Ageless Grace and Musical Vibrations

F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2

My neighbor, 82 years young, is a classical piano teacher. She’s been teaching for 50 years! I have the pleasure of listening to her play almost everyday…through the walls. Sound and musical vibrations travel! She lives on the second floor back apartment and I live on the first floor front apartment. When I hear her play, usually late afternoon, I stop what I am doing and listen, taking in every note and graceful touch of the piano keys.

Recently I saw my neighbor (choosing to stay anonymous) as she was leaving and I was entering our building. I expressed to her how much I enjoy her classical piano music and asked if I could take a video of her playing and share it on Nature’s Sweet Grace blog. She agreed. The intentions for creating this video also ties in with a fitness & wellness program I take part in called Ageless Grace, Timeless Fitness for the Body and Brain which is based on the science of neuroplasticity. Her piano playing is a beautiful expression of Ageless Grace and the body, mind & spirit connection.

Music is what I love. When playing classical piano you use the brain and the whole body – head, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers all the way down to the feet.

Get to know your neighbors. You never know what gifts and talents they are ready to share with you. Enjoy F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2!

With Sweet Grace.

Friendship Art

Connection Through Our Gifts

Illustrator Keara McGraw – Gifting Artwork to Friends
Illustrations on their own are strong, heART felt and beautiful.

Four friends are to each receive a flower illustration. The magic happens when Keara arranges the four illustrations together and adds the color. The color addition creates a new collective art piece symbolically illustrating that each recipient and illustrator are connected and part of a whole. A powerful representation of how artistry, friendship and meaning come together through our gifts and talents we share with the world.

See more of what Keara is up to at

With Sweet Grace.

Seed Meditation

Complementary Therapies Series
Wellness House, Hinsdale, IL


Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:00pm

This Seed Meditation evening is one of four different Wellness House evening programs being offered as part of a Complementary Therapies Series for those living with cancer.

Seed Meditation is an Expressive Arts tool used for calming the mind, centering our focus and enriching our creative spirit.

I welcome you to join me for this evening to learn more about Seed Meditationmindfulness, beginning a daily practice, and take part in creating a personal Seed Meditation.

The four evening programs are Emotional Freedom Technique, Reiki & Energy Work, Seed Meditation and Acupuncture. The programs are an opportunity to have your questions answered about complementary therapies available through the Wellness House that can help manage side effects.

With Sweet Grace.

Seed to Blossom

An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence

A new eCourse that begins November 4

Sign up at Nature’s Sweet Grace.

Seed to Blossom eCourse

Seed to Blossom eCourse, An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence

Seed to Blossom is a six week self-paced course created to support and embrace your self-expression and inner explorations into knowing one’s self through the life of a flower. Using seed to blossom as a metaphor for growth, Divine purpose, and sacred intention, you’ll be guided through an inquisitive and creative process that takes you from your seed’s conception through to full bloom. It is a journey co-creating with Great Spirit your flower’s essence – an expression of your true essence. Your unique flower may come to life through a poem, song, quilt, painting or other expressive art form that resonates with your gifts, talents and adventurous spirit.

Throughout your Seed to Blossom journey, the exploratory process acts as an opening to:

  • Self-expression through the expressive arts
  • Awe, wonder and amazement
  • Awareness of your connection to the Whole
  • Gratitude and appreciation for the journey
  • Connection to nature, inner and outer
  • Playful and expressive storytelling
  • Meditative practice for focus and clarity
  • Curiosity, inspired intention and conscious co-creating
  • Imagination through the extraordinary and fantastical
  • Growth through authoring your journey
  • Purpose in the vast universe of possibilities
  • Creativity and your unique flower essence!

The self-paced format is ideal for working at your own pace, whenever you like, allowing for flexibility, creativity and flow. The course is presented in six Phases, with each Phase presented in a PDF format that can be downloaded from the Seed to Blossom course site anytime during the six weeks. Each Phase includes a video introduction explaining the growth sequence you’ll be working with, inquisitive journal prompts, inspiring resources and other exploratory tools. You will need a journal and materials that support the medium you’ll be working in. It’s OK if you do not know what that is now. I’ll cover this in the course introduction.

