Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30 Notice the Small Stuff

"Notice the Small Stuff"
Lately, little things have been popping up all over; geckos scrambling across a wall, dragonflies landing on a blossom, finely speckled feathers on a foot path. All of these have caused me to pause and take notice, appreciating their small scale unique qualities.

It's easy to race through the day with all that needs to get done and be moving at such a pace, tiny things of great beauty often go unnoticed. 

Today, on this last day of June, consider taking a few moments in a busy day and notice the fine detail on something small that appears.

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29 How a Tiny Work Can Do Big Things

"A Tiny Work"
Can something very small make a big impact?

We all have something we'd like to accomplish whether it's writing a book, creating an art work, learning to play an instrument, preparing  for a marathon, or any one of a million other things. Some of these can seem like big goals, but dividing them up into micro steps creates a doable process that will eventually get us where we want to be.

Recently, a friend who paints stopped painting due to a series of challenging events that popped up and needed her attention. She found herself swamped with all the responsibility which took up so much time, she felt she needed to drop the painting. I could relate as I had set some of my creative projects aside in the past and found it tough to squeeze them back in. That made me feel frustrated, and sometimes resentful, that I would be missing out on something I loved doing.

The solution? I scaled down my creative work temporarily and did micro sized versions of whatever I was doing at the time. I discovered benefits in doing these miniature versions of my stuff:

I dabbled with my materials and looked at it as experimenting, playing and simply enjoying myself. 

   Think in a Different Way
I discovered I could work on a different scale and think my way past some of my self imposed limitations

Creative Challenge
Could I make a work in just a few minutes? Do I need to change the way I do things? How else can I do this?

Feeling of Accomplishment and keeping momentum on track
I was able to complete something, even if it was 4" square. It allowed me to stay connected to something meaningful I love to do.

For today, even if you are not pressed for time, consider doing a micro version of something you like to do. Imagine the possibilities......

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28 The Benefits of Creating a Treasure Map

"Treasure Map"

Why create a treasure map or dream board?

I remember enjoying movies where treasure maps were involved. The maps were old and fragile, covered in drawings and scribbles that provided valuable clues. Getting hold of one was the first step in the direction of obtaining the coveted treasure.

Kids love to make wish lists of things they'd like for their birthdays or holidays. They are eager to share what's on their lists and you can see the excitement and anticipation that go into the making of these wish compilations.

Making your own version of a wish list in the form of a Dream Board or Treasure Map allows you the opportunity to put in visual form, all you'd like to see manifest in your life.

I've discovered some benefits in making my own version of a treasure map:

  • They are fun to make. I've used magazine cutouts, drawings and hand lettering to create my collages. For those who choose to avoid cutting and gluing, the digital forms are widely available and in quite a wide range of styles and applications. Some people keep their maps on their phones.

  • It allows you to expand your realm of possibilities and be open to new opportunities and ideas

  • The maps are visual reminders of what you'd like to see. They will help keep you focused on the journey.

  • Watching the unfolding is a fun process. Documenting what comes about and expressing gratitude for it, are reminders that you really can make what you want materialize.
If you haven't already done it, consider creating a mini Treasure Map of what you'd like to see manifest for you this coming month.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 27 Road Trip

"Road Trip"
What does the phrase,'road trip' bring to mind? For me, it conjures up many things: going on trips with friends, travels with family, even watching buddy road trip movies including everything from Easy Rider, Sideways, and Midnight Run to Thelma and Louise, Something Wild, Away We Go, and one of my favorites, Larger than Life . Road trips can be a combination of laughs, adventure, delight and probably some surprises. I know one guy who used to take cross country road trips with his parakeet, who rode shotgun, standing on the top of the passenger seat, wings spread, enjoying the breeze coming in through the sunroof.  That must have been something to see.

