Category Archives: relationships
One of the most awesome things I do every year is devote some focused time to, put simply, reflect on where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to be, both literally and figuratively. I do most of this through both a self-designed personal retreat and a program called the Stratejoy Holiday Council. Once the dust of this reflection settles, one of the many things I emerge with is a theme. It may be a word or a phrase. It may have a whole story that builds up to it or it may have been born out of my time of reflection. It falls into the rhythm of my heartbeat, speaks truth and inspires my goals. For me, the value of my theme for the year (or whatever amount of time it remains) is grand.
All that said, I wanted to share my theme for the present time.
I could write much more to draw out the beauty of how this theme developed and what it means to me, but, instead, I will share the visual representation and encourage this process of listening to your own voice, creating a collage of cravings and moving with more strength and love through YOUR journey. 🙂
…to explain my absence…
I made a conscious decision to take a break from blogging. It was well into the holiday season and I had an awesome new job and some fabulous new projects going. Opportunities were abundant. I was feeling overwhelmed by time and did not want my blog to be something that drained me. I always desire for writing/blogging/creating to be something that challenges and inspires, so giving myself a little breathing room to shift focus was intentional.
Stepping away for eight months, however, was never the plan and feels a bit shocking in the present.
I got lost in the new things, which in and of themselves were not at all bad, but before I knew it, I was just sucked up into day to day life survival and my own pulse was feeling faint.
Don’t get me wrong. There have been many awesome things that have happened over the last year. My world has included an incredible and successful new business with a company I love, people that I can’t even fathom not knowing, a fabulous creative space, good hard work, plenty of wine, laughter, positive changes, moments of rejuvenation and lots of inspiration. The problem is that I feel weary and have never craved health, creativity and balance more.
Image found on GabbieBrownsblog via pinterest
And, so, now it is time to return. It is time to bring some focus back toward the things that help my heart to beat strong. It is time to find a way to embrace moxie again. Now it is time to maintain all of the fabulous new things, but to also do what I need to do .
If I have any point in this whole post, it is that I am finally starting to accept the possibility that by making my own heartbeat my focus, all of the other things that extend will carry more life.
This is huge.
And guess what? I can’t even prove that it is true yet, but I look forward to sharing as I journey on.
“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”
―Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
I have not read Wild (yet). I have a note in my journal from January that says, “read Wild“. There is even a copy sitting in the house. I will read it. But the first book I ever read by Cheryl Strayed will always be tiny beautiful things.
On the surface, this book is simply a collection of advice column letters and answers. But, if your heart is open, it is so much more than that.
This is the sort of stuff that makes my heart want. It is people. It is stories. It is real. It is all three combined. And then those real people are brave enough to reach out by writing in to an advice column. In return, this beautiful writer, then known only as “Sugar”, reaches back with such raw emotion, both delicate and passionate, woven into words that address real life in a way that made me want to laugh and scream and cry all at once.
Read it if you are a human that lives in the real world and wants to embrace real life.
Early last week (after an interesting handful of days), I typed the word ‘vulnerable’ into the search tool at a local bookstore. Five minutes later, I had Daring Greatly by Brene Brown in my hands. Fifteen minutes later, I was spilling chai all over the book. (I was already sold, but that sealed it) Two hours later, I was watching her TED talk…
So, I am part of a new blog called blARTog, which exists to challenge people to be creative and share art. The first project was a self-portrait. I had an idea for the portrait for weeks, but when I sat down to do it, it turned into something completely new and different and actually opened my eyes a bit. You can read more about my process right here on the blog, but what I suddenly realized through this was how easy it is to know someone without actually knowing them. We have these worlds that we live in online via social networking sites like facebook and twitter as well as through photo albums, e-mails and online chats, basic accessible information, videos and profiles of all sorts. (And here I am sharing this all on a blog!) I awkwardly became an observer of my own life as I scrolled through this online life. I did not feel that anything I saw or read was untrue to who I am, but a loneliness set in as I realized that anyone who knows “online me” doesn’t fully know ME.
This realization inspired me to do a few things:
1. Create this piece of art.
2. Take some time to become an observer of my “real life”. How? I literally came face to face with myself and considered where/who/how I am. What am I feeling passionate about? What am I struggling with? How do I feel? It was humbling. I have a lot to ponder and change.
3. To try not to judge people solely based on a picture or comment I see online.
4. To remember to nurture and cherish my real life relationships. In reality, it is not that hard to stay connected to those you love, whether it is through a phone call, letter or card or an actual one on one over coffee or a walk. If it is truly important, time can be found.
I never imagined a simple portrait would teach me so much and I am so thankful.