Does It Permeate Your Being?

Shiver. I felt that statement down to my bones, y’all. Down to my marrow. It felt like one of those Moments From God (reverberating voice). As if the Universe had pulled me to that picture at that time to experience the word of my Deities.

zentangle031
Click for larger image, y’all.

Today’s card is one of my Zentangles. This is one of my zendalalas (Zentangle in a mandala form). I had so much fun doing this. Now when I come back to it, I love it still.

If this were a Tarot card, it would be the Four of Wands. I see it as a coming together of disparate things creating something of beauty.

Yesterday, Leonie Dawson said this on one of her Instagram photos, “When I really sit with it, I see how my life is an opportunity to experience beautiful places and make art. Beauty is everywhere… We gotta be the sentinels that watch for it, seek it, let it permeate our being.”

Shiver. I felt that statement down to my bones, y’all. Down to my marrow. It felt like one of those Moments From God (reverberating voice). As if the Universe had pulled me to that picture at that time to experience the word of my Deities.

This wasn’t a whisper. It was a clarion call to action. I feel that way about joy. We must watch for it, seek it, let it permeate our beings. Yes, Leonie, yes, yes, yes.

So how will you watch for beauty today? How will you seek joy? Will it come on a bright red bird’s wing? The chocolate-coated smile of a child? A wave from a driver you’ve never met telling you to come ahead? A snail leaving a shimmering silvery trail across your sidewalk? A crumpled up newspaper you pick up and throw away so someone else doesn’t have to do it?

What will you do today to make beauty and joy happen in your world even if only for three minutes? 180 seconds of joy. 180 seconds of beauty.

I know we can do this. I know the JoyPatrolAlert members will spread the word. Grab your 180 seconds. Then share the message with one other person. Tell them to seek joy for 180 seconds then pass it on.

The key here? The trick? The Secret?

Joy accumulates. It piles up. Each tiny piece builds until it crowds out negative thought. We are retraining our brains to seek joy instead of dwell on the bad. Because the bad exists. We are just rewiring our hearts to seek joy, y’all.

Are you with me?

Zendala #31, Arwen Lynch, August 2012

Seek joy,y’all. Pass it on.

Criticism, Possibilities + Love

How critical are you of others? Can you say the same of yourself? Are you gentle with yourself? Do you understand why that it is important?

Mandala4002Today’s card is one of my mandala/tangles. I learned how to draw a mandala only recently. It is full of beautiful possibilities. But sometimes, when I look at it very closely, I wonder how I ever thought I could pretend to make art.

And then I remember this quote by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.:

We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to.

It was in my Daily Wisdom newsletter today from Lissa Coffey. And it made me remember that I’ve promised not to be so critical of the people I love–including myself.

How critical are you of others? Can you say the same of yourself? Are you gentle with yourself? Do you understand why that it is important?

Consider verbal abuse. Too many of us have had first hand experience with this. I was very lucky to have a mother who was NOT verbally abusive. Oh, she was critical in some ways but never in a way that caused me damage. My verbal (and physical) abuser was one of my first lovers. She was extremely cruel.

I left that relationship with a lot of baggage. And I had learned to think of myself in horrible ways. It wasn’t anything for me to think of myself as fat or stupid or lazy. Yep, she did a number on me that took a lot of work to move away from.

Sometimes I drift back there in times of extreme stress. But, smile, not so much these days. I’ve learned that I must be as forgiving with myself as I am with others. I must proffer the same kindness to me as I do to others.

Do you expect more of yourself than you have any right to? Do you understand that you must speak to yourself as you would have others speak to you? Yep, the Golden Rule reversed. You must do unto yourself as you would do unto others.

You wouldn’t tell a friend that their love left them because they were fat or stupid would you? Why do that to yourself?

You wouldn’t tell a child they failed a test because they were lazy would you? Why do that to yourself?

Practice being nice to you. It will make you better at being nice to others.

Now about my mandala? I think it’s fabulous. And I would have never even DREAMED of trying it before getting involved in two online circles. The Gaian Circle and the Goddess Circle.

Sample a bit of the positivity of the Goddess Circle by downloading and doing this workbook+planner. It’s changing a lot of lives right now.

