Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Be Positive

Today, all I want to do is share joy.
The photos are from the african violet and hyacinth that are on my worktable. Funny, when I was choosing the photos, I would have sworn that I could smell the sweet of the hyacinth! Maybe it's circulating in the air system. Wouldn't that be lovely?
The academy where I trained to be a Coach, International Coach Academy, is hosting a Positivity Week. The doors are open for everyone. Not just coaches or prospective coaches. They are doing it to create and spread positivity around the globe. Every day this week, they are having a tele-seminar...just call in at the right time and you will be connected to the live teleseminar. Each day there is a different topic. On Saturday, I am co-facilitating "Positive Opportunities". I am so excited about it.

Here is the little blurb about it.
"International Coach Academy (ICA), the global leader in coach training , invites you to join them for 'Positivity Week''. During the week of the 23rd to 29th March we will be opening our virtual doors for anyone, anywhere in the world to share their positive energy. To find out more, and how to participate
Click here - - >

It's a great chance to create some positive flow around you. If you are unfortunate enough to watch the news or read the newspaper, you may be over indulging on negativity.

As Cesar Millan (yes, the Dog Whisperer) says
You can predict what is going to happen or you can create what you want.
You can listen to the gloom and doom or you can align yourself with what you want. It's up to you. What feels good to you? It is a feeling universe and you will be supported in anything you feel.
When I was thinking about the Positive Opportunities teleseminar, I started thinking about stories that I could share of situations that could have been negative but that turned positive.
It was difficult at first then I realized, it has become such a part of my life that the stories don't stand out. It's more a way of life.
My mother in law is an expert in this area. She always sees potential. She takes what is and goes forward. I don't think I have ever heard her complain. In fact, I have wondered if she is just holding in the negative feelings. But I don't think so.
Whenever I call their home and she answers, I ask her how she is. Her answer? Always the same. "Brilliant as always". And she says it with a smile on her face that you can hear clear over the phone lines.
I am not perfect at it. Some times I get down and have to have a self pity party. But not too often.
As I was thinking about examples I could share from my life, I realized that carrying my camera everywhere is an example of that. Like when I got the flat tire.
Carrying my camera, looking for beauty and interest, is always an opportunity to be in the moment. And in the moment, there are very few things that aren't good. 'Bad' is mostly always a projection. Even when I have a moment that isn't grand, if I am able to be present with it, I am able to take it as it comes. To see what is real and what is conjured in a dark fear stew. Being here and now, I get all there is. And there is power in that.
B Positive is a blood type. Runs through you.
But it is also a way of being. An attitude. A way of life. A choice.

Don't you just love the shimmery petals of my violet? Delightful!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Today's post is a visual tour of my drive home from an appointment yesterday. If a picture is worth a 1000 words...
The other day my
dad-in-law, who hails from England the Wet and Cold, commented on the few days of rain that we were having. I understand, when you come from a place where rain predicts more rain and cold rolls like thunder, a wet forecast can induce a serious meteorological flashback.
Since then, it has been
sunny and pretty warm. We have a few more days of rain coming up. Cooler temps too. But March rain in NC is as good as saying the magic words.
Drink it the color.
Dadsy, don't worry. When the rain
comes will the leaves on every tree. Those buds are waiting their turn. They gave way to the demands of the tulips and the forsythia and even the cherry blossoms but they are ready.
During the winter, I pay way too much attention to the quality of the road I take home. But come spring, it is almost as if the pavement gets better. How can I possibly look down when the branches fluffy with leaves reach across the street for each
other? A green canopy. I am mesmerized all summer. Every time I drive down the street. Every time. I am ready to trade a bit of sunshine for the magic.
My happy car with it's swirly whirly fluttering in the wind with the white cherry petals...I half expected a unicorn to trot by!

