JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 31: Challenge

What are some of our biggest challenges? How do we face and confront them?

Our lives are filled with challenges, some welcomed and others not. We might have challenges with our health, our emotions, our finances, our relationships, our work, our neighbors, and our environments. A flat tire when we’re running late is an annoying challenge. A spouse asking for a divorce is a life altering challenge. Moving to a new city for a new job can be an exciting challenge. We might struggle to get out of bed in the morning or make it to work on time. Or we might bring a new challenge on ourselves like picking up a new hobby, getting more exercise, or finding more time to make art. Life is full off big and little challenges. How do we rise up and meet them?

For the last day of the JFJ Big Idea Challenge, explore some of the challenges in your life. Maybe it’s about a minor challenge you deal with everyday, or maybe it’s a big, life altering challenge. Maybe it’s simple a reflection on the last 30 days and the Big Idea Challenge.

It’s been awesome seeing those posts, and remember that it’s ok if you didn't get to complete them all. So don’t feel like you need to catch up, but if you’re still working on them, don’t forget those hashtags. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 30: Boundaries

What are some of our personal boundaries? What do we do when someone crosses our boundaries?

We all need our boundaries - a limit to the things that we’ll do or tolerate. Without clearly defined boundaries, we can find ourselves in some pretty uncomfortable or compromising positions. When we define our limits and know that there are things that we can’t do, won’t do, and would never consider doing, we have a stronger sense of ourselves. We have to know our boundaries so that we do not cross those lines and so that we can make certain that others do not cross them as well. Of course, there are boundaries that we can push and tiptoe beside. We can stretch them and test them. But as long as we know them, we can know ourselves.

Examine your boundaries today. How do you define them and protect them. Respond in any way that seems appropriate to you.

Keep those posts coming. It’s always great to see what others are doing. Just one more day left. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 29: Sanctuary

Where do we go when we are in need of sanctuary? How do we find safe places where we can rest and gather strength?

Our world can be hectic and energy draining. We can feel bombarded by the demands of our day-to-day lives, and we can feel pulled in a hundred directions at once. Sometimes we need to step back and find a safe place to go to for our own security or peace of mind. For some, hiking a mountain trail is a sanctuary. For others a chair on a beach provides that much needed place for rest and rejuvenation. And for others, the studio, a local hangout, or the garden provide a daily place of sanctuary. No matter where we find it, our places of sanctuary provide us with safety, a place to rest and reflect, and a time to come back to ourselves.

Explore your places of sanctuary today. Where do you go when you need some time for yourself? You might want to examine what those places mean to you and what you get from being there.

Remember those hashtags if you’re sharing online. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 28: Family

What are our family dynamics? Who have we taken into our families?

There’s the family that we’re born with, and then there’s the family that you choose. Family is important to us social creatures. Sometimes we are very close to our families, and other times we just don’t get along with them. Sometimes we don’t even know our biological families if we were adopted. But families come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations, and we can call anyone family who is there for us. We don’t have to be related by blood to be family. Love, respect, and connection are all that’s needed.

Take time today to reflect on your family. You may want to look at your parents, your siblings, your spouse, or your children. You may want look at other relatives, or you might want to look at the family of friends that you have around you. 

We’re getting close to the end, so keep those posts coming. It’s great to see what others are doing. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 27: Pain

What causes us pain in our lives? How do we deal with it?

Pain is a part of life. It’s not a pleasant part of it, but it is part of life none the less. Pain can come at us from a variety of sources. Our own bodies can cause us physical pain when we are injured or sick, and we might have to deal with the pain with medicine or first aid. We can be in emotional pain as well, perhaps the loss of someone close or perhaps we didn’t get something we wanted dearly. This kind of pain can be a bit harder to deal with. There’s no prescription for heartache or disappointment. But we experience pain consistently in our lives - sometimes minor and sometimes major. How we deal with it is what’s important.

