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Wild Heart Painting Workshop – Gifts of Change

Monday, December 10th, 2012
Intuitive painting fir cone

Intuitive painting fir cone

“Paint like you are in first grade and in silence.  Look at other’s work but do not talk or evaluate,”  were the last words of instruction spoken by Chris Zydel at our Workshop.   I took her at her word and felt the excitement as I filled my tray with paints and hung a clean sheet of paper onto the easel board.  I had chosen 3 brushes and found a smock.

I placed the widest brush into the paint well and touched the paper to begin.  A large drip of blue paint chose gravity as its guide.  Just like in first grade, I did not know how to control the paint or the brush.  Oh well, we were to be directed by our intuition and I decided to turn my paper 90’ and make that blue line into a swirl of waves on the beach.  I began painting the Pacific Ocean of our drive the 2,000 miles down the coast to this workshop adventure.  It was the story of our trip, just like in first grade.  The wind swept trees along the bluffs looked like a row of green hearts and that looked too contrived to me.  I needed to learn more about mixing the colors and how the brush would connect to the paper; I began hiking into the experience.

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So Do It.” ~Kurt Vonnegut Via Chris Zydel

The brush made a nice dob of paint and if I pulled it down slightly I could get a wonderful shape which made the rain clouds explode across the top of the paper.  The tiny brush connected the millions of Redwood needles that were beside the roadway and stuck to the bottoms of our shoes; still stuck in the floor mats of the car.   I found satisfaction in the dob-pull stroke of the brush and changed to mix a pleasing purple tone that captured the rain to ocean sky.  Chris came by to see how I was doing, and I said I was exploring the brush and color and finding a nice petal shape that was pleasing me, but I was done with this sheet of paper, I wanted to use this knowledge to start something new.

A pink petal shape emerged first but this was not the right color and I tried to make it more mauve.  No, what was touching me was the purple color in the petal shape.  It was lightening my spirit and I was as focused as in meditation, I reapplied the color and began again.   I still wanted for a wee bit of green; thus achieved.  I stood back and a fir tree cone was there before my eyes.   Royal.  Regal. And just what I wanted to say. Cones often are grown when the tree is dying or in distress; a signal of the creation of something new.    Then I thought that brush stroke would make a fuchsia bloom and that appeared next.  I could not figure out how to make the dancer’s skirt of the blossom, so I just kept painting fuchsias and cones.  I needed yellow to add the pollen at the end of the stamen so added that to my tray. The warmth of the yellow flooded over me and into me, and yet, the picture was not complete until I added the dots of Redwood needles.  I was happy and filled with joy.  I knew my painting was about the seeds of change – as graceful and elegant as petals.   Yes!  I was calm, unburdened, happy, and filled with joy.  It was enough.

“Every painting is a self-portrait” ~Chris Zydel

I am making so much change happen in my life; I can testify that doing something completely different to the usual can truly make the change happen.  It was immersion into the self.  A deep gift that I remember in the all of me.

What gift are you giving yourself this year?  Will you hear your soul? Your heart voice?  How will it touch you?



Chris Zydel’s Creative Juices Arts Studio is located in Oakland, California

Wild Heart Painting or Intuitive Painting Workshops are full of wonder and exploration and Chris shares lots of the work and words on Facebook.

The blog: http://creativejuicesarts.com/blog/  

If you would like to see my partner’s painting experiences you can find them on the Biking Architect.

If you purchase anything from Amazon  or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Donations Welcome.  Thank you

Related Reading:
Do Something for the Fun of It
Code to Joy
Holy Preparations

What is your purpose?

Monday, January 9th, 2012


Quite often during 2011, I received requests in my inbox with offers for guest posts and links to other sites and writer’s material.   I usually go and check out their requested site and try to understand the topic and style to assess whether or not it will fit with what Patricias Wisdom is trying to do.   I like to give a hand up whenever I can and call attention to some new efforts and endeavors.

Kirstin Offiler is one of those folks who sent me an email.   I went to her site and found some very good writing and interesting material that was pertinent to the goals here at PW.  It took us some juggling of dates but here we go – I would like to share Kirstin’s guest post with you now.  Hope you will enjoy her offerings:

What is your purpose?

