ATB Bistro 333

A place where visions and dreams meet, as inspired by the creative spirit within.
A place where the quest for beautiful possibilities in life may be explored, pondered and shared.
Welcome to the All Things Beautiful round table at Bistro 333.
Draw up a chair, relax awhile.
Enjoy the friendship and a cup of hospitality.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Hope sings in my  heart today.
Peace for the future rings in my soul.
Joy expresses in beautiful harmony
as the world keeps on singing;
and I help make it so. ~ ATB

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blessings at Christmastime

A starflower of Christmas blooms of 2010
 We're into the 12 days of Christmas now; 
 and this year of 2010
I've noticed something amazing happening 
 in the lives of my Facebook friends
What I'm seeing are the blessings of the Christmas season
quantum leaping heart to heart as time
 seems to leap forth at a breakneck speed.

It's a beautiful phenomenon; 
 and observing this transformation
taking place continually  brings me joy.
It will be interesting to see
what magical things
will happen to us all in 2011,
as we keep the Spirit of Christmas
alive season after season.
May you find joy of purpose,
and beauty in the ordinary moments
throughout the coming year.

Wishing you All Things Beautiful...always....
When you see ATB on my postings, you'll know what I mean.
May you discover, in 2011, the Star in you! ~ ATB

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Heartlight and Hospitality

Hospitality of spirit blossoms in this season of heartlight and the beautiful blessings of friends and family gathering in fellowship, expressing the essence of peace, harmony, joy. ~ ATB

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Feeling of Christmas

A Feeling of Christmas

By Susan Parcheta

In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas…”

The song was playing Thanksgiving weekend on a radio station that seems to have a tradition of playing Christmas music for weeks ahead. I happened on the station accidentally one day, way before Thanksgiving. Then that weekend, this one captured my thoughts.

While the words kept playing in my head, I began also to wonder why they strike our imagination. What is the feeling of Christmas, anyway?
What is the power in these words? Why do I STOP what I’m doing when I hear them? And why do I feel like dancing?!

Could be I grew up listening to Bing Crosby sing “Silver Bells”; could be all the Christmas memories traversing  down the years in that moment; or maybe it’s the warmth and love the music and lyrics express.
“Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile…”

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Georges Seurat Paintings to Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"

All Things Beautiful: The Daily Mandala: November 30, 2010

 All things are beautiful,
possible, dreamable
on the road less traveled by...
that leads to one bright shining spot,
the magical realm: Camelot. ~ ATB

All Things Beautiful: The Daily Mandala: November 30, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

  "The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." 
~ J.M. Barrie, novelist and playwright (1860-1937)

Life Is Like A Cup of Coffee - Inspirational Video Movie

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Evening Affirmation
~Night is drawing nigh~
For all that has been--Thanks!
For all that shall be--Yes!
~Dag Hammarskjold (1905-61), Sweden 

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Daily Mandala: November 1, 2010

 Angel Dreams:
Energizing systems, schemes...colorizing numerous themes of life. Filling in the pattern, I listen for what it means. I pick up my brush; and I paint the dream fulfilled. ~ ATB
The Daily Mandala: November 1, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Writer Within: A Reflection on 'The Creative Life' of Julia Cameron

By Susan Parcheta
Julia Cameron, bestselling author of ‘The Artist’s Way’ and ‘Vein of Gold,’ reveals her authentic writer self in her newest work: The Creative Life – True Tales of Inspiration.

The cover slogan, ‘Finding Your True North,’ seems misleading at first glance. As a writer, and as one who cares deeply about one’s creative life – and, as one who loves to write about the creative spirit in others – that’s what drew me into the story. Finding your true north; what writer, or any person, doesn’t wish to discover that? Finding your yellow brick road and following it, staying true to it, following your North Star.

While I was looking for new perspectives on Creative Spirit, what I found was affirmation of what I’ve known, intuitively, all along. Writing, or any other act of creativity, is all about relationships. As I read, I kept thinking how the book is set up as a running diary of a year or so in the life of a famous writer – a writer who inhabits New York’s Upper West Side, and who enjoys the company of many collaborative friends. 

 Being a famous writer is something I’d aspired to about as far back as Julia Cameron. I was so convinced about it, that after college, and after three years of teaching (and discovering that wasn’t where my soul wanted to be), I signed up for that illustrious correspondence school by the same name.

