i am a bit of a recovering planner addict. the funny thing is, i would try different ones over the years and ditch them a month or so in because i just could not make it work for me. my creative brain needs some structure but not so much that it feels like i am boxed into a specific system.
a year ago i came across a planner and fell for her story. i loved how she followed her heart to pursue a degree in art, taught it for a spell, and then decided she needed to follow her passions.
i tried her planner last year and it seems a perfect fit. structure enough to loosely keep track of life with the fluidity to sketch, list, note, doodle, and dream. i even collage a vision board page each month to set an intention and fill the page with images and words of positivity.
i picked up one for 2015 but saw she was running a kickstarter campaign and wanted to support her, so i donated and received another - one of her newer compact size (5.5"x8.5"). in the spirit of new beginnings and a fresh brand new year, i thought i'd offer a giveaway and gift this compact passion planner out to one of you.
if you are interested, take a spin of her site to checkout the layout and if it speaks to you, simply leave a comment below (or on the facebook comments) and tell me one way you align to your vision for the year to keep leading you. i will select a winner sunday january 25, and announce them here on monday. fire away!
(full disclosure, i am in no way affiliated with passion planner. i simply use it, love it and wanted to share that with you!)
i came across this quote today, "all life instructs"~ralph waldo emerson. it rang true for a million little reasons - and in perfect harmony with what my 5 yr old little teacher illuminated for me.
today was gray and rainy for most of the day. i don't like it when it's like this as it casts this dreary glaze across everything, muting the saturation of the day to a dull, bland hue. mixed with this hue is a lot of uncertainty that we are wading through right now, so the weather, when its like this, feels like it adds to that weight.
but then there was my littlest pirate who lit up like a star when he realized this was the perfect day for his brand new rain boots that santa left for him. they are his treasure and he has been wanting to wear them to school. and so he did...and it was glorious.
he showed all his teachers, beaming up at them awaiting their response at his most special foot wear. but today was more threat than rain...until we drove home this afternoon and the clouds spit briefly at our window. and wouldn't you know, there was the most perfect puddle collected nearby. so those rain boots jumped up and down to the music of giggles and delight. and i laughed along with him at this beautiful lesson.
over the last year, i have tried to make room for better self-care. for me, this means taking small and simple steps. i thought i might share here and there on my blog some of the more successful ways in which i have done this, in case they may also speak to you.
organic apple cider vinegar (avc) is one change. after "splurging" on a big bottle of organic apple cider vinegar with 'the mother', i mixed up a couple teaspoons with purified water and a few drops of lavender essential oil. and use it as a toner on my face.
the scent is not too strong with the lavender in there and i find the blend to work well on my skin. acv does a nice job at balancing out my sensitive skin without drying it out or irritating it. sweet and simple.
although there was a small group of words rolling around in my head for consideration, she grabbed my arm, whispered in my ear, and it all made perfect sense. she merely sparkled a little brighter and it was the perspective i needed - need - to accompany me in 2015. in every way, this is the right choice.
in these in between days, i have several priorities i work towards and one of those is to complete susannah's unraveling for the new year. i have done this since 2010 and it is a beautiful way to acknowledge all that the current year has taught and gently release it into the universe. and then turn with a fresh eye to dream up all the possibilities the new year could offer.
within this process, i find my guiding word for the upcoming year. it's rather magical how the word surfaces. i wish i could say i had more of a specific process for it, but i don't. i rattle around a few possibilities for days and see how they feel. words bubble up to me for a variety of reasons. it could be a word that will anchor, that will expand, that will ignite, that will soothe - my world and my reactions to it - i don't seek a specific action. i haven't uncovered my word yet for 2015, but i am okay with that. it's a gentle process and one that needs to happen organically.
until then, i am spending my last few days of 2014 gazing at lights that make cities look like fairy wonderlands, walking through art exhibits that whisper to my heart, savoring the laughter and lego creations that are sprawled all over the house, and filling up blank pages in my sketchbook.
bright blessings to each of you in the new year ~ buon anno! xo s
today's prompt from susannah's december reflections had me wander back a bit in memory. today is day 15: your favorite camera. my favorite camera will always be my dad's beat up old Minolta because that's what he used and what he showed me how to shoot with. i don't remember him ever explaining a thing about aperture or exposure, instead it was walking around and him asking me about what i saw that interested me - what about this, how could i capture it? it's exactly how i approach photography today all these years later - shooting from my heart.
i had a beloved video professor in college who taught in a similar fashion. his approach was from a zen perspective and he made us hold the camera at waist level, moving slowly to capture video. i thought this was fantastic, it striped away the assumptions and rules and forced you to 'see' from an emotional level. to me, it felt like moving poetry. it felt like art.
and while the technology evolves in such a manner that ability to see with your heart can become lost in an invisible desire to snap a moment - to capture the essence of what moved you - will always remain. and i so love that.
"the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness."
This is how we define gratitude, it is the box we create around it to give it its place in our vocabulary. But I have been thinking about this word a lot lately and I have my own take.
that heartfelt moment of connection with another human being by sharing your stories, you realize you are not walking through life alone. you find that common footing, even if it is a fleeting moment, even though your experiences and circumstances may be vastly different.
the moment you know you are leaving and that student that gave you a hard time everyday for the couple years your were there, realizes it too, and climbs over the seat to hang out the window to find you and wave to you from the bus as it pulls away with tears in his eyes
standing witness to a spectacular sunset over a vast sea and being completely present in the colors, the pulse of the tides, the moment, and the experience of simply witnessing
the little voice of your smallest pirate who softly says to you, "mama, you look like a pretty princess" when you feel the most dishelved, raw, and vulnerable and are just trying to keep it all together
that incredible friend who sees you for who you truly are - even the parts of yourself you keep hidden from most of the world - and who 'gets it', understands you, loves you, and anchors you time and time again
being able to find peace in your breath, in the pause between them, the stillness - when the wisest part of yourself finds voice
the connections made from this small space on the web that have evolved into meaningful friendships over the years
the way your pirate boys snuggle themselves around you, wanting nothing in return but merely your presence as their mama to lean into
deeply feeling and responding to beauty in this world. i had a little student artist once tell me she was most grateful for beauty...and i found this to hold such wisdom
that amidst the fear, the violence, the hurt, the anger, the broken feelings of the world - you continue to find ways to love, to value differences, to care for humanity and our resources here with reverence and respect, and to lift with love
On this Thanksgiving day, may gratitude speak her own definition to your heart and may your wisest self be open to hear her. Blessings. Love, S