Not Attending

Pink on Blue

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Anon


Have you ever had an idea, a dream, or a creative inspiration that wouldn’t let go of you until you did something with it? If you have then you know what it’s like when the muse strikes and you are the match.

Whether your idea is for something that resides in uncharted territory or an ingeniously twisted reincarnation of an old theme, it doesn’t matter. Muses are relentless – and perhaps unforgiving. (Hmm. A topic for another post.)

But this post isn’t about hearing the call. It’s about after that. After you answered the call. Painted your heart out. Sang for your supper. Written your novel. Built your homeless shelter. Erected your church. Re-mortgaged your house. Maxed out your credit cards. And sacrificed your retirement fund.

It’s about what happens after you hang your shingle and send out invites for the concert, poetry reading, gallery showing, taste party, patent demonstration, animal adoption clinic or wellness workshop – and find yourself waiting for the world to show up. For the world to embrace this gift that you burned to share. Waiting with – God love ‘em – the usual suspects/supporters who always show up. (If you are not a creative-activist-entrepreneur who’s had this experience you might want to stop reading now while the rest of us wait.)

Okay, so where am I going with this? It is my belief that those who continue to invent and create when confronted with the ‘not attending’ know a lot about forgiving it forward. See, the very act of continuing to dream and dare and create is what forgiveness looks like to a muse. Read more

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Bilingual chick with a knack for creative stuff

Lumiere

Title: Lumiere
Muse: Juliette Mansour
Gift Giveaway: 5×7 photo, matted for framing

 

Muse-Creations for Our Forgive it Forward Giveaway – Because forgiveness and creativity go hand-in-hand for us, Ray and I thought it would be fun to spice up our 35-day Forgive It Forward project launch with a focus on the arts. So, we sent a call out to the muses among us for a little assist and some inspiration.

Between June 14th and July 19th, we introduced artists, sculptors, potters, musicians – and more – who forgave it forward with us by donating a gift for a random drawing giveaway. Each muse answered two questions and shared a little bit about their creative process and passion. We hope they inspire you.


Juliette Mansour: Photographer & Web Wizard

Juliette MansourWere it not for this muse’s abilities and patient persistence, you would not be reading this blog. You also would not have a Forgive it Forward video to watch or a Facebook page to visit. And there definitely wouldn’t be any tweets, chirps or twitters coming from this part of the world.

Why? Simply put: I’m a “procrastinate until it is obsolete” technophobe when it comes to computers and the internet, Ray is a “just put a pastel or paintbrush in my hand” artist and Juliette is a saint. (Okay, maybe not a saint but certainly an angel for sharing her wings.)

I’ll never forget her first remarks when I asked her what she thought about Enlightened Ink’s new website back in 2006. After she said it was “nice” – yeah, THAT got my curiosity too – I asked her to be honest. (I mean, nice? Just NICE?)  Juliette likened my attempt at a website to “putting a poodle sweater on a Great Dane puppy.” (Cute at first but no potential for growth.) When I asked her to go on, I had an eerie sense that I was opening a Pandora’s box. The next thing I knew, my online presence was under construction!

This muse single-handedly poked, prodded, cajoled, coaxed and oftentimes tricked me into embracing the internet as a creative medium the same way I would a blank canvas and box of paints. She instinctively knew all the buttons to push and the frequency with which to push them. On her resume, Juliette says, “my day job can be captured in one headline: “Bilingual chick with a knack for creative stuff and with years of experience in web stuff helps overwhelmed, small biz clients find their voice.” I say that’s an understatement if ever I heard one. Just browse this site and watch the videos and you will see Read more

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Forgive it Forward: Our Future Debts?

Two Old Men

Photo – Courtesy of Casa Dresden

Let us start our process of reawakening with just a few simple concepts: Thoughts increase by being given away. – The more who believe in them the stronger they become. Everything is an idea.” – A Course In Miracles

The questions and “yes buts” are coming through loud and clear, along with the judgments. Forgive it Forward is NOT a radical idea it seems – it’s a CRAZY idea!

How do we forgive what we don’t know?

WELL …

How do we spend money we don’t have?

