Author Archives: Darlene

The Power of Play

The Power of Play

The benefits of play are so far-reaching. In childhood, play allows us to learn how to be creative, helps to nurture critical thinking, personality development and creates adaptive neural pathways.

In our stress-inducing lives, play for adults is absolutely essential. Play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, as well as boost creativity. According to recent studies, play improves memory and stimulates the growth of the cerebral cortex by triggering the release of BDNF, a substance essential for the growth of brain cells.

According to psychiatrist Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, in Carmel Valley, CA, “Play is a basic human need—as essential to our well-being as sleep. So when we are low on play, our minds and bodies notice… Play deprivation can reveal itself in certain patterns of behavior: we might feel cranky, rigid, feel stuck in a rut or feel victimized by life. To benefit most from the rejuvenating benefits of play, we need to incorporate it into our everyday lives.”

A lot of research backs up the theory that play is therapeutic. At work, play speeds up learning, enhances productivity, and increases job satisfaction; at home, playing together enhances bonding and communication.

Above is an excerpt from something in the works I’m writing.

 

Dancing The Enneagram

I’m very excited to announce our PlayBook,* Dancing the Enneagram, by Kate Finlayson and yours truly is now being printed for a June 1st launch.

Last August (2018), I was at my friend, Kate Finlayson’s “Dancing The Enneagram’s” PlayShop in Charlotte. The experience with Kate’s effervescent energy was inspiring. I was so stunned and impressed with its power, on my drive back home, a vision to have her material developed in written form appeared to me.

That night, I furiously wrote. Within a short time, I created an outline for her book. I telephoned Kate and relayed to her my excitement. She asked me to present her with a sample chapter, which I did in short order. It seemed to me the book REALLY wanted to be birthed. And here it is: nine months later our baby is born.

The premise for “Dancing the Enneagram” is unique and ground-breaking. Kate, who is Nia-trained and certified, moves through each of the nine personality types. Her idea is to add a somatic component to an intellectual process, grounding one’s knowing into embodiment. Kate’s work is powerful and integrative.

Originally, I intended to present only Kate’s material, but an idea popped into my head to include the component of “coloring” into the mix because each of the nine personality types is also associated with a color. I’ve been working for a couple of years creating coloring books with positive images of maidens in their power to inspire “girls of all ages.” It seemed only natural to include what I know about coloring as a further means of integration, especially for those who have not experienced Kate’s energy in person.

I’m at my first “Dancing The Enneagram” PlayShop, August 2018.

Thus, in “Dancing The Enneagram,” I present the symbology of color, explain the difference between Light (RGB) and Pigment-based (CYMK) color models, and also offer a “Conscious Coloring” technique.

So the nine full-page illustrations I created for our PlayBook can be colored in or enjoyed as is. I’m also really happy to use one of my own font designs in the PlayBook. The design of the book exemplifies Beauty as is one of my best efforts.  It’s epic!

Dancing The Enneagram

*PlayBook and Playshop are Kate’s preferred terms over Workbook and Workshop. Learning shouldn’t be work.

Energy is the Key to Internet Marketing

The ability to succeed at INTERNET MARKETING is about energy, the type of energy you put into your life. When you put zero energy into something you’ll get zero results. If you put focused and pleasant energy into your projects, they cannot help but reflect this state of being. I conclude, that in everything you do, you need to be very conscious about energy and how you are using it.

It’s all about energy …

Pessimistic people are always pessimistic. Have you ever known a pessimistic person to suddenly decide to have an optimistic viewpoint for once? Their outlook on life is reflected in their pattern of behavior. Like a broken record, they retell the same stories, over and over again. They define themselves through the lens of failure: “It’s other people’s fault … well, if it hadn’t been for their betrayal, everything would be different today…” It’s not true, but that is what they tell themselves. Perhaps, it is to make them feel better about a situation they are applying zero energy to change.

The viewpoint of “oh woe is me…” has a particular energy signature, as do they all. This type of energy signature dissipates, or cancels out the energy of benevolent abundance. This is also true for the energy of depression, which is always depleting and feeds on itself. Woe-is-me, depressing moody people have a way of sucking the life’s energy from all around them. Nobody wants to be around needy people too often because its all so exhausting. When people are moody or depressed, they are high maintenance and need to be constantly fed.

