Dear ART at 26

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Dear Art at 26,

Whew, Chil-lay! 25 did NOT go as planned in more ways than one. But, you made it here and you DESERVE to be here. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to smile. You deserve to thrive. Why? Because with all that life has thrown you this past year, you’ve still managed to find the silver lining in a lot of crazy experiences. Also, you deserve everything just for simply existing. That’s one new lesson that you’ve definitely learned this past year. Surviving IS doing something. It takes courage to just make it through the day when everything and everyone seems to just not get it. You survived 25 and I’m so proud of you for that because at times it did not seem like the easiest thing to do.

I don’t know if we would call this stage “getting old” or “shit happens”, but a lot of all that has happened, and it was A. Lot! Life will life. Don’t forget that. Also, don’t forget that Art will make Art out of the materials she is given. It wasn’t and won’t always be easy but it’s necessary. It is essential that you don’t forget who you are because of what has happened in your life. It is important to remember that while you will change in the coming years, your core essence still remains the same and always get back to her when you feel like you have lost your way.

So, yeah, as much as we thought we grew from 24 to 25, 25 to 26 kind of took the cake. We’re not in competition or nothing, but 25 showed out with the tests and lessons thrown our way. But, made it from the bottom, now we’re halfway there! Whatever there is… So with all that growing, please, please, please find ways to document, document, document! Because you WILL need reference materials as you continue to go through life. Think of it as your personal life cheat sheet J.

Oh, yeah, that thing you do where you find little pockets of time and space to be selfish, even in the times of storm, continue to do that. You’ll need that. You’ll need those moments of clarity and solace to be able to operate effectively. This year has been a little more bearable because of those moments of selfishness. You can’t take care of everyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself.

That brings of a very great point… Trust. Your. Growth. You’ve come very far. You have to trust who you are now. You’ve worked hard to get here and it’s important not to revert back because you continue to look back. I know it’s easier said than done, but while we appreciate who you once were, it’s time to celebrate who you are now and where you are going. Just because you may go through a period where you aren’t actively moving forward (Because of life), doesn’t mean you are going backward. You have to trust your growth more than that.

Give yourself space to think AND listen. Sometimes your body is simply trying to talk to you, but if you don’t have the ear to hear, you can miss out on some important information. That also brings me to an important point that you should never forget. Your peace of mind is PRICELESS. If something doesn’t feel right, it is better to be safe than sorry. You know when something is not right. Always be your strongest advocate and make sure you keep records of everything. You never know when you may need them.

Don’t forget that there are people waiting for you to let them in. You don’t always have to be the strong one. You have more support than you know if you’d allow yourself to be open enough to accept. I know you and I know you won’t even go overboard (It’s not our style).

This year has been crazy, but it’s felt good in a lot of ways. I want you to know that God has you, your family has you, your friends have you and most importantly, you have you. You are on a winning team. You are the winning team. I can’t tell you what to expect this next ART year, but I can tell you that I have full confidence in your ability to make it through and doing a great fucking job because I believe in you.

Remember just how much you rose to the occasion this year. Honestly, you showed out. The growth jumped out! It wasn’t easy, but you found a way and made it work. A resourceful queen! I’m so very proud of you for everything you’ve done.

Also knowing when to ask for help and when to make it on your own. That’s a gift to know yourself that well. It’s a blessing. Keep on using your wisdom in those situations.

Just because this year wasn’t the easiest, doesn’t mean you have to have a tainted idea of this next year. Instead, I want you to be hopeful. Careful, but hopeful. This year will manifest greatly.

One big takeaway I can’t Thank God enough for you going into a new ART year is the vision! You found out what it feels like to really want something and that’s a beautiful thing. This year Will Be the year a lot of your hard work pays off. The vision is clear and what is yours, is yours. You know this all feels different and it’s a blessing to be able to pass the baton to someone so ready for all these blessings ready to rain on you.

So, go into this new ART year with great expectations, an open mind, determination, graciousness, faith and love.

I love you soo much.

P.S. Back-up EVERYTHING!

Love,

Art at 25

Thank You, Next.

I think it’s important to note that some things are irreplaceable. Without them, things will just not be the same. No matter if there are millions of that one thing, you won’t ever be able to get that special one you once you had back. And this fact sucks. It sucks so bad that you may cry. You may cry and always compare everything else to what once was, but you eventually have to face reality. With reality, you may have to mourn or celebrate the experience or object, but eventually, you have to let go of the attachment and find a way to move forward. It’s not easy, but necessary to make room for a new thing. Not the same thing, but a new thing. A new normal.

