As a small business owner, I have had to learn the in’s and out’s of this new digital age. From websites, advertising, SEO, and marketing… it has been a huge learning curve.
I am at a place now where I feel confident in my knowledge base around marketing and networking on the world wide web, and I want to share what I’ve learned with others.
Isn’t that what being in business for ourselves is all about, networking… sharing and growing together.
If you are a small business owner, please take a few minutes to complete my short questionnaire! The information provided will help me with developing a project to assist new small business owners on their journey!
In February I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the 2020 MAEOE conference: Exploring Connections: Linking Nature, People, and Mindfulness.
The conference committee reached out and asked if I was interested in creating the logo for the conference, of course I said YES! Art, nature, people, and mindfulness are all passions of mine. It was such a fun project to work on, and they asked me to create the logo again for next year’s convention: Climate, Nature, People and Education: It’s All Connected.
February 6-9, 2020, the Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education brought together educators, resource personnel, scientists and researchers to share their experiences and ideas at the Princess Royale in Ocean City, MD. The weather was all rainy and cloudy most of the time, but we had a nice sunny day and a beautiful clear sky for a beautiful full moon.
The weekend began on Thursday with breakfast at the Bayside Skillet, it was delicious and hugemongous! Perfect for keeping my fueled for the amazing Leopold Educational Program workshop. Peggy Eppig shared with us the land ethic and conservation education of Aldo Leopold.
Aldo Leopold was an American author, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac, which has sold more than two million copies.
This full day workshop was full of learning and inspirational moments. We first went outside to the beach to spend time in nature. The beach provided a moment of clarity as well as discovery, of self and the world around me.
Learning about land ethics was a transformative moment for me. I am ever grateful for what Peggy shared with us that day. I see another layer to my being and how it all connects to the path of knowledge of self. Creative expression is simply a part of the whole. Our interconnectedness to all of creation is the energy, stewardship is the interaction of our connectedness…the product is beauty and love through creative expression.
Friday was a day of hands-on sessions. One session I attended that day was taught me how to dye with natural plants. We experimented with cranberries, turmeric, and onions to name a few. I was excited to take it back to school and share it with my students!
Friday was also full of social time! I love that MAEOE schedules in time for us to network and mingle. We had lunch, a first timers meeting, and happy hour! I also created a banner for people to fill in with their intentions for the conference! It turned out so cool!
Fridays field experience was a trip to the Indian River Lifesaving Station. That place showed me the shore in a whole new light.
Saturday sessions were jam packed and the exhibit hall was super busy. There was a silent auction in which I won a few things! Then we had a social dance costume party in the ballroom. MAEOE had an Eco Superhero contest that Ridgely entered! My green club students turned me into Rainebow Earth Brite! The kids made everything from recycled materials! My motto was I turn litter into glitter and trashy into flashy! We didn’t win the contest, however it was SUPER fun!
I left on Sunday after a morning meditation.
The shore gave me clarity and peace, to my center and on my journey in this life.
In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.
The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!
Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.
I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers. It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.
I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.
Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!
Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.
I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.
My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.
The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.
2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.
Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3 Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.
From Latin ambi- ‘on both sides’ + dexter ‘right-handed’.
Here is a post about what I am noticing about my time without being able to use my dominant hand.
Sunday, August 11th, 2019 I fell from a ladder while painting the crease between the ceiling and wall, and I broke my radius bone and fractured my ulna in my right wrist.
I am dominantly right handed… I am an artist, educator, mother and active participant in life. My right hand has defined me for many years. Now, almost 37 years old, I find myself forced to be left handed. Yes forced, as sitting still is not an option. Change is constant, and growth is my goal.
Ever since I was young, I practiced writing with both hands. I think the ability to control both sides of our brains and bodies is a skill everyone can practice through different levels of experiments. And one that everyone should practice for the growth of their brain.
Lately I have done a good amount of creating with my right hand, painting and doing henna. I feel like the universe is giving me the opportunity to grow and expand into my left side, which in turn balances me.
At first it was a lot to process… before I knew the specifics of the break. Thoughts and questions raced through my head, however I was never overcome by these thoughts. I held to the view that everything will turn out exactly how it was meant to.
I started having faith that all was in divine order and I am to learn from this things that will help me grow. That mindset has been vital in the healing process. The healing happens in allowing oneself to go through the experience and let go of the trauma one moment at a time. To see the experience as a growing experience… not being attached to how we feel about it, but processing those feelings as the arise immediately following the experience.
