Yes, yes, I can’t deny it. I’ve missed you, little blog. We’ll be separated for a while but we always seem to meet again.
This summer has been kind to me. I more recently was able to add The Animism Tarot to my Etsy shop and have since received some really uplifting feedback. It’s been just over a year now since this deck was born, and I swear it still boggles my mind that I actually managed to finish it. I’ve spent the year getting to know it more (yes, even though I made it, I still feel like I’m learning about it) and I’ve spent time pondering what I wanted to work on next. I’ve had a possible new tarot deck brewing in my mind for the longest time, but it’s taking a great amount of time and effort (and some frustration) trying to refine the ideas more and I’ve been struggling with its execution and style. And here I thought my first tarot deck was challenging.. but this.. this new deck is a whole new challenge! I really hope I’ll be able to get through these obstacles and hammer out some more concrete details because my fingers are just itching to start painting.
I’ve also been in a bit of a creative rut lately; so I feel like this blockage has been affecting my ability to tackle this new tarot challenge as well as creating something new for my little Etsy shop. Where do I go from here? What should I create next? Should I take a break instead? Maybe step away until inspiration hits?
But no, I just can’t do that. I have a single piece of paper with some text on it that sits above my desk so I’ll see it often, and lately I find that I’m reading it more than ever because I need a good reminder. These are the words:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” – Chuck Close
So I need to keep creating, even if there are invisible monsters trying to stop me from making something awesome like a brand new tarot deck or some awesome new art. Today I created a simple little angel to boost my creating spirits.. and when I was done, I noticed she brought a little smile to my face. Now I may have to make more of them.. maybe they’ll help fight the invisible monsters so I can start creating some awesome things again.
We had a hungry little visitor today! The Happy Squirrel.. so vague and mysterious…
I found SuperBetter.com literally just yesterday, after watching one of the TED Talks with Jane McGonigal. I was a little skeptical at first. The video seemed interesting but I wasn’t entirely convinced that it could help me. I admit that the beginning just seems like a push for people to play more video games, but it does get more interesting closer to the end and does shift to focusing more on health and wellness. The SuperBetter site itself is made to feel like a simple game. Find little ways to improve aspects in your life and find healing by completing tasks, collecting allies, gaining power ups and defeating the bad guys. Who doesn’t love unlocking achievements and completing quests? It all sounded really easy – and fun – so I decided to give it a try. I think the video is worth the watch, and I hope that doing these daily small tasks on SuperBetter will help with my anxiety and stress in the long run. And really, who doesn’t want to live an extra 10 years?
One of the ‘quests’ on SuperBetter is to write a list of all my worries, stresses and fears, and then make a separate list of all the things I’m happy about, grateful for, and find enjoyable right now. So I made my negative list first, and to be honest, my negative list was long. Really long. I was getting a little worried there that my positive list would not be as long as the negative one. But interestingly enough, once I started the positive list, I found that I could really keep going on and on with this list as well.. I was worried my negative list would overwhelm my positive list, but this was not the case. How enlightening, really! How wonderful life is, no matter how negative you may feel at times.
Here’s my positive list from that exercise, because really, that’s what matters the most:
I am grateful for…
- my mom who goes above and beyond to bring me happiness
– my dad who will do whatever it takes to help me with anything and everything
– my brothers who have always been there to help me in any way, and have always looked out for me
– my friends, always there for me through it all to create fantastic memories
– the love of my life, so incredibly understanding, loving, and everything I could ever hope for
– this magnificent country with its magnificent people, health care, opportunities and equality
– television. really. my place to get away, my time to escape and live in another world with crazy friends and stories to stay with me always
– my health. yes there are hiccups but I am so grateful for how I am now when there is so much suffering in the world
– having a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, heat warming my toes, and light where there is darkness above
– creating artwork that has actually had an impact on someone’s life
– the internet. what wonders that have come from it that have had an impact on my life
– being able to travel over 2000 miles, to be able to see the clouds from above: a sight some may never see in their life
– music. it really is life changing
– my culture, its traditions and how proud I am to be who I am
– books. I can learn anything and everything from the words laid before me
– inside jokes. who doesn’t love a silly secret
– being able to (almost) find an app to help me with anything!
