Three Things

Sugar-n-Cream-web‘Petit Point’
11″x14″ Oil on Canvas
by Cheryl Peddie

At the beginning of 2012, I began a journal called ‘My three things’. Each night I’d write out three things that made me feel really good that day. Well, maybe it wasn’t every night; more like as close to every night as I could – I’m no night owl. It was a peaceful way to end the day. And even if it were a trying one, there always seemed to be some little thing that would pop into my memory. Some nice little moment that, when put to paper, seemed to resurrect the day from the dreaded ‘wish I’d just have stayed in bed’ pile.

My new 2013 journal however remains blank-paged. Don’t really know what it is; the chain some how got broken. And I’m missing it. I remember last year, when I’d have a low day or two, I’d page through that journal and remember all the little shiny bits of days that I treasured enough to write them down. Moments that without my journal, would have been lost in the blur of all the ‘had-to-do’s’, like grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, or pumping gas when I was already late for a meeting. And it always lifts my spirits, soothes me or helps me relax. Never fails.

So I thought perhaps I should begin my journal again, though this year, right here – in a new venue. These are some more of the reasons why I paint. So, here they are – three things that made me feel good today:

1) Finally buying myself a new heated throw. So yes, it’s got a gigantic logo for the Winnipeg Jets on it. (Hockey’s the one with a puck, right?) But it was one of the last few at Wal-mart so I grabbed it. Nothing feels better than cranking it up and burrowing down in the sofa cushions. Bliss.

2) Washing my Shih Tzu, Emma’s ‘bankie’ for her. She knew exactly what I was doing – watched carefully as I tucked it into the washer. And when it came out of the dryer and I fluffed and folded it up on her sofa spot, she flopped about in it with glee. Guess it’s just like clean sheet day for humans.

3) Hot cocoa and those teeny marshmallows. They’re made of the same stuff as the big ones, but they just taste better, you know?!

Thanks so much for reading. If it inspires you to begin your own ‘Three Things’ journal, let me know in the comments below. Take care. Cheryl

Renewal comes with 4 paws

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I was pretty wrecked from a busy week the other afternoon. So, I thought I’d have a snuggle with my ever-snuggly Shih Tzu Emma (aka Emma Wigglewags). (That’s her above) So I was lying there trying to relax while giving Emma her requisite tummy-rub time. IMG_0435

But I began to get fidgety and anxious after a while because this wasn’t relaxing me at all. I was still thinking about work. I mean, I was loving our snuggle but I just couldn’t relax. But, somehow in that moment, something clicked in that I wasn’t paying any attention to how I was feeling. I was thinking about Emma, and enjoying our time together. But I wasn’t thinking about what this was doing for me even though I was doing it to try and relax. And then suddenly I realized that my feelings did matter right then. Not at the exclusion of hers of course. But I could pay attention to my own feelings at the same time as thinking about hers. It’s not a mutually exclusive kind of thing. My feelings mattered in that moment. And once that registered, I started to notice and allow myself to feel how comforting soft fur and her warm little tummy was, and how the smell of her freshly-bathed furriness felt so soothing; and that the sun felt good as we lay there snuggling.

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At this point I’m sure lots of folks would probably think I’m navel-gazing. I also know I’m talking about my dog and me. (Oh that’s Tucker, our other little one, on the right above) But I think this applies to those of us without the advantage of four paws and a tail too. Hang in there with me…

Once I started allowing myself to lean into and embrace the importance of my own feelings – being comforted, soothed and warmed, it somehow filled me up with the renewal I was seeking. And without recognizing that, my lovely moment with Emma didn’t have a ‘snowball’s chance in …’ of changing my stressed out feeling.

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And here’s the really intriguing thing. Once I was able to flow with it, I had twice the patience, twice the connection with her and was able to give her even more love than I thought I already was. So she ended up getting a super-duper tummy rub and ear scratch… she was in doggie paradise! Which made me feel even more relaxed and joyful than just noticing my feelings already made me! Again yes I know she’s a dog, but try it out with your own unfurry (or furry) loved ones. It’s a transformative kind of thing.

Thanks for reading everyone, take care. Cheryl