Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection


                                                                You're off to great places.
                                                                    Today is your day.
                                                               Your mountain is waiting.
                                                                   So get on your way."
                                    Dr. Seuss

 Every time I read this quote it makes me feel excited like something wonderful is about to happen.  I hope that it makes you feel the same.  It is almost 2013 and there are lots of things I want to do, lots of mountains I want to conquer.  Some are exciting things, like getting to meet and coach lots of wonderful people.  Others are a lot more mundane like conquering that mountain of laundry that keeps reappearing each week.  Life is made up of all types of mountains.  Some big, some small.  But they are our mountains to conquer and to enjoy as we do.  Remember as Dr. Seuss would say, "You're off to great places.  Today is your day.  Your mountain is waiting.  So get on your way."  I would love to know what mountain is waiting for you in 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

This morning at the end of our yoga class there was a short guided meditation.  We were asked to think of a short sentence that we could carry with us throughout the day and to share with others if it felt right.  The sentence that came immediately into my mind was , "Remember all that you have accomplished."   I thought this was such a powerful reminder for me especially at this time of year.  It is so easy to move on to the next thing that has to be taken care of that we forget about all that we have accomplished not just during this day or year but during our lifetime.  So I would like to share with you my mantra for today, "Remember all that you have accomplished."

I hope that you will enjoy, share, and celebrate your accomplishments not only today but every day.  I do believe that when we share our hopes, dreams, and accomplishments with the world magic happens.  One of the strategies that I was taught in my Kaizen-Muse classes was to keep a reminder journal just for this purpose.  Each day I write just one sentence on a page to remind myself of a thought, quote, or accomplishment that happened that day.  It's easy to forget but so important to remember.  Keeping a Reminder Journal is an easy way to remember all that is special!

I have linked this post with Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  Both are wonderful places to visit

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

It is cold and windy and the rain is hitting the windows.  It's a perfect night to stay home and wrap presents or read a book. I love this time of year.  I like the colored lights, the Christmas trees, and the songs that play on the radio.  I like to drink a hot cup of tea with a cookie or two or maybe three. And I like to think about the year that is almost over and what I have accomplished. 

This year many of the blogs I read suggested ways to celebrate the year that is almost over before moving on. Many of them suggested questions that you can ask yourself such as," What is something that you would like to bring with you into 2013 that you did in 2012?" That one is easy for me.  I want to continue to create.  I want to play more with my pastels and learn about other mediums as well.  As we get closer and closer to the new year, I am so grateful for all of the things that I have experienced and learned throughout 2012.  Each year brings with it new opportunities and new challenges. Both have given me opportunities to stretch and grow.  For that I am very grateful.   What are you most grateful for this week?

I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.  I hope that you take time to enjoy each and every very special moment!

Please take a minute to visit all of the wonderful artists at Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  It is a wonderful way to start the weekend.

Wednesday's Walk

Monday I was listening to a psychologist on TV and was just about to turn the channel when I heard him say that one of the things we can do for our children is to encourage their creativity.  It teaches them, as it does for us, to build things up rather than tear them down. Think about how many ways each day creativity plays a part in our life.  So many people say, "Oh, I'm not creative."  But, we all are.  The way we comb our hair, choose our clothes, and solve our problems are all part of our creativity if we are present when we are doing them and not thinking of other things..  Creativity comes in all shapes and forms.  It is the journal we keep, the painting we paint, the songs we choose to listen to.  It is the action we take to help a friend, the thoughts we have to make the world a better place, the way we volunteer to help others.

So I think it is important that we all acknowledge our own creativity and what a difference celebrating it and allowing others to share in that celebration can make for the world.  It is very normal to be critical of our own work and to find that one tiny flaw that keeps us from sharing our writing, our painting, our cooking with friends and family.  But if we can model for our children how much fun it is to create something, how it is ok if it is not perfect, and how much joy we give others by sharing the things we create maybe they too will be able to share this part of themselves with others and the world will become a brighter and happier place for everyone.

Ask yourself today, "How can I share my creative self with others?"   You don't have to answer your question right away.  Be patient and see what answer appears.  But ask the question so the answer can come.

                " You don't need diamonds to help your light shine brighter and brighter.  It comes from knowing who  you are, what you love to do and sharing your dreams and yourself with the world.  Then it is easy to sparkle."
                                                             Ginny Lennox,  Certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach              

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

I feel like I should be creating something snowy and Christmas like but when I started to paint with my pastels this is what appeared.  I have not had a lot of time to paint this week, or maybe I should say I have not made the time to paint, but when I put the chalk into my hands today everything fell into place.  I am so grateful that I gave pastels another chance.  The first time I ever painted with pastels was in a class filled with people who had been using them for years.  The teacher was great and encouraged me every step of the way but I was too busy comparing my work with everyone else's to really enjoy myself.  The next time I took a class and we used pastels I had stopped comparing my work to others (well not completely stopped but I was better about it) and I found that I loved the feel and the look of the pastels.  Now even if I just have ten minutes, I can start to paint and the world disappears.  It is just me, the pastels, and whatever happens to appear.  So this week I am very grateful that I have stopped comparing my work to the work of others and that I gave pastels a second chance. Now rather than compare my work to someone else's I am inspired by what they have accomplished.  This shift in perspective has helped to open up a whole new creative world and for that I am very grateful. I would love to know what you are most grateful for this week.