We may have to go back a few generations on this one but if our ancestors saw us swiping a little piece of plastic to pay for a dinner instead of using cash they would have thought we were insane. AND, if they knew we were all doing that on faith that we would have the money to cover that swipe at some undetermined point in the future?

Need I say more?

And yet, extending credit based on future gains opened the door to a more gracious lifestyle shared by a larger mass of people. Luxuries reserved for the wealthy in our ancestors’ day are now available to most any workingman and woman – as well as the non-working man and woman (and teenager) who manage to attain a credit card.

How did we pull off that idea? We all agreed to it.

We’ve extended WELL into the future with credit, why NOT with forgiveness? Forgiveness certainly won’t bite us in the !#@! like our recent economic crunch Read more

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Forgive it Forward: Clean-up Crew on Break

3 Blue Candles

When most people think of forgiveness they look to the past. Past events. Past people. Past gripes. Forgiving the PAST is a lot of work. Tedious work. Painful work. So, it’s easy to see why we tend to push it to the back of the closet to be sorted and dealt with another time.

 

When I think about issues of forgiveness, I think about clutter clearing and closet counseling sessions with clients. For those of you who don’t know, closet counseling is what happens after we unearth a challenge from a closet, attic, garage or basement. A deer-frozen-in-the-headlights gaze generally announces this challenge, at which point clutter clearing shifts to counseling with  “tell me about this” followed by  “how is this serving you?” and ending with  “are you ready to release or reactivate this?”

We can pack a lot into the darkened recesses of closets – and memories. Stuff attached to hopes, dreams, disappointments, frustrations, judgments, resentments, guilt, fear … That entails a lot of work and why many people cannot do it alone. It’s overwhelming.

So, I’m stepping out of the closet now. Lets talk about forgiveness.

What if we gave forgiveness a break from being the clean-up crew? If we let forgiveness scout the future for a change to trouble-shoot and clear our path – and avoided the pile-up? Sounds radical, but what if we could forgive it forward? Read more

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Have Red Umbrella Will Travel

Journey of the Red Umbrella

Title: The Journey of the Red Umbrella
Muse: Ray Smith
Gift Giveaways: Fine art giclee print of pastel painting with double matt. Image size is: 7 x 9 3/4 • Matt size is: 11 x 14

 

Muse-Creations for Our Forgive it Forward Giveaway – Because forgiveness and creativity go hand-in-hand for us, Ray and I thought it would be fun to spice up our 35-day Forgive It Forward project launch with a focus on the arts. So, we sent a call out to the muses among us for a little assist and some inspiration.

Between June 14th and July 19th, we introduced artists, sculptors, potters, musicians – and more – who forgave it forward with us by donating a gift for a random drawing giveaway. Each muse answered two questions and shared a little bit about their creative process and passion. We hope they inspire you.

Obviously this muse post is going to be treated just a little differently … Ray says he has to do his part to represent the guys being that all the muses who stepped forward for our forgiveness project were women. Well, except for Andy Irwin who is a singer-songwriter-storyteller-performer. He offered a CD in the first ‘call for all muses’ but we haven’t been able to catch up with him since!!! (As for all the other guys, don’t worry. Ray forgives you forward!)


Close-up Red Umbrella

Let’s start with a few words from Ray about his gift:

Architecture that reveals a history, that tells a story through distinctive texture and character inspires me. I found inspiration for this painting in Savannah, GA, a city rich with these qualities and in my memories of Savannah as the place Bernadette and I chose for our first artist escape after the experience described in her book.

The young character ‘journeyed’ from a previous pastel I had done for her. The human form always introduces a distinct energy to any painting. The raincoat and red umbrella are rich in spiritual metaphors and I love the anonymous innocence and questions this character brings to this piece.

Then let’s go to a few words from Ray about his creative process: Okay, I copped this copy from his gallery page. I knew you’d forgive me forward for not writing something new.

Ray Smith

In 1965, after completing my Christmas shopping, I came upon an art store and found myself just standing and gazing in the window. I followed the impulse inside and walked out with $50.00 worth of basic art supplies. That New Years Eve I sat alone and drew my first pictures. I will never forget the experience of following my creative instinct. That new way of seeing the world around me led down many creative paths but did not honor my true nature as a fine artist. I was always at the party but never took the floor. Now, to dance with the lady I came in with is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! Read more

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