So, today, I’m mourning the loss of a pinnacle item in my creative life, my beloved laptop. The way I’m going to do that is to share all the memories I had with it before I let it go. This may be absolutely too personal, but I need to thank it and I decided I would share in its celebration because there would be nothing worse than making my creative being suffer because of a series of unfortunate events.

Instead, my laptop would want me to find a way to post anyways and continue the creative and educational legacy we started from the day we met. So, before I start with my mourning/celebration process, I’d like to credit Tidying Up by Marie Kondo because watching her show will hopefully help me get this closure… although I can’t hug my laptop and hold it close….*Goes to cry for a second*. Also, I’m totally fine with being called dramatic for my processes. HOWEVER, I’ll always live in my truth, no matter how extra it may seem. Tuh! I’d also like to note that about a year ago when I blogged about a hard reset, this is NOT what I meant… Anywho, let’s get started…

  • First and Foremost, thank you for being a reliable resource for me to get my thoughts out when physically writing wouldn’t do the trick.
  • Thank you for the countless amount of hours we spent together watching The Office.
  • Thank you for housing thousands upon thousands of my beloved pictures that I’m going to miss so dearly. My Pictures :-(.
  • Thank you for helping me graduate from college!
  • Thank you for helping me learn Spanish in order to go to Spain, TWICE!
  • Thank you for being with me on late nights when I was looking and searching for my first internships and jobs.
  • Thank you for always having my playlists ready to go on Spotify.
  • Thank you for being a getaway.
  • Thank you for handling my multi-tabs when my head was all over the place and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do next.
  • Thank you for being there for me on nights I couldn’t sleep and decided to start a new project instead.
  • Thank you for holding some of my most precious thoughts and allowing me a blank canvas to create as I pleased.
  • Thank you for being a tool that was utilized in my personal and professional growth.
  • Thank you for always waiting to die until I found the charger.
  • Thank you for being a superior computer that allowed me to be an efficient remote worker when needed.
  • Thank you for being an encyclopedia of some of my most cherished moments…
  • Thank you for teaching me an invaluable lesson because of your tragic loss…
  • Thank you for lasting as long as you did, especially when sometimes I didn’t take care of you as well as I should have.

So, yeah, thank you Laptop. I’ll miss you and all the memories you held dearly. Maybe the universe will have you return to me unscathed. However, if that should not be in our future, thank you for everything and I promise to make sure I take care of my new bae better and back up everything…. Later gator.

Love,

Art Undone.

Falling Back In Love at Barnes & Noble

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While sitting at a table in Barnes & Noble reading “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo, I hear my phone buzz and get the text that the book I just ordered online for pickup in order to save $3.00 is now ready. I pick up my new book and start heading towards the door. I can’t help but remember the one time I was practically running out of this exact same store to make sure no one saw me crying.

I was fresh out off a breakup and needed to get out of the house and decided that re-igniting my passion for reading would help me through the process. It sounded like a brilliant idea at the time. So, there I was searching for a literary getaway on the brink of tears. I searched for 30 minutes before the tears in my eyes got too heavy to soak back up. So, deciding I wouldn’t go home empty-handed, I picked a book that slightly looked entertaining and was also on Oprah’s booklist. I just knew I couldn’t go wrong with something OPRAH suggested. I purchased the book in a hurry and practically ran to my car to listen to Cranes in the Sky and cry my way home.

This story isn’t about the breakup. It’s more so about the fact that I picked a completely crappy book that I could never finish and to this day I’ll never understand how, even in my state of bewilderment, picked such an un-inspiring, boring book. Listen, I tried. I really did. But, I’m just going to say just like my judgment was off with selecting that book, Oprah’s was too when she put it on her list. Sorry Oprah, still love you girl.

The reason this story came up today was that as I was leaving Barnes & Noble tonight I was filled with nothing but joy. I even stopped by the cookie store in celebration for the new book I was about to crack open. Yes, I told myself I deserved a cookie for buying a new book. Don’t judge me.

