Wednesday 30 September 2009

monday's photo-a-week & artist's way week six check-in


i really don't have a lot to offer this week, sorry. the dust storm played havoc with my health and i ended up battling a severe dose of blocked sinuses which had me feeling pretty much miserable all week. the only highlight was when the kids and i went out to a family dinner in celebration of reece's 21st birthday on sunday night. i didn't even get pics.

i snapped the picture below at aaron's school this morning -

australian bottlebrush tree
click on image to enlarge



this week was all about recovering a sense of abundance. i have to admit that, due to being out of sorts with my sinuses, i found it diffucult to put my all into this chapter and subsequent tasks. i didn't do them all but i did try.

i have my postcard ready to post.
i found five rocks which act as reminders of my creative consciousness....i have placed them in a small pouch to carry with me.

julia also asks what gives us true joy? the answer is different for everyone and it can be the littlest of things, such as, enjoying a bowl of raspberries which was an example given by julia. i think, for me, it would be spending time with my kids, a trip to the beach, or listening to a variety of music while i am painting.


did i do my morning pages each day? yes, though my heart wasn't really in it because of feeling so miserable.

did i go on an artist date? no. i have found that artist dates have been my biggest hurdle each time i have done this course. is this saying that i'm not letting my inner artist explore and have fun?

any synchronicity? i wish.

any other issues significant to my recovery? i don't think so.

hopefully, i will have more to offer in week seven

love, light and peace

Saturday 26 September 2009

the joy diet - week one - do nothing

photo courtesy of jamie ridler

for the first week in the joy diet by martha beck we were asked to 'do nothing' for fifteen minutes each day. that's right....nothing! not an easy thing to do in today's fast-paced world but, yes, i can handle that. i sure NEED it! in fact, i did get into a habit of daily meditation in november of last year but, in recent months, i had let it lapse. now, it has jumped right back into my lap again. i have meditated each morning for the past week and found it to be a very satisfying and meaningful experience. i hope to make it a permanent habit as i truly believe there are many benefits to meditating each day. care to join me?

pop on over to this link if you are interested in reading what other joy dieters had to say about doing nothing.

love, light and peace

Thursday 24 September 2009

dust storm....the artist's way - week five & check in

yesterday, we had an incredible dust storm, something of which i've never seen here in south east queensland for as long as i can remember. the news said it hasn't happened in forty five years. even as we breathed we could feel the dust being inhaled so it wasn't a surprise that i woke up this morning feeling quite congested in my chest and had to use my preventer inhaler. i'm not a chronic asthmatic but i am prone to an asthmatic chest/cough under certain conditions. today everything, including the cars, is covered in a film of red dust which is basically made up of iron ore. mother nature graciously brought it to us on the gusty westerly winds all the way from the northern territory which is pretty much desert country. anywhoo, there will be a big clean-up this coming weekend when the local councils will lift water bans to allow residents to wash cars and clean down their homes etc.

the view from my front entrance around midday yesterday
click on image to enlarge



recovering a sense of possibility

i actually found this week quite easy as julia speaks of the power of the universe and having faith and trust that the universe will find the quickest and best route to answer our dreams if we would only allow it to happen.

being a devotee of the abraham-hicks teachings, i believe wholeheartedly that we create our own reality. yes, a lot of times we will question the negative things happening around us not realising that, by placing focus on those negative areas, we only draw more of the same into our reality. things go wrong and, because they are not as we would want them to be, we say the universe does not provide and it's just a load of crap. we don't realise that those negative happenings are usually due to resistance we have had in some form or another and negative thoughts then block our dream path and only serve to attract more negative situations into our life.

the universe is all about law of attraction and it doesn't distinguish between negative or positive thoughts. what we think about, we bring about. if we think negative, we will definitely get more of the same and likewise for positive thinking....hence the reason that we often find positives starting to occur in our lives when, suddenly, something negative will arise. it's not easy to create a prosperous life by remaining fully focused on the positive aspects. we are only human after all and we often beat the drum of NOT having the prosperous and happpy life we so deeply wish for....but in beating that negative drum we are actually keeping our reality in the 'lack of' mode. i'll be the first to say that it sure takes a lot of faith and trust to just leave it all up to the universe to provide. it's very hard to avoid any negative thoughts when we have been conditioned by society to think in a certain way and it requires re-programming our mind-set. the more we focus on the positive by reaching for better feeling thoughts when faced with negative circumstances, the more we will start to see positive situations coming into our lives.

