Change Your Mind...Change Your Life.

Your only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
— Timothy Leary

I can't begin to count the times I have changed my mind about something. And often, this propensity of mine to change my mind has gotten me labeled as a flake.

So what.

My life has so far, been extraordinary; and, I believe having a flexible mind that is open to adapting to a changing environment is a big reason why.

Rigid adherence to ideas and beliefs that no longer serve my growth promotes a small and confined life. 

Imagine how 'short'  the life of a wild animal would be if it was unable to shed the excess fur of winter in the summer because of the changing seasons?

The only way for an animal to live with the same coat, year after year, is if the outside environmental conditions NEVER change.

Yeah, like that ever happens!

Shedding and flaking off outmoded ideas and beliefs are necessary for growth and movement.

Shayne and I change our minds all of the time about stuff. This has, in the past, driven some of our family and friends nuts. 

I've been told that I am 'unreliable'; though, truth be told, because of our flexibility over the years, we can be anywhere, anytime if the situation warrants it. And at times, the situation warranted it.

However, our mind-changing is done responsibly.  We don't change our minds about paying our bills, or not. That sort of mind-changing isn't what I am talking about here.  

Occasionally, other people hitch on to a decision we have made and are upset when it is determined it's no longer in our best interest; but we can't control another's emotions. We can only choose what works for us.

Sometimes a way of life becomes stifling and prohibits growth. But many people of my acquaintance don't see a way out because they have this belief that changing their minds about what they do will be seen as flaky, or immature; or they can't live with how a decision to change their mind will affect others in their life. 

It's painful, for sure, to change your mind when you know it will affect other relationships in your life in a perceived negative way. But...what if your change becomes the catalyst for another to change for the better too? 

Sometimes growth is painful. Sometimes not. That's just the reality of our life.

The mature thing is to adapt as conditions change, and decide to thrive by changing a behavior or belief that no longer works as an advantage to your life or is no longer true.

If you are doing something that no longer supports the person you are NOW, I'm inviting you to stop it.

Find something else by tuning into your current emotional state. If what you do or what you believe causes you emotional pain more often than not, guess's time to flake it off.

Grow. Leap. Find your wings and fly...but above all...drop the idea that changing your mind is necessarily a bad thing.

Our minds are the best tools we have to fashion the life we dream about...but the main function of the mind is its ability to learn by changing it. 

The idea that changing one's mind is weak is often perpetuated by those that have a stake in controlling a person's behavior so that it suits them.  It's not always the case, but for many, it is.

Here's to being flaky!





What's showing up in your creative output?

I have been working with this design for the last few weeks.

I think it comes from a craving to find my own center, my single point of focus.

And when we are fully aware of what our focus is, the ripples that move out concentrically from our point of power affect the world around us.

Hopefully, our point of power works in a positive way-- if our focus is clear, precise and set with an intention that the power we are beckoning for ourselves will also benefit those around us, not at the expense of those around us, meaningful experiences become an everyday thing.

But what happens when your focus is filled with fear-based thoughts?

The focus of my life right now is building my business home, as well as my personal home. The last few months it has been all about my business, and less about my personal home.

But when I do think about finding a home, I get angry by the prices and the condition of the homes in our price range, and daydream that we will have to settle for a piece-of-shit house because we don't want to leverage ourselves to the point of living in a scary place all of the time with the fears associated with too much debt.

And this fear about my home is leaking into my focus on my business. I wake up nervous that I am not doing enough, not making enough, not talented enough to make this work. And this perpetuates the vibe that I am not enough and down the drain I go.

 I'm out of balance, and my body gave me a sharp warning about it this morning around 2:30 am. 

I had heartburn, and it was pretty severe. 

Ulcers, heartburn and the like are often our body's way of saying...

"Hey, get your priorities straight, and stop worrying about getting ahead! Drop the fear that you won't make it, that you will fail and start using your imagination in a productive way to experience what you desire, not what you don't."

After drinking about a quart of milk and taking an acid pill, I pulled out my body/mind books from my bookcase and had some quiet time to contemplate what the hell it is that I am doing to my body via my thoughts.

