Why Trees Don’t Have Nervous Breakdowns

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Did you enjoy this post? Anne

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The Magic in the Mundane

v gel buy online “The maker is too close to his product. He sees in his methods only the ordinary. He does not realize that the world at large might marvel at those methods, and that facts which seem commonplace to him might give him vast distinction.”  – Claude Hopkins

“To see the world in a grain of sand, and Heaven in a wild flower…” – William Blake

girl with magical expression

What greater wealth than the ability to see the magic in the mundane?

Claude Hopkins, one of the great advertising whizzes of the early 20th century, did this in spades. Hopkins’ campaigns regularly turned little-known brands – like Quaker Oats,  Goodyear Tires, and Pepsodent – into household names, making millions in the process. How? Very often, by calling attention to things that others considered too ordinary to point out.

Poets and artists turn everyday experiences into another kind of wealth, food for mind and spirit.

And the greatest alchemists of all are most often overlooked – because they’re underfoot. Children are pure potential, and capable of nearly anything (as long as no one tells them they can’t.)

Look at a snowflake, or a sprouting seed, or a newborn baby. Are these things not as magical as they are mundane?

What would happen to your life if you began to honor the magic that exists in it?

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

Watercolor and the Art of Life

People think watercolor is difficult.

“You can’t control it,” they say.

And, “It’s so unforgiving!”

“You just need to learn its secrets,” I tell them. “When you do, your watercolors will take wing all on their own.”

Goshawk watercolor painting
“Goshawk in flight,” watercolor sketch 11″x 11″. Click on the bird to read about its symbolic meaning!

Here are the secrets of watercolor:

1. You don’t paint with watercolor. You set it up for success. You create the framework. Then, all you have to do is encourage the water to follow the framework. The water does the painting for you.

2. Watercolor isn’t unforgiving. You can lift it, scrub it, paint over it. Or just turn over a new leaf of paper and start over. The only thing that’s not forgiving is our rigid vision of perfection.

Doesn’t it sound a lot like life?

Did you enjoy this post? Anne

Punctuation changes everything…

Negaunee and Ishpeming are two towns in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They are about 3 miles apart, separated largely by woods. In the winter, you can ski between them on a section of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

If you do, and if you look for it, as you approach Ishpeming you will see a handmade sign that someone posted next to the trail:

"god, sin, you" poster

“Holy crap!” I exclaimed the first time I saw this sign. “I think they are in need of an editor!”

Fortunately, I’ve done some editing in my day. As it turned out, all it really needed was a little help with the spacing and punctuation:

"God's in you" posterThank goodness for Photoshop! 😉

The Songbird’s Message

I was dabbling about in the kitchen tonight, when I suddenly thought of a friend. The word “sing” came to me, as it did when we first met two weeks ago. Then, a few moments later, the impression of a song bird.

Nightingale singing
“Nightingale,” watercolor on paper. Collection Anne Michelsen.  

It reminded me of this lovely poem by Victor Hugo:

Be like the bird that, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her — and sings — knowing she hath wings.

​I got the feeling that the ‘singing’ is metaphorical – whatever makes your heart sing, do it and don’t hold back, even if it seems foolish or impossible. (Although if you want to sing while doing it, so much the better!)

This time of year some of the birds are already starting to stake out their territories in the woods – and singing to attract a mate.

If this resonates with you at any level, think about what you would like to manifest in your life…

…and sing your heart out. If your wings aren’t fully developed yet, your song will help them grow!

Did you enjoy this post? Anne