Road trips can draw us out to go exploring new territory or rediscovering familiar places. Many years ago, someone offered me the use of their beach house on the east coast for a week. Thrilled at the idea of a beach getaway, I put the word out to see if anyone wanted to join me. Busy schedules and summer holiday plans prevented them from being able to go. One person agreed to go, only to back out at the last minute. Faced with driving into new territory by myself (pre-GPS), I considered cancelling but curiosity and a love of reading novels on the sand prompted me to go anyway. It turned out to be a fun drive and a fantastic week enjoying beach life at a small village with delightful shops and wonderful restaurants, cafes and bookstores.

Now, I take short road trips and go on mini adventures. Next time you are out, consider taking a detour and go on a short road trip to discover something new.

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 26 Welcoming the Rain


Ever notice the way a lot of people talk about the rain? I've heard things like, "Bad weather is on its way," "Yucky weather predicted for the whole weekend," and "Well, we'll have to cancel our plans because of the bad (crappy, lousy, sucky, etc) weather."

Impending rain is viewed as undesirable, bad news and responsible for ruining people's fun, plans and attitudes.

Why do we give the weather so much power to determine how we feel? Ask almost any little kid and they'd probably tell you they would like to run around in the warm rain getting soaked followed by the ever-popular puddle stomping. Rains add fun to the excitement of outdoor sports events (like the soccer games my brother used to play) as the players end up slipping and sliding around in the mud.

I remember well the delight my little ones had when the rains came. Out they went in their boots to feel the rain pounding onto their little monster-covered umbrellas. After a short while, umbrellas were tossed aside and they reveled in the downpour.

The next time rain arrives, consider looking at it from a different perspective and allow yourself to enjoy the positive things rain has to offer.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 25 Dreams

I wrote recently about the idea of taking mini mind vacations; imagining yourself in a fun and relaxing (or exhilarating) locale doing something you like. Since the mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined, it can believe you are really in that incredible tropical location, if you make it more "real" to all of your senses. Hear the surf breaking on the sand and the seagulls calling, feel the sun's warmth and the softness of the sand you can dig your toes into, smell the coconut scented lotion, taste that tall cool drink with the umbrella resting on the rim of the glass.

Keeping an image of a dream we have in our mind's eye can help us in a lot of ways:
  • It's fun because we can go places and do things we might not ordinarily visit or do on any given day

  • The mind releases cascades of endorphins inducing feelings of well being and elevating our moods

  • Keeps the dream in sight, focuses energy on it and inspires us daily
Take a look at what you are dreaming about- whether while asleep or in a waking state and discover what it is saying to you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24 Reading in Bed

"Night time Read"
One thing I loved as a kid was having someone read to me. Every week in elementary school, our teacher took us to the school library where we learned extremely useful stuff like how to use the card catalog to do research papers.
Library Relic
The librarian (now referred to as Media Specialists) would end the class by reading something she had selected and on reaching a pivotal point in the story, would stop and leave us hanging. Telling us if we wanted to find out how the story ended, we'd need to check out a copy of the book sent a group of us dashing off to locate our own copies. My favorites were tales of Greek Mythology or spooky, but supposedly true, stories in  a series called, "Strangely Enough." Appropriately scary books for a fourth grader at the time.

Many of us have enjoyed sharing our love of reading by doing it with our kids before bedtime. It's a time to slow down, settle in for the night and enjoy a good tale together. Repetition is often part of the ritual as little guys often want to hear the same story thousands of times. Think of the number of people out there who can recite "Goodnight Moon" or any Dr. Seuss book.

What kind of book will you read before dropping off to sleep tonight?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 23 Who's in the Mirror?

Look in the mirror and talk to yourself.


This came from a book someone gave me years ago, written by Louise Hay. If you haven't run across her work, she is a big proponent of what she calls Mirror Work. In workshops she conducted, she asked participants to look at their own reflections in hand held mirrors, telling themselves a few kind words. She found that many were unable to do this and quite a few burst into tears.

Why is it easy for us to extend kind words to others and deny the very same to ourselves?