Throughout the course I connect with you individually and through the group collectively via email providing personal feedback and answers to questions. Therefore, this class enrollment is limited to a small group. Registration will be closed as soon as all the slots are filled. I welcome you to take part in Seed to Blossom, An Exploratory Journey Co-Creating Your Unique Flower Essence. Enroll now to reserve your space!

November 4 – December 14, 2014

Sign up at Nature’s Sweet Grace.

More about the creation of this class
This class came together through my love of nature and personal journey over the past 15+ years getting to know myself. Flowers for me have been, and still are, a window to the extraordinary. I can recall the first time I looked at a flower with a knowing it was so much more than a flower. I became aware of its beauty, exquisite design and reflection of a world that connected me to something much larger. I asked myself, “Who created this beautiful flower?” That one question opened up the window to seeing the magnificence in all of creation. I have come across many flowers, each unique in their color, patterns and design. Some take on the appearance of animals, fire, food, and even faces. Did you know there are over 1 million flower species in the world, some yet unnamed. The number could be infinite! Which leads me to the creation of this class and using Seed to Blossom as a metaphor for connecting with our true essence. Though there are an infinite number of flowers in the world, there is only one you, with a unique purpose that is meant to be shared. 

It is my intention that Seed to Blossom be a window for those willing to go deeper with an adventurous and creative spirit into knowing one’s self through the life of a flower.

For inquiries about the class, contact me here.

With Sweet Grace.

Seasons change……

……and so do I.

Seasons change and so do ISeasons change and so do I
Seasons change and so do I

Nature’s beauty is getting ready to put on a spectacular display of color and light. The changing of seasons. The change from one season to the next also acts as an opportunity to observe, reflect and Be the gratitude.

As we enter Autumn look at the world around us –  what trees (and other plant life) are changing color, what seasonal foods become available, what is the local wildlife up to, what is the color of the sky? Observe all nature has to share with us.

As we enter Autumn look at the world within us –  what are we beginning to harvest from seeds planted earlier in the year, what is our pace, what makes us come alive? Reflect on all our inner nature has to share with us.

The Seasons change and so do I artwork represents the Midwest seasons. I chose to express them through creating a mandala. All the seasons flow from one to the next, coming together as a whole. No beginning, no end. And as in life and the universal forces, change is one thing we can count on.

To create your own Seasons change and so do I mandala, gather 140lb multi purpose paper, acrylic and watercolor paints, tacky glue, scissors, hand-made artisan paper, needle and thread, beads are optional. Decide on four to five different art processes. I used stamping, swirls, sponge brushing. For the cut out shapes create organic shaped templates. Trace, cut, assemble and glue! Instead of gluing the mandala circle on to the background paper, stitching the circle to the background complements the hand-made paper. You can also add a bead to each stitch.

Before laying down the cut out pieces begin with an intention for your mandala. Setting an intention grounds the co-creative process and embraces our intuitive nature.

expressive artscut out free-form pieces

Seasons Mandala

This seasonal themed mandala can also be used for life stages – birth through death, or what ever transitions you’d like to express.


With Sweet Grace.

We As Creators

Intentions – Boundless Creativity


Have you ever come across a book where you found yourself saying, “I wrote that!” All the words resonate with you on a higher level and knowing. It’s as if you co-authored it coming into your physicality…all ego aside.

craftingcalmRecently, a participant in a jewelry class I was facilitating brought a book to share that she checked out from the library, crafting calm-projects and practices for creativity and contemplation by Maggie Oman Shannon. Looking through it I could tell this book held much wisdom. After class I picked up the book at a local bookstore, went home and created a space for embracing the wisdom, creativity and energy within crafting calm.

In Maggie’s Introduction, and throughout the book, she shares simple yet profound reflections on creating.

The soulful statement that I hope this book makes is that whether you call yourself an artist or a craftsperson, both or neither, we are all creative. We are all creators. We are all creations of creator. It is to this that this book speaks–how we can stoke our deepest sense of ourselves and the Divine by employing the inherent flame that lies deep within each of us: creativity.

I see this essence when facilitating expressive arts classes. There is a creative spark that’s lit and participants voice this with an I wish the class could go longer, I could do this everyday, oh thank you so much, and this is fun! When we connect with the creator within us, we are at home with our Divinity. And that feels amazing. It’s light, at ease and timeless. It’s available to us when we are present.

