The Only New Year’s Resolution You’ll Ever Need

The Only New Year's Resolution You'll Ever Need It’s that time again, and I am offering you the only New Year’s resolution you will ever need to make.
Live your life like you mean it.
Yep. That’s it. Resolve to live your life like you really mean it. Don’t wait to mean it when you fall in love. When you’re out of school. When you have money. When the kids are grown. When your hand is forced by age, or disease, or death. Don’t wait to live your life like you mean it when challenged with some outside circumstance that suddenly opens your eyes. (Like we usually do.) And certainly don’t live your life like you mean it because I told you to.
YOU are the meaning-maker in your life so live your life like you mean it – the way you mean to live it.
Make eye contact every morning with that you looking back in that mirror and mean it, even if just for a moment. Make eye contact with everyone you meet, every day, and mean it. Not as a series of foreheads and noses and lips and ears. Look life in the eye, and all the other folks that show up with you each day, like you mean it. And, when you do, pay attention. You just might be surprised at all that you can be and do and feel. Put this locomotive at the head of the train. Don’t lead with cabooses. (As cute as they look, save them for wishes.) If you put this resolution up front, all the other desires, intentions, determinations – and even wishes – will hook up and follow at their appropriate time. Think about it. This resolution directs you like the Golden Rule. When you love your brother as yourself, when you do unto your sister as you would do unto you, all the rest that’s right or wrong naturally comes into view. The who-what-why-when-where appears organically. And because you are living your life like you mean it, you won’t miss it. If you do, you will circle around and get back on track – or you will find someone that can help you. Living your life like you mean it – like it matters – supports the healthier diet, more fulfilling job, expanded education, improved relationship, shift from depression, or whatever fill-in-the-blank resolutions you might have. The ways and means to accomplish your goals will introduce themselves at the best possible time because you mean it. (Some might appear inconvenient at first but, because you are living your life like you mean it, you will recognize the wisdom in the timing.)
“Matter is Spirit moving slowly enough to be seen." – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
If life matters, you matter. If life matters, how you spend your time giving meaning matters. You give life the meaning and the mattering. You give matter meaning. (Am I messing with your mind? Yes. Make it matter.) It’s  almost 2017. And you are reading this for a reason. Lets ring this one in together. Lets take a deep breath, right now, and slowly exhale like we mean it. Nap like we mean it. Play like we mean it. Hug like we mean it. Seek help like we mean it. Accept help like we mean it. Be amplified – or ambivalent – like we mean it. Divine Source and the universe love to support matter and the meaning in the matter. Spirit loves to conspire on your behalf. Check it in. “This is what meaning looks like to me when I do _______.” Then send out the signal loud and clear. Resolve to live your life like you mean it this year. May 2017 abundantly bless you with meaning so all that matters will come to you. Dream awake. Be amazed. With Love ... and I mean it. Bernadette XO Click on the pic below if you want to know more about my intuitive mentoring services. Muse Fusions Intuitive Reading Special Meaning-maker thoughts? Questions? Share them here! If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we CREATE a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my Messy Room for more musings and inspirations to come!

Art as Life: Tear a Page. Turn a Corner.

