Each morning, before I open my eyes, I say to myself “thank you for another day.”
My gut is happy.
No more grinding of emotional gears to arise and join a phalanx of commuters as we wind our ways to cubicle desk farms to perform forgettable tasks.
Instead, walking into the garden, I photograph and share the morning blooms with my world.
Each share gives me the gift of connecting with another human being in a way they most want to be reached.
My two questions:
Am I honest with myself ?
Am I doing the next right thing?
My two answers:
Let me be open to what comes my way.
Do the next right thing.
And the day begins.
This past week as part of #YourTurnChallenge, I got to know hundreds of new voices through their daily posts.
One in particular that struck me was the one written by Vanessa Thomas. She shared two blogs, one on martial arts and the other on floral photography. I loved that she shares her love of floral photography fearlessly as best expressed in her blog post, LinkedIn doesn’t like flakey.
I too am a floral photographer – more of a wildflower one.
As I surface from the 7 day blogging #YourTurnChallenge, on Day 8, today, I think:
What shall I talk about now?
The self-imposed peer pressure to produce a daily work has officially ended.
The answer comes as I read through the writings of my new friends I have made through this process.
In case you’re stopping by for the first time, let me explain, borrowing, in part, from Winnie Kao:
Today’s Question and Final One for the Week of #YourTurnChallenge:
Day 7: What are you taking with you from this Challenge?
To recap, my week has been all over the map.
I’m recapping here as the week disappeared in a flash while stretching out forever. My writing swung from the recalcitrant school girl who kicked her heels at having to write for seven days to a few philosophical pieces, some how-tos, and a deeply personal experience about a sweater!
Here is my week of #YourTurnChallenge shipping.
Growing up in a rural town in New Jersey where the cows outnumber the residents, life revolved around the number of cars that would pass along our street, getting permission to cross the road and who would be my best friend that week in school.
I switched schools a few times and finally settled into the same school in third grade. We all wore uniforms. Girls wore plaid jumpers with white blouses and yellow cross-snap ties and the boys wore grey pants, white shirts and navy ties. The school insignia embroidered into the girls’ scratchy wool jumpers and the boys’ navy ties identified us as “the Catholic school kids.”
I enjoyed school and liked riding the bus with other kids in the neighborhood to get to our school on the other side of town.
In fourth grade, it all changed.
Hello Friends and Readers,
Before I took up the mantle of full-time blogger for 7 days (#Day5 today!) as part of Winnie Kao’s #YourTurnChallenge, I agreed to appear as the #mediachat guest for the Thursday night, 10pm ET tweetchat.
In yesterday’s post, I talked about the #mediachat event and the feel of the room and the questions and answers.
It was a wonderful and exhilarating time and I’m so glad I got to do it.
However, I am forgetting that I have been using twitter since 2008 and zinging off a 140 character tweet is something that I have taken for granted.
Hello Friends and Readers,
Quick post tonight as my day took me from running tech interference for #YourTurnChallenge, setting up a Facebook chat room for the Tumblr Admins and doing screen scrapes for the latest background photo for the blog archives. All stuff I love!
And topping it off, this is my first time in the guest chair for a tweet chat. The ever generous Aaron Kilby of #MediaChat fame asked me a few weeks back to be the guest of the week. Our topic: “Social Media and Career Reinvention”
My 5 copies of Seth Godin’s “Your Turn” true story book along with my laptop!
Today’s question for #YourTurnChallenge for #Day3 is;
Tell us about something that you think should be improved.
I immediately thought back to @AJLeon‘s awakening when he realized this is not his “practice life” and ditched his traditional successful job for the pursuit of his own personal truth.
AJ, to his credit, has been after me for years to blog. If you look at the very first post on my website, you’ll see a comment from AJ. Alas, I got stuck in my own excuses and hung up my blogging for over 18 months, until this week.
Let me tell you a bit more about AJ…
He started his Pursuit of Everything after ditching his life, as he puts it, as an “unremarkable average financial executive in Manhattan” to pursue a Deliberate Life. Fast-forward a few years and he is the chief architect, or as he would dub himself, Chief Trouble Maker of Misfits, Inc.
I’ve known AJ and Melissa Leon for a number of years, first meeting at SXSW in Austin, Texas and later watching them on Jeff Pulver’s #140conf stage. Here is AJ and Melissa talking about their twitterkids of Tanzania project <- awesome video! Learning how to use twitter with 3 x 5 index card. Melissa, you ARE a brilliant teacher!
I followed their journeys – at least virtually! – across the earth to building a windmill in Africa to raising funds to build a school in South Sudan after meeting Emmanuel Jal. AJ wrote a book called “The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit” and launched a conference in Fargo North Dakota to bring together the #Misfits from around the world. My stars aligned and I joined the May 2014 #MisfitCon in Fargo North Dakota USA meeting other authentic self truth seekers.
I’ve always been drawn to those who speak the truth and wanted to do the same myself though I felt that I had to have a traditional job to pay the mortgage and put kids through school. Like a two-sided Goya – painting court portraits by day, pursuing wall frescos-like writing at night, with visages unveiled, I felt the pull of both worlds.
At another crossroads this month as to what’s next, #YourTurnChallenge hit my inbox as an extra treat as an early purchaser of Seth Godin’s What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn) picture storybook / morality tale / modern ode to yours, mine and our authentic self.
Next thing I know, I’m swept away by the velocity of honesty and humanity that showed up to share and post each day for seven days as part of the challenge.
The decision to participate came from a force greater than myself; I am drawn into the magnetic field; the vortex of truth-seeking and desire to know my purpose.
So, with #Day3 winding down, I have learned more about myself in these three short days than I have in many years.
Where will this lead?
I’m open to what comes my way.
How about you?
Let me know!
photo by @JoyceMSullivan
In tribute to Susan DiYanni