Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day 16,156: Journaling the Changes

You wouldn't know it by checking in here, but I have been journaling up a storm this week. I have always been a pen-to-paper kind of girl and have stacks of journals to prove it, but I also continue to look for tricks to transfer some of that enthusiasm to this venue so that I can share more of my day-to-day life with you (as per the name of this blog). If I could grant you a peek at what I write for myself every morning, oh my, there would probably be a lot of eye-rolling and oh-brother-not-this-agains. I beat the same drum. A lot. But it is the best way that I have found to process things. A good chunk of my journaling time this week has been spent off of the drum and in productive contemplation of my beloved Workshop ... specifically, the hits and misses of 2009 and where I would like to see things grow in 2010. It's revealed to me a lot of surprises and opened doors that I hadn't even noticed before.

All that I do through the venue of Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop is offered in the spirit of service. That will never change. But, in the days and weeks ahead, you will see changes on the JMBW website that reflect changes the way that some services and creations will be offered in 2010 and beyond. I look forward to the freshness of giving new ways of doing things a try. It is all with the intention to be of greater service and support. I readily admit that I am still trying to figure out what works best for this business and all of you whom I have the privilege to serve through it. I swear, it's all that I can do to keep from giving it all away. It is an urge that I do not want to completely resist.

As always, I welcome suggestions and feedback, either here in the comments or via e-mail. Thanks again for joining me on this creative journey.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mandala Monday

Running a bit behind schedule this week, but a fresh mandala is now ready for you to download and color.

I have been enjoying this break between Christmas and New Year's Day. I came into this time off work with a list of things that I wanted to accomplish. That list has now been put aside. This is a time of rest and replenishment. I am taking long, luscious naps. I am journaling with abandon. I am trying to let go of the habit of trying so hard.

The tide may turn by the end of this week. It always does, eventually. But I'll gladly ride this wave of non-doing while it lasts.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 16,148

Fresh, new mandala ready for you to download here. Happy coloring!

I am finishing up the Waterfall I Reiki shawl. Obviously, it has taken much longer than anticipated. These shawls, as with most creative projects, have a way of taking as long as they need to take and I try not to push the process. And December has a way of speeding some things up while slowing others down. As much as I enjoy the holidays, I look forward to more free time and a more dependable routine.

What are you finishing up as we prepare to finish up this year?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mandala Monday

This mandala ought to keep you busy for awhile. Ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Day 16,135: At Random

Has it really been one week since my last post? Really? Let's catch up.

Celebrating ... our new front door. Our old door was well worn when we bought the house seven years ago, but it was solid wood and had enough charm left in it for us to put its replacement at the bottom of our wish list. Many seasons have come on gone, leaving it warped and troublesome. As my daughter struggled, yet again, to get it open then closed one morning last week, I had to thump myself on the head. I'm a feng shui consultant, for goodness sake! The front door is the mouth to our house! With only a minor twist of my husband's arm, we marched ourselves to the local home improvement store and selected a brand new door that is not only beautiful, but energy efficient too. (Hello, tax credit!) Now we are delighted to more easily welcome family, friends, and wonderful new opportunities into our beloved home. What better time than during the holidays and for the fresh new year on its way?!

Accepting ... that I am behind schedule on the Waterfall I Reiki Shawl. *sigh* I had hoped to have time to work on it every single day, but have discovered that promising to do anything every single day (short of the non-negotiables, of course) is a tough one to keep. The turnaround time would not matter so much if I weren't hoping to crochet two shawls per month. In retrospect, I realize this goal may not be realistic in light of everything else that I have and want on my plate. At this point, Waterfall I is halfway finished and I am thrilled. The colors of it remind me of the sky this morning. Robins egg blue, with wispy swatches of lavendar and slate gray. The healing of the bruised horizon after the storm.

Appreciating ... your understanding for missing Mandala Monday this week. I will be back on schedule next Monday.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 16,128


This Full Moon in Gemini has brought a cold, steady rain. Not so great for the labyrinth walk that had been scheduled for noon today, but perfect weather for crocheting, which is how I contentedly spent my lunch hour. It was a nice way to press the reset button midday and return me to my work-work refreshed. It is delightful to see and feel this shawl begin to take shape after only two days of stitching.

After purchasing and preparing the yarn, each day consists of what I call a symbol series. One series is a row of each Reiki symbol ... the mantra for which is chanted into each stitch. It's very meditative, but energizing for me as well. If I stay on schedule, which should not be a problem, this shawl should be finished by Thursday, December 10.

When I can steal a free minute, I have really enjoyed catching up on reading gratitude lists from Thanksgiving. Heaven knows that I love me some lists. My favorite mermaid, McCabe, left me longing for a Thanksgiving group hug with my girlfriends. Kelly Rae had me all swoony with the photo of her dining room table. What is it about a beckoning spread of art supplies? Gets me every time. Might even love them more than lists. And although many in blogdom have intended to do so but failed over the years, Karen kicked butt and came through with a list of 100 things. Last but not least, I busted out in a full-on happy dance when I discovered that Pixie posted her holiday wishlist for this year ... for that I am very grateful.

It may be too late for a gratitude list here (although is it ever really too late to give thanks?), but I might be able to drum up some kind of list. (Please don't remind me that I never finished my list of 44 wishes for my 44th birthday. I assure you that the 45th wish is to do a better job of finishing what I start.) Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mandala Monday

Ready to download here. Happy coloring!

P.S.
I would love to know how Mandala Mondays has been fun for or helpful to you. Share your testimonial here in the comments or via e-mail to me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Waterfall Reiki Shawl Begins

Today I prepared the yarn to begin a brand new Reiki shawl, which hereafter shall be lovingly referred to as Waterfall I. The last shawl that I made was over the summer for a dear friend who is wading her way through the grieving process. It is such an honor to be able to create and offer something that can be of comfort to another.

Each time I finish a Reiki shawl, I have every intention of immediately fetching more yarn to begin another. But I blink and days, weeks, and sometimes even months pass me by without so much as one stitch. Somehow the Goddess of Needlework always forgives me, because no matter how much time goes by, this process never fails me ... never fails to flow. It also never lets me go. There will be always be another. Not an if, but when.

Today actually marks Day 2 of the Reiki shawl creation process. I count the quest for the yarn as Day 1. This is when you will find me at the local Hobby Lobby, doing my best to make up my mind. Despite my personal preference for all things natural, I like the yarn that I use for many reasons. There is a wide variety of rich colors and varigated combinations available. Color is important. It is also super soft, which is important, too. And, quite frankly, the affordability makes it so much easier for me to keep these shawls coming. But I do hope to have organic options available in the future.

Day 2 is about energetically clearing the yarn and charging it up with Reiki. I wind each skein into a ball and flash back to sitting at my grandmother's feet, watching her do the same. I'm not sure if it really makes the crocheting process that much easier than leaving the skein as purchased, but this step connects me to Grandma and other ancestors who, out of love and necessity, crafted things of warmth and comfort with a needle and string. These women are in every stitch I make.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 16,125

I would not consider my thumb to be particularly green, but I most definitely have a way with violets. My mother recently transferred custody of two that had been given to her as gifts, only to grow sad and sickly over time. She knew that their only hope was to come live with me.

