Phenomenal Expression…

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” ~Twyla Tharp

I am special blogging about this art because it speaks to me. The lines, the color, the very essence of freedom that pours out of these paintings is impossible not to get lost in. I received a request to like this page recently and after visiting the page, I found myself almost unable to leave the page. I sifted through almost every image in the gallery, I imagine…at least that is what it felt like.

I opened up my facebook page this evening and the first post on my timeline is a gallery of the most recent works from this amazing woman! Her name is Jenn Brake. You can find her by ‘Googling’ Artwork from Jenn Brake and it will direct you to the artwork page. These images are profound to say the least, and while this is just my opinion, I still feel the need to share and hope that the viewers that see them will feel the same way.

It is not often that I come across art that truly speaks to me; however, this art work is truly original and you can tell that there is effort, life and soul in these pieces and they truly deserve to be recognized. Take a look at her page by googling as mentioned before and enjoy!

***If anyone has any problems pulling Ms. Brake’s page up following the instructions given above, please leave a comment or email me and I will help you get in touch with her so that you can place an order. The featured piece on this blog post is one of her works as well. So beautiful!!!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to click the ‘Follow Karma’s Expressions’ button on the right at the top for updates on future posts.

Until next time loves, adieu.

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Boundaries…Have You Found Your Voice?

Boundaries are important. Find your voice and be sure that you follow through.

My voice is my own. No one else sounds like me. I am the source.

My thoughts are my own. If I choose to share them, they’re still mine. I am the source.

My opinions are my own. If I choose to share those as well, they’re still mine. I am the source.

I choose my own fate. I choose to allow someone to speak for me, or not. I choose to allow representation of myself, no matter the intentions of someone choosing to give action or thought on my behalf.

Therefore, in all rights, rhyme and reason, it is also my responsibility to set the boundaries of when it is appropriate or not to speak, act or otherwise on my behalf.

This post is not about ownership, but rather, about acknowledgement of the source and respect of such. Boundaries that create a sanctuary that is your life. Not to say that you’ll never be uncomfortable, but you have the right to choose to stay in a situation or leave, at any given moment.

Setting boundaries is about choice, both your own and whomever is taking it upon themselves to step over the boundaries, whether openly set or implied. If someone offends you or speaks on your behalf in a way that you are not comfortable with then it is necessary to reinforce the boundaries related to the matter.

Boundaries are lost in this society and while placing blame would normally be the course of action, I would rather not. Instead, I would rather focus on the self of the situation because ultimately that is all that I have control over.

I have never been very good at setting boundaries because as a young person I was never taught to set boundaries and the examples around me were meager to say the least. This does not fall on my mother or lack of father presence; however, it does ultimately fall on me, because with all of the research that I have done over the years and in all of the counseling that I have given, and experience I’ve gained… it would seem that I would know the proper steps to take in order to set, enforce and even reinforce boundaries when and if necessary for myself before anyone else. This is not truth. It has taken me much too long, so I am sharing this with you so that you have the ability to teach yourself and recognize the pitfalls of being without enforced boundries.

Primary boundaries, as I call them, are ones that are understood and do not need to be explained. Such boundaries include, but are not limited to, manners, respect, tact and presentation. It’s the secondary boundaries that I am limited in and specifically in reinforcement. I can speak all day long about what I like and what I don’t like; however, with people who are as strong-willed as myself, it is more difficult because these are also the people who are closest to me. I can teach the boundaries in my sleep….

Step One: Set the boundary.
Step Two: Enforce the boundary.
Step Three: Reinforce the boundary if and when necessary.

Consequences are my downfall.  I am such an understanding person that when situations arise I am always the one that finds a solution to the situations. This prevents me from actually “feeling” anything at the present moment that a specific situation is presented because I automatically move into “solve” mode. In having the uncanny ability to stand on an unbiased line and see things, literally, from every possible angle it disables my ability to feel the situation and how it may affect me in the bigger scheme of things….until later, that is.

My ability to mold is like that of a chameleon. I, therefore, have the ability to say, “It’s ok.”, and move on about my business. While this is a great attribute to possess in the moment of mediation in less than favorable conditions with a job or when dealing with other people who are faced with controversy, it is not a great attribute to possess when it’s difficult to be vocal about your own boundaries.

