MEDITATION

Thursday, December 29, 2016



Last January 1, I began doing yoga and it was life changing, when I thought it would just make me more flexible! At the end of my morning yoga, I would usually meditate and pray. With my recent travels, yoga is sometimes not easy due to cramped space or other reasons. But I still try to make the time to pray & meditate. This morning I woke with lots of thoughts swirling in my mind. Things aren't always easy on a travel adventure! I sat down to meditate & my mind couldn't go still....  So I began a series of letting a thought come, but not following it down the road and start to spin with it. I realized that you can have the thoughts & not fight them, to not attach to them, just let them go. That alone cleared my mind. It seems that when we "fight" against things, they grab hold. But if we let it just be, then we flow. I'm having a bit of a struggle right now as my computer has died. I want to edit my photography, and get my art where it needs to be online. But I finally realized during meditation that perhaps I'm supposed to be doing something else right now and that my art shops are actually taking care of themselves.

Often I'll get asked how this travel adventure has changed me. It's still ongoing, but I guess the easy answer is that you look at life, yourself, everything differently - with new eyes. When you do something that scares you, or that you think you cannot do - well, it stretches you,  shows a strength you didn't know you had - especially when doing a solo travel adventure. 

When I'm out hiking and photographing, I always turn around - many times - because where I just was looks so different when I turn around and look back. That is what it is like on this adventure... 

STARS

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (the Big Dog), will rise above the southeast horizon this week. If you have a moment, and a clear evening, take a look south...

My grandpa was an avid amateur astronomer. As an organic farmer, (and before computers) he paid close attention to the signs in nature and would take me up the mountain to point out the stars and talk about their meaning and lore. He passed his love of stars and nature on to me. I wish he was still around to see the results of his taking time out of his day and sharing that love and knowledge. But when I walk outside at night, in places where I can see all those millions of stars in the sky, I like to think he knows...

That gift he gave of himself and his heart is priceless & has lasted my lifetime.... and those are the very best kind of gifts to give, and receive. 


If you like this fine art print, you can find it in my art shop here:


BALANCE

Monday, December 26, 2016

Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy. I crave solitude yet also crave people. I want to pour life and love into everything yet also nurture my self-care and go gently. I want to live within the rush of primal, intuitive decision, yet also wish to sit and contemplate. This is the messiness of life - that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures, and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough. ~ Victoria Erickson
~ All of these words... yes. . .







Don't Think Too Much

Friday, December 16, 2016




I can overthink. Probably most of us have gotten into that pattern or habit where we're thinking and thinking.... trying to decide something & thinking and thinking. Some big life decisions that I made based on thinking/analyzing versus my heart, or intuition (gut), weren't always the best decisions. (My X comes to mind, but that is a whole other blog post!) I think most of us can think ourselves in or out of  any decision, course of action or idea.

This adventure has been a learning experience and lesson on many fronts. I have been focusing on following my heart & following my gut & actually kind of turning my brain off. It's become an exercise in faith many times also. And in making this change, I've had really amazing experiences and met some really incredible people because I just shut the over thinking off and went on faith and intuition. I still sometimes catch myself wanting to make a list of pros & cons, but then I get quiet & listen to what my heart says.

Yoga and mediation have helped me become grounded and present in the moment. Which helps to hear what the heart and intuition are saying. And I've noticed a happy influence on my art in the process! So, don't think too much!





Begin Anywhere. Just Begin.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Seventy three days ago I sat at a table at the title company, across from the people who had just purchased my beloved condo. It was as I had hoped - giving them the key to their new home, I felt I was passing the torch to people who were going to love the wildlife, windows & light as much as I had. My heart was happy as I walked out the door to my car packed with belongings to start an adventure I had planned. Little did I know then, that things don't always go as planned... but often end up as they are supposed to (if we are open& allow it). I set out with an open heart & mind to start my adventure. And now, instead of sitting in a cottage in snowy Michigan, I am sitting next to a wood stove in a cottage in snowy Nova Scotia. And my heart has never been happier or felt more at home. I'm a thinker, so at times I wonder if this feels so good because it's truly to be my new home, or if it's because I'm so content & happy in my heart that anywhere would feel like home..... Then I tell myself - Be still, and know.  So I stay in the moment with a thankful heart to be in such a beautiful place with friendly kind people, & I just feel blessed.

