Every morning I walk the same path.

Every morning I walk the same path from our home, to the river, to the park and back.

Every morning, I turn left at the end of our driveway, take the next three quick rights and then follow the path as it curves down to the left passing under the bridge to meander along the river’s edge to the park.

Every morning I walk the same path. Every morning is never the same.

Some mornings, the remains of an overnight snow cover the path.

Other mornings, yesterday’s melt has frozen overnight. I must watch out for icy patches as I walk.

Sometimes, the difference is in the sky. Some mornings, it is clear blue or dotted with a few fluffy white tendrils of vapour. Other mornings sheets of grey cover its expanse.

Some mornings, a squirrel will cross my path and Beaumont the Sheepadoodle will tug at the leash, eager to play chase.

Other mornings, a jogger will run past. And then another. One will nod their head and throw out a cheerful “Good morning” as they jog past.  Another will keep running by, eyes lowered or focused on some distant spot straight ahead.

Some mornings, like this morning, the Angel in a Canary Yellow Coat and I will cross paths. She will always greet me with some fact, like this morning’s where she told me she walks up and down the hill 15 times every morning. “It’s my 15,600 steps a day,” she said. “It’s what you have to do once you pass 65. 15,600 steps. You’ll see.” I do not tell her I am familiar with passing 65. Nor that the number is 10,000. I do not want to disrupt her stride.

Same path. Always different.

Unless I walk it with all my senses, all my body closed-off to the beauty and wonder all around me. On those mornings, the path is dull, my journey a monotony of numbered steps passing through my head as Beaumont tugs at the leash hurrying me along.

On those mornings, I miss the beauty of the trees standing in silent communion with the sky. I miss the geese floating on the river. The waves constantly coercing the ice that clings tightly to the shoreline to come flow with it, home, to the distant sea. The sunlight dancing on the water reminding me of the stories of the Fairy Dancers I used to make up for my daughters when they were young.

On those mornings, I cannot hear the quiet steady beating of my heart. The silken touch of the air caressing my cheeks. The way my body feels light and lithe as I walk.

Every morning I walk the same path.

Always, I have a choice in how I travel this path.

With mind and body closed off to the sights and sounds of morning awakening beneath Nature’s tender touch. Or, heart and body awakened to the beauty of the day, the rising of the sun, the caress of the wind, the breath of nature unfolding in the world around me connecting me within all of nature.

Every morning I walk the same path. Every morning is never the same.

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Yesterday, David Kanigan at Live & Learn shared a post and a poem that moved me. Earlier, when I’d been walking along the river, I’d been thinking of how I always take the same path and still it’s always different.

And then I read David’s post about walking the same route every morning and taking photographs for the past 291 days. His photos are beautiful. His words exquisite and the whisper of my path, my walk kept rippling out.

Thanks David for the inspiration to keep exploring the idea that the path is always the same but what I experience is always an invitation to step into the wonder and beauty and find my way home to my heart.

Musings on a Cold Winter’s Morning

I had my hopes up. I was excited.

And then I checked the weather before taking Beaumont for his early morning walk. Still cold. -30C with windchill (-22F)

Dang. The weather folk said it would be warmer today. Now I’ve got to wait another day?

Nothing to do but do what I always do when it’s this cold. Bundle up. Go outside. Savour the beauty of the morning.

And that’s the thing. No matter how cold it is outside, dressing for the weather means I can enjoy the fresh morning air. I can enjoy the sound my boots make crunching on the snow and how the crisp air wakens all my senses. And, when Beau has done his business and we have crossed the bridge to get to the garbage can on the other side and turned around for the homeward journey, we return to a warm toasty home.

Inside, I give Beau a treat, make myself a latte and sit down at my desk in front of the big window over looking the river. The furnace hums. Beau stretches out on the chaise beside me and C.C. sleeps in our bedroom on the other side of the house. All is well with my world.

Outside, the sky is getting lighter. The trees stand in silent majesty along the riverbank separating our yard from the river’s wide expanse. Between the two shores and the huge ice island that has formed in the centre of the river, water flows. In the streak of light cast from the streetlight at the farside of the bridge Beaumont and I walked across earlier, the water shimmers and dances.

