Journeys Begin With a Single Step

 

It seems that I’ve spent my entire life wishing I was somewhere else, that I was on a journey to somewhere exotic and foreign. While I’ve traveled a bit and to incredible places, I’ve always come home to a seemingly ordinary life. I’ve read quotes recently that say something to the effect ‘create the life you don’t have to get away from’ and now I’m thinking:

Journeys aren’t all about going somewhere else.

However, journeys are about change.

“The journey of 1000 miles begin with one step.” Lao Tzu

Each of us is on a journey. Some are longer and some are shorter than others but they all have one thing in common: each one begins with that single step. The journey to a life you don’t have to get away from begins the same way.

I’ve also discovered that it is always something that starts that journey. A catalyst, if you will. Sometimes this beginning is simply the end of something else. Other times life leaves you no choice but to begin that journey again. When I am working with clients I sometimes call this ‘the full belly syndrome’.

I’m sure we’ve all been at a place when we’ve had enough. When life simply isn’t working and you need to find a different journey. It takes courage to change midstream, for us to overcome our fears for where the journey may take us. It takes courage to walk away from relationships that don’t work or a job that you hate. We want to know where things will go but life seldom gives us guarantees.

It’s all up to you.

You don’t have to know where you are going to take that first step. That step is the hardest one to take simply because it requires faith in yourself.

You always have a choice because nothing happens until you begin to move. It is much easier to keep moving than to start moving. It is not impossible.

Speed is irrelevant on your journey. Sometimes things move fast and sometimes things move slow but since it is your journey, it is generally timely. Besides, you can’t compare your journey to another person’s. You have no idea what has brought them to this place.

Every journey has a rest stop and that is okay. Sometimes we need to take a breather to gather the strength for the next leg of our journey. Rest can be a good thing.

Sometimes I feel as if I am always looking for the next big thing but I am beginning to realize that none of the side trips I take on my journey are wasted. Everything I do, see, or experience becomes part of my journey.

Beginning a new journey is exhilarating and, at times, downright scary.

Take a deep breath and make that first step.

I dare you!

Tips to Thrive During the #365 Project

#365 Project Difficulties

Why is it that every time I start an ambitious project with great excitement and enthusiasm, it doesn’t take long to slow down or even quit? Setting goals and keeping them is one of the most difficult things in my life, even ones that seem small. I’m sure I am not alone.

Normally, this post would be all of the pictures I’ve taken for my #365 Projects in the previous week. However, as you will see, there are fewer photos posted here.

Why?

I want to say ‘because’ and leave it at that. But that isn’t the answer. I don’t necessarily have one, at least not one that is good. I did manage to post a few photos this week but not every day. I’m not even sure this week counts because I took so few.

Do I begin again?

Is there a secret to completing a project like the #365 Project?

What can I do to achieve success?

The following are a few tips that I am going to use to thrive during my #365 Project:

Carry a camera everywhere and take it out of the bag. Although carrying my camera every day is something I’ve done since this project began, as you can see, that doesn’t mean I took it out of the bag. Thriving during this project means the camera has to come out and aimed, focused and the shot taken.

Post the photo as soon as you can after you press the shutter. If you are editing every photo, then this won’t happen, but my goal is to get in the habit of looking for photo opportunities not editing. Editing will come later. But for now, working on my #365 Project means taking the photo and posting it on Instagram is all one task, not two different tasks.

Look for the mundane. There is a little voice inside my head that says that my photos have to be about spectacular moments. If I believed that little voice, I wouldn’t take many pictures. Life is made up of many small moments, most of them quite ordinary, and all of them deserve to be recognized. So if that means pictures of my cat or my writing space, so be it. The magic is in the mundane.

Take pictures early in the day. I have found that if I wait to find an opportunity to shoot, I am more likely to either forget about it or make a choice to not take my camera out of the bag. I find that I am most creative earlier in the day and I am ready to be done by dinner time. Guilt is problematic when I am trying to relax, and I do feel guilty for not accomplishing the things I’ve set out to do. Completing the #365 Project early in the day means I don’t have to worry about it and I can relax.

Find a way to be accountable to someone. For me, I’ve decided to make this post each week which is my accountability. I didn’t think of accountability earlier in the week but, truly, sharing my creativity is important to me, and I will use that from now on.

Hopefully, if you are tackling bigger and longer projects, some of these hints will come in helpful. I know I need all the help I can get when I am looking at more ambitious projects. I am looking forward to sharing these small moments with you in the next week.

Here are the photo’s I managed to shoot and post in the last week:

 

Last Week’s #365 Project Post

Encountering Speed Bumps in Life

Speed BumpsHave you ever been driving through a parking lot and didn’t realize there were speed bumps in your path?

If you were lucky, the only thing that would happen is a scraping sound on the bottom of your car.

The same thing can happen in life too.

You will be going along and all of a sudden some kind of bump appears out of nowhere and you are getting banged up.

It’s a speed pump.

Life is bumpy. We never know what is lying ahead. I first spoke about speed bumps in this post.

How to handle the speed bumps in your life:

First, you have to see and accept that it is there. When you are driving this happens pretty automatically. In life, acceptance is often the first step in dealing with anything.

Next, you must slow down. There are consequences if you don’t. Scraping the bottom of your car as you cringe just knowing that you’ve damaged something when you go too fast over one. When a speed bump happens to you in life, slowing down is important too. If you go too fast, you can forget to feel which can lead to a damaging crash later.

Third, in slowing down for a speed pump, you must get your car all the way through before you can accelerate again. The same is true in real life. It takes time to deal with the event. Even though it can seem like you are on the road to recovery, derailment can still happen if you go too fast.

Finally, you are through and you begin to pick up speed. Life seems to happen a million miles an hour. Even though we would like it to slow down, as we settle into our new routine and life goes back to normal and the speed picks up.

We must make the conscious decision to take in the lessons learned in the speed bump. We must take the time to see and enjoy the life that we have before something happens and it changes.