I’m not sure the school exists anymore. I still have the books; I’m tempted to get them out again, to see how far I’ve come and maybe to project myself into polishing my skills. You see, a local journalism job crept into my life. The hours of study, hoping to become that famous writer of books and magazine articles, were set aside for the local freelance/part-time/steady newspaper writing. I never completed the course. I accepted my lot as a comfortably well-known writer in my immediate geographic realm.

Why would Cameron’s book remind me of all this? Party, I guess, it’s because I see myself in this book. Whereas, with Cameron, ‘The Creative Life’ tells of a segment of her life where she struggles to find her voice again – another book. I’m thinking, “Where are my books? Why aren’t they written?”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Spirit of St. Francis of Assisi echoes down eight centuries to 2010

 Glory of the Feast of Saint Francis on Oct. 4 reminds me, in 2010, of the joy and splendor of all creation. May the world resonate with the peaceful simplicity of a heart message, echoing down eight centuries from Assisi...All Things Beautiful...ATB

The Feast of St. Francis is observed on Oct. 4, not only by those of Catholic faith, but catholic in the universal sense of people of all faiths.  Nearly 800 years since his death on Oct. 3 in 1226, the world resonates with the message of this gentle giant, St. Francis of Assisi, forerunner of the Franciscans.  

Most of us are acutely aware in our times of the power of positive, possibility thinking. An inspirational quote by motivational speaker Andrew Horton set me thinking about this in relationship to what I’ve been learning about Francis of Assisi.

  “You have the ability to choose your attitude and level of happiness,” says Horton. “You can either allow things to get you down or you can choose to view any challenges as a vehicle that is moving you closer to hidden opportunities. When something difficult happens in your life, choose to see it as something that is merely polishing you up, to make your life more beautiful.

He could have been speaking of St. Francis, who seemed to embody those qualities. St. Francis tuned into all things beautiful…from loving all animals (it was St. Francis who created the first live nativity) to the poor and downtrodden of humanity… the lepers of his time.  He saw challenges as opportunities to do good in the world. He triumphed over life tragedies, including separation and renouncement of family, disease, imprisonment.

 He loved people of all cultures. During the crusades, he went on a peacemaking pilgrimage to be received in Egypt by the sultan Melek-el-Kamel; it was a visit to the Muslim world which would eventually find the Franciscans being recognized as custodians of the Holy Land on behalf of Christianity. 

St. Francis inspired the beautiful Clare of Assisi who ran away from home to follow Francis, rather than marrying a wealthy young man. She established the order known as the “Poor Ladies” that later became known as the Order of St. Clare and worked alongside Francis, offering encouragement, as well as caring for him in illness.

St. Francis revered all of creation, something that we on this planet are at last grasping in our hearts. In his book All Saints,   Robert Ellsberg writes that, for Francis, “All things, whether living or inanimate, reflected their creator’s love and were thus due reverence and wonder. In this spirit he composed his famous ‘Canticles of Creation,’ singing the praises of Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and even Sister Death. Altogether his life and his relationship with the world – including animals, the elements, the poor and sick as well as princes and prelates, women as well as men, represented the breakthrough of a new model of human and cosmic community.” 

Cosmic community 2010: At this delicate juncture in our history, the message of St. Francis seems all the more powerful and urgent…  "Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Brother Sun, who is the day through whom you give us light."

This excerpt from The Canticle of Brother Sun, written by St. Francis of Assisi in 1225, invokes all of creation to praise the Creator.  Francis' teachings about creation as a manifestation of God have influenced the Catholic Church’s theology regarding creation; and in 1980 Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis the patron saint of ecology.  

St. Francis found strength and healing in the beauty of nature. He was known for his long, contemplative soujourns in quiet, sacred places in his beautiful Italy, and his love for all creatures.  Legends have sprung around this aspect of St. Francis. One tells the story of St. Francis preaching to the birds in the trees while on his travels. Another of quieting a wolf that was terrorizing a village.
Thinking of St. Francis, I think of beautiful healing gardens, such as those he loved in the mountains and monasteries of his homeland. While we may not have monasteries, we each can be modern-day mystics like St. Francis…savoring the seasons and living in constant awareness of the grandeur of nature and the universe. 

