Many Muslim women in Bangladesh and Pakistan wear the bindi as part of makeup. My understanding is one of the reason for the Bindi is to help activate the third eye. The red represents honor, love and prosperity, hence it was worn traditionally by women to symbolize this. How beautiful, I love it.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/102301436/soulful-yoga-eagle-pose-artwork-postcard

From Chakraclearing.com: You know your Intuitive Chakra is STRONG when you are able to make accurate intuitive decisions and evaluations about your career, your family and the intentions of other people. You often know things without knowing exactly how you know them, and you have a clear sense of direction and clarity in everything that you do. You have a vivid picture of where your life is headed, and the people around you are likely to rely on you for guidance and advice.

You know your Intuitive Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED if you feel lost and helpless when faced with decisions and judgment calls. You are indecisive, uncommitted and unconfident of the decisions you end up making, because you have a history of making the wrong ones. You feel spiritually lost, and your true purpose is unclear to you. You often get headaches and feel tension in your brow area.

The Brow Chakra is associated with the color indigo. It is also often referred to as the third eye or the mind center. It is our avenue to wisdom – learning from our experiences and putting them in perspective. Our ability to separate reality from fantasy or delusions is in connection with the healthfulness of this chakra. Achieving the art of detachment beyond “small mindedness” is accomplished through developing impersonal intuitive reasoning. It is through an open brow chakra that visual images are received.

Chakra Six – Associations

  • Color – indigo
  • Sanskrit Name – ajna
  • Physical Location – center of the forehead
  • Purposes – action of ideas, insight, mind development
  • Spiritual Lesson – understanding, reality check point, detachment, open mind
  • Physical Dysfunctions– brain tumors, strokes, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities, spinal dysfunctions, panic, depression
  • Mental and Emotional Issues – fear of truth, discipline, judgement, evaluation, emotional intelligence, concept of reality, confusion
  • Information Stored Inside Sacral Chakra – seeing clear picture (symbolic or literal), wisdom, intuition, mental facilities, intellect
  • Area of Body Governed – brain, neurological system, eyes, ears, nose, pituitary, pineal glands
  • Exercises that stimulate the brow chakra
  • Foods that fuel the brow chakra

Gemstones and Flower Essences

Gemstones and Flower Essences that stimulate, cleanse and energize the brow chakra

This piece is part of my Soulful Yoga Series. This series has been created out of my own journey to live more self-aware. I’ve longed for a way to quiet my always running mind, feel good in my body from the inside out and connect with my inner soulful awareness. I believe this series will connect with people who do yoga as well as those who do not but are looking for positive, encouraging, calming artwork.

You can keep up to date on my work and happenings here: www.facebook.com/noellerollinsart

If you like this artwork and would like to see one similar that includes a different uplifting message you will find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101000734/speak-your-truth-soulful-yoga-plow-pose

I will continue announcing each week one new piece for this series.

Outside of the “real world”

There can be an aching so deep and so widespread that creeps up so quietly you don’t even notice it’s there.  It may be your own aching or it may be the pain of another…

I remember myself lying next to my mom in her bed on Halloween night a few years ago. I’m holding her hand, my daughter is stroking her hair. My mom is crying.  She in the depths of a darkness that she doesn’t even know how she got into.  I lay with her and tell her that I’m here for her, I know it’s been hard lately but that she can turn the page and really embrace this next chapter of her life.  She says through tears, “I want to Noelle, I do. I just don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know how but I want to.”  My heart is breaking; here is my mom, my nurturer, my best friend and my teacher and I don’t know how to help her.

I rewind in my mind to 8 years prior: My parents had come down to Texas to visit me, I had just had my daughter a couple days before. It was their first granddaughter and they were beyond excited.  My mom looked the best I’d ever seen her, she glowed with peace and happiness from the inside out.  We spent the week doing touristy things and just laying around staring at this new baby. Six months later we moved to Minnesota and stayed with them while we found a place.  I was home w/ my daughter during this time just doing artwork part time so every day my mom, my sister and her newborn and myself would go on walks, hang out with the kids, have movie nights once we got the kids down. Life was good.  I moved to Texas again for a bit and then when I came back to Minnesota (sans husband) during my divorce in 2004 I noticed a slight change in my mom over the following years.  My best assessment is that she got caught in a Bermuda triangle-like whirlwind that she didn’t see coming.  Kids growing up and moving out (she had devoted that last decade of her life solely to her husband and raising 5 kids), knee surgery, menopause, income changes while my dad started his new company and I think for the first time since before she had kids she had a moment to think about her life. She had time to reflect upon her childhood and feel some of the feelings that she hadn’t even had time to notice.  She was a strong woman, any one of these things she would’ve handled no problem but I think the whole sum of them along with her not setting the best boundaries (see more here on that: http://noellerollinsart.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/i-give-you-permission-to-say-no/   )  set her into a tailspin.

