Life is the First Art


Where I'm coming from.
Life is the First Art!
—Rosemary Fogarty McDermott
When I would become overly enthused about pursuing my interests in art or music, my mother would usually say, "Remember, Suzanne, Life is the First Art!" Being the bratty teen that I was, I would sulk because I thought that she was trying to thwart my dreams. In fact, my mother was probably trying to realistically adjust my expectations. Regardless of her actual intention or its effect, she was giving me her best advice. And what better advice could I have?

That phrase, like many of my mother's phrases, has run through my mind ever since. I always thought she was quoting someone (and maybe she was) but when I recently looked high and low for the source of that quote, I came up with nothing.

The bookshelves in my family's house were lined with Shakespeare, biographies of composers, volumes of poetry and histories along with Gayelord Hauser (Look Younger, Live Longer), Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich), Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People), Dr. Herman Taller (Calories Don't Count), Thomas Merton (The Seven Story Mountain), William James (The Will To Believe), Carl Rogers (On Becoming A Person), The Wisdom of Confucius, and other gems on health, spirituality and human potential.

My mother was a poet, painter and musician who never fully realized her talents. I always thought that was a shame and I have spent most of my life trying to realize my own.

My father was a health nut. He jogged before it became a craze and swam a mile a day. Our kitchen was stocked with black strap molasses, honey comb, protein bread and grapefruit. He went to six o'clock mass every weekday morning and never said a word about it.

Both of my parents would often break into cheery song. My cousins thought we were whacked and, in some ways, we definitely were! But it was a rich experience and laid a solid foundation for me in spirituality, health, culture, arts, and human potential.

It's no surprise then, that here I am, just about the same age as my mother when she reminded me that Life is the First Art, at the beginnings of my new blog by the same title.

It's her phrase so I'll dedicate this blog to her. To my father, too. I wouldn't be here without them.

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Visit the source at Suzanne McDermott

Take some Basic Drawing Lessons.

Change


Welcome to my new blog. 
The only constant is change. — Heraclitus 
We are all on the brink of something new with every moment. With every moment, we have the power to change our thoughts and change our lives.

It's my experience that with every change I undertake (and I have undertaken many!), the habits of my previous ways of thinking and doing rise up to battle change with all their well-exercised muscle. This really bothers me and definitely gets in my way! This phenomena gets in the way of each and every one of us.

For example, I was blogging away in the very easy Blogger format since 2006 but chose to move to a new platform. This new platform feels difficult for me to learn not because it's such a difficult environment but because it's new to me, there's the inevitable learning curve and I am designing and working within two sites and two new blogs. In the process, I seem to find all sorts of ways to struggle and procrastinate. Nonetheless, I am taking action and moving forward. Action makes what feels difficult merely a temporary sensation.

Take action to overcome procrastination and wiggle through struggle.

Some of you have been following my watercolor posts at Landscape into Art, My Great Day blog, or you're fans of my recordings and touring days. Thanks for coming over to visit my new adventure.

What's this new adventure about? Life is the First Art is a series of posts about the underlying spiritual principles and experience of all creative endeavor. It's about the process of self-realization and all that goes with that.

To be honest, this is not a new adventure for me. It's my life's path. I've just never led with it before in public. I've led with the expressions — the songs, the paintings, the forms. Now, I am leading with the core of my experience — the spirit of the thing.

Why change the game? Why make things more difficult for myself when I've found a comfortable little niche and environment? For good reasons all around! But without delving into lengthy specifics, I would say that there is a part of me that is actually uncomfortable when I get too comfortable. Also, and this is true and spoken about by many, in order to grow, we must step outside of our comfort zone.

I'm a planner and an organizer and my comfort zone includes liking to know what the plan is, where I'm going and the exact goal. Planning and organizing give me a sense of security. Goal setting is important, as is visualization, but the fact is that life unfolds, projects unfold. The true path is visible only so far ahead and, of course, the only moment is now.

Because I found myself struggling with procrastination on composing this first post, I thought I would start where I am — in the midst of that. Starting where we are is the only place any of us can begin.

What's the point? My unabashed intention with Life is the First Art is to help and inspire you with your self-realization as I share mine. So, this is my first post of many. Welcome aboard.

Post script.  After a brief and aborted adventure on another platform, I discovered that Blogger (in the meanwhile) adopted many desirable elements of that other platform.  I'm back to Blogger and happy to be.

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Visit the source at Suzanne McDermott

Take some Basic Drawing Lessons.