Things I’m Liking Lately


If the title of the post didn’t give it away, here are some things I’m liking lately.

My sister’s new blog, The Rootchord. My sister has always loved music (like more than the average person) and now she’s sharing her old favorites and new finds in one spot. It’s been fun to follow along, and I feel like I’ve been looking for this kind of blog for awhile. New music suggestions without the pretentious writing.

Revisiting some favorite albums…such as this, this, and this. I can’t believe some of these came out 7 years ago already!

Currently reading this and this – really enjoying both so far. I’m hoping to keep track of monthly reads again like I did in 2015 (you can see everything I read in 2015 here).

Feeling inspired by all kinds of artists. Like this one, and this one, and this one too (love this designer’s unique jewelry).

So there it is. Some things I’ve been liking lately…I’m also liking that it’s almost Friday. I’ll have a new TGIF post up for y’all tomorrow. Do you have any fun plans this weekend? I’ll be praying tomorrow…inauguration day. Eek. I wont lie, this post brought a little tear to my eye.

Yours,
-Marci

P.S. If you have any music/art/book suggestions feel free to send them my way!

TGIF // 03

Happy 2017! Hard to believe that in a few years we’ll be hitting the 2020 mark…I feel old every time i think about that, so let’s not. Last year I started a series called TGIF and only wrote 2 posts before disappearing. Whoops. It’s hard to stay focused, and it’s harder to find motivation after working 40 hours a week at my job. But after listening to this podcast episode – I’ve decided to change my mindset. My real life, the one I cherish and am proud of, is the life in which I’m a writer and an artist. My side life is the life in which I work 40 hours for a corporation I don’t really care about. So instead of thinking of my hobbies and passions as the secondary or even tertiary parts of my life, I’m ready to put them front and center. It will take some work and time, but it’s an important mental shift that I’ll be working on.

So on to the TGIF portion…

This week I’m trusting that all of the unknowns in my life will work out just as they should. I’m trusting that I already have everything I need, and I’m trying to not focus on lack – but on abundance. Because I have so so much, and am very lucky – regardless of what my ego tells me sometimes (you need more money, that person is more talented, look how much they’re doing with their life!, etc. etc.).

This week I’m feeling grateful for family and friends. The holidays can be intense, and I always really miss my immediate family this time of year because I never can make it home to see everyone over Christmas. But how lucky am I to have people to miss; people I want to be spending time with and people who love me and make that known regularly (and for technology that makes it possible). I’m also extremely grateful for my in-laws. My husband’s sisters are some of my best friends – and his parents remind me so much of my own.

Lately, I’ve been finding so much inspiration in textiles. I love the deep indigos of shibori dyeing, I love the simple but beautiful designs of mud cloth, and I love the intricate mix of color and pattern in many traditional weavings. I’d love to incorporate some of these things into my art – my wheels are turning.

Vintage Medium Indigo Tie Dye, African Mud Cloth Pillow, Shibori Tie Dye,  Cotton Linen Pillow, 20 inch, Rose Gold Zipper, Bohemian Decor
you can find this beautiful pillow here.

ariele_alaskochair
read more about the history of mud cloth here.


Moroccan rug

This brings back some memories - a Navajo woman taught a class of us in high school how to weave blankets because
Traditional Navajo weaving

Lastly, my update on faith. I recently heard an Anne Lamott quote that really struck me, so I’ll leave you all with this.

“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”

The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Whoa. If only someone would have told me that at age 15…although sometimes the truth isn’t truth until you’re ready to hear it.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

Yours,
Marci

P.S.If you’re curious about the origins of my TGIF posts you can see post 1 and 2 here.

TGIF // 02

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.19.40 PM

last week i mentioned starting a new series titled TGIF. You can read more about what this is and why i’m doing it here. but essentially, each week i’ll be writing about four things: trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith. i’ll recap how each of those words/practices has come into play over the last 7 or so days.

so without further ado…

this week i’m trusting that things will work out in their own time. brent (my husband) and i are waiting on a few big life changes to take shape at the moment…and every time we think we’re about to get an answer…it’s really just a postponement. but all the changes are great and beautiful things and i’m trusting that everything will fall into place when it’s supposed to.

this week i’m feeling so so so grateful to have a husband who takes care of the less-than-glamorous household tasks. such as…killing the freaking gigantic texas bugs that have been finding their way into our cabin lately. we live in the woods. and it’s been raining a lot more than usual. and in texas, no matter how clean your house is, you will probably have cockroaches. and we’ve had so many and i want to die. BUT i haven’t had to kill a single one because i have someone who does it for me. sorry, it’s a really gross thing to be grateful for but i had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude as i watched my handsome roach hunter go to town last night on our behalf. yeah. moving on.

this week i’m finding inspiration from so many artists on instagram:

