Pollen and Puppies

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Spring is in full swing in Tennessee. My puppy, Kieran, and I spent some time outside today and I couldn’t believe how much pollen there was out there! He, however, was not displeased to find all the pollen. He licked it up off the front porch where it had collected in little drifts. I found that to be a little gross. When he was done it looked like he had been eating donuts covered in yellow powdered sugar. My puppy is weird but cute.

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Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life

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http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life

I ran into this article today and I thought that it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

Feeling Stuck? 100 Ways to Change Your Life

You’ve got 20 minutes to change your life in 100 ways. Go.

This is the premise of an exercise I tried once, when I was feeling stuck in life. I wasn’t sure what was amiss, but the routine I had fallen into was not satisfying the inner voice in me that insisted there was something else out there for me.

After trying (forcefully) to understand what was going on, reading self-help books, filling out aptitude tests, and working with business and life coaches, I was given a suggestion that became a catalyst for some pretty big personal changes.

Here is how you can change your life in 20 minutes, step by step:

  1. Clear all distractions. Turn off the phone, the TV, the computer. Lock your door, and go to a quiet place.
     
  2. Sit down comfortably at a desk or table, with a blank piece of paper and a pen in front of you.
     
  3. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
     
  4. Go. Write down 100 things you want to do. Or careers you want to have. Or people you would like to meet. The sky is the limit.
     
  5. Don’t be realistic. Dream big. Write down the craziest things you can think of, as well as the things that you don’t even think bear mentioning because they are so simple. Write it all down.
     
  6. Work quickly. 20 minutes isn’t very long, and you have 100 items to get through, if you can. Don’t think about whether or not to write down an idea — just write. Write everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t make sense. Just keep on writing, and don’t stop until that timer goes off.

Something happens after about 10 or 15 minutes if you employ the exercise to its full potential. You stop caring about what specifically the ideas are, and you start to release an inner creativity that may have been locked away for a while. In an effort to get through 100 things in 20 minutes, you start to write outlandish things down that you aren’t even really sure you want, but that are ideas that came to you nonetheless.

Ding! The timer goes off. No matter where you are in the process, or how many items you have written down, stop. (OK, if you are really on a roll and have a few more to write down because the juices are flowing, keep going. I won’t tell.)

Leave the list alone for a day. Try not to look at it, and certainly don’t revise it in any way. The following day, sit down and look at your list. How many of the items on it are feasible? Can you see your way to accomplishing any of it? Did anything come out of the list that you hadn’t actually really thought of until you wrote it down in a hurried attempt to get to 100 items in the time limit? Any surprises in there?

The point of this exercise is not to create a giant and outlandish “to-do” list that never gets ticked off. Instead, it is simply to open up your mind to the idea that anything is possible, and to give you ideas that will help you to become unstuck in life.

Personally, after feeling stuck and making out my list, I identified a few ways to make positive changes in my life at the time; I joined Toastmasters because an item I wrote down was to become a public speaker. I also eventually started a blog to satisfy an inner wordsmith in me that has blossomed into a career. And ultimately, the list helped lead me to the decision to sell off everything I owned to live out my dreams of travel and adventure now.

And it all started with 20 minutes and 100 ways to change my life.

Can you feel old at 27?

I’m a 27 year old, like the title leads you to believe, who is in college for the second time. (That is a long-ish story.) So, here are a few things that happened this week to make me feel old.

First, I was in my art history class learnin’ about the good ol’ days at the turn of the century. The last one. The one before we were alive. The change from 1800s to 1900s… Anyway, the professor was explaining to us how people felt worried and anxious because times were changing and important things were happening in the world. The famous Scream was painted by Edvard Munch was created just because of this cultural anxiety. My professor asked the class who remembered being anxious when the clocks turned to the year 2000, during the big Y2K panic? My hand immediately shot up from the back row where I usually sit. No one else’s hands moved. What? You guys were like, lets see… 19-20 years old now, subtract 12 or so years…. doing some math… Ok, so you were like 7 or 8. Come on kids these things were important!

Ok, so the other thing that happened was a coworker made a joke from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You in front of another younger coworker. The younger one stared blankly clearly not understanding the reference. The older one asked if she had ever seen the movie and the younger one obviously said no. I remember seeing that movie several times in high school. Who wouldn’t have watched that movie, it had Heath Ledger in it!

So, there you go world. At 27 I feel old. My life events happened before this generation of “adults” can remember. My movies are obsolete. Sadness. There is only one thing left to do… watch 10 Things I Hate About You!

Mortality: See the Brush Stokes


Cezanne


Georges de la Tour

I have often contemplated mortality, life, death, the inevitable end of everything we know… I’m a Christian, so life after death is a positive thing for me. I believe that it will be infinetly better than the here and now. However, for artists throughout time, this issue has been of great importance: from Hans Holbein to the famous British artist Damien Hirst.

Why does human mortality cross these artists minds? Why is it so deep in their thoughts that it comes out in so many paintings? I believe that in part it is because artists doen’t view the world the same way that others do. We do not see the surface of an object and take it at face value. In fact we don’t merely glance at a table and see a table, or a painting and see a painting. We see the wood that the table is made out of. We see the scratches on the surface created by the use over time. We see shapes created by color and shadow in the painting. We notice that the frame helps or hurts the quality of the image. We see the brush strokes…

So it would make sence that this “sight” translates to our lives. We see the “brush strokes” of time. We pick up on subtle changes in the world around us. We see the spring flowers are a slightly deeper shade of purple today indicating that they will soon fall to the ground, having been used up and discarded.

So the obvious human mortality does not go unnoticed by us artists. We are all too aware of the fact that we are here now, we will be slightly different tomorrow, and than eventually we will be gone. Is that too morbid of a thought for you? Well, remember that you can make the most of your life today! If you are a Christian like me, than you can do your best to do what God wants you too do. You may have an amazing calling to change the world, or maybe you were meant to better and enrich the lives of those around you. Whatever your purpose is do it to the best of your abilities.


Holbein


Damien Hirst


Frans Hals


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The epithets of imbeciles…

“The epithets of imbeciles have never bothered me.” Rosa Bonheur

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Rosa Bonheur is an amazing artist who really brought out the realism in art. She didn’t just paint accurately from real life, she painted scenes from actual life. She even choose to wear men’s clothing in order to get to the places she needed to in order to paint. She went to the fields to paint peasants and the horse auctions to learn about horses. I think that Rosa is definitely a person that I can look to to learn about what it means to be an artist. She did not conform to her society to be accepted, rather she used her talent to change society!