I’ve Been Thinking

I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver, 2018.

The Artful Living Blog became an admirer of Maria Shriver over the years through her bestselling books and journalism, recognizing that she was a thoughtful, reflective, honest interpreter of our current world. Also in being a subscriber to The Sunday Paper -a weekly newsletter from her self-described digital home powered by inspiration for people with passion and purpose, where she shares information, reflections, news stories, viewpoints & more. One quickly learns therein that observing the week through Maria’s lens is refreshing, always interesting and optimistic. Inspiring read encouraging hope that we can all be activists in some small way and make a positive difference by becoming “architects of change.”

As a prominent woman juggling many roles, Maria Shriver knows just how surprising, unpredictable, and stressful everyday life can be. In her moving and powerful new book: I’ve Been Thinking, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers & wise reflections designed to get readers thinking, feeling, and laughing, to guide them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field -a place of acceptance, purpose, and passion, a place of joy. I’ve Been Thinking is ideal for anyone at any point on the continuum of life. Whether you feel like you’ve got it all together or like it’s all falling apart, whether you’re taking stock of your life or simply looking to recharge, this is a book you can turn to again and again. The perfect daily companion or weekend pick-me-up, and an exceptional gift for the graduate, or someone looking to move forward in life with hope and grace.

The Green Witch

The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to The Natural Magic Of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils & More, by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, 2017.

At her core, the Green witch is a naturalist, an herbalist, a wise woman, and a healer. She embraces the power of nature; she draws energy from the Earth & Universe; she relies on natural objects like stones & gems to commune with the land she lives off of; she uses plants, flowers, oils, and herbs for healing; she calls on nature for guidance; and she respects every living being no matter how small.

In The Green Witch, you will learn the way of the Green witch, from how to use herbs, plants, and flowers to make potions and oils for everyday healing as well as how crystals, gems, stones, and even twigs can help you find balance within. You’ll discover how to find harmony in Earth’s great elements and connect your soul to every living creature. This guide also contains directions for herbal blends and potions, ritual suggestions, recipes for sacred foods & information on how to listen to and commune with nature. Embrace the world of the Green witch & discover what the power of nature has in store for you. Equal parts informational and inspired. Green Goddess Gratitude Great & Small Goodread!

Becoming Wise

On Being Gathering Becoming Wise: A Calling  For This Age. February 16-19th, 2018, 1440 Multiversity, Scotts Valley, CA.

For years, the On Being team has aspired to gather together their far-flung universe of listeners and readers. Now, in partnership with the new 1440 Multiversity in the hills and redwood forests of Santa Cruz county, it’s finally happening! This inaugural adventure will be three days of conversation, poetry, and community with Krista Tippett, beloved teachers from the show and the blog, and the entire On Being team. Special guests include: Seth Godin, Maria Popova of Brain Pickings, poet extraordinaire David Whyte, Maria Hinojosa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Omid Safi, Jennifer Bailey & activist author Parker Palmer.

The New 1440 Multiversity Scotts Valley California.

In large and small groups, they will take up the possibilities of this moment to generatively inhabit the spaces of our lives and renew common life in a fractured world. There will be shared meals and music in the evenings, and plenty of space across the three days for restoration, one-on-one conversation, and quiet reflection. Participants will then return to their communities with ideas, practices & relationships to share in the spirit of On Beings’s Civil Conversations Project & Krista’s NY Times best-selling book, Becoming Wise.

About

1440 Multiversity -named for the 1440 minutes in a day, was founded on the belief that each minute is an opportunity to be present and aware of how we connect with what matters, both within and around us. The nation’s newest learning destination focusing on immersion workshops for integrated living.

Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster & New York Times best-selling author. As creator & host of public radio’s On Being, she takes up the great questions of meaning amidst the political, economic, cultural, and technological shifts of 21st-century life. Her most recent book is Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery & Art of Living.

Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett, 2016.

In Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett has created a master class in living for a fractured world. Fracture, she says, is not the whole story of our time. The enduring question of what it means to be human has become inextricable from the challenge of who we are to one another. She insists on the possibility of personal depth and common life for this century, nurtured by science and “spiritual technologies,” with civility and love as muscular public practice. And, accompanied by a cross-disciplinary dream team of a teaching faculty, Tippett shows us how.

Black History

The Oprah Magazine February 2018

Oprah unleashes her inner Diana Ross on the cover of this months issue of The Oprah Magazine. The Artful Living Blog pick for 2018 print magazine subscription. The beloved and inspiring American high priestess media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer & philanthropist is a gorgeous icon to celebrate and honor this February for Black History Month. An annual celebration of heroic contributions & monumental achievements by African Americans & a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history.

