All posts by Brenda The Brave

Spark Joy – My Dream House

I spent last night trying to find pictures of what I want my house to look like and where it would be located.  Nothing totally fit, it was either too big, too small, too bland, too out there, so t…

Source: Spark Joy – My Dream House

Spark Joy – My Dream House

I spent last night trying to find pictures of what I want my house to look like and where it would be located.  Nothing totally fit, it was either too big, too small, too bland, too out there, so this morning my journaling session was describing my perfect home.writing-prompts7

It is located in the mountains, overlooking a pristine, crystal clear lake, with a huge deck that spans the width of the house  and expands in like a T in the center of the house.  The are bi fold french doors that open up to the living room and french doors to the art room on one side and the master bedroom on the other

The deck and floors are all dark wood, except the bathrooms and the art room.  The  middle of the house is all open concept with the state of the art kitchen near the entrance and a large island facing the view, the dinning table which is a handmade wood and mosaic with colorful fabric chairs, then the living space that is set up in a giant square so no matter what you want to do you are comfortable and have the view you want.  All the rooms have sliding barn style doors with a saying written on them, except the guest bathroom.

On the east side of the house is the master bedroom, bath, closet and laundry (connected to the closet), the walls in the open living space on this side has built-in storage and shelving. The door to the master is red and says “This room is filled with peace and love”, the door between the master and the bathroom closet area is a rich blue barn door, which says “There is beauty in all we see” the master bed and bath are a gentle sky blue on the walls with white trim and molding.  The blue has a gray hue so it serves as a neutral.  The artwork and accents in my bedroom are all colors and varieties, everything makes be smile.  I have a huge bed and a comfy sitting area that opens to the deck, art pieces and sculptures throughout the room.  The dresser stores fresh linens and blankets.  The bath has pops of color with the towels and flowers and art.  The closet is huge and painted a rich purple with a large multicolored ottoman and a slouchy chair in the center.   Two walls are all built-ins for clothes, shoes and anything else clothes related.  A pocket door opens to the laundry so there is no transporting of clothes around the house, only towels and sheets as needed.  Then there is a wall of shelves that contain memory boxes, journals, books, gifts, only the happy memories are kept and cherished in this special place. and in the dead center of the room is a chandelier, and covering the floor is a big fluffy white rug.  My own little power spot and a place to escape to when I need alone time.

On the west side of the house from entrance to deck is the guest room, bathroom, which connects to the guest room and the art room, and at the back the art room, which opens up to the deck and also has a comfy sitting area with a table for having coffee and looking out at the view.  The art room door is purple and says “Creativity makes my soul sing!!” and the guest room door is peacock blue and says “All who stay here are loved and bless this house.”  The art room has built-in for tons of storage, a giant wood work table and an easel, comfy stools.  The storage contains every conceivable supply you would need to make your hearts desire.  The guest room is a pale yellow with art work and plenty of storage in the closet and a basket of candles, towels, toiletries and a little note to greet them.

The deck has lantern lighting and metal fire pit, lots of seating and a table and chairs where the center has candles inset and surrounded by sea glass.  Outside the master on the deck is a water fountain and more seating. and my pets have free reign over the home, so dog or cat, expect some kind of fur ball to give you love while you are here.

Come in, sit down, what can I get you?

Time for a New Approach…Spark Joy

Okay,  it is confession time…I know I am not alone here…I always have cutter around me.  I reach a point where I clean and organize and declutter, but it is just a matter of time before…

Source: Time for a New Approach…Spark Joy

Time for a New Approach…Spark Joy

Okay,  it is confession time…I know I am not alone here…I always have clutter around me.  I reach a point where I clean and organize and declutter, but it is just a matter of time before the art projects take over my living room, the books I am reading pile up, the clothes are on the floor or in the drier and the dishes are in the sink.  The amount of “stuff” I have is not over whelming, because I used to move every year, which took  care of some of the excess.  I did some major decluttering, donating and trashing in December.  I have been working on my focus and direction in life, as well as, keeping the positive energy flowing in my life.

My progress this year has been slow forward movement, which is good, but I have been feeling a bit stuck.  So just like when a truck gets stuck in the mud or sand you need to either back up and add something to get traction.  For my work life I have been reading books on improving morale and positive leadership, which lead me to finding the book “Spark Joy, an illustrated master class on the art of organizing and tidying up” by Marie Kondo.  This sparked my interest because it hit all happy buttons:  joy, organizing, art, beauty and learning a new way of looking at something.

Marie teaches in a very specific way of decluttering based on keeping ONLY the things that spark joy when you see or touch them.  She also teaches how to store the things you keep in a way where it shows them respect, and energizes the space.  She discusses that a result of her teachings, based on feedback and experience, you will never not be a tidy person again.  Also, she has seen peoples lives change: after the class they enjoyed cooking, or their relationships improved, they made major decisions that they where not previously ready to make.

