life is choices.

When I carefully choose what I want to pay attention to, my heart swells.

When I let the world be in charge of what I should pay attention to, my heart sinks.

 

 

Amsterdam/details

The first four images were shot in Rembrandt’s studio.  When I travel the moments that stay with me are the details.  I’ve trained my eye to look closer at things because looking too big can overwhelm my senses sometimes.  The photos taken in Rembrandt’s studio were so remarkable to me because of the quality of light.  No wonder he created the work he did, even on a grey day the north facing light was beyond stunning.

Rembrandt Museum Amsterdam

Amsterdam/street photography

I love street photography.  The raw moment when something sparks me.  Be sure to scroll down and check out the pigeon slideshow.  My daughter Willa had an interesting encounter near the royal palace.

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wonder • insignificance • rest

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Seek wonder—it is everywhere.

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I am quite insignificant in the scheme of the world.

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Rest is a sign of strength and self-preservation.

I’ve been thinking about my ego…

lately and basically the more I read the crappier I felt about myself…however there was some hope in what I was reading too.  Einstein helped considerably. Thank you, sir.

ego einstein quoteThe more I protect my lack of knowledge (get defensive, react, don’t listen, dig in my heels) in any given situation the harder I have to work to protect my ego.  When I’m protecting my ego I’m generally talking more than listening as well. Not a great habit.  If I let go and accept things as they ARE instead of how I WISH they were in relation to me—my ego becomes much less fragile or reactive.  This will no doubt be a lifelong practice.  I’m only noticing maybe .00005% of the time now when my ego is acting wounded and subsequently protective, but that leaves a lot of room for growth, right?

noticing

When things come up and I start offering my views about how to fix something or what I think someone else should do, my husband reminds me (and I him) to, “put that on the list of things you don’t have to care about”. Sometimes, because he’s a leadership coach, I don’t take kindly to be “coached”, but now that we’ve done this for each other I notice when my EGO is showing up much faster. That ain’t nothing.

“This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.”  —The character Ellis in the film “No Country For Old Men”

Indeed, it ain’t all waiting on me.

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I’m trying to slow down.

I’m increasingly finding myself annoyed with our “I’m so busy” culture.  It’s not the fact that people are busy, that I understand–it’s wearing “busy” like a badge of honor that I’m reacting to.  Why do we do this?

When I’m moving too fast I know I’m more reactive (ask my three teenagers). I don’t make great decisions (or I’m paralyzed to make them at all) and I don’t like the way I feel.  My skin just doesn’t fit.  I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

Last week I was at the grocery store and I was moving so fast that the cashier said, “You must be on your lunch hour, are you in a really big hurry?”  It really struck me that I was behaving that way.  I wasn’t in a hurry at all.  I was actually moving so quickly that I was making someone else uncomfortable.  This encounter has really stayed with me.

When I slow myself down—I like myself better and I can see things more clearly. 

There is always time to take a single breath, or close our eyes even for a second.

When I took this picture today in my studio I was moving frantically.  I then shot the same image after I took a breath and steadied myself.  These images tell very different stories, don’t they?  I’m not saying I’ll never move too quickly, of course I will. However, when I have the awareness I’ll try to slow myself down and see what happens.

I’m hardly a ZEN MASTER.  I’m just trying.

desk out of focus

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