It isn’t until the wee hours of the morning that I realize what I should have said, or could have said to nip it in the bud right then and there. It has been this newfound realization and through counseling more people on this subject, as of late, that I have been able to teach myself and actually follow through. In essence, the voice that is mine, has become vocalized in the moment instead of after the fact.

Take some time for yourself and find your voice. Check your body language and ensure that it lines up with your words as you speak them. Most people go through this at a young age, but it’s never too early to get in the mirror and watch your facial expressions and stance are in alignment. You might feel crazy, but trust me when I tell you it works!

Leave comments below, I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Remember to click the ‘Follow’ link to the right and share, share share! If not for yourself, then perhaps for someone you know that may need these words. If you have questions or comments that you do not want to post in the comments section then please visit ‘Karma’s Corner’ on the right side of the page and send me an email. I will reply within 24 hours.

Lots of love everyone, of self and those deserving around you.

Until next time, adieu.

Your Children Do Not Come First…

Your child/ren do not come first, nor your parents, or friends. Your spouse comes first. Always!

So, yesterday I shared this post. This is from a page from a woman who has been a relationship counselor for many years. I, too, have been counseling for many years, and while I am sure that she has been counseling longer, I was thankful to see this post. I have been living this for many years and giving it to couples that I have counseled as well.

In the event that you feel offended by this because you feel that, “children and their needs should always come first.” I have no doubt that you should not only continue reading, but I also would encourage you to be open-minded before passing judgement because you may well learn something.

I feel the incessant need to elaborate.

In counseling over the years I have seen that with couples that have children, the children can often be a deal breaker. Especially if each parent was raised differently and feel strongly about this or that when it comes to raising and disciplining the children. Understand that I am in no way, shape or form, saying that your children should be neglected. Instead, it is a situation where it is understood that your children’s needs should be met regardless of the situations going on in life. Let that be clear. That is the responsiblity that comes with having children. Period. However; it seems that the focal point is lost in relationships and marriages where children become the main focus. What people fail to realize is when the children are put first instead of each other, the children will lack in the end regardless.

Your children are only yours for a season, they will only be with you for a season. Our job as parents is to guide them, teach them and provide them with the basic necessities such as love, food, shelter, clothing. Undoubtedly, but beyond that it is our responsibility to teach them and, more importantly, be the example for them to become productive members of society and provide the example of what it takes to build healthy relationships and how to protect and maintain them. This task cannot be completed if your own relationship is lacking and broken due to not putting your significant other or spouse first.

When your children grow and their time with you is over, they will leave your home and depend on themselves, and eventually their own significant other. This is the natural way. What’s left in your own household? YOUR significant other. It really is a simple concept. Your children only have something to gain by you putting your significant other (spouse) first. They see a healthy relationship that is a priority and how to maintain that relationship. They will then mimic this behavior in the future.

In summary, if your relationship is lacking, your children will inevitably lack by default. When two people constantly put each other first, their needs are always met, by default their children’s needs are always met. When children are the focal point, the relationship and partner are neglected and the children become neglected due to the time and effort it is taking to repair the relationship.

In the years that I have been counseling and sharing this concept to couples, there has been a 100% success rate of relationship and family recovery. It’s a trickle effect, when the parents are ok and the relationship is not lacking, the children reap the benefits as well. The time and effort that would be put into the relationship for lack of care is then free to focus on the child/ren together. Likewise, in my experience, when I’ve counseled this concept and given the skills and knowledge necessary for implementation and the couple decided against the counseling and information, the relationship inevitably failed in the end and the children were the ones that were neglected the most.

Ultimately, put your significant other first. Always. The statement given by Sherry C. Adams is truth to the letter and I have seen it as proven results in counseling, as well as, in my own relationship.

Big ups and thank you to Sherry C. Adams for speaking the truth to couples!

What are you feeding your family???

Your children are watching, what are you teaching them???

In the spirit of summer, I decided to make some jam. I can remember watching my mother spend countless hours running back and forth from the kitchen to the dinning room, table covered with newspaper, toting hot jars of whatever she had chosen to can at that particular moment. Shes had her go at jelly, salsa and a plethora of other recipes. What I loved most was getting into it while I thought she wasn’t looking. 🙂

In my jam research, I found many recipes that I thought were ok in theory, but the truth of the matter is that they just required entirely too much sugar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not what some would call a, “health buff”, but I do try to be conscious of what I give to my family to fuel their energy needs.

