Two Halves Don’t Make A Whole…

"The best thing to hold on to in life is each other" (Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl)

When I found the quote I used for the drawing on the left, I immediately saw it as a powerful message that cuts to the chase about what is really important in life. But then I started to think about the different ways that we hold on to each other: some healthy, some not-so-healthy. So what makes “holding on” cross over into not-so-healthy land? I think a big part of it comes down to how whole we are. If I am holding on to someone to make me feel whole/complete, then I am cheating myself and them. To me, being whole has nothing to do with […] Read more »

Life Lessons Learned with a Drawing Pencil…

Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up (pencil drawing: Diane Mottl)

The drawing on the left was so close to being crumpled and thrown in the garbage. I look at it now and can proudly see it for what it is and am grateful for what I learned. Let me explain. My drawings follow a predictable pattern. I start out with a light sketch to get the proportions right (I have a very well worn eraser – smile). When I think I have it, I pick one area (i.e. the child’s shorts) and start to fill, shade and smudge until it starts to take shape. Then I move on to another small area. But then I hit the same […] Read more »

The Words to the Song in Your Heart…

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. (Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl,

If you have read my blog before, you know I am a wee-bit of a quote junkie. I love how a snippet of wisdom can resonate so deeply it echoes for days. I found one such quote, after finishing the drawing of the two friends walking: “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” (Donna Roberts) Take a moment to let the waves of those words wash over you. Do you know what the song in your heart is? What fills you with joy?  What keeps […] Read more »

Jumping Ahead to a Splat!

Pencil drawing of child playing hopscotch (by Diane Mottl,

Do you remember playing hopscotch as a child? Tossing a stone, hopping on one foot then two, careful to never touch the lines. Ever get a tad over-confident and try to jump too many squares at once? Ripped jeans and a skinned knee. No big deal to a kid (at least for a rough-and-tumble-kid like me). But skipping an important square (step) as an adult can end a wee-bit differently. Before I lose you entirely, let me give an example. Say you just started doing pencil drawings. Say you get your ideas by finding photographs through Google images. Say you sketch, shade, smudge, […] Read more »

Taking A Turn Holding The Lantern…

Never fear the shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby" (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl,

Not too long ago, I was contacted by an author who had just published a short story called The Tale of the Lantern Lady1. Having received similar emails before, my cursor inched towards the delete button. Then it stopped. Fast forward to me deciding to set up a Support Other Worthwhile Projects section on my blog, her sending me a PDF of her story as a thank you, and me having one of those “just-what-I-needed-even-when-I-didn’t-know-I-needed-it” moments. With the effects of her story still lingering, this is what I wrote back to Natalie (the author): I am not sure if I will be able to find the words to describe […] Read more »

Zen Dog: Learning from our Four-Legged Friends

We are most alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures (pencil drawing by Diane Mottl,

Is it the animal lover in me or the soul-searching-inner-peace loving me that sees so much in this pencil drawing? There is a part of me that wishes I could transport myself into his furry body and see the world through his eyes. Is his doggy-brain in a peaceful state of bliss? When I think of my own search for this peaceful state of mind, I know I can be in it one moment, then 300 miles away from it the next. How easy it is for the human mind to get pulled in so many different directions; to get caught up in the distractions […] Read more »

Putting Yourself Out There, Then Letting Go…

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self (Drawing by Diane Mottl)

Confession time. When I started blogging a year ago, did I expect my blog to be an instant hit and reach thousands? Yes and No. I knew “instant hit” was a tad optimistic, but reaching thousands by year end felt like a realistic goal. Did I make it? Not even close. And boy, has that ever pushed buttons for this perfectionist-in-recovery. Over and over again, I have had to tell myself that the numbers do not matter: it is more important to reach that one person who finds something they need. I remind myself that each blog post gives me the opportunity to explore something […] Read more »

Cartwheeling through Life: Letting Go and Trusting

Pencil sketch by Diane Mottl (

Do remember the first time you did a cartwheel? It did not matter if Nadia Comăneci grimaced at your form. In your eyes, cartwheeling was the next best thing to flying: that magical millisecond balanced upside down, before you spun yourself back to the ground. Some went at it full gusto, flinging their legs to the sky trusting that they would land on their feet (or not caring if they did). Others (like me) did the more tentative turtle-cartwheel: back curved, hands and feet barely leaving the safety of the ground. What makes some able to trust and fling themselves into new experiences while others […] Read more »

Resolutions: Saying No to make room for Yes…

Pencil drawing by Diane Mottl (

I just read a statistic saying that of the 45% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions, only 8% will achieve them.1 Why is that? It’s not like there isn’t enough information out there about goal setting and achieving dreams. A few keystrokes and Google has reams of articles on how to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely), the Stages of Change, and how to use Vision Boards. Five minutes of digging can uncover tonnes of motivational, instructional and theoretical words to help us make the changes we know we should be making. Know we should be making. Maybe that’s one of the biggies getting in the […] Read more »

My holiday wish to you…

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love (pencil drawings by Diane Mottl,

  I made the video below last year when I was testing out VideoScribe (which is on my wish list – smile). It takes less than a minute to watch but I hope the message stays with you far longer. It is my wish to you… All the best to you this holiday season, however and whatever you celebrate. May it bring you peace, joy and love… “Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” — Oren Arnold […] Read more »