I come from a country, Brazil, where New Year’s eve celebration is almost sacred.
I grew up planning and hoping for a great New Year’s party because that would reflect on how great the following year would be. Everything was important, the people I hang out with, the clothes I wore for the night, the way I showered, the food I ate…
So much energy spend in only one night. The first of January would come, the sun would rise the same and I was the same.
Today, after living in Canada for 13 years, I understand that my New Year magic is everyday!
It is based on the way I talked to people, the way I interact with the world, the way I love and the way I give thanks.
Gratitude is the key work for every magic you want to place in your life!
Gratitude brings joy to your everyday little activities, to little smiles, gestures, surprises.
It fills your heart with so much love that spreads around and joy is all what surrounds you.
An artist friend, Tracy Olan, has a beautiful description of these little moments:
“Some moments are for fine tuning your groove, so you can live the life you signed up for. Some moments are for treasuring the ground you stand on, just grateful to be getting another chance to get it right and be near the ones you hold in your heart.”
So all I wish you for this coming year is be perceptive of these little miracles, be grateful for life and change will come!
Thank you all who brought so much magic into my life!
|“Night Bloom” – mixed media on canvas|
We all have heard a few of them.
We all want to follow every single word said.
I think the life mottos, the best ones, can be found inside us, in every day little act of kindness.
But still, it doesn’t harm listening to a few good words that can help unveiling these little treasures.
Here is my favorite:
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.
WILLIAM HENRY CHANNING.
|Kost Garden – by Babi Sugarman|
We (Mr. Sugar and I) are part of this awesome show along with other great photographers and textile artists!
I would love you to come and check it out!
It is a great opportunity to get together!
Wow, it is finally here!
Kids are out of school, the air is filled with the expectation for all the activities.
I woke up at 4 am. I just love waking up early, but 4 am is a little bit too early!
I guess I just had to say good morning to the sunrise, meet with the flowers in the yard, have my coffee with my Morning Pages and start two more paintings.
It feels good working when the house is quiet.
I also discovered a new song I like – Ho Hey by The Lumineers.
My husband, the music man, thinks there is nothing to it, but still, I like it! It made me twirl and dance at 4 am!
What are your plans for the summer?!
What makes you twirl?!
Somewhere in the world is exactly where I was for the past week.
My mom lives there – Barra de Sao Joao – RJ
Internet signal is very poor, so I got delayed on messages and posts.
It is a fisherman village with very little to offer, but the ocean is right in front of her door. Virgin beauty, just wondering for how long would stay like that! Kilometers of waterfront with nobody around!
We had a great time, kids got to enjoy their grandmother outside of wedding party’s madness.
By the way, the wedding was gorgeous! My brother was extremely happy and the bride was a real princess. Pretty, elegant, charming and lovely.
My camera battery died a few minutes before the party started, for my frustration, I wasn’t able to photo document it!
Well, I guess I will keep all the beauty for myself. Be jealous!
this is my first showing and I am very excited and honored to be invited to be part of this beautiful group of artists.
Tracy Olan’s work is dreamy and you will be delighted with her encaustic and fiber pieces.
Annette Willis has her hands on collages, stunning quilts and other fabric creations.
I am coming along, with layered mixed media pieces, representing my 10th wedding anniversary and a few photo creations.
I hope to see you there!
Sunday, April 29th. 2012.
Mowat Ave, Portsmouth Village
10 am to 4 pm
I guess that explains why I’ve been so away from my blog lately!
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
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!
Wow, it has been almost eight days since I had the pleasure of sitting and writing to you.
Last week was totally crazy.
Mr. Gorgeous turned 50!
Of course, all the duties came to the awesome wife here, so we got a few friends together and had a blast.
Meanwhile, I took some pictures and the following ones are from a friend’s studio – KIM SNYDER STUDIO.
There are more to come, but I really like these ones.
Sunday morning was very cold, but nonetheless, I woke up early and got ready for my day.
I had a coffee and left the house at 8 am.
Where I went?
Yard sale hunt! I specifically wanted to go back to Harrowsmith, where I found this hidden house with very interesting stuff, but a lot of the tables for the yard sale were covered with a tarp because Saturday was a rainy day, so I decided check out on Sunday to see what was hidden underneath!
As I arrived, the owner told me to grab a card box and fill with as many things I could and pay only 5 dollars for it!
What a bargain! This is what I gathered.
set the table beautifully
and placed a special gift she made for her Nana.
My love made me awesome crab legs with garlic bread (isn’t he gorgeous?!)
and my little boy gave me lots of “huggys and kisses” (mini gorgeous)!
I couldn’t ask for anything more!
Eat, that is what makes me move!
I was never a kitchen person.
I grew up having lots of people cooking for me and just the idea of reading any recipe book would instantly give me headaches.
I always found ingredients and how-to’s very complicated.
When the recipe called for “put aside” kind of stuff, I would just close the book.
That’s it! I will have to find someone to make that recipe for me.
And I used to find good friends who would even bake an awesome cake for me so I could entertain my boy friends and take the credits for it! Yes, I know, terrible but I did it!
Anyway, moving to Canada brought a lot of good things to my life and one of them was learning with my husband and mother-in-law that being in the kitchen and cooking could be fun too.
I am still in high-school stages on this journey, but certainly don’t get scared with recipe words anymore.
My latest kick is introducing dried food to my diet.
I bought a food dehydrator and the kids and I have been having a lot of fun cutting apples, bananas and other “experiments”.
They look gorgeous after dried and inside of a beautiful glass jar is an awesome addition to the kitchen shelf.
The other day I read an article in a magazine which brought up the question: What inspires you?
This article provided beautiful pictures and poems and opened the door to my imagination.
So what inspires ME?
I love the smell of flowers, home made bread, a kids smile, a baby’s first cry, the sunshine, a cup of tea, a good book, sitting by the lake, chatting with friends, contemplating life…
Anyways, life inspires me in general, but anything as close as possible to simplicity brings warmth to my heart.
Lately, I have decided to brighten up my living space. Less conflicting colors, less clutter, less things in my way, more simplicity!
My kitchen has been my first project and so far I am very proud of it. It is plain, clean and simple!
Here are some of the pictures.
Enjoy and be inspired!
I finally got it!
When we bought the house we are in, my biggest wish was to transform the garden disaster that the previous owner left behind, into something more inviting and productive at the same time.
I’ve wasted hundreds of hours trying to grow food there over the years, but the weeds were so aggressive and indestructible, that I would have to give up the fight by the middle of the summer. I was totally frustrated.
After doing some research we knew that we would have to retire the existing garden and start again with new soil, but we also had to ensure that the weeds would not return. Finally, on Saturday, my awesome husband decided that we could find a better solution to our problems.
Raised beds – so simple and very easy to make.
It took us a morning to put the wood (all natural cedar) together and the rest of the day to fill the beds with high quality top soil.
I can’t wait to start planting, hopefully this warm weather keeps up. Here are some before and after shots of our hard work.
This journey starts with a few obstacles and bumps, but with a very good spirit!