Jan 30, 2013

KTY | Day 10

It's hard to start writing this post without feeling like a total tool for getting so off track with this coursework. I love doing the work, I love doing the writing but Jesus Christ on a cracker, I am having a hard time finding my new rhythm! Homeschooling is fantastic - so much easier than I ever though. Incorporating it into our life is super simple because our approach is so relaxed and with it being the top priority, it always fits. It's the other stuff that's getting squeezed and stretched.

Writing is like breathing to me. It is one of those things that makes me feel like I was ever here, on this earth, in this time... leaving my record of my experience sort of proves my own existence and makes my impression permanent. It's one of my reasons for being. I was given the gift of a massive vocabulary from a very young age and flexing my literary muscles brings me much joy so to have failed to include this time for myself over the past weeks is akin to eating ramen for every meal for the same duration of time... starved, under nourished, you get the idea.

So as of today, my husband is in the Arctic and he's hauling fuel on the ice roads for the winter. No, it's not like the show. That goddamned show (like all the other "reality shows of its kind) are crap. Staged. Fake. Don't believe everything you see on TV, mmkay? What this means for me is that I'm a work widow for the coming weeks. I hate this part of his winter work. We miss him, he misses us and it becomes glaringly obvious how much he does around the house that makes my life so much simpler...and how much I appreciate having him home to do those things is highlighted by his absence. This is not my favorite thing to adjust to :(

Let's see how we can fine tune our time management over the coming weeks and do more, panic less and be more zen all around.

So back to the task at hand - Kickstart the year. Yeah, it's well underway but that means i can still benefit from doing this work. It's never too late to do this stuff!
31 Days, 31 Ways +Craig Jarrow
We left off talking about time blocking. Today's work :: Sorting tasks by energy level.
This is smart. Like, I can't believe I was never so deliberate as this particular assignment is with listing tasks on one of two lists. Here are some of mine::
High Energy
-portrait sessions
-making meals
-grocery shopping
-marketing campaigns

Low Energy
-housework/studio cleanup
-meal planning

Wow, this is a helpful way to break down the things I do in a day to figure out which tasks to tackle based on my energy level. Score!!

Reclaim your Dreams +Jonathan Mead
For me, the difference between real, authentic growth and doing something because I think I should or it's a "good idea" is that one is sustainable and the other isn't. I've passed up LOTS of good ideas... it's the main reason I don't shoot weddings (which are ridiculously profitable) and that I only offer family portraits to my existing clients (it's a special service to them out of gratitude for their loyalty). My true love is individual children's portraits and it's where I excel. I am really good at them because I can create a relationship with that child and create images that reflect joy which is what every one of my clients sees when they look at the images I capture of their children. I push the limits of my own shooting by taking on creative projects to try new things and learn about myself and my equipment in ways that my regular work might not allow. Outside of the studio, I explore my own naturally acquired knowledge base to see where additional interests lie and pursue those in a way that can benefit me (personally & professionally) and that often gives birth to new projects, tasks,  learning opportunities and income streams.

What it means for me to be completely congruent in all areas of my life is that everything I take on, add in or agree to is measured against my values and is part of my path because of how it makes me feel. If I have a choice to include something in my existence, I determine whether to keep it or ditch it with this simple phrase (which is immensely useful if the choice isn't naturally clear) "It it's not a resounding YES, it's a NO". Plain and simple. Every. Single. Time.

I don't make apologies for saying no to things. The beautiful thing about creating your own existence is choosing what to include and what to discard from that existence.

For me, I balance my desire to follow my dreams, reach a destination while walking the path and living in the moment by being clear and conscious as much as possible. I know what new pursuits I want to explore so those motivate me to push ahead on hard days, I remember that the destination isn't the main focus (accomplishing goals, yes but the destination is largely irrelevant). I live in the moment quite easily as the result of losing loved ones to cancer and am reminded of the impermanence of life. It's not a perfect process but it's what works for me. It's how I roll.

I have always committed to living my dreams but have only consciously, clearly pursued it over the course of the past 3-4 years. I keep myself accountable by committing my dreams & goals to paper and occasionally reviewing that writing. I also give myself all the space in the world to change my mind. I have learned to be forgiving of myself and to not be so rigid in my goal-setting. I've given myself permission to choose to stop doing something (even if it's incomplete) if it becomes unfulfilling, lacking in joy or worse. In the end, it's my life experience and I am only accountable to myself.

To celebrate this commitment to living fully in pursuit of a joyous, creative, living-my-dreams kind of life, I will do just that. I will do what I love. I will follow my heart and life fully in the moment in the most joyous way I possibly can.


It's not so complicated, this business of living your dreams but getting clear and staying clear, that's the tough part. And the one variable isn't external, it's internal. It's you. It's me. It's knowing when a goal has changed, knowing if a goal isn't right for you and giving yourself permission to create your own life, your own creative existence. That's what we're all here to do. That's why we're here. 

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