Hectic Time of the Year

Often during the year there are busy moments, but I can’t help comparing them to this time of year – the lead up to Christmas. To me, this time of year feels more hectic than any other, especially in shopping centres, cafes, even simply driving around. It’s like there’s a panic in the air. Deadlines urgently have to be met, jobs cleared before people go on holidays, cooking treats made,Gingerbread.JPG and of course Christmas gifts bought. I find it hard to escape the chaotic energy buzzing around.

In amongst this busyness there are times when I find moments of peace within me, and in my own personal environment. This reminds me how this time of year doesn’t need so busy, and how restful and rejuvenating the sense of peace is when I don’t go into this hectic flow. Sure it’s busier with extra jobs of Christmas preparation but I want to approach this time of year with a harmonious mindset instead of being on edge with rushing around.Christmas tree

Peace on earth, had taken on a new meaning for me. While I’d like peace to be on earth, it’s a long way off and a challenge. What I can do is start with peace internally within me. And when I’m in this mindset I find it more harmonious to reflect on the year that was, releasing it to help make room for the New Year. Also in this mindset I find I reassess what’s important in my life, and how friends and family have influenced my year, and my life journey. I list off people and events to be grateful for, which enhance my inner sense of peace, which in turn evokes a sense of joy within me and I keep connected to my personal life flow. This all hits a deep root of what’s important for me at this time of year.

Merry Christmas, may this time be safe, peaceful, and a joyous time as 2017 comes to a close.

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

outside christmas trees

Lemons

Drawing and painting isn’t my art form, writing is. For some reason this is how my mind is wired, to see the world in stories and words. While, I’ve always struggled to learn how to draw and paint, (it doesn’t come easy for me) I’m drawn to trying to learn and develop this artistic skill.

The other month, I enrolled in a 10-week course. Each time I thought about going to the first class I’d preferred to go and stand in the corner of a room and cry. I didn’t, and I managed to make it to the first class, then the second, third and in fact I completed all ten classes with perfect attendance. But did I learn to draw and paint?

I did. I think. But the feeling of wanting to go stand in the corner and cry never managed to go away. I pushed through these emotions, I wanted to grow and face my fear, and my internal dialogue that was full of negativity. I was challenged every step and spent a lot of time not looking at other’s work so as not to compare myself. I needed to focus solely on trying my best, with the emphasis of not expecting to produce a masterpiece the first time, which wasn’t the purpose of me doing these classes, yet the internal expectation was innately there, even though I know I never write a story perfectly the first time. I’m comfortable with that. I know the process with writing. I don’t know this process with painting. And there are some differences with these artistic processes.

I write in solitude. Art class was with other people, and each stroke I made on the paper was in full sight. I wasn’t used to feeling so exposed or vulnerable when creating art. The last three weeks were about painting a still life of lemons on a canvas. I’m putting these stages out here publically not to get praise or feedback, but as a way to be vulnerable in my creation in all its imperfections, because the what I may perceive is wrong with it doesn’t really matter. I tried. It’s my first step on a much bigger journey. So here’s my first step of painting on canvas for the first time.

outline of lemonsFirst draw the still life on paper. Then transfer on canvas by scribbling charcoal on the back and transferring the image to the canvas – not to dissimilar to what I’d used to do in my early years of schooling. Then I covered the canvas in the first layer of acrylic paint. I wasn’t inspired to paint lemons. I’m used to choosing my creative topic. I questioned how hard was it to draw lemons? Hard. For me at least. I went home about to throw the canvas in the bin. All artists get to this point. Thanks to computers my novels don’t get ditched, but I have thrown out my stories I wrote when growing up.drawing-lemons.jpg

I went back for the next lesson. I added another layer of paint, shaping the lemons and more importantly showing myself a glimpse of the style of painting I was allowing to form. Bold. Modern. Colourful.

first coat of paint on lemons

The third lesson of painting lessons, I learnt about glazing. I touched up the colours to add depth. I finished. And if I had thrown my canvas in the bin after the first lesson, I would never have realised there is some skill there for me to develop.

lemons last coat of paint

And I’ve booked in for another 10 weeks with Splashout Studios.

I’d love people to share below the creative process when trying a new forms.

Thanks for reading my post,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com

 

 

Treat Yourself

 

“You treat yourself a lot,” a friend said to me recently.

“Well no one else will,’ was my reply.

This is the reality of adult life. Sure I get gifts at my birthday, Christmas, and throughout the year from family and friends but it’s the little spontaneous treats that can lift my spirits and help me to be motivated to keep persisting with the projects I’m working on. If I don’t treat myself then it won’t happen. But despite knowing this I also forget to treat myself, or try new treats, or mix it up for myself.

What do I mean by treats? My puppies get treats all the time. Often they get the same food treat and each time they react with surprise and joy and gratitude. That’s really the outcome I’m trying to create within myself. (But I’m not always wanting food treats.)

my puppies ready for a treat
Waiting for a treat.

Part of the key is for me to come up with a treat which is inexpensive, fun and spontaneous. Like when I’m at the supermarket and blueberries are on special and in season. A perfect treat for no reason except that I deserve it. Peonies are in season and their flowery faces call me, so I buy a small bunch and the cheer they provide in my home lasts for days. I walk bare feet along the beach right at the point where the sea wets the sand. I try a new café. I have a bath. I bake myself a banana cake and smear icing on the top.

Blueberries
Blueberries

There are so many ways I treat myself yet I forget to do it. I get busy, or I’m consumed by deadlines, or I’m exhausted. I’ve got all the excuses but really during these times I’m not in my natural life flow and so I’ve forgotten about me. That’s all right because at some point I’ll remember and I can adjust my pace, re-find my flow, and get back to giving myself the treats. For me that’s part of giving the treat to myself because it shows I’m in the flow of life. I’m relaxed, chilled and I see something that has meaning and will lift my spirit, even if it doesn’t need lifting.

Not only do I forget to treat myself even though I have a variety of ways to spoil myself, the act of rediscovering a treat I’ve not used for a long time is particularly up lifting and rejuvenating for my soul. For instance, recently while on holidays from my day job, feeling unmotivated to write, I decided I’d read evget consciousen though it was before 9am and reading is what I do in the afternoon. I set my phone to play music – Gratitude by David and Steve Gordon and I read. And read. And read. Then I remembered another treat I used to have. Spending the entire day reading. How decadent! A top shelf treat I’d long forgotten how to reach for – one that’s taken years to remember. I read Ali Walker’s book Get Conscious, perfect for someone like myself who is the constant busy bee and thinker.

Now I’ve remembered this treat in particular I’ll be aiming to do it more often. What treats to you enjoy? Are there any you’ve not given yourself of a long time? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Lilliana Rose

www.lillianarose.com