Gratitude is the Answer to Your Question

How do I stay positive during trying times? Gratitude is the answer. This small watercolor painting of the swan always fills my heart with gratitude. It reminds me of the time with my family when I was twelve at Busch Gardens in Tampa, where I took the photo of a swan with my Polaroid Swinger. I chose that moment for my reference at age thirty-seven as I experimented with a gesso and watercolor technique. Every time I look at this painting, my heart fills with gratitude that spans over decades.

You can feel the same with practice.

Give Me Examples

Being home with my children is driving me crazy.

  • First, ensure your children are safe
  • Then go to a quiet place
  • Close your eyes
  • Take 3 deep cleansing breaths
  • Imagine you are at away at work, wondering how your child is feeling away from you
  • Feel the sadness, the longing to be together
  • Now shift back to now
  • I’m so grateful they are right here with me
  • Come out and give your child a comforting hug
  • Repeat as needed
  • Gratitude is the answer

I miss being with my best friend.

  • First, move to a quiet place, where you are alone
  • Take 3 deep cleansing breaths
  • Call  your friend
  • Close your eyes and imagine they are right there with you
  • Enjoy your conversation
  • Tell them how grateful you are they are in your life
  • Repeat as needed
  • Gratitude is the answer

The Mind Shift

Dealing with fear, sadness, disgust or anger is possible. All these emotions are choices we make. Instead, using breathing techniques and being in the moment, choose joy, peace, trust and love.

How Do I Shift My Emotions?

  • First, go to a quiet place, where you are alone
  • Close your eyes
  • Take 3 deep cleansing breaths into your heart space
  • Imagine your favorite place
  • Listen to the sounds
  • Breathe in the fragrance
  • Continue to bask in this beautiful space
  • Slowly open your eyes
  • Repeat as needed
  • You have experienced gratitude in this exercise

How Can I Find Gratitude ____?

Fill in the blanks with your current situation. After you have performed at least one of the exercises above, go through this list. And always look for the positive.

  • I have time to enjoy _____
  • Explore the world virtually
  • See the small delights in your surroundings, right now
  • Be gentle with yourself
  • Be gentle with others
  • Smile
  • Gratitude is the answer

This Seems Too Simple

That’s the beauty of it. We become accustomed to rushing, stress and overwhelm. By the simple act of mindful breathing, we reset our minds and emotions. It’s very simple and how wonderful to have found the space to do that now. I’m taking advantage of this more quiet time at home to reconnect with the love and peace within.

Won’t you join me?

With Love and Caring,
Dawn

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How to Make Gorgeous Videos

I had been considering taking a 1:1 class on how to make gorgeous videos. But I seemed so busy. I surrendered to my intuition and took the plunge.

Intuition Leads the Way

I met the video teacher, Alma Gonzalez, first in an online course, Communicate with Your Angels, led by Melissa Kitto, late in June, 2019. In addition to helpful information, there were group calls where we saw each other on Zoom along with a private Facebook Group. I noticed Alma had a professional still photograph of herself instead of the outline all the rest of us had when we had disabled video. I wondered how she did that.

Both of us decided to signup for a retreat with Melissa and Inner Soul Retreats. We convened in Canadensis, Pennsylvania from September 26-29, 2019. There were a lot of serendipitous events with each other. Although we could have been far apart in the assigned bedrooms, we were right next to each other. Almost every time we gathered in a circle to participate in a spiritual session, we sat next to each other. Sometimes that empty chair would open up, seemingly out of nowhere. When Alma joked about it, Melissa told us we were meant to work together.

During a block of free time, Alma, myself and two other ladies hiked from our lodge toward the main hotel. I remember avoiding the trail up to the Zipline like it was cursed. Overcoming my fear of the Zipline experience another life changing event I shared with Alma.

About the Video Class

I’ve followed Alma on her YouTube Vlog, noting her incredible video offerings. When I needed a recommendation about a tripod for my iPhone, I messaged her on Facebook. She suggested the Jobi Gorillapod. It was just what I needed, perfect for videotaping my exercise sessions and all my Zoom sessions. I felt even more confident about her knowledge.

