Archive for ‘Inspiration’

A Few Days in Vienna

I traveled to Vienna/Wien for the first time recently and couldn’t stop saying “wow” everywhere I turned. The City seemed to have everything I love – coffee shops, paper stores, beautiful buildings, mass transit, bakeries, friendly people, spice sellers, live music and theater, parks, bookstores, monuments to musicians… I was there for only a few days and would love to return. Here’s a few pictures from my whirlwind tour.

I will leave you with this lovely card they gave me in Wiener Seife, a shop selling soap. In English the card says “The very best here on earth is to be loved by you. “

The Paradox of our Age by the Dalai Lama

I purchased this scroll at least 10 years ago from Project Tibet while on a family vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The scroll contains a writing by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The sentiment is still very relevant.

Dalai Lama Quotes ~ Cotton Canvas Scroll ~ "The Paradox of Our Age" ~ Natural White Color

The scroll is available on Amazon.com if you would like to purchase a copy. It is a nice quality scroll made of cotton with wooden dowels and cloth tassles. The scroll which can be hung by the top ribbon or easily rolled up.


Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  So if you make a purchase from a link I provide to Amazon I earn a commission.

Making Soap With Meraki

Meraki – a Greek word which in English means to do something with passion, love and undivided attention.

Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

Making soap has recently become my favorite passion project. Creating soap is creative and unpredictable. There seem to be an infinite number of ingredients that you can add to change the color, fragrance and texture. Soap is also useful and I can try out my creations every time I take a shower or wash my hands.

For Mother’s Day my daughter sent me the book Milk Soaps: 35 Skin-Nourishing Recipes for Making Milk-Enriched Soaps, from Goat to Almond by Anne-Marie Faiola and I’m very excited about trying out the techniques shown in the book. The soap pictured above is made using the Circling Taiwan Swirl technique shown in the Milk Soap book and on Ms. Faiola’s Soap Queen website.


Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  So if you make a purchase from a link I provide to Amazon I earn a commission.

Nirvan Mudra Card

From the card deck “Mudras for Body, Mind and Spirit” by Gertrud Hirschi

One of my yoga teachers lets us randomly select a card before class from a card deck called Mudras for Body, Mind and Spirit: The Handy Course in Yoga The teacher suggests that we set an intention based on the card. This week I picked the Nirvan Mudra card of longing and yearning. The back of the card had an interesting and complex description that I have been thinking about, especially the part about moving up the spiral.

My feelings of longing and yearning are usually for people and places from my past. For example, summers bring a yearning for my grandparents. I vividly remember staying at their house during the summer and going swimming at the town pool or in a nearby river. But I’m interpreting the card’s advice as not to dwell on the past but instead to focus on yearning for future events and even life beyond the present one.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  So if you make a purchase from a link I provide to Amazon I earn a commission.

Be Yourself

Willow City Loop, Fredericksburg, Texas April 2019
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

This cheerful red flower in a sea of bluebonnets reminded me of the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The book was popular when I was about 10 years old. I remember absorbing a message from the book of being yourself and not conforming. I also liked going to the beach and watching the gulls fly, imagining one of them to be Jonathan.

A few days ago my husband and I drove the Willow City Loop between Fredericksburg and Llano in the Texas Hill Country. The multi-colored wildflowers, meandering creek and rocky hills were beautiful.

Willow City Loop, April 2019
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

Changes

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska, July 2018
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

The song “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks beautifully describes the challenge of addressing change and moving through the stages of life. I enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new places. But it’s still hard to leave familiar people and situations. Following are the lyrics to “Landslide.”

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Mmm Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too

Well, I’ve been ‘fraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m gettin’ older, too
I’m gettin’ older, too

Ah, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down

Songwriters: Stevie Nicks

Landslide lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Big Bend National Park Wildflowers

Big Bend National Park April 2019
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

“Bloom where you are planted.” (Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales)

I made a quick trip with friends last week to Big Bend National Park to see the wildflowers. The flowers are especially impressive because the plants appear to be thriving in a very inhospitable environment. This trip was my first time seeing the Ocotillo plants blooming (picture below).

Big Bend National Park, April 2019
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

Appreciating the present

Sunset Station, San Antonio, Texas.
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” Walt Whitman

I walk by this old train station every day without really noticing it. This morning the blue sky, trees leafing out and a new paint job on the building caused me to notice and appreciate the intricate plaster castings on the building. I spend a lot of time thinking about the future and often forget to appreciate the things and people right in front of me.

Sunset Station, built in 1902, stopped functioning as a train station in 1998. The building is now rented out for events.

Front of Sunset Station
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier
West-facing side of Sunset Station.
Photography by Debbie Sultemeier

Yoga Candle

“Prayer is when you talk to God; Meditation is when you listen to God.” by Diana Robinson

I did a relaxing yin yoga class this morning with teacher Cristina at Southtown Yoga Loft and she recited this quote. My prayers are usually requests for something so this quote reminds me to also take time for quiet and gratitude.

I’ve been making personalized soy wax candles for friends and family. This candle for Cristina contains lemongrass essential oil. I infused the soy wax overnight with turmeric root powder for the cheerful yellow color. The square mason jar is from AAA Candle.