Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Perfect Imperfection

After I mowed the lawn the other day I noticed that I'd missed a spot. This little strip of clover had been spared. This one flower defiantly rising above the rest.

It got me thinking.

I am surrounded by imperfection. We all are. Yet we stress and obsess over making things right, getting all the details right. How do we know when we've achieved our goals? How do we know when everything is perfect enough? Is it ever??? We're chasing a moving target. A perfectly elusive target.

My son is reading a science book about quantum physics. He's 14, and it's summer vacation. I'm a very proud Mom. He was reading to me about how in quantum theory a single atom's actions can dictate the unfolding events of our lives. Every day we are bombarded by a billion trillion atoms and their whims. Our lives hum along to the rhythm of these minute and invisible forces. Perfectly. We see it as imperfection. We see the "missed spot". We see the dust, the stack of bills, the kitchen sink, the bad hair day. And we judge it and ourselves as not up to par.

Enough of this.

This week, I am challenging you to see perfections. Here's how.

Retreat Time:

Throughout your day, whenever your eyes fall to something that awakens the critical voice, let it say, "Imperfection." Breathe it in.

Then change it to "I'm perfection." Because you are.

And whether you're speaking for yourself or the dust, or the sink, or the standing clover, it is just as true.

The simple reframing of a phrase can change everything. It can move us from the weight of negativity to joyful surprise. From judgement to open hearted wonder.

Join me?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Breath of Sweet Life ~Day Six~

This has been a week of pausing, and centering.

With each deep breath I am brought into the moment before me.

Peaceful and grounding is this retreat.

I get such a kick out of how private these simple actions can be. Pushing a shopping cart, waiting at a traffic light, walking my dog down a busy city sidewalk.

And I'm grounding, breathing sunshine energy into my soul, letting go of the gunk that no longer serves. How many people do I pass by every day who are also creating their own singular revolution against their pain, their high mountains, their fears?


Makes me wonder.

Hope each glorious breath has given you the good stuff you all deserve.


Monday, July 11, 2011

The Breath of Sweet Life

Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space.
                                                                                                      ~Edward Abbey
How simple is breathing? We never think about it. Not unless we can't catch our breath. Between air, water, and food, it's the one thing we most immediately need.

I've come to learn that deeply breathing can have all kinds of benefits. It detoxifies, releases tension, relaxes the mind and body. Breathing brings clarity, can relieve emotional problems, improves posture, and helps to elevate moods.

These are just a few of the benefits of taking slow, deep breaths. Amazing isn't it? Something as simple as taking in air can offer such goodness. All we need to do is take the time to love ourselves enough for a few minutes each day and breathe.
Here's how:

Retreat Time:

Before deep breathing, set the intention that you are doing so lovingly and without judgement. Be gentle with your body and the old energies you may find when doing this retreat. We are who we are because of everything that has come before. Everything has merit. Sometimes it's just time to let what is no longer serving us go.

  • Gently call to mind a thought or belief that no longer serves you. If you can, sense where this heaviness rests in your body. Tell it you're about to send it on an adventure.
  • Now inhale through your nose pulling the breath into your belly first, then expanding your chest. Do this to the count of four.
  • Hold and count to three. Imagine the cells of your body filling with golden sunshine energy. Let this light attach to any negative energies, and watch them  hitch a ride on the wave of light you've taken in.
  • Exhale fully from the mouth and feel the beams flowing out to the world carrying whatever you need to release. Send them with love. Do this to a count of five.
Do this if you can for 5 to 10 minutes a day, and let me know how you feel by week's end. It's easy, it's helpful, and it may set you free.

Lovingly with every breath I take,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Party Punch for One~~Day Four

I often forget that on this beautiful planet of ours there is a southern hemisphere, and millions of beautiful people who live there. At least one of those millions reads this blog (wink wink to Anne).

So my cool refreshing party punch may not be welcome in the middle of her winter season.

Here's something hot and wonderful to take it's place.

