Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday's Quote and Reflection


                 Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
                                                                                                      Anthony J. D'Angelo
I love this quote.  It is has been rainy and dreary all week.  I was hoping for snow but it didn't come and so we were all disappointed.  Friday the sun came out and people started to come out of their houses.  I heard people in the coffee shop talking about how different they felt now that the sun was back and I understood what they were saying.  And then today I decided to find a quote about sunshine and this made so much sense to me.  I can bring my own sunshine with me  no matter where I go or what I am doing.  I don't have to let the weather affect how I feel. On rainy days I can remember how much I love to curl up with a good book and read with a cup of tea or coffee.  I can also remember how much I used to love to jump and play in the puddles when I was little.  Just the memory may be enough to make me smile or I might need to take a walk in the rain and if not jump in at least stomp in a few puddles along the way.

Bringing our own sunshine with us can take on so many different meanings.  Think about how a sunny smile can go a long way to cheer up a grumpy person or how a sunny personality makes others feel just a little bit happier even though they may not know exactly why.  When I look at the sculpture above it reminds me of so many things that make me feel like I am experiencing the warmth of sunshine.  Friendship, sharing, creating, teaching, all make my world sunny. 

Someone just told me it is supposed to rain again Thursday.  But this week I won't let it bother me because today I was reminded that no matter what I can always bring my own sunshine into any situation.  I hope you have a sunny week filled with lots and lots of special moments.

What brings sunshine to your world no matter what the weather?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude


It's almost Friday which means it is almost time to celebrate with my friends at Paint Party Friday.  When I was working, Friday meant it was time for the weekend which was always something to look forward to.  Now every day can be as special as the weekend used to be and that is something I don't take for granted.  Last week I painted a similar painting using acrylics.  I liked it but I wanted to see what I could do with pastels.  This painting definitely has a different look and a different feel to it.  I think for next week I will use my watercolor pencils and see what I can create.  Then I will post all three and compare the differences. 

Friday is also the day that I share some of the things that I am grateful for experiencing during the week.  This week has been rainy and dreary. The weather has been cold and damp but today the weatherman announced a chance of snow.  That is all that it takes where we live for everyone to get excited.  The stores are full of people making sure they have enough bread and milk.  The kids (and the teachers) are running to the windows and listening to the news to see if there will a snow day.  There is just a difference in the way people look and act.  Most of the time everyone is disappointed and it doesn't snow.  But when it does snow it is exciting.  So this week I am glad that there is even a chance of snow. It's been fun waiting and watching and hoping for that first snowflake.  Fingers crossed, nose glued to the window, I am sure it will be here soon!

I would love to know what you are most grateful for this week.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude


Wow, this painting certainly looks different than what I usually post.  Art Camp is back in session and this week we worked again with acrylics. It was fun trying something different but I realize more and more how much I like working with pastels.  What I think I will do is try to recreate this using pastels and see what happens.  It will be interesting to compare the difference in both the process and both of the final products.

My word for this year is laughter.  I want to find and enjoy laughter wherever I go.  Last Sunday I spent time with my three grandsons.  The baby loves to be with his big brothers (who are not that big) and he laughs at everything they do.  When his middle brother decided to "rock out"  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the keyboard the baby thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard.  By the time the song was done we were all singing and dancing and laughing.  It was the perfect way to spend a day. So week one of the new year included lots of laughter. And what I just realized is that if I wasn't keeping this gratitude journal I might have truly enjoyed the moment but then moved on to something else.  But writing it down and sharing it with others has helped me to enjoy it all over again.  And for that I am very grateful.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday's Walk - Where Does Time Go?


