It's been a while since I shared a Melody Beattie moment, but coming back from ShutterFest this week I was surrounded by artists in the "zone," working non-stop to learn as much as they could in just a couple of days. That's what ShutterFest is all about, but the more photographers I spoke with the more I realized how hard so many of them are chasing their dreams. They've actually become over-focused - rarely coming up for air and appreciating how much they've already accomplished.
For so many of you success is defined day to day instead of looking at the big picture and enjoying the pride you should have at the choices you've made so far.
"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way." Wayne Dyer
It's ironic the April 23 thought from Melody Beattie is so appropriate and a perfect reminder to all of us to simply slow down now and enjoy the decisions we've made, our accomplishments to date and the friends who have come into our lives.
Give Yourself a Break by Melody Beattie
Learn to appreciate yourself and others.
Knowing we desire growth and improvement is one thing. Constantly driving ourselves and others is another. Maybe the answer isn't that we need to do better, try harder, push more. Maybe the answer is recognizing and appreciating how well we already do things. How hard we try. How much we have done. How well others are doing, too.
Pushing ourselves can become so habitual that we deny ourselves any feeling of satisfaction. No matter how well or how much we do, the urge to try harder, do better, do more keeps pushing us on. It doesn't let us rest. We still feel it isn't quite good enough.
If you've been pushing yourself that hard, you may need more than a coffee break. Take a real break. Give yourself permission to put that drive aside. Quiet that part of you that wants to do more, be more, accomplish more. Learn to value how well you do things, even if no one else sees or appreciates your efforts. Applaud your own efforts and the efforts of those you love. For today and for one week, instead of demanding more from yourself, tell yourself how well you've done. For today and for one week, instead of demanding more from those around you, tell them that they are doing well, too.
Tell yourself how well you do. You may discover you're doing better than you thought.
As always, wishing everybody a terrific Sunday and one filled with peace, lots of love and time to give yourself a pat and appreciate the smile on the face looking back at you in the mirror. And, some time today, go for one of those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with somebody special in your life.
Take the day to enjoy everything around you - work will still be waiting for you on Monday morning!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.