The thing is that I’m un-ashamed/ashamed to admit is that prior to my near B&N breakdown, I hadn’t bought a book to read for leisure in years. I listened to some Audible books, but I never took the opportunity to dive into a traditional, good ole’ paperback book. Up until college, I was a reading machine. I wouldn’t sleep to read. I would lose myself in stories for hours. My fingers would go numb and I would just shake it off and keep on going. It was wonderful. But, unfortunately, I had lost that.

So, when everything seemed to go haywire, I tried to go back to the books and find a getaway. I wanted to be anywhere except where I was. It was running away from something to get to books instead of running to books for the pure joy of reading. Lucky me, I picked one of the worst books in the bunch and my little book vacation would be cut very short. I wouldn’t get the getaway I wanted. Instead, I had to face reality and figure some things out. I was always meant to come back to books, but not like that. It wasn’t fair to me or the books I would be consuming.

Here I am now… Ready to wrap this up to run to my new book, a book I spent about an hour finding in Barnes & Noble where the only place I was running to was a table to get started. My re-ignited love for books feels pure and organic. Being able to consume the pages with a clear palette and conscious knowing that these books were picked out of peak interest, not desperation.

So, you could say that what I’m getting at is that life has a way of coming full-circle. No, I’ll never pick up that god-awful book again, but I’ll always go into that Barnes & Noble and see it as a symbolic place of growth. I’ll also walk in there and thank it for being a place where I regained my love for books again. I might need to thank the library too because my budget says I’ll need to be there soon too. Yikes.

Signed,

Art Undone

Welp, This Didn’t Go As Planned.

Instagram Post – Welp This Didn't Go As Planned.

Last year, I attempted to prepare myself and everyone else for 2018. I thought I was ready for the new year with 10 ART Lessons for the upcoming year. I just knew I had this down-packed. The thing is that the lessons were good. They made sense and I was happy to share. I don’t regret it at all. However, life has a way of life-ing and 2018 through your girl for a LOOP! Whew Chill-lay!

Since producing the 10 ART Lessons, I’ve definitely re-visited them and, in some instances, they have helped, in others not so much. Why? Because this year has been crazy and no amount of reading or writing could prepare me for what I experience. Although he is cancelled in my book, I can say it was a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy. From deaths to health issues and bizarre accidents, I could not prepare for what I’ve never experienced.

So, now to experience this year, I know I won’t have every tool I’ll need to get through the next year. What I’ll have is me. I have to have the confidence in myself and my ability to overcome whatever obstacles come my way. This year taught me just how strong I am. I’m more confident than ever to go into this next year for a few reasons: 1.) I know what I want 2.) I know I have what it takes to get it. I know life will life but I also know Art will Art. I’m not arrogant in the least bit. But for once, I really really believe in myself and my dreams and visions. I need to make some things happen. I will make some things happen. In order to do that, I’ve already started to make this transition a little easier by starting my 2019 earlier. Everything I want to do and feel in 2019, I’ve started in the month of December. I’m not waiting. Another way I want to help myself, because my memory can be really bad at times, is to write down what I’ve learned this year. I probably won’t remember everything but writing it down will help me and maybe it could possibly help you too.

