Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The gift of peace

The dragonflies in the background were applied with a rubber stamp. Instead of using a stamp pad, I used acrylic paint.

******

Acceptance is the key to serenity.

No matter what the circumstances are, if you practice acceptance, peace will follow.

How often we fight to change things because we're uncomfortable with the circumstances.

We put fear in charge of running our lives.

Learn to sit in the discomfort rather than forcing change. 

Maybe there's a life lesson to be learned from it.

Life lessons are gifts. They help us evolve in our spiritual life.

And remember that resistance to any circumstance will only cause you pain.

I believe with all my heart that everything that happens to us is for our Highest good.

I know that's a lot to embrace, but open your mind to the possibility. You may come to believe...

********

My special little friend Alicia, and my partner Jack. Though they were smiling, earlier they had a disagreement over who was going to eat the last piece of toast (at the Cracker Barrel restaurant). Jack ate it. Alicia said he was "rude". I just chuckled...both of them LOVE to eat... don't mess with their food.

*****

As human beings we all want to be happy and free from misery.
                       
We have learned that the key to happiness is inner peace.
                       
The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such

as anger and attachment, fear and suspicion,...
                      
  Dalai Lama

                                *******


"I trust that what life brings me, serves me"
peaAsAs

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quieting the busy mind

The red circles in the background were done with water soluble crayons. All you do is scribble the area with a crayon (in this one I made red circles). Then take a wet paint brush to blend and dilute the color. It almost like using watercolor paints. Fun, fun, fun...

******

Isn't it kind of crazy how our minds are always spinning stories in our head? Most of the stories aren't even true. They're imaginary scenerios that our minds spend hours entertaining. And how many of those stories are scary ones? I don't know about you, but I don't watch horror flicks. Why on earth would we want to scare ourself by playing frightening untrue stories in our mind? My guess is two reasons; habit and fear.

We get in the habit of thinking too much. And if you're fearful by nature, your stories won't be positive ones.

 Often our thoughts consists of a lot of junk. Don't believe all your thoughts.

Stop the stories when you catch yourself playing them.

Thinking your way through life blocks you from taking the heart journey.

Find nourishing things to do that will help quiet your busy mind.

*****

                  The photo is a little blurry, but there's something about it that still catches my eye.

********

For those who believe,
No proof is necessary.
For those who don't believe,
No proof is possible.

~ Author Unknown ~

                                *******


              "My thoughts no longer hold me hostage"

"I am free to live in my heart"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The power of your thoughts

Created with a charcoal pencil and inexpensive acrylic paints.

****
I want to share this article with you because it's important to know that at every moment your thoughts are directly influencing the quality of your life. If you want more happiness, one of the things that will help you achieve it is positive thinking. Negative self-talk, gossip, embellishing stories, or portraying yourself as a victim rather than empowering yourself by taking responsibility for your circumstances, will not work in your favor. Explore your thinking!

The Power of Your Thoughts by Susan Velez

Do you realize the power of your thoughts? Whatever you focus your thoughts on whether negative or positive will come to pass; especially if you spend a lot of your time focusing on it. Not many people seem to understand this and they spend a majority of their time focusing on things they are worried about like not enough money to pay the bills, they worry about their health and other things that they do not want to experience.

Have you ever thought about a friend you have not heard from in a while and as you give it more thought a couple days later you hear from this person. Do you think that is coincidence? Well it is not, you actually brought that into your life through the power of your thoughts. You can actually test this process out if you are skeptical one of the things you can do is create a vision board. Paste several pictures of things you would like to accomplish, begin focusing on those things on a daily basis and see yourself already in possession of whatever it is you put on your vision board. As you continue doing this daily you will begin attracting those things to you. Things will begin working out the way you want, however you must be open to signs and looking for little miracles that are occurring in your life because of the power of your thoughts....

                                                                                ******

                                   These guys were too busy to notice me (thank goodness).

                                                                         ********

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.

~ Maya Angelou ~

******


"My words have the power to heal or harm someone. May I remember to practice kindness wherever I go"

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Staying out of the fast lane

That's me sitting on the turtle's back...slowing myself down...being more grounded.

