I just came back from a pretty rad self-imposed retreat in New Mexico USA. Spending time to think, create, work, let myself be free to do whatever I want to do with my work, opened up a door I felt really honored to walk into. It was something I had always wanted to do and so this year in January, I wrote it down on one of my New Year's Resolutions lists: "I want to do an artists residency/retreat". It was really hard to admit for some reason, that this is what I wanted, because I work from home, I don't have kids and I guess I was ashamed since I presume that people think I can do whatever I want all the time, whenever I want.* Anyway, working from home has it's difficulties and distractions and life gets lifey and work gets worky and in the way sometimes of beginning something new. Yet, I had written down this artist residency idea and on that long list, it stood out to me, glaring the brightest, shouting the loudest.
I loved those words, that idea. I wasn't sure it would be the most awesome thing for me to pick up and change course from the way I normally do things so I talked with my friends about it. They wholeheartedly encouraged me to do it! I spoke with my husband about it. He said he wanted to help me make it happen! Once I put out there, it became real and once it became real, I was researching where to do it, when to go and then I was packing my bags, my art supplies and my dog and there I was, I was doing it. I was believing I could do it. And now that I've done it, I'm actually going back to do it again. (SKIP BELOW THESE AWESOME PHOTOS OF MY AFOREMENTIONED RETREAT TO GET TO THE PROJECT!)
My proposal for your Friday/Weekend One Awesome Thing Project: Special Summer Solstice Edition(!) is pretty simple but can be pretty extraordinary: THINK ABOUT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO AND WRITE IT DOWN. Draw it, write it in cursive with a feather, or just use the first writing instrument on your desk--use all of the above but think about it. Write it down. That's it.
"But how can that be IT?" you ask. I'm gonna tell you, right here, right now: Sometimes writing something down gives it DIGNITY. If it can give your every-day run-of-the-mill to-do list the energy it needs to get those things done, it will give the thing you want, whatever that thing is, the energy to come to you and you to it in a similar way. You might sit there for a while looking out the window, tapping your pencil. You might say it out loud a few times, "WHAT do I want, hmmmm...what DO I want???". You might hesitate to write anything at all, but just start writing like no one's gonna see it. Only you. Write it all down. Who cares if it sounds stupid. Erase things that you don't like. Circle things you do like. Then sit on it until next week, pick it up and see what comes at you the loudest. Maybe it's one thing or maybe it's all of the things. Maybe you want o run it by your board of trusted Life Advisors. Maybe you don't want to tell anyone. Whatever happens, I'm excited for you!
*This was before I started my One Awesome Thing campaign, doing my best to eradicate shame, one shameful feeling at a time!