Thoughts on OCD and a perfectionistic mindset…

Having a creative mind makes for an amazing journey in life. Your mind is always brimming with ideas and ambition. You have interesting, meaningful conversations with others. You surround yourself with inspiration and beauty.

Couple that with Obsessive Compressive Disorder (OCD). A set of rules that reside inside your mind. Rules made up by your own brain, for your own body to comply with. All in the ultimate pursuit of balance and order in life.

Perfectionism is a natural side effect, it seems. This can both help and hinder the creative artist. It pushes you to do awesome. To be awesome. To strive for nothing short of compete perfection in everything you do. To accept nothing less than the best. To never settle for B-grade.

In my own life, I see this played out. My blouses are perfectly organized in my closet, lined up neatly by the length of their sleeves. I color code my bottles of nail polish. My kitchen cabinets are organized just so. Even the books on my bookshelf are in a certain order.

But I also see the downside of this all-or-nothing way of thinking displayed before me. My house is either spotless or cringe-worthy; seldom in between. If I want to start a project, but don’t have the preferred resources, sometimes I won’t even try. I was raised to believe that I can do anything I set my mind to do; I do firmly believe this. But sometimes, I think I fear failure…thus giving up before I even begin. Forgetting that failure is often inevitable on the road to success.

A creative mind with perfectionism all too often means having countless amazing ideas that never get off the ground, solely because of this self-defeating mindset of “all-or-nothing.” Think of Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb (I’m going to do one of my own pet peeves right now and bring up a clichΓ© example, yes.) What if he had been too afraid of failure? What if he had let that stop him from even attempting to reach his goal? The answer is, someone else probably would have invented the light bulb anyway!

But, humor aside, why waste our intellect? Why waste our creativity? Why waste our potential? Why rob ourselves of the joy of success, simply because we are subconciously afraid of those inevitable speed bumps on the road to our goal?

So, in my own life, I’ve decided to turn a new leaf. Now, I’m going to push myself, even if I don’t do well at first. Even if I only make a dent. Even if I don’t accomplish my goal at first. Even if my efforts look dumb and petty compared to where I want to be. Because if I never go out on a limb and try, how can I succeed? They say doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.

There’s another famous saying that I don’t remember word for word, but to paraphrase it: the only one who doesn’t make mistakes is the one who doesn’t try. So we have to start somewhere. Every person who is great at what they do, started somewhere; probably very far from where they are now.

So I challenge you to put your best foot forward. Get out there and start. Do something. Even if it’s not quite what you envisioned at first. Because it will be, in time. Let the creative juices flow. Because only then, can we realize our true potential. #practicemakesperfect 

Advertisements

Junglove

There’s something about plants that I just adore. I love having them around me. They bring so much life and positive energy to a space, and can even lift the mood on a gloomy day.

This past spring, I embarked on an adventure to turn my thumb green, and fill my small abode with lush, green life. I was somewhat successful; eight months later, I can say my house feels so much more alive than before. My plants may be small, but I enjoy them so much.

As I continue to add to my collection, I want to keep in mind the West Texas climate, and try to buy plants that aren’t too sensitive to cold (yes, Texas does get bitterly cold in the winter, although not for too terribly long.) I previously bought most of my plants from Florida (I’d found some great deals on eBay) and since my house isn’t climate controlled, I now have to keep them all in the warmest part of the house so they don’t freeze to death on cold nights. Not a terrible inconvenience, but something to keep in mind for those of us who have drafty homes without central heat.

I’m enjoying the jungle-izing of my bathroom and bedroom for the moment though, and imagining how nice it will be when I have enough plants to fill every room of my house like this. I think I am addicted to keeping and acquiring plants! And it can’t hurt to have extra-clean air either πŸ™‚

2 years down!

It’s hard for me to believe, but it’s been two years already since I’ve started blogging. Time passes so quickly! Especially with my here-and-there posting schedule, I think time goes by even faster lol.

