Tag Archives: light

Simple Pleasures

 

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“The real things haven’t changed, it is still best to be truthful and honest, to make the most of what you have, be happy with simple pleasures, and have courage when things go wrong”

Think simple pleasures. I have discovered they save me every time.  Simple pleasures of your own making.  Simple pleasures that you make me feel good.  Simple pleasures that comfort you.  Simple pleasures that inspire you. Are you thinking you can’t think of any?  Think again.  The list is endless, finding your simple pleasures is a key to your happiness.  Simple little activities that you string together like rare beads, creating a strand of precious baubles that represent all your simple pleasures.  Grow to rely on your simple pleasures. Keep them close, use them regularly, they are designed to delight and balance you.  Here are a few of my favorite simple pleasures I’d like to share with you.  I would love to hear about your simple pleasures or what has come to mind, future simple pleasures….

Good Tea – Do you like tea?  Yes, good. Let’s make ourselves some good tea. You can make a cup of tea with a tea bag right in the cup, but making a pot of tea is a pleasure.  A simple pleasure, one of mine.  Buy a teapot, you will never regret it.  I like my hot drinks in a mug.  Many of my tea drinking friends love their tea cups.  Perhaps you already have one you would like to use, if not, and this is how you would like to sip your tea, buy one.  I see awesome tea cups for sale at thrift shops, flea markets and yard sales. Pick one up.  Fill your kettle up with water and set it to boil.  Fill your teapot up with hot tap water.  This allows your tea to stay hotter longer in your tea-pot. There are so many varieties of tea to choose from.  Check out the teas in stores you frequent.  Do some research on-line to discover tea you like you would like to try.  There are many brews that are good for you.  There are medicinal teas to uplift, cure and care for you.  I occasionally select a tea because I am attracted to the scent. Have fun and experiment.  There are so many choices.  Pour out the tap water out of your teapot and add your bags or loose tea.  Some pots have strainers that sit at the top, where the loose tea sits, and is lifted out prior to pouring.  Loose tea placed in a pot will need to be strained while pouring, or you may choose to use a tea ball which works like a tea bag.  Tea bags are a good option for quick and easy tea making.  I enjoy the ritual of the loose tea.  There are caffeinated and decaffeinated tea.  Please be aware of this. There is a wonderful world of herbal teas available.  There are teas to soothe, teas to aid sleep, and teas to settle your stomach.  Look to these to cure what ails you.  Pour your boiling water into your teapot and let stand to brew. If there is any boiling water left pour it into your tea-cup or mug to warm it.  Many teas are delicious just as they are. You may want to “garnish” your tea. You may sweeten it with different sugars, brown rice syrup or honey. You can brighten the flavor with a slice of lemon. Use a cinnamon stick to stir your tea and add flavor, or toss in a few cloves, if you care for that flavor.  Empty the hot water from your vessel, pour yourself a cup and garnish your tea as desired. Sip your tea as it slowly cools, have a second cup or pour it up and drink it later, room temperature or iced.  Experiment and enjoy this ritual, it is a simple pleasure, certain to be enjoyed.

Letter Writing – I get snail mail, letters and cards. The reason I get snail mail is because I send snail mail.  I enjoy it, always have, always will.  This may or may not appeal to you.  If it does, give it a try. It is never to late to start a correspondence.  Letter writing for me has been a valuable experience. I text, I email and I love technology. I love a hand written letter too.  I love when I open my box and see that personal piece of snail mail sitting there. I anticipate the moment I will open it.  I like looking at the envelope, my address, the return address, the stamp, and the stamp cancellation. I love opening up the envelope, but I never rush that.  I don’t tear it open at the post office or read it in the car.  I want to open it at home, perhaps with a cup of tea. I open it slowly, like a gift. I read it carefully, I savor and treasure the words.  I hold a piece of time in my hand from a dear friend. I sit quietly thinking about my reply.  What stationary or card I will use,  I will look in my letter writing box.  It is a magical box filled with paper, stationary, cards, stickers, a wax sealer, and things like gold stars I occasionally place inside that tumble out as opened.  I am always am on the hunt for items for my letter writing box. The simple pleasure of writing something from my heart to someone I care deeply about Is a great joy to me. I recommend this.  Delightful and virtually free, the cost of a first class stamp. It is an investment in your well-being.  The simple pleasure of letter writing is so much more, it is making connections with people who are special to us. It just doesn’t get better that.