Next, I sprang for a 1:1 video class. Before hand, Alma sent me a fact sheet and instructions to download or verify two Apps. During the class she shared her phone to show me exactly what she was doing. I chose to use my iPad for the sharing, leaving my iPhone free to follow along. This hands-on / demonstration technique worked extremely well for me.

Demonstration of the Results

Immediately afterward, I went out in my front yard with my iPhone, looking for wildlife. For days I’d seen an orange and black butterfly on my Pentas plants. He was there again and I shot this video, uncut and original.

Using the techniques Alma showed me, I created this edited version.

 

LessonS Learned

Perhaps you have no interest in how to make gorgeous videos yourself. But I see so many applications. In the butterfly video, I was able to positively identify the Monarch butterfly by freezing the frames. Then by slowing down the video speed, we can all enjoy it much more. In contrast, the photo at the top of this article is a very similar butterfly, the Viceroy, that allowed me lots of time to photograph her in my backyard. Do you see how it would be difficult to distinguish between these very different butterflies live during their erratic flight?

Do you like taking videos at a family event? With Alma’s class, you will learn about simple equipment that will diminish ‘hand shake. Additionally, she will show you how to do voice overs while still preserving the voices of the people in the event. Certainly, I will never hesitate to create a video, knowing I can clean it up later.

Over all, the biggest lesson learned is to follow your intuition. When you feel that tingle on your arms, fullness in your chest, or queasiness in your gut, consider it might be your intuition speaking to you through your body. It’s very different than that voice in your head filling you with negative thoughts.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions about this article. Write a comment, or better yet, signup for my newsletter so you won’t miss a blog and you’ll receive extras I reserve just for my subscribers.

Happy Creative Videotaping,
Dawn

Use Watercolor to Connect with My Inner Child

Two unrelated events merged together last week showing me to use watercolor to connect with my Inner Child.

The First Event

My son asked if I had any recommendations for my granddaughter concerning learning the art of watercolor.

My first reaction was sending her some of my supplies, as I wasn’t using them. Secondly, I thought, her world is so different from my experience learning watercolor in the 1980’s. Perhaps I should see what new beginning watercolor books are out there. The third book that caught my eye won my purchase.

The Watercolor Book

Creative Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners, by Ana Victoria Calderon has everything a budding watercolor artist needs. The book is packed with recommendations for materials, and photographs, illustrating technique and method. Ms. Calderon builds an easy progression of skill into the hands of the reader.

As I looked inside the book before purchase on Amazon, a lightness filled my chest and a smile lit up my face. My memories creating paintings flooded my thoughts. I pushed them aside to focus on the matter at hand, finding the basic tools my granddaughter needs to pursue an interest that brought me so much joy.

Watercolor Tools

I found Strathmore 140 pound, cold press paper in a spiral pad, Windsor and Newton Cotman half-pan watercolors with the palette and one small brush included. My final purchase was a four-brush set of watercolor brushes from Cheap Joe’s. I felt that completed the basic equipment needed to learn watercolors.

Yes, they weren’t exactly recommendations. Hey, I’m a grandmother and finding something my grandchild actually wants led me down the empty cart path on Amazon.

The Second Event

Do you find it difficult to follow your gut feelings, your intuition? Sometimes, I do. It takes a lot of practice to tell the difference between what’s in your heart vs. thoughts of our mind. One of the tools that helps me connect with my intuition is Oracle Cards. I occasionally use them for extra clarity understanding my feelings.

The second event was pulling the card, “Imagination / Inner Child”. Sonia Coquette, the author of my Ask Your Guides cards, suggests this card is about honoring my Inner Child through inspiration, creativity, art classes or simply play.

The most playful way I could imagine to return to my watercolor was through the same Creative Watercolor book I bought for my granddaughter. I went to order another copy for myself and found they were out of stock in hard copy, but available on Kindle. Reading through this book on my iPad brings joy to my heart.

Now, where are my art supplies?

If you want to know more about anything I mentioned in this blog, contact me, or better yet, signup for my newsletter, where you will not only receive my blogs, you’ll also know about other opportunities to connect.

Enjoy this new month!

Dawn