Fresh Paint will inspire you to add some splashes of new color to your life!
? Open your mind and your soul to cultivate your authentic self.
? Discover the hues of inner peace, tranquility, and serenity in the everyday things that surround you.
? Ask yourself tough questions and listen to the answers that are already within you.
? Allow time to paint over your voice of self-doubt and self-sabotage.
? Clear the clutter that clogs your mind, your body, and your spirit.
? Create a home environment that is in alignment with your energy and desires.
? Prepare yourself to receive the gifts that await you.
Take charge and become your life?s own general contractor! This job was designed for you. No resume is needed, because nobody is better at being you than you!
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Add a Splash of Color, Passion and Purpose Back into Your Life!
By Kelly Kurtz
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Kelly Kurtz
All rights reserved.
The Late Bloomer
I am 44 years old, sitting in a sun-filled room surrounded by my siblings and my dad. We encircle a hospital bed in a beautiful glass-enclosed room in the house where I grew up. I feel as if I am in a bad dream as we watch my mother take her final breath—just 69 years old when the cancer took her from us. Life is put in perspective when you watch someone you love breathe for the last time.
The final week before Mom died, I spent many hours at her side just watching her sleep and breathe. My sister and I had been sleeping on the floor beside her (on inflatable mattresses) for more than a week, waking every few hours to give her morphine to keep her comfortable. It was during one of the last times we spoke as mother and daughter that we had a special conversation, perhaps one that even inspired me on many levels to write this book.
I remember it vividly: my sister and I were sitting by the bedside, talking and reminiscing. We were lovingly confessing all the times while growing up that we got away with stuff and never got caught. We were laughing. My mother laughed and joked with us and told us that because we were under "special circumstances," we would not be grounded.
My mother then started talking about how she had been a late bloomer. She told us how she was a shy girl who developed into herself through the years; how she overcame self-doubt and learned to truly love herself and embrace life. She honestly loved her family and was truly the cornerstone of ours.
She related how she did things somewhat out of tradition to arrive at where she was in her life. She had no regrets, although she didn't want to miss out on watching all of us as we matured. She had accepted that leaving us physically was inevitable and that her body (which was causing so much pain) was no longer necessary.
Mom believed in heaven and she was anxious to go be with the Lord. She turned to my sister and told her that they were a lot alike. That my sister too was a late bloomer and that many good things were still in store for her. I remember feeling as if they were the lucky ones, that maybe the road less traveled was really the one to be on.
She then turned to me and said, "Kelly, you always knew what you wanted from such an early age (me, who can't make a decision), and you always did everything right. You really were a perfect daughter. You never gave us any trouble; you got good grades, got involved in everything at school and went on to college. You just knew what you wanted; you were driven to be and do and you did it. You graduated, got married to your high school sweetheart, bought a beautiful house, got your master's degree, and have two beautiful children. You truly have it all. You have been a joy to watch and love."
As I listened to her speak, choking back the tears, I realized she was right. I really did follow all the rules. I rarely strayed off course. I did it all the way I thought I was supposed to. So how come, deep inside, I longed for more? I wanted more.
I remember thinking, I am 44 years old; she is just 69! If I am to share her fate and only make it to 69, I have just 25 years left. I had twenty-five years to keep being the perfect daughter, the model citizen, and living the vanilla life I believed was my destiny.
Perhaps I had even fooled my own mother and had been untrue to myself. Or maybe that exact conversation, her words and her story, was actually the permission I had been waiting for, to dare to want for something more ... perhaps at that moment she was teaching me one final lesson, and letting me know that she knew that I too would be a late bloomer after all.CHAPTER 2
Finding Your Inspiration
Exploring What Calls to You
Have you ever gone into the paint store or the paint section of one of the home improvement stores? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of paint colors and samples. It can be overwhelming if you are not just browsing, but doing a painting project and you actually need to decide on a color.
I am familiar with 50 Shades of Grey, but who knew there were more than 100 shades of white? The decision can be daunting. Will the color on the teeny-tiny sample look even remotely the same once it is on your wall? Once you pick your hue, there is still the sheen to consider. Do you want eggshell, satin, gloss, semi-gloss, or a designer texture? Do you see where I am going with this? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Many of us are repainting rooms for the second or even third time if we have lived long enough to do so. Maybe we have recently moved or just simply outgrown the color or we are redesigning our space to accommodate a change in our lives. Life is a lot like paint, a lot like relationships too. It always feels so good, so clean, and so fresh to have a newly painted space. Life, like relationships, is easy to change and often can in a few seconds, by chance or by choice.
I am talking about choice and the power of it. In just a few hours (or even a few minutes), you can change your mind set by selecting your color palate. Even if you pick your color and do nothing else, change within you begins to happen. You start to feel and imagine the color in your space, your life, and your relationships. You might jump a few steps ahead (like I always do) and head on over to your favorite shopping center, where you just happen to find the perfect accessories already waiting for you. It's as if the universe called ahead and said, "She's on her way!"
