Act as if it were impossible to fail.

Dorothea Brande

A phrase that is often heard in recovery is “fake it till you make it.” It’s also said another way, which is to “act as if.” In other words, if you are working toward a goal (sobriety, for example), act as if it has already happened. I think the theory behind this relates to the power of positive thoughts and manifestation.

Ironically, and speaking of manifestation, the day after I shared my thoughts about being on the lookout for “new life” in my post, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, my son announced that some baby birds had arrived in our backyard.

It was so exciting! When I went outside to check them out, one of the babies hopped clumsily behind a wood pallet in our vegetable garden. He seemed nervous (probably because we have a cat!), and he slowly made his way up our brick wall by grabbing hold of the mortar, and then briefly letting go to hop up to the next level. He had the makings of a good rock climber!

My mom and I watched as he came into view from behind the pallet, a little nervous ourselves, and we called out “fly birdie, fly!” When he was about halfway up, he let go of the wall and flapped his little wings as fast as he could, making his way to the trunk of the tree about five feet away where his parents were chirping loudly. There was definitely some turbulence in his flight, but he landed safely.

I started thinking about him, clinging to that wall the way that he did, and all I could imagine was that he was holding on in fear. He had to take a leap of faith in order to attempt that flight, and… in a sense… he was following the “fake it till you make it” rule. Would he fly or would he fail? He’d never know until he flapped those wings and tried. He had to “act as if” in order to find out.

Thinking about this little bird made me realize that “acting as if” might also refer to the simple act of “trying.” My middle son and I both have some deep-seated (and self-sabotaging) belief that in order to do something, we need to do it perfectly. We need to be an expert before we’ll even try. We even talked about this recently, and I think that both of us have held ourselves back from fulfilling a few of our dreams because of this mindset.

If I were that baby bird, for example, I’d peruse the local library looking for books on flying. Does the wind need to be in my favor? Which way should my wings be flapped… up and down, or down and up? And how do I land? These are the kinds of questions I would ask, and I’d look for the answers in books. Or by talking to experts. Or maybe by watching YouTube videos.

But, as that baby bird proved, sometimes you need to act as if. Fake it till you make it. Flap those wings as if you’ve flown a million times before… and see what happens. And he did.

About the Image

I’ve been working on my FLY image for a couple of days now. I’ve been wanting to try some new images that combine photographs and illustrations – so I used an old photo that I took from a Ferry in Texas, and I added a pair of wings that I made in illustrator. Then I sent it through several apps, including Photoshop, and added overlays, coloring, paint effects, and who knows what else.

Do I love what I produced? Not really. But as I stressed myself out and reworked the image again and again, I realized that it was the perfect example of “acting as if.”

I told myself “Just finish it. Believe it will work. Tomorrow will be a new day and there will be a new image to work on and this one won’t even matter.” So, I think I learned a little lesson from my thoughts.

It’s ok to just TRY.

Nothing will ever be perfect, but it can be perfectly complete. And it is.

That’s about all for tonight. Thank you for reading!

Until next time…
Peace & Love!


“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Harry Potter

Now that I’m getting excited about illustrations again, I thought it would be interesting to incorporate my thoughts, ideas, or even a little word play into my images. I thought of the word SHINE recently and wanted to see if I could express it visually… and my featured image is the result of this self-challenge.

I thought about how I had said that I wanted to quiet my mind, and then how I wanted to begin focusing my thoughts on “new life.” As I pondered these things, I began to think about whether or not changes in thought could actually turn a person around – from negativity and darkness, to positivity and light. I’m not talking about real depression or anything, as that is a serious matter. I’m talking about the normal “thought” modes we experience, and how patterns are formed.

It occurred to me that if I was sitting in a pitch dark room, no matter how long or hard I stared into that darkness – it would still be dark. I would never be able to see anything. The only way that I could change this would be the most obvious solution… I would need to turn on a light.

Maybe getting caught up in negative thinking is like staring into that pitch dark room, trying to see something. But unless we shine a light inside, we never will. All there will be is darkness.

It’s a bit of an analogy I suppose.

I think the point is that change normally occurs slowly, and there are often steps to take. Perhaps shining light into the darkness is just the first of many steps… but at least we’ll be able to see!

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed my illustration and thoughts…

Until next time,

Side note: I found the quote by Harry Potter after writing my post, so it would appear that my thoughts aren’t too far off. That was a relief! Anyway, I’ll be working on my next image soon, and the word I’ve been thinking about is FLY. I have a cute little story to accompany it as well, and I hope that you’ll stay tuned.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Ok, so it’s not Brooklyn. But it’s symbolic. Thriving, in the midst of hardship, there it is.

New Life.

I wanted to do something to express my feelings tonight, and I do believe I’ve captured it. At the risk of sounding repetitive, my posts lately are echoes of what goes on in my mind, and I’ve been learning lately that sometimes “my mind” is not a good place to dwell. I’ve always loved my inner life, but it’s been chaotic and depressing in there, so I decided it was time to get out. For now.

I had to remind myself that my story is about recovery and growth. Yes, lately the world is on edge, and some crazy and often scary things are going on, but, as Gloria Gaynor so eloquently sang… “I will survive.” We will survive.

So, tonight I put on my happy music and thought about what this new chapter in my life was going to be about, and I decided it was “new life.” A time to recover from the darker (and sometimes boring) times, a time to grow some new wings and reach out into new territory… and a time to dance and celebrate.

Life is precious. Each morning a bright new day arrives, and – if you pay attention – you see life sprouting up in the most unusual places… like a tree in Brooklyn.

That’s about all for tonight. Thank you for reading… and I hope you enjoyed my art!

Until next time,
Peace & Love-

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.”

Louis L’Amour