Friday, January 31, 2014


Here we are at the segue from the calendar New Year to the Lunar New Year…the last day of the first month, yet at the same time, the first day of celebrating Chinese New Year and the arrival of the Year of the Horse.  Gung Hay Fat Choy!

A simple, small collage I quickly assembled today to display with our bowl of "good luck" tangerines.  The horse was made from a recycled "lycee," a decorative red envelope in which lucky money is given along with a horse image from the sticker border of a Lunar New Year postage sheet.
Resolutions and goals for both versions of the New Year have been on my mind.  In years past, I’ve contemplated resolutions and attempted to follow through on them, but they’ve often been too grandiose to accomplish or too vague or broad for measurable success.  I’ve only managed to achieve resolutions in bits and pieces.  I suppose it’s actually this “bits and pieces” approach that seems to work best, taking one step at a time.  Creating focus with a vision board, mind map or art journal have also contributed to better success with my intentions for growth and improvement whether it’s for the New Year or any time.  We can always start anew on any day of the year!

For 2014 (or 4712, depending on how you look at it!), I’m still considering which tangible resolutions and goals will be my focus, but I’ve already adopted an overall mantra for this year.  My dear friend Tina of Tickled Pink Woman assigns herself a yearly mantra, a short statement she embodies for the year, and she inspired me to take a fresh approach to this year’s resolutions with my own mantra.  I settled on a single word which surfaced earlier this month and has remained steadfast in my thoughts – flourish.  Flourish – grow or develop well, thrive, be successful.  I’m focusing on “flourish” to characterize my personal and professional creative work, my health and energy, both physical and emotional, and my relationships with family and friends.  As these areas of my life flourish, I'm sure my heart and soul will flourish, too. 

Ever since this word entered my awareness, it’s been popping up almost daily, and I’m pleasantly surprised and grateful to be reaping benefits from this simple, yet powerful little mantra.  This focused intention seems to be stirring up a surprising amount of positive energy.  For instance, my Plumeria Papercraft business is enjoying much activity during what has typically been a sluggish month.  (Now, if only my physical energy can begin to flourish!  As I’ve shared in a previous post, I still suffer from fatigue, so when the pace of my real life picks up speed, I am unable to multi-task or juggle very well, and blog writing, among other things, takes a temporary backseat.)   

As I’ll be sharing in upcoming posts, this month I’ve been intent on finally making headway in cleaning, decluttering and reorganizing.  I used to consider myself organized several years back, but as I tried to balance motherhood with my former corporate job and its demands, then detoured through my cancer experience, my organizational systems derailed.  In recent years, I'd take a few steps forward, then several steps back as I attempted to rein in the chaos finding its way into every corner of our home.  Although I haven’t conquered the chaos in its entirety (will it ever be possible?!), I’m making significant progress, tackling one drawer, one shelf, one box, one basket, one unruly stack at a time.  This burst of “spring cleaning” feels liberating, and I sense that I am ultimately making room for energy to flow and opening up space for possibilities to flourish!

Meanwhile, I’m also envisioning my “flourish” mantra extending beyond myself and out to others, to all of you, even to my home state of California where our current record dry weather and drought conditions are a serious cause for concern.  I’ve been wishing for rain and yearning for the pitter patter of rain drops on our roof to provide the moisture essential for crops, gardens, natural habitats and our water sources to flourish. 

With our water woes, our yard and garden are looking somewhat neglected, but this morning, after yesterday's brief, but very welcome showers, I found the flourish of a few sweet blossoms, a small ripe strawberry and our "beloved" broccoli from Bobcat Garden.)



May you flourish in many ways!   


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rewards For Patience

Patience.  In our fast-paced society with its immediacy of technology, convenient goods and services, express lanes and on-the-go lifestyles, patience has become a less common practice.  To live a simpler, more mindful, peaceful existence, we need patience which indeed takes practice.
Patience was definitely not a virtue within the corporate environment in which I used to work, but now that I’m finding my way in the small business realm, I’ve discovered how vital patience is to an entrepreneur’s mindset.  Patience contributes to building confidence and reinforcing commitment.  I’m chugging along like the “little engine that could,” and slowly, but surely making progress on the uphill track toward a fuller realization of my creative dreams.  As I practice more patience, I am rewarded with greater optimism for accomplishing my goals, one section of the track at a time. 

Plumeria Papercraft launched a couple years ago with a handful of notecards listed for sale on Etsy.  With the arrival of this New Year, I’m still on Etsy, although admittedly, making only an occasional online sale.  My work, however, is now enjoying exciting expansion on local avenues.  My cards and tags are selling well in local establishments, and I’m filling custom orders for individual and business clients.  I’ve also become a collage, papercraft and cardmaking instructor for both adults and children, and later this year, I’ll be trained as a SoulCollage® facilitator.  When viewed from my old corporate perspective, I would have judged myself as only a tiny blip on the success radar, but as I practice patience and strive for a new and positive outlook, I can see a meaningful, fulfilling, successful vista ahead.

Rewards for patience also emerge on a smaller scale, and recently, I’ve noticed little reminders in our garden, a spot which offers a constant source of inspiration and insight.  Last summer, I described a blissful day in our daughter’s school’s garden and later, I shared how we planted seeds from Bobcat Garden here at home.  This month, the first yellow calendula bloomed and the first broccoli spear was harvested from plants which originated from those seeds.  Simple, delightful rewards for patience.  Reminders to remain patient and steadfast in cultivating and nurturing dreams.

How are you rewarded by patience in your life?  What are you patiently anticipating?   







Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Magical And Spectacular New Year's Wish

Experiencing the king tide at Seaside Beach - 1/2/14

Magical and spectacular!  May 2014 be filled with magical and spectacular experiences for each of us!  Finally, two weeks into this New Year, a moment to write and express this wish.

I’m actually borrowing these two superlatives from my daughter who has been incorporating them into her notes of holiday thanks and New Year greetings to family and friends.  At first, I found her choice of words to be very sweet, but then considered how they could offer truly meaningful and exciting potential if envisioned as reality.  Magical and spectacular often describe moments of grandeur, but they can also define the more subtle moments of grace, beauty and joy in our everyday lives, moments that fill our hearts and fuel our souls, magically and spectacularly!

We were awarded magical moments during recent family walks along the beach in the past couple weeks, including a spectacular king tide, sunset dolphin sightings and dramatic waves…