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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Merry month of May!


Take an Appreciation Day! 



May this month be a special time of celebration
for all our mothers, sisters and friends.

You are all treasured gifts.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Let Your Imagination Grow



Early one morning this week, I arose to the sight of a prism of colors, reflected on a wall in my line of sight. It was a most magnificent way to be stirred! I had to figure out the source of this most beautiful display of light. I creeped out of bed and went to check for reflections, and sure enough, the light was bouncing off the mirror, from outside. I pulled back the curtains and cracked open the french doors just enough to see it - a boundless double rainbow -- and first thing in the morning!
This could mean nothing but a day full of good luck. I realized just how boundless my imagination was with this auspicious sighting. I doubled back for my phone, knowing that I had to catch it and share not only it's proof, but its message.
Rainbows always rest between rain and sun, they are a fine slice -- a happy place.
Now that I knew it was going to be a good day, I started to think of all of things I would be sure to do to make it an exceptional day. My imagination and creativity were peeked.

Why don't we give ourselves the same permission for optimism every day, regardless of an early-morning rainbow?









Friday, March 1, 2019

Tapping Your Creativity to Shift Imperfection to Perfection




I brought out my ink and pen quill, then carefully selected a piece of paper from my favorite collection gathered during my travels overseas. I was inspired by the winter-washed days: the lack of light and color often give me a sense of inner peace and stillness. It was time to get lost in a creative journey. 

As my first stroke navigated its way over the grooves of the texture paper, I could hear my college art professor, Arthur Hall Smith. “Once we start our composition journey, we must learn that even if we make a mistake with a line, a cross-hatch, or, heaven forbid, a blotch of ink should fall from our pen on what we believe to be our next master piece, work this imperfection in to perfection.” 

Little did I know that Professor Smith’s  “rules” of art would be with me through all facets of my career. I realize now more than ever that Arthur was teaching all of us how to develop solutions using our creative minds. He showed us that we could create anything with a blank canvas if we were willing to explore our imaginations fearlessly with no boundaries.   

As the natural soft light of the day became more dim, I knew it was time to put my quill down. I gazed at my piece thus far and thought about where my imagination would take me tomorrow.   After a few moments of quiet stillness, I turned to a few sections of the newspaper that I had set aside before beginning my art project.  

I turned to the weekend food section of the paper for inspiration for tonight’s dinner. Thumbing through the pages I came across an article entitled, “Cook Between the Lines" by Andrea Nguyen. The title of article caught my eye after finishing an afternoon of drawing many lines.  Then I saw the subtitle, “Recipe books without photos make kitchen time more about pleasure and process than perfection.” Indeed.


As I read through the article, I found myself agreeing with the author about how a cookbook without pictures takes you on a greater journey to trust your “gut,” as she described. To risk and explore the actual written cooking instructions called your own creative instincts into play. What will it look like? How will I plate it? I began to “think out” the flavors, textures and colors. Cooking without someone’s visual influence was cooking it “my way.”  

I am one of those people who love to read through cookbooks cuddled up with a cup of hot tea! I often search through second hand or library bookstores to find some old cookbooks to take home just so I can read through recipes from different regions around the world and imagine the different spices and styles of the places I had never been. 

While most of my collection of cookbooks is filled with beautiful illustrations and photos, I made a point of reaching for one of my oldest cookbooks without illustrations to inspire me tonight. It’s akin to creating something only I can see on my blank canvas.

With a permanent smile, I gave thanks for Arthur’s words encouragement that came to mind tonight. He inspired so many of us to rely on our own creative instincts in the face of imperfection. 

Whether you are drawing, painting, writing or cooking, take the time to explore the essence of your senses and imagination. Create perfections from the imperfections - they will define your life’s journey. 




Monday, February 11, 2019

A Valentine Wish


Valentine's Day often conjures couples and cupids, romance and roses -- and rightly so! 
Do stop to tell your "one and only" just how much they mean to you. Also remember that love is joy and that giving is as great as receiving! Surprise a friend and stop by! Remind your friends and family members just how much you love having them in your life.


Happy Valentine's Day to All! 


Friday, February 1, 2019

Do you still dream?




A couple of my dearest friends presented me with some books to enjoy during the holiday break.  Like many at this time of year, it took me some time before I was able to sit down and be present with the books— a pause in life that I deeply cherish.

As I began reading the first book, while enjoy my morning cup of tea, I could hear the voice of the author as if she were talking to me, as if she knew just how much I needed to hear these words.

The first chapter spoke to me boldly about discovering your dreams, offering ways to welcome your dreams into your thoughts and allowing them to become alive.  I immediately thought of a book I penned years ago entitled Remembering Who You are Rediscovering Your Heart

Many of you have heard me share my mantra to “follow you heart and live your dreams.” When I say these words out loud to myself, I find my thoughts wondering through the many wonderful dreams and gifts I have experienced throughout my life. 

Our life journey is so very unpredictable and often a great adventure if we allow it to be. Why put our dreams on the sidelines?

I prepared my second cup of tea.  The author continued with a challenge for the reader: “Pen your dreams (big or small). Look at them; read them; believe in them.” 

I reached for my favorite journal and pen. My list became pages, I started to feel a relief and a sense of freedom.  Releasing my thoughts and dreams on paper was taking the first step to make them come true. I found myself sketching ways to pursue my dreams. There were doors opening and I became lost in creative moments, time giving way to my imagination. I was stretching my creative heart. It felt good to believe in a pathway of joyous experiences and to not allow the day-to-day distractions of life sidetrack these dreams.

I encourage you (as the author encouraged me) to give yourself permission to write down your dreams. Keep them close by and revisit them often. Add to your list. Do not be afraid to write down the big dreams next to the little dreams. Take the first step...it gets easier and easier with each step you take.  

It’s time to truly rediscover your heart and live your dreams. Dreams are our gifts from the Heavenly One to encourage us to live in joy throughout our life’s journey.




Saturday, January 19, 2019

January: A Month for Reflection




Generally, the school of thought is to squeeze some annual reflection time in between the holidays and the new year for a few resolutions in the New Year. I'd hope that many of you are going to slow down and take stock of your year during the entire month of January. Take these 31 days to reflect on the past year and really think about what you want to achieve in 2019 -- personally and professionally. Don't rush at the end of December to come up with a set of resolutions that feel a little flimsy and are easy to walk away from.

May the words of poet Mary Oliver be your mantra his year: 

"What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

This January, go back and take a look at each month of 2018 and remind yourself about what happened in each month. Take stock of what you did and how you felt through the highs and lows and jot them down. Now think about the 11 months of blank canvas ahead. What would be your greatest personal satisfaction for the year? Who are the friends you haven't seen in a while that you want to make sure to see this year? Are you making a plan to gather with friends on a regular basis? Are you taking time for your loved ones? In what ways will you do this, this year? What one new skill do you want to learn this year? Are you factoring in your health to your 2019 plan?

Put these thoughts on paper. Now the list is official. Tape it to an inside cabinet, post it to the fridge or to the back of the door. Don't run away from your goals.  Make it a year full of constant joys!