Thursday, April 21, 2016

1st Annual Spring Journal Scavenger Hunt

Blue Hydrangea, 2011 by B. Richardson
As a last hurrah for spring, and to get us all outside and seeing things in our world in a more artistic light, we thought it would be a great idea to do a month-long challenge beginning May 1st.  Just you, your camera (or phone camera) and your journal.  We realize some of you are just now digging out from late winter storms, and others of us are rushing to enjoy the last of our temperate weather before the big heat sets in, but getting outside and enjoying our environment will be the big plus for this challenge.

This is a 31-day photo challenge, that involves an A to Z photo scavenger hunt + 5 bonus challenges to round out the month.  You will find and photograph subjects from A to Z and 5 creative bonus items. We are going to award prizes!!!


Contest and participation is open only to members of ARTFUL JOURNEYS and/or ARTFUL WRITING, our two journaling groups.  If you are not a member and want to participate, follow the link and ask to join us.  In either group, you will find a post where you can ask to join the secret group and you will be added.

You do not have to be a professional photographer. Use whatever camera you have available. Use your phone camera. Use your fancy-schmancy camera. It's all good.  All photographs must be posted in the secret group for consideration.  Winning photographs will remain the property of the photographer, but winners will have to agree to have their winning photographs featured on our blog, in our groups and via other electronic media and/or groups.  We will ask the winners to sign a waiver of liability and authorize us to use their names and images.  Winners will get full artistic credit.

For each day of the month of May, you will need to find and photograph something that would fall under the category of A to Z, + the 5 bonus challenges to round out the month.  For example, for "A" you might photograph an apple, some street art, or an arbor.  Some letters of the alphabet might require some creative license, and we're good with that, as long as you tell us which category your photo applies.  For example, the letter "X" might be more difficult, and we certainly would accept something creative like "x-traordinary", "x-ceptional" as well as something specific like xylophone.  For the letter "Z", you might visit a zoo, see a zebra, or come across something zany as your subject matter.  Hopefully you get the idea.
Unfolding Hibiscus, 2014 by B. Richardson
As you take your photographs, keep lighting, composition and your subject matter in mind.

We are thinking that you can add these photographs to your art journals, your writing journals or make up a whole new journal just for this challenge, whether you art it up, art around it, or write about the experience surrounding the photograph.  We would love to see the end result if you are taking an artful journey with this challenge!

You can take all your photographs on one day or over the course of just a few days if you have the time, take one a day or several a day. Take a drive, take a long walk or walks and carry your prompt list (and idea list!) and see what you can find on these journeys. You can shoot and submit your photographs in any order, beginning MAY 1 thru JUNE 3rd,  but YOU MUST LABEL EACH POSTED PHOTO in the secret group with the hashtag #JSH-A, #JSH-B, #JSH-C, etc. or #JSH-1, #JSH-2, etc for the five bonus categories and tell us what it is we are seeing -- e.g.  #JSH-Q  Quiet scene or QUILT so that we know your photograph applies to the specific A-Z category or bonus group.  If you want to tell us more about where the photo was taken or other information, that would be wonderful.  But your first line in the post should be the hashtag, letter (or #) and subject. 

Weeds are Beautiful, Too  July, 2012 by B. Richardson

Post photographs in the secret group only, not in AJ or AW.  One photograph per letter A-Z, and one photograph per bonus categories only to be judged.  If you choose to submit multiple photographs per category, the first one posted will be judged.  We're happy to see them all, but in fairness to everyone, only the first one posted will be judged.

Each photograph must be posted individually.  No multiple photo posts, and no direct  blog posts.  If you blog about the experience, we are happy for you to share these posts with the group, but your photo entries must be posted individually.  Do not add any labeling, names or dates to your photographs with any editing software so that we can keep the judging fair for all concerned.

  • 1st place:  $50 gift card to Michael's, Hobby Lobby or (winner's choice)
  • 2nd place: $25 gift card to Michael's, Hobby Lobby or (winner's choice)
  • 3rd place: $15 gift card to Michael's, Hobby Lobby or (winner's choice)
Initial judging will be done by the 4 group admins and 10 finalists will be selected, one photo per finalist.  Then the ten photographs selected will be judged by a group of 3 independent persons (that I will select and submit the photos to for review & consideration) who have no personal knowledge of any of the contestants or entries, and the winners will be determined by them. Judging criteria:  photograph composition, representation of the "category," and overall pleasantness/artistry of the photograph.

