On Seeking Commitment - Part 2

Last week I posted about my procrastination habit and some of my frustrations over it.  I asked myself some questions: So why is it that I continually fail to commit fully to my dream? Is it because I don't like the circumstances under which I must carry forth determination? Why am I still seeking that which I should already have? I am still trying to answer these. I think I have been avoiding them for a very long time in my life, and it is entirely possible that I will be struggling with the for a long time to come. I mean, I really hope not, but hopefully acknowledging this struggle is the first step to overcoming it.

Well, darn it. I was hoping that with a few days of thought, it would all solve itself, I could come back here and tell you that I have the answer figured out & all wrapped up in a pretty bow. Well, not really, I'm not silly enough to think problems solve themselves. I sure tend to hope they will though, every time. I guess life just keeps telling me "No, think again." But I can share with you one mini-realization that I had last week:
I noticed that the larger a task is, the larger my resistance. However if I break it down into small steps - and I mean miniscule, 5-minute "micro-actions" - it helps me to get over the block. Sometimes this very no-pressure way of starting the task, is so easy that I continue and get much farther through the work. Like getting the ball rolling, I suppose. It helped on this post, it helped when I was working on that inspiration board. Heck it even helps for doing my taxes (filling in the forms just a few questions at a time, going back to finish on another day). Yes, I'm talking tiny, tiny steps here.

In a comment to one of my earlier posts, the lovely Vineeta shared the following quote, "And the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."-Anais Nin. It seems that this is more & more true as time goes by! It hurts more with each passing milestone date. Like my birthday which was this past Saturday (I don't like my new age so let's just move on ok?) Where New Year's always fills me with hope for what I can accomplish, my birthday always reminds me of what I haven't accomplished yet. I am guessing this also has something to do with why I get stuck?

Ok, I think I've rambled quite enough here for now. I'm sure I'll be bringing this up again, I just ordered a book called Inner Productivity that I'm hoping will help me get over my issue. Thanks for sticking around to read this, if you've gotten this far!


3 Views through a Window

Portals have power...

One of the reasons I have the word "door" in the title of this blog is because of it's metaphorical power as a portal. Doors, and windows, imply a journey, imply something waiting on the other side, a kind of pathway to another plane of existence. What lies beyond the space you occupy, and how much of it can you sense through whatever portals stand nearby? Do you shut it out, this something that lies outside your comfort zone, or do you swing the door wide open? Fling the window open and peer out at the world beyond?

Pictures taken of the view through doorways and windows, ones in which you can still see the framework, intrigue me. There's so much more hinted at when you can see that the picture was taken in one space looking out at another. Whether the picture taken is of the view outside of a car window, or standing in a doorway taking in the scene beyond, there is always an implied journey that colors your interpretation.

Here are three of my favorite "views through a window" that I photographed during my trip to Arizona last summer.

1. Approaching Sedona
Driving from Phoenix to our destination, we'd been warned about the flash rains that happened in the hills outside of Sedona, so we were on the lookout. The rain would fall rapidly for just a few minutes, and in concentrated areas, then stop as suddenly as it began. Can you see the dark smudge of rain falling on only half the hill above?

2. Built Upon a Rock
The Chapel of the Holy Cross was built in the 1950's, and the design was the idea of a sculpture student of Frank Lloyd Wright. The structure was built into the actual rock mesa in Sedona, looking almost as if it were part of the landscape itself. Viewed from below, there's a 250-feet high cross framed by tall panes of the only window in the building. Since it's right on the edge, the view from the massive window has a great view of the surrounding area.

3. Somewhere in Arizona
I can no longer recall where this picture was taken. All I remember is that dusk was approaching and I was taking as many pictures as I could while there was still a little light. The dome could have been part of a really expensive-looking mansion we saw in Sedona (which was totally out of character for the type of architecture of most homes out there), or it could have been yet another church. This photo is more important that the scenery in that it represents me, drinking everything in, fully open to what was beyond those portals.

I'm curious if anyone else shares my enthusiasm for this idea of these views through portals? I'd like to make this a semi-regular series: snapshots of life seen from another room. Maybe on a monthly basis, or as often as my limited spare time permits. I'd love to read your comments on whether or not this is something you'd be interested to see!


Thanks & Welcome

Happy Thursday, everyone! The weekend's almost here, and this evening the sky was just a little lighter as I left work. The days will be getting longer soon, which makes me happy.

