Saturday, July 31, 2010

Getting It.

My weeks have been flying, and I haven't been spending much time here. I've been making time for play, reading, and really just being where I am. I've also been playing with squarespace, trying to build a website...and feeling a little lost in the process. I signed up for their free trial, to see how everything works and if I can maneuver my way turns out that it's a little too technically fancy for me, but I'm thinking about giving it a shot anyway. I may just have to learn some code, and/or get someone to help me a bit.

One thing that I've realized over the last few weeks, is that I have the tendancy to make things hard. So, I'm currently working on a piece of art to remind me to "make it easy". I'm trying making it easy on for size this week...and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. I will definitely report my findings.

I'm so happy to have learned that it's possible to to rewrite your story. There are certain lessons that you come up against, over and over, and each time you take something away from it. Lately, I have been experiencing so many "oh, NOW I get it" moments. It's in those moments, that I am so grateful to be on this path. It's so worth it to realize not only with your head, but with your heart, and your entire being, the things that are truth. Your truth.

This is my big one right now (it's a lesson that I've faced many times...but this time it's sticking) -  that the way I do things, and have done things, is ok. That where I'm at is ok. That my choices are ok. There is no wrong in them. There is nothing that can be done to change them, and that's ok too. There will always be more choices to be made...the weight of the world is not hanging on any one thing. It is, what it is. I am who I am. In this moment. And that's really freeing. To not have to spend so much time agonizing over making decisions, and overthinking everything. So much suffering goes out the window, at this point. yowza! I think there will always be more lessons to learn, and I'll continue to have the smaller needed lessons...the ones that lead to the bigger now I get it moments. That's ok too, in fact, I want them to continue coming. The beauty in getting something with your whole being, integrating it, is that it can no longer slip away. Of course there may be moments that I head back into the worry, and indecision...but the stay won't be as long, I can always come home to the truth. It's a part of me now, and because of that, I will always have access to that knowledge.

Friday, July 30, 2010

random fun.

Hello Friday. You are a fun day aren't you? In your honor, and in keeping with the new tradition I've's time for Fun Facts.

I cry at parades, dance recitals, kids school programs, during the olympics, and pretty much any other time when I am watching people do something that they have put a lot of time and effort into. Especially, when it's kids...but I am known to be an equal opportunity tear shedder. It's the empath in me, I'm sure. It's like I feel every bit of what they are feeling, and it's such a beautiful thing to see people sharing their performance with you.

These roller skates (not this particular pair of course) were one of my favorite things when I was a kid. My driveway was not level so we skated in the next door neighbors driveway next to their airstream (oh, how I loved that thing). And of course I went to the roller skating rink too.

What I'm smelling right now? My dog....and it's not good. 100lbs of it, is really bad. Perhaps a bath is in order this weekend.....

I have been having really vivid dreams for the last month or so, and can remember them clearly in the morning. Last nights featured a little white mouse that C found, he was holding it up to my face and all around me, trying to tease me with it. I felt a little squeamish about it, but that eventually passed. Hmmm. A little dream interpretation...sit with the squeamishness, and it will eventually pass? Or is there some symbolism with the white mouse?

I love birthdays. Mine, yours, anyones. I love em.When I was 19ish I bought a handpainted plate that says Happy Birthday in hopes of starting a future family tradition. Since we don't have our kiddos yet, C and I use it. C's birthday is on Christmas so I make sure that we always have bday time too - he gets the plate with breakfast.

I'm makin' it easy this week, so I hope you had fun with the random facts. Anyone want to take a stab at dream interpretation? Or share another one of your fun facts with me? I love that some of you have been playing along. Happy Friday!

*Did you happen to read this post this week? If not, you should.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How'd You Sneak Up on Me Friday?

a boy and his mom
Here we are at another Friday. Yowza time flies as you get older! I am sitting here feeling a bit like today is a sacred day, I'm not sure why. I don't know that if I did, I could articulate it. I do know that my heart is full to bursting, and I am feeling such deep gratitude for the people in my life. I am a lucky girl. If you are reading this, then you are a part of the reason I feel so blessed. Thank you ♥

Since we are at Friday, I must share some Fun Facts....

In the photo above (taken yesterday) I was sporting two little buns that didn't show up (in shadow) as well as I would've liked. They made me feel cute!

I don't like raw onions (at all), but I do love the sweetness of one that is cooked to melt in your mouth goodness. My Grandma told me I would grow out of this, I guess she was half right.

