A member of Fearless Warrior reached out to me wanting to know my whole story. She had read the About page on my Blog and said, “There’s a gap between leaving your marriage and where you are now.”
I tried to summarize the woman she knows today on a Zoom. There’s over 800 published posts between where it began and what you’re reading now. With every click of the publish button, I left ‘that me’ on the page. Each new day brought a newer me, so I told her, “It’s all in the Blog.” Writing is my therapy.
About a week ago, I found this meme and it pretty much sums up my life. When we leave a broken marriage, unhealthy relationship, or anything that’s not suited for our needs, there’s going to be a gap. It’s up to us how we choose to fill the void.
The options are endless, but you know I like to keep things simple. Instead of pulling something or someone from the outside in, I poured what I already had on the inside out. When I chose everyday to love my life, one day life decided to turn around and love me right back.
Whenever I make a Chemex it makes me smile in more ways than one. I was thinking of an exchange I had with my daughter and it still brings a grin to my face during the first pour. I had told her, “I need a timer to count the first pour”, to which she cutely replied, “You can’t count to 30?” I know, she needs to treat me better. 😂
Standing by the window, that’s what comes to mind while making the Chemex, but then I noticed a miracle in the making outside the window. There’s a bowl of water sitting at the edge of the pebbled walkway, and mind you it’s been sitting there all summer. It was placed there for the birds, but I’ve only seen squirrels drink from it, until today.
The birds finally found it, and it was a thrilling moment for all! I thought it was funny how it’s been sitting there for months, but this was brand new to them. It reminded me of how God has everything already lined up and waiting for us to realize it. I used to think I spent a lot of time waiting on God, but in reality He was more than likely waiting on me. Just because we haven’t seen it yet, doesn’t mean it’s not there waiting. (faith)
Like this bowl of water. It’s been sitting there waiting for them all summer long, but once they found it, that became one happy day.
Sitting on my bench early this morning, taking in a view of the yard, I made mental notes of what needed to be done to help it along. I’ve surmised the yard is my happy place.
I’ve been wanting a place to sit outside and connect with the morning. The bench highlighted in my previous post offers that space. What I like about this space so far is, it can be used solitarily, or I can invite people in and it will expand. Connecting with all kinds of people expands our thinking, and the heart, but they need to be invited in.
I’m practicing letting people in, and it’s not a simple practice. I had a neighbor stop by yesterday and we didn’t really connect. The visit began with my daughter’s dog taking a nip at her leg, and it all just went downhill from there. At first I was discouraged over our visit, but then concluded, it’s going to take more practice.
Keep the door continually propped open.
People are meant to cross our path for a reason and sometimes a season, but it’s rare that they stay forever. The only requirement from us is to let them in.
In Fire and Rain I was on a mission to find the perfect bench for the firepit area. The bench purchase was a little outside my comfort zone, but I wanted to enhance the sanctuary vibe encompassed by the yard. Well…Tada!
Once the bench was in place, I wanted a little table, or outdoor pouf to sit between the chair and bench. This is the worst time of year to find outdoor furniture, but I drove to all my favorite stores to see my options. Instead of furniture I saw stacks of unopened boxes of Christmas trees. 😮
The table in the photo was at Target, in the Magnolia section with no price tag. (There’s 3 things right there that scare my wallet.) I found an employee to scan it for me, and when she told me the price, I laughed out loud, and exited the store. The next morning the table was still on my mind, but I continued to Google ‘outdoor side table’. I saw one at Urban Outfitters that looked similar, but with shipping it would cost more than the one at Target, so I followed my heart back to Target and gave the table a home.
This entire process brought up the thought of ‘what a year can do’. There’s a noticeable difference in what the yard looks like now compared to last year, but it took an entire year to get it here. We want immediate change, but lasting change occurs gradually over time. I wouldn’t have made these furniture choices a year ago, but I’ve been pondering the possibilities for months. It’s a foundational start, but more time will pass before it’s complete.
I don’t invite people to my home very often, but this year I want them to feel invited in. This space was created to connect and soak up some calm amid the chaos.
The commitment I made to my writing is to complete two writing practices a day, whether I want to or not. Most days it flows through the fingers, but today it didn’t. One practice is equal to 30 minutes which is comparatively a Pomodoro. If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, you can learn more about it here.
If you’re familiar with this plug-in already, my hope is you’re sharing it with everyone you know who sits in front of a computer the majority of the day. It wasn’t always a happy moment to pull up my browser window for work, but now I look forward to it. I see a breathtaking photo, and receive a poke of encouragement from my browser.
I posted this on our Fearless Slack channel as a mighty revelation! A man chimed in on the post saying he uses this on all his browsers. I wish he had shared this with us. Sometimes we assume everyone knows what we know, and we’re hesitant to share. I’ve received countless comments from the simplest of shares.
After the motivational phrase it says, ‘Good morning, afternoon or evening Barbara’, dependent upon the time of day it is. It asks what you want to focus on today, and if there’s a project that needs completion, I type that in as a reminder, but most days it’s on a more personal level like writing! A tiny box is over to the left, so at the end of the day I get to check it off and watch it receive a strikethrough.
