After five minutes of running on the treadmill this morning, I struggled to catch my breath. I slowed to a brisk walk while scolding myself for stopping my workout routine a few weeks earlier. My thoughts began to tread along a well worn path of "you should have!", "Why didn't you", "If only". I paused for a moment, recognizing the signs of regret. It has become a pathway for less compassion for myself when I make a decision that does not transpose magically into the results I had hoped for in my life. As I reflected over my self-criticism, I thought about how my one word of 2015 could be the opposite of regret, a way to catch the thoughts and choose a different, less traveled path. Immediately I googled, antonyms of regret. I was surprised to find that several websites discuss this very topic because words for the opposite of regret don't exist, but a laundry list of synonyms are present. How strange is that?
It left me wondering what would the opposite of regret look like? Here is the small list I created: Acceptance, Compassion, Peace, & Mindfulness (living in the moment, not reliving the past). What words would show up on your list?
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Saturday, November 29, 2014
I was trying to catch a quick snapshot of the unique-shaped cloud cluster (wanted to sketch it later for an art journal page), only to find a mini self-portrait as I flipped through the photo stream. Embracing the reflection and letting go of the clouds (sounds vaguely similar to how life seems to flow:).
Friday, November 28, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
The last couple of months, I found myself drawn to patches of painted colors, loose lines, and creative dark marks (like here, here, and always here). It is becoming a full circle art journey. Over ten years ago, I stumbled upon this beautiful book. It has remained next to my bedside over the years, it has become worn well with coffee ring stains and crumpled corners with the author’s autographed inked message to “spill wide”. I have always wondered, how did she create such abstract beauty from disconnected collage images and inked marks? It has remained an elusive question that has haunted me. I don’t aspire to have my pages to look like hers, their hers after all. I just want to look at my journal pages and feel what I feel when I look at her art. I feel something intangible, wonderment and passionate solace tangled together. I often think, why do I art journal? Do I want to continue? It has been a 10 year love affair that finds me returning to the roots, to roots of what I loved in the beginning. How did I miss that? I’m starting to dance on the edge of abstraction, roots and wings intertwining, an old journey with a new purpose.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
One week of winter and I already crave heavy, overflowing pasta dishes. The chill of winter enters through the cracks in the windows and I feel it on every exposed part of my body. I have begun digging through last year's winter gloves, scarves, and hats to enfold myself in layers of protection. The winter to me symbolizes comfort from conditions that we have no control over, we are vulnerable to any winter pattern that cycles through our northern town. Often in an unconscious state of entering the darkness at 5pm, my mind swirls around spaghetti, chop suey, boiled dinner, and lasagna. Every dish that I think will provide warmth to the parts of my soul that craves the sunlight and the summer moments by the sea. This year, this winter, I don't want to add the pounds of comfort to my body that already feels uncomfortable in ill-fitting pants. I want to thrive in this cold season. I want to make different choices. So I pause and I think, what else is symbolic comfort food for me, what allows light to enter in the darken days? Here's my "comfort food" list:
*Gilmore Girl reruns *Frida Kahlo art journal & her string of disconnected, yet beautiful words *Amy's morning texts *McKenna's drawn heart on my Dunkin Donut cup *Blue paint *Sound of the typewriter *My mom's tangible and intangible gifts *A trip to the cold sea that still holds beauty *Taylor Swift songs *Fire in the woodstove *Candles *Art journal books *Nanette's Instagram feed *Juicy novels *Coffee & Chai *My little girl's streak of fearless joy *Perusing blogs *Indie Movies *Red Sweaters *Dates with Friends *Stabilo pencil lines
What's on your comfort food list?
Saturday, November 1, 2014
The fall season in Maine makes me recall a little book, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. A children’s book about the natural rhythm of life, loss, and renewal. Looking out the window, a little yellow leaf caught my eye. It was the last leaf on the branch, quivering in the cold, rainy day. Just as I began to look away, I saw the little leaf inevitably let go and dance melodically to the hard ground, awaiting to be covered by the dusting of white snow.
Over the last few months, I have experienced the sensation of winds changing directions. Often trying to hold tightly to plans, to only watch them soar away with the unforeseen, new air currents. I wish I could say that I let go with grace, but I didn’t. I stomped, I screamed, and I even attempted to struggle to envelop myself into an invisibility cloak. And when I learn of others’ current struggles, I am embarrassed that I didn’t take the route of the little yellow leaf. The worst part is I’m aware to tug and pull against change only means struggle. When I accept and let go that is when the trust allows for a new dance in any weather pattern. I want to be more like the leaf. I only hope by writing this, that I will remember next time not to struggle, to accept with compassion and dance in the winds of change.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Through the month of September, I posted images on Instagram, responding to Flora Bowley’s prompts on her beautiful website, braveintuitiveyou.com. One of my favorite prompts was to write a creative manifesto. The idea is to write your creative intentions, Flora talks more about this here. It was surprising what words and thoughts formed together when I put pen to paper. Here is the result of that brainstorming:
To seek and capture the layers of wild and free.
Explore the beauty in the broken, rusted, and forgotten corners of the world.
Responding to the inner pull of spilling out across torn pages, splattering ink and colorful paints.
LETTING GO of needing a reason to create and embrace creating itself.