I remember the first few times I complimented myself as I passed a mirror in my hallway.

"Nice job on stripping that funky wallpaper off the bathroom walls today!" I felt a bit ridiculous, especially as I spoke to myself so enthusiastically, as if I were someone else giving me the "thumbs up."

One night, I looked at myself and thanked my reflection for getting me through an especially challenging day. I expressed gratitude to my very tired feet for all the traveling they allowed me to do and then found more things I could thank myself for doing that day.

Once while at a party, I slipped away to find the bathroom. After admiring the unusual and colorful art on the walls, I gave myself a cheesy grin and was mortified. Spinach dip, and the thing was, I hadn't eaten any for the last hour. Doing the math, that meant I had been mingling with countless people for over an hour without knowing I was revealing my snack trail. Sheesh. No one told me, but then again, who wants to be the one to tell someone their smile is less than presentable? I ended up laughing so hard, I could hardly breathe. Mortification? Really? Over spinach dip?

Today, find a mirror somewhere along your travels and give yourself a quick message (of kindness)....thank yourself for brightening someone's day, for facing a challenge, or just for being there. Even if you feel your hair is less than optimally up to snuff, the day will be a good one anyway.

It gets easier the more you do it.
"Anticipating the presence of seaweed dip at the party, Anna appreciates herself for remembering to tuck a piece of dental floss in her purse just in case."

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22 Dance It

What compels us to move when we hear certain types of music? I've seen countless short videos of babies and toddlers dancing to all kinds of music. Often, they are unaware they are being watched (and enjoyed) and make us smile as they are moving expressions of exuberance and joy.

Some days, dancing seems to appear everywhere from drivers at stoplights dancing from the waist up, to little kids spinning and twirling in the aisles of the local supermarket.

To make vacuuming more fun (yes, fun), I add music and fancy steps as I circle around the furniture. I occasionally wonder if anyone else does this. The cats are scattering in all directions and vacuuming changes from being a "chore" to something playful.

Add a little dancing to your day.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 21 The Magic of Chocolate

"The Magic of Chocolate"

A friend recently told me she was experimenting with a new eating strategy (she had eliminated the word "diet" after seeing the first three letters and deciding she wanted something more uplifting and positive in its approach).

This food plan included small indulgences, little treats that would allow people to feel nurtured and able to enjoy their eating experiences, without feeling deprived. Her favorite treat was dark chocolate and she ate two tiny squares each afternoon, very slowly, savoring it as she relaxed after work with her feet up and her dog on her lap. These two little pieces of chocolate, in all their warm melty-ness, were enjoyable, and she loved how eating them made her feel.  As she felt nurtured, the need to panic and binge-eat gobs of chocolate disappeared completely. Telling herself there was an infinite supply available, whenever she wanted it,released the worries she'd be missing out on the experience.

If chocolate is one of your favorite things, allow yourself the treat and really enjoy the experience.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 20 Share a Meal with a Friend

"Pasta La Vista"
I eat most of my meals by myself due to the nature of my work schedule. For me, it is a quiet time to relax and enjoy a meal I've prepared, whether it be an assemblage of simple ingredients or something more involved and experimental. 

Recently, after spending a few hours on a peer review panel for artists seeking to join our local art guild, another jury member suggested we all grab some lunch nearby. A small group of us wandered over to a Thai restaurant, a tiny colorful spot tucked away in a small shopping center, near a jewelry shop and a puppies-in-baby-cribs pet store (cuteness factor off the charts here).

We were greeted at the door by a giant golden Buddha perched on a cart laden with multicolored silk flowers. The walls of the place were covered in food pictures, exotic travel photos and all kinds of ceramic fish.

All fans of Asian cuisine, we had fun perusing the menu and making our selections. Before long, our food arrived, beautifully presented with delicate flowers carved from various vegetables adorning the sides of the plates. Curries, rice dishes and soups, each with fragrant hints of lemon grass and exotic spice blends, covered the table.

