a tickle of words to create smiles

Archive for July, 2012

Nourishment for the Heart and Soul

As food is nourishment for the body; love, kindness, and interaction with people, nature, art and music are nourishment for the soul. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Our souls need nourishment as much as our bodies do. Unfortunately many of us, me included, have used food to comfort our souls, when it really it is crying out for love, kindness, interaction with people, nature, art and music. When we were children, too often ice cream, candy and cookies were used as rewards, when hugs and attention would have provided the best nourishment to our spirit. Each of us need a daily dose of self-love and kindness, whether it be in the form of affirmations or simply giving ourselves time to relax, have fun and joyful experiences, pamper our bodies and get a full (night’s) sleep every day.

Interaction with people is also important to nourish one’s soul. Getting out in public provides one with opportunities to socialize and to help others, through simple and small, but very important acts of love and kindness. One’s own spirit is lifted when one can make another smile. Sharing the gift of time with others is one of the best ways to nourish both our spirit as well as the spirits of others. Jesus did this throughout His lifetime (and beyond). He was and continues to be food and nourishment for the weak in spirit. His love and his kindness has filled the void in the lives of thousands in His lifetime and now millions.

Spending time outdoors among the trees, plants, flowers, birds and other animals nurtures the spirit. When people actively listen, watch, and are fully present in nature to see, hear and feel all the wonderful sights, sounds and sensations of nature, their souls are lifted.  What is more lovely than hearing birds singing, frogs croaking, and crickets chirping? Who doesn’t enjoy seeing butterflies dancing and squirrels playing? The feel of a gentle breeze and drizzle of a summer shower has a way of positively touching one’s soul. Nature reconnects people to their spirits.

Art and music engage the spirit, encouraging and evoking feelings. The beat of a drum, the lull of a flute, the colors of a painting, the movement of a dance (just to name a few) satiate and nourish our spirits. Whether we are observing or performing art and music, our souls are filled. Art and music comfort us, as does love, kindness, people and nature. The next time you sense a bit of a void in your life, consider taking time for yourself, go out and interact with others and nature, and engage your heart with art and music. This food for your soul will nourish you spirit (without calories).

Trust Your Creative Flow

I do my best work when I trust my creative flow, withhold judgment and embrace my natural talents as I do what I am called forth to do.  ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Being creative means trusting your soul, your intuition, your flow;  ignoring criticism or judgment, and releasing resistance to your natural gifts and talents. Pick up your creativity tools and have at your project, whether you arm yourself with paintbrush, crafting tool, pen, pencil or keyboard. Once the creativity flow starts, do not resist it. The hardest part is overcoming any kind of creativity blocks. Why resist when your ideas flow.

Creativity blocks will  happen. It is part of the ebb and flow of any craft. Honor the creativity blocks and give yourself a break by getting out in nature and in public. Interact. Experience new sensations and fill your well of creativity. It is through new experiences that generate new memories and allow new ideas to form.

Collect first experiences and embrace the new sensations. Try new materials. Do activities with your less dominant hand. Write, draw or do anything with your eyes closed or blindfolded. Bring in new fragrances into your studio or work space. Listen to different music. Use different lighting. Exercise before sitting doing your project. Changing up your routine is a great way to eliminate any type of creativity block.

And once you have your flow, run with it. Believe in your craft! Give it life! Do not hold back or resist the flow through self-criticism or fear. This is what makes you a creative!

Why?

Why does it take the worst of events to bring out the best in people? ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

It was my intention to write about a totally different topic today, but when I learned of the tragic events that occurred in Colorado this morning I cannot help to wonder why anyone would deliberately cause such an act of terror. I will never understand deliberate actions that result in violence and the outcome is hurt and/or death. However, among all the ugliness of the unfolding events, love and hope manages to find its way to comfort the survivors.

May God bless all those who were directly affected today. May He comfort their hearts through the loving actions of others who have come forth after this tragedy to console and help them. May the horrific actions of one man NOT taint the hearts of the survivors. Let us not let evil win over good. This brings to mind one of my favorite Bible quotes: For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 God does understand our sorrows and He does love us. It is hard to see that right now, but His love is infinitely abundant and eternal.