Inspiritus at Lourdes Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith Ever find yourself heading in a particular direction only to hit so many speed bumps, detours, or cul-de-sacs along the way that you start to question whether you should proceed? Maybe you can recall more than one “where is that road again” trip. Perhaps you are in the middle of one right now. Or, maybe there is one right around the corner waiting for you. (You do know you are not reading this by chance, right?) Well, get comfy. While you ponder that, I will tell you a short story about Inspiritus. Why? Because, whatever your journey, it is a story that points to a moment we share – that moment when we hear the whispers and feel the breath of the Divine moving through us. Inspiritus Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith Inspiritus Breath Mixed Media Art by Bernadette Rose Smith I was not in the neighborhood for inspiritus. I was aiming for a project that I hoped would address a livelihood concern. Inspiritus – the altered book pictured throughout this post – was a spirited calling on the carpet. It started with a phrase that kept popping up in my journal and my thoughts. Like a song verse you can’t shake. “The words are the leaves. The deeds are the fruits.” A polite way for the Divine to say, “Talk is cheap. Show me.” Inspiritus Altered Book Cover by Bernadette Rose Smith It was generously reinforced with one dead end after another in my livelihood venture. I have acquired enough wisdom to know when to stop and listen. (You know, that point where you start seeing stars from hitting that brick wall one too many times?) That’s when this poetic collaboration hopped onto a page in my journal one morning, starting with the verse:
So much happens before a leaf is born and from your pages a word is torn...
Inspiritus Altered Book Love by Bernadette Rose Smith “What a delightful thump on the head,” I thought. And with that invitation came the rest.
root upon root. ring upon ring. matters hidden until, in spring, from root to trunk to limb to branch a leaf is born, adorned to dance in sun and breeze and cloud and storm until its partner bud is born. coaxed to blossom. blossom to fruit. how will you harvest what came to root?
Inspiritus Altered Book by Bernadette Rose Smith My life flashed before my eyes. Okay, maybe not that dramatic but pretty dang close. Lets just say, in the following weeks, the writer-me burned through a lot of pages on the topic of compromises, adaptations, justifications, rescues, distractions, and all manner of negotiation devices used to make peace with myself when confronted with the needs and concerns of others always coming first. Whether for lack of courage or just plain fatigue, my frail manipulative attempts to wrestle a corner of time to follow my passions and use the divine seeds given me met with delay upon delay, year after year. From brunette to my now “platinum blond.” Inspiritus Altered Book Contemplation by Bernadette Rose Smith Somewhere in all that writing reverie, the artist-me stepped up. She’d had it. “Enough already! I got this. Let me show you without all the words. The big annual art show is coming up in 7 weeks. You love altered books so make one. Give this poem a home and then send it on its journey. All of your adult life you have set me aside for more concerns than I can count. I am tired of living in the shadows cast by others and your livelihood-concerned, placating-all-others self. There is no one looking over your shoulder but you now. So what’s your excuse? When will there ever be the perfect time? How will I ever trust you? Talk is cheap. Show me you love me. Lets plant some seeds.” Inspiritus Altered Book Seeds by Bernadette Rose Smith Inspiritus Altered Book Mixed Media Seed Spread by Bernadette Rose Smith Well just ouch me! Enough of my story. Now I am going to ask you to think about yours and invite you to answer some questions. Inspiritus Altered Book Mixed Media Matchbook Drawers by Bernadette Rose Smith Leaves eventually give way to harvest a new experience. What seeds are you planting in their compost? Are they ones you came in with? Or ones others have handed to you along the way? The thing about the seeds accepted from others is that, at first, they seem easy because they come with instructions. But look carefully. Those seeds are often attached to strings and expectations that lead to resentments and guilt if not planted to the satisfaction of the original seed bearer. They can land you in tending a field that will not sustain you or the seed bearer. (Funny about that, eh?) Inspiritus Altered Book Mixed Media Ladder Spread by Bernadette Rose Smith The thing about the seeds we come in with is that they don’t often come with instructions. We have to do a little investigating to find the proper climate, soil, nutrients, as well as healthy partner crops with which to plant them. We have to be aware. Watch the weather patterns. Be attentive to pests and weeds. But the seeds we came in with will sustain us and place us in fields that will also sustain others. Inspiritus Altered Book Mixed Media Harvest Spread by Bernadette Rose Smith What’s in your seed pouch? Do you know? Have you checked lately? Now is the time to dig deep. When your seed-planting time on this earth is done and you are standing in front of the Master Farmer, will your pouch be empty? Or still full? Inspiritus Mixed Media Altered Book Hidden Matters by Bernadette Rose Smith The blogger-me says, “Thanks for the visit and share any seed thoughts you wish to cast for others to harvest!" The writer-me says, “Let my words be the leaves that your deeds may bear fruit.” The artist-me says, “Look at the pictures. They will nourish your soul.” Musings from the Messy Room Subscribe Photo If you like this post, then please LIKE and SHARE because together we PLANT a better world! And be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my Messy Room for more musings and inspirations to come!  

Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?