Since every year I always tend to have a set plan for the blog, and it doesn’t quite turn out, this year I hope to just have fun with it and see where it takes me. I’m working on some new and exciting projects and who knows, maybe they’ll

make their way onto here. Or maybe not! Lol!

So I hope you’ll stay tuned for year 3 on Staylily, and I hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚

Oh, and I know it may not be Coke, but feel free to share with a friend! πŸ˜€

Stop And Smell The Dandelions!

It’s amazing to me the many little things we look over everyday. All the beautiful little things in nature that we so often take for granted.

Consider the fuzzy black and yellow honeybee taking a sip of nectar from a soft, yellow dandelion (there is no such thing as a”weed ” to a bee!). The oak leaf drifting down to the earth, clothed in a beautiful array of color ranging from green, to yellow, to red. The tiny brown vine which has wrapped itself so tightly around a flower stem, as if it’s holding on for dear life.

We so often absentmindedly go about our day, preoccupied with all that encompasses our busy lives, that we forget to stop and smell the dandelions. (Did you know they have a sweet scent?) We forget to take in the beauty around us.

Sometimes it takes an artist’s eye to bring these to our attention. The eye of a photographer. Someone who has an eye for the little things we don’t always notice.

And yet, as a photographer and artist myself, all too often I slip into that same preoccupied mode. That absentminded mode. Yes, even the photographer sometimes forgets to notice those little things.

That’s why we have to inspire one another. Through our lens, though our minds’ eye, and through our words we can inspire others to stop and smell the dandelions. To appreciate the simple things in life. To slow down and start living. To take in the beauty around us, instead of letting it pass us by.

Can you imagine how less stressed we would be if we would just take five minutes out of our busy day to stop and take it all in. Take in the beauty, fill our hearts with the peace that comes from the little, simple things. I think it would make a great difference in how we treat each other, most of all. We would appreciate each other more. Appreciate our earth more. And appreciate life more.

So please, take a walk with me. And let us stop and smell the dandelions.

Body shaming!

image

body shaming.

It’s real and it’s wrong.

At first glance, this cartoon may seem funny. This picture has been floating around social media for I don’t know how long…because we as a society have yet to realize that it is, in fact, promoting disrespect for others who may look different than we do.

Let’s face it, no matter what shape or size we may occur to be, I’m sure we all have things about our appearance that we would love to change. Some of these things we can change, some we can’t, and some may require much hard work and patience to change. But this in no way gives us a right to put someone else down just because they maybe don’t struggle with the same issue we do, or maybe they are more confident about their appearance than we are.

Fat shaming, skinny shaming, and every other type of body shaming, all stem from a lack of respect for ourselves. If we truly respected and loved ourselves for who WE are, would we feel the need to put someone else down to make ourselves feel better? No!

We as individuals all have beauty and purpose, and we should RESPECT one another and find ways to love and appreciate each other instead of finding ways to tear each other down!

There will always be someone more curvy, less curvy, taller, shorter, lighter, heavier, thicker, or thinner than us. Our uniqueness and diversity as humans is beautiful and it should be embraced, not made to look disgusting!

To look at someone and make judgments about their life/choices and especially to go so far as saying something downgrading, is very disrespectful and wrong on so many levels.

Society makes it seem acceptable to put one body type down in order to glorify another…as if we as women are reduced to nothing more than a shape which is to be scrutinized. No, we are ALL real women, who come in all shapes and sizes, who have real feelings and who have real value – no matter what we look like!

It’s great to have POSITIVE goals for ourselves to work toward – within reason and within the boundaries of real healthy choices. But we have to keep in mind that not everyone is supposed to fit into the same cookie-cutter mold. Not every woman (or man for that matter) is meant to be the same weight. We all have a range that is healthy for US. If we are unhealthy, we should love ourselves enough to adopt a more HEALTHY lifestyle. But never should we compare ourselves to others…or compare others to ourselves! That is not the way to form a healthy self-image.