I've been making jewelry now for about 10 years. I know that when my subconscious mind is grappling with something that it shows up in my work first before it hits my body, especially if it's something that has to change for me to progress to my own next step. 

Last week, I was also preoccupied with much so that I felt the need to make a pair of earrings with faceted blue lapis hanging from the toes.

Lapis is considered a truth stone. It calls those that need to discover/uncover their deep personal truths. I specifically wanted my feet earrings to be made with copper, a very earthy metal. Grounding. Feet firmly planted in the ground...with toes that wriggle. That was the feeling that I wanted to have while standing at my table to make these. 

I think, based on my acid-induced communion last night with myself, that my sub-conscious/higher power was working with me in the studio to show me the parts of myself that need attention. That need love and acceptance and priority.

Art does heal. It allows for a pathway of communication to open up between your Personality-self and your Spirit-self.  I suppose some people can hear a direct communication from their Spirit-self; but I have found that I communicate with my Spirit-self best via something tangible that comes through my hands from my heart-space. 

If you are a photographer, what are you drawn to capturing right now? If you sew, what article of clothing is compelling you to make it? As a painter, what subjects are throwing themselves at you? A writer? What is pissing you off so much that you have to get it out or what fills you with so much love that you are about to burst?

I feel like I've turned a personal corner here as it relates to both homes that I want to inhabit fully. Just when I think I am getting the hang of the connection between our thoughts and reality-making, something like this shows up.

And I suppose it will keep on showing up as long as I need to understand creating from all points of view as I continue along my own path towards self-realization. Feet....point of all relates. Every time.

The Treasures I Found in Charleston, NC

We finally carved out a 4-day weekend to go back on the road for an adventure during Easter. It was decided that Charleston would be our destination, and we drove through the mountains down to the lowlands, watching the trees slowly unfurl their tightly held buds as we descended to sea level. 

Our time was fully together. I didn't want to do anything special, other than spend time with Shayne on the beach, eating good seafood and just hanging out with my hubs.  I've been working so hard over the last 5 months, and this was such an exhale for us both. 

When I was 12 or 13, my parents took my brother and me to Florida for our first beach vacation. Up until that time, I had never seen the ocean, and the desire I had about walking along the beach and finding shells to keep kept me up at night in anticipation. 

I wasn't prepared for the way salt water smells, or how the salty wind coats your hair.  

And I wasn't prepared for the fact that the reason the beaches in some parts of Florida are snow white is because there is a shelf that crushes any shells trying to find their way to eager hands such as mine. 

When my family reached the gulf beach, it was night time. And there were no shells to be found. To say I was crushed is a huge understatement. I seem to remember my disappointment was so acute that I vomited on the beach as we walked back to our hotel. 

So...this trip, Shayne promised me there would be shells to pick up and beach treasure to find.

On the day we were married, it was pouring down rain. We were having an outdoor ceremony, and I was frantic that our nuptials were going to be rained out. He promised me the rain would stop and our wedding would be beautiful, and everyone would be in the dry. 

And the rain stopped, the clouds parted and our ceremony was perfection. As soon as we made it to the reception, the sky opened yet again.

He has special powers, that one. 

We took a boat ride to Morris Island and my dream of finding beach treasure was fulfilled. 

I found a piece of old pottery from the Kiawah tribe, tons of old and leaded glass that was worn smooth from about 160 years in the ocean and Shayne uncovered a brick that was used to build Fort Sumter. I had quite a few shells to pick through too. 

The trip was wonderful in other respects, too. 

It allowed an opening of sorts into some deeper aspects of our us. Lots of surprises were uncovered and I am again reminded of my incredible good fortune to have picked such a good man to spend my life with.

Shells and glass weren't the only treasures I found on the beach during Easter weekend. 


{The Importance of Play}

My best designs have been created when I just played with metal. I had no idea what was waiting to be born until I just showed up and joyfully ‘wasted’ time playing. Creativity’s main ingredients are feelings, impulse, recognition and application...playtime is the kitchen where these ingredients come together and become something exciting and new.
— Stacie

I had a friend in my studio this week, learning how to twist wire into some shawl pins. 

For the first lesson...I gave her piece of wire and ask that she just play with it. No expectations. Just put a tool to it and your hands...and see what happens.

