Blossoms of Grace

Blossoms of Grace is a painting and heart haiku that evolved and developed over the span of 4 months.  I was just along for the ride and doing my best to listen and follow as it called to me to color on purpose.

It is a creative process that started as a pencil sketch/doodle and then inked with a little watercolor added.  Then time passed and it re-emerged as a digital project.

The process began during a Conference I attended online on Friday, July 1, 2016 and as usual, during the workshop, I needed to doodle and draw.  It helps me to focus and listen  and to stay on purpose.

This year for the Conference, I was participating online so I was in my studio and had the luxury of “doodling” on a larger piece of paper. The focus of the conference was the Sound Current of God and inspired me to draw a vine of night blooming jasmine with my heart riding the flow above the earth in my dreams, traveling in Soul.


This is when I realized the enormity of the need for the background of inner-stellar space and that was part of what stopped me from working on the hard paper version.  And to date, I have not worked on it again.  But maybe, someday!

By mid-July, I became immersed in summer homework and the completion and sharing of “Follow Your Heart to Peace!” coloring  book and journal.  So I did not work on this painting idea for about 3 months.

Sometime in July I submitted this iphone photo of the finished and inked drawing for vectoring, but the vector artist was on vacation so not available so this drawing did not make the cut for the coloring book project.

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used to create a vector version

Then in September the vector artist returned and asked if I still wanted it vectored…this was the result.

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vector version received

I have had so much fun turning my art into vectored art that it inspired my first coloring book….another story, already told!  And that project, Follow Your Heart to Peace: a coloring book and journal, was the main project keeping me busy.  And so this design did not make the cut for that book.

On Tuesday October 25, 2016, I was moved to get this project out, staring with the vector image, and create a painting in photoshop. I had fun coloring in the flowers in white and coloring the earth. The “accidental” coloring that I really liked was when the outline of the whole shape went from black to gold. I never looked back after that. Accidental inspiration!

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stages of development

I found a night sky background photo and began tweaking and editing it and adding more details and Light; it really began to come alive for me.

At that point the haiku was:  flowing in the light  /  resting in blossoms of Grace / dreams of soul travel

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When I woke the next morning, Wednesday, the  haiku had changed to:

flowing in the light

my heart dreams of soul travel

 in blossoms of Grace

On Thursday October 27, 2016, I had noted in my journal that I “completed blossoms of grace haiku painting”.   This is that version…

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finished…but NOT really….

However 10 minutes later, I went back to Photoshop thinking that maybe I would shade the flowers with gold for depth, I tried out the idea before retiring for the night.  It barely shows here and I did not save the experiment.

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experiment with beginning to shade flowers

Then on Friday October 28, 2016, the painting woke me up at 5 am.  I am dreaming and thinking about this every night so there is no rest until it is really completed.  I worked adding more definition to two lights in the sky, gold shading on flowers and a few other details….several hours of details!

And, AGAIN,  I thought it was “complete”!

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almost there….not quite….

And again I was wrong.

Deciding when to stop a painting is one of the more challenging and critical moments since there really is no end to the directions that can be taken.  I have and am still learning to really listen to the painting and to that creative whisper of the heart.

This time,  a little whisper from my animated heart haunted me…..”where is the dreaming smile”?

So, I surrendered to my whimsical heart…and added the smile on the heart.

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added smile for the dreaming heart

It is a subtle touch of completion of coloring on purpose and hard to see in the overview but my heart knows and is smiling too.

Then, the election and the turmoil in our country and in the news.  Praying for peace, in reality and in dreams, I was moved to add “peace” to the haiku and painting.

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final image: heart and soul pray for peace

“flowing in the light

my heart dreams of soul travel

in blossoms of Grace

viewing peace on earth”

I so enjoyed coloring  to completion an image that arose as inspiration from my heart and soul.

May your days be filled

with inspiration, purpose

and a smiling heart

may you add to peace on earth

in gratitude

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Completing Purpose with Heart

I want to share how I moved into completion of my latest project Follow Your Heart to Peace Coloring Book and Journal –  with a little (a lot!) help from my heart.

I began working on it since, at least, August of 2015.   I did hit “mid commitment blues” – that’s where you can’t remember why you started a project and cannot yet see the end!  I had many times I thought I would stop and a few times declared it complete.

However, my heart was not “complete”  with the project. This has definitely been my own personal journey of following my heart into peace.