I know that this is a very busy time of year but I would like to invite you to visit the artists at Paint Party Friday and Creative Everyday.  It is a gift that you will be so glad that you gave to yourself today.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

As I sit here getting ready to write, I stop and take a deep breath.  It is so nice to see the two dogs calmly sleeping nearby and hear the voices of my husband and his friends downstairs playing cards.  The house is decorated for Christmas and the presents are waiting to be bought.  We have simplified our wish list, our decorations, and now we get to enjoy the season without the hustle and bustle.  I cannot think of anything better and for that I am very grateful.

But across town, at my son's house it is a different story. It is so much fun to visit and to watch our grandsons get ready for Christmas.  A house filled with young boys is a house filled with excitment.  They can't wait to get up each morning to see where Jack, the elf, has landed that night.  Everyone remembers that Jack has the magical ability to converse with Santa and let him know what each boy or girl is doing every day leading up to Christmas. So good behavior abounds.  I am sure their parents are very grateful for that.  And I am grateful that I get to experience the best of both worlds. 

Our art class was lots of fun this week.  We were each to create an abstract using the medium of our choice.  Abstracts are out of my comfort zone and of course my painting had a landscape in it but I did try to do something different. I used watercolors as my base and then added pastel.  The above picture was how I began but with a little encouragement and lots of help the painting ended up like this.  I think I like it best before adding the peephole but it was fun to try something new. 

As I do each Friday, I am linking my post to Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  I hope you will stop by and visit all of the wonderful and supportive artists.  Both are great places to meet new friends.

“You don't need diamonds to make your light shine brighter and brighter. It comes from knowing who you are, what you love to do, and sharing your dreams and yourself with the world. Then it is easy to sparkle."
                                                                                          Ginny Lennox, Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

As I am walking, one of my goals is to really pay attention to where I am going and what I am seeing.  I try to look at all of the beautiful colors around me or smell the freshly cut grass.  Most of the time my goal is to be fully present in my walk and to enjoy every moment.

There are other times when I am walking that I have a different goal.  There may be something on my mind that I want to be able to answer or solve.  For many people, writing in a journal is a perfect way to answer a question or discover what they are really feeling.  I have found that if  I ask myself a small question while I am walking the creative side of my brain often kicks into gear.  If I don't find the answer that I am looking for, I wait.  Eventually, an idea or maybe more than one will appear. It may not be the answer I want to follow but it is the beginning that can lead to the change that I am looking for. 

About a year ago Jamie Ridler (Jamie Ridler Studios) asked me this question, "Do you realize what a great life you are creating?"  I stopped and thought and thought some more. I  was really surprised at how differently this question made me look at the life I was living.  I had never thought about the fact that I was indeed creating the life I was living rather than just reacting to situations as they arose.  I was making conscious choices about how I wanted to spend my time.  I was learning more about myself so that when I did choose to do something it was because it was something I valued doing and would add to the quality of my life or someone else's life.  I was surrounding myself with supportive people and learning new things.  Now, because of this question I stop before starting something new.  I ask myself many small questions to determine if this new idea or activity or situation will add something to the life that I am creating. It is fun to think of my life as something I am not only living but creating just like a beautiful story or painting.   Today I would like to ask you a question. 
                       What is one small step that you can take to create the life you want to live?

Remember, by asking small questions and taking small steps you can not only create a wonderful life or produce a extraordinary product or experience but you can enjoy the entire journey along the way.  Why not start today?  Ask yourself a small question and then take a very small step towards creating the life you always wanted to live.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

This is a week of celebrations for me.  In August I began my journey to become a Kaizen-Muse Coach.  On Wednesday I finished that journey.  It was an exciting last classed filled with fun and hope and dreams for the future.  Then I received an email that an article I wrote for Creative Dream Journals had been posted, and this morning I was quoted on in another piece.  I believe in synchroncity and for all of this to happen on the same day reinforces that I am on the right path.  Once again I have to thank all of the people that have sent me encouraging comments and notes along the way.  It is important to have people who support and encourage you to follow your dreams.  I have come to realize that some of my best supporters are people I have never met but I really hope to some day.  So once again thank you!
One of the things I love to do is to share what I have learned and today I just want to encourage you to follow your dreams in whatever way you can at the moment.  Each small step that is celebrated along the way creates a journey filled with excitement and happiness. There was a time when I would have been thrilled with the accomplishments I mentioned above but I probably would not have shared them with others or celebrated them.  Now, I realize I was cheating myself and maybe someone else as well.  There is room for all of us to shine. Let your light shine brightly this holiday season.  For when you shine your light, it encourages others to shine theirs as well!

