I have moved to a new website!
Please come visit me here --->
I think it's fair to say we all have different definitions of "bravery". For the elderly woman, it might mean walking the short distance to church everyday because it's so important to her. The middle school student with anxiety feels brave when he can read a paragraph aloud without his voice shaking. For the stay-at-home mom, it might mean asking for help.
Bravery is simply doing something that is hard for us. It can be as simple as calling up an old friend (even though we hate talking on the phone) or as scary as filing for divorce (because you know it's the right thing for you). There is FEAR in bravery that creates those nervous feelings, butterflies in the stomach, a worrisome mind, and a desire to just avoid it all together.
We usually know it's time to take that brave step because the thought won't go away. It comes up again and again, asking us if we'd like to take action now?
What thoughts keep coming back to you that tell you it's time to think about making a move?
It might excite you, scare the hell out of you, or make you a little uncomfortable. Only you know if it's the right step to take. What 3 brave things can you do this year to make you life even better? Join me on my annual journey to do #3bravethings. You can read more about it here or here.
Share your thoughts and journey here in the comments or on my Facebook Page, using #3bravethings, so we can find each other. We'll support and encourage you!
This painting was created for the bravery and confidence that I saw in the elk. The name is "Grit & Grace", available in pink or blue on my Etsy site HERE.
You've heard me talk about doing 3 Brave Things each year. I'm so passionate about this! We are now following each other to share progress, using #3bravethings. I hope you join us!
I love the new year like I love a good coffee shop. It's not about the time or day, but the feeling. When I sit in a coffee shop (especially one that is inside a book store), I forget about all the tasks I need to do and just breathe in life and inspiration. I slow down, notice small joys around me, and let the ideas come in. The new year is very similar. The Christmas tree and decorations have been put away, the house is clean and clutter-free. The joys and chaos of the holidays are over. It's time to let the busy subside and let the slow, deep thinking begin.
The shift in perspective amazes me every time. It's as if my vision becomes as clear as the white snow outside. Things I've been struggling with in my mind smooth out, annoyances fade, and my thoughts align.
It makes sense that it's during times when we feel refreshed and renewed that we want to jump into new goals. New Year's resolutions make perfect sense when we think about it. The problem is that we often set our sights so high that we can't achieve our goals. Honestly, I have the ambition right now to make big leaps with my health, business, community involvement, and family. It's a little crazy, to be honest. I recognize this, though. I do this in the fall too, when summer ends and the kids go back to school. I guess it's the changing of seasons and how I ready my mind for the next phase. It's refreshing and exciting.
It's taken me a long time, but I ease into the new year at a snail's pace . . . and it's so good. I take the entire month of January to assess my thoughts, goals, patterns, etc. I let the wild ideas pour into my brain, take lots of notes, sip coffee and look out at the snow-covered mountains. I listen to podcasts, read books, sketch, and paint. I do nothing impulsive or drastic. I write down a LOT of notes and thoughts to keep myself from making an impulsive decision. I choose to think about these ideas and let them percolate a bit.
I came up with a plan that works for me in 2014. I began to commit to doing 3 Brave Things in one calendar year. There are no big goals that I won't succeed at and then beat myself up over in three months. There's just a goal of #3bravethings. It all began the year I wanted to challenge myself to participate in my first art show. It was something I wanted to do, but the fear and doubt gremlins came in full force every time I thought about it, so I kept putting it off. Without over-thinking it, I just signed up for one. It felt great and was the beginning of trying brave things - those things that stretch us just outside of our comfort zone, in a good way.
I don't always know what my 3 Brave Things will be. Sometimes, I have one or two in my mind and other times I just wait for them to come. There are always those times when we are standing at a crossroad, presented with an opportunity to try something brave or step back. Sometimes we need to step back, but sometimes the opportunity is there because we are ready.
Will you join me? Will you commit to #3bravethings in 2016? We all need support and inspiration, so please share your #3bravethings, you thoughts, and your progress.
I've made a free download you can print and tack up to remind you how awesome you are and that you've committed to doing 3 brave things in 2016. (sample below)
Download high resolution image HERE
We got this! Here we go!
Back in Jan, I decided to kick New Year's resolutions to the curb and instead just try to #3bravethings in 2015. I tried it in 2014 and it went really well. It was do-able and kept me thinking of ways to push myself beyond my comfort zone throughout the year. You can read my original post here Practical Guide for New Year's Resolutions and Goal Setting, #3bravethings
Even if you're just now reading this for the first time, it's not too late to join in! There's still over 90 days left in 2015. What does being brave mean to you?
Whatever it is, only you will know. Go for it! You got this!
I like how 3 is such a manageable number too. If you set out to achieve "X" and it doesn't work out, go for something else. You've got time! For example, my first #3bravethings was to sign up for swimming lessons. My second goal was to try a sprint triathlon for the first time. I never did. I'll try again next spring, so it wasn't one of my #3bravethings for 2015. . . but that's okay.
