I keep thinking about the many myths about dragons, and how use this imaginative creature to explore what comes from within. How will we tame our dragons? How will we create wonderful, adventuresome growth through knowledge of our dragons?
Today we are offering several guest creators #ZazzleMade for your perusal. We hope you will find these symbolic designs helpful to hang your thoughts around allowing peace and happiness within your world. …perhaps your curiosity will be peaked.
A Reading from the first half of this page. I hope you enjoy. Please let us know if you like the readings.
Let’s try this on for size. You hear a lot about the importance of staying in the present moment: at home, at work, at play. But its not as easy as it sounds. Being present to the moment takes more than a bit of consciousness.
And, what do you think takes us away from the present moment?
I propose fear. Fear can be a security guard who won’t let us enjoy our presence, without passing the bravery test. And, I propose fear’s co-guard, guilt, who identifies our lack in endless ways.
How do we awakened from unconsciousness.
When we were children, we had conversations with ourselves. We were delighted by the little bug we saw and the clouds that looked like a bunny. We loved to say, I love you, Mommy.I love you, Daddy.
Something happened as we grew up. We found consciousness too painful, and we put ourselves on auto drive. We tried to numb ourselves back into comfy, cozy unconsciousness. …until we were rudely shaken with life’s situations. And now, we believe the situations we find ourselves in reflect our greatness or weakness.
Yet situations, of themselves, are neither good or bad.
I’ve been thinking.... ooo, that is problematic right there! Thinking is not necessarily a sign of consciousness, the thought process can continue when we are unconsciousness. I’m pretty sure thinking continues on and on, like a looping video without us even knowing about it. How else could we spend countless hours what we call social media.
If these episodes are not recognized and redirected, we may be doomed to live outside of the present moment and imprisoned within the pseudo-world of yesterday and tomorrow. Now that’s a gloomy picture to start out your day!
As you awaken to your current situation, you may wonder why you can be so happy at some times, and then, find yourself feeling sad, hopeless, anxious. Are you aware these little tapes may be running on loop, right now?
You might consider that there’s been a whole series of episodes of previous life experiences playing, actively dialoguing with the whole of your body.
Every cell is affected by these messages.
It seems to me, life is a delicious adventure, with awakenings to new ways of thinking about ourselves and the world around us. As I have gone through my lifetime as Barbara, dealing with symbolic angels and dragons within my very being is a reality.
As I have awaken to a new level, I see what I now know. This constant adventuring and changing from what I have learned gives me great hope for myself, my family, my friends, my country and all humans who i may disagree with. It is within our nature to learn from doing.
The concept of slaying your dragons does not appear to work, however. When we don’t listen it comes back with more intensity.
Fight or flight doesn’t appear to work. One war does not stop all future wars. There appears to be a hopeful truth, however. Perhaps, with great respect, we try to tame our dragons with love, joy, and openness to all humans? What if we are to allow more kindness and less judgment, accusations, defensive arguments. Explaining to others how wrong they are, only has led to rudeness, anger, social discord.
Compassion harmonized with beautiful strength seems to be where my life adventure is unfolding. I am challenging fears with respect to my inner dragons. They become louder as I have ignored them. It appears this is the built-in safe-guard I have created.
Again, fighting or closing out those who don’t agree with me does not promote growth,
Joy, love, understanding, and fear. This fear is not a sign I should run or fight. More and more I suspect my fears are signs I am about to enter a grand new adventure! This adventure is a substantial training ground: should I face each fearful surprise … like a broken down house, or broken bodies, or fears of losing loved ones? give me new insights.
In other words, my dragons guard the treasures of life. With the many myths, stories, dramas, we are taught how to live rich, brave lives. Whether we are aware or not, we may be going through our magnificent opportunities. We just need to remember to go where fools fail to tread, be not afraid. We can do this, if we are prepared with love, hope, belief, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, inclusiveness, laughter, gentleness, and understanding we will make mistakes, for adventures always teach us more.
According to news media, we don’t always change the world for good.
We don’t change things for good when we war against what we want changed. It just doesn’t work! Wars usually create more trouble than good: war against drugs, war against climate change, war against poverty, war against racism, etc. We sometimes focus so forcefully on what we don’t like, we inflate our problem for ourselves and others.
Also, I don’t think we change what we don’t like by making people afraid. We get people’s attention by means of fear, but we don’t change the lifestyle of people we are scaring. We create focus on what we are afraid of, like building walls around countries, or locking up people we are afraid of, or even killing people we fear. Fight or flight. It seems like news stories consistently ignite human fear.