WINNERS will be announced on Monday, June 6th  in the secret group and shared elsewhere following the close of the challenge.

So commit to joining us on this fun challenge.  We'll all be participating, but admins are ineligible for prizes.  Break out your cameras, and enjoy this artful challenge.  You're going to have fun creating art journal pages, writing about your experience(s) and of course, when you win, shopping with your prize money!

We're keeping it artful!

~Betty, Melody, Lynn and Shana

Friday, March 4, 2016

ARTFUL WRITING: 12 Easy Ways to T-ART Up Your Boring Writing Pages

You don't have to have pages and pages of just writing in your journals.  Why should you?  I can't tell you how many years and journals I have filled with page after page of just plain old boring writing. And I love to write, but looking back, why didn't it ever occur to me to make those pages pretty?

After I started on my journey of mixed media and art journals a few years ago, I started applying some of this knowledge, in a more stripped-down kind of way, to my writing journals, just so they wouldn't be so boring.  Sure, many of us have and use our art journals for "some" journaling, but in a different way. I think our art journals are more "art" oriented, and less about the actual journaling of life's daily events, memories, self-truths and exploration.  I journal for these latter reasons, and I art journal for these same reasons, but in a far more visual and exploratory way.

So today, I wanted to give you all some tips and ideas of how you can tart up your writing journals to keep you interested in journaling every-single-day, and of course make them visually pleasing for you to go back through, next week or even next year.

1.  Use basic supplies like colored inks, pens, markers to create borders on your pages.  These pages I just used two different colors of markers, one with a solid line, one with squiggles; and I added some doodly lettering on Leap Day.

2.  Perhaps add decorative scrap papers around the edges.  On this page, this fancy border was around a picture I had cut out to use on another project. It was too pretty to throw out, and it was just laying on my desk.  This particular day I also used water soluble crayon (NeoColors) to create a quick colored border to go with the paper.

3.  How about adding some doodled or tangled bordersChange the color of your ink.

You can change the whole look of your day just by changing the color of ink you are writing with.  Adding doodled or tangled borders makes the page have a ton more interest, and will help you with your tangle practice, too!

4.  ADD MAGAZINE IMAGE(S) or FOUND WORDS you clipped and saved in that big pile you are "saving" for your art journals but aren't using.  Pick one to go with your "color theme" of the day. In this example, I did both.  This particular page precedes my actual "journaling" and combines numerous other elements, including a journaling card, doodles, a border, a quote, etc.

5.  WASHI TAPE.  You can use it quick and easy, down and dirty.  Tart up some pages while you're watching television.  Grab a few rolls and a pair of scissors.  Presto -- gorgeous!  This page uses skinny tape everywhere. I made a header at the top, down both sides, and across the bottom of the left page.  Note also the doodles, magazine images, use of colored pencils.  These type pages precede my actual journaling pages and often depict things I did during the day or want to record that day.  My days aren't very exciting so I can go a little bit crazy with the tarting up.

6.  ADD A FAVORITE QUOTE.  We all love quotes. We collect quotes.  Record them in your journal. Use a highlighter to make them stand out, or color them up!

7.  RECORD YOUR DAY'S APPOINTMENTS & ACTIVITIES using figural images (stick figures) or doodly images.  Representing your day in an ARTFUL way, might relieve some of the pressure some of you feel about "writing."  I usually make a block on my first page of my "to-do" items. Better than expressing it in a boring way, right?   Yes, I know some of us only  having mundane things to do like cleaning, laundry, taking care of the kids or grandkids.  But wouldn't a cute little sketch of a laundry basket look a lot more fun?  And, you are representing YOUR day, your activities in addition to all that soul searching and deep thinking.  You can find a ton of representational images on Pinterest using the search words: planner icons, stick figures, etc.

8.  SLAP SOME PAINT ON IT.  I have added paint to quite a few of my journaling pages, well, because I could, and I just wanted to do so.  I am currently writing in a Miguel Ruis medium graph journal right now, and the paper is fairly thin, so I have glued 2 pages together on most days just to support whatever I decide to throw at my journal.  Mind you, this is NOT my art journal.  This is my writing journal and also planner that i am doing in the Hobonichi style.  This particular page, I used Dylusions Acrylic and babywipes and had just gotten started working on it when I took this pic, so it was still a work in progress.  The writing surface was super smooth and I have prepped quite a few more for the days ahead.  Note this page also has washi tape, doodled borders and a magazine image on it already. Late night fun for me. LOL.  And here is the finished page.      


