Facebook giveaway · Meditation · Spirituality · studio space

A time for meditation

Finding peace is more important now than ever, but I’ve found that it’s easier said than done. We’ve all heard about the benefits of meditation, but the idea of stepping away from our daily lives can be intimidating when the possibilities feel so endless. How do we begin? How do we measure the change that it makes on our lives?

I think that I’m the kind of person who can quiet my mind for a bit. But lately, I have struggled with my own meditation. When the results feel unclear, questions arise in my mind: maybe I’m trying too hard to make it a part of my daily routine, or maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself not to think. Recently, in search of answers to these thoughts, I’ve started rereading a book called “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. It’s more of a path to peace than just an informative book, and within it is a link to a guided meditation. 

I find that guided meditations work very well. Through it I’m beginning to focus on breathing without being distracted by thoughts of the day or anything major on my mind. While it might seem counterintuitive, I’ve discovered that my meditation routine does not include sitting on the floor crossed-legged and in a typical pose. Instead I sit in my desk chair, facing my window with the warm sun upon my face and my headset on. The guide I follow is a water-rising induction-type mediation and is an intense yet relaxing 20 minute session. Dr. Dispenza said that meditation doesn’t have to come from thoughtless relaxation but can also focus on one deep moment of interest. In my case, it would be when I’m drawing, painting, and creating. The realization that I don’t have to follow any trend on “how” to meditate as long as I do it truly opened my mind and my approach to mediation. I’m fortunate enough to work from home and be surrounded by my creativity, where my window looks out on the bright world and my heart is full of gratitude for a beautiful view. I hope that my experience opens the possibilities within mediation for you. With all the instructional “How to” books and approachable videos out there, meditation can take any form if you live in the NOW. Your moment of focus can be anything, whether it’s gardening, reading, taking a bath, or anytime you feel grounded.

The view from my desk

Let’s celebrate this newfound peace and make sure that you enter the giveaway on my Facebook page with a chance to win something special and handmade. Just like or comment on the monthly giveaway post to enter. Tune in on March 31st at 6pm live on my page to see if you’re the lucky winner! 

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has purchased a bookmark from my shop; I’ve made a donation in your honor to One Tree Planted. Let’s stay connected about how we can continue to cherish and improve our community through partnerships like this with my Artist Insights newsletter.

This month, take time to celebrate yourself and your connection to the natural world. Peace is right around the corner! 

Bookmarks · Life · Spirituality

A guy walks into a bar…

It was December 10th, 2018. I was excited to meet a new friend at a local bar and grill for a couple of drinks. We both knew one of the ladies that worked there. She was a food server who had worked at the bar for about 12 years. I met JC, the server, a few months back. JC owned a commercial building where she invited me to do an art show with a fellow artist. It was very successful. I sold a few pieces and met some great folks. This, in fact, is where I met my new friend Samantha-Sam for short. Sam was there to collect on some gaming bets she had placed the week before. Monday’s were a day the football betters came in. I walk in and find a place at the bar towards the back. It is a fairly large bar, a two story with a false second floor, so it was completely open on the inside. It was rectangular in shape, with the actual bar in the middle with booth seating against the walls, except for the back wall. The entrance to the kitchen and office areas are located there.

Both JC and Sam owned some of my artwork. Some of my largest pieces too. I was in a good mood and ready for a drink. After saying Hi and giving hugs, I place my order for my first drink, vodka tonic with lemon. It went down smooth. Sam and I chatted for a bit and caught up on her drama. I just sat there listening and ordered another drink. It wasn’t long after that that Sam had to go. She didn’t win any of her bets and needed to attend to her dog, birds, and a hamster.

I stayed planted in my seat and ordered some bar food and another drink. JC was very good at multi-tasking. It was busy in the bar, but she could stop for a chat and continue serving food and drinks without skipping a beat. Me, I am content sitting by myself as I have always enjoyed people watching. We are a predictable but fascinating species.

I did not work the next day so I could indulge as I pleased. So I did. Another vodka tonic with lemon please. JC worked the 3-11pm shift. It was about 10pm so I decide to stay and have drinks with JC after her shift. I was drinking water and had some food, I was good to go.

JC finished her shift, did her paperwork, her tip outs, and sat down beside me, and ordered her drink. She is a charming person. Always keeps busy with her commercial building that she has her side business in, a floral and gift shop. She helps a lot of her customers that have become friends over the years.

One thing about Vegas-if you have never been to local places- is that 99% of every bar is a gaming bar. Meaning the actual bar area has video/multi-game machines. If it is busy, you have to gamble to sit at the bar or risk being asked to move so someone can gamble on that particular machine. Otherwise, if it’s not busy, you can sit in front of a machine. Only the corners of the bar do not have a machine. I tend to sit at the corner a lot.

JC and I move down a couple of seats to have one of her favorite machines to gamble on. It’s time for another drink, and the new relief bartender is here, JC introduces me to her. “Jeffrey this Maddy, Maddy, this is my friend, the artist, Jeffrey.” We say hello to each other, and I order another drink and some water. The bar is fairly empty, just about a handful of people hanging around. Maddy walks away to make my drink, and JC gives a little back story. Maddy is in her mid 40’s and has been working at this bar for about 5 or 6 years. She lost her son 3 years before an accidental drug overdose. He was 18 years old. JC nor myself have any children. I told JC that that must be the hardest thing to ever go through, to lose a child, especially so young.

