This picture is of our latest mural creation at Humpty Dumpty Mural magic.
We were hired by the local radio station KUSA to create the decorations for their upcoming Charity Ball to raise money for the underprivileged children in our community.
The theme they asked us to decorate around was obviously, “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
The mural in this picture took us over 30 hrs. to create. It measured 8′ x 4′. We put our heart and soul into the decorations.
We will be posting the entire event online sometime this week so you can see the dance hall will all the decorations in place. The total time spent was over 120 hrs. to create all of the decorations.
We both showed up at the Tuscan Bar on friday morning to decorate. We were assured that the reception room would be cleared and ready for us to being our work by 10am on Friday morning.
But….that is NOT what we found when we arrived. The night before they had hosted a big event and the staff at the Tuscan still had not cleared the room.
We walked in to a room FILLED with hundreds of chairs and over 30 tables that needed to be put away before we could even begin our work.
Brenda and I were exhausted from staying up late the night before putting the finishing touches on all the decorations.
The task before us was daunting to say the least. But it is not our nature to complain about anything. We both have learned a long time ago that we get a lot further in life with hard work and gracious attitudes then we ever will by acting rude.
The custodian was there in the reception hall getting ready to work. When we walked in she looked terrified. We kindly greeted her and introduced ourselves and told her we looked forward to working with her today. She hesitantly shook our hands and looked at us like we had gone crazy.
She left the room and returned with a gentleman that she introduced to us. We immediately recognized his name. He is very well-known in our area. He was the person who would be catering this event. Then another person walked in and introduced herself. Both of these people apologized for the mess. Brenda and I assured them it was no problem and that we would have the chairs folded and lined against the wall in no time at all. We discussed the seating requirements with the caterer and arranged the room accordingly.
By the end of the evening we had become pretty good friends with the staff at the Tuscan. The custodian was no longer scared of us, in fact she had called her daughter to come help us clear out the chairs. She asked permission to have her grand-daughter take pictures of all the decorations because she is a huge Jack Skellington Fan.
Brenda and I were having the time of our lives.
The actual event started on Saturday. We arrived to lots of praises and congratulations on the decorations.
We had several bid requests for painting jobs in homes. We were feeling pretty positive about things at this point.
NOW…this is where things got really interesting. This is the reason I am writing this blog today. What happened next was something that neither of us expected.
We were pulled aside by the gentleman and lady that we had met the day before while doing the decorations. The caterer, and the building manager.
They asked Brenda and I for business cards and informed us that they were looking forward to working with us a lot in the future.
They then proceeded to tell us that there was something missing from the event. Something that they had grown quite accustomed to having at events of this size when dealing with the decorators.
The thing that was missing was ANGER, DRAMA, EGO, and just general feelings of STRESS.
We were blown away.
They said it was so nice to work with ladies who enjoyed their work. Who were thankful for the chance to showcase their talents. Who were willing to donate their time to help those less fortunate than themselves, and who treated even the custodian like she was a valuable person. They said they had nearly forgotten how much fun it used to be to prepare and plan for an event like this, and that they would not work with any other company than ours if they had their choice.
We had just accomplished the thing we needed to accomplish so we could finally begin to see the success we had been praying and planning for.
The last two years worth of work was finally going to pay off.
But our success didn’t come because we were the most amazing artists around. Or because we created wonderful decorations and kept the cost under $200.00.
Nope, our success had finally found us because we had treated everyone with RESPECT. We had worked hard and never complained. We had remembered that childhood saying…“MANNERS MATTER”
So here are our four secrets to success. These are the four attitudes that Brenda and I have always used in our lives and have committed to continue using no matter what. The four attitude shifts that inadvertently brought us the attention we had prayed for.
1: Reframe Your Perception: Each of us has dreams that for one reason or another we do not achieve. And we all make choices that perhaps were not the best we could have made. Yet, rather than allowing regret to overtake us, we must see and celebrate all the other goals we’ve accomplished and positive choices we’ve made.