It doesn’t matter if we are creating a craft or another life modality, the act of creating extends out to all creations; creating a meal, a vacation itinerary, a new space to relax, foundations for a new business, peace within a relationship, or a musical composition, we are all creators.

 At first glance, some of these crafts and suggested spiritual practices might seem simple, even simplistic. But everything–including the simple act of breathing–always offers an invitation to go deeper. The key, the alchemical ingredient that changes an activity from craft to spiritual craft, is one’s intention. How one consciously chooses to dedicate his or her creative time–and to what or whom one dedicates that creative time–is what turns an ordinary crafting experience into an experience of the holy.  

Intention is powerful. In this moment create an intention for what you have in front of you – maybe it’s a garden that needs weeding, a blog that needs completion or meal preparation for family and friends. How will what you are creating serve others and your well Be-ing?  As I begin _____________________, my intentions are _________________________. Apply this throughout your day and see how the energy of the world around you shifts. As Maggie Oman Shannon expresses it, crafting calm.

What are you presently and intentionally creating?

Enjoy the creative journey!

With Sweet Grace.

Gems: Becky Jaine

Gems: Soul Sisters & Soul Brothers known for their innate beauty, luminescence, and spectrum of wisdom that touches every one of us.

Following Her Heartpath

Becky Jaine – mother, daughter, wife, sister, writer, facilitator, obsessive lover of nature and our precious planet and us 7 billion humans, and so much more. Where ever she goes, what ever she’s putting her heart into, a beautiful burst of light energy radiates kindness and love. For Becky, life as a human is such a gift.

Becky, originally from England, is based in Raleigh, N.C. with her family. She shares that her children, ages 5, 11 and 12 are her greatest teachers, They are re-teaching me everything I thought I knew about the world, through their reflections and questions like my son’s “What is war?” and my daughters’ “Why do we have war to fight for peace?” I am blessed to be their mother and feel such an awesome responsibility to preserve their spirits. I believe all children are sages. I try to withhold my reasoning and answers to create a space to let them express their own ideas and thoughts.

In 2013 Becky put her beliefs into action creating a program for middle-school-aged girls called Creative GIRL. Four times a year Becky and the girls get together for playshops to paint, write, make things like jewelry and clay, and to focus on kindness: kindness to ones self AND kindness creativity campaigns to make things for strangers. The power of creativity PLUS kindness is world-changing. Just like women, girls too need a safe place to share and shine, and it is an abSOULute pleasure and privilege for Becky to define and offer this program. Becky is very aware that boys need a similar space to honor all they are, but for now, her work is dedicated to women and girls.

Becky recently shared her intentions and inspiration for Creative GIRL in a special format called PechaKucha (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide….go!) that is now available on youtube.

Also in 2013, Becky created a sacred space and time for women to generate self kindness and love through Sacred Kindness Retreats in the NC mountains. She has co-created three of these amazing pilgrimages, with the fourth planned in October 2014. They are joy-filled, creative and loving celebrations of the amazing and diverse women who come. Being an adult does not mean we should play less, Becky feels being an adult means we now have wisdom to guide us into deeper and more powerful play. During the retreats, the women are reminded of their playful nature, and together generate heaps of grown-up JOY!


Creating these programs and retreats has put Becky on her heartpath. Kindness is her currency. With a new movement taking shape called The Gift Economy, she has created a hybrid version offering her programs for a price with the caveat: If people do not have the financial resources to pay, they can either pay what they can or come without paying anything. The nature of her work develops relationships, so people get to know her and want to reciprocate using their own gifts, responding in support—not only money but perhaps clothes for her children, art supplies, or promoting her work to their friends.

For Becky kindness itself is a practice. She reminds herself that if she does 3 things every day for the next 40 years that will mean 43,800 kind acts. A little every day adds up…even the smallest act changes the world for the better. Becky’s life’s work is to realize her own power and be aware of the ripple effects of her intentions and the choices she makes. Becky expresses, How can I exist and celebrate humanity without compromising Mother Earth? I’m learning…. I want to create opportunities to celebrate us humans and our innate powers and spectacular nature.  Shine on!    

With Sweet Grace.