eckhart tolle speaks of the power of each 'now' moment in a positive way. i believe this is a great method to keep our mind from focusing on negatives, either from our past or from worrying about what might happen. it's not always easy but we have the power to re-condition our thinking. we just have to put the request out there and leave it up to the universe to find the shortest and easiest route and then pay heed to the opportunities that the universe throws our way. so often, we are blinded to those opportunities because we are so set that it must happen in the way we expect rather than accepting that the universe knows better.

i must say that i'm not really sure what answering julia cameron's tasks will really achieve but i am holding faith that julia has her reasons. i guess, if anything, her questions do help to either generate some enthusiasm for the possibilities or the answers help us to see where our past or current creative blocks are. as i have done this course twice before, i looked back on my previous answers to some of the tasks, particularly those which related to my future hopes and my surprise, about 40% of them did become a reality for me.

a couple of my answered tasks for week five-

if i were twenty and had money i would.....

  1. help animals

  2. travel frequently

  3. go on a trek

  4. photograph animals in the wild

  5. be a prolific artist

if i were sixty-five and had money i would....

  1. own my own home near the sea

  2. own and run a craft/spiritual retreat

  3. go on pleasure drives frequently

  4. travel around australia in a campervan

  5. be an accomplished artist


did i do my morning pages each day? Yes. i LOVE my morning pages!
did i go on an artist date this week? NO! another crazy week filled up with other issues so no time for my artist date. self-sabotage?????
any synchronicity? i don't think so....if there was, i was blind to it.
any issues significant to my recovery? not really though i'm very much aware that i need to get into a routine of creativity.


today, i would like to give some blog love to james oh. his blog uplifts me every time i visit it and, in this link, james shares some ideas on how to cope with getting older. his post was just what i needed to read today. thanks, james ~

love, light and peace

Wednesday 23 September 2009

21 today!

i can hardly believe it's been 21 years since i gave birth to you and what an adorable baby you were!

here you are at around ten months old a little bit hesitant about that pool of water nearby.

around eight years old - you went through a phase of wanting your hair long, hence the mullet. from an early age, you loved anything to do with martial arts and the military so it wasn't a surprise that you became a bruce lee fan later on and still have your sights set on joining the special forces.

around ten years of age. your face always lit up when you smiled.

your graduation formal dance in 2005. how smart and dashing you looked in that top hat and tails....i was so proud of you!

dressed up as wolverine in 2007. you LOVE to have fun and i so admire the way you live your life to the fullest, enjoying each moment as it comes. there's never a dull moment with you around.

Christmas Day 2008

January 2009 - what can i say. you studied personal fitness at TAFE and your health and fitness have become a huge part of your life ever since. you certainly enjoy all the attention those muscles bring you too. lol

reece, i am so proud of the mature and balanced young man you have become. thank you for the special moments we have shared, watching movies together, the endless discussions on quantum theory, the secret, and our shared interest in conspiracy theories. my wish for you is that all your dreams come true and that you live a joyful, long, and healthy life.

love mum xo

Tuesday 22 September 2009


i wish i had better feeling photos to show you all today but, unfortunately, it's not the case. unbeknowns to us, we have been under attack from....TERMITES!!! we discovered their nest in the garage when i went to do some reorganising today and i totally freaked out! we use the garage for yard and household storage plus it also serves as my art room. the property manager has been notified and they are getting onto the home owner to seek approval to have the nest removed and any damage repaired. my concern is to what extent the damage will be as i've heard these little buggers can move through a house very fast. i guess i should take some of my own advice and not worry too much about it until we know for sure. there have been regular termite inspections, the last one being only two months ago so, hopefully, we've caught it early. i'm trying to stay positive. please wish us luck.

