Thursday, July 31, 2014

Prayer Flags Day Thirty One

Day thirty one, unbelievable.
The last three days of the month my words were clarity, action and now CONFIDENCE. I appreciate that these three words came up together.
  • con·fi·dence

    1. belief in own abilities: self assurance or a belief in your ability to succeed
    2. faith in somebody to do right: belief or trust in somebody or something, or in the ability of somebody or something to act in a proper, trustworthy, or reliable manner
    3. secret: something told to somebody that is to be kept private
    synonyms: sureness · self-assurance · self-confidence · poise · assurance · self-reliance
    I need to have clarity on what I want to do.
    I need to take action to make it happen.
    I need confidence to stick with it no matter what. I need to know that this IS what I want to do.
    What do you want to do? What do you need to do? How are you going to make it happen?
    I am pleased that I got all thirty one days done, despite travel and tech issues.
    I am ready to move on to the next challenge. I am ready to bring more of my ideas to life.

    Ciao for now,

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Thirty

    I can't believe it has been  month since I started the prayer flags.
    ACTION is my word for today.
  • ac·tion

    1. doing something toward goal: the process of doing something in order to achieve a purpose
    2. something done: something that somebody or something does
    3. movement: the way somebody or something moves or works, or the movement itself
    synonyms: behavior · deeds · activities · manners · conduct · performance
    I find it interesting that after I ponder "clarity". I get action. Oh no, does this mean I have to DO something?
    I know I have to stay focused and have a plan to find the way to make a living as an artist.
    I do believe that I am of an age and mindset that I can and will live the rest of my life as an artist.
    I will also be encouraging other artistic people to follow their calling. I believe that G_d (or insert your own word) gives each of us a certain talent. We need to make sure we acknowledge that talent and take action to use it.
    How boring would life be if we all had the same talents.
    Let's all take action today to appreciate the G_d given talent in our family, friends and anyone else we come in contact with.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Nine

    The word for today is CLARITY.
    • clar·i·ty
    1. clearness of expression: the quality of being clearly expressed
    2. clearness of thought: clearness in what somebody is thinking
    3. clearness of reproduction: the quality of being clear in sound or image
    synonyms: clearness · lucidity · simplicity · precision · intelligibility · transparency
    I am excited to explore and initiate clarity in my work!
    I am a self employed artist. There I said it. It has taken me a long time to be able to refer to myself as an artist. How can I "work" as an artist if I can't admit that I AM AN ARTIST!
    Now that I am clear on who I am, I will be able to work and represent myself with clarity.
    Look out world!
    Ciao for now,


    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Eight

    Yea,! I have caught up!
    I can't believe this is the last week. Time does fly.
    My word for today is ENCOURAGE.
  • en·cour·age
    1. give somebody hope or confidence: to give somebody hope, confidence, or courage
    2. urge somebody to do something: to motivate somebody to take a course of action or continue doing something
    3. foster something: to assist something to occur or increase
    synonyms: inspire · hearten · cheer · raise your spirits · buoy up · reassure · boost
    When was the last time you had encouragement from someone whose opinion you respect?
    When was the last time you gave honest encouragement to someone?
    How much of an impact does encouragement have? Could it make or break a person's day?
    Wouldn't it be great if we all acknowledged another person's achievement and made sure that they were aware of it?
    I say, let's make it a practice to give honest encouragement to at least one person a day. Who knows what it might do to make the world a better place.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Seven

  • for·give·ness
    1. act of pardoning somebody: the act of pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing
    2. forgiving quality: the tendency to forgive offenses readily and easily
    synonyms: pardon · absolution · amnesty · reconciliation · exoneration · exculpation
    Why should we forgive someone? How many times should we forgive them? Are there certain things that are forgivable and things that aren't? Should we forgive everyone or just those close to us?
    Do we forget, when we forgive? Can we really forget? Again, does it depend on the offense or the person?
    Do we let people know when they have offended us and that we forgive them? Do we just forgive without letting someone know we were offended?
    Are there any hard and fast answers?
    Do we forgive more as we get older or are we less flexible? 
    Does forgiveness make your life easier or harder?
    I will continue to contemplate this.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Six

    My word for July 26th was SUCCESS.
    • suc·cess
    1. achievement of intention: the achievement of something planned or attempted
    2. attainment of fame, wealth, or power: impressive achievement, especially the attainment of fame, wealth, or power
    3. something that turns out well: something that turns out as planned or intended
    synonyms: achievement · accomplishment · victory · triumph · feat · realization
    My definition of success usually centered around money. After reading the definition above, I will be focusing my definition of success on achievement of intention.
    While financial success is certainly on my list, I can't always control the monetary part. What I can control and recognize is the success of my intention to create a quality product and to enjoy the process.
    I can succeed in the joy I have to be able to do what I love.
    Here's to success!!!
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Five