Fresh Start

It is never too late for a fresh start. Every moment is a good time to start over if we can give ourselves permission. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Who says you have to wait until the beginning of a new year, month, week or day for a fresh start. Why not start fresh right now? The moment is now! And, wow! it feels great to start fresh. It is like giving yourself hugs and kisses.

It is a deep sigh of relief. It is a deep breath of fresh air. When you  permit yourself to have a clean slate,  you begin to see all the events, challenges, blessings, and issues in your life more clearly. You are giving yourself a second chance.

We would do it for a child, wouldn’t we? We would give our loved ones second chances, right?  It is time we grant ourselves permission to start over.

And, why not give yourself this loving opportunity, this do over? God through Jesus Christ gave us this gift. Who are we NOT to allow it! Forgive yourself. Let it be. Embrace this fresh start and you heart will feel free.

Cool Thoughts On a Hot Summer Day

Cool Thoughts On a Hot Summer Day
A poem by Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Sitting under a tree’s cool shade.
Delightfully enjoying ice cold lemonade.

Or perhaps wading around in the ocean blue.
With large, cool waves crashing over you.

Eyes are closed, waiting for a welcomed breeze.
Succumbing to a summer daydream of butterflies and bees.

Ice cream truck sings a familiar tune,
From a time of our youth, gone too soon.

Popsicles, Nutty Buddies, and Ice Cream Cups.
Mom and Dad usually hooked us up.

Ah, splashing around in the neighborhood pool.
Water balloon fights were so amazingly cool.

Thoughts of winter crosses our minds
Visions of snow and icicles, how divine.

Summer storms, lightening, thunder and rain.
Lowering the temperatures enough to keep us sane.

Air conditioned movie theaters are a great way.
To spend some time during the heat of midday.
Enjoy some cool thoughts on a hot summer day!

Work in Progress

Life is always a work in progress; one that we get to enjoy or not because the choice is up to us. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

We are the creators of our lives by the choices we make or do not make. It is one that never really reaches completion as each day gives us new decisions to make. Certainly, there may be many steps in it that we can complete; but, ultimately, we are always evolving into the next thing or preparing for the next event or project.

Every moment in time permits us to grow and develop as we experience life and allow ourselves to see the value and lesson  in every word, action and/or event in our lives. It is a choice we can make at any given moment. We get to decide how to act and react to words and events in our lives. Joy comes when we choose positive actions as positive action attracts positive energy. The more you give the more you receive.

Try it. Genuinely smile at someone the next chance you get and make positive eye contact . See what happens in return. Pay someone a compliment and see what happens next. Choose to make a difference and make someone’s day. Refrain from a life of indifference and apathy. Choose to care. See what happens. Life is a work in progress. You can enjoy it more when you choose wisely.

We Are All Someone Special

By letting go of the belief that I am nobody special, I have found more love and joy in my life. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

It is in those times when we feel that we are nobody special or that we are simply not good enough that negative feelings creep in to bring down our self-esteem and cloud over our positive energies. Some time ago, I came to realize that no matter who I am or what I do or whatever happens to me, the sun will still shine for me, no matter what. The birds will still sing and the wind will still blow. And, as long as I believe, God still loves me! I just need to be open to receive.

God’s love is in so many things and is in so many people. All we need to do is open our eyes and truly see all our blessings. My life is not perfect (no one has a perfect life), but I am grateful for all the love and blessings I have in my life. Today, I had a bit of a setback that I could have allowed to bother me to cause angst, worry and other negative feelings; however, upon a moment of reflection I know in my heart that these negative emotions are not going to make the latest challenge go away. Positive attracts positive. So, I resolved to give my worries to God and focus on the positive. I can only take care of me in the moment, from one thought to the next and one action to another.

Challenges are best met with a clear head and happy heart where we can come up with creative solutions. It also allows us to see that it is not the end of the world and there are positive options to every negative situation. The sun will continue to shine and the birds will continue to sing. I will ultimately come out just fine from this setback because I believe I can and because I am more than good enough to manifest a solution. I am someone special and so are you!