Your purpose is not necessarily what you do for a living, but it’s just as important. We all have a calling in this life, but we don’t always acknowledge it, honor it, and pursue it. Why? Because for some, it feels frivolous to follow a dream when there’s much more practical work to be done, like laundry, work, walking the dog, running errands, spending time with family.

Your calling is your way of serving the greater good of the world. It’s how each of us gets to our core and satisfies our pull towards that which inspires us. And like I said—your job may not be your calling. That’s ok. But here are some ways you can incorporate your purpose into your life.

  1. Define your calling. Doesn’t it seem like some people are born with a pen or paintbrush in their hand? They understand their calling from the get-go and never waver. For others, their calling may be a tiny kernel inside that is acknowledged every so often, but never given the chance to grow. To build your life around what feels most natural and right to you, you first need to define what your calling is. Are you a writer? An advocate for the homeless? A photographer? A knitter? A fantastic listener? Ask yourself what makes you feel most like yourself. When are you the happiest? That’s your calling. That’s what you should aim for in your life.
  2. Take small steps to incorporate it into your life. Your calling is how you leave a mark on the world, no matter how large or small. But begin by doing small-scale things to make your calling more present in your life. If you feel that writing is your path, write for 10 minutes a day until it becomes habit. If you believe you’ll be of best service teaching yoga, tutoring students, photographing weddings, building websites, or whatever—start small and let your purpose organically weave its way into your life. Trying to make drastic changes all at once can lead to burn out or just plain boredom.
  3.  Share your purpose. Tell friends and family what you hope to do with your life. Set goals for where you hope to be with your calling in a year, five years, and ten years and share it. Accountability makes it easier to stay on a path that’s true to our calling. Blog about it. Tell your coworkers. Share it—your purpose is what makes you unique, and it should be shared with the world.

Here are some affirmations you can repeat when it becomes hard to believe in your purpose or calling or when you doubt your own abilities:

  • I feel most like myself when I am doing __________. This is my calling and I honor it.
  • The easy path is ignoring my purpose. The hard path is focusing on my purpose. But the hard path yields happiness, peace, and fulfillment, so I choose that path.
  • My calling in life is how I am most useful to the world. I am of service when I focus on what makes me happiest.
  • It’s not frivolous to focus on my passion. By focusing on what lights me up, I bring more light into the world and will help others do the same.
  • My calling is what comes easiest and most naturally to me. I trust my gut instinct about my purpose in this world.
  • My job or career may be different from my calling, but both are important parts of who I am as a complete person and both deserve my passion and attention.

In short, your calling is that thing you’ve always felt you wanted to do or try. When you’re in your element and you feel like you’re doing exactly what you were made for—that’s your purpose. Tap into it. Live in that space. Share it with others because the world needs what you have to give. Your purpose is your wisdom.

Author bio: Kristin Offiler is a freelance writer in Rhode Island who writes for a site that helps students find the right psychology degree (www.psychologydegreeguide.org).

Related Reading:
Pain Relief the Zip Method
Stress Reduction with Yoga
For Such Beauty is Mine

Stress Reduction with Yoga

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

By Lisa Shoreland


Sometimes delight just comes right into the inbox, and such is the case of my guest writer for today.

Lisa Shoreland was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan and is fluent in English and Japanese.  She came to the USA to attend St. Andrews Presbyterian College and studied creative writing, history, politics and humanities.  She is a contributor to the gocollege blog which is set up to assist students and parents in the transition to and during college.  Lisa included several pieces of her writing which were presented on other blogs and I enjoyed what she had to say and her good writing style.    I also asked her to write for Biking Architect during the month of April – so you will be able to find more of her good words and ideas about Greening Up Your Closet  there.

Without further ado, I will let Lisa share her ideas and wisdom.

6 Relaxing Yoga Poses

Some people practice Yoga to rehabilitate an injury or to get an intense workout, but many people also practice Yoga because it is extremely effective in relaxing both the mind and the body.

With hundreds of Yoga poses to choose from, it is important to remember that each Yoga pose has its own purpose and meaning. Some poses in Yoga are specifically designed to help you relax by stretching out any tensions in your body, and could even teach you how to properly deal with stress, anger, sadness, or other types of negative emotions.

