An open heart is an amazing thing.
It allows all that is holy to flow in, flow out.
Our hearts are softened each and every time we pause…
and give thanks.
Studies say the immune system is improved when we practice gratitude. We sleep better and are more optimistic about life. There are oodles of benefits but we already know, even without stats to back it up, that we just simply feel better.
To that end…
I have a special request.
I’m asking you to reserve 10 minutes for yourself.
Ten minutes of the 1, 440 given to you this day.
Use it for quietness, use it for gratitude, use it to open your heart to the awareness of the magnificence dwelling inside you.
What follows is one of my favorite daydreaming videos in my Provence course.
In my desire to be able to give something special to each of you, I am making it public for 1 week.
Share it with someone you love dearly, someone you are thankful for having in your life.
Whatever we are waiting for–peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance–it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach
Warning: Using earbuds and clicking the icon in the lower right corner of the video to make it play full screen MAY cause you to feel like you are right in the lavender fields :-):
Note: I always love to hear your thoughts and takeaways–feel free to leave your words in the comments section below.
What if we were to practice, every day, something that we desired to become really good at doing?
And what if that practice was one of those things that when done, actually multiplied, like an investment of sorts, in our lives?
What if it was free, didn’t take much time and could be done anywhere, anytime of the day?
What if doing it had the power to shape us in powerful, marvelous ways?
What if it was so simple a child could do it?
Wondering what this magical thing might be?
It’s one you know well…
Amazing abundance in life is held within this one single practice.
I’ve got a simple task for you (I’ve been doing it the past couple of weeks so I am doing my best to tempt you into joining me).
Today, grab some paper and in your most beautiful handwriting, put down what you see around you in this moment that you are grateful for.
Make a practice of it for the next few days.
Notice what you notice–this won’t be hard.
It is as writer Wayne Dyer said, ‘If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’
Practice, practice 🙂
Note: And now a little gratitude giveaway for some of the best folks on the planet!
It’s a handmade journal from Italy, one of my favorites for some of my favorite folks ever (enter below)
And speaking of Italy, my next online adventure course is all about just that–to learn more, click here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t rush by one single moment
Give everything the divine attention it deserves
In doing so you will unlock the gift held within
For this is life
in the grace of these moments
This week-end is the time we fall back—most of us in the US will gain a whole extra hour in the day.
A few years back I decided to look at all the potential ways a fellow might ‘spend’ this bounty.
Revisiting the list I’m gonna say #56 would probably do all of us the most good in the long run.
And that #59 is something that would be worth doing every day
So here goes…
- making a fall bouquet of found items in your yard
- taking a walk or bicycle ride
- tell a ghost story to your hubby, grandkids or whomever you can corner
- dance to your favorite music, slow and fast
- savor a bottle of wine you’ve been saving back for a special occasion
- pamper your feet with a hot foot soak and a good massage with lotion
- look through old photos (remember the ones we had before digital came along?)
- watercolor remembrances of this Fall in your journal— doing your best to match the magical colors of the leaves—which is impossible but the JOY is in having a go at it!
- draw a single fallen leaf (or trace it) and paint it in your journal
- unplug…the phone, the computer, the tv
- begin a book that’s been tugging at your heart to read
- call someone you love that you haven’t spoken with in awhile
- write a letter to your _____ that has already passed and tell them what you’re up to these days…I’m pretty sure they’re listening:)
- skype or facetime a long distance friend and share a cup of tea together
- watch some old family videos and marvel at how pretty you were then and didn’t even know it:))
- find a swing and swing in it
- head out into the countryside far from the city lights and watch for falling stars
- make some lists of crazy things you’d like to do
- pick one and set a date to do it
- watch a classic movie with home made popcorn
- paint a petite painting
- make a pumpkin pie, then eat two slices with lots of whipped creme. and have a glass of cold milk while you’re at it
- create a playlist of your favorite upbeat, positive message music (Spotify app is perfect for this!)
- hang children’s art in your studio to remind you of the beauty that exists in all art
- place quotes, letters, photos, and keepsakes in your work area (office and studio) that help you to remember to follow your own North star
- buy an orchid to spend this winter with
- take a long bath in scented water with candlelight and spa music
- work on a vision board
- bake chocolate chip cookies
- daydream. like you did when you were a kid
- watch the sunrise. so simple. so special.
- write a love letter to yourself. take note of the big things, the small things that define who you are. write it from the outside looking in. you are a marvelous work of god
- plant spring bulbs. come spring, you’ll have new faces bringing color into your world.
- call your mother (or if she’s gone, write her a letter)
- write your significant other a love note.