Friday, March 20, 2009

the momentary

I've been giving a lot of thought to Mary's comment on my Dead Azaleas post. She's a wise one, that Mary.
Here is what she said...
we surround ourselves with what we love and hate to let it go. When I'm in a mood to purge, and I hesitate about giving something away, I think of it as "sharing" with the universe, as opposed to "giving away." It feels better. Plus, I remember all the wonderful things people have given me and how I felt receiving them. And my mind goes back to when my mother would bring home clothes from St. Vincent dePaul and lay them on my bed to see when I got home from school. I loved them and treasured them, even though they were used. So, I try to do the same for someone else, hoping s/he will have that same feeling when they receive or buy something I've "shared" with the universe and it's made its way to them.
That really got me to thinking about why I feel sometimes that giving feels like it is being torn away from me.
It's not that I don't love giving. I love giving. I really love giving. In fact, if I could just give everything away, with no need for money, I would be purely delighted.
It comes from a feeling of scarcity. If I let it go, I have lost something. Maybe even someone.
It's the meaning. The person who gave it to me. The occasion for which I received it. The place where I bought it. As though, if I hold onto these things, then I can hold on to that time, that energy, that moment. That person.
That's not the way life works though, is it?
I have had the experience of having a friendship or relationship that didn't last as long as I expected. I remember when I first realized that 'forever' isn't as long as it might seem sometimes. Recently one of my nieces had a friend exit her life. She felt horrible about it. Felt like she didn't know this person and really didn't know if they were, in fact, ever friends.
It feels like a betrayal and one might start to wonder if that friend or partner was truly what they seemed to be in your life.
They were.

Some things are transitory. The moment of being friends or lovers, of the emerging butterfly or you catch the eye of a bird. The length of time doesn't determine the quality of an experience. The depth of feeling is what is important.
Opening up that new perspective, it is my joy to share the times whose time with me has passed, though their significance will stay with me. I understand that my pull to purge these things is actually a calling from a part of myself that is surely the wiser part. The part that understands that we are all connected and that allowing items or energy to flow from one to the other is the natural order of things. It reminds me of a quote from Stuart Wilde...We don't owe things, we are just borrowing them. How did I forget that? Maybe somewhere along the way, I thought that 'ownership' meant a lifetime commitment.
That doesn't serve me or those around me at all.
It might, at first, feel like a betrayal to give something away. But it isn't. It is a celebration of joy, of giving, of connectedness, of gratitude. The gift of an item can never take away the meaning I hold for the moment it entered my life or what it meant to me. Never.
This opens up the part of me that wants to give and give and give and bring light to those who would have it. I am thinking of all sorts of places that I can share my stuff now. Who can I give it to? Who can I share the joy that I felt when I got it with? How creative can I get doing this? What do I have in my possession that really belongs to someone else now?
I am challenging anyone who reads this post to see what they have in their lives that wants to go to someone else.
Today I am celebrating the momentary. For without it, there would be no new. Happy Spring. Happy New. Happy Momentary.All photos © Erik Prince. If he ever gets off his butt, you can purchase his work on

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When little things become big

It's been one of those days.
I have done a bunch of work getting stuff sorted in my studio, cleaned out my purse, went through a bumch of papers, shredded some receipts, cleaned out my funky bag that I call my knitting bag which is really my catch all plus knitting bag. Cleaned out my car. And a few other things.
What do all of these have in common? They are not where my Ikea receipts were.
On Friday, Erik and I went to the new Ikea store in Charlotte. It was so much fun. I got a great new chair for my studio and a trestle table. One of those 'pick the top, pick the legs' deals. I was mesmerized by this and even though Erik suggested a different top, my mind was made up.
Until we drove back the 2 1/2 hours and I had the night to think about it. He was right. The butcher block top was the best choice because I do a lot of hammering with the metal work and eyelet setting and stuff that I do. The top I chose would be beautiful until it was ruined. Which could have happened pretty quickly. In my meager defense, would you trust this guy?
So I ask him if he is interested in heading back there again. He's game. There was something else that he wanted anyway. Cool. Another fun road trip. We like taking little road trips together and Ikea is a lot of fun.
Why aren't the receipts where I put them? Oh crap. Here we go.
I then proceeded to make a tiny thing the symbol of all that I perceive to be wrong with me as a human being!
Understand, I was committed to this line of thinking. I spoke with 3 friends/coaches, Erik and my husband. I cried. I exhausted myself.
When I regained enough composure to think of my 'just in case' plan, I called Ikea. I could give them the transaction number (Erik checked out right behind me and knows how to keep up with receipts), the date, the time, the amount, the payment method. Could I please exchange it? They put in an inquiry. It had to be decided on a store to store basis.
I kept cleaning and purging. Nothing. Or nothing that I was looking for. I did find a tee tiny drill that I received and haven't been able to find and the bottom part of my iPod case, which went MIA a few days ago. And the page that I wrote the order for the special sanding papers I use on precious metal clay after firing. So that was good.
After expending all of this energy, I sat and meditated. I brought to me the energy I would have when I found them. I really couldn't dive into the meditation as I would have liked because I was too tense but I was able to do it.
I found the receipts. They were 5 feet away from where I was meditating. In a bag that had apparently fallen out of my knitting bag. I put a laundry hamper down on top of the otherwise empty plastic bag without realizing it.
And thank you.
Little things, uh?
It is now raining. One of those cool rains that blows in hard and fast and lets loose with fat drops and fresh air. Like the atmosphere is helping me release. Release the silliness. The seriousness. The dramatics.
Helping me remember the beauty of the little things. And the beauty that they are little things, even if I choose to make them big at the time.
Just for a parting are a couple flowers I saw out on the front lawn today. They look big. The second photo shows the clump in which they reside. The little dots are these flowers. It's all about perspective.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dead azaleas

