May 2010

I have been on a creative surge of late. And the benefits have been numerous; and not just because I have something to show for my labor.

While learning how to make glass beads, which is fast becoming an addiction, I have discovered that intense focus on the art has freed my brain to expand creatively in other areas, too. There is something very Zen-like about staring into a flame and deeply concentrating on evenly rotating a mandrel in one hand while simultaneously heating a glass rod in the other. All time, all cares, all thought evaporates in the laser focus of the moment.

Oh, the anticipation while the kiln does its job! I so want to peek inside. I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve:
what will they look like? will they turn out in one piece?

And, because there are no guarantees that the bead will survive the kiln, I have learned to let go of attachment.
Well, almost. Like glass beads, this is a work in progress.

So, what have I learned from this experience? I’ve learned that getting my creative juices flowing in one area
of my life, overflows into other areas as well. I’ve learned that while I may be aiming for a “round bead”, glass,
like life, can be whimsical. And, having expectations only sets me up for possible disappointment. And, ultimately,
continuous learning keeps my sense of adventure burning brightly.

so, here’s to the celebration of creativity,


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10 Tips for More Serenity in Your Life

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Serenity, that elusive, but much sought after state of mind. When was the last time you felt truly peaceful? If it’s been
too long ago to remember, read on.

Here are some tips I have found useful for adding more serenity to my life. Hopefully these also can be antidotes to your busy,
noisy, possibly chaotic life.

Tip #1: Practice daily gratitude. First thing in the morning,
before you even get out of bed, think of one thing you are grateful to have in your life. Send a silent prayer of thanks to
the universe.

Tip #2: Laugh at yourself. Often. Humor makes everything
“taste” better.

Tip #3: Check in with your breathing. Is it steady and even?
Or is it choppy and constricted? If the latter, use your belly to fully expand on the intake, and relax on the outtake. Relaxed
breathing, belly breathing, will calm you down, and help you to re-center.

Tip #4: Recognize you have choices. How you react to the drama of your life is your choice.
You get to define how you live it. Others may have opinions on how you should live
but trust yourself enough to make decisions that serve your inner values.

Tip #5: Forgive yourself. Let go of past “shoulds” and
limitations. Be gentle with yourself. Each new day gives you an opportunity to recreate yourself.

Tip #6: Create a refuge or sanctuary. This can be as simple
as a bench in your garden, or a corner of a room. Include sacred or secular objects that have special
meaning for you. Sit quietly in this place, and just listen. To yourself.

Tip #7: Keep your inner child alive and well. Find something
fun to do every day. Be playful; yes, even at work.

Tip #8: Share the love. Help someone in need. Volunteer. Give
freely of your time and energy. Have a ready smile.

Tip #9: Go out into nature. Reconnect with all of your senses.
Fully embrace the beauty and tranquility that surrounds you. Let Mother Nature speak to you.

Tip #10: Be in the moment. Be right here, right now. Let go
of your thinking about the past or planning for the future. Just be. Even if it’s only for 5 minutes. Now.

Wise words from Sophocles: Look and you will find it — what is unsought will go undetected.

When are you going to start looking?