Study – Is there something you have always wanted to learn, or a skill you wish to master?  We live in an Information Age – most things are right at our, as I like to say, our google finger.  I say go for it, for example, learning a second language, that seems to be on many bucket lists. It is never to late to learn something you have always wanted to learn, there is satisfaction in it.  American History – ride a skateboard – knit a sweater – build a boat – learn how to cook, you see the possibilities are endless. Honestly it won’t take but a moment to come up with something, it lives right beneath your skin, you have wanted to do it forever.  You can take it, run with it and before you know it will be your passion.  Next week you could be setting up that train set you always wanted. Direction and resources are at our finger tips.  Yeah, go for it.  Surprise yourself and find out that you are a natural at something. There is a reason you are attracted to studying and learning, it is pleasurable. Imagine next Christmas you are playing those carols you always wanted to play on the piano.  Do you see the joy in this?  Studying will make your heart smile, learning something will lift your spirits, and mastering something will fill you with joy.  My incredible mother always said, “if you can read, you can do anything…”. Think about that, not to mention you and I have YouTube.  Your dedication to a focus, studying is right in your pad or phone, that we all walk around with clenched in our hands.  Yes, we walk around with the world in the palm of our hands. Take pleasure in all that information.  I think if you were to check your bookcase you would find more than one book on something you are interested in, meant to get to, perhaps have gone unread. Take these books out, put them where you will look at them, read them and see if this is so thing you wish to dive into. Get a notebook and begin to study, it will expand the horizon and you may find great pleasure in it.  Learning, studying and exploring these are sure simple pleasures for me.

Yoga Stretch – I have been doing a simple yoga stretch twice a day for about three years.  Once I learned it, it takes about 10-15 minutes tops.  I do it in the morning and in the evening.  I learned this yoga flow as part of a mindfulness training.  I was told it would balance my chi and that my energy would travel along my meridians clearly and cleanly. It is designed to energize you. I began to do it.  It is very easy to do, not threatening at all. Most everyone can do it, the entire flow happens while standing. There is no yoga bendy bunny required. It is simple and straightforward.  I had done it for five days and I remained skeptical.  It was designed to energize me, I hadn’t felt a thing but I did my morning flow the next day.  An hour or so later I did feel something, my body felt electric, with a pulsing in my torso and upper legs. It felt fantastic.  I have been doing it ever since.  I so it soon after I wake up and again as I move toward bedtime. I have shared this with everyone who is interested, the feedback is very positive.  This is a simple pleasure of mine, simple self-care, an honor to do, with great benefits.

Foot Care – Ah yes, the feet. My experiences this year have changed my foot care which previously had been a couple of pedicures a month and moisturizer.  I have been unable to have pedicures as I have surgical edema and I had a bout of cellulitis.  I am sure the salon I go to is clean, I have been going there for 16 years with no problems. I just can’t risk an infection at this time.  I have had to take care of my feet and I have gotten pretty good at it, they feel great.  Investing in a simple foot bath is a wonderful thing.  Mine has plenty of room for my feet, the bottom surface is covered with small ‘nobs’ for stimulation and an area to place your feet for heat.  There is also a vibrate setting which I enjoy. I begin my foot therapy by rolling my feet on a wooden foot roller which has raised ridges.  We store toxins in our feet and they become crystallized there. The foot roller breaks these up, you can feel and ‘hear’ this as you roll.  Foot rolling stimulates your Venus return – your blood returning to your heart and carrying those toxins to be cleansed. It is important to stimulate your Venus return and getting your blood back up to your heart.  I use warm-hot water the foot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil.  It is very calming and soothing.  Once the water cools I dry my feet.  I am not polishing my toenails as I am perfectly awful at it.  I keep my toenails clean and cut fairly short.  I do a long thorough foot massage with plenty of moisturizer. I massage my feet and my calves in the direction of my heart, more circulation stimulation. Tending your feet is very relaxing, it will keep them soft and supple. Dry and cracked feet are unattractive but unhealthy as well. Your feet work very hard for you, they hold you up and get you around, show them some love and gratitude by keeping them well.  They will continue to work well.  Happy feet, happy person.  Your footwear will feel better too.  It is a great routine, twice a week works for me.  This is a simple pleasure, really worth the time investment. I am looking forward to having some color on my tootsies again, but my foot care routine will remain.

