Sunday, September 10, 2023

Giving A Little Extra

"Whenever you are tempted to give less, try giving a little extra instead."
Wayne Dyer

This photo was captured during a serene sunrise in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, radiating a sense of tranquility and the promise of a new day.

Reflecting on Wayne Dyer's profound words, we are reminded of the profound significance of surpassing the ordinary and embracing the extraordinary. Dyer's message encourages us to break free from the confines of mere adequacy and venture into the realm of boundless generosity.

Rather than holding back our acts of kindness, we can step forward with an offering that surpasses the expected. This simple act has the power to not only create an environment of abundance but also foster a spirit of selflessness and empathy.

By "giving a little extra," we become a guiding light of compassion. Such gestures, no matter how small, resonate and set in motion a ripple effect of positivity and kindness that enriches our own lives and forges meaningful connections with those around us.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

A Benediction

"The sunlight was a benediction. The breezes were so caressingly soft and intimate on the skin as to be embarrassing."
Dan Simmons

Richard in Nashville

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Success Unexpected In Common Hours


“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” 
Henry David Thoreau

Joy Moment with Kayla!

♥ My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/  

Monday, August 7, 2023

See The Light In Everyone


"As you find the light in you,
you begin to see the light in everyone else."
Ram Dass

Happy Birthday, Richard!

♥ My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/  

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Joy Is the Holy Fire


"Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow."
Helen Keller

Thursday, July 20, 2023

The Whisper Of The Wind In The Branches

"No life can be barren which hears the whisper of the wind in the branches, or the voice of the sea as it breaks upon the shore; and no soul can lack happiness looking up to the midnight stars."
William Winter

I will take time today to discover the simple beauty near me. Sometimes, the most profound experiences come from the simplest of things, like enjoying the sunrise or gazing at the stars.

This morning, happiness whirls with the whispers of the wind in the branches...

♥ My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/  

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Live In The Present Moment

Birmingham, Alabama

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. . . Live each moment completely and the future will take care of itself. Fully enjoy the wonder and beauty of each moment."
Paramahansa Yogananda

Just the other day, as I rounded a familiar corner on my usual drive to work, my friend, the morning sun, a majestic orb, hung sweetly in the sky with a subtle glow, casting vibrant hues across the sky. At that moment, I caught my breath, paused, and snapped this photograph. This experience echoed the timeless wisdom of Paramahansa Yogananda, the revered Indian yogi and guru.

"Live in the now," my heart whispered. Dance with every precious second, discovering enchantment. The sunrise's melody, a sweet gift, made me feel grateful for the moment, this miraculous life. 

With every mindful breath, let me approach life with awareness and contentment. Let me keep my heart open and carry this lesson, allowing an inner strength to guide me as I revel in the joy and wonder of each moment.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Looking For The Good


Muscle Shoals, Alabama

"Never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within you, praising, appreciating, blessing, and being grateful. Make it your life commitment, and you will stand in utter awe of what happens in your life."
Rhonda Byrne

The sun welcomes a beautiful new day and I am so grateful to be able to share this photograph with you!

Rhonda Byrne is the author of "The Secret" and the creator of the "Law of Attraction" concept. Her quote celebrates the power of gratitude and positive thinking. 
  • Look for the good! Seek out positive aspects in your world, shifting focus from negativity to finding the good in every situation.
  • Feel the good within! When you connect with the positive qualities, strengths, and virtues within you tapinto your inner goodness and cultivate and attract more positivity into your life.
  • Praise, appreciate, bless! Express gratitude and appreciation for the things you have and the people in your life. By honoring your blessings, you create a positive energy that attracts even more blessings.
  • Be grateful! Gratitude transforms and bring more abundance into life. By adopting an attitude of gratitude, you open yourself up to receive even more blessings.
  • Make it your life commitment! By incorporating gratitude, positivity, and appreciation into your daily routine, you will experience profound changes.
  • Stand in utter awe of what happens in your life! Expect to witness remarkable transformations in your life. This suggests that through gratitude and positive thinking, You will be amazed at the synchronicities that manifest.
Here's wishing you moments of "utter awe," a profound sense of wonder, inspiration, and appreciation.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

The Still Point

"At the still point, in the center of the circle, one can see the infinite in all things."
Chuang Tsu

The morning is a still point of beauty and peace. Inside the circle of the sun, the gift of wisdom and love. And always, the fragrance of flowers...

