When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”~ Paul Coelho

"Some Mad Hope..."
A young and vital child knows no limit to his own will, and it is the only reality to him. It is not that he wants at the outset to fight other wills, but that they simply do not exist for him. Like the artist, he goes forth to the work of creation, gloriously alone.
Jane Harrison

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator

Jude Harzer Artist/Art Educator
My art is a reflection of my effort to recognize and embrace the beauty in the world around me, even when it seems most difficult to find. Contact me at judiharz@aol.com or visit my website at http://www.judeharzerfineart.com

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"Most of us have two lives- the life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance."Steven Pressfield

"The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow."
Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Resolution: Be Your Best and Most Genuine Self

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." ~e.e. cummings, 1955

My advice to my children has always been,"be your best and most genuine selves." I have encouraged them to avoid conformity, mediocrity and complacency. I challenged them to be reflective with a greater purpose for their lives in mind, one that will benefit others as well as themselves. And above all else, they know that I expect them to be kind and compassionate. They laugh at me, often dismiss me, chiding me to "chill Bra !and lighten up!" I do know however that they hear me and I am realistic enough to know that  much of this won't "matter" to their youthful and selfish spirits for many years to come.I believe I have prepared them to "fight" for who they are and for whom they wish to become.I have to trust how I raised them.

My children fascinate me, not because they are mine or emerged "whole" in spite of my alternative views, but because they seem to have genuine confidence and direction...more than I ever possessed at their ages or ever. They are ready. I feel it! Robert turned 18 on 1-1-11. He visited Florida Institute of Technology this past week where he was accepted to study marine biology. Tia, at 20, has her sight set on living in Brazil. It was difficult getting her to return from her 7 month stay in Australia and I am certain that in order to see her in the future, I will have to travel to wherever it is she lands:)

So during this new year, I too am trying to be my best and most genuine self . I am simplifying my life, on many levels,quieting the noise and clutter and challenging myself to be more reflective. I need to more clearly define my "purpose."I somehow forgot what that was or perhaps it is only that I have changed and grown ...and so must my intentions. I am trying to proceed in the direction of my dreams, with a bit of grace, kindness and compassion for those I love. I may fail miserably, knowing my decisions will  transform the lives of others without their full approval or consent. As difficult as that concept is for me, it is even more disconcerting to stand still.

To Robert and Christina, may you embrace change and welcome challenge throughout this new year and always in your lives. And may you love deeply enough to respect and encourage growth in others even if it means letting go.Please have forgiving and grateful hearts!

And now to create and paint. I think that is my purpose:) I have avoided and neglected it ...minimized and devalued it, but somehow, when I dream, it is my painting that promises to get me to where I need to be.
Happy 2011! Dream with intention and authencity!

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." ~Anatole France

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights." ~Pauline R. Kezer

Being their genuine, goofy selves...my children. Happy 2011 !
"Where thou art, that is home. "~ Emily Dickinson

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Jude, Art and Inspiration