“You don't need diamonds to make your light get brighter and brighter. It comes from knowing who you are, what you love to do, and sharing your dreams and yourself with the world. Then it is easy to sparkle."
                                                                           Ginny Lennox, Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach

I have linked this post to Paint Party Friday, Creative Dream Journals, and Creative Every Day.  Each one of these blogs will introduce you to an amazing and supportive group of creative artists, writers, bloggers, and dreamers!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

It's Thanksgiving night and we have had a wonderful day.  We were lucky enough to spend the day with my son and his family.  As I get older it seems like each day is a little longer (I am grateful for that) but the years seem to fly by.  I don't quite understand it but I accept that is the way life is, at least for me.  I treasure each day and each holiday that I get to spend with my family and friends.

For the past several years I have chosen a word for the year.  It's been fun and it has helped me to focus on what I wanted to accomplish.  This year I chose the word trust.  It has proven to be a great word.  When you like to control things its not easy to always trust that things will turn out as they should.  But, as I have learned to let go this year, I have also learned that a little trust will go a long way.  So this week, as I begin to reflect upon the past year and all that I have accomplished, I am also beginning to think about which word I will choose to guide me through 2013.  As I think about all of the words that I have to choose from, I am going to give myself time to settle in on the perfect one.  I have learned to trust that I don't have to always have the answer to a question right away.  If I give myself time and space, the answer will come to me.  So in continuing my Friday gratitude practice, the thing that I am most grateful for is that this year I chose the word trust as my word for the year.  It helped me to open doors that I didn't even know were closed.  Won't you join me in thinking about a word that you would like to use to guide you through 2013?   It's really fun and it can be exciting to find out where just one little word can take you. 

This post has been linked to Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  These are two wonderful blogs that I know you will enjoy visiting. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday's Walk - One Step Closer

As I write this I am so excited for all of the steps that I have taken to become a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.  My journey started in August and my last official class was today.  Next week, we will go on a celebration cruise.  No, not a real cruise but if it is anything like the other calls I have been on I know it will be lots of fun.  Then I'll have my final exam, and hopefully will be certified by the end of December.  Each step of this journey has been different.  First I was in awe of all that there was to learn.   Then I couldn't wait to share with others all the incredible strategies that are now in my toolbox to overcome procrastination or perfectionism or just plan overwhelm.  I have a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Eve.  Becoming a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach is definitely one thing I am very grateful for this year.   

If you have any questions about exactly what a creativity coach does, I would love to answer them. Don't forget taking just one small step towards something that you have always wanted to do can lead you on an incredible journey.  Why not start today?
                         When you share your dreams with the world, magic happens!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection


                                         "Live out of your imagination, not your history."  Stephen Covey

As I walked along this beach several weekends ago, I was imagining all types of different scenarios.  Althought I love to live in the present moment, sometimes that moment is spent in planning, or dreaming, or just thinking.  This walk was meant for just that.  Dreaming and planning.  As I get closer and closer to becoming a certified creativity coach, I dream about the people I will work with.  I think about how much fun it will be share what I have learned through my Kaizen-Muse training.  I think about the workshops I want to give and the people I hope to meet.

 One of the most important things we can do as a creative person is to believe in ourself and our dreams.  It is important to know what we truly love to do and than to find a way to do just that.  There are so many ways that we can express ourselves.  Living a purposely creative life is a goal for many.  Sharing our gifts and talents with others is a goal for others.  Taking minutes, hours, days, or weeks or a lifetime to paint, write, act, sing, dance, or take pictures is a dream come true for some.  We are all different.  We are all unique.  We all want different things.  And just as there are many different hopes and dreams, there are many paths in life that take us where we want to go.  My walk along the beach several weeks ago was an hour spent on a path that I believe will lead me to a special place.  I am anxious to continue on this journey and to have others join me.  That is why I chose this picture to be part of Kat Sloma's Photo- Heart Connection this month. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Art Every Day Month

This is the second year that I am participating in Art Every Day.  Last year I met many wonderful artists that I have kept in touch with throughout the year.  This year I hope to do the same.  The vision board that I created several days ago is very simple and has lots of blank space but I think that is the way it is supposed to be.  It is on the wall behind my desk to remind me of some of things I hope to do when I begin working with clients as a creativity coach.  But this morning, I realized it is also exactly what I would like to do this month as I participate in Art Every Day. 