I look at it as when your home is cluttered your mind is cluttered.  The idea of being surrounded only by things that spark joy, everything having a place and showing your things respect you end up respecting yourself and any problems are easier to address.

I am embarking on this journey of “Spark Joy” today.  The first things she wants is for me to describe my dream living space and take pictures of my home as it is now so I can see the difference.  I know that I will be getting rid of many more things, but I thought this time I would try something that Adam Crockett in Passion In Action: Pure Steam RPG mentioned during his interview.  I am going to take the things I am getting rid of and going to post them on Craigslist for trade.  I want to see if I can trade them for things that do bring me joy.

I will follow up with the Before and after photo’s, pictures of the stuff I am trading and of what I get in return.  I think it will be interesting to see if I will be forever tidy and have some new joyful items in my home.


Passion In Action: Scripture Flowers

I have the pleasure of working with my first example of passion in action.  ViVi is a one woman dynamo. I am so honored to get to know her better and share her story. Brenda:  How did you come up w…

Source: Passion In Action: Scripture Flowers

The Trifecta of Blog Prompts

There were three blog prompts that I could not separate this month and decided to do a bundle for this post. 6 Top things streaming on my Facebook page The last thing that scared me the most. If yo…

Source: The Trifecta of Blog Prompts

The Trifecta of Blog Prompts

There were three blog prompts that I could not separate this month and decided to do a bundle for this post.

  • 6 Top things streaming on my Facebook page
  • The last thing that scared me the most.
  • If you had one wish…what would it be for?
  1. The top thing streaming on my FB page is the election.  I HATE this season, because it really tests my patience with the ridiculous posts on both sides of the fence.  I get the urge to block certain feeds because I get sick of seeing all the negativity and bashing that goes on.  This #1 topic streaming also encompasses the other two blog topics.  Let me start by saying that since I have been able to vote the options have been dismal and I end up voting for the lesser of to evils.  Well this year takes the cake…this election season is the last thing that scared me the most.  I can’t believe anything that comes out of either Hillary or Trump’s mouths.  I can’t trust either will do the right thing in office.  Honestly, it made me think of an article I read last year, Early Warning:Identifying Potentially Genocidal Political Movements, I found it very scary.  My wish is for the people in office in this country to consider the welfare of the citizen’s before themselves.
  2. “If you believe in God, like & Share” posts. amen I have my own relationship with God.  Honestly I don’t think he reads Facebook posts or cares if I like or share any of the various types of posts crossing my page.  I don’t need to type “Amen” for it to be true that God loves me.
  3. Cat Videos (or Dog videos):  I love the cat videos and pictures.  I try my best to keep my page positive and uplifting as much as possible  watch this cute little video Cat Chat, a funny cat related picture that made me laugh so hard my sides hurt. 12803275_10153998366117287_2914277709992761146_n
  4. DIY Tips:  I love these because they give me ideas on things to try.  I love being creative. Today’s Craft Post
  5. Trust Your Journey:  This is one of my favorite pages on FB.  It is always uplifting and they have great little videos they post. 30 Second of Gratitude
  6. My friends photography or current projects.  I love to see what they are working on and support them in any way I can.  Kevin’s Photograph, Dianne’s Cross Stitch project. 12734258_10206092852339535_4903021319130432687_n

When the Noise Stops.

Have you ever noticed that there are times when, through all the noise that the world throws at us, a message stands out?  It resonates with your soul and gains your attention. Once you notice it, …

Source: When the Noise Stops.

When the Noise Stops.

Have you ever noticed that there are times when, through all the noise that the world throws at us, a message stands out?  It resonates with your soul and gains your attention. Once you notice it, it repeats until you do something about it.  For me, these are things the universe is presenting to me as an opportunity to learn and grow. This knowledge has been gained by looking at my life and in hindsight, I can see this path very clearly.  There is an intentional sequence to my lessons.  Each one building and preparing me for the next.  Each lesson is harder and goes deeper than the one before.

I spent my life up until 2010 at top speed, living in a fight or flight mode. If I ran fast enough all the feelings would never catch up to me, but that doesn’t work.  As we all have heard the phrase, “No matter where you go there you are.”  Up until this point I had lived in the delusion of being in control.  In 2009 I lost my mother, that was the straw that broke the camels back.


I got the message loud and clear to STOP!!  Stop running! Stop hiding! Stop NUMBING!  JUST STOP!  It took a full year to be able to STOP.  It was through divine intervention that this happened and my life stopped and turned on a dime.  I was surrounded by people who understood immediately and loved me until I could love myself.  I was so far out of my comfort zone that all I could do was let go and ride it out.  Through this process I had to completely examine my life, the good and the bad.  “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates was right.  This process changed my perspective on life and various events in my life.  Perspective is key to whether or not I have a good day or bad day.  I get to decide.  Connecting the Dots is a perfect example of this.

