Chase your dreams

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Last year my horse mad 6 yr old Granddaughter asked me to do a painting of a unicorn for her 7th birthday present. I was a little nervous about a unicorn as my subject matter but what developed through the painting was a thought of what I would want her to know if I wasn’t around to tell her.
What would I say was important in life if I had to say it simply and clearly.
Life I believe is made of many highs and lows and you can never truly stop there being both in your life. To try to keep all bad things from happening, is like trying to hold back the tide.
No I would rather try to remember, that even when there are hard times, they can be survived and there will be good times again. Don’t get me wrong I am no Pollyanna I have seen or helped people through some dark times, but if you look for a dream,a hope that there will be better times you tend to find them. The first thing I would want to tell her is to chase her dreams, not in a corny go out kid and chase your dreams but in a clear know who you are and what you want in all parts of your life. So when things get tough you will have a path to follow to see the glimmer of hope. That can make all the difference when you are in the low points, knowing there is hope, when it is hard to see. That if you hold on to the dream of having a happy life you can create the reality and be happy chasing that dream. Why do I think this is a dream and not a goal? because goals have a deadline a finish date, achieve this goal by this date… etc, but our dreams tend to be things that are organic and change and move with us. One of my most important and cherished dreams is to have a happy fulfilled life and that is something I chase and achieve everyday.
It is not a goal that I will wait till the end to measure, nor is it a goal that has defined parameters, some times I am happy when I don’t get what I want. Because I got something or someone else and I am experienced enough to know I can respect the day as it is.

I wrote the key words of what I wanted for her to know in gold paint in the drips I deliberately let run off the paper. Because I think that is an important key to happiness. Finding the meaningful people and things in the mess or accidental moments. Then building your life on that foundation.

What do you think is important in life?

This painting and message was for her but if in some small way it is of use to you please take it and chase your dreams. xx Allie

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The words I wrote were these:

BE CREATIVE, in your own way.
Spend time with FRIENDS and those who love you, for they will strengthen you.
Always LOVE YOURSELF, not in a conceited way, but from your own truth and honesty.
Be quick to share LOVE everyone needs it, and it will not run out.
Free your IMAGINATION, it will not survive in constraints, not yours or others.
RESPECT all and everything will be your teacher and guide.
LEARN  from every mistake and from every situation and you will always see a gift you can take from it.
DREAM BIG, then put one foot after the other on your journey to get there.
THERE IS ONLY ONE YOU, don’t compare yourself to others, it waste your time and kill your courage.
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, especially when its hard, don’t give up. Ask for help, it will come.
MAGIC HAPPENS everyday, look for it and you will see it.
When others can’t see it for themselves give HOPE for when given, hope grows.

Above all remember everyday:
YOU ARE SPECIAL, and needed in this world.
YOU ARE LOVED,by many, let it start with yourself.
YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY HEART,as I am in yours.
SO WE ARE NEVER ALONE.
XX Nana

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Day 15 of my 20 / 20 challenge

Do something everyday of my 20 / 20 challenge to get clearer  and closer to my vision of what I want.

Day 15. I completed my main character for my original story ‘how oysters got their pearls’. This sketch was a challenge but I got there in the end. Can you tell what mammal was my inspiration for my mermaid?

The challenge to get clear ideas and vision of my goals is working it has been difficult and confronting but worth the effort.

Hope you enjoy. xx Allie

#storyteller #author #mermaids #oysters#nzartists #moonlight #humpbackwhale#alliesimpsonwriterartist

Why taking time is important.

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As some of you know I made a plan to pay attention to the 4 main season changes this year (2016) and celebrate the Summer Solstice, Autumn equinox, Winter Solstice and then Spring Equinox. With taking 4 focus points and keeping an eye on my life and career goals at each point it has helped enormously with my goal achievements and plans.
As a teacher I had always had a tendency to let the school year swallow me and my goals up.
Only surfacing at the end of the school year, often too tired to achieve much in the time between one year and the next. Now with having 4 yearly dates to analyse, celebrate, read-adjust and instigate I have found it easier to keep a healthy overview of what my students and clients need and what I need. The Winter Solstice is in 13 days and I am using it as a day to look at and celebrate what I have achieved in the past and to let go of anything that hasn’t worked. I will be using the symbol of winter warmth to remind myself that I need to rest and to fan the creative fires. I have been asked if what I am doing this year is based in a religion or similar,
the answer is no.

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What I am doing is paying attention to the seasons around me which in turn reminds me that everything has a season. Also that everything changes. I feel that we do not take enough time to celebrate our successes and to keep on track with what we want in our year.

We stand on New Year’s Eve and worry about how we aren’t good enough or we need to lose this much weight or stop or start the list goes on and on. Resolutions not inspiring.

I have found that just one day a year looking at what I want in my life is just not enough nor does 1 day out of 365 days show any kind of life balance.

So this year I decided to try something new. Inspired by my story research I looked at how our ancestors had to pay attention to the seasons to live and I took a leaf from their book. (pun intended)

This is the plan I sketched up last December 2015.

The Summer is all about abundance so at the Summer Solstice (21st Dec) we had a fun family and friends get together. I payed attention to how much abundance I had in my life, and what I was grateful for. This helped me to shape my goals for the year as I came from a mind-set of what I was happy with and already had. Not a sense of lack like on a New Years Eve .
As a side note realising how much you have a week before Christmas is interesting.