I breathe. Deeply. I allow my conscious mind to sink deep, deep into my belly where every breath in and out is an invitation to release myself to this present moment. Embodied in its wonder I sink deeper into the knowing of all that is and all that connects me to the mysterious beauty of life unfolding all around and within me.

Eyes still closed, I raise my fingertips to my keyboard and begin to type. I feel…

 I feel…
 my heart beat
 slowing
 my mind
 emptying
 my thoughts
 drifting away

 I feel…
 this moment
 teeming with life
 ever expanding
 out, out, out into the universe around me

 I feel…
 peace
 calm
 joy
 settle deep within me

 I feel
 at one
 connected
 present
 alive
 in this moment
 right now

I feel
complete 

Try it.

All you need is your laptop open in front of you, or a notepad and pen at the ready.

Let yourself sink deep into the quiet. Take a deep breath in, out. Close your eyes. Keep breathing. Keep sinking. Deeper. Deeper. Keep breathing. Imagine your conscious mind sinking, deeper, deeper into your body until it comes to settle in the well of your pelvic bowl. That deep mysterious, magical place full of your creative essence.

Now, eyes still closed… pick up your pen or raise your fingertips to your computer keyboard. Don’t worry about spelling. punctuation. sentence structure. just type/write. Don’t think. Just be present to whatever your belly mind wants to express.

Let go of judgement. Thinking about what to write. Just let the words flow.

Write until you’re empty. Complete.

And when you’re done, open your eyes. Take a deep breath and read whatever you’ve written.

Don’t judge. Don’t criticize. Don’t let your body go all tight and embarassed. Expand it. Loosen your shoulders. Relax.

And savour what spilled out onto the page.

And then, turn the page.

Life continues.

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I wrote a love poem yesterday. It’s for you and me and everyone.

If you’d like to read/see it, I’ve put it on my poetry blog – A Poetry Affair. It’s a gift from my heart to yours. Click HERE

Cracks and Other Openings

In the dryness that is an Alberta winter, my fingertips tend to crack if I don’t keep applying lotion to take care of them.

My heart feels the same. Except ‘the dryness’ is the lack of quality time spent with those I love. Hugs. Touching hands. Sitting side-by-side.

To soothe the cracks, I must take care of my heart. I must keep feeding it with the things I know are good for it.

After writing about ‘creating sunshine‘ in my life yesterday I decided I needed to get some things done!

Taking care of the little things clears space for big (and little) shifts within and all around me. It also makes room for the sunshine to stream in!

Yesterday, after walking Beaumont the Sheepadoodle, I packed up three different parcels waiting to be posted, organized a cupboard and… La cremé de la cremé, after stopping at the post office, I picked up books from an amazing woman, Lisa Gareau of Candy Event Consulting. Lisa is holding a Lisa’s Big Bookshelf Blowout event on FB. For fourteen days in February, she is gifting hardcover books from her collection to anyone willing to pick them up.

It pays to be an early riser. Yesterday, Lisa posted several creativity books — all of which I didn’t have. I messaged her and said I’d love to give them a new home and la voilá…

I spent the afternoon lying on the bed, nurturing a sore back with inspiration divined from my new books!

In her description of the event on FB, Lisa writes, “In this lovely month of love … I want to SHARE the love … by giving away (half) of my hard copy “hold-them-in-your-hands” books!”

What a lovely and inspiring thing to do. And… a wonderful way to give herself self-care — not only does she feel the joy of giving others the gift of reading materials to hold gently and lovingly in their hands, she also creates space for big and little shifts in her own world. Space where the sunshine can stream in!

Which got me wondering, do I have items in my home that are no longer serving me that could be of value to others?

It’s great food for thought and a great way to find the ‘Marie Kondo‘ ethos in our home…

Which brings me back to the cracks in this time of sequestered solitude.

Giving is receiving.

In the giving, joy rises up from both the giver and the receiver to meet on the field of reciprocity created between open hands and receiving hands. In that space, our hearts welcome in the soothing vibrations of generosity that stream in all directions, creating healing waves of gratitude flowing everywhere, including into the cracks.

Spring is just around the corner — okay so it’s a far-off corner here in the land of long winters — but it will arrive. The season’s are like that. They always change. It’s just their timing is not always predictable and their duration not always dependable. But they do change.

Perhaps, as I wait for spring, and a vaccination and an easing of Covid restrictions and the paling of Covid in our lives, it’s a good time to begin a springlike opening of spaces in my home and heart.