Energy Muse

New Moon Wishes Ritual From Crystal Muse

Learn how to harness the energy of the Earth using crystal rituals from Energy Muse debut book: Crystal Muse by Heather Askinosie & Timmi Jandro. The incredible women behind Energy Muse -California-based lifestyle brand founded with the mission to demystify the world of crystals and provide a platform to connect with an ancient wisdom healing modality, and purchase beautiful pieces. Crystal Muse is a how-to book that shares simple “crystal recipes,” many of which you can do daily in less than a few minutes, to shift your energy field.

Energy Muse Crystal Muse

It clarifies the New Age stigma that crystals have been given over the years and brings it back to the basics. As a universal crystal healing book, it has something for everyone. Perfect for the crystal novice & advanced enough for someone who has been on this path for years. The author’s triumphs & trials throughout life are explained in terms of how crystals were used as touchstones to get through those times + shows how the remedies found along the way can work for the reader’s life as well. An artful blend of authentic storytelling & practical daily rituals that brings the world of crystals to life with words & images. Ancient wisdom for modern times.

Energy Muse Crystal Muse

As a recipe book, you can begin anywhere and thumb through the book to find information including how to choose your crystal, the meanings of different crystals, how to cleanse them and your space in general + essential practices for using your crystals. You’ll find step-by-step rituals in meditation, self-reflection, grounding, attracting abundance, and spiritual cleansing among many others. See Energy Muse site for excellent recommendations. You can shop by chakra, intention, or gemstone. All of the pieces therein are ethically sourced, and before they are sent out to customers, they go through a thorough cleansing process (sacred smoke, sound, sacred geometry etc) so that they are clear, cleansed & ready for use.

Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals To Tune In To the Real You, 2017, By Heather Askinosie & Timmi Jandro. Crystal Muse explores how you can transform life’s challenges into opportunities for growth by being equipped with the right crystals and mindset. Learn how to connect with crystals and empower your life by using this guide to set transformational intentions such as:

  • Attracting love through learning to love yourself
  • Relieving anxiety by surrendering to meditation
  • Becoming a magnet for prosperity
  • Crystallizing a breakthrough
  • Consciously conceiving a new life
  • Cutting your unhealthy energy cords
  • Getting rid of insomnia to sleep with your mind fully at rest
  • Cultivating the connection with your creative spirit
  • Aligning with the energy of the moon
  • Grounding yourself with the energy of the Earth; and
  • Finding the temple within

Shades Of Fall

Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive Autumns. ~George Eliot

Fall Whisper, Illustration, Courtesy and © Dante Lividini 2017

Illustration ‘Fall Whisper’ From The Wisetrees Series By The Artful Living Blog’s Favorite Artist Illustrator Dante Lividini. Beautiful new tribute piece inspired by the seasonal sights and sounds of Fall and our magical little property. A wonderful world of nature spirits botanical beauties & forest family friends full of whimsy wit wisdom & wonder.

Autumnal Equinox Blessings! ‘Tis the season that gets us thinking about trees and tuning into the beauty of the landscape that surrounds us. Equinox is the point when the Sun crosses the equator and everywhere on Earth day and night are approximately of equal length. Symbolically, it can be viewed as the point when day meets night, where opposites meet on equal ground, where we can integrate the duality within the oneness of existence. The ancients, who knew themselves to be at one with the Earth, honored these planetary shifts as important reflections of life. As above so below, As within, so without.

Illustrations (shown here & below) from Chapter One: Raven The Maker -An Inuit Myth, Chapter Seven: Ilmatar The Goddess Of Air -A Finno-Ugric Myth, Chapter Two: Tepu And Gucumatz -A Mayan Myth, Chapter Four: Nyambe The Creator -A Lozi Myth & Chapter Five: Ymir The Frost Giant -A Norse Myth.

From the newly published graphic novel Dawn of Time: Creation Myths Around The World, (Author) Nel Yomtov, (Illustrator) Dante Lividini, Capstone Press, 2017. Part of a Graphic Library series: Universal Myths

Forests play a prominent role in many myths and legends. In these dark, mysterious places, heroes can lose their way, face unexpected challenges, and stumble on hidden secrets. Part of the age-old magic of forests lies in the ideas that people have had about trees. In mythology from around the world, trees appear as ladders between worlds, as sources of life and wisdom, and as the physical forms of supernatural beings -nature spirits were thought to inhabit trees and forests. The mythology of early India, preserved in texts called the Upanishads, includes a cosmic tree called ‘Asvattha.’ It is the living universe, an aspect of ‘Brahman,’ the World Spirit. This cosmic tree reverses the usual order. Its roots are in the sky, and its branches grow downward to cover the earth.