I secretly love to sing. I was once told by my Dad that I sounded like a wailing cow, and that one comment knocked the wind out of my sails (despite being told by others that I was a good singer). Now I sing in the car when I'm alone, and around the house with C - he accompanies me on eukelele, and sings along sometimes too. Singing in front of people is something I have on  my list of to do's.

I have blue eyes, and they are super sensitive to light. Because of this, you won't find me outside without my sunnies. Even on a grey day.

I cry, smile, and giggle everytime I watch this video . It's full of joy, self expression, beauty, and gets me every time!

I have a few more fun facts in my bag of tricks...but I have to keep it to 5 at a time. Seriously, what if I run out?!

Anyone else want to share? A tidbit, a video link that makes you happy, something you are grateful for? Anything?...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Connecting the Dots, and Big Dreams.

Standing on the edge of big things. That's where I am. Now if only I were wearing such cute shoes! I find myself living in flip flops these days, though I certainly won't complain about that. I have been sitting on some ideas about where I would like to take my creative business, and really working on dreaming big. I am going to take a leap and mention some of the things that are running around in my head these days. I have only told a handful of people, and I'm thinking now is the time to put it out there for all to hear.

As you know, I'm an interior designer, and have been for 15 years. At the tail end of working for a large company which was about 5 years ago, I got really burned out. I wasn't getting satisfaction from my job anymore. The emphasis had become more about turn and burn...budget over good design, and about piling on as many clients/projects on me as possible. The truth is, I was miserable. I began my own design business, but the burn out and all of the anguish I was feeling as a result of the prior few years, was ruling my life. As a result, I have sort of thrown the baby out with the bath water, as far as seeing myself as a designer. I feel myself missing it more and more. This is part of the puzzle.

During this time, I began making my rings, doing a little soul searching, realizing that I had put my identity as an artist into a box, and exploring the things that make me really happy. Things that make my soul feel good. Part of this is getting back to painting. You see, when I was doing a lot of design work, that is when I was most happy...when I was procuring art, framing art and art prints, pulling people's art together into collections, etc. There has been this artcentric thing happening with me the whole time. Another part of the puzzle.

I also, over the last few years (really, a lot longer but that's story for another time) have dreamed of having a little lifestyle shop. One where I offer flea market and vintage finds for the home (and including a rack or two of vintage clothing), artwork, jewelry, as well as some specially selected items. Also, part of the puzzle.

Along with all of that, I have always had the feeling that in this lifetime, my work is to encourage / empower girls and women. What that would look like...I haven't been too sure. I really want to make a difference. I want to give back, and be a part of something that is bigger than me. Another puzzle piece.

I have this thing for connecting the dots...that's how I ended up going to design school in the first place. There is something to be said for looking back - all the way to childhood. There are answers there. I looked at everything that I've ever wanted to do, and thought about whether there was any kind of common thread. And in those things, I discovered that everything I had ever wanted to do was about how the physical space involved would look - the reason why I enrolled in school to study design. Lately, I have been connecting the dots again. And when I look back, there was a common thread of bringing women together. Gathering women in spaces that feel good, that light the soul, spaces that are uplifting.

A couple of months ago, I woke up out of sleep and had this stream of thoughts running through my head. A sort of connecting of the dots, or putting together of the puzzle pieces. Leading up to this night, I had been thinking that I would like to use my design skills to create spaces for women in transition.

On this particular night, here is what my stream of thoughts looked like...I could donate my time to design spaces for women who are going through some sort of life change, and need a boost. Would I need to form a non profit? Would I get people / companies to donate furniture, etc? I could use my love for vintage, and flea market finds to source some of the things that would go into these spaces. Oh, I could have a little shop that I set up to house and sell those items, and maybe that would help me raise money to design the spaces! What if that store could grow into a larger space, that could act as both a shop and a place to gather? I could use art from the artists / photographers that inspire me in the spaces (and maybe some of my own!). The larger space could have workshops taught by other creative women (and maybe a few by me), to help women explore and get in touch with their creativity. Classes / workshops in things like mixed media art, writing, painting, knitting, photography, jewelry making, etc. It could be a little safe haven for women to come and play, shop, commune, and grow. Maybe there would be specific classes that have a class going on at the same time for little ones, so that Moms that don't have baby sitters can still come and have time to create. And of course...conveniently, it could have a little cafe next door so everyone could hang and eat yummy healthy food. All of this supporting me designing these spaces, full of fabulous things, and art that is both beautiful and has positive meaning. Your space is a reflection of you and who you are; it's so important to have your surroundings reflect the real you...not the chaos, or drama or whatever may be going on in your life. That's what I would love to help achieve.