  • Listen to your body. If you are still enough, your body will tell you what it needs. If you listen and your body is still not responding like you want it to, don’t be afraid to get professional medical help. Also, be consistent and unwavering if you know something is wrong. Don’t let anyone try to tell you that you’re overreacting.
  • Your worth isn’t connected to your work. Stop feeling useless and worthless because you can’t produce work. It’s okay to sit out and take a break. Never forget your purpose but by all means do what you need to do to be okay before you push yourself to produce just to feel like you are valuable or worthy.
  • Just being here is enough. Sometimes we’re just here and that’s it. Life is hard so the fact that you are here is something to be proud of.
  • The more you say yes to everyone else, the more you say no to yourself. Say yes to yourself more. It’s okay to be selfish with your time, mental space and body.
  • Let yourself feel. Don’t continue to bottle up your feels. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel completely. If you continue to bottle them up, they’ll come out sooner or later. It’s okay to let them out. It’s going to be uncomfortable ASF, but worth it. It’s really a cleansing process.
  • Do what makes you feel free. If you find yourself always tensing up and never feeling freedom, it’s time to do so. Painting makes me feel free. Dancing makes me feel free. Find what makes you feel free and do as much as you can. Life already has so many rules, it’s good to get outside of your head, break any mental barriers and life a free and fulfilling life.
  • Don’t torture yourself with hypothesis. What ifs are the devil! Let them go and live in what is. Unless you are willing to put those hypothesis to the test, LET. THEM. Go! You’re just torturing yourself for the hell of it.
  • Be quiet enough to listen to yourself. Noise has a great way of ridding you of much-needed you time. Sometimes you’re doing things you don’t even like just because you haven’t taken the time to process your feelings. Please listen to yourself.
  • Take 30 seconds to think through any snap-decisions. Yes, this sounds like common sense, but if you just take out 30 seconds to think through snap decisions you can save yourself time, money and resources that you may regret utilizing because of quick decisions.
  • Pay attention to people’s actions more than their words. The truth is in the action, not the words.
  • No one owes you anything so be appreciative of those who still decide to be there for you.
  • Say less, Do more. Stop looking for validation and congratulations on things you haven’t even done yet. You just announce things and once you get the instant gratification, it takes away the incentive to get the actual thing done. Just do it.
  • No one should make you feel bad for doing what’s best for you.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself for how you react to things you’ve never experienced before.
  • Love on yourself, especially when you aren’t at your best. You’ll need all that love. Shower yourself with it.
  • Stop using “thinking” as an excuse not to be “doing”. Also known as procrastinating.
  • You can’t be good if your health isn’t good. Take care of yourself.
  • Smile in the mirror every single day before you go out into the world.
  • A good dream that is bad for you is still a nightmare.

It’s so much more and I’ll probably add more later. I need to get this out though. Why? Idk, but I need to release it so here it is.

I love you and I hope you smile a lot this year and many years to come.

Signed,

ART still Undone but Better.

 

Why the Hell Can’t I Get Off Of Social Media?

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Listen Linda! Linda! Listen! I was/have been going through it with social media this year and it’s NOT something I want to admit. However, I’ve already told ya’ll that I’m undone and this is part of my unpretty truth. I’m happy to say I am much better now, but the fact remains the same that it can happen to anyone and I’m just going to be real enough to admit it. It came to the point where I had to ask myself, “Why the hell can’t I get off of Social Media?”. These are some of my findings and they aren’t cute, but here we are.

You can’t mind your own business.

Social Media is about being social. Yes, liking, viewing, and sharing is a form of actively being in a social space. Let’s be honest, you do this because it takes you away from minding your own business. You now have a reason to leave all your problems or tasks behind and you can just focus on absolutely nothing that concerns you. It’s easy. It’s accessible. It’s free. Truth is, not minding your own business costs you something more valuable than money, time; Time that you can’t get back because you couldn’t mind your own business.

You don’t have your own business to mind.

You can’t mind your own business if you don’t have any. Let’s be honest, a lot of our lives can be boring at times. Instead of making life something we would be proud of, we decide that other people’s lives are more interesting to focus on. Of course, when you’re on autopilot, you have more time to check out the views and focus on everyone else but you.

You’re addicted.

Yes, addicted. People get addicted to social media and sometimes they aren’t even consuming the information. It’s a time suck and it’s easy to get stuck just scrolling to scroll, taking in mostly useless information just because it is available to us. If you are addicted, it’s probably harder than ever to put your phone down with the fear that you MIGHT miss something important. Instead of deciding to live your life, you’d rather be an audience member of someone else’s show.

It makes you happy

You laugh. You cry. You share. You comment. You retweet. You feel a part of the crowd. Social media brings happiness to a lot of people. It’s original intent was to connect people…i.e. be “social”.

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So, have you identified your problem of why you can’t get off of social media? If not, take some time to think about the feelings it gives you. What are you doing when you decide you have to check your phone? What are you trying to stop doing when you pick up your phone?  Before you can find a solution, you have to find the problem.

Solutions?

For once, I’m not going to give you the answer because honestly, it’s different for everyone depending on the day and I don’t know if I have them… but good news! You have clicked this blog and realized you have a problem (or that I have a problem and you’re laughing at me right now). I’m in the same boat, I realize I have a problem and I know there must be a solution. So, here’s what I’ve been doing/trying to do:

