Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy Feet!

Got an email today from my friend Zura who has a great new course offering - here's the details:

"I am announcing a brand new e-Course called Happy Feet. It is a three week course that teaches you exactly how to paint any pair of shoes. The course will begin May 9th, so if you’re interested, check it out soon.

You can find information about the course at The cost is $20.00 and you probably already have all the supplies needed. You can paint shoes you already have or get some at a thrift store for around $5."

Zura's courses are always well worth the money, so if you've got a craving to paint yourself some wicked shoes, check it out! * o

Monday, April 27, 2009


Cardinals have always been a very special, symbolic bird for me. And since they are more common in the southern parts of this province than here, when I went on my retreat at Easter I was really hoping I might catch a glimpse of one.

Saturday afternoon of the retreat I had quite a bit of spare time, and went for a walk on the hospital grounds next to the convent. There is a shrine garden there - a really nice spot for quiet meditation and reflection. After sitting there for some time, I started to head back. I had been listening to the birds singing, and thought "gee, it sure would be nice if I could just see one cardinal, it would make this retreat time so special". Ask, and ye shall receive. At that very moment, a cardinal flew up into the tree in front of me, looking straight at me. As I breathed prayers of "thank you, thank you", the cardinal flew back into the shrine garden, landing at the base of the cross. I sat back down and stared at it. Then it flew into the tree beside me, and sang to me. We spent at least ten minutes there in that garden, bird and I, before he flew off again. I literally bounced back to the convent, wanting to shout out "I saw a cardinal! I saw a cardinal!" but fortunately remembered this was a silent retreat. Shouting would have been frowned upon.

The next afternoon I returned to the shrine garden to do some writing in my journal. I shared the space with a chipmunk who kept darting back and forth amongst the rocks and bushes. I was naturally hoping to see the cardinal again, just one more time. I hard barely breathed that prayer when he appeared in the tree in front of me. He didn't stay as long this time, but I was just as pleased to see him.

The cardinal affirmed to me that I was in the right place, and that God was with me. That was all I needed.

(image - cardinal - watercolor crayons - April 2009) * o

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Virtual Retreat - April 25th!!!

Looking to find calm, comfort and confidence in these uncertain times? Refresh, reenergize, and give yourself some self-nurturing with 10 bestselling authors, speakers and teachers at the "Comfort Queen's" 2009 Virtual Retreat and discover how to stay centered and happy in the middle of a rapidly changing world - no travel required! You'll be able to download over a dozen powerful mini-retreat sessions at your convenience and get some soul-nourishing support during live call-in sessions with Jennifer Louden on April 25th. Whether you're seeking to refresh your experience from a prior retreat, or hoping to learn some new ideas for making this year "your" year, the Virtual Retreat is the place to be. Click here to view more details * o

Friday, April 17, 2009

Comment Moderation

Dear "Ritesh" or whoever you are,
It is really bad karma to spam other bloggers with your comments (especially when they are for yoga retreats....shame on you)

The unfortunate day has come when I've had to activate comment moderation for my blog........... * o

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seeds - Reflections from Retreat

"Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout."
- Morihei Ueshiba

Seeds are appearing as frequent metaphors to me these days. In things that I read, in Sunday sermons and in nature around me as spring finally begins to unfold.

On Maundy Thursday I walked the labyrinth at the convent where I was on retreat for Easter. On the path I found a seed pod, with two little seeds in at. I thought of the saying "two peas in a pod" and then felt that the two seeds represented God and me, and God with me.

The above picture was painted using watercolor crayons, which I enjoy using - I seem to have more control of where I want to put the color with them. The basin and the towel are traditional symbols of Maundy Thursday services and the foot washing. At the time, I was reflecting on our servant faith and who are we called to be a servant to. The church needs more "basin and towel" spirituality. Springing forth from the pitcher are the seeds I was surrounded by all weekend - the two seeds in one pod, waiting to burst and grow. Not one lone seed, but two together - the Divine and I.

The silence of my weekend retreat was like fertile soil for a seed, nourishing and planting something that will flower at a later time. Peace washed over me like water and filled me with prayer. I feel myself in the season of spring, waiting, watching and pondering.

What is longing to grow within you right now?

"All the buried seeds crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can't see." - Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening * o

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Appearance

This is the last assignment for the module on watercolors. The instructions said you could copy something from the book or come up with something of your own creation, so I went with the latter. Landscapes and flowers just don't seem to be my thing. Actually, I'm not even sure if watercolors are my thing (don't look too closely at the face). I tend to really muck them up in a hurry. Have to wait and see what oils or acrylics bring!

image - "The Appearance" - watercolors - copyright 2009 * o