Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. ~ Louie Schwartzberg

For many people, art is something that is comforting and inspiring.  When we have an open mind and an open heart, many possibilities exist and we are able to find solutions to our problems.  Nature is all around us and is forever beautiful.  Without even realizing it, we can often find the answers to our questions right outside our door.  We just need to embrace gratitude.

I invite you to take ten minutes to watch this TED Talk video by Louie Schwartzberg which is a beautiful expression of nature unfolding live right before your eyes.  I’m sure you will be grateful you did.  Happy Spring!    ~ J.J.

BUTTERFLY BEAUTY

imagesCAF480VF       “Butterflies can’t see their wings.  They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can.”   -Author Unknown

People are like this too.  When we are unable to see ourselves from the inside out, we actually close ourselves off from the many possibilities that exist.  We have so many beautiful strengths and gifts already inside of us that can lead to anything we are truly passionate about.  Imagine the word “courage” being a beautiful butterfly inside of you with all its colours, strength and perseverance.  If you could only take a step back and start seeing what everyone else is seeing inside of you and realize you already have the beauty, power and determination to spread your wings and fly.  Courage and fear always go hand in hand.  Don’t let fear stop you here though.  The true meaning of courage is to be afraid, but with your body shaking and your heart pounding, to get up and move forward anyway.  Even if you are the only one who understands this, it is the most inspiring way of being able to advance yourself to your highest potential in your life.  When you make a decision or take on an action where a risk is involved whether that may be actual or imagined fear, it becomes the driving force beneath growth.  Another element that co-exists with courage and fear is vulnerability.  In order to be courageous, we must be vulnerable and put ourselves out there along with the fears of being judged and ridiculed by others, even by our friends and family.  This is often easier said than done.  However, vulnerability if seen in a positive light is actually the birthplace for innovation, creativity and change.  Imagine Steve Jobs not being vulnerable and deciding not to express his idea for Apple?  What would have happened?  Since he was vulnerable and had the courage to speak up and follow through on his ideas, despite the critics, look at what happened!  We need to realize that we are all human and we are all afraid of the exact same things and it doesn’t matter if you are an average citizen or a famous person.  The trick is to believe in yourself and remain positive about your beauty, power and determination like the butterfly.  We can achieve this by stopping the external comparisons of others in order to have high self-esteem and start by being more self-compassionate by speaking kindly to ourselves while accepting all of our strengths and weaknesses as they are.  Consider this famous quote by T.S. Elliot; “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” The beautiful Monarch butterfly is able to fly from Canada to Mexico every fall for the winter.  Now that is something.   What gifts do you have that everyone else can see but you can’t?    -JJ