******

I'm loving my pace these days;

SLOW
MINDFUL
PEACEFUL
CONTENT
IN THE MOMENT
CONNECTED
PRESENT
HAPPY

My days of life in the fast lane are over...days of instant gratification...seeking to fill an emptiness inside me with something outside of myself (which isn't possible)...looking for others to fill the hole in my soul (that doesn't work either).

My cup is full...

Life has taken a drastic turn for the better.

 I've never felt happier than I am at this moment or more certain that the changes are right for me. I have fallen deeper in love with my surroundings...with people... with myself...with nature.
My heart is brimming with gratitude...joy....warmth...overflowing with LOVE.


I'm discovering that I've had a connection with turtles for a long time. This pic were taken more than ten years ago (before digital cameras).

******


"We're on this journey called "life" to learn only one lesson; how to love"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Making amends to myself


I recently spent six days in the hospital after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I've been home for a week now. My health has been slowly, but steadily improving each day. I can see though, it's going to take time for my body to heal properly. And that's okay. I'm in no rush to get back to any kind of busyness. I look at this experience as my opportunity to make amends to myself for neglecting my needs (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) in the past.

Do you practice good self-care? Today offers you the opportunity to practice being kind, gentle, and loving to yourself. You deserve it!!!!

*******

Some of my older photos. This duck was a hoot to shoot!!!!

********

I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.

Helen Keller

******


"I am worthy"

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The heart of a child

One of my first attempts at doing mixed media art.

I loved the fact that there are no rules to follow with mixed media art. The crazier you get with your piece, the more fun it is, and the better it looks. As you can see, I was still in my cocoon stage with this piece, not quite ready to play freely...just testing out my wings.

I spent so much of my life trying to color inside the lines, wanting to be perfect. I was raised to believe that in order to be loved, you had to be a good little girl. Boy, did I ever want to be loved... I tried to be the best little girl I could, but in doing so, I lost my self...my spirit...my playfulness.. my true nature.

Art has helped me to reconnect to the little girl I used to be. Together, we're learning to play by new rules. No more coloring inside the lines. We make lots of messes... mistakes...explore...play.

******

       I often forget my age because I feel so young. No blue hair or polyester pants in my future.

                                                                         ********

It is important from time to time
to slow down, to go away by yourself,
and simply Be.

~ Eileen Caddy ~

*****


"I will be all that God created me to be"


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"I am enough"


I enjoy creating cute little houses in my artwork.

*****

My word for today is "ENOUGH".

It's taken me a long time to figure out that my core belief "I am not enough" was the driving force behind a lot of my poor decision making, throughout my life. Not feeling good enough made push myself hard so as to prove myself. But no matter what I achieved, it never quieted the critical voice in me. My unworthiness was always ready to point it's gnarly finger at me anyways 
Yuck!!!! I was being so mean to myself.

My truth today is different. My value as a human being has nothing to do with what I do for others or my achievements, or how perfectly I do things. Being enough is about feeling good about myself without all the crazy stuff.... doing too much, going too fast, buying things I don't need, overworking, overextending myself, using food to medicate my feelings....

Are you enough? I would love to hear about you.

If you join as a follower so you can participate in the comment box, you may want to choose a cute name for yourself such as Dragonfly Deb or Yoga Girl.

******




I once loved taking photographs of colorful little beach cottages. I used to fantasize about what it would be like to live in one. It hasn't happened yet. I'm not sure if it's even a dream anymore. I feel very content where I'm at. But it was fun at the time...

******

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.

~ Maya Angelou ~

******


Affirmations for today
I am enough
I do enough
I have enough


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A turtle's pace

If you look close, you'll see little grains of sand (very tiny) that add texture to the paint.
There are so many interesting things to play with in the creative world. There's a little girl in me who wants to try them all.

*******

The last few days of being home have been soothing to my soul.
I'm going to take life slower.
No more pushing, achieving, cramming, driving myself...
I'm looking forward to learning to live deeper.
I'm letting go of my search for MORE..more of this, more of that..
I've learned this past week that I have everything I need.

What is your life pace? Is it too busy? What would you like to change?

******
Rememer this guy from one of my earlier blogs? I meet him in Shamrock Park.
I think he's living life right...

*****

The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen nor touched
but are felt in the heart.

~ Helen Keller ~


"Let me just savor the moments"

Monday, January 23, 2012

There's always a silver lining


Nothing like a week in the hospital to change the direction of your life.

