Our Mindful Eye

You must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh
IMG_8659.jpg

Christina and I decided to post on Monday's from here on out.  That works really great for me especially this week because Sunday was April 22nd which is earth day.  We spent both our Saturday and Sunday at the ocean.  The ocean has always been a place of healing for me.  Nature in general is a good place of healing but the ocean specifically speaks to me.  It's salty air, the feel of the soft sand beneath my feet, the healing salt water on my skin.  I can get lost for hours just combing the beach for shells.  One year I especially needed the ocean and for a bit each day after Abbie would get out of school I would drive us to the beach and we would swim together in the ocean.  It felt so good.  She will always remember it too, she was in elementary school but even to this day will remind me of our after school beach trips.  It felt like a life saver at the time.  I think it was only a matter of two weeks that we did this but it felt like a long enough time to make it a solid memory.  Even after our little beach craze during the week, we would also jump in the jeep and head out to Seal beach to watch the sunset as a family.  This ocean wave I share today is from Huntington Beach though.  

While we sat on the beach for Earth day I did a lot of people watching and since Abbie and her friends were a few life towers down from us, I didn't really have anyone to take pictures of....except for strangers.  I could have sat for days watching the people come and go.  This girl in particular caught my eye and I think she goes perfectly with the opening quote.  She was sitting all by herself writing in a journal.  She had beautiful red hair that blew in the wind.  She reminded me of a much younger version of myself.  I loved being by myself as a young woman and I would go on little adventures by myself with my camera in hand.  I would write too.  I was a writer even back then.  Writing my thoughts has also been a life saver, much like the healing properties of the sea.  

IMG_8634.jpg

I hope you don't find me creepy, taking a picture of unsuspecting strangers, it's not something I normally do these days but this one was irresistible.  I had so many questions in my head, she was so mysterious.  Do you ever make up stories about people you see?  I do.  I know they are totally not accurate but it's fun to imagine.  

Lastly, please stop by and visit my friend Christina and see what her mindful eye might share this week, you can find her at 22 LIMES.  I included a picture of the pair of us below.  She took this with her Polaroid camera.  We don't live near each other.  We live a few states away from one another and we met each other for our first time ever a few years back in Oregon.  This snap shot is from that trip.  Have you ever met up with a stranger and shared a bed with them the very first night?  That's us! Perhaps we have a little adventure in our blood!  Sometimes I can't even believe I did that!  We have been great friends since that epic trip and we happen to love to do projects with each other.  Check us out on Instagram under ourmindfuleye, we will post there each week too. 

IMG_5293.JPG

snack time

You need a tribe of women around you who are endlessly devoted to helping you succeed. There’s power in that
— Ann Shoket
IMG_8138.jpg

If I'm talking about snacks why would I begin with a quote on women supporting women?  Because, this is how it happened:)  I was introduced to a woman named Amy by another woman named Gina.  Gina knew that Amy would be an inspiration to me and would encourage me in my healthy lifestyle.  Gina is an artist and a real live person who I've spent time with, she and I worked side by side in her studio to make come sweet ceramic dishes.  How beautiful is that for her to share her time and talent with me?!  If you are looking for a unique piece of art visit her IG page here SO MANY IDEAS .

OK, as  I was saying, Gina introduced me to Amy and while I have not met Amy in person I have had a few positive exchanges in our in boxes.  In fact since I was recently struggling with healthy choices and had somewhat fallen off my health wagon, I reached out to her, but more in the way to let her know that her posts and blog inspire me greatly.  She then shared a recipe with me and I tried it today.  She thought it might help with my sugar carb type cravings which also trigger me to make not so good choices.  I loosely followed her recipe because that's how I do things  - not a recipe follower so to speak.    I didn't buy dates because I didn't want to buy the large quantity Sprouts seemed to only offer.  The rest of the ingredients I got from the bulk bins so I didn't have to buy a ton and  it worked perfect to buy only what I needed. I believe the dates would have made these a bit sweeter however they tasted just perfect to me exactly how I made them.  I skipped on the dates and rolled them in  raw unsweetened coconut.  Yum.  I also think dried apricots would be a nice touch.  I blended then all together in my Ninja  Bullet type blender, then rolled them into balls.  It was super easy and quick.  

IMG_8144.jpg

I made myself a hot cup of lavender calming tea.  It was a really nice treat to drink my hot tea and eat the  EASY PEASY RAW SNACK BOMB You can find the real recipe at WHOLE LIFE WITH AMY.  You see what I mean about women encouraging women? It's the best thing ever.  I'm lucky enough to have strong women family members along with some amazing life long friendships and it truly does take a tribe.  I hope you find your tribe.  The kind you can be yourself with and the kind you can grow with, the ones who build you up and not tear you down.  