As much as I was tempted to cut off the shriveling, mildewed outer leaves, I trusted my intuition and let them be. Sometimes a hard prune can stimulate healing but other times it can serve as the crushing blow. I sensed that gentleness was called for here. They needed tender tending and for me, for the most part, to leave well enough alone.

Clearly, there had been some enthusiastic watering going on in their past. Violets like to be moist, but a steady diet of sopping-wet and they will surely drown. I find that they actually prefer to lean toward the dry side. Once their dirt has dried out completely, I sit them in a bowl of room temperature distilled water to soak up from the holes at the bottom of their pot. This big drink happens every 10 days or so, depending on the time of year. With our furnace at full blast these days, it's high dry season in my house, so I tend to water more like once per week.

I am already being rewarded with new growth. They are giving birth to leaves that are sturdy, unmarked, and robust in color. In a few more weeks, I will add a wee pinch of epsom salts at the root base to stimulate flower production ... but they may very well surprise me and produce buds on their own.

I appreciate the reminder that I don't always have to fuss and fiddle to make things happen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 16,120

The approach of winter always seems to bring me back around to the blog. I begin by poking it to see if there may be signs of stirring. When I scrape off a bit of the bark, I see bright green. There's hope. Thank goodness. There's always hope.

We have fewer than 40 days left in 2009 and I have already begun my review. Things didn't unfold the way that I had expected this year, but that's the thing with setting goals and making plans. Always best to be gentle and keep them flexible, because the river is gonna go where the river chooses to flow.

I look forward to fully absorbing what I have learned and experienced and carrying that wisdom with me into 2010. I have already crafted my intentions for the new year and feel excited yet somewhat surprised at what has welled up within me in the process. More than intentions, they feel like invitations to me. Calling me forward and yet back to a path that had been all but abandoned. Always hope. Always.

I look forward to sharing the unfolding here with you. Step by step. Day by day. Maybe we will make some serendipitous discoveries along the way.

Mandala Monday

New mandala ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Auction Success!

The Magic Beans Auction for Esme was a tremendous success! Go see! Thanks to everyone for your tremendous support.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Magic Beans Auction

You have just a little more than an hour to place your bid on one of the pendants up for bid on the Magic Beans Auction for Esme. Hurry!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mandala Monday

New mandala ready for you to download here. Happy coloring!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mandala Monday

I missed last week, but today there is a fresh, new mandala ready to download here. Happy coloring!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 16,086

Appreciating ... this week's mandala that I colored after a challenging call on Monday. It helped me to feel so much better.

Celebrating ... the (long awaited) impetus to clean up/clean out what I can between now and October 27. The big focus will be on making the most of my free time (and my husband's cooperation) this weekend. Might be worthwhile to include some feng shui remedies while I'm at it. (Hard to believe that it's been four years since I was there.)

Basking ... in big mugs of Guayaki Chai Spice Yerba Mate.

Savoring ... Broken: A Love Story. (Thanks Frances!) I'm halfway through and lamenting that I'm that much closer to the end.

Praising ... the glorious weather that I will bet is our Indian summer for this year. We've had a break from the rain and cold with bright blue skies and highs around 70 degrees. Our greyhounds and kitties are jockeying for the indoor sunny spots while they last.

Entertaining ... the possibility of going back to California to resit the Shinpiden Reiki course that I took in April. Words can't sufficiently describe how Frans' teachings deepened and expanded my practice. It would be a privilege to retake the class. Plus, I seriously have the travel bug and need to get back to Muir Woods. I also need to prove to myself that, properly medicated, I can make the drive to Stinson Beach without hurling on myself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mandala Monday

A new mandala for you to download here.

I must confess that I haven't been coloring and I sure do need the therapy. So I've printed my own copy and will be coloring the evening away. I'll show you mine, if you show me yours! Send your colored mandalas to me via e-mail at jakk AT magicbeansworkshop DOT com. I'll even post them on here with your permission.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm A Book Fairy!

What an honor it is to serve as a Book Fairy for Christine Mason Miller's 100 Book Project! I get to work my stealthy magic with one of 100 copies of Christine's lovely and inspiring book, Ordinary Sparkling Moments. A very lucky someone here in Greater Cincinnati will happen upon this book in a most unsuspecting place ... which I, um, haven't quite decided upon just yet. Of course, I am sworn to secrecy, so no amount of tickling or chocolate bribes will even get you a hint. But if you'd like to join the fun, I think that there's still time for you to be a Book Fairy too!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mandala Monday


Happy Columbus Day! This is the one holiday I have each year that is just for me. My husband and daughter went to work and school this morning, while I went back to bed. As a matter of fact, I snuck in a nap around lunch time, too. Extra sleep feels very restorative these days.

You can download this week's mandala here. It feels good to be back to making them for you. Hope you are enjoying them too. I always welcome your mandala stories and colored mandalas via e-mail, so don't ever hesitate to contact me. I'll be glad to share them here with your permission, of course.

As always, happy coloring!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Staying Centered

Still working on my list of birthday wishes and will share the last 22 when complete. I got sidetracked by some news about my job that I had hoped wouldn't come, but it did after all. I am really appreciating Tosha Silver and her free MP3 Staying Centered. I have been playing this on repeat today and it is soothing my uncertainty. Thankfully, I should have plenty of time to entertain my options and contemplate how I can be of service in the future. It might turn out to be the best birthday present of all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

44 Wishes - Part 1

The 44th anniversary of my birth arrived at 3:40 a.m. while I was sleeping. In my humble opinion, one birthday wish just isn't enough. So, guess what. New rule. You get as many birthday wishes as you want. Me? Well, I'm cool with 44 wishes for my 44th birthday.

I'm only halfway through my wish list. Hence the Part 1. Here's what I've got to share so far, so that you can hold me accountable and stuff:

1) This photo is of Kathy and me. She is my oldest friend ... in terms of duration rather than age. We met in the 4th grade, so I suppose that we were around 9 or 10 years old. We were neighbors, too, and have a lot of happy memories (and photos of embarrassing hairstyles) from growing up through the 70s and into the 80s. This was the two of us at our recent 25th high school reunion. Just love Kath's smile! We lost track of each other for many years. She lives in Texas now. My first birthday wish is to go visit her sometime this year so that we can catch up properly.

2) Launch an e-course. It's all been laid out for me in my noggin. Now I just need to sync it to something that I can distribute. I don't want to give anything away, but I think it's an area where we all can use help and support.

3) Create a labyrinth playbook. The lovely ladies who walk the labyrinth with me a couple of times per month have been receiving playsheets from me. I would like to compile them into a book for next year and make it available to everyone so that they can find a labyrinth near them and see what discoveries there are to be made. It can be very transformational!

4) A week at the beach. We've already made our condo reservations in New Smyrna Beach ... our home away from home. Even found great airfare, so we've got our tickets too. So this wish is well on its way to being granted.

5) Long weekend in Chicago. We had so much fun this year and it is a mere five hour drive from where we reside. There's just no reason not to go at least once a year. Besides, you just never know when you might run into Oprah ... which maybe ought to be a wish on it's own.

