Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Well.  Talking about eliminating clutter.  I will NEVER forget taking wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow FULL and running over, to the dumpster and joyfully emptying it. 

It all started with the journals.  Thankfully, I was sitting on a real love conference call, with a journal in my lap (NOT an art journal, don't worry!), listening to people get loved, when the thought occurred to me.  If I didn't like reading about all my trials at that point, what made me think I'd EVER want to rehash the crap!??  I took a deep breath and shared on the call, that I was thinking about tossing them in the dumpster... one less thing to put into storage.  My dear friend and coach, Alex, laughed and shared my angst.  And the dumping began.  At one point I even broke the wheelbarrow with the load!  Journals, supplies, clothes, art books even!  Gasp!  There was so much that I knew if I'd never used until that day, I was never going to.  Done. Fini.  Over. 

Yes, I probably should have donated much of it, but I was tired and the pure joy in just heaving it could not be denied.  And, now, months later, I've only missed one thing.  Pretty darn cool.  Much less stuff is NOT a bad thing!  Simplicity.

I had a six foot tall cabinet I'd had made just for storing fabric.  I did give away the cabinet and probably half the fabric.  I saved only the pieces I just couldn't let go of, and they now dominate one corner of my living room, along with my sewing machine.  I'm actually making progress on my quilt and will hopefully get some other things made in the coming vacation days around the holidays.  I also gave away 2 desks, bookshelves, a t.v., and thankfully I don't even remember all of it!

We stayed with mum for 6 weeks, until it was just too heavy a weight to lift, then with a friend for 2-3 more.  Sleeping on the floor at 57 is not something anyone wants to do for too long.  Then, finally the time came and we found a sweet little duplex near my son's school.  He can walk right through the woods, and it's even a bit picturesque, with knock out roses under the front window, green shutters against the brick walls, with cedar shake soffits.  Small, and nothing like the farmhouse in the country, but quite livable, and much warmer, and closer in to town, but not too close! 

In the last week, I think I finally rested and recovered enough that I've begun to rise early and do my yoga.  I also began juicing last week.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  Yum.  I have wanted to do this for a long time, but just wasn't ready.  I'm a firm believer in all things in their own time.  I'm feeling the juice healing my body as it cleans the toxicity from my stored fat.  That's leaving too, and I'm trying to believe that it's in its own time, but  I'm really wanting to push harder here.

And, a coworker saw paintbrushes I'd left on the breakroom table and now I'm doing a painting for her, of her beloved little puppy of 16 years.  I still have several outstanding paintings to finish, but I am doing a little as I go.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  But there are more now that marching band season is over.  I did have a minute one day to photoshop this painting I finished years ago and was never wild about, I think it's an improvement.

Oh, and I almost forgot about my mural!  One of the things I love about blogging, is that I can see that I'm doing more than I might have allowed myself to believe!  My friend, Beth Hughes, moved her yoga teaching business into her very own space, and she's such a mover/shaker, she brought other like-minded healing arts professionals into the space with her, with lots of room for growth.  I met Beth when she walked into the chiropractic/massage offices where I worked several years ago.  I felt an instant kinship with her.  When I left the business, she moved in.  She loved the yoga lotus I'd painted on the wall there, and wanted one on her own wall.  I was all too happy to oblige.

I entertain the notion that one day, my Whole-Hearted Art will share in the same beautiful space in the old Broad Street building in my hometown, Rome, Georgia.  Beth and I share political views, worked closely on the Ron Paul campaign, and love YOGA! If you are in Rome, please check out her website (, or fb, for classes.  She's amazing. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Art-less days

My days have been full of band exhibitions and football games and many church-related activities.  It's been wonderful!  I love being a mom.  I love, love, love my son.  I'm very aware that in only a few short years he will be off on his own life-time adventure, hopefully serving a mission, going to college, finding work that he loves, and somewhere in there finding the love of his life.  I try not to think of it as the end of my life, and I say that with some seriousness... my life truly began when I became a mom.  I love it that I have someone there, always needing me to take the focus of me and put it on them.

If it wasn't for the fact that my job affords me the time to blog, keep in touch with my many artistic friends, and read their blogs, I might have no art in my life at all... visual art that is... I do find ways to put an artistic spin on a plate periodically! 

