Can you fly?

Always loved this song – rumored to be sung to me as a kid – maybe that’s part of the reason it resonates with me.  Regardless….Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is beautiful in this YouTube piece.
“One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky…”

The big questions are –
❓Are your wings spreading out…
❓Are you trying to fly…
❓Are you singing…

I’ve been thinking a lot of late about taking chances, i.e., spreading one’s wings. In chatting with friends, we often comment on how some people, particularly younger ones, are willing to just throw something up, whether it be on Social Media, in life, in business, or even just an idea.  It’s pretty much an anything goes and let’s see what sticks attitude. As an “older” person I often feel like I have to know something about what’s going on before I do ‘X, Y or Z’ for BBB3 (Botanical Beauties and Beasties.) The curiosity is that in many other parts of my ‘creative life’ I seem to be able to throw the spaghetti up and see if it sticks. I even enjoy doing that. For instance, I have just started playing with acrylic paints. I know NOTHING about them, and for that matter, I know virtually nothing about painting. And yet, when it comes to this I only have smiles-I have no shame, little fear, and I just allow myself to play and paint knowing that ‘something’ will turn out on that small canvas lying in front of me. I am so sure of my fun play that I bought a package deal of 14 little blank canvases-Chutzpah!!! So there I am, having a grand time, mixing paints and mediums, using paint brushes, cotton sticks, whatever, with a minimal idea as to the outcome. I have only a vague concept if I am playing within the lines or the rules, and couldn’t care less. It’s exciting and fun to just be like a kid again-just DOING WHATEVER. Surprisingly the painting(s) are not too bad. One I like quite a lot (see below)- as do some of my friends.

So…why is it that sometimes a level of laze fare and ‘confidence’ exudes, while other times fear and one’s mind stop us? What it is that lets one throw caution to the wind and just try things out?  I think it may have something to do with private verse public? What are your thoughts?

And with much hesitation – Izzy shares my first painting! Izabella and Blue Painting

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Travel is fatal to prejudice

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain.

Summertime arrives, and many of us travel near and far, and that’s great.  As our world gets smaller and smaller, and seemingly crazier, an escape, an adventure, a mind opening experience, a new path, all seem appropriate.

Picnic table image
Find a new table in a new spot
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

The journey might be five minutes away or 5,000 miles-both count and both matter.

Spread your wings, fly, walk, run, ride (whatever is your pleasure) and discover your destination.

(Note-background is from the series of illustration backgrounds that I am creating for Book #2 – Working Title of Garden Bud – stay tuned!)

 

Imagination Makes the World a Better Place.

If you don’t use your imagination, does it mean you don’t dream of what’s to be? Do you have passion for your dreams? Passion drives the energy and focus for us to keep on trucking forward. Without that drive (passion) then what’s really up, i.e., what happens? If imagination is the act of thinking/dreaming stuff up then is creativity is the act of putting it in place? Is ‘in-place’ an action, a plan, a drawing, a poem, a song, a whatever? I have been pondering for this a while now. What do YOU think the difference is of imagination and creativity? Please leave your thoughts on this in comments!

Apparently, Albert Einstein said –“Imagination is everything. It is the preview for life’s coming attractions.” That’s excellent. In my mind, that translates into dream it up, work on it (probably with all the strength you can muster) and make it happen. Much easier said than done but that’s ok too. Which of course brings up the ever present famous Gandhi quote:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

My Version of this is below. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty darn good mantra to live by.

SO…

What are you thinking about?
What are your dreams?
What’s in your imagination?

Dreams to Imagination

Huffington Post says imagination is better than reality! (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lamisha-serfwalls/5-reasons-imagination-is-_b_6096368.html_ )

4 Reasons why Reinventions can be sweeter than Easter Morning-no candy involved!

Times they are a changing…
The weather, the earth, the world….it’s enough to make my head spin!

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin

Read more:  Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-changin’ Lyrics | MetroLyrics (and hear the song)

Dylan famously goes on to write the next verse about writers and critics, followed by politicians, with the last stance about mothers and fathers. So timely!

