Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Mermaid Metaphor Of Endurance And The Law Of Attraction~No Grit No Pearl

Hello there Mermaid Junkies,

I wanted to share a spiritual little mermaid metaphor with you that coincides with something that's been on my mind this week.

Won't you pour some tea and let's have a visit? I'm having my Mermaid Spinach Seaweed lemonade today, Would You like the recipe?
I was talking with my Beloved Gardener a few days ago and we were discussing the topic of work ethic and whether or not we instilled a work ethic into our children at young ages. The debate was whether or not our children actually have a great work ethic now as adults. We both had parents that really knew the power of hard work and why work experience teaches. They taught us very well and in turn, I think we taught our children also.

I know for me personally, All 4 of my children have had jobs since they were 15. I made sure of it. I never gave them the alternative of going to college or work. If they wanted college they were going to have to pay for it themselves or get a scholarship. In the process, they also needed to keep a paying job. I have always been the kind of mother that does not give handouts, nor loan my children money or anything of that nature. In my opinion, it creates an entitled child that doesn't understand the value of things or sacrifice. Let me give you a scenario that I have seen play out time and time again. To give a child a car for turning a certain age or getting certain grades, watch how fast they wreck it, compared to making them earn the money to buy one of their own. You'll notice the one that has spent their own money will appreciate it and never take it for granted.

That conversation leads me to talk about my audition for Weeki Wachee Springs a little over two years ago. I had been a Weeki Wachee mermaid when I was 17, over 30 years. When I moved back to Florida in 2015 and newly on my own after filing for a divorce, I was thinking about working at Weeki Wachee Springs as a Mermaid again.
As you know I was doing it all on my own with no money or assets or anything from my ex, so I was at a financial low when I was first divorced, and at the time I also had a super negative limiting belief about my age. While trying to find my sea legs again, I was thinking of every possible alternative to turn an income to provide for myself.

They were having open auditions so I decided to go ahead and audition. Here's where the story gets interesting and it brought on a major subject of attention for me.

Let me set the stage. I have always through the years lead a super healthy lifestyle. I never had drunk alcohol or smoked or anything for my entire life. I've been a vegetarian for most of it, give or take a few chick-fi-let meals on and off through the years. I have also consistently worked out either jogging, weight lifting, or yoga. I am really healthy, and I proved to myself that all my living the good life really did pay off big dividends.

I went to the audition which is quite rigorous. The audition consists of swimming the length of four football fields in under eleven minutes, breath hold, underwater comfortability, gracefulness, interview skills, and a few other things.

Now, remember, The day I went to audition I was 45 years old at the time and the last audition I had was when I was 17. The park was filled with over 75 women/girls from ages 18 and up. There wasn't an age limit.
The biggest part of the audition is the swimming endurance of four football fields within the time limit. The reason they give this first is that it truly weeds out the ones that can't handle the endurance levels.

I want to preface something about the audition. I had not practiced for decades to be able to swim the four football fields and yet, I beat out over 75 girls. I know for me it was because of the many years I have worked consistently on my apnea skills, swimming endurance, practices and that I've been a really healthy person for my entire life. Many of those girls were in there early teens and they were falling out left and right. To give you an idea of how many actually made it through all the tests and got an interview was 12. I was among the 12. I didn't actually end up getting hired that day because I truly think I had a negative energetic vibration that I was too old for the job. I believe in Law of Attraction and I had been consistently holding that thought. If I were to have been sending out positive energy about my age, I would have gotten the job. I was overqualified and I knew it.

So all in all, I believe that its sort of like that old saying or analogy about the law of the harvest. Many times people can fake a lot of things, but when push comes to shove you can only go so far. We truly do reap what we've sewn.

I think the girls that didn't get the job as a mermaid, was because they didn't have endurance mentally nor physically. They wanted the job as a mermaid for the glitz and glamour of it all. They didn't think too much about how hard the training was going to be and that they weren't going to just automatically get to be called a mermaid and get the accolades right out of the gate.

I remember when I worked there when I was 17 and we would hire more mermaids, and because they didn't get to be "mermaids" right away, they'd either quit or get fired. They wanted the name of being a mermaid but didn't think about all the work and training it would take behind the scenes. I was a trainee for a year and a half before the public ever saw my face once.

My take-home value for this post is that it will always pay off to train in life by getting experience.

I used to have the limiting mindset as I'd see the rise of others and I didn't get it. I'd get pissed that someone else was climbing higher or faster than me. So in order to make myself feel better, I would think, "they got by on someone else's merits that's why they are succeeding, they know someone with a name of importance or someone used money to leverage them." They didn't work hard enough in my opinion. It'd drive me batshit crazy until I had that audition and I realized a profound thing. I had a paradigm shift that day.  I learned that it's all about the dip, meaning when it gets extremely difficult the game changers stay in the game. They don't stop when shit gets hard. They are working on those days when others are shopping or taking a day at the beach instead of training and practice. They go through the dip, and that's what separates the successful ones from the quitters. The other thing that I have realized is if we can change the conditioned limiting beliefs from childhood, we would realize were all successors.
Too often we just don't know it until we are put up against something that will determine our inner strength and grit. There may be people getting ahead and the ones that do, have earned it. We may not see their efforts, but we aren't with them every day either. no one stays on top forever unless they are constantly striving and allowing the universe to work in their favor. It has everything to do with our vibrational energy. If you line up your energy you will be among the top 10% of successful people also. The universe is in all our favor, and the only one stopping us from getting what we want is OURSELVES.

We all have the capacity to have all that we desire. It really has everything to do with the law of attraction. What are you vibrating at with regards to money or success?
Yours til my next swim, Raquel

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Thank you so much for swimming by.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Story Of How The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose Came To Be- Part 2

Hello Sweet Darlings,
Let's continue the tale of how my storybook came to be, shall we? Might you pour some tea and let's continue our visit? Today my tea of choice is green tea. {smile} I am in need of a little natural caffeine kick, so tea should most assuredly set me right. {If you haven't read part 1, start there first}.
Me and my mother Deborah
As I began to actually buy into my self-worth and confidence, I was reminded of so many particulars. Those of my childhood and how my mother was constant in her approval and encouragement to instill in me that I was surely capable of anything I truly desired to be and do. The memories began to flood my mind with regards to my upbringing and faith in myself.