Today on facebook, one artistic friend has requested some promotion, so I decided to do just that and write a blog about others, just for you! 

Mary Beth Shaw is an awesome artist who has written a book and created wonderful stencils for us at
The information for ordering her books is right there on the site, too!

And, I found the most wonderful artist on facebook and fell in love... Keri Colestock... search for her and check out her wonderful artwork!  It's not everyday that I find an artist I love this much.  I have looked at EVERY one of her images on facebook.  I hope to be able to get one of her walldancers for my budding art collection.  I hear she likes to trade.  I guess that means I'll have to make something!  Nothing like motivation!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Something for You?!

When I was young, I thought Life was all about ups and downs.  My dad would say that I'd get too high then have to suffer the lows.  Now, I'm feeling more and more like it's both, and neither!  Having a happy life is certainly not about flatlining.

My highs came from unrealistic expectations that something or someone was going to "make me happy."  Because, of course, according to all the movies, songs, and people around me, that's the way it all works.  And, of course, as we are learning, and society is following along, oh so slowly, it turns out that W E   A R E   R E S P O N S I B L E   F O R   O U R  O W N   HAPPINESS!

 I remember the first time I encountered the concept.  I was in my later 20's and participated in Lifespring, a self-awareness seminar.  But, when the seminar was over, I quickly fell back under society's spell and went back to waiting on Prince Charming.  Later in life, it became Job Charming, and, even, Child Charming!   Now, at the ripe old age of 57, I realize I'm Charming!  If it's to be, it's up to me.  Happiness is an inside job.  Through the help of others (I did build it, but not alone) like Greg and Donna Baer, and Real Love, and all the coaches and friends I've made through conference calls and personal phone conversations, even small group meetings and seminars, I now know that I am loveable, warts and all.  I also realize that most of us never received enough of the love we desparately needed as children. 

This fact alone, I believe, accounts for most, if not all, the "evil" done in the world.  People who are hurting will do anything to avoid that pain: attacking/anger, clinging, running away from responsibility, acting like victims.  Yes, we were all victimized to some extent, some far more than others, but what we choose to do with that, after plugging in to all that's available at, is largely up to us.  We can have a support group that is absolutely unparalleled by anything else in the world, if we only reach out and have faith in the process and in those who have been down the road ahead of us.

 I'm direct evidence that it works.  I'm not perfect, and I don't need to be.  I am loveable just the way I am, and learning to make better choices, failing my way to happiness.  If we are loved every step of the way, right or wrong, it takes the sting out of being wrong.  Talking about what I do wrong, my mistakes, to people who are loving, keeps me from wanting to hide and lie, and try to look good to earn the praise and approval of people who are just as empty, if not more, than myself.

I'm enjoying my path more today.  If you aren't enjoying yours enough today, please let me know, so I can offer you what I've found. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sweet Repeats: New on how to receive a gift worth 95.00!

I'm really needing to take a class in painting faces... this highly-recommended one just crossed my path, and I love her work, so.... here goes....

Sweet Repeats: New on how to receive a gift worth 95.00!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's all in the attitude

I haven't posted in a while.  Things have been C.R.A.Z.Y.  How about in your life?  Have you ever noticed that "when it rains, it pours?"  I guess that is why there's a cliche for it, eh?  I am laughing, but a few weeks ago... not so much!

"The Apartment"  went to hell in a handbag. (Is that a southern colloquialism or is it universal?)  I was trying to be practical, at first glance, it wasn't my first choice of living quarters, but I thought I could make it work, with cleaning and some paint, etc.  First, it was the bees and wasps, not just a few, but an infestation.  Cute little honey bees, hm?  Nope. Don't get me wrong.  I love bees. I love honey.  But not in my WALLS.  The landlord tore bricks out of the exterior to get them smoked out and they simply moved to the other wide of the building (still my apartment).  Landlord did not replace bricks, and with rain and southern humidity, I soon had... MUSHROOMS growing through my bathroom ceiling!!  It was (and still is) surreal.  After a lengthy bit of time, Landlord came and tore out ceiling, spraying something to kill mold (ha!) and said he repaired plumbing leaks overhead.  Nope.  Guy upstairs flushes or takes shower... well, you get the picture.  Actually, I wish I had taken some pictures... well, maybe not.  Kitchen sink drains into floor, couldn't wash dishes for over a week... yikes.  Then lady upstair's dryer starts venting into my dryer.  I came home late at night from second job and my apartment is stifling hot and I can't  breathe for the dryer sheets.  Welcome to my life in hell for 3 months.  Finally, said to heck with it and rented storage space, moving truck, and got out.  Whew.  Still recovering and here it is a month later. 

