Sunday, January 15, 2012

Leo Babauta on Practice

I read Leo's blog, Zen Habits, fairly regularly and have found it inspiring. One thing I like about Leo's blog is that it has no advertisements, is reader supported, uncopywrited, worker-owned, and hand-made. Fabulous!  Zen Habits has been an encouragement to slow down my life a bit and really be present in the moment. He has a nice article on Practice that I just read and a link in it to Ali Edwards' musings on practice as well. I had read Ali's before, but it was nice to revisit. A reminder that my artistic pursuits need a little practice as well.

I can pack a lot into a day and have let art slide a bit while I got to absorb a little of other aspects of my life, but I'm ready now to put art back into the practice cycle. I have been doing my photo a day, for the last 15 days.

I'm going to do some art with those soon. I'm still working out the inability to upload directly to the computer so it requires more effort like printing (remember doing that?) photos and scanning to upload. I feel like I'm in the dark ages and hoping Canon and Apple catch up soon.

Along the lines of Leo's list of practices, a fellow dental hygienist shared with me a little nugget she took away from a continuing education course once- "Only touch it once". I have adopted that in many ways and it has lead to a real peace and order to my daily living. I could create chaos dropping stuff here and there and never being able to find what I was looking for.  I was spending incredible amounts of time looking for things. Dealing with whatever I touch all the way to where I really want it to be is fabulous!  Mail, especially. It is sorted, shredded, recycled and dealt with immediately when I get home. I do still have a small stack of things to go up or down the stairs occasionally but that, too has some order to it.

Practice has a lot of payoffs.
And because I'm a visual person- here's a little sidewalk art I did yesterday.
My wish for you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's an art form..

Practice, that is. I've tried not to take on too many new ones all at once though that would be more my style. To go wild with new goals and throw them all out in a day or two.

I am still taking a photo a day. Practicing with my new camera. And even when it isn't with me, I use my phone to have something to document the day.

This was my first day's photo. Holy Moly! This is the little Baby Jesus that is in front of the rectory in the neighborhood.  The Holy Family sit atop a knoll and one has to climb over a wrought iron railing to get this grand view, thank goodness for small children, who like me might have been horrified or at the least, perplexed, to see Baby Jesus in a half-eaten manger secured from thieves by a wire across the neck and ankles! Surely there is a better way, Father ____, (whoever you are).

I discovered Thursday, that to my delight, Baby Jesus lights up! I was in too much of a hurry to get a shot before work, but promised myself a photo op on Friday. Drat- a day late! Baby Jesus had been returned to where ever he lives during the rest of the year. Hummm...something to look forward to.

I still cannot upload photos from the camera, which is a real shame because you are missing some good ones! I may experiment with using Jim's computer and see what happens there.

This is my winterscape for the piece in the dining room.  I change it every season or whim. I knew Richey, who helped me decide last year that I needed somethings with height on that chest, would appreciate the blue theme- her favorite color. She detests green, which is one of MY favorite colors.

And this is a not-so flattering photo of some of my bridge pals at our 1st Thursday of the month game this week. These women are important to me- I've played cards and more importantly shared life with them over 20 years.

I'm enjoying shooting a little more and recording a bit of daily life-sometimes surprising, often routine, always interesting.

One of my other practices is drinking water as soon as I get up, which I am doing daily-I'm so pleased! And I've been trying in general to drink more water. We are mostly made up of water so I needed to be hydrating more. Not to mention that my caffeine consumption in the morning doesn't help and is very dehydrating.
This is a habit that I'm taking to though I have to admit, I do find water a little boring so I am focusing on the benefits.
Practice has its rewards. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year, all!
I've started doing a little towards practicing already. I got a camera for Christmas and hope to practice with it daily. I took my picture of the day. Unfortunately my new camera doesn't talk to my computer yet, you'd think I'd have looked at that but they should come out with updated software in the near future. But I also took one with my phone, too, and will upload when I get my computer back tomorrow.
I'm practicing drinking more water and trying to start my day with a glass of that before coffee. I have terrible dry eye problems and water can't do anything but help that!
We will see how these two practices go. I love the bizarreness of my photo today can't wait to show it to you!