That Thing

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My word, last year, was Integrity and in response to this I created this little beauty. I adore her eyes and grow strength from her words.

 

File_000 (11)Integrity: the thing that you do that brings you into your own. Staying true to the person you are today.  Definition Inspired By Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Hello Integrity

Melanie M

 

Live

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I had a rough start to my day. After my second knee replacement surgery I was reminded of the intense pain management that is needed.

Once I pushed through it and finally found a way to rest my pain ravaged body, I awoke from a peaceful sleep feeling very glad that I was given this time to slow down.

Just like my art, time connects you to who you are, who you are meant to be and allows you to breathe.   Medicine for your soul.

Most of the time I can push through my pain by listening to music and or painting. This helps while away the time and gives my heart and soul a cuddle to strengthen my journey. I know I have an ending to all this and it is an ending I know will change my life. I live daily with pain and physical limitations due to the disease which has required my knee replacement surgery. I feel oh so lucky to have been given a new start.  I look forward to walking to the park with my granddaughter, going back to England, scenic walks and getting through my day physically exhausted yet not pain ravaged. So much to look forward to.

I have been making a piece of art through all this and today I calleFile_000 (9)d it done. This butterfly represents a life worth living even if it is short. Living is beautiful and a gift. Give yourself the gift of living even when it is tough. This time that I need to heal, is also giving me time to make my art and that is a gift.

Here is my beautiful butterfly titled simply ‘Live’.

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Melanie M

 

The Year, I Made it my Own

2016 is nearly over and I made it. Happy, joyful, changed, purposeful and holding onto my integrity with great care.

As I wrote in my last post, moments do not define me, what defines me is my integrity.

‘This thing that I am doing that is bringing me into my own.

Living in a way that is being true to me.’

Integrity

Man I have had a few moments this year and each one has helped me get closer to my integrity more than ever. I feel pretty darn lucky actually and I am oh so grateful for my year. I have had a few challenges and most of these have been with my work. I am a teacher, this does not challenge me, it makes me feel great, it is like going home. What challenges me is difficult, confusing and bloody frustrating. I understand it a bit more this year and maybe next year the challenges will be less. It all falls around my role as management.

My word of the year ‘Integrity’ has definitely helped me get through those moments that rose to challenge me. Being true to myself has helped me burrow through those moments that challenge my essence.

Thank you Integrity.

Thank you 2016.

Thank you truth.

Next year my word will be Allow, I am going to Allow myself to do those thing that bring me closer to my truth. Creativity is my thing, it makes my heart sing and colours my world with much joy. This is why I love my work as a teacher, I love the creativity. I discovered this treasure, when after 3 years of not having my own classroom, I am finally starting the year with my own class of Year 2’s and I feel so excited by it. That change has helped me better understand my role as a leader in education. I started my current job three years ago and the thing that got me the job, a leading teacher, I haven’t been doing in my own classroom. I missed it so much and I didn’t realise how much until I decided to return to my own classroom again.

This year I will:

Allow myself to make art

Allow myself to develop my creativity in my teaching work

Allow myself to plan daily

Allow myself to doodle in my art books

Allow myself to print my art and give it to the people I love.

Allow myself to print my art and sell it in my shop.

Allow myself to develop my lettering

Hello Allow

Hello Creativity

Hello Teacher

Hello New Classroom

Hello Art Shop

Goodbye 2016 and Welcome to you 2017

Top Tip 4: Allow yourself to discover a word to live your year by. A word that is close to what you need the most. Plan, reflect and set goals by it throughout the year.

Welcome to Your World

img_7462I learnt something today. It is extraordinary. I truly believe this is something I have been beginning to learn for over a year now.  It no longer sits on my shoulder and floats in my head, finally it has crept into my soul. Today I learnt that.

Moments do not define me, they do not demand who I am. It is what I create that defines me and brings forth my heart and my soul. This is what matters, my gift to the world.

There are still lots of lessons for me to learn, as this enigma of life and being has been truly complicated by the world I have grown in. I write this like I am separate from it all, yet I am not, we are completely connected.

Last year I ended my year on a very difficult level, I was wrecked, broken and feeling lost. What caused this was the working world that I live in. My work as a teacher, this I love. The destruction was coming from the turmoil I was feeling with the pull of my art and having to go to work. What I have recently learnt, during a lengthy time of rehabilitation from surgery, is that I love what I do and I have much integrity in what I do, as a teacher. That turmoil I was feeling was destroying my integrity and I needed to heal this.

I am a teacher, an artist, a mother, grandmother, partner and a perfectly imperfect human being.

I celebrate all of who I am on this day and will each and everyday live my dream and let my art define me and moments leave me with everything I need to know.

Hello artist

Hello teacher

Hello Mother

Hello Grandmother

Hello Partner

Welcome to your world.

Hold Your Breath

This journey I took with Kelly Rae Roberts in Spirit Wings was more than about making art. It become a time of self discovery, in my joy, of making art that speaks to you. I made 6 beautiful angels that have such great meaning, joy and love for anyone who sees them. Each angel carries it’s own message of truth, courage, trust, sacred ordinariness, belonging and heart whispers. The journey in creating these angels were more than just paint and paper, the journey was about listening to your heart and finding your truth.  They are about sharing some of life’s lessons that help you grow into the tender, loving deserving soul that you are.

On a practical note, I got excited about making faces. Each time I created the face of my angel my art got a life of its own. The pleasure of seeing her face was truly heartwarming. This pleasure drew me into making more faces so I joined another artist group ‘Let’s face it 2016’ with Kara Bullock.

In this course of ‘Let’s face it 2016’ I have been learning a lot about the technical side to shading and how to draw eyes, noses, lips etc. The ‘hold your breath’ type of art making that can put you off making your art.

What I mean by ‘hold your breath’ is that the hold you have on your art is so tight and rigid it becomes too much about perfection. I prefer perfectly, imperfect pieces of art because that is how I see the world around me.

To get a grip on perfection steals away the magical moments of just being. I like to create as a free playful soul that has no bounds and limitless potential. However, the lessons I am learning, using the ‘hold your breath’ art techniques, only adds to the dimension of my very own art groove.

Finding my groove is why I am here, that is my journey, that is my lesson this is my groove.

 

Hello groove!

Melanie M

Love, Gratitude and Top Tip #1

img_6640-1I love making art, playing with paper, paint and pens. It is the coolest thing ever. I hate that I am often so tired or I get tangled up in the world wide web looking for inspiration that time zips away and I have done nothing.

A BIG part of tiredness is the Osteoarthritis I have in my knees. It is severe, so severe that my knees are about 25 year older than my chronological age. This causes a lot of pain. This problem I have has been accelerated by the cancer treatment I had many, many years ago. The chemicals whacked into my body have damaged me in more ways than one. However, I am truly grateful to be alive today because without that treatment I would definitely not be. I am also truly grateful to be moving around on my own two legs, as painful as that is, I can do it. Soon I will be moving around with a titanium body part. I am finally good with this and surprisingly am looking forward to it.

So here is the reason for my blog post, to overcome my tiredness and to stay motivated img_6631with creating I have something that works for me and thought it might work for you. It takes a lot of discipline because going on the web can provide many distractions.

Top Tip for making more art: When looking for inspiration ONLY look in the place that has your inspirational people or ideas. For me this is Instagram, I only follow artists, BUJO addicts and planner addicts. That is my go to place for my inspiration.

What do you have or do that inspires you?

Melanie M