Because the Second One is Complicated

Here is the third painting I have done.

I did it while hanging out with mom and watching the movie “August Rush”.

Let me tell you, artists are pretty insanely intelligent. There’s a magic to painting something. It frees up the soul, erases the weight straining it down.

Try something out of your typical creative field. Trust me. It fills you up with inspiration.

And don’t worry about being “good”. Just have fun. I’m no Monet but I’m certainly going to keep painting because of the way it makes me feel.


Signed with My Thumb Print

Check it out, dudes!

My first painting, ever!









It was SO MUCH fun!! But I had no clue what I was doing. My sister, who is going to college to become an art therapist, led me through the process, showing me what to do as she painted her own.

Get out of your comfort zone and do something fun! If you’re one kind of creator, try another way of creating.

Go have fun!

I Know Better

And yes, I remember you.

Slinking through the corridors at night while no one was watching.

I saw you.

I knew you.


I remember the air in your veins breathing past my lips.

Filling every heartbeat until my teeth burned.

They didn’t know you had a secret.

Or where you went.

I knew you.


They say you don’t exist.


By Daphne Shadows


Choose Struggle, Choose to Create

Pain is a given.
No one in this life will escape without hurting.
No one enjoys pain. No one orders up tests or trials in this life. No one jumps up and down in line, hoping they’ll get selected to have another trauma or misery, scar or issue to add to their life.
Doesn’t matter.
Pain is a given.

Within this pain, we have two choices. As always, we have to choose.




Denial. Bury your head in the metaphorical sand. Seek distractions. Never live in your own body, in the present moment. Don’t work on your issues. Don’t face your demons. Never face your secrets. Hide. Avoid. Refuse to believe. Push others away. Refuse to grow, work on your failings (because we all have our failings).

We do the work. We struggle through our challenges and fail we may, but we get back on. We let go of what has died. We move forward to what we need. We learn from the past but leave it there. We take the punches as they come, and we figure out how to work around them, hit back, or turn everything upside down and create our own arena of war. We face our demons, our failings, our mistakes. We learn from them and we learn how to destroy shame, turn it into something brilliant and vibrant.

If we choose option one, all we feel is the pain of this life.
If we choose the second option – yes, we’re going to feel pain. But we also get this spectacular, miraculous, gorgeous, chaotic, mess of joys and peace, possibilities and these amazing experiences we never thought possible.

We always have the option to either create or destroy our own life.
Pain is never an option in this life. It’s a given. Why not go through pain to grow, change, and become, so we can then experience joy, peace, and the ability to thrive? Passiveness isn’t going to get us anywhere. No one enjoys treading water, playing the waiting game. No one enjoys hurting for nothing. Well, no one enjoys hurting, period. Gather your hopes, dreams, touchstones and friends. The pieces of yourself that anchor to your very soul. Pain will come regardless. But please, don’t allow it to rule your life. Live through it until it breaks open to magnificence. This life is livable if we choose to stretch past what we think we can do.



The Fire I Let Burn Me

Face to face with:

  • My mortality.
  • I didn’t care if 1/3 of my stuff burned.
  • The unknown.


What occurred to me:

  • Fire is cleansing.
  • I’ve already taken suitcases, packed my life into bags, and lived in a 9x20ft. room with my entire family.
  • I was not frozen in fear.


What I did:

  • Packed my dog a bag.
  • Packed 10 bags/tubs for me.
  • Made a list of what to do if fire hit my town.


What went on inside, chronologically:

  • Fear.
  • I need a purpose.
  • I can and will survive no matter what happens. And not only that. We will be okay.


What fires?

Last week in Northern California fires broke out. Everywhere. Overnight.

People just miles from me were awoken by a neighbor pounding on their door, yelling for them to run. They walked out their front door and saw fire eating toward them. Grabbed their families, their pets, jumped in their vehicles, and did just that. Ran for their lives.

And lost everything.

There was a fire about ten miles in front of me. A fire twenty miles to my side. A fire fifty feet behind me. (those are my rough estimates)

I was waiting.

To see if my apartment would burn.


A funny thing happened.



I threw out old, huge paintings. I threw out clothes I never wear. I threw out clothes I loved but never wore because they were itchy or constricting. I threw out loads of books I no longer wanted to read again or that were lukewarm.

I decided I was tired of lukewarm.

I went through my entire room and got rid of things I never used. I got rid of one-third of my belongings.

And it felt good.

Scratch that.

It felt great.

I took everything off my walls.

I have a bag full of papers I’m going to burn (in a safe way, don’t freak out).

It was this insane burning inside me. This sudden, intense urge hit. But it didn’t just hit me. It ran through me. It brought me to life. It let me look at everything I owned and see it as a part of myself.

Some of me was cankering, old, dying. A piece of nature needing to be pruned. Weighing me down.

So I pruned.


I’ve changed.

In the past five years, since moving up here. I have changed. Insanely. Beautifully. Messily.

But my physical environment had not.


Somehow, I took the instant fear due to these fires, and let it almost just as instantly change into something purifying.

Something purposeful.



I re-organized my entire room.

The place in the living room where I write. (my version of an office in an apartment where I share a room lol)

The wall next to me in the living room.


Let me tell you.

It feels good.



The point I’m trying to get across (mostly to myself, but hopefully, your eavesdropping can help you) …

I let it





I didn’t run from what I felt. Even though what I was feeling was quite scary.

I gave myself a purpose tied to what I was feeling.

I did not deny.

I did not ignore.

I did not justify.

I did not make excuses.


I felt.

I decided.

I did.

I created.