Getting back to the subject …

The exhilarating and uplifting feeling of joy, of being in the moment, happy and one with the universe is an expansive energy. This energy is magnanimous. It is inclusive. Joy is the state of being required for manifestation.

This concept can best be understood through energy. It makes sense that a massive, outwardly flowing energy would be conducive to touching many people, connecting them in untold ways. This is opposite an inward-turning, small, “please don’t notice me,” black-hole type of energy.

Me? My bane is in just being lazy and unmotivated. I didn’t really want to do what was necessary for success. So I found ways to do everything, but… Occasionally, I’d take a day or two out from the month and update my web-site or blog and do other social things. I admit, my attempts to get myself out there were so half-heartedly introverted.

When I finally understood how energy works, I awoke to what I must do to be successful.

That’s why people with great passions do so well on the internet. Their enormous energy is infectious and they inspire true change. Anthony Morrison is one such person. The energy surrounding his passion to de-mystify Internet Marketing for students is simply astounding!  That’s only one of the reasons I decided to partner with him, but it’s a good one.

I finally declared I am worth the energy it takes to succeed!

At least I know now why I cannot manage alone, by myself. What I don’t have in “oomph” or the confident energy of know-how Anthony makes up. The Partner with Anthony program is my chosen tool for change. It can be yours too. Anthony’s upbeat messages alone are worth the $7.00 investment. 

Check out Anthony’s inspiring Lectures!

Changing Relationship to Money

What I learned recently is that, in order to succeed, I needed to totally change the way I relate to money as an artist.
I bought into the “poor artist” concept, where money is tainted and to accumulate money and wealth is to become tainted yourself. Poor artists indulging this paradigm judge people who are wealthy harshly — as being morally corrupt, greedy, egoistic, self-indulgent ass-holes. Many of them are, it’s true, but not all of them. There are also poor people with those traits.
Psychologically, we would “tell ourselves” we want success, but at the same time, would always sabotage our chances of success if deep down, we thought it would corrupt us, or automatically lead us down a perilous moral path.
I came upon this idea a while back when I realized, I looked down on wealthy people. I have since reframed things. There is nothing wrong with accumulating green survival tickets, especially if having these would enhance my art (as time would no longer be divided between art and finding a means to pay the bills).
I don’t think I had a devils chance of succeeding when I harbored virtuous (untainted) prejudice. It’s like I had to give myself permission to succeed. And I did. To prove it, I can believe the following statements:
There is nothing wrong with having wealth. As one of the wealthy, I will have the means to address wrongs. Time will open up because the tasks I was not good at and so did myself because I didn’t have the means–like accounting and taxes–would be delegated to those with expertise in those areas.
Then, I could better focus on things that I love and are important to me. It is thus, I give myself permission to not only succeed, but to lavishly exceed all expectations.

Darlene Marketing (?!)

I’m an artist. When I was younger and more adventurous, it was exciting to be dancing on the lip of poverty. The uncertainty of being able to stay alive by making ends meet was like a game; literally, it was “The Game of Life.” Now that I’m getting older, I realize I have to change. I no longer have the same resiliency and health I once enjoyed.

So I’ve been thinking. Being a “poor” artist does not have to be an automatic given. About 2 years ago, I realized that I sorely needed to supplement my meager income. Although it’s exciting to be teetering on the knife’s edge, I’m now longing for some stability. I wonder if you can relate?

So, instead of finding a soul-crushing part-time job (which would take me away from my art studio), I decided to invest my time in INTERNET MARKETING.

I’m happy to report, I’ve finally found a great and easy pathway to accomplish internet marketing without it costing too much or being too exasperating. For an investment of $7.00 (!) you can have, at your fingertips, the information, which took me a couple years to discover. The program is called “Partner with Anthony” and he shares his internet expertise to leverage success.

