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

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.

If you suffer (emotionally) in silence, there is a path to hope and happiness. You are not alone.

I was shooting some time lapse while bored last night (this morning) and had an idea to throw this video together. Well, I had an hour to really reflect on how alone I felt, in my push through life, before getting diagnosed and taking full steps towards managing my bipolar disorder.

I wrote this and then made the video. There is a lot more I would have liked to have done with it, and it might become a future project. But at least I got my thoughts down, before I took a nap and rested a bit. Long drive, made much longer by constant storms.

For most of my life, I was sure that happiness would never be achievable. I did not want to live and tried to end my life

I knew, from the depths of my soul, that I was different. There was something wrong with me. I was sick.

When I reached out to friends and family, I was told that everyone feels the way I do.

I watched people closely. Observed human behavior. Mimicked other’s reactions. Wore a very heavy mask of happiness.

My bipolar disorder was repeatedly destroying my life, relationships, successes, spirituality, and joy.

I didn’t know how to talk about it. How to describe my silent suffering. Physical pain of depression and out of control mania.

Today, I have made a choice to be happy. Understand my illness. Use its strengths. We can find a path to happiness.

If you are in pain, as I was… Know this:

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Even in the thick darkness, I see the light. Where my mind drifts on long dark drives through the desert.

As I pull off into the utter thick darkness of the desert, to capture the looking thunderstorms, I had a thought that swirled into a short piece. Here it is below. 🙂

On this stormy desert night, I drive through darkness that is thick like dark tar. The light of my brights seems to be swallowed by it. Traffic is sparce, at best. If not for the flash bursts of lightning behind the mountains, I would swear that I was falling through a black hole.

But, I drive forward through the night filled with faith, full of love, and charged an enthusiasm for life. The cockpit of my car is filled with the harmony of my music and the sweet crisp wind is blowing across my face.

I smile. The chill from the cool air dissipates. I believe it with all my heart and soul; as long as I am connected – mind, body, spirit, and to the people I love – that I can face any challenges ahead. From flat tire to test of virtues, I will end up where I need to be.

I find joy, even in the mundane. Staying in the moment is part of finding my way to happiness.

It’s kind of a joke (no, definitely is a joke) with people I work with: I can be very slow.

It’s true. I can be be fast; but choose to make a little less, in my choice to find a little more joy in my work. I’m okay with that and I give full disclosure to clients. Even though contractors may poke fun, they call me in for the tough and technically detailed parts that they are struggling with. They know, in the end, the job will be done right and with pride.

The reason I am able to consistently put out quality work, is largely due to one of the tools in my mental health tool-bag.

Stay in the moment.

Even in the mundane tasks, I put in effort to clear my head, feel the materials, listen to the sounds they make or some good music, let my head and soul drift, and find my place of Zen. I am at peace with self and don’t easily get frustrated. Instead, as problems arise, I am able to look at them from different angles and tackle them – one by one. Even on a long day, I get so much enjoyment from doing the job well that I don’t even notice that I’ve been working for hours.

I stand back, smile, and am grateful that I have met the challenges in front of me.

I can’t control what other people do. I can control my reaction.

Gotta watch the whole video. Ends in a positive silly me kind of way. 😂😂

This project, for many reasons, led to me loosing my mind. I let go of healthy habits and pushed too hard. I had to take a day or two away and get recentered.

I’ll post about that later, after I’ve processed a bit more.

But, I was SO CLOSE to being done. Watch and see the surprise I was left. I can’t control what others do, but I can control my reaction.

I have to remember, a lot of people show up to get a check. I make a lot of messes in my life, but try and clean them up and have pride in my work. Almost done. Few days behind. But almost done. 😉☺️

I have to recognize my strengths and use them. That came with self-love and acceptance.

There was a time, when I didn’t think I could even work again, because I allowed my bipolar disorder to run my life and systematically destroy my progress. With some hard work on mind, body, and spirit… I have found happiness and joy. Using it as a gift and grateful for the strengths I have found.

This is one of my current projects. As usual, making fun where some may net find it. 😂😂

Just a few more days of stupid hard work, and I’ll be able to get back into my usual routines.

Here is a video of my the project and some silly fun.

https://youtu.be/DF7qqztkG_A