It is fun to continually explore our creativity.  I look at each day as an opportunity to discover more about myself and what I love to do. The more I can identify the things that I am passionate about the easier it is to pursue my dreams.  We all grow and change and as we do our dreams, goals, and opportunities change as well.  I am going to use this month to learn more about who I am as a creative person.  Creativity comes in all shapes and forms.  It can be as simple and structured as my vision board.  Or it can be as elaborate and complicated as you want to make it.  You can express your creativity in the way you cook, the clothes you wear, or the house you live in.  The words you use, the pictures you draw, or the way you photograph people can all tell the world what is important to you. 

It's is important to honor our creativity.  The more we use it, the more there is to use. The more we notice the creativity that is all around us, the more there is to notice. This month I hope to intentionally create something each and every day.  It will be fun to see where this part of my journey takes me. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

It is amazing how fast the weeks are going by.  It has been a beautiful fall and I hate to see it end.  But the good thing is that I know each year there will be another fall to celebrate.  And celebrate each day is what I intend to do.  This was a busy week of coaching for me.  I am almost done with my training to become a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.  This has been a wonderful experience and I am so anxious to share what I have learned with others. We are all creative people living creative lives.  Some of us have just come to this realization and others have known since they were very young just how important their creativity is to them.  I can't wait to begin working with women of all ages who have a project they want to explore, a dream they want to pursue, need help writing or painting, or want to be sure that they are using all of the wonderful skills they have to live the most creative life possible.  The possibilities for all of us are endless but one of the things I have learned on my personal journey is how important it is to have that person or persons who are there to support us.  And that is what I am grateful for this week.  This has been a week filled with practice coaching.  It has been a week filled with possibilities, plans, and dreams.  It has been a week filled with laughter and maybe a tear or two.  It has been a week filled with excitement.  And for all of that I am most grateful.  I would love to know what you are most grateful for this week.
   I am linking my post to Paint Party Friday and Creative Everyday.  I hope you will visit both sites.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for, but some weeks it seems harder to remember this than others.  That is why I try so hard to stop and think each day about what has happened over the past 24 hours that was special in its own way.  This week as I drove home each day, I noticed the leaves changing colors. Each day more and more trees proudly displayed brilliant red, bright yellow, or vibrant orange leaves.  It's hard not to feel good when nature presents us with a beautiful gift each day.  And it is those gifts of color and beauty that I am very grateful for this week.  What made you happy or smile this week? I would love to know.

           Please take a minute to visit the wonderful artists who share their work at Paint Party Friday.        
                                                    It is a great way to start the weekend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

As I walked along this beach so many ideas that had been formulating in my head became so much clearer.  The classes I am taking to become a certified coach, the workshops I am planning to give, the coaching I want to offer to people who are following their creative path became so much clearer.   It is when I am walking alone, quietly thinking, that ideas begin to germinate, excitement begins to bubble, and action begins to take place.  Placing one foot in front of the other, listening to the sounds of the waves, and quietly living in the moment helped the future become an exciting reality last week.
Do you have a favorite place to go when you need to be alone and to think?  We all need that quiet special place to go to.  It can be a corner of our bedroom, a special place in the backyard or a chair in front of the fireplace. I would love to say that a walk on the beach is where I always go.  But that is just not so.  I live six hours away from the ocean so I don't get there that often.  But on this particular day, I took advantage of the time I had with the sounds of the waves licking at my feet to think about the world that I am creating and to celebrate the day that I was experiencing. It was one of those special walks that I will remember forever.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday's Quiet Moment of Gratitude

When I started this painting I had nothing special in mind to paint.  I knew there would be water in my painting because there almost always is.  I also knew there would be a mountain or two because they too always seem to appear in my work.  Some people encourage me to branch out and to try something new.  And I do.  But when I have the chance to paint alone, just for me, the theme seems to stay the same.  And I am ok with that.  When we know who we are and what we like the choices become easier.  I know I love water.  I know I love mountains. I know I love soft colors.  We all know what we like.  We all know what challenges us and what provides those quiet soft moments.  Tonight I chose quiet and soft and that felt right.  I am grateful that I am able to experience this type of moment often and then share the results with you.
                      I would love to know what you are most grateful for this week.

Each Friday I share my paintings and my thoughts with the artists at Paint Party Friday.  Everyone is invited and I promise you that you will meet wonderful and supportive artists from all over the world.  It is great way to start the weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

This is a pastel I did at class on Monday.  I feel like it is a collaborative piece since my instructor and I worked on it together in so many ways.  On Wednesday I wrote that I knew I would be inspired by the picture I took of the sky and when I looked at my painting I realized that I had been because the mountain reflected so many of the colors that were in the picture.  It was a great reminder to me of the importance of being aware at all times of the beauty that surrounds me.

On Friday it has become my practice to share with the world what I am most grateful for this week.  This week it is again for the people who have come into my life.  I know that I have written about my husband's illness before.  The medicine he has to take has serious and very unpleasant side effects but he is committed to doing whatever he can to feel as good as he can so he never misses a dose.  He has talked to many wonderful health professionals about what he could do about the side effects but nothing has worked.  The other day he had a call from someone new to check on him and he again explained what was happening and asked if this person had any advice.  And they did.  Something as simple as rinsing out his mouth after taking the medicine has made a huge difference. I am of course so grateful for this person and their knowledge.  I am also grateful that they took the time to listen and had the ability to understand what was happening.