I wish I had access to the information and methodology he provides in baby steps. When I first began, many things were simply not apparent to me. (My brain must be old as it takes me longer to process the technical aspects, which make internet marketing successful). Plus, I had to really concentrate to implement everything (which tended to tire me out).

So if you are at all curious about the path I’ve chosen to take to be successful at Internet Marketing, CLICK HERE.

It’s the best $7.00 you will ever spend … because it’s the best $7.00 I spent!

THANX, Darlene

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PS – I hope to see you with me on the sunny side of success.

Tips For Artists: To Freelance or Find a Job?

My Maya

My inside cat looked out the window this morning and spotted a large shadowy figure sleeking through the open area between some bushes. Maya’s tail switches; she’s rapt, excited, attentive, and follows its every move. The outside cat stops to sense the air.  He’s a very large, beautiful calico cat. He feels eyes on him.

He knows he’s been spotted, but cannot detect the source. So he nonchalantly turns in another direction and trapezes off. He does not run, in complete confidence, he just picks up his pace and slips away into the distance.

I wonder if my Maya wishes to be an outside cat, free to roam wherever she wants; or if the dark male wishes to have steady meals and be loved. There are trade offs to both. For the privilege of freedom, a stray lives on the edge. Life is uncertain, often violent and short.

For the privilege of being kept, there are many trade-offs. Rules must be obeyed. There’s neutering and worse, de-clawing. There are borders never to be crossed, and sometimes imprisonment within a small space. Some suffer the indignity of the play of little children. Everything depends on the luck of getting the right human master.

There are many stories where an outside kitty “chooses” their human. And if the cat chooses well, the result is happy for all concerned.

What does this have to do with art? The outside cat is a metaphor for making a living solely on your art. Be prepared to live on the edge. There will be times of feast and meager times of famine. Everything teeters on uncertainty. Society preys on artists. They are easy pickings. With little bargaining power, it’s difficult for freelance artists to get a fair price for their talents.

The inside cat represents those artists who have agreed to be at the disposal of an employer. For the sake of steady income, they often give up their rights and their original works. Or they are squeezed and wrung until they can produce no more. Thus, burnt out, they are then discarded in favor of the eager young college graduate, who will work at entry level pay scales. Or they may land into happier circumstances — everything depends upon finding the right master.

This is the dilemma for those cats thinking about freelancing their artistic talents. It’s possible for some alley cats to find steady work in the right situation. A lot of this depends upon luck. Often, being talented is not the deciding factor, but how well you begged. To get fed, the alley cat has to show it is friendly and deserving enough to receive food.

This shakes out as being flexible (with illogical changes), being able to read minds, always meeting deadlines, always being available on demand, able to work for cheap and (believe it or not) grateful for the work. This describes an employer’s dream freelancer.

Of course, the very same criteria can equally be applied to the pet on the inside. Linear thinkers in management positions cannot fathom the process of creative thinking. They wonder: why can’t the artist conform to a schedule like everyone else? It’s sad, but chances are, the employed artist will always be misunderstood and marginalized by those who did the hiring.

There are other cats who are employed in other sectors but choose to do their art solely on their own time. With so little time left at the end of their day, hobbyists risk the energy needed to create. Being able to make a living is the freelancer’s motivation. What is the hobbyist’s motivation when money is not a factor? The hobbyist has to have the discipline to be self-motivated.

That’s pretty much the territory. Me? I’ve run the gamut from being an alley cat to being kept cat. A corporate reorganization pushed me back out on the street. So this li’l ole cat is back to freelancing again.

What kind of cat do you want to be?

Jasmine Snippet #11

This is a continuation of notes for The Story of Jasmine that were written on Italian Stationery in Cortona, Italy:

Rogan hesitated for a moment, then surrendered his weapon to whom he supposed was the Guardian of the Temple. For the first time, he felt the same frustration Thorne described. He felt naked without his sword.

“Come.” Rogan followed the dwarf, and his sword, inside inner sanctum of the temple. He immediately noticed that the light became brighter as they progressed past many columns and down many steps.

Presently, they stood in front of a small, open room. With a nod, the dwarf bid him enter. He kept Rogan’s sword at the ready.