Messy Love Definer or Refiner Here’s an idea to play around with. The next time someone or something upsets you, ask yourself, “Does this define me or refine me?” Why? Because your answer determines how you move through the experience and the baggage you carry afterward. Let’s see what Webster has to say about these two words.
Define: to determine the limits or nature of; describe exactly.
Hmmm. “Determine the limits” seems pretty limiting. And “describe exactly” is a crazy-making quest. I don’t know about you but my life – and upsets – defy any exacting description. This defining business is feeling a bit tense.
Refine: to free or become free of impurities. To make or become more polished.
To “become free” and “more polished.” All right. I’m exhaling here. This feels like something I can grab hold of when grappling with an upset. How a Defining Moment Becomes a Refining Moment. Stop. Ask the question. “Does this define me or refine me?” Make a conscious decision. Then proceed in the direction of your answer. When my ex husband left to explore a relationship with another woman – back in the days of Bernadette’s Pages – you could say his act defined our marriage (failed), himself as a man (untrustworthy), and me as a wife (not good enough). Failed. Untrustworthy. Not Good Enough. Now there’s a tidy package that determined “the limits or nature of” what happened between us. Had I accepted this view as my definer I would have gotten stuck, acting out patterns of betrayal, anger, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, remorse, confusion, mistrust, defensiveness … and I guarantee you that Bernadette would not be sharing in this blog. But this Bernadette? She asked the question. Again and again and again. As many times as it took for her to drop the definers, pick up the refiners and proceed in the direction of her happily-ever-after. Death-Sentence Definers. Hiding in the past, present and future are relationships and circumstances that beg to define you. If you’re having trouble getting beyond an upsetting someone or something you might be trapped in a definer zone. That’s where the person or situation defines you in a way that you are not comfortable with – many times under radar. A definer like this, with no follow-up refiner, can feel like a death sentence.
I saw Ted at Starbucks with Susan. (My ex must be right; I’m boring.) Samantha got the promotion. (My father was right; I’ll never amount to anything.) They didn't call me back for that second interview. (I am too old.)
Are You Really Upset For The Reason You Think? This world offers lots of legitimate reasons for upset, though illegitimate definers are more common culprits than you think. (Maybe Ted and Susan were planning a surprise party for our voyeur – but skewed definers are a topic for another day.) Whether caused by the real world or the one in your head, it’s key to note there is a difference between the upset of pain and the upset of suffering. Suffering is a choice. A mental attitude based on fear and often supported by a definer.   Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?It hurt when my ex left. Real bad. I was in pain. But it was my definers that made me suffer. Not his leaving. Once I got them to surface, I saw the classroom and an opportunity to cut through the crap – all the excuses that kept recycling the past into the present relationship. Surprisingly, defusing my definers opened the door to a refining process that allowed us to reconcile and make it another eighteen years. Defusing my definers also allowed me to recognize that divorce, for reasons that extended beyond our control or recovery, was ultimately in our best interest if we were to continue to grow. (Now there's a heavy duty definer-refiner playground.) If You Get Nothing Else From This Blog Post, Get This! A reason to pause the next time something or someone gets under your skin and ask yourself,
  • Does this define me or refine me?
  • Does this define me in a way that I don’t like?
  • Do I have to accept this definer?
  • Can I use this to refine me? (Make me a better person, artist, dog lover … free me from negative relationships, jobs, speeding tickets … Get the idea?)
Trapped in a Definer Zone? Ask. Decide. Proceed.
  • Does losing this marriage/relationship define or refine you?
  • Does losing this job define or refine you?
  • Does your childhood define or refine you?
  • Does your health condition define or refine you?
  • Does an addiction define or refine you?
  • Do your children define or refine you?
Here’s to replacing those definers with refiners that lead you to living your best life yet! As always, I welcome your comments. (They won’t define me but I might use them to refine me.) And, if you like this post then LIKE it and SHARE it. It won't define you if you don't but it might refine someone if you do. XO