I am a true believer in the power of desire and intention and manifesting what you want. Whether it is a freshly painted room, running a marathon, landing your dream job, writing a book or finding your soul mate—it can happen, if you can imagine it!
Now that you are interested in getting to know yourself again (or for the first time), take some time to gather a few paint chips. Pick out whatever calls to you. Do you really want to add some color to your life, but your inner voice is talking back to you, saying, You will be sorry if you go with the yellow or The orange is really fun, bold, and funky, but that was you in college, you're different now. You are a mother (maybe even a grandmother) and you tell yourself, I am no longer fun and funky, and out goes the orange. You are drawn to the sea-glass blue, yet your inner voice says, nice, soothing, and calming, but this won't match the rest of the house and it really doesn't go with my furniture. And, Oh, the moss green is really peaceful and serene, but the gray-and-cranberry carpet you once had to have will look horrible with it.
So you repaint with the same color you always use, or a slight shade lighter to play it safe. You know you need to play it safe, because what if someone thinks the color you pick is too bold or they don't like it? What if your mother or sister gives you that look that tells you they really don't like it, even though they smile and say, "Nice." What if your spouse thinks it's too trendy? And so on and so on. Does this remind you of a pattern of doing what everyone else thinks you should, rather than what your instincts tell you that you want? Go ahead, its only paint!
You see this book is about painting—color and restoration. Yet it's not really about actual painting. It's about many things—your talents, your desires, your interests, and your passions in all areas of your life. It's about asking yourself questions and listening to the answers already within you.
I like the similarities it has with painting because I often envision myself with a paintbrush as I am moving along my journey. I know that paint is easy to change. If you make a mistake, it's not permanent. You can always change. It takes the pressure off being perfect and making a "wrong" decision. You can change your paint color. Start with a paint chip, sample with a small brush, then transition to a bigger brush or even a roller. If you are really diving in, heck you can even try a paint sprayer! Exploring, imagining, and then doing! Truly exhilarating! Taking small steps forward to see how it looks, feels, and rejuvenates you.
If this sounds a bit overwhelming and you just don't know how or where to start, I have a great exercise that you can do. It is fun and it really works. It is called a dream board. You may have heard of it or even created one before. It is a wonderful collage of sorts. We have all probably had to make one at some point in our lives—maybe when we were in school or helped our kids with one. The difference is this one is yours, and yours alone. So pick a time and just do it.
You can work alone or ask a friend to join you. Get out the scissors and a glue stick. Feel like a kid again. Start with a foam-backed poster board or even a sheet of paper. I recommend the poster board, because you need room for your dreams. A bigger board allows more creative space to explore. You can do what feels right for you. Remember you can always make another board, and you should, as your dreams turn to realities.
P foam-backed poster board (gives more substance than the flimsy ones)
P glue stick or craft glue
Start sifting through the magazines, brochures, and photos you have. It's a scavenger hunt of sorts, an archaeological dig; you never know what you might uncover. Cut out whatever calls to you—whatever catches your eye or moves your spirit. It can be a color, an outfit, a hairstyle, a beautiful item in a sun-filled room, words, or something personal to you. How about a couple walking along the beach holding hands or a porch or patio filled with people laughing and enjoying themselves on a summer afternoon.
My point is there really are no rules. You are your life's general contractor. So choose anything—anything at all. We often don't have or take the time to browse and really look at what's before us. Yes, we have all flipped through a magazine or two while waiting for the dentist or doctor. This is similar, yet different. Ask yourself when the last time was that you sat quietly with a pile of magazines and a cup of your favorite beverage. Now add your favorite music and you are on your way!
Once you have your inspirations, glue these things on your board. Fill it up with whatever inspires you. Use words, pictures, fabrics, or anything at all. Then hang it up! Don't stick it in the basement behind boxes of storage where you will never see it again. Put it somewhere where you can see it often. It could be in your home office, on your closet door, even on your refrigerator. The point is to release your intentions and dreams to the universe. Once they are out there in plain sight, you begin manifesting all that you desire.
I have done several of these through the years, and I am always amazed at how they play themselves out when I rediscover past boards. The similarities are truly amazing and powerful. I am not saying they happen overnight and that I posted a picture of a million dollars and now I have it, but the things I have truly desired have come into my life. As I know what I focus on and intend to receive, those desires seem to find their way to me.
In addition to the dream board, I find that journaling has a real place in helping me rediscover myself. I know in the past there have been times when I have thought about what I have written, and I panic at the thought of someone reading my journal entries. What would he or she think or say? It's somewhat like the Brady Bunch episode when Jan reads Marsha's diary.