Flowers from the Garden

Monday, June 26, 2023

To Listen, To Learn, and to Love

Muscle Shoals, Alabama

"Healing is about making whole. And to be a healer, you have to be able to listen, to learn, and to love." 

Vivek Murthy, On Being

This morning's sunrise filled my heart with hope, as the sun again revealed to me a beautiful truth...and then I was delighted to discover Vivek Murthy's quote about healing. 

To heal is to make whole, to restore, to bring about completeness to our emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

I believe healing is a journey towards wholeness. Yes, healing is about physical recovery... but to heal is also about nourishing emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. And at the heart of this transformative journey dwells love.

Love is the bedrock of healing, encompassing the genuine care and empathy we extend to ourselves and others. Through love, we create a safe and nurturing space where we can find comfort and strength during challenging times.

With compassion, we know we are not alone and can lean on each other for support, encouragement, and understanding. Together, we can create a community of healing, where we uplift and inspire one another.

To learn is to heal. Healing seeks knowledge, new perspectives, and understanding. Let us embrace this opportunity to grow, explore new resources, and share our insights along the way.

My friend, I want you to know that I am here for you. I'm ready to listen without judgment, offer a caring ear, and lend a helping hand. We may face obstacles, but we'll face them together.

Remember, healing takes time and patience. It's okay to have setbacks or moments of doubt. But know that you are deserving of love, compassion, and healing. Trust in your own resilience, and let's walk this path together, supporting each other every step of the way.

As the sun rises each day, let it be a promise of the beauty and potential for healing that exists within us. Embrace the warmth and hope it brings, knowing that you are not alone in your pursuit of wholeness. 

We are on this journey together, and together, with love, we will heal.

 ♥ My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/  

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Love Lifts Me

I once asked a bird,
"How is it that you fly in this gravity
Of darkness?"
She responded,
"Love lifts
~ Hafiz 

Last evening, I was happy to capture the setting red sun entwined in the branches of the oak tree just beyond my window, ending the day as I begin, with my heart in the sky and the beautiful promises of Nature.

Each morning, with the first rays of dawn, the air becomes alive with the harmonious melodies sung by the birds perched upon the oak's branches, announcing the beginning of a new day.

Inspired by the birds' songs and the essence of love, my heart resonates with the profound beauty of Hafiz's quote and the bird's response. Shall I be weighed down by the gravity of external challenges and internal struggles, or shall I rise above, propelled by the power of love?

As the birds serenade me, I am reminded that love acts as my guiding light, lifting me beyond the limitations around me. With a heart overflowing with hope, joy, and an unwavering sense of purpose, I am ready to confront adversity and soar to even greater heights.

I hope our lives serve as living testaments to the transformative power of love, harmonizing with the melodies sung by the birds at dawn. As we navigate the ever-changing currents of life, may we shine as beacons of inspiration, guided by love.

With this song in my soaring heart,
@mscator ☀️

♥ My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/ 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Our Powers


"Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers."
Mignon Mclaughlin

As I share today's breathtaking sunset photograph, the warm embrace of the sun's rays illuminates a profound truth: Fixating on limitations stifles the exploration and cultivation of our inherent strengths and boundless abilities. 

But why settle for such confinement? Isn't it far wiser to embark on a courageous journey of self-discovery, tenderly nurturing the extraordinary powers and untapped potential that reside within?

Mignon McLaughlin's poignant words invite us to approach life with an open heart: Surpass the boundaries of what we once deemed possible. Transcend the limitations. And perhaps awaken dormant capabilities slumbering within.

Your magnificent growth awaits! With curiosity, seek knowledge, adapt with resilience to new circumstances, and expand the sacred horizons of life. Can we  heed the call of our innate potential and set forth on a journey that knows no bounds?

Why not unleash the untamed brilliance of our true potential? Why not, indeed?

With an abundance of aloha, 
@mscator ☀️

♥ My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/  

Friday, June 2, 2023

Gateway To Freedom

 “I hope you’re not afraid to suffer… There’s two kinds of suffering: the kind you run away from that follows you everywhere and the kind that you face and that’s the gateway to freedom.”
Jack Kornfield 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

A Listening Heart


"Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound, but a listening heart perceives meaning."
 David Steindl-Rast

In my photo of the sunset, a straight beam of vibrant orange light extends from the sun, reaching out towards the clouds and gently caressing the earth. In this moment, the sun becomes a bridge connecting the boundless sky with the grounding presence of the land.

