I’ve been busy and my healing journey.

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Miriam speaks of her healing journey.  I have been very busy and it’s all been a bit too much.  So I missed my post yesterday.  But slowly I heal.

It’s been three days of anxiety because I have had appointments and it’s been my birthday.  First I went out with a friend, then I had people come over, then my daughter had a dentist appointment and today I have a doctor’s appointment.  All stressful and anxiety builders.  My way to cope is to block everything out, do what I have to do, stay calm and just get it done and get home.  My safe place is home.  But now at home all I am doing is reading.  My anxiety is so high that I can’t concentrate on anything else.  And I don’t do anything else but read.  It would be good to do some mindfulness I think.  So I’ll try this afternoon.  Maybe I’ll stop blocking then and try to heal.  It’s just been too much.

But slowly I heal.  I have less anxiety about going out or having people over.  I use positive counter statements to help.  And now I believe in the positive counter statements more than my fears which is good.  Slowly I heal.

An afternoon treat…my healing journey.

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Miriam now speaks of her day.  A day of healing.

I went out with a good friend today…I can say my best friend now.  We haven’t seen each other since before Christmas.  It took all my courage to face my anxiety and fears and just do it!  It was a gift to myself.  I was sort of numb inside but I did it.  And nothing bad happened!  We were alright and spent an enjoyable lunch together.

I had been painting for my daughters and thought of her often because I had promised to paint a portrait of her dog.  She had four paintings/drawings to choose from and chose two pastels.  One was with the old technique I use and one was with a new paper and therefore a new technique.  I was surprised she liked the new technique but she said it had a softer quality to it.  It was done with U-art paper.  So thinking of her I finished all the portraits and invited her out for lunch.  She treated me too but that’s another story.

The important thing is that I faced another fear today with courage.  I am slowly digging deep and realizing that yes I do have courage.  My counselor told me to make a paper mache mask of a warrior.  Which I am doing now.  It had to dry.  Now I’m ready to paint it.  I’ll paint gems on it too!

Until next time…

World Leaders to Discuss the Fate of Snow Leopards on August 24

Important!

The Jaguar

Snow Leopard by Skeeze. Public Domain CC0 1.0

A critical meeting is taking place on Thursday, August 24. Delegates and heads of state from all twelve snow leopard (Panthera uncia) range countries are coming together for the Global Snow Leopard Summit, where they will be discussing the fate of this mythic cat.

These world leaders will be meeting in the Kyrgyz Republic, and they will be joined by experts from various fields. Their goal is to assess the state of snow leopard conservation, update a key document called the Bishkek Declaration, and strategize for the future. They will discuss ongoing threats to snow leopards, ways to bolster funding for the cats’ conservation, and how to sustainably increase rural peoples’ livelihoods.

This last element is key, because many human communities within the snow leopard’s range are extremely poor. They are also heavily reliant on livestock. So when…

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Running Cheetah Pastel Painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Running Cheetah pastel painting.  It was a challenge to paint.  Painting helped soothe her anxiety.  Enjoy!

The power of the cheetah is seen in the bunched muscles of this lesser cat.  The challenge was to know where the muscles were.  The yellow brown of the cheetah contrasts well with the beige of the background.  Pieces of stone thrown up in the air give this painting more depth.

The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world.  It can reach speeds of 70 mph (110 km/h) which is the speed of a car.  It takes a cheetah just three seconds to reach it’s maximum speed.  I painted this painting because of the sheer power of the cat that it portrays.  I am in awe of the cheetah’s power.  Cheetah’s are dangerously close to extinction as can be seen in this post.

Painting soothes my anxiety.  I loose myself in the painting.  While you are painting the subconscious works on what is bothering you and helps you deal with it.

Painting the cat was difficult because of the spots and the muscle layers.  I will be doing a graphite drawing next of a cheetah and will really concentrate on the different muscle groups.  The beige in the background was easy to lay down.  The pebbles were a bit tricky as was the dark of the dirt that’s been pushed up off the ground.

This is an approximately 12×18″ painting.  Please see the shop now option and click on portfolio if you are interested in purchasing it!  Enjoy!