6) Sedona????? I add question marks only because there are so many places that I'd love to visit over the next year and my travel budget is a bit limited. I've been twice but it's been five years. I feel it tugging me back. So let's just see what happens, okay?

7) Promotion at the job. Can't say much about this one, due to obvious reasons, but promotions, yeah, they're nice.

8) Find the perfect hairstyle for me. Oh my goodness, words can't describe the longing. I have super thick, super unruly hair. I don't have the arm strength or the endurance to flat iron it into submission, so my options are extremely limited. I keep it long, despite my better judgement, just so that I can put it up and out of my mouth. Yes, the perfect hairstyle for me, that would be a dream come true! Maybe even bigger than running into Oprah in Chicago.

9) Take my writing to the next level. Okay, that's vague, but that's what I wrote down. Maybe the next level is clarity.

10) Go to Blogher and have a blast. Okay, this wish bubbled up out of nowhere and REALLY surprised me. I didn't think I had any interest in ever going to Blogher, but there you go. That's the kind of thing that happens when wishing begins. It takes on a momentum of its own.

11) Ditto for Squam. You know, this wish makes me feel more vulnerable than Wish #10, because it's more intimate. For both events, it would mean a whole lot to me (and make me a whole lot braver) to go with a buddy. So if this is something that you've got on your wish list too, let me know and we can encourage/support each others attendance ... or triple-dog-dare, if that helps even more.

12) Facilitate a retreat. As with the e-course in Wish #2 above, I've got all kinds of ideas for all kinds of retreats. I just need to sort things out and craft a plan. After that, it's a matter of mustering the courage to put it out there and hope that people sign up. Piece of (birthday) cake, right?

13) Write a book of poetry. Didn't say publish it. Just write it. Maybe 44 poems for my 44th year? It all begins with one.

14) Learn a foreign language. I've got two (half-hearted) years of high school French under my belt. I can remember how to ask where the library is. Otherwise, consider me hopelessly lost in Paris. My daughter is in her third year of Spanish and itching to go on the school field trip to either Costa Rica or Spain. *Swoon* I would like to go along as a chaperone, but I would also like to be able to communicate my way back to my lodgings once she and her travel companions ditch me. So, yeah, maybe Spanish is the way to go.

15) Skinny dip. Never done it. Rather ashamed. Not about the wish, silly. I think everyone should skinny dip at least once. But I guess I had better add "Learn to swim" as a prerequisite.

16) Get back to San Francisco, but this time as a tourist. I should probably question mark it like Sedona. Oh, I'll definitely be back. Just don't know if it will be this year.

17) Get a colonic. Too much information? Maybe. I understand the importance of keeping the plumbing clean. Frankly, I'm really curious how it works. Especially about implants. That's all I'm going to say. If you want to learn more, get thee to Google.

18) Teach a Reiki I/Animal Reiki Basics class. I have been working on a manual for months. Just haven't felt like it is the right time to teach. This year I really hope it comes together and happens. Might need one of those triple-dog-dares.

19) Start piano lessons. I was the kid who was jealous of the kids who couldn't play outside because they had piano practice. Maybe this is my year.

20) Get my passport renewed. Just been lazy and haven't really had any need for one. But it's silly not to have one handy these days, because who knows what kind of cool opportunities may present themselves.

21) Salsa dance lessons with my husband. In the summer, they have Salsa on the Square downtown. It looks like so much fun ... so sexy in the heat. Sign. Me. Up. Now I just need to convince Dan.

22) Plant tulip bulbs this fall for spring. This should be easy. But the more appropriate wish may be to successfully thwart the squirrels that will come in behind us and dig them back up. If they leave any behind for blooming, they will be eaten in the spring by hungry deer. Why bother, then? Because it's my birthday and I dream of red tulips in May!

Okay, that's half the list ...

Part 2 will follow once I wish it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mandala Monday

At long last, a fresh new mandala for you to download and color!

Magic Beans Auction

I am delighted to announce that I am auctioning my entire inventory of wire-wrapped pendants for a very good cause. Earlier this year, Esme Kenney, the 14 year old daughter of my dear friend, Lisa, was murdered when she went out for an afternoon jog near her home here in Cincinnati. This auction will help to raise funds for a memorial scholarship being established in Esme's name. Bidding starts today and runs until noon on Sunday, November 15. Please spread the word and consider bidding: http://magicbeansauction.blogspot.com.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Here and There of Mandala Mondays

I had posted over there that Mandala Mondays would resume here on Monday, October 5.

That is partially true.

See, I spoke before I tested. Can't upload the PDF here. Shucks.

So it WILL resume on Monday, October 5, but posted for download there as before.

Which means that this blog may eventually move here.

But first things first.

Thanks to all of you who have missed coloring as much as I have!

Master Class

Day 16,068. Although I haven’t talked about it much since then, I attended Shinpiden (Reiki Master Teacher class) exactly six months ago. Anyone who has been through anything like this knows that the learning goes well beyond the time in the physical classroom. The teaching (and testing) can go on for weeks, months, a lifetime. Our homework is to treat ourselves ... heal what needs healing within us. No small feat. But we can be of no assistance to anyone else if our heads, hearts, and hands are full of our own baggage.

Working at the Master level has deepened my compassion for our human-beingness, but at the same time I can see more clearly than ever before just how powerful, magnificent and, well, WELL that we really are at our core. Our well-being truly abounds, although our circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to see it that way. Like the sun behind the clouds, the light is always there. The truth of our inherent well-being has taken root within me as a knowing over these months of practice and contemplation. Which isn’t to say that I don’t forget sometimes in my day-to-day life. As a recovering dramaholic, I do. But it is getting easier to bounce back and remember in a (gentle) thump-on-the-head, could-have-had-a-V8 kind of way.

To the frustration of some around me, there are some things that I can’t do anymore, now that I know what I know. “I won’t go there with you.” I said these words recently and I could tell that they wounded the one who received them. The only thing that I am sorry about is that my point was misunderstood. This is my truth. I won't go there. I won’t to go to those dark places with those who have forgotten ... the ones who tell themselves scary stories that I know aren’t or don’t have to be true. I won’t pretend that they are or could be real, even for the sake of comfort. I don't do pity. Ever. The two of us in that abyss can be of no help to each other at all.

I would much rather have you believe that I have abandoned you in your time of need than to be anything less than grounded in my powerful vision of you as healthy, strong and blessed. My role as a healing “facilitator” is to hold that space for and picture of you so that maybe, hopefully, you can (at the very least) muster the hope to see yourself and/or your situation that way. From that hope can be borne willingness and from that willingness is borne belief. Once you reach belief, you will (re)discover the truth that I knew about you all along.

Now I know full well that my positive attitude in the face of your anguish is going to seem cruel and piss you off. That’s fine. I can take it. Please be angry with me rather than repeat that story again ... the scary one that makes you sad ... the sad one that makes you scared. I know that someday, when you discover that you are back to living happily ever after, you will realize that quiet in the background, I was not only on your team all along but also your biggest supporter of all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mysterious Apple Bush

Day 16,066. They say that magic is all around us. Caught up in the day to dayness of it all, it is so easy to overlook ... er, um, underlook, as the case may be.