The times certainly are ‘a-changing’, Bob Dylan is now the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for literature—first time for lyrics, as opposed to a novel. It was said that it is “perhaps the most radical choice in a (Noble Peace Prize) history stretching back to 1901.” (reason #1)

Spring brings Easter, Passover and I am sure there are other holidays of spring renewals that I don’t even know. Spring is busting out with colors- greens, yellows, pinks and red splashes all around! (reason #2) I’ve been thinking a lot about changing, or ‘reinventions’ as I am now trying to call, and view, all the changes. As a child the world is always changing, we are continually learning, and trying all different hats, paths, and ways all the time. That’s a good thing. As an adult constant learning and forward motion is still a good thing. That said-constant change is not easy. However, I hope I never stop learning and exploring. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Curiosity does keep the soul, mind, and body alive! (reason #3)

For myself, all these ‘reinventions’ are global as well as very personal. It feels like a spinning top at a dizzying speed. How about you?

…and speaking of changes…
A new kind of Botanical Beauties has come to town! I’m having fun with flowers in new ways (reason #4.) Stay tuned as we see together what and how this develops.

BBB3 is Expanding
There’s a new bird in town! Click on the image to see it larger.

For more about Bob Dylan.

Read more:  Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-changin’ Special Memory By AmandaH | MetroLyrics

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/29/521898666/bob-dylan-agrees-to-accept-his-nobel-prize-during-a-tour-stop-in-stockholm

The Beginner’s Guide to Spring Rain

Feeling a bit soggy?
Here are a few ideas of ways to make a rainy day better.

Zoe in the rain
Zoie – Spring Rain

Don’t think of it as cold wet water:
Think SPRING FLOWERS!
💐🌿🌻🌸

Here’s a list of ideas for spring shower happiness.

  • 💦 Pretend you are two years old and go splash in puddles-I know a very special little one that this works well for!
  • 💦 Enjoy some artwork. Galleries, museums, or exhibits are all luxurious and wonderful places to forget it’s raining outside.
  • 💦 There’s always the movies.
  • 💦 Meet a friend for a cup, or glass, of whatever makes you smile.
  • 💦 Plan a rain barrel for your garden, then the next time it rains you will be receiving bonus water!
  • 💦 Gray is much better than blackLook outside-gray is probably everywhere and Mother Nature is usually is pretty smart!
    Maybe Gray still is the new black?
  • 💦 Gray is a subdued and quiet color so crawl into that: Tuck yourself in and enjoy a good read with a hot cup of tea/coffee. Or just nap!
  • 💦 Remember that rain is not frozen, or slippery, and it requires no shoveling.
  • 💦 Learn new things. For instance- Did you know that the iconic crayon color, Dandelion, will be retiring? To send him off in style, Crayola is taking him on a 4-week retirement tour! VERY clever marketing and fun to watch. Here’s the link. https://youtu.be/WSBaRK1BM3Q
    (BYW – today 3/31/17 is National Crayon Day…who knew?)

AND OF COURSE – there is always “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly!

How did emotions become the best part of your heart? Find Out.

They say an elephant never forgets and I think your heart remembers it all as well. Emotions make us human. We have appealing emotions (such as caring, love, and trust) and then there are less ‘agreeable’ ones (no need to list them.) Emotions can wreak havoc on out hearts and days, sometimes in good ways and at other times in pain.  We need them both but OMG they both can be tough on one’s mind, body, soul, and heart!

It seems fair to say we all know:

  • There is a direct connection from mental to physical health.
  •  Growing evidence that out thoughts become our attitudes, our attitudes becomes our actions, and therefore our thoughts become our actions.
  • Negativity is not healthy, happy or something most of us want to be around, share or be consistently identified with.
  •  We need both good and bad to achieve some balance and reality.
  •  Our minds and bodies are one machine.
  • Something you may not know- “Recent HeartMath studies define a critical link between the heart and brain. The heart is in a constant two-way dialogue with the brain — our emotions change the signals the brain sends to the heart and the heart responds in complex ways. However, we now know that the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.”  ( HeartMath source from TODAY.com)

In traditional medicine we often treat but we also often mask an issue. Here is a paragraph from a Psychology Today article that I find very useful. If you have the interest and time I would click the link and read the whole thing- it’s not long.

