Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul which have been restored and brought to light in this age, none is more gladdening or fruitful of divine promise and confidence than this – that man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.

As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation, and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may make himself what he wills.

– James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

I’ve been working on this for some months now – being truly mindful of the thoughts that cross my brain. How inconsequential a silly thought might be, it is still a seed with boundless potential. Some are seeds to weeds and others to beautiful flowers and plants and trees. To be selective about which seeds we lay in our fertile mind will determine what grows into our attitude and actions, which in turn give life to our circumstances and environment – and therefore it is of critical importance that we check our thoughts for uprightness. We can not entertain folly and contempt and expect to reap abundance and goodness. It just doesn’t follow the natural law of the universe.

I am working on this every single day… I am a little too apt to judge others and harbor contempt for others’ folly… but these are not the seeds of goodness and light. And, I want the those in my life.

Few things are accidental. Most things are by design. We just have to be aware of it.

The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step.

– Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

What we need is more day-to-day living; starting in morning with fresh, clear ideals for that day, and seeking to live each hour as if it were all the time left to us. This has in it no element of disregard for the future, because each day is set in harmony with that future. It is like the sea captain pointing his vessel toward its port of destination and day by day keeping her sailing toward it. This view of living kills morbid regret of the past and morbid worry about the future.

– William George Jordan

We do too much watching of our neighbor’s garden, and too little weeding in our own.”

-William George Jordan

I used to spend countless hours every week poring over instagram and pinterest for cool art and emerging artists in the name of research and inspiration but often found that I didn’t feel the better for it. In fact, I felt somehow insufficient and intimidated by those much further along on their artistic journey. Now, I limit my social time… paying less attention to who follows my work, how many likes I get, and I engage only long enough to appreciate the wealth of talent and art in the world. There is a happy medium to find… and I would much rather weed and water my own garden anyway.

“Simplicity means the light of the fullest knowledge. It means that the individual has seen the folly and the nothingness of those things which make up the sum of the lives of others. S/He has lived down what others are blindly seeking to live up to. Simplicity is the secret of greatness in the life of every human being.”

-William George Jordan

I seek simplicity… in all thoughts, words, deeds, and possessions… so that I might achieve greatness. 

“Any man may attain self-control if he only will. He must not gain it, however, except by continued payment of price, in small, progressive expenditures of energy. Nature has an installment plan for each individual. No man is so poor that he cannot begin to pay for what he wants from his life. And every small, individual payment that he makes, nature accumulates for him as a reserve fund of strength in his hour of need.”

-William George Jordan, The Kingship of Self-Control

Much of the work we do as creators, as leaders, as people seeking to make change–it needs to ferment, to create character and tension and impact. And if we rush it, we get nothing worth very much.”

Seth Godin

Reminder to self to put in the work and the time and not to rush it because more is being created and shaped than the medium upon the canvas. I am becoming as well…

“I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.”

A simple affirmation from the Master Key System to ward off thoughts of fear, jealousy, anger, and anxiety. We may not always be able to keep ourselves from thinking negative thoughts but we can shut them down with positive affirmations.

Below: Watercolor color play… totally enjoying the process of discovery new shades, tones, and transparencies. I think I am going to expand this color play into final paintings. Hmmm… wheels are turning.

Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way. One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are.

-Pema Chödrön

Eat the strawberry…🍓

A friend shared this excerpt as her Facebook status and it was so beautiful that I am sharing it here. I also just purchased my first Pema Chodron collection cause sometimes a good book is everything.

There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees there are tigers below her as well. She then notices a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment.