Friday, 15 December 2017

ADVENT GIFT - Inner Peace

Available ay
I used to live 20 mins out of town in a fruit growing/farming area with few facilities, but over 40 years it grew into a busy town. A few years ago I moved into the nearest city, which used to be a minor tourist destination and has turned into a metropolis. Make the mistake of driving the hiway between 2pm and 6pm and add an extra half hour to the trip. It’s one of the fastest growing areas in western Canada and city planning is stressing to keep up. Life is hectic.

In my life I have my Art business, my private business, caring for my mother, my health issues, her health issues, preparing for retirement, renovating two condos and trying to have a social life. It’s crazy! At a time when I should be slowing down and smelling the roses, it is speeding up and full of mental and physical polution. Ahhhhhhrgggggg!

Recently I heard the saying “Don’t let it rent space in your brain”

Isn’t that lovely. Just uttering the words takes me down a notch or two. I used to be a big believer in affirmations, a la Louise Hay, but I’ve come to realise that dealing with modern life is not about cancelling it out, or stomping it down, it’s about honoring each moment and processing as it occurs. I think this may be more of a Buddhist viewpoint than a Metaphysical one.

Being in the moment allows a person to adjust as life comes at you. Sometimes traffic is crazy, the baby is throwing up in the back seat, the dog is barking at nothing, the cell phone is ringing and its all about Triage. Triage is a hospital term referring to taking patients in order of urgency. So, you signal and creep into the exit lane, pull into a parking lot, baby is messy but OK, dog gets a pat, phone gets answered or turned off and suddenly peace ensues. BREATHE! BREATHE deeply again, open the window and BREATHE some more, give yourself an inner hug, smille and gain some inner peace before you clean up the mess. Treat yourself as the most important part of your life, which you are! You are the conductor in the orchestra and without YOU it will all come to a horrible and unharmonious end.

So your advent gift today is Inner Peace. Practise it every moment of each day, reject the static urgency of life and allow a sense of calm in. BREATHE. Practise often and it will become habit.

ADVENT GIFT - Giving Back

A perfect stocking stuffer - My miniature ACEO at

When I started this ADVENT GIFT series it was sort of a meditation on life with a few gifts and insights from my vast ( :) life experience. Now its been running for a couple of weeks I’m starting to see trends and it has become very meditative and revealing to me. I truly hope you are getting as much out of it as me.

It doesn’t take long to read each blog, so use it as a daily moment to contemplate the little tweaks may help you experience life better. Read back over the ADVENT GIFTS you may have missed or rushed past and find a space every day to enjoy the moment. I find first thing in the morning works best for me, but for you it may be lunch time, or last thing at night. Enjoy! And please share with as many people as you can so they can also have a little pleasure.

Alisa Burke is a happy, creative blog I follow. She has great ideas of her own, but recently she put out a call to all creatives for free promotion which is currently every Friday. I’m sure she had hundreds of responses, but I love the eclectic list of creators and their creations.

I’m grateful for Alisa and her dedication to her followers.
Here is a sample of her Giving back series

I missed posting yesterday, so here is the extra ADVENT GIFT

ADVENT GIFT - Intimacy

Available at Daily Paintworks
I read an article recently showcasing the work of artist Ashley Cassens. Ashley paints extraordinarily intimate portraits in large format. See her work at  At one point she says 

In my own studio practice I need to make paintings that feel like writing a letter. As a millennial that is constantly connected, I long for spaces where I can disconnect and have a sensory experience.”

I don’t have much to do with millennials as my neice and nephew live away, so I find this statement an interesting insight into their world. Since the beginning of the internet age I’ve been concerned about the void in personal contact it creates. I watch as young people go for lunch or drinks and spend the whole time texting, they dont even speak to their companions. This applies to dates as well, in fact I have a theory they are texting each other. When they figure out how to have sex and babies without any intimacy I reckon they will be overjoyed. 

Metaphysically I’ve heard that spirits visit because they no longer have a physical body and crave the contact. As a touchy feely person, I gain great comfort and intimacy from a simple hug or even linking arms when crossing a street. In sales training I learned that human beings crave intimacy and a simple smile or even touching their hand while giving change, increases their pleasure in the purchase and they will return for more of that experience. So I’m fascinated by this tiny glimpse of how it feels to live in a totally cyber social world.

Luckily in our local Art community we socialise regularly at demos, classes and openings. Artists are solitary animals and I think we all enjoy getting out and getting out of ourselves for a while. This is me with Artist Cherie Hanson at an art auction. In my building we are also a friendly bunch, we keep an eye out for each other, often chat in the corridors and wave when we pass in the parking lot: We are largely single people, but it’s a community.

So, your Advent challenge today is to make a point of creating an intimate moment with a stranger. Smile at an old lady, help someone with their groceries, open a door for someone with packages, speak to someone in an elevator. Heck why stop at one day, lets aim for doing it the rest of the month, it could become a habit!