Big ‘ol Life Update – March

Hey guys! So much has been going on this past month, so I wanted to pop on the blog and give a little life update.

First of all, I have absolutely fallen in love with creating & editing videos! I’ve been creating weekly videos for my YouTube channel. I will be using my YouTube channel to chronicle my upcoming travels and some massive life changes that I have coming up.

Check out my latest video of a trip that I recently took to Wilmington, DE below. And if you like what you see please pop over to YouTube and subscribe to my channel.

Secondly, starting in April I’ll be adding a bran new listing to my Etsy shop each week!  And in June my store will be going to digital! By that I mean I’ll only be offering digital downloads, no prints for the foreseeeable future. I’ll explain exactly why this change is necessary in a future post. In the meantime, if you want one of my art prints snatch them up quick!  Also, I just posted a bran new listing! These cute little greeting cards make me smile ever time I look at them! Check ’em out here.

Card_YCDI_02

Third, my website/blog will be getting a massive overhaul in the coming months. I’m going to be transitioning to a more professional website showcasing my art, illustrations, and travel videos. This blog will still exist, but will be a smaller part of the whole.

Fourthly, I will be making a big, no huge, announcement over on YouTube at the end of April, so be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss it!

Last is a give you a quick reminder to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! With everything going on in my life the past few months my self care has been lacking, and I’m really feeling the impact. Lets take time to journal, meditate, cook nutritious meals, work out, take a long shower, etc. whatever we need to do to de-stress and feel centered. Even if that means getting less “work.” Put your wellbeing first and everything else will fall into place.

Love,

LALE-Signature

Advertisements

The Distractions Are Endless

sketch_distractions

Yesterday afternoon I arrived early to a bar where I was to meet a friend for drinks. Per usual I had listened to a podcast on the commute. While debating how to kill the extra time a thought came to me:

It never stops. The distractions are endless.

Rarely do I take time to think for myself. Instead I just listen, respond, regurgitate.

So, I sat down and started writing in my journal. The following words flowed from my pen.

I am constantly listeneing to someone elses voice, reading someone elses words, admiring someone elses art. Now, when it comes to formulating my own thoughts I have difficulty. It’s really quite sad and somewhat scary. My mind goes blank. I’m out of practice.

At work I constantly listen to music. While walking around the city I listen to podcasts. At home I almost always have a TV show on. On the train I’m scrolling through some social medial site. Moreover, I typically I feel the need to do at least two things at once; detailing floor plans and listening to a podcast, typing an email and eating, watching TV and drawing, watching a movie and scrolling through instagram.

I can’t seem to just focus on my work. Just draw. Just watch a movie. Just walk. Just sit. Just be still.

Where is the white space? Where is the time to think?

I remember back in school when I wrote papers, long papers, expressing my thoughts and feelings about a book or an artistic moment. I had opinions and I knew how to express them. However, since then it’s as if my mind has been white washed by the constant availibility of entertainment. It’s like I’m addicted. The likes, the follows, the comments, the drama; they hit me like a drug. They leave little room or time for original thoughts.

This is why I love writing blog posts. It requires my total focus. Maybe some people can multi-task while writing, but I am not that talented.

Writing gives me the opportunity to sort out my feelings and articulate my opinions. In my journals I pour out my heart and soul, and in each blog post I refine and articulate my ideas.

It’s time to limit the media and prioritize my original thoughts. Only then can I truely show up as my authentic self if this world. And I, like everyone else, am here for a reason. I have something unique to share and I plan to spend my entire life expressing whatever that is thorugh my writing, my art, my being.

How do you limit and overcome the distractions in your life?

LALE-Signature

All the Doubts

sketch - doubt

Today I woke up in a state of fear. What am I doing?

To make a long story short, in less than a year I am planning to embark on a life of travel. First up is India, Nepal, and Southeast Asia. Yesterday I took a pretty major step towards that goal, and I was so excited about it!

Yet, this morning I began to question everything.

I’ve realized over the years that I need to give my fear a voice in order to move past it. My favorite way to do this is by writing all of my fears down so that instead of letting my thoughts run wild I can get them all out of my head!

Here we go.

