Ten Blessings Of The Week!

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It’s been a wet and cold week, which has made it very difficult to get outdoors and go for a walk, and those days when walking was possible I needed a coat and umbrella just to keep warm and dry. I have enjoyed these cold wet days, spending most of the cold evenings at home in a nice warm cozy house.  Feeling gratitude and blessed about my previous week is something that makes me feel so much more appreciative about my life.

 

 

This weeks 10 blessings are as follows:

 

  1. Winter is here bringing rain, fog and cold mornings and nights, I am feeling so blessed to have a collection of coats and umbrellas to keep me warm and dry.
  2. I was given a collection of beautiful papers and are feeling blessed that I have been able to decorate the boxes in my linen cupboard. Now when I open the cupboard I feel so good to see such pretty looking boxes.
  3. I currently doing a mindfulness course, I am feeling so blessed that  https://www.futurelearn.com offers this free course, mindfulness is certainly helping me to live a beautiful life. Also loving my morning meditations, so good to start the day with a quiet mind.
  4. Feeling blessed to have a supportive family with my father dropping my son of at school for his exams, so he didn’t have to stress about getting to school. I was off at work that day, and the bus would have got him there too early, and it is a long way to walk.
  5. Feeling blessed for cold nights at home, curled up in a cozy arm chair reading books or watching tv with hubby. These winter’s nights I love staying home, and being a warm contented homebody.
  6. Feeling blessed to catch up with my parents by having lunch out with them and my son. Beautiful meal, at a lovely place, with time to talk and catch up.
  7. Feeling blessed for family movie nights watching Austin Powers and Jaws 2 this weekend.
  8. Order books online at the Library on Friday, Saturday the books were ready to be picked up. Feeling blessed that I have access to a wonderful resource place the local library.
  9. Feeling blessed to have a day out with Mum visiting the craft market followed by the regular Trash & Treasure market. It lovely to have a mother and daughter day out.
  10. Feeling blessed to look out my window and enjoy the site of camellias flowering, they really brighten up my day.

 

 

Quote: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ~Edith Sitwell

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

 

Finding an hour a week for an Artist’s date can be challenging. Do you take yourself out on regular artist’s dates, why or why not?

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The Artist’s Date is an idea from Julia Cameron, a date with yourself, an hour a week where you can do anything you want, as long as it’s fun and not related to work. It is your time, no companions allowed, just you. Whether or not you are an artist or not, we all have a creative side to us, that gets depleted and needs re-filling.

 

 

This week I made one of my adventure walks my artist’s date. This time I took my camera for a walk with me. It was about playing with my camera and seeing what images I could create. The funny thing was some one stop to ask me if I was a photographer. I thought I must have looked serious and in control when taking my photo’s.

 

 

I found a new path to follow and discover the nature of Autumn and suburban parkscape. I noticed an empty playground and I wonder where were all the children playing these days. I discovered places to sit and rest. I enjoyed being out in nature and listening to the sound of birds. I found a path to walk along and capture images of the suburban parkscape. It was a fun learning and creative experience.

 

 

It was a fun learning and creative experience which had been planed. I had this block of time scheduled in my calendar for Friday.  However, it almost did not happen, there were so many other things I could have done, more washing, a newsletter, weeding the garden, calling a friend. I stopped myself and said this hour for myself is going to happen, one hour of play to exercise and play with my camera. Finding an hour, a week for an Artist’s date can be challenging. All those to do’s like to get in the way.  Yet this hour a week leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired. It makes me feel alive and puts a bit of spark back into my week.

 

 

What’s your favorite artist’s date activity to spark your creativity?  Do you take yourself out on regular dates, why or why not?  Please leave a comment would love to know your thoughts.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day?

Living A Beautiful Life!

 

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Everyday for me is about finding a way to live a beautiful life, even when challenges arise, and even on days when I feel extraordinarily ordinary. I work as a nurse, and my work is meaningful and purposeful. Nursing is hard work however it is extremely rewarding and I have had the opportunity to meet so amazingly brave and courageous individuals. My work as a nurse has made me realize the importance of living a beautiful life. As one of my clients advised me,’ enjoy your life today, because you don’t know what tomorrow will have install for you.’

 

 

When I think about this blog I think about living a beautiful life. So I have done some re-branding. Initially it was all about journaling and walking. However, I also love talking about my artist’s dates and weekly gratitude practice of ten blessings of the week. It is about so much more.  Journaling and walking will always be the main focus of this blog.  I have so many thoughts to express about living a beautiful life, and I want to include them on the blog too. So  I have now re-branded it Living A Beautiful Life.

