Category Archives: Marriage

A respite for the eyes and soul.

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When my eyes are weary and my soul feels heavy, I love to escape to the mountains. My favorite place is anywhere I can find streaming water such as a creek or river. My senses come alive but are simultaneously soothed as fill my lungs with the crisp air and allow my eyes to rest on the moving canvas created by the water. Though the water moves, it is often hypnotic with its constant rhythm of motion, providing the perfect respite. Sadly, escaping to the mountains is not always an option.

Sometime back, a dear friend of mine gave me one of the best decorating tips I have ever received. “Always leave blank space for your eyes to rest in a room,” she advised. In other words, as your eyes move around the room, leave a wall or a table surface empty so your eyes can take a respite from their work. Now, I am one who doesn’t necessarily like clutter, but I do have a home that is well lived in and I like seeing things that bring me joy and tell the story of our family.  In my living room hangs: a painting gifted to my father by a patient who didn’t have the funds to pay, a beautiful garden painted and given to me by one of my closest friends before she passed away, a coastal watercolor that belonged to my father-in-law, and few other things that have greater personal significance than monetary value.  Each brings my heart joy, but each also calls on my eyes to work in some way when I’m in that room. Therefore, there are some areas left intentionally blank.

At the end of a long day (or anytime the TV seems too loud for both my eyes and my ears), I shift my focus to the blank wall space to the right of the TV. The muted, neutral wall welcomes my gaze and, while I stare at the nothingness, I concentrate on my breathing, Sometimes, I see nothing but the blank wall and, sometimes, I use the blank canvas to picture a flowing stream in my mind. As my eyes enjoy the respite, so does my soul.

Tonight, as I drove home from my long Friday, I felt the heaviness of day hang on my shoulders. “Rest your eyes,” I heard a little voice deep within coax, “Rest your eyes; rest your soul.”  And rest them, I did, on the photo at the top of this post.

Where do you like to rest your eyes?

 

Creativity Unleashed

The imagination is a palette of bright colors.

This morning, I had the joyful privilege of co-hosting a Blab chat with my friend, Ruth Curran.  Ruth, as I’ve mentioned before, is the author of Being Brain Healthy  and is the Capt. Cruncher behind the entertaining and inspiring  site, Cranium Crunches.

Blab was entirely new to us, but our subject, creativity, was not. Ruth and I, both  traumatic brain injury thrivers,  talked about the benefits of exploring and pursuing creative outlets. Creativity turns up the volume in life, flooding our brains with feel-good chemicals. Coloring, painting, and sewing are just a few of the ways I like to turn up the volume in my life. I play and within 15 minutes I’m in the zone or flow, as one participant called it, and before I know it minutes turn into hours and my brain is bathed in happiness.   It’s the “brain work” that truly is play!

There is so much more I have to share about creativity and our new Blab series*, and I will, but for today, the 12th day of NaBloPoMo, I want only to plant a seed to prompt your thoughts about the fuel the feeds our creativity– our imagination.

How do you unleash your imagination?

(* Ruth and I will be hosting regular Blab chats on Thursdays starting at 8 AM PST. Please consider joining us to help turn up the volume in your life!)