  • Find something to do! Ever since I’ve been busy working on my own projects, social media has become less important, unless it directly deals with my projects. It’s amazing what happens when you have your own business to mind.
  • Take away the ease of access from the social media apps that I spend the most time on. Example. I can only access Twitter on my laptop.
  • Limit the amount of time you are on social media with an app. The Space app helps me drastically by sending reminders when I’ve been on social media for too long.
  • Create an alternative, quick access task for you to do to replace the time you spend on social media. I’ve downloaded some game apps, knowledge-based apps, and e-books as alternatives.
  • Go completely cold turkey and delete the apps. You would be amazed at how much time you waste on social media by not getting on it at all. This allows you to have more time to think, including thinking of new things you can do instead of being on social media.
  • Find a passion project, then put deadlines on it. When you’re focused on something meaningful, the meaning-less matters less
  • Travel… Most countries don’t have data available. You have to live more. (This may just be a selfish plug for traveling. Don’t judge me!)
  • Hide your shortcuts to your apps. While you’re searching for them, you’ll realize how much you don’t actually need it.

To be real, Social media is hard to get rid of, but it’s possible to survive without it. Ask your mom & dad. Don’t worry, you’ll know what you need to know. Your friends will tell you when Beyoncé drops. Stop using social media as a crutch and live more. How about we do it together?

Signed,

ART getting it together

Things I’ve Learned About Being A Creative From Beyoncé

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This year, I’ve been more creatively free than I’ve ever been. This year was also historic for Beyoncé. Having the opportunity to witness Beychella in person, I was inspired to write about the things I’ve learned about being a creative from Beyoncé. Of course, people could (and have) write an entire dissertation on Beyonce and her creativity, I decided to write a quick list of the ones that have inspired me. Enjoy!

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  • Release content when you’re ready, not when it’s demanded.
  • Regardless of what people want, release what speaks to you and what makes you happy. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try to.

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  • Be sensitive about your creations. Don’t allow everyone to have an opinion during your creative process. Remember, you are the creator, this is your work.beyonce fashion GIF
  • Learn the power in silence and let your work speak for itself.
  • Keep a tight circle around you that you can trust to keep your secrets. We don’t do leaks!

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  • Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. You never know who’s looking.           you ready beyonce GIF
  • Tell people what you did, not what you’re doing. Don’t release premature information that’s not solidified. When you decide to show up, make sure you show out.

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  • Don’t be afraid to take chances. Everyone won’t get it, but remember, Quality is quality and THAT is undeniable.
  • It’s none of your business what the other girls are doing or what anybody else thinks of your work if they are not supporting you. You can’t please everyone.

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  • Work your butt off for your craft. Be the best you can be and compete with only yourself. You are the standard that needs to be topped.
  • Be the Beyoncé in your field and let your work speak for itself.

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  • Your bigger supporters may be under the radar. You don’t need people to shout from the rooftops that they support you to know that you made it.
  • Perfecting your craft takes time. As long as you’re growing, you are doing something right. Be unapologetic about your growth.I Aint Sorry Music Video GIF
  • Sometimes you just have to snatch wigs and take no prisoners.beyonce wig snatch GIF
  • Confidence is KEY! Make sure you believe in your work and OWN it.beyonce GIF
  • And lastly, always remember this is your work and you are the boss. Don’t let anyone treat you any less.queen b fashion GIF

Signed,

Art-yoncé 🙂

Changing Directions | Making the Turn Anyways

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When it’s time to make a change or turn in your journey, you have to prepare yourself for the turn. Or, you can take the risk of losing control and just moving into your new turn without any warning. The more seasoned and prepared you are for a turn, the easier it is for you to maneuver curves and keep control.

Ever instantly identify a new driver on the road by how they slowly inch towards the turns on the roads? Or the super anxious new drivers who give their parent whiplash by not slowing down and drifting the curves like they’re auditioning for the 20th installment of the Fast and Furious?

The thing is that as long as you don’t crash or hurt yourself, a turn is a turn. A lesson is a lesson. Don’t be afraid to take that turn if you know you can make it. Don’t be embarrassed because you drive slower than molasses to get to the turn. You still got there. You’re still making a move towards somewhere you’ve never seen or experienced.

Regardless of how your change happens, make it happen. Even if you crash, pinpoint what you did wrong and don’t be afraid to get up and try again.

No one asks a driver how they exactly got to a destination. The point is they got there. So, if there is somewhere you want to go that’s off of your “projected” path, take that leap of faith and make the turn. Even if you have to slow down and bit, make the turn. Even if you missed a few of the warning signs that the turn was coming up, if you still can, make the turn.