I have a couple of dead azaleas.
I think they died last year. Not one to give up too soon, I gave them a 365 day grace period. But it's pretty's time for them to go. Soon I will get the shovel out and release them from their earthly shackles.
Whatever will I do with the space? And will I lose all concept of the volume of space I have available and go on a plant buying spree?
It has me thinking about my life. I am torn between the clean lines of organized living and the chaotic life of a creative. (New term that I love and am adopting.)
I have the mixed blessing of having 2 young pups and 3 cats. Lots of pet hair. Lots of things that were too beautiful not to get. And not enough room.
Don't get me wrong. While I was born with the genes to land up on a pack rat episode of Oprah, those genes are mostly dormant. Unless it is paper or craft supplies.
But I keep being called to purge. I do this pretty regularly but never seem to make any headway.
Then there is the emotional tie. I still have some stuffed animals. Did I mention that I am 47? Not tons but the ones I have, have meaning.
What if I get rid of something and then miss it? I actually gave an earthen ocarina to a friend a while back and didn't get over it. I actually asked for it back after a few months. Can you even imagine?
But I give a lot away. A lot. Fortunately I have a few good outlets for giving. But not enough energy to keep it up. I do best when I am truly not in the mood to clean. That's when there is a mass exodus.
I want to create a new way of being. I have what I want. I want what I have. I live in the moment and that which surrounds me is there because it has meaning to me now.
I don't know how to reconcile the emotional attachment vs the currently meaningful great debate.
I guess it is one step at a time. Love what I have. If I can release it to someone who will love it more, then it is time to do so. If not, then don't. I think I am beginning to see the upside of a bad memory! If I give something away that I then decide I can't live without, I can wait awhile and forget all about it!
Perhaps this will be a lifelong battle. I don't know. All I can really think about now is what beauty will take the place of the azaleas.

Kissed by a Cow!

Okay, I have been anxiously awaiting the time I could do this entry.
One of very best friends, Beth, has a birthday today! Happy Birthday, B! She is an awesome woman, friend and new mom coach. I wanted to give her something special for her bday.
For christmas, Dawn and Michelle got me the coolest gift for christmas. And I knew that it would be perfect for Beth.
There is a photographer in Rougemont, NC who has an amazing eye and truly an artist's way of looking at things. Check out her website at or
She takes photos that look like letters. In nature or architecture. Very cool.
This is similar to what I got for Beth. Fantastic! Beth opened it today and went wild!The artist, Samantha said that she lives on a dairy farm and if I wanted to come out to visit and pick up the piece I could. I am city girl and I was not going to miss the opportunity to walk amongst the emus and goats and cows!
It was so cool. Beautiful day! Carolina blue sky. Lovely breeze. Very, very little stinky farm smell.
Here is Sam with some of her friends.
Not to be out done, I made a new friend. One of the cows took a shining to me. Big time. She kept kissing me. And for those of you who have never been kissed by a cow, they are sloppy kissers. And their tongues are HUGE! And really rough. I think that her tongue must have been 100 times rougher than my cat's. Well, I was getting used to the kisses when all of a sudden, she gives me two big swacks right on my head. Cow slobber delivered with affection. Awwww....
Here is my little 800 pound friend.
Her buddy (all of them are named but I have trouble enough remembering my name so let's be real...) told me exactly how she felt about my presence.
She had no interest in getting some ellie love so she kept her distance.
As did the new babies.
It was amazing to me that this was only 25 minutes from my home. Only about 10 minutes and 2 turns outside of my normal circle of travel.
I wonder what else I can find...
Life is so cool.
Oh...the punch line...yes, there is one.
When I pulled into the driveway of the beautiful white farmhouse, Sam came out and as it happened, this is a woman that I knew a decade ago! Amazing, uh?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Best SnowPerson EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is truly the best snow person I have ever seen. EVER! She is sassy, artsy and has more spirit than I would ever expect snow to be able to hold. As snowpeople go, this little chick is hot! I love her style.
She was born to a couple of my neighbors. I don't know them but I believe that the woman is a fellow etsyian (see site is update on friday!) I have seen her outside photographing pocketbooks that she must make. I think she is fairly new to the area and we just haven't crossed paths yet. Both inside creating I guess.
But they were outside for some time, obviously. This little baby probably took all of the snow in the area.
With her fabulous evergreen bough hair and wild branch arms, I just want to hug her. Her slate gray eyes are rocks and her buttons are gum balls, fallen from the trees. Cheesy grin and a pastel scarf. I mean, really, can you stand how cute she is?
She is one of those moments that remind that no matter how magnificent something is, you can't hold onto it. That the way we keep our treasures is in our hearts. I really wish I could keep her. I guess she will probably be gone tomorrow. Like a hibiscus flower. Here for a day.
I am not big into artifical flowers. I don't like when something that is a snapshot of beauty becomes kin to furniture. Though I admit to having a few in the the red paper poppies.
We were in London in Covent Gardens. We were looking for a place to stop for lunch and everywhere I saw people walking with small bouquets of red poppies. They were beautiful.
I stopped a man and asked where he got them and he simply pointed around the corner. We went quickly to see what was going on.
We turned the corner to see what equaled about 3/4s of a field of red poppies and little girls, 'picking' them and handing them to passersby.
My husband, his best mate and I all got a small bunch and I have them to remind me of that extraordinary moment. That one moment in time, when I was in London and little girls were handing out bouquets of cherry red poppies. I am looking at them now and the warm air of the courtyard rushes over my winter skin.
Yes, it is all about moments. When Friday comes, I will have my photos of the hippest snow chick ever. She will be gone but the artist that created her, that shared her with the world, will still be here, creating. The experience of snow chick will be with me long after they gather up her scarf from the wet ground. It won't be the same as seeing her. The memory will filter down through what I took away from my time with her. But maybe that's all that matters.
It's in the moment. It's always the moment. And that's all we will ever have.
How zen. Off to bed.

