wishing you

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Another licensed design for 2013's Holiday card selection at fav licensee customer Madison Park Greetings

wishing you & your much loved pets health, happiness, comfort 
& lots of joy this holiday season

xoxo Susan & les gang


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mr. Bossy Pants - Oliver - head of all things here at 29 Black Street / Virgil chillaxin' on Orange Mama / Betty & Virgil / Oliver keeping an eye on watching Betty watching snowflakes mid blizzard / Virg in his penthouse pad with Bleet snoozing on every body's favourite chair / Oliver & Betty / Miss Betty playing with some pink ribbon (check out the expression on Oliver's face - he is not impressed) / itty bitty Betty

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, having the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs

authenticity + self compassion + backbone = brave

Self acceptance. Integrity. Authenticity. Honesty. Trust. Intuition. I believe are all qualities of having a strong backbone. Having backbone is walking your talk and understanding and feeling confident in knowing what your talk actually is. No matter what. No matter that it disappoints, hurts, angers and/or upsets someone else. Having backbone is acknowledging and accepting that you will be vulnerable and you will make mistakes & you will learn great lessons from both. As I reflect back on this year of what still feels like mostly "yuckiness" (yuck in the sense of w-a-y too much anxiety, worry, difficult lessons, mistakes & regret) the most important thing I've learned this year, and still a foreign concept to me in all honesty, is the necessity of extreme self care & self compassion.

"No" is a complete sentence.

Anne Lamott

Self compassion is about not feeling guilty because you've stood up to a bully (even though it made your heart pound, your voice quiver and your stomach queasy - for days and days on end). Self compassion is about knowing your own truth, following your own moral compass, believing in yourself and about being okay on the days you don't believe - it's about trusting yourself and your own intuition. It's about setting solid boundaries (and not second guessing them or retracting them because someone else doesn't approve). Backbone & self compassion is about allowing yourself to feel your feelings (good, bad, thrilling, scary, sad, angry …) and then letting them go. Really letting them go. Not letting them stick to you like goo, eating away at what you know in your heart is true, what you know in your heart is You.

A lot of people are afraid to tell the truth, to say no
That's where toughness comes into play
Toughness is not being a bully - it's having backbone.

Robert Kiyosaki

doing difficult

Friday, December 20, 2013

more winter wonderland photos from the last few days avec les much loved chiens Winnie Dixon & Samuel LeonBerger

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.

Leonardo da Vinci

The thing about doing difficult this year of tres challenging is …

Yeah sure when you're in the midst of doing difficult it's pure torture - it's crammed with doubt, angst & insecurities. It's all stirred together with shame, regret & worry. There are lots of times when you want to fling yourself off your spinning office chair onto the floor and wave the white flag of failure. You want to yell or whisper or both - I am failing - I can't do this.

But thankfully you know yourself well. You know deep down inside that quitting's not an option, you listen to your heart, you depend on your intuition & you keep on going. You keep on doing difficult. You go for walks, try to meditate, make mistakes, take deep breaths, you struggle, talk to close friends, make a few more mistakes, write in your journal and you keep on doing difficult until it's done.

And then … omg ! when you've actually done difficult, when you've made it through doing difficult, when you've finished with this current round of difficult ('cause you know without a doubt there's always more difficult just up ahead). Well then, let me tell you, you will feel absolutely thrilled, proud, amazed at your self, content, confident, happy, did I mention proud ;-) and you will realize that it was worth every single difficult moment to end up with this new knowledge & confidence that you are capable of doing really hard things. Best lesson ever.

It's definitely gonna be a white Christmas here and I'm officially on vacation !!!! for 2 weeks
Let the 2014 planning, dreaming, scheming, goal setting & one little word choosing begin - woo hoo !!

soul full

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

yesterday's late afternoon walk around the village /  rose hips / the end of Water St. / Sweet Marie's former gothic top floor apt / my row of big old poplars / from the grassy hill looking back into the harbour / sea wall at the end of Water St. / another of my favourite trees / 29 Black Street bathed in golden setting sunlight / this early morning's snowfall warning view from my studio window

There are years that ask questions,
and years that answer

Zora Neale Hurston

Intuition, trust, faith, honesty, confidence, self worth all combined with a willingness and acceptance that mistakes must be made, failure will indeed happen and become all mixed up with goodness & success is the secret I think to creating not only a soul full life but also for cultivating a soul full creative business - the only kind of business I've ever been interested in having. 

Learning the hard way is learning the fast way. Learning from your mistakes helps you become clear on what you do not want. Knowing what you don't want in life & business ultimately clears the way for discovering what you do want. 

This has been my year of questions. A hard year, one of the hardest I can remember and difficult in so many ways, those difficulties still overshadowing somewhat the many successes and big leaps of growth … I'm looking forward to you 2014 - yeah YOU ! I suspect you are my welcome year of answers. I've learned this year that the light in my heart can't be dimmed by difficulty and that I am living a soul full life. More & more soul full all the time. Thank you for reminding me of those gems Madam Universe. Thank you !

It's madly snowing here - our second N'or Easter (blizzard) in less than a week. We (les Gang) are snug as bugs warm and cozy, all tucked inside this old brick house while the whiteness & winter wonderland whirls & swirls all around us outside ;-)

Beauty is not in the face,
beauty is a light in the heart

Kahlil Gibran

good dogs

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winnie Dixon & Sam(uel) LeonBurger - love, LOVE, l-o-v-e, comfort & joy - recent photos from our fenced in big back garden

Having a good dog is the closest some of us are ever going to come to knowing the direct love of a mother, or God.  Anne Lamott

 Anne Lamott essay on dog love @ Salon.com - warning it will make you cry … tears of comfort, joy & deep, profound love.

fearlessly failing

Monday, December 16, 2013

wintery weather has arrived way too early here in Nova Scotia unseasonably cold temperatures has the harbour ice filled

fearlessly failing -  a tale from the gifts of imperfection* 

Okay so I'd be lying if I said I actually am failing fearlessly but I do know that is the lesson yelling at me this year of "ease".

ya huh ! my one little word mantra for the year 2013 - "ease" (insert big eye roll here). Rather than be ease-y it has been the least "ease" full year that I can remember for quite some time. The absence of ease has instead become my teacher, as we head into the last few weeks of this year I'm realizing the lesson is that to feel more ease one has to succumb to the possibility of failure(s). To cultivate ease in one's life we must embrace, accept and allow our imperfections.

Note to self - Yes it's true I am not perfect, sadly. I will, I do, I have made some big mistakes lately. I am not in control of lots of things I wish, more from habit's sake than anything, that I could control. As we head into 2014 I am trying to fail fearlessly because I know I will fail again. I am trying to fail with grace, with dignity, with self acceptance & compassion. It's not ease-y - no pun intended. It's funny & sad & true that we go through life doing most things really well, successfully, contentedly but those odd, here & there flops, failures, boo boo's & mistakes somehow manage to smother any good, any great we might have also accomplished along the way. That's the place I'm in right now, still a  little bit mired in the muck of this difficult year. But ...

this too shall pass … I know it and I believe it - can I have an amen, maybe a hallelujah or 2 also ;-)

* Brené Brown's fantastic book - The Gifts of Imperfection