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by ELLEN WOOD aka MarÜska,

Contributing Writer, Artist, Columnist & Award-winning Author

November is the month when winter gets serious, delighting skiers and little kids. It’s the time to put the thick, grooved, grab-the-road tires on my car and it’s when I celebrate my magical day! Nov. 18th is my birthday.

On that day I get to blow out some candles and grin from ear to ear while my family sings to me. Then I read aloud their hilarious birthday cards while we laugh so hard we have to hold our tummies. Yes, November 18 is the magical day I was born 86 years ago.

Notice I didn’t say: I am 86.

That’s because I am is a very powerful phrase and I have no intention of using powerful words to reinforce the images and expectations we have of someone 86 years old. I’m healthy, happy, have no pain and I love my life. If I’m disintegrating, I haven’t noticed it.

Affirmations clarify your goals and align you with the natural flow of vitality that is your birthright. Before we go into my new way of usinga Magic Words, let’s go back in time to the days of our caveman ancestors. Here we can find some clues as to why we need a process and practice to move our minds from the negative to the positive. Neuroscientists have found an inherent draw to the negative to be a function of the most primitive parts of the human brain. As the primitive brain developed, people acutely aware of danger were more likely to stick around long enough to procreate. The archipallium, which corresponds to the reptile brain, is responsible for both our self-preservation instincts and our aggression. Prior to modern times, self-preservation was the name of the game. Back then we needed a strong fear-response to be alert to real and immediate dangers, like the threat of being a lion’s lunch.

In their book “Words Can Change Your Brain,” neuroscientists Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman tell about brain-scan research, which has found that positive words like love and peace, can strengthen areas in your brain’s frontal lobe and help increase cognitive function. I used to write powerful positive words – which I now call Magic Words - on sticky notes and place them around the house so I could say them when I saw them. But lately, I’ve been painting Magic Words and integrating them into the basic shapes of Sacred Geometry (spiral, straight line, square, circle and triangle) and saying the words when I see them on my walls.

Just recently I’ve been putting Magic Words into paintings of flowers or horses or landscapes. When I see those paintings, I say the words. Some examples: I’m Happy. I’m Blessed. I’m Grateful. I’m Healthy. I’m Loved.

Come and see my Magic Words paintings on November 12 from 4 to 7 pm at Maria Mikhailas’s studio in El Rito. My artworks and Maria’s are joined by art and jewelry by Teresa Gostanza and Susan Gancher. Call 575-770-2635 for directions. You’re invited.

Ellen Wood of Questa is an award-winning author as well as an artist using the name, Maruška. The website for her books and paintings is

You may Contact Ellen at

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