Sunday, 29 January 2012

Free Spirit

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening.
Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth.”
~ Mark Twain


She looks so free and spirited.
Which is just how I felt when I was paiting her
No thoughts - just freedom, love and colour.


Art:- Free Spirit

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Quote - You Know


At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
~Lao Tzu

Friday, 27 January 2012

Mindful of being mindful


Art :- Centred
I was walking back from my lunch break and I realised that I had not been mindful at all today! I had gone through the motions of the morning, one thing after another without even paying any attention whatsoever to any detail. My breath, my thoughts.... I was not at all mindful about being mindful.

When there is so much going on around us it is so important to stop and check in with ourselves. Take notice of the weather, of our need for sustenance, of the need to take just a break and centre ourselves again.

Mindfulness at work is always a challenge.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

LOL!


For those who have recently had a really good belly laugh, you would agree that laughter really can be best medicine!


*** Laughter is proven to be good for your health


Laughter relaxes the whole body
A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
Laughter boosts the immune system
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins
The body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Laughter protects the heart
Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.  
SO GET LAUGHING!

Watch a good comedy, read a funny book, make a joke, jump in a puddle of water, fart out loud.

Whatever makes you truly LOL!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Eyes Like Ice

Art:- Eye Like Ice

Eyes of glass no emotion felt.
But glass was ice & ice can melt.

Melt they did overflowed,
salted water, slid over stone.

Washing away the frosted facade.
Misleading impressions of a heart so hard.

Eyes like ice no emotion felt.
Or so I thought, until I saw ice melt.

Quote - I wish you forgetting



“I wish you forgetting. I wish the ink of your old hurts faded, weathered by the sun, until you can’t read them anymore.”

~ Kate Bartollota

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Moments of Gratitude (Books)

Reading Books

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers"

~Charles W. Eliot

 * I love to read words that inspire me. It can offer a new perspective, a fresh way of seeing things,  some reassurance or a new found idea. A good story can take us on a journey that is entirely ours.  I am grateful to have so many words of wisdom in my life.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Can being mindful slow down time?

Tick Tock
Time speeds out of control
Ticking, Ticking, around the clock goes.
We chase the moments
to keep
up with time, that just keeps ticking.....
It‘s a race against time.
In the battle it seems
the challenge is clear,
to not let the ticking
consume our time here.
If the ticking controls us,
it can’t be stopped.
Tick Tock .....
Until we drop!


The time just seems to speed by day to day. tick tock tick tock. Another day over a new one begins. Suddenly it is the end of another week, another month, another year.

So why does life seem to speed up as we get older?
There are a few theories about this. As we get older life gets busier, we have more commitments therefore we are busier with all the have to’s and should do’s and when are not doing these things we are usually busy thinking about them.

Another theory is that things around us eventually seem more and more familiar the longer we are alive. We tend to go to similar places, talk to mostly the same people and engage in the same activities. So with all this repetitiveness we begin to overlook observations that used to be wow and get somewhat complacent. This does not necessarily mean that we should aim to be constantly doing something new. This would more than likely lead to a restless kind of quest for constant excitement and adventure.

Can being mindful actually slow down time?
There is an author by the name of Steven Taylor who has written several books on the subject of time. He talks about mindfulness as being the key to slowing down time.

“……we can slow down time is by making a conscious effort to be ‘mindful’ of our experience. There are some people who seem to be as affected by familiarity than others, and see the world with something of the fresh, first-time vision of children all through their lives. ……… They’re the kind of people who might stop in the street to gaze up at a beautiful scene of the sun breaking through clouds or a silver moon above the rooftops; or they might stare intently at the sea, at flowers or at animals, as if they’ve never seen them before. Poets and artists often have this kind of ‘child-like’ vision – in fact it’s this that usually provides the inspiration for their work. They often have a sense of strangeness and wonder about things which most of us take for granted, and feel a need to capture and frame their more intense perceptions.”
As I sit here I can here the sound of the breeze in the palm trees outside, I can see the rippling of the water in the pool. I can feel my wrist on my mouse pad; hear the sound of the notepad keys as I type. Life is always happening all around us, the secret is to pay careful attention to it, be aware, here and now.

