Friday, March 30, 2018

Pillow talk

About 15 months ago, I started doing needlepoint again. I had done some decades ago in my crafty 30s and came across a kit I had purchased in 2007 and never done. So I did it. I enjoyed it so much, I got a couple more kits and then started making my own designs.

It's one of the healthier pastimes I've come up with and selling two of the pillows last week was a big thrill. You can see them up close on my art website, 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Inspired by contentment

I was on a webinar a few weeks ago and a participant volunteered to be coached. He was bored and unhappy in his work but not wanting to leave it. The facilitator, who's really good at getting people to dive deep, asked him what he really wanted from work. And after a few other descriptors, he settled on "contented." He wanted to be contented when he left work at the end of the day.

That word seems old-fashioned now. We don't use it much anymore. But it really resonated with me when he said it. That's what I want in my life now. I wanted to be contented by the work I do, the painting and writing I create, the time I spend with friends and family. I see contented as a great way to describe time well spent.

What makes you contented these days?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A quote that resonates

"It's not the goal that changes our lives. It's the actions towards the goal." --Jessica Abel

Thursday, March 15, 2018


For some reason I don't quite understand, I've become fascinated with shoes. I know that lots of women have a gazillion pairs and wear them all but that's not me. I don't spend much time at all looking at my feet or anyone else's. I like anonymous shoes on my foot: mostly black whatevers that are soft and comfortable.

But I'm currently very intrigued by shoes as art objects and I'm putting them in a new series of paintings called Shoescapes. Here are a couple:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Listening to my wiser self and not my wounded child

This weekend I had planned to be in San Francisco at a workshop with good friends. Ticket purchased, catsitter engaged. Then Wednesday morning I woke with a cough and a tickle in my throat. Okay, I said to myself, I'll take my potions and be right as rain tomorrow. But I wasn't. I wasn't any worse the next day and I wasn't any better. I clearly had a virus. And I had a dilemma. Do I go anyway and if I get worse, just suffer with it? Or do I stay home and take good care of myself and spare the others any contagion and forego some really good times with people I love? 

There's a child self in me who does not like changing plans. She also doesn't want to miss out on anything she likes to do. And there's a frugal side of me that didn't want to pay $125 (!!) to cancel the ticket. (The other charges I could get refunded.) Those two voices were pretty loud Thursday morning and they tried to overrule my body and my wiser self. A few years ago, I would have listened and agreed with them. This time I didn't.

I made myself get online right away and cancel the ticket. I texted my friends that I wasn't coming. And I settled into taking care of myself. Friday morning I woke up and was no worse, and I flirted briefly with getting a ticket and flying down anyway but I didn't. I accepted that this was the best choice and relaxed into it. I'm glad to see that I'm better at listening to my wiser self.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Looking at time and relationships through a new lens

In the Marie Kondo tidying-up philosophy, joy is the determiner. If the object doesn't bring you joy, let it go. However, this seems a lot easier to do with tops and shoes or knick-knacks than it does with relationships, yet I think there is something very important to consider here. As I continue on my quest for increased spaciousness in my lift, discernment around how I'm spending my time is coming to the fore. And that's where relationships and joy comes in.

You may be familiar with creating a relationship circle diagram in which closest relationships go in the inmost circle. Your friends go in the second circle, your acquaintances in the third, and then folks you meet casually go in the fourth. My good friend Sage recently did this but she used the time factor in creating the circles. The inmost circle had the people she spent the most time with and moving out the least time. I liked that idea but it was missing something for me. So here's what I've been contemplating for both time and relationships:

Circle 1 is time well spent. When I spend time in this person's company or on this activity, I always come away satisfied and nourished. 
Circle 2 involves a meaningful experience. AA meetings, some work relationships, occasional friends with whom I share an interest or activity, people I meet at a workshop or retreat.
Circle 3 must involve a compelling reason. My dentist, a meeting with a new client, an opportunity to experience something new or something longed for. Many of the social invitations I receive don't pass this test. I don't feel compelled to partake. I'd rather be in circles 1 or 2. 

The best times are when all 3 circles overlap. I want that to happen more.

How can you identify the best ways to spend your precious time?