30 Day Challenge: Day 25 - room for everything

How is it that I never had room before for 30 minutes of drawing?  Have I really created a habit?  Can I keep this up when my schedule becomes fuller during the school year?  Can I become braver about not over-scheduling? Can I keep prioritizing what really matters to me? These are the kinds of questions my clients begin to ask themselves when they start making changes, and the answers are, of course, up to them.   And for my challenge, the answers are totally up to me.

I'm getting excited about taking one more deliberate step toward having a life I love.  Things have been fantastic overall for years and years, but the time piece and the over-scheduling piece and the paper clutter piece have been tougher nuts to crack for me, unless I do something completely different from the regular routine, like go hike on the Appalachian Trail for 6 months.

I can really feel the space opening.  I can see that there is room for everything I love, if I'm more thoughtful about what decisions I make.

Have you started your own 30 Day Challenge?  If not, is it time to begin?  What might shift for you in 30 days?

And speaking of shifting, did you know that I loved my Clarity and Connection retreat so much that I'm offering it again in September?  The early bird special ends August 7, so click here to see if it's right for you.  I just checked in with a retreat participant today and she's still feeling the positive effects four days later - she's incorporating what she gained from the retreat into her daily life, and that makes me SOOO excited!

Today I came close to finishing up my turtle drawing- just a little bit more detail and cleaning up to do -here's the current drawing:

and here's the photo that inspired it:

And best of all, I spent the morning in the swamp with a couple visiting from Italy - we host international visitors through an organization called SERVAS - so cool! Here's one of four alligators we saw this morning:

Yeah - wow - there's room for everything!

What are you doing differently to make room for what you love?

30 Day Challenge - day 24 - filling the space

Ok - this is interesting.   I don't have paper piles anymore.  And that means I can fill the space.  Not the physical space - I don't need anything in the place where the paper piles were!  I mean the mental space - the emotional space- the "worrying about what's in the pile that I haven't dealt with" space. I can fill that new beautiful empty space with relaxing, with reading, with coaching, with drawing, with writing, with hanging out with the cats in the grass, or enjoying wine and cheese with friends on the back deck.

Granted, I did these things when I had the paper piles too, but there was a corner of my mind taken up with thinking about the un-done stuff - a little messy stressy place in my mind to match the disordered places in the house.

Sometimes opening up space like that is scary.  What's going to go in that new space? It's like when you quit smoking, or quit bingeing, or quit hanging out with those toxic people, or quit your all night Netflix marathons - what are you supposed to do in place of that thing you used to do?  How will you spend that free time/space/money/energy?

I'm still amazed that I've made space for drawing every day but one for the past 24 days.  That's pretty cool.  Here's the progress on my turtle:

And here's a beautiful treat - the Queen of the Night bloomed last night.  Each flower only lasts one night - so lovely and fragrant! The flowers are the size of softballs.

What are you doing with newfound space?  Or what to you need to change to make space for what you love?  What will you be able to do, without any excuses in your way, once you make space?

30 Day Challenge - Day 23 - avoiding burnout

It's funny, right now everything I chose for my 30 Day Challenge is going swimmingly.   I adore my morning grass time. Today the angel's trumpet is full of blooms. There's nary a stray paper in sight because I spend ten minutes a day corralling the papers so they're not allowed to reproduce.

I'm still so happy to sit with my sketchbook and my super-smooth oil pastels and play on paper. Today I started a portrait of the sweet turtle who lives in the yard. Here's the progress:

But aside from that, I'm bushed.  I could press on and keep working, continuing to ignore my body, leading eventually to a lot more resistance and maybe even illness, and definitely some stress breakouts, or I can go rest.  I'm opting for rest.  I didn't make all these great changes to my life to keep playing the burnout game.

Do you still play the burnout game?  Do you kind of give yourself a break but not really, so that all the pushing and pushing eventually adds up complete body breakdown?  Or are you beginning to listen - to realize that your life is made up of minutes and hours, and how you spend those minutes and hours is how you spend your life?  And that spending minutes and hours pushing and being stressed and harried means living a stressed, harried life?

I'm going to go rest.  And all is well.

30 Day Challenge - Day 22 - mind disregarding body

My mind is completely overriding my body right now, which is screaming for sleep, so I'll keep this brief.  But I want to point out that if you let your mind keep overriding your body day after day, hour after hour, eventually you'll pay the price. All is well here - had a wonderful day.  Even made a lazy sketch of waterfalls. Maybe back to something a little more careful tomorrow.

30 Day Challenge - Day 20 and 21 - Listen to your Soul, Rest and Play

I just spent two days and nights away on retreat.  Even though I was the host and facilitator, I had plenty of time to soak in the rejuvenating power of nature and really hear my soul speak.  She said something like this - it was telepathic so not exactly these words, but this was the feeling: "There's abundance.  There's always enough.  The world is full of riches and pure delight, laying them at your feet.  Love is all around you."  She was so calm, so shining, so bright.  And I don't think she was talking about material riches, like gold or diamonds.  It was much more about the abundance of beauty and life and love all around me.  So much to appreciate. Would you like to hear your soul?  All you have to do is close your eyes and imagine your soul coming out of your body and manifesting itself in a way you can visualize - maybe a person, maybe a glowing light, maybe an animal  - it could be anything.  Then feel its wisdom, its pure love, its complete acceptance of you.  Feel it wash over you. Then hear what it has to tell you, as it sits or stands or floats before you.  Listen to its message, then let it come back into your body in whatever way it does - maybe straight to your heart, maybe through the top of your head, or some other way.  Then feel yourself fill up with the love and wisdom of your soul, and open your eyes and see the world from the point of view of your soul.  This is a beautiful visualization to practice over and over.  It's one of my favorites, both for when I'm feeling stressed and when I'm feeling peaceful.

What I love about retreats like this is that it was a weekend dedicated to pure rest and play. We had lots of time alone to rest and reflect, and time together to process, share and hike and explore in nature.  I'll tell you more about it tomorrow, but here's one of my favorite photos from the weekend:

I've been drawing too - I missed my drawing time on Friday, but that's ok - I picked up again Saturday and today.  I sat inside the small gazebo on the gorgeous grounds of the B&B where we stayed and drew the view through the lattice.

And today I played with the message from my soul, and with a somewhat green version of my wild and precious tree. Quick play sketches.

How are you?  What has your soul had to tell you lately?  What feels like rest and play to you right now?

Message me or let me know in the comments!