Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Connected In a Place of Safety

The Internet is not safe, how could it be...yet, here I have found a safe place to express myself.

Kathryn Antyr from Collage Diva wrote this post about how she feels connection with other people online and how when someone IRL (in real life) dismisses her online life she has a disconnect with them. I too feel this way. It feels like the person who does not understand is shutting a door that I then will not be able to open to them.

It is a struggle for me though, to find balance between an online life and a life in vivo or in person because paradoxically I do feel safer online. I think this is an illusion.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: And in Illness

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 

So today I am sharing the joy even though I have shingles. For the 4th time. The last time was five years ago. But my joy is in that I am able to be connected to you and with myself...and yes, I am even able to FEEL the joy although sick...illness is a part of life! And showing up for "what is" is also a part of life, I am finding out...paradoxically, this BRINGS joy. Today, I am wishing YOU joy!

Here is my piece "Joy in Pain" completed:




And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:

Being alive still another day

Anticipating the day as being "good" :)

Being able to see

Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)

YOU

If you are reading this...today...I wish you JOY!


~photo by me with my iPhone




Friday, July 22, 2011

Thanks to Those Who Bring Joy

Thank you Patti, for the color you add in my life! Some people just bring color and joy with them, with their, energy, don't you think? Like kate i, writing yesterday on her blog about gratitude and reminding me of what I need to see in every thing that happens--gratitude. And thank you for sending joy my way, Kate and Dawn and Cinner...you all bring joy to the happyluau.



I also appreciated seeing the comments from gemma--it looks like you lived in Phoenix, where I lived for over ten years, and still love to visit. It got way too hot there for me and I ended up here in the Land of Perpetual Rain and Missing Summers. And from Mary...who does things the simpler and easier way by picking fruit from local farmers instead of having fruit trees to care for. I just bought a fruit picker. And I have someone to help me pick as well (although maybe I should just ask deb :), since they are very high up. Sometimes simpler is better. 

I love that Rebecca has described my castle as "joy-colored". Oh, yes! Joy is every color and all colors and any color, isn't it? And Meri wrote about cultivating and harvesting joy...this is a wonderful way to look at it, I think.

I receive the love you sent, Noelle, with gratitude and happiness. And the insights about Joy having its opposite waiting in the shadows...I have indeed had a rebirth. I'm going through an intense time, fortunately with lots of wonderful support here and in therapy and in two therapeutic groups I am in. And someone I love and am close to is going through a very painful and hopefully healing time. Every day is filled with uncertainty, and at the same time serenity, and I learn from each and every one of you and find courage to face each day. I really and truly see how much we all need each other.


In the past I've been much of a hermit. I really thought this was good for me. Although I'll always be introverted, I now see this as also a type of isolating and withdrawal to deal with pain---pain that I didn't deal with though, or maybe couldn't deal with at the time. It was my best attempt though. Now I am turning that around and very painfully coming out of my shell, being reborn. It is a precious time and I thank you for sharing it with me.



Kristine, art is therapeutic, and I know it, but I haven't yet experienced it like that yet. God knows I want to! I think that I am [still] holding back, but that as long as I persist and don't run away from or avoid my feelings and make time for art that I will have a breakthrough.

I hope to have more art to share with you soon :) xoO


The above photo is the very rare "Indian Pipe" or "Ghost Plant", which is not actually a plant nor a fungus, but considered an "oddity" and is growing right along our driveway.

~Photos by me

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: Even in Pain...

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 

I found a post that spoke to me on Kathryn Antyr's blog the other day, Collage Diva. It is about grace, and joy, and how people are hurting because this is the human condition. It is about feeling joy and bringing it to others.

Joy is so vital, isn't it? I'm glad we celebrate Thursdays and allocate it as a day specifically for joy.

It is supposedly summer here, but the warmth hasn't arrived yet and the garden is confused. Things that I usually have a lot of (strawberries) I have none of and other things (our cherry tree) is heavy with fruit. Here are some cherries I got from my cherry tree--about 4 pounds!





After your comments on my last post, I decided to delve into my art again and see what would come out. I hadn't done anything since mid-June. I found two uncompleted projects and worked for a brief bit on them. I am going to post them here mid-way completed and then again for you when I'm done.

This is a castle I made out of some packing material and the tops off of the syringes my hormone creams come in. I don't know why, but I love it. It has a ways to go yet.


This is a collage I made out of packing materials. It's hard to see and just barely started, although I've been working on it for so long (maybe a year). It says "joy in pain" (the letters have glare on them). I hope you'll enjoy seeing both of these two projects when they are done.





We are so blessed to be here, as Rebecca said, and to find joy...even in pain.


And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:

Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)
YOU

If you are reading this...today...I wish you JOY!


Monday, July 18, 2011

A Catch-Up Post for a Terrific Tuesday

LoveHubbie's oldest son got married just over three weeks ago and the pictures are here. They are great. Don't look for me in any of them (I'm actually in two in the background) but who cares about that, as the lovely couple is what everyone is interested in. The photographer was outstanding, I thought, and captured many candid as well as posed moments. She certainly has a wonderful eye! Most of all, she captured the "feel" of the wedding, which I think is the hardest part. Check them out! 