I also wanted to have my website up and running by the end of the year, but we moved from VA to CO and the contract on our house in VA fell through. We now have two house payments, so I'm going to hold off until the VA house sells. So far, I've done two of my #3bravethings: 1-signed up for swimming lessons, 2-moved our family to CO. I'm not sure what #3 will be yet, but I'll think of something.
Please join me in trying something new and pushing our boundaries.
And do me a favor . . . please comment here or on my Facebook Page: Diana Dellos Artist and let me know what you are doing for your #3bravethings. Hearing from others helps to inspire and push ourselves. And don't forget to HT it! :)
Best of luck! We are going to do this!
Bella Grace Magazine is one of the most inspiring and beautiful magazines I've ever read. The pages have tons of color, cool graphics, and amazing stories. I celebrated my 40th birthday in this past December. I decided to giveaway 40 paintings + do 40 random acts of kindness (RAK). I'm grateful to share that the article is featured in the current issue of Bella Grace Magazine (sept/oct/nov, 2015): 40 Ways to Spread Kindness "Over the Hill"
In the article, I explain how I wanted to do something meaningful for my birthday and felt strongly to do more giving than receiving. I started on Pinterest and pinned several ideas to my board: Random Acts of Kindness. I made a list of RAK and also gave away all 40 paintings that I had just finished painting.
Read the full article to learn how I parted with the paintings and which random acts of kindness did NOT go so well! You can find Bella Grace Magazine at your local Barnes & Noble or order online at www.bellagracemagazine.com.
***AND they are donating a portion of all magazine sales to breast cancer research during the month of September***
They do a wonderful job with this magazine. There are SO MANY inspiring stories in every issue. It's one of my favorite!
Birthdays are always a big deal. It's the one day out of the year that you can say, "Woohoo, it's all about me today!" In our house, you get to choose what you want for breakfast, for dinner, and what you want to do that day . . . and nobody can complain or say no (last year, I made them all help me clean my art studio = priceless reactions). But it's funny when you tell someone you're turning 40. You get an "OH!" with their mouth in a big "O" shape and big eyes. You're turning THAT age!
I wanted to do something big and something meaningful for my 40th birthday . . . so I did! It didn't involve lots of people or a big party. There were no balloons and no black decorations. It was colorful and fun and I was mostly alone (except for dinner, of course). If you're looking for a unique way to celebrate someone's 40th birthday, I might have an idea for you.
The truth is that 40 is a milestone birthday. You walk into a party supply store and the area for "40th Birthday" loot is, by far, the biggest (mostly black too). I remember my mom's 40th birthday, like it was last year. They made her sit in a wheel chair to enter the room, gave her a black shawl, and a cane. All the decorations said "Over the Hill" and the gifts were mostly gag gifts, while friends and family roared with laughter. My sister and I thought it was hysterical. She was so old!
And now I'm old. Or at least what I thought was old when I was fifteen. My how time changes our perspective. As December 22, 2014 approached, I wasn't feeling old or full of regrets, nor did I mourn the loss of my youth. I actually feel really excited and motivated about the years ahead. Okay, maybe I do wish I could still eat like a teenager and not gain a pound, stay up til 2:00 AM and function fairly well the next day, and sing "Favorite Things" at the top of my lungs and have my kids sings along with me instead of roll their eyes at me. But overall, nah. I really like where I'm at.
I decided to spend my birthday giving more than I received. As an artist, I'd been wanting to give myself a 30-day challenge for several months, but I was chicken. You see, I shutter at the thought of committing to things. It makes me feel locked-in and trapped. I fear that I won't be able to follow through and will let people down. I'm not the mom who sends in 40 homemade cupcakes for the teacher brunch. I send paper plates and napkins. I don't do PTAs, neighborhood committees, or monthly classes. I value freedom and flexibility. But this was my personal challenge, so being a little uncomfortable was going to be part of it. I decided (quickly, before I could change my mind) that I would do 40 paintings in the 40 days leading up to my 40th birthday.
I marked the day on the calendar, ordered some small canvases and started thinking of ideas. Then I started painting. Every day (usually in the evenings), I would paint a small canvas. Sometimes I planned out the ideas ahead of time and gathered images to draw from, while other days I just painted what I felt like.
I knew I wanted to spread more kindness too, so I decided I would also do 40 Random Acts of Kindness. I have a Pinterest board full of RAK ideas here, so it was easy to put the list together. I had to buy a few things and make a couple of phone calls, but it didn't involve too much prep time. Originally, I thought I would document the whole experience with photos and maybe even put tags on some of the items we donated with a hashtag to create some excitement. I later chose not to because I really wanted to focus on the act of giving and not expecting anything in return. My husband and kids helped me with some of them, and I did several by myself. We took clothing items to a women's shelter, blankets to the vet clinic, and put gift cards in random books at Barnes & Noble. We took needed items to the humane society, paid for the car in line behind us at Starbuck's, handed out individually wrapped cookies downtown (most people thought we were crazy), and left kind notes in books at the library. I smiled at a lot people (and got some surprised looks), filled my daughter's room with balloons on her birthday, took lattes to the pharmacists at CVS, sent flowers to my sister, and gave a painting to a friend. I don't have photos or likes to show you, but the proof is in my heart. It felt great to give with no expectations.