Louise Hay, author of numerous books on spirituality and healing, founder of Hay House International, invites us to celebrate the beauty of autumn. I can picture Saint Francis expressing such affirmations as these she shares: 

 “Beauty is everywhere. Natural beauty shines forth from every little flower, from the patterns of reflected light on the surface of water, from the quiet strength of old trees. Nature thrills me; it renews and refreshes me. I find relaxation, enjoyment, and healing in the simplest things in life. As I look with love at nature, I find it easy to look with love at myself. I am part of nature; thus, I am beautiful in my own unique way. Wherever I look, I see beauty. Today I resonate with all the beauty in life.

When we see all things as beautiful, I believe, the perennial favorite Prayer of Saint Francis may then truly be spoken from a compassionate heart: 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light: where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. – Amen 

Links for St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis: Why He's the Patron Saint of Ecology 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

 Seeking the resonance of beauty and speaking my truth, I open my heart to All Things Beautiful. The message is on stage, ramping up to new velocity. No more rehearsal. When the timing is right, the curtain will open, the scene will unfold, the story will be told. The script is ready; the actors are on cue; the director waits eagerly in the wings to marvel at this new creation. For, an idea whose time has come has no place to go but out into the world. - ATB

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

 If you ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it...
But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Three Cups of Tea"
I drink to the passion of compassion
for those in the mission field of education
and cultural transformation. May I 
find my cup to fill and partake of
the abundant sharing spirit,
the global hospitality of
 all things beautiful - ATB
The beauty we love...
"Today, like every day, we wake up hollow and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Reach for a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." 
~ Jalil al-Din Rumi (1207-73), Persia

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Daily Mandala: September 6, 2010

Mandala Art by Henry Reed
 Envisioning the healing garden of my dreams, I go about the business of creating the pathways and venues that will bring beauty to my world. I see a butterfly flitting over each flower in the field, touching each one with promise of light revealed. Patiently, diligently, in balance and harmony...and with a sprinkling of the butterfly,
I get the job done. - ATB

The Daily Mandala: September 6, 2010
  "Uniqueness transforms each being into presence,
which, in the image of a flower or a tree,
never ceases to open, in time, 
toward the plenitude of its radiance, 
which is the very definition of beauty."
-- Francois Cheng ( The Way of Beauty)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Daily Mandala: September 4, 2010

Inspirational Art by Henry Reed

May I walk in truth and beauty.
May the power of my heart inspire, energize,
and create visions and dreams.
May they be instrumental in singing 
a song of hope, healing, and harmony
to my world. May I be granted the 
strength and courage to play the tune. - ATB

The Daily Mandala: September 4, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yesterday’s Coffee, Tomorrow’s Muse

 My father-in-law inspired my blog series, 
starting up again Sept. 1, 2010 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Small Wonders

Open your eyes that you may see
the wonder that around you lies;
it will enrich your every day
and make you glad and kind and wise.
-- Emma Boge Whisenand

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creating sacred space....

Giving myself the gift of relaxing into my heartsong, my purpose... sinking into its allure via my imagination, my daydreams. Everything lightens, transforms. In that sacred space, I'm discovering, creating, coloring my painting...funneling, flowing magical visions of beauty and possibility.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visions and Dreams: What is your dream?

"A dream is not given to you
without the means to attain it."
-- Hemal Radia

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Daily Mandala: July 15, 2010

Each day I may find a healing retreat within my own landscape, my own lifework, when I choose to re-inspire ME. I look for ways to creatively fashion a sanctuary of spirit in my own space, between the space of my interactions with the world. Creating these sacred places nurtures my soul. Re-energized, re-ignited with the joy of my heart, its expression flows beautifully outward as a wave of inspiration to those I meet on my journey. --ATB

The Daily Mandala: July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Grant me the ability to be alone; may it be my way every day to go outdoors among the trees and grasses, among all the growing things, and there may I be alone, to talk with the one that I belong to."
-- Prayer of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Daily Mandala: June 30, 2010

Sweet summer reverie: I rest, relax, renew in the gentle wisps of summer breezes. The dusky fragrance of lavender, lilies, and roses suffuses my heart with peace. I'm at one with my world, walking serenely...summer-hatted and Alice-blue-gowned...beneath silver-white clouds. In the shaded nooks of my healing garden, I imagine butterfly visions and dragonfly dreams. My steps turn toward my dream cottage, around the bend in the woods. And there, I paint all things beautiful. – ATB

The Daily Mandala: June 30, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Comic Connections

Comic Connections

Do you ever wonder about people connecting and communicating? I mean, touching base and keeping in touch…filling in the blanks…staying connected. Do you ever wish you’d taken the time to do that, when it might have mattered to the person or to you?

