Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chaotic minds lead to beautiful messes

Those of  who have been following me, know by now, I like to explore who I am & I like to be creative in one form or another.  As I'm expressing creativity I'm experimenting with all things; painting, drawing, jewelry, writing, etc.  The more I have continued to learn about myself and how and why I am who I am + the combination of exploring creatively, I've really grown a life changing understanding of myself.  

My mind is chaotic, wild, it' doesn't stay in lines, or even know how to have them.  It's random, it thinks of something different every minute of the day.  It's loud, colorful, visual, & evolving.  I used to want to paint like I was an organized thinker.  I'm not.  Once I started understanding, "why do I have such a hard time being organized", or "working in a normal every day is the same thing job doesn't work", or "some days I want to write, some days I want to draw, some days paint, some clean; but if I don't want to do one of those things a day and I try it doesn't work."  My mind doesn't work with always doing the same thing, it's pulled by what energy I have that day.  My mind doesn't actually run the show here, my heart does.  

Realizing this was as hard to wrap my head around as it is to write about.  However, knowing that when I'm feeling like I want to paint and learning to paint how my brain works, I believe I have found my place.  The more I find my place the more the creative outlets start to find there place too.  

So today, after a small painting hiatus (between remodeling our room, Steve's birthday, the slight obsession with mala making, etc) I painted the 4 happiest, feel good, powerful energy, favorite paintings I've ever painted.  It was like my brain & heart were showing up on the canvas, once I stopped putting myself in lines.  

Wanted to share & encourage y'all to keep exploring yourself and you never know what you'll discover. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hope Malas

As y'all have seen me blow up social media recently, I have become slightly intoxicated (sounds better than obsessed right :)) with making mala necklaces. They have special meaning aside from the initial meaning behind a mala and I wanted to share it with y'all.  

For those who aren't familiar with the story behind the mala.  These beads are used in many spiritual practices to help with prayer or meditation.  There are 108 beads that help you count while you are either repeating a mantra, a chant, or a prayer.  I find malas very helpful to use while I meditate, to help me focus and stay in the moment, then I find wearing that mala through the day to be a reminder to breathe and remain present and positive.  Often when I'm wearing a mala if I find myself stressed out, I instantly begin to count the beads which instantly grounds me and helps me shake off whatever stress was creeping in.   

Now obviously depending on the religion there are different meanings behind the beads or seeds used.  I have enjoyed learning about what particular value each different seed, rock, gem have to them and learning about there elements.  It's been a nice way for me to go deeper with my meditation as I learn but also making the necklaces themselves make me happy.  Often Steve wants me to sit with him and the malas are a great way for me to be able to be present with him but also be creating.  I am a very stir crazy personality so these ground me. 

My Hope Malas are all made with love and different intentions.  I want them to be able to be used by anyone no matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs to help you have the best most peaceful life possible.  If you wear them because you think they are pretty & they make you feel good then great!  If you want them to help with a meditation or a chant or a prayer great!  I always encourage people to do what is right for them and what feels right for them, and my malas are no different.  

So as of now 2 stores are selling them & I have some on Etsy.  I don't like the feel of Etsy so I am currently working on a website, but if you want a mala email hope.ann.cross@gmail.com or message me.  :) I can either create you something that I'm feeling that day, a certain color for you, or even use certain seeds or beads depending on what you feel you need.  

Thank y'all for constantly surrounding me with so much love & acceptance.  <3 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Draw your own circle

I'm blessed with so many enlightened and intelligent people in my life, who inspire deep thought with every conversation.  Recently I've had conversations with several people about feeling guilt when I am put off by someone and their energy.  

See, my whole life I have opened myself up to everybody.  Anyone want it, sure you can come in my circle.  I even let them stay well past their time.  Obviously I look at everyone who is in my life as a lesson, with one of the most important being, it's okay to not allow everyone in or make people leave my circle.  It's okay if I trust my instincts telling me something about this person doesn't sit well with me.  It's okay.  You don't have to allow everyone in.  Sigh.  That feels good. :) 

It's not like I am mean to these people; unless someone brings out the warrior, I tend to be nice to everyone.  However, like the Nahko and Medicine For the People, song, Warrior People, ..."I will learn to be peaceful but keep my knife at my side, I will pray for compassion but if war comes to my door you know I'll be blasting warrior mentality"...but I digress. :)  I will try my best to show these people love and light and keep my distant.  So i'm human and obviously not perfect, so yes sometimes I judge the hell out of people & allow them to annoy me.  I own it & am working on it. :)  

Fall is the best time to shed what isn't serving us, like the trees there leaves. So remember it's your circle, make it your own. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Kindred spirits

I remember as a child being excited to visit my grandma's booth at the arts festival (or store).  I thought she was the coolest woman alive.  Turquoise wearing, festival working, sassy, craft making gem. I've always felt drawn towards creativity but tried to fit in the left brain mold.  (I've talked about this before).  

Recently since starting to make crafts, I feel a huge connection to my grandma.  I find myself wanting to make things she used to make (some I didn't even remember), & I feel her smiling at me while I make them.  When I started painting/making things it was just a creative way to deal with all the energy I have.  It has now become a way to share my energy with others.  

My grandmother's second husband passed away from ALS.  So maybe I feel connected to her at this time because of that, or because I'm following my passions like she always wanted.  Either way I'm glad to feel her energy.  I recently started making necklaces, which is my current favorite thing to do.  I was unaware my grandma made some very similar to mine.  :)

Follow the pull because you never know who might be behind it.  

