Chickens, The Critic, and a Train

Odd combo, wouldn’t you think? There is a connection, I assure you! The last couple of months have been a muddle for me. Well, a muddle AND a relief. I stepped down from teaching for a noble institution after ten years in order to get some headspace to explore the art world more.

I’ve had time to think, to explore, and try to do all with joy and love and not with the constant “should” guilt mentality.

My parents generously offered me room at the ol’ family manse to help me build up savings and get on my feet again. It’s been nice to be in a home, be closer with fam, and to be outside in the lovely back yard often.

I’ll be honest though: it’s been a weird transition, full of uncertainty. But the chickens, and a book have helped with that.

Chickens? Yes, time sitting in the backyard with our chickens has been one of the most therapeutic things. Their gentle noises soothe, and there’s nothing like walking outside to tend to them and have all eight of them run from their scratching and bug-picking just to flock to you, flapping their wings.

During this time I also chanced upon a book that has revealed a dark, almost comical monster.

The book is called The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. It is a 12 week retreat for anyone seeking to recover (or discover) their creativity. She holds that since we all came from a creator, we all have creativity in some way within us.

During the retreat, she helped expose my critic, my inner monster.

Yup that’s right, meet him, Black Bruised Blob.

With him identified -and knowing that God leads by our desires, by joy, peace, patience, and light- and not by cynicism, self-doubt, and critical digs- I felt like I really had done some spring cleaning.

Space was achieved almost immediately, though, I admit, he still tries to squeeze himself back in constantly!

However, with the dark blob identified, I felt like I could actually look forward with hopes and even dream about a future!

Gradually, I decided I was going to deliberately pursue a plan to make a living doing art. That got me doing what you see in the first picture: making a goal chart to “Spread Beauty and Make Money.” (The craft beer also helped. :-))

Recently, that’s evolved into

  • The main mission: Lead self and others to God by capturing and planting seeds of beauty in our lives so that we can all be happy in heaven for all eternity.
  • Get a side job to support myself while doing this.
  • Take master classes abroad to achieve this.

We’ll see where that get’s me, but for now, it’s freed me up to actually make time to go and see things that we all love and capture them for people.

Last month Big Boy came through and I was able to capture a few paintings of him stopping at Topeka’s Great Overland Station. I had hoped to sell a few of the paintings while I was down there, but that didn’t happen, but I was enriched in other ways! My grandma, mom, and sister came with me, and it ended up being a nice time together enjoying the scenery and eating lunch together.

Well that’s the journey for now! Thanks so much for reading!

Before you leave, I’d love it if you would check this item below. When you click the pictures/links below, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for helping me!

This book has been such a providential discovery! While I don’t necessarily agree with how Ms. Cameron says everything, her book is an EXCELLENT tool to rejuvenate and develop God-given talents.


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