Usually when I feel torn on a decision and I "don't know what to do"... that's actually just code for "I know exactly what to do but I'm afraid of what other people will think about my decision." I've encountered SO many crossroads in my adult life when I had to make what felt like a terrifying, unpopular decision in an effort to act in alignment with my truth. Things like ending relationships, saying no to opportunities, closing down projects, and trading in a well-worn path for one that felt more suited to me. And you know what? Every single time, despite whatever discomfort that decision has brought me, I have ALWAYS been grateful that I took a step TOWARD my truth, not away from it.
During my time away, while floating across the shallow crystal blue water outside our bungalow, this is the mantra that revealed itself to me over and over and over again. It's the same one that I repeated to myself calmly and like a spell of protection when we encountered unpleasant turbulence on the flight home and I could feel myself tensing up all over.
"Open mind. Open heart. Open hands." Simple and powerful. ⠀ ** Open mind: Ready to change perspectives and change perceptions. Willing to entertain the seemingly unlikely. Fierce in my beliefs but flexible enough to evolve.
** Open heart: Leading with love. Showing my truth honestly and bravely to myself and others. Laying out my emotions authentically in the hopes of connecting with the world around me.
** Open hands: Willing to receive whatever opportunities come to me, but also keeping my palm unclenched, ready to release whatever no longer serves my truest sense of self.
After a lot of thought, it's with open hands that I decide to wrap up my #AbstractAffirmationsDaily project. The daily painting has taught me what I hoped to learn, but now the daily practice has tipped in favor of a rigid parameters and no longer a free space to create. Don't worry! I'll continue to share art and words here, just in a less formal, daily project. I'll do one last #MVArtShop sale starting THIS FRIDAY and will close out this week with some of my favorite paintings reimagined. I'll also be sharing a much longer piece detailing my decision to cut this year's project short, but the gist of it is this: at whatever point your pursuits become more about keeping up appearances and less about what truly lights you up, it's time to let go. The right thing is rarely the easy thing but it's always the right thing. 😉
Tomorrow @jasondoesstuff and I are off on vacation for a full week, and I've made the decision to spend that time fully away from social media. That includes taking a break from this daily art project, which was actually an excruciating decision for me, considering I've posted every single day for the past 280 days. I thought it was because I didn't want to let myself down, but after diving deeper, I realized it was more about not wanting to fail at this thing I set out to do -- to post every day of this year. And once I realized that, I was able to see how incongruent it was with everything I believe in to simply keep up a project out of fear of how it'll look to others. My authentic truth is this: the daily commitment is keeping my creativity confined more than it's pushing my art forward. I didn't realize this until last month's #MVcoloryoursoul issue on Freedom helped me see that this commitment was a huge area in which I no longer felt free.
Keeping up with a daily project is a hard thing to do. But sometimes the HARDEST thing is actually choosing NOT to do a hard thing.
Sometimes it's soul-strengthening to recognize when you're meeting a challenge not for yourself, but to prove something to the world. It's liberating when you can break free from that.
The point is, you get to make the call. You get to decide when something in your life has fulfilled the lesson it was meant to teach you, and you get to keep it, or release it.
For me, for NOW at least, I'm choosing to release it. I'm choosing to give myself FULLY to the presence and the space of this time away. I'll be able to come back to the project with fresh eyes and a fresh heart when I return. But at least I'll know I'm doing it for ME, not for fear of what it says about me if I don't. (And thanks to all of you who wrote words of encouragement for this break!)
I think it happens to creatives a lot -- we get swept away by our ideas (or by our self-doubts) -- and we lose sight of what grounds us. Our mission, our truth, our essence.
I believe what makes a life vibrant is getting back to the CORE -- stripping away everything manufactured from expectations and fears and desperate hunger, and in doing so returning to what is pure and bright and TRUE.
But I haven't been following that advice lately.
It took last month's #mvcoloryoursoul issue on Freedom to see the ways in which I was losing my own core. Which is why starting Friday, I'll be taking a break from #abstractaffirmationsdaily and from posting here on Insta, while we're on vacation for a week. It wasn't an easy decision but I see now that in order to see my own core more clearly, I need time and space where I'm not concerned with keeping up a daily project just for the sake of keeping up a daily project. In a strange way, I almost feel like this is the biggest lesson the project has taught me thus far. Maybe it just took the 280 days to uncover it. 😉 One last piece tomorrow and then I'll be off the grid until Monday the 17th!