Pay attention to the small things and let God handle the big ones. Out of all the tasks I do each day, keeping this commitment to my writing feels like a really great thing.
I’m reading The Artist’s Way for a second time. This year my Kindle died, but instead of replacing the device, I’m replacing digital books with real ones. Julia Cameron was first on the list for replacement, and I found a whole stack of her books at a second hand sale. 🥳
The Morning pages and I have a longtime love/hate relationship. I still can’t write all three pages every morning, but one solid page is better than none. Maybe it’s something you have to build up to, like each stroke across the page is strengthening the muscle needed to go onto page 2 and then 3. I had to smile at Julia’s description of her Morning Pages in The Artist’s Way.
“In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it. I ask you to do this by an apparently pointless process I call the Morning Pages,” says Julia. That’s one of the things I fancy most about these spaces I’ve shared with you this week. Only one has a valid reason, and that’s only temporary. The other two are pointless, and have no solid reason behind them, but when you have no particular reason you stand before the door of possibilities.
This morning my corner wasn’t comfortable to write the Morning Pages, so I moved to the kitchen table. The first sentence said, “I don’t have much to say today,” but before long I was filling in the last line of the page. What Julia describes as an apparently pointless process, is where the magic in this simple practice is revealed.
At this stage of my life there is not a lot of reasoning behind the majority of what takes place. It’s not so much the actual space as it is allowing time within that space to grow.
We’ve been talking about creating spaces. Whether it’s wide open for an upcoming project, which may mean dismantling something you love, or an outdoor space to soak up nature and be available to whomever passes by. This corner was one of the first spaces created and the inspiration came from a Team member of Fearless Warrior.
In this spot you feel at ease, and there’s very little thinking required as the space stirs up creativity itching to be released. Some mornings I walk by it several times telling myself I don’t have time to enjoy it, but I’ve learned if I don’t sit there, my day suffers from not taking the time.
Nothing fancy. It’s literally a corner of the room.
But, it’s mine.
The chair is one of my favorite pieces, and it’s comfy to sit in, but not relaxing. That’s important because I don’t want to dwell there for long. I pour a cup of coffee or tea, place it on the window ledge and then sit in the chair to reflect on possibilities of the day ahead.
It takes about 30 minutes, and it varies each day. Sometimes I need to read, or simply jot down a few ideas, and at other times it’s a full on page of journaling to empty the mind. The ottoman is used to spread out inspiration bubbling up from my artistic side.
Do you have a corner? If not, let me encourage you to create one. The quality of the day begins in my corner.
I cleaned up the firepit area and ordered curved, metal benches for seating. They were lost during shipment and never arrived. I received a refund for the benches and chalked it up to, God has a better plan, once again!
I’m still looking at benches, but in the meantime, I planted a ground cover around half of the pit. When it rains it gets muddy, so the ground cover is taking root and starting to spread. A few days ago, I noticed something while watering with the rain head. If I start at the top, the water cascades around the half circle and they water one another.
I purchased the fire pit two years ago and you can read about it here. Watering the ground cover was a reminder of the vision I have for creating this space. To sit around this fiery pit with whoever needs watering. Whether it’s a neighbor walking by I’ve never met, or a friend I’ve known for years, we can gather here to refresh.
The meme used as the feature photo in this post was published in the Fearless Mastery FB page. The people in that group are called Firestarter’s who continually light their lives on fire. I help manage the page for Zen Habits, and these souls encourage one another in a manner which mimics fanning each other’s flame.
It’s exciting to surround ourselves with the Firestarter’s of life, but every so often even the fire is required to sit with the rain.
My mantra for the past couple of weeks has been, “Let life come to me.” Probably because I had a lot of life come to me in August, but obviously none of it was detrimental to my well-being because I’m still happy with life.
This week, I noticed these little imposters popping up everywhere in two of my flower beds. I didn’t plant them and actually found them hidden underneath what I had planted in May. They must have been planted before we moved here, and sorta recall seeing them last year. They’re thriving under the care of the flowers looming over them and multiplied wherever they fancied.
I saw these bunched up by the fence and tried to help them. Using a spade, I dug a few of them up and moved them over to the right of the bed in an open area, thinking they’d be happier with more space. It’s been several days now of watering them and they don’t look all that happy.
My friend Kat wrote about being tired of continual efforting. You can read her post here and I see you Kat. Let life come to me and know when to let them be.
Didn’t see that coming did ya? Neither did I, and it all fell apart so gracefully. It’s was about a month ago when I began to feel a tug at my heart every time I walked by it, so I knew this was coming. It’s like God always gives me a heads up before anything big is going to happen, and I was pretty quick to follow suit this time.
I was asked to take on a project by my guys over at Zen Habits, and it was an overwhelming thought at first. They want me to assemble, pack up and mail 24 gift boxes for their Fearless Mastery program participants before the end of September. Our house is less than 1,000 square feet, but I’m a big believer in, ‘you have everything you need.’
The space was there, it was just being used as a coffee bar. I took a day and moved coffee paraphernalia piece by piece to it’s new location near the kitchen. How did I know this was divine intervention? Because it all fell together seamlessly, and it’s better than before.