Book Recommendation: Day Four

Yesterday, I woke up with a very sore throat and an earache. It was a very familiar feeling, and I was sure that I had strep throat again. Instead of getting upset as I usually do, I made the decision first thing that I would take it easy despite everything I believed I had to get done. I went through the list in my mind of the things that truly had to be done, and let the rest go. And that’s what brings me to my next book recommendation: The Magic by Rhonda Byrne.

The MagicOn November 1st, Allyson Bright, the founder of Determined to Shine, started a free thirty-day program based on The Magic. I had partially read the book before and had great success with it, but for some reason, I never finished it. I thought this was the perfect time to start it again, and this time, actually get through the entire book. The book has brief chapters that focus on a different gratitude practice that you perform each day while also keeping up some other gratitude practices every day. I have to say that, once again, this practice has drastically changed my life. Yesterday, when I woke up feeling like I had strep, that day’s practice had to do with saying thank you for every single thing you touched during your morning routine. Even though I wasn’t feeling well, I went ahead and started to express my gratitude for everything – my warm blanket, heat on a cold day, my feet touching the soft carpet, the honey ginseng green tea, my coffee cup, a comfortable reclining couch, my cuddly cats, and so on. I sat on the couch, sipped some green tea, and wrote out the other daily practice of writing down ten things I was grateful for and why.

By mid-afternoon, I felt 100% better. My sore throat was gone, my earache completely gone, and I was able to get more done yesterday than I had thought possible when I woke up feeling so unwell. This morning I woke up still feeling 100% healed. This is the first time I have experienced something so miraculous. In a typical year, I’ve experienced strep throat 9-10 times, so I am very familiar with what it feels like. This is the first time that my body has healed itself. I believe turning my focus away from not feeling well and putting it on gratitude gave my body the space to heal.

Something I often forget, and I’m not sure why, is that gratitude works…every single time. It shifts my mood quickly whenever I am feeling hopeless, alone, anxious, or that I don’t have everything I need. The trick is to really look at things I take for granted such as running water, internet service, food to eat, a comfy couch, a laptop to type this blog post on, a washer and dryer, and so on, and to keep building on those things. Writing a detailed gratitude list every day, including why I am grateful, has helped me to dig deeper and identify exactly those things I take for granted. I am often astounded by all the things I have that I take for granted, and it totally shifts my perception. I hope that you will try it and see if it works for you.

Day Twenty-nine: Find Your Flow

For today’s sketch, I decided to continue with Nina Rycroft’s Emoji Me class and created a character with a surprised expression. Over this nearly thirty days, I’ve gotten quicker with the character sketches and have also been figuring out what artist’s tools work best for me.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do after the #FindYourFlow program ends tomorrow. I may just start working through the many books I purchased from Sketchbook Revival artists or take advantage of some courses I’ve got waiting for me. My creative mind is on fire and wants to do everything all at once, but I know that leads to overwhelm and then giving up. In the next day or two, I’m going to do what Karen Abend has taught us, make a plan and set an intention for whatever I decide to do next.

What I think I will miss most is the accountability of being part of the group and the thirty-day challenge. Well…really more than those…I will miss the input of group members that have made me feel that what I’m doing is not futile and a waste of time. Sometimes it feels like that when you’re all alone. So I say with the deepest gratitude, thank you to all of you. This has been an incredible experience.

And to Karen Abend, you are a rockstar! I have no idea how you managed to respond to every single post from every single member with thoughtful comments, but you did. You are truly amazing and have jumpstarted the latent creativity of so many of us through your programs. To you I say: thank you, thank you, thank you ❤️❤️❤️

Day Fourteen: Follow Your Flow

Today is a new day. The chaos of yesterday is over. When I thought about it, I realized nothing had really changed. I had hope for a couple of hours that the mystery of my health had been solved, and then it was back to not knowing. At this point, I think acceptance is the next step. I have been fighting for a long time, and I am tired. I am going to focus on developing my artistic skills, and let the Universe take over my health situation. When the time is right, I will get back up and fight, if that is what I’m called to do, but for now, I have done all I know to do. I am incredibly grateful that I have the #FindYourFlow group to keep me motivated, and incredibly grateful that I have a life and a job that is flexible and tailored around the health issues I am experiences. The Universe is supporting me in myriad, magical ways, and I’m going to focus on that. Plus being immobile so much really allows me to focus on creating and building my skills. Maybe that has been the Universe’s intention all along. Maybe I wouldn’t slow down, so the Universe found a way to make it happen so that I could step back on the right path towards happiness.

Today’s sketches were fun. I sat down and thought about my commitments and intentions for today’s session. My commitments were to spend at least thirty minutes sketching and then to post my completed sketches here on the blog. My intentions were to really feel a sense of commitment to the #FindYourFlow process while completing the sketches, and also to feel joy in the creation of three new characters. I have to say, I really did enjoy completing today’s sketches. I completed the next section in Nina Rycroft’s Guide to Drawing Eyes – rectangle eyes. I decided to change the face shapes today from ovals to rectangles, and I added color to the sketches using Raffine Aquarelle watercolor pencils. I am learning that there is one character each day that I’m drawn to that I spend more time on adding more details and more elaborate colors and shades, and it is usually the female character. I do love the first boy’s expression – he reminds me of my son when I ask him to do something. Ha! Ha!

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