grateful, joyful, thankful…and blessed!

Lately I’ve had problems sleeping through the night.  A common issue with women of a certain age (menopause).  Sometimes, like now, I get up and do things using the quiet early morning hours to be productive (if reading Facebook could be called productive!) other times I toss and turn, try to meditate, count backwards from 100, match my breathing with my sleeping husband’s breath hoping I’ll fall into the same trance state of sleep that he’s enjoying and somehow I eventually do drift back to slumberland.

Tonight I decided to get up out of bed and do something.  After skimming through a multitude of pie photos, recipes and wishes for Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, I decided to get out of Facebook and write my Thanksgiving blog post.  The beginning of focused gratitude practices that I want to create today.  It’s 1:38am so officially Thanksgiving day.

I’m most grateful with the dawning awareness that I really AM living the Creative Life I dreamed of for years!  My book, titled: Imagine the Life You Want to Live, then Live It! (It’s that Simple) with the subtitle of “52 inspired ideas to open up your imagination tap into your creativity and unlock your inner genius” is written.  I’m now going through the editing phase (thanks to my friend Steve who helped with edits!) and the publisher, Viva Editions, has it scheduled for release in the fall of 2014!  Truth be told, I wrote a great portion of it during these wee morning sessions.  The entire way this book came into being was magical and for that I’m oh so grateful!

Later today I want to return to a Thanksgiving tradition that I wrote about in my book.  A practice that I used to do with my kids when they were young.  We’d get out large sheets of newsprint and markers and write down and/or draw all the things we were thankful for during the past year.  There would be pictures of soccer balls, basketballs drawn, trees for hikes in the woods, names of friends and family written down, etc…I love nothing more than reverting back to “playing” with paper and pen and can’t wait to open up a newsprint pad and markers this year.  I’ve got LOTS to write/draw on the page!

Living in JOY is another thing I’m trying to be conscious of as I go about my daily life.  Years ago I began writing enjoy like this: enJOY.  I’ve always capitalized the JOY part of the word as I like to make it pop for people to notice.  Last Sunday Mark and I were walking home and saw our neighbors outside playing with sidewalk chalk.  Oh, how I love sidewalk chalk!  Sarah, none other than the amazing graphic designer extraordinaire that has been instrumental to the look of my brand, her husband Chris and T, short for Taylor, were hanging out and I stopped to chat and play a bit.  Sarah drew hop-scotch frames with the chalk and we had fun showing T, 2 1/2 years old, how to jump the panels.  Chris was taking pictures.  You can see by the photo I posted that there was so much JOY emanating from both T and I as we hopped our way down the squares.  That’s the kind of JOY I want to live with daily.  Grateful for such!  and our neighbors!!

Thankful that we are headed to a friends for Thanksgiving day/dinner.  Tom lives out in Walnut Creek so we are loading up our bikes, along with the 27 lb turkey that Mark got from Sysco (a free range, no antibiotics turkey) for a relaxing day of fun, food, and play.  I’m bringing my watercolors, newsprint pad and markers and hope to get some other people, other guests attending, involved in the Thanksgiving 2013 sheets!

Off the top of my head, I’ll list some of the many things I’m thankful for this year:  My business continuing to grow, increased sales and new accounts.  Clothworks and my 1st collection of quilting fabric and all the new opportunities that have come to me as a result of that!  CoasterStone and my lovely designs on coasters!  John at Leewood Press, without which I wouldn’t be able to keep growing…my inventory housed there, they do fulfillment for me and John is more of a partner than just a printer for my work.  Sarah who has helped me define the look of my “brand”.  The watercolor workshops I did this year…absolutely love inspiring others to “play” with their creativity.  The chance to go home (Indiana) for my Mom’s 95th birthday in February with my daughter accompanying me.  Mark and I going home for our 40 year high school reunion in June  (and chance for me to spend time with Mom).  Driving up to the Northwest in August to participate in Seattle Gift Show and Portland Nursery trade show but more important chance to spend lots of time with my daughter/son and see other friends. Friday night movies and weekend bike rides with Mark.  Living in the sunny part of San Francisco!  My disciplined “painting of the week” that I began this year and posted most weeks on Facebook.  My book!  My good friends here and everywhere, my Shaman circle, Al-Anon Sunday meditation meeting and ability to live this joyful, creative, inspired life.  For all these blessings and many more, I give THANKS!!!

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