    I am going to play catch up today. I love traveling, but I get so distracted.
    My word for July 25th was SERENDIPITY. I just love saying serendipity!
    1. discovery of something fortunate: the accidental discovery of something pleasant, valuable, or useful
    2. gift for discovery: a natural gift for making pleasant, valuable, or useful discoveries by accident
    synonyms: fate · destiny · karma · providence · luck · fortune · coincidence · accident
    Do you ever wonder why you met a particular person? Why you took the "wrong" turn? Why something didn't go the way you had planned?
    Do you look back and see that that person changed your life? The wrong turn ended up in the most incredible place? The plans that did not go as you wanted ended up better than you ever imagined?
    After years of getting frustrated when things would go awry I have finally learned (most of the time) to realize that there is a reason and more times than not it is a serendipitous event.
    Ciao for now,


    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Four

    This is not along the line of the other words I have been working on, but it is a word that is very important to me.
    Here is one of my favorite quotes:
    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
    Mark Twain - Innocents Abroad

    Through travel I have met incredible people, seen sites that most folks only see in books and have learned things about myself that I otherwise would not have learned.  Through travel I have learned self reliance, humility and courage, just to name a few. I am humbled when I am in a foreign city by myself, particularly if they speak a different language, and I struggle to communicate. I find self reliance when I can navigate public transportation and make it to my destination. I have found courage when I head off by myself, as uncomfortable as I might feel, and discover something that I might not have seen I had not ventured out.

    Travel also offers you the opportunity to see how others live. It can give you a better understanding of other cultures and of yours.
    I think you can get the effects of travel by exploring places closer to home. I can't imagine any place that doesn't have some learning experience to offer.

    Bon voyage.


    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Three

    Day twenty three finds me pondering "JOY".
    For me joy is being able to find the good or fun in everyday things. It's waking up with a smile on your face because you have another day to do what you need or want to do. Another day to make a difference in the world. Another day to make a difference in someone's life.
    Joy is being able to enjoy the birds singing or the sun shining.
    Joy is that smile on your face when you hear children laughing.
    Joy is knowing who you are and be ok with it.
    Joy is a gathering of family and/or friends.
    Joy is spending time with the people you love.
    Joy is!
    Ciao for now,
    I like the idea of putting the flags on the staircase.

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty Two

    My word for day twenty two is GRACE.


     noun \ˈgrās\
    : a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward
    : a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving
    graces : skills that are needed for behaving in a polite way in social situations
    ull Definition of GRACE
    a :  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification
    b :  a virtue coming from God
    c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
    a :  approvalfavor <stayed in his good graces>
    b archaic :  mercypardon
    c :  a special favor :  privilege <each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage — Rudyard Kipling>
    d :  disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
    e :  a temporary exemption :  reprieve
    a :  a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
    b :  a pleasing appearance or effect :  charm <all the grace of youth — John Buchan>
    c :  ease and suppleness of movement or bearing
    —used as a title of address or reference for a duke, a duchess, or an archbishop
    :  a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks
    plural capitalized :  three sister goddesses in Greek mythology who are the givers of charm and beauty
    :  a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura
    a :  sense of propriety or right <had the grace not to run for elective office — Calvin Trillin>
    b :  the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

    Prayer Flags Day Eighteen

    Well, it looks like between the travel and technology issues, I missed day eighteen.
    Funny how things happen. Eighteen happens to be the number for the Hebrew word for life, "chai". I had used my day eighteen word for day nineteen. I had run out of words so I did another set and then pulled "CREATIVITY" to fill in day eighteen.
    To make a short story long.....I find it interesting that on the day for life I pulled creativity.I can't imagine my life without creativity. In the past there have been times when I couldn't work on my projects due to time or other issues. I realized I get very grumpy when I am not working on something.
    Maybe it is just a lose wire in my head, but I don't think I work along straight lines. I feel like I am always thinking about or experimenting with different ways of doing things.
    Perhaps I am always trying to reinvent the wheel? Is this an excuse for not getting other things done?
    I believe everyone is creative. It can be cooking, writing or in a variety of other ways. Some folks can create without getting lost in the process and some of us, lose track of day and time when we are "in the moment".
    Here's to getting lost!
    Ciao for now,

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty One

    SYMPATHY - Acknowledging another person's emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance.
    Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the suffering of others. Both words have similar usage but differ in their emotional meaning.