What are your simple pleasures.  Thinking on this will lift you up, and as you begin to incorporate these pleasures into your everyday routine you will certainly see and feel the benefits of your simple pleasures.

“Simple pleasures – all the pleasures I knew as a child” Willie Stargill

Always dazzle, Karen

 

The Art of Being Present & Making Authentic Connections

 

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29 December 2014

“…..it was a changing period of time that took everything away, turned it around and returned growing like a glorious garden full of color light and magical energy and most importantly possibilities…”

Life as I knew it was over. I looked around and realized this is not what I thought I though I would be doing. This realization was eye-opening. It was the confirmation of my control issues. If I could judge the situation as not what I anticipated, this lead me to believe I was certainly lost in the past (ruminating) and investing in over planning the future (fearful). What does this mean? Simply put not spending enough of time of my time being present. Funny, not haha, but ironically the present is where I want to dwell. I want to be in the moment. I want to enjoy what is happening when it is happening. The benefit to bringing yourself to the present is pleasure. Worrying about the past and anticipation of the future is a waste. Time just passes and it belongs to none of us. It is precious, it marches in, with or without you. Consider this when you are not operating in the present moment. You miss what is happening in real-time, wasting time thinking about what is now the past or anticipating what hasn’t yet occurred, the future. All we have is the present moment. The past, yes it is the past, it does not belong to us. We only have the promise of a future, there is no guarantee. We all have things to look at in hind-site, enabling us to move forward and be more productive and thrive. That is fine.  You are in the moment reviewing your take away from a learning moment. That is prudent and useful.  Obsessing about what has happened is unhealthy and dangerous. You can easily get stuck in the past. This is regret and it will prevent you from growing. What good comes of that? It will hold you back and likely depress you. Obsessing about what may happen is just as destructive to your well-being. The bottom line, the past and the future will rip you off. They both can suck the life out of you. People close to you will tire of your obsession with the past or the future, as it will overtake you, unhealthy and unattractive. It is so sad to be wasting time. Remember the truth, time is precious. You can not buy it you can’t recoup it, it is fleeting. Be mindful and make a commitment to being present. It is like any habit, good habit, it takes time to establish it. You will quickly discover how often you are not present. I think it may surprise you.  The practice coming to the present moment is very similar to taking a breath and coming to center, a calming moment. You can work toward being present more of the time employing the same methods. Pay attention, take the breath and bring yourself to the present moment. We can all benefit from this work. Modern life can be very distracting.  You can decide to set aside these distractions, just decide.  I find I am becoming more present the more time I dedicate to my meditation practice. It calms me down and clears my head.  Meditation creates space. Makes room and helps me use my precious time in ways that benefits my well-being.

Think of someone you know or someone you met who seemed very attractive.  I am not talking about physically beautiful or handsome.  I am talking about their essence.  It is something you can’t put your finger on. It is a combination of elements.  It is their personality, sense of humor, intellect, body language, tone, engagement, and the stories they tell.  Any attractive quality adds to the overall feeling you get from someone. When you experience this feeling from someone your takeaway is positive.  You would love to get this person better. You would love to know their secret.  The next time you come across one of these individuals, evaluate your experience.  What is there to learn?  Well they don’t have a secret, they are simply present.  Being present fosters their ability to employ powerful tools that opens them up to every possibility.  They have the skills to meet and greet people, they open themselves to you, this is an attractive quality. They are engaging, they look you in the eye, they “see” you, their body is supple, their body language says I am open, they may rest their hand on your arm while making a point, they are genuinely interested and they are very good listeners.

