This post is a transcription of the Starting with a Song Podcast, S3Ep3: Week Two of #The100DayProject
S3Ep8: Week Eight of #The100DayProject – Starting with a Song
My husband came in this week and asked if it was Monday. It was actually Wednesday. We both agreed this week was running full speed ahead and neither of us knew why. Didn’t I just publish the Week One podcast? Goodness.
Last Sunday, we had some wonderful sunshine which allowed me time in the backyard to survey all the new growth in the garden! I posted a collage of photos that day: the background of a heart mural on the wall of our brunch spot with an overlay of newly sprouted buttercup leaves, highlighted by some light leaks to mimic the sunshine. In the caption I wrote how I love the rhythm in the cycle of seasons and early signs of spring always encourage me – pops of green among fallen branches and dead leaves. “If it’s true in the earth, so it is with our souls.”
By Monday, I started to get a little discouraged – photography collages remind me so much of my 2021 project collection and I want so badly to grow and stretch myself with something different this year. I stopped and wondered why…
Outside of all this, I’m doing a lot of soul work around rewriting the stories of my past – y’know – the stories that you told yourself as a kid, ones to protect you from hurt, to correct behavior so certain things never happen again and if they do, now you know how to react. It’s funny how these stories that we start forming at 8 or even earlier can also inform what we take in as truths in adulthood. It wasn’t until I started asking myself very pointed questions and allowing space to process and answer that I realized my 8-year old stories no longer serve 41-year old me.
Perfectionism was one of those stories and struggles. So on Day 9, I brought out the watercolors and just started making marks. I wrote The best way I’ve found to combat perfectionism is to mess up on purpose. “Messing up” or “getting it wrong” isn’t shameful – it is encouraged! It’s how we learn and continue to grow.
The second picture I posted in the carousel was a photo of a woman whose dress I’d cut out so the same colorful, abstract mess could show through. I laughed at how many people responded saying they would totally buy a dress like that!
I’m cautiously optimistic in saying that this week had me feeling closer to normal than I’d felt in a long time! This is great news – especially in spite of all the rain we’ve been having. I even used my hands to break out charcoal and sketch some flowers (still mindful to embrace imperfection and get messy) on Day 10.
There is so much hurt in the world right now. Maybe it’s always been that way and I’m just waking up to it? Or maybe it all just feels heavier now than before. We’re mourning what we see in the news and praying for relief and healing. So for now, it’s the little things – the little signs of life in my own body and in the people around me that encourage me to keep going, even one baby step at a time. I hope that you find the encouragement you need today, too. I’m not saying we need to avoid the news altogether, it’s good to be informed! We just need to find louder, loving voices in our lives.
Using the acronymn SONG to add a little fun and help sum up the week:
S – Singing
I always come back to Hillsong United’s So Will I (100 Billion X) for encouragement and perspective. The lyrics remind me how small I am in this big world, but also just how beautiful and detailed creation is! And mostly how much love is crafted in those details. A couple of years ago I created digital prints for Christmas around the line “every painted sky, a canvas of His grace” …and I still catch my breath every single time I see a sunset or get up early enough for a sunrise.
O – Observation
Do you like I locked myself into one thing from the get-go? Photography was ambitious for sure and I noticed a little shame creeping in when there were days I didn’t even touch the camera, but I’m reminding myself that we have 100 days to learn and in the meantime, I’m enjoying rediscovering all the art supplies I have in my closet here. Creative play can be the building blocks to imagination and that feels like a great place to spend a little time for now.
N – Noteworthy
I am always struck when people have the ability to write something that I can’t quite put words
I ran across this quote by Marni Gillard this week and loved it in the context of rewriting the old stories we tell ourselves or the new stories we’re working to create.
“We need to look hard at the stories we create and wrestle with them. Retell and retell them, and work with them like clay. It is in the retelling and returning that they give us their wisdom.”—Marni Gillard
I love this retelling and returning – and not just learning from others but also continually learning from ourselves! We’re all a work in progress.
G – Gratitude
Today, I’m grateful for the weekend! I have a whole lot of nothing happening and I am not one bit mad about it.
Thanks for taking the time to listen today! Are you participating in #The100DayProject? I’d love to hear about it! You can connect with me and follow along with me on Instagram at @artisticamanda.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Starting with a Song podcast for stories and updates, too.
Till next time, always keep singing.