Retreat Time:

~Warm up a cup of milk until steaming, but not bubbling over.
~I usually do this in the microwave on high for just under two minutes. Watch it closely as milk boils over easily.
~Add about a teaspoon of vanilla.
~And a spoonful of sugar.
~Then sprinkle the top with Pumpkin Pie Spice.
~This spice contains Allspice, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg, so if you don't have it, any of these others will work.

Sip and enjoy!     Kimberly

Monday, July 4, 2011

Party Punch for One

Depression is an oppressive state of being. 

It tends to sap the life out of everyone it touches, and I am no stranger to this phenomenon. These last few months have made posting here very difficult. I've missed you all.

Retreat With Me is a prescription to combat days that are less than sunny, less than energy filled, less than what I hope for. While posting and participating in these retreats, I have found moments of light in darkness even on my most sluggish days. So I soldier on.

For you, and for me.

I first discovered this next retreat on a day I could barely function. I sat in my favorite apple green chair and decided to pull myself back to life with something special.

This is what I did.

Retreat Time:

Fill a glass with ice.
Fill it halfway with orange juice.
Fill it the rest of the way with fizzy pop (yes I say pop, I'm from the Midwest).
I used Diet Sierra Mist. It's really good, and not too sweet.
Insert a straw, and enjoy.

Why is this so good?

Because the Vitamin C is good for your immune system, the liquid is good for overall hydration, the sweetness is good for the soul, and the straw is just for fun.

As I sipped this simple drink, I felt cared for and loved. I imagined golden sunshine in my tummy to replace the swirls of dark anxiety. Something about taking those few moments to serve myself a simple cold treat made me feel lighter, brighter, and loved.

So good.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saying Thank You...~Day Four~

Thank you sun, for shining.

Thank you sky, for being blue.

Thank you birds, for singing.

Thank you friends, for being you.

Usually I try to be eloquent, polished, sophisticated.

At least in my mind.

Today I want to be childish and free.

The obvious things like sunshine and sky are often the best things in life. And this little poem, although reminiscent of an elementary school English assignment, makes the point.

Be young and open today in your wide-eyed wonder, and say "thank you" with a singing heart.

Out picking dandelions,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saying Thank You...~Day One~

Dear Wade,

Thank you for bringing me breakfast in bed today. For holding me, and loving me. I have the best husband in the world.


Dear Jan,

Thank you for your email message and loving advice. Reading your words was like looking into a warm light shining in darkness. You are such a giving person to reach out to me--someone you don't even know.

Many blessings to you,

Saying Thank You...

I heard an interview once about a man who wrote a thank you note a day for a whole year. Then he wrote a book about the experience. Not surprisingly the year changed his life for the better.

I can't think of his name, or I would post a link here. If any of you know who I'm referring to, let me know.

Thank you notes, especially hand-written ones are a dying art form in my mind. Everything these days is over the Internet, or texted, or just not said.

For this retreat, let's turn writing a thank you into a calm ritual that brings extra love to the process. Here's my idea...

Retreat Time:

Take some time, put on some nice music, maybe make a good cup of coffee (or tea if that's your thing), choose a favorite pen, and worthy paper. Brainstorm a short list of people in your life for whom you are thankful. Add a few words next to each name reminding you of what they bring to your life.

Now pick one, and thank them.

Pop it in the mail.

Now here's the thing...I don't want you to stress out if you don't have their address, or you don't have a stamp, or any other reason why actually sending this note would cause you anxiety. If you can't mail it for whatever reason, take a few deep breaths, hold it to your heart, and "send" it that way. Just be sure and write it first. Putting pen to paper has an almost magical way of focusing our thoughts with sincerity. If you picture the person in your mind while smiling some love their way, they'll get it. They really will.

One more your thank yous here. Your words will enter the blogosphere, and even if your intended recipient doesn't read them, many others will.

Thank you to all of you who have read this blog, commented on its contents, and befriended me. I am touched, and lucky beyond imagining.

(((big smile)))

Love, Kimberly

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Swear This Really Is A Retreat~~Day Three

Now isn't that a beautiful thing?

