Thursday, June 28, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

When I look at this pastel I see lots of misshapen objects but I also see colors that I love.  So I decided that the good outweighed what needs to be improved and I am going to share it with you. When you tend to be a perfectionist that is not an easy thing to do.  But if I want to move forward, and I do, I think it is important to be proud of all of the work that I create.

It's Friday which means it is time to share what I am grateful for this week.  For the past six years I have been in a state of transition.  When I retired I knew I wanted to do something new and exciting with my life but I wasn't sure exactly what that would be.  So I took some time to learn about myself at this stage of life.  Creativity has always been a big part of my life.  I made sure that my students knew all about the ways that they were creative.  We talked about the theory of Multiple Intellingences and hands-on projects were always a big part of the lessons I created.  When I moved into administration, I encouraged the teachers to create lessons that allowed all of the students to succeed using all of their modalities.  Immediately, after retiring I created workshops for teachers that honored who they were and helped them to remember how important it was for them to take care of themselves each day.

Since retiring I have taken writing classes, photography classes, painting classes, learned what a blog is and created one, and worked with a life coach. I've created an online class and met people from all over the world.  It's been an exciting time.  It's been fun and rewarding being part of the creative community and I've decided I would love to share what I have learned over the years with other women who are going through transitions.  I've decided to take the next step and become a creativity coach. And that is what I am grateful for this week.  I'm grateful that I have taken the time to get to know me again.  I am grateful that I've realized we are never too young or too old to learn something new.  I'm grateful for all of the new friends I have met who have shared their stories with me.  As I go through the training, I thought it would be fun to share what I am learning with you.  So today's blog is the first step in a new adventure. I can't wait to see where it takes me.
                                              What are you most grateful for this week?

This post has been linked to Paint Party Friday.  I hope you will join me and all of the other artists at the party.  It is a wonderful place to visit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

This week's walk has once again been to my backyard.  Several weeks ago I wrote a short post about the sanctuary I was developing in my backyard.  The yard is not big but I love it.  We had lots of shade trees so I planted flowers that would grow in shade.  It was simple but cool and relaxing.  Imagine my surprise when I came home last week and two of the trees that provided lots of cover were gone.  I knew that there was a possibility that one of the trees might have to come down but not two.

I would love to tell you that I was gracious about the change to our yard.  But truthfully I was not.  I was really upset about what had happened and I let everyone who would listen know exactly how I felt.  After accepting the fact that the trees had to come down and that they were not coming back, I decided I needed to begin to recreate my sanctuary.  Now, I am planting flowers that love sun.  I have been visiting our local nursery and talking to the people who work there and I am learning all kinds of new things.  I still want a simple garden.  But now the garden can be filled with many different types of flowers and it will be fun to see what I can create.  I have decided that this summer I will just play with ideas and see what happens.  Then over the winter I will really begin to design the garden that I want. 

I am a firm believer in accepting the fact that life is always changing.  Sometimes the changes are huge and sometimes just a little bump in the road.  No matter what, I believe that it is how we face the changes and move forward that is important.  So this week my walk in the backyard had a few bumpy spots.  But I am sure that before I know it they will all be smoothed out and the garden will be more beautiful than ever!  How was your walk this week?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday's Quote and Reflection

I think this is the perfect quote to begin an week filled with summer sun.  As I walked the dogs this morning, everywhere I looked there were bright colors, beautiful flowers, and trees in bloom.  The sky was blue and the water on the small pond was calm.  It was still cool so you could enjoy being outside and I was inspired to paint later in the day.

No matter how busy you are this week I hope you will take just a minute or two for yourself to do something creative.  Creativity can be expressed in so many different ways.  It can be expressed in the way you dress, how you decorate your house or office.  It can be expressed in the poem you write, the song you sing, or the music you listen to.  The way you cook, write, or arrange your flowers are all ways that you express yourself and your creativity. The business you design and develop happens because you have combined both sides of your brain to create something that fills a need for both you and the people you work with and help.