So one thing I want to do is document my experience. I dont see many people who have experienced unable to use their dominant hand.
It takes me longer to do things with only one hand working. Which means I have to slow down and give myself more time.
So as of today, the bone was perfectly realigned, and I do not need surgery. I go back in one week to get another xray and a permanent cast, which should be on for 6-8 weeks. This perfect timing for back to school, and setting up my classroom. I think we will have an even more student centered classroom this year, where the students get to decide how to set up our studio space!
The growth in this moment is so real, so intense…. like fire… leaving you raw.
Balance requires constant motion, directing energy while letting it go.
Friday was the day that encompassed all emotions, and began with self-doubt and anxiety. It continued with having handle the consequences for choosing to not take the best steps in a situation 3 months prior. Feelings of inferiority started creeping in… from my perceived inability to be a responsible adult. Disappointed in myself, for forgetting… for hiding from it like it would just go away.
So many parallels between my spiritual journey, as above, and my 3D experience, so below.
Hiding from the fact that sometimes I am SO hard on myself. I work to figure things out until I can fully understand them… but that’s when the universe steps in and says…you think you know, but you have no idea. The issue was my immediate reaction was to feel bad about myself, and to feel disappointment in myself for not doing things how I knew they were to be done. And when I think I feel good about myself, and I have figured out how to be most effective at being me…. the universe throws me a new challenge that shows me, I still have a lot of learning to do and a lot more practice balancing all that is my existence.
I was asked to hold a moon ceremony for about 100 women at The Fox Run 2019 on Friday night at 7pm by the amazing Tifani Truelove. The most interesting thing about all of this, is that I had felt like I needed more time to prepare for Friday night’s moon ceremony. I felt nervous and was experiencing a flux in confidence, even though I know this was aligned with who I am. I was trying to overcompensate for my lack of self confidence. Wednesday and Thursday I was mentally exhausted and anxious as to how I would be prepared for such a big, first time experience.
With so much going on in my life, and so much to do… how will I be ready!? I wanted to take off of work on Friday, but I couldn’t do that because there was a lot to do, and I had already taken off on Tuesday for a professional development experience in Philadelphia. I knew I needed to spend time taking care of myself before this weekend began, but there was no time!
Friday morning I was forced to take care of myself… I handled my business and was able to get things straightened out, thanks to some amazing ladies. By 2pm I was able to breath a little easier, which allowed me to reflect on the physical and emotional feelings that came from that whole experience.
I realized the image I was holding onto of myself, by repeating negative thoughts about how I felt bad for making a mistake. This helped me to break down why I felt that way and where it could’ve generated.
Processing my mental, physical and emotional responses, and reflecting on how they are aligned with my highest good. That is healing.
I realized I grew up not feeling like I was doing enough, or always worried I would disappoint someone with my actions. I was replaying old programming from my childhood, of being afraid to make mistakes.
However, as always, I was reminded the universe is on my side…and by 4pm I was home and preparing myself to be open to receiving and giving during the event I was attending that weekend. I was able to get on the road and to the event with perfect timing, arriving an hour earlier than my scheduled ceremony… which is what I had planned the whole week. Realizing that all of my anxiety was a reaction to a lack of confidence in myself.
Now I find myself to be confident, enough…. but this is the deep stuff… the things we ignore because we can put a smile on, and know the universe has our back. Pushing these things away because we know we are love and light, does not help us one bit. It actually takes more light away from us. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is face these deep heavy spaces with brave love.
The Fox Run 2019 is a women’s weekend away in the woods that focuses on community, and living fiercely as wild women. There was dancing, singing, tattooing, photos, workshops, healing and love.
I arrived at 6pm, to find beautiful women… sharing their joys with one another. Empowering one another to be their best, and shine their light bring. Amazing women, organizing a gathering of community, for celebrating and healing.
Friday started balancing out…
The ceremony that was to be at 7pm, was now pushed back to 11pm… which was fantastic, but at the same time there was a little bit of disappointment. I was excited to do the ceremony early and then be apart of the party afterwards… so when I realized it was going to be after the party I started noticing my thoughts.
Part of me was happy, that I had more time to make sure I was centered and aligned for the ceremony. There was a glimpse of disappointment that I didn’t get to join in on the party earlier. Part of me wanted to go take a nap, and rest before the ceremony; especially after the day I had.