My sink doesn't look this good. I'm not sure it ever did, even when it was new forty years ago. But you've got to see the beauty in this image--this shining, mirror-like, reflection with the drain looking the part of an opulent brooch deserving of a lady-in-waiting.

Maybe that's a stretch, but if you think about it, any surface in your house can be seen as something spectacular with a little imagination. Need a get-away? 

I give you the humble kitchen sink.

Dishes are done.

Time for coffee.

And pie,

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Swear This Really Is A Retreat

When I started this blog, this particular idea came to mind, and I dismissed it.

This can't be a retreat.

But when dirt, grime, and clutter suck the life out of a room, make me crazy, and generally cranky, then getting rid of them and basking in the peaceful glow of cleanliness is a GIFT!!

Story Time:

About a year ago my husband and I pulled to outdated tiles off the ceiling in our bedroom to expose old farmhouse wainscoting. Charming! And filthy.

Weeks went by and I eventually took a mop, covered the bed with old sheets, and started cleaning the ceiling. Water dripped everywhere, my arms ached, my neck hurt, and I only got about a quarter of the ceiling done.

More weeks went by, then months. Then two days ago my husband asked me what one thing bugged me most about our house of many undone projects and messy corners. He thought I would take issue with the mudroom. I immediately mentioned the bedroom ceiling. So we simplified my system by ditching the mop and using a small bucket of hot Pine-sol water and a wash cloth. We brought the step ladder in and worked on one small section at a time. Just ten minutes. By the end of the week, the whole thing will be done.

Almost instant happiness!! :)

Retreat Time:

Pick a corner, a drawer, a grubby section of ceiling and clean it up for ten minutes. Then walk away. That's it. Survey what you've done and claim it as good. Let the feeling of accomplishment sink all the way down to your toes. You deserve it.

Squeaky clean,

p.s. Remember my last post? I have taken my own advice and I am embracing life as a writer. I have entered a contest courtesy of Jennifer Louden. It is a #WritersRetreat in Taos, NM and I encourage you all to check it out, and Jennifer's site. She is amazing. Here is the link
Many blessings to you all!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Week Something~ I've Missed You~

I was at my cousin's wedding reception last weekend. The room was filled with people I hadn't seen in many years, and along with the blissfully happy bride, was her sister's husband Paul.

We used to see Paul, Laura, and their beautiful children once or twice a year, but it's amazing how before you know it, four have ticked by.

That's just too long.

And Paul asked me about this blog..."What happened? You haven't posted in awhile."

There are lots of reasons for this, and I suppose over time I will share them with you, but for now, Paul's kind words have gotten me typing again.

No excuses. I'm back with another retreat.

I am reframing what retreat means to me. I am moving forward with my life, not pulling back, not surrendering. I am actively choosing to pause, not out of fear, or procrastination, but for the celebrations that come in every small moment.
Slow down enough and you'll see them.

Retreat Time:

Is there something, or someone, you've always wanted to be?

An Astronaut
The President
A Singer
A Humanitarian
A Professor

A Writer

Why not let yourself "be" that person for a day. Maybe even a moment. Our imaginations are time machines, and our thoughts can take us wherever we want to go. It's not about running away from the lives we have by immersing ourselves in a dream world. It's about pulling that world desired into our present here and now.

Why not?

Explore.    Lead.    Give voice.    Help.    Learn.    Write.

So good to be back,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Week Eighteen ~What's in a Word~

I've been thinking a lot lately, and I'm reconsidering the name Retreat With Me.

Originally I saw this blog as a place to offer up ideas for little mini get-aways, anytime, anywhere. Suggestions for moments that would refuel the soul, calm the mind, and warm the heart. I have had a lot of fun sharing with you my many ideas, my retreats.

There's that word again--retreat.

As life goes on, I see retreat not as a sanctuary, or a time of reflection and repose, but as a falling back in defeat. If I am forever retreating, how do I grow my life? How do I embrace the magic, the wonder, the joy, if I am drawing myself away?


