Category Archives: Spirituality

Not believe in Santa Claus!


You might as well not believe in Fairies!

These are two of my favorite lines that are part of what has summed up Christmas for me since I was a little girl.


Above is the image of a page in a booklet of Christmas Stories we had in my home growing up. I don’t remember reading any of the other stories but this one. And I still believe in Santa Claus. If you have not read this editorial that was written in 1897 in response to a letter from an 8 year old little girl I hope it will bring  joy to your Christmas – no matter what your beliefs. Click on the image above to make it larger, or click here to go to a more recent article posted about this.


Although I don’t have any children I still love to bring a little of this Christmas spirit into my home each year.


I am fortunate to still have the stocking my mom made for me as a wee one. I love to display it along with some of the other Christmas decorations I have from growing up. They remind me of her love and the spirit of love that is in all of us.



I made a stocking for my hubby when we first met, too. Although we don’t always fill these with gifts, they are hung with the spirit of love.

I also love to keep up my mom’s tradition of hanging the clothespin calendar – which she created so little girls could always figure out how many days until Christmas by counting the clothespins.


Some years we get a Christmas tree and some years we keep it simple, but I always embrace the Christmas spirit with these Christmas decorations that remind me of the love and tradition my mom created for me as a child.

No matter where you live and what your beliefs, in the spirit of the Santa I believe in I am wishing you love and beauty and joy this Christmas season.





Filed under Inspiration, Joy, Spirituality

The Short Days of the Year…and we have a winner


It’s that time of the year in the Rocky Mountains when the mornings are cold, the shadows are long and night falls early.

I want to cocoon and let go of all thoughts and responsibilities.

And it is the time of the year when my life is full

…of sharing the Daily Musings Journal with the world
…of preparing for holiday festivities
…of reflecting on the year past and what I’m dreaming of for the new year


Time seems to fly and stand still at the same time.

There is not enough time in a day to complete the tasks and to do’s I’ve assigned myself, and yet these dark days have just begun – it feels like it may be forever until the days begin to grow long again.

Do you ever have this feeling?

These polarities are the nature of life, and I am grateful for each moment of this wild & precious life.

During these cold, dark days when I feel the need to go inward and nest I am especially grateful

…for my cozy home
…for my loving hubby
…for my friends & family – near and far
…for the beauty that surrounds me


What are you feeling grateful for these days?

Before I  go, I also want to announce the winner of the 2016 Daily Musings Journal from the Mini Musings Adventure last week: Debra Marrs. I want to express my heart felt gratitude to Debra, and all of you who participated in the mini musings adventure. I received such wonderful feedback on the posts. And if you missed them, they are available for you to read at any time – just click here.

Wishing all of my U.S. friends a relaxing & joy-filled Thanksgiving.
And I’ll see you all when the final month of this year begins, and the days are still growing shorter in my corner of the Rocky Mountains.




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Filed under Creativity, Inspiration, Playing, Self Discovery, Self-care, Spirituality

adventure and joy in expression


Where to begin…I thought it best to remember my space. Here in the shadow of this stunning desert landscape I painted a landscape, of sorts, of my own.

If you had told me when I arrived to Ghost Ranch for a week of Painting from Your Wild Heart on Thursday afternoon that I would be taking home a 6ft high by 7.5ft wide painting a week later I would have chuckled with amusement and disbelief.

I came to this magical land with an open heart and little expectation. I left with a full and open heart, and another magical landscape of my own. My new landscape is so full of possibility and love and enthusiasm for the creative process – mine and seedlings of more ways to share it with others.

[note – this is a rather long post, and I have written it as much for me as for you]

PaintingBegins My painting began in a predictable way…with curving lines. These lines are always comforting to me, and form a river. The female figure was a bit of a surprise, but it was still a river. And the colors – purples & blues – all me!

Adding the golden leaves also felt predictable and comfortable, especially as it is September and fall in the high country.

