8 Days of Giveaways! Day TWO: Listen for Joy

Alrighty! We’re on to Day TWO of 8 Days of Giveaways which is AWESOME partly because giveaways are rad but MOSTLY because I have now done something I said I would do TWO DAYS IN A ROW, which is, like, a record for me. I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, but my showering regimen could seriously learn a thing or two from my giveaways regimen.

8 Days of Giveaways:
Day TWO!

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Art Print by Melanie Weidner of Listen for Joy

My friend Melanie is the artist behind Listen for Joy. Not to gush, but I love Melanie a lot. A lot, a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot, a lot. Partly because she radiates peace, deep compassion and wisdom, and I want to sit at her feet and learn from her, and partly because she does this one thing that’s super, duper weird. 

I’m going to tell you what that weird thing is, and I think you’ll find it as bizarre as I do.

Ready?

Melanie3Here it is: WhMelanie5enever Melanie and I talk, she really listens.

I mean, Melanie really listens. Like, intently. To everything I say.

She makes eye contact, and nods her head, and then, when I’ve completed a thought, Melanie pauses to think about what I’ve expressed.

Also? She does this to everyone.

She listens to everyone like they have valuable, important things to share and like they’re gifting her with bits of themselves.

In other words, Melanie listens to understand and to love others well, and not simply to respond, which is, obviously, the wrong way to listen and not how we do things in America. And where Melanie finds light, love and joy in others, she reflects that back. With words. In writing. Through art. Because she actually believes there is that of God in everyone.

Melanie’s a love-reflector, and it used to totally wig me out because, you see, I’d talk and Melanie would listen like I mattered and like I was worthy of love, and I’d think the whole time, “I’m not this interesting, Melanie. What I’m saying is dumb, you know. I AM DUMB. What is wrong with you?” and I’d feel squirmy and uncomfortable and afraid that, if Melanie listened long enough, she’d find me out. Discover my unworthiness. Have the “ah HA!” moment and figure out I was smaller and sillier and stupider than my facade.

She never did, though. She never discovered what wasn’t there, after all, because it turns out I’m not small or stupid — just human and divine like all of us, perfect and imperfect and learning to be the version of me that listens to joy and follows the way of love.

Melanie is one of the first people who made me feel like what I have to say, and the things I think, and the way my heart moves is important. Melanie is one of the reasons I write in this space and try to listen well and believe to my bones there’s something holy in all of us.

And Melanie’s art, which I’ve followed for 20 years now, reminds me, always, to seek what is true and what is kind and to extend that kindness even to me. All of which is why I’m excited to share her with you, in the hope you see comfort in her images like I do.

The Giveaway: One 11×14″ color art print in a clear sleeve with backing, suitable for gift giving or easy framing. Choose your favorite image from the ListenForJoy.com Shop. $27 value. Melanie is happy to ship it to you or directly to the person of your choice.

TO ENTER the Listen for Joy art print giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post anytime until 11:59pm Pacific Time on Friday, December 11. (Psst… don’t enter on Facebook — though I LOVE comments there and read every one, I’m using the blog comment string to randomly select a winner). Any comment will work to enter, but if you’d like a prompt, I’ll ask you this… who’s your Melanie? Who reminds you to listen for joy? Who whispers to you the truth that you’re deeply worth of love, exactly as you already are?

This giveaway is now closed.
Congratulations to Kristen! I’ve sent you an email with all the details.

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……….

Melanie7Melanie Weidner‘s art inspires people of all kinds, especially those interested in spirituality, mindfulness, and healing. Her images stir the soul and inspire compassion, self-reflection, and peace.

Melanie also offers engaging creativity and spirituality retreats in summer and winter in the glorious Pendle Hill Arts Studio, a Quaker Contemplative Retreat Center near Philadelphia, PA.  See more on her Workshops and Events pages. You can find Melanie’s blog here, her Facebook page here, and her Listen for Joy shop here

Melanie lives with her wonder-full partner, Hollin, their dog Tashi, and Milagrita the cat in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

………

Do Note: Multiple giveaways are going simultaneously — one every day for 8 days and each of them open for 48ish hours, so check back every day to see what new giveaways there are!

Also Note: This giveaway is open worldwide. None of this “America only” crap. We do not have time for America Only in this ComeUnity. Melanie is providing the art print and U.S. shipping; I’ll supplement shipping if one of you wins from elsewhere.