I need a new name for this blog. One that fuels me, one that glows with promise and pride. I claim my life for the thrill of living it! I will not fall back. I will not retreat. I will celebrate, embrace, and see wonder, magic and joy in all things.

What's in a word?


Rejoice with Me.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love for Japan ~Day Three~

~Meditation prayer for today~                     

With closed eyes I hold Japan inside my heart.

A tiny glimmer of light inside my heart.

Deep breath.


Send this spark of compassion around the globe.

To Japan.

Wherever it is needed.

Maybe it will warm a child who is crying.

Or a Mother who is grieving.

Or a Father who is searching.

Maybe it will lift one spirit up.

Somehow that one person will know they are thought of, and loved, by me.

Just maybe, this one little light will make a difference.

This I can do.

Bless you Japan.           


Monday, April 4, 2011

Week Seventeen ~Love for Japan~

I have learned a lesson.

Taking time to care for myself is hard.

Life was difficult this past week, and my time here suffered. So today before I offer a new idea for retreat, let me share my painting with you. It actually inspired this week's intention.

When I started painting, I just did what came to me. I didn't think about it. I was busy with the squishy feel of the paint, and the buckling wetness of the paper. As this picture evolved, I "saw" what it was trying to tell me.

It's a heart kiss for Japan.

I don't need to remind all of you of the horrors the Japanese people have recently suffered, or the continuing agony the ones who survived the earthquake and tsunami are facing. It's unspeakable, and when I see images from their country I freeze up with sadness. How can I, or anyone, help them?

So for this week's retreat, I encourage you to find quiet time each day to pray for the people of Japan. Find moments to sit quietly in meditation. Hold their nation in your heart, and send them your loving kindness.

To start things off, consider this:

Prayer for Japan

By passionistcharism
Merciful God, you never depart from us even in the worst of times; be with us in both our joy and in our sadness. Grant your aid and encouragement to those who suffer in the face of this great calamity. We, too, continue to offer you our prayers and sacrifices for their sake. Bring us with all possible haste to the day when all can live in safety. May all those who have lost their lives in the devastation find peaceful repose in your presence. Mother Mary, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.  [Composed by the Japanese Bishops Conference]
[Father Paul Matsumoto, C.P., Vice Provincial Superior of the Passionists in Japan]

May we all keep Japan and her people close to our hearts. Sending blessings every day.

Gratefully offered,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week Sixteen ~Finger Painting!~

I've been surfing for cool videos online to go with this week's creative retreat. Here's one I think you'll enjoy:

I've also found some possibly inauthentic examples of a 3 year old finger painting genius that I won't publish here. Viewers beware when it comes to Youtube.

Retreat Time:

Head to your local craft store and pick up some finger paints. Don't forget the special paper. Now set aside a time this week, cover a surface with a large plastic bag, get your materials ready, turn on some fun music, and paint!

Finger painting can transport us back to childhood, and give us a tangible reminder of our trip. Give it a try.
I will be posting the results of my own messy adventures here.

Gettin' squishy,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring...or accepting what is ~Day Three~

Our blizzard came and went.
Lots of wind, a little snow, and eventually
a brilliant blue sky.

I accepted all of it.

Welcomed all of it.

I am thankful to be here,
whatever the season.

Shine on friends!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week Fifteen ~Spring...or accepting what is~

Retreat Time:

Four times a year I will retreat with the changing seasons by sitting quietly outside, soaking in the rotation of the earth and knowing that I am perched on something vast, immense, and perfect. Join me for quiet reflection out of doors. Feel the ground and just be. 

This week we welcome the first days of spring.

Many cultures see springtime as the realm of new beginnings. There is a freshness to everything come spring. Possibilities are open wide; the road is sun drenched and bathed in birdsong. We expect the air to be perfumed with new life. We expect the sun to warm our skin. We expect green, and blue, and happiness.

That is unless a blizzard warning is headed our way.

 In a few hours the winds will gust and the snow will fall and the power might go out for me,
and it is spring.

Life is like that. We often get what we don't expect.

Peace is possible when we let go of our expectations.