“In other words, to some extent we can control time. It doesn't have to speed up as [we] get older. Some of us try to extend our lives by keeping fit and eating healthy food, which is completely sensible. But it's also possible for us to expand time from the inside, by changing the way we experience the moment to moment reality of our lives. We can live for longer not just in terms of years, but also in terms of perception.”



Art: Tick Tock

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Moments of Gratitude (Water)

Water
"Water has no taste, no colour, no odour; it cannot be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself. It fills us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses." 
~Antoine De Sainte-Exupery (1900-1944), Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
* I am grateful to have access to clean, fresh water each day.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Brilliance of Light


The light fell from the sky
Melting  toffee into
rippling satin sheets of water.
Memories, dreams
Are dreaming truths
Amongst golden rimmed purples
& shimmering deep blues.
A perfect example of
the brilliance of light.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Il Dolce Far Niente

This old Italian expression translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing” or "Delicious idleness". Sheer indulgent relaxation and blissful laziness, being deliciously idle. This expression was somewhat rekindled recently by the book (& later the movie) Eat, Pray, Love.

For me, this saying is not necessarily just about literally “doing nothing”, it is more about doing something for nothing more than the pleasure of doing it. Not for a particular outcome or purpose. Simply because it feels good and it offers some moments of peace, happiness and contentment.
In these times of doing and achieving it is so easy to be driven by the need to find purpose in everything we do.  There is this mindset that if we are not accomplishing something we are wasting time or that we should be spending our time differently, more productively.
Il Dolce far Niente is an attitude, a state of mind where we can let go of all these expectations and just allow ourselves to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. Be free to do the things we love just for the sheer bliss of it.

Simply enjoy life and ‘be’ in the moment.






Art:- Il Dolce far Niente

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Quote - Rewards of the simple life.....

To find the universal elements enough;
to find the air and the water exhilarating;
to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter;
to be thrilled by the stars at night:
to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring ...
these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

~ John Burroughs, Naturalist (1837-1921) ~

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Way of Tea

This week I read an article about the wanderful ritual of a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Also known as Sado, Ocha or Chanoyu in Japanese. This ceremony is not so much about drinking the tea, it is more about "preparing a bowl of tea from one's heart".

How beautiful would that tea taste!!

The man referred to as the tea master Sen Rikyu (1522-1591) studied tea from an early age. As meditation in action, the practice of tea developed in Japan alongside the practice of Zen Buddhism.

The tea used in the ceremonies is called "matcha" which is a powdered form of Green Tea. This is a very special event, where the host can spend days focusing on aesthetics, the appearance of the food, the utensils used in serving the food, and the decoration of the eating place.  This creativity and concern for beauty is so intense that tea can really be referred to as an art form. 

 
The Four Principles of Tea
These four principles infuse everything to do with tea ceremony and form the foundation for the spiritual in tea.
Kei – respect
Kei i
s a profound reverence toward all things, and is a characteristic of humility.
Sei – purity
Sei contains the thought of orderliness in life, cleanliness, and purity.

Jaku – tranquillity
Jaku means calm even amid the chaos. To be able to create the sense of calm is jaku.

Wa – harmony
Wa is the complete harmony of all elements: guests, utensils, nature and attitude.


"Leaving familiar reference points of the world behind, hosts and guests create a gentle moment, without past or future. Preparing and serving a bowl of tea is a discipline of mindfulness and awareness, a celebration of the senses and a journey to open heart."

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Moments of Gratitude

Each month of 2011 I created new dominos and added them to the frame. I found great pictures from all kinds of sources.

Each domino has a picture on it that tells a story about the year, maybe a feeling, a thought, an event, a quote that resonated with me and there were even a few "aha" moments as well.

I really enjoyed this project, so this year I have decided to incorporate posting "52 weeks of Gratitude" photos into my Blog.

I did consider 365 days of Gratitude however I tried this a couple of years ago and found that, although I had no problem to find something to be grateful for each day, to take a photo then print/post it always felt a little rushed.