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.02.45 PM

^^ beautiful ceramics by willowvane ^^

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^^ amazing floral design/art by flora.forager ^^

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 6.00.45 PM

^^ colorful, fun, and cozy interiors by thejungalow ^^

faith. this week i’ve been thinking a lot about slowing down and paying attention. we have the tv on at home more than i’d like to admit, my phone is basically a part of my body, and anytime a slight feeling of boredom looms i resolve it by looking at a screen. yuck. i mean…i do read a lot, and draw…so i’m probably making it sound worse than it is. but still, we can probably all relate to the feeling when hours disappear with nothing to show for them. so i want to start being more present..when i’m with people, when i’m outside, etc. i think the screens serve as distractions from more meaningful moments, and i’m on the hunt for those. i have faith that they’ll appear.

the top image is a little sketch i did today while laying in the hammock. you would think now that it’s september the weather would be pretty pleasant…but it’s still in the “feels like” 100 degrees season in tx. looking forward to cooler temperatures and more time outside.

i hope you are all having a great holiday weekend! it’s crazy how much of a difference one extra day makes, right?!

xo,

marci

TGIF // 01


happy friday, friends! it’s been awhile since i last wrote here…and not for lack of things to say, but lack of energy to put my rambling thoughts in to comprehensible words and sentences. sometimes i just feel like keeping my swirling thoughts in my head, and sometimes i’m just plain lazy…BUT it always feels good to check in here and get some things down on “paper.”

i started reading the gifts of imperfection by brene brown recently, and it’s so good! i recommend it to anyone who enjoys self-reflection and wants to live a more wholehearted life. in one of the chapters she talks about doing a gratitude exercise every week that she calls TGIF, hence the title of this post. every week she writes down what she’s Trusting, what she’s Grateful for, what Inspires her, and how she’s practicing her Faith. i love this so much that i’m going to copy her and start doing my own TGIF post each friday. so here goes…

this week i’m trusting that real change takes time. i’ve had a lot of ideas and fantasies about how i want my life to look, and every time i stumble or fall short i feel disappointed. but i’m trying and (slowly) learning to extend grace to myself, and trust that progress is more important than perfection.

lately i’m feeling grateful for my free time. i work a 9-5 and often resent the lack of flexibility…but i dont have children yet, and i have every weekend off work, and i get to spend all my free time reading, writing, and creating (or binge-watching netflix with my husband). and i’m so so thankful for that privilege.

this week i’m feeling inspired by all the books and podcasts i’ve been devouring. i’m always on the look-out for new and inspiring things so if you have any suggestions send them my way!
books: present over perfect, the forest house, the wander society
podcasts: happier, the smart passive income, and this vox veniae message on contentment

this week i’m practicing faith by defining it, and getting comfortable with it. in her book, the gift of imperfection, brene brown defines faith as this:

“faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”

She then goes on to quote the theologian Richard Rohr:

“my scientist friends have come up with things like ‘principles of uncertainty’ and dark holes. they’re willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories. but many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. we love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of ‘faith’! how strange that the very word ‘faith’ has come to mean the exact opposite.”

AMEN. i dont know everything, and i dont need to. the whole point of faith is to believe something despite not having all the answers. and i’m not going to bring other people into my joy by listing off all the “answers” that i think they should live their lives by. it’s personal. it takes time. and some things just aren’t clear. some things are – yes. but a lot of things aren’t. and that’s ok.

welp. that’s all i’ve got for you this week. i’m hoping to make this a weekly series. it’s good to meditate on these prompts and really get in touch with what i’m thinking and feeling. if you decide to do something similar let me know! i’d love to hear your thoughts. i hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

xo

marci

rambles, rambles and rambles

i just watched a webinar put on by gabrielle bernstein (she’s a teacher, life coach, writer, speaker…all that hippie stuff) and i loved it. the webinar was focused on how to do what you love doing and finally take action. one of the things she suggested doing in order to get started was to share your story.

i’ve never really thought much about this…or i should say, i’ve never really thought that i have much of a story to tell. so i’m going to figure this out as i go, because everyone has a story right? they just have to figure out how to tell it.

i’m 27 years old. i’ve been married for 3.5 years to a really sweet man. all of my immediate family lives half way across the country, which is hard. i love to paint and draw. i’m obsessed with reading. i have a small little rescue dog named elsi…she’s a chiweenie (yes it’s a real thing). and i struggle with a lot of anxiety. ok. now you say, “hi marci” like we’re in a twelve step meeting, because that’s what it just sounded like in my head. haha.

ok so this isn’t really my story, i guess. but in the loosely interpreted words of robert plant, i’m just going to ramble on here.

the thing on my mind the most lately is anxiety, because i’ve been having a lot of it. sometimes the anxiety isn’t so bad and i almost forget all about it – this can happen for months at a time. but sometimes, it’s completely crippling. the most frustrating part about this is that i dont really know what’s causing it. it seems like there are times when i handle normal stress, or even extreme stress, really well. and then there are times when it seems like nothing major is going on and i completely break down. it’s frustrating to say the least, and embarrassing.

i think some of the anxiety stems from not feeling like i’m living up to my potential. i’ve been stuck at a really boring office job for the last 5 years, which isn’t exactly the dream. and it’s really hard to have a good attitude when you’re surrounded by fluorescent lighting, stale air, and corporate policies. but it seems like a lot of people can relate to this…a lot of people feel trapped in their 9-5..i mean, dolly wrote an entire song about it.