Visions of Spring

I was born in New England and I remember a saying...If you don't like the weather, wait a few hours.
Living in North Carolina, I have to say that we have New England beat. After all, in winter, they have WINTER. For a long time.
My aunt says that we don't have 4 seasons in NC. I totally disagree. We do have four seasons. It's just that only one of them is torturous...summer, of course. Yeah, there are a lot of people who like it but I really do wonder every summer why I live here. Mark Twain said that summer in the south is like walking into hot dog's breath.
But I love the winters. And springs. Springs might be the best. Our springs would make anyone believe in possibility. Robins come in droves. Forsythia blooms before it is wise. Daffodils are everywhere and the trees...the trees cannot contain their joy...or their new little leaves.
This week we had snow, albeit just a dusting, on Monday.
Today, Wednesday it was almost 50. We will spend the weekend in the 70s! And that's the way it is here. Lots of variety. I love that one day you bundle up and the next day, you can go out in your shirt sleeves. I never get bored. It's fun.
Fall can be quick but spring and fall are like the perfect moment of change. The moment that a kernel turns into popcorn or rain drop turns to snow. It is a moment of transformation. The chrysalis turns into the butterfly. Yeah, the transformed will be visible but the actual moment of transformation is transient. Hot to cold. Cold to hot. Day to night. Night to day.
But these times are sweet.
They won't be around forever but I am going to delight in daffodil riot while it's here.

Best Road State

I was out driving around today and saw the funniest thing posted in the cab window of the pick up truck in front of me.
I couldn't stop laughing. I don't like to bitch about stuff...bad energy and all. And I love Durham. It is an eclectic mix of people and cultures. More liberal than many other places in NC. But my gosh, we have bad roads.
I remember being in the airport one time to pick someone up. I was sitting there in the waiting area, and eavesdropping on a girl in her late teens talking on her cell. I wasn't trying to but it was really quiet and it was impossible not to hear her.
She was telling someone about the road construction and described it as having been started before she was born. She might have been right.
In my most cynical moments, I think that the condition of the roads must be the result of a really effective tire alignment lobbyist somewhere in our state legislature. I have to believe that the kick backs on each alignment and new set of tires is padding some island getaway for a local politician.
I don't know what takes road construction so long. Temperatures, expanding and contracting materials, digging, flattening, etc. Some mystical process.
And considering how much road work we have going on, one might think that sooner or later we would have good roads. But we seem to have reached a perfect balance between finishing new roads and roads newly falling to pieces. Really, we are the good road state? I have to believe that we have something else that might be more notable and well, true!