Posts Tagged With: Inspiration

MY PLACE IN THE SAND

Do you remember the doggie-paddle; the canine swimming technique copied solely to keep even the simplest of human heads above water?  

Well, I’ve spent most of my life doing it.

And apparently while I was doing this desperate and undignified dance, and expending the endless energy required just to keep my feet paddling, my lungs inflated, and my big fat head afloat, life had somehow slipped right. . . on. . . by.

I was so busy treading life’s tumultuous waters that I failed to see the lifelines that were all around me. I was so frantically intent on staying up, that I inadvertently forgot about standing up.

But today is a new day and I have finally reached the shore! This rudderless wonder now resides contentedly on the soft and yielding warmth of a safe, new beach. My exhausted paddling feet are now retired deep beneath fine, cool granules of pure white sand, while once heavy shoulders blush in appreciation at the sun’s affections. New eyes look at the ocean today and through remembered treacherousness, they now see beauty. My heartbeat has slowed and my soul is quietly and gradually healing. 

I am very protective of my little stretch of beach. I’ve spent a lifetime paddling my way, earning my way, to this treasure.

This is my time . . . and this is my place . . . where loving and compassionate friends gather to uplift, heal, and celebrate life . . . and one another.

So, when I extend my hand to you in invitation, it is because you are my friend and can be trusted to respect my priceless little home here in the sand.

Even Heaven’s greatest delight is in the sharing.

So I thank you for joining me.

Now please take off your shoes.

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Categories: Humor, Inspiration/Motivation, Mental Health, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

WHEN PAINTING . . .

I went to an art show recently and felt just like Dorothy did when she first saw The Emerald City. It was magical! I am so inspired by their “Homage” exhibit that I’ve decided to pay homage to them by painting my interpretation of the yellow brick road and Dorothy’s ruby slipper and gifting it to the owner of the Rivers Edge Gallery. 

But honestly, I’ve never painted a thing in my life.

Oddly enough, I have the art supplies in my bedroom closet.

In December I purchased some stuff for a friend and bought extra for me, although I’m not  sure why. But the weeks passed, and turned into months, and each time I opened my closet door, I saw the paints, brushes, and canvases.

“Julia, bring us out into the light! Use us!” They taunted me.

“I’m afraid! I can’t! I don’t know what to do with you!” I replied and promptly closed the door.

But, now inspired, I reluctantly begin.

One thing becomes crystal clear: I can’t draw a shoe or a brick. I begin with a smudgy, yellow, abstract road. But something is off and I can’t figure out what. I try again and again.

Frustrated, I put it aside and go watch television. As I flip through the channels, I see a mountain scene with a winding road, and a vast blue sky.

Excited, I return to the dining room table to paint another canvas. This time I add the sky and the picture gains depth. I go out and buy a sticker of a high heel shoe and “MacGyver” it with some red glitter paint and then glue it to a toothpick so it will protrude from the canvas.

Now covered in paint and tickled pink,  I complete my somewhat juvenile rendition of Oz’s yellow brick road.

Okay, so it isn’t a masterpiece.  I can live with that. And I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Whether you’re creating your first painting . . . or painting the canvas of your life, remember these simple rules:

  • There are no rules. Only advice. And it never hurts to listen; it might even save you some trouble. Either way, paint your picture the way you want to.
  •  Don’t get trapped by your own labels. I had to stifle my inner voice that said, “I’m a writer, not a painter!”
  •  There’s no avoiding it, things have to come out of the closet.  🙂
  •  Proper lighting is vital. Good painting and good living both require clear vision.
  •  Sometimes you have to briefly step away to gain a new perspective. A patch of sky, (or a breath of fresh air), can bring new ideas and help you to focus.
  •  It’s good to improvise. Be flexible. Embrace your mistakes. Have fun!
  •  If you don’t like your picture, just start over.
  •  And finally, when you gift a painting, you’re gifting a part of yourself, and the recipient will surely smile in appreciation of your efforts.

And that, my friends, is priceless.

4”x4” acrylics, “Homage to Rivers Edge Gallery, Wyandotte, MI”, by Julia Kovach, Writer and Artist.

Categories: Adventures, Art, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

THE RIGHT SHOES AND A BOX OF BANDAIDS

Recently, I heard, “Oh, Julia! You’re so strong! You quit smoking after 30 years, you overcame a lifetime of prescription drug addiction, you quit drinking soda, you lost so much weight, you’ve had so many losses and you’ve let go of so much pain!”

I just smiled.

“I love you, you silly fool, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Look at how incredibly WEAK I was! I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for over 30 years, I popped pills and lived in a fog to escape from life, I ate my way through 195 pounds of comfort food, and I clung desperately to my bitterness and grief. I was one of the WEAKEST people I ever knew!”

Strength is a choice.

You don’t have to be born strong, or be a rock star, or be someone incredibly noble, and you don’t have to be super extraordinary. All you have to do is decide . . . and try. And it starts with one single, tiny, baby step in the right direction. Sometimes it’s literally putting one foot in front of the other and remembering to breathe while you’re doing it.

You know what? There IS something worse than making a mistake and falling down, and that is not trying at all. Shoot, a little humiliation and a skinned knee aren’t going to stop this old gal! Besides, I’ve learned to wear humiliation pretty well; all it takes is the right shoes and a box of Band-Aids!   

So, friends, while you’re out in the world today, if you encounter someone who is a bit too loud, or kind of pushy, or really obnoxious – try to remember that those people are usually the MOST frightened and insecure of all. Try to be patient and not to judge them too harshly. Remember, sometimes being brave and being strong have to be learned and practiced. Maybe we can teach by example through kindness and patience?

And if you’re afraid . . . that’s okay, I’m standing right next to you; just take my hand.

Categories: Addiction, Grief/Healing, Humor, Inspiration/Motivation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

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