Musings

Thoughts and Perspectives to Shift your Thinking from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Is your receiver working?

Is your receiver working?

Recently I was sitting with someone I admire and they were reviewing some work I had done for them.  As they spoke I found myself crossing my legs, tapping my foot and playing uncomfortably with my pen.  I also found myself struggling to make eye contact, which rarely happens.

The words kept flowing from her. Comment after comment about the work that I had done.

This was kind of difficult to take in.

Why?

It was a waterfall of continuous compliments.  Literally – non-stop compliments about the work I had done.

After the first one I smiled and said “Oh thank you so much.”  After the second, third and … I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

I tried to deflect  – saying that we all were amazing together It wasn’t just me.

I tried to return – saying that it is such a gift to work with someone so amazing.

But after a while, I had nothing left. It was just awkward. I had to accept these amazing words all directed towards me. For me being me.

Why on earth was this so difficult?  If she has sat there and told me all of the ways I could improve, I would have listened intently, taken notes and worked on my self-improvement model. But this was not like that at all.  There was nothing to improve upon. Omg.

I think we all have an under developed “I’m F’n Amazing”  muscle and an over developed “I’m not worthy” muscle.

This really needs to shift.

In the book, The Power of Receiving, Amanda Owen writes, “While the Giver archetype is celebrated in our culture, the Receiver is almost wholly unknown. The result? Busyness is a virtue. “  So true. Cultivating a life of doing and doing for others leads us down a path that thwarts our ability to receive. This ability to receive shows up in crazy places. It can be gifts, good health, relaxing and even receiving the gift of true love.

Owen writes, “The only possible match for someone who doesn’t know how to receive is someone who doesn’t know how to give.” That statement alone speaks volumes and begs us to ask ourselves, what value is there in not being someone who won’t’ open up to receiving?

There is no martyrdom nor are there any awards in being an over-giver. There is just an imbalance.

All of life depends on a flow of give and receive to properly flourish and thrive and we are no exception.

It is time to open the doors and let your all your joys in and receive them with honor! You deserve it!

So….in closing…If you want to praise this post, feel free to email me at Elizabeth@elizabethtuckwell.com – I am open to receive!

Big Hug Amazing you!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

 

 

The Lens of Love

The Lens of Love

Seeing with Love’s Lenses

A woman I know looked at her phone and shook her head. She walked over to me and said look at this text message my husband just sent me.

It was a list of things to remember before her big trip.

I looked at it and said, “Oh look at all the ways he is telling you he loves you.”

Her expression totally changed. “Ohhh”, she said, “I was looking at this and thinking God look how he is micro managing me.   But you totally changed that for me.” A few weeks later she came up to me and showed me a text on her phone again and this time she said, “look at all the ways my husband is telling me he loves me.”  We both laughed!

How much better does it feel to look at something and feel the love from it than to feel constricted by it?

Love’s lenses are an incredible and freeing way to view the world around you. We are all in fact wearing some form of lenses that we view our world from and the vantage point is make or break.  No matter what lenses you chose to view your life from, you will always be right.  That is why it can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone (lover, partner, friend, colleague, parent, etc) where you do not share the same type of lenses. Especially if one person is heavily invested in their perspective.

Recently a friend called me to express her need for some help. She said she felt isolated and believed that there were not a lot of people in her life to help her.  She asked me to reach out and see if support was available for her. What I found was an outpouring of love and people wanting so much to help her. There was so much love available for her. But in her limited perspective she was only able to see some of it. How much better did she feel when the world of love that was surrounding her actually was able to be viewed because her lenses had shifted from isolation to that of love?

When we are only looking at life through one set of lenses, we are looking for life to appear a certain way. That is a bit rigid and our self-imposed lenses will also allow you to only see what is in line with that viewpoint.

What is important here is to allow for the possibilities of other viewpoints to come into play. It makes life’s playground a lot bigger and possibilities for personal expansion much greater. One perspective is one path and there is only one way to go. Opening up to other perspectives, lenses and interpretations of an event creates growth.

