Entries in reflection (5)

Monday
Jan032011

A new project

 We are starting off the new year with an interesting online photo project, Creative Exposures. It's an accessible daily photo challenge that I hope is also thought provoking and creatively stimulating. I hope you all join, professional photographers and people with no photo experience are welcome. The end goal is to help jump start your personal creative process and help you look at your days a little differently.

Creative Exposures is a photographic community brought together with the purpose of providing a creative kick in the pants. We ask you to carry your camera with you at some point everyday (phone cameras are encouraged due to their readiness), stop for a moment and take pictures of the things you notice everyday or the things you've never noticed before. Take the time to look at the surroundings you often find yourself in, what do you notice, what sparks your interest? Next you upload your photo to the Lightbox SF Flickr webpage to share with the community. But there's a catch, we want you to upload the unedited images. Yep, that's right no color correction, no cropping, no touch ups. Just your unedited photos with a description in a sentence or less. Why unedited? We want this project to remain as raw and easy as possible, ignoring needs for perfection. Just let go. Creativity flows more freely with spontaneity, without perfection, and when we appreciate the ideas in their simplest form.

For those who want and appreciate a little guidance, we will provide a randomly generated word every Monday here on our blog and on our project Facebook page to help inspire a possible theme or to provoke a new way of seeing. Twice a week, Lightbox SF will post their favorite photos on our blog. This is not only a great way to awaken your creative being but also a great platform for you to get your work noticed.

This project is a small step toward living a conscious life and will help you tap into your creative energy with only a little effort. Sometimes we forget what makes us feel good and how easy it is to make that happen. This simple and approachable photo project will allow you to bring that spark into your daily life. Whether you are a full-time artist or a weekend hobbyist this project will help you to become more awake to your surroundings, more appreciative of the beauty and interesting things in your day and will allow you to delve into a more exciting energy inside of you.

Thursday
Dec302010

A much appreciated gift

print by crump artThe prompt for my last Reverb 10 post for the year is gift. So today on a walk through the finally sunny streets of San Francisco, I reflected on all that this year offered me and all that I graciously accepted. It was a year of ups and downs for sure but I believe the best thing that was given to me was a gift from a new friend. During a year when my natural instinct would be to aggressivey try and fix everything as quickly as possible, voraciously fight against any obstacles and give a big middle finger to people who definitely probably deserved one, this person fought to teach me the beautiful art of stillness and patience. I cannot say how much sitting back and accepting things for what they are and adding a little more compassion for myself and others has added to my life. I am still a fighter and still one that will always actively push on but I do so with a little more grace. With this I believe I have a lot more space for healing and the universe's secret little gifts. Thank you so much new friend!!!

Wednesday
Dec222010

Thankful reflections

notebook doodle

I am just finishing packing my suitcase for a holiday trip to see my family in the Midwest and received today's Reverb 10 prompt, travel.  A bridal shower and Mom's birthday in July, my youngest sister's wedding in September and my middle sister's Christmas wedding tomorrow, I have been lucky enough to be able to go home three times this year. Each visit has been packed full of festive activities, really good food and lots of love. Although my family is half way across the country, we are emotionally close and I feel so lucky that my flexible schedule allows for me to travel whenever I wish ( I wish my finances did too!). I know not everyone has a job that allows this and today I find myself full of thanks.

There were a lot of small, overnight trips this past year as well. I really enjoyed visiting these Pacific coastal towns, shopping their one street downtowns and going to bed early as the restaurant and bars shut down by ten . These short trips with a friend allowed for lots of good reading, welcomed bad phone reception, good conversations and new explorations. After years finding myself a "big city girl," I realized the quaintness of these small towns had a place in my life too. I hope for more of these Pacific coast trips in 2011.

My most recent trip was a trip of solitude and rest in Sayulita, Mexico. I couldn't have picked a better place and was reacquainted with the idea of a "real vacation." Wow, how sweet it is! The trip was transformative. I know you can never recreate the same thing twice. However, now knowing that I can appreciate endless days in the sun, hours of reading with a margarita in hand and not freaking out about how much work will meet me as I return home, there will be another beachy vacation soon. Maybe with a friend or two as long as they keep their hands off my umbrella cocktail!

As I reflect back on this year of travel, I am glowing with thanks. Thanks that I have the time, a supportive family and an insatiable yearning for discovery. I think I'll find some time on my flight tonight to begin my list of great places to go in 2011.

Happy holidays and safe travels!

Thursday
Dec162010

Five minutes

image by Teresa QI am so excited about the Reverb10 project and will be dedicating my weekly post to it as well. Equally excited about if not more, I loved yesterday's theme, five minutes. I already often set my IPhone timer for five minutes - five minutes to finish a task, five minutes of meditation and deep breathing when I feel very stressed and the always fruitful, how much can I actually get done in five minutes.

This theme,however, was to inspire reflection. For five minutes, you are to write about all the you wish to remember about 2010. As I began to write, I quickly discovered that I was also developing my own theme, discovery and exploration.

2010 was a big journey. There was a discovery of love and that I am capable of filling up with so much love it feels like my heart could explode. There was loss, as well, and the exploration of myself through solitude, trusting that quiet time and reflection could help the healing process and result in a deeper more meaningful relation with myself. 2010 was a year of self-reflection and the discovery of how I truly want to live and how I envision my future. I found a new confidence in myself as a small business owner and a designer through branding and a lot of discussions with other like minded people. I discovered new places through travel. I fell in love with a small fishing town in Mexico, in love with a small bakery in a northern California coastal town and found comfort in the smell of the Redwoods covered with dew.  I was humbled and let go of the part of me that thought she was bad ass and no longer walk alone through the city at night.

I learned so much this year through loss and love and feel like an even stronger person. Life's own little lessons and my own self reflective discovery are preparing me for a new and exciting year. I am so looking forward to it!!

Tuesday
Dec142010

A Little Reflection For The End Of The Year

Image by Gestures PhotographyI stumbled across this project last week and right away wanted to join in, both for myself and to share with all of you. It’s called Reverb10. Through a series of daily prompts participants are encouraged to reflect on the past year and share their stories. There are close to 3,000 people writing as a part of this project. The posts are being shared through Twitter and Delicious. I encourage you to poke around, read a little and maybe even join in yourself.

Since I’m coming to this a little late in the game I’m going to jump around and pick the prompts that speak to me most. So for my first reverb10 post I’m combing #1 - One Word and #3 - Moment.

This year has been an amazingly Transformative year, however that’s not the word I would use to encapsulate it. Instead I would use Trust. The numerous changes that happened this year all came about because I trusted. I trusted that I had support, that I had the knowledge, that my feeling was right.

I’ll start at the beginning to give you a scope of what manifested. In January I took a 14-week class in which I wrote the business plan for Lightbox SF and started acting on those plans while still in the process of finishing it. In June I left a business I had been working on making successful for the last 3 years. It just wasn’t working and I needed to let go. That same month I moved out of my apartment for the last 7 years and into an apartment with a man I had met only 6 months before. The last two weeks of August brought the biggest deluge of change. I quit my “day job” to work on Lightbox SF full time, accepted a proposal for marriage and turned 35.

I tend to be a worrier and a planner. I don’t like uncertainty and I hate the thought of failure. So you can imagine that every one of these leaps, that’s what they all were, scared me to death. I did it anyway because somewhere in the last few years I learned to trust not only that things would work out, but also that I was capable of making it all happen.

There is one moment that comes to mind bringing all those leaps together. It is the first 200 Yards opening in mid-August. We had a great turnout; people were excited about the concept and what it might turn into. The photos looked amazing on the wall and I had such a sense of accomplishment that we had made this happen. My boyfriend (he wasn’t my fiancé yet) was there not only to support me, but as one of the photographers in the show. It was a great night. I felt a part of something great and optimistic that things would only go up from here. I had a week left in my day job and I was going to make this thing work.

The last few months of this year have taught me even more. I have worked on this dream called Lightbox SF. We’ve made some mistakes and seen things turn out differently than we hoped or planned. We’ve also seen some amazing things happen. People coming out of nowhere excited about what we’re doing and willing to help in anyway they could. Ideas that seemed so simple turned into amazing new paths for us to explore. I have to keep trusting as we have a long road still ahead of us, but that first butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing leap is over with and we came up swimming.

This next year, 2011, I hope to look back on many nights like that first opening and have a hard time choosing what was the best. I also want the word that comes to mind to be Success. I want all my trust to manifest itself in the goals I set for myself and to allow me to succeed at each one.

Look back on this last year, what word or image comes to mind first? How would you sum it all up?