I am not quite sure if it's a genetic trait that Carter's hold dating back to England, but I have always taken pride in being a Carter. There was always something about my family that was instilled in me as young as I can remember that I knew I was "SOMEONE." A constantly quoted phrase that was heard is, "Don't you know who you are Raquel? You're the best because you are a Carter!"
Now, mind you when I was a young little strawberry-haired freckle-faced girl, I was all about believing in myself. I sincerely thought I was the most spectacular girl ever to be born. I'm not sure if it came from me being very different from my entire/extended family, being the only redhead, or if it's because I was the only little girl in a slew of boys.

Regardless, I knew I was special.

I have a ton of ideas in my head for many books, but this was actually going to be a real thing. No more talk about writing a book, it was game on. I had never written a book before. I knew I loved the charming sense of whimsy to Beatrix Potters books and I also loved that she drew animals, with clothes on, no less and that her paintings weren't extremely detailed. I really liked the simplicity of her drawings. So what does every artist do? They steal. They steal from this artist and that artist, take from here, and there, and make something all their very own. I love this snippet from the book 'Steal Like An Artist' by Austin Kleon.
Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.

"Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light, and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work {and theft} will be authentic. ~Jim Jarmusch

I had been painting little paintings and selling them in my Etsy shop for a while at this point, so I was perfecting the look I was going for. I still had the book in the back of my mind, but I wanted my stories to really capture that whole vibe of Beatrix, and I mean really feel like if she came back to earth reincarnated, what would her stories be. I wanted to embody her work. I have heard so many artists talk about how much their art is JUST like Beatrix's. I wanted my books to literally be so reminiscent people would think to themselves, "this is Beatrix Potter reincarnated." I believe in the Law Of Attraction, and spirit guides so strongly that I spiritually embodied Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor while painting and writing The Tale of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose. I asked for their guided hands while painting and their imagination for the words as to how the story should unfold.
You can hear those souls from beyond the veil if you'll sincerely listen for them, and expect to hear them. I softly listened to Tasha while I was drawing the faces of the little merry's. All of those that know Beatrix, know she couldn't stand to draw people. She didn't think she was very good at drawing people and I think that's why she loved drawing animals so much.

Now, I sat on the first story for over 7 months. I said I was going to write a book, but it was not coming to me at all. I know from practicing the Law of Attraction, to not force anything, so I just kept relaxed and knew the time would come and when it did I'd write at massive speed.

That's exactly what happened. I was sleeping one evening and at 1:30 a.m. I woke straight up out of bed and wrote the entire story in 2 hours. I then put it away for a few more months and figured the same thing would happen when it was time to paint the illustrations. and it did, The same exact way. It was so interesting too because I was feeling a constant nudging for about 3 weeks after I would meditate that I must finish the book... I must finish the book...
That's the most glorious thing about listening to inspired action when doing anything. The less efforting we put into something the easier it is. I was listening to Abraham Hicks one day and I had heard a workshop about writers several times beforehand but on this particular day, I really heard the words so clearly. If you want to know how to get a book into the universe, write another one and then another one. I have 2 more books in the works. "The Tale of Patsy Violet" is about a little red bird that wears high heels, a bonnet and apron and she teaches her baby birds about death in the loveliest way and The Tale of Sybrena Sparrow which is about a sweet and loving friendship.
If I have anything to gift you in kind from this post, its to make your dreams come true, all you have to do is to truly LOVE YOURSELF and to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Do not ever allow anyone to ever tell you that what you dream of cannot be done. If you can believe it, you CAN achieve it! I am living proof.

Do you have a dream that you'd like to fulfill? Have you read my about me page? Swim here to find out about my tale... Also, I'd love it if you signed up for my newsletter "The Current"
It's on the sidebar at the top, if you bypassed the pop-up form.

Thank you so much. I will only send the loveliest messages in a bottle, and you can fully trust I'll keep your email as only a Mermaid does, in the sand of secrets.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Story Of How The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose Came To Be- Part 1

Hello darlings,

How are you? I hope you're doing well.
Perhaps pour yourself a cup of tea and let's chat, shall we? My choice of tea for today is lavender and rose, just in case you wanted to know that{smile}.
 Today I thought I'd begin my little tale of how my storybook The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose® came to be.

I'd also like to share with you some of the details. I think personally I love hearing the little-sorted increments of how other authors/illustrators created their dear gems.
I was marinating several things over the weekend in preparation to begin this series and it dawned on me how very much I am not privy to write or make things about myself. As I've worked on my business, author campaign, this blog, and putting myself out into the world as an author and illustrator I've realized how uncomfortable it has made me, it has been an adjustment for sure. I've never had particulars be about me per se, and it's taking some getting used to.

I have long been a writer. As a little girl, I've been creating little stories as far back as I can recall. I was the little red-head that wore long dresses and had pen pals in elementary school. My mother made sure I was fully equipped with writing utensils at all times. I even went many years in middle and high school where I wore a pencil in my hair because I was constantly jotting or sketching things.

In my about page you've read that I have loved Beatrix Potter since childhood. It's true... I also read the stories to my children all throughout their lives as well. There was something I found calming and charming about the stories. Honestly, they don't have a daunting amount of depth to them, and perhaps that's the adoring appeal. A story that's light-hearted but with also a bit of whimsy. Now that my friends is my cup of tea! I should like to stay determined to always live life with rose colored glasses on. I think that's the allure of children's fairytales, they take us to places in our imagination where dreaming is allowed, actually preferred.
After my divorce was final, and I was couch surfing at my parents, living out of my two suitcases, I had also brought my little palette of paints, 2 Walmart brushes, a pencil and an eraser. To this day, I keep them in my purse. They have become a bit of a comfort to me, like a lovely old familiar friend.

