Do what you love and go on a fantastic journey.

This is post 10 in my 10 post blog series on using Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.”  The Steps and journal prompts are taken from her PDF. You can also join Beth’s Do What You Love e-course, which will help you with a step-by-step process in finding your true passion to get on a path to doing what you love!

Step 10: CHOOSE TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE

Journal prompts: There isn’t a journal prompt in the pdf for #10.

But there are some suggestions to try such as, “Declare to your friends and family that you are choosing to do what you love, and put a plan in place to embark on your journey.”

Flying Fish painting

© Lindy Gaskill, “A Fantastic Journey”, 24″ x 30″, acrylic on wood

When I was young, like in high school, I thought that I would like to have a career in the arts. I didn’t know if I wanted to be a fine artist or a graphic artist. (You can read more about that in my Artist Journey Series on my blog.) I eventually chose the commercial art route and got a degree in Fine Art specializing in graphic design. Fortunately it also allowed me to do my fine art on the side as well.

I tell people I’ve had a dual career as a fine artist and a graphic artist. It’s been a good mix for me. And now as I get more into licensing my art, my graphic design background is even more helpful.

I feel very grateful I’m able to follow my passion in the arts and make a career of what I love.

I hope if you’re not doing what you love, that you will look into how you can change your life’s direction and connect with your true calling. Good luck and good thoughts to you!

 

Be all that you can be

This is post 9 in my 10 post blog series that I’m writing using Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.”  The Steps and journal prompts are taken from her PDF.

Step 9: BE ALL OF YOU

Journal prompts: Which aspects of my personality have taken a back seat lately?
Which aspects would I like to see more of in my life, and how can I bring them forward?

Lindy teaching

Lindy as teacher.

We are so many things and we play so many roles. We are a combination of everything that we do, and feel and say and act on. I am woman, artist, friend, wife, computer artist, painter, dancer, cook, kayaker, bike rider, child, aunt, graphic artist, (plus so much more) and now teacher .

I recently put myself in this role. Teaching has taken a backseat in my life but lately it is one aspect that I’ve been wanting to develop.

Isn’t it wonderful, when the student is ready, the teacher arrives.

For me, it was a student that arrived.

I’ve never taught a class before but I took on a private student and held lessons for a couple weeks in my studio.

We had a blast! So much energy and emotion went into these paintings. I love what my student created!

He really started to develop his own style which is what every artist wants – to develop their own fingerprint and recognizable work.

In my teaching, I used a combination of everything I’ve been taught by my own teachers and of course, my own personal techniques and processes. It was a learning experience for my student but also for me.

I learned what works, and what could work better. I was open to what developed. I leaned into trust and the reward of letting go and so did my student. It was really fun!

So I would like to put it out there, if you are interested in private painting lessons, contact me and we can set something up.

If you can be all that you can be, what aspect would you work on?

Happy painting!

Number 7 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

This is post 7 in my 10 post blog series on Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” You can check back here to see 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and the first post here. The Steps and journal prompts are taken from the PDF.

STEP 7: WALK (BAREFOOT)

Journal prompts: What big things have you achieved in your life so far? (Big thing = something you are proud of, not necessarily to do with work) If you trace it all the way back, what was the very first step you took towards that? Do you remember how you felt? If you could go back in time and speak to yourself back then, what would you say?

Raven Art Kindred Spirits

© Lindy Gaskill, Kindred Spirits, 8″ x 8″, acrylic on wood

These are big questions. It made me sit back and think awhile. It made me look forward to the future and look back at my past.

I would have to say one thing that was big was moving to Prescott, Arizona from Bend, Oregon in 2011!

I remember how it felt. It seemed overwhelming! Having to pack up all our stuff, sell our house, find a new one in Prescott and then move! We had to break the steps down or I don’t think we would be where we are today. We made lots of lists too which helped stay organized.

But first it took visualizing where we wanted to live in Prescott. Once we decided we were going to move there we had to start looking for a house to buy.

I recently rediscovered a notebook I had written in before we found our place. It was a list of all the things we wanted in a house and property in Prescott. It was a list of 30 items. The place we bought has 25 of those items. I love that we found a place so close to what we were looking for. And what wasn’t there when we first bought it, is now as we have turned it into “our” place and transformed it to what it is now.

If I could go back in time and speak to myself back then, what would I say?