on top of that, my poor lavender plants that i bought last week are not looking too well at all. i think i may have had them in too shady an area as i've read that they love full sun. they have lost all their lovely, bright petals and seem to be wilting and drying out. yes, i have watered them though i'm sure the problem is due to lack of full sun. i have moved them to the very end of our front entrance where they will get more sun so, hopefully, they will recover.

i hope my next post will have better news to share

love, light and peace

Saturday 19 September 2009

THE JOY DIET - welcome

photo courtesy of jamie ridler

i think i am seriously becoming a book club addict

today, launches the first week of the joy diet book club which is being hosted by the lovely jamie ridler. at the beginning of the year, i chose the word 'joy' as my word for 2009 so it seems only fitting that i participate in reading a book about living in joy, right? i am so excited to be adding the joy diet by martha beck to my journey and i look forward to sharing my weekly findings here each friday on my blog. i'm also looking forward to sharing this journey with other joy seekers so, if you are interested in going on this joy diet too, just click the picture at the beginning of this post.

stay tuned.....

Wednesday 16 September 2009

the artist's way - week four - check in


the drama, stress, and pain over the past week (see previous post) was actually well timed because it all effectively stopped me from reading blogs or books all week.....and week four was where julia cameron asked that we deprive ourselves of reading for the week. the reasoning behind 'reading deprivation' is that it gives us a vacant space to fill. suddenly we start taking more notice of the voice within and our own art and creativity start to break through. julia states that some artists find this to be a frightening and emotional stage though i have to say i have never felt that at this stage of the book. in the past i have found this stage to be quite enlightening as, instead of reading, i have found myself playing in my studio more. this time around was a little different though as i didn't have time on my hands to read and the 'space' was filled with stressful situations, not playful ones. though, there were good moments too, i guess.

snippets from my artist's way week -

five hobbies i think would be fun to do
  1. sculpting

  2. photography

  3. making jewellery

  4. origami

  5. gemcutter - someone who cuts and polishes gemstones

how has your artists way journey been this week - week 4? it's been a whirlwind of drama and stress which were unrelated to my art or creative journey.

did you write about your self when you are 80 years old? i wrote about myself at 80 and also at the age of 8. we were asked to write a letter from our 80 year old self to ourselves in the here and now. we were asked to do the same from our 8 year old self. i quite enjoyed this task.

did you complete any of the set tasks at the end of the chapter? i did most of the tasks in this chapter apart from writing my own artist's prayer and extending an artist date.

if so, would you like to share or discuss? one of the tasks was to open my wardrobe and dispose of one low-self-worth outfit. i removed all the jeans and clothes that make me feel uncomfortable and, already today, i bought a few better feeling clothes to replace them. i feel so much better within myself already!

how are the morning pages going? i am happy to report that i completed my morning pages each morning despite the aches and pains. i was feeling drained and tired on a few mornings so i kinda rushed through the pages without any thought.....they will make an interesting read later in the course but, for now, we are not allowed to read over what we have written. once again, i wrote three affirmations out, five times each, at the end of each morning pages and i truly feel like these helped to keep me more focused.

did you 'give up' reading at all? yes, surprisingly! though, as mentioned above, i was very busy dealing with other stuff so didn't get any time to read anyways.

did i go on my artist's date? sort of.....i went to buy new lavender plants for my front entrance and i found this to be a very pleasant experience. i've always enjoyed browsing through plant nurseries and it certainly helped me de-stress from the run-in with michelle's crazy property manager.

on to WEEK FIVE....

love, light and peace

Tuesday 15 September 2009


i have basically been away from the net for nearly a week now.....can you believe it?!!!

