Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week Two: My 70 Day Commitment-Discipline and Perseverance

In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance. 
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I know from experience the above statement is 100% truth. I can be so excited for a project/goal...gather everything I need, write down the steps it takes me to get there, etc. etc. But unless I WORK and PERSEVERE through all the muck...all the times I want to QUIT, throw in the towel...say I have had ENOUGH...the goal will never be reached.

Sixteen years ago this June...I completed a full, 26.2 mile marathon. The Mayor's Midnight Sun in Anchorage, Alaska as a part of the Leukemia Society's Team in Training.

Yep, that's me at approx. Mile 17.(I am the one running not the lady in the purple shorts...lol) I had just ran through those gorgeous pine trees you see behind us and was making my way to the city of Anchorage where I knew my sweet family would be! They gave me a high five and a quick hug as I went by. Talk about SUPPORT! Wow! That helped me so much!!

When I look back to my marathon days(I ran one more and completed a Sprint Triathlon)what kept me going...what helped me reach my goals was DISCIPLINE and PERSEVERANCE. I not only repeated those words over and over throughout my training...I had them embroidered on a sweatshirt. They became my way of life.

That, I have come to realize, is what's lacking in my life today. 

Last week I shared my goals with you over the next 70 days. Why 70 days? My daughter and I are headed to France in June and I want nothing more than to lose ten pounds by the day our flight leaves. I KNOW I can do it...I have done it before but I am realizing that without discipline and perseverance I am never going to make it.

And that just won't do.

Don't ever give in. Don't ever give up. Never surrender even if you've had enough.
Franchine Chiar
So my first week of my commitment was...ok. I walked, drank my water and would eat well for awhile then give in to something that sounded good (chocolate eggs and strawberry shortcakes!)
I was mad at myself more times than not and eventually became depressed and hopeless. Yes, I get that way when I don't honor myself. And lately I haven't been honoring myself at all.

But last night I told myself that in my second week of my 70 day commitment things would be different. So I took a hot bath and was in bed by 11! A big step for me...I love staying up late which leads to late night binge eating. The bath was a wonderful treat, helped me relax and not eat:)

I woke feeling refreshed this morning and ready to take on the world. With my pedometer on I gave myself an eight thousand step goal for my walk...which I accomplished! Go me!! I find when I start my day off with healthy choices it's easier to keep making good ones throughout my day. 

That's me at the end of my first marathon in Alaska. Even though it's been nearly twenty years since I crossed that finish line I will NEVER forget the FEELING I had!! NEVER. It was one of the most incredible moments of my life. I had goal, I planned, I trained, I PERSEVERED and I FINISHED! 

My life changed that day in more ways than I can count. This week I am going back there...to that feeling...to all the hard work and time I put in to get my body in shape...I AM ready for Week 2. I am READY to reach my goals!!

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Happy Page -My process

"May we sit with our tools and honor each messy, sacred moment with them."  -Pixie Campbell

I LOVE getting messy with paint and ink and stamps and molding paste and...well my list goes on and on!! Here is a peek into my process...

Despite the lovely bright color of orange...I rarely use it. Hmmmm...not quite sure why but I don't. Anyway...I started my piece with a bright orange then added a bit of yellow to create a lighter color. As you can see I had fun swiping an old motel key through my paint.

 Turquoise is ALWAYS my go-to color...so I filled in most of the white on both pages with my FAVE paintbrush EVER!! 

If you don't have these brushes go here right now and purchase them. You won't ever regret it:) 

So here is my page looking all messy and amazing and needing so much more...so I add a few swipes of light yellow...another go-to color of mine.

Ever since I found  Dylusions spray inks a page isn't complete without at least a spritz. Oh and STENCILS. They are a must. This one looks like chicken wire...and to be honest the only way to really use this stencil is with spray ink. It is very delicate and acrylic paint doesn't work too well (unless your brush is VERY dry).

Next I took a Native American looking stencil and placed it on both pages, added a few strips of washi tape (I love washi!!) along with a few scribbles with my oil pastel crayons. (Robin Marie Smith inspired)

One of my favorite things about spray inks is how they leave a fine mist in random places on my pages. PERFECT!

Most times I add random stamps and doodles on my pages...but this time I liked it just as it was. The inspiration for finishing the page came from my Happy Mail stash I had received the day before...a stamped circle along with two quotes about flowers and memories. I then went through my stash of images I had cut-out from last year's calendar and found the house and flowers. The flowers didn't have stems so I took a painted piece of an index card from my Happy Mail stash and cut them in wavy strips.

