Wednesday, December 31, 2014

14 Lessons Learned in 2014

* Life is lived in the present moment. That is where our power lies.

* My greatest growth takes place outside of my comfort zone.

* Family isn't always blood.

* There is power in the pause. Slowing down my rush allows me to integrate life experiences.

* I NEED my alone time for creative thoughts to thrive.

* If I sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop, it will.

* If I exude love and compassion, it will come back to me. Positive energy attracts positive energy.

* Thinking of one thing that I'm grateful for each day can dispel negative thoughts.

* I can articulate my dreams, but I don't always get to choose how I'll get there.

* Life is rigged in our favor.

* Unconditional happiness means I don't get to put conditions on my happiness.

* Nothing is worth closing my heart over.

* I am stronger than I know.

* Life is not about surviving the storm, but learning to dance in the rain.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

At Year's End

"The rhythm of pausing and surrendering to life is the most daring, for here we can learn to just be."   ~ Donna Farhi

I have never been quite as relieved to see a year end. The last few days of reflection leave me dizzy, wanting to escape to happier things to come, but I know that there is so much power in the pause. So I surrender the tired parts of myself and reflect on these questions:

- What did I surrender to this year? How did the surrender serve me?

- What learning stones have I gathered?

- What feels in balance in my life? What feels out of balance?

- Who surrounds me with love and support?

- What is bright on my horizon?

Wishing you all a sweet pause at year's end to reflect on what was and what is to be.
May it guide you on the new year's journey.

xo Mila

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Altered book art journal spread - "Today"...acrylic, ink, pencil, collage papers and the day's artifacts...

                                                               Today I stop making excuses
and numbering on two hands
all the other things I ought to be doing.
Today I fold open the pages
of what is mine in this moment
and I spill the contents of an hour,
so that tomorrows from now
I can recall the subtle
sweetness of lavender soda
and how hot it was 
in the art room this
late summer afternoon.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Me and the Bee

I found this little messenger on my photo walk today.
Me and the bee, we had a moment,
and she told me this...

Sometimes you have to be willing
to pause among those wild-growing flowers of your soul,
and peer a bit further in
to find the little wing-ed thing
inside you.
She will gaze back at you
and you will know
with your whole heart
that she is there working her magic,
and you can have faith
that the honey will come.

We can always choose to pause among all those wild-growing unanswered questions.
To go inside ourselves and rest in the present moment,
Where we can connect with our inner Source,
And gain awareness and trust that everything is working itself out.
Trust that we are always being guided down the path to our sweet golden dreams.

Continue on, peacefully, with this knowing.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In the Moment

Sleepy morning. Snoozing late. Because I needed it. Because I can. Because someday it won't be an option. I exercise all the sweet, small freedoms whenever possible.

May gray is with us now. It reminds me of this time of year in San Diego- gloomy, but warm, the clouds backlit, still causing me to squint when I look up to follow a flock of birds across the sky. Sounds stream in from the garage- a blues record and the steady sanding of a walnut coffee table. Inside, J watches soccer- an important game that warrants too-loud a volume. But Banjo and I sit far enough away in the backyard on our newly adopted red plastic adirondack chairs, just deep enough for me to curl up with pup and journal on my lap.

The air grows warmer and more humid with each song that Lighting Hopkins plays. The sanding strokes grow more rhythmic, more fervent. He has changed the grit.

The grass is slowly dying from several days of heat waves. We worry too much about the water shortage to try to save the lawn. We collect shower water in plastic sand pails, toting the slightly sudsy gray water outside after each shower to appease the thirsty plants that line the yard. Green-yellow oranges the size of grapes fall prematurely from the tree, one nearly plunking down in my coffee mug, startling the sleeping pup on my lap.

A mocking bird sings from the branches of a distant tree in a long series of phrases, first shrill, then raspy, then scolding. The birds are very vocal here, in this urban desert by the river. They speak their minds all day.

And so, I write mine.

Too tired from the stress of the week to process any relevant thoughts, I simply sit and observe and document the sights and sounds that are my world at this moment. I notice that a scattering of bougainvillea petals have blown far across the yard, turning a dry dusty rose away from their stalks. I notice how the breeze plays with the top right corner of the page I am writing on.

All of these noticings are, at once, so unimportant and so so valuable. As my pen moves across the page, recording all the small moments that have come together for me today- the sentences running on with crude use of punctuation- I write myself into a sort of calm, a sort of peaceful knowing. Each of these still, small moments fills the place where I held yesterday's anxieties and tomorrow's uncertainties. While the early fallen oranges may not hep me develop character or impact my future decisions, they are a part of the ripe and tender moments of my now. They are real- unlike the mini dramas I play out in my mind from day to day.

Mindfulness is my bare feet in the scratchy brown grass on this Saturday afternoon in late May. Mindfulness is the remedy to chaos and fear and angst. I am so grateful for this discovery.

acrylic on watercolor the moment

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Flora Sorbet

The pup and I have been exploring our new neighborhood. I've missed my photo walks. 
Today we found a lovely rose garden behind a picket fence. 
I forgot, for a moment, that we are living in a busy city. 
For a moment I was lost in the folds of the petals. Oh sweet noticing...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mindfulness, Creativity and Cat Naps

My new kitchen comes with a garden window...and a kitty.

After months of having our feathers ruffled, my family of three turned family of six is finally beginning to settle in our new home.

I have been nesting.
And noticing.
I have been reconnecting
and pausing long enough
to see the sweet things again.
To look on the brighter, lighter
right-er side.
A sense of peace,
a calm awareness,
a gentle reminder
makes me smile
because I know that not long after
I step back into mindfulness,
my creativity begins to flow.

All thanks to sunflowers and a snoozing kitty in our sunny kitchen window.
There is nothing stopping you, dear child, from being like the sunflowers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Am Still Here

Hope flutters in
On gossamer wings.
My eyes follow it skyward.
Face to the sun, blue in my eyes.

There is nothing I need more than this moment.
This stillness, this space, this peace fills me up,
Almost to the point of forgetting
All the chaos that is now behind us.

Leaves rustle on the orange tree in our new backyard.
Someone hung the old wind chime. It sings of home.
I have come home to myself,
And I find my words, my wishes, my spark
Right where I left them.

I just want You to know, I notice it all.
With gratitude spilling out in salty tears,
And laughter.
The tensions escape my body any way they know how.

I just want You to know, I recognize.
This was all to help me see
That I am stronger than I know,
That the lessons are not forgotten,
That I am still here inside all of the changes.

Hope flutters in. I breathe in the possibilities.
This day begins a new season of my life.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

In the Midst of Things

Yesterday I was thinking, "How's a girl supposed to put her nose to the grindstone and get any packing done with such beautiful 70 degree sunshiny weather?!" The morning answered with a cloudy coastal winter.

I am up to my knees in cardboard boxes. My head is spinning with the thought of having to create curriculum for ten different classes. I am waaaaay behind on filling my friends in blog land in on what has really been happening in my life. I promised myself I would document the journey, but I'm really struggling with making time for myself- when I need it the most.

When I take a step back and try to look at it through "the grand scheme of things" lens, I know all this craziness is for the best. There is a bigger story working itself out here.

So I'm taking five minutes to observe, to document, to hear that little bird chirping in the Jacaranda tree that I'm really going to miss. More story coming soon. For now, Happy New Year, friends. Take a moment in your day to witness how magically your story is unfolding.