I've been RE-learning a lot of my own lessons lately, things I thought I had down at one time or another but slipped right out of my head through the hustle and bustle of daily life.
I used to get frustrated at myself for this, wondering WHY if I KNOW what's good for me can I not just DO what is good for me.
But the truth is, the hard-wiring within us humans needs a MAJOR update for a 21st century world. Our brains are still biologically wired to prioritize seeking ease/pleasure and avoiding pain. Anything that feels like resistance or fear, we avoid. And rewiring that biology is HARD. Which means we're going to have to learn and re-learn and re-learn again many more things. In fact, I'm starting to realize that living a vibrant life isn't as much a mindset as it is a mindset PLUS an intentional practice that we have to come back to over and over.⠀
Whatever the lesson is, learn it as many times as you need to and KEEP learning it if it means you're trying. If you're trying, you're growing, and if you're growing, you're living.
When we're doing work we love, something that truly lights us up, it's easy to feel like a minor setback or challenge puts our most precious life-giving resource at risk. We start to feel the weight of the world on our shoulders, which is an easy recipe for anxiety, fear and overwhelm.
But, what if the whole world and your whole life and the whole thing and everyone's whole everything weren't actually at stake? That's what I try to remind myself in those moments when a challenge feels all-consuming. I start to lower the stakes for myself. I remember that my life force doesn't hinge on any one thing - my business, my health, my relationships, my personal growth, my creativity. Any one of those is just part of the picture and so when one needs improving, I'm able to tackle that with intention rather than the consuming pressure that comes with thinking that one dead end is going to send the whole house of cards tumbling down.
Next time you run into that hurdle, ask yourself: are the stakes REALLY as high as you're making them?
I find that of the most overwhelming parts of running a creative biz is the sheer amount of variables that you can tweak or test at any given time.
At the end of every month, I have a system of looking back on the previous months revenue, state of mind, creative output, etc. and evaluating -- what went well? what didn't? what felt good? what fell flat?
I love this process because it allows me to constantly calibrate my life and my business around my current state of being. But sometimes, in the midst of optimizing and improving, I get easily overwhelmed with ALL that I want to build on. Everything I want to change or evolve or improve. And that's when it's easy to start spiraling.
So today I told myself: start with JUST ONE THING. What's the ONE thing I can takeaway from last month's learnings to take new action?
The clarity and confidence that comes from isolating ONE thing over juggling a million is enough to alleviate my overwhelm and bring me renewed focus to move forward.
When you're stuck on how to make everything happen at once, start with JUST one thing. Then see what happens. 😉
Do you ever hear someone's incredible story of overcoming heartbreak or tragedy or pain and think, "Wow, what an incredible story," only to reflexively compare your own life story a moment after? "Gosh, what do I think I know? I've never overcome something like that."
I did this without realizing it today after I finished a book, and I caught myself. Stories are not for comparing; they're for sharing. Each of us has challenges and triumphs, heartbreaks and break throughs, and we all experience them on our individual relative scale. Every story is equally beautiful because in the telling of it, it becomes a point of connection for another soul that may have thought they were alone in their feeling. Don't apologize for your story, whatever it may be. It's valuable, it's beautiful, it's yours.
Key: Don't forget the kindness part of the equation. 😉
Had a beautiful conversation with a close friend tonight, one that began with uncertainty but ended with connection and understanding. Sometimes we're afraid to be honest with the people we love because we fear we'll hurt them or they'll hurt us. Sometimes we'd rather skate on the surface of what feels easy and comfortable, rather than dig deeper into the truth that's waiting underneath. But, in my experience, honesty is ALWAYS the guiding light to greater understanding. If you can share your feelings (and fears) honestly, and you can do it with kindness and humility and openness, then you can actually create space for authentic connection. You can learn something real about one another, a deeper understanding that will only serve to strengthen your relationship or your friendship.
Main problem with being a highly sensitive person? Emotions that could just feeling like a passing summer shower end up feeling like a thick thunderstorm with no end in sight. It's something I've always tried to work on: how do you honor your feelings and give yourself space to feel what you need to feel -- whether it's disappointment or hurt or sadness -- without letting it steal the joy that you know is evident around you?