A change in direction is not a setback if the destination is where you’re meant to be. Make the turn and if it doesn’t work out, it’s now just a path you know not to take anymore.

Signed,

Art Undone

The Art Experience | Finding The Feeling of Freedom

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July 16th was the day I felt freedom for the first time in a long time. In my favorite city of Chicago, sitting on the floor cross-legged, I had a blank canvas in front of me. My friend, Rachael, was already painting. As the “Have a Good Day” Spotify playlist played in the background, I looked at my blank canvas. I had to think. I couldn’t put anything onto the canvas until I had an idea. So, I finally eyed the color that I wanted. It was a beautiful turquoise color. It stood out among the bunch. This was it. I was finally going to paint.

In the corner of my eyes, I see Rachael going to town on her canvas. With little regard to any vision she may have had, she just layers colors on colors. Her fingernails are now a different color with a mixture of acrylic paint slowly drying on her hands as she is in her own world. I’m jealous because I won’t let myself do that. I’m trying to make sure that the paints stay on the clean plate I’ve put a couple dabbles on. The horror to imagine the paint getting into my manicured nails. I don’t know if this will stain or now. So, I carefully caress the canvas with my flathead brush as I cover the canvas with a sea of seawater blue. Every stroke feels like I’m transferring any stress from my body to the canvas. The energy is turned from stress to relief. However, in the corner of my eye, I see Rachael has now taken a cup, mixed with various colors proceeds to pour the entire cup onto the canvas. My GOD! I’m not OCD, but the mess! I’m freaking out in the inside, but more than anything I’m jealous. She’s so free. She is painting to paint without the restrictions of a vision. How ever her canvas turns out, it will be great. It’s a guaranteed masterpiece because of the energy put into.

At this point, I decide to get a little “frisky” and take a copper, metallic paint and softly stroke some on the canvas. It’s always a stroke. Precise and intentional. Boring. It’s okay. I’ve definitely painted something like this before. I know how it’s going to true out before I’m even finished. It’s my usual. It’s creative, but not risky. Just enough not to get me out of my comfortable zone. I don’t know what to do next because although this is quite boring, it’s nice. But, I’m jealous. I’m jealous because I realize I care completely too much. I was so close to asking Rachel to give me another canvas because this one was ugly (more so basic). It wasn’t going to be revived. I almost said that. But, thankfully I did something that I will forever be grateful for.

Taking a note from Rachael, I take all of the colors that spoke to me and I squeezed them on the back of the plate. Then I did something I would NEVER do at home. I took my perfectly structured canvas and splatted the paint on my canvas. And I did it again. And I did it again. And I did it again. When I ran out of paint, I put more on the plate and repeated the process. Every time I splattered the plate onto the canvas, I didn’t know what would happened, but I kept on going. I just did what felt good. I kept on splatting until I was satisfied. Then I looked at my canvas in complete shock. It was nothing I would expect, but it was everything I loved. It was free. It was freedom.

My canvas turned into art because I gave myself the chance to be free for once and not put expectations on the outcome. I did what felt good. I did what felt free. Sitting and looking at my canvas, I couldn’t believe I made something so out of bounds. What a masterpiece. What a mess and a masterpiece at the same time. My hands were now covered with paint. I didn’t even reach for a paper towel. I just asked for another canvas because I wanted to feel that again. I wanted to allow myself to feel and not think. Just do what feels good. Art is about feelings. If you don’t feel when you make it, no matter the sentiment, you aren’t really making Art. So, I attribute July 16th as one of my many recent awakening moments. That’s the night I fell in love with painting because I felt it. So, thank you to Rachael for being fearless and showing me that it’s okay to let loose. Here’s to painting more blank canvases and allowing myself to be free.

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So, whatever makes you feel free, do that.

Signed,

Art Undone

Stop Torturing Yourself

ART - Stop Torturing Yourself.

(Note/Warning: This was definitely a self-read so here’s a look into my stream of consciousness)

At some point, you have to stop torturing yourself. Replaying and internalizing situations that you know are no good for you or are no longer available to you. You have to break up with the ideas of these things happening because at this point you are self-inflicting yourself with wounds that need time to be healed instead of re-opened for more exposure to harmful environments that can cause infections.

Stop putting yourself through voluntary mental warfare just to see if you are progressing. Allow yourself time to fully heal before you voluntarily go back to the battlefield. It’s not helping your healing process.