 The world needs creative people.  It needs people who enjoy sharing their work with others.  It needs people who inspire and encourage others to create as they are inspired and encouraged by the work of the many talented people they meet each day.  So this week as you step out into the sunshine be sure to share all that you are creating with everyone you should happen to meet.  The world will be a brighter happier place if you do!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

I have a weekly practice of posting what I am grateful to have experienced that week on my Friday blog post.  For the past six months, I have been a contributor to Jamie Ridler’s Creative Dream Journals.  This month the two have intersected as the topic for the journal is Gratitude and is due on the day I usually write my post.  I think the universe is reminding me that I can multi-task when I have to. 
 I have always been a person who has been grateful for the gifts that life has offered me.  But I know I have never been someone who has talked about those gifts or shared with others why I am so grateful for all that I have.  Six years ago I realized how easy it is to take for the granted the things that are there for us each day.  It was at this time my husband started having trouble breathing.  Breathing wasn’t something either one of us ever thought about.  We just got up in the morning and took a deep breath and started the day.  But then it suddenly became not so simple and through lots of tests and evaluations Greg was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension and life started to change.  When you go through a major life change it is easy to get discouraged and we were no different than anyone else.  But out of desperation, whenever one of us would see the negative the other would point out the positive.  Within a short time it became easier and easier to see the positive in most situations.  It took a little practice but it also became easier to share with others the simple but positive things I noticed in my life each day.  My hope was and is that if I share the things I am grateful for, I might touch someone else and they too will start to notice and celebrate the wonderful things they are experiencing.  It would be awesome to start a gratitude chain that just keeps growing and growing.
Since beginning this practice life has changed.  Each day is special.  Each moment counts.  The world is a beautiful place and I notice and appreciate all that it has to offer.  So the thing I am most grateful for this week is my gratitude practice.  I am so glad that I take the time to notice the special moments that appear each day.  I am glad that I take the time to share them with others.  I have noticed that the more I share with others the more they share with me.  I hope you will take just a minute to share with the world what you are most grateful for today and every day.  It is a simple practice that can make a big difference in your life.
I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday a wonderful place where artists meet to share their work and support each other.  Please join us.  There is always room for one more.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

This week's walk was along the Etowah River with a friend.  It was a beautiful cool morning and the walkway was filled with moms with babies in strollers, people walking their dogs, or walking alone with their thoughts. 

This park has just offically opened.  There are lots of swings and benches that overlook the river.  There is a walking trail and a bike trail.  There is a small boardwalk where you can fish. It is a small but beautiful place to visit. Once again, the vision of a few combined with the hard work of many, allows many people to enjoy the beauty of nature.  I am struck again and again by how important it is to have a vision, to begin to create it, as well as the importance of sharing not only your dream and your vision with others but also the results.

 Do you have a dream that you would like to see come true?  Do you have a vision that needs developing?  Find those supportive people who also love to dream and create wonderful things and share with them what you are doing.  Then watch as the magic begins to happen.  I would love to know about your dreams or what you are creating.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

It's Friday!  One of my favorite days of the week.  This week I again worked in soft pastels. I really love the medium and I am so glad that I was reintroduced to it by a great teacher.  The first time I used them I did not enjoy the experience at all but now I love using them.  This picture is almost complete but I do think I should do something to the trees to make them look a more realistic.

On Friday I always post what I am most grateful to have experienced that week.  I had planned to write about how much I appreciate how people are always willing to share what they know and help when it is needed. I didn't realize how timely that subject was until I took my dogs for a walk this afternoon.