We have lived in this house for 7 1/2 years. Every spring, I watch the shrub by our beer garden burst into furious hot pink blooms which don't last nearly as long as I wish they would. This year, this autumn, it has gone above and beyond the call of duty and surprised us with fruit. Dan and I have been standing around scratching our heads in fruitful befuddlement. Are we being horticulturally punked?

These little gems look like green apple golf balls. I've cut them in half and they even smell like green apples (of the Granny Smith persuasion). It's all I can do not to munch, but my mama taught me not to put things from trees and shrubberies in my mouth without first clearing it with her. She hasn't gotten back to me yet.

So unless you can tell me what it is I'm dealing with here, I will henceforth refer to it as our beloved apple-bush-from-which-we-shall-not-eat. But I sure would appreciate it if someone could solve this mystery. Anyone?

UPDATE:
Thanks to Susie, the bush has been identified as a Flowering Quince. Hooray!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

iSimplify

This word has been on repeat for me lately. With my birthday on the horizon, I suspect that it is the theme for my next trip around the sun. Marching orders, so to speak. Simplify.

With that said, I am moving toward releasing the official Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop website. Honestly, there has not been much going on over there for a long time. I've been corresponding with this dear heart and her wise words have helped me to realize that I can safely pare things down and still be in the business of being me, creatively. Maybe even better than before. Sometimes we have to do a hard pruning to promote new growth.

Mandala Mondays will resume on Monday, October 5. From now on, the mandalas will be posted for download from this site. Don't know about you, but I can use some crayon therapy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Testing, Testing, 1-2-3

Just testing out the feasibility of posting by smartphone. (I love you, Nokia E71.) I really want to get back to posting on a regular basis, but need all of the tools and tricks that I can gather to pull it off. In the not too distant future, I will be leading a double-life with home days and office days. For the latter, it's nice to know I can tap out a little post (or log notes for such) while I'm swigging my green smoothie at lunch time. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

16,048: What I Did on My Summer Vacation

It's a crisp and bright Sunday morning as I write this post ... my first in over three months! Summer transmutes into autumn right before my eyes. A brand new solar year for me and another joyful journey around the wheel.

Ah, summer. I really enjoyed the week in New Smyrna Beach back in early June. And then there was the long weekend in Chicago in August. *sigh* But before, after, and in between has been a whole lot of ... work.

I don't often mention it here, but I have a full-time job that is completely unrelated to Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop (JMBW). It is administrative in nature. The short and sweet of it is that I manage, which makes me laugh because, well, that can be interpretted a couple of different ways. Definitely, yes, I manage.

The demands of it aren't going to decrease anytime soon. But, at the same time, I sorely miss getting my arts on. Unless I want to keep things on hold indefinitely, I'm going to have to get creative about getting creative. I don't know how that will go or what that will look like, but I hope that you'll tag along.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Mandala for You

Ready to download here.

There will be no mandala next week as I'll be at the beach. Ahhhhhhhh. Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 15,938: New Mandala and Reiki Tails

First things first. There is a new (free) mandala for you to download and color. Get it while it's hot!

I took a couple of hours of vacation time this morning to spend with my feline friends at the League for Animal Welfare. I gave Reiki treatments to Jake, Sasha, Elvis and Jenna. You can see their photos and read about their personal situations here. I swear that I get so much more from these visits than I could possibly give. Does the Reiki really help them? I think so. I can tell by how much they relax during their treatment. But I can't know for certain and that has to be okay. It's enough for me to be there for them and to hold the space for whatever it is that they need. And, hopefully, in some way that I cannot explain, it will bring out the best them so that they will be adopted. All I know for certain is that the time there goes very fast and feels really good.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 15,932: A New Mandala, Unicorns and Time

There is a fresh, new mandala for you to download and color.

I have gleefully registered for Marisa's In the Fishbowl e-course. It starts June 18th. Please join me! I know that I have a lot to learn about the business side of creativity. The ropes change so quickly and it seems as soon as I learn one thing, it is fast replaced by something new. Oh and I could use an Etsy Fairy Godmother in a big way.

I could also use some encouragement and/or a swift kick in the butt to get back to the business of showing up and putting out. It is the most peculiar thing. Seems like if it's something that I love to do, create, whatever, then it should be really easy, right? I shouldn't have to coax, prod, even trick myself into doing it. Yes, in a perfect world, I would love to exercise, I'd only eat what nourishes me, and I'd be effortless creative all the live-long day. Yes, automatically choosing what serves me would be effortless. [CUE THE RAINBOWS AND DANCING UNICORNS] And yet here I find myself living in this crazy, imperfect world, analyzing why it isn't effortless and knowing that the analysis itself is yet another means of procrastination. *sigh* May as well throw in another Oreo or two, right? Wrong!

Thanks to the author of The Four Hour Work Week, I found e.ggtimer.com. You can't imagine how helpful this little tool is to me. I am most productive when I give myself a finite period of time to do specific tasks. There's no cheating allowed. No checking e-mail. No texting. No tweets. Nothing but focused attention on the task(s) at hand. Know what happens when I do this? I totally kick butt. Try it! You'll see. Start small. Twenty minutes and a task that isn't too intimidating but something that you'll really be proud to (finally?) scratch off of your list. Then move up to 45 minutes and something bigger or maybe even an hour. Let me know how it goes!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Love Thursday: One Day to Fly Away

This photo goes well with Karen's touching post. It's the smile/sniff kind. Photo credit goes to my husband who rocked the zoom lens on this duck family.

Happy Love Thursday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Miracle Monday?

A new mandala on Monday! Hooray! Ready to download here.

Happy coloring!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Mandala - Free Download

Ready to download here. As always, happy coloring!

Sacred Selfishness

Since returning from California two weeks ago today, I have been missing in action. Okay, maybe just missing, because there has been little to no action. Reiki teacher training knocked my socks off. The whole idea that Reiki is not something that I do to others but something that I am ... well, I have needed time to contemplate what that means for me as a practitioner and, sooner or later, a teacher. The Reiki journey is a spiritual path for me ... deeply personal and yet encompassing us all. The training never ends when the class concludes. In many ways, it is just the beginning.

As tempting as it may be to meditate and contemplate all live-long day, I have people to love, pets to pet, a job to do, and the list goes on. Oh, yeah, there's my beloved workshop and this blog. The only thing that I've been crafting lately is a way to segment my days so that I can get my groove back ... or at least put myself in the vicinity of it. It requires some sacred selfishness. It means putting me first at the start of each day, so that I am fueled up to do, share and be what is most important to me.

Right now, maybe more than ever, it is imperative that I start my day with meditation. I am no expert, but those 20 minutes devoted to my breath, before doing anything else, improves the unfolding of my day more than just about anything else. I am vastly more patient and peaceful when I invest this time. Great for me, yes, but I believe the benefits ripple out to everyone with whom I come into contact, all day long.

If I can take 30 minutes to journal after spending those first 20 minutes meditating, well, I have exponentially increased the benefits of both. I can't explain it, but putting pen to paper and letting the words flow is therapeutic to me. I am not writing anything that would matter to anyone but me. But there's such deep value to it, meeting myself on the page ... saying and hearing what might otherwise fester into something bigger if left ignored.

