Category Archives: gratitude

The Art of answers and questions…

I cannot expect even my own art to provide the answers—only to hope it keeps asking the right questions. Grace Hartigan

SONY DSC

That art is the art of being an example of how to be fully present in the world, even when fear and sadness which try to invade from every other direction. Yet it from within that the right questions are asked  so that hope can bring the answers forth to be shining beacons on the present, guiding us to a fuller better improved future, for it is in the now that the future is planted, it is the days that follow that the future is nurtured and tended lovingly, compassionately offering the best solutions during the evolution of the human population and the evolution of the planet for its continual growth.

gaggle of geese
gaggle of geese

Yes I was gifted with the art of photography, I was sent out to use that gift to acknowledge the land, the planet, even if is just my small little bit of it, the everyday moments, the daily life that is there for us to see, as well as admire, to bring a smile, a warm thought. Whether it is the sunlight shining through the leaves on a tree, or the shimmer the light makes across the water of the lake, did you notice, squirrel scurry up that tree, did he stop and chatter at you? Are there rabbits along the edges of the bushes, look there they are! What color is the sky today? Pale blue, azure blue, grey looking like rain or snow, are there clouds, what kind, what do they look like, are they still or swiftly moving across the landscape? Did you notice birds flying there in the blue of the sky, did you recognize one or another, where you captured by their flight, how they move, up and down, or flapping wings like crazy to get to the next place, maybe there was one that captured your attention because it seem to float and rotate around the sky seeking something? Amazing right? All of that life surrounds you as you walk even if it is just to your car to get to one place or another. Were there people who you went past as you headed out, your neighbor, the mailman, a stranger walking their dog, did you acknowledge them or they you? A smile, and good morning, hey what up? This life, this is the fullness of life, the everyday events, pay attention to them they are just as important as any other activity in your life. Who knows that glimpse of a squirrel or rabbit, the flash of a bird flying across the cloud filled sky, the person you greeted or greeted you may be just the event that can shift your life to a fuller awareness of the beauty the surrounds you.

Oneness
Oneness

These are only small incidence that make up our daily lives, look around at the art of creation, look around at the creativity of evolution, and experience the grandest of a friendship with the planet and the other creatures that inhabit the same space each one contributing to its future.

Beyond the Clouds

I needed write something besides my daily activities from the day before, I need to shine light in my soul as well as out into the world. More and more I believe that my most pleasurable place is here writing even when the writing is not so good, but the fact that I get to create a world I wish to see, a world I wish to live in and do live in much of the time. There are moments that we have to stand outside of ourselves to see what surrounds and informs us of who we are, we tend to take the everyday for granted, while it continues to bless us with a powerful experience, Life!

in the details
in the details

Say thank you, remember to be grateful for it all, the good and the bad, the good we expect that bad not so much, but it is in the challenge that pulls us up, informs us of who we are, reflects back to us the person we have become. Is that person someone your admire, is that person who you thought you were, or are there more experiences that you must meet to continue on your journey? It is not about more things, and stuff that you have, it is about who you are and who you present to the world. Yes sometimes he or she may not so pretty to witness yet there are those moments when we shine with all the glory that we are at the moment. Hold them like jewels, to enrich the magic of your presence, let them shine, share those facets with the world around for there are more and plenty to share. The more you share the more there is.

Thank you for reading and viewing this blog, the photos will be released to my store front within a few hours. Please pop over and give them a view there.

Consider your self at home…

A house is not a home unless someone’s living there… the song poignantly points out, and continues, “a chair is not a chair unless someone is sitting there….”

the right side
the right side

Well it has been seven months since my move into my new home, it is not a house it is an apartment, an apartment situation on the west side of a 1940’s high-rise, with a grand looking out across the landscape suburban to city. The sunsets are something to behold almost daily, even the sunrise the way the trees and city buildings capture the light; slowly illuminating the day.