The practice of becoming more mindful is just that, the more you think about it the more you will do it.  You will become more and more present.  Everything worth having is worth working on.  Practice, practice, and practice.  The present is an amazing place to be. You will feel energized.  The way people respond to you will be all the evidence you need, you will find it refreshing.

I recall my experiences when I began my focus on being present.  It was during the same period of time where I had begun a meditation practice.  The method was mentioned by a yoga teacher after a class.  When you encounter anyone, your best friend, the gentleman who holds the door open for you at the post office, or the clerk at the market, make a connection.  Here is what I would like you to try. You encounter someone, take a breath, look them in the eye, and quietly say to yourself, Namaste (that is my choice, you may use your own centering word). This may seem awkward at first, but as you practice it you we see that it takes mere seconds and no one even realizes you are doing it.  This simple act will delight you. You will feel people’s energy change as they open up to the possibilities of your time together. It feels genuine, authentic and real, we all crave it. I believe this practice has helped me be more present and has enriched my experiences with others tremendously.  I do this every day. I am not too busy or in too much of a hurry to do this. Try it, you may find it as addictive as I did when I began. You will feel awkward at first, keep trying, you will develop your own style and you will love the results. They are evident. People’s body language changes, they sense a warm engaging feeling, and they open up. What transpires is fantastic, you will see and feel it, it is palatable.  It becomes an exchange of energy, with possibilities that would not have existed had you not engaged on this level.  Imagine enjoying your connections with other much more.  This practice can be the beginning of a collaboration, cooperation, a new friendship, even a romance. Trust me you will love it, please give it a try. This practice always brings me to center, and into the present moment.  Get out of your own way, stay in the present moment and enjoy the experience.

Talk about “you never know”.  I have discovered incredible things about people through this level of engagement. It is a game changer.  You will be astounded by what is revealed, what comes to light and the energy that is created with this connection.  You will be most delighted by what you learn about yourself. Yes, open up, connect while being present and feel yourself grow, fantastic!

“tragedy stays alive by feeling what’s been done to us, while peace comes by living the result” Mark Nepo

Making Changes ~ a change becomes reality ~ you have encouraged yourself ~

 

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“as we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way” Mary Ann Radmacher

Do you ever wonder if the changes you make are having a positive effect? The moment you experience the validation that the change you have put in place is working, a wonderful feeling.  Some changes produce evidence rather quickly. Dieting for example, you change your eating habits you begin to feel better and you are dropping pounds. Hard evidence. Other changes produce more subtle results. It may take a while especially for a “doubting Thomas” to get the validation we all need – results.  My prayer for myself is that I am able to decide on a change I desire to implement and I can stick with it, be all in, regardless of the amount of time it takes to know that it is, in fact, in place. Think of results as what keeps you going, and as time passes your commitment grows stronger. The changes we implement that have the more subtle results require patience. You may need to be even more strident to keep going toward your goal. Eventually you will feel the changes are having an effect. The period of time that passes that seems to be growing long, is exactly where you will need your patience, it needs to be strong. Hang in there.

i have studied this, and true change is designed to take time. I gather it takes twenty-one days for your change to become a habit, for your commitment to become a working change. I go with a month for any change I am working toward to become a reality. Once you see and feel changes are working, of course, that is just what you need. It is an amazing feeling of success when you open yourself up to a new way. I have found when my patience is being tested that visualization is the perfect tool to sustain my commitment.  I see myself, feel myself, and I know that I have reached the day where my hard work, commitment and patience have added up to the success we all crave, reaching the goal of change becoming reality.