I let myself go even bigger and farther than what I've written above...I will do a part two soon. There is a lot to this, and I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure of how this could work. I have also been feeling a sense of excitement and wonder at it all. This is what's really been going on in my head these days. I thought that this may just be the best place to start...putting it out there into the universe. Saying some prayers. Practicing a little magical thinking. And allowing myself to be seen and heard.

If you have thoughts, insights, are somehow part of how the universe is going to help me make this happen, or just want to write me a love note, please do in my comments. Or you can send me an email at - olive and hope {at} gmail {dot} com

{photo via sfgirlbybay} and it's for sale too : )

Friday, July 16, 2010

Suggested Reading.

I am back for more, I'm feeling inspired today and wanted to share a couple of things that rocked my world this week. It was a quiet week for me, full of reflection and sitting with, and just being where I'm at. In turn, it's been quiet here at ye olde blog as well. So today you get 2 posts for the price of 1.

I read too many to share three posts this week that really spoke to me, and I wanted to pop back in for a sec and share them with you. Spreading a little world rockin' / sock knockin' on this Friday afternoon!

This post and it's follow up by Havi Brooks has me thinking...BIG and dare I say advanced?!

This post and this one by Danielle La Porte . Honestly, any post by either of these women is worth a read.

Hope you have an inspired weekend!

More Bits and Pieces.

It's looking as though my Friday's F posts, are quickly turning into a regular Fun Facts series. I'm going with it, and not thinking about it too much because right now, I'm mostly interested in being invested and showing up. Even if showing up is all that I can do. So here goes ~

I am an only child. Born to parents that were barely out of their teens, and who often chose partying over parenting. I'm so thankful to know now that they did the best they could.

My Grandma on my Dad's side, always joked that she was my Fairy Grandmother. We had a lot of fun together. We watched sports (the beginning of my allegiance to the Lakers), played board games, colored and drew pictures, watched crime dramas on tv, went shopping, and read books. She was child like, and we connected deeply. We ate lots of carbs together, one of her signature dishes was beef stew and cinnamon rolls. She was one half of my Wonder Gram Duo.

My Grandma on my Mom's side, is really creative, though I don't think I realized that growing up. She is the one who knits, sews, does needlepoint, and cooks delicious food. Honestly, I don't know if she realizes how creative she is. I learned about eating healthy in her household...even if I didn't embrace what I learned until I got older. I was inspired by all of the fun things she does for hobbies - knitting, sewing, and needlepoint. She is the other half.

I could go on and on about my Grandmas, and all of the things I learned from them. It's amazing to be able to look back and clearly see the balance of what I was exposed to. One very liberal household, and one very conservative. One very religious, and one not so much. One household that always had pets, one that didn't. One that had a meat and potatoes kind of diet, and one that baked fresh bread, ate whole grains, and lots of lean meat and vegetables. One household was active and exercised regularly, and one that didn't. These are a few examples.

I am grateful for the family I was born into. All of it - the good and the bad. I believe I chose my family and that all was exactly as it should have been. My household with my parents was more chaotic than that of my grandparents, but I was provided with plenty of support in the form of family and friends. I have always been taken care of. Always loved by all of them. And today I stand firmly rooted in gratitude for all of it.

I have learned throughout life to keep things quiet. That it's better to not share what's going on, than to risk people really knowing. It may cause embarassment, or shame, or godknowswhat. This story is no longer serving me. It's made me an uber private person, and I have found myself regularly feeling nervous to write on my blog because of it. So I chose to share some of my history growing up as a way to dip my toes in the water. To test out talking about things that may make me a little squeamish. I don't want my blog to be just about struggles / life stuff, and I'm working out how to mix both the business side of what I'm doing with where I'm at. I would love for it to be a balance of both. I am who I am because of where I've been; I wouldn't be on my current path without all of it. My desire is for my blog to represent me - living authentically, creating, loving, running a creative business, finding my way, and stepping into my power. In order for it to be that, I must risk being seen. This is what my intuition is telling me. Over and over again.

Is your intution or inner voice whispering something to you? If so, what is it saying?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fun Facts.

Short and sweet. Friday's F today - fun facts.

I have all four of my wisdom teeth. I had four other teeth pulled when I got braces, and I guess that made room for them to slide on in.

