Thoughts on Health… the Brain


There’s a lot of suffering in thinking you should know and be right

and figure things out and that sort of thing.

When we are out there in ego, we believe we can know and should know.

When we come back to center, we realize that we don’t know

and we don’t need to know.

So it’s a coming back to center that has us on the right path.

– Cheri Huber

The brain is our knowledge power house.  It is our database, stores our memories, sorts facts, a filing cabinet which processes new information and fits in into our existing, learned framework of “logic.”

It is a closed system… an organ living in a finite space.  It is encased in the skull, in the hardest thing our body can make to protect it… bone.  Really, it’s the only major organ that functions like this, within bone… even the rib cage, protecting our heart and lungs, allows for the expansion of movement, breath, and blood flow.  In the skull, even fluid things can act as a space occupying lesion and cause pressure like a tumor… a hemorage of blood or a build up of cerebrospinal fluid, both completely liquid, can cause a build up of pressure and damage the brain under the limited space available within the skull.

Diseases of the brain many times come in the form of impairing access to the concrete information stored there… either a physical block in the form of a tumor, stroke, hydrocephalous… or a mental block in the form of dementia, depression, Alzheimers.

When we are young children, our brains grow at amazing speed, forming an immense amount of neuronal connections.  It is very plastic and resilant, open to all new learning experiences.  In fact, when we are very young, only months old, our skull bones do not even cover our entire brain… the fontenells are open and the plates of the skull are not yet fused.

At some point, as adults, we plateau our learning.  We transition from living life with an open eyed sense of wonder, and we start becoming satisfied with just learning “facts.”  We label things, and fit them in to the framework we’ve established.  We collapse what is possible into facts and figures and answers.  We start functioning on a repeat loop… with only mild variation from day to day.

Wake up.  Eat cereal.  Put on socks and shoes.  Commute to work.  Sit in a cubicle.  Commute home.  Watch TV.  Go to bed.  Repeat.

Relying too much on routine and structure, we stop practicing open-ended thinking.  We lose our adaptability.  Our brains become more fixed, more rigid, more closed.  We become “closed-minded.”

Brains can be adaptable… new pathways and neruonal connections can constantly evolve, even in adulthood, but this takes new and vaired input.  This literally keeps your mind young.  Somehow, adults stop experiencing the world in an open ended state of wonder, and become over-reliant on facts and labels.  The brain stops trying to make new neuronal connections, and instead relies on the ones already built and established.  It loses it’s plasticity.  Adults deal with life through information, and facts, and labels.  Logical, linear thinking, concrete thinking, factual thinking limits you to what you “know.”  Labeling things, reducing them to mere facts and putting them away into your brain, is a sure way to turn your brain into a closed system.

Maintaining an open ended sense of wonder… continuously questioning things without a need for an answer, experiencing life through the wide eyed joy usually reserved for the young… these are the best things you can do to preserve the health of your brain.

In week’s past, I talked about how the strength of your heart is it’s flexibility.  Without it’s flexibility, it becomes suseptible to dis-ease.  The strength of your mind is adaptability.  Without it’s ability to constantly form new connections, your brain becomes suseptible to space occupying lesions and disease.   So explore within yourself if you are okay sitting with open ended questions, or do you immediately reach for an answer.  Do you rely too heavily on a routine and on structure?  Your brain’s health is all about maintaining it’s adaptability.

Please come back next week to see the spiritual side of the brain… the adaptable, amazing, complex and mysterious organ encased in bone.  I will present another health collage about the brain, explain a new way of thinking, and give you a simple exercise to increase your capacity for open ended thinking.  See you then!  xoxo

My Favorite Thing… on the Front Porch


117 degrees F heat index + July + South Carolina = Life moving a bit slower.

1 Hammock + 2 Sweet Kids + Instantly Fogged Camera Lens = 1 Happy Mommy  xoxo

Through the front door


Look what blew in through my front door.  Right in the middle of a busy day.  Me, rushing around, bringing things in from the car, letting the dogs out, putting away all our shoes, recharging my cell phone… blah, blah blah… all the things you do in the first two minutes of getting home.

I was just about to close and lock the front door, when I looked down.

Sometimes it just takes a little nod from the universe to set my day right again. Love is all around… xoxo

Thoughts on Health… the Heart, Part 2


“I know in this moment, we are connected,

we are one.

In our hearts, we are non-physical.

I see through the illusion,

I see through the separation.

I am in the now.

I am in love.

I am in freedom.

I am.”

– Story Waters

If you missed the first part of this Thoughts on Health series… part 1 of the heart, you might want to take a look at it here.  In it, I represent the disease process of the heart, as it builds plaques and walls in it’s vasculature and creates a brittle, suffocating environment.  The way out of that disease manifestation is to focus on the flexibility of the heart.  The strength of the heart and the power of the heart is all in it’s flexibility.

