Acknowledging what is….

There are some things at which I am good…great even! Then there are some things which I don’t get right away but an “aha” moment eventually occurs.
Then there is technology. I understand now why my son shakes his head and my daughter puts her head in her hands when I call to ask the same questions again and again….and again. I don’t get it. There are learning curves…so I hear. I believe my line hasn’t yet begun to “curve”. Or has it?
It’s not a hardware issue, I believe it’s a software issue. I’ve known how to use a keyboard since high school..and that was a long time ago! I was working at USA Today when we had to learn how to use the new technology of a Mac to do our artwork. I was introduced to various types of software…Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Excel, Access, and many others. None, I repeat NONE of which I’ve ever conquered even after classes. I may have learned one or two steps in each but that does not make me a “user”! I was definitely a hands on, do it by hand kind of a person but that battle was being lost daily. My way was becoming obsolete. I did learn to use some “desktop publishing” software and kept my employment stable creating marketing materials. I also logged a lot of long, long hours (not overtime) because it took me so long, with many repeated efforts, to figure out how to get it done. This has been occurring again recently as I embark on my new adventure of teaching Expressive Art classes and promoting those classes online. Sigh. A deep, deep Sighhhhh.
Creating event pages and websites, using Social Media, tagging, flagging, twitting, pinteresting, instagraming, hashtagging…..what???? I don’t get it!!! I don’t want to get it!!! But I must… especially since I’m considering creating online courses!!! Who am I kidding??!!!
This past weekend it took me four hours to create an event page. FOUR HOURS!!! And to figure out how to connect my blog to my pages took days of frustrating trial and error! And I’m not certain I’ll remember how to connect this issue!! I cannot afford to pull out the little hair I have left on my head!!
Then I received a gentle reminder from my daughter that I was missing the bigger picture. It may have taken me “forever” to do those things but I DID IT!!
She’s right! I am ahead of the curve……somewhat, and I am acknowledging that!!
I’m taking my kudos, patting myself on the back, high five-ing my other hand!! Acknowledging the fact that some of my peers don’t do it at all and some even ask me….ME… to help them!! I’m acknowledging the fact that YES!! I created post cards to be printed and I did create event pages for my classes (www.facebook.com/events/252010641916774/) and (www.facebook.com/events/642548475949111/) and I did create events in Google Plus, and Instagram. I did that!!!
Just like it took me three months to get the coloring book “Fierce, Fabulous & Feminine” onto Amazon.com I did it!!! It’s there and it’s been selling!
So, yes I am learning to acknowledge my stick-to-it-tive-ness!!
I will stick to it long enough to be in a position to hire someone who knows what they are doing to do it all for me!!

Keeping your eyes on the prize

Sometimes when things do not happen when you expect them to happen you kind of shove them aside to a place in your mind where you don’t think about it. You know you want the thing to occur but you don’t want to disappoint yourself so you tuck it out of the way so it won’t get in the way. And you go on with your life. You do other things. Still. It’s there. That one thing that hasn’t happened…yet. You don’t know if it is, You want it to but still…just in case….

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

Soooo I’ve been wanting something to happen, in my time frame, but since my technology skills are not the best I had to have help with the video and editing part of my project. The editor had things to do (like work) and she got sick and then she had to catch up on her life stuff. So the timeline for me was approaching and then it passed and then I tucked the wanting of it away in the that mind compartment where I wouldn’t think of it….at least not often.

I did other things. Completed other projects of importance.
I scheduled the dates and times for my upcoming art classes!!!
The “ART pARTay” bring your own bottle/snacks and paint a masterpiece classes will be held on Wednesday evenings beginning March 22, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Register: paypal.me/PhyllisATaylor/30
 “Express Yourself” is a 6 week mixed media art class to learn to visually express more joy, gratitude, inner peace using expressive marks, colors and/or emotive images! Expressive Art can be a powerful healing process helping to release stress and frustrations. This class will be held on 6 consecutive Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. beginning March 27, 2017
Register: paypal.me/PhyllisATaylor/335
Both classes will be held in the JamArt Classroom, 124 Live Oaks Blvd., Bldg 1, Casselberry, FL 32707
I’ve become a Certified Creatively Fit Coach having completed the requirements needed to do so during the last five months!! Spent an exhilarating weekend in Melbourne, FL with other CCF coaches and women on their own vision quests. It was great, it was quite moving and humbling and inspiring to finally meet some of the women I’ve been on this journey with but have only known online. To see their work, to collaborate with them creating art, listening to the stories of their journeys was a sensational feeling. The vibrational energy in that women’s circle was so high you could feel your body tingling! So much love, so much joy, so much sincerity, so much giving. Just So Much! If you are interested in reclaiming the magic, mystery and creative mastery of your life click this link: https://dt286.isrefer.com/go/VisionQuest/pannetart/  
and begin your Vision Quest.
My time spent by the ocean, though short, was just what I needed to recharge my creative self.