If I can take a 45 minute walk with my neighbor after I finish journaling, then I am pretty well guaranteed a fantastic day. I stopped walking with her late last fall because I did not think I could tolerate trudging through another icy winter in the dark. This turned out to be one of the most miserable decisions and winters for me, ever. I learned something important. It wasn't just the walking that was supporting my well-being. A big part of the nourishment came from the sharing, the laughing, and, yes, even the bitching. She took me back as her walking buddy about a month ago and I am grateful and now healthier for it.

If I can take one hour to give myself a full Reiki treatment immediately after the walk, pure bliss! At first, it seemed too indulgent. One hour of healing just for me? On top of everything else? But it has made such an incredible difference, especially since the trip. It doesn't feel optional anymore. The cats are quite happy about it, too.

Finally, if I can spend 20 minutes making my green juice and smoothies for the day ahead while I am still in my Reiki afterglow, I can expect to have the best day ever! I have been eating high raw (but not vegan) for a couple of years. I have learned that the key is setting myself up for success in the morning. If I have mason jars of fresh juice and smoothies in the fridge, I know where to go when I get hungry. But if I wait until I'm hungry to make the juice and smoothies, I'm apt to succumb to something S.A.D. because it seems faster/easier.

Yes, my Big Five brings me five minutes shy of three ripe and juicy hours of sacred selfishness every single, blessed morning. This is why I get up at 5:00 a.m. It’s so worth it! I am so worth it!

So are you. If you were to give yourself permission to indulge in some sacred selfishness, how would your day begin? Do you have a Big Five? Maybe a Big Three? If not, what is the one thing that you are willing to do first thing every morning to fill your tank for the day ahead?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm Back. Really.

I arrived back in Cincinnati before lunch time on Wednesday, April 8. I have been in a thick, persistent fog ever since. Is it really April 18? I mean, REALLY?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mandala Monday


Okay, it's Tuesday, but I wanted to get this mandala posted for you to download, since I won't be able to post one next week. Happy coloring!

Cali-bound

The Workshop has been quiet this month. I think I have been resting up for Reiki Teacher training, which begins this Friday. Wow. Friday. Can you believe it? I have been looking forward to this journey for many months. Having never been to California, I imagine that I’ll feel like Dorothy in Oz. This isn’t a bad thing. We need to put ourselves in unfamiliar surroundings sometimes. It’s good for the Inner Artist. Good for the soul.

My trusty Canon G9 is ready to go. So is my beloved Lomo. With Jen’s encouragement and the assistance of a YouTube tutorial, I held my breath and loaded film in my Holga for the very first time, but have decided to leave her at home. Yeah, I know, I know, but it really boils down to a matter of space and time. I don’t want to be so busy taking photos of the experience that I miss the experience of the experience. Know what I mean? I learned my lesson in Arizona. Came home with some amazing photographs, but felt like I only saw it all through a lens. I never took the time to really let myself just be there. With that said, two cameras will be more than enough for this trip.

If free time allows, I may start posting the digital shots to Flickr while I’m away, so check here later this week: http://www.flickr.com/photos/juloftheday
_________________________________
And, hey, before I go, I just want to apologize for the fact that I can't figure out why my feed doesn't seem to work ... at least per Feedburner. I know it's a pain in the butt to keep checking if I've updated. I do appreciate it, though. Very much. If you have any idea what the problem might be, please let me know.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lomolovin'

My love affair with this magical camera started in 2003. Okay, well before, because of Dawn and her drool-worthy lomo images of Chicago. I contacted her, gushed effusively, and she really encouraged me to get one of my own and give it a whirl. So I did. And what a whirl it's been!

But something happened in 2005 and I suspect that something was my digital camera. The lomo was set aside for instant gratification. Only recently did I blow the dust off of my poor lomo and discover that it still had film in it. So I finished the roll and eagerly took it for developing. Had it really been almost four years? Looks that way. Pictures don't lie. But I'm trying to make amends. My lomo will go with me to San Francisco in April and we'll see what kind of magic we can make. With color film, though ... definitely color.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love Thursday

Spring is almost here. The light is streaming through our living room windows at the ideal angle to illuminate the bonsai that begrudgingly weathered the winter. I crack open the window to let in the breeze. I sip my tea and watch both birds and squirrels busily building their nests. I bask. I, too, begrudgingly weathered the winter. I, too, feel illuminated.

Happy Love Thursday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mandala Monday

At long last, a fresh, free mandala is ready for you to download here.

As always, happy coloring!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gone Public!

I've gone public on Twitter. It's taken me awhile to get the hang of it, but I think I might be on a roll.

Sorry for the long absence. Things going on behind the scenes. Now getting back into the swing of things.

[INSERT DEEP CLEANSING BREATH HERE.]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gratwittertude

For better or worse, I am now on Twitter. It is a personal project in gratitude. I can't take credit for coming up with this idea. I know others have used it as a virtual gratitude journal in the not-too-distant past. I was intrigued. I'm certainly guilty of cruising through the business of most days without taking time to really think about what I'm grateful for in the moment. Maybe Twitter can help. A few keystrokes here. A keystrokes there.

I'll give it 40 days. Care to join me?

OOPS!
Just discovered that I have my Twitter account is set to private. This may not be such a bad thing, though. Please send me a request if you would like to follow me. I may eventually make my updates public, but for now I'm feeling a bit shy and awkward as I get the hang of this. I'd still love for you to tag along, if you are interested ... and if you are on Twitter, let me know so that I can follow you, too.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

P.S.

Did you know that Karen offers a FREE desktop wallpaper every month? Her beautiful photography to savor on your computer for free! She's just as talented at the keyboard as she is behind the camera, by the way.

Sacred Life Sunday

This is my furry guru, Garrett.

He came into my life two years ago. His was a dual rescue. Rescue number one was as a kitten, from an abandoned shelter in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina. The volunteers had minutes to get as many cats as they could. Several were hastily stuffed into one carrier and Garrett's leg was broken in the process. He holds no grudge and bears no obvious damage. Rather that than to be left behind. From New Orleans, the very special volunteer who saved his life brought him to a very special no-kill shelter here in town. Two years after his arrival, we found him. Rescue number two complete.

For such a rough start, Garrett now lives the life of a king. He is a very big boy, weighing in at more than 20 pounds. And in his own big way, he has rescued me. I've learned from him that I have much to learn.

How to properly bask in the sun.

How to make naps a high priority.

How to eat with gusto.

How to put words to my needs.

How to cuddle like nobody's business.

How to stand my ground when confronted with something or someone bigger than me.

How to look at those around me with deep love and appreciation.

Is there anything more sacred than this? I don't think so.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bound for California

In a little more than one month, I'm bound for California. The San Francisco area, to be exact. My first time there. I will be in a class for four days which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. But there will be time for sightseeing in the evening and the entire last day that I am in town.

So, tell me what you would do there if you were in my shoes? I love recommendations!

I Think She's Talking to Me ...

Christine Kane's seven tried and true ways to stifle your creativity.

