Creativity — hope in the face of challenges

Creativity spawns innovation and collaboration
from a deep well where we are one.

My friends,
As this virus reveals its lessons to our global community, I see a side of this unfolding more clearly with each day. Everything about our daily lives has been disrupted, changed and in many ways, this can be very disturbing.

However, I see the human spirit rising to the challenges and the changes in remarkable and encouraging ways.

I see people thinking of innovative ways to help each other both near and far. I see individuals, families and friends finding new ways to bond and love each other despite social distancing.

The wonderful thing about creativity is the more we practice it in our daily lives – from the choices we make to ensure our newly privatized lives are full of light and love, to the new ways we choose to help our neighbors weather these uncertain times – the more it births creative sparks which light other dark corners of our once very routine existences.

I am incredibly grateful to witness the outpouring of love, compassion and spirit of collaboration that are born on a minute-to-minute basis all over the world in response to the challenges this disease has presented to humanity.

I see this creative positive response as the MOST important thing I have witnessed globally in my lifetime. These seeds of hope and so many more we are still learning about will produce  an unprecedented global unity — and incredible beauty and blessings for all of us in the days and months to come.

Join me in witnessing and participating in the growth of a new paradigm of being.

Zinnias

A couple of days ago I posted a picture on Face Book of the zinnias blooming in our yard. I asked Marty to plant a few and the mass planting is amazing, such a patch of color. And they are attracting butterflies like you wouldn’t believe!

I am also amazed at the attention that particular FB post got. Over 100 “likes” and numerous comments. It makes me wonder. Is it their colorful simplicity? Or the fact that so many people have fond memories of zinnias being planted when they were young.

I LOVE that even a photo of the sweet orange, deep pink, yellow and salmon colored flowers on tall stems touch people’s spirits. They certainly have brightened my days for the past couple of months.

Zinnias

I posted a picture on Face Book of the zinnias blooming in our yard. I asked Marty to plant a few and the mass planting is amazing, such a patch of color. And they are attracting butterflies like you wouldn’t believe!

 

I am also amazed at the attention that particular FB post got. Over 100 “likes” and numerous comments. It makes me wonder. Is it their colorful simplicity? Or the fact that so many people have fond memories of zinnias being planted when they were young.

 

I LOVE that even a photo of the sweet orange, deep pink, yellow and salmon colored flowers on tall stems touch people’s spirits. They certainly have brightened my days for the past couple of months.

New Chapter — challenges

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I have been retired and working part-time for 7 months now. I have to admit it really has been a challenge to shift gears. For 20+ years I’ve tried to keep a work/family balance, work winning out more than I care to admit. But focusing on my own self-care was definitely not part of that equation.

 

I took a hard look at what is going on in my life right now. And, I had to be honest with myself – “hey, if you are going to write a new chapter in your life’s story, gwennie, you need to start doing some things differently.”  Starting with learning more about self-care seemed like a very important first step.

 

In order to emphasize this new mind set I am visualizing myself as a little child of the Universe who needs and deserves special love and care. Thinking about myself I that way brings me to tears. For so long I’ve been taking care of everyone else at work, at home, my family members out of town – you know being the selfless servant. I didn’t have time for my own care – in fact, that was pretty much of a foreign idea.

 

I’m learning, I’m exploring ways of doing this. Marty and my girls are gently reminding me. The first big step is to SLOW DOWN. I tend to rush in my daily activities trying to accomplish more – I keep reminding myself that I deserve to take my time. I am worthy of the efforts I am taking to express my creativity. I have gone back to crocheting, and am learning to knit, I am playing the dulcimer, I am doing yoga, I am taking lots of deep breaths while I am meditating… I am trying to be more mindful as I engage in all of these activities.

 

“Self-care (mindfulness) means giving yourself permission to pause.”

 

What I want to do is to learn to pause and to experience life at a deeper level. Taking care of me will be a gateway to more joy and happiness. My very being will emanate the energy my life is embracing. How fortunate I am to create a new path, writing a new chapter that holds infinitely more promise and fulfillment.

 

 

Cracking open

Something is cracking open for me on this trip to North Carolina. It started happening when I heard the symphony tuning up for their performance at Brevard Music Center.

Prior to the symphony’s practice session, we visited with a young violinist from “Jersey”. He talked about how great it was to be part of such a diverse group – musicians from all over the world being conducted by the piano maestro, Christian Zacharias, from Germany.

As the lead violinist played the first note, all instruments were united and sounded as one. That moment took by breath away – so fantastically beautiful and so symbolic. The breathtaking beauty of uniting in sound as one brought me to tears.

