Monday, April 15, 2019

Being Honest with Myself!

It happens year after year! Every January, I start off with all of these plans to make my life better...discover new things, try new foods, take more time for myself, meditate, end world hunger, save all the animals, volunteer more, etc., etc., etc. And then, all of a sudden it's April 15th and I'm in a funk! What have I done so far this year, besides finish my taxes on time [I guess I can give myself a pat on the back for that]. And then today's meditation read was spot on:
 "Acceptance/Honesty" Some of us do not know the difference between putting ourselves down, thus refusing to accept our gifts and talents, and accepting who we are. Indeed, we often bounce between being worthless and being totally arrogant. Interestingly, "feeling like a piece of shit" and feeling that we are unique and wonderful are intimately related. In both illusions, we refuse to see ourselves as we really are. It is only when we are able to say "I know nothing about that," or "I am really good at doing that and quite knowledgeable about that," that we are moving toward acceptance of self. Seeing our shortcomings allows us to accept them. Accepting our strengths allows us to soar. Honesty about self is the key. [April 15 meditation from the book "Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much" by Anne Wilson Schaef]
I realized today that most of what I stress out about are things I "don't get done", when, what is most important, are the things I actually "do get done". It can be overwhelming to me at times when there are days my plate is overflowing with things to do. And then, I also realize, I am in charge of my own schedule, so when I overflow my plate, it's my own fault! But, I've always worked better under pressure, and with a deadline..."crunch time" used to be my BEST time to get things done. Basically, I'm just a procrastinator...something else that is MY fault! So the reading today was really a wake up call, of sorts and now I'm being totally honest with myself. What gets done, gets done...I'm not going to stress over it anymore, since I know "me" and I know that when it comes down to the wire, it will be done! Wow! That felt really good to say!
These cute little quotes in my post today will be made into "lunch box notes" and printed on 4x4 cards. I sure have enjoyed creating them [another reason I don't get anything else done, but again, MY fault ~ lol]

Have a great week! love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Today I have the opportunity not to be grandiose about either my shortcomings or my capabilities. I can be ME" ~ Anne Wilson Schaef

Friday, March 8, 2019

Service!

This is so true for me today! Oh my gosh! Remember the photo I posted of the expectant couple in this post last week? Well, the baby was born last Thursday, which, ironically, was my daddy's 84th birthday and I still can't believe he's been gone from this earth for almost 19 years already! I asked him and God to keep me calm and use me to capture a moment in time that would never happen again. A calmness seemed to come over me while I drove to the birthing center and witnessed my very first ever child birth. It was raining, the room was dark and I was worried about the lighting and what kind of images I would be able to capture [or if any were even going to be usable]. Right when the baby was being born, the sun came out and the nurse opened the blinds...it was beautiful and I would do it over again and again [not so sure about my sweet friend actually giving birth], but I would be there for her again!
She had the baby --- a little boy, named Isa, in a birthing tub. this photo is of her, her husband and their sweet doula, seeing the baby for the very first time! A true miracle, really! And then I went back over yesterday to snap a few newborn photos for them
When I was gathering my things to leave, they asked if they could pay me anything for my "services" and I told them that they already had. What I took away from this wonderful experience is worth way more than anything money could buy. Sometimes it's not about what you are "getting", it's more about what you are "receiving"...there is a huge difference!

Happy Friday!

love and peace always ~ Kathy
A beautiful little Crocus flower that popped up in my flower bed the same day Isa was born!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Body Image

This was the perfect card for me today! I'm so sore from helping my friend move stuff yesterday and load things in and out of my car. I woke up thinking "really --- I am so out of shape"! When I think about the word "body", that John Mayer song "Your body is a wonderland" pops into my head and I think hmmmm...maybe sometimes my body "IS" a wonderland, but most of the time I feel like it's just an abandoned amusement park! I have finally given up on body image and trying to look and be perfect, but, in doing that, I have also just let things go. I'm starting to feel the aches and pains of age, the wrinkled skin that is not as forgiving as it used to be and extra weight that really needs to come off! So what do I do? It's always a give and take! I'm going to have to think hard on this one today and come up with a plan to make my body better! And I'm starting with Yoga! A have a few class passes left for the awesome studio we have in town "Brevard Yoga" and I think I will use those up and then get some more! And the weather is finally getting nicer too, so I can start my daily forest bathing [Shinrin-Yoku] again this week! 
Okay, that was easy! Now to just hold my feet to the fire and do it! I can and I will! Now I'm off to do a newborn photo-shoot! So much fun! 

love and peace always ~ Kathy

Life is short --- enjoy it! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Courage!