if you have been reading michelle's blog you will already know about the stressful week she has had and i also ended up with migraines two days in a row because of stress and run-ins with michelle's new property manager. firstly, i was not going to tolerate this woman speaking to my daughter in such a rude and condescending manner and i told her so. her response was simply to tell me that i was an idiot (which she later denied) and hung up on me twice! i did not yell at her once but i guess she wasn't used to having someone pull her up about her attitude. in all the twenty years i have been renting, i have never come across such a rude and unprofessional property manager. the problem all started when the property manager was annoyed because michelle fulfilled her obligation as a new tenant and notified her of three quite serious problems in the townhouse that needed immediate attention. the woman's negative behaviour was unbelievable and she basically called michelle a liar. thankfully, a tradesman (plumber) was able to confirm that there was indeed a leak and quite a severe one at that. i doubt an apology from the woman will be forthcoming. i feel so bad for michelle because she was so excited and looking forward to this move only to have this horrible person spoil it for her. anyways, we ended up getting onto the residential tenancies authority and they were equally appalled by her treatment of michelle. we followed their advice and let michelle's property manager know, in writing, that she had better treat my daughter with respect from this point on and that if there are any more grievances, a representative from the RTA will be called in. michelle has not heard from her since. oh, and michelle and alex will be reporting her to the head office of the real estate company as advised by the RTA. i think this woman has managed to get away with treating tenants like second class citizens for far too long. hopefully, michelle and alex will be able to enjoy the rest of their tenancy in peace.

i helped michelle and alex clean their old apartment on sunday and ended up with chemical burns to the top parts of all the fingers on my right hand. OUCH! all thanks to some diluted oven cleaner finding its way into the rubber glove i was wearing. it hurts to type but i'm trying to type through the pain.....albeit very softly and slowly.



after all the drama this week, i did do something to try and de-stress. on saturday, i took myself off to bunnings and bought a couple of lavender plants to pot and place outside the front entrance to our home.

and today, i noticed they are already attracting the bees. this little guy and i played a game of cat and mouse (i was the mouse) when i tried to take close-ups. i'd snap a pic then make a hasty exit as he came racing after me. we repeated the process a few more times when i decided i didn't want to run the risk of a bee-sting on top of all the other aches and pains i've had over the past two weeks.

this one is worth clicking on for a larger view

spring is definitely here. aaron's cactus is starting to flower.

i can't wait to start reading my regular blogs over the next couple of days. i've missed everyone sooooooo much and can't wait to see what you have been up to.

love, light and peace

Wednesday 9 September 2009

the artist's way - week three - check in


this week covered the topics of anger, synchronicity, shame, and dealing with criticism which all play important roles in recovering our sense of power.

anger is a red flag telling us that a situation needs our attention. it lets us know when a situation just isn't right.

synchronicity is a universal response to a prayer/thought/request and we need to be open to receiving it.

shame is a controlling device that often cripples us emotionally and creatively. we have the power to break free.

criticism, if given in a constructive way, can be very helpful to our creative growth. whereas, criticism aimed to belittle, ridicule or shame is very damaging. julia gave us some useful tools to handle both types. for the constructive criticism, we can take notes and use it as a guide for future endeavours. for the harmful criticism, we can write a letter to the critic and defend our work but not mail the letter or we can see the criticism for what it is, choose to ignore it, and just keep on creating.

we were given an exercise to help weed out areas of our past that may have caused creative blocks.

  1. my favourite childhood toy was my doll, bess.

  2. my favourite childhood game was playing phantom agents with my brothers and sisters.

  3. my favourite childhood movie was basically any movie that starred, shirley temple.

  4. i don't do it much but i enjoy sitting at the beach and taking in the magnificent view of the sea.

  5. if i could lighten up a little, i'd let myself go without makeup now and again.

  6. if it weren't too late, i'd be more active at marketing my art.

  7. my favourite musical instrument is the Native American flute.

  8. the amount of money i spend on treating myself to entertainment each month varies month to month. entertainment for me is going to the movies...easy pleased.

  9. if i weren't so stingy with my artist, i'd buy her a...... (to be honest, i don't think i'm stingy when it comes to my art. art supplies always win out over clothes, etc.)

  10. taking time out for myself is lying on my bed reading a good book.

  11. i'm afraid that if i start dreaming and those dreams come to fruition that i will be pushed outside of my comfort zone and fail.

  12. i secretly enjoy reading....... well, geez, how boring am i?! no secret reading here.

