Here's Your Sign...

9:43 AM

...sometimes, I get overwhelmed and disoriented as I blaze a trail for this new life of mine. It seems the Universe knows and understands this about me. Quite often I receive directional clues. They come in a variety of forms, including fortune cookie fortunes, quotes from friends and on occasion, an actual sign. They help me get back on track, find my way and affirm that yes, I'm headed in the right direction. Sometimes they even illuminate the future!

Church sign in NOLA
Within 10 minutes of getting out and starting to explore New Orleans, Kathy pointed this sign out to me, and I have to admit it felt as though it were meant specifically for me. Along with the usual baggage, I had brought with me some heavy thoughts about decisions that would be facing me on my return back to Tampa.

I was in danger of missing the present opportunity because I was mired in worry about those decisions.

We walked past that sign every morning and most evenings. The reminder was powerful and effective. And since I didn't sleep all that well I took some of that time to ponder the meaning behind the words.

"Imagine" is such a key action in my life that I have the word displayed prominently in my studio. It reminds me to imagine what can be rather than get caught up in what is.

"Bold" was my "word of the year" last year, and I have found that it's still very much with me this year. It serves me well. When I want to play small or not step up and out of my comfort zone, "bold" is there to remind me that I can do it and to get it done!

Possibilities....oh, the magic of that word! Substitute words like beginnings, dreams or opportunities if possibilities doesn't excite you. Doors begin to open, stars align, birds sing, and all kinds of wonderful things begin to happen in support of those imagined possibilities!

However, the part that really gave me pause was "unleash your faith." This challenged me to think about what I had faith in....the Universe, God, other people, the economy, the government, the weather, or.....myself. Did I have faith? What did I believe?

Did I believe in a universe of abundance? Or one of lack? Did I have faith in myself? My abilities, intelligence, skills, and talents or not? I've been wrestling with this 700 lb. demon for a long while now. I'd like to tell you that I've won the day, but in truth, I've only won the occasional skirmish.

I believe to change this type of thought pattern takes near constant awareness and a willingness to challenge those pervasive thoughts whenever they arise. Evolution, not revolution.
NOLA Sketchbook
8.5 x 3.5 inches
Watercolor and Gold Ink
Because I found those words to be so powerful, I put them on the first page of my NOLA sketchbook with a slight change in the wording. To serve as a reminder to continue imagining as well as to have faith....in myself.

What BOLD possibilities are you imagining?!

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21 Creative Thought(s)

  1. Laurie, You are inspiring. I too pick up on words around me that inspire but you do it so much better. I don't really enjoy the pushing in business that is necessary to get our work out there I love the painting. You inspire me to choose a word and try to do it. take care and thankyou,Diana, Love your blog

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  2. Thank you, Diana! I sometimes feel the same way about the business side of art. Instead of thinking of it as the "business" side, I think of it as the people side and by changing my perspective, I find that it's not so intimidating and far, far more enjoyable!

    Good luck with choosing a word, please let me know which one you wind up with. Closer to the end of the year I'll be doing a recap of my word for this year, cultivate. So, please check back!

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  3. What wonderful words of wisdom to read this am!! Thank you.
    I really like those two rings onyour sketchbook and may have to copy this idea. :)

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  4. Hey, Teri, I thought of you when I did this....did you see the prior post? You can also use them as a "locking" mechanism by turning them towards the pages. They keep the pages locked open while you're working and closed when you're not!

    Feel free to "borrow!"

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  5. I absolutely love it when I am open to receiving little signs of inspiration from the life around me!

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  6. Oh, amen to that! Continuing to fight, remaining aware, holding that thought...SO necessary.

    So I'm gonna go out and do that, right now, thank you Miss Laure...

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  7. I love how you changed the quote to make it meaningful to yourself - and what a wonderful quote it is now. And beautifully painted, too. I hope your trip made your decisions easier.

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  8. ...I really needed to see this one today. Thanks for posting it. I'm wracked with self-doubt too today. I LOVE your version of the sign. Beautiful lettering.

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  9. Beautiful page ... and yes, it is true that we get little hints about our next small steps if we are tuned in to the present moment. Love the page .... all of it .... but especially the lettering for the word "imagine." Be-you-to-full!

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  10. FANTASTIC post, Laure! I did not realize the sign had such a big impact on you, but I see you spent much time mulling it over. I love where your thought processes led you, and your beautiful reminder page in the NOLA sketchbook.

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  11. You and me both, Jacqueline!

    Glad to know it helped, Kate.

    Thanks, Cheryl, the trip was a wonderful diversion. Not sure it helped with the decision making.

    Thanks, Kelly, hate to hear you're dealing with self doubt too. Know you're not alone in the battle.

    Thanks, Donna!

    Thanks, KJ, yeah, the sign spoke loud and clear that day. It's still speaking.

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  12. Thank you for sharing and passing this on to those (ME!) who need to hear this.

    I've come to the conclusion that faith is an ongoing process, not an end result.

    As artists exploring an inner world, I think we especially need positive feedback from the outer world. When the outer world reflects back stress, conflict, and hardship, it's time for us to draw on our reserves...a hard thing to do if we are having our own inner doubts. Being able to share these things as a virtual community of artists and explorers is a wonderful resource! Thank you for your post!

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  13. Wow! What a powerful post! So much good advice packed in here. We do all need to pause and reflect before marching forward from time to time. I love this page you painted. Did you do that freehand or with a stencil? In any case, I like it very much!
    You must have had a really great trip.

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  14. I think you've summed it up well, Elizabeth, faith is an ongoing process, not an end result. And like most processes, can do with a little scrutiny every once in a while. Glad to know it resonated with you.

    Thanks, Katie, all the lettering was done freehand. As a former (re-formed?) designer, I had type drilled into my psyche for much too long, though I do admit it comes in handy every now and again in this new life!

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  15. What a wonderful and inspiring post, Laure
    Thank you, I will try to keep this in mind!
    I love the painting, Beautiful design!

    Your sketch book is a great invention,
    simply amazing!

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  16. Laure, you've captured this so beautifully--good for you! Inspiring words indeed. And just lovely. They do seem to be there just for you, I agree.

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  17. Oh gosh...I have had some bold possibilities on my mind the past few days...and why I let fear stop me is always the question. I feel the universe is talking to me on this one...and after reading your post...it is talking at me VERY LOUDLY! I need to give my ideas at least a little try. Thanks for sending this message...directly to my eyes and brain. I can't look the other direction now!

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  18. I've jotted down your words of wisdom and plan to put them in my "Commonplace Book" -- a little journal I where I keep favorite quotes. When I need a little nudging or inspiration or a reminder of the thoughts I want to hang onto in this world, I go to this little journal.

    Thank you for this post!

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  19. Thank you, Suzanne!

    Julie, your language gave me a smile..."talking at me VERY LOUDLY!" I often find that the universe has been doing cartwheels, jumping up and down waving its arms to get my attention and still I don't see it! Whatever you've got in mind...GO FOR IT!! The universe is never wrong. It's our fear that keeps us from success.

    Elva, I too have a journal where I keep quotes and snippets of stories that inspire and motivate me. I've even started keeping one on the computer. Glad to know this will make it into your book as you often inspire me!

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  20. I love what did with the verse and, yes, a very wise one at that. I'm a big believer in noticing the signs the Universe is sending us.

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