Time stands still as I take a deep breath, allowing the resounding grace of the merging sky, light, and earth to resonate within my own "listening heart." With each exhale, a profound sense of tranquility fills me.

David Steindl-Rast's quote reminds us to cultivate a listening heart that transcends the limitations of our senses, allowing us to focus, contemplate, and explore the deep joys of life.

Indeed. Isn't there much more to life than what meets the eye? With empathy and an open spirit, we embark on a transformative journey of discovery and understanding. As we listen with our hearts, we uncover profound connections, nuances, and the hidden wisdom that swirls beneath and above the surface.

Isn't this compassionate connection the true essence and significance of our relationships?

May your path continue to be adorned with the discovery of profound beauty and love. May your listening heart guide you!

With an abundance of aloha,
@mscator ☀️

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Masterpieces of Creation

"Very few people understand the heart. In truth, your heart is one of the masterpieces of creation. It is a phenomenal instrument." 
Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul 💓 

Oh, my roaring heart!

On my way home from work today, the clouds blessed the sky with exquisite beauty, evoking an exhilarating rhythm within my chest and leaving me breathless. Overwhelmed by the desire for more, I paused at Vulcan Park to seize this photo of the clouds dancing with the afternoon Birmingham skyline. 


When You Are Free

"Sometimes you’ve got to let everything go – purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything – whatever is bringing you down – get rid of it. Because you will find that when you are free, your true creativity, your true self comes out." 
Tina Turner 

I was saddened by the news of singer Tina Turner’s death. She was a role model of courage, enthusiasm, and resilience! With her captivating style, she achieved success by breaking free from the things that oppressed her and pursuing her true self, purpose, and potential.

What a powerhouse voice, amazing dance moves, and mesmerizing performer! 

"When you are free," she said. I will always remember her version of Proud Mary, an epic funk tribute to freedom. Her self-empowering spirit sparks creativity and inspires us to stay true to and discover our heartfelt desires.

Saturday, May 20, 2023


My sweet rose bush, bathed in the sun's new light.

Clouds moving, changing, aglow with red & sky.

"The principle of art is to pause, not bypass."
~ Jerzy Kosinski

Welcome, my friend. Here is my invitation, inspired by what I've learned from watching the sunrise and nurturing the blossoms in my garden: Come, open your heart, and engage with life at a deeper level. Immerse yourself in what surrounds you, be open to surprises, and create your own creative impact.

Slow down. Allow the symphony of life to serenade you, playing its harmonious melody with unwavering grace. Dance with the sun, spreading golden magic everywhere. Let the intoxicating fragrances of flowers fill your heart, awakening your senses, and unveiling new perspectives. You are a vital part of what is unfolding!

Pause. Take five. Are Paul Desmond's sax notes rustling the leaves? Are those diamonds or tears on the new buds? Can you trust and discover the abundant joy that eagerly awaits you? 

Joy is there, I promise.

In this precious pause, delve into the depths of your innermost soul. As Ralph Waldo Emerson eloquently expressed, "Pretty is something you're born with. But beautiful, that's an equal opportunity adjective." True beauty encompasses qualities such as kindness and compassion, which can be nurtured and honed by anyone.

For it is within the stillness of this very moment that countless opportunities arise—opportunities to experience, to find inspiration, and to revel in the sheer marvel of existence. With each passing moment, cultivate a profound, humming, and vibrant garden of interconnectedness, where you can root yourself, entwined with the earth, the sky, and the souls of others.

So, dear friend, take this invitation and embark on your journey of mindful appreciation. Embrace the grandeur and delicacy of the world, and lovingly cultivate the ever-expanding garden of your own existence!

 My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/ 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Some Passion

Birmingham, Alabama

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Maya Angelou

The profound words of poet Maya Angelou harmonize perfectly with this photo I captured of the sunset over downtown Birmingham.

Can you feel the sweet gift of this moment?

The radiant red sun urges me to embrace life with fervor and purpose, not merely surviving but thriving. Each day becomes an invitation to add my passionate colors into everything I do.

As the sun sweetly descends, casting a warm glow upon the horizon and in my heart, I reflect on the day's journey. Grateful for what I've done and the lessons learned, I acknowledge the unfinished tasks awaiting tomorrow.