In 2011 was the year of FORGIVENESS.  Forgiving the little things, mistakes, things said in the heat of the moment are easier than others. Asking for forgiveness is even harder.  There is a level of humility I had to gain, but once I started taking the action the relief was palpable.  I had no idea the weight I was carrying with the fear and shame. Then when it comes to forgiving someone who IS WRONG and HAS HARMED YOU or someone you love, the resentment and righteousness are tough to put down.  The event that harmed me was life changing and for the average person is unforgivable.  This was quite the struggle because my resentment had manifested in PURE RAGE.  Inside I knew that if I couldn’t let this go my life would never get any better than it was right then.  I WANT MORE!  I WANT TO FEEL PEACE!  I WANT TO BE HAPPY!  I had to make my peace with him, I had to make amends for my actions towards him after the event and in my heart I had to forgive him.  It took more divine intervention to get to the place where I was sitting across the table from this person and asked him to forgive me for my actions.  He did.  In sitting across from him my perception of him changed.  Seeing him where he has lived his life on the streets, in half way houses, drunk, losing his sight and day-to-day not knowing what might come hcropped-1510909_10152359989386030_7638752685126468128_n.jpgis way, my anger turned to sadness.  Life has a way of balancing the scales.  A friend told me, “forgiveness does not mean that they were right, or what they did was ok, it just frees you of the burden of carrying the resentment.  It helps you to move on and live free of the toxic feelings that resentment brings.”   When I got up from that table and wished him well I felt PEACE!  I WAS FREE!  I never dreamed that any of this was ever possible.  It is one of the greatest days of my life!

I had over a year of PEACE from 2012 and into 2013.  I am not saying that I didn’t have struggles, but I was able to face them with a level of grace I never had before. I was spending time with God and enjoying each day.  5 Ways I Get Closer to God is a blog post wrote during this time.  My mornings consist of

coffee with God as my meditation practice.    aa6c4-file3931347376227

Now 2013 was one of those years when I realized that everything before was preparing me to deal with what was happening.  The message FEEL.  FEEL EVERYTHING! Ugh, seriously?!  It has been so nice for so long.  At this point I had been divorced for 12 years, and my ex-husband had managed to continue the emotional abuse via stalking me electronically.  I never really felt safe or completely at rest, part of me was just waiting for the next thing.  In September of 2013 I was contacted by my step-son, who told me that my ex has lung cancer and only has a few weeks to live.  He died that night.  I found out most of the information from Facebook.  I have never felt so many feelings all at once..relief, guilt, anger, fear, shame, peace, guilt….all cycled over and over.  FEELINGS!  TOO MANY FEELINGS!!  This triggered my PTSD.  After talking to a very dear friend who was going through the same thing at that time, I went into EMDR treatment, which helped me process everything and I was back to a peaceful place within the month.

2014 was all about me. Once I had faced all these external demons I only had one demon left and it is one of the toughest…ME!!!  SELF-FORGIVENESS and SELF-LOVE. This is a current and ongoing battle to change my brain.  I need to break old habits and treat myself like I treat my friends, and even people I don’t know.  I have undergone intense therapy where it was reflected back to me how mean I am to myself.  My greatest lessons have come from being around groups of people in the same situation.  I have always seen it, but now I actually don’t completely believe the things I tell myself.  I am making progress, slowly but surely I will get there.  “The Power of Vulnerability” by Brene’ Brown has really helped me find my way out of a place of shame and into a place of love.  I am still a work in progress.

I am enough!!
I am enough!!

Today the word that jumps out at me is JOY.  Brene’ talks about how joy is one of the most difficult things to feel.  What she describes is so me.  When I feel JOY I feel so vulnerable and I am so afraid that something bad is going to happen that I just shut down that feeling.  PEACE is one thing  JOY…real JOY AND BLISS?!  I am not sure I even know how to feel it.  I see it in others…kids playing, couples in love, friends…

…You know I just realized when I am in a group of people where I feel safe I do experience JOY.  It almost always happens when I hang out with my friend Dianne and our group of friends.  Also, My friends Amy and Shy and our group of friends.  I feel 100% safe around them.  There’s HOPE!!!

How do I create a life where I can allow myself to be Joyful everyday?!  In 3 months I will find out exactly how to do that when I go on Matthew Hussey Retreat in Florida.  This week will wrap all this hard work up into a road map to living my life the way I want to live it!  I am so excited I can’t even wait.

Tell me do you see your lessons or path through the noise?  Have you found your path to PEACE, LOVE and JOY?!




It always amazes me how many people I know who make full use of their time doing projects or businesses for which they have a passion.   Some do projects or are creative just for the pleasure it br…