Take Peace – Living a Creative Life

Take Peace - Living in a Creative Life
Tasha Tudor and her beloved corgis

Every Christmas season, at least once, if not several times (okay, many times!), I just have to watch a documentary called Take Peace – A Corgi Cottage Christmas with Tasha Tudor.

A children’s book author and illustrator, Tasha passed away in 2008 at the age of 92. I discovered her in 2012 when looking through an old edition of Victorian magazine where they had paid tribute to her.

I became obsessed with her, checking out just about every book at the library I could that was about her, and that she’d also written herself. I also visited the Tasha Tudor Museum in Brattleboro, Vermont the same year I learned about her.

I’m in my obsession mode again having gotten out the Christmas DVD, Take Peace to watch it over the weekend. To me, Tasha truly celebrated in the spirit of the season as it should be. The tree got cut on Christmas eve and decorated on Christmas day, along with many other traditions not practiced too often these days.

She lived in her own world and pretty much self-sustained, within a small English style cottage her oldest son built, out in the country miles away from the outside world.

But what I love most about her, and what really hit home watching the documentary this weekend, is that her creative life was woven into her daily life – there really was no distinction between the two.

Each were instrumental to the other, but it came most naturally to her. Tasha’s children’s books and illustrations depict this very clearly – but it was also how she lived. She wrote and painted what she was living and had lived as a young girl.

Isn’t this what all creative people seek?  I know I do. And I guess it’s why I’m so mesmerized by a woman who was able to make this work. She didn’t let the outside distractions get in her way of what a meaningful life was for her.

While many considered her quite eccentric, and she lived without electricity or running water for the most part of her life, I admire her greatly for living by the beat of her own drum.

As she also states in the film, she was never in a hurry – she didn’t see a point of that and she always took time for tea each day no matter how much was going on her life –and yet she managed to write and/or illustrate close to 100 books in her lifetime.

And I can’t help but think how so often we look outside ourselves for answers, and yet, Tasha found them all within her own world – and that is what she created from.

It was her love of corgi’s, her exquisite flower garden, her love of nature, cooking, sewing, creating, and goats, cats, and doves that she wove right into her paintings and books which are adored to this day by many.

And yup, I’m one who continues to be inspired by her with many books by Tasha I requested from the library so I can once again immerse myself into a space of peace and joy…

And which encourages me to continue to strive to live from that inner light that I call me, and that only I can live from, which I hold sacred and dear.

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Thanksgiving Mantra

Thanksgiving Mantra
My thanksgiving altar

Rain is heavy in the air this Thanksgiving morning as I lit a candle out in my Zen writing cottage.

Sitting in my wicker chair with Gidget beside me, listening to soft music play in the background I closed my eyes to move into my meditation.

The spirit of Thanksgiving is all around today and it was effortless, really, that grateful heart came to my mind as my mantra for today’s meditation.

Repeating this silently to myself it brought up many emotions for me. I’m grateful for so many people, animals, and things I hold dear. But I also realized I’m just as grateful for challenging times and lessons I’ve learned so far this year — even when I’ve struggled against them.

I’m reminded again that without times that we wish didn’t have to be when we are in the midst of them, that if we stay open to the gifts, the blessings most often will present themselves.

It’s a grateful heart that I have today, thankful for this day of Thanksgiving as our reminder to really stop and give thought to what we are most grateful for.

So I share with you today my mantra of a grateful heart…grateful for each of you who come to my joyful paws journal each day to read my thoughts, hopes and dreams.

My heartfelt wishes to you for a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving.

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Thankful Heart Bursts

Thankful Heart Bursts

Meditation comes in many different forms. Two that I enjoy are sitting with my eyes closed, listening to soft instrumental music, and the other is a walking meditation in a small wooded area near my home.

Opening my eyes after a 15-minute meditation this morning, sitting in my over-sized peach wicker chair in my writing cottage, I sat a bit longer.

My eyes drifted most willingly to the world of an action packed flurry of little legs hopping here and there, and wings flapping about outside my window– watching my winged bird friends partake in the gift of the feast I blessed them with earlier this week.

Once again, I’m reminded…it is the simplest things I give thanks for that bring bursts of joy to my heart each day.

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