While I was married I had become so conditioned out of my belief in myself, having turned down a four-year art scholarship, and having put away painting for so long I had forgotten I could even draw much less paint.

I was in such a state of pain while going through my divorce, missing my children madly, and feeling like everyone was trying to tell me what they thought I should do, I took up walking. I would walk to the nearest waterhole where I'd dream and sketch.

I figured that if all the years of me telling my children that there is nothing they cannot be and that dreams do come true, I might take my own advice.

It takes a little time to actually gather one's style. I looked at the paintings of my favorite watercolorists and took some ideas from them and then kept reworking my images to look the way I liked. My paintings have an old world look to them, but also a look of solemn seriousness, and that pretty much describes me to a T. My painting style is very much my own. I am nowhere near where I desire to be, but I have learned not to ever wait on things. I have realized, I must be a doer, not a talker.

Nowadays, I'm not afraid to start anything. I go head first, even though I know I'll get lots of air bubbles and rise to the top over and over again, and I don't care one single bit. That's the only way we learn is to keep diving back into the water. That's what losing everything has taught me, to be fearless. Once you've literally lost everything, no one can take anything from you, not your dreams and especially not your talents. If you take nothing from this post but that, I feel I've done my job.

After setting up my new facebook page and new social media platforms, I tried to continuously put out little motivational sayings and quotes to inspire others, and I'll be completely honest, I did it for myself mostly at first. I was having to be my own cheerleader, so I needed all the positivity and happiness I could conjure up.

As time went on people would respond to some of my posts and say that I should write a story. I had never told anyone that I had longed to write stories since I was a little girl, so I took the compliments in stride. Throughout the next year, I started thinking, yeah I should write a book. I'd then set the dream aside because when I mentioned it to a few friends they actually weren't super supportive to me. They said things like, "You have to get a publishing company, how are you planning to do that? It's not easy to write books and actually have them sell, your art isn't good enough yet for a book. etc."

I was still so low in my self-worth journey at the time that I would become so frustrated at my struggles and say in my mind to hell with it. I knew deeply though that if I had enough faith I could probably do it, I let those thoughts marinate in my soul and began to dream about being an author but not telling anyone verbally anymore. They seemed to dampen my spirits and I just got plain sick and tired of it.  I have had decades of lacking self-confidence to weed through and build back up and it became daunting to think about a book. I'd once again lay the idea aside because to some degree I felt like it was out of reach. Once again, a running theme is that I'd listen to other people tell me I wasn't capable, and I listened to them.

Fast forward to about 6 months later and I'm once again suggested a video from Gary Vaynerchuk. Something he said that day made a light go off in my head and I haven't looked back since.
If you have ever seen Gary's videos, he straight up and has no quorums about telling it like it is. I had seen him about 3 years prior and immediately turned him off because, to be honest, I thought that he was an arrogant ass. Actually, he rubbed me majorly the wrong way. Today I know why this is. I had a victim mentality, and never in a million years would I have pegged myself for being a victim. In the back of my mind, I had an attitude of entitlement. The day I recognized this about myself was like the blinders fell from my eyes. I haven't been the same since and It's been the best gift that man, a stranger... has ever given me. I should like to shake his hand one day and thank him personally for setting me a foot on my journey as a children's published author.

To be cont'd...

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Always Begin With Your Truth {A Mermaid Finds Her Voice}

Hello Mermaid Junkies,

I have hesitated in writing this post for over six months. My reason for this was a little of embarrassment. The other reason I have decided to now write it is pure authentic transparency. And since transparency seems to be my middle name lately, here we go.

 I'll paint myself out of the embarrassment and into a place of peace.
A place of bringing this post full circle, so as to reach out from this computer screen and let you each try to visualize with me a world I love living in. 
 Try as I might, I can't help but always see things the way an artist does. My whole life has been this way. I see the oil-stained heart in the pavement on my morning jog, I see the broken branch from a hawk as a sign that God heard me talking or the batch of bunnies on the hill in front of Marshall's department store as a sign from the morning of, asking God to show me I was on the right path with my art and authorship. I also see the beauty in the experience of being served up a big plate of truth from the universe as a way to further my expansion of self-worth and self-love. 
I see beauty in everything, for everyone and every single experience. I am so appreciative of this delightful quality. It has served me well. I should like to pass it on to you.

I always preface it'll probably take me a good 2000 words to bring this post home, but I want my posts to really cause some deep thinking for you. I'm here for the pretty pictures, and I'm also here for the pleasure of us to fully comprehend that we can all create a life we truly love if we can see things always as a positive.

About six months ago I had this gal that I was speaking with over tea, and I considered her somewhat of a friend. She had found one of my youtube videos and reached out to me.
We got to the point of talking on a pretty regular basis. One particular day I was telling her in detail of how I was feeling a little pressure from the gardener that I might need to go out and get a "REAL" job. So I thought of a brilliant idea. (I mean really assinine, silly, petty idea, but who's judging...its okay... really)

I said to my friend jokingly, "I should see how much he really wants me to go out and get a job by going to Hooters. Then I bet he'll change his tune." Now kids, learn from me here... Do not do what I did. It was utterly ridiculous and a complete waste of time.

Okay so, my friend said laughingly, "hahaha... you should totally go there and pretend to get a job and see how much your husband wants you to work then.  He'll get so irritated and jealous that he'll tell you no way!"

I dolled myself up cute, drove to Hooters and got an interview with the manager, John. I was to call John back the following morning and he would talk with the other manager and put me on a shift. "Wait! What! Hey now... this was supposed to be a joke. I was just trying to get some attention from my husband. My part of the plan was not to literally land the job on site."

