This is a theme that always reinvigorates my spirit, reminds me how important it is to keep in focus what is good in my life. This theme has followed me around since I began creating illustrations with words... almost 10 years ago, as it turns out:

Focus on and appreciate what is right, what is good, what I have and what is possible, and "ignore the head chatter about what is wrong". 

These words appeared on one of the first cards I ever designed. It was a testament to my belief that what is right would light up and increase and expand... if I put my attention there.

(The illustration above is a new one in the series I've been working on about gratitude. The small writing in the lower left of the illustration says: "Create an intention for the entire month. One entire month of daily what is right practice. Just try it... the results are astounding.")

I've been revisiting the principles in The Artist Way (see my last post) lately and am reminded how important intention and practice are. And how important and necessary some discipline is when you want to change something or reach deeper, or just sit with the questions. You even need to find time to just sit with the questions.

So, it's Monday and I grope for inspiration to get the week going. I have essay projects and poems I'm working on, a story/book proposal sitting idle, lists for licensing and business deadlines, mundane errands and life assignments (eek! taxes!). A schedule is forming but needs some discipline. It's easy to get distracted or even discouraged because I'd love to wander in the woods and smell lichen and moss for an extended period of time and ignore the reminders that require I settle in at the desk.

Both the smelling of lichen and the writing of poems intrigue me no end. Of course, I'd love only those assignments. My theme for this year is to find that balance, to take care of myself and fill myself while at the same time managing the wonderful opportunities I have that contribute to my livelihood. And, to nurture the splendid friendships and relationships with family that enrich my life and fill my heart.

A quote by Paul Hawken from The Artist Way:
"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."

So true!