Daily Rituals

I’m in this cool space right now where I’m getting into reading everything about honing creativity. I want to embrace WHO and WHAT I naturally am more than I ever have done in my life. I’ve been learning some really interesting things along this journey. Many of the books talk about the importance of having daily rituals that you do every single day without fail to create the space in your mind for inspiration.  I love this because all too often I am running from one thing to the next, without space in between, and then wondering why I’m not getting hits of inspiration and new ideas and moments of clarity. Hmmmm Maybe I need to create space for them to come through! So here is a list of my new daily rituals that I am adding to create a home for creativity.

  1. Take time to write down my thoughts and feelings. Ah! I used to write morning pages from Julia Cameron’s ‘Artist’s Way,’ book years ago, and had unfortunately gotten anxious from the time involved, and just stopped all together. But after reading from numerous articles about how clearing it can be, have taking it up again. It’s kind of fun to just let the words come out in any jumbled disaster, and have that be fine. No fixing them, no adjusting them. Just throw them on paper, for 3 pages every morning. This is really helpful for anyone suffering from perfectionism. You don’t read the pages and no one else does either. It’s just a way of clearing the fog so you can feel more creative during the day.  Incomplete sentences and spelling errors and scribbles are fine!  Yay
  2. After I write those morning pages, I meditate for 20 minutes. I have uped this from 15, and it’s sort of a struggle sometimes. But that’s how meditation sometimes is, no matter how many years I’ve done it. I’ve realized lately that holding an image in my head is relaxing me a lot more than just concentrating on my breathing. Sometimes I picture bright globs of paint, or my baby’s smiling face, and I can feel my body just relaxing. I think the reason meditation is so interesting, is that it is a PRACTICE. It’s not something you just start and then feel instantly better. It’s trial and error, it’s sitting when you don’t want to, it’s noticing thoughts and then starting again,…  When we struggle during meditation, we aren’t doing it wrong. That is the meditation. It’s making the commitment and sticking through it even when it’s hard, so much like life. I think the practice has helped me recognize in life when I want to give up, and then have the choice, just like meditation.
  3. Of course exercise! Exercise has been a huge part of my life for almost as long as I could remember. I love the endorphin rush, I love how my muscles and my heart feels. It’s been an interesting journey with this pregnancy, because I’ve had to slow down, and that’s been really tough for me. But here I am in my 2nd trimester, and my body is loving to exercise. This is our time to give our bodies a gift, to cherish what they can do, and love them into movement. I love to be at the gym, I love yoga, and I love dancing naked to music in my house. This baby is going to be dancing all the time with me. Ahhhhhhh bring on the endorphins! 😉
  4. Daily walks, preferably in silence. Noticing everything I see. Letting my mind wander,…  Paying attention to how my body feels, how the air feels, what the sun feels like, what catches my eye. I’ve been hearing that not only is taking breaks a must, but being outside is one of the best things you can do to enhance creativity. Ahhhhh
  5. Reading or listening to stimulating, positive words. Sometimes I want to just lose myself in some horrible murder trial on You Tube, and yet, what I’ve noticed, is that I feel a 1000 times better when I’m instead listening to something that is INSPIRING/ MOTIVATING/ and reminds me that I can make a change in every moment. After this I always hold my head up a little higher and feel a little more like I am becoming more of the person I want to be.
  6. Grateful lists. I’ve done these many times through the years, but over the past couple of weeks have become more conscious about listing continuously for 3 minutes or 5 minutes or whatever I decide. All too often we can get stuck in the buzzing parts of life that we forget to notice all the tiny moments that are amazing, all the miracles that are happening right before our eyes. I’ve made a deal with myself that I want to acknowledge these more than I have been. I want to not only notice, but fill myself with deep appreciation for all of the wonderful things that encompass my life.
  7. Writing down what I have learned. Sometimes I use my art journal for this, or a daily 5 minute journal that my husband and I have. I want to use that more than I do, but I don’t have the habit quite yet. But when I do write down what I’ve learned, I feel like the day is more successful. Especially when it doesn’t go as planned, it’s easy to feel like it was a waste, or nothing got accomplished. But there are lessons every single day. I want there to always be a place that I can acknowledge lessons, no matter how big or small they are. This shows me how much I am growing and changing and developing, which is something I NEVER WANT TO STOP.

I am sure I will have more adjustments later in the year, but for now, these are my rituals. I’d love to hear yours, and if they are inspiring you to show up as your best self.

