Sunday, March 27, 2011
YES! I was facing a week full to the brim with projects, extra jobs, violin lessons, trips out of town, studying, ALLERGIES & ANXIETY! BUT, what a sense of accomplishment I have experienced over the past week as I conquered my CRAZINESS with CREATIVY. I gave myself over to my artistic side and enjoyed a week of peaceful bliss found in a painting! Yes I am crazy enough to do all that NEEDS to be done in one week and then add just one MORE thing in the mix. The craziest thing, I accomplished it all, with a smile on my face, and here I sit writing to you!
My week was looking busy, and I knew the only way to relieve the anxiety that would inevitably overcome me, was to start the week with a blank canvas and painting project in mind. As I looked at the blank canvas, the invasive thoughts of what I needed to be doing kept creeping in, but quickly, I brushed the negative naggings aside and thought about what it was I wanted to create. Slowly, I could see in my minds eye what I wanted to create. I lovingly chalked the outline on the canvas, and with my brush in hand, and a quiver of excitement I began the background. Even though the background consisted of browns and blacks, the stroke of the brush and the rhythm of the movement lulled me into a world of bliss and calmness.
As I squeezed the colors from their tubes, a sense of peace, tranquility, and complete awe overwhelmed me as I looked at the beauty and diversity of the colors.
I started with the leaves of my fanciful 'dandelion' using greens and yellows whose names I love! Is that crazy? Who would not fall in love with names like Buttercup, Blue Mist, Yellow Citron, Italian Sage, and Poetry Green? BEAUTIFUL, imaginative, and creative names. I began the filling in, and then shading, swirling, and mixing of the colors; it was such an overwhelming feeling, I am sure I must have cackled with excitement like one of the three witches from Macbeth! I know I was making enough sound of pure enjoyment and delight to catch my husband's attention! He hesitantly entered the room and with a quick gaze at the source of my amusement, he commented, "You look so professional!" I wondered if it had to do with the painting on the canvas or more with the paint covering me from head to toe. Nevertheless, it was pure music to my ears and a kick in the seat of my tired pants to continue on and complete my masterpiece. So, next came the magical, mystical, blue swirly petals. Blues with lovely names like Cobalt blue, Amish blue, Slate blue, and Berry blue.
Fast and furious the brush did move, as if it had a mind of its own. I was swirling, twirling, spinning, and moving to the picture in my mind. I was transported from the anxiety which had been looming over me to a world of whimsy and wonder, and I laughed and danced to my favorite tunes by Frank Sinatra as I dabbed and dotted the final touches on my crazy, anxiety, stress reliever of my 'piece de resistance.' When all was said and done, I felt calm and ready to tackle the rest of my very hectic week. SO! the question is: Was it crazy to add one more seemingly unnecessary project to my week? With a grin, a belly laugh, a new painting and a smudge of Cobalt blue still on my cheek, I give you a resounding NO!
I heard a great quote last night while watching a movie and it goes like this: "If you don't wake up tomorrow, if it turns out that today is your last day on earth, will you be proud of what you've done in this life?" I want to be proud of what I have accomplished. To me that means enjoying the journey every step of the way, and using the tools and talents I have been given to make that possible! NOT crazy, BUT super smart, and OH SO ENJOYABLE!
I love the verse that reads: "May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope." ( Romans 15: 13) So, as you begin your week, if you are already grinding your teeth, white-knuckling everything you touch, or feeling the temptation to give your child, teenager, husband, or coworker a ten-finger necklace, CONSIDER a project! Whether it be painting, journaling, blogging, knitting, crocheting, cooking, or whatever captures your fancy, I daresay you will start your week off with a smile on your face, a more relaxed state of mind, and a laugh to go on!
Living, Laughing, and Love to you,
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Do you know I love it when people say, 'GIRL YOU ARE CRAZY'! I take that as a compliment! REALLY! It means I have made them laugh! I love the fact that my friends will belly laugh with me, and that I will in return give a good SNORT of appreciation. I love Woody Allen's quote, although I would like to rewrite it: I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose. I do believe when something is THAT FUNNY, whatever you are consuming SHOULD definitely come out of your nose! : ) There are so many wonderful things that have been said about laughter! Here are just a few: a fundamental stress reliever, a visual expression of happiness, being tickled, the best medicine, an internal workout, and on and on! NOW, with all of that said, HOW can crazy, maniacal laughter not be good for you?
