I have been busy getting to know my new home here in Arvada, Colorado this month of April! Many nature outings, walking labyrinths, discovering new eclectic neighborhoods, and enjoying some great restaurants in the area. I am sharing a few photo grouping just from todays outing, this last day of April. I discovered this historic area in West Denver, called The Highlands, where there is a labyrinth underneath a carousal structure from many years ago! The carousal has since been moved to another area in Denver, but the labyrinth is there to walk underneath a very cool steel dome structure. I photographed a cool mural of a black cat, and noticed a unique car filled with colored balls, and people riding in open back having a blast in the Tennyson area. A very eclectic street with many restaurants and galleries and a cultural flavor all its own!
To get back to nature toward the end of my day, I explored a new park in the Lake Arbor neighborhood, with many Canada Geese chilling out in the lake and on the grassy areas. My final destination today was a quick walk at Majestic View Park, and the Labyrinth at sunset, my favorite places and time to get in touch with nature and feel grounded looking at the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the distance. I still have to pinch myself that I live in Colorado, after all these years of dreaming about making it my home! This was just one day in the life of Mars in Colorado, and I look forward to many more adventures to come.
I live each day with this quote in mind by Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!”
Welcome Home MARS! Colorado is now my new Home Sweet Home! I have finally realized my dream of almost 48 years! In the summer of 1974 I traveled cross country to Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains, and always knew one day I would live somewhere in Colorado close to the Majesty of the Mountains. I have on so many occasions attempted to move here, but for whatever reason, the Universe was not in alignment with my dream until now. This time it was so divinely orchestrated I still have to pinch myself as to how it all came about so harmoniously. I have lived here almost one month, and already have enjoyed many adventures, Labyrinth walks, and find myself constantly gasping at the glorious beauty of the snow covered mountains so close by. I have strolled through The Majestic View Park, the Sculpture Field at the Arvada Center, followed the road west to see amazing sunsets over the mountains, and taken some lovely neighborhood walks in the many green spaces nearby. I feel as if my whole world has suddenly opened up, and everything that I have always dreamed of is now at my fingertips. There is so much to explore, so many nearby cities to visit, and so many cultural activities to partake in, the list is long and the excitement in me is palpable.
I created my first digital painting of “Colorado Purple Mountain Majesty” living here in my new home, on the first day of Spring, inspired by the beauty in Arvada, Colorado. I am so excited to experience all the seasons here, and am very grateful to have all these many opportunities ahead of me.
It’s Valentine’s Day, or as I like to say: HEART’s Day! Either way, it is a Happy Day, and is my favorite time of the year, since I am known as Mars “The HEART Lady” after all! Often I find myself going on what I like to call: Heart Hunts, where I find favorite heart shaped treasures, especially a few days after Valentine’s Day, when they are on sale! This year is a bit different though, instead of finding heart shaped treasures, I have found something that I’ve been looking for with all my HEART for the past 9 months, and dreaming about for the past 48 years!
I do believe in miracles, in divine timing, in manifestation prayers with the Universe, and synchronicity for sure! I like to say that the “best is yet to come”, and in this situation I could never have guessed the exact timing of it happening on my favorite day of the year, and on my nine month anniversary living in New York. I have found my next Home Sweet Home in Colorado! I will be starting a new chapter and adventure on March 1st! I feel as if these past nine months were a very challenging gestation period, and I have finally given birth to my dream. Living in New York was only a temporary plan, a bridge, a transitionary time in my life, due to the unfortunate circumstance of having to leave Sedona unexpectedly during the height of the pandemic. Some wonderful memories have been created during our nine month family chapter, but now we go back to our preferred areas. For 45 years we have lived miles apart, my brother on the East Coast and me on the West Coast, or in that direction! I’m sure there will be future visits to look forward to.
Ever since the summer of 1974 when I took a cross country trip throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, I have wanted to live in Colorado one day. It found it’s way into my heart and never left. I visited many times, but the timing just wasn’t right for a relocation. I guess the Universe always knew I would live there one day? I have always loved the quote by Marsha Norman: “Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.” and my own quote: “Dreams are flowers that bloom in your soul”. I have been Colorado Dreamin’ for so long, and now all is coming to fruition and blooming! I know it won’t be perfect, many things are not the same as they were 48 years ago, but the Rocky Mountains are still there in their majesty, and that is where my heart wants to be.