Perhaps, the cracks will become less sensitive to ‘the missing’ as joy, gratitude and generosity fill my spirit with hope and open me up to the infinite possibilities of Love flowing everywhere.

Perhaps, it’s time to look at the cracks as openings. A place to feel and know and see that what I give to the world fills the inward places of where I feel ‘the missing’.

As I open my mind and heart to new ideas on being present in this world today through giving and receiving, my world shifts and so does my outlook.

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PS… I checked with Lisa if it was okay to mention her 14 day Big Bookshelf Blowout (it’s on until Feb 22) – and she said “Yes! I’ve still got lots more books to give away.” Do check it out HERE.

Perhaps, even if you don’t find any books to hold in your hands, you’ll find inspiration to help fill in the cracks between the here and now and the beauty of days to come when we can all gather together again.

When the blues get you down – Create your own sunshine

Spring Dreams – mixed media on 10″ x 10″ x 2″ birch board panel

As Covid restrictions stretch into February and vaccination timelines stretch even further out, I find myself drifting between feeling weary and resigned and wanting it all to just go away so I can ‘get on with life’.

Life is what happens to you while you‘re busy making other plans”.

That line, used by John Lennon in his 1980’s hit, Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) originally appeared in 1957 in Reader’s Digest as a quote written by Allen Saunders.

It is true today as much as it was back then.

No one on this planet planned for a global panedmic to disrupt our daily lives for a year, and more. Okay. Well maybe some scientists and world health folk and disaster planners did. But for the majority of us, we planned on life as normal.

And then… this all happened and now, I’m planning on not planning as I wait….

In the waiting, there are moments when all I want to do is stay in the weary. To simply sink beneath the weight of this winter cold snap by curling up under a blanket and not coming out again until ‘it’s all over.’

Beaumont the Sheepadoodle. Daily necessities. Living with my beloved. Family and friends. They all play a role in helping me find grace in the wearies and hope in the possibilities of this moment right now leading to one day, soon…

And when none of that works, when I still struggle to lift my head off the pillow and greet the morning with a smile and a grateful, ‘Good Morning World!’ I know it’s time to ‘create my own sunshine.’

Now, I know that sounds trite. And I know there’s a space inside that wants to yell “No Way! It’s not that easy! And that won’t work anyway. Look at the world. It’s a mess and I’m just going to be a mess with it and nothing and no one can tell me otherwise and I know I should do something about this dark space but seriously this dark space is comforting and what can I do it’s all such a mess and I’m so confused and I have no idea what to do and I’m so tired of having to pick myself up again and again and I just want to keep falling down but I don’t know where the bottom is and what if I fall and can’t get up and what if I get up and just fall back down and what if the blues are the only place I’m safe and what if….”

The mind can be a busy place when the weight of this weary world settles in for a nice, long winter’s nap.

Except, there’s not much that’s nice nor ‘nap-like’ when the weight of the world is settled in.

Which is when I head to my studio, or my journal page or outdoors for a walk (yes. even in the frigid, seriously cold temps we’re experiencing right now).

Doing something that gets my blood flowing, my energy moving and my creative juices going is good for whatever ails me – including the blues. (and especially in those times when I tell myself it just won’t work or it’s too much bother!)

Yesterday, in that space where missing those I love felt like a clingy, wet blanket of doom, I knew I had to create my own sunshine within my heart so that ‘the missing’ didn’t become the reason why I didn’t have to do anything other than let my moodiness carry me to the sofa as I drifted through a day of mindless social media scanning and Netflix binging.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think the occasional day of doing little other than curling up on the sofa is a lovely antidote to these times in which we find ourselves.

I also know, that for me, one day can slip into two, then three and on and on until I believe doing the sofa curl-up under a dark blanket of gloom is the best thing for me.

Which is why yesterday, I challenged myself to doing something creative to create my own sunshine — like making a video to go with the Morning Dance Haiku I wrote earlier in the day. Creating and posting the poster for my Vision Board Workshop. Creating a new piece for the art show I’m in this June. Turning up on a Zoom call with my writing circle (that little voice inside was niggling at me to not turn up!). Taking an extra-long afternoon walk with Beaumont.