What am I doing? Is it really smart to give everything up? I have such a comfortable life here. Why Nepal? Maybe I should go somewhere else. What am I going to do when I get back from traveling? I do have to come back at some point, right? I can’t travel forever can I? How am I going to pay my student loans while I’m away volunteering? What if I run out of money? What if I have to move back home, embarrassed? What if I can’t hack it in a third wold country long term? What if I’m not as strong as I think I am? What if this illustration stuff never takes off? What if I can’t find a way to make money while abroad? What if it doesn’t work? What if people think I’m crazy?

Basically, I am scared that I am going to make the wrong decision and regret it.

I have decided time and again to NOT let this voice of fear and doubt run my life. This is a decision I have made many times in my life, and a decision I must continue to make for the rest of my life. These voices will continue to pop up, and I will continue to move past them. Every time I do my life changes for the better in miraculous ways!

So, I am moving forward with my plans to create the life I dream of.

“I let go of the idea that I am suppose to follow someone’s blueprint for success. I accept that all I have to do is follow my inspiration & my flow. My inspiration will lead me to my greatest success.” – Anita Wing Lee

We all struggle with fear from time to time. How do you move past it?

LALE-Signature

 

What Motivates Me?

Sketch-AmmaQuote1

“We are unable to forget ourselves and love others.” -Amma

I came across this quote while reading through the teachings of Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi, on her website Amma.org yesterday. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This woman has dedicated her life to functioning from a place of pure love, and spreading that love to as many people as possible.

To be honest, I find my motivations tend to be much more complected. Much more self centered. After much soul searching I know that at my core I want to do good in this world. I want to use my innate creativity to be a positive force in this world. To make a difference. I want to create art from a place of pure love.

Yet, almost every time I have an creative idea I find that selfish thoughts instantly pop into my head:

How is this going to benefit me? How is this experience going to serve me in the future? Will this look good on my resume? Can I make money from this? Could this be the start of a business?

These thoughts drain the joy out of my creativity. They crowd out the love and replace it with fear.

When I’m working from a place of selfish motivation my perfectionist mind take over. This (insert creative idea here) has to be perfect because if it isn’t it will reflect bad on me, people won’t take me seriously, people won’t pay for it. Fear takes over. Fear becomes more important than sharing love.

I loose interest in the idea and it never comes to fruition. Like the quote above says, I’m unable to forget myself and just love others.

I wasn’t always like this. When I was a child I would constantly draw, build, sculpt. All of the time. I’d gift my little masterpieces to my friends and family. I didn’t think about getting something in return. I just loved to draw and create. It made me happy. It made others happy. Period.

That little girl is still in me. She is me. I am going to get that pure love and joy back.

Next step: Digging into the reasons WHY my motivation for being creative have shifted so dramatically since childhood.

Say tuned…

Love & light,

LALE-Signature

 

Stand Up and Say Something

Sketch-SaySomething

With all of the horrific events that have taken place in the past week here in America and abroad a question has been nagging at my heart:

What can I do to help?

I’ve yet to come up with a satisfying answer, but I have some ideas.

First and foremost, I need to be brave enough to say something. Taking a stand for what I believe in use to be very easy for me. Maybe too easy. I’ve had an activist mindset for most of my life. In my teens and twenties I always had some cause, typically something to do with the environment or social injustice, that I would be VERY (read “annoyingly”) vocal about. I was always convinced that I knew best and people should listen to me.

At 25 I joined a very strict church and literally attempted to convert all of my friends and family for about four years. I was passionate about this church’s specific interpretation of the Bible, and thought with all my heart that I was doing the right thing. I told EVERYONE about it ALL the time. About a year ago I left that church. I wrote about that time in my life here.

It took me 6 very difficult months to leave. Since then I have rethought and redefined my most basic world views, and I continue to expand and evolve.

I was wrong to preach such a limiting and dogmatic world view. It took a TON of courage and humility to admit this to myself and to my friends and family.

Since then I have become very hesitant to share my opinions. Part of me is still embarrassed about the opinions I so strongly expressed in the past.

I have deep and meaningful conversations with my close friends and family about the things I believe. However, I hesitate to voice my stance on the huge issues effecting our world on public forms like Facebook, Instagram, or the blog. In fact, I’ve only told ONE of my friends and NONE of my family about this blog so that I can write freely here.

