What is time?!
Who tells you when to stop, when to go.
This whole thing of not being late or having an appointment.
Time is money
Probably the ones that don’t follow the clock.
Okay, crazy talk.
But I’ve been a clock slave for too long in my life.
As lawyer, all it mattered was to be ON TIME, always.
I am always earlier for meetings.
I am always waiting for someone.
Seriously, I don’t want to spend the next 30 years of my life, if I am lucky, counting the minutes for appointments.
What a waist of life!
I know, I have kids, they need that kind of attention and guidance.
Then, I decided, from now on, when they ask me: “What time is it?!”
Instead of giving them the exact answer, I would say: “time for lunch”, “time to sleep”, “time to have fun”, “time for homework”, “time to kiss mommy goodnight”, “time to think”,”time to breath” or “time to BE”.
So, suddenly, time stops and I realize I have time to do everything.
There is no rush.
Just this serene and surreal chunk of space…
…and then I see, the no time period is when I give myself attention, when I focus in what I am doing at the moment with no worries about what is coming, when I am just me, even for a few seconds of real time, when the white noise feeling comes into my head, when my breathing quiets down, when my brain waves go lower and this foggy feeling takes care of my soul.
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it is only for a few seconds until you are…
…TOTALLY AWAKE and everything goes back on track!
God bless alarm clocks or nothing would be done in this world!
Have a serene week!
Today, we celebrate being us, being alive and having rights.
We celebrate and remember the ones that left and fought for us.
We will never forget the names that stopped in front of tanks, that screamed at uniforms, that cast the first votes, that cared for us, that raised us, that gave us birth…
To all of us, WOMEN, a great day to toast!
I also would like to redirect you to my previous post – This Thing About Woman, just another way of recognition.
|Art by Annette from Chasing Lighting Bugs Studio|
I understand that some of all of us have a special place that we like to visit and just be.
I have a few of them, which includes my home – specially the reading room that I created, where I can just sit and relax.
My cottage – a little cabin by the lake where I let my imagination goes wild and enjoy life surrounded by my family and friends.
And, I recently found this very special studio, Casing Lightning Bugs, in Kingston, where I am greeted by these two beautiful artists that fill my day with joy and delight – thank you Annette and Tracy for being so inspiring and welcoming. Here a few pictures taken in one of the studio’s open house.
I’ve been enclosing myself in my cocoon lately. I usually go through phases like that, specially when my birthday is near.
I feel like a little thought and balance on things that happened in the current year brings good energy for the next one.
My thoughts revolve around life purposes, meanings, friendships, art, family…the important things.
Lately, I’ve been incorporating a few interesting techniques learnt from Julia Cameron’s book – The Artist Way, to my everyday life.
She introduced to me a very pleasant way to start my day, writing my morning pages (as she calls the morning journals), which I’ve been religiously practicing, early in the morning, sometimes under a candle light, while sipping my coffee.
It is a big morning catharsis and sets the tone for the entire day, my energy seems to flow better and even if my artist side doesn’t flare up intensely that day, I feel that at least, I had accomplish something.
Another interesting exercise encouraged by Julia is the artist date.
I don’t have enough words to describe how productive is a weekly date with your own self, but in a more conscious way. It is not just getting out the house to have a break, it is a seeking for something more expressive during the date that can be brought back to your art!
I pack my “artist bag” (I actually bought a new one just for that), put my comfortable hiking shoes, grap my sketchbook, camera and off I go, very proud of myself and full of confidence.
I open my eyes to any little details on my way, either can be a crack on the concrete side walk or a beautiful bird song. The important is the active observation, no filters here, just take it all in…
During my artist walks, my imagination goes wild and stories start bubbling in my head.
There are little girls and boys, inventive toys, magical figures and special powers.
There is poetry, color, smells and life.
Words arrive in my mind like crazy spells and I hear the wind whispering little secrets. The flowers dance its tango and little beetles buzz around guiding me through the winding path. Where to go now?!
Maybe back home, life still out there and I have to bring all these treasures with me! Would they fit in my artist bag?! They always do!
Have a good weekend you all!
Just a quick note to say hi.
The day is beautiful outside and I don’t see why not to start thinking about spring gardening!
We also went for a walk by the water and we were gifted with many nature’s treasures.
This is what we get from nature, these are pieces of glass that were thrown in the lake by Man and nature transformed them into gems and love!
Have a happy family day!
What a great weekend I had.
Spent time with my family, got caught up with a few things, dance, appreciated art and decided to add two more paintings to my etsy shop.
It took me awhile to let them go, but here they are!
