When she noticed ~ Jennifer

JDCatalanoNoticed

 

“When she noticed the difference, she knew the sacrifice was worth it.” ~Jennifer

 

For months, I was feeling sluggish. There were times when I truly needed to go at a snail’s pace. I accepted it, giving myself permission to do what my body needed. Rest was one of those physical needs. I started going to bed earlier, even when the kitchen was a mess, the mail (both paper and electronic) was piled up, and there wasn’t a clean pair of matching socks in the house. Once my children were tucked in (for the umpteenth time), I let my body sink into the mattress. I melted into a delicious sleep most nights, but still wasn’t ready to get up in the morning. There never seemed to be enough time in the day, so I’d forego my morning walk to catch up on laundry, pay bills, unload and reload the dishwasher, or address the messes that had accumulated.

Then one morning, I crumbled. The kids were bickering, the cats were fighting, and my husband and I were both tired, grumpy, and hungry. Somehow I ended up half screaming, half crying that I needed two hours every morning to go walk by myself. He and I both knew that wasn’t realistic. He understood the feeling, though, because he is much the same way. He suggested that I wake up even earlier (like he does) to guarantee enough time to get my exercise, my nature fix, and my solitude. Ugh. The mere thought of less sleep made me more tired.

The next morning, I tried it anyway. While my husband held down the fort, I walked and I wandered for ninety minutes. My feet hurt and I was parched, but it was fantastic otherwise. I listened to the songbirds as I moved. I worked up a sweat. I enjoyed the morning light and the soft breeze. I noticed some sparks within me reigniting, some synapses firing, some voids beginning to fill. Then I spent some time with my old friends, the lupines and the buttercups. Oh how I had missed the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by flowers. By the time I got home, I was relaxed, refreshed, and ready for the day ahead.

There were still plenty of challenges to face, but I was more patient, more present, and more optimistic that day. Even though I had given up some of my precious sleep time, I felt energized. I’ve been getting up early every single day since then, because when I noticed the difference, I knew the sacrifice was worth it.

 

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When she noticed ~ Bella

bella June si3
 
“When she noticed life as it was happening.” ~Bella
 
I am entering this season of warmth and light with a new sense of clarity. Friends, it feels refreshing. It is a very soft landing after months of internal disorder.

What is different about now? So much. My senses have come back to life and my nerve endings tingle with admiration, anticipation, and enthusiasm for even the most mundane experiences. I greet everything / everyone that comes into my orbit as if it were our first time meeting. I’m noticing life as it is happening around me, and oh is it ever exhilarating.

I live in the suburbs of New York City, the biggest and brightest city in the world. It is easy for me to hop in the car or to catch a bus and a short 20 minutes later, I’m in Manhattan. The city pulses with life and excitement. With that much energy flowing so close to home, it is a joy for me to visit once or twice a month for no reason at all except to roam and explore different neighborhoods.

Recently I shared with a friend how I love to visit the city. This friend lives closer to the city than I do but confided in me that he doesn’t ever go because he is not familiar with the streets or how to get from one place to another. I thought about that for a while. I thought about how I need those doses of energy that city life gives me to balance the peace I experience from living in suburbia. I thought about how every one of my senses comes life by inserting myself into a new place and how good that is for my soul. I thought about how stimulating the senses helps me stay aware and mindful of the world around me.

And then I made a connection. If I were to live inside of fear, I would lose my sense of wonder and curiosity. Fear is a huge inhibitor. It paralyzes and stifles. I understand that we all live with fear on different levels and truly, I am still stunted in areas because of fear. (I’m working on it). I also view it as an invisible barrier and once we break through it, we level up to our next opportunity to greet life in a whole new way.

For a very long time I allowed grief to swallow me up and consume all of my thoughts. I prolonged a dalliance with pharmaceuticals because they masked and dulled all of the feelings. That was fear. I found the courage to work through those feelings and the end result has been clarity, wonder, and curiosity for all the experiences. Now, I am living and noticing every detail of my everyday. It is a practice in presence. It keeps me thirsty for so much more.