I don't add too many stickers to my journaling pages, although I have quite a stash of them.  Not sure why I don't.  Think about stickers that represent what you did that day, what you saw.  Use alpha stickers to add the date and day.  Go ahead, stick on those cute butterfly stickers you've been saving and saving.  Now is a good time! There are lots of options with so many variety of stickers available today.  I think I don't add them because I am really trying to work on my own drawing skills. Yes, that must be it.  But I get lazy, too, so I might start adding more.

10.  USE DECORATIVE RIBBONS, BRADS & OTHER EMPHEMERA.  Just the other day I added some decorative ribbon tape to my journal.  The texture of it was very nice.  I just ran it down both the far left and right margins of my writing pages.  Boom!  Color!

11.  ADD A COLORING PAGE (or part of one).  In this example, I cut up a page out of my "Color Me Calm" coloring book.  It was a mandala that I cut in half.  Half on the preceding planner part of my journal and half on my journaling pages. Big splash of color and it really works and was easy as pie.  (After it was colored, of course).  Going to do some more of these in this journal.  I enjoyed writing around all the work I had spent a few evenings coloring.  A fun way to enjoy it all again.

12.  USE THOSE RUBBER STAMPS!  Okay, I know you  have a big stash of rubber stamps just waiting on a reason to be used.  Add a super cutie to one of your writing pages.  Give it a quick color in with some colored pencils.  Voila!  I went crazy on this planner page part of my journal when that big blizzard hit the northeast.  The snowman, snowflakes, the banner.  I thought it turned out pretty cute considering I did absolutely nothing that day but stay in the house, hiding under my favorite quilt.

So there you go.  Twelve ways you can spice up your writing journals.  You can add visual interest that pleases you. You can do all of these things while you are being a slug on sofa. No big artistic skills required.  And if you are really organized, you can get several days to a week or more done ahead and ready to write (doodle, draw, stamp, color, collage, glue) your hearts out.  I know you guys are all uber-creative and can come up with dozens of more creative ways to make your journaling pages pretty and less boring!

As always, we're keeping it artful, and hope you are too.  Enjoy your journals!

~~Betty aka Arty Auntie

Melody, Lynn and Shana

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tangle Tuesday at Artful Journeys

Hi everyone!  This week we're going to add an official Zentangle Design, called "Zinger" that is so versatile you will want to add it to all  your tangles and doodles in your art journals.  My initial practice of this design led to more and more ideas of how I could use it as a border, a stand alone design, and as an embellishment to other drawings. The list is endless.

In the examples shown by creator Maria Thomas, co-owner of Zentangle and named at CZT Conference 4 by Sue Clark, a couple of different variations are shown in multiple applications.  I know you will have a lot of fun with this one.

You can find the full article HERE and detailed instructions HERE

I can't wait to see how you incorporate this fun and versatile design into your journals and your artwork!

Remember, Zentangle* is a trademarked and copyrighted name of formal and official Zentangle patterns.  We aren't "teaching" you the patterns, only leading you to them each week as an enhancement to to your art repertoire.

As always, keep it artful!



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ARTFUL JOURNEYS - New Weekly Feature!

Starting today, Tuesday January 26, 2016, we're going to add in a new feature to your journaling activities. One in which you can use repeatedly in your journals!


Each Tuesday, we are going to submit a new tangle or official Zentangle (c) design for you to learn. We will start with some easy, basic designs to get you warmed up and progress to more complicated designs.

Zentangle designs are the "official" patterns developed for Zentangle and the term "zentangle" is a registered trademark.  Tangles, Dangles or other such generic derivatives loosely apply to doodles in general. 

Official Zentangle patterns are generally worked in black ink only. It is recommended you use a permanent ink  (see below for recommendations) in the event  you want to colorize in a variety of methods later.  Zentangles are traditionally practiced on 3.5" x 3.5" tiles (you can cut cardstock, Bristol, watercolor paper, etc) to size, use gridded or plain index cards, draw out in your journal or on a practice page or you can purchase these official tiles directly from Zentangle.  You really don't need any special "stuff" other than a good, permanent ink.

We do not intend to reinvent the wheel, and will be using links to Linda Farmer's site because, primarily, the directions are clear, concise and easy to follow and her site is an excellent reference tool.  Linda is a certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) -- yes, you have to be "certified" to teach these designs officially.  We're not teaching them. We are leading you to the water in hopes that you drink, and we can all learn something new to add to our artistic repetoire each week!  I will be learning right along with you.