Where does time go?  That is a question I used to ask myself.  And lots of time I didn't have the answer.   But as I become more and more aware of what is important to me, I am able to answer that question and I am usually happy with the answer.  As part of my worshop, All About You, we spend time looking at our day and how we spend time.  It is an easy exercise but one that has opened the eyes of many participants to something they already knew but had not acknowledged.  They were spending lots of time on things they did not really want to do.  When they became aware of what they were doing, what they wanted to change, and then began to take small, very tiny steps to making simple changes in their day, time became their friend not their enemy.  If you would like to take a quick peek at your day, here's some easy steps you can follow:

 List all of the categories for all of the areas of your life that are important to you. Then draw two circles which are divided into 24 segments.  On the first circle color in how many hours you are sleeping, working, commuting, excercising, talking with friends, creating, reading, etc.  Each category should be a different color on the clock -  red for work, blue for exercise, etc.  For example, if you work 8 hours, then 8 segments should be colored red.

As you look at clock number one, ask yourself,  Am I spending my time the way I want to be spending it?  Are there changes I can make in my day?  What very very small changes can I make?  Then color in clock number two to represent those changes. Then actually start to implement the change you have decided to make.  Don't make a lot of changes.  Start slowly and enjoy your successes.

 Each week take just a minute to look at your clocks.  Do you need to change the categories?  Do you need to adjust your time?  Again, make small changes and be aware of how they feel and the difference each change makes in your life.  Awareness is ongoing.  Sometimes a change works for us, sometimes it does not.  Take time to reflect on the changes you make.

Life does not stand still.  How we want or need to spend our time changes.  How we actually spend our time should represent those changes.  Some of your categories may have to stay the same.  But others can change and it is in your power to change them if (1) you are aware of what you are doing each day, and (2) you begin taking very small steps each week towards changing how you spend your time and thus creating the life you really want to live.  I would love to know how you are spending your time this week!

PS:  Some people created different clocks to represent the weekend.  This is a simple exercise that can make a big difference in your awareness of how you spend your time.  Awareness is definitely an important step to creating and living the life of your dreams. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Friday's Special Moment of Gratitude

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement."  Helen Keller

It's hard to believe that the holidays are over.  They are always such a special time and for the first few days after they are over and the lights are down and the presents put away it seems very quiet in the house especially when it is rainy and cold outside.  As everyone seems to be writing on their blogs it is a time for reflection, for quiet, and for looking inward.

Since it is Friday it is also time for me to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for. As crazy as it sounds, this week I am very grateful that I started this gratitude practice.  Life is always full of ups and downs, good times and bad.  But what I am coming to realize more and more is that even in the challenging times, or maybe especially in the challenging times, it is very important to recognize those people, or moments, or things that bring a smile to our face and keep the spirit of hope in our heart.  As I have mentioned before my husband has a chronic lung disease. When it is hot and humid breathing is difficult but we are learning when it is cold and wet breathing can also be a challenge.  So this week has been hard.  But we have still been able to laugh with friends, share time with our son and grandsons on Facetime, and share our love of creating new things.  These are the things that I am grateful for this week.  These are the moments that have brought a smile to our face and for that I am most grateful.  What has brought a smile to your face this week?  I'd love to know.

Friday also means linking my post to both Paint Party Friday and Creative Every Day.  Please take a moment to visit the artists.  They are all wonderfully talented people!

PS   Happy New Year Everyone!  I hope that it will be a year filled with happiness and joy and that all of your dreams will come true!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday's Walk - Paying Attention

"If I have made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than any other talent."
                                                                                                                     Isaac Newton

Each Wednesday I want to share something that I have learned as a Creative Living Coach.  I feel that awareness is an important key to moving forward with our life, our dreams, and our creative plans.  Knowing what inspires us, what motivates us, and what makes us happy are all keys to creating the life we have always wanted to live.  I have started taking the time each day to reflect upon what made me peaceful that day, what gave me energy, or what motivated me to paint or write or just dream about what I want to do next.  Awareness -  knowing who you are, knowing what you love, knowing who motivates, or supports you are all very important components of living a creative life. 

This week pay attention to how you feel. Notice what makes you smile.  Notice what makes you feel energized.  Notice what makes you feel peaceful.  Write those things down in your Reminder Journal.  As I said last week, "It is easy to forget but so important to remember."  Awareness is the first step to building the life you want to live.  I hope you will begin today by taking a small step towards becoming more aware of you who are now and what makes you happy each day.