Guilt Be Tripping

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The last few months my mind has been cluttered. I’ve had so many things on my plate I could barely think straight. I love having a lot to do as it keeps me motivated and on my toes. But February through May have made me dizzy. The other night I finally sat down on the couch with Josiah to watch the Macklemore performance at Boonaroo. It was the first time I can remember being present and feeling content in while. No anxious feelings in sight, no looming emails, no design projects lingering around. Simply put; there was no guilt. I want to say the onset of summer has brought this on, but really I think it’s a new mindset.

Favorite Wide Brim Summer Hats:

Does guilt doesn’t actually exist? Or do we create it and transfer it from person to person. We assume others are putting it on us. It’s a feeling we don’t have to accept. Guilt was always creeping up on me. Thoughts like, I hadn’t cleaned enough, had been eating out too much, not saving enough money, not spending enough time with family, not marketing my business correctly, not putting enough effort into my relationships. There is always going to be a category or bucket of your life that is running dry. But we don’t have to fill all the buckets. It’s good to be cognizant of the buckets in life but we can’t fix them all at once.

I’d noticed I was trying so hard to fill the buckets that I was constantly rushing around and probably putting 1 drop in bucket while running at 100 MPH. I had to stop and re-evaluate. Was I getting the results I wanted, based on the amount of effort and exhaustion I was putting on my body? I’m sure you can guess the answer.

I am now making a conscious effort to only take on projects that ring true to my core. I have discovered something about myself in regards to taking on new projects. I get SO excited about the work. I love living in the land of possibilities. When a business or person comes to me with a project my mind is going WILD with ideas. But as most creatives know, the portion of the project that involves ideas and sketching is about 30% of the total project. Ya, not as much as I would like. There’s still another 70% of the project that needs to be finished. You have production, sourcing assets, prepping files for web or print, color matching, invoicing, archiving, asset delivery, the list goes on. There truly is NO such thing as a “quick” project.

Now when I take on a project, I think to myself, will I still enjoy this project in 3 months, when the client and I are on proof 13, email #67, while hashing over the smallest details?

Besides everything happening in life that is work related, let’s talk about our inner voice. The one that nags you, guilts you, tries to protect you, while making you fearful and anxious? Ya, we need to quiet that voice. I decided to replace the voice with something a bit gentler. One that doesn’t keep kicking me for not finishing the 100th task on my list for the day. That same voice now congratulates me, for getting to the 97th item on my task list for the day. The one that says great job today and don’t worry there’s still tomorrow.

Talking nicer to ourselves I think brings up the quality of our work and the quantity of happy experiences we can create with others. I truly think an inner happy spirit can be sensed 100 miles away, or even through a simple email interaction. You can tell when someone’s heart isn’t in their work or their interactions. I think if we can quiet that at-times nasty inner voice, replace it with a more positive gentle version, we can let our joy shine through.

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Go a little easier on yourself, it is summer after all!

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P.S. If you like these photos and location, my friend Ashlee Gadd is offering a pop-up portrait session June 23rd & 30th. Details here.

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