Summer never showed up last year so we’re soaking it up for all it’s worth.
Somewhere along the way we forgot what nature has always known. It’s not the female’s job to primp and preen – just look at nature – that is supposed to be the male’s job.
Take the peacock for instance.
We saw a fine example of this at Maplewood Farm today. First a grey female peacock came along and watched the male for a while. He strut his stuff and shook his feathers like nobody’s business.
Ater a while she got bored and took off.
Then a white female peacock came along and watched the male for a while. He strut his stuff and shook his feathers like nobody’s business.
After a while she got bored and took off.
I asked my kids which female peacock was impressed enough by the male that she might have babies with him?
They said, “None. He’s not working hard enough.”
Exactly my point with women today! So many billions of dollars spent on hair, make-up and clothes in order to primp and and preen around the males hoping that one will pick them. But no! This is not the way of nature.
Be confident in who you are,
and you true inner beauty will shine.
Be confident in who you are
and you will feel whole within yourself -
not needing another person to fill that empty void within.
Be confident enough in who you are
to show your inner self to the world.
This is the only way you can find a true companion.
Find the confidence by accepting yourself
just as you are right now -
with all the mistakes, imperfections and failures.
The world needs you.
Just as you are.
Life has a funny way of repeating itself on you when you least expect it. A broken record looping itself over and over until we finally get the message that we need to move forward in life.
I woke up one day feeling a little sorry for myself and to get out of my funk I listed all of the things that I was thankful for. Flush toilets. Hot water. Washing machines. WASHING MACHINES! I lived for a year without these things in Honduras and I recognize that my life will never be as difficult as the millions of mothers around the world who spend their days in the rivers washing clothes. One hundred years ago my days would have been the same.
I am also thankful for spring.
I am so excited to announce a new e-book written by Renee Tougas of FIMBY – Fun in My Back Yard. This is the painting that I made for the cover of her book entitled: “Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms.”
Finding time for creativity in my new life as a busy mom is a topic that is dear to my heart and I was so excited to work with Renee.
I actually “met” Renee online a year and a half ago when I found her blog, loved it, and wrote her out of the blue for some homeschooling advice. I was completely trying to decide whether or not to make a huge life-altering commitment to homeschool and unfortunately I didn’t know anyone else who was doing it. Renee wrote me an incredibly heart-warming and reassuring email that lifted away a lot of my fears and gave me a good direction on where to look for more ideas.
Renee said to me, “If I were you Erika, I’d listen to my confident intuitive side.”
That is a great line. And great advice.
So when Renee wrote me about an e-book she was writing and asked if I would paint the cover of it, I jumped up and said, “YES!”
“NURTURING CREATIVITY: A Guide for Busy Moms” REVIEW
When I read this e-book it felt like a pair are large warm arms were wrapped around me in an embrace. This book feels like a hug. A great big, “You can do it! It’s so hard to create, but as a mother you are already doing it, and you are amazing!” kind of hug.
Finding the time and energy for creativity has been one of my biggest challenges since becoming a mother and was the biggest obstacle I had to overcome when I decided to homeschool. I really wanted long chunks of time where I could work on my art by myself.
In her book, Renee talks about how to nurture your creativity WITH YOUR CHILDREN AROUND. This is a profound concept because I didn’t even realize this was possible until I saw her doing it in action on her blog.
The great thing about this e-book is that it can help us see the creativity all around us that we didn’t even know we were doing and find other ways to bring creativity into our daily life.
One of my favorite sections was on “Letting Go of Perfection” where Renee says, “I am a recovering perfectionist, learning to love life, right now, as it is, while still working towards my goals.”
Her section on “Schedule It” spoke to me as well because a lot of times it just comes down to that. Schedule it and creativity pours out. Don’t schedule it and the TV, house cleaning or some other errand comes in the way.
Describing her book Renee said,
“I wrote this book to encourage you in making time for creativity in your life as a busy mom.”
“For moms who are cooking meals and cleaning toilets. Moms who orchestrate family life and chauffeur kids to their activities. Moms who stay at home, work outside the home, work at home. Heck, we all work! Moms who are knee deep in raising babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and school aged kids. For moms who do all this (and more) and want to grow creatively also.”
“For moms who want to bloom. Or as Erika’s painting illustrates – moms who want to fly.”
I hope you all get a chance to read her e-book which comes in a downloadble pdf, kindle or epub format. She is selling it for only $3.00 here – what a deal! – and also generously giving away a copy to someone on this blog.
One copy of Renee Tougas’ e-book: “Nurturing Creativity: A Guide of Busy Moms”
- All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog so I can enter your name in the contest (sorry, to make it fair, only comments on the blog, not facebook or twitter, will be entered.)
- On March 28th I will draw a name from a hat and announce the winner.
- Renee will email you copy of the the e-book.
You can also buy a print or greeting card of this painting here.
March 28, 2012 UPDATE:
Thank you to all those who entered the giveaway! The contest is now closed.
I picked a name at random out of a hat and the winner is Charity Hofert! Congratulations! I will send your email to Renee and she will send you the e-book.
