Happy New Year! Tomorrow marks the completion of my 365 skies project. This project has been a labor of love and I have received a heart-swelling amount of feedback from folks all over the world - wow! If you are among this wonderful group of well-wishers, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I plan to share more about my 365 skies project and what's next soon, but for now, I'd like to leave you with three reminders as we wrap-up 2023 and cruise into 2024:
- It's never too late to start something new.
- It's never too late to start again...and again...and again.
- You likely don't need to wait for the beginning of a new week or a new month or a new year to get started on something positive you'd like to begin. If you're itching to do something good...start now - don't delay! Life is short and there's no downside to getting a head start on something fantastic.
A growing number of people have shared with me that they'd love to begin painting skies and/or keep a nature journal (and/or a life journal), but just haven't been able to put pencil or paintbrush to paper and start. Each of these lovely people have their own different reasons for why they're feeling stuck, but a common thread which unites them, I think, is that they have become so focused on the end result (the product) that they've forgotten the most wonderful reason for any creative endeavor: the process.
I've been fortunate enough to discover the magic of process and have shared about this here on Life Noticed and in other forums over the past couple of years. I get lost in the process in my sketchbooks and I discover it daily during my morning skies in the form of a positive, meditative exercise. Over the past 364 days, for 5-10 minutes each morning at 7:30 a.m., rather than reaching for my phone or getting caught-up in the day to come, time stood still for me thanks to the process, and my only concern became trying to paint what I saw outside my window.
Moving forward, I'm going to continue to paint skies each day, but I'm also going to be less rigid about the time of day (7:30 a.m.) and the direction I face when I paint (south) because I see how these rules could get in the way of me engaging with this activity in the long run. Since the most important part of painting skies for me is connecting with the process, rigidity will need to go.
You really don't need rules to paint a sky or keep a sketchbook or start a nature journal. What I and others share are just suggestions; suggestions that have worked for us and might work for others, but are not hard-and-fast rules of engagement. You'll have your own special way...but to discover what that is, you have to start and you have to keep going.
I made rules for myself for this challenge, but what really matters to me is to continue this process for as long as it serves me. I know if I am to continue, I must make this process more sustainable, and for me 7:30 a.m. every morning facing south won't work in the long run...
...but finding pockets of time to connect for 5-10 minutes per day will.
I bet it could for you, too, be that in the form of painting a sky or a drawing in a sketchbook or some completely unrelated thing you'd love to just start.