I think she's talking to me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mandala Monday


Fresh new mandala for you to color ... ready to download here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And the Winner Is ...

#10 - Meryl!!!!

Please contact me via e-mail with your mailing address so that I can get these pretty hearts on their way to you.

Thanks everyone for playing along!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Love Thursday

Although more than a few days past Valentine's Day, I'm still in a heart-y mood and know this much to be true.

I love wire-wrapping.
I love Love Thursdays.
I love giveaways.
And I love getting to know YOU through your comments.

All that said, this pair of moonstone and quartz crystal sterling silver earrings, wrapped by me with love, could be yours very soon, if the Random Number Generator (love this, too!) puts the number of your comment at the top of the list. (One comment per visitor, please.) Moonstone is known as a stone for hoping and wishing, so if you could make one wish today (at least one that you are willing to share here), what would it be?

The winner will be selected Saturday, February 21 at noon Eastern Time. Trust me, your odds of winning these pretties are OUTSTANDING!

Happy wishing!

UPDATE:
Just looked at my calendar and realized that I have a Reikifest appointment scheduled for noon on Saturday, so the drawing will be pushed back until 2:00 Eastern Time. Good luck and thanks so much for playing along! Sending you all my best wishes ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Worlds Collide

Subtitled:
The Post Wherein I Blabber About My Facebookish Feelings


I wasn't going to do it. Ever. And then on Monday I received an e-mail from my old friend, Kathy, with a link to a photo on a former classmate's Facebook page. She and me and other pals, way back in eighth grade gathered in the lunch room. It made me laugh. And it made me consider changing my mind about Facebook.

Later that same afternoon, high off the fumes from another viewing of Twilight and not in my right mind, I signed up for Facebook with the assistance of my teenage daughter. She had no issue with me signing up, as long as I promised not to friend her. Fine. We're not friends. So, in a few keystrokes and the blink of an eye, there were all of these names and faces flashing before me that I hadn't seen for decades. Wow. Cool. And then, kaboom. All of my worlds collide.

Most people complain about Facebook in terms of its ability to voraciously consume massive quantities of free time. I can see how this can happen. Easily. When I signed up, I lost about six hours. No joke, pretty much six straight hours except for one fast bathroom break and a dinner that was literally inhaled. Creativity and family time be damned, because Facebook became my sole focus. I went to bed that night feeling like I had succumbed to an entire bag of Smarties in one sitting. The buzz of cheap, sweet over-indulgence.

But the bigger problem for me was the kaboom. I am in a precarious position, both literally and figuratively. I have what could be deemed a very normal full-time job. I like this job ... and, mostly, I like how it helps my family and me to stay financially afloat. I have a kid heading to college in a few short years and her father and I only have so much plasma to donate.

This aforementioned job bears absolutely no resemblance to anything related to my business. They are kept completely separate and as far apart as possible. You will never catch me doing Jakk’s Magic Beans Workshop business during normal working hours. That would be a big no-no. I get up well before the birds, so I have a few hours in the morning for Magic Beanishness and then there is usually some time in the evening, as well. I make it work because I love them both, but the juggling isn't always easy. Weekends help. A lot.

Anyway, I often feel like I am two separate selves living in two separate worlds. But who am I now that I am on Facebook? Which me do I want to put out there? Who do I want to present to those who haven’t had contact with me in years, if not decades? What about professional contacts? What about customers and friends I meet here on this blog? Do I present both worlds on the same page? Is that really a wise idea?

As it stands, only my professional experience is listed. You will find no mention of Jakk’s Magic Beans Workshop ... this blog, Jakk’s Magic Beans Life ... Magic Beans anything. For now. But it feels incomplete, if not completely inauthentic to keep that part of my life, a very important part of my life, a secret. Am I really afraid of risking reprimand or am I simply afraid of looking weird?

It's okay. I know. The Reiki. The I-AMulets. Some will think it's all weirdo, new agey, woo-woo stuff and therefore I am the same by association. I am pretty selective about who I share all this with in the real world, but if they find me virtually, I am completely okay with it. But to put it out there, everything, and to say this is me, who I am and what I love, BOTH of these worlds and the contrast between. Well, that takes some bravery ... and maybe some measure of fool-hardiness. I don't know if I can muster it.

But what is the alternative? To present the me that I believe people expect to see? Typical suburban working mom. Yeah, that part of me is in the mix. But I'm not sure if I can be okay with representing that alone. It's not all of me. And don't people deserve to know all of me instead of the most palatable portion I think that they will want to know?

That said, I wish my only concern about Facebook was the amount of free time it can suck from my life. But I certainly recognize that there needs to be some boundaries put around it. Definitely. But the bigger decision is how far I want to put myself out there. Maybe I’m not giving the people who think that they know me enough credit to accept that there is much more to me than what they think they know. Wouldn't it be nice to (finally!) live one great, big, abundant and diverse world rather than having to switch myself back and forth between two seemingly dichotomous lives?

Stay tuned and we'll find out.

P.S.
Yes, I have also considered the possibility that no one really gives a hoot what I do, where I do it, when and why. I like this possibility very much.

P.P.S.
Yes, I realize that I may have signed up for Facebook in order to avoid the Camp Magic Beans/Portfolio Project promise that I made to myself. No, creating a lot of unnecessary drama does not count.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mandala Monday

Fresh (and, as a reminder, FREE) mandala ready for you to download here. Happy coloring!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday

Yesterday, for Valentine's Day, I treated myself to an online viewing of Dr. Wayne Dyer's Ambition to Meaning. It was a sweet and thought-provoking movie ... I enjoyed it so much that I ordered the DVD immediately afterward. Did not hesitate. Simply couldn't resist. I know that I'll pick up something new each time I view it. Besides, I like to keep inspirational movies on hand for those days when I need something to inspire me to pull my thumb out of my mouth. I've often thought of joining Spiritual Cinema Circle so I can further build my collection.

The 1000 Journals movie is at the top of my wish list right now. I expect it to be every bit as inspiring as Dr. Dyer's film, but maybe in a different way. Then again, maybe not so different after all. I see spirituality and creativity as one and the same. Show me an artist doing their thing ... working their magic ... bringing an idea to life ... and it is every bit as powerful to me as witnessing a baby's birth.

On that note, what about The Beckoning of Lovely film? Oh my heavens, it isn't even MADE yet and I'm pining! Go, Amy, go!

And, finally, heard gushy-great things about Happy-Go-Lucky but completely missed it when (if?) it passed through theaters here in town. Now I must sit on my hands and wait patiently for it to come out on DVD. Sigh.

Okay, spill it, sisters. What films have inspired you recently or even indefinitely? I LOVE recommendations. Please share!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Not so much to show-and-tell this week. I finished this mandala in the nick of time.

So for the Camp Magic Beans/Portfolio Project, I've got two mandalas, two poems, a papered Y-E-S, and quite a few new photos taken (you can visit me on Flickr linked in the sidebar). I lost some momentum over the last week, but I think I'll gain it back and then some in the week ahead. No worries. I'm thankful for the holiday on Monday. Three day weekends are the best gift of all.