I have been tested this week. I truly believe that things happen for a reason and occur when it is time. This past Sunday afternoon my ankle felt more numb than ever before. I removed my shoe and sock to check it out. I was surprised to see my ankle was swollen. Had the edema returned? Had I injured my ankle without knowing it? Was something wrong? I know in my heart and with my intellect that I have a great working practice in place. I remained remarkably calm, surprising on so many levels.  I will admit I got a bit panicked. I instantaneously assumed the worst case scenario.  I thought okay that is a reasonable response. So, I sat with that reaction, I had given myself a break, thinking it is okay, but what else was there? The main thing I am working on in this period of real healing and recovery  is the critical element of my perception. I have discussed here in the past that the “events” that blind side us, push us down and knock us off our game are just that. I thought the specifics of the events were not really as important as how we deal with them.  How we handle our reaction is that process that has given me solace in the past.  Something has happened and I need to deal with it well and things will get better. I learned recently from my therapist, I have been missing a key step in this assessment process. It is simple, but I had completely missed it. It is my perception of events and the most important element of your assessment is it being real and true. Once armed with the truth getting to the process of dealing with what has occurred certainly will be more productive. Please note coming to terms, armed with the truth is not always easy. Take that deep breath and give yourself the time you need to see clearly to what is true and real. If you rush forward to deal with a problem without a clear perception you outcome will be fruitless. I have integrated this step into my process. I am waiting patiently to see if these truths will set me free.

I had an event, and I let myself spiral down to worst case scenario. I have given myself a break for that initial reaction. I take that deep breath and begin to sort it out calmly. I make a clear as assessment of the event, so I may proceed with my true perception. None of us like to consistently sit in reaction to life. It makes us feel powerless, but on the surface allows us to avoid dealing with the event and having to tell ourselves the truth. Lying to ourselves is not an option, it is not healthy and it is the roots of denial. Do not let that denial plant grow and bloom, that is much more difficult to deal with than the truth. The truth will set you free, it allows you to deal with things in real-time. It does not serve us to put things in boxes and store them in the denial attic. That is not healing. That is adding to the problem, not to the solution. Be a part of the solution. This fosters being able to take action, not sitting numbly amid our denial, merely reacting to our events.  Taking action, empowering, now that is part of the solution. The most important element is the ability to take that breath, the pause, and getting to the truth you require to move forward. Take the time you need, do not drag your feet. Try it, you will love this change, perception is everything. I discovered something very important to ‘take the time you need’ this past week. My very astute and compassionate therapist pointed out that occasionally in order to cope we need to put events in boxes and temporarily put them in the closet. I resisted this statement, but when she mentioned that eventually the box will press on the door and spill into the room…..well that made sense too. I am a visual learner and visualizing this, it made sense to me. What you may need in real-time is to cope, so taking the time you need may require that you put it in the closet, to deal with it later. When it does spill into the room, you will unpack the box, shake the events out neatly folding them and putting them away closer to being dealt with. This reminded me that it is all a process, the journey unfolds and it just requires that you take the time you need. If this provides you time to cope, I see clearly that this point is well taken.