– the new year. new beginnings. new outlooks.
– laughter. without it, what is the point in living, really?
Creating a full tarot card was one of the biggest projects that I’ve probably ever completed. It still boggles my mind that I managed to finish The Animism Tarot. It felt like I was spending all of my waking hours working on it: writing down ideas, researching symbolisms and meanings and interpretations, sketching and painting and MORE writing.. that when I finally finished it, had the deck in my hands and everything was published, I felt a little, well, lost! I didn’t really know what to do with myself after that. The creating process was over.
Of course, life went on after that and I started other pieces of artwork: more greeting cards and jewellery and things like that. But there was that nagging thought in my head that my tarot creating days were not over.
Over the last while, that thought has been digging deeper and deeper into my brain. I’ve briefly thought about different ideas for a new tarot deck, and there is one idea that has stood out to me since finishing The Animism Tarot. But time will tell; I’ll continue to brainstorm and contemplate about the direction of this possible deck.. but I’m pretty sure that this idea won’t go away until it becomes completed…because that’s how it always works!
I deal with anxiety. A lot! My life is one worry after the next, and that kind of sucks. So I got my hands on The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook recently, because really, I don’t think I can really overcome something without really understanding it first. I haven’t read a lot of it yet, but these workbooks, like The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, are incredibly thorough and informative. Reading about different anxiety disorders and the questions that the book asks, I’m certain that I’m dealing with “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”..
“Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by chronic anxiety that persists for at least six months *but is unaccompanied by panic attacks, phobias, or obsessions.* You simply experience persistent anxiety and worry without the complicating features of other anxiety disorders. To be given a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, your anxiety and worry must focus on two or more stressful life circumstances (such as finances, relationships, health, work problems, or school performances) a majority of days during a six-month period. It’s common, if you’re dealing with generalized anxiety disorder, to have a large number of worries and to spend a lot of your time worrying. Yet you find it difficult to exercise much control over your worrying. Moreover, the intensity and frequency of the worry are always out of proportion to the actual likelihood of the feared events happening.
“In addition to frequent, hard-to-control worry, generalized anxiety disorder involves having at least three of the following six symptoms (with some symptoms present more days than not over the past six months):
- tense – feeling keyed up
– being easily fatigued
– difficulty concentrating
– muscle tightness
– difficulties with sleep”
Well, I can’t say that I necessarily suffer from depression, but anxiety sure makes things depressing! I really do appreciate this book though.. it’ll further discuss ways to deal with anxieties and maybe, fingers crossed, I can really use these methods in my life. I really need to push myself to read more.. without my worries distracting me!
Do you suffer from anxiety? How do you deal with it?
I’ve missed you, blog land! I’m away for the holidays, where the sun shines bright, palm trees are decorated with Christmas lights, and the only “snow” around here is made out of styrofoam (that will always amuse this Canadian.) No real snow for me this Christmas, but that’s okay when you’re surrounded by fluffy kitties.
I’m always impressed with those that do daily tarot readings. I used to try daily readings, but I don’t know if it’s the fibro brain that I have (okay, it totally is), but I found it very hard for the information from daily readings to “stick” with me through the day.
I do like to take my time with my readings though. I read the cards and when it’s over I’m also spending a lot more time contemplating over the reading as I try to think about my interpretations. Tarot notes are especially helpful and I find myself looking back on recent readings and scribbling down new notes as I reread everything. I still learn more as I go along and I guess now I like to take my time instead of jumping right into another reading.
Do you do daily readings? How do you incorporate the cards into your daily life?
My little painted rabbit was one of the first stone pendants I made.
It was small and simple, and actually, I still keep it with me, in memory of my little rabbit Lucy.
I started to paint little cats and little dogs, and they soon took over the skies as little angels.
Now I’m offering custom painted pet pendants.
I can’t wait to create more!
Even the grumpy ones.