Sometimes you just need to let things go. I don’t mean storing them in a storage bin in your closet for ‘just in case’ scenarios, I mean take that shit to the city dump, toss it in the pile and never look back. You have to fully let go in order for something new to have the chance to grow. Scabs don’t disappear until you stop messing with them. Cut off all contingency plans and allow yourself to be free. Be free. Take off those mental chains that won’t allow your brain to process new horizons and be completely free of this mental battlefield you don’t even have to fight.

This battle doesn’t have to be fought. You already won the war. You have to get out the mentality of the game and step into something new. Have the audacity to leave the battlefield and never look back. Stop letting the ‘idea’ of someone hurt you. Stop letting the idea of someone hurt you. It’s all in your mind and even if it is true, that’s none of your business. Focus on yourself. Love yourself. Feed yourself. Free yourself.

You were once walking into the jail and closing the door because you liked the familiar surroundings. No longer. We don’t do that any longer. We are freeing ourselves of relying on these made up ideas of others and accepting people for exactly who they are. That doesn’t mean we don’t deal with them, that means that we take away the costume we put on them to make them fit into our life.

So, what are we doing now? We’re also taking off the idea of us that we have hung onto that’s hindering us from growing. We’re being honest with ourselves and loving ourselves for who we are we now, in whatever part of life we are in and not covering ourselves with layer after layer of who we think we are. Instead, we are living our absolute truth and loving on ourselves. The energy we put into creating storylines for the people around us, we’re taking that energy back. We are taking that energy back and putting it into our own mental, emotional and spiritual growth. That cloak of emotional invincibility, we’re taking that off too. We’re going to be honest with our emotions. We’re going to let ourselves feel. We’re going to let out all of those emotions and then, we are getting in the car, going to the city dump and letting all of that shit go. We’re not holding onto emotions for ‘just in case scenarios’. We’re not allowing ourselves that opportunity anymore because better opportunities are worth taking.

So, if you need to heal, take the time to do so. Comfort those demons, but after you’re done, let it go. We’re not going back just to live in the past. We’re not going back just because the feeling of pain feels almost comforting and familiar. Instead, we’re moving forward and letting all those ideas, dreams & detrimental case scenarios go. We’re going to be free. It will be glorious.

Love,

ART Undone

The Mental Diet | Watching What You Think

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I’ve been on a new diet and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s something that’s been much needed because honestly my previous diet was filled with a lot of trash with no nutritional value. It’s called a mental diet.

I’m on a mental diet where I’m consciously watching what I think by looking at my mental intakes. Basically, the information I consume on a daily basis dictates my thoughts, therefore watching and limiting certain mental intakes helps me to think better thoughts and be a better person.

My junk food of choice happens to be social media, specifically Twitter and Instagram. Mostly Twitter, if we’re going to be honest. So, Twitter is like my Zaxby’s of mental food. It feels good after the first and second bite, but too much and I’m useless. From celebrity news to regular news, my consumption on a daily basis invades my thoughts, subconsciously, and makes me feel full. Full of thoughts that are just illusions of nothingness that don’t contribute to any beneficial nourishment.

So, here I am, now on a mental diet trying to live a better life. Not completely cutting out the mental junk food, but limiting my intake until I have more discipline.  I’m working on supplying myself with nourishing mental meals in the forms of books, articles, blogs, marketing information and even my own thoughts (writing). I realized that part of the reason why I wasn’t writing as much as I used to was that I wasn’t giving myself much to work with. I needed the energy, knowledge, and thoughts to even operate on my normal schedule. Therefore, I had to really put myself on a mental diet, no matter how crazy that sounds.

So, how does a mental diet work? Here are some pointers that I’m learning on my journey:

  • Write down the thoughts that occupy your mind the most during the day as an assessment
  • Identify the things offer you some sort of nutritional benefit and the things that offer no nutritional value
  • Point out 3 things you want to learn about for your personal or professional growth
  • Find multiple resources that you can consume on a daily basis to learn about those 3 things
  • Create reminders and fillers to replace your mental junk food with something more beneficial
  • If social media is an issue for you, update your phone with more useful apps and move the ones you use too much to a less accessible place or take them off of your phone until you can achieve a new normal
  • Find a happy balance for your mental diet that works for you. Cheat days are completely understandable

Well, good luck! Let me know how this goes for you and I’ll do the same!

Signed,

ART Undone