Courage and Mindfulness.

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Today Miriam talks of her meeting with her counselor.  They talked of courage and women that were heroes.  Miriam also started doing mindfulness sessions again.

My counselor and I talked of heroes.  I don’t know many heroes.  I thought of movie characters like Eowyn of Lord of the Rings or Laura Croft of Tomb Raiders.  Then I tried to think of other heroes.  One was Madame Cure because she won a Nobel Peace Prize.  Then I thought of Mahala the Afghan young women that stood up for education of women and was shot by the Taliban in her own country.  My counselor knew her name.  Then my counselor suggested Nujood Ali who obtained a divorce from an arranged marriage at the age of ten.  Both of Mahala and Nujood have written a book.  I will be buying Nujood’s book soon.  So all of these women exhibited great courage to do what they did.  The last two especially so because they are so young.  I am courageous too.  It takes a lot of courage to face my fears.

My counselor told me to make a warrior’s mask next.  I will make it out of paper mache.  I will paint it and paint jewels on it.  It will be my mask of courage.

I had my cup of hot tea with milk afterwards.  I just sat there and tried to remember the important parts of the conversation.  Then I looked up Nujood’s and Mahala’s boos on Amazon.  I still have to go out and get a balloon to make my mask tomorrow.  And I’ll be buying Nujood’s book.  Courage my friend.  Heal my friend heal!

I couldn’t read.  I just needed some time to think.  And instead of painting I did some mindfulness.  The stilling of the mind to listen and concentrate on your breath.  A time of healing.  I also listened to the introduction to yoga.  I am going to try and do yoga every morning before I start my day.

I am facing a new fear and I am using the chart below.  Slowly I am exposing myself to that fear repeatedly and as I do so, my initial fear subsides.  Slowly I heal.

Record of Fears, Beliefs and Thoughts

Until Thursday…take care!

Pet Portrait Pastel Painting.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to release her Pet Portrait pastel painting.  I painted this portrait at a time of mixed feelings.  Art can be very therapeutic.  Slowly I heal.

The eyes of the great dane draw the attention of the viewer.  The light and dark grey hues of this magnificent dog contrast well with the blue background.  The white of the muzzle contrasts well with the black of the nose.  The muscular body shows the size of the dog.

I had mixed feelings while painting this portrait.  Joy and fear.  I was dealing with one of my fears.  I felt joy thinking of the friend that I painted this portrait for.  I am looking forward to seeing her.  Painting helps to soothe anxiety and can bring joy at the same time.

The blue reflection in the eye drew the attention of the viewer as did the white reflections.  The background was a lot of work.  I lightened it to the right as you would in a proper portrait.  The shades of grey were difficult to do properly.  Yet I had to go back over it and make the darker greys more prominent.  The slight blue hue on the dog is appealing to the eye and brings harmony to the portrait.

This item is a gift for a friend.  I do paint pet portraits if you are interested.  Dog, cat, horse, lizard or rat.  This is a 12×18″ original pastel painting.  It would be more expensive framed.  However I matte the picture when I frame it.  Internationally it would be better to ship the unframed painting.

Enjoy!

A new relaxation technique…

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Miriam speaks of a new relaxation technique.  It can be used at home or in a park when you are feeling stressed.  I also include a couple of variations to it.  (Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash)

Lately I have been feeling stressed.  Doing a lot of things with appointments, sometimes more than one per day and two days in a row.  This causes anxiety for me.

The relaxation technique is as follows.  Sit in a comfortable position on something comfortable and think of a river in the forest.  Now find a rock beside the river and sit down.  As you are sitting there you notice leaves floating on the river.  Many leaves.  Pick one up and put a worry onto it.  Now place it back in the stream and watch it float away with your worry.  Pick up another leaf and place a different worry on the leaf.  Place it back in the stream and watch it float away.  Keep doing this with your worries.  Sometimes you may see a group of leaves stuck together.  Pick one up and look at the worry.  As you do this watch all the other worries wash away.  Place your leaf in the stream and watch it wash away all the way down the stream.  Be still.  Think of the stream and all your worries are gone!