I have shared that I have a daily practice of listening to my heart and then drawing/sketching the winged heart and writing an accompanying haiku. Some days I just sketch in pencil and other days I ink the lines and sometimes I color the image.

I have noticed that scanning the image changes the image…so here is a photo of what it looks like in creation mode! I find that the inking and coloring help to anchor the message in my mind, emotions and body. It’s like stamping  it “message received”.

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I am sharing here a few of the daily heart haikus that occurred during my July month long push towards completing the project because I really do listen to my heart and that is how  and why I reached completion of the book.

My first clue that I would be reviewing and completing the book was on July 4, 2016, perhaps appropriate that it was Independence Day!   For me it was “IN” dependence day-returning with-IN to focus and listen to my heart to lead me.

My morning heart haiku, not so subtly pointed that out.  And I was given a vision of how the 4 weeks of the month could be divided into “manageable” steps to completion within the month of July.  Honestly, at that time, it only looked good on paper….still felt overwhelming.

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Create the flower; finish what you have started;  completion is joy

On the next day, still overwhelmed at the idea of completing and publishing within 4 weeks, this was my heart’s message to bring my mind and focus present:

And in reviewing what I had in files I began to know how much I had already accomplished and how close to completion I might be.

So I began….one day at a time.

At the end of week one, this was the morning haiku:

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completing week one; heart leaps into happy dance; joy reverberates

Time and time again the morning heart haiku would bring me to focus into the purpose of the moment or of the day:

 

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each moment, practice; holding a steady focus; build strength or purpose

One important message I received often during the month’s push to completion was the message of balance and remembering to rest. Here is one of those reminders:

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remember to pause; there is a purpose in the pause; tasks are like heartbeats; it’s the pause that refreshes; finding the rhythm

There were many reminders to honor stages and steps of completion and to celebrate progress not perfection.

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lines of completion; mark progress along the way; progress, NOT perfection; celebrate stages

My heart providing encouragement on days of doubt…

 

and honoring personal completion:

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sometimes completion; done with excellence & love; is a gift for you

So to honor the completion I photoshopped in the coloring book/journal image onto the daily haiku image and a new haiku emerged:

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working with Love as your friend

smooths the way with Grace

I am grateful for completions and for the path of the heart and walking and working with Love as my friend and guide.

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May you be blessed to work with Love as your friend.  

in gratitude

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“Follow Your Heart to Peace” Coloring Book & Journal

I am personally thrilled to announce that I have completed a yearlong project to produce and offer “Follow Your Heart to Peace!” coloring book and journal.

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This coloring book and journal is designed to support the process of bringing your body, mind and emotions into a unified focus to promote peace within.

There are 12 coloring pages and 12 corresponding journal pages. Each journal page includes:

  1. A question to encourage you to explore your heart
  2. Lines to encourage you to journal your thoughts or write your own haiku or poetry
  3. A space for you to draw or doodle
  4. A little haiku from my heart to yours

Each page is blank on the reverse side.   They are shown here for you to see samples of the journal page that follows the corresponding coloring image. 

All coloring designs and haiku are inspired by my own heart’s journey and 25 years as a cognitive therapist working with people of all ages, encouraging heart centered living.

I taught heart centered breathing skills to help people to center their focus in the heart to bring calmness to the body, emotions and mind. It is referred to as coherence and is when your body, mind and emotions align and work together; also called peace. This coloring book and journal is designed to support you in naturally coming in to that focus and peaceful state while enjoying coloring, focused on the heart.

How coloring works to promote peace!

I have made an illustration of how I see coloring working to encourage peace. I have found that coloring gives the chattering mind and restless body focus and purpose, which in turn can calm the emotions and bring moments of peace.

Coloring with a focus on the heart is a gift to uplift the mind, calm the emotions and feed the hungry heart with positive images and words.

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In my many years as a cognitive therapist, I loved encouraging creative expression and heart centered living. This coloring book and journal is a natural blending of that work, my life as an artist, my love of peace and my own journey on the path of the heart.

Two of my paintings that were transformed into coloring pages for this book:twopaintings&colpage-etsy-story-photos

Coloring with a focus on the heart

– gives the mind an uplifting purpose

– gives the body a clear and manageable task

– gives the emotions a safe and happy place

– steadies and calms all levels

and is a kindness to self by feeding the hungry heart

with positive images and words.

