Where do we find inspiration?  Joy? Gratitude?  Sometimes I get stressed out and negative and then something will remind me of the beauty and LOVE that makes life worthwhile.

The other day, I had been working too long and was feeling particularly burned out and anxious, so I headed out for a walk around my neighborhood.  I was walking really briskly, and then this caught my eye…

It was a little heart sticker turned upside down with some dirt on it.  There was something about it that made me smile, so I took this photo with my phone.  I continued walking and soon came across this…

It was a heart shaped hole in the sidewalk!  How cool!  I snapped a photo and continued walking. A block later I saw this…

So pretty right?  I love the red brick it was sitting on.  By this time I was feeling like a little kid on a scavenger hunt – excitedly looking at the ground as I walked.   Just a bit down that block I saw this one too…

I noticed that my anxiety had melted away in marveling at these simple little gifts of nature.  My mind started taking stock of all the beauty that is right in front of us – beauty we can’t see because we’re so busy thinking negatively.  And then this…

How stunning is this one?  I guess it’s old chewing gum in the shape of a heart!  By this point I was really feeling the LOVE!  Kept walking and sure enough…

It had rained earlier that morning and this little wet spot looked like a heart!  If you back away from the picture you see it even more and that’s how I saw it from a little distance. I love how subtle this one is.  As I walked along pondering that one I realized that sometimes love is more of a whisper than a siren.  A whisper that guides the best things we do in life.

As I rounded the corner to my apartment, I saw this one.  The leaves were just sitting there like this and the whole thing was getting pretty amazing at this point…

After my 30 minute adventure, my mindset was totally changed.  I went from feeling on the verge of an anxiety attack to coming home energized and positive.  Taking a walk always turns around my mood, but the little hearts along the way made me extra joyful.  I walked up my apartment stairs and on the wall of the building I noticed this…

It was a TINY bit of paint from the trim of the building that was shaped like a heart.  It was only a 1/4″ in size so I never noticed before.

Today, take time to notice the beauty around you, and though all life’s challenges, you’ll be reminded that LOVE really is all around us.  And see if you can find some hearts around you too!  I bet you’ll see them…

*If you have photos of hearts you’ve discovered, post them on Facebook and then post the link in a comment below so we can see!
** Feel free to share this post with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook.  I’m going to start writing more blog posts and would love to build my mailing list.  If you’re not signed up just put your e-mail in the box to your right and be sure to check your e-mail to confirm  your subscription.

Love,
Sarah Jane

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I’ve never been a plant person but I have a spectacular rose garden in my front yard. I can’t take credit for it (our landlord is the one who cares for them) but I’ve grown to adore them so much. As the spring has sprung, I have marveled every single day at the beauty of the new roses I discover. Surprises in every corner of the yard keep opening up to me. I’m in awe of the yellow, lavender, red, coral – all different sizes and scents.

These days are so precious and fleeting. Happy moments with my little Mateo age 5 and Rosey age 7 – delicious snuggles, enlightening talks, and so many priceless moments. I want to bottle up the minutes and make them last forever, but that’s not how it works. Taking pictures is the only way I know how to stop time. And so that’s what I do with the roses too.

They bud and bloom and I take photos.  Photos that show them in all their glory, in their peak of splendor, and then they bloom full and begin their process of passing away. It’s interesting that they smell the very sweetest as they begin to wither.  I put my nose all the way inside and sniff each time I pass. I can’t get enough, and then they’re gone. New roses pop up.  New colors I’ve never seen before, brightness and sweetness…

I guess this garden is here to show us in the most glorious way that life is in motion, nothing lasts, everything changes and moves forward. My life has had thorns. Sometimes the challenges and heartbreaks overwhelm me, but overall, in the big picture, there is so much to be grateful for. Let us all treasure the moments when life is gloriously in BLOOM.

Below you’d find pics of my front yard roses. None of the photos are retouched! Just natural beauty, frozen in time, forever in bloom… Leave a comment below if you wish. I’d love to know that someone is out there listening.  Also feel free to share with a rose-lover (or a life-lover) who might enjoy this post.

Love,
Sarah Jane

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