Pretty Blue Rose

life musings, fashion, and inspiration


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Wednesday Wisdom: Selectively Engage


This is for my creatives: 
As artists, we must be diligent in protecting our ears and eyes! Pay close attention to what you consume– what you allow to pour into your spirit on a daily basis. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the never ending news cycle. Following the news cycle and the internet nonsense on an hour to hour and second to second will drain your energy.

This is not about being naïve or oblivious to the things around you, but as a creative person, as a person who wants to uplift and change the world, my heart must be full of love and my mind must be clear in order to create.  We don’t have to completely disengage, believe me, I use my negative feelings in my creations, but I make sure to selectively engage in the world (news, people’s issues, pop culture).


I spend a lot of time reading and listening to podcasts from experts and fellow creatives doing what I’d like to do.  I would encourage you to do the same. Here’s some of what’s on my nightstand and on my podcast:

Non fiction:
In the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artist, and entrepreneurs. Author Grace Bonney

Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond (when I get upset, looking at the pictures and understanding the physics behind the universe puts things in perspective.)

 



Podcasts:  
The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn. (She’s gotten me to understand creative entrepreneur ship. I call her my English girl and she’s been instrumental in my writing journey)

The 21st-century creative by Mark McGuinness (I feel like this man has cracked open my head– he totally gets me! He articulates the good and the bad of being a creative and his discussion of being productive as a creative is totally what I need to hear)
Ted Radio Hour (good stuff!)
Joel Osteen (loong time listener)

Trying to create more than I consume,

A.G.

 

 

 

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Wednesday Wisdom: Keep Dancing!

A few weekends ago,  I was asked to teach a dance class for a birthday party. I got a play list, worked on the choreography for a few weeks, and then got to teach it to almost 20 kids (and some moms) for 90 minutes.

This WW (really Thursday, I know) is short. Keep doing what you love. It’s never too late. Keep dancing, keep creating, and keep going. Eventually, your vision will come into focus.

still dancing,

A.G.

 

 

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Wisdom: Our similarities are bigger than our differences

We are more alike, my friends,than we are unalike.

This quote  from Dr. Angelou represents the way I see life and what I come back to in times of hurt and pain. In light of all of the divisiveness in the country and really the world, lets try to remember we are more alike than we are unalike. Let us start from where we agree,  and work to solve the tough problems.  We all want the best for our children and families although we may prioritize our preferences differently.   Remember love conquers all.

 

best,

A.G.

 

 


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Wednesday Wisdom: Moooove, get out the way!

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Remember the Ludacris song? I’ll pause as you sing it in your head… I know I am.
So back on topic. The longer I live and observe my behavior (and others’ behavior) the more I believe that we are the only ones in our own way. No one or thing holds us back from the vision we have of our life more than we do. The irony is, the thing we say we want the most are the things that we fear the most. So we put of hurdles up or keep moving the bar of success so we’ll never achieve it.
I’ve seen this in my life and I see this and others lives. As I write my children’s mystery book, I’ll tell myself that the book has to be a best seller so that means I am stressed as I write and creativity goes out the window. I’ll tell myself that I need a state of the art dance studio (in my basement!!) in order to teach which means I’ll pass on great learning experiences because I am looking for the perfect situation/opportunity.
Making your goals too big or creating an undue pressure through unrealistic expectations will frustrate you to the point where you’ll give up.
So take baby steps. Take on experiences that you think are silly or scary, but keep moving towards the thing you fear. I believe we intuitively know what we are sent here to do and the longer we aren’t doing what we were put here to do, the more miserable we will be.
So…. Get out of your own way!
A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Get ‘Yo Sit Together

 

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(Yes I think the title is too cute, don’t you?) So I’ll keep this one simple. This post is an encouragement to myself and to you all to meditate. Sitting still for a few minutes, like only 2, really does make a difference and there are all sorts of studies to support the hype. From positively changing the structure of the brain, to improved focus and concentration, to decreasing social anxiety, just do it!  This does not replace prayer for me, I do that too,  but I find that can be a lot of me talking (or complaining) and very little listening. However, when I sit still and listen to my breathing, or just say thank you, I can hear my directions for the day. I have found that it’s not about getting “it all” done, but about choosing the “right” things to do in order to move you closer to your goals. Meditation helps me to avoid busy work or comparison-itis and allows me to stay closer to what I want and need to get done for the day.