This morning, I feel lighter again. No. The pandemic hasn’t disappeared and the world hasn’t suddenly righted itself, but I feel the hope. I feel the light. I feel the possibilities.

And yes, I still miss seeing and being with the one’s I love. I still miss inviting people into our home and going for dinners in restaurants with friends.

But the missing isn’t a heavy cloud of gloom. It is a reality of what I need to do to create a safe space for my beloved and I and all those I love to weather this storm so that one day… soon… we can all gather around a table and not miss faces of those we love because the darkness that consumed them is eternal.

The question is: What will you do to create sunshine in your world today?

I hope you share. Let’s inspire each other and shine a big light for all the world to see in the dark!

Vision Board Workshop

I want to say it’s ‘back by popular demand’ but the fact is, I’ve never advertised the Vision Board Workshops I’ve been holding on Zoom, so it’s not ‘back’… but it is here because a couple of people asked if I’d do another.

So I am.

The beauty of a Zoom Vision Board session is you still get the energy that comes with being in a circle of people focussed on creating a visual map of their possibilities for the next year (and beyond) as well as guidance on how to find the elements/landmarks on your map and the process of putting it onto the page. The difference is, you’re in the comfort of your own home. Own space. And… given the weather here right now (like sub-arctic cold) you don’t have to weather the weather to attend! Bonus!

On Monday, I shared with a group of 7 women my love of creating a Vision Board. When a friend heard about, she said, “I want to play too!”

And thus… this workshop came into being.

If you’ve ever wondered, “Why a Vision Board?” or thought… “I’d like to but I don’t know how.” Or, wanted to create one but love the energy of creating it with others well…. read on!

Saturday, February 20th I’ll be hosting an online Vision Board workshop.

No creative ‘talent’ necessary. No special tools. No special place.

Just you. Some old magazines. A large piece of paper. Pair of scissors and glue — those are the bare necessities. Of course, you can get all fancy and I will provide a supplies list with loads of ideas, but seriously — all a Vision Board requires is for you to turn up, spend some time divining ‘what do I want more of in my life’ and then a willingness to explore what that map could look like!

I keep the group small (max 7 attendees). It helps create an intimate environment that is both safe and courageous.

What:    Vision Board Workshop
WHERE:   Online via Zoom
WHEN:    Saturday, February 20th
         10am - 1pm
COST:    $50.00

Space is limited so if you’re interested, sign up now! Upon receipt of your e-transfer (I can also do Paypal) I’ll send you a confirmation and a full supplies list.

I hope to see you there!

The one thing I can promise… If you’re like others who’ve attended in the past, the workshop will be full of surprises, revelations and a lot of fun!

Angel In A Canary Yellow Coat

Some mornings, when Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I head out for our first saunter, we cross paths with the woman in the bright yellow coat.

It is fluffy. Like a polar bear. Cuddly. Like Beaumont’s fur.

When our paths intersect, she always stops to say hello, though she never speaks those words.

The moment she is close enough to be heard, she blurts out some arcane fact of which I have little desire to know if it is true or not. I just like the fact she blurts out facts in the morning.

Did you know, she begins, before going on to tell me some novel thing about the moon, Tom Brady, the height of the Eiffel Tower, the flow of water in the river.

This morning, when we meet, she turns her face upwards as if to catch the tiny flakes of snow drifting down.

She puts one hand out, palm up to receive nature’s benediction and says, while staring pointedly at Beaumont, “These flakes are dog toys falling from heaven.”

Later, after we’ve parted, she to walk up the hill, me to turn into the lane leading to our house, I wonder if I heard her correctly. Did she say ‘dog’ or ‘God’?

It doesn’t matter, forwards or backwards, it is a delightful fact to savour.

I think it’s true.

Snowflakes are dog toys falling from heaven.

Like angels. Always present. Always fluttering their wings to create tiny miracles of joy in every day encounters where strangers come bearing enchanting gifts when their paths cross on snowy mornings.

And facts don’t need checking when they come wrapped up in the wonder of nature. They only need to be heard and honoured with a joyful smile of gratitude for the morning delight.

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I wrote this piece in the writer’s circle I participate in every Wednesday night. Created by the remarkable Ali Grimshaw of Flashlight Batteries, the circle is a safe and courageous place to explore word-craft, your poetic nature and our shared human condition.

Ali leads Writing Circles throughout the week. They are a wonderful oasis of beautiful souls gathering around the well of creative expression.

If you are looking for a ‘home’ to find your poetic voice, or just a place to come and rest awhile from the weary humdrum of life’s cachophony, connect with Ali and in that connection you will find yourself immersed in the wonder and awe she creates every week in her circles.

You can find out more about Ali’s online writing circles, click HERE.

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and… this is the part I forgot to include!

This post about snow is also in response to the writing prompt today ‘WINTER’ on Eugi’s Causerie

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Your Weekly Prompt  Winter – February 4, 2021.

moonlit frosty nights

a whoosh of winter beckons

the awe of wonder

Go where the prompt leads you and publish a post on your own blog that responds to the prompt. It can be any variation of the prompt and/or image. Please keep it family friendly. Prompts close 7 days from the close of my post.

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And don’t forget…. it’s an invitation for anyone and everyone to join in — even if all you do is go and check out the links to other stories, it will be a delightful journey I’m sure!

Wolf Moon Dancing and other delights

It is early morning. Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I are indulging in our first saunter of the day. Night has slipped into the envelope of eternity that waits at the edge of the far horizon. The sky is pale blue streaked with rose.

The Wolf Moon is high, still visible in night’s lingering caress.

As I walk and Beau sniffs, my mind drifts full of images and thoughts floating. They feel light and buoyant, like the chunks of ice that clog the slow-moving waters of the river below the bridge where I stand to gaze at the moon.

When I come home, I sit down at my computer to write and the words and images that lingered in my mind pour out.

 Wolf moon dancing in day's light streaking naked across the sky 
 Darkness slips silently away, its caress as soft as a lover kissing her beloved adieu.
Love sighs a glorious prayer of gratitude as earth turns her cheek to welcome the sun's passionate kiss.
 

A dear friend asked me the other day how creativity seemingly just keeps flowing out of me.

I laughed and replied, “I have no idea…” And then after a moment’s reflection replied, “I just accept its presence. I listen to its flow. I don’t question it or criticize its outpourings. I allow them.”

Which is how yesterday’s #ShePersisted painting happened. By allowing it to appear.

I didn’t know what I was going to paint when I began to create a background in my art journal yesterday. I thought I might paint some botanicals and write about the longing for spring that seems to have arrived early in my heart this year. It’s only the end of January and I’m already dreaming of frost-free mornings and buds popping up under the warmth of the sun’s encouragement.

And that ain’t happenin’ yet!

I live at the edge of Rockies, in the land where the plains meet the undulating foothills. Where sky soars forever, and sometimes, so does winter.

We still have 3 months of indeterminate weather. Cold snaps. Polar Vortices. Arctic chills. They’re all in the wind. All a possibility between now and the May 24th weekend when ‘they’ say it’s safe to once again plant gardens.

Painting botanicals seemed like an antidote to the grey on brown world outside.

The muse has other ideas. My creative flow has its own rhythm.

When the inspiration for the #ShePersisted Series of quotes and images began, I thought it would last… just a little while. 1. 2. Maybe 3 paintings. 12 at the most.

Yesterday’s was No. 65. Somewhere between creating the background and writing out what was on my heart, letting myself fall into the flow of creativity rising up from deep within my belly.

No. 65 – #ShePersisted

They said, why must you keep fighting for more. This is all we can give you right now.

She said, I will never stop fighting for my rights until you stop holding onto the rights that are rightfully mind.

This morning, the quote for No. 66 appeared. I wasn’t expecting it or looking for it, but there it was, streaming out of the thoughts that appeared from the words I felt rising up while I stood on the bridge. I almost did a happy dance when the quote wrote itself out.

And…. here’s a ‘teaser’ – “They said, stop shining so bright. She said, I am made of stardust. I am Star Woman shining bright so you can see in the dark.

I can already envision the imagery and energy of the piece. I feel the essence of the Star Woman shining.

And that’s the thing about the muse. When we listen, she flows freely. When we allow the force of her flow to draw us out of our comfort zones, we fall with abandon into the waters of creative expression flowing wild and free.

Namaste

Now’s The Time (#ShePersisted No. 64)

How many times have you heard yourself say, or someone else tell you, “It’s all in the timing and now is not the time.”

Or, “When it’s the right time, you’ll know.”