Human nature so often leads us to perceive the one negative in a sea of positives. But, we can retrain ourselves to acknowledge both, learn the lesson embedded in our mistakes, and allow ourselves to see and feel pride in the beauty we are capable of.
2:Make Time for Gratitude: Gratitude can take us far in reframing how we see ourselves and our worlds. When we begin a daily practice of recognizing the positive events that occur and the pleasant encounters we have with others, we start noticing more things to be thankful as the days pass. Perhaps it’s someone who holds the door for you at the supermarket, the nice conversation you have with a stranger while at the coffee shop, or a hug with someone you love.
These are the small moments, and often the ones we forget. Savor their beauty and what they tell you about humankind—that we do live amongst many good people.
3: Be Kind Just Because You Can: It’s easy to judge others for their actions and take for granted those we love or meet in chance encounters. We sometimes get so caught up in our busy-ness that we forget others are busy too, they have rough days just like us, and they benefit from our kindnesses just as we do theirs.
Go out of your way to smile at strangers, say good morning, say thank you, give a compliment, and listen attentively to someone who needs your ear. Do it because you can, because it feels great, because it makes someone else feel good. Don’t worry about a subsequent thank you; let a thank you be a beautiful perk, rather than an expectation.
4: Work Before You Play, But Make Sure You Play: When the metaphorical dinner on our plate seems too huge to digest, it’s expected we might wish to eat our dessert first. Work can overwhelm us, however several big projects can be broken down into smaller, achievable steps. Breaking the big job into several little ones allows you to have a little more fun while you are working. Lets take this job for example. We had a reception hall big enough to seat 500 to fill with decorations. BIG JOB! But we broke it down into several SMALL JOBS, ie table centerpieces. Wall sconces. Mural. 9′ Jack and 8′ Sally statues. the coffin. etc.
This reframe allowed Brenda and I to set daily goals for a certain job that needed tobe done by a certain day. This allowed us the freedom to enjoy the creative process and not get overwhelmed by the size of this job.
I would love to hear stories from all of you about a time in your life when you remembered that MANNERS MATTER and it paid off for you in a big way. We all need to start remembering to treat each other with gentle kindness and respect. We are all fighting a tough battle, and need to be loved.
So please leave a comment on our blog about your manner experiences.
Have a really great week!
Your life is your choice.
How often have we felt helpless in the face of everything that seems to hold us back? The past, the present, money, relationships, weight, appearance, self-esteem, education, connections – we can come up with so many reasons for why we aren’t successful.
The power to transcend all of that and become who you were meant to be lies within you and the choices you make.
Ultimately, you assign meaning to your circumstances; they don’t assign meaning to you.
No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been through, you can start today and make your life an expression of possibility, fulfillment, success, and love.
Preparation is a demonstration of faith.
True faith is revealed through action. The most revealing demonstration of faith is whether you’re prepared to receive what you say you want.
I started this mural painting business 4 yrs ago. I have worked hard to get it to the point is is now. 2 yrs ago, I brought my very best friend into the business as an equal partner with me. Together we sat down and wrote out a set of goals, and followed that up with a plan of action. Then we went to our knees and asked for help from the Lord. We prayed that he would guide us to the people and places we needed to be in order to succeed.
This year in May, I felt impressed to organize a fitness challenge in my area. I wanted to share with my community the things I had learned that had enabled me to regain my health. I had no idea how to even begin, but I had enough faith to follow the promptings and just get it started.
What ended up happening was that Brenda and I organized a Zombie Fun Run. Our idea will now be an annual event in our area. We met people that we would NEVER EVER have had the chance to work with on our own. These people have opened doors for us that will lead us to the success we have been working so hard to achieve.
This month we also had the chance to paint 2 murals in a new construction home. It was out of town, and we both hesitated when we bid the job because of the time frame and other obligations we had this month. But once again we felt the prompting to do the job. We both felt that the time would work itself out and we would be able to accomplish the things we needed to this month with no problems.