VOILA! A really bright, happy and FUN layout!

"I don't want to be a diluted, half-baked version of the artist I know I was born to be. I don't want to fade out, fit in, or fix the broken things and change. I want to inhabit this skin and linger, stay tethered to this gift for as long as I'm allowed, for as long as life permits."  -Anne Carmack

Thanks for looking!! I appreciate you and your comments.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Commitment for the next 70 Days

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” 
― Peter F. Drucker

My Word for this year is Commit. I promised myself to COMMIT to all kinds of things...but mostly to my Art and my Health. This time last year I had Committed to working out, eating healthy and was on a roll!! I had lost nearly 15 pounds, wearing clothes I hadn't in years and feeling SO GOOD about myself. 

But then, like I always do...while I was gaining more and more momentum...I just stopped. 

Tracking my food.
Working out.

And as I stopped doing all those things...stress set in and i began to eat and not care some more. But the thing is...I really DO care. But for whatever reason I don't care ENOUGH. It's always been just one long vicious cycle with me. When good things happen...I freeze...not knowing how to react, go into a tailspin and take one big nose dive.

This is one of my favorite photos of myself. I was doing SO GOOD here!! I was down nearly 15 pounds and wearing a dress I had bought to celebrate my success. 

The funny thing is...while I remember feeling FABULOUS this day...I also remember telling myself I still had such a long way to go. NUTS when I think about it now. I want to be here again so darn BAD!!!

So as I began gaining one pound then four pounds, etc., etc....I kept telling myself that it was no big deal and I would get it off again soon. Every Monday I would START and COMMIT myself again to working out and eating right. 

All of that is well and good but unless you have a plan and then actually FOLLOW THROUGH with it...you will fail miserably.

So here I am today...all fifteen pounds back on my body and feeling like crud. 


This is a photo of Emma and I last week at Family Camp in Mesa, Arizona...what a wonderful time we had!! But look at me!!! I was so uncomfortable and out of shape here. 

My sweet girl Emma had just finished her 49 day journey at Anasazi. As part of that journey we were invited to spend two and half days in the Wilderness with her. On our one full day there Emma had us pick up a rock at the bottom of a foothill (looked like a mountain to me!) and as we climbed up to the top we were supposed to think of one thing we wanted to let go of. I had an idea of what I wanted to let go of but as we hiked it became more and more clear to me...so much so that I ended up angry enough to summit without help! (it was quite steep and SO MANY BOULDERS and I was EXHAUSTED and weak!!!) 

This is not the mountain we hiked up but VERY similar!!

Image here

Anyway...as I climbed I kept my head down...I just didn't want to see how far I had to go. When I thought we may be near the summit I lifted my head and realized we had quite a ways left....my mind screamed..."YOU CAN"T DO THIS LESLIE!!" Silly me started listening to my mind and I found myself ready to shout up to my family..."Let's just stop here...it's almost to the top!!! Why do we need to make it to the top?? Nothing much different there than here."

Before I could get that out though...my HEART said "STOP!" This is what you DO every.single.time. Leslie!! IT'S WHAT YOU DO! and it's WHY you are stagnant in so many areas of your life. YOU STOP when it gets hard. JUST when you are at the goal...YOU QUIT. You think...oh I made it this far...what's the difference between here and there?? It's HUGE!! That's what it is!! It's the difference between winners and losers!!"

I literally stopped for a moment. Why I had I not seen that before?? It's TRUE. I ALWAYS stop before I reach my goal!! It's that way in my art, my weight, when I clean house, create...EVERYTHING!!! If it gets too uncomfortable...I'm out!

I was more determined than ever to summit that day...and I DID!! The view was breathtaking and I honestly couldn't believe I did it!!!! My sweet girl had a very special ceremony at the top then told us to take some quiet time before we threw our rocks off the top. As I thought about all that got me to this moment I realized that if I TRULY committed that day there was no way I would fail. I mean here I was on top of a mountain with the three people that mean the world to me!!!!  

Us at Family Camp. LOVE these three!!!!

So here I am nearly 2 weeks later and ready to share my COMMITMENT with you. One of the best ways I know how to be successful is being open and honest with others...so today I commit to weekly updates on my blog, photos and sharing my heart with you. This week I commit to daily walks...I love the way I FEEL when I am outside moving my body!!!

My sweet Em and I leave for PARIS in just 70 days!! We have been planning our trip for over a year now (we are going with the HS french club)...so in the next 70 days here are my goals!!