I found an excellent metaphor in #LoveWarrior last night where @glennondoylemelton talks about her hopelessness and how she had to learn not to outrun it, but to face it over and over again, each time a little stronger.
As a sensitive, soulful creative, I've learned that there are certain feelings that arrive time and time again, and rather than push them aside or explain them away or try to outrun them, instead I can look them in the eye, work through them, and carry a new insight with me for the next time I (inevitably) face them again.
You may not be able to outrun your feelings, but you can choose not to give them your full power. You can choose not to paint the whole picture of your life with whatever paintbrush your heart is holding at the moment. And in time you'll emerge, wiser, stronger, and more confident for the next time those feelings arrive.
Honestly, today I was tired. I've been overworking myself lately and I know it, but sometimes it's hard to pull back the reins. My ego is a master negotiator and when my core self needs rest, rejuvenation and space, that pesky ego comes up with ALL the reasons why that's a bad idea. That's why I have to remind myself to listen to the TRUEST voice in my head. Not the loudest one, not the one who has hidden motives driven by recognition or validation. The one whose only desire is to be expressed fully and protected fiercely. So, I drew myself a bath, I shut down the laptop and I took the advice of the truest part of me who knows I need the break more than I need the extra hour of work.
Your heart is telling you what you need. Now listen.
This goes for businesses, relationships, furniture, and a whole lot of other things. We live in an instant gratification world, but there is still so much value to be found in playing the long game. In planting seeds and nurturing them slowly, deliberately, sustainably.
Short term gains may feel good, but the slow burn of building something that rests on a strong foundation laid brick by brick by brick feels even better.
Keep plugging away, keep enduring, keep laying those bricks, friends. Remember... you are building it to last.
PHEW. Who needs a couple deep breaths? I watched the debate tonight as I'm sure some of you did, and my heart literally hurt as I witnessed the tension, the deflection, the name calling and the finger pointing. I strongly considered not watching at all to spare myself the frustration, and I almost closed my laptop 100 times.
But I didn't.
Despite the infuriating state of our national politics, I remind myself that ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. Dismissing something because it's complex and seemingly futile doesn't bring us any closer to a solution. Only action can do that. Only collaboration and creativity and education can do that. So I will keep doing my best to stay informed and I'll engage in rational, respectful, open-minded conversations any place that I can, even when it's uncomfortable. We all have our beliefs, and I respect everyone's right to engage (or not engage) in the political system, but I wanted to at least share the conclusion I've come to for this election. We can wish we had better, or we can create better.
These days, the biggest creative problem I seem to run into is not a lack of ideas or a lack of motivation, it's TOO many ideas. Take the October issue of #MVcoloryoursoul, for example. I'm so passionate about the theme and there are so many avenues to explore that I keep coming up with new ways to explore them until I find my schedule filled to the brim trying to make it all happen. I have to keep reminding myself: I'm not an entire editorial team; I'm me. I don't have months, I have days. So instead of stressing myself out about all the things I can't do and all the ideas I can't fit in, instead I choose to focus on what I CAN accomplish with the resources I have. I can do the best I can with what I have, and I can be proud of the result. We all have big dreams, and that's great. But take a look at what's at your disposal RIGHT NOW and create the best thing you can create with that.
While I was painting this piece, I was SO close to completely scrapping the whole thing because it just didn't feel right and nothing I was doing to it was making it any better. Almost defeated, I mixed up three new colors and added them to the piece. Suddenly there was new life and I found myself liking it more and more with every stroke. Sometimes, when we feel like giving up, we have to remind ourselves that the game-changer is right around the corner. That if we hold on a little longer, we try a new approach and a fresh perspective, that the good stuff could be closer than we think.
A few days ago, I was chatting with my brother on the phone to catch up and offhandedly I said "You should come visit us soon!" He replied: "What are you doing this weekend?" He hopped on a plane and now here he is.
Matt's always been more spontaneous than me. But why? Why is it easier for some people to do what they want to do on a dime? It made me think about all the ways we hold ourselves back from what we REALLY want to do in life. We rationalize and convince ourselves we CAN'T when really we just WON'T.
So my question for today is: what's REALLY stopping you from doing that thing? Are their limitations that actually aren't limitations at all? And what could be waiting for you on the other side?
