A New Year For The Old Me!

During the current semester break, several events came together that caused me to stop and remember who I was am. Perhaps everyone would find it valuable to take time to remember who they were in a “past life,” i.e., in their younger years. Many surprises will arise out of that exercise.

One of those revealing events for me came in the form of an email from my brother. He had sent me a link to a beautiful site called “Trawlers and Tugs Blog.” http://trawlersntugs.com/blog/ All she does is cover art about working boats. I suggest you check it out because of the beautiful art work in her posts.

In response to his email, I said that as much as I enjoyed painting with watercolors, I have taken no time to indulge in anything artistic – and that I missed it. It was his answer that made me think. He said, “It bothers me that you don’t take time for yourself to make music, paint, sew, act, direct, etc. All my life I associated those kind of things with you.” I promised him I would start again.

Another revealing event is one that actually comes every other spring semester. I teach a course called “Psychology and the Expressive Arts.” It’s my favorite class to teach, and yet I put my own artistic past aside and simply teach others how to draw on their creativity.

Sometimes I get a glimpse of that “old Lucy” when I’m teaching other courses, too, but I shove it aside in the interest of the students. This year in my preparation for the “expressive arts” class to begin on January 10, it came to me that I need to take an active part in the very class I teach on creativity.

When I find myself re-reading books like Who You Were Meant to Be: A Guide to Finding or Recovering Your Life’s Purpose, Who You Were Meant to Be: A Guide to Finding or Recovering Your Life’s Purpose by Lindsay C. Gibson, Psy.D, or other books about finding “the authentic you,” then I know there is something I’m needing to pay attention to. These books finished pulling everything together for me.

So I went out to my storage shed and started rummaging around for my art materials, deeply buried. When I opened up the first box of pastels, I said “Ohhh!” right out loud. The brilliant colors took my breath away, and tears came into my eyes. I cleaned up an old oak index card file box I have, put all my boxes of pastels in it, and placed it with a big art pad. These are going into my car to have handy.

Perhaps you are someone who has already re-discovered the “old you” – the authentic you – and are living the life you were meant to live. If so, I congratulate you! My suspicion is that most who will read this post need a reminder to take time this New Year and think about who they are.

As an instructor, I must be authentic if I want to continue to inspire my students to be authentic – and creative.

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou!
(Happy New Year!)

Jill of (too many) Trades?

In the past, I have been called a “Renaissance woman,” because of the many activities in which I am interested. The 4th Edition of American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, defines “Renaissance woman” as “a woman who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.”

I think I fit into the first part of that definition, but not as much in the last. I do have broad interests that are (mostly) intellectual, however these interests are (mostly) in the arts.

More than the term “Renaissance woman,” I tend to call myself “Jill of all trades, and mistress of none.” I have a passionate interest and a bit of talent in many of the arts, so I think the problem I mentioned in yesterday’s post is not so much my (real) hesitation in marketing, but the problem of deciding in which art I want to devote my time and energy right now.

There is a wonderful book by Barbara Sher with the title of I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was. That’s the title of my life, and probably for many of you! Yes, I read it! Yes, I have my own copy! And yes, of course, I need to pull it out and re-read it!

Yesterday, I talked about writing. The “angst du jour” is about art, as in drawing and painting. Like with writing, since I was old enough to scribble on the walls I’ve enjoyed the feel of working with charcoal and pastels. Some of that thrill was lost when I took art classes and didn’t draw exactly the way the instructor thought I should.

I want to dig out all my charcoal sticks and colored pastels, put them in a box in my car along with a pad of paper. There are so many opportunities to capture the beauty of my island!

Any bets as to how long that box travels in the car with me without being opened – and used? If I can get my fingers limbered up enough to do a simple picture, it will be a lot cheaper than any camera I could lust for.

Or is this just another excuse to avoid marketing my written work?

A hui hou!