Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Baby Falls Asleep to Mom Singing "Better Place"





This is my daughter and HER daughter. Oh, my heart! <3

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stubborn as F*&%.

Tenacity is important to me. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I’ve achieved so many things simply by being stubborn as fuck.  By flat out refusing to give up. Perhaps it's tied up with my midwestern upbringing, which seemed to be based on two primary tenets: 1.) don't be lazy 2.) don't be a pussy.


There was a third which had something to do with drinking as many shots of Jim Beam as possible while the jukebox blasted Kid Rock in the background, but that one doesn't seem applicable here. 

And so I've spent many (so many) years working my ass off while pretending to be perfectly fine.


What I'm trying to discuss today is failure. About the ability to be imperfect and be okay with that. This is a difficult topic for me to discuss honestly (even with myself) because it’s so hard to tell the difference between giving up and using common sense.  Where is the line to help me know the difference between weak willed rationalization v. good self-care and healthy prioritization? And what to do with the realization that this or that thing was never your goal to begin with (or worse, that it WAS but that it never should have been). 



The world is full of mixed messages and I have one foot firmly planted in corporate America while the other one tries to stay on solid ground while going about the business of creative self-discovery. I know this is also true of many of you, because let's face it - someone's got to pay the electric bill but our true joy resides elsewhere. It's a precarious position in which to be. For all the well-meaning corporate slogans ostensibly directing us toward healthy lives, acceptance, balance, etc., the underlying message is still constant evaluation, competition, and "continuous improvement". Taking off my rose colored glasses, I realize that this last one can be interpreted as "You're not good enough now and you never will be." And so. 

So despite numerous academic and professional accomplishments, I strive everyday to keep up and get ahead. I am constantly competing - with others, with myself. Most of the time, I do just fine. As one of my slam poems says, my shoes make a satisfying clack when I walk. 

But every once in a while, something happens to shake your confidence and knock you off of your game and this is when big, important questions come up for me.


Am I selling myself short? Could I do better? And I don't mean professionally because truth be told, I'm pretty sure I don't care all that much about that.

I mean personally. By setting goals and allowing myself to accomplish them. By not undermining myself with critical self talk. By allowing others to help me when I need it. By giving up goals that don't make any sense any more.

By being truly brave, not blindly, stubbornly brave. Brave enough to love myself through failure. Brave enough to pick myself up and really believe that my worth is not based on the accumulation of meaningless accolades, qualifications, and trophies.



I think the answer is yes.

I'm sure going to work on it because when I think of the things that make my heart sing, they are the people I love, the process of creating things, and the experiences that I have. xoxoxoxo

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Meetings.

“Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot actually masturbate.” – Dave Barry.

Yep. Back to work today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shhhhh! 21 Secrets.



Remember when I was a teacher in 21 Secrets? 

Myself and 20 sweet, beautiful souls share our art journaling methods with you. It's truly fabulous.

We're having a flashback sale today through Friday - click the link below to access everything for $21 off.



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Encaustic paints.


The work of art is a scream of freedom. 
Christo

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tools.


Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.

Plutarch

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My real name.


Full circle.

Full circle. Loop back.  Finish what you started.


Lately, I’ve been getting a whole lot of what I asked for. You know how I’m always running my mouth about change and transformation? Newsflash: it’s a whole lot more comfortable to talk about it than it is to actually walk through it.


The past year has been brought so many incredible new things into my life. I’m not the same person now; that I can assure you.  The year has been one of incredible growth and glorious solitude and it’s rapidly drawing to a close. The first week of April marks a year since I moved into this lovely and quirky house. It has been a fine companion and I’m already mourning the loss. I sit this morning surrounded by boxes of books and piles of art. Is it significant that these are the first objects I pack? That when I think of losing all of my possessions in a fire, these are some of the first things I think of? Probably. They are my heart. They have kept me company, pushed me in new directions, and given me solace.


I moved here with goals that sound simple on the surface, but which are in actuality exceedingly difficult:

Find my center. Seek myself. Learn silence. Create beautiful things. Stitch my life back together again. Just be. Let the silt settle around my toes. Hear the quiet voices.


In many ways, I’ve accomplished these things but I understand now that I’ll never be completely finished with this crusade. It turns out that these things are the real work of my life. That the career is just fluff.  That every time I think I’ve grown strong enough or open enough, something new will drift into my life and teach me another important lesson.


