Monday, January 11, 2016

Just Begin.

I choose.

Many things in my life have been leading here, and I am excited to start this new project.  2015 was a year of growth in so many ways for me- too many to go into at this moment.  It was a year of introspection, of new pursuits and of learning from new people.  I am looking forward to sharing the continuous unfolding of my journey as a person and an artist here in this blog.

"I choose" has come into my life in three particular ways lately, so I thought it fitting to make this my first post.

Among other life deepening books I read last year, I was struck by two books, Peace Is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh and Living Your Yoga, by Judith Lasater.  Both of these books share stories that remind us that it is our reactions and how we choose to respond to our experiences that make us who we are.  We decide how to respond and we are in control of this choice.  I have often found this concept helpful with my elementary school students, since they can feel so overwhelmed by their emotions and are in the beginning of their journey to understand and embrace themselves in the world.  I remember hearing a student say to his Mum, who had told him he needed to stop playing so that he could take his turn for his special meeting to show her his work, "I am still choosing to be angry at you right now."  His language choice was his first step in realizing and acknowledging the power to decide.  I, myself, am still working on this in the moment especially!

This year I have embraced a few exciting personal and artistic challenges (others soon, in upcoming posts) including 30 Days of Yoga Camp with Adriene and I Am An Artist with Lisa Congdon.

In her intensive and inspirational course for artists wanting to hone their business and creative plans, Lisa Congdon talked about how she reminds herself often, even when things are hard, that she chose to make her life as an artist.  Here, again, was this concept reminding me that I can decide what I want, I can decide to make it so, and I can decide to be appreciative of everything it brings along with it.

I began Yoga With Adriene, this time last year (it's my first yoganniversary!) with her 30 Days of Yoga challenge.  This new year, Adriene added a layer of mantras to her daily yoga camp, and her recent choice was "I choose".  Adriene invited her viewers to finish this to create a meaningful sentence for themselves.  So here it was again, another reminder that I CHOOSE.

So this year...

I choose to collect the quotes that I encounter which resonate with my life in the moment.

I choose to create an illustration or vignette around that quote.

I choose to share one each Monday for the rest of 2016.

(It's never too late to begin a new resolution, right?)

Today's image was fun to create!  The beach down the street had these lovely hot pink weeds washed up today, a pop to add the the photo.  It took a few tries and some wet sneakers and socks, but I was able to capture a peak of the wave that washed away my writing.  This crochet meditation stone is from the same beach!

I hope you enjoy this journey with me and my wish is that these experiences might shed some positive light to start our week with.  If you are interested please comment to add to our shared journey!

With the goal of spreading love in the world, Jennifer

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