I have an upcoming appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. A man who, yes is a surgeon, but remains in touch with his humanity, and is a an extremely caring and compassionate physician. I am so grateful to be in his care, he takes very good care of me, I couldn’t ask for better care.  I began to wonder should I move my appointment up?  There it was again, a little bit of panic.  Remember it was Sunday when I noticed the swelling. I had to wait until Monday morning to call the practice. I waited.  I called and spoke to the amazing, well-informed woman who holds down the practice like an air traffic controller. You speak with her and things get done and fall into place, she is very good at her job. I told her what was going on and should I come in sooner?  I was concerned. She ran a laundry list of why my ankle may be swollen. She helped me gather the information I needed, I asked for her help and she offered good information, but she would check with my doctor and make sure they were on the same page.  If he thought it was necessary that I come in sooner she would let me know, if not, I would come to my appointment as scheduled. I assured her I knew what to do, I had become quite an edema expert this past summer. I would begin taking my herbal/vitamin combination to treat my edema. I would treat my ankle daily with hydrotherapy, hot and cold treatment to stimulate circulation, which in turn reduces swelling or edema. What I had gained from speaking from her was a way to think about what was happening. No, I don’t know what is causing it, but I do know how to treat it.  Momentarily I became agitated as I was going to have to make room (time) for treating my ankle. The same frustration I had felt in the past reared its ugly head, why do I have to spend so much time and energy addressing my healing?  Well I quickly swept those thoughts away, as I know that is an express ticket to a pity party. We have a choice. I continued to sort what was happening. I had collected enough information from my doctor’s office to know there were no red flag disasters ahead. My approaching appointment would work fine.  I would proceed to treat my edema/swelling with what I knew worked. I had made it through the tight part in the river, squeezing through the rocks and the rapids, calmer waters were ahead, it felt positive. I was letting go, the truth was setting me free. I continued treating my ankle. Each day the treatments worked, each day the swelling returned as I was up and on it, although sleeping with my leg elevated always resulted in a morning where the swelling was down. I struggled with getting up and getting on with what I liked to be doing during the week.  I wanted to have breakfast with my sweet husband, and send him off with his lunch, hugs and kisses. But wait, we put his lunch together, which I usually prep the night before, he said he would pick up a breakfast sandwich at Dunkin Donuts when he stops for his morning coffee. Imagine that? He was perfectly happy (well he does love those sandwiches) and I am fine too. I am dedicating my time to treating my foot. I am pleased with making sure my perception is true.  It enables me to take action, being part of the solution.  Yes, it may be taking up my time right now, the time is not wasted, it prevents me from sitting in reaction creating more denial. It isn’t always easy, but it is encouraging. The light at the end of the tunnel burns a bit brighter today.

It is a relief, being part of the solution. Seek your truth, fine tune your perception and move forward to deal with whatever has been put on your plate. Find your gratitude and take those baby steps, you must take all of them, they move you forward toward your light. You, like I will be just fine. I promise.  I must tell you now what my practice brought me to. A thought as powerful as any of the negative reactions I first experienced. I saw clearly that the swelling could mean that obviously something was happening and changing, could it mean that my nerve was healing?  Holy cow! I had received the validation I required to continue, to keep going knowing that I had implemented a change and it was in place, it was working. Pure elation! There is a world of help available to all of us.  The big take away for me through the process of implementing this change may be three simple words, “I need help”. I discovered and you will too, that there is no shame in those three simple words. Help will not knock on your door, yet it is waiting for you to ask. A smart person who desires real healing and recovery seeks the truth, uses all the available help, treats all that are there to help very well,  and once your perception is true you are free to react in a positive and productive manner becoming part of the solution. The validation is there and you will continue to walk toward your light. We have choices. We are free to experience true healing and recovery. It is there, available to us, I say, “go for it”. Make a change, work hard to implement it, be kind to yourself during the process, realize it is in place, and give yourself credit, you did it! Be sure to take a look back at the path you choose and you will see a clear and smooth way that you traveled, ah, go ahead and realize that you and only you were the one who set up all the barriers along the way. You now know that you can make necessary changes, encourage yourself armed with a clear and truthful perception, you are healing and recovering, because you, my sweet friend, are the only one who can do that. The truth will set you free.

I hope that this finds you feeling well today and in the best of spirits.

Always dazzle, Karen

Photo credit: beautiful picture, photographer unknown.

Hey, I had a GOOD Day

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If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.
Cavett Robert

I have said many times over the past few months, “this isn’t what I thought I’d be doing right now”. Well I am saying that again now. I planned and wrote a different post. But wait, today was a very good day. I feel compelled to share it. It seemed like any other day of recent memory. I awoke at 4:30 AM, yes I know very early, but it is when I begin my day. You can say, I am a morning person. More importantly it is something I can do and I am focused on what I can do these days, not what I can’t. I like to have breakfast with my sweet husband, John. It is a good way to start our day. I make him a hot breakfast each morning and I make his lunch. Making him breakfast is a lovely tradition in our house. Some of his friends (men) promised him when we were dating once we married that hot breakfast was history. Not at all to prove them wrong (well, maybe a little bit), I enjoy it. A healthy lunch he enjoys is also important.  I love seeing him off to work. After he left I rode my bike, I have worked up to 15 minutes twice a day. The bike is so good for my overall well-being and healing. I am exercising my muscles that can’t work themselves, and are atrophied due to the nerve damage. The does not require that I can lift my foot, which is a joy, because I can’t lift my foot. I have been so inactive with my precautions with my PT when I get off the bike and I have those little tingling sensations in my butt and legs, like I once experienced after a long walk, it feel so good and it lifts me up. I think the endorphins are good, and it is improving the quality of my appetite and sleep.