“For her the ocean was more than a dream, it was a place she needed to find herself.” – Jose Chaves

Funny thing about returning “home”..,,I’m glad to always have one to return to and upon entering I greet my abode with “Hi house, I’m home!” Yet when I shut the door something happens……my vibrations shift. It could be the quiet….but I like quiet. It could be the “aloneness”….I like the aloneness, it goes with the quiet. The aloneness and the quietness don’t speak back after you say “I’m home”. I unpacked, relaxed and went to bed (it was late for me anyway and I did have to be at my guard post in the morning!)

Three days of routine and humdrumness and my energy vibrations were sliding down hill quickly! Then I opened my emails and low and behold that which I wanted (part of it anyway) was granted!!! I received acceptance into a program I’ve been dreaming about for years!!! But I had tucked it away in the compartment of the mind where it would be safe…from disappointment.
And the left brain quickly raised its questions of “How you gonna pay for it?” “You don’t have this, you don’t have that, it’s too late, you’re too old, you can’t, you shouldn’t, it’s not gonna work, it’ll take too long!”
I took my eyes off my prize. I step out of the boat of my comfort zones and walked on the water of my dreams. Then I doubted. I shifted focus. I lost sight of my vision and I began to sink into the  quicksand of doubt and fear. I could no longer see myself accomplishing the thing I wanted to do.

“The most common cause of “failure” is lack of…..visualizations. The universe lacks something to work with so it does nothing. Life is images expressed and without images there is no expression.” – D. Gikandt

The phone rang, my daughter asked about my weekend and was so excited about my certification and my classes and my moving forward and my acceptance into the program I had waited so long to get into and then she noticed my total lack of enthusiasm.
I was promptly reminded of the differences between contentment, complacency and settling! I was gently nudged into setting up a timeline and asked if I had meditated and prayed for guidance needed to support my continued forward movement. I lifted my viewpoint, I focused again on my “why” and I saw my vision. I was reminded of why this was so important to me and the service I wanted to provide to other women who have experience abuse/violence in their lives. Every woman has a story they can express creatively and re-create a new image of themselves.
To have transformation take place you must be willing to die to your old self. Be willing to bear the adjustments of untangling….be willing to allow yourself to go through a metamorphosis.
It ain’t easy. Circumstances, wind, waves, life happening, all kinds of stuff will come against me but if I remain focused, keeping my eyes on my prize the Universe will continue to support me. And I will continue to “walk on water.”

I survived because the fire inside of me burned brighter than the one around me.
Some women are lost in the fire. Some women are built from the fire and some women can be re-forged in the fire.

Comfort Zones

I like being comfortable. Spent a lot of my life in conflict avoidance though I didn’t always manage to do so. Being comfortable is not always a good thing and most times if the universe is calling you and you are avoiding the call, for whatever reason, the universe may just give you a pretty big whomp up side your head to get your attention. That whomp could be anything. Trauma. Job Loss. Death of a loved one. Divorce. Empty Nest. Mid Life Crises…….any darned thing that will get you to wake up!
So in my many years I’ve had many whomps. You’d think I’d have learned not to get too comfortable! That’s the thing about comfort…it feels really good.
I got comfortable again. Satisfied with where I was…I had food, clothing, shelter, a well maintained car and I had extra income caring for other peoples babies. I was a “Granny Nanny”! It suited me…I love babies. Babies grow up and they leave….well they go to school. So, I had no babies and not much in the way of additional income and I wasn’t doing much about it. I was wishing I could. Yet not taking any action. I was stagnating. And there you have it. WHOMP!

What to do? What to do? What did I really want to do? I wanted to do more, be more, make a difference in my life and in the lives of others. How? Where? I had NO idea. Then an opportunity came about for me to teach art classes! You’d think I’d be ecstatic, right? Nope. My immediate reaction was based off fear. Yup, I was afraid I didn’t know how or what to teach. Mind you, I’ve taught before…kids and adults…I had the “skills”, even the “credentials”. It was plain fear. Then I did the unthinkable (for me). I said “YES”!! Why? because of a book I’d read a long time ago and saw it, again, when it fell off my bookcase. Yes, it actually fell at my feet! The book is titled “If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat”!! WHOMP!

