30 Day Challenge: Day 30 - Celebrate! And look forward...

Wow.  Thirty fabulous days of drawing, sitting in the grass, and taking care of the piles of paper.  And today, I began a drawing that's not finished so that I can continue it tomorrow.  Because I plan to continue these soul-filling habits! And tomorrow I'll begin with a new challenge - an hour per day of completely unplugged focused work toward a major project, and morning positive writing to begin the day.  It's time to kick it up a notch, as New Orleans chef  Emeril Lagasse says!  Bam!

Thanks to everyone who commented, emailed me, joined in, supported me, and generally made me feel fabulous.  And here's to continuing to feed our souls and improve our lives, one day at a time!

30 Day Challenge: Day 29 - ready to fly?

I'm fascinated reading my last few entries, because they all sound kinda the same.  I think it's because I've gone through the honeymoon phase, the hard phase, the tired phase, the struggling phase, the recovering from struggle phase, the keep going phase, and have finally fallen into the lovely routine phase so there's less to talk about - less to stress over.  I've already begun my new challenge, informally, because it feels like time. Today, I played with drawing a version of a before sunrise photo.

And the mail doesn't even sit around on a flat surface at all before it's dealt with!  No junk mail piles - straight to recycling!

And grass time is extra lovely when the cats are there, making strange kitty semaphore shapes with their bodies.  Looking at Buster so very relaxed that he appears to have melted into the ground is definitely good for my soul!

So here I am.  Day 29. In a routine.  Ready to fly - and to head on to a new challenge on Wednesday!

30 Day Challenge: Day 28 - closing in, looking forward

This is what makes it worth it - to get this far and see that it has made a difference - that things are better - that I have found time to draw!  Not having time is such a lie.  It's just about what we want to make sure we have time for; it's what we prioritize. Today I drew at one of my favorite places - a beautiful creek in Mississippi.  The weather was perfect for lazing on the sandy beach or drifting in the tea-colored water, while tiny fish nibbled on my ankles.

Looking forward, I plan to keep my current 30 day habits in place - they are part of what makes a difference to me in living my wild and precious life!  And I'm going to start another challenge.  I plan to: 1. Write in my journal every morning with great positivity and inspiration.  (I've already actually started this!) Writing is a great way to start the day, and over the past 30 days I have been writing something most days, but my plan is to be really intentional about positive writing that sets me up for a fantastic day.  I love doing this and it absolutely makes a difference for me!  2. Spend one dedicated hour each day (ideally in the morning!) working on specific projects, with all distractions like FB, blogging, email, etc. completely disconnected.  I've done some of this, but I haven't been super-intentional about it, and it's time for focused working to rise to the top of my list.  I'm excited about my new challenges and even better, I'm feeling peaceful and confident that I can keep up with my current ones.  I won't be blogging about my challenges anymore every day (it's a little time consuming!) but I'll keep you posted with a check in here and there, and I would LOVE to hear about your challenges!


30 Day Challenge: Day 27 - reveling in the routine

Day 27 -It's no longer weird to spend ten minutes a day in the grass.  It happens.  Either in the morning (often), in the afternoon (occasionally) or in the evening (sometimes.) It's not weird to open a bill, immediately record it in the finance book (it's autopay so I don't have to write a check), and file it, instead of allowing weeks and weeks of paperwork to stack up on the desk.

It's not weird to put on Pandora and sit down and play with my pastels.  It's part of what I look forward to.  It's my little oasis of creative time.  Half the time I don't know what I'm going to make until I sit down to start.

Today I meddled in abstract expressionism, unabashedly copying the style and colors of an artist whose work I saw in a local art publication.   Let me tell you, next time you go to a gallery and see abstract art and think to yourself, "That looks easy - I could do that!", think again.  Abstract art is not just scribbling.

I've been sitting in the same spot for the past few days for my grass time.  I think it's a path the turtle regularly takes, in front of the brick edging.  I think I found her scat, full of berry seeds.  I sit in the grass and notice all kinds of treasures.  Feathers. Snail shells.  Tiny jumping spiders standing still then hopping two inches in a split second.  And today, this cicada shell.

The cicada larva, who lived under ground for months if not years, eventually emerged from the soil, its body still covered in dirt. It split its shell and climbed out, jewel-toned, and took to the sky.  It's probably still flying around up in the pine tree, singing its loud cicada song.

It's made a complete transformation.  A completely new routine.  It doesn't even look the same anymore.

Sometimes it's harder for us humans to recognize the changes from a shift in routine.  Especially if our surroundings appear to be mostly the same.  What I notice is that I can breathe, and I do breathe.  The little wind-up tension in my jaw rarely makes an appearance, and when it does, I pay attention and shift what I'm doing.

What almost unnoticeable shifts do you see happening for yourself?

30 Day Challenge: Day 26 - fast and fun

Three fast and fun things today: 1. A quick Yogurtland visit with a friend - the second in two days - I'm so pampered!

2. A very quick dip in the pool just minutes before it closed - I think I got in six laps and it was well worth it - channelled my inner Olympian - except I can't do anything resembling Olympic swimming - not even a flip turn!

3. 20 minutes on a quick New Orleans house sketch.

It is such a lie to say we don't have time.  There is plenty of time for whatever we want to have time for!  Including grass time with the cats.

What kinds of fun do you realize you can always have time for?