As a daughter I wish I could’ve done more to help her. I wish I could have helped her earlier to get involved with some sort of activity that didn’t revolve around her family. I wish I could have helped her to believe in her amazing-ness.  Be an interior designer or some other career or volunteer position that would help her to see her gifts.  She felt so paralyzed by fear and insecurity after not being out “in the real world” for so long that it seemed impossible, and unappealing to her.

My mom came from a culture where there was no sharing of personal problems.  You smiled and pretended everything was fine to the outside world. From that there was an unspoken rule to not discuss what she was going through.  The clash comes though that my sisters and I especially are from a generation where we share everything, we learn from each other, we celebrate each other and we know that because someone is going through a hard time it doesn’t mean they are a failure. It went against her every instinct to share her struggles.  I know she is not the only one to go through this.

Back to that Halloween night a few years ago; while I’m glad I was able to just be there for her and listen I wish with every part of myself I would have been able to help her. I know my mom wanted to be in a better space mentally, and while that Halloween was definitely a low point she had many other really happy times over the next 80 days. I got to have a phone conversation with her where she was feeling down and she was worried about us. I got to tell my mom that she was the best mom, that because of her we had confidence in ourselves. That because of her we know how to love, make good decisions and be loving parents ourselves.  I got to thank her for being such a great mom and list example after example of ways that she helped us and we talked about happy memories from my childhood. I got to tell her how much I love her and she apologized for anything she ever did through our lives that made us feel bad and I got to tell her that I couldn’t think of a single one.

This call I now know was a gift, she passed away just days after.

No one knew she was sick, I still believed that she was going to pull through this funk and return to her happy, conquer the world self.  While she didn’t know that she would ultimately get pancreatitis, her soul knew that the end was near.  My phone call was just one of many calls or visits that she made those final days that helped to give so many of us peace.  Someday I’ll share more about so many of the synchronicities that occurred.

I’m trying to write this in the most honest heart felt way that I can both to possibly help others and help myself in finding peace but also respect my mom’s dignity, privacy and her spirit.   I know my mom is now at peace but I realize through my tears that I still have a bit of a longing for what could have been and for what I wish I could have done and mostly a deep need to take her story and turn it into something that can help myself and others from possibly knowing they are not alone. There are many facets to the feelings and emotions that go along with raising a family, honoring ourselves and loving one another; no one should have to feel alone while going through them.

It’s my dream to create a safe space to help women that are going through life’s big changes (divorce, children moving out, menopause, career changes, new baby, etc.) Help through honesty, infusing creativity, giving permission to take time for yourself and spread the message that you are worth a fun hobby, a new group of friends that get you and it actually makes you a better mom, friends, sister, daughter, etc.   It’s my vision to create a space for women that encourages authentic, soulful living, self-discovery, support and creativity. I want to create and share my work in a way that provides value and encouragement to others, help them on their own creative journeys meanwhile helping all of us to live our most abundant lives.  I am not completely sure how this vision will unfold, but I know while I am allowing those answers to come through I will continue to reach out, create artwork to inspire and move into a space where I can teach art classes.  Art classes where the final painting isn’t the focus, it’s the journey, the tuning into our creative voices, learning something new, and just going for it.  You were created and put on this earth for a reason. I believe with all of my being that we each have a soul mission.

My hope is that if it’s meant to be that our paths will cross in the future as we help one another on this journey.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/103541775/mother-and-child-bond-8×10-artwork-print

 

If you are interested in staying in the loop on any future classes and posts on this subject please subscribe to my blog and stay in the loop.   Sending you much love!  *N