 

 

So today I would like to share a short video The Lake about todays walking adventure around my lake. I live by a lake, I call it my lake, but it really belongs to the local community. Today was one of those mild Autumn days with lots of blue sky and beautiful sunshine. So myself, Mr. Serious and Little Miss Popularity headed off on our adventure walk. For me a beautiful life includes adventure walks.

 

 

The Lake

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

 

 

Recording Life Through Images~ Image Journaling.

Wilsons Park

Walking through nature surrounded by suburbia on this blue skied sunny day!

Gorgeous!

Admiring the pink blossoms on the trees.

Gorgeous!

Escaping the stress of daily living and slowing down.

Soaking up the sunshine and feeling the breeze against my skin.

I really do enjoy days like this because they are just gorgeous.

 

 

During my walk I found a quiet place with a delightful view of nature to sit, rest and journal. Todays intuitive lead was to go out and live life each day not because I have to, rather because I am privilege too. To understand that I am so enormously lucky to be alive and on this planet during such amazing times.

 

 

I take note of my intuitive lead. I understand that I have a tendency to get caught up in the drama’s I create in my life. They don’t exist when I am in nature enjoying the view. However, when I leave get back to my suburban home and suburban life, I get caught up in the social expectations of my society. Lots of the drama unfolds in my journaling and solutions start to show up. I also think the process of journaling really helps me to slow down life, and re-focus on the things that really matter.

 

 

I wanted to record some of my walking adventure in images. These days we have the convenience of cameras on our phones which take amazingly good quality pictures. The convenience of a phone camera is that it is so easy and available to just snap and record images of our lives and days. Now I am thinking image journaling. Not so silly, recording life through images.

 

The above image has captured the quiet place I found to sit and journal, the walking path, the view I had, and the pink flowers I admired. It captures the blue sky day, and the beautiful park, which is surrounded by suburbia. I also think the walking track shows how easy it is to feel that sense of being in nature.

 

 

As I continue on with this blog, I will continue to use both images and words. I also hope that I can work on improving my images and being more creative in this area. Whilst I really like the idea of recording an image journal.

 

 

What do you think about the idea of image journaling through photo’s? What does it look like for you?

 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

 

 

FRAN DISHON

Exploring Week Twelve, Of Walking In This World, Through The Journal Writing Process!

 

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There is a stillness and chillness that exists in the morning air. A strong knowing that my inner world determines my outer world. A longing for some sort of awakening to living the life of my hearts desire. The realization that it takes lightness and darkness to reveal the pathway to take, on a journey that will take a lifetime. In the midst of that requires great kindness for the imperfections and vulnerability of my being me. It is not for me to seek the worlds approval, rather for me to embrace a life that is true to my hearts desire. I can only be who I choose to be, and being me is good enough.

 

 

It has been easy this past week to curl up in a blanket in my arm chair with a hot cup of coffee and share thoughts, worries, dreams and even wonderings on my journal pages. It was the final week of exploring the book Walking In This World by Julia Cameron, and I have felt the subtle changes evolving in my life over the last twelve weeks. I have learnt to embrace my quirky, imperfect self, and understand what ever I create it will be enough.  These days I am creating more, my adventure walks are more interesting. I enjoy capturing images with a story on my iPhone camera. I have been playing with paint, and doing a writing course. Journaling has helped me to connect with my inner world, whilst walking has helped me to appreciate and connect with my outer world. My Artist’s Dates have helped me to connect with my creativity and inspired me to play, explore and create more. Whilst this book has allowed me to identify my dreams and desires, and some action steps to take to move towards living a more beautiful life, one that is in tune with my hearts desire everyday!

 

 

Chapter twelve was about discovering a sense of dignity. For me the importance of having a regular writing time and schedule stood out as important. Earlier on in the book I decided to put some time aside for project days, these are Tuesdays and Fridays. This is something I am continuing to work on. I have now decided within these days I will set aside some writing time, and develop a regular writing schedule. I will let my family know this is my writing time and I do not wish to be disturbed. A couple of hours on a Tuesday and Friday is not too much to ask for, and I will still have plenty of time engage with family and life. This is also connected to the solitude and space required to work on my writing projects. I am lucky in that I have my own time during the day, during what I call my freedom hours. However if did not have a quiet space at home, I could also find a space to work in a coffee shop or even the local library.

