On Avoiding the Wand

I finally figured out why I keep getting cavity searched when I fly. (Well not really, but you know what I mean.)

The last 3 or 4 times I’ve flown out of Dallas-Ft Worth airport, I’ve dutifully removed shoes, watch, placed my iPad in the bin, stood on the yellow footprints, arms up, and then heard security call for a female agent. I knew what that meant. She was coming for me, wand in hand and ready to pat me down, again. They even patted my hair. The Transportation Security Administration agents were always very professional and polite. I, however, was always suspicious and incredulous that I looked like a danger.

I stopped wearing baggy, cotton sweat pants and tops, which were part of my layered strategy to accommodate whatever temperatures I encountered during my travel.

Yesterday, in my no-iron blue oxford and khaki pants I bounced onto the footprints, sure that I would pass quickly move along to collecting my iPad and carry-on bag. To my surprise I heard the male agent say, “Switch.” Instantly a thin female agent took his place in front of me. My countenance dropped. She waved magically over and around me,  finding nothing harmful. Then she swabbed my palms! Good grief. I was passed off to an older agent who advised me it would take a moment for the swab results.

I said, “What did I do to deserve this?”

She replied casually, “Your necklace.”

original jewelry from aSI' Beads

original jewelry from aSI’ Beads

I’m sure my mouth dropped open at that point.  My necklace? Oh my goodness, I feel naked without earrings and always wear a tiny sentimental necklace. Yesterday I was also wearing a colorful chunky one. So my jewelry, which I somehow was unaware of the need to remove, was causing me to fail security and then opened me up to all kinds of attention to remove me as a threat.

Now, I don’t think any of the TSA security folks ever actually thought I was a threat. They were just following protocol, I assume. But how come no one ever told me to take off my jewelry? Was I helping them meet a quota for pat downs?! Well no more! Going forward I will not put on my jewelry till I get to my seat. They will have to find some other gypsy to frisk.

After I fly home tomorrow, I’ll let you know how it went.

Guest Post from Dr. Angela Hargrow

Tough Love

Tough love is a term that is often used when parents treats their children in ways that some might call harsh, with the sole intent to help them in the long run. The use of tough love has been scrutinized by many as nothing more than reasons to be unnecessarily harsh and punitive towards kids who are already suffering. I believe we can use tough love with kids who have mental illnesses. This form of tough love means loving them enough to set tighter boundaries and allowing them to experience natural consequences. When our children are mean or act poorly with others who then reject them, we have to love them enough to not only let them feel the pain of that rejection but to talk with them about how their behaviors puts others off. When they don’t do their homework and we are stressed out by arguing with them, communicating with their teachers, and frustrated by keeping up with their assignments, then we have to be tough enough to let them live with the consequences of their actions, even if it’s a failing grade. Life’s experiences will begin to help us motivate them to understand their own illnesses and to work with us to help them not only manage their symptoms but also to manage their complete lives.

Tough love means not always avoiding the tantrums, tears, and rages. It means holding tight the boundaries that not only we have set but those set by society because our children will have to live by those boundaries someday without us. Tough love means we stop making so many adjustments to keep them happy because we feel bad that their friends didn’t call or they missed out on a school trip because of their behavior. And yes, it means letting them fail a grade or even letting them leave your house when they reach a certain age. Sure, it will be hard to watch them falter, fall, and sometimes fail.  With our guidance life can be a great teacher if we use its experiences to teach our children. It will be tough, but we have to love them enough to help them succeed by not holding their hands and feelings so afraid for them. We have to be tough enough and love them enough to let them go so they can stand on their own two feet.

http://ahargrow.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/tough-love/

Angela Hargrow is a licensed psychologist with over 15 years of experience. Not only does she have a child who has been diagnosed with a mood disorder but also she has worked extensively with parents of children who have a variety of mental illnesses. She has used her experiences as a parent and as a psychologist to help families understand their child/teen’s disorder and to cope with the stressful impact that the disorder has on not only the child but the entire family. Used with permission

Inner Peace Counseling Services, PLLC

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Charlotte, NC 28262

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Get on The List

Friends,

The World of Blue is moving at the speed of light. Well, at least it feels that way.

