Who’s driving the bus? Taking control of your brain

I’m leaving my sense of humor at the door just this once to write about a serious subject. Okay, maybe just a few snarky remarks thrown in here and there, but for the most part this is going to be a straight-up, no-nonsense kinda blog, so fasten your seatbelts.

So, what I want to ask you is… ‘Who’s driving the bus?’

Are you the master of your own brain or do your thoughts control you?

What brought this question to  mind was a recent spate of purchases of one of my graphic designs called ‘Positive Focus’ … wondering about the customers who bought this design…and sincerely hoping that they can focus on that big golden YES in the middle.

Positive Focus

I made this graphic based on… not exactly a philoshophy…. but the way I choose to think. This is major, so I’ll repeat it…it’s the way I CHOOSE to think. This is such a simple, basic concept but it’s amazing to me how many people do not seem to be aware of this fact …you can choose what to think. I know…what a shocker right?

The thoughts floating around in your head right now are optional! You can stop them, start them, create new ones. Right now, right this minute, I decided to think about pink frilly tights. Why? Because I like pink frilly tights. Not on me of course, but what the hell, it’s my thought and I can put those pink frilly tights on my old butt and even make them look good if I imagine it so.

Technically your brain is an organ, not a muscle, but it behaves like a muscle. It grows and strengthens with use.
And like other muscles, the more you exercise it, the better control you have over it.

I’m not a pollyanna…or an ostrich…I know there are horrific things going on all around me. What  might be considered horrific things have happened to me personally. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint. I have been raped. I have been in an abusive relationship. So life is not all sunshine, but I choose to look for the sunshine….or more accurately, I make the sunshine.

Poor, Poor Dear

Many of the things people choose to focus on are  frivolous worries, like poor, poor dear above. (providing me the opportunity for poking fun at people’s foibles; thank you Lord for foibles). Another sneaky trap that catches thousands of people and they are totally unaware that it’s got them in it’s grip is ‘righteous anger’.  Let me give you an example of what that expression means.

Let’s say, for instance, that you are out shopping…… and hey, why wouldn’t you be?…it’s Saturday. The sun is shining. It’s a holiday weekend and everyone else is out enjoying the day.  They’re not stuck at home (like me) writing some bloody blog. They didn’t have their car broken into on Thursday night (like me) and the ignition totally thrashed by vandals so you can’t go anywhere even if you wanted to. Okay…I’m working up a good head of steam here on my righteous anger….I could go on with this trainwreck of thoughts until I was well and truly p….d off.

I have a right to be angry don’t I? Course I do. All the facts are on my side. After hearing the above circumstances you’de sympathize with me wouldn’t you?…I could get good and ticked off and be justified in doing so. We love to have confirmation of our right to be angry.

So am I angry? Nope. Good guess wonderchild…you win da prize.

Why? Because I don’t want to be. That’s it. No secret formula. My brain, my thoughts, my choice.

I have control of my brain and all the drivel that emerges from it is my own creation. If you have a choice (and you do) between happy or sad, anger or laughter…why  continue to choose sad and angry? I don’t know, but I’m not inclined to think about it too much right now…I’m busy planning a convention. Any other non-conformists out there who want to join the NC-U with me?

Non-Conformists Unite

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The obsession

I confess, I am obsessed. Artwork absorbs me to such an extent that I forget to eat; I mean it’s such a colossal annoyance to stop for a meal.  Seriously, I’d love to just strap on some intravenous, vitaminized gloop and carry on with my work.  Daily hygiene is also a necessary evil. I’d skip it altogether if not for the other people in the world (taking pity on their sense of smell, I occasionally sacrifice the time).
When I’m working, nothing is sacred…my kitchen egg-flipper still has chips of paint on it from some long-forgotten adventure in art. I gather household items around me like Pig-pen’s cloud, as I foment the latest creation. It’s an obsession. Fortunately, my obsession brings me joy not anxiety. And there’s no stigma attached to being an eccentric artist…my OCD is socially acceptable. Everyone knows artists are crazy.

For the last couple of years I’ve concentrated on photography and graphic art. These two hobbies shouldn’t generate much mess, right?  Ha! When I’m taking photos, I can’t just snap things in their current location and condition….that would be too neat and tidy. No, I have to decorate them with bits of lace, or outline them with light from sparklers or freeze them in ice. At the moment I have a piece of glass out on my patio(rescued from some old picture frame) where I’m taking advantage of the current cold snap to coat it with ice.  I’ll use it later, for better or worse, to create some new images under ice.
For as long as I can remember, one project or another has cluttered up my living space. The freaky thing is, disorder upsets my equilibrium so I compulsively clean today, and I’ll obsessively create a new mess tomorrow.

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, art is undeniably a jealous mistress (or in my case, mister). Relationships definitely suffer neglect when you’re wrapped up in paper mache and tubes of glitter….(unless you’re using them in novel ways outside my normal methods). People become extraneous and just as much an inconvenience as eating a meal… or more so…at least the meal doesn’t expect conversation.