If you've wondered where my daily blogging went off to, I'll give you the mini version.

It started with a trip to the emergency room, nine hours of waiting on tests, and finally being admitted to the hospital. Then another four days of not eating, more IV fluid bags I've ever seen in my life and the worst pain I've ever been in. Than another 2 days of regaining my strength to come home. And here I am...

In just 10 days, my whole life changed. I went from being sicker than I've ever been,
 to coming home happier and freer than I've ever felt. Go figure!!!

I said this year was going to be about freedom. It's starting out with a BANG.

I'll give you more medical details as I slowly process it myself. Right now, I'm focusing my energy on healing.

******

How did I ever take this picture? Isn't he exquisite? As I said before, a cheap camera and some patience..

*****

"I am free"

Friday, January 13, 2012

Free to be ME


My favorite word this year is: FREEDOM.

freedom' independence, moving with ease, lack of attachment

After examining my life, I have some goals for this year. I'm excited. 
At the moment, there's three areas I'm working on. 

The first one is my attachment to food. I love chocolate and popcorn. Both of these comforting bedtime snacks have soothed me since my daughter Jody, died. A week ago, I gave them up.
A buried layer of grief came as a result. I was ready...more healing...part of the process of letting go.

The second thing I'm changing is my relationship with money. I'm less attached to spending than I've ever been in my life. I'm also letting go of worrying about money. Letting go doesn't mean I have more money; it means I have more faith. 

The third area has to do with relationships. Freedom means I can allow people to move in and out my life without attaching needs or expectations to them. It also means making good choices in my friendships so I don't set myself up for unneccessary hurt. If someone tells me "this is who I am", I need to believe them instead of thinking I can change them. Then, in knowing who they are, it's up to me to make mindful choices about what works for me. The desperate woman who once wanted everyone to love her, isn't who I am anymore..

What does freedom mean for you? Are there things you'd like to change this year? What are they?

******
 I came across this picture yesterday of Jody and I.

"I am free to be ME"



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Heart lessons



Reading the article below evoked a lot of feelings in me yesterday.

Feelings of sadness, admiration, compassion, grief... It put me in touch with my own truth about death, having lost a child too. Losing someone you love may violently shove you into a dark passage...you feel alone....you're forced to face your fear of abandonment...but after awhile, being alone is warm and comforting.

To grieve a loss means to surrender. Your heart physically feels like it's breaking...but maybe it's really just expanding...old walls of protection are crumbling...you become more vulnerable.

There's something about grief that makes you feel more alive than you've ever been...you go deeper emotionally than you ever have...you find new strength...you find new purpose...pain transforms you...you emerge from the tunnel different than you were....life will never the same...you will never be the same...plastic parts of your life fall away.

Faith gives you glimpses of hope...you move forward...your life isn't over like you thought it would be...you find the courage to begin again.

You then, have a responsibility to take the lessons you've learned about love and letting go and pay them forward...help someone else...comfort them...change lives...serve.

*****

Lessons of Lily, Sarah, and Grace 
                                                                         

For those of you who haven’t heard this unspeakably tragic story, Madonna lost her daughters and her parents in a house fire on Christmas morning. As the fire fighters pulled her away she said to them, “my whole life is in there.”
I can say I have never heard anything of which I was more certain that that. Those five people were her life. She was limitlessly committed to them, her life revolved around them. She would have died for them.
We went to the funeral yesterday, pre-judging her by the expectations we would have of ourselves in those same circumstances. That simply to breathe would no longer be possible. That existence itself would be more than we could bear. We expected to find a broken woman.
Instead we found a woman whose strength filled a church of well over a thousand people, and who left me with a personal reference point that is unshakable.
That life is an opportunity. A chance. An unimaginable gift.
And we should treat it that way. Every day...

from the mother's eulogy
Lily, Grace, and Sarah are not here with us today and they won’t be here tomorrow and I am trying to come to terms with this.. But I feel very strongly and the reason why I wanted to speak to you today is to let you know who my girls were.. my little girls are not gone from us entirely because my girls are in my heart they’re right here and this is where they live now.. And I want you to remember my girls... they were my little girl tribe...

