I completed my first draft!!! So - now what?
what would I choose to be? This was a recent art journaling prompt. No deep thought - no debate (should I be this flower? that flower?) - I knew the answer - I would be a daisy. Not the flashiest flower in the garden - nor my favorite. Not a choice, really, it just feels right. And as I am mindful of what feels right, I understand that, for me, the question isn't really "what flower?", but "why?" The daisy's beauty lies in its simplicity - the joy of daisy chains - the cheerful yellow and white of wild daisies picked by the roadside, filling a vase. Daisies make me smile. In the language of flowers, the daisy has many meanings, but did you know they also symbolize new beginnings? Neither did I, but that feels right, too. Walking through the room as I work on my art journal page, Greg comments - "that looks pretty" Me: Really? because I feel like it's a bit of a mess. But then, I think it's supposed to be? Greg: That's probably why it's pretty - you're out of your comfort zone. Hmmmm - indeed... Only four more weeks of back-and-forth to Boston - and yes, the countdown has begun! And while summers are usually a bit more relaxed in my office, it seems that there is a lot going on, this year. I watch as everyone scurries about, reacting to "what" is happening; as always, I am much more interested in "why". Is anyone asking "why?" But then, I allow myself (remind myself) to sit back and watch, realizing it's okay to just shrug my shoulders - not my problem... This is a bit out of my comfort zone, too - and yet... smile... This all reminds me of a quote I often see online by Neale Donald Walsch - "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Yeah... we'll see... I suspect I will be out of my comfort zone quite a bit in the weeks ahead - so far... it seems okay - it feels right. And now - I'd love to hear from you. How is your summer going? Have you been stepping outside your comfort zone?
I was beginning to feel as though 2019 had gotten off to a slow start. This was to be my year of exploration - of "following my soul" - and really, what was I doing? I felt as though I was marching in place - staying with the status quo. And then - a couple of baby steps set everything into motion. Looking into the possibility of selling our Boston-area townhouse and relocating to our Vermont home, "Away", resulted in a quick, unexpected sale and a frenzied month of sorting, minimizing, packing, and moving. Art Journaling Before this all started, I was playing in my art journal. Our Wanderlust theme was "rivers." The stones at the bottom of the river are meant to represent letting go of the things that weigh us down. I left a few stones on the river bank, knowing there were still some things that I needed to drop into my river. At the time, they felt more like boulders than stones. And then... SPLASH My soul told me to drop that stone in the river and I listened. So - yeah - this is really, real. I am excited. I am nervous. I am a wee bit scared. But most of all - I am feeling lighter than I have in months - pretty darned happy. So - what next? Well - I think we may need a new name for "Away" I have two more months of back-and-forth between Vermont and Boston, while I transition from my job to retirement. Lots of unpacking, Another round of minimizing... And then - All those things I was neglecting before - family, photography, art, journaling, gardening, reading... To kick-start my retirement, I registered for Summer Studio Capturing Moments - an art journaling workshop where my friend Sarah (Paisley Rain Boots) from Twisted Road Studio will be teaching. I have a few ideas bouncing around my mind - but they can wait for now. It's been a long time since my last post and I can't wait to hear what you have been up to. Do you have plans for the summer that you are looking forward to?
Yes, it’s a real thing – choosing joy, choosing happiness I generally think of myself as a happy person; I am fortunate in so many ways – but, as many of you have probably noticed, I’ve been in a bit of a slump. And – to be honest with you, I’m more that a bit tired of myself, so thank you for bearing with me… "Cosmic messages" Anyway – one evening, mindlessly perusing Pinterest, I ran across a quote “Choose joy even when life is hard”, and this made me think of people whose lives are, indeed, hard. My life is NOT hard. That same evening, preparing a cup of bedtime tea, the message on my tea bag "Happiness is actually an art of living, which is in us” Okay, so, what – really? cosmic messages? Well, it did make me ponder – and you know how I am prone to pondering… When I awoke the next morning, still pondering (because I’m pretty sure my mind never sleeps – sigh), I thought to myself “Okay – so today I choose joy.” Choosing joy It's pretty much been my mantra for the past month or so, and yes - it's a real thing. I tried expressing this message on the journal page that I was creating as part of my Wanderlust 2019 adventure. While I am pretty sure this page is not really my style – I’m not exactly sure what my style is, yet. But, as I follow each lesson – learning new techniques, I try to make the message my own. Hopefully, as I continue on this path of learning, I’ll discover what my style is - find my "artistic" voice. And so – I am finding joy in the everyday things. Annoyances, frustrations, and disappointments happen, they always do, but my reaction is my choice. Deep breath, let it go, choose joy. Your turn - I'd love to hear what you are up to. Do you believe happiness is a choice? I hope you have a wonderful week!
It's here - 2019, that is. I awoke on new year's day feeling the same as always, and thought to myself - "huh..." Honestly, I am not sure what I was expecting - so, after a wintry morning walk up on the mountain, I prepared a champagne brunch - just Greg and myself. And so began the new year. I was excited to tear open my new journal - a cheery bright green - and started creating pages for the many things I plan to explore, this year; pages for photography, yoga, art journaling and blogging. My photography page includes a "challenge" to keep me clicking - instead of random weekly prompts, I will choose a monthly topic - skills that I actually want to learn. My goal is to complete ten of them over the course of the year. I am starting January with "negative space" - something I need to get more comfortable with. I set a few goals for my blog and am hoping that work will quiet enough to provide a little more time. So far... No set goals for yoga, other than to be true and consistent with my practice. A wise person once said - "Yoga is not about touching your toes. It's about what you learn on the way down." I remind myself of this, often. Greg and I enjoyed a quiet week in Vermont, where I gave my mind a bit of a break (well, mostly). I broke out some new art supplies and made my first attempt at "art" journaling. I'm going to keep the quotation marks for now - really, I have no clue what I'm doing. But - when I let go of aiming for perfection, I have a lot of fun. My "Dear Jane" page, as a first project, may have been a bit ambitious - most of the time I look at this page and shrug, thinking "yeah - a bit of a mess" - and other times I rather like it. There is a lot of me on this page, and since this is a journal page, I am happy with that. I had so much fun that I signed up for Wanderlust, a year-long art journaling course. I kind of think that the first page for this project might be more my speed in that it really is meant to be a bit of a mess - just relax and smile. My page is... ummm.... so far - extremely colorful - and messy. And so, cheers to 2019. My hope is to make this a year of exploration - trying new things, exploring new options. I am wishing you all the best for the new year! Do you anticipate and plan for the new year, or just go with the flow?