 

The whole experience of hearing this group perform and watching the conductor in his element took me back to when I was in the Fontbonne Civic Youth Choir in seventh and eighth grade. We sang with the St. Louis Symphony and I remember being awestruck by the experience of being in the presence of that music-making body. I don’t remember the details, but I remember that feeling – the same feeling of fullness being in the midst of such wonderous sound and the people that make it.

I wish I had a better handle on the words to describe that feeling, an awareness of beauty at a different level than what I experience I every day. I think being lifted by that heightened sense of possibility in sound touched me to my very core.

And then it happened again at the Robin Bullock and Steve Baughman performance in Black Mountain just a few days later. There was a moment filled with such energy, such perfect unity in their guitar playing that tears came once again.

Music – I believe it is a language the Divine uses to touch our spirits, uniting individuals in something that is much bigger and more fantastic than any one of us may be able to create on our own — showing us the way to overcome our differences in the creation of joy that we can hear and feel.

I am waiting to be shown how this awareness will impact my life, my little world — I am ready for where it will lead me.

Divine Abundance Lessons

As I’ve been working on this book by Tosha Silver about how to “live fully from divine abundance” I am seeing things in my life I have taken for granted — things that are very much a part of my prosperity,

I live in a home that is a craftman’s work of art and it is totally furnished with his works of are. This home is situated on 10 acres that are meticulously tended by the artist is my life and I am surrounded by other art work for which he has traded his own works of art.

And I often take this beauty for granted — this huge source of abundance in my life.

The peaking of this awareness is already a huge lesso in being aware of divine abundance in my life

………so much for which to be grateful!!!!

Letting the messages of “Big Magic” sink in

Can I tell you something? For many, many years I thought my biggest creative gift involved writing. But just recently, as I have traveled the path to deeper self-discovery, I have come to realize my innate ability to create liaisons across the state of Missouri for the public good is one of my big hidden creative jewels. I’ve been doing this all these years and only recently have I come to own this as part of my creative strength,

What I know for sure is I have always been committed to communicating with whoever I meet straight from my heart — which is the hallmark of authenticity. One of my mantras over the years has been “let me be perfectly honest here.” Honesty and truth are rooted in an open heart.

What I’ve realized is that many people in the business of politics, health care, — the work world in general — are afraid to come from this place of truth. It is vulnerable, and in some minds, can seem like a place of weakness. But coming from that authentic place creates a basis for trust and a foundation for working together for something bigger than we are.

I have helped forge wonderful alliances over the years by allowing my open heart to lead the way. But being this open requires trust in a power bigger than me and the people I connect with — the power being the root of all creativity — the Divine, her/himself.

Reflecting on this realization, I now know my biggest creative tool is not a brush or a pen but an open heart and my trust in the Divine helped me along the way.

HUH!

 

Happy Chinese Year of the PIG!!!!

Thoughts on the Lunar New Year —

February 5, 2019 – the Lunar New Year and the Chinese New Year too!!! Woohoo!!

I feel like I am ready to start afresh for this year – last month being a big ending for me since I retired from my position at the University of MO. Mu month of January was a month of shifting gears and taking a good look at what I want in my life and what I don’t in order to write my life’s next chapter.

I favor New Moon days to kick off new beginnings and this particular new moon is at the perfect one for me to do that.

For months I have been thinking about revitalizing my blog, reconnecting with old friends and new ones. My goodness, it has been two years since I’ve had the time or energy to consider writing about anything outside of my work.

Here I am – and you are probably thinking so what do you really want to say here, gwen?

I want you all to know how much I miss you and how much I miss putting thoughts on the page. I am anxious to share my new adventures – most of them, adventures of the heart.

I am committed to continuing to pry open my mind and heart to the possibilities that are offered to me each and every day – finding the sacred in the simple tasks of daily living.

There is a great deal of peace that comes with this sort of adventure and honestly, I am just learning starting to see its impact on my life.

What I most treasure about my current life is the freedom it offers to be open – not pushed by schedules, deadlines and unwanted expectations.

I do not know how this will fully change my little world, but for now I know I am content to do my daily writings and yoga – breathing deeply in a way I haven’t in many months. That feels good, really good. And I see this new lifestyle setting a strong future for the unknown future I am welcoming.

 

 

#100happydays

#100happydays

Some of you may be wondering why I am repeating my 100 days of happiness. Honestly, one day I was walking along the trail feeling so thankful for the sweet scents enveloping me, the gently breeze, the wildflowers swaying gently as I passed….. I reflected on how many of these wonderful daily blessings grace my life bringing me joy.

We all know there a lot of negative things happening in our world. I decided to remind myself about the many joys that brighten my little world every single day.

I love the practice of being more keenly aware of all the beautiful bounty of happiness I can tap into whenever and wherever I choose.

I find the more aware I become of the happiness quotient that is available to me, the less the negativity depletes me. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Plus, I can do this on Instagram now too.  J