The solution is simple! We can solve challenges, make changes, in a more calm, peaceful, loving way!
I tell myself: Changes are made in MY world, by MY perspective!
I strive to live a peaceful life regardless of any person, place or thing.
A better way to say this:
I CAN live in a peaceful world, when I AM LIVING A PEACEFUL LIFE!
I have been groomed, reformed, refined, reprimanded, chiseled, quieted, asked to speak up, asked to change my mind, told I am naive, until I have felt it hard to sing my song!
Sing a song, keep it simple, keep it strong. Sing of good things, not bad. Sing of happy, not sad. (Song I remember from the Carpenters).
So here it is. I primarily work in collaboration with myself.
I delight when I see other humans who share this intuitive understanding. We often pass along our way and acknowledge the other.
Our world does change one step at a time. It changes in ways we like when we allow the change we want into our own life.
To Sum Up: Here is a poem I came across yesterday on Facebook.
My grandmother once gave me a tip:
In difficult times, move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don't think about the future
or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
Advance step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Take another step.
And then another.
You won't notice, but your steps will. grow more and more.
And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.
Author: Elena Mikhalkova
Most popular ornaments designed by Artist Creators at Zazzle. Each ornament can be personalized with your special pictures and sent to grandparents, aunts and uncles, lifelong friends. Or, let pet photos, present or not, bring good cheer to your tree!
There’s an easy “personalize” button which leads to a template. Upload your photo and it will fit just like the one you see in the photos below. Easily change the text, too. Click on the cart and you’re ready to go!
There’s no place like home. These gifts bring home along, no matter where you go. ….feel good products.
The painting scene came from a one-of-a-kind, stucco home just west of the neighborhood drug store. It held an magical surprise for me whenever I passed on the way to school. And, I always glanced into the windows of the house to discover the occupants.
The sunset of life is shining brightly, the day we find we are going to be grandparents! —- AbuNana
We are here to help celebrate one of life’s most beautiful miracle … a new member of your family! Here’s an idea… Artwork! Choose and buy special baby gifts from the comfort of your home.
Welcome to the Grandparents Club! You have found the on-line boutique where designers live! Take a look at these beautifully designed bodysuits with templates to customize names from Trendy Finds @ZazzleMade for your grandchild … .
Pickleball is quickly taking hold of a popular form of team exercise! Have you ever tried the game? Are you hooked? The people we have talked to meet at least once a week to play in a club. There’s an old tennis court on Camano that has been transformed into a Picketball Court club! It’s definitely popular with old and young.
We were first introduced to Pickleball before the Pandemic. Manny joined the YMCA, and even though he could not participate in the sport, he designed and I added digital touches to a cartoon pickle for the group who were playing.
Now that the Pandemic is subsiding, Pickleball is more popular than ever! Do you know people who play Pickleball?
Yesterday … today … and … tomorrow, I am going to hear about rising prices! …from a news story, a friend, a salesman, social media and other surprise places.
This morning, I thought it interesting to remember statistics are compared to past timelines. Prices are at an all time high! What will I do? I’m responsible for others! …. I need to remember prices are simply compared to previous prices. It is like calling me back to times long ago. I am aware of the fear impact tapes now running through my head. I like sharing my past stories, but I don’t want to go back.
I feel alerted to take notice though! …to worry! …to plan! …to feel helpless! …to doubt my great heroic self!
But take a look at a bigger picture. Prices have always risen. It doesn’t matter who in the government, neighborhood, family is in charge.
What if I lived with the reality of prices rising? How would this acceptance change my attitude?
With age can come wisdom! Prices increase, taxes increase, and salaries increase. I feel a need to stop listening to empty threats of doom, and listen to my heart.
When I can memorialize times I met my financial needs, … when I had food on the table, I lessen my focus on concern.
The main thought for me is this: I wish to balance what I hear and read with quiet moments of listening to my inner assurance of love.
We hope you enjoy these beautiful wedding invitations! A couple of days ago, Manny and I celebrated 53 years together. Our advice: keep lighthearted humor, compassion, kindness and forgiveness woven into the days ahead!
I have a love/hate relationship with keeping my home clean and uncluttered to my imagined standards. I often find myself feeling guilty for not taking care of every little thing a home demands. … according to my imagined standards.
I’m writing today to share with you what I want to avoid, and that is, imbalance. When I say imbalance, I mean I am happiest when my physical world is aligned with my non-physical world. So here are my thoughts worth sharing.
Shuttering with Cluttering
Have you ever walked into a room and felt sudden irritation?