The question is, who determines the timing or whether it’s ‘the right time’ or not.

Fact is, if I want something to change and you don’t, you’ll find a way to tell me my timing is off. It’s a much easier let-down than, “No”.

Years ago, when I started an art studio in the homeless shelter where I worked, there was a man who every day sat in the large day area on the second floor of the shelter and painted.

As the only shelter open 24/7, it was a busy place. Full of people and noise, comings and goings that would sometimes erupt into loud arguments or angry slamming of fists against walls or people too.

The windows on the second floor were 20ft above the floor. They let in light but no view.

Everyday I would stop by the table where he sat and invite him to come up to the 6th floor studio space. It’s quieter there, I’d tell him. The view is fabulous (which it was. Floor to ceiling windows looking out over the river valley and the hillside beyond). And we’ve got coffee, I’d tell him and lots of space to spread out.

And everyday he would say, “Not today. It’s not time yet.”

One day, I asked him, “Have you picked a date yet?”

“A date for what?” he asked.

“To start coming to the studio,” I replied.

“Not yet,” he said.

“Then why not make today the day. Why not make time now?”

On that day he decided to do it.

He never looked back. And though he was still living in a homeless shelter, sleeping with 1,000 roommates every night, his creative expressions began to blossom and bloom and flourish. As did his sense of self, his pride, and his connections to others.

From selling his work in our various art shows, to painting, writing music and poetry and acting in plays and playing his music on stage as part of the various productions as a member of The Possibilities Project, he made time for creative expression. One year, he even went to New York to participate in an Off-Broadway production of Requiem for a Lost Girl that was germinated in that space by the amazing Onalea Gilbertson, His gifts are many. His contributions, significant. (He’s also the man who gave me the gift of music for two of my poems (The Gift).

I like to think it all began with making the decision to change where he sat.

As humans, we like to find reasons to resist change. We like status quo, even when it limits our freedom, our self-expression, our hearts.

Is there something in your life calling out to be changed, but you keep waiting for ‘the right time’ to make it happen?

Is there something you dream of creating that you are resisting expressing because you tell yourself the timing’s not quite right?

Decide now. Decide right where you’re sitting, right now… Now’s the time.

Now, take a step and then another. Make it happen.

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None of us is forbidden to pursue our own good.

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

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January Flowers

Here on the prairies at the eastern foot of the Canadian Rockies, January days are full of harsh winter light in a cloudless blue sky.

The land is grey on black on white. Leafless trees stand stark. Barren gardens lie silently waiting for spring beneath a blanket of snow. Prairie grasses rustle dry and brittle in the crisp winter air.

It is there, amidst the frozen landscape lying dormant beneath a January sun, I paint, my palette loaded with all the colours of the rainbow.

Playing with colour distracts my mind from world events and disheartening news of death counts and violence, changes in governments and travel restrictions and weather-forecasters’ foreboding messages of a Polar Vortex about to descend.

It is there, on the palette, I am reminded that my power lies not in my ability to change the whole world but to create beauty in my own. In that act of creation, I set in motion a ripple of beauty flowing within me and out into the world all around me.

It is there I remember that the power of art to awaken nascent possibilities for humanity to find peace, love, joy, together, is not transitory. It is always present.

To awaken it, to be present within and to it, I must keep my attention on the things I want to grow stronger in my life.

Let my attention be on creating joy, love, harmony.

Let my attention be on sharing peace and love with all the world around me.

Namaste

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I have been feeling unsettled. Discordant notes of anxiety burble up into my consciousness, creating ripples of unease within my peace of mind.

Much of my unease is initiated because I keep returning to newsfeeds that do little to create confidence in humankind’s ability to create better. I tell myself I must stop only to catch myself awhile later falling down the rabbit hole of yet another story about some political, environmental, economic or pandemic related story dragging me into the darkness.

I turn away, come back to the palette and begin again.

Practice they say makes perfect.

I am feeling very practiced at dragging myself out of the darkness, though I am getting tired of the dance!

Yesterday, I desperately needed the distraction of working on small things to help bring myself back into the present moment unfolding right in front of me.

I am grateful for my art practice. Grateful for my beautiful studio where I can find my balance again amidst the noise of the world around me.

How do you find your balance? What do you do to distract yourself from the world ‘out there’ so that you can find peace, harmony and joy within?