The left side
The left side

A few days ago I stood amazed taking all of this in, my little home in sky, the rooms beginning to fill up, the comfort of “feeling” at home, touched by gratitude that all of this has happened. I brought very little with me from my old life, yes there is still stuff in storage elsewhere, and I used what I thought I would like to have around me to create an atmosphere of bohemian comfort, or shabby chic, or whatever?

At first I slept on the floor with a pile of blankets for my bed and sat on the floor against the walls to eat or read, grateful for the walls and view that presented itself for the next part of my journey. There was and still is peacefulness and quiet, generally, the outside world intrudes on occasion. Yet in my little world high in the sky, comfort and peace was and is mine to have. I have bed now, I have chairs from the old house, I have books and photographs, and enough kitchen equipment to create meals, and make special treats.

wall of art..
wall of art..

There were flashes in the beginning of thoughts, is this mine? Is someone going to come and take it away? Is the real? Yes, it is mine, my space, my home. I have moments of struggle emotionally, I have challenges financially that pull me up short at times, I breathe, being in the moment. Doing what I have to do to let go of the struggle and to face the challenges, which seem to be minor when faced and accepted as the responsibilities of living.

cabinet of books
cabinet of books

So Seven Months, and no one been here, I have conceptualized a salon or open house, that has yet to happen.  That activity is my next creative event to make happen. I need to do this because financially I can’t go out, I can hardly afford to travel anywhere, let alone to meet with people to socialize. Socialization will have to happen here, and it is my intention to make that happen. Consider this an invitation.

The sunset view
The sunset view

Suddenly

Suddenly I seemed to have awakened once again from dancing with shadows only to arrive here now. Into a normal day, if Saturdays are ever normal, Holy Saturday in fact, of the Easter/Passover weekend. The weekend is also in high vibrational shift astronomically with the Second of three Eclipse in the year, over a full Moon.

April 4th 2015
April 4th 2015

I have been artistically block or shut down, I kept making photo, I kept at the creative work yet it was feeling numb about most of what I was doing, when I was doing it.

Just now I came in from a photography walk with Muffin, our first walk of the day, I was feeling excited and thrilled to have gone out to make photos this morning, which begun out the apartment windows. The clouds and light was just magnificent among the cityscape I could no longer resist. I had not real subject in mind when headed out the door with zoom lens attached, I knew it would be useful if the water fowl were about or whatever else came across my vision.

Cutest Muffin Ever!
Cutest Muffin Ever!

The excitement of what I felt was a welcomed friend, I knew that I just was in the process of creation, whether there are any good photos among these shots it really matters not. The essence is that process happen out of pure joy of Being present in the world. I was not escaping from anything, I was not seeking anything, I was just following my bliss.
I am not sure I conveyed the experience or the relief properly, my objective was to make a statement “that the path has opened up for me once again”

Partners for Life
Partners for Life

I was not looking for the moment, I was not trying to make something happen, Suddenly It and I was there! Suddenly the recognition was there, that Ah Ha Moment!  Pure pure Bliss!!

Thank you Universe! Budding Magnolia

The Way of it… a challenge or an opportunity.

I have been writing morning pages for the past month that is one of the reasons blogs where being written or published. It is a month now that I have been in my new apartment and life seems to have a bit of flow to it again. So I share today’s page.

