Be Like Water

Be Like Water

I finally remembered the quote that I wanted to share….

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Bruce Lee



What can you add…

What can you add…

What can you add to this moment that is not already here?

Sitting in bed at 12:12 on a Sunday afternoon with my sweet little doggy next to me.  The littlest kids are playing on the floor, telling me all about the cool game they are making up about stuffed doggies and baby carriages.  My husband is at the computer making music. The teenagers are sleeping in. The middle kids, that are not visiting grandparents, are playing Minecraft.  We only have 6 kids home today, 3 are out visiting grandparents.  The house seems quiet. It’s my moment…. and I love it.

Thank you, Kate

I am Home pt. 2: A Mantra Mandala Tutoral

I am Home pt. 2: A Mantra Mandala Tutoral

Found in the book, You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

I have arrived, I am Home

In the Here and in the Now

I am Solid, I am Free

In the Ultimate I Dwell

This is my first Art Assignment that I set for myself in my project I call “The Happiness Experiment.” I feel that actively putting effort into being a more joyful person makes sense if you are serious about having a happier life.  It’s just true that you need to take time with yourself and do things like meditate, make sacred art and music, or just uninhibitedly sing and dance…. if your attention is on joy and the present moment then life will bloom radiantly all around you.

When I decided to assign myself an art project, found here in this post, I didn’t know that I would end up making a beautiful Mandala.  Putting words into a Mandala is also something I have never seen before but I felt like that is what called to me this time.

This is my first tutorial and I wish my pics would have turned out a little better but if you click them they enlarge enough so that you can see the pencil marks in the first few photos.  Next time I will learn from my mistakes and use a better camera.

Making a Mandala is like doing a round Zentangle.  One small step at a time without a whole lot of thought to the finished project.  It’s a metaphor for life.

First I found the center for the paper with a ruler and made a large X as a base.


Next I marked half inch segments onto each line.


I divided the circle into equal parts  an added more half inch markings on the straight lines I added.



My mantra fit into the spaces.  The outer layer starts with “Arrive” then the next ring shows “Home”, as you go further inward you will see the words “Here” and “Now”, then “Solid” and “Free.”  The inner two circles represent the “Ultimate”with the “I” in the center surrounded by an infinity symbol.


I marked out the larger pieces of the Mandala surrounding each word in a seperate space.


Next I started filling in the larger parts with ideas from patterns that I found on Pinterest. When you use inspiration pieces from other people, use a lot of examples, don’t take more than 1 or 2 patterns from each example so you can create your own personal art.


Make sure to erase all the the pencil marks now before you start painting.

I used Dr. Martins India Inks to paint mine, pictured below.  When you use multiple coats of ink you achieve a stained glass look that is mesmerizing to look at.


I decided my color layout as I went along after choosing a palette to work from, Blue, Purples, Pinks and Red.


At the end I added some detail work with a white Gelly pen.


This whole piece was intended and created as a Meditation. I tried to stay in the present moment as I worked, trying to feel a sense of “home” with each new part. It was important to me that I didn’t overthink the piece, just placing my attention on what I was doing at that exact moment.

Now I have a great piece of art that I can hang in my home and whenever I see it I am reminded of my Mantra and how I felt while I made it. It’s kinda awesome.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy




Happy November! It’s a beautiful day outside here in Kansas City.  It’s warm and it’s just about the perfect fall day.  I am so grateful when the weather is nice and I can open the windows and have fresh air.

Mondays are always hard, the kids are dragging their butts and crying about doing school work. I don’t really blame them, I sometimes want to cry about all the work there is to do.  It’s just a matter of acceptance. I have a job that I have to do, I can not wish I didn’t have to do it. That is the friction that really causes the irritation in my life.  Acceptance is all there is. You have to make the most of what you have in store for you today and do it with a smile. Amazingly, things become easy when you abandon resistance and let each moment flow as it needs to.

I used to be a Massage Therapist and I would say Mantras in my head as I worked in the quiet darkness, letting my hands feel the knots under the skin without thinking. It’s easy when no one is distracting you and you can work in a quiet environment.  I need to apply the same peace and flow to my daily life, letting things happen without my refusal and self created friction.

Acceptance is the key that allows life to be smooth and peaceful… acceptance of what really is. There will be no more blame and angry self talk about how hard things can be or how I deserve such and such to be happy. This is what I have, this is what I have to do. And it’s a great life, I am actually really lucky. If I take to time to look at it from the point of acceptance, I can focus on the best parts and joy becomes natural and fluid. It’s amazing when you can finally see it around you.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy


Realizing Compassion

Realizing Compassion

Mother Theresa is the person who, I believe, is the personification of compassion. I admire her and what she did. Loving unconditionally takes a special understanding of who people are at the soul’s level. Serving selflessly takes knowing ourselves on that same deep level.

Daily life makes me grumpy and feel wasted. As the day goes on, managing the family makes me frustrated and I lose site of the bigger picture. I start micro-managing every detail of everyone’s life.  The reality is that these people are the ones I love and have committed myself to care for.They are special and alive and a miracle of actuality, I need to be more understanding. Being a caretaker is my miracle.

My goal today is easy, I need to cultivate compassion… make it grow from all the dark hiding places, one little moment at a time.  Remembering to be a little more kind when frustration tries to make me snappy.  It’s a seed I want to plant for myself and my kids. I truly believe that what people shine forth effects those around them and it creates a ripple effect. I want to see more compassion in the world so I need to be more compassionate.  It seems so simple when I say it. I just need to remember to do it, that’s the hard part.

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy


Today I Choose Happiness

Today I Choose Happiness

Good morning! It’s one of those fall days where you can hear the rain patter onto the leaves outside and you just want the fireplace warming your cold body. No plans, no worries, just the warmth wrapped around you like a hug.

I live in Kansas City and the leaves here are in perfect form. Every tree is full of color, it’s a late fall this year so we still have lot’s of beauty to look at through the window while we stay inside warmed and cozy.

I am in charge of how I feel and today I choose happiness.

Lately with all the colds going around and a stiff back because of the weather I have been less than excited to wake up in the morning and face the day. Sometimes life is just too overwhelming to be excited about it.  I was an only child growing so having all the people around me in the house is hard sometimes. Crawling under the covers is so much more comforting than the care and feeding of a bunch of free spirited children.

Because of this gloomy attitude I decided to start this blog and learn to free myself from my resistance. Maybe just stating the obvious is enough to get me going until the coffee kicks in!  I choose to be happy today. It is my choice after all. We forget, at least I do, daily, hourly, that I can change my own attitude.

Today I am going be grateful and look at the good, choose to be happy. Be warm and cozy and stay positive.

Of course it’s all so easy to say until the first kid throws up…

Have a HAPPY day if you want to!

Peace, Love, Hope, Joy