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Posts Tagged ‘image’

An Artist’s Expression of You

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

There’s a certain fascination with what artists do. While the rest of us breathe to live, they create just as naturally and with the same necessity. What is an artist who does not create?

Man Carrying Large PaintingLook in the mirror. Maybe it’s you.

Are you frustrated? Sometimes irritable? Feel like something’s missing in your life? All signs you are looking for creative expression and may not see the need or the opportunity in your daily life.

I don’t have any training.

I don’t own a paintbrush.

I’m not artistic.

Trying to be what you perceive you are not is unsettling. But if you think all artists must know how to paint, let’s turn that notion up side down.

Artists create their vision into outward expression. They release what is inside of them and create the image in tangible form. We celebrate the artist who paints, who writes, who performs. That same artistic opportunity is available to all of us. Our medium for creation is our mind. Our canvas for creation is our life.

All artists begin with an image in their mind of what they want to create. Not knowing every brushstroke, or every word to use, or movement they will make in the creative process, they begin with an intention to manifest in physical form what can no longer stay within them.

You are a creative being, an artist of your own life. Express the image of what’s inside you. Imagine your life. Create your life. Celebrate the artist that you are.


“True artists are almost the only men who do their work for pleasure.” Auguste Rodin

Color Me Confused

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Have you ever wondered why cars are made in silver, or blue, or red, or black? Why do you see the color pink on everything from fabrics to phones one year, and by next year, pink is totally gone?

Where do colors come from?

Where do colors go?

Who thinks up those descriptive color names?

Who decides the colors that populate our world?

Color trends change with the seasons. Just as nature’s color palette changes as the months go by, the colors that are introduced in the marketplace change just as quickly. The difference is that nature is predictable in her yearly array.

Colors selections, as they are mass marketed, come as a surprise to most of us. The choices we are presented with each season for our clothing, furnishings, electronics and cars mysteriously appear. We see them in the media, on store shelves, on the car lots, and we dutifully choose them. Some higher authority deemed that we wear, sit on, listen to and drive products in the new colors of the season.

In just a few days, the Color of the Year for 2013 will be announced by Pantone, the "keeper of the colors," if you will. Once the proclamation is made, you will see their color selection everywhere in the marketplace, there for you to choose.

As with every choice we make in our lives, choosing to become part of the masses as a follower of each new trend, yields us the lifestyle that defines the masses.

One of confusion due to lack of self-identity.

A life of conformity rather than creativity.

Do you pick what you’re told to because you can’t decide what’s best for you? An absence of a clear self-identity makes choices confusing, so it’s easier to go along with the trend. That way you’ll be accepted as just like everyone else.

What begins as the easy choice, after time, creates your image to the world.

The choices you make, however subtle they appear at the time, accumulate and create the person you become.

Do you want to be seen as the perfect follower, or as a person set apart from the crowd? 


"When you look like you stepped out of a catalog, that's never good. People shouldn't succumb to trend, they should interpret trend."
Rachel Zoe

Colors of the Mind

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Raymond Holliwell in Working with the Law compared our eyes to a pair of windows with a reflector sending images to the brain. He writes, “If the picture is a common one our memory accepts it readily, but if we are looking upon some new picture, some new scene, our memory does not recognize it, and then we must repeat the picture over and over many times until it makes a lasting impression.

Therefore, we do not see with our eyes; we see with our mind.”

The brain is the hub where color data from the eye is processed. Once we “see with our mind”, the mind’s processes can be found throughout our physical being. The cells of recognition that we rely on to make sense of what we see, are cells found everywhere the physical body. Seeing color is only the beginning of the color experience.

Most of the awareness of your physical environment occurs through your conscious mind. You collect the data with the help of your five physical senses, sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Your conscious mind then creates a picture on the screen of your mind.

You see the red apple. You touch the smooth curvature of its shape. You hear the crack of the knife as you cut through the skin. You smell the sweetness of the fruit. You taste the flavorful reward.

Your conscious mind has a clear image of what is an apple. That image created in the mind involves your whole physiology in the apple experience. The next time you want the apple experience, you don’t need to see another apple. Think "apple" and there it is, on the screen of your mind.

All animal species use these same physical senses to give meaning to their world. A horse has an appreciation for the apple experience. Your dog, when he sees a ball, translates that image into fierce tail wagging and the desire to play.

What sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, are the intellectual faculties that we call upon to understand our physical world. The intellectual faculties add the detail and rich dimension to our view of what we see. These six special talents give us our humanness, yet for many, they are infrequently used.

As you read the sensory-rich, apple experience paragraph, did you turn the words on the page into a mental picture? You saw a red apple on the screen of your mind, you felt its round shape, heard the crack of the knife as it was being cut, smelled the sweet aroma, and your mouth began to water as you tasted the apple. But there was no apple. This all happened in your mind.

Tomorrow, we'll explore those special powers you have to interpret the of colors in the mind.