Now this was the perfect card for me today! Yesterday, I did a maternity photo shoot for a lovely couple expecting their first child together. I love how beautiful they were together, how loving and how tender, when I was photographing them. I captured a few really good "moments" between them:
Before I left, they asked me if I would come to the birthing center and take photographs of the birth. His family is from India and they are flying here for the event and all of the traditional happenings of their culture. Not only am I super excited about photographing my first ever birth [I've never even seen a live birth], but to also be able to capture and be a part of those traditions. But, with all of that being said, I am super nervous! I'm always second guessing my work...like with this photo...I'm thinking...shoot, I should've placed his arm under her arm and then placed her hand on top of his...blah de blah blah...the list of what I should've done or could've done goes on and on. But the bottom line is...it was a total fluke that he was even in the photos! He came outside just to watch us and I beckoned him over for the photographs...they turned out beautiful! 
So why do I get so nervous about taking photographs of people? I've been a professional photographer for several years now, but I still get all beside myself when it comes to photographing people. I need to just get over that and stop worrying about it, because everybody always loves their pictures! So the card I pulled today is a great reminder for me to just go with the flow [literally]! So now I'm "on call" waiting for the baby...

Happy Wednesday! love and peace always ~ Kathy

"If you are not going all the way, why go at all?" ~ Joe Namath

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Connections...nature, frogs and books!

I truly believe this with all of my being! And it dawned on me today that THIS is why I get in such a funk every Winter! It has nothing to do with Winter, but everything to do with my lost connection with Nature, since I barely leave the comfort of my warm house. Perhaps it's because I was raised in the south and not used to being cold, I just cannot bear to be out in it! Thank goodness it's starting to warm up and Spring is nipping at our heels. I never want to "wish it away", since time goes by fast enough, but, I have to admit, Spring puts "spring" in my steps! Of course, I love Winter, too! If it weren't for Winter, there would be no mating Wood Frogs!
And with no mating frogs, there would be no tadpoles...now that would really put me in a funk! Speaking of frogs, how cute are these little frog poems!
They are in a sweet book called "Little Pictures of Japan"
We are lucky enough to have two large book sales here in Brevard every year! One is at the college and one is at the library [which is in itself super awesome]. On the last day of the sale at the college, all the books are 1/2 price. I always go to check out the children's books, especially, so that I can use them to make paper flowers for my little jewelry boxes:
But, of course, I always seem to find several books that I fall in love with and that I just want to keep for myself [another problem I have that I talked about in my last post]! So, on that note, it's time to go outside! Happy Tuesday!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Every journey begins with a single hop." ~ Kermit the Frog

Monday, February 25, 2019

Contentment!

This is so spot on for me today! I looked around my studio yesterday and thought...I have no room to even lay a book down on my desk! Not that I need to hone in some Marie Kondo skills [yet], but at least try to get a grip on what I use every day and what I don't and put that stuff away, or put it in a box for give away. I taped a note to the bottom of my computer screen, well over a year ago, that reads "everything I need, I already have" --- and it's true! I've really been focusing on not buying one single thing I do not need! Of course, I still have to purchase fabric, shipping supplies, jewelry supplies [wire, earwires, clasps, etc.], but I don't NEED anymore beads, anymore books, anymore shoes, anymore purses, anymore scarves, anymore cloths...the list is endless, really. Besides, I'm going to "need" a new laptop soon, so I "need" to save my $$ for that! But, until that happens, I am perfectly content with what I already have! And this oracle card makes my will to stay focused on that even stronger!
And yay!!! The Sun has finally come out and the little Spring flowers have started popping up all over the place! One of my most favorites, these little Crocus Flowers, just make me happy! I spotted this little patch blooming this morning on my way to the mailbox! Hope they make you happy, too!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"Life is good when you can see the good in life." ~ Kathy Hardy

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Truth and a few little white lies!

So this is the Oracle card I pulled for myself today. This is a hard one, especially for me. And it's not so much about telling the truth, it's about when to say NO and mean it, without hurting someones feelings. That's what comes really hard for me. Seems like I'm always agreeing to do something, before I've even had two seconds to think about it! I guess it's because I am so creative in my work and I do so many things, people automatically assume that's ALL I want to talk about or hear about...but, it's not! It seems like, a lot of times, as soon as I start talking to someone, within just a few minutes, they are asking me either, "how" to do blah de blah, or if I "can" do blah de blah for them, or telling me "you should do" blah de blah. As soon as this starts happening, I just shut down inside and I just want to run away. 
There are actually only a handful of people in my life that I can be around and talk to and have fun and a good conversation, without them asking something of me. And, because of this, I have become very conscious of it when talking to others that probably feel the same way! For instance, when I see my doctor out at a restaurant, I make sure I don't bring up any type of health issue talk, unless he asks me, and then I usually just say, I'm feeling great, thanks for asking! It's the same thing! I feel like he hears enough of that on a daily basis! I ask things more like, how have you been, how are the dogs, have you been on any good hikes lately, etc. And I know people don't even realize how another person feels being bombarded with "will you and can you's". It can be exhausting. But instead of telling them the "truth" about how it makes me feel, I just nod and say "okay" --- I can do that for you [little white lies, since I'm wanting to scream out NO NO NO inside]
But on a happier note, the Sun was out this morning! Yay! I got up with my coffee and my camera and headed out to soak up some much needed vitamin D! 
And I discovered a brand new little patch of Crocus Flowers, that were happy to see the Sun, too!

love and peace always ~ Kathy

"There's nothing so kingly as kindness, and nothing so royal as truth." ~ Alice Cary

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Sewing and Empowerment!