That whole thing ended up backfiring on me, but it also taught me some very valuable lessons that I still needed to learn about myself and a few that I want to share with you. The gardener was all for me working at Hooters. I was quite upset about that, or so I thought that was the reason for my upset. I was actually upset with myself. I had once again betrayed myself for another person. Isn't that really why we get upset and blame other people. It really has nothing to do with them. It has to do with us. It has to do with our inner betrayal of self and that will always feel excruciatingly painful. So what we tend to do by default is to look for the first person to blame for our negative feelings. That's a hard pill for so many people to swallow. I had no one to blame, even though I wanted to blame 'said friend' it wasn't her fault, and it wasn't the gardener's fault I actually got the job nor was it his fault that I wasn't speaking my truth about working at an outside job. This was all on me. It was time for me to take accountability.

It was once again about Raquel. Why? Because I wasn't listening to my inner voice. I wasn't sharing with my husband my true feelings. I wasn't voicing my authentic truth. I don't think I'm alone in this. How many of us do this? I still needed some fine tuning with regards to self-worth, this became very apparent.
After my husband came home from work, I sat down with him and voiced my truth. I said, " I am not going to work outside the home. I am going to buckle down and make my side hustle an all day job. Becoming an author/painter/ blogger will be my full-time position. I'm giving myself until the end of this year." Now, why couldn't I have just said that to him in the beginning?

Why do we listen to someone else instead of our own inner being; our gut? And why did I seek out attention and try to make my point of not wanting to work outside the home by wasting an entire day of trivial fodder at Hooters instead of going straight to the gardener and voice what I felt? I knew deep down we would come to a resolution.

Fear. That big ol' scary word FEAR was the reason I didn't say anything. This is where I was able to use this experience to my benefit.

I have thought back to that gal that I thought was my friend and now I know why she appeared in my life for that moment in time. She was there to teach me things. I learned to never, ever listen to another person with regards to what's best for my life, not even on occasion. I am so sure of this now, and I will never ask for the opinion of someone when it comes to my life and affairs. Now some may think that's not wise, but I want to tell you all the reasons for this being the wisest thing you'll ever read.

We are too often convinced, conjured and manipulated into believing something someone else says is best for our lives and we have long abandoned ourselves in the process. I can't tell you how many times when family, friends, relatives, bishops, pastors, social media people all told me what they thought I needed to do. I needed to go to therapy. I needed to get some outside help. I needed counseling, I needed to go to marriage counseling. I needed medication. I needed to listen to them because they loved and cared for me. If I were to listen to the advice of another and whats best for my life I would have felt like that was just another compromise. I would've compromised my truth. That was the reason I was so unhappy for so long in the first place. I was never doing that again. Here's what happens when we don't listen to people tell us what we need to do. They get mad and degenerate and seemingly dismissive of us. But let me tell you what also happens if you were to listen to the person. You end up resenting the hand that fed you and you will eventually bite that hand. now if you've ever been through this, you know exactly what I'm talking about. No need for me to explain anymore.
I do not believe in compromise at all. This is shocking to many when I reveal my opinion about compromise. Let me explain what compromise does to a person over time. Over time to compromise your inner truth, as you and I know it, causes a deep sense of resentment towards others.

Ultimately in every relationship, there is a rescuer and a taker if you hooked up with your significant other out of alignment, which happens more frequently than you realize. When this occurs what eventually happens in a rescuer/taker relationship the one will always outweigh the other over time. (I want to preface this only happens when you meet up and both of you arent whole by yourself)

Basically, what I heard and thank goodness never listened to was, "Raquel, you don't know what's right for your life. We know better than you. You are wrong and we are right."

Now that doesn't mean that's what any of them actually said, or actually meant, but that's the clear indicator for me is that was what I felt inside my heart. I have learned to listen to my heart now and never second-guess myself anymore.

I want to inspire women to believe and know that they have the capacity to make the right decisions for their own lives. We as women have especially been conditioned to distrust ourselves and choices, to discount our true feelings, to blame the feelings and emotions on some 'THING"... "Oh she's having a breakdown, shes menstrual, she's a bitch, she's lost her mind, and my favorite is... she's crazy."

These implications are rampant in society today. I want to inspire women to take responsibility for their lives and to really know deep within that they can trust themselves. The decisions that women make for themselves is and will always be the perfect, most correct decision for their particular life.

Have you ever comprised your inner truth? What'd you do to ultimately make it right for yourself?

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Monday, April 30, 2018

How To Dress Like Tasha Tudor~ {Mermaid's Have An Old Soul}

Hello Mermaid Junkies,
How are you? I hope you're doing well. 
Here's a little trivia for you about Tasha. Did you know that when she was a young girl, she saved her money from teaching nursery school and two of the things she bought was her first cow and a little storybook called, "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Anderson?

Did you also know that she had her very own religion that she made up? Yeah, she did, it was called  Stillwater.  I don't think many people know that unless you knew her personally, or have read the copious books that have been written about her. She also believed in reincarnation. In several pieces written about her she spoke of how she believed she was a reincarnated ship captain's wife from the 19th century. I really began to love her more and more after reading about her eccentric ways and personal philosophies.

I feel very much like Tasha Tudor and just as I've told you guys many times that my spirit guide is Beatrix Potter, I also know that Tasha Tudor is my spirit guide too. I'll talk to her like my girlfriend and as nutty as it sounds, she actually talks back to me. Not in a ghostly way, but more of a consciousness kind of way. Actually, many of the people that have passed through transitioning would love to communicate with us if we'd just listen more. It's true. But most people scoff at even what I'm saying right now. Like, dear lord, this lady is crazy. Yep, that's me then. The crazy lady over here party of one.

Let me preface, you have to bear some sense of inner confidence to take on a wardrobe such as Tasha's. People will call you odd, and you most likely won't fit in with many people anyway. I do know that my readers like this kind of thing, as do I and that's why I write it.  So ya'll must be a little "weird" if you're reading this. Welcome.