These are pieces inspired by the art of Trash Couture. For those who don’t know, they make high couture fashion clothes out of scrap materials.
Last year, I was totally obsessed with them and could not stop myself from visiting their website and dream with every single piece of lace they added to a dress.
So I created my own trash couture and these are the results of dreaming with the perfect dress.
24″ x 24″
mixed media on cradled wood panel
|Lovers Are Crazy
24″ x 24″
mixed media on cradled wood panel
February is starting with a lot of novelties.
I am really trying to get back to exercise regularly, so I don’t feel my body so stiff and get my hormones more balanced.
I started today, with a long and productive walk by the water. The day was so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist.
But, the most exciting thing for me is to able to announce that the Wooden Chest Studio Shop is open again!
There you will find, mixed media and encaustic paintings, photography, vintage treasures and lots more!
|Mixed Media on wood – Celebrating Life|
So, I am celebrating life, friends and art!
Please, come by and have a peek.
Have a great week!
It past midnight, I went to bed early thinking that I would have a very relaxing sleep.
Something woke me up at midnight and I couldn’t go back to sleep.
My mind started revolving about the past week and all these interesting things that happened.
Apparently, none of them connected to each other.
They were vivid dreams, things that I “accidentally” said, stories coming out in my art…
I always felt very connected with the moon at its phases and decided to check on the calendar to see which one was approaching.
So, the moon would be full on the 7th! It makes sense, very emotional, big flow of energy.
But, this wasn’t the answer.
I knew there was something else that I was missing.
I decided to look at the other planets changing signs.
Some of you might have known the answer, but I was livid when I realized that I totally forgot this very important piece of information.
Neptune is entering Pieces in February 4th!
Tomorrow! Ops! NO IT IS TODAY! NOW!
When Neptune changes signs, it’s not just about what is coming, but more, how things change.
This planet rules mist, fog and mysticism. It does bring spiritual infusion where it touches, but it is so personal that makes it also very uncertain. We are never sure whether what we are feeling is good or bad.
Neptune rules sensitivity, but specially in Pieces (Neptune’s home), represents a divine experience in a highly personal way.
I was born in March 12th 1970, under the sign of Pieces.
I researched the effects of Neptune coming back to Pieces after more than 100 years and this is what I found out!
“Neptune comes home to your sign, making you more “you” than you realized you could be. That doesn’t mean it will always feel that way, as the sensitivity your sign is noted for comes to the surface.
This is a lot of information for the middle of the night!
Not sure if I can go back to bed, but certainly will be digging deeper on the hidden meanings of Neptune’s influence.
To all of you out there, have a great 13 years to come with Neptune carrying on its magic!
What if I had done things differently?
What if I had chosen a different profession?
What if I had got out of the bus before my stop?
Our lives are filled with wonder, if we had done things on a different way.
This has such a heavy weight on our souls.
It is packed with guilt, regret, sorrow, grief.
There is no room for growth based on things that you have no control of. These are not facts that were part of your life, they ARE NOT REAL!
I can’t be living, thinking what my life would be IF…
So, I decided, from now on, my big question will be done on future form.
From now on, all the “what ifs” in my life, will be filled with opportunities!
What if I choose to go back to school?
What if I decide to go around the world with my family?
What if I do this or that…
I chose to illustrate this post with a few pictures taken from a very close perspective, just because, sometimes, the opportunities we are waiting for are right bellow our nose.
What if I look close to me…
Sometimes, I wonder, about this thing inside me, that makes me jump at the first possibility that life presents.
It is a knowledge that something is about to change, but I haven’t had the clue.
It is usually, a good feeling, a sense of direction, a well fit situation.
An ice melting sense with wonders for what is about to appear.
I start putting all my possibilities on the table, and stare at them, imagining what it could be!
At some point, I would give up on staring and I would start working with my essential oils – they tend to settle this inner turmoil down a bit and make things getting more clear
I’ve been working on this impulsive personality for a few years now, at first, I would jump right into the first sign in front of me, without pondering, which got me, many times, inside the “wrong bus”!
Not sure if this expression makes sense in English, but in my country, we use it often to illustrate a situation where you act as pure impulse on the wrong time – don’t get me wrong, I love impulses, but on the right time!
So, I bumped accidentally into this lovely quotation, thanks to my dear friend Diana Heyes (I read Robin Sharma’s book!), and…
When I moved to Canada, I remember being very intrigued by the expression “down to earth”.
I kept asking my friends to explain it to me. I was trying to visualize a “down to earth” person, but for every answer, a new adjective was added on and a straight answer was very hard to get.
Finally, I decided to stick with the feeling of it and made my own description.