"All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses. "
Friedrich Nietzsche



If You Can’t Say Anything Good

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

We recognize in others what we do not like in ourselves. When I first read that statement, I thought it was untrue. At that time, I also tended to be critical of the perceived faults of others. Faults I certainly did not have.

Looking more deeply into this idea, I decided to observe my thoughts for a day and question the hypothesis that I was merely seeing myself in others. I had to think about what I was thinking about.

That takes some major attention, to be an observer of yourself, like a tag along friend- or foe. Keeping track of a brain full of criticism, pettiness and disdain has a way of turning those feelings inward.

Like the proverbial battle of the angel on one shoulder and devil on the other, as soon as I noticed a critical thought, I would reprimand myself for thinking that way. This clash of egos was not supplying useful information for my experiment. 

I began again and set aside self scrutiny in favor of simple observation, as if I was watching an actor in a movie. That perspective allowed me to decide if the heroine in my movie was a likable character or a villain.

As a thought popped up, "What a messy person," I noticed it, and immediately asked myself if messiness was an issue for me. Oh, it certainly has been and I feel disempowered whenever the clutter in my life builds up.


Try it again.

"He is wasting time, not getting anything done." Any identification there? Wicked procrastination. That brought up feelings of frustration I have experienced.

We recognize in others what we do not like in ourselves.

It's making sense now…. and providing the opportunity to turn observation into understanding my our own motivations.

We also recognize in others what we like about ourselves.




Reinforce your positive self image by seeing your reflection in the inspiring faces you meet.


        "If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much  more than you can by talk."
 Robert Baden-Powell

Baby You Can Drive My Car

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Jack is thinking about buying a new car. He is secure in his career and feels he deserves to upgrade from his decade old sedan. For months he has read all the trade publications, and has researched every make and model.

Everyday, on the way to work, Jack notices each vehicle on the road. On his mental list, he excludes this one or adds that one as he refines his possible choices.

 Finally, his search ends when he glimpses the perfect vehicle, the Lexus IS 350C. He snaps a picture of it with his cell phone as it speeds past. The exact look, the style, even the color he wants. Now, he’s ready to make his purchase.

 Saturday morning, Jack works out at the gym, and then visits the Lexus dealership. He scans the rows of vehicles searching for his ideal car. Where is it? He walks into the showroom, cell phone in hand, and confidently shows the photo image to Scott, the salesperson. “This is the car I want.”

 It’s sleek, it’s sexy, and shiny Obsidian Black.

 “Great choice”, Scott eagerly replies. “I have one right over here.”

 They walk over to the gleaming Lexus. The graceful, aerodynamic curves of the body, the sculptured five spoke wheel covers, the sumptuous leather interior, “It’s everything you want, Jack”.

 Jack’s eyes light up as he approaches his dream car. It’s even more beautiful than he remembers. “Yes, this is the car for me.” He reaches out to touch the sleek fender, and observes, “But, this one is silver”.

 “Tungsten Pearl is the color you want, Jack”, Scott insists. “Look, it’s in the brochure.” He pushes the elegant, glossy brochure into Jack’s hands. “This is the hot, new color.”

 Jack confirms the image on the brochure is exactly like the car in the showroom. The silvery hue in the photograph looks dynamic in daylight and dramatic in darkness. He begins to reason with himself.

Well, if this is the hot, new color.

It is featured in the brochure.

Scott’s the professional; he knows what he’s talking about.

            Black would be harder to keep looking shiny.

Jack nods and makes his decision, “Sold”.

He finishes the paperwork, and shakes hands with Scott. “Thanks for your help.” 

Scott presents Jack with his keys and some reassurance, “This car is really you, Jack. I know you’re going to love it”.

Jack eases into his new Lexus IS 350C. As he settles into the soft leather seat, the new car smell fills his nostrils. Jack leans back and closes his eyes.

He sees himself, sitting tall, tanned, smiling, convertible top down, the wind in his hair, cruising down the highway in his shiny, new, black Lexus.

Wait, what happened here?

Did the plus of owning the hot, new color car become a minus when compared to Jack’s image of himself?

What is more important, how the world sees Jack driving his new car, or how Jack sees Jack?

Success starts with how you see yourself.

The choices you make, however subtle they appear at the time, accumulate and create the person you become.

Do you always pick the “safe” color choice? Do you listen to the advice of others about what is best for you? Do you simply follow the crowd and go along with the current style?

Getting to know yourself and discovering what looks and feels best for you is infinitely more empowering and satisfying.

The Magic Power of Color

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

“I like to wear bright colors, but I’m unsure which colors look good on me.

How do I know what color will make me look my best?”

It’s as easy as looking in your mirror. But instead of asking yourself, “Does this color look good on me?” ask the question, “How does this color make me feel?”

Color speaks to our emotions and those emotions we describe as feelings. When you are experiencing a positive emotion, you would say you’re feeling happy. When you’re emotionally touched at the end of a tragic movie, you feel sad.

