My Word for the Year 2019

My husband and daughter playing on the beach in Japan. ❤

Happy New Year dear readers! 2019 has started out with a bang! And isn’t it fabulous? Somehow January is almost over, and we’re just getting our first snowstorm.  No complaining here, but I am excited to finally take my daughter out in the snow.

But first, to announce my word for the year. As you know, every year I choose a word as a theme for the year. And I’m always delighted to see how the word comes up again and again. I usually choose a word that has special meaning for me but that also poses a bit of a challenge to my way of thinking. Something that scare me a little. One that makes me stretch.

This year my word is HEART. And I know, it sounds sweet and simple, too easy, even clichéd. But that is exactly why I chose it.  As a poet, I always steered clear of love poems, thinking they were too sappy and boring and overdone. And in life, I almost never identify with the heart. I roll my eyes at the sound of it. When doing chakra work, I never focus on the heart chakra. I’m usually too focused on calming my mind or my gut.

But the heart, my friends, is where it’s at.  It’s the center of everything. The life-giving source. The strong (wo)man in the show. Beating. Keeping time… And from what I’m learning, it’s the source of our strongest, most far-reaching vibration into the universe.

So this year I’m working on increasing my heart vibration. And I’m also focusing on being my most authentic self. So that what I put out there is exactly what I hope to receive. I’m ready to share my gifts and talents with the world.  Stay tuned for that 😉 But mostly I’m just ready to be ME. My heart rising out of the dust. Watch it soar. Wherever it lands, I hope to meet you there.

Here is a link to my word for last year. You can also find links to prior years in this post.

Learn more about heart vibrations.

A fun post about the heart/brain connection.

***As an aside, my husband mentioned that in Japanese culture, people often come up with a word for the year that just passed. My immediate response when he asked about my word to sum up 2018 was, “INTENSE.” We both had a good laugh about that. Becoming new parents and homeowners in the same year certainly was intense. But after I thought about it for a moment, I realized what it really boiled down to was, “BEGINNINGS.” We started a new chapter in our lives. And new chapters are hard, both in writing and in life. But they’re also wonderful and full of surprises and serendipitous, little moments. It can be a blur when you’re first going through it, but when you step back, you see your life coming together after it came apart. And now that we’re finally settling in, it has been pretty fun exploring our new little town in the big city and having daily adventures with our daughter.  I look forward to what comes next, and I hope you do too!

What new chapters have you started?  Please share 🙂

 

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“Love Me” Owl

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear readers!  I thought I would share a new piece of artwork that is near and dear to my heart.  How many of you are familiar with The Love-Me Bird, a picture book by Joyce Dunbar?

I love this story, which is about a little songbird who goes around calling out, “Love me! Love-me!” in search of her perfect mate.  Well, she never gets a response, which is sad at first.  But then she decides to change her tune to “Love you! Love-you!”  Before you know it, she finds her true love.

This is such a great message.  It’s easy to have expectations, especially on a day like today.  Everyone wants to be loved.  But it’s often the love you give away that comes back to you.

Today and every day, I hope you feel loved.  But don’t forget to share your love with others.  You just might find what you’re looking for ❤

 

Backyard Art

Recently, my neighbor (the artist) and I had this grand idea to decorate the path between our two townhouses.  I thought we should name it the “Rose Path” so we would be able to remember it.  My neighbor brought along some fresh and dried rose pedals to scatter, I supplied the rainbow sidewalk chalk, and off we went!  Here are some photos of our adventures and the messages we created.

lamppost decorated with rose pedals

scattering rose pedals along the path

Rose Path entrance on my side

Following the Rose Path…

Spotted! Our shadows on the path

Hats off to roses!

our messages: PEACE

our messages: LOVE

our messages: FOREVER

Rose Path entrance
on my neighbor’s side

I’m a big fan of community art.  It works on so many levels including beautifying the community and bringing people together.  Plus it’s just fun!  Of course you need to be respectful when you’re doing it.

Over the summer, my husband and I visited Bayfield, ON.  One of the coolest sights in the town is an old barn turned into an art studio for all ages and levels of art experience.  How cool is that?

Me at Kryart Studio in Bayfield, ON

Want to view community art instead of make it?  Check out my post on The Heidelberg Project in Detroit.  It brings a whole new meaning to the concept.  Artist Tyree Guyton turned the neighborhood where he grew up into a kind of wonderland.  It’s a living art exhibit.  I was saddened when I heard on the news yesterday that one of the homes, House of Soul, burned down.  Arson is suspected.  I truly believe artists will be the ones to rebuild the city of Detroit, even if it’s one art project at a time.

We should all support art in our own neighborhoods.  How will you help beautify your community through art?

Visualizing Your Dreams

“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build.” –Robert Collier

Here I am pinpointing two of my dreams: to publish a book and visit Italy.

While in Columbus, I visited the warehouse located at 400 West Rich Street, which houses several art/design studios.  It’s a unique concept in which art is helping to revive an area of the city.  I would love to be part of the same effort in Detroit.

I also visited The Book Loft, a local bookstore in German Village.  There are a total of 32 rooms to wind your way through, but somehow I found the children’s section.  I would love to see my own books here, too 🙂

As you know, I’ve been reading SARK’s book “Making Your Creative Dreams Real.” One of my favorite chapters is “The World of Yes.” Why? Because it’s so positive! She gives new meaning to the word love.

Letting

Our

Visions

Emerge

How can we do that? By visualizing!  When we visualize each step of our dream, we’re more likely to make it a reality.  SARK says, “We visualize our creative dreams and some part of us says YES.  I can do that…  It can happen…  We can build it…”  So start visualizing and say YES! to your dream.

My husband and I spotted another bucket list in Montreal!  It turns out people are dreaming all over the world.  Check it out

Happy Valentine’s Day!

brush and ink

Heart Mind

brain series; acrylic

I hope I can do this piece justice in my explanation.  I will first talk about how the idea came about.  I had seen an Egyptian exhibit at the Toledo Museum of Art.  I remember reading about how past civilizations believed the brain was just a useless mass, so they removed it and did not retain it in a sacred jar like other organs.  The heart was believed to be where mental function took place and was left intact.  I started thinking about how we now know the brain to be the center of thought and emotion, yet we still refer to our hearts in terms of love and feelings.  What does this mean?

I decided to research the heart further.  As it turns out, the heart has many nerves running through it, not just blood vessels.  This suggests that perhaps the brain and heart are connected on a deeper level.  Perhaps they are even mirrors of each other.  Twins working independently and simultaneously.  But in the end, which is which?  Do they influence each other?

I came across another term in my research: Bodhicitta.  This is part of Buddhism.  It is a term denoting an awakening of the mind that unites compassion and wisdom (the heart and the mind).  It basically refers to the idea of enlightenment whereby you see your connection to the universe and all beings and let go of the sense of self and ego.  I especially liked the idea that a person can still follow his or her vocation as long as he or she is motivated to help others in the process.

Some other interesting words to note: “Kokoro,” is a Japanese word referring to the heart AND mind.  The Chinese word would be “xin.”  Imagine if we all used our collective “heart mind,” which is essentially one in the same!

So getting back to the painting, I wanted to convey the idea of the heart and mind connection.  I wondered what would happen if I painted a heart where the brain (or head) would be and a brain where the heart would be.  I made the heart purple with gold light reflections because the crown chakra is represented by these colors.  I made the brain green with pink arteries because the heart chakra is represented by these colors.  I decided the heart should resemble the brain and vise versa.

How will you use your “heart mind” to help the world today?