I hope you all get a chance to read it as well!
A visit with a newborn always helps give me a little perspective. My baby is not a baby anymore – she’s big! We’ve finally passed our 1000 day mark, the goal we set for our survival when we decided to have three kids. We figured if we could make it until they were three years old, we’d be OK because the first three years are the hardest.
We had a mental countdown and would remind each other when we were having a rough time, “Only 300 more days to go!”
With a newborn, life shrinks down to the bare necessities for survival and while it is an incredible challenge, it is also a gift to teach us to live more simply, let go our of our expectations and perfectionistic tendencies, learn to live in the moment and learn to have serenity in the eye of the storm.
I’ve noticed that when I forget these important life lessons something will happen to remind me to SLOW DOWN, stay present in the moment and let go of the illusion of control. Sometimes I have a bad night sleep which leaves me sleepy the next day and forces me to slow down and rest. Other times I have to slow down to deal with behavior issues, which always come when I don’t slow down and take time to play or connect with them. Other times my body will get sick, sore or achy and that will remind me that there is some stress in my life that I am not dealing with.
Life conspires to make us face our issues. For many of us that means learning to slow down and simplify.
It is that wonderful time of year again for the Baha’is, a time called Ayyam-i-Ha (pronounced: Ah-YAHM-ee-hah). It is a time for celebration, service, gift giving, generosity and fellowship.
This year we added a new tradition to our Ayyam-i-Ha celebrations: a Virtues Tree.
For 19 days before Ayyam-i-Ha begins the children pick a note, a leaf and a small gift (such as a sticker) out of our countdown calendar.
Each day, the note says something different. They are all related to the virtues, the spiritual qualities that we want our children to develop, and they ask the children to think of a time when they showed that virtue, write it down on their leaf and add it to the virtue tree.
“Ayyam-i-Ha is a time for generosity. Write down a time when you were generous and add your leaf to the tree.”
“Ayyam-i-Ha is a time for laughter. Write down a joke and add your leaf to the tree.”
“Ayyam-i-Ha is a time for creativity. Draw a picture on your leaf and add it to the tree.”
Some of the other virtues that we talked about were kindness, thankfulness, helpfulness, service, joy, patience, responsibility, unity, love, friendliness and gratitude.
First I drew an outline of a tree on a large piece of paper, taped it to the fridge and then had the children color it in.
Then we taped a leaf on to the tree each day.
Now we are celebrating out five days of Ayyam-i-Ha. These are some of the other activities that we do.
I am so excited to share that I am now selling my art as prints, posters, greeting cards, postcards, t-shirts, hoodies (sweatshirts), stickers and iPod cases! http://www.redbubble.com/people/erikahastings
I have set up sales through an online company called Red Bubble. Here are some FAQs to get you started.
I saw one of your paintings or photographs and would like to buy a print of it but don’t see it listed on Red Bubble.
No problem. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, let me know which one you were interested in, and it will be added there.
I’d like to have one of the images on a T-Shirt, Hoodie, iPhone Case or Stickers but I don’t see it listed on Red Bubble.
No problem. Just email me at email@example.com, let me know which image you wanted and in which format and it will be added there.
I’d like to buy one of Erika Hastings’ original paintings. How do I do that?
Sorry. I am not currently selling original art work.
Is it safe to buy online?
Yes. RedBubble takes their works seriously and PayPal has been safely used by millions of people around the world.
What are my shipping and handling costs?
Add you items into the shopping cart and ‘proceed to the checkout.’ Once you add your address and preferred shipping method, your shipping costs will be calculated.
RedBubble is an Australian company with bases in Australia, the US, Canada and the UK. They ship worldwide.
What if I don’t like the purchase?
RedBubble offers a Satisfaction Guaranteed policy. If you are not satisfied with your order you can choose to get your money back, replace the the item or get store credit. Easy as that.
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have fun and buy some art! http://www.redbubble.com/people/erikahastings
Shortly after I was married, my husband and I moved to Brazil for six months and shortly after that I got EXTREMELY sick, one of those random sicknesses that nobody quite knew what to do about. I got worse and worse over a few months, had to sleep most of the day, was irritable, tired, grumpy, my hair was all falling out in clumps – it was a mess.
I was finally recommended to Dr. Joao, a Brazilian/non-English-speaking/homeopathic/herbal/iridology/Bach flower remedy/naturopathic doctor. Through my rudimentary Portuguese, drawings, hand gestures, and a variety of Bach flower and homeopathic prescriptions, I was 99% healed within two weeks. A leaf from an Aloe Vera plant was one of my remedies, which I was to open up and rub on my hair and then wash it out right away. After three days of that, my hair stopped falling out. All of my family talk about Dr. Joao with a special reverence for we have never since encountered such a healer.
I was reminded of Dr. Joao this fall and something told me to look up the Bach flower remedies, which are homeopathic remedies that specialize in emotions, for some of my own issues that I was having. A brief read through www.bachflower.com led me to pick up some for myself. They worked instantly and amazingly well.
Children pick up on our stress and mirror it in various ways. If you want to know how you are feeling, just look at your child – they are your mirror.