I have been wanting to blog about this adventure many times during these days, but felt overwhelmed. There are so many adventures & stories & places to talk about. Where & how to begin. So I decided to begin anywhere, but just begin. It didn't have to be chronological, the story just needed to start to be told. 

Today I'm in a wee cottage in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia Canada. It's chilly with a few snowflakes swirling outside in the air. And I'm enjoying the ritual of bringing in wood to light the wood stove to warm the cottage. It is a wonderful way to start the day - making your warmth & appreciating it so much while making fire. After the fire is started, I meditate or do yoga. And then sit by the warm wood stove with hot coffee and oatmeal.  The other day I heard a favorite Rolling Stones song & the words felt so right & true. "You can't always get what you want, but if your try sometimes you just might find you get what you need. "


CHANGE

Friday, October 28, 2016

It's been 3 weeks since I took one of the biggest leaps of faith of my life, and I finally have time to sit down and begin writing about it all - to document the journey of where I've been both physically and also the inner journey. I've heard over and over about how brave I am! But life is so short and this was super scary and I'm still figuring it out as I go.  But when I looked back on my life, I did not want to have any regrets or wonder what would have happened "if I had done (fill in the blank)"...

Over a year ago, the idea began forming that I would move. My sweet dog Maggie was supposed to take this journey with me. But she passed away after an amazing time on this earth - we lived so many lifetimes together. And I feel her spirit still with me - ever the sighthound looking ahead to the next adventure.  Bit by bit, I began purging  Elon gongs from my home with the idea of listing my place for sale (or at least to begin living a simple essential life free of clutter). My home was full of natural light and felt like a tree house with birds and wildlife in abundance. It was a beautiful haven in the city.  I called that place home longer than any other in my adult life. For months I struggled with selling and leaving my home. I loved it so & was quite comfortable there. It would have been so easy to stay there, with my friends & wildlife & routine....  But each time I thought I could stay, there was something in my gut saying it was time to go. That inner struggle went on for several months until one day I realized I needed to just take the leap of faith. An adventure was bout to begin!!!! But I tried to have a safe adventure! I had planned a 3 month stay in a furnished rental in an area I knew & loved & surrounded by friends. But my plans fell through at the last minute immediately after my home sale closed, & I was suddenly homeless with my few kept belongings stored at a friends or packed into my car. Adrift.... This was not how I planned or envisioned things. But then life is often full of surprises and hidden gifts.



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GRIT

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

People often ask me how I achieved my successes and how my artwork has become known. I'm sure they think this has happened overnight in a few months or maybe a year. They always lean in, as if they are going to hear some nugget of inspiration that will suddenly catapult them and their work front and center someplace - quickly. They always seem a bit disappointed when I tell them they have to have passion and to never give up and to give a hand to others - that no one can do it alone. Then they walk away (literally or off into cyber land).

STANDING IN URBAN OUTFITTERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO HAPPILY HOLDING SOME OF MY ARTWORK FOR SALE IN THEIR STORES AND ONLINE.

I've always been an artist, although I did not call myself that until recently. It has always been a passion - a light that burned strong and hot inside my soul. It is how I walk through life. My photography is how I experience this thing called life and this planet we walk on. It was in many ways a necessity that I sell my art. But that is a whole other blog post!

Most people believe that things happen instantly. the mindset of magical thinking. But the things that truly matter and are worth having or being take time and and lots of work. This morning while having my coffee, I was listening to a morning news show and my ears perked up when Angela Duckworth began talking about GRIT. She said that talent alone does not guarantee success (as so many hope). She said in the age of talent shows, talent is really not enough to instantly become a success or star. Her research discovered that something she came to call grit was needed to achieve great things. She described grit as a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal, and that grit was a hallmark of achievers.

I looked up the definition of grit in the dictionary. GRIT: firmness of character; indomitable spirit; plunk. Synonyms: fortitude, courage

It's been a while since I heard the word plunk (or grit), but I'm really liking them. So next time someone asks me for words of wisdom on how to achieve success, I'll tell them when they lean in.... You need to be a gritty person. You need to have a bit of plunk and indomitable spirit.....


LISTEN

Friday, April 29, 2016


WE HAVE TWO EARS AND ONE MOUTH SO WE CAN LISTEN TWICE AS MUCH AS WE SPEAK. ~ Epictetus (Greek philosopher)

We all have days where we become overwhelmed - by life, by circumstances, by fear........ In those times we often feel alone. We reach out, and feel misunderstood or like we are not being heard. Then we are more overwhelmed.