If you’re the type of person who becomes overwhelmed very easily, then practicing yoga can be a very rewarding and relaxing experience if done correctly. Here are some of the many examples of the different yoga poses you can try to help relax your mind, body and spirit:

1.    Tadasana (Mountain pose)

This pose is great for improving your posture and balance, and can help bring more awareness to your body and breathing as well. It is also effective in increasing the flexibility of your hips and knees, stretching your spine, tightening your gluteal muscles and releasing any abdominal tension. This pose also comes highly recommended for people who suffer from arthritis or rheumatism.

•    Put your feet a hip-width apart and stand with your hands at your side
•    Tilt your pubic bone slightly forward, and raise your chest up and out
•    On your next inhale, slowly raise your arms over your head and hold for several breaths
•    Lower your arms on an exhale
•    (Repeat six times)


2.    Savasana (Corpse pose)

This Yoga pose is considered the “ultimate final pose” during Yoga classes because it is extremely effective in helping to calm both your body and mind after a strenuous workout.

This pose is called the “corpse” pose for a reason because all you do is simply lie down and focus on your breathing. However, it’s important to remember that this pose isn’t for sleeping, but forcing you to get into a more relaxed frame of mind and calm down your heart rate.

•    Lie on your back with your feet a hip-width apart
•    Place your arms next to your sides and turn your palms facing upwards
•    Roll your shoulders down and back to lengthen your neck
•    Relax your body so it feels heavy, and then slowly inhale and exhale three times from your abdomen, focusing on the movement of your chest and body while you breathe
•    Hold this pose for several minutes
•    After you’re finished, bring your knees into your chest and roll over to one side, and slowly bring yourself back into a sitting position.



3.    Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

This yoga pose will help calm down your brain and can also relieve a stomach ache, migraine, or high blood pressure. It is also effective in stimulating the liver, spleen and kidneys, and helps stretch your hamstrings, calves and hips while strengthening your thighs and knees.

•    Stand with your feet together and your hands next to your sides
•    Bend your knees only slightly, and make sure your weight is distributed evenly between your heels and forefeet
•    Pull in your abdomen and bend forward only using your hips and waist, and pull your upper body and arms towards the floor
•    Exhale (hold this position for 30 to 120 seconds)



4.    Balasana (Child’s pose)

Not only is this yoga pose effective in helping you relax before bedtime, it also helps stretch out your knees, muscle tendons, and ligaments as well.

•    Kneel on the floor (or your yoga mat if you happen to have one) and make sure the tops of your feet are lying flat on the floor
•    Sit back on your heels
•    Slowly lean forward and rest your chest on your legs while placing your forehead on the floor
•    Keep your arms by your sides so your palms are facing up
•    (Repeat six times)



5.    Sukhasana (Easy pose)

This pose is most commonly used for meditation, and it helps bring more awareness to your breathing, and also helps strengthen your lower back as well. The pose can also help open up your hips, and lengthens your spine while forcing you to become more balanced and calm.

•    Sit cross-legged with your hands on your knees and focus on your breath
•    Keep your spine straight and push your buttocks down into the floor and slowly lower your knees
•    Take five to ten slow, deep breaths
•    On the tenth exhale, raise your arms over your head
•    Exhale and bring your arms down slowly
•    (Repeat six times)



6.    Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

This Cobra pose is effective in helping to stretch out your spinal column, legs, knees, and ankles, and is recommended especially for pregnant women.

•    Lie down on your stomach and keep your legs together and your arms at your side
•    As you inhale, slowly raise your head and chest as high as they will go, and tighten your buttocks muscles to protect your lower back
•    Hold this position while inhaling and exhaling at least six times



If you’re going to try doing these Yoga poses by yourself, it’s extremely important to do every move correctly so you don’t cause any harm or even more tension in your body. Try searching for these poses on Youtube or even check out the Yoga Today podcasts so a qualified instructor can provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to do these poses correctly.

Bio: Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she’s been researching fast student loans as well as doctoral grants programs. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.

Photo Credits:
All photos from WikiMedia Commons.

A reminder:  there are two book” give aways” happening on Patricia’s Wisdom right now:

April 22, 2011 will be the drawing for a copy of the book THE LONG GOODBYE – all you need to do is be from the USA or Canada and leave a comment.

