Challenge #48: Sharing the Journey

What have you learned from this journey to share with others?

Dan Eldon, our visual journaling inspiration, often said and wrote, “Safari is a way of life,” and “The journey is the destination.” These mantras speak to the process of our art making and the adventures we encounter along the way. At times we get so caught up in the destination that we forget the journey. At other times we seem to be traveling all alone, and forget to notice who is tagging along. Take the time to share your journey and your wisdom with loved ones, friends, and complete strangers. Share your personal insights and outlooks while allowing yourself the opportunity to investigate the insights and wisdom of others.

What are the artifacts that document your journey? Who have you invited onboard for your artistic ride?

Challenge #47: Inheritences and Legacies

What have you inherited from your past? What are you handing down to the future?

Everything we do is built upon the accomplishments, and sometimes failures, of those who have come before us. Think about all that you have been given that has helped you get where you are and keeps you striving to achieve. Consider the artifacts you make and concepts you develop on a daily basis and how these ideas become the foundation for someone else. We all have much to gain from the past and much to give to the future, and if we make the most of everyday we honor that which we have inherited and provide the best of what we leave as a legacy.

What objects, artifacts and stories have been handed down to you? What do have to leave behind for those who follow?

Challenge #46: Feeding the Spirit

How do you feed your spirit?

Without proper nourishment, our body grows weak, and we must feed ourselves to maintain our physical health. Our spirit needs nourishment as well, but dealing with the world can run us down, exhaust us, and put our spiritual health and mental well-being in jeopardy. We all have a different way of feeding our spirit. For some, it is a certain place that rejuvenates and refreshes us. Maybe it’s hiking in the woods, paddling out into a set of double overhead waves, or spending time at an art retreat. But it doesn’t have to be a place at all. Perhaps it’s the people who surround us, the daily phone call or e-mail, or the sharing of the ride to work that provides these spirit-feeding moments. It may be our routines and daily rituals that feed our spirit in small, meaningful ways. Possibly it’s the morning cup of coffee, the daily crossword, or the comfy sweatshirt that gives us the lift we desire. Whatever the source, experience and recognize the connections you need in order to fill up your tanks and keep yourself going.

What people, places or things have the power to recharge your batteries? What daily rituals and routines energize you, fill you with purpose and allow you to tackle another day?

Challenge #45: Accomplices

Who are your artistic accomplices and creative collaborators?

When we work alone, it is easy to become stagnant and lose motivation. We all need a nudge in the right direction or a pat on the back to keep us moving forward and working through the road blocks. Think about the people in your life that get your creative juices flowing, and reflect on how your interactions with these people help you and your art making. Examine the energy giving forces in your world and document their contribution to your practice. Just as others motivate and inspire you, find ways that you nudge and spark others’ creative endeavors. Reflect on how you return the favor.

Who do you turn to when you need some guidance or a bit of motivation? Who are the people who inspire and push your creativity? How do you in turn inspire and motivate others? How do you fulfill your end of the bargain?

Challenge #20: Show Up Like Magic

We all have those times when we need a little support, when we need to be lifted up, and when we need the help of someone else. We can look back through our lives and remember times when someone showed up for us when we needed them the most as if by magic. It may have been in a dire hour or it may have been when we just needed someone to take us out for a cup of coffee. And hopefully, we can remember times when we have been there for someone else.

How have you been there for someone else and picked them up when they needed it the most? How have you supported and done small things for those who have needed you? Who in your life, right now, needs you to show up like magic – to be there – to make them smile – to feel your support? How can you show up like magic?

Challenge #19: Come Out and Play

Play. When we were children there was nothing more important than play. School, church, dinner, baths, and sleep were never as important as play. We counted down the minutes to recess where we could tear around the playground, swing as high as possible on the swings, play favorite games like Four Square and Red Rover, or make up our own games. Then we grew up, and too often we have stopped playing.

When was the last time that you simply played and had fun - not compete, not glued to a screen or phone, but played? When was the last time you headed outside, ran, romped, and carried on until well after dark on a cool summer evening?

Is someone calling you to come out and play? Reflect on how YOU can come out and play – how YOU can disconnect from the TV, the computer, the phone, and go enjoy yourself without worrying about all of those things that we have to worry about.

Challenge #18: Self Talk

It is sometimes said that as humans we think too much. Often this thinking is self-talk – a dialogue that we have with ourselves about the past or about the future. Dr. Phil McGraw calls these “tapes” because we replay and loop the same thoughts and words through our head focusing on negative aspects. Many of these tapes or scripts focus on the past and are thoughts about failings and shortcomings. Many others focus on the future and are thoughts and obsessions about what is yet to come or about waiting for “the other shoe to fall.” Still many others are general thoughts of self-denigration and are about our sense of worth. Whatever it might be, this self talk takes us out of the present and has us worrying about things that we cannot change, that we have no control over, or that are not grounded in truth.

What is your self-talk? Do you fill your mind with thoughts about lack, failure, and your own perceived worthlessness? Do you relive the past wishing you could have done something differently? Do you think about the endless possibilities of the future worrying about what has yet to come?

How does your self-talk pull you out of the present and cause worry or anxiety? Reflect on the tapes that you have looping through your thoughts.

Challenge #17: Being Present and Being Absent

In today’s culture, there are many things that can distract us, amuse us, and eat away at our time and our attention. So many of us seem fascinated by what happens to celebrities, by the latest reality show, by the last gadget or gizmo, by apps and games, by texting and messaging, that life seems to pass us by so quickly.

There is a deceptively simple concept that seems to be key in a lot of Buddhist philosophy: Be Present. By being present in every situation, from eating a meal to feeling your emotions, and not allowing your mind to run away from you, you can control your suffering and move toward happiness.

What is garnering your attention at this point? How do you distract yourself and allow yourself to be absent from your life, your emotions, your friends, and your families? How are you being present in your life? In what ways do you find for living in the here and now?

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