It think this is such a great life lesson in so many ways.  It reminds me that if I have a problem I should never give up trying to find a solution.  It reminds me of the importance of finding the right person with the right answer.  It might not be the first, second, or third person I ask but eventually I will be able to find the answer or at least some type of information.  It also reminds me of how important it is to listen to someone and how if I can offer just a simple solution to their problem I can make a huge difference in their daily life. You never know when the information you share will have the power to change someone's life for the better.  I hope that you have had a great week and will share what you are grateful for experiencing this week.

                          I have linked this post to Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

This week I don't have a new painting to share but I do have a painting that I did a long time ago that I wanted to write about.  When I first started painting I was very self conscious about what I was creating and I can still be but I'm getting better about this.  When I painted this girl, I knew there were so many things technically wrong with the painting but I still liked it.  No one else in the class said anything about it (good or bad) and it didn't matter.  I just liked it so I framed her and hung the painting where I could see it but not really in a prominent place where others may also enjoy it.  Because of the comments many of you have made over the course of the time I have been visiting Paint Party Friday, I think I'll move her where others can see her.  I've come to realize (because of your comments) that my work doesn't have to be perfect for it to mean something to someone. One painting I posted reminded someone of a lake they went to when they were young.  The same painting reminded someone else of the ocean and how much it meant to them and a third person a river they sat by when they wanted to relax. They all saw the same painting, they all saw something different, and they all were reminded of a place they loved.  If my paintings, whether they are technically correct or not, connect with others and remind them of something special, or peaceful, or exciting than I am very very happy and I have accomplished what I have set out to do. 

I am very grateful this week for so many things but I am just going to mention just one.  It's fall.  The weather is cool in the morning, warm (not hot) in the afternoon, and cool again in the evening.  It's my favorite time of year and I am going to enjoy every moment.  How about you?  What makes you smile this week? 
                             I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday a very special place.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler's Studios posted this on Facebook today.  I thought it was such a great reminder that I wanted to share it with everyone.

         Osho Zen Card - Success - Enjoy every drop of happiness and take the future as it comes 
                                     without regret. 

As I go through life I realize that every day comes with great challenges which turn into great opportunities all of which can lead to great success.  It is the small steps that we take that lead us to interesting adventures and exciting journeys.  The important thing for me is to actually notice the difference that each small step makes in my life.

Several years ago I began taking yoga.  I was by far the oldest in the class, the least flexible, and the most self-conscious.  But with a wonderful and caring teacher and lots of practice and dedication, I now feel that I can truly call myself a yogi.  Yesterday, I had the privilege of working with two women who are new to yoga and together we had a wonderful session.  It is amazing what opportunities for growth life offers us if we are open to new ideas. Yesterday was really exciting for me and I hope for the others. 

With a lot of hard work came success.  At the end of the session, I truly enjoyed a great feeling of happiness that I will call upon the next time I need to do something new and challenging.  As you go through each day, take the time to notice the small challenges and accompanying successes that you are experiencing.  And then take a deep breath and experience the happiness that accompanies the moment!  It feels great!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection

Last week I took a short break from blogging.  It was an unintended break but a break just the same.  Today I realized I missed blogging.  So I am back and excited about writing again.  Sometimes just a short break from something, even when we love doing it, is just what we need to get the creative energy flowing again.

Last week I decided to also take a short break from pastels.  I thought I would try creating a zentangle.  I read a little bit about them and thought that they were made for me.   I was a great doodler in high school and still love to draw.  In the short amount of reading that I did, it said the purpose of the drawing was to relax you, thus the name Zentangle.  I enjoyed working on this tiny piece of art but soon realized that I was taking my zentangle just as seriously as I did my pastels.  Since I am studying to be a creative coach with Jill Badonsky, I decided it might be just the right time to put into practice what I am learning.  I stopped trying to make my zentangle perfect, took a deep breath, and enjoyed the time I spent creating.  If you too have even a little bit of perfectionist in you, and who doesn't, maybe Jill's quote above will help you too.  I hope everyone has a great week filled with special moments and creative endeavors.  Talk to you again on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

                If the only prayer you said in your whole life was "thank you" that would suffice.
                                                                                                 Meister Eckehart, German Theologian

Each Friday I take just a moment to think of all the things that I have to be thankful for.  Since beginning this practice several years ago it is amazing how the list seems to grow and grow and yet many of the same things appear week after week.  It is a wonderful reminder of all that is important to me.