It is amazing to me the number of studies that have been done on the benefits of laughter- CRAZY in fact. Just google the word laughter and you will be amazed at the multitude of articles that pop up. I will share just a few of the benefits I have read about!
1) Laughter can help relieve pain”! Now, I find this amusing.... but I do plan on putting this to the test the next time I stub my toe, or fall off my shoes (oh yes my friends, it happens more often that I care to mention!) or when I get a smack upside the head for a 'stupid moment'! BUT, seriously, I have found that when I have a headache, or cramps which I shall not discuss, lest I offend any male readers, I do make a sincere effort to find something to laugh about, OR better yet, I will call one of my CRAZY friends, (you know who you are), and I find that laughing with them or even on my own (although that does raise questions in the minds of those watching me!) does take my mind off the pain, and focuses my attention on joy!
2) “Laughter brings greater happiness”! Now, being the wise acre that I am, I simply say DUH! I mean REALLY? How many individuals do you know, who are constantly whining and complaining, nary a laugh to be found, and you would describe them as a happy, joyful individual? I always want to ask the question, “What's 'a matter “EEYORE?” ”Lost your tail again?” Laughing brings beauty to your face, joy to your eyes, a wellspring of happiness from within. I would rather laugh and have greater happiness, than have someone ask me, “MA'AM, would you like some cheese with that 'WHINE'?”
3) Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones”! BINGO... give laughter the million dollar prize! I find at my most stressful moments, the best thing to do is breathe, say a prayer, and then find something joyful to focus on! A joke, a funny picture, another phone call to a CRAZY friend, (again, you DO know who I am talking about!) I had a situation this week where I did not get a pertinent message about the cancellation of a job, so I drove all the way to the destination (an hour and a half away), promptly went into panic mode when I discovered NO one else was there, and naturally assumed I was in the wrong place! So, I sat in my car for a half hour, breathing into a paper bag, prayed, found the phone number I needed, got the info I needed, that I would have loved to have had BEFORE I started my drive (giggle), and then LAUGHED. I was honestly very thankful that I had just had a lovely peaceful drive, I had listened to great uplifting music, I had a BEAUTIFUL drive with much to look at, thanks to the time change...and all my stress started to turn around. I called one of my CRAZY friends who shall remain nameless, love you Nicole! Hee hee. We laughed and then as I was driving through Gulf Breeze, I saw a 'carnival' with a beautiful Ferris wheel! I stopped my car (my husband did ask to clarify that point) and snapped a few shots. SO YOU SEE, what I would have missed without making an unnecessary trip. I laughed and no longer felt the stress that I was feeling when I thought I was going nutty at being at the wrong place for a job!
4) “Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.” I like this laughter benefit. Today I am going to work on my 6 pack abs! YES, at this moment I am laughing! Who in their right mind would want to exercise their diaphragm and abs, and shoulders, by straining, stretching and heaven forbid 'glistening' while lifting weight and doing sit ups? I know the junk in my trunk is not benefiting from laughter, which is why I plan on taking a walk on this gorgeous spring day, but an 'internal workout', followed by a sense of relaxation is my kind of workout. I shall find things to laugh about as I walk, again passers by may wonder... but when they see my 6 pack abs, they will join in the laughter!
I am thankful that I have been blessed with a joyful spirit and a propensity toward laughter. I found a great quote online yesterday: "Don't whine - laugh." ~ Roy Castle. Short, sweet, and too the point! Life is TOO short to walk around like an Eeyore- and here is a great Eeyore quote:“
"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. “And freezing. However, we haven't had an earthquake lately."
I would I rather be a Tigger, who sings:
“A wonderful thing is a Tigger;
A Tigger's a wonderful thing.
Their tops are made out of rubber,
their bottoms are made out of spring
They're bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy,
fun, fun, fun, fun, fun,
The most wonderful thing
about Tiggers is:
I'm the only one!”
Yes, I would rather be 'Tiggerish” and that is how I would like to be remembered! Fun, full of laughter, and bringing joy to those around me.
So if you are in town today, and you see me driving alone in my car, LAUGHING maniacally, call me CRAZY, but know that I am: stress free, pain free, happier than a pig in a mud puddle, and working on my 6 pack abs. Why don't you join me in my effort to make the world go round on laughter!
Love, Joy, Peace, and MUCH Laughter,
If this DOES NOT MAKE YOU LAUGH, I am worried! ; )
Credit to goes to the following article for the benefits of laughter: http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm