APPRECIATING ... My photography archives and the fact that I am longing to get back behind the lens. I used to be diligent about posting photos, particularly with other blogs that I have had in years past (but are now long gone). I am grateful that the camera bug (like the art bug, the writing bug, the travel bug, etc.) only goes dormant but never fully goes away.
CELEBRATING ... The first labyrinth walk of 2010. It was a damp, brisk walk as it almost always is at this time of year beside the river. We had a bit of a hustle in our step as we worked our way inward and back out. My Angel Card drawn in the center was BEAUTY. Interesting, considering one has to work rather hard at first to see it in January. But it's there, awaiting acknowledgement. Always there.
BASKING ... In the smell of homemade chicken soup on the stove combined with a fresh fire to keep us warm. I have yoga class tonight and you can bet that I will make haste when it is over to get home to that soup and to rest my weary (but limber) bones by the hearth.
SAVORING ... Three. Count 'em. Three! Three back issues of Sunset Magazine loaned to me by my neighbor. *swoon* How is it that a girl from southwestern Ohio who has only been out West three (count 'em!) times could love this publication so much?
PRAISING ... Myself for taking the deep breath and big leap today and moving forward with establishing the pilot group for my upcoming feng shui e-course. I'm delighted and excited and, well, a bit nervous too. This offering has been on my wish list for years. If all goes well, it will be available for public consumption in late spring.
Keeping this week's mandala simple for today's holiday. It's ready to download here. Sometimes I like to imbed yantras in the middle of mandalas, but I thought it would be interesting to play with coloring a big yantra by itself. Have fun with it!
I know it seems like I'm running a bit late with this letter, but the first New Moon of 2010 doesn't arrive until this Friday, so there is still time for me to bid you adieu.
Thank you, 2009, for everything. My first ever trip to California! Thank you for enough time in San Francisco to visit Grace Cathedral and walk the outdoor labyrinth there. Thank you for time for pictures, too ... one was even published. Love those happy surprises! Thank you for the reason I went to California in the first place, to take the Shinpiden course with Frans Stiene. Thank you for the opportunity to finally meet Kathleen in person and so many amazing classmates. Thank you for my trusty and patient traveling companion, Mary. Thank you for our visit to Muir Woods. Thank you for Mighty Leaf tea and croissants. And thank you for the view from Tiburon.
Thank you, 2009, for the week at the beach in Florida. Always feels like coming home. Summer storms, Cubbies games, ghost tours and Flagler Coffee. Thank you. Thank you, too, for the August weekend in Chicago. The Bean, Beluga whales and farewell breakfast at West Egg. Thank you. Love that city and love seeing it through the eyes of my husband and child.
Thank you, 2009, for the promotion that I had pretty much given up hope of receiving. Thank you for what may unfold as a result. Thank you for giving me the fortitude to stay the course and let it all play out ... to make peace, if not friends, with uncertainty.
Thank you, 2009, for helping me to hang on to my dream for Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop and reminding me that there is always plenty of time. Thank you for showing me in some way, every day, how much art and Reiki mean to me and how important they are to my wellbeing. Thank you for sending me inspiration when I needed it most. And thank you for second, third, fourth and fifth chances.
Thank you, 2009, for bringing me, at long last, to texting and Facebook. These have made connecting and keeping in touch with friends, near and far, so much easier. No. More. Excuses. Thank you for my 25th high school reunion last summer. Thank you for big hugs that were decades overdue and childhood friendships renewed. And thank you for so many new friendships too.
Thank you, 2009, for my good health and that of those I love. Thank you for the numerous ways in which I was blessed throughout the year. For all that I touched, tasted, heard, and saw in 2009, thank you. For all that I appreciated, celebrated, and savored, thank you.
Thank you most of all, 2009, for the wisdom to know how good I had it over the last year and the good sense not to take one drop of it for granted.
Teesha Moore is a talented artist and playful (my theme for 2010) inspiration to me. I was thrilled to pieces when she posted videos in November on how to make a 16-page art journal from scratch. She walks us through the process, step-by-step, at an easy-to-follow pace. The best part is watching her bring the journal to life. Drool. I have setup the video posts here as a bookmark page so that they will be handy for us when we're ready to play along. I dare you to resist!
I wish to explore the possibility of attending Squam by the Sea in Nags Head, North Carolina this October.
McCabe and Jen Lee are on my Nourishment list in the sidebar. Please pay them a visit if you haven't already. Any retreat in which they will be teaching would be an absolute treat to attend. Playful art, deep rest, good food, soulful company plus being by the sea sounds pretty much like heaven to me. Even better if I have a travel buddy (or two, maybe even three) to go with me. Road trip from Cincy, anyone?
APPRECIATING ... how great a pot of homemade soup tastes the second day. Not to say that it isn't awesome the first night, but something magical happens when it spends the night in the refrigerator and gets reheated the next day. I can't say the same for freezing it. Not the same. (This recipe for Curried Carrot soup is an absolute favorite.)
