It's Christmas - Slow down - Be Inspired Again

Has anyone else felt it? Like a 500 ton locomotive, barreling down the tracks at near tipping speed, our lives are paced at full throttle all year. Then, we see The Holidays coming 'round the bend and it feels like we'll jump the tracks for sure this time! As the holidays seem to come faster each year, we start seeing Thanksgiving retail displays in August and Christmas displays in October! Do the seasons even change? Heck, even the weather can't even seem to figure out what month it is. Thankfully we have smart phones with cameras, calendars, news and social media to help us stay organized.

Wait.. Organized? Do our smart phones really make us more organized? I don't know about that. Sometimes I feel more scattered, robbed of any lingering sense of presence by the rush that technology affords; always chirping and dinging to let me know I have one more thing to pay attention to. Truly, we have a love/hate relationship with our smart phones. How do we cope with all the noise and distraction? How do we slow down enough to be truly present in our daily lives? Is the pursuit of happiness, a search for more bliss or more balance?

Fingers: Cracked and bleeding after a long and trying project in Maryland.

Fingers: Cracked and bleeding after a long and trying project in Maryland.

I think the bliss comes in the balance. Although work is sometimes grueling, it's a labor of love; a love of beauty and a great joy found in creating beautiful environments for my clients to live in. I'm so often reminded that it's here, in the delicate balance between struggle and rest, that we most often catch the clearest glimpse of what matters most. 

So, it's Christmas - time to slow down and focus on what matters most to you. Yesterday, while sitting at my desk, trying to figure out how to summarize this past year into a final blog, I couldn't come up with anything! It really has been such a whirlwind this year that I can't begin to summarize. I was so frustrated and found that I was trying way too hard to write the blog...

Suddenly, my ADD kicked in as the sun poured brightly through our back door, illuminating our Christmas Tree. I couldn't resist the shimmer and glow of the ornaments in this new light. I decided to leave the blog and just take pictures of our Christmas tree instead - totally loosing focus on work. Turns out, it was the best thing I could've done - not because it gave me some kind of profound inspiration for a great blog, but because I got swept away by a beauty again. 

I've always been a daydreamer. The beauty always sweeps me away. But in a mysterious way, it also seems to keep me centered; keeps me connected to things that matter: the peace, joy, compassion and gratitude... I mean, if we can't slow down and unplug from our daily demands, we might be missing a large portion of what life is all about. How many times will I need to relearn this simple truth? From now on, when I'm frustrated and feeling uninspired, I plan to give up and focus on something beautiful. 

Below are some of the images captured when my ADD kicked in and I lost focus on the blog writing:

Thank you and Goodbye 2015: In summary, I'd like to express with deepest humility, the support of each of you; from family, friends and fans of Inspire by Color, to the clients of Inspire by Color, who became friends along the way. I may sometimes sound cynical about the fast paced and often unrelenting work schedule, but at core, I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude for each of you. 

“Beauty is the shadow of God on the universe”

- Gabriela Mistral

Speaking of 500 ton locomotives, I'm reminded of a video taken last year with my trusty iphone. Slow down - Turn up your volume and wait for it...

What our clients are saying: Since I've given up on summarizing 2015, I thought it'd be nice to let my clients from the year do it for me. Below are a few client reviews with pictures. Thank you for taking a moment to read them. The gratitude is what really keeps me going. I suspect it's what keeps most of us going. Cheers, much gratitude and many blessings to all! 

Nathan is a true artist. He takes pride in his work and will not stop until everything is perfect.
Nathan has completed many beautiful faux painted rooms for me and most recently repainted my kitchen cabinets. We painted them black and it is truly beautiful. No one believes me when I tell them they are the original cabinets. My kitchen looks like it is new.
Beautiful job!
I would recommend Inspire By Color to anyone. Reasonable rates, wonderful craftsmanship and Nathan and crew even travel if necessary. I live in Maryland and he has made the trip many times for me.
Thank you Nathan for everything. I’m sure we will get together again. There’s always a room that needs your special touch!
— Kathy C.

Nathan is awesome! He is professional and is very detailed in his work. I had ideas of what I wanted to have done with the various projects he has completed for us, but was definitely open to suggestions. He came prepared with ideas and options to discuss and was able to create something better than my expectations. Highly recommend Inspire By Color to anyone looking to add an extra touch of detail to their home.
— Stephanie G.

This guy is a magician! Nathan refinished a 15-year old kitchen that had cherry cabinets with many nicks and scratches, and lots of faded areas from sun exposure. We had a cabinet maker do some modifications to the cabinets in the kitchen, so there was also unfinished cherry wood to deal with. Nathan had the tough job of prepping and color matching old and new cherry - a job that several cabinet makers I spoke with said was extremely difficult to do. The end result was breathtaking. We ended up with a much richer finish than when the cabinets were brand new.
Along with the kitchen, we also upgraded our master bathroom that had white MDF cabinets. After installing granite counter tops, the white cabinets just seemed boring. In here, Nathan ordered new wood drawer/door fronts for a surprisingly nominal price, and then faux painted the MDF cabinet sides a dark cherry finish. The end result was just stunning (see the before and after pictures for yourself).
Nathan does meticulous work. What we got for a relatively small amount of money was incredible. We couldn’t recommend him highly enough!
— Linda S.

As an interior designer, I have worked with Nathan for the past ten years on projects large & small. He is a creative color mastermind. He will create the texture of your dreams on your walls, refinish your cabinets create a brand new kitchen....if you think it, he can do it. I highly recommend him to help at your home!
— Maria Money, Maria Money Interiors