This book can be a loving gift to yourself or someone who may need support to refocus on the dreams of their heart. I hope you will enjoy this coloring book and journal and find many moments of peace as you color in the images and journal the impressions of your Heart.

To find out more about the coloring book: www.etsy.com/coloronpurpose 

For more information about Color On Purpose: www.facebook.com/coloronpurpose

With a grateful heart,

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Angels on Purpose

Angels are one reason to “color on purpose”. Yes, I believe in angels. No, I do not know what they really look like. Art is interpretation of imagination and feelings. I have had too many experiences to not believe in angels. Some of the stories are too long to tell and I have no illustrations to share.  I think part of the human purpose in drawing angels is an attempt to acknowledge and connect with an energy of hope, encouragement and support that is invisible and yet we somehow sense within and around us.

The first time I drew an angel was in 1994. The original drawing is about 12” x 15” and done mostly in pencil with some added color pencil. It is dated 1994. The gift of the drawing came with a story-poem and a blessing. I still have it framed with story poem and blessing in my home.GuardianAngel&Ozzie-edit-blog

I tried to get a photo to include here….and my cat Ozzie decided that he needed to be in the photo.

The drawing came with a “story poem” and a “blessing”:

The Angel’s Story

My angel came to me one dark night

as I lay alone, filled with fright.

She told a story, a song of love

in whispered tones like a dove.

Then sounds of music filled the air.

Feathers gently brushed my hair.

I share this story of hope with you.

Perhaps my angel is your angel too.

My angel came to me one dark night

and filled my heart and Soul with Light.

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Guardian Angel of Peace

The Angel’s Blessing

May you look with the eyes of a child.

May you see the wonders of your Heart.

May you be comforted by your angel’s Love.

The second drawing that I did of angels is an illustration of my childhood bedtime prayer that I drew in 2000.

“Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my Soul to keep.

If I should die, before I wake

I pray the Lord my Soul to take.”

I prayed this prayer without much thought as I grew up. As an adult I went through a period when people around me thought it was wrong to mention death and gave me all kinds of novel ways to change the wording for my daughter to make it “happier”.

I finally decided to draw and illustrate the prayer, as I remembered and envisioned it.  Apparently, I completed it on my birthday in the year 2000.

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Bedtime Prayer

The fun part of this colored pencil drawing was how the shapes in the background sky emerged on their own.  As I lightly colored the sky, the shapes would emerge…faces, angels and different shapes and more…and I just cooperated with what the paper was revealing and allowed them to remain.

Recently I was moved to honor and play with the guardian angel and turn the original drawing into a coloring page. So perhaps others might enjoy coloring with the purpose of honoring their own guardian angels.

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The coloring page haiku reads:

when you least expect

guardian angel of peace

will come to your heart

Here is a link for a pdf of the Angel coloring page that you can download and print: GuardianAngel-coloringpage

And in closing…..The Angel’s Blessing

May you look with the eyes of a child.

May you see the wonders of your Heart.

May you be comforted by your angel’s Love.

 

 

Drawing Flowers on Purpose

 This is the story of “why I draw flowers”; of course, as with everything, there is a purpose. The flowers have a purpose and that purpose is joy.

One day in 1988, I was sitting on the couch in my home.   I think it was a wintery Sunday. There was a fire in the fireplace. My two dogs were sleeping nearby. I was drawing. It was the first time I drew flowers of any kind; these had faces.

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“Come Home”

I heard singing inside of me – like angels singing “come home, come home, come home”. I felt completely at home within myself.  I had never before felt so peaceful.

That began the journey with and the story of the flowers.  Which has also been the journey of my “Discovery” of the world of drawing and it’s joys.

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“Discovery”

Here are samples of doodles, drawings and paintings from over the years – “joy flower” expressing a moment of joy; “frog prince”; “yawning flower doodle” from a boring meeting; “I brought you a bouquet” – message from my heart; “the seed maker” – creator of stories (to lure me further into the flower’s world!).

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Flowers to support the purpose of keeping my mind focused on the flower in the center of my heart. For a therapist dealing with diving into the depths of sadness with others, the purpose seems clear and was successful in redirecting my mind, comforting my emotions and uplifting my heart.

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the world of the flowers comes into focus

I have folders and files filled with images: a flower holding the world in the light; a portrait that remained unfinished when the flowers decided to come out to play in it!; a photo of a child became a princess flower; a garden story revealed a Wisdom Flower overseeing them all.