So ask yourself this question the next time you are feeling especially constricted by a situation, “If I looked at this through the lenses of love, what would I see?” I am willing to bet the farm that what you will see will be a lot more beautiful than anything before. Give it a try!

Big Hug!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

 

 

 

Use Your Imagination for Good!

Use Your Imagination for Good!

Your imagination is such a powerful part of you. In fact, if you spell the
word imagine out loud it sounds like ” I am a genie” because you are
and it is.

Every once in a while my 7-year-old starts on a worry route. She will
have watched or heard something that tipped her mind in the wrong direction, like a
scary part of a movie, or a bad dream, and she will start to ask a
series of “what if” questions all designed to calm (or cement) her
fears.

“What if it is real?”
“What if that really happens”
“What if something like that happens to me?”

I comfort her, ensure her that it was all pretend. I tell her that she is safe.

And then I tell her that she is just using her imagination the wrong
way. She has the power to imagine anything. Don’t choose what feels
horrible. Choose what feels good. Those what if questions are gatekeepers to your imagination.

It is the essence of worry. Worry is simply using your imagination
the wrong way. Using it to bring you closer to your fears versus towards your joy. When we go the route of worry we are using our “What If” muscles to create something we don’t want instead of what we do want.

Two sides of the coin, both just as powerful.

Growing up we are trained to dismiss this power of our imagination as a frivolous
part of our make-up. But it is actually an indispensable part of our
lives.  If we can begin to see anything in our mind, and do it often
enough. we will see that our minds will start to bring that to us.

There is a part of our brains designed for this. It is the Reticular
Activating System. It is a part of the brain that filters all of the
information coming at you. It only takes in what you have deemed most
important by your habitual mental setup. The thoughts you think over and over and over.

Your consistent application of your imagination.

Holding a thought in your mind and imagining that thought coming
true is holding a space in your life for something to come in.

Whether it is good or not so good. Staying aware and in ownership of this is learning to master what we intentionally place in our lives versus what shows up by default.

We are easy creatures of habit and this also includes our thoughts and what we allow as the focus of our attention. Checking our phones every
3 minutes, waking up and staring at a screen, binging on Netflix, video games –  all gives our attention away and eludes our ability to our focus. This all takes away from us intentionally using our imagination.

Picture in your mind having something that you really want right now.

Questions:

  • How much time do you give to this one idea throughout the day?
  • How much time do you spend imagining what it would be like to have this in your life?
  • How much of your day do you outsource your attention to the things around you?

Take a moment to expand on what you are really wanting? Feel how what you want to feel when you have it. Now imagine that desire hovering over you like a light above your head.

Now imagine it descending into your whole being. Feel the warmth and gentle confidence it is bringing to you. Hold this feeling for as long as you can. Then let it go.

You have just used your imagination to bring you what you do want.

Doing this intentionally and on repeat will start to bring more of what you really want to you. It will start to tip that RAS in your favor.

When you begin to go down the path of worry, realize you are simply using your imagination to bring you what you don’t want. You can stop it in its tracks and turn the vision around. Imagine the opposite. That everything IS working. That it is becoming easier and easier. Imagine that situation simply floating away from you resolving itself. Win Win for all.  You just used your imagination to bring you what you do want.

You have this power that totally listens to you. It is impartial. What your use your imagination for it will bring to you. So let’s start intentionally using it for good. Even more than good – let’s start using it for the Best of the Best right now.

And we all want that, right?

Happy intentional creating! Love you!

Would love to know your thoughts/ feelings / ideas? Xoxox

Want more info on the Reticular Activating System?:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reticular_formation#Ascending_reticular_activating_system

https://renewingallthings.com/spiritual-health/reticular-activating-system-you-see-what-you-believe/

https://medium.com/desk-of-van-schneider/if-you-want-it-you-might-get-it-the-reticular-activating-system-explained-761b6ac14e53

 

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

You’ve Got the Power!

You’ve Got the Power!

I did it! The other day I shot out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning. I was full of vigor, might and all the potential joy in the world. The 364 days leading up to that day I had been wanting to start a morning routine where I managed to work out, meditate and set the intentions for the day all before waking up my daughter. Today was the day!

