A Journey of Discovery

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hi Everyone,

For many years I have made a practice of looking for the blessing in every situation, especially difficult ones. This practice helps me stay grounded in gratitude, and when I am grounded in gratitude it is easier to reach out in love to everyone I encounter. And for me, LOVE is what life is all about… and life is worth celebrating.

I believe that there are always blessings to be found… and it is easier to find them when you are open to possibility. In creating Zenspirations designs, there are infinite possibilities… so many ways to combine inspiring, uplifting thoughts with simple illustrations. To me, being able to awaken each morning and be able to start the day with a pen in my hand is a huge blessing. I wanted to share a page out of my sketchbook with you… there are a lot of concepts included in the rough sketch below… and someday I might turn one or two of then into a more finished design… but not every piece has to be colored– or even finished. For those of you who like to draw, letter, journal or write… I encourage you to discover what a pleasure it is to devote time to a creative pursuit.

I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself on my own journey… one of which is how much I enjoy connecting with other people; these connections open me up to new possibilities. So THANK YOU ALL for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me… I am deeply grateful. 

For those of us who live in America, Thanksgiving is next week, and I’m already thinking about my Thanksgiving post. I’m wondering if you would rather see

1. A piece about gratitude.

2. A Thanksgiving design that you can print out and color.

3. A post where I show a design and explain how I created it so you can try the technique yourself. 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you prefer… I will work on whichever gets the most votes!

Speaking of voting, I tallied the votes that were cast about what I should name the technique I showed last week, and it wound up being a tie between Rooted in Love and Zenthesis… so I’m casting the tie-breaking vote for (drum roll, please!) Zenthesis. Which means that I’ll be sending a signed book AND a print to Sue O’Mullan (Sue, you’ll have to tell me which book you want– you can find them by going to the SHOP button on my website — www.zenspirations.com– and clicking books). I’ll be sending prints to the others who came up with great options.

And now I have a favor to ask… if you are going to be hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and you have extra room at your holiday table, please think about inviting someone who may not have anyplace else to go. Holidays are hard when you are alone… invite a senior who’s family lives out of town, a college student who can’t get home for the holiday, a friend who’s lost a loved one within the past year, a neighbor who doesn’t like to cook, or someone you like and want to get to know better. Reaching out in love helps us connect… and it’s the connections between hearts which really matter.

I look forward to connecting with you, and to finding out what you’d like to see next week.

Stay Zenspired,


26 thoughts on “A Journey of Discovery”

  1. Thank you for the creative encouragement always Joanne. I love your spirit and style. My vote this time is for #3! I always love to learn new techniques.

    By the way I think Zenthesis is perfect!

  2. # 3 for sure!! I would love learning the technique!
    It's wonderful to remind us to think of others who may not have a place to go this Thanksgiving! Love the idea of inviting someone you want to get to know better!! Reaching out and building relationship is awesome!

  3. I love to learn new things – so I vote for #3. I love that our hearts our connected and I miss you!

  4. I would like to see option #3. I always enjoy your videos, so it would be fun to see what your thought processes are as you design a new piece of art.

  5. Hi Joanne, you are such a lovely person, and express yourself so well. And you challenge me to be a better person! My vote for Thanksgiving is something expressing gratitude. Thanksgiving has become my favorite "religious" holiday–a time to spend the whole day thanking and thanking God for so many blessings every day. And of course, a little eating of favorite things. I actually prefer to spend the day alone so I can do this undistracted. God bless you on your journey, love, sandy 🙂

  6. I like # 1. In my pocket I have a gratitude stone. and when things get difficult, I rub the stone to remind me of all the things in my life for which I am grateful.

  7. I love the style you create Joanne and your designs are lovely! I vote also for #3 as I like to watch and see your creation grow! I had a lot of fun using your designs on the IO rubber stamps and I did some workshops recently with them. If you would like to see them I can give you the link to my blog.

    creative regards,

  8. It was a hard decision, but I think my choice is for #2 because I love to colour!
    Your art is all beautiful. I love the positive energy in it.
    Thank you for sharing your love and your life with us.

  9. #3 please. I feel the same way about quilting. Starting the day with fabric does it for me, but I am learning to Zen doodle, dangle and thesis! Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Thanksgiving is all about mindful, heartfelt gratitude and recognizing the bounty of life, love and blessings bestowed upon us. You give sooo much to your readers. I choose option 1–I'd like to hear/read your words of gratitude. Save options 2 and 3 for another day. Introspection trumps labor on Thanksgiving! Cheers!

  11. Hi Joanne,
    Please do a post where you show us a design and explain how you created it. I have learned so much from you already. I not a great artist, but I try new things all the time – With your help, who knows what we may create ourselves. Thanks so much.

  12. While I am always wanting to learn new techniques, I think this holiday is truly about being thankful – something it doesn't hurt to be brought to our attention. Life is busy and we all get caught up. You have a very gifted way of reminding us what is important. And I also appreciate your reference to thinking about others at this time. Bless you and your family particularly this holiday season!

  13. Love this posting about LIfe as a Journey! I think I would go for # 1. Would love to learn how to do your techniques, but this is the time of year when we need to put our gratitude above all else, so I would love to see that. Thanks.

  14. Our home has been the gathering place during all the holiday seasons. With family members passing, moving away or unable to join us, It seems like every year we have new faces show up, someones brother or cousins who are in town, a new co-worker, or friends of friends. We always have way too much food and everybody leaves with a full tummy. And I always package up those leftovers to send home with our guests. I try to keep little gifts on hand at Christmas for those new folks just so they will know how much we enjoy having them share their time with us.

    And I vote for #3. I love to learn new techniques. Thank you for sharing and if you need a place to go, my home is always open for you.

  15. I vote for #3. I seem to be design-challenged and would love to learn some design techniques from you. Thanks for your willingness to share so much of yourself and your work with us and have a wonderful Thanksgiving….

  16. Joanne – I am grateful for the lovely art you share and the words of kind encouragement and heartfelt love. I love to learn, so my preference would be #3. I'll be checking in with your blog, no matter what you do for your followers. God bless you.

  17. #3 please ! A post where you show one of your lovely designs and explain how you created it would be awesome !

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