The ocean is very important to me.  It gives me such a peaceful feeling everytime I get to visit it.  It inspires me to try new things and it reminds me that as much as things change they stay the same. It is a place to go where I can rest and relax, think and have fun, and really take the time to fully focus on what it important in life. So I am very excited that we will be planning a trip to the beach soon.  It's been almost a year since I heard the sound of the waves crashing against the beach and I can't wait.  So this week I am very grateful that I get to plan a trip to one of my favorite places.

What are you most grateful for this week?  Is it a special place, person, or memory?  Or maybe it is something else.

I am sharing my pastel with all of the artists at Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  Both are wonderful places to visit. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection

"It"s not just about the creativity.  It's about the person you're becoming while you're creating."  Charlie Peacock

It is interesting to think about the person I am becoming as I become more creative.  I am more aware of my surroundings, enjoy nature more, and make a point to stand quietly each day as I observe the changes that are happening around me in that very moment.  As I create, I am always learning more about myself. 
On Wednesday I took a walk for the purpose of photographing something different.  I went to a place filled with concrete and buildings, cars and people.  As I walked and looked, looked and walked, I found the prettiest pink flowers and that is what I took pictures of.  I am open to taking pictures of buildings and cars and people but I realize that I love to take pictures of pink flowers.  So that is what I do.  The more creative I become, the more I learn about myself and others.  The more creative I become, the more confidence I have in who I am and what I can do.  The more creative I become, the more I enjoy beautiful things.  The more creative I become, the more I realize that less is more.  The more creative I become, the more creative I want to be.

                   What about you?  It would be interesting to know how creativity is changing you. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

   Stop. Breathe. Allow yourself the luxury of doing nothing for a moment, or an hour, or      
                   even a day.  It is in emptiness that inspiration will appear.  
Carole Katchen

It's really fun to paint a picture and stand back and look at it.  Then it's fun to put it on the computer and again stand back and look at it.  Paintings look different in daylight than they do at night.  They look different when they are framed and hanging on the wall and they look different on the computer. As I learn to look and really see, it amazes me how one painting can take on so many different looks.  This painting is almost finished but not quite.  I think just a few more details and I will be finished.  I am learning to slow down and really look at my paintings just as I am continuing to learn what it means to slow down and appreciate and enjoy my life.

Each Friday I take a minute to reflect upon what I am grateful for. It amazes me how the list is almost always the same. But this list is a great reminder to me to take the time to thank the people that are important to me and who make a difference in my life and the lives of my family members.  My list reminds me to take time each day to enjoy the sunshine or the rain.  It reminds me to look at the sky and to stop and smell the freshly mowed grass and look at the beautiful new flowers.  My list is rarely about big trips or new purchases.  Those things are great but they don't happen often.  It is the simple things that happen day after day that really make life special.  And those are the things that I am most grateful for this week.
                                                     What are you grateful for this week?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

Each month I contribute an article to Jamie Ridlers Creative Dream Journal.  Today I wrote my September post.  The topic for September is completion.  It was interesting to think about what completion has meant to me in the past and what it means to me now.  The way I think about completion has changed a lot in the past six months.  It always amazes me how much I can change.  But that is what makes life interesting.  Changing and learning and growing. 


 There were times that completion meant a feeling of loss.  There were times when I completed something that I felt a real sense of emptiness.  All of the planning, all of the work, all of the excitement was over and the feeling that I was left with was emptiness.  At these times I realized how much I enjoyed the journey and now that it was over how much I missed it.  These were the times I asked myself, “What should I do next?” 

Other times completion meant a feeling of joy and excitement.  I had reached a goal or accomplished a task and I felt good about it.  I already knew what I wanted to do next and I was ready to start.

Now completion means that one door has closed leaving room for another door to open.  I have come to realize that there is always another door, another journey, another adventure to be taken.  The important part is not the ending but the moments between the beginning of something new and its completion.   Enjoying the challenge, the fun, the excitement and then celebrating the completion is what I do now. I live in the present while I prepare for the future.    I don’t worry about what is going to happen next.  I have come to realize that as long as I am open to learning new things there will always be a new beginning with a wonderful ending to celebrate.   That is what completion means to me today.  What does it mean to you?

Footnote:  When I finished typing this piece I looked to my right.  On my windowsill sat a quote and a note I wrote to myself on New Year’s Day.  The quote was from Joseph Campbell and said, “Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.”  The note that I wrote to myself said, “Trust that doors will open in 2012.”  They have opened and I know they will continue to do so.  Just another “wink” as Jamie Ridler would say from the Universe that I am on the right path.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

      "When I say be creative, I don't mean you should all go and become great painters and      
        great poets.   I simply mean let your life be a painting, let your life be a poem."  Osho

I began working on this painting last week and really enjoyed finishing it yesterday.  There were times when I froze a little, not sure what to do next, but for the most part I worked just a little every day until I felt it was done.  I enjoyed getting up a little earlier each day to work on it.  