Spend some time today exploring the idea of pain. Perhaps focus on some physical issue that you're dealing with, or perhaps focus on something that has been irritating you - something that has been a “pain in your side”. Take a closer look at something more personal or emotional, or respond to the idea of pain in very general ways. Just allow the idea to spark your creating.

Remember that if you're posting online or on social media, use those hashtags. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 26: Compassion

How do we generate compassion for others? Are there times when others have shown us compassion?

Compassion is not about feeling sorry for someone else. It’s about having empathy for another and being able to place ourselves in their shoes. Compassion is not about doing something because it’s a nice or kind thing to do. It’s about doing something because it’s the human thing to do. Reaching out a helping hand when someone needs it, is recognition that everyone, ourselves included, needs a little help and a little understanding sometimes. It’s about recognizing that we are all connected.

Examine the role that compassion has in your life. Think about ways that you have shown compassion, or think about ways other people have shown you compassion.

If you're posting online or on social media, use those hashtags so that others can see what you're doing. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 25: Power

Who has the power in your life? In what ways does power affect you?

Life can be a power struggle at times, and it seems that there are times in our lives when others hold power over us - our boss, our teachers, our parents. We can feel powerless or at least, not completely in control. Other times, we have full power over ourselves and our decisions, and we feel in total control. It is easy to fluctuate between feeling powerless to feeling powerful. 

Take time today to reflect on the idea of power and how it affects your life. You may want to explore specific and personal stories of power, or you may want to explore the subject in more general terms. Respond in any way you want.

Remember those hashtags if you’re sharing online. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 24: Conflict

What causes some of our daily conflicts? How do we deal with conflicts when they arise in our lives?

Conflict can seem inevitable when two or more people are near each other. We might not like how loud someone is being. We may not like how they act or dress or talk. We might not like their political or religious views. We might just be irritating each other. Conflict can happen with total strangers at a store or on a social media site, and conflict can happen with the ones we love in our own homes. Conflicts can even be much larger than two people, and can involve whole families, groups, or nations. We may even feel conflicted ourselves.

Art is a great way to explore these conflicts, so use your art to look at the notion of conflict today. You may want to examine some personal or political conflicts, or you may want to react to the general idea of conflict.

Keep those social media posts coming. It’s always great to see what others are doing. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 23: Humor

What do we find to be humorous? What makes us laugh, giggle, and chuckle.

Laughter is the best medicine, and finding humor in life is essential for keep ourselves balanced. Sometimes, it’s just a snicker at something on the tv or radio, and sometimes, it’s a big belly laugh at something our friend did or said. What moves us to laughter? Why do we find it so funny? Not everyone has the same sense of humor. Some people find humor in the dark and grisly, and others find humor in the whimsical and silly. What is your style of humor?

Spend some time today thinking about the things that make you laugh, giggle, and chuckle. Create a visual joke or pun, or just explore the notion of humor in any manner you wish.

Don’t forget those hashtags if you're posting online or on social media! #jfjbigideas or #jfj16

JFJ Big Idea Challenge - Day 22: Secrets

What are some of our biggest secrets? How do we feel when others keep secrets from us?

We all have our secrets. There are probably a few things that we have never told anyone, even those closest to us. Maybe they're little white lies that we tell our children or perhaps they are dark family tales that we keep hidden in the past. We keep secrets for many reasons - from throwing a surprise party to protecting ourselves. Often we hold onto secrets afraid of the ramifications if they were ever known. We cling to them and keep them hidden afraid that we will end up alone. But if we can never share those secrets, aren’t we alone anyway?

Examine some of your secrets today. You don’t have to blurt out your darkest, innermost secrets to the world, but you might want to see if there is anything that you want to expose to the light of day. You might want to explore the silly, little secrets that you keep from your children, spouse, or friends. Or you may just want to visit the topic in a general way.

It’s been great seeing what others are doing, so keep posting those hashtags. #jfjbigideas or #jfj16