I decided to wing it. (There I go again, wingin’ it!) If any of you have read my very first blog post, I am one that likes to defy the odds of “rules”, I just dealt with that plenty while I was active duty and I feel that there just has to be a way to put my own spin on most everything.

I boiled down my apples, they weren’t very big to begin with comming off the tree, but they were juicy and with a sweet tart mixture of flavors that covered my palet with the want to eat more than just one at a time. So, in likeness of the original taste I decided to take my own attempt at creating a recipe.

I am thankful to say that I only had to use 1/2 cup of sugar to 4 cups of the pureed result after boiling down my apples. I won’t give the recipe just yet, then I would have to kill ya! Just kidding!!! Truthfully though, I intend to do some research and see if I can distribute the final product. Wish me luck! It is amazing!

This post is really about the want and need to follow your own path and not be so reluctant to go against the grain. Sometimes, following what you’re feeling will give much better results in the end than adhering to something that just doesn’t feel right. Now, I realize that this is only jam, but I am feeding it to my family, and that is important. Knowing what you are giving your family to put into their bodies should be important, especially considering all of the controversies surrounding societies fast paced plant production and the seeming necessity to preserve everything and to fast in this diet or that. All of it is made to sell! sell! sell!

That is not what I am about. I am that crazy lady standing in the isle at the grocery store with frustrated children waiting patiently for me to finish reading the lables. (Just kidding, I’ve been doing this for so long, my children will likely be found reading the label too!) What you do, your children will do so be the example and go against the grain of what society expects you to eat and do and educate your children in the fact that not everything is by the book and that straying from the “norm” can be a very rewarding process.

I come from discipline. I come from rules and regulations. I am bound in my ability to always do the right thing, because this or that is what I was told is the “right” thing to say, do or be. I hate that I am the age that I am and just now figuring this out. Rules and regulations, recipes and constants create a safe space that can prevent discovery of self and of life.

I have to say that it is a truly amazing feeling when my children come to me and educate me on what type of products are good for them or not and that our youngest in the household is 10 and would rather cook her food so that she knows what in it, than to have someone cook it for her. I am proud that my children would rather go out and pick food from the garden rather than run down the street to McDonalds or Wendy’s to nourish their stomachs for energy. Don’t get me wrong, my children like fast food just as much as the next; however, it is not the norm for them and it will teach them eating habits for life rather than just to satisfy the need of right now.

I know that this may seem a little scattered, but it’s late and today was a productive day to say that I didn’t do “much”. Sometimes it’s the little things that make such a big difference in life and I just wanted to take  a moment to share.

Until next time, adieu.

Does your love exceed your need???

Be a movement by yourself….but be a force together.

In a society where everything is connected, and I mean everything, it is important to disconnect so that there can be a reconnection. Don’t get me wrong it is important to stay connected, but there are some things that don’t need to be shared, except with your partner, especially over social media.

When you’re dealing with marriage, or even a long term relationship, it’s extremely important to find time for eachother. Share your day together, set goals with each other about your relationship, life and future, both individually and together. Visit these ideals often and allow them to be flexible enough to change as the dynamics of your life change from day to day.

Relationships are hard, marriage is hard; when you mix in the complexities of every day life struggles, it all becomes that much more difficult to deal with sometimes. Today’s society seems like it is built to tear down relationships rather than build them up. It seems like staying together becomes the challenge of life, rather than figuring how to make ends meet and raise children that aren’t going to wreak havoc on society once they’re cut loose.

Touch is important, touch each other often. Touching creates closeness on a subconscious level to the point where I can tell the level of irritation my husband may be at with me just by whether he touches me or not, all the way to how and when he chooses to touch me. Non-verbal actions often speak in more volumes than words would ever be able to.

Communication is important, but don’t just communicate, listen to your significant other and show them that you’re listening through your actions. My husband has said to me from the day that I met him, “I can show you better than I can tell you.” This has proven true to this day. It has not come without struggle, but the most of it has come through learning each other so that we have the ability to meet each others needs and wants.