*Log my meals daily
*Drink at least 8 glasses of water
*take my Curves vitamins twice daily
*Workout at Curves 3-4 times a week
*Walk at least 4-5 times a week outside
*check in weekly on my blog
*weigh myself weekly
*Lose 10 pounds (one size)

“Don't ever give up. 
Don't ever give in. 
Don't ever stop trying. 
Don't ever sell out. 
And if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment, 
pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off.
But never, ever, ever give up.” 
― Richelle E. GoodrichEena, The Tempter's Snare

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rekindle Our Hearts:30 Days of Gratitude

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."  -Albert Einstein

Spring is COOOMMMMIINNNG!!!! And boy or boy am I READY!! While we didn't have a ton of snow this year (not like those of you from the East Coast...Bless you all for enduring that) but here in Northwest Missouri it can be bitterly cold...the kind of cold that seeps into your bones and takes a LONG time to warm up. Add lack of sunshine and gale force winds and you can see why Spring can't come soon enough!!

Soooo....I am in the mood to CELEBRATE by pouring out my Heart daily in a gratitude journal. It's been awhile since I did that and I think Spring is the perfect time to start this daily habit again. I first heard about the practice of daily gratitude journal from this book...

 The author Sarah Ban Breathnach appeared on the Oprah Show back in the 1990's and the minute I heard about her and her book and her idea of gratitude I KNEW it was something I had to read (and try)! If you don't have your copy...I encourage you to purchase this...money well spent!!

I have kept my own Gratitude Journal off and on for years...sometimes in an actual journal, other times jotted on a piece of scrap paper. Regardless of where I write down those 5 things...each and every time I do my Heart swells with peace, love and gratefulness for all the ABUNDANCE in my life!

Beginning Wednesday April 1st, join me for 30 Days of Gratitude. Each day I will post inspiring quotes, links, images and more in my Facebook group Mind.Body. Soul. Your job is to create 30 mini cards...you can use index cards, Project Life cards (the blank ones), ATC cards...anything small! Each day we will write down at least 5 things we are grateful for on our cards. By the end of April we will have stack of 150 things we are grateful for!! Hellloooo Happiness!!:)

I  hope you will join me for this journey as we rekindle our Hearts.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Heart of Peace Cards-Step by Step

"Only when one is connected to one's inner core is one connected to others. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through solitude."  -Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Writer

The winter has been cold and long. I am ready for sunlight, warm breezes and flowers! Flowers represent new growth, life and all things beautiful. These past few months I have been involved with the Seven Paths program at Anasazi...talk about growth...WOW! My heart has expanded in ways I never thought possible. And while I still have a ways to go (don't we all) I have promised myself and my family to have a Heart of Peace rather than a Heart of War.

Inspired by my new way of living and to remind me what I need to do to live with a Heart of Peace I created a set of 8 "Heart" tags...just the right size to keep with me when I need an instant "growth spurt":).

I started with 8-2.5x5 inch white tags from Hobby Lobby. I layed them side by side and glued random bits of similar colored paper and book paper on each one.

Then using various colors of Dylusions inks and assorted stencils I added a second layer to my tags. This is always my favorite part of the process as I LOVE stencils and inks! The complete randomness of the drips and sprays makes my heart beat a little faster...lol!

My third layer involved another color of ink for each tag. Instead of using a stencil...this time around I puddled the ink at the top then sprayed water on it and watched as it snaked it's way down the tag. Delicious!

While those dried I rifled through my stash of Happy Mail (mail I have received from artist friends) searching for handmade background papers, pulled out my BRAND NEW Dina Wakley heart stamps, Stazon ink and got busy stamping out hearts. Once those dried I cut them out. Then I took eight different washi tapes and adhered one small strip on the bottom right corner of each tag. Washi tape is the very BEEEESSST!! (said in my best Nacho Libre voice)

Here are a few of the hearts along with the fourth layer on my tag...background stamps. I LOVE how just by stamping here and there the tags take on an even messier/shabby look.

From there I just enjoyed the process of placing the right heart onto the right tag along with choosing eight different reminders for my Heart. Those came from the amazing and oh, so inspirational Brave Girls Club and Soul School.

I am taking notes.
 I am thinking.

I am working through this.

I am perfectly imperfect.

I am improving.

Here are all eight...

I am asking. I am loved. I am a work in progress.

 If you have never worked in a group like this...I encourage you to do so...it's just so relaxing to take your little bits and pieces and create a set of these. If you don't have tags you can use ATC cards, blank Project Life cards or even card stock you hand cut to a smaller size.

Whatever you do...make sure to take time and CREATE. It brings me to a place, that no matter how hard my day has been...it fills my heart with light and peace. Enjoy!

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