I understand that to feel down to earth is to be connected with the most simple and plain things of life.
It is a grounding feeling, an inner connection.
The best way I found to stay in contact with it, was making my bread from scratch, baking, using essential oils and home made natural products including making my own soap!
Caring for myself on minimalistic ways.
This past weekend, after a “spring” clean up (in the middle of the winter), I spent a few hours preparing soaps, bath bombs, shampoos and lotions.
My house was filled with the most beautiful fragrances.
My family was amazed with how beautiful and smelly they were and I was in heaven for being able to accomplish all of it!
So, I wish you all a grounding week and happy earthy life!
I recently found this online New Year’s Resolutions the Buddha Might Have Made by Toni Bernhard and I thought that would be very appropriate for the first day of the year:
“The Buddha’s teachings were transmitted from generation to generation orally for about five centuries. They were then written down in what are referred to as the Buddha’s discourses. In presenting these New Year’s resolutions, I’ve taken the liberty of putting some of his words into the first person and adjusting the language in a few places so the text reads as resolutions. The content is true to his discourses.
The Buddha’s resolutions:
1. I will not believe in anything simply because I’ve heard it and it is rumored by many. I will not believe in anything simply on the authority of my teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when I know for myself that something, if undertaken and practiced, will lead to the welfare and happiness of one and all, I will accept it and live up to it.
2. Before speaking, I will reflect on whether what I’m about to say is true, kind, and helpful.
This is the Buddha’s “three-part test” for Wise Speech. Here’s what I say about it in my book, How to Be Sick:
It’s a tall order to make all our speech true, kind, and helpful, but we can set the intention to keep those three qualities in mind before we open our mouths…I’ve found that it’s often easy to meet two of the criteria, but not all three. For example, it may be true that a friend hasn’t been in touch for a month, but would it be helpful to confront the friend about it? Before sending a “Why haven’t you been in touch?” email, if we replace the intention to confront with the intention to inquire (“How are you doing?”), the communication might just become kind and helpful. We may discover that the friend hasn’t been in touch because he or she is having work or family problems, which gives us the opportunity to respond with compassion and support rather than self-interest.
3. Hatred never ceases through hatred; hatred ceases through non-hatred. This is an ancient truth. I will not engage in hatred.
“Hatred never ceases through hatred; hatred ceases through non-hatred” is a well-known passage from The Dhammapada. We may find it easy to agree with the first assertion, but find the second one to be more problematic. Yet, think of Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison and emerged, not bitter or angry, but with an open heart that allowed him to do so much to heal the wounds in South Africa and to inspire people around the world to pursue a path of peace.
4. Whatever I keep pursuing with my thinking and pondering becomes the inclination of my awareness, so I will watch my thoughts and their ways with care.
Here, the Buddha is asking us to be mindful of our thinking because thoughts can have consequences. We may not be able to control the thoughts that pop into our minds, but we can learn not to act on them if the result would make matters worse for ourselves or others. For example, if someone else gets something that we want, envy may pop right into our minds; but with practice, we can learn to just observe it rather than “pursuing” it—pursuing it by spinning stress-filled stories about it, like “she doesn’t deserve that thing; I do!” This just intensifies the envy until it becomes “the inclination of our awareness” and we, in effect, become an envious person which only leads to suffering and unhappiness.
5. I will not consider the faults of others or what they have or have not done. Rather, I will consider what I myself have done or have not done.
This resolution speaks for itself.
6. As a solid rock is not moved by the wind, I will not be moved by praise or blame.
Some of the Buddha’s followers had harassed a monk because he was short. When the Buddha heard that the monk showed no resentment, he noted that the monk had remained unmoved in praise and blame, like a rock.
In another discourse, the Buddha said that there will always be praise and blame in this world, so I interpret the rock metaphor to mean that what matters to our well-being is our response to praise and blame when they’re aimed at us. Will we be thrown about by the wind they create, or will we be still and know they are not what matter to our peace and well-being in this life?
7. I will develop and cultivate my mind.
The Buddha said, “Just as, of all trees, the balsam is the most soft and pliant, in the same way, I don’t envision a single thing that, when developed and cultivated, is as soft and pliant as the mind.” This is great news! It means that even when we can’t alleviate our physical suffering, we can develop and cultivate our minds to alleviate mental suffering.
Neuroscientists often refer to the brain’s plasticity. This is the same thing the Buddha meant by “soft and plaint.” Because the mind is so amazingly pliant, we can learn not to feed negative thoughts and emotions so that they don’t grow strong and turn into speech or action that might harm ourselves or others. We can also learn to cultivate gentle and healing thoughts and emotions, such as compassion and kindness.