I would say, “I hold no worry.”

That sure would have relieved a lot of stress! Everything turned out and we really didn’t need to worry about anything. Looking back it is so easy to see. But when I’m in the midst of a stressful situation I tend to be a worrier. It’s something I’m working on for sure. Here’s a good story about those lessons.

What about you? Any big things happening in your life and how are you feeling about where you are now?

Number 6 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

Well I was trying to do a 10 day series but it’s turning into a 10 post series instead. So this is post 6 in my 10 post blog series on Beth Kempton’s PDF titled “Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.”

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

STEP 6: BE A BEGINNER

Journal prompt: When was the last time you surrendered to being a beginner and started something new from scratch?
Did you find it frustrating? Exciting? And what good came out of what you learned?

This got me thinking about when the last time I felt like a beginner was. And I thought of my recent home project and how we can’t be afraid to jump into something just because we’ve never done it before.

I’ve never made a flagstone walkway before. It started out looking like this. A dirt path.
walkway

It seemed a little overwhelming. But I took it one stone at a time. Fitting each piece next to another, it felt like I was putting together a puzzle. I plugged along. It took more than a day.

walkway2

And then the rains came and washed away a ton of the dirt that was between the stones!

Grrrr. Frustration set in for sure. I had to take out a huge section and reset the stones and put them back like they were.

Greg helped put mortar between them so they won’t wash away next year during the monsoon season. He also put up a wire fence along the edge of the walkway. I’m going to put vine loving plants along it that will grow into a lush, green wall. Maybe I’ll plant honey suckle or jasmine.

flagstone walkway

And what good came out of what I learned?

It feels good to create something I’ve never made before just like how I feel when I make art. Taking a blank canvas, and this time it was bare dirt, and putting something on it to make it look good. I can’t say my walkway is a work of art but it does feel satisfying completing it!

What have you done that makes you feel like a beginner?

Number 5 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 5.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Courage-Along-the-Path-gaskill

Courage Along the Path by Lindy Gaskill

Step 5:  FOCUS

For focusing, Beth suggests listing the things you want to accomplish and then categorizing them under a theme and focusing on one theme a week, immersing yourself in that theme and seeing what comes from that. I like that idea.

Journal prompt: Now you have considered this particular theme intensely for a week, ask yourself the following questions:
How do I feel about this theme now?
Do I want to move forward with it?
If not, why not? If so, what do I need to do next?

Focus has been my word for 2013. During the year I’ve been writing in the morning my 3 things I want to accomplish each day. I’ve been mostly good and accomplishing my goals.

I have a few areas of interest in running my business that I am focusing on.

They are:

1. Promotion and art marketing, including my monthly newsletters, emails to my Collector’s Circle and PR including social media, press releases and finding new collectors

2. Invoicing and financial tracking

3. Production, painting and studio time.

4. Keeping my supplies stocked

5. Growing as an artist with community and taking art classes for inspiration

6. Website maintenance and inventory

7. Licensing my art,  printing giclees and greeting cards

8. Online shops such as Etsy and Zazzle

9. Working with my existing clients, private art classes, working with my art galleries

In other areas of my life, I’m also trying to be focused. For example, I’ve been on a health kick and have been doing yoga everyday. It is starting to become routine and something I look forward to. I’ve also been focused on eating healthy foods and taking good care of my mental as well as physical health.

One can compare one’s life to doing yoga. When you fall off the mat, all you can do is get back on.

Focus

How’s your Focus?

Number 4 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 4.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

 

She Knew Peace Lived Within Painting by Lindy Gaskill

 

Step 4:  OPEN YOUR EYES

Journal prompt: When you take the time to look, listen and seek, what are you drawn to? What do you notice? What patterns do you see in what interests you?

Although this step is to open your eyes, I added an image showing the eyes closed. That is because I don’t think you literally have to have your eyes open to see. Sometimes, it is in seeing with other senses that one “sees.”

I like to listen, smell, feel and see with my eyes closed. The smell of Fall is in the air right now. The crisp mornings. It just feels like Autumn is here.

I like to “see” by writing in my gratitude journal. I can look back in it and see where I have been, and what has been important in my life. I like to write 5 things I am grateful for in my journal. I would love to say I write in it everyday but I haven’t. But I have kept it going for years now and I’m on my 3rd journal.

What do you see?