Dreams are great. I'm a huge believer in aiming for what you want so you know what you're working towards. But dreams alone unfortunately won't get you there. Dreams alone won't bring you that trip you want to take, that job you wish you had, that life you know is yours. DOING in the thing that gets you those things. The work. Pushing through when it gets tough, constantly experimenting and trying and tripping and recalibrating and DOING.
So, ask yourself, did you dream today? Great! Now what are you doing to DO today?
I was working through some ideas for October's #MVcoloryoursoul issue today when I hit a wall. I couldn't see how the pieces I wanted to fit together actually could fit together, so I just sat frustrated trying to work it out in my head. That's when I realized I was making things WAY too complicated. I was so focused on how to fit ALL my ideas into this one thing that I forgot there is value in editing those ideas down. There's no need to make things harder on yourself if they don't have to be. Ask yourself what is the most concise, elegant solution to a problem and you might end up sparing yourself a lot of frustration, not to mention you might just make things more clear to the people who love your work.
9/20/16: Now 2
As I was finishing this piece about to post it, Jason pointed out the sun-drenched window and asked: "Do you want to walk down to the water and watch the sunset?" I almost said no because I was so focused on the task at hand when I looked down at the words I had JUST written... "It doesn't have to be RIGHT NOW." Sometimes I feel like I have so many ideas, so many plans, so many THINGS I must do and I want it all to materialize NOW.
Technology moves at warp speed and our inclination is to follow suit. But when you let yourself get caught up in the urgency, you miss out on the in between moments of beauty. The pause between breaths, the sunset invitations, the stillness.
Hold on to those ideas and those plans, keep pushing forward every day, but remind yourself that there's value to be found in expanding time as much as there is in contracting it.
9/19/16: Power 2
Today I was thinking about how much time we spend pre-occupied with things we can’t change — what other people think, how other people feel, the cards we’re dealt in life, the times life feels unfair or unpredictable. None of those things are within our control, and yet we spend so much of our energy worried about all of it.
Instead of focusing on the things we can’t change, what if we focused all our energy on the things we CAN. I bet we would start to realize we have far more power than we think we do, especially if we stop giving it away to things we don’t have a say in.
So ask yourself: What do you have the power to change for the better? Now let the rest fall away.
9/18/16: Messy 2
I believe this to be true for art just like I believe it to be true for people.
I've always been someone who found chaos kind of inspiring. I find it nearly impossible to keep my desk neat because I love keeping things out where I can see them and touch them. As much as I want my art sometimes to be restrained and minimal and organized, it never ends that way; I love the movement and the energy of tiny shapes and layers too much.
I used to get down on myself for not being more together, more TIDY.
Then I just started to realize that I LIKE things a little messy because it makes me feel like the outside matches the inside of my frenetic mind, and something about that is comforting.
Messy doesn't have to be something to avoid. Messy can be free and dynamic and complex and rich and BEAUTIFUL.
That is true for art like it is true for people.
I've seen the phrase "done is better than perfect" quite a bit but for some reason this one has always been more powerful in terms of keeping me from my own perfectionism. In times when I seem to be fixating on what's not right or what could be better, I remind myself that PERFECT does not exist. It is a mirage. And that makes it instantly less valuable than something that is flawed but that is REAL.
An imperfect reality will always beat a perfect mirage.
Remember that when you find yourself obsessing over every detail or disappointed that the thing you made didn't turn out quite like the vision you had in your head. It is real, it is here, it is no longer in your head, and that's something worth celebrating.
What's the expression again? "The squeaky wheel gets the grease?" Well I don't know about you, but I sure have a lot of squeaky wheels.
Sometimes I feel like humans are programmed to fixate on what needs fixing.
All the things I want to do better at, all the things in my business I can improve...that's what typically swirls around in my head day in an day out.
Recently though I've been trying to do the opposite. I've been trying to shift my attention away from what's missing and instead pay attention to what's WORKING. Things that I'm doing right, things in my business that are actually going well. How can I sustain those things or grow those things even more? Not only do I feel like it's been delivering immediate returns by focusing more on the areas I'm already succeeding, but it's done wonders for my mindset too because I'm not constantly in a state of "catching up." Take a moment tonight to think about everything that's going well for you right now. Why's it working out? Can you put even more of your resources toward the things you're doing right? Thoughts for your weekend!
