My INNER ArTiST…

If I were to pop the question, “What is an artist?” I’m sure that I would receive many rather difficult, opaque definitions. I would probably even receive a few names of many well known artists to support those rather chunky definitions, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso…. just to name a few.

Well, guess who else is an artist? Me. Yep, and so are YOU! My definition would be someone that creates art? Well, what is art? For me, it’s anything that allows me to creatively express my imagination and often times, also my feelings. Personally, my favorite forms of art are writing (duh), dancing, various forms of music, (including the lyrics that I randomly create in the shower and belch out in my fake Beyoncé voice), and scrapbooking/documenting life.

Painting? Not so much. I would say that that is more of my daughter’s thing. I just don’t have the patience for it. I’m horrible at it and quite truthfully, I just don’t understand it. Well, those were my feelings before last night. Last night I went to an “Art Uncorked Class,” at the Visual Arts Center. I would love to say that this was my first time taking one of these classes, but it was my second. Looking back at the first, I was not able to “get into it,” at all. Earlier that day, I had had a run in with the IRS and well…need I say more.

Last night was different. I was meeting one of my best friends (yes, I’m the person with lots of best friends) there. I had also had short/long week of work, and I was really just ready to unwind. The painting of choice looked like something that I would be capable of and even if I screwed it up, it was still one of my favorite scriptures (Philippians 4:13), and I knew that I would hang it somewhere regardless.

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Wow! What an experience. I allowed myself to let my hair down (literally, as I always wear it back or up). I laughed at my mistakes, shared silly comments with other women in the room, and snacked away on some yummy snacks (no calorie counting). There was also wine available, but I was having such a great time without it that I didn’t bother. In the end, I had a very joyful time. I’m certain that everyone did and I can rest assure you that NONE of us would have made your top ten list of artists. I’m very proud of the piece that I created. Yes, we were “guided,” but for the most part, those are MY strokes, MY brush angles, MY contrasts and color options, and also MY feelings/emotions plastered on a canvas.

I challenge you to give ART a try. Here in highlands County, you may start by visiting the Highlands Art League’s website and I also included a few pictures of upcoming paintings with dates in case you are interested. So, from one artist to another, ENJOY!

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Laughter is OH, Sooo Good for the Soul!

Life has a way of knocking us all on our butts from time to time. Sometimes it may be something that seems so small and meniscal such as the sky opening and a huge downpour of rain occurs as you’re leaving the salon, to things that are much more massive like losing your job or a experiencing a death in the family. Regardless of the situation, it is important to remember that although we cannot control many of the things that happen around us, we CAN control the way in which we respond or react to them.
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As for me, I’ve realized that retreating to the beach and/or a good laugh often aids in resetting my “happy.” So, that’s what I spent the weekend doing and boy am I so “happy,” that I did. Not only did I visually take in lots of beautiful sites, but also, I laughed so HARD, and in such abundance. You know, that type of laughter that is so deep that it hurts, and trying to stop laughing only makes you laugh harder? Yasssssss! That’s it.

(please note, these pics are not from this weekend, but are a collection of happy moments with friends)
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I’m telling you, laughter with your family/friends and sometimes even alone at yourself has many amazing health/psychological benefits. Here are a few:

1. It decreases stress.
2. It aids in coping skills.
3. It boosts your immune system.
4. Talk about a workout, laughter burns calories and releases endorphins as well.
5. It impacts blood sugar.
6. Laughter also impacts your blood sugar.
7. It manages pain.
8. It’s universal, and aids in boosting your social skills.

So in celebration of healthy laughs everywhere, I would like to giveaway 2 tickets for an upcoming Comedy Show that will be held on Wednesday, September 17th, 6pm, at the Chateau Élan-Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, FL. This show will feature the following Comedians: Bob Lauver & Grandma Lee (as seen on America’s Got Talent). One lucky winner will win both tickets, because, let’s face it; we LOVE having someone to laugh with, right? I would love to hear from you in the comments section! Do you love a good laugh? Has laughter helped you through a difficult time? Are you capable of laughing at yourself? Speak your mind…
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