  Before, I sat down to write I decided to take my two dogs for a walk.  I have a five year old poodle that is calm, reliable, and sweet.  I also have a two year old Bichon that is very very different.  She has been "strange" since we got her and nothing seems to change her.  Most people believe she is a rescue dog because of how she acts but she's not.  She came from a loving home and she has been truly loved and spoiled since we got her.  But she is still afraid of everything and wants to do everything on her terms. For example, she will not let you pet her and runs if you try to.  Well, today on our walk she slipped out of her collar and began running into the street in a frenzy. Of course it was during rush hour when everyone was coming home from work.  Cars stopped, people got out and tried to help, and it was a circus and very scary for everyone.  The more everyone tried to help, the more frazzled Chloe became.  People quickly realized that they were not going to be of any assistance so after making sure I was ok they left. For some reason she decided to follow me home on her own. We ran sided by side as though she was on an invisible leash.  Once I realized she would run with me we made it home without too many incidents but it was really a frightening walk.

 This week I want to acknowledge how grateful I am to so many people.  Some are people I know well. Some are people I have never met yet who are willing to stop and offer a hand.  We often hear so many negative things about the people in our world but today was just another small, but important to me, example of how wonderful and caring and helpful people can be.  And for that I am very grateful.

PS  If you have every had a dog like Chloe and have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  She went through group training which was a disaster and then we had a trainer come to the house which helped a little.  She can be very sweet. The most important thing to me is that I keep her safe and happy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday's Walk

When I walk, I think, I observe, I reflect, and sometimes I just get lost in the walk.  When I go to the arboretum, I do all of those things.  It is a fairly small place that once was a plantation.  It is now owned by the city but not that many people know about it so you can go there and be all by yourself in what to me seems to be a very magical place.  Last week I shared the arboretum with a friend and we both really enjoyed the visit and our walk.

Every time I visit, I am struck by what a person or persons can accomplish with a dream and a vision.  The gardens were developed by two men who created a special place that many can now enjoy.  Their creativity and work now gives others a place to go, to think, to dream, and to create.
After my visit this week, I started working again on my small sanctuary in my backyard.  I am always recreating it to fit my mood and my vision.  It is a place where I go to start the day with a cup of coffee, or take a break with a good book, or end the day just looking at the stars.  It's not big.  Instead of a pond, I have a small tabletop fountain.  Instead of massive amounts of flowers, I have flowers in pots strategically placed so I can see them. It's manageable for me and I love it.  My next step is to add some of my paintings to it and see how that looks.  It would be a great place to go to paint or write.

I hope that if you have a vision or a dream that you will take the small steps necessary to make it come true.  I have learned how important it is to celebrate the small steps that often lead to the completion of a big dream.  I hope that you will too!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday's Quote and Reflection

                                 Clear your mind of can't.  Solon

Can't is definitely a word that stands in the way of making life exciting.  I believe that if you know who you are and acknowledge your talents anything is possible.  Self-knowledge and self-confidence combined with lots of hard work equals success in my opinion.  Life is full of wonderful opportunities.  Make sure that the word "can't"  doesn't stand in your way of grabbing each and every opportunity that comes your way this week.   

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday's Special Moments of Gratitude

As many of you know Friday has become the day I post two things, my painting for Paint Party Friday and my thoughts on what I am most grateful for that week.  It is a practice I have grown really fond of. I have found that by concentrating on all of the things that I am most grateful for each week they seem to grow and multiple but they also seem to stay the same in many ways.  I am always grateful for my family and friends, my health, and the fact that I have time to pursue the things that I love.  By reflecting each week on what I enjoyed most, I have come to realize how much nature means to me.  I no longer take a beautiful sky or a soft breeze for granted.  I notice the smallest flower or the largest tree.  I have always loved clouds and they often are an important part of my paintings.

I believe it is important to take the time to get to know yourself.  As we go through life, we will continually be faced with decisions.  When we know who we are, what we love, and what we are most grateful for it makes making those decisions so much easier. As always, I would love to know what you are most grateful for this week.

I have linked this post to Paint Party Friday a wonderful place to meet lots and lots of talented and incredibly supportive artists.