Thank you Universe & Happy HEART’s Day 2022!
This week I took time to remember Thich Nhat Hanh after his passing at 95 years old, by watching many of the beautiful ceremonies around the world, honoring his lifetime of powerful teachings on mindfulness, peace, and revered Buddhist principles.
My life has been enriched beyond measure after learning about and listening to a wonderful interview with Thich Nhat Hanh and Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday in May 2013. I have since read many of his books and wonderful quotes about peace, joy, loving-kindness and compassion. His teachings will live on in my heart eternally, and his legacy will continue to inspire many more hearts and minds worldwide. When you listen to him speak you can’t help but notice that his heart was overflowing with love, joy, compassion and kindness. His heart smile will live on eternally to remind us all that to love one another is of utmost importance in living a beautiful life.
I will include links to the interview that touched my soul, to his Buddhist centers at Plum Village and Dear Park Monastery, and a podcast that I enjoy listening to called: “The Way Out Is In” curated by his Monks at Plum Village in France, it is very enlightening and meditative.
I have shared some of my favorite Thich Nhat Hanh quotes designed with my original HEARTwork and a link to my book: Mars Mindful Moments that include some of his quotes and others.
Here are some links to the interview, podcast, and writings by Thich Nhat Hanh:
A list of all books and calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh can be found on the Plum Village website at: plumvillage.org
My current favorite book is a thought provoking gem of a book entitled: TRUE LOVE ~ Here is a link to check it out on amazon: https://amzn.to/3HhxXp9
The Podcast: “The Way Out Is In”: https://plumvillage.org/podcasts/the-way-out-is-in/
The Oprah Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ9UtuWfs3U&ab_channel=PlumVillageApp
Dear Park Monastery in Escondido, California and Plum Village in France are mindfulness practice centers that are high on my bucket list to visit one day!
Celebrating this 365th day in 2021 with some of my favorite creations in this collage! Original Acrylic Paintings and Digital Art Creations by MARS, completed in Sedona, Arizona and New York. In early 2021 while living in Sedona, I was inspired to paint three canvases, entitled: New Dawn/Inauguration, Blossom Heart, and Hope Springs Eternal/Jacaranda Tree. I also completed a project in New York entitled Rock Art Abstracts, and did a few other digital creations. Not included in this collage are a few fun watercolor paintings attempted in an en plein air autumn workshop.
Now I am looking forward to 2022 to see the next 365 days of inspiration that arises in my heart & soul! See you later 2021…..it has been challenging for so many, let’s hope 2022 will be a year filled with abundance, prosperity and pandemic free.
Mother Nature has begun to put on a spectacular show of her true Autumn colors here on Long Island the past few weeks. This visit to Mill Pond was breathtaking and rejuvenating for my soul. It has been many years since I have experienced Autumn on the East Coast in New York State. I grew up in Buffalo and fondly remember scrumptious autumn colors there, but it has been almost 5 decades since I lived there. My GPS encouraged me to move to the West Coast in 1977 after a massive blizzard. I lived in Southern California for almost 3 decades, never looking back except for annual family visits to Buffalo, and on Long Island. I also lived in Portland, Oregon for almost 8 years and enjoyed beautiful autumn colors especially at the gorgeous Japanese Gardens.
Now it has been five months since I have made New York my temporary home, ever since having to leave my home in Sedona, AZ this past May. It has been quite the adaptation to say the least! Next week is daylight savings time, not something I’ve been used to for almost 8 years living in Arizona! Hopefully my new full spectrum lamp will help add a daylight effect for the dark days of winter coming! I have no idea where my next adventure will take me, I await the Universe to reveal all the details! In the meantime, I am grateful to experience this glorious nature here on Long Island.
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” Helen Keller
I have been inspired to photograph and digitally paint these lovely rock specimens compliments of Mother Nature! I discovered a sweet neighborhood park that has various sized rocks along the river bank, and began photographing them for their interesting and unique markings. I am used to the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, and these are nothing like them, these are New York grey rocks! I have found several that are heart-shaped or with heart markings that of course excited me, being Mars The “HEART Lady”!
