Saturday, March 31, 2012

Answered prayers

                 Although pink is my favorite color,  lavender is a good color to photograph too.


I asked for Strength...

And God gave me Difficulties to overcome and to strengthen me.

I asked for Wisdom...

God gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Courage...

God gave me Obstacles to overcome.

I asked for Love

God gave me people to help

I asked for Favors...

And God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted...

But I received everything I needed

author unknown



Things turn out for the best for the people who make the best
out of the way things turn out.

"Art Linkletter"


"My life lessons are perfect for what I need"

Friday, March 30, 2012

The butterfly story

   I took these butterfly photos a few years ago.


The story of the butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:

The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never fly.

The story is an adaptation of a popular story about the emergence of butterflies.


I wish I'd known from the beginning that I was born a strong woman. What a difference it would have made! I wish I'd known that I was born a courageous woman; I've spent so much of my life cowering. How many conversations would I not only started but finished if I'd known I possessed a warrior's heart? I wish I'd known that I'd been born to take on the world; I wouldn't have run from it for so long, but run to it with open arms." Sarah Ban Breathnach



"There is nothing I can't achieve because I've

learned how to fly"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Suffering in silence

                                                                          Love pink!!!!

Off and on for years, I suffered quietly... I suffered from low self-esteem, loneliness, hopelessness...  I put on a false mask of happiness...ashamed to show others I was hurting.

 I know I'm not the only one...

I believe there are more people suffering in silence than not. If you're one of those people, talk to someone about it...don't suffer alone...sharing will help you.

We all need a comforting shoulder to lean on sometimes...being too self-sufficient only isolates you...keeps you stuck. You may tell yourself that others don't care...but they do.

For me, it was shame that held me back so many years from talking about my feelings. I was taught as child to keep my feelings to one wanted to hear them...just to suck it up. That message was damaging. It's not the way I do things anymore...sharing my pain is therapeutic...necessary for my well-being...and yours too.

Reach out...let someone help you...sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is also the right thing we have to do...find the courage...practice good self-care...put an end to suffering in silence.


 I've been doing more reading than creating art, but here's a new one.


There is no agony like
bearing an untold story inside of you.

Maya Angelou 


"It is safe to put my trust in others"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sharing a smile

Taken at Lowry Zoo in Naples


What opens your heart...

Gives you a sense of belonging...

And brings you happiness?

Feeling loved and appreciated...

Loving yourself...

And offering unconditional love to others.


Have you felt like you had the world on your shoulders and then someone gives you a warm smile or a nice compliment and it changes your whole day? Sometimes, we receive a smile that catches us by surprise...especially when it comes from a stranger...a stranger who's heart is generous. These gifts are precious. Return the kindness with a smile back...then go pay it forward to someone never know who's day you may change.


From the Velveteen Rabbit: "...Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand..."


"I can make a difference in the world"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The simple things in life

It seems the butterflies aren't plentiful at the moment, but this pretty little bush had several on it. I love watching the way butterflies seem to waltz in the air with each other, but I've yet to capture it on camera.


When someone asks me "what have you been up to?", I always feel a bit challenged to answer the question. I think I should tell them all the exciting wonderful new things I'm doing but my life isn't like that. It's quiet, simple, relaxed... I've designed it that way...appreciating moments of doing nothing or something simple, but meaningful. Some simple things I dearly love are:

Walks on the beach...

Blueberry pancakes...

The smell of a magnolia flower...

Snuggling in bed with my cat and a good book...


Family get-togethers...

Girl dates...

Girl phone time...

Cooking healthy meals...

Going to the library...

Riding my bike...

Writing, blogging, painting...

A date with my partner...

Going to the movies and eating popcorn...


Afternoon naps...

Giving to others, service work...

What do you love? What things connect with your heart? Is your life simple or complicated?


Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars?" — Nora Roberts



"I appreciate even the smallest things"

Monday, March 26, 2012

My wish for you

I wish for you a life of freedom...

I wish for you to know you're never alone...

I wish for you to believe in your dreams...

I wish for you to know you are worthy...

I wish for you a life filled with love...

I wish for you the very best...


In a dream, I saw myself as a great and colorful butterfly;
 now I am not sure if I am Chuang-Tsu dreaming I was a butterfly,
or a butterfly dreaming I was Chuang-Tsu.

- Chuang-Tsu


"I am deserving"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A sense of belonging

                           Our Soul

In the silence, we find climatic moments where we are connected to a deep inner place called our “soul.”  
From this sacred richness, there is a strong sense of belonging that links us to the sweet essence of who we are.
In the stillness, we are home.
"I am always connected"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Prayer

I wrote this poem in the early years of my recovery. At the time, I was in a lot of emotional pain and very afraid of what the future held. But it was pain and struggle that forced me to surrender, and in the surrender, I first began a relationship with God. 

My prayer is to let go of fear
The fear of change
The fear of what tomorrow will bring
The fear of being powerless

My prayer is to release the past
To forgive those who have hurt me
And to forgive myself
for hurting others
My prayer is to be the best person I can be
To offer unconditional love
To be gentle, kind,
Patient and thoughtful

My prayer is to have the faith
To trust that whatever comes my way
Will not be more than I can handle
And is for my highest good.


Faith...When you come to the edge of all the light you have,
and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on,
or you will be taught how to fly.

