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!