A few years back, I read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and started a habit of what she calls “Morning Pages.” Her suggestion is to get up early each day and write three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness morning writing. To help you be a better artist, she asks that you use these pages to rest, to dream and to try.
I have to say, making a commitment to this habit has been nothing less than life changing for me. I sincerely believe all the research on journaling and have even experienced some of these incredible benefits:
Improves immune function. Expressive writing can strengthen your immunity and decrease your risk of illness. It’s even been reported to help wounds heal faster.
Reduces stress. Journaling can make it easier to unwind, and feel more optimistic.
Keeps memory sharp. It helps your brain function at its best, improves memory and comprehension.
Boosts mood. It gives you a greater sense of emotional well being and happiness.
Unlocks and engages right-brained thinking. This can bring better balance to your life, spark innovation and enhance problem solving.
You might want to give it a try. Just think about setting aside a time and place to start your journal. Give a voice to your dreams and aspirations and a safe space for all your hurts and disappointments. It’s very powerful.
Believe it or not, as a result of this daily habit, my husband and I started our whimsical stationery line, Hooray For The Underdog!, that celebrates and supports rescue animals.
We all want to be seen, heard, loved and respected. What better way to express that to someone you care about, than through a sincere thank you note. In a world filled with texts and emails, I just love getting something handwritten in the mail. And I believe, most of the people in my life feel the same way. I was asked, how I go about writing a thank you note. Here are a few thoughts.
Picking The Perfect Card
First thing I think about is the person I’m writing to, and pick out a card based on what they like. For me, as co-creator of Hooray For The Underdog!, it usually involves whether they’re a cat or dog person. Do they like big or little dogs? Are they into bright colors? Or do they like black and white?
Once I’ve picked the card, I start with a short opening sentence, that says thank you, without actually using those words.
I’m so grateful to you!
Nothing makes me happier than having lunch with you!
You are, by far, the best at choosing the perfect gift for me!
Then I add another sentence or two about the gift (or what they’ve done) and why I love it so much.
How did you know that I’m such a fan of Pink Peonies? I have loved them all my life.
The grilled cheese sandwiches at Toulouse are to die for!
I can’t think of anything that I like better than beautifully scented candles.
I usually close with another “Thank you.” and something that lets that person know how important they are to me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re the best friend I could ever hope for!
You have such an exceptional gift for making me feel loved and special.
Don’t forget to review your spelling and grammar and be extra careful to spell his/her name correctly. I always write everything out on a scratch pad first. This may seem like it takes too much extra time, but it saves me from crossing stuff out on the actual card.
In the end, I concentrate on writing something sincere and straight from my heart. When it comes to thank you notes, honesty and a real effort to show your appreciation is all you really need.
A few years back I had an awful experience I thought would “never happen” to us. Joe and I were on vacation in Colorado. We left our elderly dog, Bibi, who hates to travel, with a highly-recommended petsitter. We were having a wonderful time Continue reading →
A little Maltese mix with a sweet, happy and gentle disposition, this handsome guy lost his home as a part of the West, Texas plant explosion. Dexter has a very manageable medical condition that requires daily medication. It costs about sixty cents a day.
Won’t you give Dexter a much needed chance? He is available for adoption through Operation Kindness.
Won’t you walk with us Saturday, April 27th. You and your pooch will have loads of fun while raising money for the SPCA of Texas. Just click on the photo and it will take you directly to our team page on the Strut Your Mutt website. If you want to ride with Janet Healey, please call me at 214-231-0991. We’ll be meeting at my studio around 7:30 am.
Unfortunately, as happens occasionally, I was adopted and returned. Sometimes you just have to try on a few families before you find the right fit. My picture says it all…beautiful redhead with a happy-go-lucky personality who will do anything for a bully stick. Also, I’m quite social and OK with cats. Just no kids under 16. You’ll even find I bond very quickly to my human and love to lay my head on your lap while you watch TV.
Won’t you give a lovely Irish girl another much needed chance? Metroplex Mutts
Joe and I began our love affair with Underdogs many years ago when we shot some black and white photographs of shelter dogs, hoping to raise money for animal welfare, and maybe even get the dogs adopted.
We wanted to do something to let the world know that these dogs were just as good, sometimes even better than their pick-of-the-litter counterparts. Our idea was to use our time and talent to illustrate their indomitable spirit – in spite of the fact that no one wanted them. From these humble beginnings, Hooray For The Underdog! was born.
We hope these images will inspire you as they have inspired us…that the stories of loss and recovery will move you…and that you may know the joy of sharing your life with an Underdog, too.