April 28, 2011 The author of the book THE PROCRASTINATION EQUATION is giving away a copy to the best procrastination story or anti-procrastination technique from the comments section.

Related Reading:
How Yoga Works
Eating My Carrot
The Wisdom To Know the Difference

Looking forward to you always delightful comments, your words are so appreciated.

Another Alternative

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Spring Crocus

Spring Crocus

I love to cook and I write a great deal about cooking.  I want to be the healthiest person I can be and so I write many words about health. What about those folks who do not cook and still want to be healthy?

My older brother falls into that category of being a very active senior, who is divorced and truly does not do much cooking.  When his doctor recently said he had a health problem, needed to lose a great deal of weight and definitely needed to add vegetables to his diet – in a big way.  I started to cast around for alternatives that might work for him to help him lose weight and eat to health.

My friend Janet is a coach and teacher and I asked her to send me a letter about her work to see if it might be away for me to set up a program and support for my brother at about the same price as he is currently spending for food.

I thought I would share with you her letter.  So here in her own words is Janet:

Dear Patricia,

When I was at The Evergreen State College, teaching about health and wellness in all aspects, I knew that one of the biggest issues for many people is around food, eating and weight. No matter what, it’s there. And weight has huge effects on all kinds of health issues, many of which are silent until deadly or, if noted, require medications. And because I had no tools to support people in helping them lose weight, or making it easy to eat six times a day as is best, I studiously avoided speaking in anything but generalities about weight loss issues and eating behaviors. I have now found a tool. And it’s a great one. And the company pays me to coach the behavioral changes that make both weight loss and eating styles permanent. Because this is such a huge issue in our society right now, and I know that every person I know knows someone who has this issue, I am getting the word out in every way possible. And working to partner with every coach, healer, counselor and body worker I know because they hear about these issues a lot.

Here are two sites to check out our program. I’d love it if you would look them over so you have a better sense of what it is and who you might know who could be helped.

This overview of the program, is completely user friendly, and not overwhelming in terms of information and facts. There are some case studies, and some general information. Plus the stories are cool!

This is the company’s site that is my gateway. You can check out products, and lots of information in the “Your Support Center” section under “Tools and Resources.” Anyone interested can get the great majority of information they would need to understand if this is for them or not. But what I always say is, “You’ll know in a week whether it’s for you or not. Doesn’t it make sense to try?”

I hope you are willing to tell others, or willing to try it yourself if you fall into any of the categories below  – all I can say is we have an extraordinarily high rate of success for not only losing weight, but keeping it off and going on to create optimum health. Further, a large percentage of our clients on medications get off well over half of them. Here are some clues as to what you might listen for:

  1. Having weight issues – want to lose it, have tried everything, are morbidly obese or just can’t lose the stubborn 10-20 pounds, etc.
  2. Heard they are borderline diabetic, and would like to not have to take insulin.
  3. They are diabetic, and would love to support their health or get off medications.
  4. They have high blood pressure.
  5. They have high cholesterol.
  6. They have arthritis.
  7. They take a lot of medications.
  8. They wish they had better quality “fast food” to eat to work with their busy lifestyle.

If you need anything else, please let me know! Thanks again for the support. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! I am on a mission to change the health of Americans everywhere. I am losing the 25 pounds that have crept on during my long illness and menopause.  I can’t wait to help others lose that stubborn 20, or the 100 pounds their doctors are begging them to lose (I’m working with a dear friend in that condition.) As a physiologist, I have thoroughly checked this program out. It works because it’s high quality and has extraordinary coaching to go along with it. It is not the whole of my coaching practice, but it is becoming the most rewarding. Once people start losing 5 pounds in the first week, and continue to lose consistently, they believe they can do anything!

Thanks for offering to share this with your brother and with your blog audience.



Janet F. Ott, Ph.D.

Transform Coaching and Consulting

What do you think?   I think maybe an early intervention and some positive healthy results – having the food come to his door – would be a boon to his lifestyle and keep him coming on strong.
Would you do something like this?

Related reading:

Three Weeks With My Brother
The Kind Diet
Personal Health Records
Becoming Another Persons Advocate – First Thoughts
Becoming Another Persons Advocate – Second Post