Color Outside The Lines

Color Outside The Lines

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt 

Challenge your boundaries, allow them to stretch your status quo, courageously step out of bounds at times even if not within your comfort zone and expand your creative horizons.  Protecting what we have always been, doing what we have always done will bring us the results we have already received.

Perhaps our past experiences, fears and expectations of others and ourselves have darkened the outlines of our potential, holding us back.  Sadly, we may hide behind walls containing our gifts neglecting the work that defines our unique contribution to this world.

Follow the lead of a child where lines don’t seem to exist, only possibilities.  Flawless work is not the ultimate goal and individual expression comes naturally as they move freely and fluidly through their creative process.

Through years of setting up borders and boundaries for ourselves, we unknowingly create an outline of our envisioned lives hardened with continuous and tedious strokes keeping us functioning safely within the lines.  Over time, after producing generic pictures colored within the lines of our own making with repetitive skill, it’s no wonder that creative inspiration often fades away.

Don’t let your self-imposed limitations close you in.  Allow your creative imagination the expanse of an entire coloring page of life, rendering your authentic self in your artistic expression, as you relearn to color outside the lines.

© Erika K Rothwell

P.S. I love you all.

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Kaleidoscope of Hope – True Inspiration

Kaleidoscope of Hope – True Inspiration

Fragmented, broken pieces of myself have formed into a moving creative pattern appearing through a kaleidoscope induced image of myself. My feelings of inconsistency remind me to accept the orderliness of a divine arrangement marked with symmetry and cohesiveness to produce authentic work reflecting my individual design.

Psychology of perception ground up learning theory would state that I am a product of experience. What I see is because of what I already know. Having learned to finally tweak the vision of those broken parts into some sort of manageable recurring design for others to view plays on this well-accepted theory.  However, what is perceived still remains subjective.

Events can turn the environment causing a new realm of stability, slightly shifting the lens, and strikingly new patterns emerge.  Consider too that each repetitive pattern is continually morphing into a modified version of itself until it becomes completely unrecognizable in the metamorphosis, retaining only some of its original colors.

We can all recognize the beauty in the constantly changing visions of a kaleidoscope.  But can we accept change in ourselves?

Vivid colors surround me daily, awakening a deeply-rooted purpose to express my feelings and reflections in the form of artistic creation.  I cannot deny the profound effect of colorful displays of inspirational images on my heart.  Motivation to share and create is born from these visions of delight.  Flowers, birds, and trees, as well as oceans and mountain streams, enlighten me and guide my heart deeper into a natural realm of being where self-acceptance combines with a desire for a non-hurried lifestyle to allow my dreams to thrive.

As in the turn of a kaleidoscope, creative development often remains a work in progress and a mystery.  A journey refined by every step.  Joy felt from our individual perspective of each design as seen today without our eyes on tomorrow or our hearts left in the struggles of yesterday.

It is for each of us to appreciate the constantly changing visions of our inner kaleidoscopes.

For what we think to be true, is often only true because of how we see it.  

© Erika K Rothwell

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Hopelessly Creative

Hopelessly Creative

It exists in all of us, whether initially a flicker or a flame, creativity eventually asks for engagement.   Art is born not only in painful moments of life’s unexpected and uncontrollable events, but also in the peaceful serene entrance of morning when an invitation is presented to begin a new day with the most playful of heart.

My wish to capture the sunrise this morning as a photograph was not granted as I was traveling on the highway. I could only gape at its beauty and imbed the picture in my memory. Difficult as it was to keep my attention on the road, mesmerized by the half crescent shape of the bright orange globe peeking out from the horizon, I turned my thoughts to the inspiration from nature once again.

Further down the road where the sun’s rays had not yet touched, a heavy ethereal mist was floating above the red river and evoked my fantastical imagination of a world where mystical delights swirl around each and every one of us playfully invoking a powerful urge and desire to create art from the inspiration of tiny water droplets suspended in air.