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The Autumn Equinox was for me about sustaining my momentum and laying in stores for the work ahead, also paying attention to change in your life. I had a wonderful time looking at how my plans were growing and taking time to listen to others plans and ideas inspiring me to keep going. I was also able to spend time doing storytelling outside and the landscape was just amazing.
For me I used the Autumn Equinox point to remind myself of my direction and goals

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The Winter Solstice is on the 20th and 21st of June and I want to use it as a halfway point.
To take time to rest by a warm fireplace and look back at all I have done so far, then stop or change anything that isn’t working and move on. I wanted to be near the snow but due to work commitments I can’t (never mind next year) I do plan on warm food and company.

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The Spring Equinox is in September on the 23rd. I plan on using the idea of new growth to check my success and put anything new into the mix. But we will see.

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So what I am doing is using these 4 days as special markers to remind me that a life worth living is one that you are conscious of and always adjusting and developing. So far this year it has worked for me. Give it a try it may help you remember just how well you are actually doing and what you have around you to be grateful for.

We may not live as slowly as our ancestors and no there is no dancing around a fired in states of undress for me. But I feel more In-tune by paying attention as they did, just that bit more.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a goal plan that helps you?

So much has happened it has become a blur.

Wow I can’t belive it is almost June and Winter Solstice.

Half the year gone and so much has happened.
The best idea I have is to jump in a time machine and go back sharing what has been and gone and the lessons learnt. Time machines are not hard to find, are they? Hopefully you will get something that can be if use for you.
Starting this week we will travel to goals past, present and future.
We will navigate the trials and travels of art, storytelling and teaching. We can observe the success and failures of both my goals and others I help everyday.
But first to invent that time machine.
LESSON ONE:
Anything is possible, even a time machine.
See you later this week or is that last week with a time machine?
Xx Allie
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Opportunities


Opportunities
By A. Simpson 2015
The morning mist glues to my skin as I walk along the path.
Behind me lies yesterday, grabbing at my heals as it fades.
Auburn rays dust the leaves with light, the new day is dawning.
A day like no other, but the same as all that have come before.
As I watch the old day die and the new day birth, I feel apprehension.
A knot, a tension creeping through me, seeping into my consciousness.
The light traps my feet, flitting up to my eyes.
I cannot help but see it.
The new day advances and hidden in it,
is my birthday.
The self-condemnation is alive, like the light playing on the ground before me.
What have I achieved in the last 12 months, anything at all?
Opportunities missed, goals unrealised.
A birthday, another year gone, enough to bring me to my knees.
Remorse and thoughts of promise lost. Things undone, loss and grief.
My internal turmoil is interrupted as wet droplets run down my cheeks.
Could they be tears of loss, pride or of youth’s longing?
All symptoms of my thoughts.
Graciously the thunder rouses me and as the rain falls, I see.
The new day is here and of yesterday I only have memories left.
All my past birthday’s, kisses, celebrations, songs and cheers.
Days filled with love and life.
There will be no tears; for I have no dreams lost, only hope of dreams to come.
There are no regrets, for they are for days gone.
I stretch out my arms and tilt my face to the rain.
Sticking out my tongue to drink the cold raindrops.
5 or 105 it’s all the same; delight in what and who you are.
The chance of a new day
and the taste of
stolen raindrops on your tongue.

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Day 30. And it all went to custard…

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Day 30. Was yesterday and I actually had to walk away from my drawing before it was even at the line stage. I spent the entire time struggling with the composition and geting the perspective right.  When I came back and finished I realised that with all the corrections the line drawing would be no good for shading as it was marred with corrected lines. The next problem was I couldn’t use my light box to transfer to a fresh sheet as the Sanford grey tone is nice and thick. So I had to compromise and make cut outs. I now have a clean linework to start on. Oh by the way, I often push too hard with my pencil and a friend gave me a tip which helped in this situation. Use a mechanical pencil with the lead out. If you push too hard it breaks the lead. I started with a complete lead and finished with this little bit. I am getting better but sometimes … snap.
Today is the 1st of June, and I will continue on with this drawing with a freash eye and a fresh start. It all went to custard (translation – NZ saying, meaning it all went bad.) But in the end I worked through it and solved my problem. I have enjoyed my daily before breakfast drawings but will not be able to draw each day for the next week, as I am with my students on a drama shoot.   Call time is 6am. And I live about an hour from school. I will try to take some pictures of the other side of my creative day to share with you.  I will be back to drawing within 7 days.
Thank you for all your support, I do enjoy your comments and encouragement.
Have fun 
Xx Allie

Day 27. Looking for the beauty.

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Day 27, Is all about paying attention to the beauty around us and enjoying it when we can. Todays drawing is of a New Zealand White Heron, I find these exquisite birds stunning. If I see one I feel my day is blessed. Unfortunately they are becoming more scarce along our river. I was going to draw one standing but found a photograph for reference of this unusual pose. Again I am forever grateful to wildlife photographers. Drawing a white bird in the sky was tricky but I am pleased with the results. Wow only 4 days left in the month challenge, were did May go?
Xx Allie