Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Five Fabulous Things {and change}

"What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it." Alexander Graham Bell 


Life is a series of ups and downs...that is for sure. And my life the past week has been no exception. It's a summer of good, good things....and some not so good things. 





Change is in the air.


Some good change.
Some scary change.
Some expected...
some not.


"Change has a bad reputation in our society. But it isn't all bad — not by any means. In fact, change is necessary in life — to keep us moving ... to keep us growing ... to keep us interested . ... Imagine life without change. It would be static ... boring ... dull."
— Dr. Dennis O'Grady
in Bottom Line - Personal



Most of the changes we are going through right now involve our children. They are fast becoming young adults...

and that is kind of scary and sad and happy all rolled into one.

Emotions are running high and every now and then things at the Ackman house get a little high-pitched:)

All in all life couldn't be better and my young adult children make me proud:)



Speaking of change...We are into Week 4. I hope you are noticing changes in your days, girls. While I have been less than perfect with it all I am growing and learning and yes, changing.

 If I feel this empowered after just 4 weeks...I can't imagine what the next 48 will bring!!


I wanted to share a few things that have caught my eye recently. Sharing is good, right?!

1. Are you always trying to figure out what's for dinner? Me, too!! Love this blog called Eat at Home.


2. This art journaler just makes me HAPPY!

3.I am still surprised when my artist friends tell me they have never heard of this magazine!! Really??! This is my favorite!! And it's truly a BARGAIN! I am headed to St. Joe today for the latest issue:)

4. Several of us are playing along with my friend Kristin and her Color of Summer. Check that out here!!!

5. My friend Andria has compiled 100 Creative Actions!! Check them out and get busy!!!

Girls, I am so grateful for each of you! "Being Me" is my passion this year and I look forward to sharing with you all year. Thanks again for sharing this journey with me.



If you haven't started, don't know what "Being Me" is or just want to look at the last few weeks click here. Everything in one place:) 

Our FB page Mind.Body.Soul.

**Oh and be sure and share your BLOG on our facebook page!!!

You can leave it in the comment section in the post about sharing your blogs.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week Four: Sleeping Rocks!

Sleep is the best meditation.
Dalai Lama 



It's Week 4, Girls. How are you doing?? I must admit...the past four days have been sooo busy and my Morning Routine went by the wayside. Let me tell you...I missed it terribly!! AND I could TELL I hadn't made time for it. When I put my ROUTINE number one on my Priority List...the rest of my day just falls in place. Good to know:)

We have been doing LOTS of writing and thinking the past two weeks with our Mission Statements and Absolute Yes List. It's time for a nap, don't you think??! Ha!

Speaking of my Yes List...here is my journal page for the week.


 I really love how it turned out!
 I think my favorite part is this reminder to be a BRAVE GIRL and protect my time. When I do this my Life will be sooo GOOD:)



Another reminder I need to read daily!!!



Making my Absolute Yes List really opened my eyes to how much time is wasted on social media, games and television!!

A close-up of my list:)


Okay...now on to Week Four...

Now I don't know about you but I am a Night Owl for sure...especially in the summer time.  Nothing beats staying up till midnight or after, watching a favorite movie or creating. However...most days I am up by 8 and with a full schedule throughout the day...I am just not getting my sleep! 

Most of us know that getting adequate sleep is vital to how we function everyday...when I don't get enough I am a GROUCH! The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say this about sleep:

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

The way you feel while you're awake depends in part on what happens while you're sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.

Getting enough shut-eye is always important when it comes to losing weight. Did you know women are more apt to lost weight faster when they get at least 8 hours a night?

Girls, this week I want you to make a list on what happens when you don't get enough sleep. Maybe  your energy level is low all day, you are grouchy {like me!} or  you have a hard time staying focused on tasks.

Next I want you to add an extra HOUR of sleep to your day. Go to bed an hour earlier, take a nap or sleep in a few mornings this week.