I hope this Valentine's Day brings you lots of love, fun and chocolate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love Thursday

You
Brimming
Pregnant with
Your own potential
I see you
And honor
The way that you juggle
Deep dreams
With dirty laundry
An effortless
Alchemist
A bridge
Between worlds
I see you
And marvel
In all that you do
All whom you touch
The mountains you move
The tides that you turn
I see
And applaud
You

Happy Love Thursday!

xoxo
Julie

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mandala Monday

A fresh new mandala for you to color is here!

I hope that your week is off to a great start. The Full Moon in Leo (avec lunar eclipse) arrived this morning after 9:30 (Eastern time). I joined "the ladies who labyrinth" here for our Noon with the Moon gathering. Okay, not as lush as the photo would suggest. Not lush at all. Pretty barren ... although the sycamores majestically stand guard year round. The river was running high from the weekend's big snow melt off. (Good riddance.) We're enjoying 60 degrees here after single digits last week. Welcome to Cincinnati! We know better than to believe it is spring. But we are getting close. At least that's what I keep promising myself.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Show and Tell Saturday for Week 2

A lot of my Portfolio Project/Camp Magic Beans efforts were behind the scenes this week. First off, I secured the services of the lovely and talented Helen to create a desperately needed banner for this blog as well as banners and avatars for my Etsy shop. She was super fast, super affordable, and an all-around joy to work with ... I will gladly call upon her again for support.


I colorfully completed the mandala above. Yay me! I hadn't drawn one of these from scratch since last May. It was a bit awkward at first, but once I got going I felt my confidence grow. Now I just need to stick with it and keep 'em coming. I just love how the colors look like I used pastels. I hope to move onto bigger mandalas, eventually, but I'm fine with taking this facet one small step at a time.


Ah, these wooden letters have sat behind the workshop sink for at least a year and I'd be willing to bet closer to two. I sat myself down and more or less forced myself to decoupage them this week. Okay, not so much tradition decoupage as "jakkoupage," my own style, which I hadn't done on anything since about the time I bought those wooden letters. Anyway, this project turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. It moved me through and beyond my resistance and I'm pleased with how they turned out. I think I'm ready to start a creation box next week.

I've now got two I-AMulets posted to Etsy. I'm taking new pictures and it's taking awhile. I keep telling myself that there is no huge rush. But it kind of feels like a big, burdensome job right now.

I haven't wrapped anything new. That seems to be my biggest block. I think I need to just sit down and give myself permission to wrap badly. Except that sterling silver isn't cheap and so there's this pressure to make good use of my supplies. Round and round and round I go.

Last but not least, yesterday's post came to me in minutes. It was the end of a long work day. I was tired and just thinking about the stories that I tell myself, day-in and day-out, about what's not working. Still not working. And the words to the poemy pep-talk just flowed. To me. To you. To whomever else needed to hear it. But this was truly the "fast and dirty" creating, in this case writing, that is the essence behind the Portfolio Project. Just do it. Just get it down. Just get it out. I got it. And I plan to play with it some more.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. And should you care to show and tell on your blog, leave a comment and let me know.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A New Story

What drum are you beating
What bone are you chewing
What scab are you picking
What hair are you splitting
What record are you playing
What story are you telling yourself about your life
Right now
About why things aren't going well for you
And all that you believe is wrong
And how the odds are stacked against you
And whose (or whats) fault that might be
And how this shit has got to stop
And why you're pretty sure that it won't
Stop
Step away from that drum
Drop that bone
Stop it
Just stop
You don't have to do this anymore
To them
To you
It's a story
Just a story
The same story you may have been telling yourself
For a long time
There's still plenty of time to write
A new story for 2009
It's worth it
You're worth it
I promise

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Love Thursday: Reminders

A loving reminder from my favorite mermaid. I've never cherished an envelope before this one. It means a lot to me. The message was timely ... arriving when I was feeling a quite depleted and ineffective. I was sure that my well had run completely dry.

Much the way I find myself feeling today.

I'm really tired. I'm really cold. And I am relatively certain that spring will never come and I'll never ever be inspired again. And yet, just now, I caught a glimpse of the icicles hanging from our neighbors' roof ... glistening with the fading light of the setting sun. A moment of magic. A loving reminder. Thank you.

I'll be okay. It's just been one of those days.

Happy Love Thursday, friends! xoxo

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Giving It Another Go

I am giving Etsy another go. My first try was, eh. My fault. My fault entirely. I didn't do any research. I jumped right in, cannonball-style, with my mouth wide open, my stomach full, and my fingers crossed.

You get the picture.

I am relisting one I-AMulet at a time. Taking freshy new photos. Spiffing up the descriptions. Trimming down the prices. Looking at the lone listing with the eyes of a discerning buyer ... rather than a biased seller.

I keep editing. And editing. And not again!

If you are at all inclined to take a look at it and further inclined to share your thoughts, either here in the comments or via e-mail, I would be most grateful. Constructive criticism is a good thing. Hey, I welcome it! Okay, maybe not so much with the welcoming. But I can certainly appreciate the value in it. Trust me, I know that I have a lot to learn. I want to learn.

Oh, successful Etsyians, please show me the way!

Tuesday Reiki Tales ... on Wednesday

I seem to be running on a one-day delay this week. I blame it on the snow. We received seven inches yesterday on top of what hadn't melted from last week's storm. Just trying (hard) to go with the (frozen) flow.

I was supposed to give the first Reikifest treatment last night. Understandably, she had to cancel. So the first appointment will now be on Saturday at high noon.
I have spent a lot of time in the literal Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop ... setting up the massage table and getting it fit for company. There's obviously not a whole lot of room to play with ... but efficiency is the key.

I've spent years visualizing what I want the real Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop to look like some day. There will be lots of space for creating ... and not just by myself. I would love to have groups and maybe, if I dare to dream, even offer classes. There will be a separate Reiki room for treatments. And there will be a kitchenette because I feel like I might be moving toward doing some raw food demos in the future. I have so much I want to share. See, no shortage of dreams ... I just need to turn up the volume on the conjuring!

Anyway, Reiki Tales, that's what this post is supposed to be about. Reiki Tales Tuesdays started years ago when I was visiting the local no-kill shelter to give Reiki to the kitties awaiting their forever homes. If you dig around my archives, I'm sure you will find the posts with the pictures. I am hoping to be able to spread out my vacation time this year so that I can get back there for an hour or two every Tuesday. It made a difference. For me. For the cats. It was funny. They would get treated and then they'd get adopted within a week or two. I was doing my best to keep track, but I'd like to try again and keep consistent records. I might be onto something! Even if I'm not, it was fun and it sure felt like I was making a difference.

So these Reiki Tales posts will be about future shelter visits, yes, but other things of the Reiki persuasion as well. Reiki as a way of life for me and its marriage with my art. I love to answer questions, so comment or e-mail and I'll be glad to answer privately or in a future Reiki Tales post. What comes up a lot is the need for some kind of explanation as to how Reiki works. So how to explain the unexplanable?

Here's my best attempt ...

I think of people as radio transmitters. We go through our day sending different frequencies based upon our mood, our energy level, what we are thinking about or doing. We also go through our day picking up the frequencies of other transmitters, um, er, people. Sometimes those frequencies uplift us. Other times, not so much.