The next hour was a treat. Good conversation, laughs, and great food all coming together to create a fun dining experience. 

Share a meal with friends and experience the delight.

Friday, June 19, 2015

June 19 My Tunes

One of the quickest, most enjoyable pick-me-ups I have is listening to music. It makes everything from vacuuming to road trips more fun and makes the element of time seem to disappear. On an 8 hour drive this past week, I reached a point just after noon where I felt a need for a big snooze. Putting on a favorite cd created a massive endorphin rush that woke me up and made the drive feel significantly shorter.

See where you can add your favorite tunes to your day today.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June 18 Napalooza


Napping is a favorite of mine. I eagerly looked forward to it when I was little. At play dates when moms announced the arrival of nap time, everyone ran screaming and objecting, while I waited to be pointed to the nearest nap station. Must have been my way of recuperating from all the chaos of kid play.

My mother signed me up for morning kindergarten so I could have my daily marathon nap session following school. When the powers that be told her I'd been placed in the pm class, she threatened to pull me out of school. I was promptly returned to the morning class. Bless my mother for standing her ground and protecting my sacred (and essential) nap time.

In first grade, our teacher gave us a list of supplies we were to bring and the last item was a rug, for nap time. I was overjoyed at the time. I'd get to have my daily nap after lunch while in school. I took great care in selecting my little rug at the store and proudly took it to school, placing it in my cubby. Every day after lunch, snooze time rolled around and out came all the rugs, off went the lights and then silence. At one point, my mother received a call from the teacher, inquiring how late I was allowed to stay up in the evening. Apparently, she had great difficulty waking me from my daily nap and had assumed (incorrectly) that I was staying up til all hours. She was startled to discover my bedtime was 8 pm.

My telling anyone I was planning on taking a nap meant I was unavailable for the next 3 hours, minimum. Everything changed one day, when a visiting relative told me he was taking a short cat nap. He rested for exactly 10 minutes and returned refreshed and ready to go one with his day. Amazed that he could do in 10 minutes what took me 3 hours, I gave the cat nap a shot. It worked and I was hooked.

Now I include short naps whenever I can. I've read that napping creates cascades of chemicals that cause the body to experience deep relaxation. Napping refreshes, renews, offers a respite from daily stress and allows the mind and body to take much needed breaks. Longevity is another bonus. But who really need all the scientific proof? 

Grab a short nap today and see how it creates change for you.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 13 "Tall Cool One"

"Tall Cool One"
I remember sitting in a restaurant, as a kid, and looking around at the drinks on other people's tables. I saw glasses of all shapes and sizes with things like lemon slices, cherries or what I thought were the coolest things, miniature umbrellas. How exotic, I told myself at the time, to have a tiny pink paper umbrella resting on the edge of the glass.

Looking through the cooking section of the local library, I ran across several books on creating cool, summer time drinks with fruits, veges, herbs and all sorts of unusual things. Making something to drink has become quite an art and presentation is a big part of it. Why put a plain old ice cube in something when you can add any number of fancy things in with the water so your drink has what looks like glass-covered fruits bobbing in it? Then, fruits and vegetables can be sliced, twisted, and contorted into just about any shape and added on for visual interest and flavor. Pop an umbrella on top and you're really sipping in style.

Dress up a glass of iced tea or water and enjoy a tall cool one.
Umbrellas add more fun

Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 12 First One into the Peanut Butter

"First one in the peanut butter"
A lot of articles on happiness I've run across mention the idea of creating a gratitude list. So many wonderful things are going on all around and taking a few minutes to acknowledge and appreciate them creates more opportunities for them to come along.  How many times have you had a day where everything seems to be moving along at a great pace with one good thing after another coming right at you? Awareness can create that sense that all is well and more good is on its way.

Kids seem to bound from one good thing to another, acting as good-fortune magnets. Maybe because they are so busy having fun and living in the moment. I didn't create any kind of "good things" list as a kid, but I did manage to take pleasure in little things on a regular basis.