I am enjoying the first week of this beautiful autumn season in New York, and continue to explore and become inspired by my new area. The trees are getting ready to show off their true colors of the season, but for now I paint these sweet rocks! I am grateful for this healing gift of inspiration from Mother Nature! Click on the images to purchase prints on Fine Art America.
Today is the last day of August 2021, it doesn’t seem possible that summer is coming to an end already, and autumn will begin in 22 days! This has been a summer I will never forget, living on Long Island since mid-May, having to adapt to the hot, humid, and almost hurricane weather! It has been very challenging for me after living on the West Coast for 45 years and being accustomed to a very different climate. Somehow I have survived, and even at times thrived! In the past few weeks I have discovered a lovely nature area where I have been able to capture some amazing sunset photos. The best part about it has been seeing Heart Clouds in the sky each time I have gone there, reminding me that I am still the HEART Lady, just not of Sedona anymore! I am MARS “The HEART Lady” of NY! Heart clouds are still following me wherever I go! It brings such joy to my Heart-Soul, a word I have adopted as my own.
My Heart and Soul are one, so I have joined the words together to form a union, since for me they surely belong together. My Heart-Soul experiences many different emotions, sometimes joyful and sometimes sorrowful. This past summer has been filled with both emotions, but mostly sorrow, and feeling wounded to the core. But, I hang on dearly to the moments when I feel joyful and happy, knowing that I have the capacity to feel both, and hopefully will feel the later more often than not. For most people it takes a long time to adapt to major life changes, moving to a new city, adjusting to a new environment, and being out of your comfort zone, are all very difficult. Most of the time, these past 3 1/2 months since moving from AZ to NY, I have been in survival mode. I have been so very homesick most of the time, grieving the loss of my home, and feeling down deep in my heart-soul that I want to go home, but it’s not possible. I have good days and bad days, but at the three month mark I noticed I may have turned a corner, and now I feel much more accustomed to my new life and environment.
Taking it one step at a time, I have been getting familiar with the area, networking, meeting new people, getting my library card, and happily discovering neighborhood parks to enjoy moments in nature. I found a lovely bench, a tree that I will adopt for all the seasons to photograph, and a perfect spot to take amazing sunset photos. And best of all, the Heart clouds have found me! This evenings sunset photo with the giant heart cloud in the sky, was surely a moment of serendipity that delighted my heart-soul. I believe the Universe is always at work designing our lives with a touch of serendipity, it’s always there, you just have to look for it.
At this juncture my life feels very complicated! I think many of us have periods of time when life can be mysterious and complicated. When you add on the uncertainty factor it can become overwhelming for planning or decision making. These three words have similar meanings for my life right now. The word mysterious is similar to uncertainty, since it means: unknown, disguised, unclear, but also with a twist of serendipity which makes it a bit enticing to me. The word complicated causes me to feel perplexed, and sometimes stressed, and without clarity since the outcome is unknown or uncertain. The word uncertainty, causing fear, lack of control, doubt, confusion, and as with the other words, meaning without clarity, and with unknown outcomes.
I am at a crossroads in my life and need to start taking some reconnaissance trips for exploration of where my next home will be, but I hesitate to make the final plans because of these alarming Covid-19 variants still causing so much uncertainty. Making any travel plans outside of the country is even more daunting with all the different protocols changing continually with Covid-19. Let’s face it, planning has been challenging during this entire pandemic!
The question is…..what to do in the meantime? I want to make plans, but I don’t want to get excited, and then have to cancel them. Travel insurance only goes so far, and with Covid-19 there is very limited coverage. Staying put and being on hold is so frustrating, and just adds to the feelings of being uncertain and out of control. Thankfully I have my creative outlets that allow me a way to express myself, as in this digital painting I have entitled: It’s Complicated! All the scribbles and lines represent my mind attempting to make decisions in this time of uncertainty. The white hearts represent me surrendering to the reality and offering loving-kindness and compassion to myself and the entire world. The blocks that have no scribbles represent hope and clarity.
Eventually we will get beyond these uncertain barriers in our life and start planning and traveling like we used to do before pandemic life changed everything in 2020. Patience is a virtue, and we are all becoming pros at being patient living with this uncertainty. I look forward to the day when hopefully we will be able to see all the positive outcomes that will arise out of one of the most uncertain periods in our history.