Quarter IV: Inktober, Whole30 and Social Media Fasts

Hello All.

I participated with the COOLEST thing in October! Just being prepared to start felt like an accomplishment. For the last two to three years I’ve seen Inktober scroll through my Instagram. Each time it went by I’d feel a pop, ‘Oooh what’s that?’ and finally dove in to explore and find out that it’s a drawing prompt event all throughout the month of October started in 2009 by Jake Parker.

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@Inktober

Talk about F-U-N. Drawing. Halloween. Autumn Festivities. “Count me in!” I’d say to myself every time. Then October would roll around and I’d realize I was NOT prepared with supplies or prioritized time to actually do an Inktober… 🙁

Last year was the final straw. I found myself on October 15 seeing everyone else’s fun drawings for Inktober popping up and I’d been able to do Nothing.  The frustration at myself for not making a fun event a priority for myself fueled my next steps.

Opening up my Outlook calendar and charting ahead into 2019 to place reminders across the Summer notifying me that Inktober was coming!

June 1: Inktober is in Four months!

July 1: Inktober is in Three months!

August 1: Schedule a day to go to the art store and pick up your Inktober supplies!

September 1: Carve out time in your daily schedule to follow through on Inktober!

October 1: Inktober is HERE!

Ready, Set, GO!

The funny part about all of this is that the reminders weren’t annoying. They were actually gratitude fueling. Every time a note popped up I remembered how much I really wanted to participate in Inktober. I’d feel the sensing… Mmm Halloween, Crispy Autumn Leaves, Imagine the smell of cooked cinnamon apples and the feeling of Drawing, putting pen to page… Funnily enough I started to become grateful to myself.

“Oh, Thank You for reminding me how to set myself up for something I really really want to do!” I’d sing out loud to the air, and to the self that had written the reminder notes into my calendar months prior.

The first couple days of Inktober were pretty tough. The prompts were short, one word openings… Ring, Mindless, Bait…

2019promptlist

Luckily I had a good one to two hour portion on those days to dedicate to the drawings. Not that the finished work looked like I’d spent that much time on them, but thankfully to kind of shake off the rust from my-self of actually being an artist. Because honestly I can’t remember the last time I just sat down to DRAW.

The first three days…

Memories started calling, “Remember third grade when…” An etched form of a nose or an ear that I’d learned how to draw at that time in my life would come up on the page. ‘Oh hello there…’ I’d say to myself. Sometimes going off on a rant about how my drawing ‘Should be better by age 38’ and then quickly Remembering… I haven’t practiced or tried drawing like this in twenty years!

Shaking it off again I’d grab my pencil and eraser. “There there,” I’d gently say, “Mistakes can be made, erased and amended here.” A few more trappings of wonderings would come through but I’d always ground into the ‘So what. I’m having fun here. This is something I’ve wanted to do for years. Remember to have Fun!’ And so I did.

A few of my favs…

Inktober taught me a lot about myself. It taught me how to be consistent and firm with something I committed to. It taught me how to lighten up and have fun so that other’s might join in on the fun too. And it taught me, that maybe, through the drawing and the focus on something fun, that other ideas and well’s of wonder might be brewing within me too.

Highlights. We traveled to Boston, MA for a week during the midst of Inktober. We got to visit family, friends and the good ol’ East Coast during that Autumnal spirited time of year.

Each night or morning I still sat down to do my Inktober. It turned into a thread that continued bringing me home to myself amidst any chaos that ensued. (Alaska Airlines sent our luggage to Burbank, CA instead of Boston, MA so we got to contend with that for a few days 😉 Luckily that allowed Gretchen and I to both be Care Bears for a night. 🙂

I learned that as I was doing a project I enjoyed, fully immersed in the process, and releasing as many expectations on the outcome that I could a lot of fun stuff came through.

I got to enjoy seeing my pictures from a kids perspective. Thanks Sav and Colt!

I got to watch the inspiration of Inktober flourish and create more art.

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I got to be inspired through the eyes of the kids, and with the eyes of the kids, and draw some things I defintely wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

“Maybe there’s a smashed pumpkin on the road!?” -Colt

I got to remember an age old question that I’d asked myself as a five year old, been unable to answer, and been frustrated by for years. We’ll leave the details of that one private. But just add, I finally feel like I have an answer to that question.

When we got home from Boston there were a few days left of Inktober. And for the very first time sat down at the ‘new to me’ desk in my freshly designed Creativity Studio to DRAW.

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This is what showed up.

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Inktober inspired me to FEEL into the vessel of my own childhood dreams of drawing, of art, of imagination and W-O-N-D-E-R in a way that I’ve been practicing for years but also unable to fully embody until now.

One can dream of the could have’s the would have’s but can one actually re-write those histories and patterns? This seems to be the question aching our society of today.

If a trauma, even perhaps a small one, from our very own childhood’s (no shame here, everyone has ‘trauma’ in one way or another even if childhood was great) contains the “block” to our very necessary resource of feeling and healing then how does one continue to intitiate fair discernment, decision making and processes throughout their own lives, without breaking through, dissolving, healing or metabolizing said trauma? One perhaps feels as though they are walking around ‘blindly’ per se, if their deepest resource is underneath their deepest trauma.

