overlooking puget sound . may 17
Life around here feels like a daily journey of holding the beauty in one hand and the intensity that is life...that is parenting and marriage and health stuff and running my own business in limited hours and product launches and collaborations...that is navigating the energy of the Internet...that is remembering self-care and kindness in the midst of it all...that is doing the best I can...in the other.
As I thought about what to post here today, I headed over to Flickr to see if there was a photo that would inspire me to write something in this space. As I looked through the Instagram photos I posted last week, I realized that almost every day, I used what I call my "In This Moment" practice to keep myself grounded through it all.
This practice is about taking a photo to capture a moment + writing down a few words to pair with the photo. But it really is about using your camera and a few words as a meditation to be more present to the simple (and sometimes profound) moments that make up your daily life. It's about letting the camera get you out of your head and into your awareness of the beauty and realness and joy and sometimes even sadness that punctuates your life. It's about writing down field notes that tell the stories so you will remember. It's about being your own witness.
The words I wrote down a couple of days after taking the photo of Puget Sound at the top of this post:
I sat in the car with the windows rolled down while she softly snored in the backseat. The birds were chattering, the waves were lapping far below me as two boats sailed by. This moment was so excruciatingly simple + beautiful that my only option was to take out my notebook and write a poem. Poetry + getting out of my head saves me every time.
Sometimes I write a little paragraph like this, but most of the time, I write simple thoughts and short sentences.
What I know: This bringing me flowers stage is awesome.
I am 100% as tired as I look, yet here I am soaking up the sun and doing my best.
(hairstyle by EJ)
In this moment, I am soaking up the rich deep real beauty that is a handwritten letter.
truth = long day. just being right here. leaning into trust.
today was a softer day because the iPhone stayed in my purse.
Looking through these photos today, this is what I know: This practice isn't about the perfect photo. It's about taking a moment to capture your world (yourself) and then writing down a piece of the story. The photo above of Ellie and me isn't the best photo ever, but I love it for lots of reasons. Of course, it looks very sweet...this mother and daughter with flowers in their hair cuddled up together. And the moment was very sweet. But the moments surrounding it were full of the intensity of Ellie wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours and the reality of her heart issues right in my face every time I looked at it paired with the awesome yet exhausting always on the move insistent teething toddler that she is right now. I wanted to capture pieces of all of this realness in the short words I paired with this photo.
Before I decided to write this post, when I was looking through these photos + words, I began to feel the space inside me expand with each breath. Honestly, I began to feel gentler with myself, which is why I decided to write this post today. I was experiencing a shift from listing the ways I am not enough (which was what I was beginning to do this morning) to seeing myself and knowing I am...I am...I am...
In "The Gift of This Moment," I dive deeper into this practice. I share stories and prompts and other good things to guide you into developing your own "In This Moment" practice so that you will begin to integrate it into your daily creative self-care.
One reason I do this practice is because I want to remember. Because I would love to look through an album of photos from the everyday moments of my own childhood and read my mother's words about the beautiful, real, hard, joyful days we experienced as a family. I would love to spend an evening with a friend and be given the gift of sitting together sifting through pages of her photos + words to get to know her even more. These days, so many of our photos stay on our computers, and I want to hold them in my hands and read pieces of the stories that make up this crazy life.
This leads me to one of my favorite parts of this kit: You will print out your photos and put them into the In This Moment: Field Journal and Photo Album and pair them with your field notes so that you can hold in your hands the evidence of the ways you tell story. I imagine you out there in your corner of the world carrying your Field Journal with you and capturing a photo and then jotting down a few lines in your journal because you don't want to forget how you found the space to be a witness to your own story.
The Gift of This Moment Home Retreat Kit is available for pre-order and will ship in June. Each week leading up to its release, I will be sharing a bit more about the pieces you will find inside; you can read all the posts about it here.