Dolly Parton

so, i’m trying to figure out where this leaves me. how can i move forward, away from my office job, and serve other people who are on a similar path? i want to give inspiration to people who may feel the same way that i have for so long. i want to make people’s days a little brighter. either with my words, or my art, or both. i want to stop focusing on the negatives of my current situation, i want to stop saying “i’ll be happy when”, i want to stop dreading my day as soon as i wake up.

i want to focus on the positives. i want to be a light to people around me, including the people at my boring office. i want to stop waiting for the future for things to be perfect, and realize that i can be happy now and simultaneously work towards my dreams. and mostly, i want to really believe that i’m capable of these things. that i’m capable of succeeding. capable of changing my life, and capable of reaching people with my art or my words.

one thing i really loved about the webinar i mentioned at the beginning of this post was that she kept mentioning…who are you serving? how can you serve others? what are you doing to be a light to other people? and up until this moment it’s not something i’ve really seriously considered, especially in regards to starting a business. but it makes so much sense. 
so, i think i want to reach people who are like me. people who’ve grown up to realize that adulthood is a lot different, and sometimes less exciting, than we might have thought it was going to be. we don’t all grow up to be oprah or beyonce, but that’s ok. more than ok, right. we can have happy, joyful, fulfilling lives by pursuing the things we love and being a light to the people around us.

i’m going to continue to meditate and pray about who i should be serving, and how best to do that. and i’m going to try to make that more of a driving force in all of my business day dreams. and maybe it will look a lot different than what i’m expecting, it probably will actually. and maybe i won’t be super successful, or reach a lot of people, but i believe that i can. and i think going into something with the mindset of serving…means it doesn’t really matter if you’re successful or not, you’re on the right track regardless.

so y’all…if you read this entire post…thanks. i’m impressed. i’m really just trying to figure things out, and for some reason i’m doing it in a public way. seems like a greeaaat ideaaaaa. but it feels good to write it down, get it out, and let it go. and hey, at least you got a dolly picture out of it.

yours,

marci

 

 

 

100% happy

  
i was laying in bed the other night running the usual mind race that so many of us run as soon as the lights go off. it’s the only running i do. anyway, my mind was bouncing around and i was having a hard time taming it enough to drift off to sleep. it settled on my uncle randy. randy passed away at the end of october…and every time i think of him/his death a really heavy sadness descends.

i understand that people die. i understand that people die unexpectedly. i understand that really really good people die, while others who maybe aren’t so good live on. it’s weird, and i’ve accepted that. i’ve seen more than my fair share of really bright amazing people go too soon, and whenever i think about it…i feel so sad. there’s two people in particular: my uncle randy and a woman i consider my second mother, sue. i loved them. they were so giving and full of light. and they’re gone. i’m not mad at God. i’m not mad at the world. just sad. i miss them.

anyway, this isn’t my point of writing. although it feels good to write about. my point is that as soon as this sadness descends on me the first thing i want to do is distract myself. i usually reach for my phone…i play a game, or check instagram, or watch something. i do anything i can think of to not feel the sadness. the other night while i was having that urge to reach for my phone i stopped myself. and i leaned in instead.

  
i’ve read a lot about meditation, and leaning in to your feelings. learning to be uncomfortable. learning to accept discomfort. and that’s what i did. i allowed myself to be sad. and then i started thinking about how sick it is that our culture is CONSTANTLY  pushing happiness. if you’re not 100% happy then something is wrong with you. you probably need to travel the world, or take some more me time, or find a new career. and hey, any of those things could be true…but is it really such an atrocity to feel sad sometimes? i dont think so. i think it’s worse to mask that feeling with instagram and pretty pictures and likes on facebook. i think it’s worse to tell yourself you shouldn’t have those feelings..it’s worse to feel kind of uncomfortable..like “hey, this doesn’t feel good” and then run the other direction and deny yourself the truth of that pain.

it’s really sad that i lost my uncle. it’s really sad that a ton of kids aren’t going to learn to love nature and do it while laughing hysterically because he’s not around to teach them anymore. it’s really sad that i lost sue…i wish i could write her letters and tell her about my life, and my husband, and what an inspiration she is to me especially as i get older.

so let’s allow ourselves to process these things, and just admit that sometimes things are really freaking sad. i don’t want to believe that the way to have a good life is to have a 100% happy life. i genuinely believe that allowing ourselves to feel sad may not make us happier overall but it will make us more fulfilled, loving, authentic individuals. so i’m going to try not to run to my phone the next time i feel uncomfortable. join me?

xo

marci

p.s. depression is a real thing! i’m not talking about depression. and i’m also not suggesting that we wallow in our sadness, simply that we allow ourselves to feel it.