She did, and her first piece turned out to be a boot..which was significant, because she met her husband country dancing with boots on her feet. 

I personally know that the only way to reach our subconscious repository of meaningful ideas and concepts is through something called play.

I played a lot as a kid. My mother was a genius in making sure that I didn't have a lot of pre-made toys to occupy my time. Instead, she gave me raw materials to make my own a box...or a box filled with sand-- or a spoon to dig in the earth with. Our yard was small, but it had a lot of dirt!

I had huge swaths of unstructured time to

Play, along with my hands, are the most important tools in my studio.

I hear a familiar belief day after day from people that come into my studio, looking at the jewelry and our workshop.

"I don't have a creative bone in my body," they often exclaim. 

Of course they are creative. You cannot be alive without being creative. We create our lives though our beliefs. 

Change your beliefs...create a different life.

Everyone has creative bones. Some are strong because they are exercised by play..others, not so much. 

Being in a state of play enables those rubbery creative bones to solidify and provide the structure and foundation one needs to make a living being creative in the arts. 

Play is non-judgemental and meditative. It allows for the space needed for new ideas to emerge from this place of no-thing. 

Play is the most sophisticated thing we can do to grow, expand and amplify our connection to our self. 

So go play and see what happens...surprise yourself with your self. 


{I'm Going Back to Old School Blogging}

10 years ago, I started blogging to keep my family informed about my goings on when Shayne and I were living in Singapore. Back then, blogs were not interested in SEO word counts and ‘The Ten Best Ways to...’ do whatever you need 10 ways to do something.

Blogs were this magical place where we got to see how another person lived the day-to-day..the mundane, the dramatic and the non-manufactured life that wasn’t ‘styled’. This newish trend has paralyzed me somewhat and I am declaring that I reject it from here on out. I’m going back to the old school way of blogging...
— Stacie

My gosh, that feels so good to get off of my chest! 

You know what? I am a writer as much as I am a jewelry maker. And I think I have spent way too much time the last couple of years trying to be strategic with my writing..weighing what to write, how to craft it, how to make sure the picture is Pinterest-worthy and tying it up with a pretty little bow. 

I need a place to explore my feelings about experiences I have and a space to connect with those of you that may be interested in finding out what I'm up to these days, and hopefully sharing with me what YOU are up to these days. 

So, with that...this is what has been going on lately in my new home in Asheville.

Speaking of home...thank you for the home finding good wishes on my Facebook feed! I am so ready to have a house that I can have people come and stay with us. 

I haven't really minded the apartments and short-term housing situations that we have lived in over the last 10 years, other than we don't have the greatest accommodations for our friends and family. 

Home for me is a place of gathering over food, bonfires and spend-the-nights-sitting-up-and-talking with my friends. I haven't had this in a very long time and it has been like missing a lung in a lot of respects.

I want the full breath of friendship and communion that is essential for me to thrive. Having a home that is comfortable and big enough for our various relationships is super important to me.

So there is that....

And my studio home! I have been soooooooo busy nesting there and getting my workflow figured out along with integrating into the River Arts District community. 

I love my building. I adore the people that were there already and the new ones bringing their dreams into this big space. 

The funny thing is that there are many people in the older age range there...mid-40's, 50's and 60's. We are all experiencing this rush of energy that now is the time of our lives to really get off our collective butts and make our dreams of making things with our hearts and hands a sustainable way to live. 

I bought a new display case for the retail part of our studio today and also helped another artist, Maggie Minor, pick out some new furniture for her clay space. We are both so excited to be journeying together, cheerleading and supporting each other as we continue to embrace our incredible great fortune of belonging to such a fantastic creative community. 

PInch me...I still can't believe that I am doing this in a community as strong and bold as this one!

Ok, so what else is going on....

I bought some temporary tattoo's from Daniele LaPorte...I am sort of giggly in anticipation about wearing them on my arms...I am a big fan of her Desire Map book, and am looking forward to getting them to see what it feels like to have ink. But without the pain and lifelong commitment!

I have been reading a book on my Kindle that is blowing my mind about how to deal with emotional well-being, and truly letting go of the emotional baggage that so many of us continue to carry with us. 