So we painted the 2 murals. Good thing we did. The General contractor was very impressed with them and wanted to discuss the possibilities of us being part of her sub-contracting team. She felt that our work would be a good selling point in her homes and so we entered into an agreement with her.
This past week we have been working on the decorations for a Halloween ball in our town. The theme is The Nightmare Before Christmas. We have been hired by the local radio station and one of the biggest business owners in the area to decorate this event. Once again, this is a really amazing opportunity for our business.
By the end of this month we will have put in over 200 hours of work between our regular jobs, the 2 murals, and the decorations for the ball. But in the end our hard work will pay off in big ways for us.
These things are happening to us because we were ready and prepared for success. We had planned for it. Prayed for it, and worked diligently for it every single day.
What do you believe to be true about your life?
Is there tangible evidence of that belief?
Let’s say you ordered a sofa today and it was scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. How would you prepare? You’d move the old sofa out, right? You’d clear out the tables and lamps so that the movers could bring the sofa straight through the door and into the space you had set aside for it. You’d want to be sure you were home so the movers could get in to make the delivery. You would be ready.
Are you ready for what you want to receive in your life?
Your blessings are on the way, but are you ready?
Are you in the right place to receive your blessings?
Your destiny is racing towards you just as quickly as you’re racing towards it! Have you done the preparation for your blessings to come flowing easily and quickly into your life?
Remember that we don’t get what we want; we get what we prepare for.
Keep your inspiration close. What really inspires you? What makes you feel completely alive? What makes your spirit sing?
Even the most successful people will tell you that they’ve had tough days or even tough years. We’ve all been through seasons that tested the very essence of our spirit and left us wondering whether we were on the right path. But you’re here, and you’re still moving forward.
Discover what inspires and awakens you and keep it close. When you feel sad, drained, angry, or frustrated, turn to those things, people, places, and ideas to keep you focused and positive.
Take consistent action. Now is the time. Think about it: Everything that happened yesterday is in the past. It’s over and done with and can’t be reclaimed.
And the future isn’t here yet – it hasn’t happened so your only power over it is limited to a present intention. That means that all you truly have is NOW. And what are you doing with your now?
Memories are better than regrets – memories are nothing more than a series of really great “now”s – invest your mental and emotional energy into the now and begin to see now as the greatest gift to be, do, and have the abundance life has to offer.
Your life is your choice; choose wisely.
Live fully like it is your last day. Love freely like it is your first day. Laugh fiercely like a child. And let life flow. ~ Kute Blackson
Miracles have become some far out and unusual experience rather than a natural experience in our everyday living.
Today I wanted to take a minute and speak about where the REAL power in my own personal life comes from.
It comes from my faith.
Faith is the belief in things unseen.
Harness that power and you are onto something really big.
Every day that I am alive, I know that it is by the grace of God. The food I eat, the clothes I wear, the home I enjoy are all given to me by grace.
Believing that, gives me courage.
It fills my soul to its capacity with gratitude. It makes living a joy, a gift.
In our modern world where emails, text messaging, skype, etc are at our finger -tips and we can communicate instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world, We can almost “see” how it is possible for prayer to exist as a real and powerful form of communication with a higher power.
In our scientific world, everything needs to make sense and be logical. We seem to have lost touch with our capacity for awe, innocence, wonder, FAITH.
Increasingly, we have become disconnected from the flow, from our true source, to the point where we are so surprised when some so called, “out of the ordinary” thing occurs, that we call these things MIRACLES.
Yet, miracles are available to us each moment.
With all the many changes going on in our world today: old systems collapsing, and old paradigms evolving. So many folks are feeling a sense of fear and instability. Many seem to be blaming, finger pointing, ranting and wondering when someone is going to come and fix it all for us. Well guess what?
No one’s coming… because YOU are already here.
There is no need to fear, or feel powerless. You have the greatest power at your fingertips. You just need to learn to use it!
Each and every morning for me begins with prayer. Before I do anything, I take time to discuss my worries, my joys, my hopes and my sins with the Lord. Why aren’t more of us calling on him to heal our hearts, so that we can begin to live our own lives in a way that would be pleasing to him, therefore allowing us to call upon him for protection.