The benefit of free-style writing is amazing and your thoughts and emotions can truly pour out of you. It is extremely therapeutic. I have come to realize that those journal entries are meant for me and me alone. No one really cares or will take the time to read my journal. It is sacred space for me and it can be for you.
Keep your journal somewhere that is your personal space. Select a journal that calls to you. It can be as simple as a spiral notebook, a lime green leather-bound book, or a bedazzled binder. Whatever you choose, it is yours and yours alone. I also suggest getting a pen that just feels great in your hand, one that writes smoothly and effortlessly. You deserve a pen that allows you to channel your thoughts to the paper. Who knows—maybe there is a book waiting to be written inside you.
For some of us, our dreams have been clear for as long as we can remember. We have always known what they are. For others of us, our dreams evolve, develop, and take shape over time. It is OK to not know what you ultimately want, it truly is a process.
How many times have you heard an inspirational story of a person who started out on one path and ended up on another? Life can seem like it is shattered instantly when our dreams don't happen exactly the way we had planned.
Sometimes our shortfalls are our greatest moments. Author Mitch Albom reminds us that, "All endings are also beginnings, we just don't know it at the time." I challenge you to create what sets your heart ablaze. You will find your way, as all our paths are a little bit different.
I had recently gone through a divorce after my mother died. I was married for more than 20 years. For financial reasons, I found myself temporarily moving back to live with my dad. He lived just a mile away and had enough room for me and my two teenage children. Living there allowed them to be close enough to their dad so he and I could share joint custody of our two amazing kids. So, I moved back into the house where I grew up and got my old room back. This was the first time in my life, with the exception of my last two years of college that I had ever had my own room. Growing up I shared a room with my sister.
The first few months were tough. I felt like I was living in a foreign space, even though it was so familiar to me. The decor had changed during the years since I left the nest—from twin beds, bulletin boards with high school memories, and posters of teen heartthrobs adorning the walls. My new space contained my grandmother's antique bed and some simple, beautiful, antique pieces that my parents had lovingly collected through the years.
It was strange to be an adult daughter living with my dad again. I was trying to remember that I was in my 40s and not a teenager like I was when I last lived there. I wasn't going to get grounded and didn't have to ask permission to stay out past curfew. The funny thing is the roles were somewhat reversed. I was home and in bed by nine most every night. I was leaving the outside lights on for him!
After I came to accept that I would likely be living there for a while, until things would settle for me, I felt compelled to transform the space to reflect more of me. I had owned three houses during my 20-plus years of marriage and had taken pride in decorating and making them comfortable for my family. Now I was starting fresh in many ways.
Sorting through the broken pieces, I considered that first year of transition to be a 1,000-piece puzzle. I often imagined myself sitting on the floor among the pieces scattered all around me, often feeling overwhelmed, shocked, and sad. So many pieces, where to start? I had always started a giant puzzle with the edges and worked my way in, so that was how I approached this situation.
I spent many hours reflecting, crying, and riding my bike mile after mile—riding away from the pain and riding toward the unknown. Looking back now, I know that days, weeks, and months went by that I don't really remember. I was not truly present. I was so involved in reliving the past and worrying about the future that I really lost track of time. I remember pieces and moments of that first year that my marriage ended, but I spent most of my hours in my room. With the exception of going to work, being with my kids, or being on my bike, I took a giant time out. It felt somewhat like solitary confinement.
It was during this first year that I began to transform from the inside out. I used my journaling to get through some dark times. Slowly I began to transform my new room to a place of peace and tranquility. I kept the fresh clean canvas of the white walls and the antique white coverlet that was already on the bed. I started with a few new toss pillows for my bed. I added a beautiful soft throw to the foot of the bed for comfort and warmth during the many naps I took whenever I couldn't bear to be in the world awake. I rediscovered my favorite store, TJMaxx, and picked up small simple accessories that called to me, like treasures.
I sorted through my clothing, my jewelry, and my books. What did I absolutely love and couldn't live without? What could I donate or give away that was just "stuff"? I began to use positive daily affirmations and created a Pinterest account. I allowed myself to dream again—to begin to realize that everything might be OK—that I was strong and that if I could just take it one day at a time I could make it. So I forged on.
Excerpted from fresh paint by Kelly Kurtz. Copyright © 2014 Kelly Kurtz. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1—The Late Bloomer, 1,
Chapter 2—Finding Your Inspiration, 5,
Chapter 3—Peeling Back the Layers, 21,
Chapter 4—Interior Work: Being Grateful, 31,
Chapter 5—Food and Mood, 47,
Chapter 6—The Art of Home Staging, 69,
Chapter 7—Exterior Work: Adding Curb Appeal, 95,
Chapter 8—The Finishing Touches, 109,
About the Author, 119,