I appreciate each of you who follow my blog and check updates on my website. However, in order to keep you better updated on book signings, art shows, speaking engagements and new products, I need you to join my mailing list!

As an incentive to get you to click this link before July 22nd, I’ll send to a signed bookmark featuring my original art, while supplies last. Already receiving “Shades of Blue”? Well if you forward my newsletter through the Constant Contact link in the newsletter, you too will get a bookmark. And of course, if your referral signs up, they will receive a bookmark as well. Bookmarks for everyone!

(Hey, you need a bookmark now, so you will be ready when you get your book.)

I have added buttons on the right sides of this blog and my website for you and your friends to click. Take a look.

Guest Post from Alyson Stanfield

4 Moves To Ignite The Passion For Your Art Business

July 3rd, 2013

Bang! Pop! Pow!

Is that the sound of July 4th fireworks I hear? Or is your art business on fire?

I would love to hear that it’s your business – that you are Hot – Hot – Hot  for what you have to share with the world.

If you’re only hearing fireworks outside your walls and not inside your head and heart, there are four things you should do – and keep doing – to ignite the passion for your art business.

©Frances Vettergreen, One Hundred. Oil and wax on panel, 36 x 36 inches. Used with permission

©Frances Vettergreen, One Hundred. Oil and wax on panel, 36 x 36 inches. Used with permission.

1. Embrace your role as CEO.

When you decide you want to earn money as an artist, you are no longer just making art. You are building a business.

As soon as you accept your role as CEO of your art business, you will experience a dramatic shift in mindset. You will understand that your talent is bigger than you. It’s the basis for a dialogue you were intended to have with the world.

Along with this comes the responsibility of ensuring that your business is run professionally andprofitably.

What’s not to get excited about?

2. Schedule something big – with a deadline.

Everyone who owns a business needs something to look forward to. We want to experience the momentum resulting from a new venue, an open studio, or a commission.

Without events and deadlines on your calendar, you risk wasting time on Facebook or neglecting your studio work.

Don’t wait for things to happen to you. Create your own opportunities! OWN them!

3. Use your list.

You didn’t work so hard to get all of those names and let them rot in cyber-storage. Use your list!

People signed up to hear from you. If they haven’t heard from you in awhile, they’ll think one of three things:

  • You aren’t doing anything worth sharing.
  • Your business is too disorganized to get a message together.
  • You don’t care enough about them.

Or, worse, they’ll forget about you altogether.

Staying in touch with your list is a major component of your dialogue with the world.They are your community. Sharing with them and listening to their responses is rocket fuel for your art career.

Create a plan to use your list regularly and then do it!

4. Follow up with people.

Pay attention to signals. Opportunities are often abundant if you listen and act on them.

Did you catch that condition at the end of the sentence? You have to act on the opportunities.

If someone says they like your work, do you just accept the compliment and move on? Or do you ask if they’d like to be on your mailing list and receive an invitation to your next event? Or invite them to your studio to see more?

I’ll bet that lack of follow-up is one of the biggest mistakes artists make. I don’t think it’s because you are lazy or too busy.

I would guess that most artists don’t follow-up because of fear. There are fears that the opportunity will be too overwhelming, or that nothing will come of it.

Neither of these is an acceptable reason for avoiding follow-up. You might be busy right now, but you never know when the well will run dry.

And if the opportunity leads to a dead-end, so what? At least you will have taken the chance.

If you don’t follow up, you’ll always wonder, “What if . . .?” or “If only I had . . . “ Nothing takes the sizzle out of your momentum like regret.

Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at ArtBizCoach.com. This article was originally published in her Art Biz Insider, which is sent weekly to thousands of artists who are elevating their businesses. Start your subscription now and read more articles like this at http://artbizcoach.com