Here is one of the harvests from my obsession. This one required burning sparklers in the kitchen, dropping remnants of ash in the kitchen sink, as well as coating the top of the range with dripping candle wax. I never notice the mess I’m making until I come out of the zone…..and then it’s back to compulsive tidying.

Photography Prints

and if I happen to scatter a little broken glass here and there, who’s to notice?

Art Prints

When I was younger, I tried to fit into society’s standard of a “normal” life…..someone else’s vision of normal. Now I’m old enough to understand that my life is normal….for me.

And it’s damn good.

Links to header images:

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/explosive-ideas-barbara-white.html

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/dreamscape-barbara-white.html

Dammit, I’ve been ripped off!

Apparently, other people have something called a soul mate and I feel I’ve been cheated. Where’s mine then, huh?  How come, in all my long years, I’ve never bumped into anything that remotely resembled a soul mate.

Maybe it’s because I’m not sure what a soul mate is? Is it anything like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus?

Okay, I may be a tad cynical, but if there is a soul mate for everyone, mine is wandering around Tiffanys and I’m over here shuffling around WalMart (okay, I don’t really shuffle yet, but I’m sure I will be by the time he finds me).

Oh, by the way, Happy New Year.

This whole soul mate question began rankling me after watching “Crazy Stupid Love” with my kids over the holidays. One of my sons, who is now 38 years old, recommended it as one of his favorites. Now, biased mother opinions aside, he is a handsome, thoroughly masculine, hunky kinda guy with a ton of husband potential. Any guy sensitive and romantic enough to pick that movie, must have possibilities don’t you think? But he’s never met his soul mate. I have two other sons….same thing. No soul mates. Are we all delusional?

And when exactly did soul mates become a national objective? My parents never told me that a mysterious soul mate lurked in my future. It was supposed to be a knight in shining armour. Yes, I’m sure I remember that correctly. A clanking hunk on a white charger. Would have made for noisy sex, but hey, in those days you weren’t supposed to be doing it anyway. My siblings and I were all immaculate conceptions…..no rattling breastplates and crashing helmets in my parents bedroom; no need to even remove the gauntlets.

So, have I been duped? Was I watching for a white horse when my soul mate went charging by on a black stallion?

Or is the whole thing a myth propagated by the media to sell more movies and Valentine’s cards? What’s your opinion….do you still believe in the Easter Bunny? If you have met your soul mate, send me a picture.  I want some kinda proof that they exist.

Honestly, I’ve managed to have a wonderful life with no horse hockey messin’ up my yard…and I don’t have much interest in shopping at Tiffanys. But if you’re out there ‘soul mate’, and you’re not too senile to find it, drop by WalMart…I’ll be the little grey-haired lady causing a scene in the lingerie department. And hurry up, time is running out. I figure I might have twenty good years left in me, but after that you’re on your own.

 

What’s my NEWline? tee contest

iiphotoArt introduces fun new line of tshirts!

It’s called, strangely enough,

“NEWline”

Each tee features a simple graphic line drawing that is actually a  rebus puzzle depicting a word or phrase containing the word “line”. Below is an example.

NEWline 1

To see the design on a tee, click here.

………this one’s pretty obvious, but I’ll give you a minute to figure it out. The answer is at the bottom of this post (and that’s a blatant hint for you).

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out what word or phrase the next three “NEWline” tees depict.

NEWline 2

To see the design on a tee, click here.

NEWline 3

To see the design on a tee, click here.

NEWline 4

To see the design on a tee, click here.

The contest begins NOW and runs until midnight Dec.31/11.
Everyone who sends in correct answers for lines 2,3 and 4 before the deadline will be entered in a draw to win a “NEWline” tee with the design of their choice.
The best part is, there will be lots to choose from. Every day  from now through December 31, another “NEWline” tee will be added to the iiphotoART zazzle website.

These first four tees are available beginning today at iiphotoART. Visit every day to find out what the next “NEWline” will be. Just to keep it interesting, the answers to each “NEWline” will not be shown anywhere except here on this blog. That means if you like a challenge, you can buy your tee and have as much time as you want to figure it out yourself before cheating!

The rules are simple:

  1. anyone can enter (except my immediate family, so forget it you guys)
  2. you may submit only one entry per email address
  3. the winner must answer all three lines correctly
  4. entry must be received before midnight Dec.31/11
  5. there will be one winner chosen by a draw from all the winning entries
  6.  the winner will receive one tshirt, in the style and design of their choice taken from the iiphotoArt NEWline Zazzle collection

So, that’s it. Fill out your answers in the form below and good luck! Winners will be announced here and at iiphotoART by January 15, 2012.

Oh yeah, for all those who are linearly challenged, the answer to NEWline 1 is ……… “bottom line” (they’re not all this easy).

The answer list can be viewed by clicking on the link at top. I’ll add the next answer every day after the daily NEWline tee has been added to zazzle.  Lines 2, 3, and 4 will not be revealed until the new year.