Teaching those classes at the senior center gave me the confidence boost I needed to move out of my comfort zone, breathe deeply and move forward with my life. An unexpected benefit of teaching those classes was having a “captured audience” for all my “experimental exercises”!!
I’ve been interested in the Expressive Arts every since I’d had a traumatic life experience and used my art therapeutically. Remember I said I had taught before? Well when I lived in Atlanta, I taught other women how to use art to visually express the traumas they experienced. I wanted to do something similar once again so I entered a four month “Vision Quest” program to become “Creatively Fit” and teach others how to fill their lives with color and expression!

I needed a change and to make a change I had to get out of the boat….my comfort zone. I had to take action in spite of my fear. So I did. I spent four months answering questions about my creativity that I’d never considered asking myself! I suspended all “knowledge” from years of learning and doing art just so I could be and learn to do art a new way, another way. Way out of my comfort zone. I had to reconnect with the artist within me. I had to find my Muse and invite her, welcome her back home.
My internal artist is alive! Searching, creating, inventing, expressing and just stepping out of all kinds of comfort zones!! And I’m passing my enthusiasm for self expression along to my senior students who, everyone, said they were not creative!! Take a look at some of their work…they are wonderfully creative!!

My confidence in helping others explore their own creativity has grown in leaps and bounds! So much so I have jumped way out of the boat of my comfort zone and have set a date to begin teaching my own Creative Expressions classes and workshops at the end of March!!! I’ve really stepped out there!!!!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 I will hold my first “Art pARTay” from 6 to 8 pm at 124 Live Oaks Blvd., Bldg 1, Casselberry, FL  So please mark your calendars for Wednesday nights!! More classes and workshops coming soon!!

So, yeah, my Vision Quest did more than open my eyes, reawaken my creative spirit and shake me out of my creative coma it has made me Creatively Fit and confident to teach others how to explore their creative selves!!

Next: keep on the lookout for my ebook!! That WHOMP on my head really shook me way out of my comfort zone!!

Come to the Fire….

I’ve been re-reading my earlier Blog posts and cracking myself up! I do write some funny stuff!
It has been four years since I last wrote in this Blog. I haven’t stopped writing, just haven’t written here. I write in journals and even tried an online journal for awhile.  I’m back to my Pannet Expressions because I want to build a “following” for my Creative Expressions Artworxs classes which I intend to begin offering in the early part of this year!
As I move into my seventieth year I am on a quest to heal all the broken parts of me, to reforge myself in the fires of growth and rise to new, higher levels acknowledging all the Fierce, Fabulous and Divinely Feminine parts that exist not only in me but in all women. My intention is to burn up all thoughts of limitation, lack, grief, shame and/or fearfulness!  Sometimes we have to burn through stored up emotional pain so in forgiving myself I will fire up my imagination and my creativity and continue to forge a newer me. My torchbearers, my flame keepers will be with me all the way insuring my flame does not die out.