So the reason I wanted to write this post is that I love Tasha Tudor so much and I pretty much live my life like she did, except for a few caveats. Let me explain. I'm not as great a gardener as she was, I can't make wool, and I have no desire to live on a big ol' farm and milk goats. Not because I wouldn't love it, but let's be for real here, that takes on a whole new meaning of living life on the farm and kudos to the ones that do it for realsy.  

I'll just play pretend with my four chickens, rabbit and small urban garden right slap dab in the middle of Tampa, Florida. hey... at least I'm being honest. I think the reason so many admired Tasha was that she did live so down to earth and old fashioned like. No thank you. I would rather use a sewing machine than hand sew, even though I can do both. I also prefer electricity, running water, and hell even a dentist that will cap my crown. 

Let me just say, she really lived it. Amen.

Okay, I will get to the point of this post, but it may take me 2,000 words to do it. I know you're here for the long~winded version because honey if not you would've never clicked over to this here bloggy. I see you girl. 

I wanted to talk a little about the preempt to dressing the way your heroes dress. I say this because if you've ever struggled with how you WANT to dress, and how you ACTUALLY DO dress I know why this is. Let me explain.

I always have loved the old fashioned way of dress. First, you're going to want to go through your closet and rid your closet of all the clothes that no longer fulfill or represent who you are today.  If you have clothes that have been in your closet for more than a year and you don't like them, they don't fit, you hate the color or the way they look on you, I think you should get rid of them. Clothes actually hold energy. It's true. 
My first Tasha Tudor scarf from Tasha Tudor and Family
If  I were to ask you to go into your closet and pick out an item of clothing, I know you'd be able to tell me very quickly why you do or don't wear it. It has an attached emotion that you've given it. It's the same as if you have all tiny clothes and you no longer can fit into them, but you keep them because you either hold to the idea that you'll one day be able to fit back into them and you remember how cute you felt when you wore them. It's actually not a healthy way to live. The reason being is that you aren't accepting the YOU RIGHT NOW.  You aren't loving the best parts of yourself TODAY, PRESENTLY. You are living in the past with the emotions that you have attached to your clothes. You should allow them to go. 

When you are dressing daily, it should be a happy very enjoyable experience. You should be so comfortable with your clothes and love wearing them. This is really super important girls. I know that from experience, I felt like another person when I'd dress in certain clothes. Yeah, they were popular and trendy, but I never felt at home in them, they just weren't really me. 

Think about back in the olden days getting dressed for the day was an entire process. It was something to look forward to, something worth preparing for and feeling pretty and feminine. That seems to have fallen short nowadays. I happen to think getting dressed each morning should be a beautiful daily experience. 

I can say since my transformation I have only a selected few items in my closet, and shoes as well. I know that whatever I pull out to wear for the day are lovely pieces and I thoroughly enjoy wearing them. All of our clothes in our closets should feel this way. If we're haphazardly throwing on any ol' thing from the drawer it's actually really how we feel about presenting ourselves to the world. Haphazardly and that we don't really care that much. Let's change that. Shall we? 

In order to dress like Tasha Tudor there are a few things you'll need:

1. A couple of Tasha Tudor style dresses. 

Tasha was eccentric, someone who actually capitalized on her peculiar image. I remember when I was a young girl and I found Tasha in Victoria magazine, I thought for sure she was dead because she literally looked as if she had walked right out of the 1830's. You have to hand it to her, she pulled off uniqueness like no one's business. 
Now whether you want to sew the dresses yourself, or just buy them that's up to you. I'm listing several website links that will help you get your hands on some. Like Tasha, you can always buy the patterns and make them as I'm assuming most of you know how to sew. But, If you don't want to sew them yourself, hire someone to make them for you. Now depending on how authentic to the era you want to get, will depend on the patterns of the era. I have to be honest with you I wear much of the color palettes they had back then, but I don't stick only to a particular era. My favorites are 1830's day farm attire such as little house on the prairie clothing. I think it's important to stress that you want to wear clothes daily that make you feel happy and comfortable whenever you wear them. That's why I wear mostly cotton. I have silk blouses, but I hardly ever wear them unless it's a date night with the gardener and I feel the desire to dress up a bit more.  
The thing about wearing this style of clothing is going to attract attention to you. We all like to feel significant and special and that always feels lovely when we're out and about in our prairie style clothing. I get the same responses on a daily basis which are "You look so pretty and dressed up. Are you attending a renaissance fair? Do you dress like that every day, or just sometimes?"

It's actually quite sweet and I'm always pleasantly surprised that I get so many compliments. 

2. Aprons.

Now if you live a rural, urban, homestead, farm, cottage, or southern type lifestyle wearing an apron on a daily basis will be a natural part of your daily dress. I keep a hook of all my aprons right in the kitchen, so I can easily access them. I wear them constantly and they are wonderful for all the reasons you would think of for wearing an apron. 

Some of the reasons for an apron is that they keep your day clothes protected from getting dirty so quickly. If you think back in the olden days they didn't wash their clothes very often so they had to preserve the wear and tear from getting dirty too quickly. I love that aprons have pockets. That's one of my favorite things about an apron. Not only are they another adorable layer to your dress, but you can put so many things in the pockets. Pockets are especially handy with little hands. You can use the apron to wipe your hands, carry in flowers from the garden, carry in eggs from the coop, wipe a runny nose or little teardrops if you catch a feeling during the day. I carry my crystals in my pockets along with a pair of my readers, some bobby pins, a cotton hanky, my earbuds, a pen for jotting down ideas and my garden cutters. 

The thing to think about when sewing an apron or buying an apron is whether you like a full or half apron. Heres' the link to Tasha's aprons. I also make my own aprons because I like a full apron more than a half apron or I'll either buy them from antique shops or flea markets.