My physical therapist, Ellen came for a session She was here for me through my hip surgery four years ago, she has been with me through my two hip revisions this summer. She is fantastic. She is kind and patient. Her encouragement is priceless. We have become friendly and I am a bit sad that Thursday will be our last session. The good news, she believes I am ready. I really like seeing her, she has brightened many a day. I know how to do my PT and I will do it religiously.  I am honored to do the work that works toward my recovery. I made her some of my fabulous granola, a small parting gift. It is perfect, she loves cereal. We are certain to be in touch as we have a bond.

I had a couple of unexpected phone calls, from two of my favorite people. I found myself being very engaged, less flat and very much interested in our conversations. Was I feeling more like myself, I think I was. Both of my friends noticed. I noticed too.

The day continued. I did some work in my Etsy shop. I have a vintage jewelry shop. I had re-opened my shop on Labor Day, quite fitting I thought. It had been closed for three months as I was unable to work.  The shop re-opened to a flurry of activity and seven orders right from the smash. I was thrilled, and encouraged as well. Thing then went totally flat. I can happily report that I usually have orders each day, or one or two days between orders. The initial flurry died down and nine days went by with not a single order. Something was not right. I chalked it up to being closed and needing to get back up on the search engines. One day last week I went downstairs to do some laundry, I walk through my studio to get to the laundry room. I stopped in the studio and turned on the light. What I saw, for the first time, horrified me. My studio was lifeless, I had no custom work, my bench look lonely. It was dusty, I saw a few cobwebs, the chi was perfectly awful. It looked like a place where something wonderful had happened there and then for some reason it stopped. I wasn’t happening at all. This was a revelation, I set about making the necessary changes. Simple things like cleaning, I felt myself coming alive, invigorated about my work, my studio and my shop. I also realized that I had not been very engaging with my customers since reopening. I wasn’t in touch with other shop keeps I was friendly with. I wasn’t connecting on social media. I was flat, the shop was flat, but I knew how to change that. I have worked so hard. I learned so much building my business, I experienced success. Okay, we are on our way back! I wanted to contribute to the household, and I wanted my income stream back. That afternoon I engaged like I knew how. I was even a bit animated. I was still in here. That evening I had two sales and sales are increasing. Things are looking up and feels great. Keep doing the things you can, and for goodness sakes do them well.

I had some lunch, focusing on my protein intake. I am what I eat. I set about making that yummy granola and baked two loaves of pumpkin bread with craisins and toasted pecans. The house smelled wonderful. I put some music on. I love music, where had the music been? One loaf of pumpkin bread for my husbands lunch and a loaf for my friend I was getting together with tomorrow night.

Yes, I have plans out in the world with a dear friend. I will be driving, driving at night which I have not done since the spring….baby steps. Fantastic! I had a call from her, we firmed up our plan and gosh, it just felt great. I did another fifteen minutes on my precious bike, a ride to well-being. I worked on my planned post and thought I am having a good day. I must write about that. This may on the surface seem pretty mundane, my day, it was. But not to me. It had a sparkle to it. I was seeing and thinking about things just a little bit differently. Dare I say, feeling like myself. That my darlings is miles from mundane…..

So really, truly, no crosses count, hands down, one good day. I haven’t thought about a day being good in a very long while. Am I back on track? I pray it will grow and continue in that direction. I am sure the Prozac is helping, I know the iron supplements are, I am sleeping and most of all I remain hopeful, prayerful and grateful. This day added up to good and I say bring ’em on……..

Hoping this finds you in the best of spirits.

Always dazzle, Karen