And lastly {my fave} I want you to take time this week to make your bedroom a sanctuary. A quiet place you can come and rest. Maybe add some candles, wash your bedding or re-arrange your room. I have been collecting items the past month so I can re-do my room. This week I am looking for a new bedspread in my favorite colors...aqua and yellow. Don't worry...I will share pics:)

Girls...this week is the perfect time to be kind with yourself. Allow yourself to rest and renew.

Have a GREAT week!!!

PS...Be sure and share your journal pages with us at Mind.Body.Soul.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Forever Changed-Part One

"Courage is the Price life extracts for granting peace."  -Amelia Earhart


After running 26.2 miles


My Dad died the day after Father's Day.
It was a beautiful June evening...the kind
my Dad liked best.

Hours before he closed his eyes
one last time I sat 
on the edge of his bed, stroking his
forehead...feeling the warmth of his skin.

I knew it would be the last time I felt
him that way. The end of his life
was near and I was saying my 
goodbyes.

As he lay there, weak and unable 
to speak...I made my Daddy a 
PROMISE.
I told him I would change my life.
I would live each and everyday.
I would never, ever take another moment for granted.

"I PROMISE you, Dad."

Three years later I found myself,
sitting in a conference room in 
Gladstone, Missouri...
signing up for the Leukemia Society's 
Team in Training.

A few of my teammates

"The power to change yourself is the power to change the world around you."  -Anwar Sadat

From January to June 1999
I trained 6 days a week. 
Now you MUST know that before this
I was NOT a runner. I was in shape...but running
had never been something I did.
I was determined though and 
soon found myself running 
and training
and getting 
STRONG!


An excerpt from my training journal

What makes Team in Training so unique...
is that not only do you train and run a marathon...
you train and run with a TEAM.
And if that weren't cool enough
we were all able to meet with the 
sweet, little girl we were running for...
Melody. She was only 7 years old and had 
already been battling the ugly disease.

Part of my Team with Melody. That's me in the red jacket on back right.

"Life is lived in the present. Yesterday has gone, tomorrow is yet to be. Today is the miracle.

I live in Maryville...approx. 100 miles north of Kansas City.
My Team trained in KC every Saturday 
and I was determined to make EACH Team day. 
But just how would that work??

Keep in mind my son Jackson was just 4
 and Emma wouldn't turn 
two until May. 
Along came my MOM to the rescue!
Every Saturday 
{approx. 20}
Dave and I would get up at 3:30 AM,
shower, get the kids ready, take them 
to Grammy's and hit the road.
Our runs were often in south KC
so that meant longer driving time.
And did I mention they started at 6 or 6:30 AM?

Jacks, Me and my Mom at the Pasta Dinner the night before the race.

"Confidence is the inner voice that says you are becoming what you are capable of being." 

I know you can't read what I wrote here...so here is an excerpt....



"This was a turning point in my life....14 miles with Team. I can walk this...even though it's the longest distance I've ever done! A few blocks into my walk I spied Terri and Lora. They were running so I decided to try and keep up. I challenged myself beyond my comfort zone. We amazed ourselves by running 2 miles without walking. What the heck, we thought...let's see how far we can go! 2 miles turned into 3. 4, then 7 our turning point. We were feeling strong. We kept going. By Mile 10 my left leg was going completely numb. I wanted to STOP! To walk. To keep myself going I would only look at Terri and Lora's feet pounding the pavement, very rhythmic. My lungs felt like they were going to burst. At Mile 12 I said  FORGET IT! I was limping...The girls looked at me said... We have gone this far, Les...LET'S GO!! I went. I hurt. I wanted to cry. At last we came to Mile 14. I had made it! I felt so POWERFUL! ACCOMPLISHED! I grinned the rest of the day! My life was evolving into something I had only imagined. What a feeling to be living a long sought after dream. My anthem from this day on has been the song "Change in my Life" from the movie "Leap of Faith". One of my DAD'S fave films."

