I got this idea from a Ted Talk in which the person took a photo, wrote something, and drew something for 365 days of the year- enjoy! It's helping me to be more present in the world, to grow, and to come to terms with the fact that I am not perfect (esp my drawings :) I've learned that the world is full of wonder everywhere, if we open our eyes, open our hearts, slow down, look, observe, absorb.
September 11, 2013
"ENFJ (The Giver) and ENFP (The Inspirer)"
<Chautauqua Picnic Shelter>
Today, we evaluated our Myers-Briggs personality profiles. They are incredibly insightful. I truly enjoy using various tools as an objective way to dive into how we are prone to act. Perhaps have those closest to you take the test and then gain insight into their proclivities.
September 4, 2013
August 28, 2013
August 23, 2013
"Affirmations, Self-Compassion and Laughing!"
<Hiram Fullen Park>
This week, the whole gang was back together. We showered one of us who just had a birthday with affirmations. We also discussed how self-compassionate we are and outlined some exercises to try. Then, we ended the session with how important laughter is- we even acted out animals to make each other laugh- completely ridiculous- and fantastic :)
August 14, 2013
"FOCUS!!!! And LIGHTEN UP!!! :) "
<Campbell Robertson Park>
This week, only two of us gathered together for our inspiration meeting. We discussed success, goals, and how to focus to achieve them. One recommendation was to turn off all Facebook notifications to e-mail. I did this a few months ago and it is fantastic. We also did the Dove commercial exercise where we each drew our self portrait and then had the other person draw us to see if how we saw ourselves or described ourselves was different. Our own drawings were much more serious and less happy than the one the other person drew. Lesson: lighten up on yourself! :)
August 7, 2013
"Your Thoughts, How to Turn Them Around? And Viewing Others Purely"
This week, my friends and I talked about the power of thought. We have so many subconscious beliefs, expectations, and thoughts. Most of the time, we don't even realize it. By slowing down, noticing, and taking control of our thoughts, we can change our lives. We discussed how to "unlearn" our thoughts and how to turn them around. We looked at The Work by Byron Katie and evaluated whether we were in other people's business or minding our own. We also discussed viewing others purely- almost as we view babies- without fault or judgement. How differently would we treat others if we looked at them in a pure light?
July 31, 2013
"The Mandala, Space, Growth, and Support"
<Scott Carpenter Park- The Hill>
For this weekly inspirational meeting with my friends, we talked about the mandala, unattachment (especially to outcomes or expectations of people or how relationships SHOULD be). How can we care, be engaged, be authentic, and yet, not want to judge, control, steer, demand? Can we take a step back and allow for some healthy space in our relationships with people and things? To give life the opportunity to unfold? Can we state our preferences and not "aggressively demand" what we want. Can we take the trigger-immediate emotions out of how we want something to turn out? We also evaluated a vision book of one of my friends. In it, she had lots of imagery for growth- space, peacefulness, go with the flow. But, she also had a brick wall. Brick walls are not always a bad thing. They provide stability, support, protection, a foundation (just ask the Three Little Pigs :)
July 24, 2013
"Be in the Moment/Don't Miss the View! The Labyrinth and the Interconnected Cyclical Nature of the Universe and Us"
<North Boulder Park>
I am getting together with my friends once per week in the morning for an inspirational meeting. This week, the main topics focused on being in the present moment, not thinking ahead, and missing the view :) We also discussed the cyclical nature of women every month. Our bodies are perfectly timed to go through a cycle every 28 days. This connects with the fact that the earth perfectly circles the sun every 365 days. The entire universe, on a micro and macro level, is inherently cyclical and interconnected. We all have our natural, inner rhythm. We also discussed labyrinths and how they are an amazing spiritual metaphor. You have to go in to get back out. Beautiful.
DAY THIRTEEN: July 2013
"The Pendulum: Passive, Aggressive, How About Just Assertive?"
I was speaking with someone today who had a VERY interesting point. She said that many women grew up being passive. Somewhere along the line, they were awakened to start expressing their needs and more of who they are. However, many women "go overboard" and jump RIGHT over being assertive and go to aggressive. Being aggressive is hard to sustain. You are living in the world, always in attack mode. You are not giving space to others to meet you half way. You are demanding all of nothing. It is a lonely place to be. I feel that my experience was like that of a pendulum. On the one side, I went from very passive, to aggressive, and now I am just learning how to be assertive. To state what I want, but to also listen to what others need and allow them to express who they uniquely are. My ears are more open to hear what they are telling me and, ironically enough, my needs are being met much better.
DAY TWELVE: July 2013
"Harnessing Desire for Creativity"
I went to a yoga class and the topic was about harnessing desire for creativity. We all have desires, but how well do we direct them? Do we let them overrun us or do we "yoke" them to inspire us to be our best selves? Like most feelings, desire can either be destructive or nourishing. How we process what we are feeling and channel desire, will determine how best it is used. One thing is certain, that without desire, nothing would get done, so it definitely starts out well! How it grows and goes on is up to us!
