Salt Spring Island Retreat

I woke up yesterday to this visitor outside my window and thought, I could get used to this.

I’m on my second annual retreat right now. Last year I went to Bowen Island, a small, artistic community just a 20 minute ferry ride from Vancouver. This year I’m on Salt Spring Island, a one and half hour ferry ride away and a much larger island with a vibrant artistic and farming community. It is home to Raffi, the children’s musician; Nick Bantock, artist/author of the Griffin and Sabine series; Carol Evans, the watercolor landscape artist; Robert Bateman, the watercolor animal artist; Linda Popov, author of the Virtues Guide, and a whole host of other incredibly talented people.

This is my soul time. A time for rest, reflection and creativity and I’m drinking in every moment. I highly recommend it.

Peace in the Family – Painting

Peace in the world begins with peace in the family.

This is one of the fundamental principles of the Baha’i Faith, and yet how difficult it is to do!


We are given a clear blueprint on how to end a relationship through every media outlet we have. Movies, TV shows, newspapers and music all teach us to crave the euphoric just-fallen-in-love stage and to run as far away as we can from any sign of problems. 

Where do we learn to call on the strength to sludge through the daily drudgery and terrible heartbreak that comes from giving your heart to someone? If all we see is to run, how do we learn to stick through the hard times?


We usually marry people who are our opposites. We are attracted to the qualities in them that we need to develop in ourselves. This brings our own personal issues into our face twenty-four hours a day. There is no escaping from ourselves, not even if we run away from relationships. The problems will follow us wherever we go and we will end up repeating the same relationship with a different person.


Dr. Willard Harley, author of a dozen marriage books and the popular Marriage Builders website, teaches the steps on how to fall in love again with your spouse. We all think that love is just a mysterious coincidence, but in fact there are very specific things that we do that make someone fall in love with us or help us to fall in love with someone. They are not easy things to do. But they do work.


One of the key things that I learned from Dr. Harley is that in order for a relationship to thrive – and to feel in love with each other – you need to spend at least 15 hours a week together.

At first I was shocked when I read this. 15 hours a week? How are we supposed to do that? Somehow I expected that we could live off of the fumes of previous time spent together. But remember how we all fell in love in the first place? By spending a lot of time together. Now when things aren’t going well I can usually trace it back to the simple fact that we have been too busy and not spending enough time together.


Finding 15  hours a week to spend together – not with kids or other people – takes conscious thought, experimentation and prioritization. But wouldn’t you rather be in love again rather than bankrupt and heartbroken?


Having children is one of the leading causes of divorce. Your life as you know it is over once that baby pops out. You have to learn to become a parent and try to save your marriage at the same time. Babyproofing Your Marriage is one of the books that I wish I had read before having children. It will make you laugh out loud, cry and possibly cringe at  all of the silly things we do after having children that destroy our marriages. It might also help save yours.


The family is the basic unit of society. In order to have a unified world, we need to have unified families. It all boils down to that.

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Art prints and greeting cards of Peace in the Family  and Peace in the Family (Close Up) are for sale at my Art Store.

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