As human beings, we have the unique ability to develop and cultivate our minds. I, for one, resolve in the new year not to squander this precious opportunity.”
© 2011 Toni Bernhard.
I’m the author of the How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers, winner of the 2011 Gold Nautilus Book Award in Self-Help/Psychology. Website: www.howtobesick.com
I met this little guy called Asher.
He has a beautiful smile and a lot of life in his eyes.
For his birthday, his mom asked to bring only nature gifts or something handmade.
I had found this pattern for a gnome hat, which I will be sharing with you at the end of this post, and I thought would suit perfectly the occasion.
When I finished knitting it, I thought of Merlin and added a star; found a “magic” wand and added a string to helping carrying it.
I guess we got a wizard among us!
Here is the pattern:
US 13 straight needles
Cast on 50 sts.
rows 1-16 Begining with a knit row, work in stck st.
Row 17: (dec row), *k8, k2tog; repeat from * across. 45 sts.
Row 18-20: begin with a purl row, work in stck st.
Row 21 (dec row): “k7 sts, k2tog repeat from * across. 40 sts.
Rows 22-24: begin with a purl row work in stck st.
Rows 25 (dec. row): *k6, k2tog; repeat from * across. 35 sts.
Row 26-28: begin with a purl row, work in stck st.
Row 29: (dec. row): *k5, k2tog; repeat from * across. 30 sts.
Rows 30-32: begin with a purl row, work in stck st.
Row 33: (dec. row): *k4, k2tog; repeat from * across. 25 sts.
Row 34-36: begin with a purl row, work in stck st.
Row 37: (dec. row): *k3, k2tog; repeat from * across. 20 sts.
Rows 38-40: begin with a purl row, work in stck st.
Row 41:(dec. row): *k2, k2tog; repeat from * across. 15 sts.
Rows 42-44: begin with a purl row, work in stck st.
Row 45: *k1, k2tog; repeat from * across. 10 sts.
next row: purl
Last row: (dec row) k2tog across 5sts.
Cut roving leaving a long end for seaming. Twist roving tightly. Tread yarn needle with end and weave through remaining sts. gathering tightly to close. With same end, weave side edges together to form a cone.
“Poor thing,” said papa, “you shall come inside till morning.”
Hahaha, I have to be dreaming, right?!
So I was, the day my friend Traci, came by my parked car and asked me to hold this little blanket bundle. She passed it to me before I could even blink and there was, little Giorgia.
A dorkie (cross between dachshund with Yorkshire), so small that could fit inside a tea cup! Really!
My heart sunk and even more when Traci told me that she was suffering because she was the runt of the litter and the other 8 siblings have been bulling her day and night.
I asked her if we could take Giorgia for a sleep over so she could have a break but I said that we could not compromise on keeping the dog for too long. Traci agreed with me, but gave me a mischievous smile!
|Giorgia Belle – 12 weeks old|
Kids got all excited with the play date and the weekend passed very fast. Giorgia ate and slept so well that by Monday, when we met Traci again, she had already gained some weight.
I never had a dog of my own, before.
I had no clue on how to take care of them.
I found myself searching on the Internet and browsing on the local library for all the resources I could get my hands on…
After the weekend, we were settled. Giorgia Belle stole our hearts and we could not imagine not having her beside us, everyday.
A few days later, we found out she had a heart murmur.
We cannot guarantee she will live as long as a healthy dog, but we are willing to love her everyday she lives.
Giorgia makes us laugh, play, run and love. Her licks and barks make our hearts happy!
Giorgia is now, 16 weeks old, she is as big as my husband’s shoes (size13). Still little but adorable!
How many times, in our lives, we asked for another chance or another option?
And how many times, we actually have the choice and simply don’t see it!
On the same thought as my previous post, Little Wishes, I would like to share with you a story, where a light came through an open door and I chose to follow it.
In 2001, I had just broken up with a boyfriend. It was a very long relationship with a lot of “ups and downs” and very little light at the end of the tunnel. One of these things, we find hard to let go because there is always a little voice inside that tells you not to give up. (I have to tune this little voice, it can really slow me down, big time!)
Anyway, long story short, I was in totally disbelief of human relationships, I had with it, I was surrounded by failure. I had a very heavy weight on my back and really needed some guidance.
One day, I was walking down a book store aisle and explaining to my mother how frustraded I was, when I said:
– “I just want a sign! I just want to know, where I should go!”
At that moment, believe or not, a book fell of the shelf right in front of me. Think whatever you want, either someone forgot to set it properly on the shelf or someone, up there, was really listening to me.