Messy or Magical: YOU Be the Reason for the Season

Bernadette's Musings from the Messy Room Messy and Magical Holiday Message I find myself off the map this holiday season, alone with my kitties and the “ghosts of Christmas past.” Caught in reflection and releasing attachment to stories that cannot – need not – be revisited, repurposed, or recycled. Being mindful not to compare what my “reason for the season” looks like to those displayed around me. Just quietly aware of the many nuances of human experience beneath all the hustle and bustle, and living with the sense that it is okay for me to be alone this year. That it is, indeed, necessary. There is a freedom that comes in recognizing that there are times when tradition serves us well and other times when it simply does not. This is a “not” year. I am grateful to recognize that and embrace the gifts it has to offer and not grasp for the questionable recreation found in re-creations of the near or distant past. Guess you could say this is a “we three kings disoriented are” holiday. (I am not without a sense of humor. When my GPS is down, I look up.) If you are off the map this holiday season, this is the deal – what I know to be true. First of all, you are not alone. Secondly, whether through tradition or ritual or breaking all the rules of thumb, you are the magic-maker found in every season of your life. So, wherever you are this year, make it count. Love anyway. Laugh anyway. Be present anyway. This may be one of those silent whisper gifting kind of holidays. Find peace with the pieces and joy in the little pleasures found on the fringes of your day-to-day activities. Some years we have to enjoy the trimmings while the gift is "made ready." Those three kings may be disoriented but they do deliver. They look up, too – and they will find you where you are. Be ready to receive. I know I am. Peace be with you this season.

CherishAbility: Don’t Leave Home Without It.

CherishAbility Kitty
Cherishing is an act of willful rebellion in frenzied times. (Paraphrased from God is No Laughing Matter by Julia Cameron)
Cherishability is the ability to cherish and be cherished through insistent, repeated acts of willful rebellion to hone this skill in a messy life. Okay, so I know cherishability is not a word but you have to admit it rolls nicely off your tongue. And, after playing with it for a while, you might even have to cherish me for making it up. Cherish is a rather lonely word in our culture. Sad for so precious a practice. When we cherish, "It is all good. It is all noticed. It is all placed on the scales of her heart, where her savoring of life's riches counterbalances the payment of life's costs." (Same book.) Think about it. Couldn't we all savor a good counterbalance once in awhile? We spend a lot of time with other practices like visualizing, creating, hoping, wishing ... BUT, when was the last time you thought to chERIsh? Or you felt chERished? (Hey, you gotta chERish me for my meSSy leTTers ... spell check, however, fails to see their exPRESSive beAUty.) Here's a thought. Every morning, for the next 7 days,  find something you cherish ... and CHERISH it. FEEL it in your heart. EMBRACE it in your psyche. And START by looking in the mirror and rebelliously cherishing you ... as I do, BeLoved meSSie. What or who do YOU cherish? Feel free to expand your cherishability here in a comment below. And if you like what you found here, LIKE it and SUBSCRIBE to my somewhat infrequent though cherishable meSSy rOOm blog posts. (Yeah. I know cherishable is not a word either. Sigh.)

The Crayon: Our First Magic Wand

A crayon was our first magic wand
“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.” – Hugh MacLeod
Admit it. Don't you sometimes wish you could have your first box of crayons back? And all the innocent creativity that came with them? I don’t know about you, but it was love at first sniff for me. Then, it was the magic of choice with a world of color at my fingertips. For the first time in my young life I could choose a color. Blend a color. Shade. Highlight. Even outline a color with another color. My own little kingdom of color invited in newsprint paper, coloring books, tracing paper, connect the dots and my first mural that spanned the length of Aunt Rosemary's hallway. I am told her attempt to correct the self-appointed 4 year old muralist failed when she finished with,  “Now, are ever going to do that again young lady?” and I replied,  “I will if you want me to.” (Am thinking I must have sniffed a whole box of crayons that day as I don’t remember the “color like no one is watching” incident.) My adults must have recognized that I had a creative spirit that could no longer be contained in a box of 24 as I was entrusted with THE BIG BOX. You know the one. 64 crayons complete with the built-in sharpener. Now, not only could I choose more colors but I could also choose the thickness of my lines! And, if that wasn’t enough to be excited about, it was in this box that I discovered a magical color called periwinkle. When you placed it next to blue it looked purple and when you placed it next to purple it looked blue. That is when the power of choice and observation invited me to open the door to consider other paradoxical and equally enchanting dimensional possibilities that life had to offer. As adults in a techno-society that now underestimates the power packed inside something as sweetly simple as a box of crayons, LETS NOT FORGET! The next time you see a child pick up a crayon consider what you are witness to. All the sensory gears that set into motion with that very personal magical moment of choice. (It might just be their first.) Who knows, you might just want to join them to tap into some of that "in the now" innocence for yourself. We are never too old to play with crayons. Me, I still have my box of 64 ... and yes, I still sniff. What was your favorite magic wand as a child? Is it still? PSST: Were you a "sniffer," too? If you like this post then LIKE it and SHARE it! Together we grow!