Being yourself is important. It is unfair for either person in a relationship to be anyone other than who they are to themselves. It’s deceiving and nothing good can come from it. Yet another reason to be honest, because when you are not honest about who you are as a person with other people, it takes away their choice of whether or not they even want to be in your life. Honesty creates trust in a way that no other word or action could ever be able to and helps build a foundation that becomes impenetrable later when the hardships of life come into play. Likewise, allow your partner to be themselves. Choices. Choices. Choices. Support theirs and ensure that your own are being supported as well. This means creating boundaries; which, is for another post.

Combining all of these ingredients will help a relationship grow. While there are many other factors, I wanted to speak on just a few that I’ve encountered myself over the last few months, not just in my own relationship, but also in some of the counseling that I have done recently.

Ultimately, it is extremely important to know that relationships are two people with separate lives coming together and each brining their strengths together to build something better. The weaknesses will be picked up along the way through support from each other. Your love should always exceed your need for each other; after all, both of you were individuals prior to being together and the entire reason for being together should be because of each other’s individuality and what drew you to that person to begin with.

Be a movement by yourself, but be a force together.

 

 

First Thoughts…

Don’t just exist…live.

This is my first post. By rights and tradition, I suppose I am required to give an introduction of sorts…but I wont. I don’t want to follow the “rules”. In a world that requires us to constantly think before we act, it would be nice to just “wing it”…so that’s what I am doing for my first post…I’m wingin’ it!

I will warn you, I’m brass, not politically correct, extremely candid and am most of the time unaware when I’ve offended someone….mostly because, while I have an uncanny ability to find tact in talking with people, I often find that causes people not to listen the way they should hear what I’m trying to tell them and I end up having to break it down anyway.

I will take any type of questions, comments and concerns someone wants to pose to me. I’ll never claim to have all the answers, but I will claim to provide a different point of view and a chance to alter and grow how you, and even I, see, think, and feel about any given situation.

I am very rarely offended so don’t be afraid to be candid in return; however, you will be respectful, or feel free to go on about your business. If what I have to say doesn’t apply to you, then maybe it applies to someone you know so be sure to share and tag at will. Remember to like a post and leave a comment if you’d like. I will respond accordingly.

This is an open forum and private chat through initial contact…at the moment all you can do is email me; however, I can promise that I will email you back. I will give fair warning though, if you ask me a question I will give you a very truthful answer so if the answer you’re looking for requires me to tell you what I think you want to hear then you are most definitely in the wrong place.

You are all welcome to share your experiences, this is a no-judgement place to share thoughts, ask questions, give input and hopefully learn something. I expect everyone to be honest and encourage everyone to be as open as possible. Like the picture that is first viewed on this page, be an open book. Allow yourself to be open to see things from a whole different point of view. You’d be surprised what you might find out about yourself.

This blog/vlog will grow, pages will be added, share often, take in what I have to say and apply it; it could inevitably change your life. I speak on relationships, self improvement, self love, self acknowledgement, anger management, trauma, ailments, disabilities, the military, finances, food, raising children…you name it and you’ll probably find it in here. So I invite you to grow with my page and link yourself into something that will be an amazing adventure. So, while there’s not much here yet, stay tuned and watch as the adventures unfold. The paid services will be added shortly as the site develops so be sure to visit back and subscribe/follow to get updates.

I will also be offering services-private counseling sessions, budgeting, research, writing and many more subjects. I have more than 10 years of human resource experience, as well as, life counseling. I have a vast knowledge in most everything that I will speak on and you’ll find that there is little that I speak about that I have not done extensive research on.

With that, I am sure that I’ve missed something because my brain somewhat resembles that of a goldfish at times, I will leave you with this.

“Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.” ~Dennis P. Kimbro, Ph.D.

The above quote stands true in every situation you will come across in your life. Especially because in this fast paced society it seems to be every man/woman for themselves. The days of helping someone on the side of the road that has car trouble, and it taking a village to raise a child are long gone. With that, I urge everyone still with me to think about the fact that you have absolutely no control over what happens to you, around you, or without you; so, consider, instead, that you have absolute control over how your react to the previous stated.

This will no-doubt lead into my next post, but until next time….I bid you adieu.

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