Instead of blaming others, know it is a message coming directly from you. Look around. It doesn’t seem like anyone else is bothered by the state of the room.
In every moment there is an ebb and flow of tidiness/clutter! …Leftover dishes, empty bottles on a kitchen counter, papers, pencils, clothes on the floor or over a chair, shoes scattered around, etc.
We may not realize the thoughts triggered simply by seeing a messy sink.
When someone helps around the house and everything turns back to house beautiful, you breathe with quiet satisfaction! If you demanded that someone clean up their mess, their face tells you they don’t share your private standard, and don’t understand your sudden anger.
Don’t be surprised if you feel agitation when you don’t meet your standards. Avoid escalating this emotion which is trying to help you! It says: Something is off. So, SBYS (Stop before you speak)
Most times I can keep my surroundings reasonably tidy and clean, even with lots of cooking, art projects, on-going experimental projects. Keeping myself mentally balanced and reasonable, makes life enjoyable.
But once in a while, I find myself suddenly irritated by a room that was fine with me 10 minutes ago. Now I am irritated by the clutter.
Attention! Something’s off!
If I stop and think about this (become conscious of what is going on), I will receive and listen to unsettling feelings. Nervousness, agitation is sometimes awakened in my shadow memories, alerting me to uncertainty, dissatisfaction, self-disappointment.
Agitation is an emotional message.
I try to remember not to worry whether the irritation is about the people in the room, some memory, or the mess I see in the coffee table. I feel like yelling at the person in front of me! I remember in the knick of time to pause and take a deep breath!
Better retreat to internal self! Better stop for a moment!
I am wired to observe my ups and downs in life. Yet, when I feel off, I still need to make a conscious decision, every moment, to quiet myself down and choose the direction that feels better to me. Reword the phrases coming to me into softer responses.
Tidiness and Messiness are just examples of triggering these ATTENTION feelings. I translate these alert feelings as signs. I am not living in the way I have imagined I want to live.
I can either ignore the feelings by changing my goals. I can relax my standards and feel better. I can tidy up. I can take a nap and then meet my personal standards.
What I am learning more and more is this: I am the one who sets the goals for myself, … or let others set my goals. Goals have infinite possibilities.
I can change them, improve them, take a break from them, … it is up to me. I may wish to make a big change, a small change, or even ignore the whole thing, and take a nap or go for a ride!
A messy room is seldom an emergency. Sit back, breathe, and find many ways to talk about your wish for a room and the people you live with, plus your heavy schedules. Find a more gentler way to think about clutter and tidy areas, and decide if your standards fit who your are or want to be.
SUMMARY – Facing Your Created Goal Standard!
LISTEN TO YOUR FEELINGS OF AGITATION
Something is off! You are not following your own goals OR
Your goals are not coming from you, they may be objectively set.
OR, somewhere in between
MAKE A PLAN OF ACTION
Tidy up to your happy satisfaction, OR
Change your standard to meet your current big picture goals
OR, somewhere in between.
BREATHE AND ENJOY YOUR ABILITY TO HEAR AND RESPOND TO YOUR FEELINGS!
I’ve been “retired” at the age of 72 since 2018. I’ve been a hobby artist since childhood. In 2005 with mild success, I joined Art.com and CafePress, made videos on YouTube under the name of Artsali. In 2011, I joined Zazzle. After 2018, I spent a major part of my time, working on digital art refinement.
Along with purchasing a subscription to Adobe Products: Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and more, I have enjoyed learning many secrets to designing with my iPad, computer and laptop. It is amazingly fun! It is a happy addiction! I have joined Society6 and Redbubble. All of it delights me. It is my investment in my mental health which colors everything, and an adventure in our financial future. So, I do look at marketing aspects of selling art products on-line.
When I was employed, I had a fine reputation in marketing success and training others how to educate the public to the advantages of extraordinary service. I think it was natural to sell my high standards to the employees within my charge. My motto was, You will never go wrong, when you champion a patient.
Yet, it is a different matter when marketing myself. To me, selling art on-line is like boasting about myself…. a kind of, look what I can do … and this attitude holds me back.
How comfortable are you with publishing yourself, or freelancing? Do you have an agent? Do you use an on-line marketing firm … and if you do, is it successful (up to your goal standards)? I would appreciate hearing from people who are able to turn a hobby into a financial supplement or livelihood income without uneasiness.
In the meantime, I will continue to create into a mysterious void.
If it were easy, everyone would do it! Those words have the power to keep on with my projects.