3. Scarves and shawls.
I love that Tasha constantly wore her crocheted shawls. I actually don't have one in this particular style but oh my stars would I love one. I think I shall have to have someone crochet one for me. I don't know how to crochet. I know I'd wear it all the time because I have several knitted shawls that I wear around the cottage.The gardener works outside all day so he enjoys the thermostat quite chilly when he arrives home.
I wear my Tasha Tudor scarf daily. It's my good luck charm.
Folkwear, Buckaroo Bobbins are a few more authentic patterns that I use.
So there you have it, folks. My little contribution for how to dress like Tasha Tudor. I hope it was fun for you, just as it was for me.

Do you have anything to add that maybe I left out? Do you dress like Tasha or reminiscent of someone with an old-fashioned style? I'm curious.

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2 Ways How Having An Alcoholic Parent Teaches You To Thrive {While Swimming In Dangerous Water}

Hello Mermaid Junkies,

How are you? I hope you're doing well.

Not the kind of post you want to read? I get it, sincerely I do. I lay awake at night thinking that most of my readers want the pretty artsy posts. The sweet ones that bring happiness to their heart. I love those too, but as I have been changing throughout these last two years, I promised myself through this blog (especially if its to be my mothership for bringing in an income for the gardener and me) I have to really be out there. I promised myself that I'm going to talk about the things sometimes that are hard to read. I think that if the reader wants a great story, a sense of humor and some good take-home value, my blog is the one for you.

I became a writer as a young child because that was the way I was able to express myself. I would write journals upon journals expressing my emotions, feelings and all the in-betweens. I would even write and dream about that someday in the future of how someones going to find my writings and read them like a novel. Yeah, even as a little-freckled fox I thought I was no one to mess with.

I know I've been forever interested in that kind of thing and I somehow believe there are others out there just like me. I still have those boxes and boxes of journals. It makes me wonder what they say after 30 plus years of writing.

So back to the writing about my unpleasant childhood and having a father that was alcoholic. As I've grown up, I have realized so many things about this particular subject. It does not often get spoken of and if it is, it's seen as a very hush-hush and one from the perspective of the survivors in the family to not talk about it. How often do we see this in families?

So before I get ahead of myself let me lay the foundation first. My story probably isn't going to be much different than most if you've experienced having an alcoholic parent. I grew up with a father that was very unavailable. He still is unavailable to this day. He grew up with a father that I tend to think he didn't much care for, and in hind site, he turned out very similar. Drinking daily, unavailable, emotionally detached, selfish, arrogant, destructive, egotistical, chauvinistic, and abusive. Let me preface something here before I proceed. I am in no way angry with my father. If anything I'm empathetic, understanding and accepting. I share this as my truth and in some small way attempt to help others along their own personal journey. If I kept all this shit bottled up inside It'd be like that saying." You're only as sick as your secrets." So all in all, I no longer hold any distasteful feelings for my father I just want to be very transparent here as I'm speaking about my journey. I think it'd be wrong of me to only say the pretty flowery things.

Families hold all sorts of secrets. And honestly, that's why I write this blog because I know what alcoholism does to a child. I have worked endlessly as an adult to heal, and I thought for a long time I had healed all of those aspects of myself. I haven't and that's okay. Things take time, and I am finally at a place of self-love and acceptance that I'm okay with that. Even when you leave that type of environment, you realize like I did that it takes on different forms. The alcoholic may not drink alcohol but they replace that behavior with another to fill the need. Unless, like I said before, they constantly work at healing themselves and trying to understand the ramifications.

Everyone must take responsibility for the alcoholism, and I've found that not many want to. Once again the thread is that everyone's a victim. I am in complete disagreement with this. I get that I was literally not the one to drink, but after everything is said and done, most survivors want to push the addiction under the rug and never speak of it again. "That's in the past, why do you keep dragging that up?" I drag it up IF I have a life event that has occurred and I am trying to understand why I do certain things. I don't drag up the past to blame another, make them relive their hurt or anything like that. I do it because it's my absolute right to and I want to heal and not continually pass those traditions onto my children. And I'll be darn if I didn't do that anyway in my last marriage. I have found that people want to be victims because to be a victim gives you an excuse for why you are the way you are presently.

I will never be a victim. I take full accountability for my actions and for all that has happened. Now that may strike some people oddly, like oh, she still has that victim mindset. Nope, actually, I am attempting to own my personal experience. That should be held highly that I have the courage to actually write about a subject that many don't like to touch because It makes people uncomfortable.

My father was always and still to this day a hard worker. I think the time period that he grew up, they all learned to be hard workers. They also did some hard living. So, because I think of this as a learning tool let's dive deep into the internal aspect of WHY.

I have said this in my youtube videos a million times and I'll keep saying it, people don't drink alcohol for the yummy taste of it, at least not initially anyway. The main reason a person drinks is for the feeling they get. It takes them to the path of least resistance. I'm speaking Law of Attraction here.
The reasons for people drinking are mostly because they either watched someone doing it as a child, or they have enormously deep internal pain that they can't rid themselves of. If people only knew, that what I teach, to women especially, is that with self-love and self-worthiness they can heal themselves of those internal wounds.

It takes 3 days, yep... three days to stop drinking altogether, but it takes a little longer for you to get your cells to stop desiring the sensations of inebriation.

It's all a mind thing you guys. It always has been and it always will be.
Here are the 2 ways having an alcoholic parent teaches you to thrive in chaos:

1. You become a master housekeeper.

Now, I'm not sure about you, but I knew from an early age that in order for people to not know the exact goings on in our home (I'm sure it partly has to do with being a southerner) that meant you became a very detailed fabulous housekeeper. I lived chaos in my mind, so all of the controlling was happening on the outside/externally. I couldn't control my insides but I could control my environment; the house. I know how to clean a house exceptionally well, like magazine kind of well. In a rapid fire amount of time too. Oh, someones coming to the door, or your dad is coming home from work, "Get this house perfect, NOW RAQUEL!" Let's just say you learn to see for everyone. Nothing can ever be out of place. The deeper reason for this is because as someone living in a conditioned unhealthy environment, we think what people see on the outside is all that matters. Forget the fact that what's going on inside of us is torturous, especially as a little child. The chaos becomes normal, it becomes the only way you know. I acclimated to it. The noise, the screaming, the abuse, the fear, it all becomes normal. It actually becomes so normal that if it's not happening, you think somethings off or you get scared that something really bad is about to happen. That sounds messed up, doesn't it?