Painting for 40 days straight taught me that I like the playful feeling of less pressure. A huge canvas sometimes can make us feel like it has to be "amazing" when it's finished, but little canvases are less intimidating. Each one was like its own little adventure, waiting to be discovered. I wanted the paintings to take an hour or less, be playful and fun, and imperfect. I tried new techniques, made some mistakes, experimented with new color combos, and surprised myself a few times. I love some of them and I really don't love some of them. But I'm content with each one and proud of the commitment. They all remind me of a challenge I gave myself, a relaxed learning experience, a time to let go of perfectionism and be more playful. Isn't that what turning 40 is really all about?
The truth about age 40 is that I have let go of many ideals I used to have, loosened the grip on control, learned to listen to my gut and heart and trust myself more. It's less about what is out there to have and gain, and more about what is in here, inside my heart and my home. The people in my life, the connections I've made, and the memories we make are what this dance called life is all about.
At 40, I've spent more years with my husband than I have without him. He has shown me that persistence and perseverance really pay off, that people need to feel appreciated in their jobs, and that family always comes first. I have a 12-yr old son that has taught me that there is always more than one way to figure something out, that video games are awesome, to ask people how they feel often, and about loving big. I have a 15-yr old daughter that thinks I'm old and weird and said she can picture me being one of those "hippy people from the 70's". She sings constantly and can't believe she had to explain the difference between tbh and tbr to me. She has taught me to get things done, to be true to myself and to not over-think things. I have a 17-yr old son that shows me you're never too old to watch online videos and laugh out loud, who believes that living simply and having fun are most important, and that kindness always wins. He has enlisted in the US Marine Corps and will leave for boot camp this summer. He knows that following your passion is most important, even if it involves a lot of fear.
I have empathy for my 16-yr old self that was so hurt, lost, and angry; my 19-yr old self that was an idealist and had big plans for changing my world; the 29-yr old self that was so overwhelmed as a mother of three little ones; the 35-yr old self that found her passion and direction; the 40-yr old self that feels humbled, determined and authentic. Forty years of life experiences gives us a shift in perspective, a humble calmness, and helps us focus on what we know is really important (will I be even wiser at 80 or just not give a damn?). We realize that it really is all about the hokey pokey - about having fun and learning to laugh at yourself, making people smile, and being more giving of yourself.
Here's to many more years!
P.S. I've decided to give away all 40 paintings! Follow my Facebook Page: n2cre8n for details on the weekly drawings and sign up for email updates at the top of this blog. Update will be this Fri 1/23/15!
This post has been moved and updated on my new website!
Come read all the details HERE!
See you after the jump! :)
In two hours, it will be my birthday, the big
My 40 days of painting countdown is complete. Here are all 40 paintings together!
There are some I love, some I dislike, and some I see little things I want to change (but I will not). I have been pushed outside my comfort zone, pushed to create faster and not worry about perfection, pushed to try new things and allow myself to be seen here. I am grateful for the challenge I gave myself,the lessons I learned, and the 40 paintings that I have as a reminder. Thanks for sharing your time with me.
Nearing the end of my countdown! Just a few days left until my 40th birthday.
If you've followed Part I and Part II of the countdown, you've seen Days 1-10 and Days 11-20. Here are Days 1-30! I've let go of expectations, tried new things, loved some, not loved some, and had fun all the while. Thanks for following with me. More to come soon! <3
If you follow me on my Facebook Page, you've seen the daily paintings that I'm doing for my 40th birthday. On Dec. 22nd, 2014 I turn 40 yrs old, so I decided to celebrate it with a countdown. On this post, I showed the paintings from Days 1-10.
Here are Days 1-20. I'm really loving this challenge! I'm learning, growing, trying new things, discovering new techniques, playing a lot, and letting go of a lot of perfectionistic tendencies. Good stuff, friends!
If you follow me on my Facebook Page, you've seen the daily paintings that I'm doing for my 40th birthday. On Dec. 22nd, 2014 I turn 40 yrs old, so I decided to celebrate it with a countdown. Who doesn't love a good countdown? My kids are always doing countdowns!
It's been a great challenge for me. It holds me accountable every day and it keeps me from over-thinking things. The painting are small (most 5x7 size) and I try to complete them in 15-30 minutes, which forces me to just "go" and not worry about little details.
Here are Days 1-10. I'll keep 'em coming every 10 days. It's been really fun so far!