I challenge you this week, as you sit outside, to dwell in acceptance. Pick an area in your life where the winds howl, where you feel restless, irritable or discontent, and shift your view to one of peace, serenity, and deep contentment. Find even the smallest thing to be thankful for. For me, it may just be a warm house to retreat to! Breathe into that blessing. We all have storms that come our way, and they are rich with lessons. How can we appreciate the ease in our lives if we have no struggle with which to compare it? Welcome your blizzard with open arms for what it can teach you and I will do the same--literally.  (((smile)))

Accepting spring as I don my snowsuit,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Walking Toward Chakra 2 ~Day Three~

Walking with my dog today.

Fields over my shoulder.

I wanted you to come along.

 Around the bend and things got muddy. I soaked in the visuals and imagined a masterpiece. The sound of my squishy steps sounded "painty" to me. So many colors in this wet grey road. I really saw them. A thousand shades of silver and brown, chestnut and tan, even blue and rocks of charcoal and white.

Look at the puddle below!

My senses engaged as I honored the energy of chakra two.

I started with sight. There was so much to take in. Movement, sway, shimmer, and spent snow. Intricate branches laced across the sky. Pine green against scaly bark.

I heard my sloshing steps and I listened. The world around me was a symphony. Layer upon layer of sound. Wind, Chick-a-dees, distant cars, a train, a braying donkey, my rhythmic walking, the click of the leash, breath.

Smell and taste soon followed. Spring is close, wet, musky and sweet. I felt the muscles in my legs working. I felt the heat in my body and the chill on my ears. I felt my gloved fingers, and the slight tug from little Teeka.

Almost home.

I walked two miles today. I walked with heightened senses and I feel renewed. Gotta say, I'm loving chakra two! Let me know what this week's retreat is doing for you.

From the bottom of my grateful heart, thanks for joining me,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week Fourteen ~Walking Toward Chakra 2~


The second chakra is the creative energy center of the body.

Its color is orange.

It houses sensuality, creativity, and connectedness to all human beings.

Walking, or simply moving through space, however you are able to do it, is one of the best ways to activate the second chakra. Why? Because to align with chakra two we tap into our sensual self which is housed so beautifully in our bodies. All our senses are engaged through movement, and this week, I encourage you to


Retreat Time:

Make this a priority. Walk every day this week. And while you're out there, feel your feet touch the earth, hear your steps, your stride, the swish of arms swinging. Taste the air, the sky, smell all that's around you. See far into the distance, and the ground right beneath you.

If you're brave enough, and you've got a straight unobstructed path, close your eyes and go. Trust me, you will feel your body in a whole new way. When I did this today, it was as though I was without a body, I was purely floating in sensation.

Let me know how your daily walks go as you tap into the groove of chakra two.

See you on the path,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cantus ~Day Five~

One of the things I love about this blog, is that I start with a retreat idea, send it out, take part in it myself so I can report back to all of you, and as the days tick by something amazing happens...

...a new, more engaging experience comes my way. The activity I had planned morphs into something meaningful without my even trying.

This week we have Cantus. A most extraordinary women's choral group from Norway.

Listening to Cantus has reminded me that there is a whole world of creative expression out there, and by stepping out the door to savor it we reap its rewards.

Tonight, although I have no one to go with me, I'm seeing a local production of Hamlet. For a couple of hours I will be on retreat while bathed in the Baird's words.

Who knows what's around the next corner. Life's a jolly mystery.

Curtain up!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cantus ~Day Four~

My heart is heavy today.

Cantus is not helping.

Thought I'd let you all know, that retreat is not an instant fix. Not even for me who so loves this form of self-nurturing.

I'm going to breathe deeply whenever I can today, and remember that
                                                                                                this too shall pass.

That's the best I can do.

Thank you friends,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Week Thirteen ~Cantus~

Last week my Mom told me she would love to spend some time with me. It had been ages since we had any time just the two of us. She mentioned a one-of-a-kind concert she had heard about through church taking place later in the week.

"It's a choral group from Norway and they will all be wearing Bunads!"

