Do Yourself A Favor

Move away from your computer...

Put down your smart phone or tablet or whatever backlit screen you're looking at (after you finish reading this), pick up a pencil or pen or stick or... use your finger on your steamy bathroom window and DRAW SOMETHING!

Drawing is good for you.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been on a mission about the benefits of drawing. Such a hard sell. People think you need to have training, be an artist, they're not interested (valid) or too afraid to pick up a pencil.

Drawing is fun. It's your right. It's for everyone.

Since my online drawing and watercolor courses don't start up again until 2015, those of you who are waiting might want to get started now. August is a good time for some juicy little creative projects.

Need support to start drawing? My Basic Drawing Lessons book is surprisingly fun and encouraging. I start all my longer courses and private coaching in drawing and watercolor with the simple steps in this book.

After playing through this book, you'll understand drawing in a different way. The best thing is that it'll get your creative flow moving from your divine source, through you (the instrument) and out onto a piece of paper. You'll become better acquainted with yourself and the world around you.

Try it. You'll like it.
"Drawing used to be a civilized thing to do, like reading and writing. It was taught in elementary schools. It was democratic. It was a boon to happiness."
—Michael Kimmelman
Enter Here

Want a more of a workout?

This DIY short course in drawing and watercolor (using only watercolor pencils) includes all the content from Basic Drawing Lessons plus a bunch of videos taking your through a fun, rewarding and experience in line and color.

It's called Enter Here to Draw and Watercolor and is an easy way into connecting with your creative flow.

"I absolutely recommend this course to friends and colleagues, and have definitely learned more than I expected about drawing and seeing."
— Ellen Howard Bentz, Johns Island, SC
Want to dig deeper?

Click here for 1-on-1 Private Transformational Coaching.

Only one opening available in early August.

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Pucker Up

Suzanne McDermott, Watercolor, 5.75 x 7.75 inches

Forget about lemonade for minute.

Keep fresh lemons on hand. Squeeze one in some pure water and drink that down the hatch. Especially first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Forget the sugar.

Here are a few awesome things fresh lemon juice in water will give you:

  • a shot of Vitamin C for your immune system and to help counteract effects of stress
  • a dose of potassium which is great for your heart, brain and nerves
  • a boost for your enzymes, stimulating your liver for an internal toxin flush
  • a way to quell hunger pangs thanks to pectin fiber
  • a remedy (along with apple cider vinegar) to dissolve gall stones
  • an energy boost
  • better skin because the juice is packed with antioxidants

That lemon juice dripping from your hands? Massage it into your hands, fingers and forearms. Massage that leftover juice into your face, too. Straight lemon juice is great for your skin and, over time, helps to reduce scar tissue and bleach out those nasty age spots. Ah, feel the tingle!
I made lemon spaghetti in an early season of 'Everyday Italian,' and to this day people still come up to me and say they love it. It's very, very simple. Basically, you cook the pasta and mix together Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and pour it over the pasta.
—Giada De Laurentiis
What? No Fresh Lemons?

I keep a little bottle of "Liquid Sunshine" on hand at all times.

Lemon Essential Oil is antiseptic, good for cleaning, strengthens fingernails, restores energy and, if you're using the pure dōTERRA essential oil, you can add the oil to hot tea or water with honey to sooth a cough or sore throat.

The pleasant, sweet aroma of lemon oil is uplifting, lightens your mood, can boost your self-confidence, help you focus and definitely puts a smile on your face.

Click here to try a bottle of dōTERRA Lemon Oil.

Or, better yet, pick up a starter set of dōTERRA oils with their Introductory Kit of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint.

Click here if you'd like my help with an order. For example, enroll for wholesale prices and the Beginner's Trio Introductory Kit above will cost you $20 rather than $66.67. I'll help you learn how.

Want to learn more? Click here to sign up for a free 10-day Introduction to Essential Oils course.

Join my Tribe and receive ongoing inspiration
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Goodbye Charlie

I was very sad to hear that Charlie Haden left us on Friday.

I hung out with Charlie for a while in the early 80's and we'd talk long and late about all those things that we both loved—music, spirit, earth, truth and beauty.

Living in Santa Monica, I had plenty of opportunities to see him play, and did, most memorably with Carla Bley (always a treat) and a wild assortment at Royce Hall, an incomparable, intimate performance with Pat Metheny and Billy Higgins on the floor in the back room at McCabe's, and with Ed Blackwell and Don Cherry.

It wasn't just Charlie's own musicianship and play, it was what he brought forth from and created with other musicians that was magical. It was my fortune that our paths crossed and that I heard him play so often during that time.

