Journal · Mindfulness · Misc

Zentangle and Mindfulness

Arwen Lynch wrote this great article about “Zentangle for the Soul“, and it reminded me that I had taken a class a few years ago with my cousin. We were the only two who showed up, and so we had the teacher’s undivided attention. It was fun!

I’d pretty much forgotten about “tangling”, but every now and then I’d run across the kit my cousin surprised me with after the class. After reading Arwen’s article, I dug everything out. The items in the ziplock were from class, and the book I picked up used at a local store.

©Pip Miller

I kept the tangles I created in class  and then right after:

©Pip Miller

This is my favorite of the 4. I did it after the class, and I really like the checkerboard pattern (would love a floor like that!) and the hearts. It just all came together so nicely.

©Pip Miller

In this (my 2nd tangle ever), you can see the evidence of my tremors in the spirals. Drawing a spiral is one of the tests they use to decide if you have Essential Tremor or not.

©Pip Miller

Not thrilled with this one. It was the very first attempt at tangling. I bought some colored Sharpie Pens to jazz it up, but there wasn’t any help for it. 😉

©Pip Miller

Another ‘meh’. Not sure what I was doing here. 😉 I seem to like hearts and checkerboards, though.

©Pip Miller

I have a hardbound blank notebook in which I’ve begun another tangle. It’s easier to keep with me than tiles. The other day I was on hold for almost 45 minutes with customer service, and I finished a tangle that I’d started the day before.

Yes, you can start a tangle and finish it another time! As a matter of fact, there’s a lovely blog post by Eliza Fayle about easing in to creativity, and as she’s a tangler, of course she uses that as her example. She tells about creating over the course of a day (not multiple days), and that has made a big difference in how I am doing the tangles. I don’t always have time to sit for 1/2 an hour or more to create one, so this gave me the permission to connect back to it over the course of the day. It’s great!!!

Do you tangle? Link to some of your creations! Or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #tanglingfun .  I’d love to see them!

©Pip Miller – September 2015

Dry Life · Health · Journal

What Emotion Drives Your Drinking?

15 days today, kids. 15. I’m in a bit of shock over that, and at the same time, I’m surprised it’s been as easy as it has. I really expected many more days of really, really wanting a beer, but it hasn’t been that way. I mentioned back at the beginning of the month that I was going to pay attention to my emotions and see which ones drive the desire, and I’ve narrowed it down to one primary emotion: anger.


Anger has many definitions, and I’m learning that my personal anger encompasses many feelings, most especially the feeling of disempowerment. It’s how I feel – quite often, come to find out – when I am in a situation wherein a complete lack of control over my own life is the overwhelming emotion. Situations when I do things to keep the peace, when I must work to pay bills and put food on the table when I’d rather be sending light or reading a book, when communication is so tumultuous and full of roadblocks that I just want to scream and cry with frustration…and on and on. I was unaware at how little control I feel I have, and how little satisfaction I am getting from my life. There’s a huge feeling of beating my head against a wall, and, even stronger than that, of keeping the peace at the expense of my own peace and serenity. One can’t say what really needs to be said to that particular customer who makes you want to pull your hair out, nor is raging at someone who drives you bat-shit crazy with sheer frustration acceptable, and that extreme need to express one’s self – yet not be able to – leads to the need to be all stabby; and as that is really not ok to do, that turns into a deep, dive-into-the-ocean desire for alcohol to make it all go away before you do or say something you can’t take back.


I originally went into this #dryjuly with the thought that any and all emotions and day-to-day experiences were what leads people (well, me) to drink, but I’ve learned differently. I don’t feel the desire to drink when I’m happy or content (though a hot summer day can make a cold beer sound really, really good), and the habit of picking up beer after work has quickly gone away (that surprised me almost more than anything else). Nope, it all comes down to being middle-aged and feeling that “is this all there is and is it always going to be like this?” will never go away. That I’ll die full of frustrated dreams, unsaid words, and an deep well of anger.

What drives your drinking?

©Pip Miller – 2015



“Is This Who I Am?”


Recently I came across “Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue” by Neale Donald Walsh, and it really has me thinking. In it God* says to ask yourself, “Is this Who I Am” before making any decision, whether it be a big one like getting married, or a small one like what to wear. That when you ask yourself this question, you tap into your Self and begin to live the best version of YOUR self, rather than the unthinking version we all tend to live.Not only have I been asking myself that (and yes, it’s making me really consider my choices, especially with respect to how I interact with others), but I’ve been paying attention to that biggie, the “I Am…” phrase. The unconscious sentence we use more times than it’s possible to count in one day, heck, in one hour! Every little time we say, “I’m tired”, “I’m broke”, “I’m not good at this or that…”, each and every time we’re putting that thought out into the ‘verse, and the ‘verse is listening. It hears it all, and it doesn’t take into account “don’t want”, it hears it all as “want”, so “I don’t want to get sick, I don’t want to get sick” is heard as “bring on the flu, baby!” and yep, we get it in spades.When I woke up this morning, I caught myself beginning a litany that it seems has been going on for a while in my head, and it wasn’t pretty. Judgments, blame, doubts, fears…I was surprised to realize that I still wanted to get out of bed! I made a conscious effort to rephrase as much of it as I could remember, and to focus on what I am saying after “I’m…”. So far I’ve caught myself stating that my back hurts (and it does), that I never win anything in the lottery (I switched that one really, really quickly!), and I’m not good at drawing. Those are just the tip of the iceberg.I AM light. I AM wonder. I AM joy. I AM a healer. I AM so many things that there aren’t enough words for them all. I AM glorious. And SO ARE you. 🙂

What are you putting out into the ‘verse? How can you remind yourself to take more care with your “I AM…”?