**Be sure and listen to that song at the end of this post. You will LOVE it!

Here is a story they did during my training. This article and race gave me courage to ask if I could write a column for the paper. I went on to write my column "View from the Front Porch" for several years.



Running this marathon 14 years ago completely changed my life, girls. I will share more photos and the finish line with you in Fridays post. Thanks so much for taking the time to read!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Week Three: Where Does your Time go?



“Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; and thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire. Don’t waste this breath, if your heart isn’t crazy, since "the rest of your life" won’t last forever.”
― Omar KhayyámQuatrains - Ballades

Time...we all want more of it. More Time to spend with loved ones, more time to create, more time to have FUN! Where in the world does all our Time go?

Back in the 90's I was introduced to a wonderful Life Coach....Cheryl Richardson. The first time I saw her was on the Oprah Show where she was talking about her book "Life Makeovers". My kids were just babies then and more often than not I was completely overwhelmed. Like so many of you I craved alone Time. Time to be with my thoughts, to find myself, to shower!:) Richardson's book was a life-changing one for me. Simple and to the point, I gained the tools I needed to have more balance in my life. This week's Theme is inspired from her book. I just KNOW it will open your eyes and make you go...I had NO idea how much Time I really DO have!!!

"Time is a created thing. To say I don't have time is like saying I don't want to..." Lao-Tzu

Richardson says...

"The truth is that WE control where our Time goes. Time is finite. We only get a certain amount 168 hours a week, 52 weeks a year; and that's if we don't die first. Time is a gift that most of us take for granted. We get so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives that we rarely stop and take  serious look at how we're spending this gift."



Change IS necessary! NOW is the Time to take control of yours!! This week I want you to answer the following questions:

*How long do you really work each week?
*How much Time do you spend caring for others?
*How much Time is spent caring for YOURSELF?
*How much Time do you spend on Social Media {this is a HUGE time waster for me}
*How much Time do you spend watching TV?

Now here is where the real fun begins. In Richardson's book "Life Makeovers" she suggests making an Absolute Yes List. Creating a list helps you remember what your priorities are...I have used this list throughout the years and it works!

To begin your list answer these two questions:

*What needs my attention at this Time in my life?
*What do I need to let go of?

Be sure and be HONEST with yourself here...write everything down that comes to mind. Answer these questions for all areas of your life, too...relationships, family, community, work, emotional, finances, etc. I know one of the Priorities in my life right now is my physical health. My goal this year is to eliminate my near dally migraines and lose 20 pounds.

Once you have made your lists {and they may be LONG} choose the FIVE that jump out at you the most. The ones that when you see them your heart tells you..."That one!". Now put your Absolute Yes List in your art journals so you can refer to it daily.

A sweet GIFT created by one of my son's friends just for ME!!!:)

Girls...the goal of my Life is to LOVE it!! I will create MY Absolute Yes List this week and strive to say YES to those things in my life that fill me up and make me whole.

Here are THREE reminders from Richardson on why it's so important to say NO to those things not on our YES list:

*Your self-care is extremely important 
*You don't need to over explain yourself on why you are saying NO...Just saying NO is ENOUGH!
*Doing things out of guilt and obligation is not doing things out of Love

Let's take our minutes and hours and days back, girls. Let's start saying NO to those things that bring us down and hurt our souls. 


If you haven't joined our 52 Weeks of Being Me class...click here. It's completely free:)
Join our FB group here

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Studio Time

"Only when one is connected to one's inner core is one connected to others. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through solitude."  -Anne Morrow Lindbergh





Since I began my Morning Routine I find myself creating more and more. It's a practice I have wanted to be in for a few years now but never could see myself creating daily...I always thought "How do I fit it all in??" I am learning when I make myself sit down for 30 minutes {to at times an hour} in the morning...I make that a priority. And like I've said here before...sometimes it's just adding another layer to a journal page...but the very act of creating gives me so much energy and inspiration!!

It had been awhile since I spent any real time in my studio. You know...more than a few hours:). So yesterday I gave myself permission to shut the world out and write, paint, ponder and just enjoy  peace. It was much appreciated!!