Also-also Note: The artists selected for this giveaway were hand-picked by yours truly. They did not pay for these spots, nor do I benefit in any financial way by hosting these. Emotionally? I get a HUGE benefit. ‘Cause this stuff makes me happy. Each artist received a spot on the right sidebar (or, if you’re viewing on your mobile, at the bottom of the page) to advertise his/her stuff (hint: you can catch a preview there of what’s coming over the next few days), which is my gift to them to thank them for partnering with me. They’re rad.

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
92 comments
  1. My husband definitely does!

  2. Love 🙂

  3. Beautiful prints!

  4. I am not sure if I have one Melanie, but there were and are so many people in my life who help(ed) me see my worth and inner beauty, help(ed) me grow and I am extremely thankfuö for that.
    Those prints are so beautiful, there are so many wonderful ones to choose from! Right now and spontaneously, I love the Afloat one a lot, but I would surely have a really hard time choosing one!

  5. My little boy reminds me to listen for joy in the way he finds joy in the smallest of things.

  6. Beautiful art 🙂
    My babies reminds me to listen for joy. They make it pretty easy since they are basically little unconditionally loving balls of joy themselves (at least most of the time)

  7. This is just beautiful art and such a loving tribute to her as well. I am loving seeing you list your joys this Holliday and so far they are all people who love you. It warms my heart after all the nights we have sat in the mud together.

  8. […] Also-also Note: Day TWO of 8 Days of Giveaways — Listen for Joy — is still open for entries, as well. Go here to enter. […]

  9. I have an amazing friend who listens pretty well. But the thing she does even better than listening is to make every single person she encounters feel good. She is warm and kind and sweet to the clerk at the coffee shop and behind the counter at Goodwill and the guy at the gas station. Every single one of them feels better about himself/herself/the world after she’s been there.

    The artwork is beautiful. And if I won one, I’d probably frame it and give it to my beautiful friend.

  10. I love these pieces! I was not hearing joy the last few months. But with lots of intensive therapy (and a change in medication that was actually making things worse), I can say that joy is coming back into my life.

  11. So grateful that my Melanie is my boss who is also an art lover. Praying for lovely things heading this way because these would be awesome in the office to share Melanie’s story and the generosity in how I got them. !!!!

  12. My Melanie is my best friend Beth. Even if she disagrees with me she will hear me out.

    1. You won the art print, Kristen! Congratulations! I’ve sent you an email.
      Beth
      P.S. Your best friend has a very excellent name. 🙂

  13. Oh wow, absolutely gorgeous paintings. I have 2 Melanies – my cousin Kylie and my very long time friend Karen. Both are so important to me and to my sense of self. I would be lost without them.

  14. I had to click on over and see Melanie’s art and joyful it was. So many thought provoking pieces too!

  15. Love it! So pretty

  16. All I have to say in response to this particular question right now, is I try to be “The Melanie” to those around me. I have to say that I don’t quite have the confidence often to share my wisdom, but I know it’s there. I’m so used to being the one who needs help, the problem. It’s a difficult thing to try to live outside of that role, to others who have known you as only that, and often to yourself. But I have grown so much in recent years, and been able to acknowledge the wisdom that possess.

  17. I took a look at her page and ohhhh, she has a painting there that I love. It’s called “Held” and is an awesome reminder that no matter how things appear on the surface, God’s got me.

  18. I love all of my sisters, but one in particular is able to shine love and wisdom on me all the time.

    Plus, yes, this blog.

  19. Melanie-I love her name but I adore her smile. Everyone needs Melanie in their lives. I’m so happy YOU do, Beth!

  20. I have Melanie’s around me – just no time to talk to them. And now I’m feeling sad for myself… but then again: I do have this website to come and look at and learn from!
    Thanks, again, for writing – and showing that you listen too, if not, you wouldn’t write the way you do.

  21. I’ve got one piece of Melanie’s art on my wall and it makes me stop and listen too.

  22. My daughter Elizabeth, who truly walks in grace, makes me stop, back up and listen. When I was going through the divorce after 36 years of marriage, she wrote me a beautiful letter with the most important words – I see you. She validated me.

  23. Beautiful artwork! Someone is going to be lucky to get a piece of that artwork! I have different Melanies for different times or topics. I have a core group that does a ladies weekend twice a year and that is good stuff.

  24. “my Melanies” are my long time friend Bethannthemum and my Aunt Brenda. My friend Beth is truly a loving person and gives deeply. She is my sounding board when I feel I can’t tell anyone else. My Aunt Brenda uses her good china no matter the occasion. Her home has the feeling of a gentle hug and a warm smile. Food always seems to appear at the exact moment it’s needed and laughter is always heard.

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