Grief, Alarms & Him

I set myself an alarm last night for this morning. That alarm was to call the hospital this morning at 8am sharp.

mandala3mikeToday’s card was incredibly hard to write. I learned that a friend had been in a car wreck about a week or so ago. I knew he was in ICU. I knew his fiance, who had also been injured) was seeing to him. I didn’t call. I didn’t text. I didn’t reach out to him to tell him that I was thinking of him. I did tell him that through his love but not from my own fingers, my own voice, my own heart.

I set myself an alarm last night for this morning. That alarm was to call the hospital this morning at 8am sharp. At 7:45am I learned that he had passed away. At 7:50 my phone beeped to remind me I had to call the hospital.

I missed my chance to tell him how much I loved him. I know he knew/knows that I love him. He was an amazing Scorpio man. He made an impression on those that knew him.

But I was so angry. He’d lost one love to cancer only to find another one on the other side of the country. He was happy. He was ready to start this new love off. Instead a car hit them. He didn’t survive the hospitalization.

And I didn’t call him. I’ve been struggling with that all morning. I didn’t call. Oh I can say it was because he was in ICU…that I didn’t want to disturb him. But the bottom line is I didn’t call him. And I’m angry about that. And I’m angry that the Universe would take him away like this.

Gods. I’m so angry about it.

So I’ve taken some time this morning to call and text and email people. This is a fairly tightly knit group of friends who are family. I wanted some of them to not see the news online. I wanted them to hear it from someone who loved them. Those calls were hard but they did bring me joy.

Today.

When I was sobbing snotty tears, I found joy.

It wasn’t huge.
It didn’t replace the sorrow.

It was a momentary laugh with a friend who knew him. We laughed about that the old man might say if he knew we were carrying on like this. We laughed about broken headboards and maids coming into hotel rooms. We laughed about his love of a dive BBQ place.

I’m going to hold on to those seconds right now because I truly need them. I’m going to miss this man. I’m going to miss him a lot.

I’m also going to make sure that my friends know that I love them. I’m going to make sure that we stay close.

This mandala? Oh well. I made it last night while I focused on sending love and light to my dear friend. I saw his face, heard his wry laugh and knew he knew I was there.

His Mandala, Arwen Lynch, 12/26/2012. R.I.P. honey.

Seek Joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Mandala, Flaws & Nibbles

So I grabbed a pencil and created one. Then I set the pencil aside to make this one. Yes, I used a pen and didn’t use a pencil for any of this. I committed to it fully.

Mandala2_joyToday’s card is one I drew myself. I watched a video on Youtube then dove into the process. I credit two women with my exploration of my visual artistic side. That’s the fabulous Joanna Powell Colbert and the amazing Leonie Dawson. I’ve never met either in person but am involved in their online communities. I’ve taken classes with both as well. Highly recommend both.

I don’t even remember how I ran across this video (it’s called “How To Grow A Mandala). It was short and sweet. Also? It was very clear.

So I grabbed a pencil and created one. Then I set the pencil aside to make this one. Yes, I used a pen and didn’t use a pencil for any of this. I committed to it fully.

Even with the flaws in this (and there are many if you have a critical eye), I love it. It makes me happy. I snapped a shot with my iPhone then used the Camera app (that’s not the native one but one from the iTunes store) to crop and to add what they call the Emo filter.

If this were a card, it would be the Wheel of Fortune to remind us that things are always turning. If you surround that constantly turning, churning wheel with joy, you will keep running in to it.

Remember that joy doesn’t have to be huge bites. It is often small tiny nibbles that eventually add up to a full meal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

By seeking joy constantly, you will pile up small joys until they accumulate into piles of joy that you can leap into.

And no, it’s not easy. Sometimes it sucks so hard you can breathe. But then you realize that breathing is a joy. So tiny, small, seemingly insignificant things should be steadily looked for.

One of my joys is that I’m at a point in my 2013 Create Your Incredible Year workbook+planner where I feel as if I’ve actually made some headway. The business version still sits on my dining room table–unpunched, unbound, undone. And that’s okay. I will get to that. It’s a joy that I have the luxury of time to do either of these.

It’s also a joy that you read this. I’m honored by the gift you give me when you read this. When you check out links I share or people I recommend, it thrills me. I want to be on this joy journey with like minded souls. Thank you for joining me.

Remember, when you get your copy of the planner/workbook, let me know. I’ll hook you up with the seeeekrit Facebook group. We are already there waiting for you. Can’t wait for your arrival. Get yours here.

Merry Christmas Eve to all those who celebrate. Me, myself and I? I celebrate them all.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Mandala 2, Arwen Lynch December 23, 2012