What we do with every other area of our lives is what ultimately decides how inspired and vibrant we are creatively. How we live our lives matters. How, or whether or not we take the time to fill our cup? That matters too. Enormously.
I know from experience that I write best when I am happy (let me know if it's this way for you too) and in order to be happy, I can't just neglect myself, staying locked away in my office gaping at my laptop for hours and days on end. There's a time and place for that, sure. When I'm on a role writing a novel, I want nothing more than to be left to it - time alone in the office, salt lamp and diffuser going full blast, quiet sorod music, yes please! But I find that in order to even arrive at this place of settling in for deep writing sessions, I need to have prepared myself with a well-rounded lifestyle of actively taking the time to fill my cup. Otherwise, I'm not refreshed, I'm not stoked to write, and I feel generally burnt out.
We all know the feeling, and it sucks, right?
In my humble experience, taking time to fill my cup, to cultivate joy is what makes it possible for me to, in turn, experience joy in my writing. I have to arrive at my desk with joy already in my possession. When I show up empty handed, looking to my craft to create some satisfaction in my life, it puts a massive strain on our relationship.
In the past, I would sometimes even get feelings of anxiety when I would show up to write. I would be tired, weary, and on edge, hoping that I could write well enough that day to feel "accomplished" and, in turn, happy and fulfilled. What I didn't realize at the time was that it was this exact mindset that was negatively impacting my relationship with my writing. I was putting my writing on this pedestal, expecting it to "fix" everything for me, and bring me happiness. By doing this, and at the same time also realizing that there was a good chance I would not ultimately feel joyful by using this method, I would often feel hugely anxious and put my writing off, procrastinating and creating excuses to not write because I was secretly afraid that writing would fail to bring me happiness...and the expectations I'd constructed around my career would come crashing down around me.
What I didn't understand was that writing can never make me happy. Nothing we do can; the act of writing is simply an experience, and like all experiences, it's not the things that are occuring or being engaged in that make us happy, it's who we are while doing them. We must be nourished in every sense in order to truly find enjoyment in anything. The fulfillment wells from within and spills over to produce these experiences, not the other way around.
When we embrace nourishing our spirits, minds, and bodies, we tend to the well. We fill the cup. And the cup spills to the saucer. That's where the fulfillment is found. Not in the experiences...but from within.
Are we arriving to write or be creative on an empty cup? Are we burnt out and exhausted, putting our craft on an unattainable pedestal, putting huge amounts of pressure on it to make us happy? Or are we coming to the creative experience with a sense of joy already established?
And so that's why rock climbing is officially part of my "writing routine" - it's part of my creative flow. And surfing and hiking and kayaking and backpacking and time for spiritual seeking, and time with family, all of these things are what stir joy inside of me and guide me on the path.
Never belittle the need to be nourished, to fill your cup, never put it off...it's what truly fuels everything that you do.
NOW TELL ME...what did YOU do this weekend? Did anything bring you JOY? What's had your heart humming lately? I would love it if you commented below and shared your own journey🙏🌿
We rose hours before dawn one morning in Utah to get the shot you see featured at the top from the Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, Utah. The first three shots actually. There's something absolutely magical about watching the sun rise over a landscape you've never beheld before. The warm golden rays reveal something new, something that causes your eyes to grow wide and your heart to beat in your throat.
The shot of the tree is also from Canyonlands, Utah. The last two of the field are from Colorado. It was freezing that morning. Frost kissed the ground. I was bundled in a thick sweatshirt and cradling a tin mug of dark coffee in my chilled fingers. I walked around the sleepy campground with my camera slung around my neck, and watched a sun burning bright gold swell up over amber waves of grain. I loved the way these shots came out.
There's something about early mornings, at least for me. It's like there's a little bit of magic contained within them that makes it impossible for you to forget the potency of the experience. Something that leaves us in awe.
When was the last time you woke up with the sun? Do you have any cool sunrise stories? Do you find that there's just a bit of magic in the early mornings too? Comment below, I would love to hear your stories. :) I hope you have a lovely weekend my friend. Be sure to tune into the podcast on Monday...it's going to be real. Signing off for a weekend outdoors!
Gratitude. These are our roots. This is where we began.
This morning I sat in silence - in the quiet of the sunroom with the windows open. I could hear the screech of the hawks that have taken up residence in the woods surrounding our house as they do every summer. Their long, shrill calls to one another echoed through the still, early morning atmosphere. Beyond this: the twitter of wrens, the sighs of crickets, the gentle swish of the wind as it made its way through the leaves.
Sitting there, listening, noticing the sunlight as it warmed my skin, I felt a deep sense of...being. I was there. Fully. And I was grateful. For hawks, wrens, crickets, the breeze, the sun. We get to live on this beautiful planet. We are part of it, and it is part of us.
When that sinks in...and it does every time we stop and notice...I find it impossible not to be filled to the brim with awe.
The very fact that we are here, now, grounded in this present moment together, witnessing the sun as she rises, the birds as they awaken.
Gratitude. These are our roots.
We don't need to go anywhere to find things to be filled with gratitude for...we have so much, right here, right now, to be thankful for. All we need to do is open our eyes...really open them; truly see the world around us.
This moment is wild. It is teeming with life yet to be discovered. I've been racing dragonflies along the water's edge lately, they're in the air and I'm in my kayak, and it's reminded me of how good it feels to be
We are lotuses coming up through the water, climbing toward the sunlight. Excited just to be alive. When did we start feeling like we always need to be doing something in order to feel alive? We have everything right here - I want to be like the lotus, basking in the sun, complete in that moment, complete right now...simply being.
There's so much in this moment, and when we notice, when we cultivate gratitude, there is a beautiful, grounding connection.