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With Every Stroke, Think Peace

By O.M. Braida –

Some years ago, while living in New York City, I was filled with the question on how to remember God more.  At the time I was working in a place surrounded by paper clips — Clips in the morning, clips in the afternoon, clips under my feet, clips at my fingertips…some days not enough clips.  One day this harvest of paper clips took on a new meaning.  I no longer stepped on them or over them.  Rather, I bent down to pick them up.  I went looking for them and carefully stashed them in a bowl atop my desk.  These moments of mindfulness turned a simple task into a magical mystery — every clip transformed into God and the bowl my tangible soul.

Many years later I visited the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum in Banff, Canada with my husband. We saw a film about the Native people of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies depict daily life and special ceremonies.  We heard an Indian woman weaver explain her work and its relationship to God saying,  “With every movement of the thread, I think of God.”  She talked about how she put this energy in her art and how it transcended the immediate piece of work and filled her space, her life with peace.

This method of “storing up” God energy – God thought — is now replaced by art pencils, paints, paper, students, teachers, husband, friends, children.  My daily tasks have their purpose of filling my space, my life with peace.  Without this mindfulness, this concentration and memory of purpose, my center and stillness are lost until I remember once again.  This confirms for me that the power of a peaceful life is in my hands.

I received an email forwarded from a student in reference to a letter by Dr. Christine Northrup.  Dr. Northrup speaks about how we can use our thoughts wisely to help create peace in the world.  The following is an excerpt from this letter.

 “The split in our nation right now about war is actually creating more of the energy of war. It’s not possible to “fight” for peace without creating war…The only way to stop war is to start from within your self … do personal disarmament. The only way to get and stay peaceful is to concentrate on what brings you peace … Spend 30 seconds several times a day creating a “virtual” reality of what peace would look and feel like. Imagine that it’s a year from now and the economy is flourishing…the governments of the free world are all cooperating to ensure global harmony and peace.  Imagine all our soldiers back home and reunited with their families. Imagine a global village in which all of us can travel freely and joyously and with understanding and acceptance of each other’s cultures…. Finally, know that when you are tuned into your heart, your Inner Wisdom, and God, then your energy lightens up and your vibration literally changes. You become a beacon of light and peace. You become an up lifter and a peacemaker.”

With every stroke, think peace.  God bless. OM

Books to Beautify Your World

By O.M. Braida

Jack Kramer is the author of more than 130 books.  His best selling book, Women of Flowers, celebrates the art of botanical painting produced by women during the Victorian era.  His latest book, The Art of Flowers, is filled with information on how the genre evolved.  The many plates of botanical images are accompanied by poetry and observations into the lives of the various artists that make up the book.

You don’t need to be an artist to enjoy this lovely book, but if you are you’ll find interesting examples of how to draw and paint botanicals that are taken directly from the notes of the artists themselves.

In Professor Dr. H. Walter Lack’s book, Garden Eden, we have an opportunity to view the outstanding works of botanical illustration now housed in the Austrian National Library in Vienna.  With 487 colored plates, the book offers a chronological, geographic, thematic and technical profile of botanical art from the 6th to the 20th century.  In addition, the book is printed in three languages: English, French, and German.

Dr. Brent Elliott, Librarian and Archivist of the Royal Horticultural Society, is author of Victorian Garden, The Country House Garden, and Treasures of the Royal Horticultural Society.  In his book, Flora, he illustrates the history of the garden flower by exploring the world of adventurers and plant hunters who collected seeds and specimens from exotic lands.  The exquisite illustrations include works by artists of that period some of whom were considered the greatest scientific botanical illustrators of their day.

I hope you’ll have an opportunity to visit these wonderful books and enjoy the glorious art.  And when you hear a voice within knock at the door of your own creativity, put your book down and paint.  God bless. OM

And God sent flowers to beautify

The earth, and cheer man’s careful mood;

And he is happiest who hath power

To gather wisdom from a flower,

And wake his heart in every hour

To pleasant gratitude.

Mary Howitt, 1867

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