Charlie lived a rich life, walked his talk, and did not waste a minute lighting the world for the rest of us.
“We’re here to bring beauty to the world and make a difference in this planet. That’s what art forms are about.”
– Charlie Haden
"While he did not orient himself with a specific religious orientation, Haden was interested in spirituality, especially in association with music. His teaching method relied heavily on spirituality. He believed that in order to establish an individual musical voice, one must first establish a spiritual posture. This physical and mental position will allow the individual to find their own unique musical voice and bring it to their instrument.

"He also encouraged his students to enter a meditative state when they played, one in which they focused solely on the present moment: “there’s no yesterday or tomorrow, there’s only right now,” he claimed.

"In order to find this state, and ultimately to find one’s spiritual self, Haden urged that one must have humility and respect for beauty; they must be thankful for the ability to make music, and to give back to the world with the music they create.

"He claimed that music taught him this process of exchange, so he teaches it to his students in return. Music, Haden believed, also teaches incredibly valuable lessons about life:
"I learned at a very young age that music teaches you about life. When you're in the midst of improvisation, there is no yesterday and no tomorrow — there is just the moment that you are in. In that beautiful moment, you experience your true insignificance to the rest of the universe. It is then, and only then, that you can experience your true significance."
— from Wikipedia entry
"Keith really listens, and I listen. That's the secret. It's about listening. " 
—Charlie Haden
Click Here to hear Charlie and Keith Jarrett play Gordon Jenkins' Goodbye.

Click here for Silence with Charlie, Chet Baker, Billy Higgins and Enrico Pieranunzi.

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Why Bother?

Winds of Change, Watercolor, 8 x 8 inches
"It isn't the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it's how we relate to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer."
—Pema Chodron
Why Bother?

It's too difficult, destabilizing, traumatic.

Stay right where you are. Don't change a thing.

Life without change is impossible. Even when we think we're stable, we're aging, passing through time on a revolving planet, orbiting a sun, careening through the galaxy.

Nothing is fixed.

Thrown into high relief by unforeseen events or circumstances, a phase of change can easily introduce a crisis. When faced with a crisis, it's helpful to remember the two characters that make up the Chinese word for crisis: Danger and Opportunity.

How we choose to navigate crises describes our attitude, determines the quality of our experience and, often, the outcome.

It's not up to you whether or not you'll have an opportunity to change. It is, however, your prerogative to respond to change in a way that results in improvement or deterioration.

Understanding the difference between response and reaction is key to dealing with change. Then it's largely a matter of practice.

You practice making space for yourself so that when crises arise, you are able to find that space, take a second, and respond to change consciously rather than unconsciously react.

How do you make space for yourself? Use any form of engagement that allows you to consciously work with the behavior of your wild mind. You could draw, meditate, play golf, or any number of other things. The point is to get to know yourself, become intimately aware of your behavior, accept that behavior, and then set an intention to bring about the change you desire in that behavior.

That's the kind of change you want. That's the change you want to bother about.
"Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future. In other words, if we're going to be more cheerful in the future, it's because of our aspiration and exertion to be cheerful in the present. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now."
—Pema Chodron
My 30-Day group coaching program is filled. If you were interested in joining... it will come around again. Definitely next year.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in working with me as a coach, I have a couple of appointments opening this month for my personally tailored 90-Day Turn Around coaching program.

I give you plenty of insight, practices and exercises for better understanding yourself and your behavior in all of my coaching programs—group and private.

Click here to learn more about private coaching and to make an appointment for a complimentary conversation with me where I can find out more about what you're looking for and we can see if the work that I do makes sense for you.


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  • with bonus song download
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Back in the swim of things

Roll, Watercolor, 4 x 6 inches

I love the water.

It always amazes me that I can be out of the water for over 8 months or more, then hop into a pool and swim half a mile without a pause. I am part fish.

Fortunately, there's a beautiful Y a couple of miles down the street and the pool is fantastic. So are the lifeguards. So are my fellow swimmers. I'm grateful, happy and reminded of my post last year after my final swim in the Atlantic after a year at the beach, To My Fellow Swimmers.

The 2001 statement by the Oraibi Hopi Elders from which I took that title is permanently posted above my computer. I'll run it again just in case you missed it last year.

To My Fellow Swimmers

You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And these are things to be considered…

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the one wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!

Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

—Statement of The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation


Join my Tribe and receive ongoing inspiration
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  • with bonus song download
  • and my Weekly eZine Stroke and Flow