  13. if i had the perfect childhood i'd have grown up to be a woman brimming with self-confidence and a bubbly, fun personality.

  14. if it didn't sound so crazy, i'd make a......(i was stumped on this one)....told you i'm boring.

  15. my parents think artists are talented and creative. they are always singing my praises, bless their hearts.

  16. my source/god thinks artists are perfect just the way they are.

  17. what makes me feel weird about this recovery is that....(i don't really feel weird about it....anything that can open me up more creatively is something i get excited about).

  18. learning to trust myself is something i'm getting better at.

  19. my most cheer-me-up music is......funnily, i don't turn to music to cheer me up....usually i will watch some comedy movies/ watching the TV series, friends!

  20. my favourite way to dress is long, flowing dresses/skirts and camisole tops.


describe our childhood room
i can't remember my childhood room. for the life of me, i don't remember too much about my childhood at all. it's all quite vague in some areas but i answered where i could.

five traits i liked in myself as a child
loving, happy, giving, compassionate and imaginative

five favourite foods as a child
golden circle pineapple juice, fried rice, curry and rice, sausage rolls, jam and cream doughnuts.

five people i wish i had met but who are dead
princess diana, mahatma gandhi, joseph campbell, beatrix potter, sister teresa


morning pages - yes, i did my morning pages daily. no real breakthroughs there though i am enjoying writing out three affirmations, five times each, at the end of my morning pages.

artist date - nope! i'm afraid the week was way too busy with helping michelle and alex move house. mind you, michelle and i have been on a few outings together which involved buying some art supplies so maybe i can count that?

synchronicity - i don't think anything happened that would fit into this area though i've been so busy, i may not have noticed anyway.

issues - no issues for me this week. i've been pretty much on a high with my daughter, michelle, moving closer.

and that about sums up my artist's way week

to read more from other artist's way members you can click the picture link at the beginning of this post.

love, light and peace

Tuesday 8 September 2009

monday photo-a-week & more work on room canvas

hi everyone!

it's been crazy-busy here the past five days.

i did my earth healing full moon ritual on friday night. the stars were hidden behind a cover of clouds threatening to dump rain but the moon was visible for a little while until the clouds blocked it from view too. anywhoo, i meditated on healing the earth and said prayers for those who are ailing. i also asked that the rain stay away for michelle's big move which was to be the following morning.

a rainy saturday morning arrived but, by the time the boys and i arrived over at michelle's and alex's place, the rain had eased and we had a beautiful sunny day from that point on.....just PERFECT! we started out at 7:30 AM and were pretty much on the go until 10:30 PM, except for a quick lunch and dinner break.....A LONG, HARD DAY! i have been suffering terribly with calf muscle pain since which was caused by continually going up and down two flights of steps carrying things to the van. my calf muscles are still sore today but there is a slight improvement.

i've also been popping over to michelle's new house over the past couple of days to help out where i can. it's FANTASTIC having michelle live so close to us again and, yesterday, she and i even did some grocery shopping together. YAY!



after a night of rain, we were greeted with a foggy morning

and, on the way home from dropping reece at the bus stop, i spotted a bunch of galahs on the roadside.

and there's of sunday, we have a new family member. after much deliberation, michelle decided to part with her male budgie as she didn't want them breeding so gifted him to beau. he has settled happily into the family.


the progress on my room canvas is moving slowly but surely. here's where i'm at so far.....still more work to do on the background. nothing has been planned out. i'm just going with the flow of what i feel drawn to do while standing at the canvas. such fun!

click on any image to enlarge

i will be catching up with everyone's blogs over the coming days as, for now, i'm off to michelle's place to help out a little more.

love, light and peace

Thursday 3 September 2009

work in progress & coloured pencil lesson

perpetual chocoholic has put up the first lesson for the coloured pencil project on her blog.

as i'm very much a novice when it comes to coloured pencil art, i'm looking forward to giving it a is my line drawing attempt for lesson one.

click here for the list of requirements and instruction if you are interested in trying it yourself.


i also managed to do the rough blocking-in of the frangipanis on the canvas for my room today. still more to do with the background but having the basic flowers in place gives me a better idea of balance. i still need to make a start on the baby canvas for my niece....maybe tomorrow.


