Gems 4.172

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.172

Photo by Free-Photos, Pixabay

I made this video nine years ago, and it is still the first thing I look at almost every day. If I have one prayer, it is this beautiful and timeless Prayer of Saint Francis.  Also “Thank you.” And an occasional, “HELP!”

“Here are the two best prayers I know: ‘Help me, help me, help me’ and ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.” -Anne Lamott

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

Gems 4.161

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.160

Photo “Beach, North Sea” by Kordi Vahle, Pixabay

The quoted verse is from “Being Kind” by Empty Hands Music.

 

Empty Hands

One of the co-creators of Empty Hands Music is Nimo Patel.  I am grateful and honored to count Nimo among our friends. My husband and I got to meet Nimo after his concert in DC a few yeas ago.  So much love. It shines through his words, his smile, his hugs and every note he sings.

Years ago in Los Angeles, Nimo was a successful and wealthy rap artist with record sales and music videos.  Then, everything changed.  In 2014, Nimo gave a TEDTalk about his transformation.  It began with a choice to go from outward seeking to — nothing.

There were three steps and four lessons in this nothing:

Continue reading

Gems 4.116

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

4.115

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” –Tecumseh

 

If you know any homeless artists who would like their poems, photos or art featured on under1000skies as well as our accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, G+ and through our email list, please pass on our information. Thank you! ♥.

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

 

Gems 4.110

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 4.110

“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.” -Eckhart Tolle

under1000skies

…began on November 11, 2014 on my personal blog, Niki Flow after a conversation on Twitter with author Laurence O’Brien.  It Begins with Me O’Brien shared an article by Christopher Taylor called “Social Cleansing of the Homeless.” This term “Social cleansing” was an unfamiliar one, and the article was horrifying.  When I responded his tweet, O’Brien invited me to do something about it. I’m an agoraphobic with panic disorder…

under1000skies – About Us

MIRACLE

I recently (July 30, 2018) had a quite miraculous turnaround in my own mental health. I wrote about it on my personal site in a poem called Transformation, a series of haiku verses.

If you don’t like poetry, bottom line is, I no longer have the title of “agoraphobic” or someone with “panic disorder.” I’m free!  I feel like I have been let out of prison after 18 years. In both the literal and figurative sense, I really have been.

I went to the supermarket three times in the first week AT (After Transformation — which is cool because one of my Lifetime Aspirations is to hike the entire AT).  So AT, first week – shopping was a high.  I had to use an electric cart, but — wait. What am I saying? I got to use one. 🙂 Those things are fun!  I couldn’t get enough of being out.  I was zipping all over the store, smiling at literally everyone. I must have looked a bit insane.  I puttered up to displays, delighted by the color and variety.

“Cereal, I’ve missed you!” and “Oh! I forgot how many soups there are!”

Crazy lady. =)

I did shopping alone this past weekend while my husband did a Home Depot run. Paid and everything. Go me!  I feel like a kid again, when all this was new and I was brand new to being semi-independent.  I feel like me again, like my old brain is back, except with none of the old tapes screaming at me.

I’m so incredibly grateful and filled with so much joy.  You know what’s really weird?  I woke up sobbing from a nightmare about Ben three nights ago.  This happens about once or twice a month maybe.  Since I learned how to sit with this grief and fear and let it pass through, it’s not nearly as hard.  But the amazing thing to me was, even I was filled with grief, missing my son so much, and feeling like my heart was shattering, I still felt that incredible joy and gratitude — at the same time.  I didn’t even know such a thing was possible.

I’m not afraid anymore.  The changes I have been making feel so natural, almost effortless. I feel like I have slipped into someone, at last, I was always meant to be, and that it will only get better.

I’ve been able to clean and cook and shop and go out to lunch with my son — things I’ve missed because I felt so depressed by this “mind-frak” as I called it that I couldn’t bring myself to do much of anything.  My house has light flowing in, both literally and metaphorically.  My meals are healthy and we don’t eat out so much.  I feel like an actual human being again.

Best of all, this has helped my youngest son.  We’re taking voice acting lessons together from a coach on Simbi.  My son has such a beautiful voice, spoken and singing, and voice acting has been a dream of his.  He really admires people like Tony Jay — one of the best voice actors of all time.  I love my son’s company and I’m so proud of the compassionate and kind young man he is.  He has very dear friends, and when I see them together, I see the same gentleness and kindness with them that he has always shown to me.