Each sunset invites this interlude and inspires renewed vigor as I prepare my spirit for the opportunities ahead with optimism and an open heart.

What is your mission in life?

May we all embrace Maya Angelou's timeless wisdom, infusing our lives with passion, compassion, humor, and style, as we navigate the tapestry of existence, thriving and shining brightly in our own unique way!

With boundless gratitude and a zest for life,
@mscator ☀️

Monday, March 27, 2023

The Good Life


Muscle Shoals, Alabama
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge."
Bertrand Russell

Philosopher and prolific writer Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) believed that happiness is a by-product of two qualities: love and knowledge.

The power of love inspires kindness, compassion, and the enthusiastic pursuit of passion. Love gives meaning to life and helps us find satisfaction in our relationships and accomplishments.

What is love? The answer is not always easy to find or explain, but love starts by digging deep, opening your heart, and giving. When someone struggles, take the time to notice, listen, and offer words of encouragement. Love is heart-driven and best when unconditional. You can volunteer your time, forgive someone who has hurt you, or simply choose to be kind.

However, love alone is not enough. You also need knowledge to practice critical thinking, guide and question, make wise choices, solve problems, and better understand the world. Take the time to evaluate and test your beliefs. Knowledge enables informed decisions and fosters great discoveries.

What is knowledge? Knowledge is about finding new ideas and innovative products, providing services that benefit society, staying up-to-date with the latest developments, and sharing knowledge with others through teaching or mentoring-- using your values and gifts.

Russell once said, "Nothing is so exhausting as indecision" when it comes to stepping up to life and learning all that you can in your quest for knowledge.

When we combine love and knowledge, we create a good life, full of joy, fulfillment, and purpose. So, remember that love and knowledge are both essential ingredients for a happy and meaningful life. May you always strive to cultivate both in your life.

 My Society6 Art Gallery \(‾◡◝ )/ 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Growth and Self-Transformation

University of North Alabama Highway (157)
"It is not possible to delegate growth and self-transformation."
Lewis Mumford

As I drive towards Muscle Shoals early on a Saturday morning, it takes me two hours to reach Kayla's new home. I'm currently on the University of North Alabama Highway (157), near Battle Ground. The heavy rain and tornado warnings from last night have cleared up, and the morning sky is now a beautiful array of colors and emotions, like a visual palette.

Kayla's recent promotion fills me with pride, but I'm still adjusting to her move. As I gaze at the open road ahead, I realize that it's up to me to work through these changes and losses for "growth and self-transformation."

As I keep driving, a sense of gratitude fills my heart, and I whisper to myself, "I'll be okay. It's good to be alive." The road and sky inspire me, and I plan to capture them in a watercolor painting. Though I'm alone, the vast sky feels like my companion, keeping me company on this new journey.

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Thursday, February 23, 2023

Deep Understanding And Love

Birmingham, Alabama

"When you touch deep understanding and love,
you are healed."
Thich Nhat Hanh, "Living Buddha, Living Christ"
Thich Nhat Hanh's quote emphasizes the importance of deep understanding and love in our lives. It reminds us that even in the brief moments of reflection, we can feel blessed by the love that surrounds us.

Life's transitions can be challenging, and sudden changes like Kayla's move can be especially difficult to navigate. However, by cultivating self-awareness and empathy towards others, we can develop acceptance and compassion, and let go with love to move forward.

Love has the power to bring happiness, peace, and wholeness into our lives. Although healing from emotional or psychological wounds requires effort, we can work towards nurturing our inner strength and powerful emotions to achieve growth and healing.

Remember that we all possess the strength and resilience to overcome the difficulties that come our way. As Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, we can take a moment to be grateful for our hearts and the power of love that can guide us towards healing and well-being.

As Hanh also said, "Breathing in, I am aware of my heart. Breathing out, I smile to my heart and know that my heart still functions normally. I feel grateful for my heart."

With an abundance of aloha, 
@mscator ☀️

Thursday, January 5, 2023

The Moon Is A Friend

Wolf Moon over Downtown Birmingham, AL

 "The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to."
Carl Sandburg

♡ I'm listening to good music, watching the nearly full moon over downtown Birmingham, and dreaming of the day's possibilities. 

Sometimes the moon reminds me of the sun. And yet. It is still dark out, so the moon can shine on! 

One more before I leave to get ready for work... Just can't resist this Wolf Moon!

"The full moon – the mandala of the sky."
Tom Robbins