Woof! That was a mouthful! And to think we were just talking about drawing here. Which we are. But really, think about it, feel it… Who are you? Who are you really? And what can you do?

Maybe there’s more to the story you’ve been sold.

After Inktober I felt a bit overloaded on daily tasks and social media so I spontaneously opted for a social media fast right away. Posting one last shot on October 31 and then promptly deleting all the media apps from my phone.

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More time for family, nature, love, walks on the beach, reading, writing, nothing… check check check. In fact I dubbed my own period of practice as “No Effort” November. Doesn’t the sound of it just FEEL GOOD?

Of course, as with anything there was a bit of effort involved. Next I decided on a 36 hour bone broth fast in practice with some of my FGP comrades who went for three, four and five day water fasts! After fasting I rolled into another Whole30 which I generally utilize about once a year to ensure that most processed food is out and only whole, real, raw foods go in for a fully denoted length of time. Even mostly practicing Paleo and 80/20 leniency throughout the year lines can get extra loose at times! Hello 20 year Pi Beta Phi Sorority Reunion and #AllTheSnacks!!!

Huge gratitude goes out to Gretchen for supporting this spontaneous decision as our meal plans had to be amended for November on the fly! <3

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Most days I feel really grateful for the practices I get to employ in living this life. Some days though, the practices become tough. Holding space or visions of what we thought once was unravelling into future’s that will never be amidst a current cultural climate that is_______________. Well I guess you get to fill in that part.

We receive how we perceive. So what is happening depends on what we’re paying attention to. Did I mention the Social Media Fast was glorious?

Throughout November the questions and thoughts amidst my system became really really quiet and clear. The social media “buzz” quickly faded after a few days. Do I really care what Rich Froning did in his workout today? Or am I just giving another company another opportunity to sell me some-thing or some story that I don’t really need or doesn’t actually really work for me!?

This does seem to be the hardest part of all the noise these days. Discernment. Story Telling. Listening. Sense making. What really is happening in our world? Where really have we been? Where are we going and who is leading us? You ask yourself these questions too right?

The internal intestinal chatter subsided after about day 10 of the Whole30. Less gurgling, inflammation, brain fog and more thank you’s and clarity coming from my organs. Not to say that any of this is a cure all for anything. Just a practice of observance and it too will fade in it’s own time.

Sometimes, when things get quiet we get to hear some tender truths about our own selves and our own lives. I absolutely highly recommend giving yourself some time, some space, in a day, in a week, in a month… Somewhere. To get quiet. To hear what is really going on. And then to do it again. Your system will thank you.

For now, Whole30 works for me! As for the social media fast… We shall see. I’m not a 21st century monk or anything. But I sure can feel the difference when all the noise is turned down and I’ve gotta say, I really liked it.

Next up, we’re looking into some three year plans of which I shall not divulge the details to. But let’s just say these plans are coming from some of the clearest, connected, integrated spaces that Gretchen and I have ever been to. Together. Can you say excitement? Yes!

So, What with the blog? 2020 remains to be yet unseen. The blog up to this point has been fun, and painful, and revealing, and challenging, and quite the learning experience! My goals from the outset were always to learn, share, experiment, experience and inspire. To tell the stories of my own life. To become a better writer and communicator. To be clearer in my own understanding and delivery. To be avaiable for truer conversations in person. Perhaps in a way so that I might learn from the reflections and become a better version of myself. Yep, I’m on that path. Which path is it again?

The path with Heart. Our own Hearts.

The path with Soul. Our own Souls.

The path where we really come together authentically with all of our broken pieces, battered and bruised bodies, and humbly accept our wounds for the world to see. But baring these things for everyone? I’m not so sure about that. The fun stuff, sure. But to tell you and show you where my wounds are so perhaps and maybe you might be able to poke at them? Hmmmm… the question remains.

Not to say the recent pokes have been painful. But moreso to say that I have not yet curbed my trojan horse of wondering when “the next time might be” and falling into a line of trying NOT to make or let that happen. Whoopsies. Just fell into the resistance again.

And furthermore, I know better. I know that true wonderment involves awe, amazement, inspiration!!! The joys of life to experience and behold!

I’ve still got work to do. To have and to hold. To be held. To allow the love through these newly ignited wounds. To share the triumphs and despair through words and drawings and photo’s and paintings. So we can unwrap, unravel and unveil ourselves together.

But I’ve walked this path before. I’ve seen about the closing of the door. There’s nothing behind us that can show us what is inside of us. There’s nothing in the nothing of forevermore. It’s the grit. It’s the pain. It’s the dancing in the rain. It’s the meeting of your name in the friend who has fame. But underneath it all, is really the same ball. The reality in the center of our own caring tender – n e s s…

Who am I to say. I just walk this way. And no one ever said it was easy… they just keep reminding me it’ll be worth it. And to have fun on the journey.

And then deep deep within, when the veil get’s real thin she reminds me to remember, ‘What if it’s easy…’ to Surrender? To listen. To let all the Love in…

Each day I shall ask, what is my task. And this is where I’ll stand with creativity at hand.

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