It is surprising where we get encouragement from. We get it from strangers when they pay you a compliment. We get it from our friends who have seen us at our worst and still think we can do something hard. I don’t think people realize how much an encouraging word said just at the right time affects the outcome of our entire life.

We say to ourselves all kinds of discouraging things. If people heard out loud what I am thinking half the time they would say “How do you even get out of bed in the morning?”

It is a constant battle to stay focused on what you can do at any given moment. One discouraging thought can stop us from taking that step in the right direction and do the worst thing in the world. Waste time. We do not have tomorrow guaranteed and so we should not waste a moment being discouraged. When we are dead then we are out of options but until then we have so many if we would only look. Discouragement stops looking and freezes you in place. Frozen in time is where no options are. You move ahead with your thinking. That is what this blog is about. Being unfrozen.

image from ‘free hugs’ event by ricardomoraleida


Sitting in the bathtub this morning, I was looking at a card I bought just because I love the picture so much. the thought occured to me that I have not stated why I am writing this blog. I think I thought it would occur naturally but so far it has not. I am not marketing my paintings or a book or anything else. I am in love with thinking of new ways to be creative and I was hoping that if I wrote down some things I have found to work that others would write back and tell me what worked for them. We all can help each other with our experiences. Connecting the dots is what it is all about and the more dots you have the better.

I like to think that someday somebody will be able to use a comment I have made and do a new thing because it was the idea they needed right then. That is what every creativity book is about. It would be a wonderful thing to hear of any stories out there.

Your name

How important is your name to you? It is the first thing people hear about you. It is the thing they say the most when talking about to you. Your name is like your brand. Parents pick out a name they think will suit you; the only problem is they dont really know what you will be like — you really can’t tell just by looking in a newborn’s face who they will be.  I named my son Maximillian because I hoped he would grow into that name.

Sometimes we do not fit our names and they are actually not helping us out much when presenting ourselves to the world.

I am a big fan of choosing your own name when you know who you are going to be. People can get used to calling us something else. In fact , changing your name is  a declaration that you know who you are now.

I remember when I was 10 years old knowing that I was not going to be Shari but Sharika. I got out my birth certificate and added the ka on my name. I knew at young age what I was going to be and this seemed right. Nobody called me that but I knew in my heart that is who I was. It was not until I was much older that I really started calling myself that.

I am glad I did.

Doing something the wrong way

Just because a plan has not worked in the past does not mean it will work in the future. It is good to revisit ideas that were terrible in the past and see how they might look now. Everything working is pretty much about timing. So your timing was off before;  it might be just perfect now. That is why fashion comes back and back at different times. What was old is now new and fresh.

People love new looks and even crave them. We get bored doing what we already know how to do, but sometimes we are bored and don’t know it. If it is successful we think well this is the right way to do things. Life is way too short to do things “the right way” all time.  New and wonderful things have been discovered by doing it totally wrong. My entire painting style was born by doing something wrong. I think it is time to do something wrong again.