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, by David R. Hawkins M.D. Ph.D is above all, practical.

It is putting into words some things that I have intuitively felt about how to be healthy and whole regarding being a caretaker of my emotional well-being. My only slam about this book is that I am only just now reading it! is only 3.99 on the Kindle!

I bought two dress/shirt thingies from my new neighbor Grateful Threads...and I am so excited to wear them this summer. They are outrageously funky...and I believe I will feel a bit like Stevie Nicks with the funk factor! Leanna is a beautiful soul, as is her partner-- so adorable and so creative in his own right! And I know I am going to really enjoy getting to know them better too. 

So Maggie and I were talking today about how to be a successful artist that you really have to know who you are and be firm about expressing that unique thing about you to the rest of the world and really OWN it. 

I haven't always done that and I believe that is where I've stalled as far as getting my soul passion off the ground in a meaningful way to me.

I am spending a lot of time when I am not working trying to get clear on what sort of service I am trying to provide to those that I interact with via metal, gemstones and personal adornment.

I know I seem to do a lot of deep connection work when someone walks into the studio and we  get into deep, interpersonal conversations. 

That happens a lot...and I love that. That is the best part about doing what I do. I had a woman walk in that was just browsing and was wistfully wondering how she could do something like what we are doing in this building. 

She confided that she was recently in recovery, and that she was taking some time to figure out what her thing is. 

I think in many ways, we all have to go into some sort of recovery in order to get clear about who we are and why on a soul level we decided to incarnate here. Modern life CAN be soul-sucking. Surrounded by shiny manufactured things was the straw that broke my back when Shayne and I were living in Singapore. 

Everything was new...was cookie-cutter and machined and the work of the human hand was not to be found. The disconnect was palpable to me, and during that time of my life, it brought me to my own creative path of making beat up, soul-infused jewelry that was made to look old and primitive, yet refined with a sense of deep purpose. 

My lovely friend and creative powerhouse Diane....

My lovely friend and creative powerhouse Diane....

That's what I have been chasing, ultimately, I believe, with my journey into jewelry.

Those deep connections with people that just need a word or two from someone that doesn't see them from the perspective of their past mistakes and mis-directions. I love being that random encounter that sees them as they are now and can imagine what they are yearning to become. 


Day 50: DANIEL

‘One who uses words to bring forth life’
— DANIEL, Birth Angels by Terah Cox

It's been 36 days since I have written an update here.

I have been in a listening mode for the last month. All eyes, ears, hands and heart...less mouth. 

My computer has been struggling also this past month...and a few days ago, Shayne went to the computer store and purchased me a new Mac Mini, and a new keyboard, as the one that I had before had an unfortunate encounter with my morning cup of coffee.

I limped along with an ancient keyboard for a few weeks, but it was stiff and hard to type on, so I just avoided the computer for the most part as I steeled myself to transfer my life in the last five years over to the new computer. 

I have been peering into my past over the last week via my computer hard drive, and there are some things that I want to throw out, and not bring forward into this new year. 

On Tuesday, I decided to NOT transfer everything over to the new computer, and instead, just saved it to an external hard drive to be available if needed. 

I am starting with a clean slate again...and you may be wondering what does this have to do with today's Birth Angel Daniel?

Well...last night I told Shayne that I am going to consciously try and clean up my language. As in...try not to use curse words and words that are coarse and ugly during  my day. 

I need a clean slate there too.

A switch has been flipped as far as using words are concerned.

I have been an avid user of curse words for over 30 years. To those of you that have spent time with me, this comes as no surprise...and I am grateful to the friends that I've had that have never really called me on this habit I've had over the years. 

Like a smoker, I've used curse words as a crutch to avoid dealing with the immediate underlying issues of my heat and anger, or hurt, throughout my life. 

But like a smoker, I am ready to quit when I am ready to quit...and not a minute before.

When I woke up this morning and found today's Angel in my mailbox, it was further confirmation that my intuition about using words in a conscious way is coming from a sacred place within...

If you hear me curse, feel free to remind me about this new intention...and I will thank you for it.

The real test will be when I accidentally hit my finger with my chasing hammer...

I wonder if I can react with eloquence and just say OW??