Reaction…Let’s Keep it Positive

We can choose how to react. No one can make you feel anything you do not choose to feel. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Even in the face of negative actions and verbose, we can choose how to react; however, reacting positively takes discipline. It takes practice of mentally rehearsing the following: “This action or words are not personal. It is not about me (my character); it is about them. What they said or did has nothing to do with me personally; it has to do with what is going on with them and/or how they choose to react.”

One of the keys to joy and happiness is consciously choosing joy even in the face of negative situations. There are so many examples you can mentally rehearse around, for instance: The store ran out of a product that I wanted or perhaps even needed. We can react with disappointment, blame and anger; or, we can choose to stay positive and discuss a solution with the store attendant or manager. What are the alternatives? How can I make this lemon into pie?

Consider that example from the negative point of view: We get reactive and blame the store attendant, which may lead to anger and a heated exchange of insult and negative language. Does this reaction get you what you needed from the store? Of course, NOT! It just leads to high stress levels and negative impressions. Pursuing the matter from a more positive angle may not always get you to a solution, but you will feel better, more joyful and less stressed. Right?

Road rage is one of those reactions most would like not to admit. This usually occurs when we are in a hurry and need to be somewhere at a specific time. Consider the following: “We are where we need to be, always!” If traffic is holding us up, there is a reason for it. It is not the fault of the other drivers. If another car cuts you off or didn’t see you because he or she is using their mobile phone, be grateful that you were able to prevent an accident. Bless the other driver that he or she make to their destination without causing injury to themselves and others. And breathe. Getting angry will not get you anywhere faster. It only raises your blood pressure. Right?

Consider every situation in your life that has brought ill-feelings. What alternative ways/feelings could you have chosen? Learn from these experiences, as each moment in our lives are opportunities for growth and development.

We Get What We Most Need

Funny how life truly gives you what you most need when you simply relax, embrace love and joy, and live. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

Okay, so today was a full day. It started with an internal debate, “Should I get up and go to Aqua Zumba or sleep in; it is going to storm, anyway.” Aqua Zumba won. And, I am glad it did, because it is exactly what I needed to get my day started. Yes, the skies looked ominous and overcast. Yes, class was in an outdoor pool. But, it was not storming.

I had fun and felt great after the physical exercise. At the end of Aqua Zumba class, then the thunder could be heard, but it did not start storming until 5 hours later.  After class, my husband and I were able to jump right into our errands (the bank, the hardware store and the dollar store). We had a nice brunch together and got some gardening accomplished (putting wire cages around the tomatoes). I was also able to get in a power nap in the afternoon before evening mass, which was our church patron’s feast day (the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha).

Today, my friend Kathryn Antyr posted a really great article on her website (True North Arts): What Message Do You Need Right Now? Please, check it out! She is equally inspiring as I am (perhaps more because she has done this longer; I adore her). She promotes so many wonderful ideas. Today she has messages the size of fortune cookie messages that you can print out and use as a prompt for a  journal writing or an art journal experience. I love this idea. I keep a ceramic jar of “Warm Fuzzies” that are filled with my favorite fortune cookie messages and affirmations that I created for myself. Now I am going to add Kathryn’s prompts. This is exactly what I needed today! Thank you Kathryn.

I hope each of you find that you get exactly what you need, too. “What Message Do You Need Right Now?” may be a source for you! Enjoy. Have a great weekend!!

Oh, it is Friday the 13th…how about that?

Superstitions are for the superstitious…attract positive things by thinking about and visualizing positive things. ~ Dr. Angela Kowitz Orobko

It didn’t even phase me that today is “Friday the Thirteenth”. The only thing on my mind today was having a great day conducting the fine arts program, Expression Sessions, that I am directing this summer. Our students are having a great time and none of them mentioned Friday the Thirteenth either. Only positive art-making and creative writing were on their minds. It was a brilliant day! I hope you had one, too! Have a fabulous weekend. 🙂

Live the miracle that is Life today, and do not worry
about “bad omens.” Remember, nothing is evil, lest
thinking make it so. ~ Neale Donald Walsch and William Shakespeare.

%d bloggers like this: