I recently began an art journal collaboration with one of my dear friends. We work independently for one month following a list of prompts and then mail the journal to each other and again work independently in the other persons journal. This is a wonderful project that really has my brain working overtime creatively and my soul searching through introspection.
The most recent prompt was “If I could do it all again would I change anything?” Hmmm…now this certainly brings up some feels. I thought a lot about the struggles I’ve had in my life – some small…some not so small. I know for a fact that I didn’t always handle adversity with an open heart or mind. My patterns of denial, overwhelming sadness or straight up anger I’m sure didn’t contribute to any kind of internal resolution. The road to becoming who I am today has been bumpy, winding and most often uphill. But this is my own private road and I’ve learned to navigate the curves.
What good is the coulda, shoulda, woulda game though? I am who I am because of personal growth. All the bruises that I’ve accumulated along the way have gently molded my soul. I really feel that 20/20 hindsight minimizes the journey. If I had a magic wand and could change the past I’d take a pass. For all the ugly that there has been – the stupid choices, the venom of anger, the sting of regret, the hollow of sadness…there has been immense joy. The moments where my heart has exploded with love, the chills from feeling the feels, the warmth of pride. I wouldn’t change one step of this journey. This journey of growth although sometimes painful is also filled with pure love. Changing any of the unpleasantness would take away from the hustle. We are who we are because of the journey. I worked hard to become this person and I want to feel every second of it.
This is usually where I tell you about five things that I am feeling this week. Today I’m tossing in a slight plot twist. I spent the better part of this week recognizing “moments” as they happened. I’m not sure the reason. Maybe the planets, moon and stars were all aligned for me this week. Maybe I’m finally finding a little inner peace. Whatever the case may be I found that my soul was recognizing “moments” quite regularly this week. I wasn’t rushing as much as I’m used to. I took a few more deep breaths.
I took my dog for a walk this week over at our local reservoir. The morning was overcast but it really didn’t look like rain. I walked about half way around the reservoir when rain lightly began to fall. I was half way around. Either way you cut it – whether I turned back or I moved forward – I was going the same distance.
I decided on moving forward. A few more steps in and it began to pour. Large raindrops soaked through my sweatshirt. My sneakers were drenched. The dog…well she was soaked through as well. I looked out across the reservoir to the other side and something rather amazing happened. The sun began peeking through the gray sky and reflected a beautiful path of light on to the water. The sight was breath taking. The ripples from the rain drops were highlighted and shimmered across the entire body of water. I thought about taking a picture but sometimes what your mind captures is more than enough. The sun was there for only a few minutes and then receded back into a completely gray sky. The rain continued to pour down. If I wasn’t paying attention I would have missed that “moment”.
Reflecting back on that moment I believe it was a clear metaphor about everyday life. We have the choice to turn back or move forward every day. Either way you go the same distance. You put in the same amount of effort.
I’m choosing to move forward. I hope you do too. My wish for all of us is that we get to experience more “moments” of clarity. I hope we continue to be present every day as not to miss those “feels”.
Happy Friday everybody! Five Friday Feels will be back next week.
I always felt the end result was so much more important than the steps you took to get there. I saw the picture posted on Instagram before I ever picked up a paint brush or took out the mixer. I was writing the Facebook post in my head long before we were in the car heading to our destination. Egotistically I assumed that it would be “picture worthy” or turn out exactly how my mind imagined it. If I analyzed this thought process and was really honest with myself I’d pictured the “likes” in my head too.
But as of late I’ve embraced the need to slow down. I am thinking my projects through. I’m quietly watching and listening to the signs around me. I’ve been hearing those soul whispers…you know, the tiny breaths of “keep going” or sometimes “slow down”. A perfect example is this website. It’s not nearly as pretty as I imagined. There’s not much content. There are for sure pictures of things I’ve made that I could post. It’s very important to me to document the evolution. I don’t have an end result picture in my mind. Do I have a dream, a goal and a path? I sure do. But my end result picture isn’t clear and it’s not even really on my radar right now.
It’s so easy to rush through all the things. Everyday life has you on the run. There is just so much to do every single day. There are clothes to wash, meals to cook, and a house that never stays clean. Children need rides, dogs need walking…the list goes on and on. Your soul knows that you need moments. A minute to slow down, to take a few breaths. Your soul whispers…she won’t come and club you over the head to let you know what you need. Just a few gentle tugs from your soul to your heart. Listening to our whispers takes practice.
I’m not close to saying that I have perfected this sport because truly, I have not. However, I have been taking time to enjoy the process of creating or baking or of just enjoying a particular slice of time. Will I always be successful? Heck no, who ever is? But I am making a conscious effort to recognize the grace of slowing down. I think you should try it too. Imagine if we all just slowed down a bit and listened to the whispers? I bet those moments would come more abundantly. We all deserve the gifts that come from listening to our whispers and enjoying the process from start to finish.