This past weekend we visited my generous, loving, amazing grandparents in Door County, Wisconsin. We had a lovely time doing art projects, relaxing over cocktail hour, and playing outside despite the cold, sleety spring weather. I have so many treasured memories in Door County. This is where I celebrated holidays and birthdays, cross-country skied, built sand castles, parasailed, conquered fears, cried over broken hearts, discovered a passion for painting, and fell in love.
I was happy to hang a couple of paintings in this place that holds such a special place in my heart. I hope to hang many more next summer when the weather is nicer and we’re able to stay for a longer visit. <3
Recently, one of my five year-olds was talking about their swimming class. “I tried and tried and practiced and practiced and then I could do it!” My heart swelled with love and joy and pride. I hope my daughters remember that experience and hear that message in their heads for the rest of their lives.
I wanted a reminder myself, so I put one of my favorite quotes up in the kitchen:
“Do your practice and all is coming” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, in Mysore, India.
It may initially be a quote about yoga practice, but like most things related to yoga, it can be applied to any and all parts of life – playing an instrument, drawing, running, cooking, writing, staying healthy, being kind to yourself, being grateful, pursuing any goal….
Today I’m practicing patience, drawing, patience, writing, patience, gratitude, and patience again. What are you practicing today?
Today I need to write about how much I love the You Are Beautiful project. I love it! I love that it’s such a positive message and I love that it’s spreading all over the world. A friend gave me a photograph of one of the stickers hanging outside and I hung it in the bathroom, because what a great message to wake up to every morning and read before going to bed every night. You are beautiful. Sometimes we humans need a reminder.
So here’s a big Thank You to artist Matthew Hoffman for spreading the love and brightening days through the You Are Beautiful project. Find out more and get your own stickers to distribute at you-are-beautiful.com.
This project is an ongoing practice in letting go. I work on these little paintings, giving them so much care and attention, and then I hang them up in random places and walk away.
I have intentions for the work and ideas about what might happen, but all I’m really left with is curiosity. I’ll never know where all the work ends up, if people like it or don’t care for it, or think I’m pretentious for even thinking that people will like my artwork enough to take it home. People may engage with the project online, or not. The paintings may end up framed, treasured, or tossed. I will never know.
I actually love this practice of letting go and staying curious. Whenever I feel anxious about something (like going to boot camp for the first time, or my five year-olds going to full day kindergarten – just two hypothetical examples…), I always benefit from gently reminding myself to step back and simply be curious about what is going to happen next. Something always happens next.
Now that I’ve crossed the 100 painting mark, I thought it might be time to expand on some of my thoughts behind this project. One big important idea is that these original paintings are not just for your eyes, but for your hands, too.
Finding a painting is a physical experience. You can pull it out of the bag, feel the texture of the stitches and paint on paper, flip it over and see how it’s put together.
There’s something special about holding something that has been created and loved and worked with by a person’s hand. There is a different energy in it as an object. Hold a painting in one hand, and a print of the same painting in the other hand, and you can feel the difference. I want to gift this experience to someone. It is intimate, energetic, and positive. Maybe it’s even a little sexy.