*I’ve come to the conclusion that “God” is just a word, and in-and-of itself has no real meaning. We could call Spirit, well, Spirit. Or George. Or Jody. Or BananaManaWana. It doesn’t matter, because there is no true name for what IS. It just IS. So please, no comments about the word. 🙂

©Pip Miller – April 2014


It’s All About Perception


We are told that our thoughts create our reality…now I don’t know about you, but that’s a scary concept when you think about all the thoughts you have in a day, and how many of them aren’t of the most pleasant, uplifting type possible. So it’s become something that I’ve kind of shoved aside, choosing not to think about the ramifications of that kind of power.

Then I came across The Serenity Principle, which is about Neo-Cognitive Psychology and how it’s our perceptions and beliefs that create our reality. One sentence really stood out, “For a situation or event to be stressful we must perceive it to be stressful.” (bold is mine) Now, I knew this on one level, but for some reason that night really it really sunk in and was a major ‘light-bulb’ moment for me.

For instance, if you get a job on Wall Street and your perception is that it’s going to be wild, amazing, and energizing, then that’s how it will be for you. And Joe, who buys into the belief that it’s the most stressful job there is, well, guess who is sick all the time, worn down, frazzled, and miserable? Yep, Joe. Because his perception is different from yours. Two people, two completely different realities!

My new/old job as a store clerk: many look at such a thing as boring and tedious; my perception of it is fun, chatting with regular customers, meeting new ones, and checking out eclectic merchandise while helping others along their spiritual path. I LOVE my job! My perception of it has me anticipating going in every day!

It applies to little things, too. Is your perception that dinner with the family is always a disaster? Guess what? It will be. That you can’t cook and your meals always turn out awful? Yep, they bite. Big time. That you look horrible in your outfit? You’re going to feel like a walking sore thumb all day, no matter how many compliments you may get.

Changing your thoughts sounds like an almost impossible task, as thoughts just appear in our heads. But changing our perceptions, ah…THAT we can do! I had a situation yesterday that I always perceive to be one that is going to end badly, and I made a conscious effort to change that belief before I entered the scene. I focused on keeping things light, not taking the bait or taking any negativity to heart, and looking at the situation with love, rather than dread. I switched my perception of the entire evening, and surprise, surprise, it worked! I was able to let things just bounce off me, laugh at the absurdity of it all and how I’d always believed it had to be an awful time, and I went to bed later quite happy and at peace.

Now to change the perception that I’m a lousy cook. Burnt brownies, anyone? 😉

©Pip Miller – February 2014




Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted since September!  So much has changed, and I’ve needed the time to get used to it.

Biggest change is that I have a “real” job now!  Full-time, great pay, great people, close to home.  On the other hand, my time for doing healing work has lessened greatly and I must admit, I miss it terribly.  I also miss being home, believe it or not!  Today the ravens are finally back in full force in the neighborhood, and I just want to sit outside, sent light, and watch them dance in the sky.  Instead, I’m off to work soon.

Talk about a lesson in gratitude, eh? 🙂

BTW, the tree that the ravens & crows used to perch in (as well as the hummingbirds) is gone. 😦  It was dead and every time the wind blew, branches were falling off.  I cried when they cut it down because I knew it meant a change in the birds’ patterns and I was worried about where they would land now and if I could still watch them. The ravens & crows have chosen my other neighbor’s tree, which I love, but it’s much harder to see them.  Still they are there and I love it.  Aside…a ‘murder’ of crows *really* should be renamed a ‘cacophony’ of crows. *L*

©Pip Miller

This job has me immersed in a way of life that is of a culture not mine, and part of me is ready to just sink in, but there is a bigger part of me telling me it’s not the right path for me…most especially the nutrition aspect of it.  So right now I am navigating the waters of my soul, picking my way through all that I have access to and feeling my way along to what nourishes me.  Nourish.  That was my word for this year, and it honestly never became much of a focus until recently.  I think I may keep it for my word next year, too.  Suddenly it means so much to me, in ways I can’t begin to describe or even coherently put my finger on.

Am I making any sense?  I’m listening to the birds, watching the clock, trying to decide what to wear today (my least favorite part of having a job), and putting my thoughts into word here.  I have a feeling I’m multi-tasking a bit too much. 😉

©Pip Miller – November 2013