Maddy comes back from making her rounds to check on other patrons, JC and her chat about the evening JC had and mentions she was just telling me about her son. “I miss him, he was too young” Maddy says

I must be in about 5 drinks now. Feeling very good and then the strangest thing starts to happen. I get a powerful feeling of a presence to my left and a voice in my head that keeps saying, “ask her, ask her.” I recall having this happen before but always ignore it and chalk it up to being intoxicated. This time I thought to myself, let me prove that I was drunk or lucky at guessing. Maddy comes back, and I ask her, “Was your son’s name, Ryan?” She did misunderstand me and thought I said, Bryson. The music was loud, but she seemed surprised and said, “Yes,” and I just went with it. I recall feeling there was a “Y” in there somewhere. Maddy left and came back, and I felt I had to go on with this. so I asked her, “Did he have dark hair, and was it swept to the side, hanging in his eyes?” Maddy said, “Yes,” And then she asks, “Are you physic?” I replied, “No, this has never happened to me before, not like this!” I ask a couple more questions, mainly for my benefit, to confirm that this is really happening. “Is he tall and lanky, and does he own a green long-sleeve pull-over?” Without hesitation, she says, “Yes” again. “Is He here? I always felt he was around me. Is he ok?”

At this point, I am totally convinced Bryson is here and communicating through me. I do recall seeing him. It was glimpses of him, with his head down; I never saw his face but definitely knew he was showing himself to me. There was a haze around him. After it was established he was here; he became an orb, a large orb. In fact, it was a double orb. It’s difficult to give a measurement, but I would say about 3 feet in diameter; the brighter smaller orb was inside, still a part of the larger one. I didn’t tell Maddy this, I just wanted her to know he was here and with her.

I answered her with “Well, he has always been around you and he is doing great!” Maddy starts to tear up and says “This makes me happy, I always wanted to know and have tried to talk to him but don’t know how.”

I am getting a vision of him releasing butterflies from his right hand. It’s a repetitive motion. So I ask, “Do butterflies mean anything to you?” She looks at me, then JC, and back to me and says, ” I have them tattooed on my back. JC, did I ever show you?” JC says, “No.” I told her I didn’t know what it meant but that he was insistent that I mention it.

Maddy makes her rounds to the other guest in the bar again. It is pretty quiet between JC and myself; she is busy trying to strike it rich on her machine. And I am talking all this in and thinking how intense it is. Maddy comes back. I tell her that Bryson loves to hear her talk to him, and he wants her to continue. I remember stressing this point a lot. He showed me a 24/7 sign, and so I said he loves, loves to listen to you, so please just say everything you can out loud.

At this point, Maddy walks around the bar and gives me a hug, we both are tearing up, and she is very grateful this has taken place. She mentions again how much she wishes she could talk to him and that she believes people can communicate with the other side. Maddy walks back around to the other side of the bar, wiping tears from her eyes. I look at JC and say, “Holy Fuck! I don’t know where this came from.” and take a sip of a beverage.

I look at my phone, and it is now 4:30 in the morning. I think to myself, I have got to go home. But there is something else coming through. When Maddy comes back, I tell her, “He is showing me a board game, something literally made out of wood, something you unfold, does thing mean anything to you?” she responds with, “I was teaching him Cribbage before he passed away.” I said, “Well, it meant a lot to him, and he really enjoyed it.” She says, “Thank you.”

On a final note, I tell her he is fading away from me and that he wants her to remember to always talk to him and to know for a fact that he is always with her, literally above her right shoulder. I look at JC and tell her I must go home now. I hug and tell them both goodbye.

The next day I wake up and feel very energized and well aware of what took place. I immediately call my friend Kathy, who is intuitive and talks to the other side all the time. It was refreshing to get this out of my head and explain what happened. She is fully supportive and gave me some insight and asked, “How do I feel?”

It has been almost two years since that event took place. A couple of other things have happened, but nothing as deliberate and surreal as that. I continue to meditate in a quiet, peaceful, and relax state. I discovered a site called GAIA.com. I will link so you can check it out for yourself. I have the app on my phone and refer to it often. It’s a spiritual NetFlix, if you will. There is a monthly charge if you subscribe. Anyway, that is my go-to for anything current and relevant to my spiritual journey.

Until next time, cheers! And Enjoy The Art Of the Tree.

Artwork · Bookmarks · New Items · note cards · Spirituality

The Art Of The Tree

Taking on art and spirituality. At least learning how to. For a long time now I have been wanting to know why I have been drawn to trees. As I mentioned in my last post of how I got started, I have often wondered why they showed up in my life. Something I didn’t talk about and that is what I did before I started with trees. Doodle. That’s about what I did. I sketched little things, like Holly Hobby, gulp! remember her? Nothing of importance or significant. Just doodling.

So, here I am going on 30 years of drawing trees. I have tried being philosophical about it but that isn’t my strong point. I am rather a simple minded person, I don’t understand complications. Meaning why have we made everything so difficult? Why is this human life such a struggle? My answer; because we made it so. Each person is an individual of expression of one. One of my favorite quotes, “We are not humans living a spiritual life but a spirit living a human life” -possible credit given to Dr. Wayne Dyer per the Quote Investigator. This simple quote has changed my perspective of life. For me, it turns every situation around.

Strange enough when I was writing this I was listening to an audio from Dr. Sue Mortor. She is an author, speaker, teacher and a doctor of Chiropractics. In her audio she talked about life being difficult and explained it very well. It is more than I want to explain right now so we’ll save that for another time.

So, let’s talk about art! I have released a new set of note cards. Again they are a set of 6 different designs. I have added a kraft brown envelope to this collection. I think they turned out very nice. Here’s the pic.

I have also updated some images on my Etsy and website. I had a busy day they other day with my photo shoot. I created about 28 videos, one for each bookmark and one for these new note cards. Each video is less than 15 seconds. This one is a favorite, having a bird in a tree with the birds in the background was brilliant!

These are my updates for now. Thanks for reading and watching and talk to you soon.