The bible gives each believer over 7,000 promises that we can call upon him to fulfill, and as a single mother, I need to use as many of those promises as possible. I need His help to survive in this world.
Earlier this year, I was faced with a “crisis” in my health. I was 100 lbs overweight, and was pre-diabetic, I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and had adrenal fatigue. The doctors told me I needed 11 different medicines to get healthy. Medicines that I would be taking for the rest of my life.
I told them NO! I am too young to give up. I am sick because of my choices, and I can change them. I can stop treating my body like a vending machine, and start treating it like a temple that houses my spirit.
And so I did!
In 16 wks, I went from a size 14 to a 7. Lost 30″ of fat off my body and got all my “numbers” back within normal ranges.
I did not accomplish this alone. I had lots of help. Help from friends. Help from my kids. Help from AVAR Lifestyle Design, a wonderful company that provided amazing nutritional support to me. But most of all, I discovered that within me, was the greatest power in the world. My own Divinity.
The battle to regain my health ended up becoming more of a personal discovery of the very thing that we all have inside of us that could get us through any trial we face;
When you reclaim your power and accept it, you open yourself to another level of power, a power that can at times be SCARY when you finally begin to realize how powerful you really are.
We often have the tendency to try and run from it, and pretend to be light bulbs when we really are the sun.
We try to run from our own Divinity. But we can never. When you embrace your own innate Divinity and move beyond victimhood then you become co-creators and no longer have any excuses. You begin to see that all your dreams are actually possible.
So then what do you do once you realize that the life you are living is LITERALLY being created with each and every thought you express.
That we are held in the palm of the hands of a creator whose love for us was so great that he stepped down from Heaven to live among us as the God-Man. To pave the way for all of us to return back to his presence. While we were his enemies, he did the most for us. He gave up his life on the cross while we were yet sinners. He payed the price for every sin, past, present, or future that I would ever commit. If he did this for me before I was HIS, what will he do for me now that I belong to him>
Much much more than the MOST!
He literally shared his power of creation with me the moment I became his. Talk about REAL Power!
So why not give faith a chance. Right now, right where you sit, you can harness the only true form of power that exists in this world. You can align your heart and mind with his and discover a world beyond your imagination.
I have tried for years to lose weight and get in shape, but everything always failed, because I was failing myself. I had lost the ability to go inside my heart and listen to the truth of my own divinity. I am now strong and healthy in both mind and body,
I have healed in every way possible for a human being to heal.
In spirit we are formless, without shape, size, color, or name. Fire cannot touch us, wind cannot extinguish us, water cannot wet us. We have no price tag. Our SPIRIT is infinite and Free.
The real wonder of the world is not the pyramids, Angkor Wat, Niagara Falls, the Himalayas, the Taj Mahal, it is YOU.
You are it and the miracle is You.
When you awaken to this, there is no need to go anywhere. No need to achieve anything. You are the miracle of BEING that is alive now.
Therein lies REAL POWER!
We have had a month that has been packed clear full of creativity. We started the month off with a really fun mural job that we did for a special young lady in her new bedroom.
Then the very next weekend we went back to Neola and did another mural for that family. This time it was for the big brother, who is the worlds biggest Dukes of Hazard fan alive. This is the second mural I have painted for this young man with a Dukes of Hazard theme. Those of you that have been with me from the beginning will remember his old room, it was on the cover of my web page for 2 yrs.
Since Brenda and I have been back home, we have been working on what is to date our biggest job yet. We are so excited to have been hired by KUSA and the Tuscan bar to decorate the reception hall for the Nightmare Before Christmas Ball to benefit the children in our area. We have painted a huge mural that measures 8’x4′ to be the main feature. We have also created characters from the movie, centerpieces that reflect the theme, and several other projects to use that day. Enjoy the pictures. And then come see them in person on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at the Tuscan. The costume party begins at 6:30pm.