    With this challenge, I am finding that not only do I get to think about what certain words mean to me, but I am learning the meaning of some of the words.
    Do we skate by with sympathy or do we delve in a bit deeper with empathy? Does it depend who it is? Family? Friend? Stranger?
    I think between yesterday's empathy and today's sympathy, I have a lot to work on.

    Ciao for now,

    Prayer Flags Day Twenty

    EMPATHY -  Understanding what others are feeling because you have experienced it yourself or can put yourself in their shoes
    Can you empathize? Do you express your empathy? If you share your empathy do you add judgment?
    What do you do if you can't empathize with someone? Can you learn empathy?
    This is a word I will need to continue to ponder and work on.

    Ciao for now,

    Prayer Flags Day Nineteen

    My word for the day is HOSPITALITY.
    Here is one definition I found:
    kindness to visitors: friendly, welcoming, and generous treatment offered to guests or strangers

    I was thinking that my slant on hospitality would be strictly from a personal perspective, but I think with things that are in the news right now, it might have a broader meaning.
    I like to entertain. I like having dinner parties. I like to have house guests.
    Some of my best memories with friends is getting together in the early afternoon, setting up a big table in the living room, cooking together and then sitting down to enjoy good food, wine and conversation (and maybe a cigar or two) until early the next morning. Our group included folks from around the world. It didn't make any difference whose place we gathered at, we always had a great time. I think it was because we all had similar ideas on hospitality. We had a few other things in common, but...
    Do we, as families provide hospitality?
    Do we, as a country provide hospitality?
    Are we friendly to strangers? Do we offer assistance? If we see someone that looks lost, do we offer directions?
    How would the world (or just your world) change if you were a bit more hospitable?

    Ciao for now.

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Seventeen

    FRIENDSHIP! My word for today.
    The first thing that comes to mind for me when I see "friendship" is a Facebook post I saw a while back. It was something along the line of a "good friend will bail you out of jail, but a great friend will be sitting beside you saying  "man, that was great".
    I think I choose friends who are a combination of the two above. They are willing to tell me when I am out of line, but are wild and crazy.
    Another saying that comes to mind is a Girl Scout song that says, "Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold".
    Can family be friends also? Is all family a friend?
    Do you need to have a certain number of friends or are a few good friends a better idea?
    Once a friendship is broken can it be fixed? Will it ever be the same?
    I find that my best friends are those who I either talk to on a regular basis or we go weeks or months with talking, but when we do talk it is as if no time has passed.
    I am so grateful for friends, past and present. Those I still talk to and those who are no longer here to be able to talk to.

    Ciao for now,

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Sixteen

    INTEGRITY is my word for today.
    While looking around for some inspirations for this post, I ran across this quote:
    I have been thinking about what integrity means to me all day. This was not even close to where I was going. But, I love it!
    I would add, that for me, integrity is having actions that mirror what you say. It is keeping  your word. It is doing what you know is right no matter what and especially if no one else is around.
    I think if I had to choose one word to focus on it would probably be integrity. I think it pretty much covers everything.
    Ciao for now,


    Prayer Flags Day Fifteen

    As I start the third week of my reflections, I have the word "STRENGTH".
    I see a need to have strength in all areas of our lives. Strength of body, mind and spirit.
    To me physical strength is not always a show of  power. Sometimes strength lies in the restraint of  using strength. We need to have strength of body to get us through the day, but not to bully or coerce anyone.
    I believe strength of mind is achieved and maintained through education, reflection and observation. We should never stop striving to learn something new every day. I think we need to observe what is going on around us. Sometimes we can learn something about ourselves by observing others. It is nice to take time each day to reflect on what is going on around you. A bit of time to breath, look around and look inside.
    For me strength of spirit is knowing what your beliefs are and holding true to them. I think you need to be able to listen and respect another's beliefs, but not be unduly influenced to change yours.
    So far, I have pondered peace, harmony, abundance, gratitude, mindfulness, trust, intention, family, faith, knowledge, sincerity, truth, love and honesty. I find that I am enjoying this exercise. I am happy to take time each day to explore what the "word of the day" means to me.