Myths about Meditation

Source: Psychology today

Having an empty mind—nope, in fact, when you start meditating, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite

Sitting in lotus position—nope, you can sit on the couch (just don’t lie down, you’ll fall asleep)

Sitting for an hour a day—nope, small doses work just fine, (see here and  here)

Chanting in a language I don’t understand—nope, not unless that floats your boat

Buddhist, Hindu or religiousnope, not unless you make it so

***Weird—what’s so weird about sitting and breathing? Besides, US congressmen, NFL football leagues and the US Marine Corps are doing it, how weird can it be?

 

Getting my “sit” together,

A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Quit the fight club

 

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I’ve heard for many years that I am hard on myself.  So when I heard from my coach from my leadership conference a few weeks ago in San Diego,  that  she observed that I am very hard on myself, I wasn’t surprised. More recently a former boss talked about the P word, perfectionism, and how I have very high standards.
So this past Sunday was a blessing. I actually caught myself in the act of telling myself off.  It was morning, my husband was out of town, and everywhere I looked around the house I was reminded that I did not accomplish the tasks I set out to do the prior week.  (even typing it now, I see how that was an exaggeration, I had done laundry every morning, and I made some phone calls about teaching dance) But I knew I was farting around with some other paperwork, both work and nonwork related, that I needed to do in order to move some things forward.
That morning, dirty dishes were in the sink, papers from my daughter’s school were all over the table, and I remembered how crappy I ate the day before… As I was telling myself off in my head about all the things that have piled up that were easy to do and that I should’ve done, but didn’t do,  I finally stopped to listen to myself chew myself out. I usually don’t listen because it happens so effortlessly, but I noticed my shoulders were getting tight, my back was hurting, and my breath was shallow. I listened to myself fuss  about not having edited pages in my mystery book manuscript, not having done the homework for a masterclass  I am taking, and being irritated I had not done my physical therapy exercises over the last few days.  Just on and on and on and on and on.
As I was cooking breakfast, I was listening to Gabrielle Bernstein’s book  The Universe Has Your Back, I realized what I was doing.  This was the moment where I was berating myself and getting ready to go into another work week with high hopes but inevitably there would be little to show for it because I would be exhausted from beating myself up. I took a few deep breaths and forgave myself for  the “laziness” of last week. I repeated it again and took another deep breath. Amazingly I felt better and then I started to knock out some paperwork and then I emptied the dishwasher. Such small things , but those things build your confidence that you can accomplish what you set out to do.
For the rest of today, it’s Sunday as I write this, I’m packing up my stuff and going to Panera to work on my manusript when my husband gets home. Oh! and he and my daughter can work on her homework, yeah that was another thing I didn’t do yesterday. Hmm… how did I forget that my daughter and I went painting  and had a great time! For some reason that doesn’t register as a win in my mind, I still think about all the things I didn’t do.
So I tell you this just to say try to catch yourself in the act of telling yourself off. Then stop immediately, forgive yourself and I promise it will change your mood. You will begin  slowly but surely knock out easy tasks to get your confidence back. Those micro wins help you feel like you can conquer the world.
Also, remember those who are struggling in Tx and the surrounding states right now. It should put things in our lives in perspective.
A.G.


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Wednesday Wisdom: Good Supports

No this isn’t a post about undergarments, although they are very important and any good outfit won’t look right if your undergarments are lacking…

This post is to cause you to think about those who you choose to keep around you, those that you let speak into your life, those that support you in life’s journey.

A few weeks ago I had the best convo with my closest girl friend from undergrad. We hadn’t been able to catch up in a while, but we made up for it last week with a 2+ hour phone conversation.

The best thing is that when I am done talking to her I feel good! And after that particular conversation, I felt invincible. I got to share my fears, my struggles, ideas, and hopes, all while problem solving my way to feeling inspired.

Too many times we value quantity over quality in friendships. We just hang out with anyone, and then wonder why when we leave the presence of some people we feel dejected and insecure. But we continue to interact with those people because we think we should, we are being mean if we don’t, or that something wrong with us–that we are too picky.

The reality is you must be very careful of who you let feed your mind and who you let speak into your life. Your life literally depends on it!

 

Now this is not to say only hang with yes people, or people that say what you want to hear, but real friends give you the truth in love and you can feel the difference.

I hope this was able to help someone:)

stay inspired,

A. G.