Hitting your head against a wall usually doesn’t create a doorway!. Compliance with these words are really hard for me. I replace the recommendation with Never give up!
So, how do we market ourselves and our products into a successful enterprise? It’s trial and error, while watching your goals without drama, and focusing on the enjoyment of creativity. Educating, rather than boasting may also be helpful.
Personalize Art & Text Creative Writing 80-pg Note Notebook
A Creative Writing Notebook. What stories to tell when your imaginary tiger becomes your pet. Seems like there is plenty of material for a fun, comic tale! Put you and the tiger into your wonderful, world of thoughts. Inspire your readers. Use thepersonalizetemplate to replace the artwork with a photo of your imaginary pet, or for a gift to inspire your creative friend. Change the text with the same personalize template.
If you are so inclined, share some of your works with us, and/or share on your site or blog. Creativity helps encourage joy, love, play.
In 2011 and 2018, I published Indy books to explore how we can rise above melancholy, disappointment and sadness. I still use these books to inspire and raise me above unwanted situations in my pursuit of happiness — joy, peace and love.
I try to choose my next direction by observing the present-moment and how I am feeling. I use this method:
I purposely let go and choose these new thoughts until I feel better
Simply put, if in the moment I feel something bad or off, instead of focusing on external situations and attempting to physically correct the situation, I temporarily move away from the person, thing or place I am in. I reach for feelings that feel better.
My feelings are telling me about how far or close I am from my true forever-loving, best self. My feelings are a navigation tool coming from my ever-loving self: Wake up! Alert! You’re going the wrong direction! You are off!
And, what is the message to self?
The negative feeling tells me I am viewing people, places and things, quite differently than my true self sees them. I am being told by my feelings, I am way off, out of sorts, in stark contrast to my true self who lives in a balanced state of acceptance of good times and bad. I am able to allow and turn toward happy, joyful, loving thoughts in the midst of the shadows, contrasts, undesirables.
This has been my life’s Art-Board. I love feeling aligned with the feelings of my desires.
I believe feelings play an authentic part in helping me navigate through my days.
I am on the high sea of life, with many challenges. When I listen to and adjust my feelings I live a royal, happy life. When I find something that knocks me out of the kingdom, I find ways to remind myself how I wish to feel, which activates thoughts and words, until I feel better. I leave the worry, guilt, concern, gloom behind …. Even when it seems to be logical to remain in this negative, worrisome state.
In these senior years, I move around many layers of feelings during the day.
What continues to change for me is the fact that I would rather be happy, even in the midst of a storm from within. I have the power to change my mind and choose to do what makes me happy, even before I have achieved an external solution to a challenge.
I am confident the negative feeling attached to a particular person, place or thing, comes from within me. And, herein, is the important lesson:
I can wallow in the sorrow until I realize it is not in others, but in me!
I can choose stay in the situation and observe my feelings as I suffer.
I can choose to work through the situation, yet change my attitude toward the situation as something to work through with the enjoyment of improving my choices at this precise moment. …relief comes when I have chosen to leave behind whatever led me to this moment.
I spend a lot of time alone. I also reach out to others. It is in my alone time, I can get through tough times with less blaming of others.
It’s always a good idea to find something to smile about. Today, I’m showing you two designs. A picture tells a thousand words … perhaps about your inner emotions.
Are you able to sing a little sunshine song today? If not, what direction will you take to find the smile from within. It’s a happy surprise to get there by leaving the here you’re not currently liking.
“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.” – Ann Patchett
“It is the glistening autumnal side of summer. I feel a cool vein in the breeze, which braces my thought, and I pass with pleasure over sheltered and sunny portions of the sand where the summer’s heat is undiminished, and I realize what a friend I am losing.” – Henry David Thoreau
“If you want to make a statement, wear purple.” – Baron Davis
Tap into the energy of who you have always been. Read More
If you like what I put up here each day, please let me know what you are looking for in the way of gifts.
BTW I am still readingThe Fire That Never Dies: Dragons of the West. When I was in my early 30s, I self-studied the works of Carl Jung. I also spoke with many of my friends and family to incorporate what I understood into my life. Matthew Markell seems to be expertly familiar with Carl Jung and also, Joseph Campbell, whose name is synonymous with mythology. I usually borrow from the library, but I fortunately bought this book and will be reading it over and over with appreciation.
Each time you stop to eat or drink today, pause, take 3 deep breaths. And, observe your feelings as you align your thoughts to what you think comfy, cool, and calm feel like. Won’t take but a minute. It’s like putting an oar in the river to get where you want to go!