Normally, I would automatically stop and put back on the shelf but, this time, I stopped and looked at the cover.
Seconds went by, until I recollected my dialog with my mother and turned the cover facing to her:
Canada! A Tourism Guide
Then I knew, that was my sign!
That little voice inside me was quiet. It was the quietest moment in my life. It was like opening a book with blank pages, nothing there, just possibilities.
I didn’t speak English very well, but always wanted to learn it.
I had no kids and no boyfriends holding me back.
I had a professional life, but I was in the middle of contract that would allow me to do it at long distance.
I had so many questions, I didn’t even know how to start my search.
That night, I went through the whole tourism guide, made notes and started an intensive overnight search on the web for English courses in Canada.
Funny the way the universe allies to your plans when it is meant to be.
In less than two weeks, I had bought my flight tickets, found a school, a rental room in Toronto and I was ready to depart to my new journey when I decided to try to find a local guide to help me there.
I dropped I note in a matching couples website saying that I was arriving in Canada on June 15, 2001 and would love to make new friends.
A very charming man answered my call and said I was his birthday gift because I was arriving on his birthday!
Wow, what a line, hey?!
“Tall, handsome, loves brazilian music and plays washboard in a Zydeco band.”
I could not resist, I had to meet him.
We met, we matched, we loved, we laughed, we sighed, we stayed, we went, we made, we visit, we played, we traveled and we got
Six months after meeting me in Toronto, Mr. Sugar proposed and we had the best wedding party ever in Kingston, Ontario, where we live now, with our daughter Julia, our son Dante and our dog Giorgia Belle.
So, looking back, all it took was an open door and the courage to across it, for a life that I always wanted!
My wish for the next year is, to wake up every morning aware the existence of these little signs that are every where in our daily lives, which I just have to tune in and start watching and listening!
Happy New Life!
Lots of love!
ps- Sorry for any English/grammar mistakes, I am still learning!
Today, I woke up thinking on what I really would like from Santa for Christmas.
I have a beautiful family, we are all healthy and we love each other very much.
I have awesome friends and I am constantly adding new ones to my list. So as a very special friend, Wanda, used to say: “We can never have enough friends!”
I guess I have it all but one little wish –
HEART & VISION – that help me to see only the beautiful side of things and people.
DIRECTION – The path is the biggest school, so I wish that where ever I go, It would be okay!
PERCEPTION – that help me read underneath the obstacles of my life so I can cross them out of my Karma list.
MEMORY – So I will never forget how I got there.
GRATITUDE – for everyday matters,
because LIFE is passing way too fast and I got to learn how to JUST BE!
Little Jack Frost
Bit my nose,
LIttle Jack Frost
Bit my toes,
Then I ran into the house,
Shut the door
And Little Jack Frost wouldn’t nip me any more!
To all of you who loves winter as much as I do!
It is time to plan your next year, to be blessed for all you got,
to stay in your cocoon and enjoy the little bites that winter brings.
I usually save big part of my reading list for this time of the year.
I find hard to get focus on reading during summer time, too much going on…
So get cozy, under your beautiful quilts and relax!
Ops! I forgot, x-mas is coming, okay, relax after x-mas!
Well, my friends.
It has been almost a month since I wrote you last.
The family has been well and healthy, thank goodness.
I guess it is just one of these life cycles, when cosmos decides to play tricks on you and make you re-evaluate certain aspects of your existence.
I know, I sound very down blue. But I am not.
I actually am happy for all of what has been happening and while things don’t settle down, I bake!
For those who don’t know yet, I lost 15 pounds! Yeah!!!
I joined my Naturopath, Jillian Murphy, on this special diet – Primal Diet.
I have not touched any bread, carbs (the bad ones) or grains for almost 2 months.
I still have 10 pounds to lose before Christmas, so I will treat myself with a bit of turkey stuffing.
I feel very energetic, and healthy. Pounds come out of you fast on the beginning, but they keep decreasing slowly after awhile.
So, adding to a lot of things that have been happening, I diet and bake.
Yeah! I have been using almond flour instead of wheat and it tastes delicious and my diet permits these treats once and awhile.
Lately, I have been collecting books about cake decorating and my kids, as I said on previous post, love helping me.
So, when things get busy in your life. Grab a recipe book, bake something yummy!
Have a great week
Lots of love
Yes! We did it!
I thought that cake decor was a big deal. It is not! It is actually fun and easy.
I just found this recipe that makes fondant out of marshmallows.
Microwave and lots of sugar and color.
It is like modeling with play dough. Lots of fun!
The kids had a blast and me too.