CELEBRATING ... rumors of our first "real" snow "storm" of this winter. Word on the street is that it will start on Thursday and snow through Friday. The current prediction is for 2-4 inches. Around here, that means anywhere from a dusting to a foot. There will be a media frenzy either way.
BASKING ... in the welcome scent of Aura Cacia Eucalyptus essential oil. Feeling a smidge congested today and this brings immediate relief.
SAVORING ... luscious ruby red grapefruit that we received as a gift for Christmas. They have helped to ease my sadness that pomegranates are gone for another year. I didn't start enjoying grapefruit until around the time that I turned 40. Now I'm lamenting the decades that I missed out on their soury sweetness. (Makes me wonder what else I've been missing out on.)
PRAISING ... myself for going to the gym for, get this, FIVE straight days. What's more is that the last two days were all by myself like a big girl! It's so true ... the hardest part is mustering the motivation and courage to show up. (A bit of a theme for me.) I won't lie. I feel really intimidated, but it's been fairly easy to coax myself to stay for at least 45 minutes. I'm not hiding out in the locker area either. Most of my time is spent on the treadmill since the weather hasn't been conducive to walking outdoors. I have been trying to add a few minutes on the bike as well, but not digging much. I already feel more energy in return for the effort. Consistency is the key for me. I have to keep nudging myself forward until (hopefully) it becomes a habit.
What are YOU appreciating, celebrating, basking, savoring and/or praising today?
APPRECIATING ... our fireplace insert which is going a long way toward keeping us warm when the mornings start in the single digits. I'm like a cat curling up in the welcome warmth.
CELEBRATING ... signs that my daughter's virus may be fading away. Not that it didn't give us a hearty fight. I swear, her age is irrelevant ... I am always going to be a bit hand-wriggy when she gets sick and celebrate the slightest signs of her recovery. It must be a mom thing.
BASKING ... in huge mugs of hot tea, tall glasses of fresh juice, a steamy pot of homemade chicken soup, and the superpowers I get from green smoothies.
SAVORING ... this very last day of vacation for us all. Makes me feel a smidge of melancholy. Tomorrow it is back to work and our daily routine. Ready or not. Some things will change. Most things will stay the same. But, hopefully, we are well fortified by our time off and all of the time that we've spent together.
PRAISING ... myself for going to the gym for the very first time in my life. Two days in a row, at that. (Today should make it three.) I started on January 1 by (finally) accepting my husband's (millionth)invitation to join him. Bless his heart! He has been so supportive and gentle in his coaxing. Now I just need to get him to employ the same tactics to get me back to the workbench!
Tell me, tell me, tell me what you are appreciating, celebrating, basking, savoring, and praising today!
"May the work of your hands be a sign of gratitude and reverence to the human condition." --Mahatma Gandhi
Every creation and service lovingly offered through Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop is for the purpose of your upliftment. I want you to visit my journal, read my words, sense a moment that I have captured and, from that, feel better. Simply. Just. Feel. Better. I want to send a Reiki treatment to you and maybe grant a good night's sleep. I want to place Reiki into a shawl that I have crocheted for you or someone you love to wear in healing comfort. I want you to color a mandala that I have created so that you can set your burdens down for awhile. I want you to wear an I-AMulet that I have wire-wrapped, bask in the energy of the gemstones and affirmations, and feel your sense of empowerment return. I want you to one day take my feng shui e-course and feel the confidence that comes from gently taking control of your living space and transforming it with love. I want to lead you to the labyrinth, be it literally or virtually, and have you receive a fresh insight or some long-awaited peace.
It is my highest intention to use my hands and heart to be of support to others in reverence to the human condition. Yours and mine. If you are humming along right now with everything going your way, odds are that you won't be attracted to what I have to offer through Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop, except as a tune-up or a gift for someone who is traveling a turbulent path. Thing is, we all get to travel the turbulent path at various junctures on this journey of a lifetime – and goodness knows that some stretches can be more turbulent than others. Sometimes we can feel so desperate for some relief that we are willing to suspend our doubts and disbelief in order to try something, anything, that under normal conditions would make us point and laugh. We suddenly open wide to trying whatever might work. That is why I am here. This is my gift and service to you ... to be the purveyor of something that just might help or at least provide you respite on your way.
My true payment comes when you tell me that your I-AMulet means so much that you cannot bear to take it off – that it keeps you grounded as you bravely move forward through your divorce, treatment, or seemingly bottomless grief. My true payment comes when you let me know that I have shared a unique resource on my blog that has opened doors for you. My true payment comes when you tell me that you really, truly feel the loving prayers in your Reiki shawl and laugh because you cannot keep your cats off of it. My true payment comes when you share that your ailing parent has found relief in coloring the mandalas that I post. My true payment comes when I send a distant Reiki treatment to your aging hound after your vet has advised that it's a matter of time and you don't know what else to do. Trust me, I do not confuse the exchange of dollars with the true measure of wealth with which Jakk's Magic Beans Workshop blesses me. I give thanks that what I make and do here can matter deeply to you. It certainly does to me. So don't be surprised if you see me conducting business a bit differently here. This is my dream of sacred commerce coming true in joyful service to you.