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flowers on a mission

One day, I just wanted to draw without purpose and just play!!! My unconscious and the flowers had other ideas and the Garden of Peace drawing began to emerge. It ended up being a drawing with more purpose than most! The words that accompany the drawing are “Once upon a time her heart came to rest in the garden of peace.” In the leaves are the word peace in about 6 different languages.

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“Once upon a time, her heart came to rest in the garden of peace.”

Recently I surrendered to the persistent spokes-flowers of the heart, and here is the process of this drawing over the past few months. image #6 has a haiku over it – feeling stuck, : I guess that is me talking to the flowers! J

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iPhone photos of progress on the flower story drawing

Completion has its own joy and purpose.

Today, my purpose was to complete the flower drawing.  So I am celebrating cooperation with the flowers and telling their story!!  They are friends that live in my heart.

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Greeters at the door

The flowers are always on purpose; they are bringers of joy, pushing through my resistance, claiming my attention and refocusing my mind into my purpose and into joy.

May you find a purpose that lifts you into joy.

 

Use Coloring to Focus the Heart

Coloring to maintain and reaffirm spiritual direction is an underlying purpose of my art. Since I first drew my winged heart in 1980 with the words “always follow your heart in all ways”, my art has been a spiritual exercise that has aligned me with my Soul, though I don’t think I realized that for a long time.

As a therapist, I often led art therapy groups or encouraged people to express themselves using art in some form or another, depending on their interests. However, for me, art has never really been about releasing, expressing or purging feelings as much as lifting above the negative thoughts and feelings of depression, grief and anxiety.  It is how my Soul calls me to refocus, regroup and recharge.

During the  past month, I have been working on a watercolor version of the coloring page I called “Reaching for the Light” and shared on Facebook on January 8, 2016. The haiku reads:

reaching for the stars

wrapped in starlight, heart in hand

where dreams may lead

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Usually, I will design a drawing or painting and then create the coloring page later.   This time, I used images – the open flower, the globe and the girl – that I had created years ago for different projects, added the stairs and stars; combining them all to express an inner vision.

I have since edited it to simplify the stars around the body. (oh – that is another story and I now have learned more about how to do that and stay sane!) I have been taking a classes in Illustrator and Photoshop.  I continue to slowly learn bits and pieces of the many tools to make editing and creating easier.   I also added the winged heart….so here is another version. Final-reach4light-ColoringPage

The image continues to “morph” inside of me in its creative unfolding and more recently I felt called to do a simple watercolor. I still find that hands on, with pencil or paintbrush, I feel closer to my “purpose” and the feeling of the vision, than when working on the computer.

So this month, I created a simple version of the image in watercolor. Here is the process of drawing and painting.

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This time I am calling it “Eyes on You”.

 

Here is the final version, scanned, edited a bit in Photoshop, given a frame with simplified haiku added…..

I come unadorned

keeping my eyes on You, Lord

my heart is the gift

HH-EyesOnYou-smallThe original haiku was two lines longer:

I come unadorned

keeping my eyes on You, Lord

wrapped in Holy Light

asking for Your Grace

my heart is the gift

My month of “coloring on purpose” has been a sweet journey to align with spiritual purpose  and to reaffirm and deepen spiritual direction.  The added blessing was the joy of drawing and painting and watching a vision come to life on paper.

I am providing a link to download the pdf of the coloring page if you are reading this far and would like to use it to support your own journey to the center of your heart.

click on the link to open the coloring page

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May you be blessed by the beauty of your own Heart Light.

I would love to hear how you use your creativity to support your own spiritual journey!

 

Just “Be” On Purpose

This image started when I planted a little packet of sunflower seeds in my garden, a gift from a friend.  I had never grown sunflowers or any other flowers from seeds before.  Then one day as I walked through the garden, I saw one of the sunflowers and what caught my eye was the bee crawling in the very center of the sunflower.  bee-one-proces

First I took the photo and then I was inspired to draw the flower with the bee.  Of course, that led to creating a watercolor and a haiku.  This was during a time when I was posting weekly Heart Haiku paintings on Facebook and the haiku was:

“bee, one with the sun

bee, sunflower, on purpose

just be, on purpose”

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This version was done as a watercolor with text added in Photoshop.

My next step was to create a simple vector coloring image which at first was very simple, then I added the haiku.  Later I used it to send to a friend as a birthday card.