P.S. If you feel like awakening your senses is what you need most right now, join me this July for The Holy Hush where we will explore self care through journaling, meditation, photography, and sensual rituals. You can read more here: creativesensual.com
 

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When she noticed

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Summer officially begins this month, and our days are busier than ever. At the beginning of this year, we chose the prompt “When she noticed…” for June. We didn’t have any preconceived notions then or now. When it came time to take our self-portraits, we simply showed up. We took those moments in front of the camera to check in with ourselves. We each noticed something different; something that we needed.
 
Have you noticed anything new or different in your life this month? What was the effect of noticing? How can you express those sentiments via self-portraiture? We three invite you to give it a try. We’d love to see your images added to our community pool by using the hashtags #sheisthreedotcom #whenshenoticed when you post your self-portraits on Instagram. At the same time, we understand if that doesn’t feel right for you. Either way, we hope you’ll show up for yourselves and notice what is calling you.
 
Do come back here on the 14th, 21st, and 28th of June to read the stories behind our photos. For now, here’s a little sneak peek:

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Does she walk her talk ~ Deb

does she walk her talk

 

“Does she walk her talk or run her mouth?” ~ Deb

 

I blog. I instagram. I facebook. I tweet.

I show up here twice a month to reveal my truth with self-portraits and stories beyond my photo.

But am I exposing my true self? Do I bring forth my authentic self?

Some days are hard. Some prompts are painful. Sometimes I have no time.

Yet when I get outside my head and back into my body, I go to the river and sit on the grass and make a self-portrait that reveals exactly what I am feeling; the true talk of my day.
I really do have hard days that challenge my well-being and my soft-shelled heart.
I walk thru it with my head high, arms flexed and chin up, all the while knowing that I can rise above the situation and turn it around into a happy moment.

And for me, that is walking my talk.

 

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Does she walk her talk ~ Jennifer

Version 2

 

“She had to stop and think: does she walk her talk?”

 

What is my talk? I had a really hard time trying to pin down exactly what that means. As I sat on a rock next to the daffodils, I stopped to listen. I didn’t hear any clear answers, so I kept sitting there. I stared at the water and felt the cold breeze, thankful that I had thought to grab a coat. I enjoyed hearing the sweet chirping of goldfinches and cardinals, punctuated by the occasional trill of the redwing blackbird. The wind chimes rang in the background, always there to offer a song. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I inhaled until my lungs filled to the point of satiation. Then I let go.

Suddenly, I realized that I had just practiced walking my talk, so to speak. The themes of patience, nature, and letting go had surfaced once again. I don’t know all the answers. Not by any means. Besides, the ones I really want to know aren’t spelled out in any book or illustrated in any chart. They are nestled in the crevices of everyday life. They are inscribed on the petals of a flower. They are written in the bark of the trees. They are emanating from the purr of a cat. They are flowing amidst the ocean waves and gently lapping against the shores of the pond. They are whispering in the tall grass and floating through the air on dandelion seeds.

The answers I seek are subtle yet enormous. They are incredibly simple and yet so hard to attain. How can I be more loving, accepting, patient, and free? How can I release the fears, frustrations, worries, and old patterns still lurking in the shadows? How can I embrace this life with my eyes open and my heart pure? How can I bring light into the world? Even though I don’t have all the answers, I trust that I am slowly unearthing glimmers of them along the way. I never stop moving forward, watching for the next spark, the next shimmer, the next bright spot.  I’ll continue to experience dark and doubtful days, of course, but I do know two things: the darkness always passes, and connecting with nature never fails to show me the light.

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Does she walk her talk ~ Bella

Bella May si3
 
“Does she walk her self care talk?” ~Bella

 
My favorite time of the day is when the light begins to fade just before darkness sets in. The sky becomes a masterpiece of pastels and I am left breathless by its beauty. It feels quiet, like the rest of the world is ready to rest along with me.
 
I share a lot of stories about self care. What does that even mean? For me it means taking a little bit of time each day to care for myself. Even if I only have 10 minutes to spare, like the day I took my photo, I will take it.
 
On this day, I was feeling quiet. Truthfully, I was really emotional, almost on the verge of tears. My soul is extra sensitive these days. I’ve been working out and planting vegetables in the garden in the hope of expelling some of that sad energy. But sometimes we have to make room for the feelings – good or bad. On this day, I knew I needed a moment of rest. I knew I needed to let what I was feeling settle in and be. I poured myself a cup of coffee and relaxed into the early evening just before getting a good night of sleep. It was exactly what I needed and so good for my heart.
 

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