See, part of my ancestry is Norwegian, and I love to sew. Bunads are the national costume of Norway and they are exquisitely beautiful. Each region has its own, and each Bunad is uniquely embroidered with swirls and florals much like rose malling.


Since my Mom and I also both love to sing, this event sounded perfect. We had no idea we were in for such a treat.

The women sang in what sounded like twelve part harmony. Their voices soared to the rafters of the old Norway Hall in Duluth, MN. Their faces sparkled with a palpable love for the music. My Mom and I sat in the front row, holding back tears, and loving our time together.

Needless to say I bought a CD, which leads me to this week's retreat:

Find a way to get ahold of some Cantus.
(here's a link to their web site)
Now play it every day on your way to work. The melodies will stay with you, as they did with me, and will transport you to magic land just by remembering the ride in.

Don't believe me? Have a listen.

Retreat with CANTUS. Ahhhhh.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dazzling, Boisterous Permission ~Day Six~

I've decided that the Free Pass should truly apply to anything.

This one gives me the green light to BE whoever I want to be. Now. Later. From today to tomorrow and beyond.

This retreat gave me the time to create, go within, and admit some things to myself about where I want my life to go.

Tomorrow I'm going to add color.

Keep dreaming, reaching, and discovering,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dazzling, Boisterous Permission ~Day Four~

I took a free pass from adulthood yesterday.

I work at a middle school. I decided to become a sixth grader while helping a student during Social Studies. I learned about the Industrial Revolution, the Spanish/America war, and the Roaring 20s. If only I could have raised my hand. I had so much to say.

Later, while walking the hallways I remembered the anxiety over missing assignments, the lack of attention from cute boys that was the end of my world. The really bad perm. The snubs from all the popular girls who had the coolest clutch purses and wore Gloria Vanderbilt perfume, and knew just what to say.

I have a new appreciation for the kids.

Since I became one yesterday.

Thanks to my Free Pass.

Here's to all the teachable moments,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Week Twelve ~Dazzling, Boisterous Permission~

Hello friends.

I try every week to post a new retreat by Monday morning, and here it is Tuesday. My schedule was such that yesterday Retreat With Me took a back seat to a jumbled up day.

This week's retreat seems appropriate.

It's about giving yourself a free pass, a get-out-of-jail-free card, a written note from home as to why you're missing in action. For a few minutes, or hours if you can swing it, every day, let yourself off the hook. Breathe, dance, sing, stretch, remember why you're here--to share your unique, wonderful, and magically dazzling self with the world. Here's what I want you do to:

Find a blank index card, and in big letters write:       Free Pass

Then decorate the heck out of it until it makes you giggle with delight. The sight of your creation should give you a boost.

Now put it in your pocket, purse, briefcase, satchel, you get the idea, and take it out occasionally to follow its lead. Let yourself go. Give yourself permission to disengage from what pulls you down, or sends you off course, and reallign with your true self.  

Believe me, I understand having responsibilities in life can be draining, and distracting. It's human to sometimes feel discouraged and down and want to play hooky once in awhile. This blog is about taking back those moments and claiming them as your own. Today's suggestion will give you a physical reminder that you are the boss of your own happiness, every minute of every day. It's up to you.

(Note to self--take your own advice Kim)

Watch for a picture of my Free Pass, and let me know how you spend your hooky time.

Gotta go dig out my art supplies,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pursuit of Creativity Challenge ~Day Six~

Today I looked back on a time when I felt REALLY creative. This was it.

I was twelve years old and I wrote a story about my pet mouse. My Step mom typed it up for me, bound it in this book, and I rediscovered it this morning tucked into my overstuffed bookcase. It was the first story I ever told that made me feel like a real writer.

