Art of Living Ideas from my Mom

By Coralie Darsey-Malloy

We learn simply by the exposure of living.
Much that passes for education
is not education but ritual.
The fact is that we are being educated…
when we know it least.

My Mom...somewhere over the rainbow...that's where she will be.

My Mom…somewhere over the rainbow…that’s where she will be.

–David P. Gardner

When my mother, Edwina Kathleen Cunningham passed away on April 20th, 2005 my husband David and I chose to respect her wishes to be cremated. Mom did not believe that people “died.” Instead they left their bodies and transitioned to another realm. David and I have Celtic roots and we were both raised with a belief that rather than grieving the death…we celebrate the life…and that we do.David prepared a wonderful visual presentation of my mother’s life and our choice of music reflected her favorites. She raised me with a lot of home-spun everyday wisdom ways and I wrote them down and gifted people with a copy at her memorial so her legacy would live on. I also chose some of her personal possessions and wrapped them up as commemorative reminders for them from Mom and the bond they had with her.
The intent of this Blog is to share my philosophy for healthy, balanced living with others. It feels appropriate to share the ideas that contributed to my values and philosophy. Although her given name was Edwina she preferred Winnie. And so it is. The following blog are some of Mom’s art of living ideas. Friends who have copies of these ideas say that some of it mirrors the valuable life lessons they learned from their mothers. So if you enjoy it and it resonates let us raise our glasses in a toast to all those wise women who are our mothers, friend and mentor. Feel free to pass this along to others but please acknowledge Coralie Raia’s Writing Road as the original source. Thank you.


Develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. Everything can change in an instant.
It is not the size of your bank account that matters…but the size of your heart and ability to give.
God is always there to help us through, keep your faith, pray and ask for guidance and it will come…it always does.
When you pray for an answer and it is no…remember that is still an answer.
During the worst of times always remember…they will get better. Life is always changing and there is a beginning, middle and end to everything.
Live by the Golden Rule and ALWAYS treat others the way you like to be treated. Have understanding, acceptance and respect for differences, even when you disagree. When people let you down try to understand why they do what they do.
If when it is hard to understand why people do what they do…forgive them anyway. Forgiveness is freeing and holding on to negative feelings hurts us more than them.
Let things go and move on—life is too short to hang on to ‘stuff.’
Always remember that people’s opinions are just that and it is up to us to decide whether the opinion is valid or stupid.
We need to decide who and what is the authority in our lives…us or them?
When in doubt trust your own felt sense of things. That still small voice comes from the Divines and far more Knowing than human perception.
Do not borrow trouble with worrying about what has not happened yet. Most of what people worry about never happens anyway.
Half of what we worry about never happens so don’t waste time and energy on things until they actually happen.
Watch what you ask for…sometimes it comes in unexpected ways and you need to be clear it is what you truly want.
Creator does not promise us a rose garden but you need to stop and smell them anyway.
Keep wishing upon your star because they can and do come true.
When people give you a compliment express your appreciation and accept it graciously. counter it and accept it graciously.
Count your blessings every day they remind us what IS working when other things are not.
Be grateful for the simple things…a cool wind on a hot day, scent of early spring flowers, fresh air after the rain, rainbows and so much more.
the daily supply of food and beverages.
Be thankful for good health, mobility the five senses and imagine life without any of them.
Ask yourself on a regular basis…if you were to die today how would people remember you?
Do not define yourself outwardly. Appearances are deceiving and always remember people are people and we all bleed the same colour.
We all get older but we need to keep the kid inside alive and thriving. That is where innocence, joy, enchantment and the unlimited possibilities of magical thinking originate. People who forget how to play and believe in enchantment can get “old” at any age.
Age truly is just a number if you remain young at heart the passing years will matter less.
BE who you are and believe in yourself…or no one else will.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
To have friends you need to be one. Without loving families and friends life can be hard to bear.
Dress to express who you are at any age. Who makes the fashion police the authority anyway? We can choose something else.
Decide whether you intend to be a leader or follower. It is okay to walk to the beat of a different drum as long as it does not hurt others.
Respect and love everything within in nature it is interconnected and has a purpose. Look for treasures and bring them home as a reminder of your connection to the natural world. Celebrate each rite of passage with something special.
Animals and other creatures have feelings and life matters to them. Pay attention and treat them gently and cause no harm to any living thing. …Dog’s ability to love us unconditionally is the way God loves us—maybe that is why dog is God spelled backwards.
Whenever you talk to children or in a wheel chair bend or kneel to make equal eye contact.
Rather than giving as a handout share and assist as a hand up.
When you entertain guests remember that love shows in the details. Make them feel at home, create thoughtful place settings at the table and bring out the best linens, towels and fresh soap if they sleep over.
Make sure you mix in love and positive energy during meal preparation.
Prior to eating say a silent or verbal prayer of thankfulness for good food. Many around the world are not so blessed and go to bed and wake up hungry.
Make and maintain eye contact when engaging with others. The eyes are the windows to the soul.
Be a good listener. Do not interrupt or over talk others. It is rude and disrespectful Whenever that happens back up and apologize hen you talk to people look always look into their eyes, pay attention and really listen. Don’t interrupt. When you do offer a sincere apology.
Never take anyone for granted. Acknowledge the good in life and do not take any of it for granted. One day it will all be gone and we will not be here so live life to the fullest right here, right now. This moment is all we ever have.

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