Coming Home and Starting Over
I don't even know how to begin this. But look - I just did.
What I didn't know was how to begin this post in a catchy manner - in some attention-getting, profound, you-have-to-read-on way.
That very thing has stopped me from writing again and again. This need to do something "right".
How many times have I missed out on the opportunity to connect with you, to offer you a potentially life-changing insight (or, at the very least, a quiet pause or tiny giggle), to receive in return words from you that may shape my own life...simply because I was afraid of sharing something the wrong way??
Taking The Right Turn
In some cases, doing something the correct way is very important. I want my doctor to be quite sure that she is moving that instrument in the right way during surgery. We all want the pilot in the cockpit to be manipulating the buttons and levers in the right way. And gosh darn it, when I pop that cork on my bottle of wine, I certainly hope the artisans at the winery made it just right.
In the journey of life exploration, and in the creative arts surrounding this exploration, however, there is no right way.
There are many who would disagree with me. Artists who swear there is a right way to paint and market said paintings, bloggers who advocate a right way to write and grow an audience, mothers who, with hands on hips, profess the Right Way to parent is their way and their way alone.
To me, that's like opening a box of crayons and determining that red is the right color. Any other use of any other color for any other purpose is simply wrong. Or perhaps it is akin to traveling from one side of the United States to the other. A right/wrong professor would assert that the route mapped out by GPS is the right way, the only way.
I hate to think of how many covered bridges, awe-inspiring wildlife sightings, delicious back-country restaurants, and hidden scenic overlooks I would have missed by simply sticking to the GPS route.
Screw the right way.
And so, I return again. Home. Here. With you - the possibly one of one or one of a thousand who has stopped by to explore this journey with me.
Our little BeingBreath bus broke down for just a little bit. No, that's not true....I admit, I just pulled it off the side of the road. I was afraid I wasn't driving well enough, in the right direction, playing the right music, making you feel inspired enough. And while I fretted about all of this, we went nowhere.
Time to get on the road again.
The Crowded Mall of FaceBook
While I've let this little BeingBreath site linger in silence, I've remained active on Facebook.
Sometimes, "active" means spending 20 minutes just scrolling through what others are posting. Sometimes, it means I share something mundane, like a photo of my son's cello concert, or something quite profound, such as an insight I had while standing outside, hair whipping around, as a storm approached. Sometimes it is a photo of a painting I completed; sometimes it is a photo of my lunch that I'm about to complete.
Facebook has become my medium for expression. And that makes me sad. I feel as though I'm walking around in the middle of a mall, pausing to hear everyone else's conversation, and every once in awhile, shouting out my own little insights. I'll carry a photo in my back pocket and pull it out to declare, "Look what WE did!", and whip out an art piece to engage those who care to stop by in conversation.
I really don't like malls.
I'd much rather be at home, or in a small little studio tucked away on a country road, 10 minutes from any main road, engaging those who take time to journey here with me. It's not really about introversion vs. extroversion. It's about the noise. On places like Facebook, one really has to shout to be heard. There is so much going on. It can be thrilling and informative and inspiring....but it can also be exhausting.
Here, at BeingBreath, it's quiet. Just you and me. These words between us, a few full breaths here and there. We can really sit down and enjoy our conversation. We can pause in different perspectives, tilt our heads to see what we can discover in a painting or a photograph, and take time to ponder the profound before carrying new insights back into how we fold the laundry and why we smile at a stranger.
The posts you see here for the next several weeks will be experimental. Some will be short - like little Facebook posts. Some will be long, thought-provoking explorations. Some will be art-related, some wellness-related, and some, mindfulness-related. (You can bet that my kids and discussions about laundry will be making some random appearances, too.)
I'll still be hanging out at the FB mall, maybe even saying the same things over there for a bit as I do here. I've no plans to leave Facebook...I love it as much as I dislike it.
Slowly, though, I'm hoping to find those precious few - like you - who want to slow it down a little bit, quiet things down, and really delve into these daily doings that we call life.
To chat about what it really means to be mindful when life seems to challenge us to do anything but, to discuss the basics of wellness and body image and fat and fitness and what we are doing about it all, to get our hands dirty with all sorts of colors and see how creative we can get with a few paints, crayons, and beeswax, to take our cameras for a walk and practice a bit of contemplative photography, to realize we aren't alone in struggles of bringing together these practices of mindfulness and the crap that happens when we aren't so mindful, to practice - again and again - returning to our breath and exploring what the FULLNESS of that breath really is ....
to explore what it means, in your own, unique, mundane life, to fully Live.
Here's to both of us, starting over, unconcerned with whether or not we are doing this "life thing" in the Right Way. Here's to our creative exploration and mindful engagement of a life lived beyond such concepts. Here's to our journey.
Please note: If you are forgetful like me (or have a lot going on in your life), you'll want to sign up for the BeingBreath newsletter. That way, little BeingBreath notes will pop up from time-to-time in your inbox and help you remember to breathe, and to find the inspiration you need to live the life you want to live.