Number 3 blog post in Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love

I am doing a 10 day blog series on Beth Kempton’s  PDF download titled Zen and the Art of Doing what you Love.” This is Day 3.

Beth says, it “is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Cosmic Garden Painting by Lindy Gaskill

Step 3:  CLOSE YOUR EYES

Journal prompt: How do you want to feel in your life? In your career? In your relationships? What environment will help you feel that way? What kind of people? What activities? What level of authority? What conversations? What flow of time? Think about each aspect of your life and journal how you could change things to help you feel the way you want to feel each and every day.

These are a lot of questions. So I took a couple to think about to apply to my life right now.  Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I can move more into the life I want to live. A life that brings me happiness each and every day.

I decided I want to start eating better, exercising and living a more sensory experienced life, with the clothes I wear, the things I eat, touch, taste, and smell every day.

To start, I’m taking daily walks, eating a diet based on the lovely cookbook called “The Kind Diet” by Alicia Silverstone and I’m doing more yoga.

I recently discovered Seane Corn and her yoga. I love everything I’ve been learning about this lady. I have been watching a lot of the videos about her on youtube and doing some of her classes from her website where she is teaching yoga.

I was listening to Seane talk on one of the videos about how every emotion we experience has a certain vibrational energy and our bodies keep this memory within us. I think our bodies are like a sponge in that way, absorbing the vibrational energy of things and people around us as well. So that is why it is important to me to keep an uncluttered living space and surround myself with the things that raise the vibrational level in a positive way.

I feel this way about handmade art. It affects our emotions, our spirit to have art around us that we enjoy. I love how color and pattern and imagery can do this. I want to have around me lovely art and color and pattern that bring me joy.

How do you want to feel in your life?

A new blog post series using Beth Kempton’s download

I was just over visiting the http://dowhatyouloveforlife.com website and found Beth Kempton’s download titled Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love. I was immediately drawn to the title and immediately signed up and downloaded the PDF.

I love it!

It is a 27 page pdf and has photography, inspiring quotes, words for thought and journal prompts. Beth wrote the PDF while she was in Japan on a 6 month sabbatical. She says, “Zen and the art of doing what you love’ is a simple 10-step guide to help you be more present, get quiet and focus. It will help you see more beauty. It will let you travel lighter. And it will get you on the road to doing what you love, for life.”

Just the kind of inspiration I would like for my life. As “Focus” is my word for the year, when I read “more present, get quiet and focus”, I felt an instant connection.

So this is what I’m going to do. I’ll take each step and use it to create a blog post about my experience. I’ll use the journal prompts from the PDF. I’ll also think about my art and what image will go with the post and add it.

Buddha Peace painting by Lindy Gaskill

Step 1:  SLOW DOWN AND BREATH

Journal prompt: What do you hear when you welcome in the silence?

Breathe in. Hold it. Breathe out. I am a practitioner of slowing down and being still.

Being still helps me gather my energy so I can go back into the world and be fully present, fully creative. For me, silence is holy. The cliché, silence is golden, comes to mind.

I am an introvert at heart and although I’m perfectly capable of being “on”, being lively, being a conversationalist, being out going, it’s not my natural state and takes a lot of energy. I feel most myself when I am quiet. I welcome in silence.

And what is it that I hear when I bring on silence? I know that this is where I am supposed to be at this very moment. I let go of worry, bringing myself to the present. I hear myself begin to relax as I listen to my breath and hear it’s rhythm. I feel my heart slow down and my muscles relax.

I know it’s all good. That everything that is in my life experience is what has led me to where I am right now. That things always work out. That all we really ever have is “right now.” That I am on the right path. That I love life and all that it offers, the ups, the downs, the curve balls and the enlightening lessons to be learned after the fact.

What do you hear when you welcome in the silence?

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More about the author of Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love. To quote the PDF, “At heart Beth Kempton is a wanderer, adventurer, and a seeker of knowledge and beauty. She is also an award-winning entrepreneur with a Master’s degree in Japanese. She wrote Zen and the Art of Doing What You Love during a six month sabbatical in Kyoto, Japan. Beth founded Do What You Love to give women all over the world tools and inspiration to carve their own paths and design their own futures. Her online courses have been described as ‘life-changing’ and ‘revolutionary’. She shares her many adventures on her popular blog at dowhatyouloveforlife.com.”