When you look around, it's easy to see the rules that everyone is playing by and get swept up by it all.
Build your career THIS way. Raise your kids THAT way. Money = success. Don't cause a ruckus, don't be too honest, and definitely don't say anything that might make other people feel uncomfortable. The rules are everywhere. But you know what? You can opt out.
You can click unsubscribe to society's rules, and instead you can write your own.
This is what I say to myself when I can feel that I'm being pulled away from my core values in an effort to fit the mold I see forming around me. When I feel myself wanting to pick up my pace even though I'm enjoying slowness and rest; when I feel myself wanting to make more money when I have a comfortable lifestyle; when I feel myself wanting to buy more things despite owning what I need; when I feel myself wanting to BE more whatever even though I know I'm enough just the way I am.
But, all it takes is a little intention and just like that, I opt out.
I opt out of feeling lacking, I opt out of unconscious consumption, I opt out of intolerance, and I opt out of UGG boots. Your life, your choices. You make your own rules!
My mom used to say this to me as a lesson in independence when I was little. "Mom, do they sell pizza at the concession stand?"..."Go find out," she'd say. "Mom, is the capital of Nevada Reno or Las Vegas?"... "Go find out." (ps. It's neither. 😉)
And later, when I was older...
"Mom, do you think I can do this?"... "Go find out." Those words ring in my ear still when I want my assumptions to do the heavy lifting for me. I'll rationalize my way around things, coming to certain conclusions before I ever even TRY OUT what I'm thinking about.
Today, for example, I didn't particularly like this painting, until I asked myself: "Can I do something cool by adding a digital layer of line work on top?" My mom's voice popped in my head: Go FIND OUT.
That's my lesson for you today. Forget the assumptions, forget the fear, forget the laziness and wanting other people to figure it out for you... just go find out. You won't ever KNOW until you try.
Relationships are probably the most consistent thing I struggle to balance in my life. Not because I don't feel the need to connect with people, but actually because I feel that need SO deeply. I'm an introvert and I need A LOT of alone time to recharge, especially when I spend all day using my creative energy and focus making things. When I get a free moment, rather than comment on social media or reply to an email or call a friend, all I want to do is be STILL and recharge alone.
BUT, recently I've realized that while investing energy in keeping up relationships might take effort, that's no reason not to make it a priority. I WANT to be able to have meaningful conversations with more of you in the comments. I WANT to cultivate friendships. I WANT to grow my relationship with Jason and meet new people too. And that just means I need to set aside the time and put in the effort. Not at the expense of my own self-care, but in addition to it. If I can spend just one more hour a week connecting with people I care about, then that is worth it to me.
We can't be everything to everyone and we can't sacrifice our own well-being trying to be a best friend to everyone, but we can put in the effort it takes to nurture the relationships we care about.
Another beautiful gem from #LoveWarrior that has completely shifted the way I think.
We are programmed as humans to avoid pain. It could be something big and traumatic like a marriage ending or family illness OR it could be pain that shows up as the smallest whisper of discomfort and angst. But our immediate response is usually the same: avoid it. Run from it. Bury it.
But actually moving THROUGH life's most uncomfortable moments and painful times is what transforms us into something new. This is what I'm learning through @glennondoylemelton's words.
And again, it doesn't have to be pain in the heaviest sense of the word. It could be the pain of an honest but uncomfortable conversation. It could be the pain of trying something new for the first time.
When we get unsettled, when we confront truths we'd rather not face, that's actually when we receive the gift of breaking free from our cycles and habits and we can step into a new, more evolved version of ourselves.
So... tonight's question: what pain are you running from, big or small, and what transformation might be waiting for you if you sit with that pain and listen to what it has to teach you?
Still working my way through #LoveWarrior, slowly and deliberately, soaking up every morsel of wisdom that @glennondoylemelton has to offer because it's that good.
One nugget in particular: Upon finding out that she -- an alcoholic who had hit rock bottom -- was going to be a mother, she says she felt suddenly like she'd been offered an invitation to a better life. Even though it was a painful moment -- one where she had to realize her coping mechanisms weren't going to work anymore and to sink into the fear of the unknown path that laid before her -- she also saw it as a divine provocation to finally claim her true identity.
That word, invitation, has stuck with me ever since I read it on the page.