‘As a cardiologist with Eastern roots, I am also aware that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) supports the idea that there is a direct relationship between emotions and physical health. The concept of qi, or vital energy, dictates that emotions are closely integrated with the organs. The heart is the source of all emotions and holds the essential spirit, so if the emotions are out of balance, the physical heart must be, too.” She goes on to say “Rather than simply seeking happiness, we should seek to learn how to create harmony between emotions, soul, spirit, and body. If we are connected with our inner emotional selves, we will be able to manage any circumstances that come our way in a manner that will not destroy or severely damage our health and our heart.” (read the article here)

… I don’t think I could say it any better and so I will leave it at that.

(Quoted from Cynthia Thaik, M.D., is a Harvard-trained physician and currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.)

Gordy. A heart remembers
Gordy. A heart remembers.

For those of you that have read all the way through- a BONUS!
here is a 2 minutes and 39-seconds Meditation to Calm Your Emotionsclick here.

Do you know 7 really BIG things that are, did, or will happen on Jan 31?

Tuesday, Jan 31 is a lot of things in the wide wonderful world.
#7 is MY FAVORITE!

1) It’s a very dear long-standing friends Birthday so I wish her a VERY Happy Birthday !!!!!
2) It’s the end of January 2017 for all us of us. Only 11 months left to accomplish our 2017 goals. I better keep dancing as fast as I can!
3) 1949: The first daytime soap “These Are my Children” was broadcasted on NBC. Soaps got their nickname because the show(s) were targeted to mothers, and soap manufacturers such as P&G, were major sponsors.
4)  1961: Ham, a chimpanzee, who went into space by the USA was recovered alive and well, paving the way for humans to go next!
5) 1971: Apollo 14 (moon mission) was launched. Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5, “moon rocks were collected and several scientific experiments were performed. Shepard hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought with him. Shepard and Mitchell spent 33½ hours on the Moon, with almost 9½ hours of EVA.” (Extravehicular activity.)
6) 1929: As of this day the Boston Red Sox were allowed to play ball on Sundays! Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols signed an ordinance regarding this matter. It cost the Sox $1000 for a permit. BTY – there was still a team called the Boston Braves then too.
7) AND most exciting to me is that Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017, it is the day I am making my first real public appearance reading my children’s book called Awsome! at a local library. In case you are around it is 10 am at the Eastport-Annapolis Library. It’s the Preschool Storytime (3-5 years) (Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library: 269 Hillsmere Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403.)

So today is a day to continue to prepare. I am reading the book aloud to anyone I can, even the dog just to practice reading upside down, cadence and ideas. I am thinking about subtle marketing/ PR and ways to help further my cause and the book of Awesome! I am also looking for other places to read it aloud, so if you know anyone that runs any activity for the “little kids” please let me know.

Storytime!
Storytime!

If anyone out there is a public storyteller, all tips would be welcome and appreciated!

Front and back Cover of the Book of Awesome
Front and back Cover of the Book of Awesome

Dream BIG & go in small steps.

I read a quote today from Audrey Hepburn that says:

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!”

I recently listed to a webinar about how to get things done. The focus there was exactly that-FOCUS! Ignore the things you could be doing and make sure you ARE DOING the things that enhance/help/travel you to your big goal.  Everything is not equal, and you must decide which ‘tasks’ you should do (which should be the same as ‘want to’) because your big goal should something that is fun to you, and makes you happy and smile.

Put the two together and the world can be your very own glorious garden. Your dreams are indeed all possible. Easy to remember every day-probably not! It’s not bug free or weed free, but it can be pesticide free! It’s hard work.  May take a little self chatting on some days, a small nudge on other days, but we can all get there. As for me – I am sticking up bits on encouragement all around my work area, and trying to feed my passion daily. Do just one little thing everyday for your garden. Only you need to know what it is. It has to be something MANAGEABLE. Then, as the seasons go, watch your flowers bloom!

little steps to big results

 

Have any ideas? How about you?

