Acknowledging abundance (Aparigraha), we recognized the blessings in everything and gain insights into the purpose for our worldly existence. (Nischala Joy Devi, interpretation of Sutra II:39 from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras)
I am sitting here sipping a well deserved hot chocolate: it has a long day ... it is 46 degrees outside, the weather forecast for the week ahead is rainy and cold and I just spent 20 minutes listening to Chinese zither music with Cowgirl as a wind down from a marathon evening (the girl loves her zither music ... it is bizarre ... but she also loves greasy chicken skin - not the chicken mind you, but oh my, that crispy skin! So there you have it.) I ran around after work trying to find items for the bag lunch Cowgirl required for a school field trip to a farm tomorrow (everything had to be disposable) only to discover the trip has been canceled because of the rainy forecast. I tried a new recipe for dinner - a spin on shepherd's pie only all vegetarian. Meaning: lots and lots and lots of chopping, steaming, boiling, baking for a ten minute meal choked - oh yeah, choked - down and then an equally arduous time cleaning up. Then on to bath time, bed time and the zither music.
And that was the good part of my day!
Actually, my day took a turn when I was walking the dog and noticed a small package was on the front porch. Did I order something from Etsy while under the influence of Wal-itin (my Walgreen's knock off of Claritin)? Immediately glancing at the return address my heart skipped a beat - " A Secret Admirer"?
Imagine my surprise when I discovered this inside:
Ah ... I know that lotus flower ... I know that handwriting ... I know I am in for a very, very special treat and dear Kristen, you did not disappoint!
Family Tree by Kristen Walker
I am not exaggerating ... this unexpected gift revived my flagging spirits, it reminded me that goodness and abundance and love are the foundation of this Universe, and that giving and sharing and receiving are our natural tendencies. And now I marvel at what was my reading for this day "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." (Mark Twain)
This one act of generosity set my mind turning towards all the other gifts of inspiration that have been washing my way. Sarah Ahearn Bellemare's new book Painted Pages arrived over the weekend and I am in heaven! I love how she explains her process; the influence of poetry and photography in her mixed media pieces; and how she uses her sketchbook as a both a record of her creative process and as a tool to collect and hold ideas, thoughts, and insights. It is both a visual diary and a creative laboratory and I am excited to dig into the process.
I immediately pulled out my book of Pablo Neruda's "Odes to Common Things" and spent a lovely few hours yesterday making this piece as a thank you to an unsuspecting new friend:
I am also grateful for the steady arrival of art postcards spicing up my trips to the mailbox. So far I have received 8 out of 10 cards from ihanna's international swap.
It has been lovely connecting with new artists through their cards, via email thank-yous and checking out their blogs. So far I have receive cards from Finland, Sweden, Norway, England, Argentina and the U.S. I love the pull out message in this card:
art postcard by SNARLing
And of course, this one really spoke to me
art card by Laura Varela
I am a lover of noses :)
All of this reminds me that whenever I am feeling a bit weary, the best medicine is to stop whining, stop wringing my hands, just stop and look around. Abundance quietly awaits my attention and it is pretty awesome and often colorful, creative stuff.
And the insight into my purpose? I'm not certain, but I am pretty sure Joy is heavily involved. I mean, if happiness is a warm puppy, joy is a wet nose.
And now my cocoa is cold ... but warm is my heart with all these lovely wishes surrounding me.