Friday, March 6, 2009

Changing the Way I Think

I'm back to my office now, and feel better than ever. After a month of serious illness, lots of discomfort, then a surgery I hadn't planned on and now into recovery, I feel like a new person. I have left all that behind me and am ready to tackle the rest of this year with a renewed spirit of enthusiasm and energy devoted to first, being grateful for the blessings I have in my life, and to being alive. There is nothing like being disabled for a few weeks to make you realize how little control we really have over our lives. I am practicing letting go and surrendering to that which is, and trying each day to find something to be grateful for. I can usually find more than one thing, but at least one. For example, we have had two weeks of somewhat sunny and warm (for March) weather here in San Diego and I noticed in my back yard the first wild flowers to pop up from under the weeds. I could not resist taking a photo of them. In addition, my lemon tree has been unusually prolific this year sprouting lemons like crazy. Maybe its trying to tell me something...."when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!". I heard that quote before but never realized how true it is.

In my last post I was still healing from Shingles, but that, in fact it got a lot worse and landed me in the hospital one day, and in an attempt to discover what was really going on in my body the doctors ordered a CAT scan and discovered a large tumor growing inside that was not supposed to be there. They did not think it was malignant but highly recommended removing it. Luckily I went for the surgery, in and out in one day which also amazes me, and I am fine now only one week later. It always amazes me how the body can recover from something and bounce back when we stop fighting and surrender to what is. I cannot say that no negative thoughts ever entered my mind, going into surgery, but I worked hard at focusing on my healing instead of "what if's". I am grateful that I had a son and daughter-in-law living close by who were able to drive me to the hospital and pick me up and take care of me for a night or two and that I had an entire week to be alone and heal in quiet. There is nothing like being at one with yourself when you need time to process what is going on in your life.

My best friend Terry who is a fantastic Pet Portrait Artist offered to pet-sit for my two big dogs, Oscar and Heaven, and I am so grateful to her for that. One of the things Terry is famous for is offering creative advice when I need it most, and she sent me a little reminder for my refrigerator today which I will share with you. It made me realize again how important it is to have friends to help you re-evaluate your thoughts at times, especially when we are feeling a little vulnerable. Everyone feels that way at times,
and I am no different. As an artist, Terry can appreciate how difficult it is to survive and stay positive, as Artists, but stay true to yourself even though you do other things to pay the bills. I have had to re-invent myself several times in my life, but to me that is just part of being a creative person. The fact that we CAN re-invent ourselves is the beauty of life. We should never get too attached to what we do or how we make our living--that does not change who we are inside or that we still think of ourselves as Artists. In fact it made me realize that changing our thoughts about what we do and who we are is part of that attitude of gratitude I was talking about earlier. Being grateful for our creative spirit, our creative talents and our creative ability to turn lemons into lemonade, means just that...we ALL have the ability to be creative in times of economic stress and it does not mean that we are any less than, if we are not creating the "kind" of art WE think we should. It only matters how we think about what we do, and ourselves. I made a promise to post this on my refrigerator and remind myself every day that I can change my thoughts in an instant from negative to positive and it does indeed change how I feel and how well I function in all ways -- physically, mentally and spiritually. Thanks Terry....

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