Have a wonderful week,

xo

 

 

The Game of Life and How to Play It

Wow! Can’t believe it’s nearing the end of August! Oh my gosh!!! So my family and I just got home from an Alaskan cruise. It was great in many ways, but of course it wasn’t without the occasional family drama. Soooo nice to be home though! Even though I am still wading through travel items that need to be put away, 1/2 done loads of laundry, and this excited/anxious feeling of wanting to get back into a LIFE SCHEDULE and experience DAILY LIFE AGAIN. Traveling is so great, but it’s always nice to come home. 🙂

A couple weeks before we left, I ordered a book on Amazon that supposedly was written to help people manifest in an easy way, sort of reset the thick anticipatory funk that usually seems like comes with the concept. I opened the first page, and the author had written that she had been inspired by the book “The Game of Life and How to Play it,” by Florence Scovel Shinn. The name of the book caught my eye because I’ve had that book on the shelf for 2 years, and hadn’t opened it yet. I remember I had heard about it on some spiritual website/blog/ or from a person that the book is pretty amazing, but just never got around to it. This was obviously a sign! So I decided to switch over to reading that little book that had been patiently sitting on my shelf instead of my new one.

I feel so blessed that this book was waiting for me. My entire perspective is shifting and I am feeling more empowered, more delighted, more alive in my life. I am astounded that Florence wrote this in 1925, wow! What a freakin’ powerhouse.

My husband and I have been reading it together nearly every night. (I know I know I’m pretty lucky to have such a receptive partner….)

One of my favorite messages from the book is that there is a supply for every demand. She also mentions that blessing others automatically blesses ourselves. I love the concept of blessing others, and it automatically dissolves any anger or irritation towards them. Life in so many ways has been so ego centered. I feel so connected to humans by blessing them, and acknowledging that we all aren’t that different.

She has reminded me of the law of karma. If we want love, send love out. If we want support and understanding, to give that. Give that which we seek.

It really reminds me to expect miracles. That what is our divine right cannot be taken from us, and will show up in divine timing. I feel so much more at ease in my life, trusting that the Universe has my back.

I love it when a message, a book, a person, a realization shows up at just the right moment. It seems like this is happening to me more and more.

Yay! Sending so much love and blessings to all of you. 😉 xo

Words that make it all better

My bonus daughter is away for 4 days at Lacrosse camp. She just started learning the game a couple weeks ago and now is in an immersive camp with a bunch of girls that have been doing it for years. She was so nervous to go. She is so hard on herself, and will not try new things easily with the fear that she won’t be great at it. It was so brave of her to take this leap and go. We hoped that once she got there and felt uncomfortable for an hour or so,  it would start to get better, and she may even enjoy it.

She texted me this morning to let me know that the girls there are so nice. She was telling them that she’s not as good as they are and she was embarrassed to play. They told her that she is so much better than they were for just starting, and that she is doing great. This made her day!  I love that there are 13 year old girls, in all the awkwardness of that age, that can open up to say exactly what someone needs to hear.  I love that the distaste of middle school years that I still have in my mouth can be swept away by girls that are willing to HELP when they see someone struggling. I want to give them a hug!! They probably know how it feels to feel like the worst at something. To feel different. To feel not as good, or special. I love that my bonus daughter heard them. She was willing to listen to them.  Hearing that you are okay from another 13 year old girl? Oh my gosh, priceless.

It’s moments like these that I feel like humanity isn’t as bad as we think it is. There is still kindness, there is still people (young girls even) willing to reach out a hand to someone that needs it. Thank you thank you random girls for making our girls day.

Endless Loop?

Wow… It’s been OVER a month since I created a blog post. I can’t even believe it. I knew May was going to be full, and it was. I am just starting to get myself back on a schedule, an even better one, but I can’t believe  it’s been over a month. Sheesh!

Though I’m learning a lot  about myself every day, I’m aware that I don’t feel quite as confident as I would like. Even after all these years of growth and change, and new decisions, and speaking my truth, there are still voices that  show up in my head vicious and irritated.
Wishing that I was:
something different,
something more,
better,
faster,
more involved,
less involved,
more confident,
more of a fighter,
more social,
better in groups,
enough.
That still happens, and I can see my pattern. I can see where the blame and shame shows up, where I feel disgusted at myself, and where I feel like I would be enough if I just pushed a little harder.

I recently had a discussion about this sort of thing with my sister in law. And the question is; what if I don’t need to PUSH harder? Why do I always assume that if something is happening that I don’t like, that it’s my JOB to WORK HARDER to get where I want to go, or get a relationship to where I want it to be?

