Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Hey guys. How are you? I’m doing well…always tired but really glad that Wednesday is almost over…it is Wednesday right? ANYWAY. I thought I’d put together another little random post of things I’m liking lately.
S-Town. Have y’all heard about this podcast? I started it last Friday and by Tuesday had finished all 7 episodes. I was listening in the car, on my walks, and while working – I couldn’t stop. It starts with an unsolved mystery in a small town, but the series takes a turn and ends up being about something else entirely. It was just a really interesting exploration of a complicated life, and despite all the vulgarities I thought it was good. It’s refreshing and eye opening to get a glimpse of another person’s existence that is so different from your own.
This article. It came to me at a really good time. I would say being pregnant means I have more uncertainties in my life than maybe ever before, and it also requires a lot of letting go of an old way of being and an old life. Not that life stops or anything, but it changes entirely for sure…so the tips in the article were helpful reminders for me.
Currently reading this, this, this, this, and this. It’s no secret that I’m a nerd about self help books…and non-fiction. I’ve read a few works of fiction this year but nothing that really stands out, sadly. Anyway, I don’t know when I became the person who reads 5 books at once – that would have made me crazy 10 years ago – but I enjoy jumping around now.
Alright, that’s it! As always, feel free to leave suggestions of things YOU have been liking lately.
This last week I started something called The 100 Day Project. The 100 Day Project was started by an artist named Elle Luna and is an open invitation to any creative person who wants to commit to doing something (anything) for 100 days. It provides motivation and accountability to make time to create something small every single day and then see how that work adds up over time. Progress > perfection. It’s free, and everyone shares their project on Instagram using the hashtag #the100dayproject. Last year I drew a different circle each day for 100 days (you can see the full set of 100 circles here).
This year I decided to focus on gratitude. The project started on April 4th and ends on July 12th, which almost perfectly coincides with the last 100 days of my pregnancy. I figured it would be a good idea to focus on the positive and remember what I’m grateful for each day over the next 3 months. You can see my first 6 days below – and if you want to follow along you can follow me on Instagram here, or visit my personal hashtag for this project #lookseegratitude.
I usually try to post a little blurb about what I’m grateful for, or what the picture/illustration means, on the Instagram post itself. But I thought it would be fun to post my work here as well – it’s nice to have a record of it.
It’s refreshing to have a creative exercise to focus on, and I love that it forces me to stop and remember what I’m grateful for, and find the good moments in each day. It’s easy for me to be cynical and negative, and that’s not the impression I want to leave on people…
The project usually gets interesting the longer you go because you start to run out of ideas and have to get creative. I’m excited to see how it evolves over the next few months. At the end, I’d like to bind all these pages together and make a book…I’m looking forward to seeing the full 100 days together and have a feeling it will be something I can flip through any time I need a pick me up.
What would you do for 100 days? It’s not too late to join..
Hi guys. How are you? Is it weird to start a blog post that way? I guess it’s not like you can respond, but I do genuinely want to know how you all are. Also, I’ve always liked writing letters and starting a post this way makes it feels more like a letter – so whatever, I’m sticking with it. Hah.
I’m feeling a little drained today. I’ve been brainstorming about this post a bit throughout the week and as of this moment…I have NO idea what I’m going to write. So let’s see what comes out, here goes.
This week I’m trusting grace. I guess this goes with last week’s theme of not trying too hard to be worthy or perfect – but the theme continues and I’m trying more and more to rest in grace. I feel like when you really grasp the idea of grace it’s life changing…but then the concept slips away and we forget. It’s kind of like when you try really hard to imagine eternity or infinity…sometimes, for a second, you get this glimpse of it and feel sheer terror or awe…but then it goes as fast as it came. You know? So sometimes when I really understand grace I get this overwhelming sense of rest and peace..but then life goes on and I return to my neurotic self who is constantly striving for something I can’t earn. So I’m trying to meditate on it more, and trust it more…we’ll see where it leads.
This week I’m feeling grateful for nature. I know, sorry, I’m not trying to be all deep or get hippie on you (even though I am kind of a hippie at heart), but nature is something that can always calm me down or lift my mood. I leave the house for work at 7am, just as the sun is starting to rise, and this week I have seen the most AMAZING sunrises on my drive in. I love starting my day soaking in that beauty and being in awe of how amazing this planet is. It’s funny how you can watch a million sunrises and it never gets old. It’s always striking, always different. That being said – I’ve been saddened by some things this week going on in Washington that show very little regard for the Earth, it’s beauty, and it’s importance. But more on that another time, maybe. For now, this poem – because she is the BEST at capturing the subtle miraculous moments I often experience when paying attention to the world.
Lately, I’m finding so much inspiration in music. I tend to go through phases with music where sometimes I don’t listen to it very much. I mean, I’ve always loved it and it’s been a big part of my life, but I can get kind of burnt out and occasionally just appreciate silence instead. But right now I’m devouring album after album – I’ve had fun exploring new stuff and returning to old stuff. You can see a playlist I posted here.
Lastly, faith. I was listening to this podcast on finding our calling and heard the speaker say this,
“God is actually most near to us when everything is falling apart. In those times, when God is most near, the people trying to help us access the nearness of God are sometimes so profoundly in the way.”
I think this quote is, sadly, so true. And I see it happening again and again in most organized religions. The focus is on doctrine or theology or rules – and those things can often just get in the way of people actually experiencing God. At some point we were told not to trust our experiences, but to trust in what someone at the front of the church was telling us instead. I think it’s a good thing to be aware of – and if you’ve experienced that kind of thing…don’t let it turn you off completely. Don’t let someone else ruin something that can be so good and beautiful. Discover it for yourself.
That’s a lot of text. Thanks for sticking with me to the end.
I hope you all have a good weekend, wherever you are!
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.
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.
P.S. If you have any music/art/book suggestions feel free to send them my way!
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.
you can find this beautiful pillow here.
read more about the history of mud cloth here.
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!
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:
^^ beautiful ceramics by willowvane ^^
^^ amazing floral design/art by flora.forager ^^
^^ 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?!
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.
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.
i’ve been trying to draw and paint more lately. i seemed to have had a slump for a few years where i barely even picked up a pencil to sketch. but that slump is coming to an end. i’ve had a lot of fun messing around and would like to eventually open up a print shop on etsy. i’ll need to keep practicing until i come up with something print worthy.
if you follow me on instagram, you’ve most likely seen all this already. but i thought i’d post it all here, too.
^^ sharpies above and below^^
^^ watercolor and metallic bronze sharpie ^^
^^ graphite ^^
^^ watercolor ^^
^^ colored pencil and ink ^^
^^ graphite ^^
i think my strong suit is definitely sketching/drawing with pencil. but it’s been really good to play with color and experiment outside of my comfort zone.
she woke me up at dawn,
her suitcase like a little brown dog at her heels.
i sat up and looked out the window
at the snow falling in the stand of blackjack trees.
a bus ticket in her hand.
then she brought something black up to her mouth,
a plum i thought, but it was an asthma inhaler.
i reached under the bed for my menthols
and she asked if i ever thought of cancer.
yes, i said, but always as a tree way up ahead
in the distance where it doesn’t matter.
and i suppose a dead soul must look back at that tree,
so far behind his wagon where it also doesn’t matter
except as a memory of rest or water.
though to believe any of that, i thought,
you have to accept the premise
that she woke me up at all.
words: david berman / “imagining defeat” from actual air
photo: iphone / hillside farmacy (austin, tx)