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Sunflower Monday

July 27, 2009

It’s been a week since I got back from Chicago and the crazy and wonderful Martha Beck Coaches Conference. I have to say I’m not quite as high as I was last Monday.

However, many of the lessons from the weekend have stuck with me and overall I feel great. I still intend to write a post about Byron Katie’s talk, but today is not that day.

Instead, how about some bright and colorful sunflowers to brighten up? And maybe some random life coaching throw in for good measure? Excellent.

My little mountain town has a tailgate market each Wednesday and Saturday May through October. Normally I go by myself and pick up local and/or organic veggies for the next few days, but this weekend I dragged Anthony out of bed and brought him with me so he could check out the goods, too. We try to buy organic at the grocery store when we can find it and it doesn’t break the bank, and I’m forcing us to make more of an effort to buy locally, as well.

Anthony headed straight for the tent with the seafood. Okay, I’ll admit I live five hours from the South Carolina coast and at least seven hours from the North Carolina coast, so the seafood at the market isn’t exactly local, but it’s fresh and Anthony’s supporting a small business by purchasing from the tailgate instead of the store. So there.

Seafood is of no interest to me since I’m a vegetarian, so I wandered over to the next booth to check out the fresh corn and the flowers the farmer was selling. I was hooked immediately on both. The seller had both Zinnias and Sunflowers, and I settled on Sunflowers. Actually, I walked over to Anthony and convinced him he wanted to buy me Sunflowers, because he was the one with the cash. He quickly agreed!

I got to pick out four HUGE sunflowers for $5.00, here’s what I got!

Sunflowers on my front porch

Sunflowers on my front porch

Look at the colors! Amazing!

Look at the colors! Amazing!

Up close

Up close

Sunflowers find a home

Sunflowers find a home

One more time!

One more time!

Aren’t the magnificent? And a great price, too! Not only did they make me happy, they inspired me to create!

Colored Pencil Sunflowers

Colored Pencil Sunflowers

I haven’t drawn for what seems like years. Sometimes I pull out the colored pencils, but I usually just doodle. Sunday morning, though, I wanted to attempt to draw something for real. I put the vase of flowers of table in front of me, freaked out for a while because I hadn’t tried to draw a still life in an amount of time that would probably be measured in years, not days or months, and finally got settled into drawing.

I’m impressed with how it came out! Sure, it needs a greater variety of low lights and highlights, and it’s certainly not perfect, but I sure was patting myself on the back for getting my creative juices flowing again.

Creating not only gets me out of my head, it makes the time fly in an enjoyable way, and that’s the best way to make a day feel wonderful, in my opinion.

How can you apply some of this Sunflower-happiness into your own life? I’m assuming I’ll come up with a few ideas below:

1. Bring color into your life. For me that means literally “get something with pretty colors like flowers or fruit or artwork to brighten up your space”. It might mean something different for you.  What makes you feel bright? Alive? Joyful? Whatever it is, find a way to get more of it.

2. Use your right brain for awhile. I can’t even pretend I’m an expert on anything brain-related, but I know using your right brain helps you access your emotions, has no sense of time, and helps you see the Big Picture. How do you start using your right brain more? Turn a picture upside down and try drawing it – also upside down. You’re following lines and shadows, not what the left side of your brain thinks the picture should look like. That’s all I got. It’s a topic worth learning more about, in my opinion.

3. Remind yourself how many wonderful gifts there are in this world. I’m guessing you love pretty flowers and sunsets and trees as much as I do, and paying attention to them makes you feel really good. But if you don’t, can you still think of some other gifts we’re given every day, without even trying? Free music streaming from our radios and computers? Children laughing and playing in sprinklers? The ability to take deep breaths and become aware of the present moment? Life is for enjoying. Find something today to remind you of how wonderful it is. (Or call me if you need help, ha ha!)

Be Joyful!

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