Recommended Pens:  

  • Sakura Micron Pens.  You will ultimately want assorted pen widths, but an .05 is a good mid-range pen to start.  Perhaps select another that is extra fine, like a .01. 
  • Sakura Gelly Pen, in black.  This pen has a fine point, and works excellently.
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens - Fine and XS are good choices
  • Signo Uniball Pen - micro and bold tips both work well
  • For practice work, you may also want a RED pen.  I use a Sakura Gelly pen.  Your choice.
You can use whatever you want, of course, but I know that these pens will not bleed if you are practicing on thin paper (I do practice squares in my Miguel Ruiz planner, which has very thin paper and is gridded (also helpful).  You could purchase some gridded index cards and practice on those, or just draw out the practice grids into your journal like I did.  I am accumulating quite a collection of separate tiles that I am going to ring bind for future reference as a permanent kind of thing. That's a project for later.  For now, my tiles are living in a recipe box.

When I do a design the first time, as I am prone to mistakes, I use a pencil in lieu of pen for my learning squares for the "black" ink.  I make the second and subsequent strokes with red pen, but you could use a red pencil.  By using two colors, you can see how each Zentangle is formed, step by step.  When I get to the final square, I work the whole pattern in ink, following along the instructions that I have just practiced.  Here's one I did last week in my planner:

There are a number of errors on this.  First, I got the tiles out of order. I didn't do an "inked" final, just the variation in ink.  As  you can see, I did all the study in pencil and ink until the last square. I had many erasures on this tile because I joined the "leaves" (for lack of a better term). I corrected my error and just numbered the tiles for future reference. 

Generally, you can set up a practice grid that consists of 6 individual squares. Each of these squares is 6x6 grid squares, inside a 3.5" x 3.5" "tile". 

Without further adieu, here is this week's pattern.  It's called 4 Corners and was designed by Barbara Finwall.   You can visit the site and read all about it HERE.

Isn't the full Zentangle with variations of this pattern totally awesome?

Please familiarize yourself with Linda's site for all her helpful tips and suggestions.  Start HERE

I'm excited to share this fun and versatile technique with you all each week, and as I said, I will be learning these patterns right along with you each week!

As always, keep your world artful.

~~Betty aka Arty Auntie

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Artful Tactics with Shana - Painting a face using Dylusions paints

Sooooo.... I did the art journal prompt #17 yesterday using the Dylusions paint and the main question I received was how I created the smooth skin and shadows of the whimsy girl face in my spread, so I decided to do a video of just a basic face to show how to create the facial contours using a very basic pallet.

Creating a smooth face with shadows is all about blending so using the Dylusions paints already makes the process easier since they are made to blend. Normally when I do a face I either work quickly so the paint is still blend-able or I mix my mediums so I can blend in the highlights and shadows over top of the paint. Additive can be used if you only want to use acrylic paint like slow-dry mediums or using many wet layers of paint.

I love that I can just use the Dylusions paints without having to hurry or work so hard at blending, I used mainly my fingers to create the blends. In the blog I will show you the step by steps of creating the skin, I will also put the video of the full process below!

The 1st step is to create the outline, these are also the darkest shadows in the face.

I used the the Melted Chocolate to make this outline, Melted Chocolate would be the 1st step in any natural color skin tone.

The second step is to clean the brush and remove the excess water, you still want the brush to be damp.

Using the clean damp brush blend or smooth out the lines, don't worry about it being neat! details come later!

Now its time for the magic to happen, grab your White Linen paint.

Load your brush up and smoosh the paint all over the face, again, it doesn't need to be beautiful at this point!

Here is where we get our hands dirty!

Use your fingers to blend the colors together, I suppose a tool could be used but I have never used one, I just love having painty hands!

if at any time you have trouble blending dampen your finger with water, you do not want dripping water, if you can wet a sponge to use to dampen your finger.

 Apply two dots, these are actually a bit to much, of Postbox Red to the cheeks

and use your finger to blend, the picture on the right is after blending the red in, Note the lack of perfection!

We now need to add another layer of White Linen to tone down the cheeks a bit! again we are blending with out fingers! also at this point if you feel (as I did) the nose is to short or needs additional highlight add a bit more white at the tip and blend up into the forehead.

The last step is to go back to your original base color, in this case the Chocolate Brown, add more shadows and blend if needed.