How are you coming along on your Mission Statements, girls?? I have a few more questions to answer then I will be ready to put on this spread I made yesterday.



I am finding the more backgrounds I create the more layers I'm adding. This has become my favorite process!! Painting, adding a few strips of paper, words, painting again, doodling, a few more swipes of paint, stencils and stamps, more doodling, white paint then finishing it all with oil pastels. LOVE IIT!


Next week I will show you my process in a series of photos:)

Not only did I make several backgrounds yesterday but I started on three pieces of bird art including this background for my first nearly all painted piece I'm working on. It is 11x14.

VERY early stages:)

And last but not least along with "Being Me"...I am participating in my dear blog friend Kristin from Twinkly Twinkle...she is in her third year of "Summer of Color". If you don't know Kristin...stop by and say hi. You will LOVE her!! Anyway...our color combo this week is Citron and Turquoise. Here is what I came up with....




It is book paper with paint doodles...so easy and fun and relaxing:)


How is YOUR Mission Statement comiing along?? Thinking of you all and loving our sharing in our FB group!!! Also THANK YOU so much for spreading the word about "Being Me". I appreciate it sooo much!

52 Weeks of Being Me
Our FB group
Follow me on Blog Lov'n

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week Two-We're going on a Mission

"Success is a journey, not a destination. Just being a part of the process means you're succeeding." -Anon.


Can you feel it, girls? We are embarking on an incredible journey. We are not sitting still and waiting for our life to change. No...we are standing up and creating the life we want. The life we are meant to live.

I love it.
How about you?

It has been wonderful reading about all your routines and seeing  your pages!! It seems like everyday I am adding new members to our Facebook group, too. Love that so much. I am inspired by all of the hard work each of you is putting into our class and can't wait to see what you think up for our second week.

Week 2: Your Mission Statement

Now before I lose you here...our mission statement is not the boring old things you're thinking of. Nope. This is one that is full of love and light to guide us through our days and inspire us to become all that we were meant to be.

Several years ago I made my first Mission Statement using Stephen Covey's 7 Habits as a guide. It was awesome to get my values and talents and goals on paper. Then last year I took Brave Girl Melody Ross's "Soul Restoration Two" on-line class and created another one with a Brave Girl twist. I made a two page spread in my journal and added photos of myself.





I refer often to my Mission Statement, especially when I am losing sight of what's really important in my life or when I get down on myself.








Our "Being Me" Mission Statement involves ten questions I want you to ask yourself this week. Be sure and give yourself all week to do this project...I want you to really think about the questions and your answers. I would create a 2-page spread for your mission statement. Be sure and use your favorite colors and papers to reflect your personal style. Here is the first layer of my new "Being Me" Mission Statement.


I will add at least 4 more layers to my pages before any writing goes here!!

Okay...on to our TEN QUESTIONS...


1.  My mind, body and soul are very important to me. I promise to take care of them by...

2.  I know I was put on Earth to....

3.  When I pass from this world I want others to remember these very good things about me...

4. When I do these things I know I am the Best me I can be...

5. I need to avoid these things in order to be the TRUE ME...

6.  "Being Me" happens when I take time to do my favorite things...

7.  I am my very best self when I can spend my work life doing these things...

8. I have BIG DREAMS and I know if I spend my time doing these things I will live them...

9.  I know how important my Morning Routine is and will try my very best to incorporate these things in it daily...

10.  Each of us is born with great talents. I will make time to nurture these talents and share them with others.....

    My Talents are...                                Ways I will use them...



Girls, I would take time to answer these questions in a journal or just on a piece of paper. Take your time. At the end of the week you should be able to create your 2-page spread. You CAN do this!!! It will be so worth it...I promise:)


"To get out of a prison, you must become aware that you are in one."  -Mark Victor Hansen



It's time, girls...Believe in yourself!! 


*Join our Being Me class here. {it's free!!}
*Join our Facebook group here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Why I Do what I Do

"Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich."  -Sarah Bernhardt.

