Octopus In the Ice Bucket







Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye, it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.

Edward Munch


New painting in the gallery! Adaptability. I have been working on three pieces lately and this is the most surprising one. Its an octopus, and it turns out there is a lot of symbolism for an octopus. Some of the words that jumped out at me while researching were adaptability, fluidity, intuition, creativity, flexibility, and expansion. Wow.


I trust my intuition while I am painting, sometimes I look at my canvas and am truly not sure where its going; but it will become clear, that little voice never lets me down. One day this octopus character popped up and just wouldn’t go away, he was there and he was staying. When I learned about the symbolism of an octopus I realized he was definitely here for a reason. As I worked on him, enjoying his happy little spirit, I wondered why this particular message was manifesting at this time. There were many areas of my life it might apply, but I hadn’t had that aha moment yet so I was still looking for the exact spot.


Intuition is seeing with the soul.”
Dean Koontz


You are surely familiar with the ALS ice bucket challenge going crazy on the web. Well I was too and every couple days I would see a friend and watch his/her video and think to myself ‘thank goodness I don’t have a friend who will nominate/challenge me’, maybe you find yourself thinking the same thing. I like helping raise awareness and money for research into cures/treatments for diseases. ALS, cancer, the list of diseases that affect families’ and individual’s lives in very unpleasant ways goes on and on. Now of course, as with all good things up pops the controversy surrounding the ALS challenge. They aren’t silly things either but other good causes to contemplate; water and animals so far. You know, if you dump water you are wasting a valuable resource. Now we have #dehydratedonate where you drink water and then donate to any one of a list of organizations ~ all quite worthy. Not quite as exciting for a video though. Then there are the folks who are bringing to the forefront the fact that animals are used in research testing for ALS. This practice has stopped in many labs, but apparently not the ALS labs, so these people are proposing donating elsewhere until ALS stops using animals. I do care about the environment and know how valuable our water is, I also care about animal cruelty and animals being used for research. But I also realize how important research like that for ALS is to my fellow humans. Kind of puts you in a bad spot if you think about it too much. Which is a flaw of mine, I think too much about things like that! Also I don’t really like being filmed or being the center of any attention so, I was just glad to stay out of the fray.


“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”

David Russell


Then it happened. I got up one morning, regular day, shower, make my smoothie, read the paper, check email, then with a few more free minutes before the wee ones walk in my door I open up Facebook. AND THERE IT IS, I have been nominated/challenged! What?! I think, how can this be? Well a wonderful person who has come into my life this past year through my son, (his roommate) has gone and named me for the challenge. There I am, what do I do now. Do I take the challenge, do I pass it up and make a donation instead? Then it hits me. Here it is; my message about flexibility, fluidity, expansion, and especially adaptability from my little octopus friend. What about the waste of water…..what about the animal testing…what about all the other diseases that aren’t getting the attention ALS is currently receiving? And me on film on the net?!


Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water -it will make ripples throughout the entire pond…”
Jessy and Bryan Matteo


I think sometimes its easy to get so caught up in the politically correct aspect of our choices. In today’s world everything is instantly on the web so its hard to avoid the awareness. I think about it too much! I could just freeze and do nothing. If I choose to take a stand not to waste water or not to donate to an organization that uses animals in testing aren’t I taking a stand against helping people? I am a believer in helping people whenever possible. How am I spreading the love if I beg off? For me I needed to take a step back and look at this as separate issues, help one now and then look for ways to help the others too. I don’t drink milk or eat any dairy products so I’m helping the water issue big time already (it takes 100 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk) and I can look for some way to help influence changes in testing. But for now there are people who need this research to happen.


In the end I didn’t donate to ALS, I donated instead to MSA. Multiple System Atrophy is a debilitating and really awful disease. Many are affected but not the kind of numbers that get attention and few people are aware of it. I wasn’t, until a friend’s husband began his long battle with MSA, he truly was an amazing role model and she continues to be. So my money and my challenge dedication will go to MSA in honor of Dave, a truly amazing individual. I just had to listen to my intuition and be adaptable and flexible and it all came together, I feel great about the choice I made. Thanks little octopus. Now….off to film ~ ack! Bold move for sure, but each one makes me that much more empowered, so here goes… see you on the web! What bold move have you made lately?

Oh, and here is a link to my ice bucket challenge :  http://youtu.be/lgh6WifK4-s

Light, Love, Laughter,



We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

If you are interested in learning about MSA or giving here is a link:



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