In memory of Twitchy,

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pursuit of Creativity Challenge ~Day Five~

This little grouping of treasures adorns my windowsill.
A string of beads for Rainbow Meditation~
A bottle I bought just because~
A small pocket mirror I received from my friend Sarah~
A cloth bag I created to hold totems, good luck charms, and copies of prayers I don't want to forget~
And a passport cover, for a yet to be acquired passport, because I'm going to Italy.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pursuit of Creativity Challenge ~Day Three~

35 mile an hour winds out of the north east busily created this icescape along the western tip of Lake Superior near where I live. While there I saw people climbing over these massive piles into valleys of frozen lake.

 That's the power of creativity.

Where has your challenge taken you?

Adieu from the chilly north,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pursuit of Creativity Challenge ~Day Two~

Every day this week I urge you to take some time, a minute, five, an hour, and create. Doesn't matter what it is, just create. It does the soul some good. Trust me.

Color crayons. It's been a long time.

Are we having fun yet?
Oh yeah!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pursuit of Creativity Challenge ~Day One~

I admit, I didn't start this project today. She's been with me for some time. I tuck these little squares in my purse, or pocket. I have them with me when I'm waiting for practise to be done, for the coffee to brew, for sleep to descend. Stitching relaxes me. I feel my Great Grandmother guiding my needle and thread. She made everything her five children needed with her own two hands.

I call my creation Guru Girl. She reminds me of the genuine whimsy in my life and I've made seven of these squares just to bring in a little more joy.

She never disappoints.

In hot pursuit,

Week Eleven ~The Pursuit of Creativity Challenge~

I have never been much of a photographer.

Whenever I'm at memorable family events, you will not find me behind a lens. I'm too busy laughing, talking, eating, or finding time to myself to be clicking pictures.

Couple that with my beginner's knowledge of all things "computer" and I'm not one to download, or post, or attach photos either. I know visuals are a good thing, and in the spirit of grand adventure which is this life, I'm going to go for it this week.

Retreat Time:

This week, I want you to take a creative retreat every day, snap a photo of it, and share it here if you can. I will do the same.

Creativity is the pulse of life within us all. We create the "us" the world sees from the moment we get out of bed. We choose to wear our hair a certain way, don a favorite outfit, pick a cup for our coffee. These things may happen naturally, but if we take a moment of intended creativity, our brains will buzz with thanks. We'll be outside the proverbial box.

Some ideas...
  • Water color paints are so much fun to play with because they blend and mix together and make new colors and shapes on their own. If you have some in your cupboard, pull them out and paint. When your creation dries, cut a piece out of it to slip into your wallet or purse. Remind yourself all week of that creative moment.
  • Sing on your way to work. Go for it! Really set your voice free. Imagine your on stage in front of millions wearing a fabulous costume and bringing down the house. Take full deep belly breaths to support your belting. You'll feel great.
  • Free write for ten minutes about times in your life when you felt the most creative. Tell a story. Or just repeat the phrase "seventh grade science project" if that's all you can think of. No worries. We have all had times of creativity we can relive and who knows, those memories may spark ways we can improve our lives now through long lost passions.
These are just a few ideas to consider. As I said, I will be posting an image a day to show you my own creative pursuits this week. Look for the first one tonight. Wish me luck!

Say cheese!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Time With Friends ~Day Six~

All week I've been thinking about my friends, and planning to have a "girls night out". I had a list of names and numbers in mind, and some possible locations.

Friday night was the big night. 

Well after a very loooong week, I was pooped, and what sounded good to me was staying home with Wade, my hubby.

I never called the girls.

Now before you go thinking that I'm short changing myself, understand that I don't see my husband often enough. He travels for work, we've got two kids, you know the story. And besides, he really is my best friend.

To make this retreat time I tucked myself into the couch facing Wade, with a favorite blanket, my sweet little dog, and a relaxed smile. Then I imagined that the room we were in was the only one in the world. We were completely alone and protected. It was just the two of us. I really focused on him.

It was so wonderful!! We laughed and talked and laughed some more. The kids were both out so we had the whole house to ourselves, but that one cozy room was all we needed. In many ways it was an ordinary night. And it was perfect.

I encourage you to see the relationships right in front of you. Cherish them and celebrate them with a little focused attention. Open your heart to friendship in the obvious places. Blessings abound! time,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011