Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Opening up, Thankful

Hello lovelies, Hope your all having a wonderful week!

Thanksgiving is fastly approaching, and has had me thinking of alot of family things, the past, and the future. And the many things, that I have, to be Thankful for.

 I have wanted to write this post for almost two weeks now, but my fears keep getting in the way. Then I decided that, if I don't share my story, I am not being honest with myself, sharing truth, and therefore, not living the whole and complete life I want to be living.

This month of November, has been just incredible so far, and I have so many great things to share with you. Dreams and wishes, coming true.

I received a magical Birthday gift from my loving daughter and found out I am going to be a Grandmother!!! Really excited about the news! Baby should be arriving in June, we will know more in a little while.


At the beginning of November, I received my congratulations letter, and a complimentary copy from Somerset Studio's Magazine Nov./ Dec. issue, saying that they had published my work, in their beautiful magazine. Let me just say.. OMG!!! I was just sooo excited, over the moon excited, to have my work published in the very pages of the magazine, in which I have so strongly admired. It has been a dream of mine, for some time now.

 
 
Then, the next day, I received ANOTHER letter, congratulating me for being published in Somerset Memories Magazine!!! As I kept reading the the letter, it blurred, as the tears welled up in my eyes, and ran down my cheeks. Happy tears, Thankful tears, tears of pride, and tears of accomplishment.
 


It wasn't until the beginning of last year, 2011, that I called myself an artist. And really believed in myself, and my gifts. This was truly my Ah Ha moment." I AM AN ARTIST", I thought to myself, I have made it. It's now official. I am becoming! Self affirmation is a powerful thing. These are the pieces I sent in to the magazine, but it is the story of how these came to be, that I would like to share with you.

 
I created these Ornaments as tribute to my family members that have passed. I titled them "With us in Spirit."
 
 
In May of 2006 I lost my cousin, then 6 months after that In November, I lost my father. Devastating to loose a parent. The pain was so hard for me to bare. A year and a half later in May of 2008,I lost my Sister, 6 months later in November of 2008 I lost my Grandmother, and 6 months after that in May of 2009, I lost my uncle. That same year in 2009 there was a terrible recession, my husband works in the concrete construction industry and I was working on commissions as a design consultant. There was no work, we were at our lowest point of our lives.
 
Dirt poor, struggling,scared, shattered and weak.We ended up loosing our home that year too, and with it, there was so much sadness. Loss after loss, I had lost my faith in everything.
 I thought, "How can this really be happening", and it was just so hard to keep going. Not knowing what to do, where we would go, or how things were going to work out.
 
We donated and sold most of our belongings from that house that we lived in for 11 years. It was all just so difficult.
I was numb,and I didn't like the person that stared back at me when I looked into the mirror. I was devastated by experiencing so much loss so close to one another, that it was hard to process all of the feelings, I was lost, and I was in a very dark place.
 
 
We ended up moving into my fathers home, which is a tiny house. Only 820 sq. feet, and was built in the 40's. Though temporary, I am Thankful for having it.
 
 
 
In order to keep going, I had to change my perspective. I started practicing a daily ritual of what I had to be Thankful for. And would recite the words "I am Thankful For... whatever it was... Warm water,this meal,toothpaste, clean clothes, heat, this coat, etc. Everyday, all through the day.
 
Eventually, I started to see the light again. I started to enjoy life, and wanted to be inspired by the beauty of life. I took a job as an Assistant Manager at a thrift store, and worked there for a year, before transferring into Administrative work, at a Senior Day Center. And, it was better, income, though small, I was becoming again. I also took some courses to help me find "ME" again, and really took a good look at what I wanted out of this life, and what would make me happy. And what I wanted my life to be. I started believing in myself and wanted to explore the options of living an artful life.
 
 
  
 
 It was that year in 2011, I found Somerset Magazines, the beauty inside the pages. The positive stories of women finding, and living their dreams. It was so inspiring,beautiful, and uplifting, and gave me hope. I thought, "Someday I want to have my work in this book."And began working on a dream. I set up a studio space in a spare bedroom, and began creating art. Healing my soul one piece at a time. I felt an awakening in me, and I liked it!  Looking back, I feel this was a gift sent to me.
 
 
 
So having my work in this Magazine is a huge milestone for me, it marks a momentous journey that I have undergone. A transformation, a place of Happiness and Joy. I have met some of the most amazing people since opening myself up to this new world of color.
 
And now, I am only thinking positive things for the future. I am so Thankful for my life, and Thankful for Today.
 
 
 
Maybe me sharing my story, will somehow, help inspire someone out there, who has suffered with difficulties too. It is my hope, that we all are Thankful for what we have today, not the past, or the future, but right here and now,this moment. Because this moment is wonderful! 
 