I'm not sure how "empowered" I was today when I sewed through my finger, but I certainly wish, at that very moment, Divine would've taken over and finished my sewing project,
which turned out super cute! It's a Yoga Mat Bag I made for my Aunt! She loves "Elephanuts" [as my little sister used to call them]. The only tricky part about making this particular bag is that I had to wrap my brain around what size to cut the bottom circle to fit the bag, since I had to make it seven [7] inches wider then the original pattern. After a little trial and error, it turned out perfect! And now I have patterns for three different size bags! Yay! So maybe THAT was my empowerment! 

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

love and peace always ~ Kathy



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Friday, February 22, 2019

Perfect Timing and Smudging!

Have you ever noticed how many things happen in your life that come at the "perfect time"! So many! Like, just this week! I've been taking Syke twice a week to training classes and then once a week for a "play date" with other dogs close to her age. The classes are not cheap and Wayne and I had just discussed how much it was costing us every month for her training. I don't want to stop taking her...as she is doing really, really well! When we were there Wednesday, the trainer, who also happens to be the breeder of Aussies...and Skye, asked me to do a website for her and wants me to take photos, go various places to video and photograph the dogs, etc. She said she would love to work out a barter...like trading some training classes! Perfect!!
 My sister gave me this wonderful smudge stick from "Good Living is Glam" for Christmas. It is not your typical plain white sage smudge stick. This one is wrapped with beautiful organic rose petals and includes some lavender, yerba santa and cedar. She even gave me this lovely abalone shell and stand to go along with it. It's just so beautiful, I've been hesitant to light it. I've been waiting for the "perfect time". Before going to bed last night, I came across this article ---  "If you think smudging is just some kind of “woo woo” with no science to back it up, think again. Research published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology entitled Medicinal Smokes in 2006 found that burning smudge sticks has the ability to cleanse the surrounding air of harmful bacteria. The authors reported: “The most frequent medical indications for medicinal smoke are pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%).  A very large list of pathogenic bacteria was shown to be absent in an open room after a remarkable 30 days following treatment, leading the authors to conclude, “We have demonstrated that by using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.”
So now that I've worked up the nerve to light my beautiful smudge stick, I had to put it to work! And even though it's a tad gloomy outside, the fresh air coming through my open window is wonderful. But, I wouldn't have even thought about opening the window, if it weren't for lighting my smudge stick, which I did because of the article I read last night, which was "perfect timing"!

Happy Friday! love and peace always ~ Kathy


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Writers Block and Oracle Cards!

Soon after I joined Etsy...way back in 2005 [wow! has it really been that long], I started following Katie Daisy, because of her wonderful art and inspirations. Over the years, I have collected various things she has offered...cards, journals, calendars, books, etc. I just adore her work! I actually think her work gives me inspiration for mine...especially some of my drawings:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

I saw her today in my reflection...

...as I stood on the edge of the wooden foot bridge, that crossed over the creek, that wound through the forest. It was a beautiful day and I was happy. I was walking along, taking my time [as usual, since I always have my camera with me], listening to the birds singing, listening to the trees moaning as they rubbed against each other with the gentle breeze. I had crossed this bridge a hundred times, more often than not, just crossing over, maybe looking at the rocks, taking a photo of the babbling water, or seeing if I could catch a glimpse of a fish or a salamander. But this day was different...as I stood on the edge of bridge, I looked straight down and there she was...my grandmother...

Friday, January 4, 2019

We could all use a little therapy!

So what do you immediately think about when you hear the word "therapy" --- I think about laying on a couch, pouring my life problems and things I'm "hung up on" out to a total stranger that is probably not even listening, or has already decided what "pill" he/she is going to prescribe for me to make my days better. But why should I pay money to "feel better"? It don't even make sense, if you really think about it. I'm 57 years old! I should know what to do to feel better...right! Not necessarily. It's not the same as taking ibuprofen for aches and pains...and then you feel better in an hour. It's not the same as laying down to take a nap and waking up feeling better in an hour, or so. It's not the same as taking a long hot bath with some yummy bath salts or fizzy balls [although that is an awesome way to unwind!]. When you have something going on in your head that you can't stop thinking about, there is not a whole lot you can do about it, except DISTRACT your brain!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Into the forest I go...

...to lose my mind and find my soul! Even though I actually LIVE in the forest, I sometimes have to make myself go outside! I don't know if it stems from being a Louisiana native and hardly ever doing anything outside, because it was just too hot and humid, or if I just get busy doing busy work and the day gets away from me [probably just a combination of both]. But this year [2019], I am determined to go outside every single day, even if it's just for 30 minutes! I went out yesterday and it was awesome! It's just so calming and peaceful. I just sat on the ground at one point and took my shoes off. I let the coolness of the moist [I know, I just used that "M" word] leaves caress my feet and toes and it was so wonderful. I watched two Squirrels chase each other round and round a tree, I heard birds singing and the sound of dry leaves rubbing against each other, trying to make their way to the ground like the others.