I hope I never have to go through anything like that again.  I'd love to hear your horror stories.  Personally, I feel like mine is the cake topper, but I could be wrong.  Now, why the title "It's all in the attitude" for this post?  I was actually quite proud of mine.  After an initial thorough meltdown, I was grateful for the 4:00 a.m. inspiration to move in with my mom and put my things in storage (again).  Initially, I was hopeful of being a blessing to her, with grass mowing, and possibly helping her have that yard sale she's always talking about.  I thought, with these crazy economic times, and the upcoming elections looming (I tend to get negative about our future), it'd be good for all our little family to be under one roof.  I've learned a lot about how to get along and what's important this past year.  I thought I could do it. And, I have done much better this time around.  (Am I the only 57 year-old woman who has moved back in with her mom countless times?)  I'd love to hear your stories about this, too!  I alternate between moving to the west coast (think Oregon and California) and back to my home town every 1-7 years! 

The big difference this time has been that I know I am responsible for my happiness.  I am no longer blaming her, at least not for very long, when things go wrong.  I'm realizing I am the Big Bad Bear, not her.  She's just this little old lady who gets pretty crusty, controlling and complaining (most of the time, lol).  And I can see me following in her footsteps, if I'm not pretty darn careful.  It does take a huge effort, at least for me, to change.  And, I'm grateful, that Dr. Greg Baer ( has said, that some people never recover from childhood abuse, in an entire lifetime.  Years ago, I would beat myself up because I wasn't healed yet.  Nowadays I am amazed when I catch myself not responding in a way I would have even a year ago.  I am changing. Maybe not as fast or as much as I'd like sometimes, but I am changing.  If I keep it up, just think of how far I might get in this little lifetime that I have left to me.  See, it really is all in the attitude.

This link will help you with yours, I hope.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Progress Along the Path

Home is shaping up a bit.  I noticed that even though the unpacking is still in progress...AND the organizing, too, the act of hanging art on the walls... just the right piece in a certain place... is helping me to feel more at home.  It is soothing to look at my creations.  I have put my heart and soul into them.  They are a little like my children!  Any artist understands this. 

The Path - The Yellow Brick Road?  Found the image on this website and found a new friend!    
 I have re-learned that during very difficult emotional times, my toolkit is essential, my trail of breadcrumbs to help me find my way:  deep breathing, staying quiet, allowing feelings to come without adding drama, fresh air/exercise and healthy foods and last, but absolutely not least, is the desire and commitment to finding JOY and much of that comes with the choice to be grateful.  I am so blessed to live now, fully as I choose, daily, fresh air, sunshine, spring flowers, birds singing, health and most of my freedoms still in tact.  Too much to be grateful for to be grumbling and worried.  Where there's will, there's way provided.  We'll just keep on keeping on here... hope you are, too.  Please feel free to leave your trail of breadcrumbs in the comment section below!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trauma Drama

Whew.  Well, the technical part of packing up and the actual move are over.  I know you can relate.  Now the unpacking.  I usually love this part, rediscovering my "things" again.  Not so much this time.  I left my 113-year old farmhouse in the country, with the winding road that looks pastoral-masterpiece-inspired, along with my kitties.  Eternal gratitude to my kind neighbor who is keeping the kittens and finding homes for the rest.  She even calls and gives me updates.  I really hated unpacking boxes that had kitty things inside.  I thought when I found this little apartment in town that it'd be great for kitties... fenced in backyard, almost in the woods although in the city... but after moving in discovered D-O-G-S lived in every apartment.  After trying to get 3 of my babies to acclimate, they all disappeared into the woods, one never to return, I took the other two back out to the country.  Sigh.

Everything is always such a mixed blessing.  My meager income was stretched too thin, commuting, feeding 9 cats.  I'm saving on gas, time, rent, utilities, and now, cat food.  I went for a little visit today and they wouldn't even come near me, but one, my little C.  Good for them.  They deserve a mom who won't leave (them for) town.