 

how to find motivation and stop procrastinating

i often see lists online of how to do this and how to do that…how to be more creative, how to eat healthier, how to have a good marriage, 30 things to do before you’re 30..

i have to admit, i’m kind of a sucker for these lists/articles and i love reading them…BUT how helpful are they really? there have been so many times when i’m reading an article on..let’s say…how to stop procrastinating. and i’m thinking…isn’t reading an article about how to stop procrastinating just another form of procrastination? yes. yes it is.

so my advice to everyone is to stop reading about how to be better or do better and just go do it. i know it doesn’t seem like it should be that easy, but i’m starting to think that maybe it is. so anyway, here are my tips on finding motivation and ending procrastination once and for all.

  1. stop reading this
  2. turn off your computer/phone
  3. go outside and/or do that thing you’ve been meaning to do

happy weekend 🙂

h is for hawk


we are very bad at scale. the things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. we are bad at time too. we cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. we live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. we take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.

helen macdonald

book report // 2015 recap


guys, i read a lot this year. i think i read more than usual knowing i would be “reporting” at the end of each month…but not really much more than usual because i’ve always loved to read. and when you hear how many books i read you’ll be like..marci, get a life. because that’s kind of what i thought when i saw the number. and my husband told me i should take a break this year, haha. but really, if i hadn’t spent all that time reading i probably would have spent at least half of it watching tv or looking at my phone – so i say time well spent.

i read 47 books in 2015. maybe that’s not even that impressive but it feels like a lot. so in no particular order, here they are:

  1. gilead by marilynne robinson
  2. the history of love by nicole krauss
  3. the dirty life by kristin kimball
  4. wouldn’t it be nice – the making of pet sounds by charles granata
  5. essentialism by greg mckeown
  6. the life changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo
  7. the art of asking by amanda palmer
  8. station eleven by emily st. john mandel
  9. my faraway one by georgie o’keefe and alfred stieglitz
  10. my antonia by willa cather
  11. a visit from the goon squad by jennifer egan
  12. sacred marriage by gary thomas
  13. you are what you eat by gillian mckeith
  14. how the garcia girls lost their accents by julie alvarez
  15. never let me go by kazoo ishiguro
  16. tiny beautiful things / dear sugar by cheryl strayed
  17. how to love by thich nhat hanh
  18. a field guide to getting lost by rebecca solnit
  19. crazy love by frances chan
  20. may cause miracles by gabrielle bernstein
  21. the book of ruth by jane hamilton
  22. stitches by anne lamott
  23. to the lighthouse by virginia woolf
  24. love does by bob goff
  25. actual air by david berman
  26. indian killer by sherman alexie
  27. not that kind of girl by lena dunham
  28. transcendence by norman rosenthal
  29. 1984 by george orwell
  30. my salinger year by joanna rakoff
  31. why not me? by mindy kaling
  32. a poetry handbook by mary oliver
  33. a praying life by paul miller
  34. one thousand gifts by ann voskamp
  35. the namesake by jhumpa lahiri
  36. happier at home by gretchen rubin
  37. red rising by pierce brown
  38. golden son by pierce brown
  39. a prayer journal by flannery o’connor
  40. the silver star by jeannette walls
  41. a grief observed by c.s. lewis
  42. a room of one’s own by virginia woolf
  43. letters to a young poet by rainer maria rilke
  44. m train by patti smith
  45. the hours by michael cunningham
  46. h is for hawk by helen macdonald
  47. the bible – literally! beginning to end!

obviously i had some favorites, and some not so favorites…but generally i enjoyed most of the things i read. if you’re wondering which of these you should read here are my top 10 (i just tried to do a top 5 and it was impossible).

  1. the namesake by jhumpa lahiri
  2. a field guide to getting lost by rebecca solnit
  3. my antonia by willa cather
  4. to the lighthouse by virginia woolf
  5. the bible (ecclesiastes was particularly beautiful, i thought)
  6. actual air by david berman
  7. the history of love by nicole krauss
  8. gilead by marilynne robinson
  9. the hours by michael cunningham
  10. never let me go by kazoo ishiguro


honorable mentions:

why not me? by mindy kaling
sacred marriage by gary thomas
tiny beautiful things by cheryl strayed
may cause miracles by gabbrielle bernstein

annndd that sums up my year of reading. hope everyone is having a good start to 2016.

xoxo,
marci