I no longer thank God, for the beauty around us.

I thank Mother Nature for that. To me, Mother Nature was created by the laws of physics and science – put into place by a higher power. I’m not religious, but very spiritual. Also, science based. If science proves, without doubt, that energy can not be created or destroyed – then where did it originate from ultimately?

The creator.

I used to thank God at every beautiful sunset, smell of a fragrant flower, or fluffy cloud that captivated me. Now I smile and say “thank you Mother Nature.” Then I thank God – that gratitude keeps me humble and centered – for giving humans the ability to recognize that beauty. Ability to perceive symmetry. For the Golden Proportion that is found in almost all of nature and it giving us joy from a lobe in our brain and then down to the soul. Or does it hit the soul first, as a gift for us to connect spiritually, then registered by the brain?

Doesn’t matter to me. I feel the connection when I slow down and am open to it. For that, I am so grateful.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-neuroscience-of-beauty/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.livescience.com/37704-phi-golden-ratio.html

Here are billions of ways to find gratitude; to connect.

As the sun set and the stars began to light the sky, I thought: “I may not be able to see a billion stars…”

But then, I watched the Milky Way spill across the sky. I saw a few planets, twinkling low across the horizon. Phasing in, were thousands upon thousands of sprinkled little lights, shining brightly for unknown millions and trillions of light years, through the darkness of space.

All so we can gaze at them in ushered wonderment.

“I may not be able to see a billion stars, but looking up at this sky removes any doubt that they are out there.”

I was not alone, I was laying across a (still) warm rock with gratitude and faith.

Take a moment to connect – to people and the beauty that surrounds us. It’s a beautiful place to be.

I hate using the word “client,” because the people that have come into my life become so much more. I would say they become family.

Maybe part of that is because I have learned to slow down and connect with people. Listen to their stories and grow from them. I think part of that is because I have to understand them and connect to them to create their functional art. What I create can be very custom across several mediums and materials; I have found that there is a huge emotional component to their vision. I must feel that to see it.

But, we were at a salvage place looking at materials for the 20 foot by 25 foot wall mural that I’m preparing to build and found this table. Solid wood and just beautiful.

She haggled then down to 25 dollars and bought it for me – to see what what it would become. It’s so beautiful on so many levels. 🙂

I say this often, but when we slow down, and live in the moment, then we become open to all the beauty that exists around us.

My insatiable hunger is for more than food: staying healthy and keeping a zest for life.

I have this insatiable hunger that just doesn’t stop. On the way home, I tore into a pound of lunch meat and half my cheese. Some flamin’ hot munchies, too. Then made a 4 egg amazing breakfast sandwich. 3 cheeses, capers, onions, fire roasted tomatoes, minced garlic, and rotisserie chicken. 😋😋

Staying active helps keeps my mood level and centered. I’m loosing weight in a healthy way – slow and steady. Feel amazing. Get to eat whatever I want. 🙂

If you have been thinking of getting in shape, I don’t go to a gym. I jog across the parking lot (or fast walk), instead of looking for a spot up close. Sometimes run and ride the shopping cart, giggling like a kid. I walk a few blocks down to the next store instead of driving. I carry heavy things instead of using a dolly (safely). And when I am just standing around, I squat against a wall instead of sitting down. Getting in shape, for me, isn’t about spending a lot of time at the gym. It’s about changing a few things in my day that are manageable.

I try not to set myself up for failure anymore. 🙂

A lot of small wins boosts my ego and esteem in a healthy way and gives me the motivation to go after the bigger challenges.

Next: quit vaping and learn time management.

Desert Muse

I’ve traveled to a lot of lands, and never have I seen such beauty as the desert. In the morning light, the hues of the low rising sun send a green blaze across the terrain as the vegetation gets its spotlight and “time in the sun”. As the sun rolls across the sky, the rock in the distant mountain changes color. In the evening, shades of orange, red, blue and purple. At night, the stars light the sky and guide a lost soul, like mine.

Let go of shame, guilt, and doubt. It’s time to learn lessons and move forward.

As I stood on the top of that mountain, in the midst of the most remarkable spiritual experience of my life, I cried.

My tears washed away the guilt, shame, and self-doubt of my past as I watched the sky turn from fiery blazing red to orange then yellow.

I am not a religious person, but I have become deeply spiritually connected as I have walked through some dark forests and met rocky paths into the deepest trenches. It wasn’t until I turned my will over to God (Higher Power, Jesus, the Spirit, Mother Nature, or whatever you believe) and began showing constant gratitude for the gifts all around me, that I was able to develop a deep faith – a faith that has turned my life around for the best and a critical part of my choice to find happiness.

As I saw the sun beginning to crest the mountains, my soul told me to stop and wander into the desert.  I climbed to the top of a ridge, in the middle of nowhere, and meditate. What unfolded was an awesome adventure that drove me deeper into my growing faith and has allowed my spirit to fly free of heavy baggage.

Even after all the work I have done, towards the path of self-love and happiness, there was still a dark blight on my soul. A touch of shame, guilt, and doubt trailed with my shadow. It caused me to under value myself, doubt my worthiness, and feel insecure about my choices. Although, against the advice of friends and family, my new-found faith kept me on the path that I felt that I belonged. Yes, I fell a few times. Yes, I stumbled. I made some bad choices and took (what I believed) was the easier path to avoid the hard climb of dealing with self. But, for the most part, I was learning from these challenges and no longer fell to the bottom of the mountain. I simply brushed myself and continued from where I fell.

But, on this mountain top – after a short meditation – I looked up at the fire in the sky. I felt more connected to Mother Nature than ever – the energy of my Higher Power running through everything. I usually say the same prayer; showing gratitude for my life and asking for my friends and family to find happiness. This time, in a place of sincere deep humility,

I asked for forgiveness.

I asked for forgiveness for the times that I was lost in my bad behaviors. I asked for forgiveness for not having faith. I asked for forgiveness for trying to end my life.

What happened was a new thought – not my usual negative thought pattern – a thought floated into my mind that I didn’t need to do that. I didn’t need to ask for forgiveness for those things, as I was on the right path. I was facing my challenges and helping others through my failures. That was enough. It was time to let go of the shame and guilt and move forward.

I don’t know if that thought was from the divine Spirit or just a mix of the research and reading, I’ve done, on shame and recover that finally spun together in my brain – or both – but I laid back, watched the fire wash out of the sky as the yellow and orange washed in. I felt the warm rays of light on my face, and let the tears wash away the weight of my shame and guilt.

I felt a peace wash over me and my confidence in my abilities rise to an all time high. I no longer feel the need to hide the gifts that I’ve been given, but use them as a conduit to do good.

As I smile each morning, excited about projects on the books, I now tell myself: It’s time let go of the past. Let go of failures. It’s time to move forward, now.

Road-trip Adventure Tip: Stretch you legs often and play like a big kid while you do. 😂😂

Came across an awesome set of rock formations, while driving down the road. Looked like something I should climb.

Needed to stretch my legs, anyway. 🙂