I cried for days, while I cleaned up the "old" place.  I'm better now that I don't have to go back there anymore.  They say six months after any major event, it's back to life-as-usual. I hope it doesn't take 6 months, but it may take longer.  I loved my house.  There were things about it I didn't, but overall, it was beautiful: huge... 2-3 acres surrounded by more woods and quiet neighbors.  The peace, quiet, incredible-dark-starlit-skies and sweet country air are sorely missed.  I really lost it the last time I stood on my front porch and remembered all the mornings I waited for the bus with my son, watched him take off running for it, and tried to prepare myself for the day when he'll fly free.  But through the tears, as I took boxes to the dumpster, I could spot a few dim stars overhead, and took consolation.  I've begun to notice things I like about the new place in spite of myself.  The cure for melancholy regret is always gratitude.  I was in a rut, nothing like moving to jolt you out of your routine and allow for different choices.

Once order is restored I'll take out my art supplies and create something, maybe even more often, at least that is my goal.  I even thought (gasp) at one point, I should just forget about art.  It sure would cut down on unpacking and the organization needed to make it work in a tiny apartment.  And, that urge, no matter what else I'm doing, to think, "What could I be making right now, if I wasn't doing this?"  The truth is that often when I have the time, I'm not in the "mood."

I sense that once settled in I may actually make more art and better art, since I'll have less house to keep up with, and be more "efficient."  That's the word a friend used when she saw the place.  Not much storage though, which will require that I eliminate anything I don't really need and use.  And, that's a good thing, at this age, less for others to dispose of.  And, I'm doing it willingly, less stress for others, again.  57 isn't that old, but I deal with seniors on the phone at work all day, and my mom and her siblings are 80ish.  So, I can't help but think that we (others my age) are all going through the same kinds of things.  Hard to watch our parents age, harder still to see ourselves following in their footsteps.  Aging is not pretty no matter how you approach it. 

I struggle with giving in (or up) or trying to find a place inside myself to begin, again... to muster up some energy for another goal, besides just raising my son right, although that would certainly be enough, if that's all I end up doing.  It's all I feel I can do right now.  While I toy with the idea of running for public office, ha ha ha ha! I'll be glad when elections are over and I can let it go.  Right now, it's urgent, I feel (again) somehow like I'm responsible for saving the free world, or what's left of the freedoms we once had.  If you are reading this, please, please, please, research the candidates.  No need to debate it, just really examine the freedoms that we are losing by the minute.  Please.  The pain of moving, getting older are bad enough without the thought of how painful it would be to have no freedoms left at all.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Healing with Art... and Love.

If tomorrow never came, would you be proud of the last thing you said to each person you love?

If "someday" was only "now", would you do everything you've always put off?

If you knew you had a choice about what kind of life you could be living, would you choose different?

If you knew failure is impossible, what would you do?

If it were true that everyone you meet is you in another body, how would you treat them?

If love was the true currency of the Universe and the more you gave away the more you received, how would you spend it?

If fear were the biggest illusion and the greatest lie of all time, how would you choose to live your life?

If the Universe always supported a life lived towards achieving dreams, how big would you dream?

Jackson Kiddard

My friend, Amanda, had this qouted on her website.  I highly recommend it:  "Kind Over Matter: Touching the World with kindness, inspiration, gentleness and love."  Sign up and just her newsletter in your emailbox will lift your day.  She knows all about healing.  She's all about nurturing and creating a space for love.

I have been remiss.  I haven't nurtured my own dream of "Whole-Hearted Art."  I haven't provided you with as many links to all the wonderful sites and artists who inspire me and keep me going every day.   That's changing today!  I'm going to let you know all the wonderful sites I visit daily!  

I'd also like to write about a very touchy subject today:  criticism.  We are all so sensitive.  Where does criticism fit into art, healing and life!?  I believe there has to be a platform for criticism if we are to grow.  We need to be able to see our own mistakes, and, face it, that isn't something most of us are very good at!  I'm much better at seeing the mistakes of others.  And, when is a "mistake" a mistake... we called them "happy accidents" in college... when a color got spilled or a page torn, we learned to make lemonade from lemons, please forgive the mixed metaphor (it's ok, I'm a mixed media artist, lol!).  Mistakes are times when maybe a different composition choice would have strengthened a work of art.  My college professor was brutal, never minced his words (nor his metaphors;-o), and I always came away having learned something.  