You can finally pick your brush back up, add your darkest shadowed features, top lip, bottom lip shadow, bottom of nose and the top lash line of the eyes.

You now have a wonderful blank face to add features to! If you watch the video below you can see how I completed the simple faced girl!

Hope you try it! Have fun!!

-Big Hugs and Mushy Stuff

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Artful Tactics with Shana! DecoArt Media Misters

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Dylusions sprays, but sometimes you just want the background to stay put without the extra step of putting a fixative on it. I have found a new love--The DecoArt Media Misters.

The Inks sprays are great, they come in a bunch of colors and the awesome added bonus-- once they are dry they will not be reactivated with wet media you put on top of them! I did a quick video today of some play time with them just to show you how nice they are. I used Hot press watercolor paper and put a base of gesso down on half of it so you could see how it reacts.

The other added bonus is that is if you are like me and always 'forget' to clean your stencils after using inks sprays you don't have to worry about the cross contamination when you use them again because the ink will not reactivate.

I will still use my Dylusions sprays but I love having another awesome medium in my arsenal of creativity!

I hope you enjoy my little video of my playtime!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Finding True Happiness

Yesterday, I watched Oprah Winfrey's Super Soul Sunday with Shawn Achor, author of four books, two most recent publications being The Happiness Advantage and his latest, Before Happiness.  Achor is a graduate of Harvard University, and a leading researcher in Positive Psychology.  Both of these hour-long programs were powerful, uplifting and spoke to me in a way I have never thought about happiness before. I will be re-watching them again and again.  Hooray for TiVo! 

This is rather a long-winded post, but it is important, at least to me, to share this information, and to help you help yourselves.  I am sharing my happiness and this lesson so that you, too, can find this for yourself.

Achor says that the ancient Greeks defined happiness as "The joy that we feel striving for our potential."  And we tend to search for happiness in all the wrong ways.  Happiness tied to tangible things is fleeting. For instance -- if we "just get that raise" or "make that sale" or get "that promotion" - the momentary feeling of happiness is great and wonderful, but dissipates quickly.  True feelings of happiness has to be defined to the way we live our lives.  The true feelings of happiness come from our external circumstances, how we live our lives, how we interact with others, how we spread the joy and happiness around us.  Success and wealth does not always lead to happiness. Optimism is the key.   How we live our lives, how we interact with others, how we share with the world links us inextricably to happiness.

During the course of Oprah's interview, Achor says it doesn't matter if you were born predisposed to being happy or not. It matters not whether you see the glass as half full or half empty, because the "pitcher" is right there, available for you to fill up your glass, and the glass of others at any time.  If we choose to create positive habits in our lives, happiness becomes easier and easier.  The more we connect to other people fills up our glass, and by doing so, it fills the glass of others around us, allowing them to see happiness and be happy too.   And happiness can be a learned condition.  By reinforcing the positive things in your life and being happy, you radiate this happiness to others, helping them choose to be happier.  Choosing to make happiness for ourselves in the present, we make it possible for others to do the same.  You are continually filling your glass. It matters not how you perceive it.  Change your life by choosing happiness

5 habits of "happiness hygiene" were identified.  Everyone has a "happiness bar" -- that level where you feel happiness, joy and contentment.  But you can easily raise the bar by developing happiness habits over a 21 day period of "habit forming."  Remember, we already talked about developing good habits, like writing in  your journal every day.  At the end of the 21 day exercise, you will have formed a habit of gratitude, thankfulness and improved your happiness bar. Keep it up, and keep raising that bar and turning your life to full-on happiness.

1.  Every morning, list three (3) new things you are grateful for.  Put them in your journal; say them out loud to yourself.  Smile more. It changes your brain chemistry, and according to Ophrah, "gratitude can change your vibrational frequency in the world." Gratitude changes what is drawn to you, and shows your mind that your behavior matters.
2.  Identify one (1) meaningful experience that occurred over the last 24 hours. Journal about this experience in full detail, reinforcing how it was meaningful, why it was meaningful and how it made you feel. Do this for 21 days.  Simple changes in our outlook have the power to make us happier.
3.  Write a 2-minute email or message thanking or praising someone. By phone or in person is even better.  Choose a different person every day for 21 days.  You are extending gratitude and happiness to others, and the impact on you and your life are measurably improved by it.
4.  Exercise - by exercising at least 15 minutes a day, you signal your brain that your behavior matters. You free your mind from unnecessary life noise and the endorphins experienced during exercise lighten your mood.  Do something cardio in nature -- even just a simple 15 minute walk.
5.  Meditation - the more time you can spend in stillness or silence reaps exponential benefit.  If you are like me and many others -- your mind won't settle down and is all over the place when trying to "meditate" -- spend 2 minutes watching your breath go in and out.  Your mind and your body will relax.  Again you are reinforcing good body behavior to your brain.