As a Reiki practitioner, I have been attuned to offer a frequency that can have a profoundly relaxing effect. Through a Reiki treatment, be it in-person or at a distance, I intend for this frequency to serve the recipient's highest good. Of course, Reiki can do no harm and always goes where it is needed. I have no control over the recipient or if/how the Reiki will serve them. But if the recipient can connect with that frequency through the treatment, then they can be uplifted to a frequency which allows them access to deep rest and, maybe from there, some healing in whatever way that they may need it.

I do not see myself as a healer. The recipient does their own healing. I like to think of myself as a facilitator. I hold the space for them to relax enough to allow themselves whatever it is that they need.

That said, I want to share that there are a lot of Reikifest appointments available, so I am expanding the scope of my offer. If you're not in the Greater Cincinnati area, but you would like to try a distance Reiki treatment, please contact me. The treatment is free and a nice opportunity to give it a try. Just pick the day and time from the list on the Reikifest page. Distance treatments can be sent to you, a loved one, even a project or situation of your choice. If you would like more details, please let me know.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Mandala Monday

Fresh, new mandala, ready to download here.

The 2008 Mandala Mondays are available, as well. More information here.

Happy coloring!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday ... Meets Show-and-Tell Saturday

I try to keep my computer off on Sundays. Unfortunately, it is an impossible promise to keep if I want to acknowledge Sacred Life Sunday. So I've tried to write my SLS post on Saturday ... which I have more or less deemed to be the day for my weekly show-and-tell. Seems like I've got some figuring-out to do, which is a laughable understatement, but I hope that you'll play along.

My love for mandalas is no secret around here. I have had a blast with the Spinlights Stained Glass coloring book these last couple of months. As you know, it's been my creative outlet during my lightbox time. Now that the coloring book is complete, I am trying to get back to freehand drawing of white pencil on black paper, inspired by Judith Cornell's teachings. The notebook is smallish, so it isn't as though I am demanding a masterpiece from myself every morning. But it feels surprisingly awkward and I'm wanting another coloring book instead. I will do my best to stick with it.

I have started a new Reiki shawl. I took a bit of break since completing the last one. I always marvel at how much I need to crochet on a daily basis. I always wonder why I think I need a break in the first place. Loving this shade of green.

Finally, I setup my playspace for a new creation box. That was all that I asked of myself for this facet ... just to get everything in one place, so that I can sit down and get started when the mood strikes. Except that the mood never struck this week. Some coaxing may be in order. Better yet, bribery. The first step is prepping the paper. The second is applying it to the box. From there, I will be on a roll.

So what does all of this showing-and-telling have to do with my sacred life? Creativity is a big part of who I am ... no matter how much or how little I actually apply it each week. Hey, avoidance and procrastination take creativity too! But when I dare to show up and let it flow for good, I feel most closely connected to what I just plain call God. Art is my worship.

How about you? Do you see the divinity in your creativity? What does it mean to you?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, January 30, 2009

"Let's say you do something nice for someone. The Monster in the Mirror will tell you that it's actually a covert attempt to control them. The Monster in the Mirror likes to keep you looking in the Mirror, examining you and your motives as if you've got a bad spiritual complexion. If it can keep you picking at yourself, it can probably keep you from doing anything." – Julia Cameron, Supplies: A Troubleshooting Guide for Creative Difficulties, pg. 25.

Yowsa.

That last line. So true. Mind you, I also understand that if it can keep me reading a book about how it keeps me picking at myself, it has found yet another way to keep me from doing anything.

*sigh*

But this book, Supplies, is worth mentioning. As a matter of fact, all of Julia Cameron’s books are well worth mentioning. Not just the title most well-known. The Artist’s Way and the Vein of Gold and Walking in This World. There's also the Right to Write, The Sound of Paper, and Finding Water. Although they are presented with the writer in mind, the words apply and appeal to those with an artist's heart ... and who among us does not have this, to some degree? Some of her readers complain of redundancy, but to me her books always feel like having tea and sharing with a wise friend who knows her way around the block. Literally and figuratively.

Supplies is special to me. It is an artist’s emergency first-aid kit. An anti-venom. A tourniquet. A generous spray of Bactine. At times, the advice serves as the comforting hug that lovingly sends me back out to play. I had, more or less, forgotten that I had it on my bookshelf. I pulled it out this morning and opened it at random to this passage. Food for thought for breakfast.

The first week of Camp has not gone as planned. Today is the fourth day in a row that my daughter has been off school due to the snow/ice storm aftermath. I am out of my routine. I am out of sorts. And I am also out of excuses.

Next week heralds a bright, shiny new month. For those of you keeping track, Mercury will go direct on Sunday, February 1. Monday will be a second chance to welcome the new year. Things should feel lighter, go more smoothly ... a lot less like slogging through wet cement ... or a foot of snow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Love Thursday: Happiness is ...

... being green.

Jakk's Green Power Smoothie

1 cup of spring water
1 frozen banana
1 fresh banana
1 apple (Granny Smith is my favorite)
1 kiwi, peeled
3-4 collard green leaves (or 5-6 leaves of kale)
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (or other berries of your choice)
1 tablespoon of bee pollen (use caution and test for allergies)
1 tablespoon of hemp protein powder (I like Manitoba Harvest)
1 tablespoon of flax oil
1 teaspoon of spirulina

My beloved Blendec whisks this into about 36 ounces of creamy green goodness. I divide it into three 12 ounce mason jars and enjoy them throughout the day. I've been high raw for about a year ... with high meaning 75-90% of my daily diet is raw fruits and vegetables. But please don't ask me about the month of December. I'm too ashamed to talk about it. I will say that the better I am at sticking with it, the better I feel on a day to day basis. Immensely better. Especially through winter, which is typically a slumpy time for me energetically and emotionally.

Greens have been a miracle to me. They've clobbered my carb cravings. Now I crave the greens. Two years ago I had never tried collards or kale. I've come full circle and, last spring, was pulling big, juicy dandelion greens from our flower bed to put in my smoothies. Don't worry, I made sure that the neighbors weren't out and no one was driving by. They're good for the liver, you know, those dandelion greens! (Just remember that a little goes a long way.)

Anyway, if you're new to green smoothies, start slow. Yes, they'll seem really bitter at first. Yes, you'll swear that it is the most horrid looking conconction you've ever consumed. What helped me was beginning with a regular all-fruit smoothie and then adding one kale leaf, one smoothie at a time. Thing is, you WILL feel better and it will encourage you to add more. And don't be surprised if, like me, you start craving them. And don't be surprised if, over time, your life starts changing for the better in all sorts of unexpected ways.

You don't have to add the supplements. I like them for personal reasons. Be careful with the bee pollen, though. If you have never tried it before, there are instructions for how to test for allergies.

Hey, let me know if you go green! A green smoothie feast may be on the horizon for me this year. (All green smoothies, all day, for a certain number of days. For real!) It would be fun to feast as a team.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Winter Song



Loved the song ... the first 100 times I heard it. Thought you might be getting tired of it (and scrambling for the mute button), too.