I was legally blind until I had Radial Keratotomy which was the surgery before laser was FDA approved. I'm talking...not able to read the Big E on the eye chart! I remember one of the first things that I saw that shocked me - there were trees on the mountains, that I had lived at the base of since I was born. Man, was that a eye opening - literally. I did know there were trees up there, I had just never been able to make them out, until I was all the way up the mountain ;-)

Because of being legally blind until I was 21, and the impact it had on just about every aspect of my life...I have been on a mission to find a cool vintage eye chart to hang in my house. So if you ever come across one, let me know.

I have never been outside of the U.S. I have a wish list of trips, and plan to take them...don't you worry. Ironically, I married a man with massive travel anxiety - enough for both of us. Not so fun of a fun fact! *note to self, find travel companions.

I prefer dark chocolate. This is a new development...does this come with age?

If you feel like sharing something about yourself, please do. I'd love to get to know you better. Happy Friday!

photo {source}

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Delicious Morning.

It's official. I am schedule obsessed. Really. I'm starting to think that it may be a little unhealthy. I was writing my morning pages, and feeling totally blissed out. Then my brain turned to the time. I started down the road, you know the did it get so late? I haven't gotten anything done! This is proof that I need a better schedule. You see the pattern. Then it came, a moment of wisdom. I took a breath and listed the things that I'd already gotten done this morning. It was a pretty good list, and I celebrated that. Then, I took another breath and listened to the quiet. Ah, bliss. Enjoying coffee, writing, feeling centered, and I thought this is a delicious should just enjoy it. And so I did.

It's now later in the day, and I'm back to the beginning. Ruminating over the things that I need to get done. It's time to breathe again, love the fact that I printed out Charlie Gilkey's free planners for July, and play with them a bit. It's all a practice, right? Bringing it all back to the here and now. Bringing it back to the center. And from that center...try things out, practice, allow things to be, see what works. For me.

My gift to myself this week? Permission to Experiment. What gift will you give yourself?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

5 Years.

Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary. And as I mentioned in an earlier post it's also 7 years together. I can hardly believe that it's been that long! Really. We have had our share of good and bad, and we are not perfect by any means. We are however, good together. We get each other. When others don't get us...we always do. It's such a beautiful thing to have a partner who is in it all the way. I'm so thankful for that, each and every day.

I thought that I would celebrate my love for my man with a gratitude list.

Thank you for...

 loving me fiercely.
 making me laugh.
 being my best friend.
 dancing in the kitchen with me.
 seeing in me all of the things that I don't always.
 believing in me.
 playing the eukelele and teaching yourself new songs.
 being such a fabulous cook.
 always having my back.
 loving our dog like he is our child.
 singing songs with me.
 holding my hand on a regular basis.
 loving road trips as much as I do.
 seeing me.
 hanging with me, even as I'm kicking your butt at wii bowling.
 waking up at the crack of dawn to take the dog out.
 opening your heart to me.
 doing your own laundry.
 loving to go to shopping for candles and goodies for our home.
 being completely invested in us growing old together.
 braving traffic everyday so that you can bring home a paycheck.
 taking your job so seriously and being a rockstar at it.
 loving to read.
 accepting the fact that I am no domestic diva.
 putting up with my snobbish hotel standards.
 believing that I am an artist, before I could.
 making it a priority to save money.
 being both sweet and cantankerous.
 the exploding fist bumps.
 helping me to trust again.
 smelling like home to me.
 teaching me how to make alfredo sauce and admitting mine is better.
 accepting me for who I am.
 loving to decorate for holidays with me.
 sleeping with the windows open - even in winter. (I've adjusted!)
 supporting me in going after my creative dreams.
 giving me my space when I need it.
 being one of the most loyal people I know.

I look forward to the rest of our lives together. The adventures that we will have. Building our family together. I am filled with hope for the future, and I know that big things are ahead for us. Things that we cannot even imagine are possible today. I have so much respect for you. I believe in you, and us. And I want to say thank you for walking side by side with me through life. Happy 5 years.

Friday, July 2, 2010

She's Earned Her Wings.

I've officially graduated from flying lessons. Today I am donning my cap, my gown and my wings. I learned so much from taking this e-course, and I look forward to putting all of what I learned into practice. Some of the things that I want out of this life are to make good money, while running my own creative business. Have time for play, and friends and family. And to make a difference. I have some big thoughts on this subject...they actually came into being prior to me signing up for the e-course, and now since completing it...I can see that it's possible to do all that I want to. The most important place for me to start, is believing that it can become a reality. In this moment, I do. And when I have those feelings of overwhelm, and fear (which are sure to come) I will take a deep breath and come back to the start. Breathe. Believe. Begin again.

She takes off her cap, tosses it into the air and does a happy dance...Glass of bubbly anyone?

photo {source}