But, when it comes to healing through art... maybe the healing goal is more important.  Maybe one needs to feel safer for longer before criticism is applied.  I don't think anyone ever knows if NOW is the right time for criticism.  In Real Love terms, honesty is required if someone feels that the hearer is capable of hearing it and the speaker is capable of saying it lovingly.  And hindsight is 20/20.  Sometimes we don't know until the words leave our mouths, or much later, after the response has dissipated, if "it" was the right thing to say or not.  I like a quote I read earlier (and now I can't find it).  Something to the effect that we might be happier if we consider everyone we meet as ourselves.  I'm always meeting myself.  Another variation of the Golden Rule.  

So, how does one heal through art?  Much damage is done to us as children when we aren't nurtured.  Most of us remember at least one pain(t)ful moment when someone didn't look at something we had created and scoop us up in loving arms, heaping praises on our creation and on us.  It is healing to create, knowing there will be no criticism... pouring one's mind, soul, heart and spirit onto the canvas with the paint... and then dancing circles around the canvas giggling at the freedom and de-light!  These delights will allow us to replace the old experiences with new ones, with evidence we are loved and utterly, and delightfully loveable!  

I've been blessed lately to hear words that I've always longed to hear:  "You are precious."  "You are of infinite and incredible worth."  There is a growing community of Real Love people ( who are all learning to be loving, and loving each other.  I listen in and participate on conference calls daily and nightly where I get to hear calm, nurturing, loving voices, accepting each other, giving each other what we are all starving for:  Real Love.  Hope you will join us.  Go to for the schedule of calls, it's free.  It'll make a huge difference in your life.  Promise.

Some other sites visited and loved today:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Art: A giving thing!

An online artist friend of mine, Liz Rosky, is starting a charity to benefit the children of the Honduras where she lives.  She needs donations of art supplies and funds to buy them, in order to continue to provide lessons for these children.  Please visit her website and make a contribution to a very worth cause. She will so appreciate it.

 Liz has inspired me to take another step forward with Whole-Hearted Art.  Plus, it's tax return time.  I always feel like I need business cards, although I know that is just a formality.  I have my eye on some space on our main street, although it's pricey, and I'll probably need to find something elsewhere.  I imagine people just dropping in to create art at all times of the day.  I want to make it a non-profit and write a grant.  I need help doing these things, as I have no experience.  I want to make art, and the healing it can help provide, available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.  It seems to me that often the ones who need it the most are not in a position to pay for supplies, much less my time. 

So, I have no idea what any of this needs to look like... I'm going to spend my heart-time imagining it all coming together perfectly, Divine Order in all things.

Master Cleanser Results - Biggest Loser Progress

I made it through 8 days!  Woo hoo!  I'm always amazed at how much energy I have!  By Sunday afternoon I just couldn't stand the lemonade any longer and knew it was time to get back to eating.  Instead of taking several days to come off it properly, drinking diluted orange juice one day, full strength and with pulp the next, and soup the next, I moved through all three days in about 2 hours!  It worked out fine though.  I was down four more pounds at weigh in, but my experience is a pound or two is gained back within a few days, and that's fine.  So... although I love the time not spent in food preparation and the whole eating thing, it's almost just too high a spiritual wavelength for me.  I missed the exercise, didn't have the oomph for it.  And, now I feel like moving on with other projects, complete with fairly clean pipes (digestive system)!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Master Cleanser - Day 4

Well, I was right!  Love being right.  I feel so wonderful for doing this cleanse.  I can NOT say enough good about it.  Contrary to the opinion a coworker expressed that this CAN'T possibly be good for you, and many people think that, I KNOW it IS!  How do I know it is?  My stomach is resting, it is peaceful... it is grateful for the break.  I have more energy.  I feel better.  My mind is clearer, even my vision is better.  I believe that most of the time many of us, at least I can speak for me, walk around in a fog of too much of the time, from grains, sugars and overeating!  Well, my head has popped out of the fog and I love it! Day 3 was great after I got past the salt water in the morning, I think getting the bulk of that out was the corner turner for me.  Today the salt water was a piece of, oh, no, not going to even say that!  a piece of steak!  No, not that either!!!  Actually that is the food I think of when I get a little hungry, a nice big fat slice of prime rib, yum, must be needing protein.  But, as long as I keep the lemonade going I don't think about food much.  In this way, I know that I don't really need much.  Did you ever imagine you could go 3-4 days with absolutely no food?  If you've never tried the Master Cleanser, you will never really know you're own body.

