Being Alive is an Art!
The Centre for Experiential Living
How delightful to see my starfish story featured in Barbara Kraus's Monday Morsel's this morning!
Searching for Stars
by Mikell Worley
Once upon a time, two experienced treasure hunters gathered their flashlights and headed out into the night to search for crabs on the beach. Instead, they found seven star fish! And so began my Search for the Stars!
You can find stars any time! They are everywhere! Those of us living in the U. S. find them on our beloved Stars and Stripes, and they can be found on flags representing companies, organizations, states and countries around the world!
There are stars throughout museums, and antique stores, in traditional and modern quilt patterns, and mosaics and paintings. You'll find them in tiles on the floor, restaurant walls and the hardware store! The star fruit at the market is obvious, but don't miss the star hidden in the apple if you cut it from side to side instead of through the core!
Nature is abundant with stars right here on earth! The delicate blue flowers on the herb borage are edible and make a beautiful garnish on a fruit salad or in ice cubes with your favorite summer beverage.
You'll find stars on the shells of turtles, the leaves of the sweet gum tree, on seashells and squash blossoms!
There are the 'stars' that entertain us! There are sports stars, stars of the silver screen, you'll find stars on Broadway, at concerts. There are local unsung heroes, working to make your community and our world a better place to live! They are stars!
And we certainly can't forget the sun! It is the ultimate star, giving life and energy to all of us! Our very existence depends on this miraculous golden orb!
Searching for stars is wonderful in and of itself, but there is an added bonus! Stars are for making wishes. Use your imagination and makes wishes on every star you see, and then prepare to make all of your wishes come true!
And the most beautiful stars of all?
The stars in the eyes of those you love!
May you have an abundance of stars and may your every wish come true!
Mikell, pronounced Michael, is a coach, writer and an artist, and most of all, a treasure hunter! Her mission is to help others see the beauty, romance and treasures with in, and around them, that are often dismissed or completely overlooked. As a Certified ARTbundanceTM Coach she approaches her clients with compassion, creativity and a gentle, inventive approach. Mikell specialize in working with women (teens through adults) on issues such as self-esteem and self-worth, personality assessment, transforming unexpected life challenges, and beautiful, affirming weight loss.. Visit http://www.mikellshiddentreasures.com to explore your Hidden Treasures!
Spent the afternoon attending a course on Starting Native Seeds at the Natural History Society of Maryland. We reviewed how seeds break dormancy - water, light and dark, stratification, scarification, double dormancy, chemical inhibitors and some seeds must be planted fresh. We left the class with a wealth of native seeds along with instructions for planting! Thank you to instructor Christa (Chris) Partain, a lecturer of biology and environmental science at Towson University and Maryland Institute College of Art.
Love my dress form from Victorian Trading Company! It's been on my wish list for quite some time, and after my recent training in Delaware on self care for caregivers of children with disabilities, I decided to listen to my own advice and treat myself! I set a personal goal, achieved it, and placed the order!
The basis of the self care course is my "A Rose, Instead" six week course. I encourage participants to choose something they love as a symbol to make healthy choices. Roses are my choice!
Years ago I went into the grocery store and picked up a dozen gorgeous roses. As I walked through the store, there were a number of items that enticed me, but I knew they weren't good for me. Avoiding the three 'white powders' (sugar, salt and flour), can be challenging, but the roses made it easier to walk away. I've been bringing home roses, along with fresh fruits and vegetable, instead of empty calories, ever since.
Like the roses, my dress form will encourage me to make healthy choices. I'll also be more creative and save money! My Mother taught me haute couture tailoring and I'm looking forward to revisiting those techniques! I've already cut and fit a custom made unbleached muslin pattern as the basis for creating my garments.
Do you have symbolic items that remind you to be kinder to yourself? How do you reward yourself for achieving goals? If we combine reminders that we deserve to make healthy choices, along with rewards for achieving goals, we are more likely to give ourselves the care we deserve!
Dragonflies were a recurring theme at last night's training session and
reminded me of this post from last May.