With profound gratitude……

With profound gratitude I live my life purpose. What is my purpose? At this stage of my life what is my purpose? What makes me feel alive? What makes time disappear for me? What brings me continued joy? 
There are many possible answers but only one that has been a continued and unbroken thread throughout my life…even now at this stage….the one that seems to be in slow motion at times…even my driving has slowed down!!
 I can truly and honestly say I’ve never stopped drawing or doing something pertaining to art and creativity. I’ve sewn doll clothes, made Halloween costumes, drawn in pencil, poured paints, mixed media, taught kids and adults to draw, and no matter how psychotic I’ve been there’s always been art in my life…through all the craziness, calmness and goodness.
I’ve not been kind to my Muse…..I’ve sent her running for more positive, nurturing soil in which to grow. She’s been gone a long time…..I miss her touch. I know it is I who must sow my creative seeds in positive soil, nurture them, love them in order to see a harvest….see the return of my Muse.  I feel her more and more these days….the creating is coming easier, flowing a little quicker. I must be consistent in going to the table to create and refilling the well of creativity when done. There is no output without input……I must be consistent…..walk in nature, commune with Spirit in meditation, be kind, be grateful for every little and big thing I have…….be grateful for the love I have and receive, where I am, who I am….I AM unique, uncommon, there is no other Phyllis like me. I AM the One, the only one!!! I draw because I want to, I love to, I can, I am able. God has blessed me with this ability……thank you God. I will be forever grateful and show my gratitude by using that ability daily….to beautify my surroundings and the surroundings of others! Drawing daily because I can and am able to draw. I bless my hands…my right hand in particular….I am so thankful Lord that you are healing my hands, enabling me to continue to draw showing the world what you can do through me!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
From this moment forward I live my purpose, my life with profound gratitude!!
For the next 21 days (and beyond)  my intent is too meditate on gratitude, walk for fitness and eat with the purpose of feeding my body the nutrition it needs in smaller portions throughout the day.
This day I will walk for an hour, draw for many hours and eat a good breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner all the while drinking water throughout the day!! Food diary!!!!!
I’ve slept for 15 uninterrupted hours after working three nights with about 12 hours of sleep. Still getting acclimated to working nights…since it is difficult for me to sleep during the day unless I am truly wore out (like yesterday).
Since I’ve been awake since four in the morning I shall now arise and move gladly into my day!
 My walking goal  is to walk again up to Lake Lily from my apartment.  Today I’ll see how far I get in one half hour (half hour out and a half hour back to the apt.); Will check back at the end of the day.

Missing My Muse

It’s been a long time now…almost ten years….since my Muse went on a sabbatical. She has yet to return. I’ve begun searching for her….when I lost interest in drawing or painting portraits…my only true love. Something was terribly wrong. Conversations in going deeper begun to infiltrate my Spirit…showing up in various ways of creating portraits….mixed media mostly to entice my Muse back home…to open up my Spirit.

 
I continue to search….keep looking but no Muse. She’s gone. Not for good…..I’ve begun to get small inklings of her…feeling her once again. I can tell because the drawing is coming more freely recently.  I’m letting her know I’ve begun to clean out the garbage of the past…..there’s a clean house awaiting her return. No longer is her voice being ignored……
 There is much work to be done but done daily it is! I’ll use the shadow side to create and allow the beauty of it to clear the path home. Missing My Muse……yet I feel her stirring….knowing her return is imminent.

 

Serena Williams…watch out!!

Last year, sometime around April, my oldest daughter and I got a “Groupon” for tennis lessons. I like tennis…just couldn’t keep the ball in the park. If I was playing baseball I wouldn’t even hit the ball! I digress. The lessons helped tremendously and I continued with lessons (after the groupon sessions) through a “meet up” group near where I live. It was fun and I learned something. Didn’t learn how to keep score, didn’t learn how to control the ball or place it where I wanted it to go, & didn’t learn how to serve. I did learn how to finally hit the dang ball!!!
Well it’s a year later and just like learning to drive a stick shift everything came together and I can actually play a game (a real game!) of tennis!
Of course playing one day a week does not a “tennis player” make and I’d like to play more often but more often than not I don’t have the energy to play “Jacks” much less anything else during the week. Who said “retirement” was easy?!!! I usually play on Sunday mornings and most times (since the courts are free and available) we play for a couple of hours….sometimes longer.  Since there are usually 14 or 15 of us (for three courts) each person is NOT playing for the whole two hours…which is good since most of us wouldn’t be able too!! Me in particular….I’m usually leaning on my racquet about 50 minuets into a game! I’ve learned though that I need to eat before I expend that kind of energy…..who knew???  My thinking was if I didn’t eat and did vigorous cardio I’d burn more fat of my body!!!!  Not a good idea.
Well I do eat (now!) but I am not a proponent of drinking anything blue, dayglo green, chemo red or gasoline (urine) yellow….nooooo , none of those drinks for me!! Not gatorade, propel, 5-hour, none of those! Water, water, water and I’ve learned that even water needs help when it comes to replenishing your body.
I didn’t play tennis the Sunday it was Easter, nor that Wednesday.  I did go out this past Sunday and “meet up” with the group. I had taken my nutritional drink, had a great breakfast, stretched and while driving to the courts I mixed the supplemental powder that came with my weight management system in water and drank it.
Being one of the co-hosts for the group my partner and I divided the group into three sets of doubles with four people rotating in as each group completed a set of three games.
Most of the players are considered “beginners” but except for three or four players (I’m one) everyone plays as if they are in a serious competitive tournament!!
The fourth thing I’ve noticed about the nutritional supplements I’m taking is this: I had so much energy I felt great and I won three straight sets of tennis playing against people decades younger than me!! (My partner was in his early 30’s and our opponents were 19 and early 40’s!!). Our game lasted two hours because they were not letting up….taking it easy on the “ole lady”!! One of my opponents asked me “what did you eat for breakfast?!” We whupped ’em good!! AND I was not sore, tired, or drained afterwards!!
Serena, watch out….here I come!