Dawn of Time gathers seven ancient multicultural creation stories from various traditions around the world so readers can discover the unique differences and similarities between the cycles and seasons of life within world mythology -all recreated in artful graphic novel format Dante Lividini style.

About

Dante Lividini is a New England-based illustrator, graphic novelist and 3-D animation artist whose work, constructed with considerable imaginative care, invites a mythological journey. With a Master’s Degree in Literature from New York University, and a background in teaching and contemplative arts, Dante cleverly weaves the art of storytelling of all that is mysterious and miraculous in the natural world throughout his work, infusing it with meaning, depth, and metaphor.

Dante’s evocative ‘Wisetree’ illustrations are all deeply rooted in nature and myth. Prompting a rare kind of empathy towards his subjects, thoughtful connections between rustic gods & nature spirits, half-humans & heroes, biosphere & biophilia, trees & time, and the realms above and below human experience, blossom. We discover an unfolding meditation on those existential dilemmas that surround us all, and a world of its own in the making. Resonating otherworldliness and sublime beauty. Presently, he is completing another graphic novel project, and works for the award-winning visual effects studio FuseFX in NYC.

For More Autumn Inspiration & Magical Wisetree Artwork By Dante See Previous Post: Autumn Always

On Yoga

YOGA The Secret of Life by Francesco Mastalia, Cloth Hardcover, 224 Pages, Published by powerHouse Books, Worldwide release October 2017.

YOGA The Secret of Life is a photo-documentary about the spiritual and physical journey of yoga. Through photographs and text this fine art book explores the personal experiences of 108 of today’s leading practitioners and how this ancient practice has transformed their mind, body, and spirit.

The photographs for the project are taken on glass plates using the wet collodion process, a photographic technique dating back to the 1850’s. With the use of a large format wooden camera and antique brass lens, glass plates are hand-coated to produce one-of-a-kind ‘ambrotype’ images. The collodion process transports us to another place and time. When the light-sensitive chemicals absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays, we enter a mysterious world where art and alchemy embrace. The photographs take on another dimension with the words that accompany them. The text provides an intimate and enlightening account of each yogi’s personal journey.

Elena Brower from YOGA The Secret Life by Francesco Mastalia.

Beyond the physical postures, YOGA The Secret of Life delves deep into the purpose of our existence and how to live a happy and fulfilled life. It explores understanding who we truly are, why we are here, and what our ultimate purpose is on this planet. Included are world-renowned yogis Radhanath Swami, Sharon Gannon, Davide Life, Gurmukh Kaur Khasla, Sri Dharma Mittra, Yogi Amrit Desai, Yogiraj Alan Finger, Shiva Rea, Rod Stryker, Seane Corn, Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Dana Flynn, Elena Brower, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal and more.

About

Italian-born Hudson Valley New York-based Francesco Mastalia is a documentary photographer and author that has traveled the world photographing tribal, religious, spiritual, and indigenous people. His first book Dreads, published by Workman Artisan is a photo documentary on the history of dreadlocks, which includes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. His recent book Organic: Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley published by powerHouse Books is a photo-documentary of the Hudson Valley’s organic sustainable food movement. The portraits of the farmers and chefs therein were also photographed using the wet plate collodion photographic process resulting in a beautifully evocative narrative with a nostalgic feel.

Making Good

Making Good: An Inspirational Guide To Being An Artist Craftsman by Jacklyn Scott (Author), Kristin Müller (Author), Tommy Simpson (Author), Stuart Kestenbaum (Foreword), 2017.

Forty-one craftspeople answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and how he or she started and maintains a career in the arts. Accompanied by more than 260 photos showing the artists, their work spaces, and their creations, each interview gives experience-based answers to anyone interested in the lives of artists. For students and career changers to makers at all levels, this resource captures insight into the entrepreneurial nature of living a life in the arts and the choices, bits of luck, joys, and tenacity one needs to overcome hurdles in useful and surprising ways. The 41 artists from across the United States work in many types of media; they include, for example, woodturner Dixie Biggs, fiber artist Carol Eckert, metalsmith Pat Flynn, glass artist Judith Schaecter and ceramist Mara Superior. As their answers unfold, what develops is a collection of independent voices that follow unique, creative journeys in the arts, despite the twists and turns life takes. This distillation of expertise is a valuable resource to all who are considering a creative career. Great gift for artist hopeful grad!

One of The Artful Blog’s favorite New England independent bookstores,  The Hickory Stick Bookshop Washington Depot CT, will host a book signing with authors Kristin Muller & Jacklyn Scott and local artist Tommy Simpson June 17th 2017.