So I laid in my tent, closing my eyes and resting with intention to hold space. Then I heard the laughter, and the howling…. I knew then that holding space doesn’t mean I have to seperate myself from the party. What better way to hold space then be surrounded by that which you are holding it for. There is no better gift than to see the joy and freedom a woman feels when she expresses herself fully. I enjoyed the amazing lineup that the ladies at The Fox Run had scheduled, and was blessed to experience each part.
And then it was time… to gather by the fire, and offer up our intentions and prayers. Prayers for healing, letting go, moving forward, and remembering we are wild women.
The ceremony was powerful…
It was wonderful seeing so many women come together in prayer, to support one another and remember we are all connected. Women started sharing their stories, one by one… speaking them into the tobacco, then throwing them into the fire, releasing them to the universe and being open to receiving the gifts that are available for each of us. At that moment I was in perfect harmony with the universe. I knew everything was in perfect order… and I once again realized the power of letting go and trusting.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead these amazing women in this opening ceremony, and to be able to share who I am and see myself in the beautiful mirrors of my community.
… and that was only FRIDAY!
On Saturday my dear friend Eli from EliArtSparkle joined the adventure. We set up a vending tent to do henna and sell Eli’s handmade mushroom jewelry! Saturday started off slowly… but we made many new friends!
One of my favorite parts of Saturday was The Bridge is the Key, Guided Sound & Writing Meditation with Krystle Sights.
Krystle led such a beautiful meditation that was profound and eye opening for each of us in that tent. Krystle’s voice and use of the singing bowl and tuning forks really opened my energy to receive. The message for me was to nurture my inner child by using my imagination, and including my daughter in the things I do, in order to help her navigate this world. She is also helping me to remember how to navigate myself in this world.
So many times my parents have said that my daughter reminds them of me…I remember what I felt like when I was little… I realized she is teaching me to remember to nurture my inner child, while I get to teacher her ways to help her remember who she is, and to always feel confident in her power.
Saturday night dancing was a blast… free, fierce and fabulous women dancing to the beat, and burning a giant wolf that was made for the event. This wolf was well crafted, and it was powerful seeing 4 women carrying it to the fire. When they needed help, there were no hesitations… women jumped right up to assist in the placement of this effigy.
As the wolf burned, a passage was read from the book, Women who run with wolves…
“What does this wildish intuition do for women? Like the wolf, intuition has claws that pry things open and pin things down, it has eyes that can through the shields of persona, it has ears that hear beyond the range of mundane human hearing. With these formidable psychic tools a woman takes on a shrewd and even precognitive animal consciousness, one that deepens her femininity and sharpens her ability to move confidently in the outer world.”
and we all howled, releasing once more the expectations we’ve grown into.
This weekend I also did a few henna designs, and would’ve loved to have done more! Though everything is in perfect timing. <3 and I am so grateful <3
This weekend was profound, and definitely one that has changed my life. It has shown me that I am meant to lead… I am meant to share… I am meant to bring beautiful people into sacred space, so they might be able to dig deeper into their being and find healing from within themselves.
On my way home, as I reflected on the events a HUGE bald eagle flew over me. I immediately pulled over and offered tobacco to say thank you, I am open to receiving the messages you have for me.
I am ready to explode with life from within my being… to live boldly, bravely, and fully in my power every moment.
The other day I went to PNC bank to make a wire transfer*.
This blog is about my experience and how it relates to technology innovation.
First off, I had to take off of work early to get to PNC before they closed at 4pm. The closest branch was about 5 miles away. Once I arrived at the bank I met with an associate who assisted me in the process.
The visit took a total of 30 mins or so, from the time I sat down to the time I left the building. To begin, I had to have the account and routing number of the bank the transfer was going to, as well as the person’s name and address. The associate input the information and had me visually and verbally verify that it was typed correctly. He then printed out the information receipt, which was 2 pages stapled together, and had me read over the printed receipt to check once more.
The transaction also has a fee of $30 for an outgoing domestic transfer.
It takes about 2 hours for the transfer to be sent and arrive in the recipient’s account.
I mention all of this, because time and energy are currency.
All of this affirms the importance of blockchain technology education, so we might learn and know how to manage our finances for ourselves!
To be financially stable and secure is something we work for our whole lives. A lot of times people find their stability in the forms of entities outside themselves, and this happens for many reasons; whether it’s time, energy, money, or the lack thereof. If you are not interested in learning to use it yourself, you should at least be aware of its implications and talk to someone who might be able to assist you in diversifying your investments and take back control of your funds.
So, lets say this transaction was performed using blockchain technology.
The amount of time, energy and currency needed to fully complete the task would be far less than 30 mins; that’s if both parties had all accounts set up and active.
