Monday, September 26, 2016

#272 The Green Induced Energy Woods Walk Experience

Ever go for a walk in the woods and feel that energy thing – you know, that thing when you begin to feel a tingling in your body, and everything out there starts to morph to more vibrant colors and mysterious and magical forms. No synthetic mind altering drugs here. It's simply what I call the green induced energy woods walk experience. GIEW WE! for short.

The Japanese have a word shinrin-yoku ,that was coined by the Japanese government in 1982. In Japanese shinrin means forest, and yoku here refers to a “bathing, showering or basking in.” More broadly, it is defined as “taking in, in all of our senses, the forest atmosphere.” It's based in Shinto and Buddhist practices and is essentially a form of “forest bathing.”

In their documented research, the Japanese found walking in the forest, even for one day (the longer the better) has enumerable health benefits. It lowers cortisol (stress hormone), blood pressure, reduces physical pain, stress, depression and hostility, lowers blood sugar and improves concentration, immunes system, vitality, concentration and creativity. Children with ADHD show improved focus after just a 20 minute walk in a city park

Forest therapy has also been found to increase NK cells. Natural killer immune cells (NK cells) are a type of white blood cell which sends self-destruct messages to tumors and virus-infected cells, including cancer cells. And people exposed to vaporized stem oil from a common cypress tree have had a 20% increase in their NK cells during their three night stay in a hotel.

I wonder if walking through woods when the trees are in full fall color mode adds an extra boost to those stats!

Below is a link to a fascinating article about the healing power of a walk in the woods that appeared in Mother Earth News.

The Green Induced Energy Woods Walk Experience • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250

Monday, September 19, 2016

#271 Happy Place

Today is my son Brecken's birthday. We mothers always wish the best for our children - that they grow up be decent human beings, find what they love to do and somehow figure out how to make a living at it, and find happiness. I prefer to wish that they find their happy place, whatever that is.

Being happy is tough - you have to go to a shrink to figure that one out. In the meantime, being in our happy place can be as easy as watching puppies, hanging with kids, easing into a warm bath or sailing a flat sea in a stiff breeze. More advanced practitioners can be happy in the present and in a void. But for the rest of us, conjuring up a good memory is way easier. We can close our eyes anytime, anywhere, and imagine it - because we've been there. We just need to remember it.

So, happy birthday Brecken. May you spend today in your happy place. And for tomorrow, May The Force Be With You as you continue to add to your portfolio a thousand more.

Happy Place • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250

Monday, September 12, 2016

SOLD - Fleeting But Nourishing

Once in a while I find the need to stop what I'm doing, take a deep breath, and simply be in peace and quiet. It's a survival thing, putting life out there on hold, taking a time out.

This is what was in my mind during the last pause. It was fleeting but nourishing. Hope it is for you too.

Fleeting But Nourishing • 8" X 8" framed to 12" X 12" • $250

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

#269 The Laboriousness of Lobstering and Learning to Devour the Catch the Old Fashioned Way

Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It's a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country (I paraphrase here).

I have a lobster dinner once a year as part of our annual Sun Seekers International group outing. We do the lobster, steamers, corn and coleslaw, followed by a local ice cream cone. Trying to get the meat out of a cooked lobster is definitely laborious - like you almost have to work for your meal. In fact, one of my favorite past times is watching rookies try to figure out how to get their money's worth.

It begins with perplexed expressions, followed by a joke or two, some poking, pounding, cracking, and peering into. Some can't touch the beast, others request divine intervention, and then there are those who get right in to it and become fully encased in butter and bits of bright red shell. I'm a pro, but still feel like I've accomplished something when I've spent an hour cleaning one out, so I never laugh. I was there once too. You never forget the first bout.

Fishing for lobster is a crap shoot, not to mention laborious and dangerous. So I dedicate this painting to the fishermen who catch the lobster, and to the rookies who labor for their lobster dinner the old fashioned way.

The Laboriousness of Lobstering and Learning to Devour the Catch the Old Fashioned Way • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250