So for 2012 I thought 52 weeks would be realistic.
Should be fun!

I think that photography can be a unique and  powerful tool to keep us grounded and in the present moment. It is, after all, about capturing a moment in time. Really focusing, observing and appreciating what is in front of us right now. With a camera in hand, in search of a great shot, it can be almost like looking at each moment as if we were new to the world, just born. What a  beautiful thing to look at each new scene with fascination and child like curiosity!!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Quote - Happiness



We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

~ Frederick Keonig

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Environmental Mindfulness

One of my New Year resolutions for 2012 is to continue to be more conscious about my impact on the environment. If being mindful is about the awareness that comes from paying attention in the present moment, then it is inevitably to become more in tune and connected with our surroundings, with nature, with the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that we so often take for granted in our busy lives.

"To help our planet is to take care of ourselves. If we can heal ourselves, we can heal the world" ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I love this wisdom as the point is totally irrelevant to any arguments for or against the human contribution to the current state of the planet. It is about being in touch with ourselves, both emotionally and physically. To stop and listen to our needs........ which are ultimately no different to the needs of the planet.

"Take care of the earth and she will take care of you." 
~Author Unknown
Art:- Eco

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Book Review - Healer

I recently read this book which is a biography written by Joseph Dispenza about a woman named Dr Hazel Parcells who lived to the age of 106. The book is all about her views on life, health and wellbeing as well as her significant contribution to modern medicine by her commitment to trusting her instincts and documenting theories on diet, natural medicine and energy healing that worked for her and her patients. I found it to be an amazing book. This lady was really an inspiration and she knew things that were way before her time.

This is one of my absolute favourites quotes from the book,  infact I have framed it for a daily reminder...
"When I am asked the secret of my longevity, which I never planned and never gave any thought to, I say I was to busy with interesting things. There was no vacuum in my life. I seem always to have had a strong interest in one thing or another. A new idea is like a new life. When I have a new idea, my eyes begin to shine."

Here are some other words of wisdom from Dr Hazel Parcells:-

 "Why should this be happening to me" My only answer is "Can you honestly ask why it shouldn't" Pain frequently compels growth and development; if we are unwilling or unable to address the lessons before us, why should we think we are ready to graduate to the next level?"

 "Our bodies are made up of minerals. It is the first fact of nature: we are the earth. We come form the earth and we return to the earth. And while we are living upon the earth, we obtain out nourishment entirely from the earth, our mother."

 "I have often said that if the tool for natural healing were taken away from me tomorrow, save one, I would want that one to be colour.

"But I see now that those things that I had considered to be obstacles and impediments were actually stepping-stones to new knowledge. They were ways of making me stronger and 0f learning vitally important lessons. I understand now that every hurdle I overcame better prepared me to grasp the information that would need to be passed on to the next generation. I am grateful for the obstacles and the lessons they provided me."

"The ebbing away of the old and the flowing on of the new take place regardless of whether or not we fully comprehend the timing of their tides. These changes, which come in cycles, may be painful to live through, even if one has the grand view and is aware what is happening. But they are entirely beneficial, because they push us onto a new, higher level as we continue our growth."


Thank You Dr Hazel Parcells
For all your wisdom, knowledge and the courage to trust and follow your instincts. You are an inspiration and this book has contributed to my growth and hopefully my longevity.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Follow Your Bliss

"What if the universe were whispering in my ear at every moment?" ~ Steven Roberts
I wander how it could be heard above the chit chat of the mind……..?
Mindful Moments - Observing, without judgment. Being grounded in the present moment. Awareness of the surroundings and all the senses that are engaged. To perceive and appreciate things deeply, calmly and with clarity.

May there be many Mindful Moments in 2012……………!

Art - Follow your Own Bliss...
Easier said than done it seems in a world where we are so bombarded with input and images that create so many expectations. The idea of having wings represents the ultimate freedom, to be able to soar above it all and yet still have the capacity to choose to be grounded.

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls" ~ Joseph Campbell 

So perhaps, we don't need to have wings after all........  
Art:- Follow Your Bliss