This post is a transcription of the Starting with a Song Podcast, S3Ep4: Week Three of #The100DayProject
S3Ep8: Week Eight of #The100DayProject – Starting with a Song
Very early into the 2020 shutdown, my favorite global creative organization CreativeMornings was quick to pivot their programming to virtual. They created what are now known as CM FieldTrips and these were such a lifeline to me in a season of isolation. I learned how to make fresh corn tortillas from a Mexican Chef living in Germany and took an art walk with a Brooklyn tour guide from the comfort of my office. I even learned the art of drawing Moroccan geometric patterns from a 6th-generation tile craftsman live from Fes.
But one of the most impactful Field Trips was with Anne Ditmeyer on creating maps. I signed up not really knowing what to expect but it turned out to be such a creative awakening and I’ve followed her creative coaching since.
Her most recent newsletter just had the word “Cocooning.” in the subject line. In it she says…
“This has been a big month for me to SLOWWWW DOWN. It’s something we rarely grant ourselves permission to do, but something I want to normalize. Because let’s be honest, the pace at which most of us move through the world isn’t sustainable. Things will go wrong, there will be curveballs, and events will happen that shake us…
I also realized I not only needed an “information diet,” I needed an inspiration diet. I love being able to be a source of inspiration for many people and it takes brainpower, but in order to do that, I need rest. Even weekly can be an intense pace with everything in the world right now (and two years of living with a global pandemic on top of news and our own lives).”—Anne Ditmeyer
This reminded me of something Morgan Harper Nichols recently said on Instagram:
“So often we put this pressure on ourselves to constantly put out.
But how can we put out if we’re not taking in? You can’t have the exhale without the inhale.
Take time to take good things in. Let yourself be poured into.
So here’s to turning on the music that’s good for the soul. Calling up the elders and wise teachers in our lives. Slowing down, listening, and learning from others.
Take the pressure off yourself to increase your output for a moment and take time to take things in.”—Morgan Harper Nichols
Good stuff, right? On Day 16 this week, I posted a macro photo series of some plants I’m propagating, captioned with “ I’m not sure if it’s just the season I’m in, but there are patterns all around begging for attention. ‘Abide’ is the word I’m noticing lately. So, until I hear differently, I’ll be over here rooting.”
I love being able to pay attention to and capture these themes in real time. The older I get the faster time seems to speed by… I mean case in point: how is it already March?! So, if we don’t somehow capture or acknowledge them as they happen, it feels like the opportunity slips through the cracks.
Using the acronym S. O. N. G. to add a little fun and help sum up the week:
S – Singing
Y’all tell me if I’m crazy, okay? I have started wearing earbuds while grocery shopping. I don’t know what made me start but it’s really made the whole walking-through-crowds-of-germ-ridden-people thing a whole lot more enjoyable! I’m a subscriber to YouTube Music and they’ve created a Supermix based on past likes, repeats, searches, etc. A little Big Brother, but whatever. Anyway, I hit Shuffle and Kelly Clarkson’s Love So Soft came on. That song is a JAM – the perfect blend of pop & R&B. So, that’s what I’ve been singing this week!
O – Observation
Nashville has come out to play in the lovely 70+ degree weather we’ve been enjoying this week – myself included! What a difference the sun makes! I have had five (some work, some for fun, some both) meetings this week and just when I thought I wouldn’t have the energy to pull through, natural Vitamin D kicked in and breathed new life into my bones and creative process. After the pep talk to myself last week, it’s almost like this boost came with a new self-assurance to pick up the camera and try photography again – because who really cares? And isn’t playing the point? I posted new macro photos on Days 16, 18, 19 & 20.
N – Noteworthy
I think this one is on my mind because it goes hand in hand with the email subject of Cocooning. I love this book called Get Weird by Nashville author, CJ Casciotta. In it he talks about butterflies and how they’re often talked about in metaphors – we’ve probably all heard it; like a beautiful butterfly is what we can look forward to someday when we get past the awkwardness of being a caterpillar. But CJ says, we’re not promised the beauty of a butterfly, but we ARE promised the weirdness of a caterpillar… and what if that’s the gift here? I love this quote out of his book:
“We’re weird because it’s the best way to show others they belong in a world that often tells them they don’t. The second you decide to use your crooked nose, your awkward smile, or your offbeat perspective rather than hide it is the second you’ll find a whole bunch of people who now feel permission to be themselves too.”—CJ Casciotta, Get Weird
G – Gratitude
Speaking of books, I am grateful for good reads! I just finished Moving Mountains by John Eldredge which has dramatically changed my prayer life and the way I think about the world around me. I do recommend it, but it’s a deep, heavy read. So yes, I’m grateful for those, but also super grateful for the book you pick up and say, “Man. This is so fun!” I’m about ¾ of the way through with Ready Player Two and if you like 80s/90s pop culture (hello, it’s me), this is a total delight.
Do NOT judge this book on the first movie. The books are waaaaay better.
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.