My intention was to create my own energy field and remain aligned with it throughout the day.  What does this mean? It means that instead of having my feelings be based on reactions to my day, I would have a day based on the way I wanted to feel. I was going to decide how I wanted to feel that day and not waiver from that – no matter what. Obviously, I wanted to feel good. Real good. All day.

And today was the day! I got up extra early and did yoga, ran on the elliptical, had a wonderful shower then meditated. I was feeling great. Today was going to be amazing!

I woke my daughter and we got our day started with some crazy accents, major silliness and lots of laughter.  I knew that this day was going to be amazing for her as well because it was starting so beautifully ahhhh… (I am sure there is a choir of angels in that sentence somewhere).

Then it happened. Without warning my sweet child turned on me. There were more tantrums than I could count. And they were all happening in micro seconds. Shirts were not comfortable. Oatmeal was not pretty. Life had become totally unbearable in a matter of minutes. Tears were flying and I was standing there stunned. Did my seven-year-old child not understand that mommy had already decided today was going to be amazing. At no point had I added a buffet of tantrums to that list of loveliness. So what was this?!!

After we moved through the rest of our morning and I dropped off my daughter at school, I walked away thinking heavily about the morning that had gone south despite my 6 am pep rally. The day that followed had a few hiccups too and I almost began to call this day a wash by 9:30 am when I realized that it was still very much in my control! Wait, what? Despite everything that had happened I still had a major playing card. My decision to have my day aligned with peace. No matter what. I had cultivated that feeling at the very beginning of the morning and I could reactivate it anytime. I started to realize that this day was less about things going wrong as it was about me testing myself.

I heard once that when you pray for peace you are not sent peace, you are sent challenges that force you to choose peace. What you seek must be cultivated on the inside for it to be real. I had made a decision to own the way the day felt for me at the beginning of the day. It was not up to the world to make sure this happened, it was up to me. So what happened. I got a day that asked me how serious I was about this? How committed to me am I?

I thought about this over and over throughout the day. I began to see each hiccup as an opportunity to re-establish my connection with what I really wanted this day to be for me. It was a liberating way to move through the day. Each time something went left when I wanted it to go right, I simply told myself to not take it personally and move on.

Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements started playing in my head. It outlines the four basic tenants of wisdom that, when followed, make life a lot easier:

Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally.
Don’t make assumptions.
Always do your best.

I went through this simple list and related it to my decision to stay in aligned with peace. It was, and is, such an excellent guidepost for keeping in harmony throughout the day.

Since that morning I have been taking this concept to other areas of my life. Setting feeling intentions before anything happens. Reminding myself of how I want to feel.  Knowing that if something externally has me deviate from these feelings, it is up to my internal guidance system to get me back on track.

I think this is some serious life mastery stuff we are talking about. And when it works it really works. Does this technically mean I am adult-ing??

Question: How do you want to feel today? Tomorrow? Next week? Right Now?
You have the right to decide that. You also have the power to make it happen.

Big Hug Beautiful Creator!
Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.
Your life is your Masterpiece!

Your life is your Masterpiece!

Do you feel like creativity is just for Artists?

When I tell people that I am an Artist I often hear them say, “ I don’t have one creative bone in my body.” To which I reply, I am sure you do.

I say that because I really believe that everyone is creative. We just have to re-write the definition of what creative means and look at from the viewpoint of the choices we make. These choices are our moment by moment brushstrokes on the canvas of our worlds creating the picture of our lives.

Each choice we make determines the moment that follows it. We are creating our futures moment by moment by the mico choices we make all day long.

From the moment you wake you are making choices that will determine the outcome of your day. Often times these choices are habits, like brushing your teeth, making coffee, working out (or not working out). Sometimes these choices are as simple, or for some complex, as deciding your outfit for the day.  Each of these morning choices determines the foundation of your day.  Throughout the rest of your day you will face seemingly endless micro choices; pick up the phone, ignore it? reply to this email, ignore it? Call the one you have been thinking about for 5 years, or ignore that idea?  Stay within the comfort zone or try something new?