So, with our diseased thinking turned around, with the focus on flexibility and embracing our core strength by being open and pliable… where can our hearts take us?  What is the opposite of being constricted, walled in, brittle?  Expansion, baby, expansion!

Our hearts are the center of our ability to expand… expand beyond just ourselves, and beyond just our limited experience, and expand beyond just this one lifetime.  We can feel our connection to others, and our eternal nature.  It expands outwards in rays of light, right from the center of our being.

Have you ever sat, focusing on something that made you so happy, and just felt your heart grow larger and larger and larger still?  Have you ever felt that your chest was going to explode, your heart energy got so big?  Have you ever felt your heart vibration reach past your chest, past your body, reach into the space around, to the people around you, to the universe around you?  It feels so good, and it feels so good because it is the healthy state of being connected to all of the energy around you.  You are dropping the limited barriers of what defines *you* and reaching out to *all that is*… in this state, I feel that no disease state could maintain itsself for long.  In this state, you are pure, positive joy.  In this state, you have blown up all the barriers around your heart, the ones that you built to *protect you* but that actually harm you… they are dissolved and meaningless.  You are greater then this one moment in time, this one body, this one lifetime.

Through your heart, you can expand past any problem, any limitation.  Through your heart, you can connect to all that is non-physical around you.  Through your heart, you can *feel* the eternal that you can’t *remember* or figure out with your brain.

Your heart is an amazing organ, designed to pump nutrition and health throughout your entire body.  It’s designed to pump joy and love throughout your entire being.  Do not limit it to what it physically can do.  Do not cut it off, in your mind, as a cold piece of muscle designed to transport blood.  Instead, really *feel* the entire purpose of it’s design.  It is the one organ, more then any other, that connects your entire body of being together.  It reaches every tissue, every surface, every other organ.  Through it’s immense meshwork of vasculature, your heart is one of complete and utter connection.  Expansion.  Physically, expanding to every single cell in your body… and emotionally, expanding your life force from you to the universe.

To strengthen and expand you feelings of health and joy, remember those experiences where you feel your heart expanding, and seek to find those more often.  Sit in them and appreciate them when you are in those states of expansion, when you are feeling bigger then life.  In this state you are realizing that the walls you build around your body and mind are no longer helpful, but instead, are constricting.

I feel these states easiest when I sit in appreciation for my children.  I can sit in a room with them and literally feel my heart pound against my chest, expanding through my entire body, then out of my body, pulsing into the universe and connecting me to a greater love.  It is in these moments that I *know* I am tapped in to something more then just myself.  And it is in these moments that I know my connection to my children is eternal.  I seek these moments often, every single day.  Do what you can, today, to find a moment like this and savor it.  You have just found your heartsong.  Every moment you spend in that state, you spend in the state of pure and absolute health.   xoxo

P.S. — next week… I’ll surprise you.  I’m thinking it might be brain (no pun intended)… but we’ll see!  xoxo

New Original Canvas Paintings up in shop!


Wish Flowers… a painting about an entire lifetime

Never Alone… you never are!

Nighttime Frolic… I love this one!

A New Day, the original painting

Bursting with Life! An original painting on cancer awareness and healing

The Castle Remains… my husband’s favorite painting!

Driftwood, original canvas painting

Quick shop update… several new canvases listed for sale… some new ones, and some old ones that I was previously selling only as prints, I’m now making the original painting available for sale.  Thanks so much for taking a look at my shop, and for passing the link along to any loved ones that might be interested!  xoxo

P.S…  Come back Friday for My Favorite Thing… it’s the hallway this time.  The hallway?  Can a hallway even *have* a favorite thing?  Mine finally does…I just put it up this week… I’ve got some pics for you!  xoxo

Thoughts on Health… Our Hearts


“Your task is not to seek for love,

but merely to seek and find all the barriers

within yourself that you have built against it.”

– Rumi

When I sat down to brainstorm how I was going to make an inspirational collage of the heart out of my med school anatomy book, I started by making a list.  A list of all the words that I felt represented the *energy* of the heart.






Life Force.





Obviously we have a heart to pump blood (and thereby deliver oxygen and nutrition) to every part of our body.  It is absolutely critical to life.

The heart is composed of a mass of similar cells who’s function is to work together to deliver the *energy* of blood to our entire organism.

But what is the one thing your heart needs in order to do all this, in order to function at all?  Flexibility.  It’s strength is it’s flexibility.  If your heart is boxed in, walled up, protected… it’s not flexible at all.  It’s brittle.  It can’t work.  It will eventually self-strangulate.  It absolutely *needs* to have it’s walls broken down, removed, in order to maintain it’s strength.