    Ciao for now,

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Fourteen

    This is my word for today. Like truth, honest can get me all worked up.
    How hard is it to be honest?
    Why not tell the truth?  Is it concern for someone's feelings or deceit? If you think it is a concern for someone's feelings, is it really?
    Be honest with yourself.
    If you are not honest, do you really think no one will find out?
    Being honest full time keeps you from having to remember what you told who.
    How clearer is someone's head when they are honest?
    Are we honest in what we do, think and feel?
    Am I honest with myself? Am I honest in my art? Am I honest in my relationships?

    Ciao for now,

    Prayer Flags Day Thirteen

    LOVE is the word for day thirteen.
    I am sure everyone has their definition of "love".
    Is it spiritual? Physical? Emotional? All three? Additional descriptions?
    Or does it depend on who the relationship is with and where in the relationship you are?
    Does love last forever?
    Does love itself change?
    Does love change a person?
    Does everyone experience love?
    How do you know when you are "in love"?
    Do you have to be "in love" to have a great relationship?
    Do you love your family members unconditionally?
    Do you put conditions are your love?
    I could go on and on, but as I have no answers I will close.

    Ciao for now,

    Prayer Flags Day Twelve

    Day Twelve found me thinking about TRUTH.
    Man, this is a word and action that can really gets my blood boiling! How hard is it to tell the truth?
    Yes, there is a time when you shouldn't tell the truth -
    For example, if someone didn't ask your opinion, don't feel you have the right to tell them YOUR truth on the subject.
    But, when ask a point blank question why can't some people tell the truth? Is it a natural reaction to lie?
    Do some people lie so much that they don't know what the truth is?
    What gains do you get from lying?
    Isn't the truth eventually revealed?
    Ciao for now,

    Prayer Flags Day Eleven

    OK, so I am far behind with my posts. What was I thinking, doing this every day?
    My word for July 11th was SINCERITY.
    I did a bit of research on the word sincerity before I started writing this.
    Here are a couple of definitions:
    The quality or condition of being sincere; genuineness, honesty, and freedom from duplicity.
    freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or falseness; earnestness; probity.
    The English word sincere is a good translation of the original Greek. This word in English comes from two Latin words, sin-e and cere. Sin-e simply means without, and cere means wax. So sincere can mean literally "without wax" (John Ciardi, Browser's Dictionary and Native's Guide to the Unknown American Language , Harper & Row, New York, 1980, p. 360).
    "Without Wax", an interesting thought. You can't have a candle without wax, but do you want your tea or coffee pot to contain wax? Would you mend a broker vase with wax?
    So, what's wax got to do with sincerity? 
    If you apply heat to a coffee pot containing wax it will melt. If you hold a vase that has been mended with wax up to the light, you will see the holes. There is a saying that it is through our cracks that the light gets in. I think the difference is that we are being deceitful when we try to cover up our flaws.
    Do you live a life of sincerity? Do you melt when things get hot? Are your  deceits revealed when you are held up to the light? I find these tough questions. I also find sincerity something to strive for.
    While none of us is perfect, we can work toward sincerity by removing deceit, hypocrisy and falseness from our lives. We can replace it with honesty and genuineness.
    What kind of a world would it be if we knew that everyone we came in contact with held to standards of sincerity?

    Ciao for now,

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Eleven and Twelve

    I will be posting Friday and Saturday on Sunday. My reflection for Friday is SINCERITY. Saturday's is TRUTH.

    Ciao for now,

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Ten

    As I start my post for day 10, I am having trouble finding words. I wanted a challenge to kick start a new phase of my life and to explore my creativity. What was I thinking? Me, the one who does not like to write......
    So, with wine glass at my side, I start day 10 with the word KNOWLEDGE.
    Am I gaining any knowledge on myself or my craft by working through this challenge?
    Is knowledge internal, external or both? Is it acquired through books & classes or life experience?
    Or, does it just come with age?
    I never fail to learn something new everyday. Sometimes it is forced on me. Sometimes, I seek it.
    I would be perfectly happy spending my time in classes and reading, but life has different ideas.
    Most of the knowledge of self I have has thrown at me by other people. My theory is, that what we need to learn or work on comes to us. Am I always happy about it? Absolutely not! Does it serve me later? Absolutely!
    We should never stop seeking knowledge. Appreciate all learning experiences that come our way. Observe, Learn, move on.