 
 
Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving...
 
Many Blessings,
Susan Xo
 
 

 
 

20 comments:

  1. Congrats on being published by not one...but TWO Stampington publications!
    You also have my sincere condolences on all of the loss you've experienced these last few years. You've weathered the storms and hopefully it's clear sailing from here on in.

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    1. Thank You Rett! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment. Xo I'm looking forward many positive experiences ahead! ~Hugs

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  2. Oh, Susan! I'm so glad you decided to write this post....it truly uplifts and inspires....to know that even with great tragedy and loss, the sun can still shine....and shine brightly!

    Congrats on being published! That is still a dream of mine, too :)

    Thankful I visited you today,
    Cameron

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    1. Thank you so much Cameron. It was hard to write this one, I don't know how many times, I edited,deleted, almost didn't write it at all, but felt I needed to be honest, and true to my heart. ~Many Blessings to you... Xo

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  3. Oh Susan, I have chills from reading your post, so moving and beautiful for you to open yourself up....you are brave and courageous, strong, and now have found your inner strength and power. I am truly sorry for your losses, but am so happy to hear of how you overcame them. You are truly an inspiration to all of us.
    A huge hugs and congrat's on your publications, so well deserved!

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    1. Thank You so much Sharon! You always have to swwetest words. I am so Thankful to have you in my life and I so appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment. You are also an inspiration to me! ~ Many Blessings to you my dear... Xo

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  4. Susan...i am so happy a lady as wonderful as you was published...i love all your creations...\
    hugs

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    1. Aww Thanks so much! Thank You for taking the time to leave me a comment. It warms my heart! ~Hugs

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  5. susan i too have felt as you.. and im glad that you have had time to remember our blessings... your artwork is gorgeous and thank you for sharing with us all... and congrats on being published... may you have a happy and blessed holiday..

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    1. Thank You Lynn! We will always cherish our loved ones deep in our hearts. I know that they are here with us in spirit, and that to me is a comfort.Wishing you many blessings this Holiday as well. ~Hugs

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  6. Oh, Susan, Congratulation, congratulations, congratulations, my Dear!! You SO deserve this happiness (your work is absolutely exquisite (as I sit here looking at my wonderful art from you!)!!) ~ I know, too, how it is to have loss after loss, and for you to have come out on the other side so strong and joyous is nothing short of AMAZING...You are an inspiration, indeed!
    Happy belated birthday to you, too!
    Oh, if you stop back by my blog, I just added another couple of recipes! :)
    Hugs,
    Anne

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    1. Thank You so much Anne! Your so sweet! Hope you have had a glorious Thanksgiving Holiday, and YES! I love all the recipies on your blog, especially all the great shots of your furbabies. They are all so photogenic, mine never sit still long enough, I have to take 20 to get a good one! LOL! Thanks for the belated birthday wishes too, glad you love your little cones too! ~Hugs

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  7. Congratulations! Your work is beautiful! I'm looking at the pages Now!!!!!!! So Happy for You!!!! You are a wonderful artist!

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    1. Thank You Victoria! It's such a packed issue of all kinds of inspiration! I just love sitting down for a good read, I like to read every page,from front to back! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! ~Xo

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  8. Oh my gosh. You are my hero! I love that you are being so successful. Hard work pays off! Can't wait to pick up the magazines! Good luck with what comes forth after that!!

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    1. Thank You Kathleen! Your so sweet! I am excited, and looking forward to the future. To learn lots of new things, grow(and not my waist) lol! and share with all of you. I would love to do some teaching possibly, that would be so fun! Blessing to you! Xo

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  9. Oh, Susan! I found your blog through "A Little Fur in the Paint", and I'm so happy that I did...your story, while different in the details, might be my story. Sadly, my misfortunes are more recent; I'm still trying to figure out how to regroup and have an amazing life again. Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing your story...you never know who might need to read it (I did!). I've subscribed to your blog, not just for the uplifing message you present, but because you are a fanTAStic artist!

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    1. Hello Donetta, Thank You so much. I am truly sorry for your misfortunes.It can be so difficult while your going through it, I wish you the best and the strength you need to move forward. Thank You for following me, I look forward to sharing with you. ~Hugs Sweetie!

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  10. Dear Susan, I am also visiting you from Anne's sweet blog, "A Litte Fur in the Paint" and I can't tell you how inspiring you are! Your story is so uplifting after all of your losses and a true inspiration to others. You are a talented artist and congratulations to you for being published in these wonderful magazines which I love. I am now a new follower. xx

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