I lost my moxy.

But now it’s time for a shift. I’m done tip toeing around trying not to ruffle any feathers. I need to show up fully for the world. Let the ruffling begin!

Love & light,

LALE-Signature

You Take Care of What You Love

You Take Care of What You Love

Strolling through Chelsea, listening to a podcast, this quote hit me like a dagger to the heart. I’m not sure where it originally came from, google search has failed me, but it is oh so true.

I have a little pug dog, Tater Tot. He is currently living large on a farm with his grandparents (NYC is not dog friendly). Back in the day, when we lived together, that pup wanted for nothing. I realized at one point that I literally spent more money on his food pound-for-pound than on mine. We would walk for hours after work, stopping by the dog park, visiting his puppy friends and checking out the latest arrivals at his favorite boutique dog store.

I’ve never had a problem loving others, and expressing that love. However, when it comes to loving myself things get a bit trickier for me.

The reason this quote hit me so hard is because I don’t feel like I’ve been taking the best care of myself the past few months. I have begun to accept my true self in radical ways by working to free myself from shame and guilt around food, my body, sexuality, money, and spirituality. The guilt I use to drag around is now lifting, dissolving, disappearing and it feels wonderful. Yet, there is more work to do, and this quote, “You take care of what you love,” woke me up to what I knew deep down: that my current actions are often not that of a person that truly loves them self.

For example, yesterday these three voices surfaced as I walked by my favorite bakery in the city. The first voice wanted instant gratification. “We need chocolate malt shake and a sugar cookie, stat!” The second wants something sweet, but doesn’t want to eat too much sugar and end up feeling sick or not having room for a nutritious dinner. “How about just a cookie.” And then there is my inner mean girl, voice number three, the part of me that has been conditioned by society for the past 20 years. It tells me that eating sugar is bad, and if I eat one I better feel guilt and hide it. “No cookie for you.”

That third voice, the mean girl, use to speak the loudest. But now, after months of inner work, I’ve moved past the guilt and shame. I have stopped dieting and binging, and oh it feels so good! Lately, I’ve been listening instead to the first voice – doing what I want, when I want, without any guilt or shame attached. This has been an important step in healing my body image issues and rebelling against dieting, but now I’m ready to embark on the next step in this journey to self love. I want to strengthen that second voice, my intuition.

I want to truly love myself. I see now that to do that means taking time to slow down, get quite, and listen. It’s time to crack open my journal. Time to dust off the ‘ol meditation pillow. Time to pause. Time to go deeper.

-Eva

 

But, don’t you want to have kids?

I watched a video of my four year old self telling the camera that I am going to have a daughter. I then begin describing the turquoise motor home with pink shutters that I plan to sell art, rocks, and shells out of when I grow up. It actually sounds like a pretty sweet life. Except the kid. I don’t know about the kid.

I love hanging out with other peoples children, but I can’t remember a time in my life (other than when I was 4 apparently) when I actually desired to have a child of my own. Is my biological clock broken? Maybe. I am 31. When I get quiet and search my soul there is no desire there.

Yet, according to my grandparents, my parents, and society (basically everyone in my life) having kids is just a given. It’s something you do. Period. Just the suggestion that I may not have kids literally blows their minds!

It’s interesting what assumptions people jump to when I tell them that I don’t want to have children. I’ve been called selfish. I’ve been told I’ll change my mind when I meet the “right” person. I’ve had people exclaim, “But I thought you were such a nice person.” I call BS on all of these assumptions.

Not having children isn’t selfish. That makes no sense. Selfish means to lack consideration for others, and to be concerned chiefly with ones self. There is no other here. The child in question does not actually exist. Now, bringing a child into this world just because it is expected of me when I actually don’t want it would be selfish. And in the same way, a persons “niceness” level has nothing to do with whether or not they have children.

“But you will I regret it,” they say. “One day when you’re old you’ll wish you had children.” Maybe. I might change my mind one day. But I don’t make decisions based on fear of regret. I choose to follow my intuition in this moment.

Do I want to have kids? No. And that is okay.

Can anyone out there relate?

 

P.s. If you know the name of the artist of the cartoon above please let me know!