- mail 5 postcards from your town to faraway family and friends (my sis Rhonda does this to me and I love it—I discover things about where she lives via her postcards)
- visit with your neighbor–share the chocolate chip cookies you baked. This is supposing there are some left to share 😉
- meditate in a new place
- get a pedicure with a new color
- eat some gelato (I suggest salted carmel flavor…yummmmm)
- watch Under the Tuscan Sun….again
- do something outside of your comfort zone
- go to a local antique/junk store. look for things that remind you of your childhood….and smile
- browse in your local book store…you never know what goodies are out there. (half price books in my area is one of my favorite haunts)
- go to the zoo or aquarium (if you are lucky enough to have one where you live)
- go to the flea market…you REALLY never know what you will discover, uncover, that you can’t live without
- get your hair done and maybe add some wild color. i’m thinking a streak of purple would be fun!
- go to the dollar movies. cheap thrills. big screen is always better
- read the cartoons or a joke book (I have several Scott Adams books, author of the Dilbert cartoons. Pointy Hair Boss and Catbert my fav’s)
- watch a funny movie (share your picks in the comment section)
- create stations for yourself on Pandora radio. (Spa, Yoga, Pink Martini, John Mayer, Jim Brickman are a few of my fav’s–please share some of yours in the comments below)
- head for the kids section in the library or bookstore. the images and stories are always so delightful!
- buy some colored gel pens and have a field day in your journal
- go to someplace new, a place you have never been before. a park. a cafe. a new (to you) street in an old neighborhood
- meet a friend at an outdoor cafe for coffee and smiles
- spend the hour in quietness
- pick out 10 great digital photos and print them out and post them in places sure to make you smile. your bathroom, refrigerator, taped to your easel, closet—all the unexpected places that you frequent ?
- take photos of yourself making goofy faces and mail them to others with the caption “wish you were here!!” (not that I know anyone who does this….)
- write 60 things you are grateful for
- this one is yours. fill in the blank__________________ ?
Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time like dew on the tip of a leaf.
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time”
We didn’t realise we were making memories.
We just knew we were having fun.
~Winnie the Pooh
“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”
Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.
How will you spend yours?
Just for the painting fun of it, I giving away a few of my Dream.Love.Paint aprons. They will not be for sale anywhere, so to get your name in the hat for one of these limited edition aprons–join the giveaway below!
Enter here ↓
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P.S. Just a reminder — the online painting adventures continue — in Italy! Get the scoop and sign-up to win a spot in this new online course — Click Here!
First I should mention that I’ve been out and about for a wee bit in Italy. Working on mine and yours next adventure painting course (Timeless Tuscany…coming Jan/2018). Working my little fingers to the bone however…
I DID take time to stop and smell the olive oil…and the roses…and the rose flavored gelato. Actually I ATE the rose flavored gelato, but I digress 😉
I was there long enough this time to experience a sort of letting go that I hadn’t experienced in… maybe never?
Something that I would wish on anyone. I’m not sure how I slid into this, but once I was in that heart space…it was liberating and soul enlivening.
I found myself asking me what I really wanted to do, eat, experience for the next hour or two (notice the absence of long range plans in that statement! I totally recommend trying this.)
Not what I should do.
Not what I thought someone else might want or wish that I would do.
Just a simple question to myself and then quietly watching me, myself and I to see what made my heart leap a little bit or a lot at the thought of.
The answers were varied, surprising at times, and filled with a sense of discovery and adventure.
Discovery and adventure.
Two things that make me feel so alive, more than I knew.
I got a glimpse of how magnificent this life is when we are present and aware in the moment (and a stark reminder of how much is lost and missed out on when I allow my mind to hang out anywhere else!)
I woke up to becoming ever more mindful of what matters.
This really is my life, your life, our lives.
What do we really want?
Not the ‘auto-pilot’ version of life,
but what are those things, people, places, doings
that make us feel vibrantly ALIVE?
I was stirred and inspired by people that I met and people that I didn’t meet but only studied from a distance.
Older than me, half my age, speakers of Italian, Dutch and Swahili (yes Swahili, spoken by one of the Dream Team members!) .
Inventors and dreamers, those with their coat of arms from generations ago hanging proudly on the wall, keepers of the earth and gatherers of the harvests.
They spoke proudly of their children, their ancestors, the ground that hosts their vines and twisted olive trees.
They allowed me to see into their lives and thus their hearts.
I grew rich from each such encounter–my spirit made richer by another allowing me entrance into their world–
their vulnerability encouraging in me the same.
Surrounded by so much good it begins to become evident that turning my back by not being present would be the greatest of follies!
We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake. ~Sir Francis Bacon
P.S. I’m wondering what makes you feel vibrantly alive? At this moment I’m reading The Wisdom of Sundays, a new book from Oprah. Books that stir my thoughts make me feel…vibrantly alive! What does it for you? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear!
And if you’d like a copy of The Wisdom of Sundays I’m giving away a few copies – see below 😍
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