Being the first one into a new peanut butter jar was a big thing for me. I had to be quick as my brother was also eager to punch out the inner gold seal and make a big dent in the smooth surface with a tablespoon. Why this was such a big thing, I'm not really sure. Maybe it was wrecking that gold seal just underneath the lid...puncturing that perfect cover, allowing the roasted peanut smell to drift out. That smooth  creamy peanut surface was inviting me to go digging in and swirling around with my spoon, creating an inverted tornado shaped hole.  The biggest pleasure, though, was the race to get to the jar first. All in good fun.

Did you enjoy being the first one into the peanut butter jar?

Friday, June 12, 2015

June 12 The Art of Ritual

"The Art of Ritual"

There is so much information floating around about longevity and the factors contributing to it. All kinds of studies I've run across recently make claims based on lifestyle observation and interviews, and are then compiled into lists that we can read and then incorporate, with the intention of living longer, better lives. With all the lists circulating, it is getting tricky to sort it all out and decide which things will really work and if we consider them worth adding to our routines.

In the last week, I've met two women who smoke cigars. One confessed it was her secret indulgence and she had one every afternoon on her porch, overlooking the ocean. Part of her daily ritual, it gave her much pleasure and offered her an opportunity to relax and reflect on her day. The other woman, also an artist, had a cigar each morning as a way to start her day. Ritual was an item on many of the longevity-factors lists I saw. It provides an enjoyable little something we look forward to daily and the benefits, the "experts" proclaim, far outweigh the negative or unhealthy aspect this ritual might have.  

So, time to engage in that daily ritual that allows you to feel like you are treating yourself to something special. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June 11 Beach Chair Vacation

"Beach Chair Vacation"
I have fond recollections of stretching out on a beach chair while on family vacations. After a big swim, I'd gobble some lunch and then drag my chair to a spot under an umbrella my brother and I had turned in a hundred circles to get stabilized in the sand.. There, reading in the shade was THE way to spend the afternoon. Because I was so full of food, it didn't take long before the combination of surf pounding sounds, seagull calls and hot sun made me fall into a deep sleep.  Before I dropped off, though, I'd imagine that living that way was my daily "regular" life. How great would it be to swim, be in the sun, eat my favorite foods and then read until I dropped off?

The beach chair became like the gateway to another world for me. Stretching out on one, I'd lower the one end so I could dig my toes in the sand while reading on my belly.

When I want to feel like I am "on vacation," I settle onto a beach chair outside, listen to the birds and feel the breezes. A little thing that make a big difference.

Find a comfy spot, close your eyes and take a mini vacation, some place you've already visited or imagine a place you'd like to go. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 10 Tiny Smiles

"Baby Smiles"
Yesterday, I spent eight hours in my car on a road trip to visit relatives in another state. I felt a bit weary in the early afternoon, so stopped at a road side rest. One of my kids pulled up a very short animation we'd recently seen on youtube called, "I'll get the Ice Creams," a British BirdBox production. At about 60 seconds in length, it gave us quick access to instant laughter at the insanity and chaos created by little people in simple daily life situations. I felt my whole face break into a smile and then came the laughs (and tears). We howled and watched it two more times. Each time, laughing even harder. Instant energy and better (almost) than a cuppa coffee. That first smile was the gateway to waking up and feeling energized.

On arrival, we stopped at a store to pick up some dinner. Several shoppers had babies, either on their arms, in little carriers or in slings. I watched as parents interacted with their tots. Seeing babies smile and giggle got me smiling and wanting to see more. I continued walking around the store and watching tiny, gummy grins chuckle and laugh. Even at just a few months of age, these tiny humans are able to see humor and express it without reservation. Delightful.

The next time you are out and about, look around  and maybe you will be fortunate to catch a glimpse of a tiny one giving off a radiant smile. It may just make your day.