If you’re like me, you find those times cropping up on a daily basis. Thank you notes you meant to send, that are still on your To Do List. Email replies…just so the person knows you got the message. Phone conversations you thought you’d have, but didn’t get around to it.

A recent Sunday was one of those days. Here’s the scenario. I’m trying to communicate with a very important person in my life. Yet, somehow he seems to be able to remain detached and, if he did get my messages, all I can do is assume he got them, and let it go.

As I was stewing about that, I took particular notice when our Sunday paper arrived. Our carrier Pat had left a note on top. The comic section had been shorted at the plant, and she went back to get them. Later, we found a phone message telling us that all was well, that the comics would be arriving, so we wouldn’t miss them.

Extraordinary, I thought. Knowing how important the comic section is to most folks, she has gone out of her way to be sure we got the message. I need to reply so she knows we got it, and how much we appreciate her thinking of us and nurturing this carrier/consumer connection. I really need to let her know that.

Now, the immediate question was: Will I sit down and do that right away? Or at least write it on my list? And, if I do write it on my list, will I find/take the time to do it? Alas, that is the life question I’ve been dealing with more and more often, as time seems to keep speeding up, and I seem to be gathering more folks to communicate with, and not wanting to leave the ones I used to know left in the dust of memories only.

All of this brings up one of my main contentions about our fast-paced world. How do we keep from slipping off each other’s radar? How do we (to put it in Pandorian terms as in the movie Avatar) SEE…truly SEE…each other. And not just a comment on FACEBOOK or @ you in Twitter. But even that, is better than nothing.

Because of my conundrum and dilemma over my communication skills and outcomes of late, the Sunday messages from our news carrier kindled my heart, to use a favorite expression of mine, and lit me up to write this blog.

Perhaps there’s hope, after all. Perhaps, if I follow her example, and make a point of leaving a message to those I care about, about important matters…or even not-so-important matters…our efforts will ripple out into the vast sea of “I SEE YOU” and created its own butterfly effect.

“At least someone communicates,” I thought to myself as I received both her messages. Now, it’s my turn to communicate back, so she knows that I SEE her, and her efforts.

Not only did she put a note on the paper at the top that she had to go back and get the comics, but she phoned and left a message. At least she communicated…twice.

My next thought was to follow through on my intention to put a thank you note in the paper box…as soon as I finished this blog. No, wait, I decided, I’d better write the note first, get it ready to mail, and then finish my blog.

And then, I figured, I’d zoom in on my correspondence list and see who on that list needs a message from me. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I may be a Gemini, supposed master of communication arts, but often both the comic…and the cosmic…connection eludes me. Sometimes I just can’t figure people out.

So that leaves it up to me, I guess, to just be me… and be the best communicator I can be. Meanwhile, I’ll look in the mirror and SEE that I am the one I need to please about me. And let everyone else, just be.

Thank you, Pat, for being a wonderful caretaker of your newspaper community. Rain, sleet, snow, or hail -- in good times or comic-less times -- we know you care and that you SEE.

Who needs to know that I SEE?

Well, I did write the note. And I did put it in the paper box…late Sunday night. And in the box was the missing comic section. I was pleased that I actually followed through on my intention. And the pleasure was doubled when I received a little note on the top of my paper the next morning.

I’m only saying all this, because -- in being aware of my intention to write the note, because I was focusing on my thoughts and actions for this blog -- I discovered that, even then, I got distracted from that intention. Little things kept happening all day, to pull my attention elsewhere.

So, what is the answer? Why, with all the myriad ways of connecting with people, do we still have trouble communicating? Why can’t we learn how to truly be present, and engage with others? If even for a brief moment of our time. Without appreciation for each other, life seems just surface skimming.

The whole concept of communication and caring, nurturing and engagement has been on my mind for quite some time. It’s an issue we all have to face in our own way. But, that small gesture of consideration on the part of our paper carrier has gotten me up on my soapbox.

And, it’s also gotten me motivated to keep looking for ways to fine tune my networking and communication habits, and become more intuitive about leaving my own messages for others.

You never know when something you communicate could turn someone else’s day into a bright, sunshiny day… like Pat’s comic connection did for me.