No rush, no pressure, just slow down and have fun has been my motto this week. My life actually moves at a pretty slow pace compared to so many but I realized when I move even a little slower I actually accomplish quite a bit more.  Did you realize creativity takes place when you are experiencing the moment?  This week I tried as much as possible to live in the moment and to experience all that was taking place.  To be aware of the importance of living in the moment and for the privilege of being able to do this, I am very grateful this week.
                                     What are you grateful to have experienced this week? 

              I have linked this post to Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day both wonderful places to visit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday's Quote and Questions


                                             "Adopt the pace of nature."  Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you did adopt the pace of nature how would that change your life?  Would you go slower?  Would you move quicker?  Would the seasons make a difference in the way you do things?   We all have our own things we need to learn.  If you adopted the pace of nature, what would you learn about yourself and the life you are creating and living?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

It's Friday time to celebrate with the artists at Paint Party Friday.  I really look forward to visiting all of the artists to see what they have created each week.  I have learned so much from them and I am always grateful for their comments and support.  When I was a young teacher (many many years ago) the teacher in the room next door was always there when I needed her.  We laughed together, shared ideas, and became really good friends.  We still are.  Now, I feel just like I did way back then only the support and friendship I need comes from people who understand what it feels like to share something you have created with the world.  For me, it has been a wonderful experience because of the kindness I have found in the blogging community and for that I am very grateful.

The above painting is a work in progress.  I usually hurry to finish so I will have something to post on Friday.  But I am learning that it is important to take my time and really think about what I am painting.  I love the colors in this piece and I want to finish it slowly and enjoy the creative process.  I remember the first day I stood in front of a classroom and really felt like a teacher.  I think I may be slowly working towards the day I really feel like an artist.  It's exciting to see it coming.  And that is something else I am grateful for this week. I can see some progress in my work and I am not afraid to say so! 
                           I would love to know what you are most grateful for this week.

Wednesday's Walk (Down Memory Lane)

                                                   "Many friends will walk in and out of your life,
                                       but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart."            
                                                                                                                  Eleanor Roosevelt

There is nothing like good friends.  Last week my husband and I had dinner with friends that we have known for over thirty years.  When we first met we were all young with small children.  Now, we are all grandparents, no longer live in the same neighborhood, but the friendships continue.  At dinner we laughed and talked and laughed some more.  There is something special about having a history that you can share with people.  It's wonderful to meet new people and make new friendships but it is also important to connect with the people who remember you when.  Is there someone you haven't connected with in awhile?  I bet they would love to talk with you as much as you would love to talk to them.  Why not give them a call and let the laughter begin?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection


                                                                To exist is to change,
                                                              to change is to mature,
                                                               to mature is to go on
                                                            creating oneself endlessly.  Henri Bergson

I often think that by now I should have all of the answers and know exactly what I want to do.  But then I remind myself that this is the first time I have been in this stage of my life and so just as at all of the other stages of life I had to learn and grow and change I am doing the same thing now.  Of course I have lots of experience and knowledge behind the decisions I make which I didn't have before, but that doesn't mean I have all of the answers to the questions that continue to arise.

This week I begin my training to become a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.  I am excited to meet and work with all of the other women from around the world who are participating in this 17 week course.  This is another step in a lifetime filled with many steps toward learning to live a life filled with creativity.  I have always believed that we all are creative and that we each have our own unique and special way of expressing that creativity.  I hope that you will spend at least a few minutes a day doing something creative this week.  Then take a minute to relax and enjoy what you just did.  You will be so glad you did.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

                                        People do not quit playing because they grow old.
                                               They grow old because they quit playing.
                                                                                                 Oliver Wendell Holmes

This week I decided it was time to play.  I spent time just playing with my new pastels and seeing which ones I really liked and which ones were not so much fun to use.  It turns out that the ones I like the best are not the cheapest but they are definitely not the most expensive.  As a person who tends to be very serious, it was fun to just relax and have fun with what I was doing.  I have a feeling I will be doing a lot more of this.  So this week I am very grateful that I took some time just to play and maybe grow just a little bit younger at the same time.

                                                What are you most grateful for this week?

                                 I have linked this post to Paint Party Friday a special place where artists
                                                  meet each week to share what they have created.         

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday's Walk-Photo-Heart Connection

Each month I participate in Kat Sloma's wonderful Photo-Heart Connection.  I look forward to this exercise and I know you will enjoy looking at all of the wonderful pictures and blog posts as well. So please take a minute to visit Kat at KatEyeStudio.

