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Zen… Flow… What!?

Zentangle Circle by Beata

Zen…   What!?
Have you heard about Zentangle?  Evidently I missed the advent of this artsy-crafty craze! Just look it up online.  Yes.  Everywhere!

This art form has been around for a very long time, and once you start practicing, you’ll see it everywhere!  You will truly start ‘seeing with new eyes!’  This is a Zen-like form of meditation; you start with a pencil, pen and paper, and see what happens.  It’s drawing simple, repeated patterns.

Have you experienced the state of Flow?  That’s when you find yourself in a zone and you are totally focused on what you’re doing, even losing track of time.  Or forgetting to eat lunch.

Rainbow Raven by Beata

Rainbow Raven by Beata

Like yoga, this relaxed focus – or Flow – helps decrease stress, increase mindfulness and enhance creativity.  The patterns are simple enough that anyone (and yes, even me) can create beautiful work.  You might even see Zentangle as a metaphor for life… putting together a beautiful vision, one simple little line at a time.

Find your own Flow

Zentangle might not be for you, but please think about when you experience that state of Flow.  What are you doing? Do you give yourself the opportunity to enjoy that feeling often enough?

Create some time in your own life for Flow!

Women’s Wisdom: Out of the Darkness February 2013

Dear Friends,

Serpent 3
The Year of the Serpent began on February 9, 2013.  The serpent is a universal symbol of healing and rebirth.  As Serpent sheds her skin, she is reborn.  As she crawls on the ground, she is connected to Earth and the powers of healing.
February 2 was the celebration of Imbolc, or Candelmas.  This date marks the return of light to our world.  The seeds of possibility are waiting, dormant and ready to burst forth when spring warms the earth.  What are you ready to rebirth?
Please enjoy this contribution from Marian Spadone on Inbolc:
“Under the blanket of Winter we nestle, sleeping the sleep of the newborn, the sleep of the seed.  All is contained withing us — all future possibilities, all growth, all knowing.  This is the time after the Great Dark but before the Bursting Forth.  This is the time for dreaming and for knowing our dreams.  This is the time of illumination.  The light grows…Resting still in the cauldron of birth, we close two eyes and open our third.  OUr dream vision is active.  We have enought light now to see.  Use the light!  Brighten the light of your Inner Knowing.
Stirring in our seed sleep, we dream sweet dreams of who, what and how we will become.  Think!  What needs illumination within you?  What desire needs a bit more light to be seen clearly?  What quality in you has dimmed and needs brightening?  Gather in circles to grow more luminous; recite poetry, start seeds or a creative project.  And light many candles!”  —   Marian Spadone © Mother Tongue Ink 2012 *
As we await the birth of Spring and new possibilities, make a list of your dreams, desires and wishes.  How will you rebirth yourself this year?

Women’s Wisdom


Fast away the old year passes, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la!
Hail the new, ye lads and lassies, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la!IMG_0003

How did it get to be 2013 all of a sudden?  I’m not quite ready yet!  I’m sending out my annual “Planner” questions for you to review.  And yes, I do write and reflect on these questions each year.  I invite you to take some time to consider what you want to leave behind, in order to make room for new beginnings, new plans and new ways of being.  Light a candle to represent releasing old patterns and freeing energy for the coming year.

The best way to make your intentions (resolutions) happen is to write them down.  Another way is to share those intentions with someone else.  So, find a friend, share your answers and walk with confidence into the new year.
Who knows what wonderful possibilities await you in 2013?

Looking Back on 2012

  1. List all of your accomplishments from this past year!  Celebrate!
  2. What did you learn as a result of your accomplishments?
  3. What did you intend to complete, but didn’t? Did it matter?

Looking Forward to 2013

  1. Identify the relationships, places, circumstances, unfinished business, and worries that drain your energy.  Which of these energy depleters are you willing to eliminate, resolve, or reframe in the New Year?  How will you do that?
  2. When personal values are congruent with day-to-day activities, they produce energy and passion.  What is your passion?   What will you do to more fully align your values and passions in the coming year?
  3. What are your three most important intentions for 2013?

Happy New Year everyone!  Thank you! You are awesome! I appreciate your continued interest and support. I hope you  will share this wisdom with a friend.Ciao!  Beata



Women’s Wisdom

The Gift of Tears

“Let your tears come, let them water your soul.” –Eileen Mayhew

I come  from a family of “criers.” For those of you who know me well, you  know that it’s true. I always carry a package of tissues with me — never  know when I might need one! Just about anything can trigger my emotional  side; the evening news, music, weddings, funerals, baptisms, hymns, movies,  graduations, recitals, birthdays, or a special handmade card from our  granddaughter. My tears can be happy, sad, mad or just glad. Posessing a  strong sense of empathy, my tears can also be triggered just by seeing  someone else cry.

I used to find it embarrassing to cry in public. I felt somehow ashamed  that I couldn’t control my emotions. I would struggle mightily to keep the tears from coming, only to end up crying even harder. “Shindler’s   List,” “Old Yeller,” “Bambi,” “Room With a  View,” “Sound of Music.” You get the picture! (Oh dear, a pun on words.) One good thing is that it was definitely OK to  cry at home. We could joke about passing around the tissue box on Sunday  evenings watching “Lassie Come Home.” It  wasn’t until I was in graduate school that I realized it’s really OK to let  the tears come naturally. One of my instructors took me aside to tell me  that “tears are a gift” and that I should give myself permission  to cry. That has changed my perspective on crying. “Don’t cry” is  no longer a part of my vocabulary.

And so, I hereby give you permission to give yourself permission to let  the tears come naturally.  It’s perhaps a gift from Spirit.