If you have been following along this week with our 52 Weeks then you are on Day 5 of your Morning Routine...how are you doing?? Like the quote above...you should have more energy in your step, more life in your days. Remember...the longer you stick with your Morning Routine...the more Life you will have...there is not a truer statement, girls!!!

Speaking of Life....

Me and my Mom at the Dinner Theater in KC


I have been living mine!! It's been awhile since I posted photos of my days...so here are a few:)


My son Jackson and his darling girl Bailey. This was his very last track meet!! His Senior Year went by tooo fast!


Prom night was the first Saturday in May. They both looked stunning!!



Jacks and Bailey both have VERY colorful personalities...their outfits represent that perfectly:)


In May we also celebrated Jourdain's Birthday!! My Miss Emma painted these VERY CUTE mugs...He's Mine/She's Mine. He loved them!


This photo cracks me up!!

May 12th my son Jackson graduated from High School. A few weeks before that I treated my family to a day at The Plaza!!! LOVE this photo of my son and I!!!!



And here he is on his special day!



I honestly thought I would cry my eyes out on this day and had dreaded it for YEARS!!! Girls, it was one of the BEST days ever!!!



We are sooo PROUD of our son!!!


These are just half of his Speech and Debate trophies over the years!!

I am so grateful for my family!! They are why I try so hard to improve myself everyday!!

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven."  -John Bowring

Have you started our 52 weeks Being Me class yet?? If not click here!! 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Morning Routine Journal Page



Can I just tell you that art journaling is one of my very favorite things to do??! I LOVE it!! Everything from painting the page to stenciling to doodling to adding the images and words. Sooo peaceful!! Love!



Another thing I am sooo loving is my Morning Routine!! It has been several weeks now and I feel like my life is moving in a very good direction. Waking up, having a set routine and actually doing it is building momentum in life. One good practice is opening up doors to other good habits. Love it!


When sitting down to create my Morning Routine journal page the first thing I thought of was WINGS!! I love the symbolism of wings and my new routine has definately given me wings to fly through my day!!

Words inspired by a Brave Girl's class I took.


Girls...my Morning Routine has made me realize how much time I was wasting without it!! Seriously...when I get up and spend some quiet time on just me and my day...some pretty amazing things happen. I am choosing how I spend my time. I do have more joy in my days...I don't feel so rushed and stressed.



How is YOUR Morning Routine coming? Are you noticing any little changes in your day?? I would love for you to share with us!!


**Here is Week One of "Being Me" in case you missed it:)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week One-What's Your Routine??

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."  -Vincent Van Gogh

UPDATE AUGUST 2017

I am so grateful YOU are here! This is my most pinned and viewed class....so THANK YOU for being here! I PROMISE the next 52 weeks you will GROW so much!! I invite you to my on-line Facebook Group...Brave Heart Sisterhood Mixed-Media Art.  Stop by, introduce yourself and let me know you are taking this class!! Use the hashtag #braveheartsisterhood and #wordsofmeproject so I can see what you are up to. Thanks again!!

Leslie 

Welcome Girls to my year long gift to you and to myself..."Being Me"!! This class has come at a time in my life where I am done living from day to day with just enough "happy" in me to barely get by. I am ready for some full-time JOY and energy to enjoy my family, my art and to fulfill all my dreams. The time is NOW to get my groove on and I intend on giving you and myself everything in my heart.



Each topic I have chosen comes with much thought and love. This is something I am taking very seriously and it's important to me that you know that. Several of you have asked me if you have to do the art part. Of course not. You take this class and do what inspires you!! For me...the art is very healing so most weeks I will be creating something in my art journal and sharing here with you. But if that's not your thing...then please know it's not necessary.



Okay...are you ready?? Are you as excited as I am to add more JOY and LoVE to your life and to BE the TRUE YOU???

I am SOOOO READY!!!