Morning Pages: February 10th, 2015

I have desired to blog for weeks now and I have made one attempt or may be two, those attempts ended in not being published for some reason or other. Mostly because they didn’t feel like the words were correct or what I was trying to say or even wanted to say came across. Maybe I was protecting myself from more loss? For the expression of truthfulness seems to have caused so called friends to abandon their relationships with me. Maybe all I had to say and or do what said on Facebook while going through the process of clearing the house, the family home. Closing the book of family memories once and for all, packing and storing, and most of all throwing much of it in the trash, there is no way to really comprehend it all of that except having the experience. I suppose it is life event, the letting go of loved ones, the change or shift from one generation to the next. There seemed to be no support, there was none of the Hall Mark Moments of meaningful conversations, there was no cathartic conversations or Ah ha moments, there was just a sense of let’s get this done. Let’s finish this task and move on with our lives. Those moments where fraught with doing and not much Being present for the past, present for the memories that may inform, may enlighten one or all of us as a family as once being part of a family that shared growing together, share holidays and birthday,  shared lives and deaths. Instead separated lives were created and maintained, it was us against them. Or maybe I am only seeing the experience from my own perspective, or may own emotional or none emotional point of view.

I know that I seemed to have been robbed of my opportunity for grief by being placed into a situation that was a battle of wills and personalities. Where a friend was needed none arrived, what I was presented with was my own self will, a bit of self-defense, and then courage to move forward, to create the life I needed one step at a time. There was no time to wallow in grief, there was no time for depression there was only time for pushing through all the abandonment, all the loss, to live for the day. Was the tempers where quieted, once the smoke of battle was cleared, breaking camp, gathering the strength to move ahead. Relationships were broken; one even shattered in the winter freeze, there was only myself and Higher Power to truly depend on. Each day was a new moment to create a life from the rumble.  That is the journey, which is the past. I may wish to look back on it from time to time to inform me of where I have been, who I was and who I had to become through the process of this life event. Yet I will not linger there with the thoughts of if this would have happened, or if this person would have done this or that or such and such should have been there. Those thoughts are only thoughts of depression, those are wishful thinking.  I was granted my own vision, my own path. There were people that showed up, one was a virtual stranger, and she became the rescue angel. I am extremely grateful for her stepping up and gifting me with the hope that life was going to work out; giving me the distraction of creative work to accomplish that occupied my time and my mind. The encouragement was there is gentle asking or informing this is what is next. Listening while I let go of all the frustration and anger as well as listening to the tasks of everyday moving forward even when it felt like nothing was ever going to change.

Of course there were others there too. Fellowships in the form of meetings, there was daily readings and mediation of those readings, there were text and rides, there where phone calls to relieve the frustration. There were many walks in the park with Muffin and photograph taking. There were many moments of letting go, being willing to do whatever it was I had to do to get through the day, sober and sane. Asking for what I needed even when I didn’t really know what I needed or if I did how I was going to acquire any of it. I had to surrender many many times; to get out of my own way and let the Universe inform my intuition that one path was better than another.

I have been given a new opportunity or course each day is a new opportunity to create that which I need in my life. I have been granted a new place to live which met most of all of my desire, the most important a place to live with Muffin, place that I am responsible for. It is not exactly what I envisioned yet it very comfortable, if I am to be alone than alone in my own space, my own home is preferable than alone among others. I can and will cultivate new friends, new creative and healing opportunities. There are days I wish those where all in place already yet what it means is that I still have barriers to break through, my own fear, my own self-worth and self-love. Being responsible for everyday life, and the events that make that function, healthy eating, daily walking, morning prayers/meditations/readings, getting the rest I need. Asking and or seeking help when needed not expecting someone to come rescue me. That someone is myself that someone or something, is knowing that the Universe gives you exactly what you need when you need it.

I have been truly blessed!

Each person showed up with their gifts whether I received their gifts as a challenger or a reward those people were true to themselves. Each situation was an opportunity to experience life and use creative tools to move ahead I am thankful for each of those.

Ordinary to Extraordinary

“We ourselves must choose each step. And to choose each step and be strong enough to endure what will follow on our repeated choice we have to develop a deep spiritual practice within the terms of ordinary life, trying at all moments to stay centered in the heart, the truth of the heart, the peace of the heart, so that the pain of growth can be borne within that peace and be infused by it” Andrew Harvey: The Return of the Mother.