A variation to this relaxation technique is to fill balloons with your worry and then release them all into the air.  And your worries are gone.  Or fill train box cars with your worries and then watch the train leave and all your worries go with it.

I have decided to incorporate a twenty minute mindfulness session into my day twice a week.  Then I may do it three times a week.  But at first I want to get a routine going.  At the same time I can watch my thoughts and see what my mind is worried about.  Watch my thoughts and figure out what is bothering me.

Until next time…enjoy your evening!

My healing journey…

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Miriam speaks quickly of her healing journey.  I am writing the story about me fighting evil.  It is therapeutic.  I have redesigned my shield, sword and dagger.  Slowly I heal.

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I have redesigned my shield, sword and dagger with black onyx stone, rose quartz stone and amethyst stone.

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Black onyx stone is a grounding, strengthening and centering stone.  It strengthens you when you are challenged and weak.  It eases your fears when they are the strongest and banishes negativity.  Rose quart raises self esteem and gives you a strong sense of worth.  It is the heart or love stone.  Amethyst enhances psychic powers and protects travellers.  So in adding the stones I am adding to the strength and magic of my shield, sword and dagger.

I have bought myself a stone similar to black onyx.  A grounding and centering stone to wear every day.  I have also bought rose quarts and amethyst.  I even have an amethyst bracelet to wear on days to heighten my meditative powers.  I have decided to start at least one half hour of mindfulness per day.  I need to center my thoughts so as to watch what is affecting me or what my mind is wanting me to work on.

I wrote a bit about fighting against Owen…the one who represents evil in my story.  I haven’t been able to write much and I haven’t defeated him.  The men who protect me and I battle against Owen and his men to protect men, women and children from him and to protect ourselves.

Slowly I heal…

Elephant Watercolor.

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Miriam’s Art is pleased to exhibit her Elephant watercolor painting.  It is World Watercolor Month!  She painted this elephant at a time of moderate stress.  It soothed her anxious mind.

The glint on the dark grey elephant’s eye immediately draws the viewers attention.  The eye contrasts well with the different hues of grey of the elephants face, ear and partial trunk.  The dark ridges of the elephants skin contrast well with the surrounding grays.  The stark white of the elephant’s tusk contrasts well with the surrounding grays.  The gray elephants ear in the the background and the white tusk is in the foreground.  The overall grey of the elephant is very attractive.

I painted at a time when I was facing my fear of going for a walk.  I saw a suspicious man who made me fear.  The thought that they aren’t after me soothed that fear.  Painting helped my subconscious deal with that fear.  It also prepared me for painting my best friend’s dog’s portrait.  As I painted for my daughter’s I thought of my friend.  The fear of seeing my friend and perhaps identifying her as my friend to bad people is the next fear I’ll have to deal with as my next painting will be her dog’s portrait.  I painted this painting for my daughter.  If you paint for one daughter you have to paint for them all!  LOL.  Now they will all have some of my work framed and on their wall!

I used an initial gray wash for this painting.  It worked well except for the ear.  I had to work a lot around the ear to get that large light gray area.  The frisket helped to keep the glint in the eye and the tusk white.  The wrinkles in the trunk were relatively easy to paint dark over the lighter gray.

This painting is not for sale.  It’s for my daughter who loves elephants!  Enjoy!

The Snow Leopard: Ghost Cat of the Mountains

Great post…

The Jaguar

Snow Leopard by Steffiheufelder. CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

This is an important time for snow leopards (Panthera uncia). In August, representatives from all 12 snow leopard range countries will be meeting in Kyrgyzstan for the Global Snow Leopard Summit. The Snow Leopard Trust has started a petition to urge the leaders at this meeting to strengthen their commitments to save snow leopards, which you can view here. Therefore, this seems like the perfect time to release a quick-facts guide to this most enchanting of cats.

Population Status

No one knows for sure how many snow leopards remain in the wild, but the total is thought to be between 4,500 – 10,000 (Panthera, 2016b). That number is falling, and snow leopards are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The wild snow leopard population has likely fallen by at least 20% in the…

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