All of these five habits create a positive ripple effect to the people around you and to whom you are connected.

Identify and cultivate parts of your life that are meaningful.  For instance, if you have only one thing in your life that is meaningful (ie your child, your job, a sale, a simple 'thing'), then you are in a very fragile place.  If you have more meaningful parts of your life, you can be buoyed by them and not hit rock bottom when the one singular thing you hold meaningful falls apart.  You can still feel meaning so you can keep moving forward in your life.  You can use these multiple meaningful points to work on the area that is frustrating.  These multiple meaningful areas of your life sustain you with hope, promise and gratitude, to see you through the rough times.

Achor also believes that spirituality is tied directly to happiness. And there are immeasurable avenues for you to explore your spiritual past and your own spirituality.  Spirituality is a way of BEING - not necessarily a way of faith or worship.  It is a way of living. A way of doing. A way of living your life. Your own spirituality will guide you to happiness.  In giving an example based on Romans 2:12, Achor quoted: "No longer conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ... "  There are many versions and translations of this verse in many cultures worldwide, but the thought is the same.  You can change your mind from what is learned from the world, to find good, joy and happiness through study, practice and implementation.  We can learn to be happy, despite the world around us.

Life in our world is bombarded by our hyper-connectivity, making our lives and our brains exceptionally noisy.  Eliminating this "noise" is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to being happy according to Achor.  Our minds are huge noisemakers in our lives. It's that EGO, the constant chatter in our heads that cause us to doubt, fear, and make bad choices.  All that noise is deafening, blocking out the positive signals that are always around us, which blocks us from true happiness.  Clearing your mind of the noise, the worry (which is brain noise) and seeking the quiet time for ourselves, achieved during meditation or quiet reflection, will free us from the negative noise and allow positive thoughts and energy into our brains.  Worry eats away at people's happiness -- and it gets in the way. The brain processes "noise" first (the negative), and then it processes the meaning.  If your brain has a lot of "noise" it never gets the meaning or gratitude in your life.  If you don't block out the noise, this also will up the stress levels of your life,  By decreasing the amount of external noise or information coming into our brains, we can find quiet meaning and a sense of worth and gratitude.

We all know that the world is mostly negative.  The more you "study" the negative and reinforce it, you become it, absorbing that noise.  If you're late for a meeting, you constantly look at your watch, reinforcing the negative. Look for something positive in the face of negativity and negative impacts in your life.  You can always use a mantra as a "noise" canceller.  Quit feeding the noise and focus the brain on things on things to move you forward.

Making us happy right now ...

If you fully visualize something you are looking forward to, a vacation, a special engagement, by living the event fully before it happens, with all the joy and anticipation of feeling 'happy' -- your brain doesn't know the difference between visualization and actual experience.  So if you are visualizing something positive that is going to happen in the future, you are literally doubling the positive effect on your life, causing you to not only feel it when it happens, but helping you to feel it now.  So in effect, that future positive event if affecting and shaping how you feel when you wake up in the morning, and the way you interact with others.

Recognize that happy moments show up in your life for a reason. 
Use random acts of kindness as a happiness multiplier.  We have the power to change the reality around us, by helping others choose happiness.

Happiness requires openness.
  This feeling of happiness is a perception you have to be open to receiving.  You deserve to be happy.  Stop hoping for a singular thing to make you happy. It won't. Create your own happiness by receiving it, creating it for others, being receptive to the moments, the lifestyle and the feeling of gratitude and meaning.  By changing your thought processes to a more positive self image and self awareness, you affect the world around you.

By figuring out what happiness really is, you will redefine what happiness is to you.  Find joy in the every day, the moments, the special people in your lives.  Choose to be happy. Choose to be grateful. Choose to spread happiness out into the world, making your own life more joyful.

I choose these things.  Go forth and be happy.


Want to continue to nurture your soul, your mind and your spirit?  Come join us at ARTFUL WRITING by clicking HERE.  We have probing, mindful and creative writing prompts for each day of the year!