call me crazy but i have signed up for yet another blog book club! we will be reading and working our way through the joy diet by martha beck starting friday, september 18th. i'm all for living a more joyful life and i do enjoy working through books within an online blogger group so taking the bait was easy. the joy diet overlaps the artist's way but i'll give it my best shot. click here if you're interested in more information.

love, light and peace

Wednesday 2 September 2009

the artist's way - week two & check-in


this week, julia cameron helps us to recognise that which can interfere with our sense of identity and, in doing so, we can take a step towards recovering it.

OUR OWN SKEPTICISM - we often say that we are our own worst enemy and, in my case, that definitely rings true. i'm always doubting myself and my abilities. who do i think i am even considering that i am an artist? i'm just kidding myself. i'm a fraud! and so the onslaught continues but i am trying harder to give myself a more solid where i can truly believe in myself. daily affirmations do help and being present in each moment helps me to focus where it's important.

EXTERNAL INFLUENCE - influence from those around us often plays a part in how we view ourselves too. their opinions, needs, and interests sometimes become entangled in our own identity to the point where we lose ourselves along the way without even realising it. then there are the crazymakers, or toxic people. they are the ones who don't respect our needs, goals, or interests. the ones who will phone you, or just show up, despite the fact that you had already informed them that you would be busy working on something. these crazymakers love drama, usually all about them, and they aren't happy unless they involve you too. more often than not, we don't have the strength to say NO as we are more afraid of hurting them rather than pointing out that they are not respecting our needs. i have had people just like this in my life but, thankfully, i let them go for the sake of my own wellbeing.

FOCUS - julia cameron also talks about paying attention to the now. if you are regular readers, you will know that i'm a huge fan of the power of now concept. moment by moment, we make our way through life and, by being aware and fully present in each of those moments, we can make our lives so much richer. by connecting and feeling a sense of acceptance, peace, and joy in each present moment, we are able to release any burdens we are carrying and heal any pain. julia cameron's example speaks of when she heard the news of her mother's death. she sat on a hill behind her house and focused on a beautiful snowy moon rising behind the trees. it was a healing experience and now, when she thinks of her mother's death, she remembers, with tenderness, that same moon which helped her to cope with the pain of loss. since i've been focusing more in the now moments over the past two years, i can honestly say my life has become more calm, peaceful, and joyful even in the midst of chaotic times. i do lapse at times....i am human after all but, because i am more aware now, i pull myself back into gear much faster than i used to. i am paying more attention to the details.


i did my morning pages faithfully each day.

i actually managed to do my artist's date which involved a simple trip to a couple of local secondhand shops to browse for goodies that i might use in my art. while i was a little disappointed in the limited amount of wares, i thoroughly enjoyed the date with my artist self.

i managed to do all the tasks one of which was listing 20 things i enjoy doing -

  1. quality time with my kids

  2. painting

  3. crafting

  4. walking

  5. going to the beach

  6. collecting shells

  7. relaxing with a good book

  8. watching movies at home or at the cinema

  9. playing with cody, my dog

  10. visiting family and friends

  11. listening to music

  12. browsing book/art/craft stores

  13. knitting

  14. long, country drives

  15. meditating

  16. collecting shells

  17. playing games with my parents and the kids

  18. playing bejeweled and moraff's morejong on the computer

  19. eating a nice meal out

  20. picnics

  21. blogging

in week one, we were asked to list five imaginary lives which i didn't list on my blog last week but, seeing as how julia asked us to add five more imaginary lives this week, i thought i'd list all ten today.

  1. running a shelter for homeless animals

  2. vet

  3. park ranger

  4. managing a bed and breakfast in the coastal hinterland

  5. nature photographer

  6. aromatherapist

  7. spiritual teacher

  8. yoga instructor

  9. interior decorator

  10. feng shui consultant

the artist's way journey this time around is confirming that i am on track though it will be interesting to see what unfolds as i progress further into the book.

feel free to read what other artist's way participants have to share at this link.

love, light and peace