Vinnie and John came through with the stones and tiles so I'm working on some dragonflies that friends requested. The dragonfly's colors become more intense as it ages, and it can change directions with a moment's notice. I can relate - can you?
Words are so powerful.
Last night I found this note from one of my participants. It warmed my heart and reminded of how fortunate we are to be able to lift up ourselves, and each other, using 26 little marks!
"As always, you and your work are my highlight of the day! Thank you so much for reinforcing affirmations and words/thoughts I say about myself. I need to be reminded repeatedly. You are truly a gift. I am so grateful for the gifts you are sharing with me!"
As I consider the power of words, I'm reminded of one of my favorite insights on resources - a quote taken from an advertisement to promote local libraries.
Roger von Oech, author of A Kick in the Seat of the Pants and A Whack on the Side of the Head, shared his perspective from an advertisement for a library
Miracles at Your Local Library!
“At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry, giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand.
It’s astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do. In Shakespeare’s hands they becameHamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbon pounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.”
What can you do with these 26 letters to honor yourself? I challenge you to arrange them in a way that will inspire and delight!! Make a gratitude list, write a thank you note to yourself, capture your treasured memories in a journal, write a poem or a song! Be kind with your self talk! Use affirmations.
If we use our words to inspire and nurture ourselves in the same way we use them to honor others, our entire perspective about who we are and what we can accomplish will change. We will step into a whole new world of miraculous possibilities!
What can you do with 26 little marks?
As we enter 2020, it's interesting to look back at the evolution of styles from the 1920s.
The night air was chilly when the baby Jesus was born in the manger, but Mary was too tired and weak to tend the fire. The wind was raw and cold and the fire was beginning to go out. Mary asked the animals in the manger to help her but none responded.
A small Robin was flying by and heard her pleas. She took pity on Mary and her infant and flew into the manger to help. She flapped her wings until the flames rekindled. Some of the sparks seared her breast but she continued to fan the fire to keep it burning throughout the night. The Virgin Mary was so grateful that she blessed the Robin for her kind spirit and since then every robin has had a red breast to remind us of their kindness and love.
In addition to the home celebration, the young girls attend services at the church dressed in their lighted crowns. St. Lucy represents the promise of the light in the darkness and the sun's return.
Her father died when she was young. When she came of age, her mother arranged her marriage to a pagan but Lucy rejected him. It was the time of the Diocletian persecutions and when her suitor denounced her as a Christian, she seemed destined to death by burning or life in the brothels. Her fate was to be martyred by a sword through her throat.
In another story she escapes the marriage by tearing her eyes out in frightful desperation. She is often depicted carrying her eyes on a tray.
Miraculously, her sight was restored and she was able to serve God and mankind as she has intended. She is celebrated for giving sight to the blind, food to the hungry, and light to the darkness. The name Lucy comes from the root word Lux, meaning light.
Herbs associated with St. Lucy's Day
Saffron Myrtle Dill Goldenrod Bilberry
St. Lucia's Saffron Braided Bread
I teaspoon saffron, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Let cool
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
4 T softened butter
3 T sugar
1 teaspoon salt
I cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried bilberries (blueberries) or raisins
5 to 6 cups unbleached flour
1. Prepare saffron.
2. Dissolve yeast in water.
3. Mix the butter with eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
4. Add milk to butter and eggs.
5. Add almonds and dried fruit
6. Stir in saffron mixture.
7. Add flour gradually and stir with wooden spoon until it is is smooth and forms a ball.
8. Place on floured board or counter and knead until smooth - about 5 minutes.
9.Put into a greased bowl, turn it over and cover with a towel in a warm place until double, about an hour and a half.
10. Punch down dough, divide into 3 sections. Braid and form into a circle shape.
11. Place on cookie sheet and let rise until double - about 30 minutes.
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
13. Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
14. Remove from oven, cool and ice.
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
Combine and gradually add water until it is the consistency of icing.
Drizzle on to bread.
Decorate with slivered toasted almonds and/or dried fruit if desired.
Top with candles
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Do The Write Thing
Fashion And Fabrics
Lessons From Nature
Pay It Forward
Take The Rose Instead
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!