As a 30 plus-year-old adult, I had this friend back in Utah and I learned from her that I had even more ramifications of growing up in an alcoholic home. It's like a freaking onion, with a shit load of layers. She was the kind of person that had grown up in a household where there was never any drinking. And one day she said to me, "How can you handle all the kids wanting to go in different directions, and then you can paint a bedroom, and then go and do and do and do almost at the same time and you aren't stressed at all. You just fly by the seat of your pants. I could never ever do that." When she said that I realized I was so used to living in the chaos that was how I was able to thrive. I could do fifty things at once and not ruffle a feather, babies screaming, one needing a diaper change, two wanting a snack, and the other getting into a cupboard. I was on top of it. I have learned to use this quality as an asset. It's once again what a successful healthy minded individual does. I could and can handle chaos like its no one's business. I'm sure some of those qualities are still inside of me and would arise if I were to be put into a situation like that, but nowadays I thrive on pure silence.

2. You Become a master at coverup.

My home was immaculate, organized and extremely clean. That meant clean everywhere. You could open the inside of the cabinets, dresser drawers, pantry, garage, linen closet... you name it, if it was my home it was perfection. Because here's the thing... Remember I was telling you that in order to maintain sanity as a child in an alcoholic home, you become a master at a cover-up. The reason this occurs is that in the mind of a child, we are always trying to stay one step ahead. So if the alcoholic were to look into the fridge, the closet, the bathroom cabinet, and things were a mess, that would give them a reason to either hit, go get more drunk or act out his frustrations (and in my case) on my mother. So you think that by having an immaculate home and space it'd keep him from getting triggered. It's like living in a land mine, and you always worry you're gonna hit a trip wire. Keeping a clean home was an absolute must for my mother. I later married into that same situation. I repeated my childhood history. I married an alcoholic, and I would come to realize this decades later because he was a closet alcoholic. It's the mirror reflection philosophy.

I remember the day I realized my childhood tendencies came back to the forefront and I went to my bedroom closet (you find places to hide even as an adult) hid behind the clothes and bawled like a 2-year-old. The trigger was when I saw my daughters face and how she reacted to a fight about a sandwich that happened between the ex and me. It was 2011 and I was living in Orlando, Florida. My ex-had asked me to go to Subway and get him a sub. He specified that he hated mayo on his sub and that I needed to make sure It had NO mayo (now mind you, I had always had them put mayo on his sub and hide it. He always loved the taste but I never told him the sub had mayo). Well, that day, the hidden mayo came out the side and he went ballistic. He started screaming at me profanities, throwing stuff everywhere and then threw the entire sub sandwich against the wall above the china hutch and it basically stuck there. A wall of lettuce strands, mayo, mustard and the whole sandwich fell behind the cabinet.

(At this point in our relationship, all hell was breaking loose on a daily basis. Two years prior I had an emotional affair with his best friend at the time, and I was already 3 years into wanting to leave the relationship anyway. He had been cheating on me for decades at this point and I was becoming more and more detached. I had built a fortress around my heart at this point. I was breaking down more and more every day.)

So when the sandwich throwing and screaming match started, I noticed immediately that Zoë Kennedy began shuffling around, trying to fix things, running to the drawer for a dishcloth, saying how eagerly she could clean it up. Now when that happened, my survival instinct to protect my child reared up and I became unglued. I went freaking insane. Have you ever gotten a redhead really super angry? I started screaming at him, saying "that I was gonna let the damn thing rot there, I was not cleaning it up and neither was Zoë Kennedy. That he should've been humiliated that he has created an environment like this as the provider and patriarch of our home. I told him he was an embarrassment as a father and husband. This was the last time I was cleaning up his messes to save face. I was done!." When I saw ZK immediately running to get something to clean up the sub I forbid her to do it, and he demanded that she better clean it, and that then became a whole other fight with the ex. I realized at that moment I had taught my daughter to clean up his messes and to cover up for him just as my mother had taught me.

Needless to say, the ex-cleaned up the sub and not another word was said about it. I don't even know when he did it, because I never saw him. It had stayed on the wall for a whole day. My take away is that we must have a backbone, we must only work at saving ourselves. It's not my job to save anyone, but my own. We have to start, even if it's little by little. That's what builds and gives us more and more strength. Don't be hard on yourself, but don't sit passively back and just allow things to happen. The Universe/God is allowing these contrasting experiences to occur to inspire us to take back our lives, to love ourselves unconditionally.

I share this message with you as a way for us to grow in our friendship, and for you to not feel alone if you've experienced something of this kind or if you are experiencing it now. I also wanted to leave you with something valuable from this post so that it can be a teachable moment.

 I learned that to cover up for others is a complete disservice to myself. I have had to unlearn all of those traits by removing the costume to reveal the truly authentic Mermaid within. I now stand in my truth and keep that space open for others to stand in theirs and that feels really wonderful. I have also learned that alcoholism taught me how to keep a clean home, and I very much appreciate that quality, regardless of how it was taught. I have taken the good of a not so good circumstance. That makes me a winner through and through. So, in essence, I've realized I'm forever and always trying to paint you a picture and that's what makes me a great artist as well, don't you think?
Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Love For Beatrix Potter

My cover for The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose

Hello Mermaid Junkies,

How are you? I hope you're doing well.

I wanted to begin an eensy series about my book "The Tale Of MerryMaid Scarlette Rose ©®".
As I've been swimming my way, it's amazing how the universe is leading me on little adventures to continually take me on my voyage of the neverending love of Beatrix Potter. She's actually one of my spirit guides.

Let's talk about Beatrix Potter, shall we?