I don’t know.

I guess that was the way I was raised, right? That our job is to spin our wheels pushing fighting, pounding until we FIX it. Until we beat it to death, whatever it is. It’s so funny writing that out, because it’s not at all how I live my life, and not at all how I would want my kids to feel. And yet, there it is. The feeling that I am not enough and that I MUST exhaust every morsel of my being, and even then there is probably something wrong with me.

What if life gets to be easier than that? More at ease? Even though I resonate far more with ease, there is still a part of me that feels I need to push, jab, fight to move forward.

Maybe this is just a rambling post of me feeling lost and searching once again for a glimmer of my personal power. How no matter how much work we may do on ourselves, the mean self talk can still show up. And something I’m not even AWARE that the voice has stepped into my head.

I just start believing it.

My husband just told me earlier today that he loves every part of me. It  made me so sad, that we can so easily offer that to people we love,  but it is so hard to do for ourselves. Every part of ME? I mean, I accept more parts than I used to. I am grateful for more than I used to be. But there is still a lot of judgement voices. EVERY part of me? How wonderful that would be to just know who I am and accept and love myself fully. Is that even possible? Or is it an endless loop of feeling like we get close and then finding another issue/quirk/problem/mistake/flaw that we need to lean in to offering love to? Are we doing this when we are 90 no matter what? Or is there a way to get to the point of loving all of it?

I have to remember that even though I feel immersed in emotions and negative self talk, that doesn’t mean I am not growing and learning and moving forward. It doesn’t mean I am backpedaling or stuck, or incapable or wrong. It means maybe that there is another level that I can work through to be a better version of me.

Brene Brown


Okay so I love Brene, and I love her messages of Bravery and vulnerability and taking risks. We sat down with our 13 year old daughter to watch her Netflix video. Ah! You need to see it if you haven’t yet. It was cool because afterward K said that she thought Brene would be a cool person to meet. She said she seems really genuine and authentic. Even if what was spoken about doesn’t stick, at least she’s exposed to it, and will continue to be at our house. Yes! Proud bonus mom moment number 1000. 😉

Here is the preview of the movie if you haven’t yet seen it. Sooooo inspiring.

 

 

Shattered Reality

Yes it’s been a long time since I’ve written. Our son was visiting last week from his school in Boise, and I didn’t get a chance to do my blogging.

I’m writing from deep inside a fog right now.

Every morning that my hubby and I are at the gym, the news is blaring in front of us with terrible stories of fear and hatred and pain. I’ve always disliked being bombarded with such heaviness, especially in the morning, especially before I even really start my day. Unfortunately this morning, our community was on the news, unraveling, peeling, unearthing from the horrendous synagogue shooting on Saturday morning.

I think all of us are still in shock, with slivers of disbelief and moments of deep cutting pain.

This is something that happens in other places.

This is something that happens with other people.

Not here.

Not a mile from our house.

Fortunately our kids and my hubby’s family attend a different synagogue slightly further away. But this hits home so much more than we could have ever imagined.

Last night we attended the vigil and heard first hand the story retold by the Rabbi. There are so many excruciating details about the story and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with them. To constantly picture the horrible scene again and again, feeling myself being sucked into the story as if I were there.

The part that stands out for me the most through all the tragic details is the support, the love, the compassion, the bravery that we felt as we showed up to that vigil. It didn’t matter who was Jewish or not. There were people from all religions, ethnicities, backgrounds united in an event that has sent ripples of fear to everyone in the community.

I guess even as I write all this out, and feel the heaviness in my heart, there are gifts I am choosing to see.

  1. Life is fleeting. We don’t know what is going to happen today or tomorrow. Maybe the time to make amends is now. Maybe the time to be present, and love and be authentic is now. Maybe now is all we have. 
  2. In the face of tragedy, love shines through. People come together no matter how awful the reason. I am reminded that even though we get distracted, the reality is that we want to show up for others. We have empathy, and we want to feel connected. There is a lot more good than we realize.
  3. Bravery. I am baffled by the immense amount of bravery in not only this story but most of the hate crime tragedies. There are people taking extremely heroic risks. Could I be that brave? Am I brave? These acts are redefining what lengths we will go to to keep others safe. Although people may argue that humans are inherently selfish, surprisingly enough in the face of terror many are willing to react with bravery instinctually. I hope I could be the same. 

 

Just like I told my hubby, and I need to remind myself. It’s okay to be wherever I am right now. This was a tragedy, this was terrifying, and it did hit home. The best thing I can do is feel it as much as I need to, and allow myself to deepen in all areas from it.