~ Patrick Overton ~


"I trust that everything in my life is perfect just as it is"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Living a creative life

Photos taken on my bike ride.

Taking Hold of Life

It was here
On the waters edge that she was ready to listen
The sound of the ocean healed her
The voice from within spoke calmly
Nudging her to observe her surroundings
Soak in the beauty, the peace, the warmth

She picked up her demons
The ones who have been trailing her for to long
And tossed them far into the ocean
They have been hanging around to much lately
Dragging her through the mud kicking and screaming

She was strong enough to let go
And so she did just that
There was no grand gesture, no harsh words said
Just a simple goodbye as they splashed into the sea
And the weight from her shoulders was lifted

She was in control now
Ready to write her own story
Create her next adventure
With camera and notebook in tow she stepped forward
Into the one life that was hers, the life she was choosing to live

Jeniifer Belthoff


Jennifer's poems are awakening my inner poet. I've dabbled with writing poems off and on for a few I'm feeling drawn to write again. In the past, I was never one to even read poetry, but I've discovered that when poems tell a story I can identify with...pieces of my own story...I enjoy reading them a lot.

We all have creative gifts waiting to be discovered. Try new will be surprised when you find out how many hidden talents you have tucked away.


If you deliberately plan on
being less than you are capable of being,
then I warn you
that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life.

~ Abraham H Maslow ~


"Every day brings a new adventure"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This, too, shall pass


According to an ancient story, there lived a king in the middle East who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The slightest things would upset him. The king wanted help so he sent for a wise man. When the wise man came, the king said "Can you give me something that will bring balance, serenity and wisdom into my life?"

The wise man returned a few weeks later and handed the king a box carved in jade. In it, the king found a simple gold ring with an inscription that said; This, too, shall pass. The wise man said "wear this ring always and whatever happens to you, good or bad, read the inscription and you will always be at peace.

The word inscribed on the ring are a reminder to let go of any attachment we have to how things go in our lives. Acceptance is always the key to serenity. Detachment allows us to accept life on life's terms without judgement.

some parts are from Eckhard Tolle's book "The New Earth".



You can participate in the dance of creation without placing demands on the world such as; fulfill me, make me happy, make me feel safe, tell me who I am. The world can not give you those things, and when you longer have those expectations, all self-created suffering ends.

Eckard Tolle "The New Earth"


"I accept life on life's terms"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A child at heart

Life is an adventure
Moments of joy, laughter, and fun
Being silly
Tossing caution to the wind
Wishing on stars
Standing on the edge
Learning to soar

Children smile 400 times a day on average ... adults 15 times.
Children laugh 150 times a day ... adults 6 times per day.
Children play between 4-6 hours a day ... adults only 20 minutes a day.
What's happened?

~ Robert Holden  ~


This flamingo had a lot of personality and no fear of people. He would eat from your hand, but I also saw him peck a bald man on the head so I decided to keep a little distance between us.


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

~ Helen Keller ~


"I'll always be a child at heart"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lost in my mind

My first walk on the beach this year. The weather was beautiful. I don't often take my camera to the beach, but this time I did.


Every now and then I take a stab at writing prose/poetry. I'm still in training pants, but I need to take risks and share my creative adventures....I don't have to be perfect. After my beach walk yesterday, I went home and wrote this one.

Lost in my Mind

I stepped away from my heart
Traveling further into my mind   
Although there’s only inches between
The journey takes me far away

I’ve wandered off the path again
 Losing myself to my thoughts
Replaying the old stories
And making up new ones

My mind looks for gratification
 Seeking happiness outwardly
I look for myself in others
Forgetting who I really am

The journey back is not an easy one
So I must be still
Pray, breathe, trust…

Unless you start doing something different,

you are in for more of the same.

 Author Unknown


"To grow, I will take new risks every day"

Monday, March 19, 2012

The gift of friendship

After losing his parents, this 3 year old orangutan was so depressed he wouldn't eat and didn't respond to any medical treatments. The veterinarians thought he would surely die from sadness. The zoo keepers found an old sick dog on the grounds in the park at the zoo where the orangutan lived and took the dog to the animal treatment center. The dog arrived at the same time the orangutan was there being treated. The 2 lost souls met and have been inseparable ever since.
The orangutan found a new reason to live and each always tries his best to be a good
companion to his new found friend. They are together 24 hours a day in all their activities. 
They live in Northern California where swimming is their favorite past time, although Roscoe (the orangutan) is a little afraid of the water and needs his friend's help to swim.
Together they have discovered the joy and laughter in life and the value of friendship.
No coincidence that I was going to write about friendship today, then got an email from a friend this morning with this news story. The pictures tell it all...

On the topic of friendship, I'd like to express my appreciation for the wonderful women I have met over the years who have inspired me....women who shared not only their hearts, but their stories...their stories have given me strength...I admire everyone of them for their uniqueness...I don't care what kind of car someone drives or if they even have one, what their job is, or where they live...I simply admire people's courage...each of these women have walked through difficult challenges...some have made the climb...some have not...I've lost friends to the disease of addiction...but their stories are embedded in my heart forever...some of these women have also been affected by their loved ones disease...a very difficult journey to walk...having to let go...trying to find some faith in what the future holds.

My heart-felt thanks to all the women who have been a part of my journey...know that each of you are special to have lifted me up...given me hope...inspired me...and shaped my future. God bless!

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.

~ A Course in Miracles ~
"My heart is open to love"