Try on a color and pay attention to the feeling that surfaces. Wearing your “favorite” color, you’ll no doubt feel happy because you associate that color with a positive emotion. A color that has a negative emotion attached to it, maybe the color of a uniform you were forced to wear, will leave you feeling uneasy wearing that color.

If a color brings up no particular feelings, good or bad, you may look fine in the color, but you won’t feel your best. Select colors that make you feel good. You’ll smile at your reflection and carry that confident feeling throughout the day.

That’s the Magic Power of Color.

Day Four of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Friday, June 15th, 2012

On day four of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge, I must include a person that has known me all my life, in fact she named her baby sister, Mary Ellen.

If you have a sibling, you know that relationship has many ups and downs. One minute you have a confidant to tell your secrets to, then suddenly your words are used to embarrass  you, the way only a brother or sister can do.

Friend or foe, family ties matter and they help to create your self image. I am grateful that I have been able to fulfill my mother's wish for us before she died. "All I want is for you two to stay close."  

Day Three of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Think about why you are the way you are. Throughout life we all are influenced by other people. Who has made an impact on your life in a positive way?  A teacher, a mentor, a friend?

Today's the day to let  that person know you are a better person because of their influence or guidance. Who believed in you before you could believe in yourself? A subtle nudge or some needed tough love steered you on the right path.

You wouldn't be who you are today without them. Show your gratitude by sending them a heartfelt card. Not only will you feel good doing it, but they will feel the satisfaction of having made a difference in your life.

Create a Colorful Travel Experience

Thursday, May 24th, 2012


Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited? Travel of any kind takes us away from our comfortable cocoon of life and presents us with new things to see and experiences to enjoy. But what makes a place interesting?  Hawaiian waves

Somerset Maugham once said, “There are too many tourists and not enough travelers.” What did he mean by that remark? Travel is not about sightseeing. It’s about the people, the ideas, as well as the places we visit. Sure you photograph the mountains, beaches and every picture postcard vista you see. Those images prove you were actually there. They look great on your Facebook page. But, what you remember the best about your trip are the chance encounters with the local residents.

Those conversations may lead to a very different travel experience for you. That impromptu chat while waiting for the tour bus is how you learned about a delicious out-of-the-way restaurant, or how you found the artist’s studio with breathtaking original oils. If you’re fortunate, a local may offer to be your personal tour guide for a custom made adventure. They tell you where to find authentic souvenirs, not the cheesy imports. Through their eyes, you’ll learn your destination holds so much more variety and color than most people see solely as a tourist.

Think about your own city. If you see someone gawking around with that “where do I go from here” look on their face, don’t you stop to ask what they’re looking for? Make a few suggestions of where to go and what to see. Turn them in the right direction, or if you have the time, take them to that special restaurant you love. Introduce them to the place you call home and tell them why you live there. You’re creating memories for them. 

Your thoughtfulness will certainly be repaid to you on your next trip.

Be a traveler, not a tourist. Good adventures to you!

The Power of Your Self Image

Thursday, September 29th, 2011


LighteningAs I write this, the skies have opened up with torrents of rain and jagged lightning bolts illuminate the heavens. The thunder cracks echo like cannons fired, yet the sound of the steady rain is soothing. It’s a musical crescendo that only nature can create. I can feel the power and energy surrounding me.

We each have an energy field of that we ourselves create. It begins deep inside, in a forgotten recess, where you keep your feelings about yourself. These feelings of self worth project out as energy coming from you. Throughout your life, you have plenty of visitors to this deep seated recess of the self image. Your parents, teachers, bosses and well meaning friends have all contributed their ideas about who you are and what you should think, and what you dare not believe about yourself.

As if they could know you better than you know yourself! Yet, you have believed them and taken their assessments of you as truth. You have hung these unflattering images on walls inside yourself and created your self image.

Imagine if you could know, just by looking at the cover of a book, everything contained inside it. Not possible. You make judgments about the contents based on the words you read on the outside, or the design, colors and graphics you see on the cover. Without looking inside, you can never know its truth.

So it is when judgments about you are made by others. They are merely surveying your cover without knowing your contents, Have you taken the critic’s comments and internalized them as your self image? Only you can author your truth. It’s time to limit access to the private refuge of your self image.

Clear out the distorted pictures put there by others who only saw your cover message, and did not discover the content within. Take some advice from organizational experts who recommend asking three questions when purging your home of too much stuff.

Is it useful?

Is it beautiful?

Do you love it?Woman holding garment

Ask yourself these same questions to weed out the parts of your self image that are not serving you.

Do you hold a limiting image of yourself that is not useful in reaching your goals?

Is your current image not a beautiful picture of your value?

If your image is not something you love about yourself, you have the power to send it packing today.

Replace those inaccurate images with mirrors that reflect your true self to the world.

Then your energy field will light the heavens!

Tell Me More

Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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