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8 Frutopia

While wandering through the supermarket last week, I was amazed at the incredible variety of fruit available, everything from local strawberries to exotic and unusual imports, all side by side. I stood and took a few minutes to look it over- the range of colors, shapes and scents of the assortments in the bins.

Not long ago, I saw something that mentioned doing a little exercise while in the grocery store. It was taking the time to consider the number of hands involved in getting the fruit from the place it grew, to the bin in the  a timely fashion, so the fruit was at its best for the person wanting to enjoy it. 

All those fruits. Right at my fingertips.
While at a farmer's market in New Zealand, I had the good fortune to sample a new-to-me fruit, a cherimoya, also known as a custard apple. Creamy and white, it tasted like vanilla pudding. Find out more about this fabulous fruit here.

Today, enjoy a piece of fruit, everything from its appearance, taste and aroma to its journey to reach you and be amazed at Nature's little miracles.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 7 The Magic of Paint

"Painting to Happy"

Do you remember how great it was to fingerpaint? I loved the combination of slick, shiny paper, all those blobs of color, the smell of the colors,  and the best part, smearing it all to create some kind of imagery.

I'd slip into my backwards smock (dad's old shirt buttoned up the back) and drag my fingers around in creamy paint, all over my paper, blending the colors and surprising myself with what I'd made. Folding the paper in half, rubbing and opening it back up resulted in some kind of creature, standing boldly in the center of the paper. All I had to do was add eyes and other details like horns, claws and nostrils. 

One kid would stand nearby, with an almost horrified expression on her face. Usually there is one in every class. You know, the one who doesn't like to get dirty or touch gross stuff. For me, the messier the better and I still like it now.

I'm not surprised at the popularity of the painting party workshops and classes that are popping up all over the country. It seems like the modern day equivalent of the quilting bee with a few changes tossed in. Adults pay about $45, are given painting supplies and are then led on a painting demo to create a copy of a masterpiece. Reminds me of watching the beloved Bob Ross paint his happy trees.
Add your friends, a glass of wine and you are almost guaranteed  a great time. 

Playing with paint creates a magic that brings delight to people of all ages. Get out some paint and have a go...see what happens.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 6 Play with Clay

I am a big fan of clay...all kinds, from play doh to polymer, modeling to earth clays. I've played with all and have discovered each has its own charm and unique qualities. I keep them all nearby so when inspiration (or desperation) hits, I am ready.

In the last few months, I began taking small batches of homemade play dough to work every day, in my subbing jobs at the local elementary schools. 

On occasion, I've handed out little snack-sized baggies of my favorite clay recipe, purple, peppermint-scented with gold glitter throughout. The peppermint comes from essential oils and reminds me of candy canes, a clean, uplifting smell that most kids seem to love. I've seen kids relax and be more willing to do the work their teachers left for them to complete while they were squeezing that little purple, sparkly ball. Some wrapped it around their pencils for writing, some made snakes, rings and even mustaches. A few minutes of sniffing, pinching and pulling that day seemed to get them into a more relaxed state and they went right to work. All the groaning stopped. What a bonus for me. Something so simple providing such benefits.

As I walked around, I saw little balls of clay parked on the corners of desks, at the ready until needed. An instant way to relieve stress and take a short break.

My little clay came in very handy two days ago after I was involved in an accident, the other driver totaling his car as he rear ended my car while I waited to enter a roundabout. At the hospital, I squeezed the clay I had in my purse and it helped to keep me calm and focused. Yes, I got some odd looks from people, but rolling and pinching that clay was so pleasurable, it took my mind off my worries.

For a little something to enjoy, pick up some play clay or make your own from one of the many online recipes and tweak it to suit your tastes. Allow yourself to create a tiny sculpture of some kind. You might surprise yourself with what appears and how it makes you feel.