Is life ordinary? Or is it not extraordinary!!! Extraordinary that we breathe each moment into the next moment. That life is ever evolving with or without our conscious involvement within it. Last evening I was granted a gift beyond my understanding of deserving the gift. Along with that gift the sense of gratitude overwhelmed me to tears, overcome with a sense of “how do I accept this?” What do I say, how can I repay this presentation? Than the realization of deeper friendship and love that lies within the gift from artist to artist, and friend to friend. Out of the depths of ordinary, out of showing up each day, out of the reaching out the hand to another one has reached back.

The songs “Make Believe” and “If I Loved You” touched some old memories, yet new meanings were layered over those memories of romantic love to to understand the idea of “acting as if” to believe in oneself even when the world seems to be falling about around you. When nothing seem to be in your favor. The Universe shines the light, cools the breeze, touches a place that has been unaired and darkened by survival.Glimpse of light

On each repeated choice we have to develop a deep spiritual practice, that practice is showing up each day, being aware of the details, being grateful sometimes just to get to the end of the day or waking in the morning.

Staying centered in truth, in peace, and in love.

I wrote the upper part of this on July 8th I didn’t believe it captured the essence of what I was trying to convey. So all writing stopped.

What have I been up to since the last blog? I have been rediscovering who I was, who I am meant to be. That uncovering is slow, yet warm and welcoming at times, is any of it practical? Who knows? Have I ever really been practical? Not very much, as serious as these blogs seem to be, I am not a practical person in that light the twist and turns of my life will attest to.

Now of course I have to get practical or serious in some cases. Taking care of myself. I need help financially, there is no more kindness of stranger or Mom. Of course once the house sells there shall be an amount that if properly managed can subside the plans I have to maintain my photography work, and build a healing/spiritual practice.

Until than I had to apply for food stamps, which I received and has been very useful for purchase of food.
There was a blog planned for that discussion. The uses of the gifts of natures goodness, plants and veggies. A friend had taken me to Produce Junction and we shared our abundance and I was more than grateful, overwhelmed with the kindness. What so much a little could buy.

Before all of this I had connected with a friend who has a space that is called Holistic Living Studio in Glassboro NJ. We shared Reiki together and as we checked in with each other she offered the space to do my Reiki practice and to host the Reiki Share. At the time I was still kind of numb but grateful for the offer and I truly considered it. A month ago we had our first Reiki share group which well attended, the vibrations/energy motivated those numb parts of me to say yes. Let’s do this thing!

The Buddha Sits

I placed out into the Universe that I am receiving Reiki Clients, three days a week during certain hours. The Universe has not gotten that message out yet but I am sure she will very soon. Along with that a friend got in touch with me with in days of saying yes to the use of the studio about doing Essential Oils workshop and a Fire Ceremony Shamanic event. We got the energy flowing for those to happen.
In that same inspiration, we discussed Reiki 1 classes for the fall. I am looking into Crystal and stone practice healing workshops, and meditation practice, as well as so many other assorted possibilities.

How practical is all of that. This is what I am suppose to do, these are the gifts I was given to share. This has been my vision for a long time. The light is now beginning to shine brightly again.

One more gift that was graciously given to me. A few weeks before my birthday I placed on my status on Facebook if anyone wished to give me a Birthday gift, the suggestion was to purchase Street Photo books from Michael Penn. I had committed to buy his self produced Philadelphia Project,  full page black and white photography magazines for $10 each. With the recent setback financially I could not afford them, and he had been saving them for me. Within less than an hour someone who I know from photography group messaged me that he was working with Michael to get the books for me. I was stunned and extremely excited and beyond grateful! I received all the back-ordered books and more, a week later!

These gifts are gifts that have been so freely given. I hope to honor that with my practice of healing and paying it forward when opportunities present themselves!

I have chosen the steps, I have consciously awakened mind, body, and spirit, through continual practice of sharing gratitude that allow the flow and vibration to bring these sources of abundance to us. The Universe has more than enough to share, so share the gifts of love.

I am Love…