I can give you the Master Cleanser in a nutshell (oh, no, the food analogy again!):  2 teaspoons of sea salt early in the morning in 32 oz. of very good warm water.  Drink that up quickly as possible, it'll probably take you 15 minutes at least.  It isn't pleasant.  It isn't horrible though.  No stomach cramping.  And, if you've eaten mostly fruits and veggies a couple of days prior, everything will move right on out.  And, don't eat too much or too late the night before because you're body will still be digesting and it'll just be more uncomfortable.   That's what I did wrong this time.  I cooked brussel sprouts, onion and portabella mushrooms the night before and they were so good I ate too many, and too late.  The only thing you will ingest during the day is your lemonade, made from real lemon juice, Grade B maple syrup (NOT IMITATION), with a pinch of cayenne to aid in draining mucus from your sinuses.  Sounds gross, but it really isn't.  Not nearly as gross as carrying all this stuff around in our bodies.  This is our Temple.  We really should keep it clean.  Would you rather live in a clean house or a dirty one?  Sounds like a no-brainer to me!

And the added bonus is that my scales were down five pounds since Friday, and this is only Wednesday.  I don't do it just for the weight loss though.  Now I feel really strongly about coming off this in a few days and eating much much less, and much much cleaner.  A friend of mine recommended Mark's Daily Apple, and that is pretty much the way I've felt better eating.  Check it out at  It's kind of a caveman/woman diet! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Angel

I took this photo when I was in college just a few short years ago (really!) and it remains one of my favorites.  I've drawn her, too.  She was amazingly cathartic for me.  My first steps on my art journey, and somehow very fitting. 

Weigh In on Biggest Loser Contest!

The stakes were raised this week when one of the "bosses" announced he'd contribute an extra $100 on top of the "pot" (about $220) if any one of the (3) women from our company wins.  Another boss got caught up in the excitement and said he would give $100 if that person had kept if off six months later!  Do I work in a great place, or what?!  There is nothing like money to motivate me to do something I've been obsessing about doing in the first place!

So, the initial weigh in was on the Tuesday following New Years, then we weighed in again that Friday.  I had lost 1.5 pounds, not bad for a few days.  This week I eliminated 2.6!  And the funny thing is: I'd only changed a few things.  Granted, they were major things, but I still overate, had too many starches, and didn't exercise quite enough, so maybe next week I'll keep up the rate I've set for myself: 2.6 is a very decent weight loss per week. According to the experts.
37 here, 20 years ago.  Before baby and weight gain.  Actually I had just lost 40 pounds.  I had been running and lifting weights for a year.  They say it takes half the time to get back once you've gotten "there."  We'll see! 

What I did right?  I eliminated most sweets.  I had no candy, pop, cake, cookies, or crackers.  I've been finished eating for the day by 7:00 p.m., 7:30 at the latest on a couple of days.  I began a weight lifting routine on Saturday, every other day/upper body.  I'll start on the lower body soon.  Right now my lower body consists of my yoga.  I just couldn't shock my body any more! I was so sore I could not straighten my arms for several days!

What I did wrong?  I have had a very healthy portion of oatmeal for breakfast on a couple of days, complete with brown sugar, molasses, raisins, cinnamon and whole milk.   I didn't walk every day, too rainy and cold.

This week felt very natural, not too drastic, definitely a way I could live for the rest of my life, and that's what I'm shooting for.  I didn't count calories, like I said, I felt too full after more than one meal, so I know to eat less.  I'm eating protein and veggies with a small amount of fruit, more nonstarchy veggies than not, but some starchy... if I don't, I find myself craving them, so I figure my body knows what's best.

