Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Gratitude, More Balance

Some moments of frustration and moodiness have plagued me this week, so I’ve been trying to balance those moments by shifting my thoughts from what’s bothering me to what fills me with gratitude.  My mind has settled on thinking about thankfulness for people in my life, and I’m finding some balance in this way.  Although there is much beyond our control, if we draw upon our inner power, we can control our perspective, outlook, mindset, our actions and reactions, and in doing so, gain strength and achieve balance.  Gratitude is definitely a powerful tool.
Earlier this week, I voiced heartfelt thanks to my parents, and today I’m feeling compelled to express gratitude for my family here at home and for other family members and friends who have been sources of inspiration and encouragement.  I’ve encountered my share of challenging personalities as we all do, but I’m choosing to avoid this type of toxicity and instead focus on positive, uplifting, supportive, caring and loving relationships that boost my energy and spirit, hoping I can provide positive boosts in return.
To my husband…my love and gratitude for believing in the “new me” as I explore a more creative and mindful life, for encouraging and supporting my recent endeavors, for your confidence that our finances will work out okay as I strive to build my small business.  Thank you for your patience now that you are coexisting daily with paper scraps!
To our daughter…my love and thanks for believing that her mommy can create anything (I remind you that this isn’t true, but I appreciate your confidence in me), for your enthusiasm about my designs, for your “good eye” when I solicit your advice about colors or patterns, for inspiring me with your own imagination and creativity.  I adore the delightful art you create and share with me!
I am grateful for my artistic auntie who inspired me as a child and continues to inspire me now and my fond childhood memories of art projects at my uncle and auntie’s home during holiday family gatherings.
I’m thankful for many wonderful family members and friends who are inspirations and true blessings and for their positive support and feedback as I journey along this new creative, contemplative path. 
I am also grateful for the many handcrafted treasures and thoughtful gifts from family and friends that grace our home.  Just as I love being surrounded by souvenirs from the sea, I also love being surrounded by tangible reminders of these special people.  Cozy sweaters, blankets and quilts, pretty linens, beautiful decorative and functional pottery (including our everyday dishes made by a talented college friend…a peek of one of his bowls was in my Soup Of The Day photo), photographs, prints and paintings, handmade jewelry and notecards (a personal favorite, of course!)  Here are just a few examples of these cherished treasures..

My hubbie made this candleholder for me many years ago
with raffia & found pieces of stone & driftwood.

I love the textured quality of this platter made by my auntie.
(For those of you who know me well, no, I haven't started eating bananas...that one's for Melia!)

A lovely lupine stem captured by a dear friend & her camera.

A pretty sea-themed quilt made for Melia by another dear friend.

A "slice" from one of my bulletin boards here in my office includes
a print from an artist friend (top center),
a collaged flower from another artist friend (between the mermaids) 
and a favorite painting by our daughter when she was a toddler (below Georgia O'Keeffe's poppies)
with leaves, grasses & fruit from our garden used as "paintbrushes."

May you seek your own positive balance with gratitude for those dear to you.