Start recognizing where you already are creative in your own life. Look at the things you love  – how do you express yourself around your loved ones?  What ways do you create moments that matter? Look at the ways you create peace, inspiration or even dialogue. Look at the way you express yourself.

Being a creative is about the way you express yourself in the world.  But it is not limited to creating artwork. From the way you dress, meals you cook or order in, the music you choose, the artwork you look at. The moments you create in your own life count too.

I think by realizing that you, in fact, possess these creative powers innately, and use them daily, you will start to look at your world a bit more differently. Seeing that you have actually placed the items in your life there for a reason.

It is a beautiful way to look at your everyday. It is easy to overlook the small actions you choose through the day as random ones. When in fact it is the collection of micro-choices that make up our macro world. There is something about you that is choosing this cup over that one, or this colour shirt over another. And only you can make this choice for your life.

An interesting experiment is to examine how you create on purpose is to take a notebook with you one day and jot down all of the choices you make throughout your day on one column and on the other write why. Small or large they all count.

If we start to see how we create big moments out of little ones we can start to see how powerful we are.

At the end of the day, you are a great artist. You are creating your life. You are the artist of your life and your world. So why not make it your masterpiece.

Big Hug Great Creator – Stay Amazing!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.

Transcend the Time Space

Transcend the Time Space

I am washing my brush at the sink when I notice that I have nearly as much paint on my hand as I do on my tiny 2-inch brush. I laugh. This is not new to me. Not only had I been painting less than 4 minutes but I was also not even properly painting. I was casually applying gesso to an already primed canvas. My cavalier approach had me disregard the need for an apron while I wore black to the white paint. I was lucky. Only managed to coat most of my right hand. More often than not, I find paint in the strangest places. I remember cleaning up after a marathon painting session and later noticing that I had gotten blue paint behind my left knee. The most unusual part was that I had been wearing jeans the whole time. How I transcended physics and permeated denim to get paint to the skin I do know now. I do know that painting does seem to transcend the space-time continuum, so that may explain somethings…

The idea that painting transcends time is not just an opinion it is well documented that there is a “zone” entered when an artist is fully engaged in the art-making process.  Painting becomes an act of meditation.

In a recent article in the Washington Post, Maia Gambis writes that an art-making process is a form of mediation that not only aids in greater quality of life, but also helps with overwhelm and anxiety ( my favorites).

“Creating art is a type of meditation, an active training of the mind that increases awareness and emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind… Similarly to meditation, art can help us tap into a deeper and quieter part of ourselves. We enter into a state of flow and present-moment awareness… All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.”

Ok, how cool was that quote??!

When I first began teaching painting and meditation workshops I was actually curious as to why I had decided to pair these two.  It wasn’t until I examined their similar effects that I understood why I was doing it. Often times, as an intuitive person, I will simply go with a feeling that something is the right choice before my logical mind shows up with a long list of how and whys attached to it.  This was one of those times.


I realized, however, that during these workshops I was more interested in facilitating the experience of the meditation and the art creation process rather than teaching a technical lesson on how to re-create a painting. My desire is to give participants the space to explore their inner landscape and create an external expression of it. Whether they had the painterly alphabet was not important, what mattered was that they had in their hands, for the first time in a long time, colors, brushes, canvas and space to simply express themselves without judgement. They could release what was inside of them looking for a way to get free.

The look in their eyes when they had moved into the zone, the silence in the room and the extreme sigh of relief when they had accomplished this courageous artwork was intoxicating.

I look forward to creating these workshops with extra-large canvasses and give participants even more room to set free what they have held inside for too long.  I can guarantee that when that happens, I won’t be the only one walking away with paint behind my knee.

How are you getting into your zone of creativity? I would love to know!

If you want to take a jump back into the pool of your art, head on over the Creative Jump Start Free Challenge. Ideas, inspiration and peace are waiting for you there.

Big Hug Great Creator – Stay Amazing!

Elizabeth Tuckwell is the founder of Art With Intention a site devoted to creative expression and personal peace. She is also an accomplished Abstract Artist and her work can be viewed at Elizabethtuckwell.com.