The heart, caged behind barriers of barbed wire, fencing, brick, wood

This is exactly what happens with our heart physically.  Our blood vessels become coated with plaques… but these plaques, instead of strengthening our vessels, strangulate them.  The more coated, the thicker the walls, the more risk of heart attack.

The heart is pure muscle… power, strength, truth and love… and it uses it’s core strength, which is the strength of flexibility, to deliver it’s heartsong… life, joy, and freedom… to the entire body.  This is the power of the heart, when it is full of love, lubricated by life, flexible, bending and free.

The music of life, that surrounds our hearts.  It’s not gone… it’s still playing… it’s  just muffled by the walls we build.

If your heart is hardened, if you are protecting yourself by building walls, if you are living life defensively, how can your heart spread joy and health freely to your entire body?  Your heart can not feed your body, can not feed your body joy, if it is strangled by the walls you have built.

Lightness, joy, love… these are the emotional vibrations that keep your heart flexible and strong.  These are the antidotes to any hardening of your heart you might be feeling.  These are the ways to break down the immobile walls that we naturally build as we protect ourselves along the path of our life.

Protecting ourselves comes at a price.  Building walls brings a brittleness, a false strength that can suffocate that which you are trying to protect.  With your own flexibility gone, you lose your power.  Far more powerful is the heart that can open fully and contract fully… that can feel fully.

So the first step, find what barriers you have built.  Allow them to soften.  Your ability to yield to life and it’s inevitable pleasures and joy will make you stronger.

If your heart is feeling brittle, limited, stiff, hardened, or empty, nurture your own heart first.  Begin with flexibility.  Allow your thoughts to expand, give yourself the flexibility to allow multiple points of view, the vulnerability to be hurt, and the strength to bounce back even stronger.  Give yourself a little love.  A little softness.  A little forgiveness.  A little flexibility.  Flexibility is what makes your heart strong.  Flexibility is what feeds your entire body.  Flexibility is what makes *you* strong.

This piece of art is a visual interpretation of what happens to our hearts as they age.

Next week, I will show you the the flip side of the heart… the heights we can soar to.  The joy it allows us to feel.  Come back next Monday for a look at the spiritual power of our hearts.  xoxo

My Favorite Thing… in my Dining Room


I am making my second stop in my Friday series (Favorite Thing In My Home…) in my dining room.  I went in there to take a look around, stand in appreciation of what I have, and pick the one thing I treasure most about this room of my house.

But first, I had to do a little straightening.  Because truly, folks, there are a million and one blogs out there showing perfectly amazing women doing amazing crafts and everything always turns out perfectly.  And looks beautiful.  And if there is one thing I know, it’s that my blog ain’t that kind of blog.

But still, there is a certain amount of pressure I feel to at least have a presentable photograph to go with my post.  So dang it, I felt the need to clear off my dining room table (which doubles as my art studio.  For more on that, see a tour of my *art studio/dining room* here.  Some of the furniture has changed, but I still use it the same way.)

And I don’t mind clearing off a table for my blog peeps… you guys are more then worth it.  That, and it was almost dinner time anyway and we wanted to actually use the table.

So here is what it looks like cleared.  And you can look far and wide, but you still wont see what my favorite thing is about my dining room today in this photograph.  Because today, just for one day, my favorite thing about this room was all of the amazing doodles I spotted as I cleaned it up.

Doesn’t everyone need a Fo Man in their dining room?

Awesome use of this “To Do” pad… because becoming a comic book girl, falling in a toilet, and setting sail on a piece of poop is better then anything else I had planned today!

What did my son write?  Laser Hair Removal?  This better be a password for Poptropica or something, and not a carefully placed hint… because I *have* been a bit lax about the shaving lately, but dang, that’s cold!

See this cute little mouse, running around the plate?  I don’t know about you, but he’s sold me on this recipe for sure!

Seriously, there is nothing cuter then finding half backwards numbers on a sheet of paper, doodles of mice eating the food images in a magazine, or a Fo Man peering out at me.  Nothing!  The things these drawing do to my heart… backflips doesn’t cut it.  I look at these drawing and Thank God I have children.  And that I can find little gifts like these all over my house.

One of the things I miss most from babyhood is nursing.  And I really feel like one of the things I will miss most from childhood will be these doodles.  Without them, my house will just feel so…. *clean*.  Which might be great when it’s time for dinner, or when you are snapping pictures for a blog post… but not so great when the best part of your life is the little folks who share it with you.

Those doodles… those are my favorite things this Friday.

I am super excited to start a new Monday post series… I will reveal it to you then, but it’s a good one!  Have a great weekend!  xoxo