When I looked through the pictures I took this month, this picture seemed to talk to me.  It is not the best picture but I kept coming back to it again and again.  The flower that is just beginning to bloom represents so many things to me but the most important thing right now is the reminder of how something small can grow into something big and beautiful if we cherish it and take care of it.  We all have goals and dreams that we want to accomplish.  They often start with a very small idea and grow from there.  If we have confidence, if we believe in ourself and our dreams, and if we take care of them every day they can grow and bloom and grace the world with their beauty just as the flower above will do. So if you have a dream that you want to make come true, I hope that you will take care of it and then share it with the world when you are ready.  Just like the world can never have too many flowers, it can never have too many dreams or dreamers. Remember:
                                       When you share your dreams with the world, magic happens!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude


Heading Home
It's Friday, time to party with the other artists at Paint Party Friday.  I hope that you will join the fun and visit all of the artists.  I promise you will see some amazing work.

This week I decided to bring out my watercolors once again.  I started this picture a long time ago but never finished it. I used both watercolors and pastels, and at least for now, I believe it is finished.  Maybe in another year I will take it out again and add something else.

This was a week of celebrations.  There were several birthdays to celebrate and tonight a good friend had her first official book launch.  It is wonderful to see someone's dream come true and to be there to help them celebrate the results of all their hard work.  We all have dreams!  This week I am very grateful to be reminded that dreams do come true!
                                                         What are you grateful for this week? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wednesday's Walk


                    " In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy."  ~Robert Brau

When I first started to write Wednesday's Walk, it was to inspire me to walk through different parts of town taking pictures.  Instead I seem to enjoy taking pictures of the flowers that I have planted this year.  Maybe it is because my garden is so different than I expected it to be.  Maybe it is because it is so hot that I really don't feel like venturing very far or maybe it is just what I am supposed to be doing at this time.  I am very glad that the seed fairy came to visit this year and left lots and lots of seeds that have turned into beautiful flowers for me to take care of and enjoy each day. I have never considered myself to be a gardener but I do now.  It certainly goes to prove you are never too old (or too young) to try something new.  I would love to know where your walks have taken you this week.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's Quote and Reflection

                                   "Beauty is a gift."  Aristotle

If you agree with Aristotle, and I do, then no matter where we are or what we are doing the world is full of surprises and wonderful gifts for us to enjoy. Time goes by so quickly.  As you plan each day this week, I hope that you will leave some time to enjoy the beautiful gifts that the world has to offer.  What I have learned is that I don't have to travel far to find something beautiful to look at.  All I have to do is look out my window and something beautiful is there each and every day for me to enjoy. And that truly is a gift that I don't want to miss.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

It's Friday.  Writing that doesn't mean the same thing that it did when I was working.  Then it meant rest and relaxation.  Now, it means time to visit the wonderful artists that share their work at Paint Party Friday. Everyone is always invited so if you have a chance, drop in and see the amazing work done by incredibly creative artists.

This pastel is not finished but I decided to share it anyway and that is one of the things I am most grateful for this week.  It is nice to have a place to share my work each Friday.  It is nice to be part of a supportive community who shares what they are learning and creating.  It was three years ago this month that I started blogging.  It has been a wonderful experience and a journey that I am so glad that I began.  So I am grateful for all of the people I have met, the support I have been given, and the friendships I have made through blogging.  It has been, and I know it will continue to be, a wonderful experience

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

As I walked through the arboretum, I was struck by the natural beauty that surrounded me as well as the beautiful sculptures created by man.  Each one was different and each one told a story.  As I looked at this one, I thought of how important it is to spend time with someone you care about, sharing a quiet moment in a beautiful environment. Sometimes just being together is enough while other times are meant for talking.  This sculpture says it all without ever saying a word

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection

                            " If you do something you love, you can't help but be successful."
                                                                                                                  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

We are all different so we all measure success by different standards. It may also be different depending upon the circumstances of your life or the stage of life you are in.  As I look back over the different stages of my life, the above quote rings very true.  If I was doing something I loved, I felt successful and most times I was.  If I was doing something because I thought I was supposed to or others wanted me to, I might have been successful but I never felt the sense of accomplishment that I did when I was doing what I wanted to do.  When I am doing something I love, it is never work.  It doesn't matter how long I work or how hard I work, I always feel like it is fun.  Is there something that you would love to do?  Maybe, this is the week to take that first step towards doing something you love.  It is always exciting to see what happens next.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's Special Moments of Gratitude

Another week has flown by.  My contribution to Paint Party Friday is a picture that I took a month ago.  I was at the park with my husband.  The park was filled with people laughing and having fun.  I had my camera and decided to take some pictures.  As I stood quietly by the lake, I looked to my right and there stood a duck looking back at me.  He was enjoying the view just as much as I was.  He was gracious enough to be very still as I took took his picture.  It wasn't until I got home that I even saw the second duck.  I printed out the picture and then use my pastels to color it in.  It was simple but fun and a great reminder of a perfect moment in a wonderful day.

This week I am grateful for many unexpected but special moments like the one above.  I find that as I move more slowly, try not to rush from thing to thing, and quietly watch and listen for those special moments they occur more and more.  I am sure they were always there, I was just too busy to notice them.  I hope that your week is filled with nothing but special moments.
                                               What are you most grateful for this week?