Saturday, January 31, 2015

#110 out of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Share the good stuff!

"Doors" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.

When my friend and fellow art therapist, Martha Haeseler, told the folks at the VA where she was working, that she was going to retire, someone said “teach us everything you know before you go.” That made Martha wonder what she knew that she could teach before leaving.  She decided that the best thing she could leave behind would be some of the precepts that had guided her along the way; sort of a “Martha’s Rules for Living.” She made up cards with these rules, for anyone who would like one.  So here are Martha’s Rules For Living:  

Make art, and trust in the art materials
Find and hold onto the good
Tame the dragons
Bring your whole self to everything you do
Approach each day with curiosity and good will
Sometimes humour saves the day
Wash your brushes
Be kind, especially to yourself
Welcome the unexpected
Do not be afraid to feel your feelings
Persist until you find your second wind
All you need is love

I enjoyed reading Martha's List a great deal and realized that I might enjoy making my own list, because thinking about the "precepts you live by" can be interesting, and because they may change over time (a fun exercise, a bit like updating the 14 Secrets for a happy artist’s life).
So here's today's list of secrets for a happy life, the creating of which made me very happy.  Thank you Martha!

1. Develop a daily art practice
2. Always look for the good and if you can’t find it, create it
3. Clean up after yourself
4. Create art with your monsters
5. Be curious (don’t worry, we can never know everything)
6. Practice kindness as much as possible (it’s always possible)
7. Have adventures
8. Love what you do
9. Share what you love, share the good stuff

Thursday, January 08, 2015

#109 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; 4-7-8 breath.

"Heart Artists" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
A lot of our suffering and our moments of NOT having a happy artist's life have to do with anxiety about the future, feeling worried about what may happen one day.  This can cause us to lose sleep and affect our health on every level.

So here's the coolest little intervention, which reduces anxiety, encourages relaxation as well as an overall sense of well being, written about in a very understandable way on Byrdie's Blog and then demonstrated in a video by Dr. Andrew Weil.  

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

#108 of a thousand ways to have a happy artist's life; Gift Your Art.

"Stories are told to us" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Here's a way to create a happy artist's life which combines generosity and daily art practice!  Read on...

I've been puzzling how to incorporate my daily art practice into a creative deed 365, as per Gretchen Miller's Creative Deed 365, since in a way posting my art every day on facebook and over at the 14 Secrets blog was a creative deed in itself. But then it came to me, I could send out a digital version of my morning pages to random recipients in my address book. Why not?  What do you think?

If you would like to receive a random creative deed, leave me a message here in the comments.