Almost without thinking, he sank to his knees when he first beheld the maiden in white. She stood, trance-like on an elevated platform of stone. There were many white flower petals  stuck on her glistening-wet skin. Wet petals also crowned her head, the water flowing down from her head like tears upon her face.

Before her was an oblong trough. Although Rogan could not see its contents, from the diamond-ripple reflections dancing upon the maiden’s ecstatic face and the wall behind her, he knew it contained water. But there was something more.

Submerged in the sparkling waters was the source of a brilliant white light.

© 2018 DARLENE

Note: This is another alternative version of events. The above must be among the first drafts.

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Jasmine Snippet #110

These notes for The Story of Jasmine were written in Cortona, Italy because they are written on Italian Stationery:

Rogan judged it to be well after mid-night by the time he reached the temple. On his way, he passed many stone statues of soldiers. Although it occurred to him that these statues seemed too new for an ancient temple, he wasted no more thought as to how this came to be.

The closer he got to the ancient building, the more numerous the statues became until the statuary cover the entire temple grounds. Rogan then noticed the look of surprise, which appeared on each stone face. For the first time, Rogan grew concerned, “Were these statues once men?”

“Heigh Ho! Are you friend or foe?” called a voice from within one of the chambers. Rogan whirled around in the direction of the call.

“Friend!” He answered quickly, then shielded his eyes in anticipation of some dreadful sorcery. He heard some bustle within the chamber and the slow approach of footsteps.

“Nothing will happen to you if you are indeed a friend,” a voice told him.Rogan looked up and noticed the stocky figure of a dwarf approaching him. He was a mature dwarf, with a graying beard and piercingly clear grey eyes. He wore several daggers and a battle-axe hung at his side as was the custom of mercenary dwarf-warriors, the like he had only heard about. Rogan duly noted the proud bearing of this man, not unusual in a warrior-for-hire.

Remembering the stone statues, Rogan thought it most prudent to kneel before him. This was not the doing of an ordinary mortal. The dwarf touched him on the shoulder and said, “it is good you humble yourself to the maker of miracles. But friend, it is not I. Give me your sword and I will guide you to a marvel.”

© 2018 DARLENE

Note: This is another alternative version of events. The above must be among the first drafts.

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Jasmine Snippet #109

The note for The Story of Jasmine is from a scrap of paper, which mostly had crossed out words:

“What did you do?” Glynn shouted as he touched the stone statuary of the soldiers, which just a moment before had been men.

“It was not my doing!” Jasmine cried, turning pale, “it just happened — it’s the power of this place!”

The red-haired companion of Glynn’s began a hearty laugh, “And we thought she needed help!”

“But I do.” Jasmine replied softly.

© 2018 DARLENE

Note: This is another alternative version of events. The above must be among the first drafts.

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Jasmine Snippet #108

More newly discovered notes from The Story of Jasmine:

As excellent a horseman as he was, Ahearn could not follow the pale princess-maiden, Jasmine. He rode swiftly up the mountain path and sought to overtake her. At the next turn, his steed suddenly reared and threw him.

From the ground, he beheld the sight of a white maiden on a white stallion, luminous against the evening sky. She faced him with burning eyes as she thrust her staff in the air. With an edge to her voice, she spoke, “You sought to trick me — why?”

Only then did he recognize the apparition as Jasmine, more glorious and beautiful than he had seen any woman. “Not to trick you,” he called, dusting himself off and getting to his feet, “to let you understand … that I am your husband—your betrothed—according to a royal decree, signed and sealed by both our fathers, binding the Kingdom of UR to the Kingdom of Elfvenhogg on condition of our marriage! My armies can free your father from his imprisonment … think of it!”

She rested her staff, “Yes, ah yes, the dark half-elves of Elfvenhogg, renowned for their many skills. But you, Prince Ahearn of Elfvenhogg, should know above all others that the princess you seek has long since vanished.”

© 2018 DARLENE

***Note: “Elfvenhogg” is new to me … an alternative name for Dockalfar. But looking up the word “hogg” (related to swine), I think I prefer Dockalfar (meaning: dark elf)

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