Friday, June 5, 2015

June 5 The Many Faces of Friendship

I recently saw an article describing the qualities and habits of people who live past the age of 100, the majority of which happen to be women. One item on the list was a having a friend network in place. As I showed this to a friend, he quickly pointed out that the REAL reason there were almost no men on the list was because they had been henpecked to death by the women and their friends! Pure speculation on his part.

I saw a cute picture of a mouse that accompanied an article. It described how mice living in a community where they had opportunities to play and have fun, lived longer, healthier lives than those who were isolated and without other mouse buddies. Being an anti social hermit recluse might sound appealing to some, but it might come at a cost. Even rats and mice enjoy friends and companionship.

Whether you have 2 friends or 100, it's something that adds to a general sense of well being. I conducted an informal survey recently and each person said they liked having a friend who shared some quirky interest. Here are some of their descriptions when I asked them what brought them together as buds.

 "We share a love of junk shop exploring..she knows how to find treasures to make into art pieces she sells at local fairs. I love her creativity and ability to inspire mine as well."

"My friend will call me at the last minute to run out for Pad Thai and ask me about the latest poems I've written. Her encouraging words help me stay on track."

"I have two friends who want to be stand up comics...we get together and they try their new material out on me. We do this at each other's places now as we got too loud with all our laughing when we met at restaurants."

"I love getting together with my friend Lissa as she takes me to the nearest chocolate shop and we nibble our way down the display, sampling as many flavors as we can. The weirder the flavor, the better. One had beer and peppercorns. After that, we head out for coffee and to talk about the short stories we both write."

Today, make a mental note of the friendships you enjoy and how they add something special to your life every day.

photos by DS Woodard
Looking for fun


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3 Gold in Sunshine

Occasionally, when there is a dark, rainy day (like today), I hear my name (that is, my bed is calling to me) to come and take a big nap.  A really long one.  The lack of sunshine sometimes makes me feel sleepy and I figure I am not missing out on anything by snoozing the time away. Years ago, someone told me I was sleeping my life away, as if that were a bad thing to disappear into the bliss and drift off to dreamland.

When it's bright and sunny, my energy level seems to increase, not always, but usually. Maybe in part because things appear brighter, the birds are singing more and the sunlight lures me outside where I can feel that warmth which reminds me of being at the beach. 

On the way down my long driveway to see if the postal carrier has left me any goodies in my mail box, I stopped, closed my eyes and just enjoyed the warmth and the little breeze that accompanied it. A Piscean delight. The vitamin D I'm getting is (according to research) making my bones denser, lowering my blood pressure and lifting my spirits. All I know is I like it and it makes me feel good.

Grab a few minutes of sun, take a mini mind vacation and thank yourself for helping your body create more health.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 2 The Power of Flowers

"Fish and Flowers"

Flowers offer the first hint of spring. Where I live, there was much anticipation months ago on the arrival of spring after what many considered a long, dark and difficult winter. I actually like hunkering down on cold, dark days. For me, when the flowers start popping up, it means more time spent venturing out into the world. 

Seeing the tiny green shoots appearing and then really taking off means warm breezes, picnics, beach time. First come the crocuses, then daffodils, paperwhites, followed by the magnificent iris. Right now, honeysuckle scent is carried on breezes and I get blasted with it as I head out. Pleasant way to begin the day.

Take a few seconds today to notice the presence of flowers..their scent, the way they attract bees, the way they look, with all their delicate and subtle coloring and details.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June A Month of little things to enjoy

"Bird Song"
With today being the first day of the sixth month and heading into the busy season of summer, it's a good time to take notice of the little things that are in our scope of awareness everyday, but that often get overlooked as we rush around and squeeze even more things into our already packed daily schedules.

As I sat this morning painting in my little sketch book, I heard a bird singing...then another joined in and soon another, a whole group of voices greeting the day.  I stepped outside for a few minutes to hear better as the sound of the air conditioning was muffling their chirps. How soothing to begin the day with lovely bird songs.

Today, as you make your way through your day, see if you can pick up on a bird song in your travels. The lightheartedness may add something magical to the day.
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