Sending you all lots of love.

Jax

Appreciate Appreciate

I appreciate these amazing noise cancelling headphones so I completely feel like I’m in my own world.

I appreciate getting the house organized. The energy is improving!

I appreciate that the cat tree is moved close to the window so the kittens can enjoy the sun and look outside.

I appreciate watching the kids laugh and play out the window.

I appreciate being able to focus at the library and get done everything on my list.

I appreciate being reminded that me feeling good is the first step in creating the life I want, and enjoying the life I have.

I appreciate having the courage to say yes.

I appreciate being able to apologize to myself when I am not as compassionate as I would like to be.

I appreciate starting over with how I speak to myself if I need to.

I appreciate recognizing that I am making things harder than they need to be.

I appreciate being brave enough to feel my feelings when they come up instead of pushing them away.

I appreciate knowing that magic is all around me.

I appreciate listing off what I am grateful for in the morning.

I appreciate playing happy music while we get ready in the morning.

I appreciate listening to my body instead of judging.

I appreciate the sun on my cheeks.

I appreciate feeling calm when I go inside my closet.

I appreciate getting rid of clothes that do not spark joy.

I appreciate being in a relationship where we both show up the best way we can for each other.

I appreciate knowing that I can make changes with anything that isn’t working in my life.

I appreciate sore muscles.

I appreciate sore drawing fingers.

Forgive

This is just one of my many, many life lessons I’ve had recently that I thought I’d share. I’m getting better and better at it everyday!
Sending you all love, and hopefully you can forgive yourself as well. I’m sure you are doing the best you can with what you know.

xo

Passion and then WHAT?

I have always been excited about life. I have always been curious and fascinated and desiring to experience all. Of. It.

But one thing held me back from saying yes to EVERYTHING.

Art.

As interested and enamored and in awe as I have always been with the nuances of life, I also knew that if I ‘took on’ everything that caught my attention, there was a chance I would end up a shell that didn’t have any time for the one thing that fills me up more than most everything.

Making art. 

So I didn’t commit.

I didn’t take that class or research, or learn the things that gently knocked on my heart.

I’d get swept up for just a moment fantasizing about something new and adventurous, and at the last second I would decide not to take the plunge and explore down a different path.

When one has lived their life skipping from one piece of passion to another, and only moving forward when it’s hot and sizzling and wild, that are pieces that might have gotten missed.

I never followed a path that I laid out before me. Moving through it, sometimes slowly, just to get to the end. I would stop half way if it felt anything less than mountains moving.

I think in some ways I recognized that I had something really great. There are many people that don’t feel PASSION at all. The fact that I have it, I should probably hold onto it with tight fingers.
Hide it.
Keep it safe.
Make sure it doesn’t slip away, or worse, have it feel as if I am ungrateful or don’t care.

I guess by me always choosing art first AND ONLY, I felt like I was honoring the passion inside me. But I can see now that I was not respecting all parts of me.

I was always leaving the gnawing, whispering, playful questions at the backdoor. Unattended to. 

Maybe if I pursue/learn/dive in to all these new exciting curiosities, they may not feel the way art does.

Is that okay?

Maybe creating art is supposed to feel different for me. Maybe it will always be the place I can re-find me. Where I can curl up and breathe life back into my soul. Maybe that doesn’t happen with every activity/hobby/interest that I have.

Maybe these interests will STILL enhance my life.

Maybe I will STILL learn more about myself and my gifts.

As I ask myself these questions, I’ve decided that I no longer want to deny urges I have to experience life.
This year will be different.
This year I will move forward even with small quivers of my curiosities.
I will trust that what I’m curious about is there for a reason.

I will trust that there is so much more to discover about myself.

I will trust that life isn’t only buzzing, passionate smoldering energy. It is the space between as well. It is the not knowing, it is the dark lonely paths and uncharted heaviness. It is the light moments of joy that may not be connected to any depth.

I am going to discover all of those parts of myself as well.

Yea for the journey! Wow! I didn’t even know what I was going to write about when I sat down. This is what is so healing about writing. This blog is way more for me than anyone else. I am okay with no one ever reading it. What I get from just writing out my feelings is so phenomenal. If anyone happens to read it and understand or something connected for them through it, that’s great. But it’s not why I’m doing it. I love linking these thoughts and feelings together and walking away with a better understanding of who I am and what I want out of life. Yessssssssssss!

What have you discovered lately about yourself?

 

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