 

 

The other thing she talks about is service, making that connection between what we do and making it bigger than ourselves. This is something I notice in my nursing job, as difficult and busy as it is, it is always about service and helping people. That something more than me is what brings me coming back to my nursing, and it is what gives me satisfaction in that work. A line in the book explains it well, “When we are able to work without such self-consciousness, we are able to work more freely and more fully. Our ego steps aside and is no longer a constrictive value narrowing our creative flow and focus. We think less about “us” and more about “it” the work itself.” Julia Cameron. I often think of my art, as being the art of caring. When I am in that flow I am more generous with giving my time and energy, and doing that bit extra to help those clients and families I am working with. So I understand the possibility of this for my writing. She gives us a great question to explore and ask ourselves often, “How can I make this work more serviceable?” Julia Cameron

 

 

When it came to connecting with one creative elder to ask for help and get some input into a problem, I chose Florence Scovel Shinn, and she reminded me to ask for definite leads throughout my day and listen for divine guidance. She is a lady of great wisdom and I started reading her book again. I also found a wonderful affirmation for guidance. “I am always under direct inspiration. I know just what to do and give instant obedience to my intuitive leads.” by Florence Scovel Shinn. As I journal my morning pages I always ask to be shown a intuitive lead, it may not always show up on the page, often it will show up on a walk, and many times it just shows up randomly during the day. I simply need to listen!

 

 

I loved reading Walking In This World, and applying the book to my life for twelve weeks. It really brought about some positive changes. Not everything in the book was for me, however I received many gems which I intend to continuing applying in my life.

 

 

I would like to give a special thanks to Julia Cameron, for inspiring me through her writing to discover how to live a more creative and beautiful life.

 

 

I really recommend taking a book and not just reading it, but also live it and see what works for you. What book could you read and apply to your life today?

 

 

The wind has picked up; I feel it is calling me out to play. I look at the clock, yes I have a yoga class to attend, something that always puts a beautiful smile on my face.

 

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

 

FRAN DISHON

 

 

 

 

Six Reasons To Go For A Walk!

Go For A  Walk

I just love, love, love my adventure walks!  Today I went for the most delightful adventure walk, finding a place in nature even though it was surrounded by Suburbia. It was just the sort of place to go for an hours escape. As I walked I felt the breeze against my cheeks, I could see the trees gently blowing in the wind, the birds were singing their symphony, and I could smell the eucalyptus leaves. I even manage to smile and say hello to some lovely walkers and they went past. Like so many of my walks it was full of discoveries, like how the bright blue sunny sky became much greyer and darker over the hour.

There are many reasons to go for a walk such as exercise, transportation, reflection and dreaming, or purely for joyful pleasure. I love a walk for many reasons. Walking always fits into my moods, of joy, sadness, curiosity, fun, dreaming, reflecting, connecting and so on. Walking adapts to my moods so easily. I love a walk, especially when discovering a new place, and then I could walk for hours. Whether it is suburban streets, city streets or parks and nature, a walk is always full of new discoveries.

Below are a few reasons to include a walk or walks  into your week.

  1. It clears your head.
  2. Easy to do and can be done anytime, any place.
  3. It can be social you can chat with a friend or take your fur friend along for company.
  4. It can be sensually pleasurable with smells, noises, and visually interesting depending where you walk. The view will always be changing.
  5. It can be time to dream and plan.
  6. It can be a relaxing pleasurable excuse for exercise and burning calories. Exercise is allowed to be enjoyable, and walking is enjoyable and moves your body.

Walking is wonderful !

What sort of adventure walks do you like to go on?

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON

Walk, Notice And Be Grateful!

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This week I really took time out during my walk to just really notice my surroundings, to notice what I saw, what I smelt and how I felt. I also took time to be grateful, and there is so much in my life to be grateful for, and my walking adventures quickly remind me of that. Walk, notice and be grateful.

I find my walking adventures a way of really getting in touch with the now.  For example Monday I went for a solo walk. The sky was dark, and I could smell the rain. I put on my big black coat and headed out the door with my pink umbrella. That day I walked noticing what was happening around me. Appreciating the gardens, trees, birds and the lake. I noticed the way the lake looks on a cold cloudy day. It had a different type of beauty, with its stillness and the reflection of the trees on the water.  The weather did not stop the birds coming out.  I noticed a lot of birds plus I also saw pigeons. I have never noticed the pigeons before. I also notice the wild flowers; the white fluffy ball flowers that I love to blow and watch the white particle float off into the air. For some reason I felt I should make a wish every time I blew on one of them. Around the edges of the lake beautiful wild yellow flowers could be found. As I walked around I took my phone camera out and shots some photo’s to capture the moment. My walk continued with me finding a small rock. I put the rock in my pocket and started a gratitude practice of holding it in my hand and saying thank you. I was also a little naughty taking some small cuttings of some overhanging plants on the side-walk. I was hoping to grow them and plant them in my own garden. Just as I was almost home the clouds opened up releasing large raindrops from the sky. I finished my walk home in heavy rain, protected by my umbrella and raincoat. The rain brought out the intense colours of the gardens.  The rain sounded beautiful, it made its own music on my umbrella, and in a way was soothing creating a sense of peacefulness. Walking Adventures can be enjoyable even in the rain.

