From daily practice

Is there something you’ve been meaning to say?

I am no smooth operator. I usually don’t know what to say in those epic moments and often hold back. So when it comes to telling others how you feel, I get it, it’s not always so easy. And feeling like it needs to be made a big deal of makes it even harder to get around to it, or express it. But there’s no denying the power of telling someone how you notice or care about them. It’s a small thing on your part and it’s HUGE HUGE HUGE to the person receiving it.

The following are real-life sentiments I’ve experienced or told to someone else. You might recognize some of them happening in your mind, perhaps left unsaid:

  • I’m not going anywhere.
  • I love talking with you.
  • I admire your bravery when you (did that really brave  – or stupid? –  thing).
  • I’m sorry it’s so rough right now.
  • I don’t care what we do, I’m really looking forward to hanging out with you!
  • I love (this thing you made); it’s so (wonderful qualities about it).
  • Before I met you, you were the girl with the vivid blue nail polish, and I said to myself “who wears blue nail polish?” I knew I had to meet you!
  • You are really creative! (people really need to hear this one more and multiple times!)
  • love you. I adore you.
This is the time. And not just because it’s Thanksgiving-time. Because it’s now. And now doesn’t wait. You’ll lose this moment if you don’t use it.
little love: mother nature  little love: little prince
little LOVE creature card 1  little LOVE: wondrous animals card 2

In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown wisely says that “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” If we don’t reach out to something about something that matters deeply to us and make it known to them how much it matters, that thing dies and your connection with that person becomes static.

This is what I base my personal definition of “love note” on, this idea of valiantly telling someone how you feel about them. A “love note” is not just the romantic admission of adoration at a distance. No, to me, it’s that vulnerable moment when I write to a dear person to admit to noticing a detail that is touching, inspiring, lovely and perhaps even awkward but totally flattering. Acknowledging these little moments is an act of vulnerability that is deserving of the label “love note.”

little LOVE: woman wisdom card 2  little LOVE: little boys card 2
little LOVE creature card 3  little LOVE: wondrous animals card 3

To help make the artfulness of your expression easier, I’ve gathered up 24 of my favorite lunch note designs and had them professionally printed. They’re organized into four different themes: Imaginary Creatures, Wondrous Animals,Woman Wisdom and Sweet Boys. I would describe the size of these cards as “intimate.” They’re small and sweet. Just enough to say what you’re going to say and that’s it. Then leave it in a sneaky, creative place for your loved one to find in the normal course of their daily life.

little LOVE: wondrous animals card 1  little LOVE creature card 4

The Artful Lunchnote

I have been making lunchnotes for my son since he started kindergarten in 2011. I felt it was a way to let him know that my husband and I were thinking about him even if we weren’t around him; a way to encourage him and let him know we care very much about him.

The sentiment for my son has never changed, however, I was surprised to see what it did for me. It required a discipline that was hard at times, but not something I ever felt like breaking. My daily art practice was really born out of making these lunchnotes and I’m incredibly grateful for that essential practice.

I spend my first 30 minutes of the day eating my oatmeal and drinking my tea at my art table making a lunchnote. Starting my day this way is much better than checking social media, reviewing or making a ‘to do’ list or ramming right into the needs of the day. I get to ease into my day creatively. Not just occasionally – every day!

I have come to realize that having a daily practice for my creativity is incredibly significant. The same way I exercise regularly to be healthy and vital, I practice art regularly and consistently to flex my creativity attitude and disposition. I’m no fine artist and I’m not aiming to have my art hanging in galleries. But my goals as an everyday artist are substantial: I aim to express myself creatively, prolifically and in an ever-evolving way. Anyone who does that is an artist.

I made a video for you, my fellow everyday artist, in case you’re interested in using some of what I’m doing to express yourself creatively and share it with one of your loved ones. Enjoy! Let me know how it goes!