A blockchain transaction could look one of two ways:
Recipient requests funds from their wallet to your wallet address which you have provided to them. Sender then confirms transaction to transfer funds.
Sender acquires recipients wallet address, logs into their wallet and sends funds to the recipients wallet address.
These two types of transactions cost no more than $10, and the average transaction time is .65 seconds.
As I sat in the bank, I realized how much currency I could save to refocus into things I have a passion to do, like painting or doing henna.
So, later that day I was using my PNC mobile account and I noticed that I could transfer money via Zelle. I created an account and transferred some funds, when I realized… ITS ALREADY HERE. Zelle is basically blockchain technology, with a user friend interface, and regulated by PNC. The downfall is that there is a limit to how much money you can send in a transaction depending on your account type.
I realize now how important it is to share my experiences and learning with my community. Time is currency! Begin learning more about what’s changing with our financial system, and blockchain technology here, or contact me to talk!
*wire transfers are necessary when your bank has a limit on how much you can transfer, and usually for larger amounts.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, relative to some “stable” asset or basket of assets. A stablecoin can be pegged to a currency, or to exchange traded commodities.
Demand for such coins has been growing. Stablecoins are designed to tackle the inherent volatility seen in cryptocurrency prices. They are normally collateralized, meaning that the total number of stablecoins in circulation is backed by assets held in reserve. Put simply, if there are 500,000 USD-pegged coins in circulation, there should be at least $500,000 sitting in a bank.
Stablecoins give owners a safe place to store their assets whenever there might be turbulence in the crypto world. Consumers can quickly and easily convert from cryptocurrencies to stablecoins when they are worried about where the markets are heading next, eliminating the need to return to a fiat currency. These conversions can also be less expensive than when switching between crypto and fiat, as it takes the transaction fees of payment processing providers and banks out of the equation.
Everyone — from banks to social networks — is getting in on the action. Facebook and J.P. Morgan are getting in on stablecoins. Elsewhere, IBM has launched its blockchain-powered World Wire in collaboration with Stellar (issuer of XLM) — also with the goal of building a cross-border payments network. Here, international banks can create their own stablecoins backed by their local fiat currency — and institutions from Brazil, South Korea and the Philippines have reportedly registered their interest so far.
There are four features that a cryptocurrency needs in order to become global, fiat-free, digital cash:
Decentralization (i.e. collateral is not held by a single entity, like Tether)
None of the current stablecoin projects have all of these features, but some are aiming to offer all of these. Scalability and privacy are likely further out. But stable, decentralized crypto-assets are possible today.
Stablecoins can play a significant role in the future development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in general. The key feature for the companies here would be operating in the most transparent way possible.
I am learning of many new things around blockchain technology, and I will continue to share as I learn them! So many exciting new things on the horizon!
I love being the Ridgely middle school girls softball coach! This is my 6th year coaching. Last weekend we took the middle school girls to practice with the Dulaney high school softball team, a lot of our students go to Dulaney for high school.
Coach Dave really set up a wonderful practice. There were 4 stations for batting, and we had time practice covering the field with runners. My team learned a lot to improve their skills! I look forward to our home game today to see how it pays off!
So this is my eleventh year teaching art at Ridgely Middle School.
I can hardly remember what it felt like to be a new teacher… a bit worried, stressed, and anxious….
About how the students would respond, if they would understand the process, and if they would be as excited as me about it all…
About my performance and how my administration would evaluate me, and see me as a teacher. Would I be good enough?
Eleven years later…
I can say I am definitely more confident in my teaching, and in my students abilities to learn. This comes from a combination of time spent in the classroom, trial and error, a supportive team of teachers in my building as well as an amazing Visual Arts office in my county, and from a total mindset shift.
Obviously as a new teacher, one has NO IDEA what they are truly in for.
Especially in the day in age where we were transitioning from analog to digital.
I started teaching in 2008…
When we still used TV’s and DVD/VHS players.
When we wrote objectives as “The students will…”
When we used Easy Grade Pro and had to put our grades in ourselves.
When there was one desktop computer and students had to go to the computer lab to look up references.
Life has changed so much…
We have morning announcements streaming in real time on the computer
We now write objectives as “I can and I will…”
We use Schoology and all of our grades are kept online and transferred for us.
Every student has their own computer!
The mindset shift is not only from analog to digital, but from thinking about how I should be teaching… to teaching from the authenticity of who I am. Incorporating my own personal journey and passions into my classroom have really changed the whole atmosphere. The students are more comfortable and excited to come to class since I have started teaching authentically instead of teaching from expectations.