What else is new?

I have never been a proponent of the “no pain no gain” school of thought. Ever. If it’s painful I’m not doing it. If I end up in pain because I over did it I don’t go back…not for some time anyway. I can take sore….I just don’t do pain. I know there are many levels of pain…I’m talking about pain that if on a scale of 1 to 10…ten being the worst ever….you’re at 35.
So when my hip started to feel “less than perfect”, when I started limping, then dragging my left leg like Quasimodo, when I staggered into the CVS Pharmacy crying, begging for Percaset, Oxycodin, (any drug would do at that point) I knew I hadn’t gotten any better at pain management.
(Yes I did go to the doctor to ascertain the cause of the pain and yes was told a lifetime of “medication”would ease the pain). Not happening. Nada. Neither. Nope. No.
Ok so I capitulated on the medication which of course is none of the above mentioned drugs…no where close….and a very low dosage.
I’ve spent my life making it a habit of not taking pills or being medicated so you know for me to agree, at this age, stage…it was pretty bad (for me)…like I said….a 35 on the pain scale.
In my previous blog I mentioned two things I noticed about the nutritional supplement I’ve been mixing in water and taking daily…well I have a third.
At the end of March I panicked because I had run  out of my “hip medication” and went to the CVS (yeah, the same one…..they’ve got my picture up…”watch out for this nut”!) to see if I could get it refilled. My doctor (or her assistant) had called it in but it was not the same dosage….it was less!  I had already started imagining   my leg dragging behind me again!!
By April 2nd I had not yet gotten the correct dosage but I also had not taken any of the lower dosage pills (I suppose I could have doubled up but I didn’t…and the “pain” level was at maybe a four…).
Also on April 2nd I receive my “goodie” package that contained the nutritional supplements for my weight management system and I began to use them.

Soooo the third thing I’ve noticed happening to me physically since taking the nutritional supplements is that I have no hip pain. None. Nothing. Nada. Gone. Kaput.
No limping, no dragging, no more medication. Haven’t even called my doctor to have her call in the corrected dosage.
I’m still doing what I always do….just without taking any medication.  I like this stuff!

Once again……A New Beginning!!!

I’m jotting down my thoughts again on my up and down journey of gaining and releasing weight! Yup, as you may have read or can read from previous posts I’ve been juggling the same poundage for some years now…lose some, gain some back, release some more, gain more back…..I’ll walk, go to the “Y”, Curves, workout to at home DVD’s and all I’ve been doing is “maintaining” my weight because after I’d exercise I’d “treat” myself for a good workout by eating….cake, pie, cookies or my favorite nemesis…Snickers bars!!
I might burn off 1500 calories walking 5 miles or using the rowing machine at the “Y” but then I’d put back on 2000 scarfing down a whole apple pie!!!
I’ll say it…I’m an emotional eater. I eat when I’m depressed, when I’m lonely, when I’m sad, mad, bad…..or happy. I just eat…using food to soothe what I don’t want to work on at the time. Simple as that.
Well, now that I’m working on “me” consistently…psychologically that is….I have come down from 190 lbs to 179 lbs (probably since, I’ll say April of 2012 when I took tennis lessons). So here it is April again…a year later and I’ve still been yo-yo ing those pounds…because even though I’ve been playing tennis consistently each week I’ve also been consistently eating….m&m’s, snickers, apple pie……
Well, for Lent I gave up apple pie and succeeded in not eating any for the full 40 days of Lent. Yay! Rewarded myself with oatmeal raisin cookies….a whole bag. Hmmmmmmmm.
Well, my daughter Adenike came to the rescue….by introducing me to a weight management system from the company with which she is associated. I received my package Tuesday, April 2nd and began using the products.
Two things I’ve noticed in the past two days…a) I don’t pass out at six o’clock (sleeping until the next morning!) after the 16 month old I care for goes home and b) I passed up a Snickers bar! I actually looked at it and turned it down…not in a “fist balling”, teeth clenching way…I just didn’t want it. and if you know me…you that in itself is a wonder!
So I invite you to follow my journey….again…and see what happens!!