And so.


Right now I’m learning the lesson that sometimes one must go backwards in order to move ahead. That if you just slam the door on certain phases of your life, you may be required to go back, take a seat, and hold some space for that person that you were. Loop back and say goodbye properly. It’s hard because I’m not one to turn back or slow down, but I think this is as it must be. And it is beautiful.



Today, I welcome the new adventures coming my way and I embrace the old Robin as gently as possible so that when it’s time to let go, I’m ready.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Amanda Krantz.

Amanda Krantz - fresh from the studio.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

How I became a mermaid (plus the art of Roxanne Coble).

Well, my goodness. I've been a little absent lately because I have been busy falling madly in love. If you’ve done this (and god - for your sake, I hope you have) then you know how it pushes and pulls your life into something completely new. Strange and wonderful how it comes out of nowhere and turns your life inside-out in the most fantastic ways. And it's also absolutely terrifying.


I’m ten years old and my toes are curled and locked around the very edge of the high dive. I’ve been standing there for so long that my toes are numb. All eyes are on me - the instructor in the water waving and shouting yet again for me to jump or move out of the way, the snaking line of kids behind me impatiently waiting to prance lightly to the end of the diving board and slice into the water as if it requires no effort at all.

I’m poised between wide open sky and that deep, deep water. I'm small and shaking and I have no reason to think that I will pull this off successfully because I have failed so many times at this already. In fact, I've never done it successfully even once and I have tried more times than I care to admit.

But I breathe and I hope and I find a sliver of something strong inside. Mysteriously, this thing clicks into place. I bend my knees and push off. I plunge, lose all sense of direction and connection with ground, eyes closed, heart pounding.

And suddenly I’m at the bottom of the pool and pushing up toward the glittering surface. I'm a mighty mermaid, a badass creature of the sea. I want to do it all over again as many times as possible.

It wasn’t even a great dive. It was mediocre at best, but it was a place upon which to build and then I practiced all summer, getting a little better each time. I loved diving. More importantly than the dive itself though, was the idea of being brave enough to push past the fear and the knowledge that something unimaginably powerful and unspeakably glorious may lie on the other side of the interface. What possibility! It was a lesson I’ve never forgotten, although I’ll admit that I have struggled with the actual implementation throughout the years.


Yep. This is what I’ve been doing for the past three weeks – throwing my unprotected heart out there on a daily basis. It’s been exhilarating and illuminating. Unnerving.


You may recall a recent post in which I discussed my desire for relationships which are both deeper and looser at the same time. A lofty goal.  A difficult balance, to be sure. And not something one can do alone in the romantic realm. It requires a like-minded partner to pull it off successfully and it’s not for everyone. Even the idea scares some people.


Recently, I opened up the aperture and promised myself that I would recognize this kind of love when it held my hand and touched my heart. I would not require hard definitions or confine it with secret expectations. I would be as brave and true as I could possibly be and I would do my best to be present every second of the way.


When I say that I’ve intentionally crossed the barrier between the fear and the fantastic, understand that I did it with as much awareness and wisdom as I could muster. I didn't do it blindly, but with a clear idea of what I wanted and who I am at this moment in my life. And I did it knowing that there is a very real possibility of being hurt along the way but that this is a price that I'm willing to pay.


And so, when I stumbled across this person, he being not what I had expected at all but so much better in every way, I did the wisest thing possible – I jumped. I didn't even hesitate.


Because this kind of love is always a good idea.


It’s that place in which we can practice pouring our souls into another. It shines a light into the corners of ourselves that need a little sweeping and dusting. And if we do it right, it’s the solid ground on which we can build our better selves. It's also a lot of fun. :)


Why am I telling you this? Because I want to encourage you to look for these places of fear and walk through them to the other side. Because I wish for each of you deep love that holds you up and pushes you to new places. Love that surrounds you at night and makes you feel safe. Most of all, love that looks you right in the eye and loves you anyway.

And for the record, I’m feeling exactly like a wild and beautiful mermaid again. 

The artwork throughout this post was created by the beautiful and talented Roxanne Coble. You can find her here and also as part of the knock-your-socks off Life Book 2016 lineup.  

Joshua Harker.