from the brief snow days in Iowa

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Some snaps from our trip to Iowa this past Thanksgiving.

We were delayed an entire day because of the snow storm. This was a real test of patience and our ability to work as a team — scrambling around the O’hare Airport was not very fun (especially after sitting on a hot airplane for two hours without any water), but we managed. When we finally got to Iowa, the snow was pretty, but brief. It melted in two days, but we enjoyed every moment of it; sledding, wandering the golf course and watching the geese.

As always, home is a lot of things, but the Iowa sunsets never cease to make me smile.

a mess of a manifesto

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My friend, Lauren, started a google community called, Creativity Hour, which has been a great way to stay held accountable for my own creativity through the inspiration of everyone’s works. She suggested we all create Manifestos for 2016.

Honest to goodness, I started this in January, but managed to LOSE it twice. Once I left the brightly painted paper with “spaciousness” and notes about playing and kindness on the floor of my office and managed to lose it again while en route from the office to the art studio. So it’s possible the manifesto is floating around the Lower East Side or melted in the snow. Hopefully it will provide inspiration wherever it ended up. Also, yes, you read that correctly … I joined an art studio in January and it has been life-changing. I love being around other artists and ending my work day with painting.

The photo above is my (second!) painted mess of a manifesto which was written in my journal. I’ve been doing less online writing and more handwritten journaling. I highly recommend doing this first thing in the morning before the to-do lists and cell phone scrolling take over (which is fascinating to notice how strong the urge is).

In any case, below is the full manifesto in an easier-to-read fashion since the piece above is a mess and may be difficult to read online. Also, I purposely chose to use a piece of paper with a tear … it became a way to remind myself to embrace the unknown.

… 2016 (and beyond!) …

s   p   a   c   i   o   u   s   n   e   s   s … because the in-between moments will allow for deep soul searching or just reveal themselves! Continued love for your relationship ❤, #sparklepartners forever! write down the magical stories of the operators of your heart strings … more moments of playfulness, love, listening, and being open to others. Allow YOURself to see beyond the surface or judgements (esp. around social/political thoughts — we can all be ourselves). Remember our interconnectedness especially in challenging moments … challenge negative thinking and the inner critic. Be Yourself. Really Listen. Don’t respond too quickly, let the stories and information land first. Put the phone down more! — less random scrolling when people leave the table or whatever the situation is — notice how strong the urge is to reach and then pay attention to the real moments. In fact, shut the phone OFF after a certain time and start the day with a quiet moment. Being overwhelmed leads to the random scrolling/need for distraction because you need to tune out, but really you just need to tune in. Call home more often. Call Diane too, find her another cat. Continued volunteering and community engagement. Keep doing work that makes a difference. Continued listening to your wisest self. Be MAGNANIMOUS. Be an architect of peace. Continue the loving kindness practice. Write more letters. More sincere compliments, notice people’s goodness. Leave notes of kindness for strangers. Face fear directly – don’t let it consume you. Continue tending and growing the garden of friends, wherever the home base lands ~ remember it’s really in your heart. Explore creative movement or just make room for self time and care. Practice German. Pick up the guitar, play the piano. Keep singing. Embrace your voice. Handle issues and challenging moments when they appear instead of creating lists of things to fret over, you miss out on so many little details doing this. Wake up earlier, the morning light is worth it. Keep exploring nature. Remember gratitude. Trust your heart to navigate the overwhelming days and when the multiple, opposing feelings take over. Stay organized, but don’t get lost in your lists or use “planning mind” as a distraction. Continue finding the balance of planning for the future, reflecting on the past, and staying present. Morning kitty snuggles, beach days, park days, lazy days. Grow the collections of feathers, flowers, shells, rocks, but give some away too — leave them as little gifts. Paint the worlds in your mind. Believe in yourself and the innate goodness of all. Remember love, love, love. Drink more water. Be open to change, including the thoughts and scary things for 2016. When fear takes over, try to remember your breath and how you are connected to everything — the scary moment won’t last forever, none of them will. Don’t be saddened by this, just try to be with it all.
Feel it all. 

words to live by

“I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.
I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.”
~ Diane Ackerman

 

“Keep your gaze on the wounded place. This is where the light enters.”
~ Rumi

 

“If you stop to be kind, you must swerve often from your path.”
~ Mary Webb

 

“Love says, ‘I am everything.’
Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’
Between the two, my life flows.”

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

“Much as I love to soul search, there are moments when you realize that perhaps today you are further complicating life by relentlessly seeking elusive answers to profound questions. Perhaps today is a day where you take what you already know to be true and apply it. Simple things we’ve had figured out for decades like the value of exercise, of dipping your feet in the nearest body of water, or having a good laugh with a few close friends. Fruits and vegetables are obvious in that way. Not too complicated, nothing really to fuss over, but simple, delicious, and just as good for you as they’ve ever been.”
~ Dallas Clayton

 

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
~ Alan Watts

 

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
~ Mary Oliver

Past in Present

I’ve always been afraid of change. It makes me nervous and I sometimes (okay, often!) find myself looping, worried about changes to come.

But in looking back at these moments, I’m grateful for change and the ability to shift and grow. It makes me know that I’ll be okay, with whatever changes *do* come my way.

Change does not always equal loss. In fact, sometimes, it can bring a whole lot of love. And even in those more difficult times, there’s something about knowing that change is the only constant.

Because sometimes you’ll find yourself, months later, OUT of a blue period, barely remembering that you didn’t think you’d survive. But you did, and you will, again and again and again.

 

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This video is a collection of moments from the past two years. Please forgive some of my poor iphone orientation shooting!

Music by:
“Past in Present” by Fiest
“Plasticities” by Andrew Bird
“Mother & Father” by Broods
“Holocene” by Bon Iver