Posts Tagged ‘appreciation’

This month, my article focused on understanding what we want out of life and why we want it, so I thought I would share one of mine….

Several years ago I knew an important want in my life was to start painting again.  I wanted art, painting, creativity to once again become an integral part of my life.  How did that look?  At first my thoughts were to take classes, buy supplies, have a subject to paint, have a space in my home to paint with all materials at the ready

I knew what I wanted to create and the actions to make it happen.  The anchor to get me moving – was why.

For me the why is value of beauty, capturing nature, colors.  It is the need for expression of emotion and creativity.  It serves as a stress reliever for when in the flow I am calmer, more present, in another space entirely.

Do I paint every day?  No I don’t, but I have everything at the ready when inspiration or need for expression surfaces.

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One of my favorite things to do is capture nature in photographs.  It’s easier than ever with my iphone since I am never without a camera.  I wanted to share some of the photos I’ve taken recently in my yard and gardens/parks in my community:

Tree in Hemlock Bluffs, Cary

Strawberry picking in Apex

Rose from my garden

I am in awe of the colors, textures and shapes in nature.    When I see the incredible beauty, it often takes my breath away.    The beauty in nature inspires me to paint and create, it fills me up!

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It has been quite a while since I have written a blog post.  These last few months have been a sort of “time out” for me.  I stayed focused on my clients and some other business matters, but have taken some time off to focus on my own wellness.

At first it was uncomfortable to take so much time off.  I worried about my business and my clients, wondering how I could manage everything.  But you know what, it all worked out!

I took some days off, lightened my schedule other days, and had some full days as well.  This balance allowed me to reflect, to create, to breathe and to focus on what mattered most, my health.

Did everything fall apart because I said no to some things?  No it didn’t. Were there problems in my business because I moved some appointments further forward than I prefer?  No there weren’t.

What did this experience teach me?  That it is OK to pace myself differently. That it is more than OK to take time to breathe and reflect and renew.  That  it is OK to just simplify sometimes!

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There are so many favorite moments I experience each day and each week.  I’ve been reflecting on them and realizing that moments like these are what brings a spring to my step and joy to my life.

Some of these moments are consistent, some fleeting, some very small and brief, others lingering.   How long or how large does not matter, it’s allowing myself to fully enjoy and experience the moment that does.

Some of my favorite moments?

  • The drive home from the gym in the morning.  I bask in the energy I feel having worked out and enjoy the quiet drive as the sun is coming up
  • Breakfast.  Every day of the week I give myself enough time to fully enjoy preparing and eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Snack time.  Is there a food pattern here?  Throughout my day I enjoy several (healthy) snacks.  They taste good and the experience of stepping away from my desk to stretch renews my energy.
  • Sunday mornings.  Something about a Sunday morning that feels extra special to me.

What are some of your favorite moments?

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I was watching a Christmas movie recently, The Bishops Wife with Cary Grant.  As he and the lead female character in the movie were taking a cab ride the cab driver made a comment that stayed with me:  it went something like this “the trouble with the world today is that some people don’t know where they’re going and are in a hurry to get there while others know exactly where they’re going yet take their time and enjoy the scenery on their way”.

What struck me the most about the statement is this movie was that it was uttered when the movie was created in 1947!  Not much has changed has it, despite how different the world seems today.

That statement is certainly true for many of us today isn’t it.  Some of us (and sometimes we all fall into this place) we want to move forward so quickly, even though we are not sure of the direction we are taking.  Sometimes (hopefully) we allow ourselves to savor the experience without rushing to the destination. 

Which is more true for you right now?

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My father is 81 and has alzheimers so he is not always very clear these days.  He does still have his moments of clarity and some great wisdom though.  The other night while visiting him, he said a few things that really made me think so I wanted to share them here.

First he asked “what do you want out of life?”  I thought he was asking me that question but as I was preparing to answer him, I realized he was asking himself that question.  His answer was “I don’t know”.  As many do with alzheimers, he kept repeating the same question and answer over and over again.  In between though, he would look up at me and tell me how much he loves me.  I think that was his answer.  What he wants out of life is love and family.

Something else he said also make me think “We used to have nothing, now we have too much”.   Since he often lives in the very distant past he remembers clearly how little he and his family had growing up in the 1930’s and 40’s.   Though I am not sure what he meant by that statement, it made me think about how much we do have now and how distracting and sometimes overwhelming that can feel.

What would it be like if we all asked ourselves

What do I want out of life?

What would it be like if we stopped to think about just how much we do have, where there is perhaps excess that we don’t really need at all and how that excess may distract us from what we truly do want out of life.

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My husband and I spent a tranquil and relaxing few days at this wonderful boathouse in Lake Norman.  The owners, Brenda and Rusty Covington have created a wonderful space for couples to experience peace and quiet – they even made us breakfast, brought right to our door!


For me, letting go of my need-to-do list is not easy.  But the moment I brought that float onto the lake, all of my to-do’s vanished from my thoughts. 

When not floating on the lake, we cooked some delicious dinners, explored a bit and I spent some time capturing the scenery with my watercolor pencils.

What a wonderful experience!

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To me, financial values means knowing my priorities, what matters most to me, what is worth it and what isn’t.  It also means making the most of what I already have. 

There is something about re-purposing, re-using, re-positioning what I already own into something different that really gives me a thrill.  Shopping at the thrift store is a similar thrill.  Though I am bringing something new into my space, the item is recycled which to me adds something special to its meaning, like a treasure.

Seeing such disparate items piled together on racks and shelves opens up my creative spirit.  You really have to look, touch and ponder when items are juxtaposed this way.  It brings a sense of presence to my shopping experience….and matches my other values of beauty and creativity.

What are your financial values?

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I have been on a quest to experience new local places.  A friend mentioned the WRAL Azalea Gardens and I visited this past weekend.  Wow – what a hidden treasure!

If you have not yet visited, and you are in the Raleigh area, it is a must see.  Small and compact, the garden is nestled right behind the WRAL studios on Western Blvd.  The azaleas were in full bloom and so beautiful to walk among – or sit and gaze at from the many benches strategically placed.  I am grateful to have experienced this hidden treasure!

What hidden treasures have you found recently?

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I read that statement in a quote recently.  So many of us are searching and waiting for happiness.  Searching for that ideal career, special relationship, goal weight that once found will bring an overwhelming wash of happiness and fulfillment into our lives.

There is nothing wrong with wanting and creating the above.  What we don’t realize though is that in our quest for those ideals, we lose sight of the happiness that is right in front of us already.   Those achievements may be meaningful and important but happiness can and does exist without them.

So today, instead of waiting for happiness to arrive, what if you took a shortcut to happiness and brought it out of your current career, current relationships, and current body?  What if, instead of waiting to be happy someday, we looked for evidence of it’s current existence in our lives as they are today.

Someday can start today!  Someday is right here already!

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