Smooth out the rumpled feathers, dig in, and launch again,

It’s been a long time since I sat down and shared, wrote, and put The Botanical Beauties & Beasties “out there.” Too long.  Much water has been crossed over; bridges have been traveled to and from and back again. I know it’s time to get back to BBB3.  The present state of the world, our new politics, and policies are quiet distressing to me. If you don’t agree that’s your option/opinion and you can unsubscribe if you so wish. I won’t be talking much politics here except to mention that our nations new paths of exclusion, non environmental, bigotry and violence in words and actions have spurred me to go back to the BBB3 core message and tag line of Kindness, because it’s always the bottom line. When I changed the tag line back in May 2015 I had no idea of what was to come in November 2016.  We need a world of INCLUSION, compassion, awareness of our world, the earth, and each other.  This is what has partially pushed me out of my blasted off rocket that took off so many months ago. I have indeed landed, bumpy at times, but a good landing overall-moving forward with the Botanicals feels especially pertinent now. I am far from even remotely thinking I am more than, or even as big as, a submicroscopic dot on this universe-however, if ALL the tiny little parts gather ourselves up and collectively we can make a small impression it’s a great start.  I will try to do my part here, and hopefully The Botanical Beauties & Beasties can shine and do their small part.

So-I hope to be able to provide a small smile, a kind thought and new drawing every 10 days or so.  If I can accomplish that I will certainly share them with anyone that so kindly reads these post.2016-logoblog

Rocketing out of ones comfort zone

Change-if it were easy (or fun) we would all be “making changes for the better” continually. But it’s not. Most of us don’t have strong “change skills.” As humans we differ from our pets (or at least my pets) only in scale to our aversions to change. The furniture moves, or the dog gate moves, and one of my dogs is a bit concerned about it. Luckily I am more flexible than that! We all know that change can be a good thing. Usually, we feel better about change when we choose it, not much feels good when it is thrust expectantly upon us. So, the tricky part is knowing you have the power and choose! We all know the saying, Want new results? Then you have to change something!  

In doing some internet research for this post, I found what I think is a good article about change. Most of you readers (I assume) are not looking at immediate grand changes, but I think these are useful tips for us all. Since I am indeed facing many changes, I find these concepts helpful. I hope you do as well.

7 reasons embracing change can be a good thing.” Is the name of the article and it is from a website I never heard of before today, but I do love their name- Attitude is Altitude. 

“1.   Change helps you grow
2.    Change teaches you to be flexible
3.    Change can challenge your values and beliefs
4.    Change reveals your strengths
5.    Change makes you more compassionate.
6.    Change breaks up routines
7.    Change offers opportunities”

If you want to read the whole article

But wait…there’s more!

The other piece of important stuff in my head today are words from Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO and the widow of Dave Goldberg) who gave a powerful speech at UC Berkeley’s commencement about resilience and loss. I think, change, resilience and loss are all often closely connected. Change is nearly impossible unless you have resilience and loss makes you face it all and forces change.  Here are a few snippets from her words.

“…After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that there are three Ps— personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence— that are critical to how we bounce back from hardship.”

“….Because today marks the end of one era of your life and the beginning of something new…”

“I learned that in the face of the void—or in the face of any challenge—you can choose joy and meaning…”

“Lessons about hope, strength, and the light within us that will not be extinguished…”

“The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days—the times that challenge you to your very core—that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive…”

“…live with the understanding of how precious every single day would be. How precious every day actually is…”

“Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

“So what do we do next?…Lift each other up, help each other kick the shit out of option B—and celebrate each and every moment of joy. .. ”

and now back to my own words…

Easier siad then done-but good words all around.
Look for the good and the positive-then let the changes begin!

It’s raining now but that will bring flowers…

…or at least that’s the plan!
Perseverance, change, on the move, and All that Jazz.

“I hear that Father Dip
Is gonna blow the blues
And all that Jazz
Hold on, hun
We’re gonna bunny hug
I bought some aspirin
Down at United Drug
In case you shake apart
And want a brand new start
To do that-
Jazz”

 

All sorts of interesting stuff in those words.

“Gonna blow the blues.” Clearly they are referring to the music, but it is significant here as well about some sadness. Packing up a whole house tends to have a bit of that effect on me. Hence, some aspirin… but here’s the cool part to hang on to-“a brand-new start.” … And then, there’s that very catchy rhythm and beat to the song! Never underestimate the power of the rhythm and beat to your day, week, year and more!

“Don’t worry Roxy-it’s all taken care of” – I’m counting on it! Here’s to chin up, change, new beginnings, hope, some faith in “the universe,” family, and friends. Lets paint the town and have a new start. Want to join? …Want to paint the (your) town?

…and All that Jazz. Do it my way, your way, or maybe we can collaborate. Whatever, for me, it’s time for a shakedown and some high volume rhythm! How about you?

Putting on a new hat and starting again.
Putting on a new hat and starting again.