Week One ROUTINE

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."  -Chinese Proverb

Ahhhh...how many times have you started a new fitness program or eating program or art challenge and told yourself that this time...no matter what...you would do it and never, ever mess up or give up?!! I have done this nearly every Monday for the past 2 years. I have...I admit it. I am slightly embarassed by it...but I have done that. I start out with the best of intentions but usually by the third day or so (or heck sometimes later that same day) somehow I make a mistake, I eat too much or I don't get the art challenge finished or something and I just quit.

That is NOT gonna happen in the next 52 weeks. You wanna why?? Because THIS TIME, girls...we are gonna give ourselves some slack. We are gonna take our mistakes and our failures and learn from them. We are gonna learn why we mess up and why we sometimes just don't do as good as we want to do. This time we have each other, too!! And that is huge!! It. is. HUGE. Support is everything and just knowing we all have each other and we all are stronger in some areas than others...well, that just makes it all easier somehow ya' know? We are gonna lift one another up and cheer each other through the difficult times.



The past year and a half has been the hardest of my life. I won't go into any details today...but I will tell you that I have let myself go...majorly go. I just don't have that spark in my day. I drag myself out of bed, I eat waaaaay to many bad things and my creativity has been stagnant. I KNEW I needed a boost of energy so I decided to go to something that had worked in the past...a morning routine.

Looking back...I realize just how much of an effect a morning routine has had on my life. And I realized the past year and a half...I haven't had one...at all. Not even a glimpse of one.
Sooooo...a few weeks ago I decided to map out my routine and start doing it.




I knew I needed to add quiet time to my days and art and scripture study. I also knew that all of these would be the perfect way to begin my day. So I told myself to just do it!! So each morning as soon as I wake up I head to the kitchen for a tall glass of ice, lemon and water. I bring it upstairs to my art studio and get quiet. No music allowed during this half-hour. Then I take out my planner, something spiritual to read and anything else I think I need. I begin my Morning Routine with a prayer thanking my Father in Heaven for all my blessings and then asking Him to bless my day. I read something spiritual either from my Scriptures or a church magazine or book. I'll jot down any thoughts that touch me that day in a special journalI have just for this time. After 15 minutes or so I am ready to think about what I intend on doing for the day. I look at my calendar and make a list. Sometimes it's too long...but I write everything down that's in my head. I figure it's better on paper and will eventually get done that way:)

I am finding the more I do my routine the more I am crossing off my To-Do list and the more I am creating!! I mean seriously, girls...my creativity has gone from a 1 or 2 to a 5 or 6...it is growing by leaps and bounds just because I am doing something everyday. The art part isn't always in the morning...sometimes its just when I can fit it in...and it's not one loooong session but rather a bursts of 3 or 4 a day. It may be as simple as painting one layer in my journal...but one layer at a time adds up to a finished page by the end of a day:)

The second part of my new Morning Routine happens after my quiet time....I head out the door for a walk. Honestly I am still working on being consistent with this. It's taking time and I am not beating myself up over it. Little changes daily add up to big results over time. I am truly a believer in that. (it only took most of my life to figure that one out).


I LOVE this quote by artist Jennifer Lee...

"I know that by simply sticking with the process and being open to the unexpected, I create a channel to creative inspiration and that's a mighty powerful thing."

I would like to add my thoughts to this quote and say that by sticking with a Routine, whether it's for creativity, exercise, eating healthy...whatever...it's a mighty powerful thing.

Girls...I want you to take this week and come up with your own ROUTINE. For some of you mornings may not work...and that's ok. Just come up with a 30 minute ROUTINE that helps your day go better. Routines keep us in control of our time. And isn't time one of the most valuable commodities there is? This Routine is the most important part of our journey over the next 52 weeks. It is our foundation. It is sacred time spent with yourself each and everyday.

Time well spent.

"When you SHINE, you light the way."  -Jamie Ridler

Girls, it is our time to SHINE!!

Remember to share your pages, thoughts, ideas, etc in our FB group Mind.Body.Soul.




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