Hello friends and family!

Hope you enjoyed the thunder storm this week over Philly. There were a couple of loud lightning cracks that scared me haha. Since my emails have evolved to be a little bit like blog posts, I decided to do a cap up before diving in. A few topics I'm excited to be touching on in this email are:
- learning that things aren't always as hard as they seem
- developing new habits that are in line with my goals
- sharing resources for creative, personal and professional development below and in a Watercolor Workshop on May 26th

Sending love your way!

Diving in: Yesterday I fixed a broken mechanism on my car! :D It's the locking latch that catches the hood when you close it- not the safety latch but the one that holds it tightly in place. I have been struggling (aka slamming my body into the hood of my car) to close it for months because there was something wrong with the mechanism- my car is 24 years old. Many well meaning and I believe sometimes patronizing men have asked if I need help as I'm jumping up and down on the hood of my car outside AutoZone, and have come to find they couldn't fix the problem either. I was feeling very frustrated by not being able to resolve this and typed in exactly what the problem was on YouTube. Turns out, the mechanism was simply corroded and stuck in place. The video suggested getting some rust penetrator to loosen the mechanism and nudging it with a phillips head screw driver to get it moving. I immediately drove back to AutoZone, picked up some rust loosener, sprayed it on the stuck area and poked at it with my car key. The thing, snapped right back into place! I was shocked. It was so freaking simple!! This issue that I had been dealing with for MONTHS was fixed in seconds.. I was shocked at how big of a deal I'd made this task out to be. I thought I'd have to set an appointment, take it to the mechanic, (if I could even get there without my hood flying off the car), wait for it to be fixed, bring a bunch of stuff to work on in the meantime since it might take a while, then probably pay a significant amount of money to get it repaired. In the time I took to tell that story, I could have fixed my car myself 10 times. lol It was so simple!

I have been thinking about other ways in which I complicate tasks that maybe aren't that complicated. I recently got a gym membership. I have been going everyday since getting it (almost two weeks). I feel really good waking up and going to the gym. I used to think, "I'd like to be someone who works out everyday." After reflecting on what I want, I realized that if I wanted to be someone who works out everyday, then I.. *ehem* need to be someone who works out everyday. When I lived next to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I was inspired to run everyday. I would take this beautiful trail through the park down to the ocean and back. I don't find the same release through running through city blocks. I did feel like a gym would motivate me. There were all the machines I could pick and choose from, they open early and stay open late so i can go anytime, there are other people around who were also working out and they have someone at the front desk at all times (which is extremely important for me as a solo woman going to the gym). I had always considered a gym membership as totally out of my budget and was concerned I wouldn't find one that met my specifications, but those fears  prevented me from even looking into gyms in the area. When I realized that I needed to go to a gym to feel comfortable and motivated to workout, that it was important for me to find one because it was helping me become someone who works out everyday, I looked up some gyms in the neighborhood that I could ride my bike to. One had a sale- 1/2 of on gym memberships until May 15th. I went in the next morning and signed up and have been going every morning since.

Exercising for me is about feeling confident in my body, capable and familiar with my body. I want to learn how my body feels when I use it in a variety of ways. The gym has been a great place for me to simply celebrate and play with what my body is capable of. And it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be to make it happen. My curiosity to see how it felt was stronger than my fear of not being able to make it happen. The same was true for the issue with my car. I got so frustrated today with how helpless I felt and how it put me in this odd unwanted damsel in distress situation that I finally looked up the problem on google. And there it was. Super simple. These realizations made me think, "maybe it's not as hard as it looks" to do the things I want to do? 

In jumping into new artistic endeavors, I have been asking myself this question a lot. I am now applying this idea to goal setting and my finances- two areas where I have avoided developing because I thought it would be hard to figure out. Through a series of books and podcasts, I have been learning about goal setting, personal finance and money management. I am super excited to discuss and share the concepts I've been learning. Here are a few of the resources I have been diving in to:

- Think & Grow Chick Podcast by Courtney Sanders
- Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason

When I read or listen to a podcast, I look for hands on, practical ways in which I can start doing the things they are talking about in my life. I want to be able to dive in and learn by doing. That is what I like about each of these resources. They meet you where you are and give you tools to support you in getting to where you want to be. It is also how I approach teaching. Read more about my approach to workshops here:

What's in a Workshop?
On May 26th from 7-9pm I am hosting a Watercolor Workshop & Resource Sharing Dinner out of my studio. We will be:
- Learning to make and paint our own postcards (to spread the love and resources even more).
- Exploring the world of textures found in painting with alcohol ink on yupo paper.
- Sharing a delicious vegan meal- NOM!
- Discussing what resources we use for personal and professional development - also NOM! 
Bring your favorite resource for personal/ professional development right now and/ or simply come to learn and participate! 

After the workshop, I invite all participants to walk over to The Pharmacy with me to hear A Great Time Band play a show! They supported many local artists by featuring their work in their album cover. Watch the video of me painting a watercolor piece to their song One.Thirty.Seven HERE. I look forward to creating, resource sharing and hanging out after with you!


Vessna Scheff