For me recording my walking adventure in words and photo’s helps me to notice more of what is happening in the present. Julia recommends having a sketchbook, and taking some time to sketch something each day, and noticing the adventure that already exists in our lives. The sketchbook thing was just something that didn’t happen for me.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

 FRAN DISHON

Everything feels better after a walk.

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A beautiful Autumn day invited me out to play in its blue sky and beaming sunshine, it was irresistible! I wanted to say yes, I wanted to go for a long walk in nature, and explore my local neighbourhood. However I felt guilty, so much housework to attend to, especially after having the boys off for two weeks school holidays. The should’s were swirling around my head, I should clean the floors, scrub the bathrooms, do the grocery shopping, finish writing that speech, go buy new uniforms and so much more. It can all wait, and yet I still felt really guilty about leaving it. It could wait until tomorrow, or  the next day. In my experience housework is one of the few things worth procrastinating about.  Whereas this could be the last beautiful Autumn day left to savour this year. I didn’t  want to miss out on all that sunshine. After all sunshine makes me happy! It was a  beautiful Autumn day calling me out to play, I felt I just had to say yes to it. Then I did it, put on my sturdy walking shoes , got the dog leash, and took a ,long, long walk with my dog Little Miss Popularity.

 

Walking has this beautiful calming effect on me, it results in instantly slowing life down. For at least a short time I can drop all my worries and anxieties, and exist in a state of playful curiosity. I felt like a happy little girl as I crunch through all the dry Autumn leaves on the ground. Whilst I found a place to sit and rest, watching the gentle breeze blow the colourful  leaves whimsically through the air. As I explored a new part of my local neighbourhood I stumbled upon a new place to sit and rest. A magical place with  entrances created by stone columns which were covered in vines from above. It had a beautiful open air central area, with seating around the edges. A hidden gem, my inner child thought it was a magical castle, with its surroundings being the magical kingdom. I sat and rested, I savoured the smells of lavender and rosemary that were around it. All the worries, all the to do’s, all the musts disappeared, leaving me feeling peaceful and in a state of playful curiosity. The perfect place for a short magical escape enabling me to rest and rejuvinate. Yes it was the perfect day for a long, long walk in my neighbourhood.

 

Everything feels better after a walk. It was just what I needed to lift my spirits.

 

Wishing you a wonderful day.

FRAN DISHON

Walking, Dreaming, Sitting and Writing!

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“Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a gardento know it.” – Rumi.

A pond full of water lilies. A music  symphony of bird tweets. A cool breeze, grey blanketed sky, and the mist of rain. A day that could be mistaken for Autumn, rather than being in the middle of Summer. It was a perfect day for an adventure walk. My curiosity got me wondering what the noise was in the bushes, as I took a closer look discovering two fluffy brown bunny rabbits. I bent down, peeping through the trees into the bushes, trying to stay still and quiet so I could discover what they were up to. They seemed to just be munching on the grass and hopping about. I kept thinking how exciting and how cute. It all came to an end when a man with a big noisy woofing dog came up behind me. Then in a flash the rabbits were gone, and I was annoyed.

I walk along the track, enjoying the weather, the birds, and mostly the silence. I find an opportunity to break the silence, by taking a moment to speak to a stranger walking pass. We exchange grateful thoughts about the weather, and the  beauty of the place we are in. Then back to the silence and enjoying my walk.  It was a wonderful time to just admire a tree, watch birds sorting out leaves and twigs, and feel the coolness of the day. It left me feeling at peace and  connected to the world. It was an experience with depth to it, something real and important. I found walking in nature grounding, and gave me a sense of who I am, an experiential being, who is  alive and connected to nature.

Finally I come across a pond full of water lilies, and a seat to rest in, and write. It is a delightful seat, made of wood, a little bit like a recliner, positioned in a quiet spot amongst the trees, overlooking the pond. The pond is habituated by ducks, splashing about, and flapping their wings. They are a noisy lot, however soon their splashing and flapping just blends into the silence. I get out my little note-book and pour words on the page. The peacefulness and beauty of the pond inspire words of gratitude, and dreams of finding more beautiful places to walk and write. Dreams of spending my days writing. The day represents something more I want into my life. More walking and writing. So my journal question is: How can I create time in my life for more walking and writing?

Walking adventures can be  relaxing  and they can also be revealing. It is one thing to dream, however journaling allows the opportunity to explore that dream, and create some action steps on how to make it a reality.

Take time out for yourself, try your own walking adventure, and notice what it reveals to you.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

FRAN DISHON