“Tears  are a river that take you somewhere. Tears lift your boat off the rocks,  off dry ground, carrying it downriver to somelace new, someplace  better.”   — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Lesson learned: Let your tears come.    

Thank you, Eileen Mayhew and Clarisssa Pinkola Estes!

When was the last time you had a good cry?

Thank you! You are awesome! I appreciate your continued interest and support. I hope you  will share this wisdom with a friend.Ciao!  Beata


Women’s Wisdom

“The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you     find in ordinary things.”   –Veronique Vienne

To BE or To DO – that is the question!

We live in a culture that seems to thrive on being busy.  An answer to “How Are You?” is often: “Oh, I’m So Busy! ” I sometimes think that this constant state of Doing or busy-ness is some sort of Badge of Courage. I’m not sure if it’s complaining or bragging. I have sometimes felt that if I’m not as busy as you, there must be something wrong with me. I decided to change my attitude.

One of my main intentions for this year has been embarking on a daily practice of meditation, or solitude; a state of Being versus Doing. I do this so that I can get in touch with the divine that’s within me and all around me. I do it because it enables me to find pleasure in ordinary things; the birds outside my window, the changing of the Autumn leaves. These moments of Being help me start my day feeling grounded and in a place of grtitude and celebration.

My practice of Being is fairly simple: I spend 10 minutes each morning with a cup of coffee and an inspirational book. I read a little bit, think a little bit and write a little bit. (Ok, I admit that sometimes I just can’t help myself and I keep reading!) Then I ask myself two questions: 1) What did I discover, and 2) What do I intend to do about that? If you’re anything like me, you have a collection of inspiring books just waiting to be opened. It’s a wonderful way to start my day; it’s free, and doesn’t involve anyone else. Just me, myself and I.And so, I ask you to consider changing your attitude about Doing and create some space in your day for just Being.You’ll be surprised at the results!I’d love to hear from you about your experience in changing your attitude about Doing and Being.

Lesson learned: take some time for simply Being; you just may discover that you are finding a bit more bliss in each day.

Thank you! You are awesome! I appreciate your continued interest and
support. I hope you will share this wisdom with a friend.

Ciao!  Beata


Finding Your Voice (a.k.a. using your passion as fuel)

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice,
and now that I have it,
I am not going to be silent” 
–Madeleine Albright

With Full Voice
I have spent much of my life being quiet, following the rules from my childhood:  don’t make waves, don’t make a spectacle of yourself, be seen and not heard,  it’s not nice to raise your voice, and don’t speak until spoken to.  As an introvert, being quiet is partly my natural preference.  I am generally willing to allow others to speak first (while I am silently thinking, “that’s just what I was going to say!”)  But that is changing!Over the past several years, as I have been discovering and claiming my purpose in life, I am now finding it easier to access my full voice.  The passion I have for the work I do has given me the fuel to speak up and speak out about what matters most to me.  And what’s that, you ask??  My passion and purpose in life is to help women help themselves;  help them move through life and career transitions, help them understand they are powerful beyond their own imagination, help them make difficult decisions, and ultimately help them find their own voice.One way to begin finding your own voice is to begin asking for what you want or need.  Whether it’s a ride to the airport or a shoulder to cry on when you are in despair, do not hesitate to ask for what you need.  I have observed that women, in particular, find it difficult to ask for help, to ask for what they need and want.  It’s time to start.

A second way to find your full voice is to start talking about your passions.  Tell other people what you are passionate about. Ask them to share their passions with you.  Imagine what marvelous things can happen when you share your dreams and passions and ask others to do the same.  Once you start, you won’t be able to stop, and your full voice will inspire others!  And, the best part of sharing is that we, as women, are soooo good at doing this, given the opportunity!

And so, I’m urging you to create an opportunity to express your passions and purpose in new ways, to find your voice, your full voice.  If you had an hour of prime time TV to talk about anything, what would it be?  I’d love to hear about your passions.  I invite you to share your full voice with me and my other readers!

Lesson learned: 
Find your own full voice by expressing and sharing your passions and purpose.  Thank you, Madeline Albright!

New Year Intentions

This is a re-post from my New Year newsletter – worth repeating:

Happy New Year, Dearest Friends!

On Dec 21st, 2011 we celebrated the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year.
The word Jul or YuleWinter Sun means wheel in Norwegian, and our ancestors believed a mystic wheel stopped turning briefly at this time of year, as one cycle ended and a new one began.

The Winter Solstice is traditionally a time to look back in reflection, and a time to look forward to the returning power of the sun, Lighting a Way in The Dark.

I invite you to take a moment to consider what you want to leave behind, in order to make room for new beginnings, new plans and new ways of being.  Light a candle to represent releasing old patterns and freeing energy for the coming year.

Sending you Hope for Peace and Light in the New Year,

Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!

Buon Anno!  Happy New Year!

I hope you have written and declared your intentions for 2012.  If you haven’t, here’s what I am doing…

In the process of simplifying my life, I have decided to select just One Word that will be my intention for this year:  FORWARD! 

In order to move forward, I know that I also need to make room in my life and in my heart for whatever fine adventure or new friendships come my way.  Each time a new opportunity arrives at my door, I want to be ready to let it in.  In order to create that available space, I will be working on Letting Go!  This is the hard part.

To make this intention more than a mental exercise, I am going to select five stones, each one representing one of the things I want to Let Go Of.  Then I will take each stone and throw it into our pond, where it will (eventually) sink to the bottom.  I think that will feel really good.  I invite you to do the same.

I want to let go of:

Self Doubt

What is your One Word for 2012?
What will you be Letting Go Of?

I’d love to hear from you.