an inspiring commencement address from an artist
why a camera can be an introvert’s best friend
Sarah B. shares her book tour (and a full heart)
I’m at the end of a 30-day passion project. Generally, a passion project is something that isn’t on your to-do list. It doesn’t involve driving a teenager someplace. It isn’t required for your job although it can invigorate your existing job or give you a whole new career. A passion project sparks your creativity, makes you feel alive, engaged, and in the flow. You feel passionate about something!
I first heard about passion projects when I signed up for the 30-day Passion Project with Laura West back in September 2013. Basically, we select a project and commit to it for 30 days. During that time we have twice-weekly phone calls – on Mondays we set intentions for the upcoming week, and on Fridays we celebrate our success by sharing our accomplishments. We also have a Facebook group to connect and support each other. It’s a fun way to begin a passion project and stay involved.
I really needed to do that first passion project back then. I had just put my youngest child on a plane to another country and my oldest was getting ready to go to Colorado to be a ski instructor for the winter. This stay-at-home-mom/yoga instructor needed some inspiration. And fast.
The previous spring I had started learning website design, although I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with my site. The details, I was sure, were to follow.
And they did. As I designed and started to blog I got a lot of satisfaction from mastering something techy – something I thought was out of my reach. I found I loved taking photos. Photography and post-process editing became a form of meditation for me. I loved posting the photos with quotes, poems, links to things I loved, and some longer posts.
On that first passion project I claimed the name for this website and started blogging here. On my second and third projects I continued to build the site and blogged regularly. The funny thing though was that every time I started a passion project I also intensely needed to clear and clean. The deep clearing that comes from a big change in your life. I bagged up books, clothes, lots of old stuff, and cleaned my dusty china cabinet. Clearing and cleaning became a part of my creative process. My energy to create included a strong energy to eliminate what no longer served. I also realized that my creativity was inspired by motion or doing something different. Like how you sometimes get the best ideas in the shower or on a walk?
This time my passion project was to post for 30 days. I’ve only missed a few days so far and have a few more days left. I love the focus I’ve been able to give to my website during this project. I also love the accountability and energy I got from my “passionistas” – that lovely group of women cheering and making some noise in the background! (And one man, too! Yea, George!)
A big yes to passion and Passion Projects!
I woke up this morning and thought “today is a self-care day.” My throat is a little scratchy (hopefully just from allergens) and I am feeling a little run down.
Yesterday I cleaned out my refrigerator and filled it back up with all kinds of yummy, healthy food like organic chicken, romaine, feta, grape leaves, cucumbers, mixed red, yellow and orange peppers, Greek yogurt and hummus.
So today I’m going to light a candle, do some yoga, sit in silent meditation. Eat a delicious lunch and make a simple dinner.
I’ll work – doing some writing, editing some photos – from the cozy comfort of my couch. Because my work is my sanctuary.
Later, I’ll take a nap, cotton blanket up to my chin. I’ll probably have Ina Garten quietly cooking in the background on The Food Network.
The Universe has conspired with me. It’s a dark, rainy morning here and it might last all day, if I’m lucky. Windows open (I have to keep checking to see if the rain is coming in), birds chirping, cars splashing in the puddles outside.
Deep breath. Exhale. Do it again.
What does your perfect self-care day look like? Please leave a comment below.
When I Am Among the Trees
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
– Mary Oliver
Sum sum, sum sum, sum sum, SUMMERTIME!
sum sum, SUMMERTIIIIME!
Looking forward to:
Picnic suppers and music concerts
Veggies on the grill (and a few steaks too)
Camping (yes, I love to camp)
windows open, hum of the fan, birds chirping
finally turning on the AC when it gets too hot
sitting by the pool and listening to a podcast
and lots more…!
What are your favorite Summertime activities? Please leave a comment.