Here is my award winning "Lemurian Pod Basket" which was made from a palm frond and named so nobody could argue with it.
I am an artist, an optimist, and an over-achiever. I like seeing how many things I can do well simultaneously, and I love turning my most challenging life experiences into my funniest comedy routines. But most of all, I truly savor the opportunities to approach life with an authentic, artistic approach and find creative solutions as often as possible.
For a large chunk of my life, I was punished for being an artist...detention in school for doodling in the margins, fired from being a bartender because I drew caricatures of the customers instead of conversing with them, and fired from other jobs for not always remembering to bring the right clothes to wear and sketching during slow times (I always remembered my pens and sketchpad.) Now I bring my sketchbook to meetings, and everyone thinks I'm taking notes, so they're more careful and polite with their actions.
I live on a sweet three acre farm in the rainforest in Kea'au with sixteen adorable farm animals, about halfway between Hilo and Pahoa on the East side of Hawai'i Island, also known as Puna. In this community, people deal with feral pigs, coqui frogs, fire ants, and a multitude of invasive vines on a daily basis. We catch our own water, haul our own trash and even fix our own roads much of the time. Last year the lava from Kiluaea Volcano flowed to a third of a mile from the main highway, threatening to wipe out the town of Pahoa. This year we've dodged seventeen hurricanes. Right now there's an outbreak of dengue fever.
My biggest challenge has always been keeping it simple. World events are escalating, and things are more complicated than ever. I know over 150 art skills, not counting domestic arts, garden arts, and the art of communication. Staying organized without getting overwhelmed is key to success. Especially since I continuously multitask and am often way ahead of myself (although since moving to Hawai'i, I am now three hours behind people on the mainland.) Ideas from a decade ago are finally now coming to fruition!
It has become increasingly evident to me that creative, proactive approaches to solutions are the answer. That can translate into completely ignoring the problem and doing something... anything... that makes one happy. Sometimes it means just smiling. Sometimes people smile back.
But anyway.....what's going on now?
Prioritizing. Big time.
My biggest suggestion for anyone who wants to accomplish more is to just learn how to go faster and do numerous things all at once. Just think about what you can drop to the bottom of the priority list. Like not cleaning your house, or doing your dishes, or washing your clothes, or yourself so often. Personally, these things need to stay on the priority list, most of the time.
If you want to let yourself go, I certainly understand. But please, for everyone's sake, pull yourself together before going in public. It's not good to over-simplify out in the world. Learn to keep your salad from flying across several tables while chewing, and use the tableware, no matter what kind of salad it might be.
Some days, I don't care what I look like. But I don't go anywhere. I will go through an entire day without combing my hair or sweeping the floor. Sometimes I'll just stay in my pajamas until noon. And I make sure to thoroughly scrub my feet and especially my nails before going out into the world.
Whenever possible, I implement part of the simplification of either a process, project or possibility. Nearly everything can be reused at least half a dozen more times. Buy less, learn to re-purpose and always recycle. Reducing allows for reorganization, the mind becomes decluttered... calmer... and voila: accomplishment!
When I was five years old I worried about the birdies being out in the rain. This is one of my earliest drawings, with the birdies flying around in the rain, holding their umbrellas.