Summer is usually not my favorite season, mostly because it can be opressively hot in Los Angeles. To be clear, when I lived in places like Alaska summer was welcomed with open arms. But mostly I am not one who thrives in heat. In fact heat makes me lazy and irritable. I tend to come alive under a blanket of clouds and any opportunity to wear a scarf.
I am starting to notice that Mia takes after me in this way. Isabella seems quite comfortable being warm, but Mia will always seek the shade and cries when the sun hits her face. It's a wild honor to continuously discover the differences and similarities that we share.
This season has felt different. I've been grateful for the mild weather we have had this summer (feeling for those not on the west coast this season) and am, dare I say, enjoying summer immensely this year of which I know Isabella and Mia are a large part of. There is no lounging in the heat when two active girls are hanging off your limbs, filled with wild energy and a deep sense of discovery. There has been much physical activity, living, play and a healthy dose of gratitude. There has also been much shedding, releasing, forgiving and laying down of swords on my part. For the first time in a long time I have come to a place of acceptance, movement and trust and I'm feeling the positive effects of this kind of surrender.
This forward motion has also manifested into other areas of my life. In the wake of a rocky transition, I have been busy birthing some ideas and long-held dreams I have been carrying for years and am excited to share them soon. I am truly, and finally, understanding what it means to get out of my own way.
I've outgrown this space where I currently house my words and images - my heart in many ways. My family, my business, my aesthetic has evolved and I haven't taken the time to reflect these areas of growth on my current blog. Much like I've outgrown the physical space where I reside, I've also outgrown what this space represents to me. While manifesting a new home for my family that better fits our needs, I am also currently creating a website that will do the same. I truly can't wait to share more. The space I am building already feels like a cozy home I can happily root into and have it reflect more of who I am.
As a working mama of two, I know it's a constant challenge to create time and space for our individual needs and dreams, aside from my dream of being a mama. Most days I don't feel like I juggle any of it well, but I am also coming to terms that I don't need to perfect my juggling skills either, or that it all needs to happen in a day. Trying to perfect this act only pushes me closer to crazy. It's not about offering that which is perfect, it's about offering that which is true. I find that true beauty lies in all that is imperfect anyway.
In fact, I think it's important to share that I have been gradually building my website while sitting on pillows on my bathroom floor in the late night hours. It's the only room in our home that has a door and is therefore serving as my creative birth center. Letting go of the limiting idea that the only possible way I could create anything of value was to be in a sunny studio space filled with art and vision boards (inspiring as that may be) is all part of how I am getting out of my own way.
I am taking a late summer break from writing on my blog as a means to free up some time to focus on this next phase of the journey. In the meantime, I am taking a page from Susannah's August Break book and will be sharing daily photos of what our summer has been shaping into until further notice.
My two themes for this summer have been about awakening and then stepping into possibility. My hope is to continue carrying this theme into all the seasons to come.
I hope you enjoy the daily photos for a bit and I will be back at some point with the link to my new online home. See you soon. xo
Pixie Campbell-Goddess Rising
Lisa's photos for Adesso blow me away with their beauty. I've seen her Adesso bracelets up close, they are absolutely gorgeous, especially when worn in multiples like she does. I now wonder if I wear some if I will be transported to the location where she took these.
Lisa's work is about bridging the gap of all women through our similar struggles and connections, wherever we are on the globe. Please help support her latest project here.
Seek Your Course. I had a similar idea a while ago but had no idea where to start. I am so happy Jess birthed her brilliant idea, gave it wings and a clever name and now it is soaring.
10 Myths about Introverts. This article had this introvert standing up and cheering.
"The tide is out. It's a magic space of Empty. See for miles. The beach is clear and there are things to examine and let die in the sun. I'm letting go of that cranky crank persona that just couldn't let it all be wonderful the way it is. She's withering in the fresh air with the old salmon bones. I'm saying thank you to her. She showed me how happy I am. Bodichitta. Always there." Thank you, Danielle LaPorte
I love that Instagrid allows non iPhone users to still view Instagram photos in a clean and organized way.
Speaking of Instagram, I can't wait to make my first iPhoneography book.
Loving the summery vibe of this song by Harper Simon (yes, Paul's son). Fun trivia: The video was shot close to where I live.
My beautiful and talented friend Keirda made a touching documentary about one man's story of hope, music and transformation. If Bob and the Monster comes to your town, definitely go see it!
I found Thandi Newton's Ted talk to be truly enlightening.
The trailer for this documentary had me in tears. There is so much extraordinary beauty to be acknowledged in our ordinary everyday lives. Via Tiffany Dyer
... and for now the last thing that is making me really happy are some really fun projects I am working on that I am dying to share with you soon!
I took another 100-step photowalk over the weekend. These mini photo journies are teaching me how to find the beauty in front of me regardless of where I stand and I am soaking in the lessons. I've done a fair amount of emotional rock climbing the past few months which has taught me a bit more about what it truly means to release control, accept responsibility and just trust.
I notice that during times of difficult transition it is all too easy for me to focus on the parts of my life that look nothing like the pages I see in magazines and put up blinders to all that is amazing in my world. Which is exactly why these steps, though seemingly small on the surface, are becoming increasingly more important to me as a metaphor for looking at what I see in my own life.
I jokingly refer to my area in Los Angeles as the ghetto. I don't live in in a peaceful, cozy, tranquil coastal village lined with surfboards and painted in shades of aquamarine and turquoise and ethereal sky light or in a renovated farmhouse placed just so on a rolling lavendar field blanketed in the light of the late afternoon golden sun in Tuscany or in a chic apartment in Paris where every step is a treasure to behold, or an enchanted Hobbit house nestled deep in the Pacific Northwest woods... well, not yet anyway.
I know the truth is that most of us don't live in the perfect picturesque setting either. However, I sometimes feel I need to work a bit harder to seek out the beauty that lies outside my front door just for the simple fact that I am not happy with where I live and ache for something more for myself and my family.
So, this time spent focusing on counting steps, pausing, opening, seeing and not overthinking it brings me back to a place of gratitude and seeing the beauty exactly where I stand. It reminds me to slow down and take a moment, focus, breathe deeply and know that everything is falling into place exactly as it should be. My job is to just trust that where I stand is where I need to be in the moment. This frees me up to get out of my own way and let go of the idea that there is something better ten or twenty steps ahead or behind me, allowing me to fully focus on where I am now. And that any excuse I create for finding nothing of value where I stand is of my own making.
These photos aren't great photos by any means (though I think the beauty of exercises like these is that you ultimately may end up with one or two standout photos) but they aren't meant to be. They are simply a practice in opening your eyes and stepping into what is front of us so that we don't stay blind to the beauty that is all around us. I think of it as yoga for the eyes, a way to connect me to my environment.
These steps remind me to pay attention to the details in the corners I would normally overlook and that beauty lies in spaces far greater than the obvious places we are often taught to look. They remind me that the unexpected appears when we least expect it. They remind me that beauty truly is everywhere if we open ourselves enough to seek it out.
They remind me to simply ask for what I want as was the case when I saw the beautiful girl with the gorgeous body art. I was nervous to ask, but there she was crossing my path coming up on step 100 and she was the beauty that I saw in front of me. She was so cute as I explained to her what I was doing, wanting so very much to stand perfectly still for me while the guy behind her was laughing at the whole scene. It's my favorite photo of this 100-step story and one I wouldn't have captured had I not taken these steps and asked for what I wanted.
These steps also remind me that the path is rarely straight and to just flow with the detours as was the case when Mia and I passed the girl going up the hill continuing to walk and count. Close to fifty steps in, Mia demanded we turn around and as any parent of a newly walking toddler will tell you, they win that round. Fifty-something steps back down the hill and we landed in front of a bicycle chained up on a curb. It's the same bike that you see behind the tattooed girl in the next photo and is another shot I would have missed had we continued along the intended path.
What I seem to Iearn over and over is it all seems to come back around to trusting that we will be guided wherever it is that we need to go. All roads lead to Rome as the saying goes and that the only thing we invite in when we try and control what our road to Rome looks like is stress. I think the lesson if finally sinking in.
These steps teach me how to let go and just trust. To trust that even though I have no idea yet what the path ahead looks like, that I will find something interesting and beautiful amongst the muck every 100 steps if I just stay open to seeking it out. It's not an easy lesson for me and one that I must practice consistently each day.
I'm just starting to play with Picture Show for the iPhone and decided to process all of these photos using this app to keep the story consistent.