 

encouragement

Don’t be discouraged today. Yes, you’re aware of your weaknesses and failures, but for each of them there’s forgiving, transforming grace.
— New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
IMG_5066.JPG

I have noticed a couple of things since sugar has come back into my life.  It has robbed me of my glow.  I looked at an image from this weekend of a little nature walk we went on and all I could see was a very flat version of myself.  My glow was gone, even my lips lacked color and my eyes were indeed very dull.  It's really hard planning and eating colorful foods that feed my temple in an honoring way.  Last year I lost 26 pounds.  That's a big deal.  I was feeling so good, so much energy.  It had all positive affects.  It was hard though, it took a lot of work and dedication and of course preparation.  I got lazy.  I lost my drive.  Sugar was and is a big part of that downfall. It's like my weakness, my kryptonite if you will.   I have not drowned yet.  I'm still staying somewhat afloat but I have gained 7 of those 26 pounds back.  If I relax too much and stop swimming I will for sure sink to the bottom and feel as if the swim to the top will be too long and hard and I may decide it's not worth it.  I don't want to make that choice so I meet you here today.  It's like a pep talk to myself but also anyone else who may need it. 

I opened my devotion book today and when I read the first few words, I was like "God, you are so cool!"  Here you are meeting me here in my defeat! I always say I can't do it alone.  He is my biggest strength in everything I do.  He is my strength and my friends and family are the encouragement He gives me. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9

This morning I was thinking about a few different plans of attack.  I thought I could begin by jotting down the good things I do for my body, mind and soul in a day.  Because I normally focus on what I fail in.  Actually I will obsess about how I didn't succeed, then I sort of beat myself up about it.  I'm not very gracious with myself.  Rather than focus on the things I may have failed in.  I will write down the good things and give the glory to God for helping me to accomplish the good things.  It can be as simple as brushing my teeth:)   

What did you do today that was good?  Don't think about  the soda you drank.  Think about the water you drank.  Don't think about how you failed to floss today, instead get excited that you brushed your teeth.  Below is my attempt of the 10 good things I did that were fulfilling today and healthy, mind, body or spirit. 

10 things.jpg

Hello Spring

hello, sun in my face. hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...watch, now, how i start the day in happiness and kindness.
— mary oliver
IMG_8032.jpg

Last weekend I planted some cat grass for our cats.  It sits right by the window that NYLA and Garfunkel like to sit in.  7 days ago when I planted the grass it was just a planter box filled with dirt and buried seeds.  It quickly began to break its way through the soil and became this fresh kitty grass.  I had a nice conversation this week with a creative friend of mine.  We have had quite a few projects together in the past.  We both have found that with accountability and encouragement from one another we are far more likely to succeed in our creative ideas.  We have decided that....yes.....that we will do our best to pick up our big girl cameras every single week and post a picture on Sunday.  Now this week (cough, cough) I managed to take pictures of this grass growing.  Which was not my exact vision of my first post for our new project.  However I did pick up my camera and I did take a few pictures.  I'm really very excited to see what Christina has posted, you can click on her blog HERE - 22 LIMES to find out.  I have not clicked on it myself as of yet.  It's like Christmas though, I'm super excited to see what she did this week.   Our conversation was on Thursday I believe, so keep in mind neither of us had a full week to shoot.  I find it rather perfect though being spring has recently sprung that I should share a picture of new growth.  I have to remind myself often that it's not about perfection, it's about grace.  

 just keep swimming

just keep swimming

It's funny though because we both talked about how our focus with our 50mm's is not exactly as crisp as we would like to see it.  I question if it's actually my vision.  It was an affordable lens that was highly recommended.  I shoot a Canon and she shoots Nikon so keep in mind although we are both using a prime lens they are different and we are both having the same struggles.  Either I need glasses or I need to just keep practicing and this project will be good practice. 

Lastly, we need a name for this project.  I have no clue as of today what the name might be.  She seems to have a witty mind for that sort of thing.   Any ideas out there?  The project only has these requirements.  We use our DSLR's and we post each Sunday.  We don't even have a theme, it's basically whatever might strike us each week. 

 

 

Inspired today by Man Ray

Of course, there will always be those who look at technique, who ask “how”, while others of a more curious nature will ask “why” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.
— Man Ray

It's been such a while since we have spent time in our mother daughter project but this weekend we had some time and inspiration.  The inspiration came from artist Man Ray.  While he was a painter he is most known for his portrait photography.  I love Pinterest for inspiration because honestly even when I might think I'm coming up with my own ideas, they have already been played out by another.  It's just the way things seem to be.  So why not take an old photograph by someone I really like and use the mother and daughter as models.  Mother takes picture of daughter and daughter takes picture of mother.  The image of daughter by mother is taken with Canon 70D, the picture of mother by daughter is taken with iPhone 6Plus.