The next day I covered the leaves with rocks, and I also played with color and texture in the river. I honestly wanted to be finished then – because I thought this lovely figure/river would look beautiful where I had another tall intuitive artwork piece in my studio.Phase1Complete

But the point wasn’t to create a piece for the wall, it was to go where the juiciness laid.

What scared me Chris would ask?

I was was scared, and also intrigued, to go bigger. This river wanted to be turned on it’s side and have paper added above. And so I listened…

Once I added paper I did not know what wanted to happen next; my first lines were words written with a white oil pastel: Every being and spirit deserves to be, even me. The next lines were not all that unpredictable – the rock cliffs I was looking out upon as I painted.

Angsty feelings arose as I added color to the cliffs with watered down paint – until some magic happened.

PaintingLight-ShadowThe sun hit my painting and the most amazing shadows appeared in the ripples of the paper. I felt like I was looking upon the beautiful canyon walls that surround Ghost Ranch. I could not have not done this if I had tried.

Next I created a night sky.

Then I wanted to add a Coelophysis dinosaur (I had walked along the Coelophysis Quarry on one of my hikes and my fascination had taken me to the Museum of Paleontology on the Ghost Ranch grounds afterwards.) I am not confident in my drawing skills, and I only had a hazy recollection of the skeleton I had seen at the museum.

Phase2-InProgressChris firmly and lovingly told me that I could not look at anything for reference – that this would squash my creativity. But she insisted I could create the dinosaur, and it would be my creature.

Ha I thought…and then…what could I lose by trying. I went for it, and I love him.

PaintingDetailsMy painting began to become a world for every being and spirit (even fairies:) This was not a plan when I wrote the words underneath the surface of the painting.

Can you catch a glimpse of one of the fairies in the image with me painting?

All of this over the days that included an amazing movement practice and aliveness check-in each morning with the beautiful circle of women I was painting with; and walks to and from camp where Gandalf the Grey (our trusty camper van) was home; hikes amongst the landscape; tears and laughter; star gazing and desert sounds.

MeChimneyRockAnd then one evening my painting told me it wanted to get even bigger! What!?

I wanted to add some sort of shelter, but it felt like it would not fit on my current painting.

And so I added another panel using the paper I had smudged with left over paint a little earlier.


And yes – this unfolded, too. It was a crazy, alive, some times scary and frustrating, joy-filled adventure – to just keep painting, adding color and life to this painting on paper using cheap tempera paints.


And then our time Painting from the Wild Heart came to a close. I felt a sadness, and also a satisfaction and a joy. I had shown-up and painted from my wild heart, spent time in circle with beautiful women, wander in the stunning landscape that is Ghost Ranch, and created a joy-filled piece I would never have guessed was inside of me.

I loved being in my body and outside with the painted desert cliffs as I painted, choosing colors and images that called to me. Even if they weren’t realistic, they were filled with life & laughter, joy & adventure. I say yes to this is my life.

This is an experience I will not forget, and I look forward to painting with my whole self again – soon I hope.

The adventure and joy of expression – this is creativity my friends – in whatever colors and forms it takes for you!

Where can you find adventure and joy in expression? There will you will find your creativity, too. I hope you will take a few moments to create from your wild heart.

And I’d love to hear about your adventure!




Filed under Art & Design, Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Friends, Inspiration, Joy, Nature, Playing, Spirituality, Travel

the Dawning of a New Age


I have a birthday coming – tomorrow!

I’ve heard this particular age called double nickels, a speed limit, and – my favorite at the moment – 55 and foxy! Yes – I like that thought!

And now I’ve revealed the number of my age.
But this number is not really what is significant.

Making peace with the changes that come with this number …in my body, mind & spirit…is what I’ve been thinking about.

In my body: I’ve been so healthy most of my life. And as an avid outdoors person I love to mountain bike, hike, ski, and…
I’ve always considered myself a very active person.
In the past several years I have found myself being a little more intimidated on some of my adventures. When I fall from my mountain bike it seems to hurt more and take longer to recover.

And I don’t seem to have the same stamina and strength that I used to. There are spots that I used to pedal through without thinking, and now I find myself getting off my bike and walking through some of these sections.