    Ciao for now,

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Nine

    Day nine and my word is FAITH.
    Let me start with a disclaimer - I know faith and religion can be volatile subjects. I am exploring areas of my life in these posts. It is not my intention to make judgments. I am exploring my thoughts and welcome any comments as long is they do not degrade any faith or religion.
    What is faith?
    Is it religion? If so, does it include all religions or just yours?
    Is faith a belief? Does it mean going to a church, Synagogue, or mosque? Is it how you live your life? Or is it a combination of things?
    Does "faith" have to include a deity? Or can you have faith in yourself and how you treat other people?
    I know people who claim to have "faith", but lie, cheat and steal whenever the opportunity arises.
    I know people who say they are Atheists, but who treat people with respect, are kind, honest...., people who I would trust with my life. I also know people who are, in my opinion, shining examples of their faith and live their beliefs without fanfare. And I am sure we all know those that seem to have no boundaries.
    From what little I know of various faiths, it seems that once you boil it all down to the basics, they are all pretty much the same. A different word, a different ritual, but very similar.
    Why can't we appreciate another view while still staying true to our belief?
    Are your "beliefs" truly your own or have they been handed down to you with threats of dire consequences if you do not adhere to them?
    Do you study your religion? Have discussions with like minded and opposing minded people?
    Do you respect other peoples beliefs even if they differ from yours?
    If you have strong beliefs, do you think they are the only possible answer?
    Is it OK to push your beliefs onto others? To judge them if their beliefs are not the same as yours?
    If you have a strong faith, it is OK to pick and choose what (for lack of a better word) rules you want to follow? Are there basic guidelines and then you decide from that point on what you want to abide by? Or is there a basic tenet that is observed?
    I feel that I have always had "faith". I have attended a variety of churches and while I respect the teachings, I felt that unless I believed in them it wasn't a place for me. It took me a while, but I finally found a place where I respect and hold to be true their beliefs. A place to study, discuss, question and generally feel part of a community.

    Ciao for now,

    The picture on the Faith flag is a miniature copy of an art piece that my son made for his daughter as we are a multi faith family. I find it interesting that I pulled faith the day after family.

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014

    Prayer Flags Day Eight

    My word for today is FAMILY.
    Before I give my thoughts on family, I would like to recap my first week of prayer flags.
    I started the flags to commemorate a year of changes. Traditionally, prayers flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras displayed on the flags will be blown by the wind to spread good will and compassion into all pervading spaces. As such, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.
    My purpose for the flags and the choice of words is so I can review and concentrate on what is important to me.
    The size and materials used to make the flags all have some significance to me. I choose 31 words to concentrate on. Really can't say why I choose the words I did , but...
    The words for the first week were:

    Now for my thoughts on family. We all have them. Sometimes we are happy about that, sometimes not. We can't control who our family is or what they do. Do we have different expectations for family members than we do for our friends and acquaintances?
    Wouldn't it be nice if all family members got along and supported each other?
    Maybe we are supposed to be with the people who challenge us. Perhaps by dealing with the issues that might arise in a family is how we grow and mature. What happens if we don't deal with the issues that arise?
    Families can make us or break us.

    Ciao for now,

    The photo on the banner was taken at one of my dad's family gatherings. I have no idea what was going on, but this photo always cracks me up. They got together frequently and knew how to have fun.

     The first week of flags.

    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Prayer Flag Day Seven

    Day seven finds me pondering the word INTENTION.
    Please allow me to get the negative out first. Yes, I sometimes do intend to be sarcastic.
    If someone does something that they know you won't have a good reaction to, is it their "intention" to aggravate you?
    Do you wake up each day with the intention to make it your best so far? Or, do you wake up and grumble because it is too early, you don't want to go to work, etc?
    Does organized religion support intent? Are prayers intention? I think the answer to both are yes.
    I also think that it is not just words and thought that hold intention. There is the language of flowers. Herbs are not only for spicing up our food. They have color and scent that can alter our attitude or health.
    Intention can be put forth in letters and numbers also. If I recall correctly, Hebrew letters not only help to create words, but stand on their own as numbers. Each letter is assigned a number so each word can not only define something, but has a number value. These number can symbolize something. For example the numbers for the word C'hai (which means life) has a number value of 18. For example, if you wanted to make a donation to a charity you might make an $18, $36 or $72 donation. Eighteen meaning "Life" and the other two being multiples of 18.
    I think intention might be one of the easier words to keep front and center. Now, I just need to work on keeping my "intent" positive!

    Ciao for now,

    Prayer Flags Day Six

    Day six and I pull TRUST for my pile of words.
    For me this is an essential item to my peace of mind. I value trust very highly. Trust that people are being honest with me (a word to explore later), trust that I am doing what I need to do and not doing harm. Trust that people can believe what I say and that I stand by what I say and do.
    Trust, once broken very hard to repair.