Our inspiration is from a photograph called Woman with Long Hair, the date is 1929.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share but if not I'm sure someone will let me know. I found my image and copied it from Pinterest.  See below inspiration piece. 

 Woman with Long Hair - By  Man Ray 1929

Woman with Long Hair - By  Man Ray 1929

Below is the image of my daughter.  I asked her to open her eyes because I think she has the most beautiful eyes and it's what I wanted to see in my image.   Taken with Canon 70D ISO 200 F 4.5 the light from her bedroom window which  faces the West.  I edited photo with app TinType. She thinks it looks creepy, I think it looks dreamy!  

IMG_4375.JPG

Below is the image of me, taken by my daughter with my iPhone.  Edited with the app TinType and we went with eyes closed for me,  she did my hair in braids and then we took them out just before the shot so my hair would be wavy.  I love how she didn't want the dark red lipstick and didn't want the crinkled hair.  She wanted to stay as close to her natural look as possible.  I love that about her.  It's not always that way.  Sometimes she is up for a more modified look but today she wasn't and I always try to respect how she is feeling in the moment. 

IMG_4383.JPG

Below is us together after the photo shoot.  We just laid on the floor and  with the help of the good old selfie stick, we took this blurry image. :)  These were taken today March 18, 2018.  She is 16 on this day and I'm 47.  

IMG_4380.JPG

I'm grateful she is game for my "projects"  If you are reading this, thank you!  

 

 

 

It's already February!! What's new with you?

Welp looks like I let all of January (blink)  go by without a single blog post! I just want to share some thoughts and ideas and accomplishments with anyone who wants to read about it. 

When January arrived I was excited about my word for the year.  STRETCH.  I picked it for obvious reasons, I'm trying to be more consistent with a yoga practice and I figure this would literally STRETCH me.  It's more than that though but not quite sure if I'm ready to talk about it just yet. Did you choose a word for 2018?

IMG_7687.jpg

In order for me to help this word along and have more yoga in my life I joined another yoga challenge in January, it was different than the December pose a day challenge, this was Yoga with Adriene, on YOUTUBE and she had a 30 day TRUE challenge that I decided to participate in. I actually finished all 30 days and was so proud of myself for sticking to it.  It was far easier to stick to it though because a nice community of friends joined me in my challenge and we were able to encourage one another to keep on swimming so to speak.  I believe visiting the mat each day on top of attending our local in live person weekly holy yoga class got me yearning for more. 

Now it's already February and I have joined yet another challenge presented to me by Adriene once again, this month she calls it LOVE YO' SELF.  and although it's not an entirely brand new series of videos, they are new to me!  She has a calendar for me to follow that gives suggestions of her videos to visit daily.  I'm 5 days into February and 5 days strong with my practice.  

That's just the yoga life, which apparently has taken a life of it's own because I'm not even blogging much any more and a few other things have been sort of set aside for the time being. 

Let's reflect on 2017 for a moment.  I want you to think of what good things happened in 2017, I know some of us have had really terrible things come up in 2017.  I know some of us have endured great loss in 2017 but I want to think about what good things occurred.  What made you stronger?  What made you thankful?  What did you accomplish? I'm trying hard to think differently because if I'm being honest I would tell you what I didn't do, what I failed at, what I lost.  I might spend too much time beating myself up about not accomplishing certain goals but instead I'm going to list some good things that happened in 2017.

I got new reading glasses

My 3rd Essay "Mother Daughter" piece was published in Winter Issue No. 10 of Bella Grace

Grandma gave me grandpa's gold coin

Rich and I went on a weekend get-a-way and I finally got to sleep over in a airstream trailer

I simplified my closet and have kept it up

I started using a lunette, less waste and very liberating

I met Maritza who taught me lots of new things about healthy lifestyle

Rich and I spent our anniversary weekend in Laguna Beach

Austin moved back home

Dylan graduated high school

I read Harry Potter books 1-5

Abbie and I got Disneyland passes

We painted our orange room gray

we got a new kitten

I got my clean bill of health with all my well woman checks

I learned to do a headstand with the help of the wall

We got our block wall built

I have kept off 25 pounds

Those are just a few of the good things that went down in 2017.  Below is a quick video of 2017 from my collect calendar which helps me to remember the good things in each year.  It's a 3 minute video.   It's private on my vimeo account the password is always...all caps LOVE