{I} Travel Postcard #3: Installation Art – New York

Madison_Square_Park_installation_art

It was a bright, sunny day. I was walking through Madison Square Park, when a 40-foot tall sculpture stopped me in my tracks. Something about the tranquility and other-worldliness on that face compelled me to stop, stare, and reflect. At that point, and every time I look at this picture, actually, I fell a sense of peace wash over me.

The name of the sculpture was Echo, and it was created by renowned Spanish sculpture Jaume Plensa.

From the plaque accompanying the sculpture:
“Inspired by the myth of the Greek nymph Echo, the sculpture depicts the artist’s 9-year old neighbor in Barcelona, lost in a state of thoughts and dreams. Both monumental in size and inviting in subject, the peaceful visage of Echo creates a tranquil and introspective atmosphere amid the cacophony of central Manhattan.”

Peace out!

{H} My favorite things: beginning with the letter H

Today I share with you some of my favorite H words – illustrated. Enjoy!

(All images from my favorite site – Pinterest! Most images link to the original source)

Happiness – because that’s my default state ;-)

hapy heart happy soul

Hearts – I love hearts – the quirkier the better!

metal_hearts

Heal – ‘cause we all need a little bit of healing

heal

History – because curious minds need to know

history

Hippy – that’s what I am at heart (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE these sandals!)

hippie

That’s a little bit about me – tell us a little bit about you, and to make it more fun, use H words (though that isn’t a requirement, of course!)

Here are some more of my favorite things

{G} I’m grateful for…

Getting back to artLife is Beautiful!

Starting some DIY projects

My adorable fur babies

Walks in the park

An inspiring husband

A peaceful life

What are you grateful for today?

{F} Finding Nemo: 4 tips to help you find yourself

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle

Growing up, I was a rather reflective, introspective kinda gal.  I used to spend long hours curled up under the window with some music in the background, letting my mind wander…or writing in my journal…or just day dreaming idly.

Then, life happened. Thrust into the work place with all its associated pressures, adjusting to a life away from home, marriage, changing states, adjusting to new cultures…all of it took a toll, and that introspective girl got lost along the way.

As things settled down I took a moment to look at my life and realized I love it and am grateful for it. But at the same time, I realized that I’ve been running for so long that I’ve lost touch with … me. And so I set off on a quest to find myself. As I worked through it I gathered a lot of tools to self-discovery along the way.

Find_Yourself_Laozi_quote

Here are 4 of my favorites.

1. Journal, Journal, Journal: Writing helps you slow down, tune in, and listen to the soft whisper inside you that will lead you home. If you don’t know where to start, there are tons of sites out there offering journaling prompts and 50 questions to ask yourself. What really helped me get back to my journal, though, was the Soul Comfort class offered by the Brave Girls Club. If you haven’t checked them out already, I highly recommend that you do.

2. Make me-time a priority: This is time for YOU – to do what you WANT to do. Often, as we rush through our daily lives, running from one thing to the next, we sacrifice me time until we no longer know what makes us happy.  But, true happiness comes from within – you need to stop waiting for someone or something to bring you happiness. And when you me make me time a priority, you start figuring out what it is that makes you happy. And then you go out and do it!

3. Find your passion: And when I say this – I don’t mean that you will become rich and famous by following it. That’s a more modern concept that I do not fully agree with, and the topic for a different post. When you’re figuring out your passion, try free association and mind mapping to find out what gives you a thrill, then do it. And for heaven’s sake do NOT look at it from the rigid frame of making it a career. Pretty please!

4. Make a life list: And make it long. Include all the things you would love to do – like travel, learn new languages, create meaningful art – and keep adding to it. And every year, make sure you cross off a few things from that list. And if you don’t want to do something that’s on the list any more, that’s fine too. It’s totally OK to change your mind!

Got any tips that help you connect to yourself? Share them in the comments!

{E} Travel Postcard #2: Elephanta island

Travel_Postcard_Elephenta_Caves

A short ferry ride away from Mumabi is the Elephanta Island, home to the caves of the same name. The Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves dating back to between the 5th and 8th century. There are two groups of caves—the first a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The statues are hewn from solid basalt rock and were originally painted, though now only traces remain.

The sculptures are beautiful, though a lot of them show signs of wind erosion and are broken in places. The interior of the caves is quite dark though, making photography really difficult. Add the jostling crowds of tourists, and it can be tedious at times. But it is well worth the visit – if for nothing else than the ferry ride and the sea gulls that fly alongside the boat!