I have been asked a million times, ”how can you do this, how are you talking, how are you surviving?” Because when I used to hear about people losing a child, or if a child got very, very sick, I would say, “I could never survive that. I could never live through that, I could never, ever, ever live through losing my babies.” But here I am.

 I was a daughter and a mother, and I still intend to be both, so I can make my girls proud and carry them forward in love. This love, I am realizing, is to be my children’s legacies because they left the world at such tender ages that all they left behind was love.
And I think and I pray and I hope that it is all of our great responsibility to spread that love. And for me, God does not call on us just to love because that is too easy. He also calls on us to be of service. Service to our friends, our families to those we know and those we don’t.
So the message I want to share today, on behalf of Lily and Sarah and Grace, is that we can talk all day long about love, but love without service is not enough...

FYI- I wanted to give the person who wrote this article credit for sharing this remarkable story, but I couldn't locate their name.

******


There are other kinds of loss besides death. There's the loss of a dream, a relationship, a job, your health... Going through the grieving process is the only way to make peace with your loss. Shoving your feelings down will keep you stuck. Grief...letting go... surrendering...moves us forward...have faith...beautiful new possibilities waiting for you for your arrival.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Healing from co-dependency

Headbands and ponytails... makes me feel young again.

*****

Here's a good question to ask yourself; what am I ready to change?

My answer is this; co-dependency. It's a painful condition to have to live with.
Years of working on it has greatly enriched the quality of my life.
And I have a good feeling about this year;
 things are going to get even BETTER yet. 

Author Melody Beattie has been instrumental in my recovery. Her wisdom has guided me.

                                                                            *******

                                                                     Melody Beattie

Sometimes, our instinctive reaction to being in a new situation is: Don’t be yourself.

Who else can we be? Who else would you want to be? We don’t need to be anyone else.

The greatest gift we can bring to any relationship wherever we go is being who we are.

We may think others won’t like us.

We may be afraid that if we just relax and be ourselves, the other person will go away... 

We may worry about what the other person will think, but when we relax and accept ourselves, people often feel much better being around us than when we are rigid and repressed...

If others don’t appreciate us, do we really want to be around them?

Do we need to let the opinions of others control us and our behavior?

Giving ourselves permission to be who we are can have a healing influence on our relationships....We relax. The other person relaxes...

Who we are is all we can be, all we’re meant to be, and it’s enough...
                                        
                                                                               *******

                                                                     A picture of cuteness. 

                                                                                *****

Friendship with ones self is all important,
because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~



"I'm the most important person I will ever meet"

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recipe for love


I did a little experimenting with letter art using the word "wisdom". It was fun.

*******


Accept the fact that you are not perfect,

and that other’s may not always approve of you.

Love yourself.

And as you begin to love yourself,

stop engaging in self-destructive behaviors,

dysfunctional relationships, negative self-talk... 


Learn more about love...

how much to give,

when to hold on,

and when to let go.

       Don't look for someone to make you feel happy.

People can only enhance our happiness.

 Make yourself happy.

Love and accept who you are.

You are wonderful.

******


I did not realize when I was sniffing and rubbing this pretty lavender wildflower against my face that there is a bug in it. Yikes!!!!
****

                 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Tortoise and the Hare


Determination brings us closer to our dreams. Sometimes we have to look fear in the face
and say "I won't be listening to you anymore".

****** 

A funny thing happens when my life gets too busy.

A turtle shows up.

Remember Aesop's Fable: The Tortoise and The Hare 
This is a famous story of a race between the tortoise and the hare. It's best known for teaching us that "slow and steady wins the race." The foolish hare takes a nap during the race with the tortoise, and as a result the tortoise - who keeps plodding along, slow and steady - is able to reach the finish line first. He wins the race.

When I see a turtle, I'm reminded to slow down.
Do turtles show up in your life too?

We achieve our dreams by plodding along (like the tortise) rather than by being fast (like the hare).

I need reminding.
 
I often forget this important lesson.

hurry, push, faster... is not the way.

******

Met this big fella in Shamrock Park. He just came over to me as though we were old buddies.

                                                                                   *****

Set your sights high, the higher the better.
Expect the most wonderful things to happen,
not in the future but right now.
Realize that nothing is too good...
~ Eileen Caddy ~

******


"Life is a series of little moments"