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  1. You Don't Have To Sit On It!

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    The majority of my time over the last few months has been spent planning, writing and designing resources for Beyond The Crumpled Paper. I have loved doing this – and it needed doing! - but I was so happy to be able to pick up my paintbrushes again!

    And my first painting for a while is a small, funky number called 'You don't have to sit on it'. It's inspired by one of my favourite quotes by Joyce Meyer, '“Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.” It is a reminder to us all that we may not be able to control everything that life throws at us, but we can take control over how we deal with it.

    cactus blog quote

    I talk about gratitude an awful lot (and will continue to do so) but gratitude is so important in so many ways to help us build up a more resilient mindset. On the good days, an attitude of gratitude can really make your heart sing with joy, and on the bad days, the really bad days,  a positive mindset and one of being thankful for the little things, may just be enough to keep you clinging on by your fingertips, stopping yourself being completely overwhelmed by darkness.

    Being grateful isn't about thinking everything is wonderful, or burying your head in the sand pretending everything is ok when it clearly isn't - it's about knowing things are rubbish, but reminding yourself to do what you can to deal with them. Be that screaming, asking for help, or simply having an early night – it's about doing the best under the circumstances, not making things worse for yourself.

    It is about taking back control, remembering you can get through the tough times and reminding yourself that you can make decisions to help the situation rather than giving in to it.

    It's about not sitting on the cactus.





  2. Friends are like stars...

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    As you will know by now if you follow me on social media or if you've spent any time on my website, my mission is to motivate and inspire people to be who they are and love who they are. All my current work is on this theme - based on quotes or messages that remind us to be joyful, be brave and to embrace the mistakes we will make along the way.

    But change can be big and scary, and getting our of your comfort zone to embrace new things is so much easier with the support of friends - and that is the inspiration for this painting. It is the belief and encouragement from my friends which has got me this far - and which has kept me going when I was a defeated heap on the floor.

    So, this is my homage to them. A thank you from the bottom of my heart for their love and friendship - and a reminder that I am here for them too, always.

    And it is a reminder for us all to make sure we surround ourselves with friends who build us up (not knock us down!), who we can trust and lean on when we need to (and who can do the same with us) and when we find them we need to treasure them and be grateful for them because they are worth their weight in gold.

    Let us celebrate our friends.

    'Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they're always there'






  3. And the award for longest painting title...

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    Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I'm not the bold, risk-taking type. I like security, rules and putting my pyjamas on at teatime. But, the older I've got and the more of life's 'bad times' I have seen, I have come to firmly believe that we have to take a risk in life every now and then – and sometimes an almighty huge one.

    The treadmill of adulthood can be relentless – the responsibility of bills to pay, food that needs buying and cooking (sometimes for little people that need feeding too!) and a seemingly never-ending list of grown-up chores that need doing can make us feel that we have our choices taken away from us. The need to meet all these things means we stay in a secure job, (one with a regular pay packet that pays the mortgage!), or stay with habits and routines which are familiar and safe to us.

    Often, fear keeps us in the safe zone – but sometimes we have a niggle for something more. Sometimes we face something that means taking a risk, taking a chance, taking a leap. It might be applying for a promotion, starting a new relationship, or giving up that secure job to follow a calling – an ambition for something more. Whatever it is, sometimes we need to take a deep breathe and take the risk.

    risk it quote

    'He that is afraid to throw the dice will never throw a six' is a painting all about this (I told you it had a long title..!) You can never reap the rewards of taking a bold step, if you never take the step in the first place. You can never throw a six if the dice never leaves your hand.

    And this is what I am doing now. I took the initial leap away from a well-paid job a few years ago – but it has taken me until now to take the final leap towards following the path I have always dreamt of taking. I have finally thrown the dice – and have yet to see where it will land.

    I am still in the stomach churning land of watching it spin – wondering if I can pay my mortgage, wondering if people will laugh at what I am saying, wondering if I've made a big mistake. Or indeed, if this is the start of the greatest success of my life – a big fat six!

    One thing is for sure, however it lands I will never regret throwing the dice, and I know I would never have been happy not giving it a go.

    And anyway, I'm holding out for that six...! :)