For me, the mist represents a lightness of heart that floats above the harsh realities of a mundane existence or the senseless casualties of loved ones.  As with atmospheric changes, the heaviness of life can be transformed into featherlight peace.  Once again my sense of purpose has been reestablished and confirmed.

As I was elevated from a mechanical state of tending to daily cares to one of sublime happiness, a magical gift was received again from above.  A place created by a societal and collective imagination, but also quite possibly a place revealed to us in tiny glimpses of unimagined beauty upon daybreak in nature’s masterpieces.

Appreciation of these slivers of magnificence can fan and fuel the burning desire to bring forth our own creative beauty deepening our relationship with the creator of all.

© Erika K Rothwell

Read by Erika K Rothwell
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Hope in Harmony

Hope in Harmony

After a cleansing rain, the sun sparkles in water drops on blades of grass capturing a reflective thought.  The well-balanced cycle in nature reminds me of a consistent and harmonious dance of life.  

Often we aspire to lead with our steps; however, think of the possibilities if we chose to follow the lead of nature more often.  Discovering the tempo and the necessary footing of the day’s activities with a “go with the flow” attitude rather than a white knuckle grip of control as we force events deepens our opportunities for inspiration.

Take a moment to recognize how you are feeling right now.  Are your shoulders tense?  Are you taking short breaths?  Does the heaviness of the to-do list staring at you or incessant thoughts spinning in your brain suffocate your joy?

Look out your window.  What do you see?  Notice the harmony in the flow of life.  The breeze gently moves the trees.  The squirrel scampers along the fence line with perfect balance.  The sun warms the ground as the daffodils poke out cheerfully.  Let it lead you to a place of appreciation where you can slow your breath to match the gentle breeze and allow your thoughts to float lightly like the clouds above.  

Awakened to a new relaxed state of mind, you can make sense of the tasks ahead. 

Following the pattern and harmony of nature, we discover our true natures.  Speaking our truths like the flowers of the field, showing our colors, helps us dance in the wind. There is no judgment in harmony.  The existence is borderless and overlapping.  We find our balance and deepest roots in nature.  

When we fight against the waves, rather than allow them to carry us forward riding the power of the force and flow, we fight a helpless fight that may eventually knock us down to our knees, possibly even forcing us to swallow the salt water from our own tears.

Harnessing the power of the wind creates energy.  Working against such power slows and wears us down.  How much better to invite this energy to infuse our dreams rather than work against it and slowly drain our strength.  

Support is available physically, emotionally and spiritually for us. If we acquiesce and release our need for control, we accept what is and thus choose to follow the path of harmony.  Hope exists in harmony.

Working as an instrument of nature, we find strength knowing we are part of the flow of inspiration. Our creative work provides the connection as we complete the cycle.

© Erika K Rothwell

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Arranging Life

Arranging Life

Arranging Life

Why is everything in life such an arrangement?  This morning I find myself arranging my workspace more than I find myself working in my space.  Contemplating the amount of time and focus spent on arranging my life, I start to believe the greatest enjoyment is granted within this creative process. 

The word arrangement is used in our language to describe artistic creations like flower arrangements and musical arrangements.  

The positive artist in me always strives to display a dazzling arrangement in every part of my life, precisely why I spend countless hours in the activity.  One definition of arrangement reads “a combination of things to make up a design.”  That’s it, the design actually requires arrangement! 

My feelings of inadequacy clearly marked the beginning of this day, as I negatively viewed my inability to begin writing.  As the past has taught me, you can’t change your nature, but you can change your view of yourself.  This is a written reminder of how negative self-talk can be transformed into grace and positivity, simply by considering another angle.  Each day we have the choice to talk ourselves down or build ourselves up. 

Today I have discovered, arranging can help in overcoming insecurities and lead us forward.  If we focus on the best ‘things’ to make up our design, using a hopeful and graceful attitude, life can become a beautiful arrangement.

– Erika K Rothwell

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