I re-learned that after a few days of saying NO to sugar, along with answered prayers, my desire for sugar has virtually disappeared.  This Saturday I will start the Master Cleanser with hopes of going ten days.  Yes, it is extreme, but I've done it many times in my life and always feel refreshed, revived, renewed... cleansed.  So, check it out (just net search master cleanser), I think you'll be glad you did.  One of my bosses was (actually) listening once when I talked about it and he started asking questions and acting like he wanted to try it, so I'm grateful to maybe have company doing it this time around.  It's already making for much more interesting conversation (for me) in the mornings at the office!

I'll end this blog with a quote from my son: "I love my life!"  Appreciate it.  It gets better.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Encouragement of Light

Two blogs in a day, woo hoo!  I thought more about my resistance to New Year's Resolutions and wanted to elaborate on that.  I just overheard someone put it into the right words.  We are truly free to choose a new path in every moment, so why should the first day of another year matter.  It only matters in that it allows us an opportunity to support each other as a group, as a whole, as a unity!  We can all relate to each other's resolutions! 
As I review my day, my moment-by-moment experience, and judge that I have made a mistake, taken a wrong path, by how I'm feeling (am I happier?  If so, maybe that means I made a selfless choice!) and not by the responses of those around me (which may or may not be good feedback).  I am always free to choose again, by acknowledging my mistake to those it affected, and taking the feedback for what it is worth.  If it wasn't a selfless choice, then telling the truth about it to someone who cares, is an excellent way to feel more loved right where I am, in the middle of my mistake!
"How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty?  It felt the encouragement of light against its being; otherwise, we all remain too frightened." - Hafiz
The encouragement of light.  Isn't that a sweet thought?  That is the gift we give each other, the encouragement of light.  As I make effort and fail, and you offer me encouragement, light dawns!  Understanding!
Feel free to share your "resolutions" or the ways you want to change, and then also, your successes and, especially, your failures, so I can love you right where you are.

The New Year - 2012

I guess I'll join everyone else blogging about the New Year, but I must tell you, my heart isn't in it all the way yet.  Time for truth-telling.

I'm beginning my 57th year here on this planet.  I've started many things and never finished.  I have a very blunt, critical mom who reminded me of that lately.  I appreciate her for that.  I could get lost in always beginning something new.  I've grieved the last few days over my apparent shortcomings and failures.  I think a dose of that periodically is healthy.  I love the little posts on facebook by my friends far and wide, little reminders of encouragement.  Every choice I have made in my life and for you, too, results in something else not chosen.  It is only in hindsight that we can see where one choice might have been better than another, for everything chosen, something else is left behind.  It really is much healthier to see the good that has come from each choice, as there is always good in it all.  I loved this blog:   So, my first and foremost "resolution" is to finish as many projects as I can that I've begun and left sitting for way too long.  Thanks, mom! I have to admit to a bit of jealousy whenever I see my artist friends post about their recently acquired commissions.  As I thought of unfinished projects, I realized that I have 3 outstanding commissions!  Woo hoo!  And as I complete them, the portfolio I have committed to building will grow! 

We have also started a "Biggest Loser" competition in my office building today.  My weight has been one of those "if only"s for me for a very long time.  The last time I took off 30 pounds (and kept if off!) it was due to one of these competitions.  I didn't win in the basic sense, but in the big sense, I did.  I can say I weigh less than I did several years ago, and that IS something.  Now it's time to get another big chunk (and I mean that in every sense of the words) off.  I'm shooting for 30 pounds in 13 weeks.  I'll keep you posted, maybe even pics, ugh.  As I was cleaning and organizing my studio this weekend (in anticipation of all those wonderful new projects I can finish later!) I ran across a couple of things.  One was a note to myself in 2006: "my heaviest weight ever: 250 pounds."  And a picture one of my students had taken when I first started teaching in 2004.  I'm sure I was close to that weight then.  There are a couple of other pics, along with the ones taken today at the weigh in.  I'm not too proud, because I will also post a pic of me when I was 36 and had just lost 30 pounds after many months of running (a half marathon, one of my proudest moments) and weight training.... you can even see the cuts beginning in my abs.  I don't know what I'll look like at this age when everything seems to be sagging, drooping and wrinkling... I may be a bag of wrinkles, but I'll be firm and fit underneath it all!  And, that really is what I'm going for.  I want to feel good again, and not be held back by my lack of fitness, flexibility or energy.  Hm, sounds like a pretty good purpose to me.  Hope you find yours while you are doing your New Year's whatever you want to call-ems.