I wanted to address several things that came up in the comments. One is that the font I am using is a new Blogger font, and there are quite a few of them...this one is called "Coming Soon" and the blog post title is called "Fontdiner Swanky".

Rebecca wrote "everyone loves comments...it is affirming to be seen, to be heard." This is so true. When you leave a comment on my blog, although I'm experimenting with not answering directly in the comments, I will go to your blog and leave a comment there too. I think that is one way to let you know that you are seen and heard (as well as writing about it here) and that this builds community, a reciprocity. There are a few people (very, very few) whose blogs I follow and comment on who do not follow mine...but mostly I enjoy the exchanges that take place between community and the relationships that result. This is the strength of blogging, I think--finding authentic community and sharing and expressing with each other. Rebecca said that it "keeps the love circling" and that is so true!

I just finished a big project that has to do with a loved one's therapy. I have my own therapy and therapeutic activities that I've been participating in all week, as well as doing many things to help LoveHubbie's business this week.

Here is a picture from my art journal in the style of the Queen of Arts, Kim Mailhot, and inspired by a post she did a while ago. Kim shares Big Love with so many, including me. It says "Big Love is Good Love" and "guard your heart". It's the photo I've been editing for past posts:




Oh, and have a TERRIFIC TUESDAY!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

And Some Small Changes


So I changed the design of my blog happyluau a bit. It was time. I love the sprout on the right of the background picture, just beginning to blossom, and since I am a late bloomer, it suits me. And since I feel as though I to am just beginning to blossom!

I also really like the blue.

I am thinking of blogging more regularly.

And of cherishing the comments, instead of answering them.

When I simply answer your comments I struggle sometimes. I can't possibly tell you what they mean to me, so what can I say? I can't convey the love I have for you adequately, either, nor the gratitude. So I feel as though what I write is so inadequate and frustrating.

When I cherish the comments, I write about them in my journal. I hold them in my heart and meditate on them. And sometimes I even think of blog posts to put up about them, but then never do, since blog time feels so scarce.

So to reverse this, I am going to not answer the comments for a while. Instead I'm going to sit with them, and refer to them in the actual blog posts for and see how this works. happyluau will be more of an ongoing discussion, I hope, with references to commments and posts both.

Have a wonderful weekend, xoO

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: Being Brave With Hard Big Changes

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 





Today I opened up and trusted someone.

Today I started making Two Hard Big Changes...changes I will tell you about later, when I am ready.

Today I truly am filled with joy, and even happiness as well.

As always, this Thursday I share the joy of:


Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)
YOU




If you are reading this...today...I wish you JOY!


~Artwork by me, edited by me

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sacred Life Sunday: Drama-Free


Today is my second drama-free day of the weekend. I set up my weekend so that my normal sources of drama are cut off and I can relax and let go all weekend long. So that I only have in my life people and experiences that are edifying and that carry a peaceful energy.

Yesterday I went to Nisqually Wildlife Refuge again and walked four miles. Then I came home and could hardly move, but in a good way. I took a hot bath with Masada Bath Salts (as per Lori-Lyn's excellent recommendation).

Late at night I made some stuffed peppers for lunch today, the first time I've made them alone, without my friend and cooking coach. This afternoon my priest is coming over for spiritual direction and she and I will enjoy lunch in the garden. I have spent lots of time processing things, too.

Ordinary things.

It has felt like a precious, sacred weekend so far.

Now I've decided my task will be to learn to make peaceful energy and interactions my new normal. Did you know that my name "Olivia" means peace? It is my highest value.

How do you keep the drama in your life low? If you don't, why not?

~Picture is of my back gate taken and edited by me

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Share the Joy Thursday: Walking Amongst the Birds with Rocks

Writing a post about joy first thing on a Thursday morning sets the intention for joy for the whole rest of the day. It is a beautiful spiritual practice, and I'm grateful to Kim and Meri for thinking of it. 


This post is about a walk I took on Sunday at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It brought me so much joy because I haven't been able to go there in many years; it was closed for a while and I had various leg and foot issues. I dearly love to walk, and in the continental United States, this is my very favorite place to walk. So I was thrilled to have the chance to go again. To make it even more special, I took some "Rock My World" rocks from Kim Mailhot, the Queen of Arts, a.k.a. "the Rock Fairy". I thought that this would allow me to leave a little bit of love behind. This brought me joy. 

Here are some pictures of my walk at Nisqually:













In this one below, can you see the top of Mount Rainier poking up? It is so majestic, and you can only see it on a clear day.





Now, here below you can see the "Rock My World" rocks I left behind for people to find. If you look closely you may be able to read the affirming message left on each one:









In the picture below, can you find the "Rock My World" rock?












And as always, this Thursday I share the joy of:


Being alive still another day
Anticipating the day as being "good" :)
Being able to see
Feeling like we are all connected (because we are)
YOU


If you are reading this...today...I wish you JOY!