I love seeing and being apart of the shift in our public education system. Baltimore County Public Schools is one of the forerunners for leading our students into 21st century digital creative authentic learning.
Now I no longer worry about how my students or administration will respond to my instruction, as I know I am facilitating a safe and powerful space for my students to creatively learn and express themselves authentically. I am teaching them to live authentically … and that is the best lesson anyone in this world could learn.
Here is to my eleventh year teaching and to all the learning, growth, and fun that will come this year!
He was a brave, analytical, strong man. His vision was rare. He saw many things, and assisted his tribe in knowing themselves better. His gifts illuminated each members path, which in turn enlightened the whole tribe.
She was a compassionate, balanced, teacher and nurturer. She shared her passion and created space that allowed others to share their passions. Everyone felt safe and at peace with her, as if they were home. She had the gift of allowing others to feel free.
Together they were Balanced in Strength and Grace
One day, their world changed forever.
The partnership that was made in the stars, was torn apart by an outside force.
At least that’s how it seemed at that moment in time.
She was a crane, traveling out to surrounding areas… meeting with other leaders, and bringing back new knowledge. He was a bear, a warrior and protector of his people.
He went out to meet his spirit animal, to be initiated as Chief. A quest to find and communicate with a bear. The bear willingly gave of himself as this was the bears time to go back to the spirit world. Animals would offer themselves up as a sacrifice for the flow of the universal energy. He conquered his fears, receiving his spirit animal using only his left hand. Realizing he had the ability to do as he willed, he didn’t need for anything outside of himself. The beauty in this realization is that he finally recognized the value of things outside of himself, and how they are vital to the realization of self.
She went out to meet a neighboring tribe to discuss new findings. The other tribe brought to her attention a new group of people who are lighter skinned with new machines, tools and weapons. She heard of how they came in peace, and how they wished to develop partnerships with her people. They brought gifts to show their intentions… many blankets for the winter.
Before he left for his quest he heard all about the new people. At that time he did not trust them, and did not want their gifts.
Returning from his quest he realizes there are lessons to learn through all experience with the universe, and lead with a heart of gratitude for all things. This is grace, and is a vital part to strength. He brought this way of thinking into his Chieftainship.
When his partner, and lover, brings the news of the gifts as an act of kindness, and shares the lighter skinned peoples said intentions to work together, he makes the decision to give the lighter skinned people a chance.
Winter falls upon the land… colder then ever before… the blankets help keep them warm, as the buffalo were scarce and the fur they gathered wasn’t enough for the whole tribe. He saw how the buffalo were hunted, and in his heart started to feel angry at the ways of this new lighter skinned people. He so badly wanted to see them as a blessing from the universe, but he soon started to realize that not all lessons feel like blessings.
This was difficult for him to find balance. The balance between trusting his instincts as a protector and trusting his heart to lead him through lessons that must be learned. He wanted to believe in the good of all people, and had a hard time seeing what he considered the bad parts as valuable. He was a protector after all… protecting those he cared for from pain and harm.
Or perhaps he was a protector of something far greater than he could imagine.
The blankets kept them warm… and continued to bring the peoples temperatures up. The tribe started to feel the heat of this sickness throughout their whole being. The elderly passed over first, along with very young children.
As he watched his people pass…he felt the fever within him grow. The fever seemed to re-light the fire of anger within his heart, forgetting what lessons he had learned from the bear. With each day he grew weaker and weaker as his anger grew deeper and deeper. The fire consumed him until he was no longer able to speak, losing his grace… and passing over.
She was engulfed in feelings of guilt, anger, sadness, regret… feelings she had never felt so deeply before. Her heart was darkening and weakening with the passing of each of her relatives. Was this all her fault? What should she have done, what could she have done differently? Not only did she lose her closest and dearest friends and confidants, she was losing her partner and her lover. She wanted to give up, she wished she had caught the fever… she didn’t feel worthy to be one of the last remaining.
One night an eagle came to her in a dream… showing her the cycle of life, and how everything was connected. Sharing the perspective that experiences are to learn and grow from, no matter how they feel.
She realized that strength was vital to her grace. She realized this was her lesson. He showed her the vastness of strength, and that grace alone isn’t enough. He taught her the importance of truly knowing strength in order to walk in true grace. She was grace because he was strength… but now she had found her own strength within.
This was the lesson the universe brought through him…
One can not walk in grace without having
the strength to do so in even the most trying times.