If we truly care about the well-being of others, we will use words to UPLIFT others and encourage them to LOVE and RESPECT themselves, no matter what they look like on the outside! If we see someone making unhealthy choices, we should never tear them down or make them feel bad about themselves, but instead find ways to encourage them to make positive choices. This can be done without commenting on their appearance or passing judgments!  Keep in mind that we all have insecurities in one form or another, and there is no need to tear a person down by criticizing

This goes for everyone! Just because someone may look like your ideal of the “perfect” body type, does NOT mean they are okay to pass judgment on! It always comes across as hurtful and mean, even if it’s not intended that way.

So next time you see someone else, or even look at yourself in the mirror, find something positive to say or think! Remember that we ALL have feelings, goals, insecurities, hopes, dreams. If we all found ways to truly HELP and ENCOURAGE each other in a POSITIVE way, just think how much more united we would be as women and as humans! πŸ™‚

Closet blowout!

I saw a post recently on You And Mie where she takes about her recent closet purge, and it really inspired me to start really going through things…to get rid of all those things that don’t bring me joy when I see them…starting with my closet!

I can’t even tell you how many things I have held onto in hopes of mending them “one of these days”, or because they could be repurposed into something useful,, or because they are technically still wearable, or because even though it has holes, some cold day I could layer this top and make it useful!

Oh, the deception of closet clutter.

So yes, it was time to do an overhaul for sure. So far, I’ve been off to a slow start but hey –Β  it’s a start! I got a whole 13 gallon trash bag to get rid of, stuffed full of unnecessary, old clothes that don’t bring me joy when I see them. I’m sure i will get rid of more, but i feel pretty accomplished with just that bag alone! One less bag of unnecessary clutter to deal with.

Once I’m done with purging my wardrobe, I also have plans to do the same in the paperwork department, as well as in the craft department and kitchen department. I can’t wait to say bye to all that junk!

It’s so amazing the release you feel when you get rid of things you don’t need/love! All that guilt that’s been built up over months of looking at all that clutter and not knowing what to do with it – gone in an instant!

I feel such a sense of accomplishment in getting my home organized and de-cluttered. It’s almost like the feeling of buying new things…because you get to take the time to actually enjoy the things you love, because 1) you can now find them, and 2) you don’t have all that unnecessary junk bogging you down!
So all all I’m pretty thrilled with my new home organization plan. Can’t wait to see what my home looks like when I’m through!

No pain, no gain

We all go through ups and downs in life. Some ups are higher than others, and some downs are deeper than others. But what’s important is that we keep afloat.

It’s just like the ocean. The tides will rise and fall many times, bringing us up and down with them…that’s a part of life. Life is constantly changing in so many ways, some of which we like, and some that we inevitably won’t like. But we have to learn to take those down times, and learn from them…find something positive to focus on.

Sometimes the positive is hard to find, but we can find it if we look hard enough. My mother used to tell me this many times as I was growing up, and all those times I didn’t believe her. But it’s funny how life has a way of showing you the wisdom of your parents which you took for granted at the time. It’s not till later in life when you experience the real world problems, that you realize that your parents were right all along.

I’ve found what she said to be true in my adult life. There is always something positive to focus on. Something. Even if it’s just knowing that you are doing your best and things will improve over time. Time does not heal all wounds, but the mind has a way of putting the pain behind and moving on with life.

Remember you can be strong enough to handle anything life throws your way, as long as you continue to have the proper mindset, keep doing your best, and keep moving forward always… don’t sink into the mire.

There is so much depth and meaning to life, but you have to be determined to see the light…only then can you continue on the right path.

It’s amazing how after you have hit rock bottom, and come up again, how different things always look in retrospect. It may still hurt, and some pain may never completely go away…but we can always take something from our circumstances, learn, and grow stronger.

When you look at big picture, the hard things in life are what make us the strongest; the things we would never willingly choose to go through, are the very things that make us the people we are today.

So don’t give up when life gets tough. There is a special purpose for you…no matter who you are.