I want to take a moment to welcome all the new readers who've been popping by my little space here in the last couple of weeks. And for every commenter, a big thanks for giving me the blogging equivalent of a hug! It's much appreciated :-) You guys rock!

I hope that everyone who stops by here has seen something interesting or worthwhile. I'm pretty much admitting to my vulnerabilities here, which isn't easy for me to do! I so want to make this space a welcoming one for people to visit. I have plans for this space, and I've been learning a lot in the Blogging Your Way course. This blog is a work in progress, much like my self. Improvement is the name of the game for me this year, both here and in my life.

Coming up soon I'll be posting Part 2 of the On Seeking Commitment post - although to let you in on a secret, I just started drafting it today, so I'm a little behind my one-week self-imposed deadline. (Procrastination is one one of those things I need to work on this year). I also have a post coming up for the BYW class, another homework assignment, meant to stretch my abilities as a blogger. And boy do I need to stretch!

So stay tuned for both those posts sometime over the next few days. Have a lovely rest of the week, and wherever in the world you are - I hope you have pleasant days ahead!


Inspiration Board

Also called a visualization board or mood board, whatever name it's all basically the same. A pretty way to convey an idea in images, that at times can be quite powerful. I'm not sure how powerful the two below are, but it sure was fun making them. And I pulled this together from a lot of materials I had gathered over a few years, I edited down a lot, and made sure that I had a reason for every element in the board and not just because it went well with everything else.

So here's my homework for the BYW class! Enjoy :-)

I'm pretty sure we were instructed specifically to make only one board, but I cheated. They are an extension of the same idea, in any case. And I edited down so much, I just whittle it down any further. So here are the two boards and some detail shots, of Board 1:

And of Board 2:

I think the two go pretty well together, don't you? But I do like Board 2 better.

What do you think? If you're curious about any of the images in either of these boards, or why I included them, ask away in the comments :-)

Blogging confession

I've been going behind your back - doing something without telling you... I'm taking a blogging class, so that I can learn how to make this little space on the internet better for... well, for me and you and anybody else who stumbles upon it. It's a class being run by a big blogging star, that's the link over there in that gray box titled BYW...Blogging Your Way.

You may have noticed I changed the blog template last week? Gone is that background dot pattern that was making me dotty every time I looked at it. I'm planning to make up my own header sometime soon and do a site re-design, so stay tuned for that. Also planning to feature my artwork more, glimpses into my process, and some other stuff in the works.

The class has been great so far, a lot of focus in these early classes have been on self-knowledge, and so the homework has been a sort of therapy in a way. Yes, I said homework! And the only person grading me is me, so I can't fake it. This next post, coming up soon, is what I did for the latest homework assignment - the first fun one! I'm excited to show it off.

And if anyone thinks the class sounds interesting, I'm pretty sure that Holly will be having another session, please check out the class description here.


On Seeking Commitment

I was just reading an article on tinybuddha about the things that hold us back from our dreams. This part really stood out for me:
But if you don’t know what you’re committed to, you can’t possibly progress. A great start is to ask yourself, “What is the one thing that would upset me if, at the end of my life, I do not attempt, do, or complete?”....If there’s an immediate answer, you must commit to that.
The reason why this gave me pause, is because I asked myself this question a year and a half ago, and I got my answer. There is one thing that if I were on my deathbed I would not be able to forgive myself for never attempting, and that is making art. Not the kind of dabblings that I've been doing in my free time - I want the opportunity to immerse myself in art making, expand my abilities and develop my style. I want a lengthy chunk of time to dedicate myself to the process and to have a converation with the work.

And so I know what I want, and yet I am still blocked. It is incredibly frustrating that I still have to deal with the realities of the world, making a living and all the mundane aspects of life, when all I want to do is lock myself and my supplies into a studio for the next 6 months. Just to see what I'd be able to do. Whether or not I fail, or can create anything meaningful. I just want the chance!

So why is it that I continually fail to commit fully to my dream? Is it because I don't like the circumstances under which I must carry forth determination? Why am I still seeking that which I should already have? These are the questions I'm asking myself.... And I need to stop avoiding them.

This is part one of a two-part posting - I intend to come back (with my answers to the above questions!) next week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, please feel free to share your feelings about commitment or progress here in the comments... I'm fascinated by people how people overcome their stumbling blocks... maybe we can encourage each other!

Photo above from Studio Antwan on flickr