At some point the cognitive therapist in me entered the creative process which led to the idea of using the petals to represent qualities of the true self; which led to the “I AM” in the center with the music of the heart flowing through the heart. The petals are filled with positive qualities of the heart and the true self.

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The bee inspired me by his focus and purpose.  Creating an image and coloring it with purpose supports my intention to deepen a positive self concept and stay aligned with my true self and on purpose with my life.

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May you always be on purpose in your self talk and in what you claim as your core values, intentions and qualities.

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This version, the original, was a moment in nature, created by God, and with agreement from the flower and the bee,  captured by me with my iPhone.

 

May you always be on purpose following your heart.

“Breathe Peace” Painting and Coloring Page

I used to teach my clients to “breathe in peace”.  It is one of my favorite ways to “break the pattern” of anxiety and calm the body, mind and emotions.  Recently I was reminded of the power of breathing peace and was inspired to paint a scene from the garden of my heart to remind me to stop  and breathe in peace.

I took photos as I progressed in the painting process.  As I work on a project, I log images in a creativity log.  It helps to acknowledge the progress made and helps me to step back and see the painting more clearly for next steps.

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There was of course a haiku that accompanied the image.  I decided that the words weaving through the painting were enough for the original painting: suggesting to breathe in “peace to me” and breathe out “peace to you”.

However, when I decided to turn the painting into a coloring page, I added a haiku:

Breathe in “peace to me”

Pause for a moment of Peace

Breathe out “peace to you”

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I had so much fun making this project that I went on to order a custom clock for my studio with the “Breathe Peace” painting; another way to remind myself to pause and take time to breathe in the peace that is present.

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Any time is a good time to Breathe Peace!

 

 

Back to Basics

This week, (it is now Friday, March 11,2016) I have felt moved to return to the basics of where I began with my Heart Haiku.

It began as a daily spiritual practice; a way for my heart to speak to me, or just speak.

The earlier versions included:

And all were just simple drawn and inked lines.  The words were shared separately and not always added to the image; though there has always been a haiku.

I realized recently that as I began to add the pressure of creating them into watercolor images and more, I began to lose the essential joy of creating and hearing the message from my heart.

So this week I chose the focus to “return to the basics” and spend a minimum of 5 minutes a day to focus on my heart and sketch the winged heart and its haiku message.

So far this week, I have 5 image.

The first 3 are fairly simple:

The fourth is evidence that the cognitive therapist in me still lives and speaks through my heart!

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Today’s Heart Haiku is my response to the heart breaking things I hear and see on the news and on Facebook.

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This is today’s Heart Haiku for Peace

Color On Purpose

Hi and Welcome! This is my first posting.  I have been mini-blogging on Facebook since January 2015, posting weekly Heart Haiku’s with a painting.  The paintings began evolving and demanding to be turned into coloring pages!

Yes, I think the paintings may have a life of their own!  I am just the zoo keeper and servant to the ever evolving process!

My experience includes 25 years as a Marriage, Family Therapist using art as therapy to support expression of emotions and cognitive therapy to support positive mental focus.

My own art has been my personal therapy.  I have rarely been able to use art to express negative emotions.  It pours through me and lifts me up.  The focus is always uplifting and began in 1978 with a painting of a winged heart and the words “always follow your heart in all ways.”

 

In 1980 I published the poster and a line of greeting cards.  The intention was to encourage and inspire individual and world peace. etsy-poster&cards

I have long wanted to create a coloring book and that is in process as I write this.  Here are a few of the pages waiting to jump into the book!

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I love encouraging people!  I love drawing and designing!  I love to paint and color!

These Adult Coloring Pages are intended to support you to be on purpose and deepen the value of the time you spend with coloring.  Coloring calms the emotions.  It does this by focusing the mind; as the mind relaxes and focuses on a physical task, the emotions calm.

It is also important or useful to choose WHAT you focus on.  The mind and emotions follow what you focus on.  I choose to draw positive images and words to strengthen and grow a positive mental focus.   It is my intention to continue to add images with prayers, affirmations, positive self talk – positive images and positive words.

By choosing to include positive, uplifting words in your coloring, you support your intentions to grow and expand the positive parts of your mind and emotions.

My motto is “Feed the flowers of your mind!”….not the weeds.

These are tools to support you in calming the mind, emotions and body.

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