There is that one thing I must do before I die.

My life feels very complete. My children grown and following their hearts fully. My creative process keeps my heart beating and my soul happy. And at the end of each day I remind myself it’s all about process and all my endless projects need to just unfold as they will. As does my life. No attachment to outcome nor need for accolades. And the ups and downs are simply part of it. However, there is that one thing I must do before I die. Setting the intention today.

See also:

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Burr, Washington, Jefferson, King George sock monkeys. Hamilton in my heart.

I had planned to be in New York City on July 28th this summer, sitting at the Rogers Theatre with my daughter celebrating, watching Hamilton, the Musical.  We would have just completed two days of sock monkey workshops at Graham Windham with children and families (Eliza Hamilton’s orphanage).  I was going to bring my sock monkeys of the entire main cast of the musical.

Sadly, fate/destiny/universe had other plans.  I didn’t get the gigs I expected to have over the summer and as of May, I found myself all of a sudden struggling again to get by.  Dang.  More setbacks and lack of consistent work made things even harder.

And so the tickets were sold and plans changed.  And I admit, I don’t think it hit me till today how truly heartbroken I am.  But that is OK.

What I get from Hamilton is not about going to the show itself.  It is about the creative process.  It is about art about history.  It is about the healing power of art.  And the tenacity of art.  I have been creating every day.  For I am an artist with no choice.  That is what I love about Hamilton and that dream hasn’t died.  The message of the creation of Hamilton lives in my heart.

So today, as part of my studio clearance, raising funds and letting go, I have decided to release 4 of my sock monkeys and regroup.  Start fresh.  Blast the soundtrack.  Surrender. And like Lin and Alexander, write my way out.

On my ETSY SHOP:


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My Alexander Hamilton sock monkey, I am pleased to write, lives with my daughter and he spent 4 months travelling to England, Sweden, Southeast Asia and across Canada…

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I will be collecting materials over the next while, and once my Fall work routine putters along, I hope to begin the cast all over again.

Check out:

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From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 12: the moment of death

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart.

Recall:

Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life

Part 2: Practice Dying

Part 3: Preparing to Die

Part 4: Dying from the Common Cold

Part 5: Renewing Evolution

Part 6: Famous Last Words

Part 7: Fear of Fear

Part 8- Noticing

Part 9: A Commitment to Life

Part 10: Fear of Dying

Part 11: Fear of Death

Part 12: The Moment of Death

1. Journal exercise:  What are you saying goodbye to today in order to expand?

I am saying goodbye to NYC 2017.  Can’t afford it. Wasn’t meant to be.  But I say hello to what NYC truly means to me.  Deep in my heart.  For I am an artist.  That is my NYC.

 

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2. Capture chapter highlights:

Some say the moment of death occurs when the heart stops.  But the heart never stops, for when it is no longer contained between opposing ventricles it expands slowly into its inherent vastness without missing a beat, expressing the truth it has embraced for a lifetime…

Death like birth is not an emergency but an emergence.  Like a flower opening, it is nearly impossible to tell exactly when the bud starts to become the blossom, or when the seed-laden blossom begins to burst and release its bounty.

– Stephen Levine 

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3. Explore another source regarding listening to the messages from the heart:

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

If you want to be a brilliant tech entrepreneur, but you can’t handle failure, then you’re not going to make it far. If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.

What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.

Might as well pick one with an olive.

– Mark Manson

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4. Today’s angel card(s):

 

 STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL ART PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT! 

Eliza’s Story

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“210 years later, Eliza Hamilton’s orphanage — now a family services agency called Graham Windham — is still helping kids get their shot.  Graham Windham serves over 4,500 kids and families each year.  Just like Eliza’s husband, these kids survived a tough start in life.  Graham Windham provides services like family counseling and treatment, after school academic support, health services, and other services that help kids thrive into adulthood.”

– ELIZA’S STORY

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I am SO EXCITED to be connecting with this incredible organization that is so aligned with all my passion and values.

I am buzzing with excitement that plans are in the works to bring sock monkey therapy and creative engagement to Graham Windham when I visit NYC July 2017 (when I go see Hamilton: An American Musical with my daughter who gifted me a ticket! AAAAAAH!!!).

Here is my specially requested portrait of Eliza Hamilton for Graham Windham:

Her eyes “betokened a sharp intelligence [and] a fiercely indominable spirit,” [Ron] Chernow writes in the biography. – smithsonian.com

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Grieving, but now out of her husband’s shadow, Elizabeth threw herself into charity work inspired by her Christian faith and her husband’s upbringing. She and two other women founded the Orphan Asylum Society, New York City’s first private orphanage, in 1806. She served as its second directress until 1821 and then first directress until 1848, raising funds, collecting donated goods, and supervising the care and education of at least 765 children. – smithsonian.com

Spreading sock monkey love is one of my favorite things:

 

Check out:

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“I can’t wait to see you and meet you at the top.”

It’s early Sunday morning, December 13, 2015,  and I have just said bon voyage to my daughter as she heads to New York City for a test run month, paving the way to her big move.

A few months ago, she wrote on her mindmap:

Spend 1 month test living in New York City.

Oh Anna, my extraordinary daughter.  Way to manifest!

Photo by @sirshanemiller
Photo by @sirshanemiller

She’s been to New York before, many times now.  So that isn’t new.  She has lived in San Francisco for 4 years, so moving away isn’t new.  But what is new is that she’s 30, she’s graduating into a new chapter and she’s manifesting her dreams- DARING GREATLY- stepping into her new, authentic, successful, whole self.

Just take a listen to this video Anna made, facilitated by Peter Breeze during his Be a Star Workshop (Evan Eisenstadt Photography):

YES!

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Our bodies and those of our daughters were created by a seamless web of nature and nurture, of biology informed by consciousness, that we can trace back to the beginning of time.  Thus, every daughter contains her mother and all the women who came before her.  The unrealized dreams of our maternal ancestors are part of our heritage,  To become optimally healthy and happy, each of us must get clear about the ways in which our mother’s history both influenced and continues to inform our state of health, our beliefs, and how we live our lives.  Every woman who heals herself helps heal all the women who came before her and all those who will come after her. – Dr. Christiane Northrup, Mother-Daughter Wisdom

This post is not only dedicated to Anna but to my Mormor (Kristina), Anna’s Mormor (Karin) and my son Julian, a true feminist.

Let’s dance!

 

 

 

New York, I love you but…

I had the strangest dream t0 the soundtrack of LCD Soundsystem‘s New York I Love You:

I accidentally poured Drano on my forearm (my left one).  I felt no pain.  But I did notice that the Drano was slicing through my skin and working its way down to the bone.  But not in a messy way.  In clean slices like knife cuts.  I didn’t feel any pain though.  But I told my son I should probably go to emergency.  I was going to try to fix it myself by pulling the wounds tight.  But I knew that would only be a “bandaid solution.”  I knew I had opened myself up.  Made myself vulnerable and was dealing with it right by seeking expertise.

Recommended:

I NEED A SOCIAL LIFE‘s blog entries about NEW YORK.

Photo by Anna T Fabulous

The portrait of @annatfabulous stage two. “I scribbled, drew shoes…” – Alexander Wang

The original portrait of my daughter, Anna, was started at my March 26, 2011 art event at Holt Renfrew.

 

Tonight I added to it, matured the face and added a very appropriate quote by Alexander Wang (it could have been written by Anna herself):

  

Oil pastel, linseed oil on birch wood panel FROM OPUS

 

This post is dedicated to Anna's first trip to NEW YORK! Here she is in NY with the amazing Joseph Killian!

The first photo of Anna out of NEW YORK!