The truth is, we don't have to find ourselves at a serious impasse to know what that feels like. It feels like a source deep within us beckoning us forward, compelling us to act even when our logical mind is tied up with things like fear and confusion and uncertainty.
The invitation says: Pick up the paintbrush. Book the travel. Tell the truth. Feel the love. Take the chance. Make the call. Raise your hand.
The invitations are everywhere, and if we listen closely enough, they will lead us to what we need to learn.
9/10/16: Step 2
I’ve always had this vision of myself painting huge canvases, but for months I’ve been too afraid of “messing up.” Too afraid of not knowing what I want my process to be or what I want my voice to say. And then this past week I read something I wrote in a blog post: “The only way to get over my fear of not knowing where to start was to start anyway.” MY OWN WORDS, you guys. It was the kick I needed to finally push my fear aside and embrace joy and curiosity and experimentation instead.
I dipped my toe into the world of acrylic painting over a year ago and I’ve been playing in the shallow end ever since. There’s nothing wrong with the shallow end of course — it’s fun and it’s safe. But the deep end is where all the mystery and magic is. Today I dove into the deep end.
I finally cracked open the 36”x36” canvas I’d been keeping safely pristine, and I let myself head for the mystery and the magic.
At first it was mildly terrifying. But with every stroke I started to remember that I trust myself, and that trust allowed me to let the experience unfold. It was incredible. I can’t believe I’ve been depriving myself of that joy for months just because I was afraid to finally take the next step. Whatever your craft is, consider that it’s time for you to deepen that craft. Consider that it’s time to take the next step.
Remember, you’ll never be ready so start anyway. You may, like me, find that you wish you’d been swimming in the deep end all along.
I was listening to @elizabeth_gilbert_writer's podcast today, #MagicLessons, where she always gently guides a creative person who feels stuck to the answers they might need to get UNstuck.
On this particular episode, the "creative person" in question was a writer with one successful novel under her belt who was struggling to move forward with her second. Every time she got going on an idea, she found herself questioning, Is this good enough? Is this book worth writing? Is this book worth reading?
The conversation that ensued culminated in Liz saying something to the effect of (and I'm paraphrasing here...): HELL YES it's worth it. In the end, it really doesn't matter what other people think of your book, your thing you made. It will never be perfect. But the doing of it if inspiration calls to you will always make it worth it.
Whether anyone reads it, whether you think it's RIGHT, whether you think you could have done better, you made it. You learned something. You DID something. And if you did the thing your heart called you to do, well of course it was worth it. I've been guilty of asking myself this question before, usually when I'm more focused on how something I've made will be received than what I learned in the process of making it. Not anymore. If you love it, it is worth doing.
9/8/16: Kind 2
I've bene thinking about this a lot lately, especially as it relates to fellow business owners and peers online. Sometimes I think we can subconsciously withhold our generosity, whether out of a scarcity-minded fear that someone else's success dampens our own or because we simply get so consumed with our own work and our own goals. But lately I've been trying to set more time and attention aside to offer up support, kindness, acknowledgment, and validation to others -- however seemingly small or insignificant -- because I know how much I appreciate it myself.
And ultimately, I mean, what does it really cost us to be kind? Nothing.
What does it cost us to give out one more like on that heart-felt post from someone sharing their truth. One more email to that person whose work you admire. One more text to say "I'm thinking about you." I know I get wrapped up in my own world and my own work sometimes, but today I'm reminding myself to be a little more generous and more active with the kindness I send out to others.
This month's #MVcoloryoursoul issue is all about FREEDOM, and I often know when I'm not living as freely as I could in one area of my life because I'll find myself feeling blocked. Like my spirit travels through my body in pipes and some kind of obstruction gets in the way of the natural flow of things. This is what I say to myself when I feel that way.
Let it pour out of you.
The art you need to make, the words you need to write, the truth you need to tell, the tears you need to shed, the conversation you need to have.
Remove the obstruction -- whether it's fear or pain or doubt or worry or shame. Shake it loose and watch your spirit start to flow again when it washes away.
Don't stop the flow. Don't filter it, or block it or overthink it... just LET IT. Freedom is flow for me. It's letting my heart and my spirit overflow to the point that it pours out of me.