My husband is happier too – my hero.  I never felt good enough for him, ever.  That was my hangup. Of course I am.  He is one of the best men I have ever known and he’s never complained this entire time we’ve been through this. He’s had to do all the shopping, take me to any doctor visits, just so much.  Now he’s freer, and this makes me so incredibly happy too.  We’re partners again.

 

A New Challenge

It’s good to notice my world, to see endless reasons for joy and gratitude, and to be a part of it.  I’m so glad I didn’t wait too long.  I have new medical challenges, but thanks to my ability to get to doctors and labs, I am finally getting these addressed.

One tool that has helped me more than any in my life so far is a daily email from a beautiful soul Heather Noëll.  About a month ago, my friend Bob recommended her free eCourse TheGivingGameFoundation.com.  It comes with a daily email to a page of really brilliant tools. I committed an hour a day to study beginning a month ago, and I am certain this also helped me to come through that gate of transformation.

I am grateful for this moment now.  I am grateful that every choice I make today is creating tomorrow. I’m grateful for this beautiful corner of the world, here on under1000skies where we are connected.

I’m grateful for you dear person reading this right now. ♥.

With love and hugs and smiles and joy,

Niki Flow, Volunteer Coordinator

under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative ☼
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

 

Reverence – A Special Invitation

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡

You may know about or have been a part of our 2015-2016 “300 Days of Gratitude” Challenges on KindSpring.org.  I wrote about our journey recently, and about our origin inspiration (Mike Albrough) here:  300+ -The Journey So Far

For the”300″ series, we did 17 consecutive 21-day challenges.  It was great to be connected with friends, love ones and people from all over the world. So, I’m really happy to invite you to today to a brand new series as well as to a brand new challenge called “Reverence.”

Reverence” begins  on June 11th.  It was written by KindSpring and “The Soul of WoMen.” Since this will be my first time with the challenge, I don’t know a lot about it except that it was really well received.

Here’s the link:  https://www.kindspring.org/challenge/join/1661

Our new gratitude series, “300,000+ Days of Gratitude” began in December, 2017.  “Reverence” is the 7th in the series.  For the “300k+” series, we’re doing a challenge a month using the KindSpring templates as well as new and original content.  We’re also continuing the weekly “Gratitude Journal” bonus challenges.

I hope to see you! (=

♡. Niki Flow

 

reverence pythagoras

Photo by Niki Flow

300,000+ Days of Gratitude (vii) – Reverence
☼ Join us for 21 days of shared reverence! ☼
“Reverence” is a brand new challenge designed by KindSpring.org and The Soul of WoMen. Along with 21 daily emails, you’ll be invited to participate in 21 days of a bonus challenge called “Gratitude Journal.” At the start of each week will be a new topic for focusing our gratitude. The practice of recording gratitude, especially in a handwritten journal, has proven to reduce stress, boost resilience, and help us to recover from trauma. This daily, small commitment of time pays off in other big dividends as well. The more we practice, the better we become at noticing reasons for gratitude in our everyday lives. Our focus is sharpened and our clarity returns. Since what we focus on grows, when our attention is turned toward love and gratitude, both blossom in our lives.
☼ All welcome! ☼
“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”   -Henry David Thoreau

Gems 4.66

I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤

Gems 4.66 ii

Under an oak tree
a young girl heard music, a
  promise yet to be.
A chorus of songs,
one by one, they came.  She sang
  each song joyfully;
Every song engraved
deeply on her grateful heart
  for eternity.
Niki Flow
 
  

“There is a legend of a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor even conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. When a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come…”   -Nipun Mehta, -Embrace the Grace, Celebrate the Infinite-

 

 

. under1000skies
☼ A “Giftivism” Initiative
We are photographers,
writers, artists & advocates
serving and connecting
homeless creatives.

The Joy Project

This month, we’ve been celebrating joy.  Our photos have featured quotes about finding joy, bliss and happiness.  Special thanks again to everyone who contributed quotes and photos!  We’re so grateful for our connection to each of you.

This great list below “12 Secrets to Joy” about how to add more joy in our lives is from Amanda Gore,  “The Joy Project.”  Check out her website for laughter, joy and inspiration.

12-secrets-to-joy

snow-rose

Last year we shared a story from Niki Flow about Christmas Eve which we’ll share again for our new followers. This is a true story about a new lifelong friend and a Christmas Eve when a family received one of the most touching gifts of their lives.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year from @under1000skies!

We’ll see you again on Monday, January 2nd. 💕

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