If you've ever read my about page you know that I have forever been enthralled with the wonderful woman that was Beatrix Potter ever since my teens.

I got pregnant with my first son at the ripe ol' age of nineteen. I have always cared and adored the old fashioned life. Let me share a little back story before we get into the Beatrix Potter part of this post.

I was born in the beautiful ol' state of Georgia. I grew up in the country. One of the only ways to escape my unpleasant childhood was to strike a lucky day of outings with my mom if she happened to get the family vehicle for the day. All growing up, my mother never had a vehicle, and we lived out in the sticks so the only time I could visit the public town library was either on a Saturday or a day my mom needed to run errands. I was in luck. So when that rarity happened, I'd select the maximum of books, and even then I'd ask my brothers (I have 3) to check out extra on their card so I'd have enough reading material to last my insatiable appetite.

I would regularly check out Laura Ingalls Wilder, Beatrix Potter, Strawberry Girl and Little Women. Those were my regulars and I'd read and reread them all through my childhood.
Heres the reason those books had such an impact on me. For me personally, when I was growing up in such an unpleasant childhood, where abuse was a constant, to read books created an outlet of escape for me. I would pretend I was Beatrix Potter and Laura Ingalls Wilder. It made me happy. I then started to want to dress like them, because that even made the pretend world even more real for me. I happen to believe that's why people love to play characters in movies. It's a way to escape. I truly think if a little Anthropology was done on most actors, their love of starring in a film would have a lot to do with the ability to escape something that happened to them in childhood. Or they are reliving a wonderful time in their lives and they enjoy reexperiencing that feeling again and again.

That may sound bizarre to the many people reading this if they came from an idyllic childhood, but to the others that can understand what happens in a destructive child's home, it's the way you survive. In order to survive, you create an escape. Now after living the Law of Attraction, it's also a beautiful testament to the ability of a child to figure out a way to create joy. Either way, It's something I think many can relate to me on.

As the decades passed my love for these women continued.

Heres a picture of my firstborn son in some clothing I made for him, with little oxford English saddled shoes and a stick wooden sign I made that reminded me of Beatrix. I would constantly play the Beatrix Potter movies on VHS for my children and even read the books to them on a regular basis. They will still watch those movies to this day. I think it reminds them of their happy childhood.

That continued throughout my children's lives. I would sew my own clothes reminiscent of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beatrix Potter.
Beatrix Potter & Benjamin Bunny on the left. Me and Oliver TwistyTop on the right.
Me and Oliver TwistyTop dressed up for Halloween like Beatrix Potter and Benjamin Bunny.
I sewed this whole outfit for Halloween.
More homemade clothes I have sewn.
I learned to smock, cross-stitch, embroidery and even named my children Boyd's bunny and kittens after the Peter Rabbit books. Heres photos of my children's little-stuffed animals. They carried them everywhere, Moppet, Tabitha Twitchit, Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten.
Fast forward to 30 plus years and as I have slowly begun to rediscover myself and all that I used to be, I am now constantly reminded off how much I had been trained away from, how much has flooded remembrance and why it all resonates with my soul. It's like I am being reborn again and again along this transformational journey.

That's the beautiful thing about a transformational journey/voyage, it brings you back to all you've ever loved originally and authentically.

So now let's talk about my process of writing a children's storybook, why I did it and how it came about.

As a young girl, I would constantly play in my fort. I would practically live in it. It was peaceful, I always found fun things to do, make and create. I would take my art books, paints, notebook paper and practice my penmanship or paint.

So the desire for me to write a book, and paint has always been there. But you won't have to guess why many people give up those notions and dreams of becoming a writer or an artist. We start listening to others around us. We take on their conditioned beliefs that certain things can't be done. We slowly disregard our inner compass. That's exactly what I did.

In 2014 I was living in California, and my oldest son had been serving a two-year mission for our church. He has always drawn, since he was about six years old, and I've never discouraged him from that.

He would send home boxes of extra things from his mission, as they had a two suitcase limit. That meant all his drawing books had to be shipped out. I had received another box from him and not thinking much about it, I set it on the dining room table. It sat there for over two weeks. At that particular time, I was extremely ill, and in complete pain and agony for 11 days. As I began to feel better,  I looked over at the dining table and was curious as to what was in the box. I opened it up and there were over fifty spiral notebooks of drawings.

I couldn't believe this! Something sparked inside of me looking at those books. I had long told my children all through their growing years that I was such a terrible artist that I couldn't even draw a stick figure. That shows you how much I had forgotten the woman/girl that I was.

All of those memories started to flood my mind. The endless nights I'd sit up and paint, all the art classes I took. The four-year art scholarship I received after graduation, that I ended up turning down for my then husband. I literally fell down on the couch and I think I cried a good solid half hour. That was the day I changed or actually began to transform back into who I was.

P.S. Now the mermaid metaphor makes much more sense to you, right? {hehh}

I had spent decades listening to other people tell me things such as, (in this video pay close attention to how conditioned away from my truth I was) "I was weird, embarrassing to be with because I dressed like Laura Ingalls Wilder, say they couldn't be seen with me in public if I was gonna dress that way, or that I needed to do something about my old-fashioned taste." I did for many many years. I caved and put on my pretty appropriate clothes like a mermaid would do. I put on my costume and played pretend for people. You learn to acclimate when you have pinched your inner being off for so long. You become someone else or at least you attempt to.

After that experience, a day later I went to the craft store and got a little palette of watercolors and some index cards. I opened an Etsy shop account and below are my first little paintings that sold for $4.00 each.

They aren't good at all, but I was selling them. I think it's so important to just do it because it feels good inside, and I also firmly believe people love a little heroic transformational story. Selling those little paintings gave me that boost and incentive to keep doing it. It brought back all of those happy childhood memories that I recalled when I'd spend my days held up in my fort painting.

Yours til my next swim, Raquel

Do you have a favorite hero? Do you like Beatrix Potter?