If I’m honest I don’t enjoy the bumpy jarring over the rocks when I used to be able to seemingly glide right through.

I’ve also had a few health issues, and it has been challenging to not always feel 100%.

In my mind: This new age is a challenging transition – learning to come to terms with these changes in my body; to realize that it is my ego mind that wants to pedal through every rocky section of the trail I have in the past and doing this, or not, does not make me.

In my spirit: I am grateful for the yoga practice that I have found in the past several years. It is helping me to navigate these changes in my body and to BE with what is in each moment. It is helping me to let go and love myself now; to enjoy each moment, and BE OK with not doing some things to the same level that I used to.


I have thought a lot {about this} as this birthday has approached. I am grateful for all that is in this moment.

Life is too precious, and it is time to make peace with this new age.

Where can you make peace with where you are in this moment – no matter what has been in the past, or you wish for the future? I’d love to hear how you navigate the inevitable changes that happen in your life.

Thank you for being on this journey with me.





P.S. I am off to Ghost Ranch in Abiqui, New Mexico – to be in the space where Georgia O’Keefe painted, and to paint with Chris Zydel of Creative Juices Art. I look forward to being in each moment of this coming week in this very special place – with very special people who I have not yet met. I’ll be sure to report back about my adventures…see you in a few weeks.

Sept-Dec2015DMJcvrIn the mean time – if you missed the Doodle Days [of Summer] Musings Adventure, I’ve created a printable download of the rest of the year of the Daily Musings Journal. Click here to check it out and get yours today!


{Selfie images taken down my the Arkansas River on September 7 – no planning, no filter, no adjusting, no make-up – just me in the moment.}


Filed under Everyday Adventure, Inspiration, Joy, Nature, Outdoor Adventure, Playing, Self-care, Spirituality

Spreading the Mandala Magic!


Solstice Mandala


Mandala – sacred circle – magical circle …I think they are all really the same. And they have become a very important part of my creative life this past year.

It actually all began with my friend Julie Gibbons. Julie was studying and creating mandalas while we were in Circe’s Circle together, and she has developed an amazing 12-moth online workshop, Mandala Magic, where you can dive deep into mandala making & self-discovery! Registration is now open for the 2015 cycle.
(Circe’s Circle is a life changing group coaching program with Jamie Ridler – and registration for the next session is now open!)

This past spring I participated in another online mandala workshop, with Louise Gale. Mixed Media Mandalas unlocked the magic of these sacred circles in such a fun and accessible way.

mandala collage

My friend Kathryn Costa launched this fall, and asked me to participate in her solstice mandala calendar. The image at the top of this post is my final piece.


I love  opening a little window each day and seeing a new mandala from a different artist from around the world. You can check out this ongoing challenge – with weekly themes and the solstice mandala calendar for download – at

All of these wonderful artists and their resources have been inspiration to create and share my own mandalas. If you’ve already bought a 2015 Daily Musings Journal you’ll know the cover is inspired by a mandala I created. That mandala is included within the journal as a fun color-in page.


I am in awe from the response for the 2015 Daily Musings Journal. The creation of this journal, which started many years ago as a personal practice, has been a true journey of love that is flowing over as more & more of you join the daily musing journey this year and are loving these journals. I printed a limited quantity and there are still a few left for 2015. If one has your name on it please don’t wait too long to order yours!

Breathe-justBreathe_webI’d like to share one other mandala that I’ve created this year…

Breathe Just Breathe

This practice of returning to the breath and the present has become such an important practice for me. My thanks goes to my amazing yoga teacher Chanda and the yoga community at The Yoga Tonic.

If you’re interested in receiving a PDF of this mandala – that you can print, color and hang up to remind you to breathe – I invite you to join my mermaid tales email list where you will receive this along with about a dozen total color-in play sheet PDFs as my gift to you.

I hope these resources offer you a helpful entré into the world of the sacred practice of mandala making, and I hope you will find joy in creating mandalas as much as I do.




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Filed under Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Inspiration, Journaling, Joy, Lettering, Spirituality