In other news the DVDs are here. If you ordered one be on the look out.  Please share your thoughts & take photos of you watching.  We can't wait to hear what y'all think.  

Still need to order: click here

Monday, September 15, 2014

This is my space, that's yours. Namaste :)

Steve & I try to be open, while trying to remain positive in all things we put out there.  It's not always easy because somedays ALS sucks, our attitudes sucks, or our stir crazy wanderlust ways itch at us & we get agitated at the situation.  Some days we want to complain.  We want to be authentic and transparent in our lives (not just for others but for us), and we do embrace our feelings of "stand still" but we still choose not to put a complaint into the universe.  Complaining only left us feeling worse. We learned that we do better by accepting our feelings, and working on refocusing our energy to positive.  

I have been working on "protecting my space" and learning not to allow other people's energy to influence me negatively; because for as long as I can remember, I found myself attaching to other peoples energy, and carrying it as my own.  As I've been working on letting that go, I realized that also meant I had to accept people where they are, even if that means accepting their complaining. 

It is not my energy that is being put out there in a complaint, so why am I attaching to it?  If someone needs to complain to feel better, why do I need to even acknowledge it?  I am responsible for myself and only myself.  Other people's energy is theirs.  It is a simple concept that has taken a lot of work for me to acknowledge, accept, and learn how to separate.  

If I find myself carrying someone else's energy I acknowledging it, and then that's when I take space to do yoga, mediate, go stand bare food on the earth, smudge, read, write, paint, craft, etc.  I'm so blessed to have a husband who accepts me and encourages me to be the best version of me, who shares the same values, and who understands when I need to do meditation work.  I'm also so thankful to have such amazing, supportive, & understanding people in my life who accept me for all my quirks and shine so much love on me! I'm thankful for the continued lessons I'm presented with and for all the teachers that pop up along the way.  


Sunday, August 31, 2014

I am content not complacent

Today Steve & I had the honor to attend North Point Church (we usually watch online) & hear them use Steve's story in their message. 

The message was so powerful it inspired some deep reflection. Andy Stanely is in the middle of a series called In the meantime, talking about, "What you do, when you are faced with a situation that you cannot change." They used Steve's shining attitude and spirit while facing ALS as inspiration to help others be able to have the same faith and courage facing their own trials. Andy is so well spoken and the message is very powerful I highly encourage y'all to watch it. 

It made me think a lot about the idea of contentment and how it can be confused with complacence.

I am one that always wants to do more, see more, learn more, experience more, love more, live more, more, more, more, more... However, I am very content with my life. In fact more than content, I am grateful. The bible verses that Andy used in his message really hit home, Philippians 4:12 says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." I have known what it was like to be hungry and at that time I did struggle with being content in life, and it's not because I didn't have the money, it was because I was so complacent. I didn't even think about bettering my life. I learned through this battle with Steve how being content with your life no matter what is thrown at you is the only way to accomplish inner peace. It's a choice to be content and one that takes learning. It's a lesson some may never learn, and I'm forever grateful I have. My hope is that people don't have to go through something life altering to learn it.

I want to stress one thing, being content with life does not mean being complacent. It is important to always strive to be the best version of yourself as you can. It's something I truly believe that needs to be worked on daily. Even if it's as simple as, "I'm going to remember to be more thankful today," or as far as "I'm going to show up to life today and live as full of a life as possible, and do my best to do that every single day."

Knowing how to truly be content no matter what life throws your way, while striving to continue to be your best is, in my mind, the key to a peaceful & fulfilled life.

I end with one thought, "I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
For your listening pleasure. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Manifest Reality

I recently took myself out of the box I used to live in, I simply realized I don't fit or belong in a box. I went to college majored in one thing, went to grad school got more specialized, worked in the field for 5 years. I was an excellent therapist when I could actually be in the moment, I however, actually never really liked it. No really, I would be able to accomplish break throughs with some and completely fail at others & they both bothered me just the same.  I carry people's emotions easily and I hadn't learned how to handle that yet. I was also bored. Genuinely with the job which you can tell because I had 5 different jobs in 5 years. It was more than just testing the waters, it was please tell me I don't hate all that I'm good at (so I thought) moment.  I am of course led to help others, so what better way than a therapist? 

Well guess what? I don't want just one title. I am a little about a lot person who was trying to live in a lot about a little world. I don't want to do one thing for the rest of my life. It's very unlike me. I want to do a lot of things with my life. My degree will always play a huge part into my future journeys just as it does currently, but I'm not just one thing. I am many thing.  I will never regret going to school even if I am not a working therapist those 4 years undergrad & 3 grad taught me so much more than just psychology.  

I am good at many things.  Once I could let go of those boxes of expectation I was able to realize I am good at several things if I just stay true to who I am.

You have find what feels most authentic and do it. I feel best taking care of Steve, being able to feel empowered and loved by someone and being able to take care of them in return. I enjoy painting, it feels right to me. Once I removed the box of only being a good painter if you can paint a certain way.  Art is your own expression.  If you receive happiness from doing something, do it, that's art.  I enjoy writing, and seeing myself grow as a writer. I enjoy being a part of films; anything from being in front of the camera, behind the camera, directing, etc.  I love yoga and meditating.  I feel pulled to teach everyone around me about it.  I am many things. So are you. 

Once you open your mind to the possibility, things will change. They will suddenly make sense & you will feel great.  When you have your intentions clear; work hard, believe in it, believe in you, & pay attention, the universe will be presenting many great opportunities to help you manifest those dreams.  

Started an Etsy page to sell some art
Our story from filming live with HLN