Last winter we drove down to Camano Island State Park and ran into a gaggle of Seagulls, peacefully enjoying the boat launch ramps drying on the road by the beach.
The seemed to enjoy each other’s company and were curious about our presence but peaceful
It was the peaceful existence between them, that inspired this t-shirt. I bought one of these shirts. I changed the text easily using our template. Free Spirited on top and Peace on the bottom. It has been my favorite shirt this summer.
I love putting together the story and I love feeling connected to these sea birds.
Graphic Designers, Artists, Dreamers! Check this out!
With a little help from Zazzle and their software engineers, designers (now called creators) can manifest their individual cover photo for each designed product. This is amazingly attractive to me.
The big card you see has always made me smile! You might be tempted to send me flowers and that would be nice. But I just think I would be enjoying the sentiments of this card well after the flowers have perished.
Recently at Zazzle, Creators (designers) can imagine how this card and model would become more marketable in a gnome garden, or at the seaside, or in a hospital room. There’s no end of ideas! It just tickles my fancy. And I’m having more fun than any retiree job allows. But fun it is …. Selling on-line is work, yes, but it is also so much fun and healthily creative.
There is no limit to creativity. It is what raises our spirit and finds the best of ourselves. Thank you, Zazzle, for making life fun!
Many years -too long ago to connect to time- Manny and I visited Key West. It was memorable. Manny’s younger brother went all out, rented a car big enough for us to comfortably drive from Miami, 3 hours through the Key Island to Key West, 90 miles from Cuba.
It was a magnificent day together with our brother and sister-in-law. It is one of those unforgettable events, one beautiful memory.
I recently took a photograph of a painting I created circa 2006-7 and reworked it on my iPad. The memories of eating outdoors at night at a distinguished Cuban restaurant came to mind, as did the numerous stunning art studios,Hemingway’s Key West homestead, beautiful sea, Margaritaville, and of course, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to better know Manny’s brother and sister-in-law.
The memory exudes delightful comfort and radiates to this day. Hopefully this digital rendition, exudes the comfort.
Have a restful, comfortable Sunday, wherever you are situated! Best to you!
There are family, friends, and acquaintances going through challenging times right now. A simple card, kept on-hand with stamps, will make you a hero.
Support cards, coming through the mail, can make a deep difference to the person going through grief. And, you can make this difference!
“A – letter of condolence may be abrupt, badly constructed, ungrammatical — never mind,. Grace of expression counts for nothing; sincerity alone is of value.”
the 1960 edition of Emily Post
This support of sending a card to a grieving or situationally challenged person, often gets forgotten when you are not prepared with cards and stamps.
Who can benefit from having an inventory of greeting cards, especially sympathy and support cards?
Just about anyone. It appears that people who share similar beliefs with their chosen friends are more easily drawn to sending cards. The card seems to reflect and reinforce a further connection. In another light, the card may enlighten people and encourage them to explore new ways of thinking, new ways of feeling. These are gentle nudges of alternative ways to think about their current situation.
Supervisors. No matter how many employees you manage, staff have deaths in their families, accidents and sudden sickness in their lives; and on the other hand, they excellently complete projects! You miss an opportunity to bond with your staff if you aren’t sending out cards to homes.
You don’t have to buy cards, you can make some up yourself, and have them ready to go when needed …to send before you forget this kind gesture.
Would you welcome a card in the mail when you were facing a difficult time?
Keep your wall art fresh! When is the last time you changed any or all pieces? It is always a good choice to take small breaks throughout the day. Meaningful wall decor, helps to creates a reminder strategy. Here’s 3 suggestions to spark your positive energy.
Change your wall decor at planned, regular intervals. (Perhaps every season / every 3 months.)
To begin, choose one room. A hallway or entrance way, where there’s more traffic, is a good place to start.
Take everything down from your chosen wall section.
Place meaningful art on your walls. As you change, discover what inspires you now…. not what inspired you two years ago and has long run it’s course.
Sometimes placing a piece of wall art to a different area or even a new room, helps you to take notice and uplift your spirit.
Hold a piece of new artand see if it brings inspiration or negative memories. If it does not inspire you, it’s time to give it away!
What did you wish I added to this list of suggestions? Where do you get your art pieces?
We are very pleased to introduce to you, Zazzle Creator, Jessica Letterman. I know it’s a little early to be thinking about the Holidays, but wouldn’t it be lovely to take time to personalize your cards this year with your photos and your good cheer.
Watch for card sales and life becomes cheery very early this year. And, who couldn’t use a few more happy days! So here we go! See what you think!