A friend reached out to me the other day. She was overwhelmed and it was building up and building up. When she called it was like she just popped the cork out & it all came tumbling out..... and out, and out. I caught myself starting to offer input or suggestions, and then realized that all that was needed of me was to listen. Listen! To just be there for her to let it all out. To be a safe and soft place to land for that moment. and so, I shut my one mouth and opened my two ears. That simple act can be such a gift to give to a friend - or anyone. And I found myself in the similar situation of feeling overwhelmed and in came all the suggestions from very well meaning friends! And while I appreciate their caring and love and desire to be helpful, I ended up feeling more overwhelmed. In the future when a friend needs an ear, I'll really pay attention to opening my ears more, and if I open my mouth to offer something, I hope it will be - "How can I help you? What, if anything, can I do? I'm here for you. I care."


Don't Blink

Friday, April 22, 2016

It seems time is running a race with itself lately. I blink and 5 days have passed. There is a song that says "don't blink..." I get that now. Each morning I have been doing a yoga flow where I start the day being present - mind, body, heart all right there - present with the new day. Then I set my intention to guide me and focus on for the day. This practice seems to have slowed time a bit - I'm more aware and present during the day which is awesome - no mindless chatter or random thoughts racing through my mind, or me racing through the day. Sunday was my birthday - I won't say which one since my spirit is young, but I feel wise in living! It was nice to stop all else and give myself the gift of time wandering up to one of my favorite destinations to get away from the city and just relax in the moment. I took my camera and let creativity show itself. What a wonderful day in the sunshine exploring Kingwood Gardens. Not much was in bloom yet as Spring is late this year. But I did find much to photograph in the greenhouses. It was nice to take the time to see the beauty and uniqueness of each plant and slow time a bit even if just for a day.





SPRING BEAUTIES

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On the days that I can't go out wandering in nature, I bring a bit of it indoors on to my various vintage tables. Things just happen on the table! I don't usually have a preconceived notion of what I want to do..... I gather my materials, grab my ladder, put on some music and just start letting things happen! Happy Tuesday!








LUCID DREAM

Friday, April 1, 2016

My copilot and constant companion Maggie May has been gone 4 months.The amazing times we shared and adventures flew by so quickly. Now, looking back, I wish I had blogged about those adventures for the days when the memories are not as sharp & easy to recall. I read an article several weeks ago that was about regrets. It said the biggest regrets people had in their lives were not things they had done, but rather things they didn't do. That is resonating with me now. Thankfully I have many photographs and videos of Maggie May. But I regret not having written about the amazing lifetimes we lived and lessons learned in our 14 years together. They are all in my heart bound up & tied up in the bond we shared. So now, I have decided that it is better late than never. It is appropriate that I begin a new blog for this new chapter in life I'm learning to navigate without my sweet Maggie May.

I had a dream about her the other night. Have you ever had a dream that was almost not a dream but a form of crossing over or connecting in some surreal way? A dream that was happening exactly in the present time - almost as if you were awake? It was 4 AM and in my dream I awoke and there was a dog next to my bed just staring at me. She was similar in appearance to Maggie, but was a dark chocolate with brindle markings and ears that were more greyhound than Maggie's flying nun ears. I got up and took her downstairs by the collar not sure how she had gotten in or why she was there. As I came to the bottom of the steps and neared the front door, my sweet Maggie came around the corner, looked at me and began wagging her tail. Quickly I opened the door and let the other dog out. I looked at Maggie and said "You can't really be here. This must be a dream because you can't really be here." She came up to me and I wrapped her in my arms, and could actually feel her fur and warmth. I held on wanting to remember it all, but she pulled away to go to the back door. The dream was in color because I remember I got the green leash from the closet to slip over her neck as she did not have a collar. All this was happening at 4 AM in the dream so it was pitch black outside when I opened the door to take her out. When we stepped outside, I saw the other dog there. I went to tell it to leave and then the leash slipped from my hand and Maggie disappeared into the night.

I woke up sitting on the side of the bed.

That "dream" stayed with me all the next day and still now today. A bit unsettling, but also wonderful. So, I have decided to begin blogging again - about Maggie, about adventure, about life and about new beginnings.

Maggie taught me the art of living in the moment and being happy to just be. She taught me about love and trust, about adventures and that the best adventures are shared, that you are never too old for new adventures and that old dogs can indeed learn new tricks. So  it is good to end this first post with a video from our Grand Adventure 1 when Maggie was 13.

video