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.

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

 

Mandala Art

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I took part in a week long project #instajoyproject on Instagram and Facebook. It was so much fun, I managed two days and a bit of doodling after that as I am so, so busy with my work. That thing that ‘I have to do so that I can do the things that I want’. I love what I have to do, I truly do. It is an honour to be able to have the job I do, it just isn’t who I am.  So managing two days out of seven is frustrating yet I am pleased I completed what I have. The biggest achievement I made in this project was connecting to some wonderful individuals who shared themselves in more ways than just their mandala’s.

It is amazing how creativity is more than imagination, pen, paper, paints etc. It is who we are. Only we can create our own art. No one else can make art like we do.

Exciting news flash! I am off on a big journey to England to visit family and friends with my partner. We also have a very special wedding to go to. More on this soon. So in my walk on luggage I have packed pens, pencils, eraser and paper with mandala circles drawn so that I can play on the plane. I had put in my compass but after some excellent advice I removed the sharp pointer thing and put it in safely in my baggage. Sharp pointy things are not allowed on planes.

England here I come!

Melanie M

 

First Time

  It has been quite an exciting weekend with the opening of an exhibition at our local museum and I have entered a piece. Nervous excitement is surrounding it yet I don’t feel anxious. I thought I would because I feel like an imposter, that dreaded imposter syndrome that we all have at times.  I dearly hope it sells, I would hate to have to rock up there and pick it up at the end of the exhibition. Hope, Courage and Belief is my mantra at the moment.

My lovely partner also put a piece of his own photography into the exhibition and it sold on the opening night. I am very proud of him and so glad he has sold it.

Hello hope

Hello Courage

Hello Belief

Happy Sunday everyone

Melanie M

 

Time to Smile

  It has been too long since my last post. It isn’t intentional. I needed to prioritise with ‘doing what I have to do, so that I can do what I want to do’. 
This morning as I was putting on my shoes to leave for work I noticed my creative space and it made me smile. It tells such a great story, more on that soon.

Time for mor of what I must do.

Hello Creative Space

Hello Smile

Hello Trust

Hello Courage. 

Melanie M 

What really!

2015-08-30 20.13.51I got hit with a ‘curve ball’ today. It was tough, it rocked me, left me feeling sad, deflated and hurt. My first thought was why did I start pursuing this dream to tell my story and at the same time making mixed media artworks, I am not worthy, it will never become anything and I am totally worthless. These are all the words I was beating myself up with, I would never speak to a friend like this. All because I made a mistake!

In my drive home from work I was trying to bring myself back to reality, I searched my brain for something that I had read in my book ‘Simple Abundance’, to help me to recover from this hurt and my need to feel worthless. (I have written about this book here in another time of need). This book is what it says it is, ‘A Day Book of Comfort and Joy’. I pick it up most days and always read a chapter that I am absolutely ready for. It is much like a soulful kiss on the cheek, that hits you right when you need it, with the exact kiss you need. This time my lesson was to find my blessing in everything – your dirty kitchen floor, your bank balance etc. I thought whatever, there is no blessing in this mess. As I read on, I discovered a little treasure that helped me believe,

‘if you find your blessing in everything then the universe will bless you’.

Wow, that was just what I needed.

I also realised that everything that is happening in this moment, is part of a much bigger picture. Don’t try and understand it, lean into it and find your blessings.

Keep dreaming, find your blessing even on your dark days and dance like you always have.

Make someone happy today, the world needs more happy.

Melanie M

Burnout

2015-09-06 17.45.34Burnout, when everything feels like a chore and you drag yourself around wandering what is the point of this.

While I was reading Brey’s post on Ordinary Adventures on how she is coping with bogging burnout she asked the question “how do you cope?”. I felt the urge to respond to her :

Hi Brey
I have never experienced bloggers burnout, yet, I have had burnout with my work. When this happens I spend less time working and more time on something that makes my heart sing – my art. Actually it is my art that had me start blogging. For you I recommend taking some time out, find a guest blogger to fill in your timeout. Interview a blogger about this or something else and put that up as a post. All these things could give you some time away to rebuild, refuel and help you find your groove again. At times like these – the pit – I know that great things are around the corner. Hold tight and you will find on the other side a blessing you never thought possible.

I thought mine and Brey’s suggestions were worth keeping on my blog, as a reminder of some of the things we all could do to help us get through times when we feel the need to keep up with our blogs or life yet it doesn’t feel right to do so.

I make art or sew to calm my mind and centre me in a place of kindness and caring.

What do you do?

Melanie M