Friday, June 29, 2012

You Are Not Your Behaviour

Sometimes late at night I watch cheezy TV. When I was a kid I used to watch Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leech. (I know, don't judge me! Especially if you know what I'm talking about!)

My latest thrill is the Real Housewives of Vancouver. I admit it, I'm curious how the rich of Vancouver live. Growing up on the West coast, I always felt that we were down to earth people and had our heads screwed on straight. Of course, as I've gotten older I've come to realize that there are *ahem* "interesting" people wherever you go. Even here in my dear, beloved city.

I get sucked in to reality shows like the Real Housewives of Vancouver every so often. Yes, the drama (drama, drama!) is addicting. It pulls me in and hooks its talons into me. But as I watch the events unfold and listen to the women talk about each other, vent and argue with one another, I am actually enthralled by human nature itself.

We have such a strong desire to be loved (by others and ourselves) yet so often we react with incredible fear and aggression against it. We are afraid to let go so we react with fearful behaviour. It's a vicious circle. We create boundaries of power. We bully and victimize each other. We martyr ourselves and separate ourselves into "Us vs. Them" teams.

We fight with each other because we fear change. So many of us are in a fearful holding pattern and yet we don't even know it. No one is immune to this by the way. No one. You could have a PhD in psychology and still be holding onto certain behaviours in a certain relationship of your life and not even notice it. You could be a revered preacher of love and acceptance but when it comes to one particular person in your life, you are stuck. You could be retired, you could be in your 20's, you could be a parent, a mom or a dad. It is human behaviour.

But it is not the talented little genius soul inside you.

Behaviour is NOT YOU.

Behaviour is learned. It is a reaction to past experiences of pain and hurt. Our behaviour is a choice and it can be changed. We can replace bad behaviour with constructive behaviour and still be US.

I believe we have the power to learn and grow through our relationships. In fact, I believe that is why we are here on this crazy roller coaster ride called life: to love, to learn and to grow. The people around us are vehicles to help us evolve with the seasons of life.

I'm not saying growing and learning and changing behaviour is easy. H#ll no! It's messy and filled with drama. It takes hard work and deliberate effort.

And you wanna know what the clincher is?

You can't do it alone.

It's gonna get messy people. It's gonna be tough. But we're gonna get through it together.

Photo courtesy of

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Art and Soul of Us

Everyone can be an artist because everyone HAS an artist hidden inside them. Really and truly there are only four things that make an artist an artist.

Step 1: Find a medium that speaks to you. Raku pottery, ballet dancing, sewing, photography, video game design, radio or television interviewing or reporting, heck, maybe even teaching or managing people turns your crank, the list of options and mediums to choose from goes on and on. It takes time, determination and courage to find something that clicks and speaks to your soul. You will need to try new things and not be afraid to go back to something either. I learned photography in a darkroom and on film but I didn't really start to love it until everything became digital.

Step 2: Hone in on your chosen medium, learn from it, read about it. See what other people do. Try what they've tried. Develop your skills. Develop your craft. Push yourself, challenge yourself. Become curious. Ask questions. Explore. Try something new, find out what works or make it up as you go along. PLAY...

Step 3: Express yourself. Find out what you love about your medium and your craft. Do what you love. Develop a style, a look or a way that makes sense to YOU. Make it your way. Combine ideas. Change it up. Make new connections.

Step 4: Share your gifts and your talents with the world. Show your art to people. Ask for feedback. Create a dialogue. Open people's eyes. Touch people's hearts. But more importantly, bring your own heart. Because the reason we do art (of any kind) is to let the light of our little genius heart and soul shine onto the world.

So let that artist within you shine through, the world can always use a little bit more beauty.