My body and me? We have a long and complicated past, as I suspect most women do. I mean, I've always thought I had a pretty positive body image, but if I get honest with myself, I can think of times I've resented it a bit for not just easily slipping into the shape I want it to be (and by "I want it to be," I recognize this actually means "what society tells me I should want it to be.") I feel like I'm constantly fighting this battle with the concept of "fitness" -- wanting to feel empowered and fold it into my routine, but ultimately avoiding the discomfort and difficulty that comes with working out (both physically and emotionally.) Then today I listened to a great interview with @momastery and @marieforleo, where Glennon talked about this really interesting concept of seeing ourselves as a triad: mind, body, spirit. She never felt fully connected to the body part of herself, struggling with an eating disorder from a young age, and so she effectively "voted her body off the island," away from the triad, until she found yoga and was able to reclaim this part of herself and reconnect with her body again.
This was a lightbulb moment for me, one that I want to carry into a NEW outlook for myself on fitness and on my body in general. I want to view movement and being active as an opportunity each day to reconnect with this part of my own triad and as a way of feeling whole.
I don't know if this concept resonates with any of you, but I wanted to share it today in case you too have found yourself "voting your body off the island." Reconnect and reclaim.
9/5/16: Time 2
Whether it's a new habit, your creative voice, a broken heart, a bad mood, or a fledgling business, the advice is the same: give it time. So often we want things to be a certain way NOW. (I know I certainly have been guilty of this, especially the last few days.) But instead of looking at the current circumstances from 2 inches away, imagine zooming out to 20,000 ft, where you can see more clearly the road that lays ahead and allow yourself to see the bigger picture. Log the hours, practice patience, give it time.
I don’t know about you, but I always go through this weird emotional transition when the summer starts to fade and we move into fall. As much as I love fall, there’s this strange cosmic loss I can sense when the carefree spirit of summer begins to dissolve. Anyone else feel this or is it just me?
All that is to say I was in a really weird mood today. Nothing felt clear to me — what I wanted to do or write or make. I traced this feeling back to the shifting of the seasons and decided that instead of fighting the transition, I could instead embrace the change. Work WITH the change. So I did what I might do in, say, the start of spring or the start of a new year: I cleared the clutter. I cleaned my desk, rearranged my studio, and let go of whatever remnants of this summer’s work was still lingering on my desk.
Surprising, it did the trick! Instead of feeling this weird in between stage where I can still see people playing by the beach but I can also see people posting photos of weekend football games and tailgates, instead of mourning the loss of the summer and gripping onto it for dear life, I’m embracing the change and letting it fuel the next chapter.
Sometimes life’s transitions can leave us feeling emotionally muddled. Unsure of what exactly to feel. When you encounter that feeling, ask yourself: how can I stop fighting this and instead work WITH this change? How can I lean into this fresh set of circumstances? Still not entirely ready to let go of long summer days and the spirit of summer, but today I realized I’m ready to look ahead to the next season.
Today has been such a wonderful, lazy day. Jas and Plaxico and I have been soaking up the sun on our deck, curled up on the couch watching movies, and off on a brief excursion to our favorite spot for a nice cheese board. 🧀
It's quite the departure from the last two weeks, which have been pretty much all work and no play leading up to the launch. Every day I had my clear to do list and I knew exactly what needed to get done. In other words, all my focus was on "productivity" -- what could I say I clearly PRODUCED at the end of each day?
But days like today are the opposite -- they're all about presence. Not doing anything or making any output, but instead just BEING, soaking up joy from the people (and pets!) around me. And, in a way, that I think is its own form of productivity because what I'm actually producing is SPACE. Space for my body to rest, my brain to recharge and my creativity to expand. Space for my emotions to simmer and my inner peace to rise to the top. These are all things that are very necessary to a healthy sense of well-being, and yet presence often gets passed over for productivity of a more tangible form.
Whatever your plans are for this long weekend, I hope you too are taking time out to be present and to find out what you can "produce" when you trade in DOING for simply BEING.
Every Monday I'll send you insights on how to live an intentional, creative, + VIBRANT life, plus you'll receive my free e-book with 51 weeks worth of past newsletters from my first year in business!
Welcome to Self-Made Society -- an email community for soulful creatives -- where you'll receive my Monday letters, PLUS an invite to join our private Slack community. Look for an email in the next 5 minutes with a link to confirm your subscription and download your new e-book!