DAY TEN: Saturday, June 29, 2013
"Trust in [the] Emergence"
Can you "trust in [the] emergence" of your life? Life is a constant process of "getting lost and getting found." Put another way, "there is no path, the path is forged as we walk." Are you waiting for it to end? Looking for someone or something else to show you the way? To be done? To be found, to get to your destination, and to stop? If so, you will continually be disappointed. Here is the secret: it does not end. It just keeps going- evolving, changing, transitioning, and moving. And so should you. Can you be okay with that? With never reaching a known culmination, achievement, or end point? No finish line? No medal? Can you relax into the ride, the moment, and just feel it? Be present? Even the uncomfortable and hurtful parts- sit in it, wade in it, tread, explore it. Just be. Learn from being lost. Find the lesson in it. Grow. Be open to taking a turn, even (gasp!), a u-turn, or a right, or a left- you might even have to bushwhack your way through some pretty nasty brambles, you might stumble, or get frightened and have to walk in the dark. Be equally at peace with the lost and the found- maybe you will even find it is the same thing- or that you cannot have one without the other- and that you make it what it is by your reaction to it.
DAY NINE: Saturday, June 22, 2013
"Sun Stand Still"
Solstice. What does it mean? Technically, the sun is at it's highest point. Literally, the word comes from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). Solstice also marks a beginning- the start of summer. In the northern hemisphere, it's the longest day; but, in the southern hemisphere, it's the shortest day. This year's solstice is followed by a supermoon- the closest the moon will be to earth this year.
Funny how there is inherent duality: sun- highest; moon- closest; north- longest; south- shortest. The earth orbits the sun because of the sun's gravity and the moon orbit's the earth because of the earth's gravity. Everything is connected through incredible juxtapositions.
Did you know that the earth rotates around the sun every 365 days? Our internal rythyms, lives, and calendars are so in tune with the solar system.
Solstice is also called midsummer. Why mid if it's supposed to be the beginning? Well, some say it is because solstice represents a turning point- that even though it is the longest day of the year, it is a reminder that the following days will get shorter and shorter...there it is again- the duality- long and short.
All this talk about the sun and moon makes me think about the word celestial...such a wistful, magical word...blending skies with heaven...synonyms include: astral, transcendental, ethereal, seraphic....it then makes sense that so many pagan rituals blended gods and goddesses with this special day. Apollo, Greek God of the Sun, was also the god of healing. The warmth of the sun is healing too, but it can be damaging as well. A good reminder of why balance is so important.
In ancient times, people were more connected to the earth- the solstice marked a time of celebration and it had more meaning because it affected their crops and how they were going to survive. The solstice was a way for cultures to connect the earth with the heavens, the ground with the sky- the holiday allowed them to worship the path of the sun to the earth, through their food and, ultimately, to them.
So, for me, today, solstice represents harmony- that all of life and the universe, for that matter, is perched, as in the middle of a delicate seesaw- interdependent, proactive opposites, and through those energetic connections- all becomes incomprehensibly powerful.
DAY EIGHT: Friday, June 7, 2013
DAY SEVEN: Sunday, May 12, 2013
DAY SIX: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
DAY FOUR: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
DAY THREE: Monday, April 22, 2013
Just Show Up
Are you showing up to your life? My friend's Nana gave her amazing advice- she said, "The secret to life, just show up." I remember these sage words often and I have to say- it's a great mantra. You see, when you just get out there in the world, that's when the magic happens. For instance, today I went to a commemorative run for the Boston Marathon. A famous runner happened to be at the run AND he was at the marathon AND he was at the Munich games- he told the story of those events and explained how you have to control your fear and not allow terror events to cause you to retreat. It was a magical moment and if I would have just stayed inside b/c it was snowing...I would have missed it...
DAY TWO: Sunday, April 21, 2013
What is your Medium?
I'm really enjoying this blog project. Drawing yesterday and today made me realize that the tools you use to interpret the same subject can have a huge impact on the outcome. Yesterday, I used a Sharpie marker to draw this beautiful woman from Panama. I was in a rush, I wanted to use sweeping, larger motions to draw my lines. I don't like the way it turned out. I think I got out of it what I put into it, which wasn't very much. Today, I was feeling a bit more introspective, calmer, and had the time to draw for a bit longer. I used a Venetian Red drawing pencil to sketch. If I had tried to use a Sharpie marker today, I would have had difficulty expressing the softness and subtlety of the subject, as I did with the drawing pencil. I like this drawing much better. The tools you use to express yourself matter.
DAY ONE: Saturday, April 20, 2013